Exciting news! Krissie my arabian mare had her foal yesterday morning, a lovely chestnut filly. She took everyone by surprise by choosing the date that the vet predicted as her due date, but with very little sign that she was going to give birth until just a few hours beforehand. But all went well and both mare and foal are healthy and well. I visited them yesterday at the stud where Krissie's gone for foaling, and took many many photos! The photos in this post were taken when the little one was just 8 hours old.
I've named the foal 'Inara', as I've long been a fan of the one-series sci-fi show 'Firefly', which included a very beautiful character with the same name. Inara's also the name of an ancient Middle Eastern goddess, who was a protector of wild animals, so it seemed fitting.
She's by a stallion named Icon, who's a beautiful palamino arab x lusitano (a spanish breed). I'm hoping Inara will have inherited at least a little of his amazing talent for classical high school dressage.
It's hard to believe that just under 11 months ago, this was my first view of her, when Krissie had her first positive ultrasound scan:
The black circle in the scan photo is the embryo sac, I think Inara might be the tiny little bundle of grey cells at the top of the circle, but at that early stage it's hard to tell!
Krissie is being a brilliant mum, she's suckling the foal very well and taking excellent care of her. This is her first foal, so I'm really pleased she's taken to motherhood so well.
They need to stay at the stud for a couple of weeks, until Inara's strong enough to travel home. But I'm planning to visit a few more times before then, so hope to have some foal playing in field photos to post soon.
Back briefly to crafty news. As if I didn't have enough to occupy my brain, I've cast on my first ever lace project. This is the start of a Swallowtail Shawl, in Posh Yarn's 'Eva' (a cashmere/silk heavy laceweight yarn).
I'd been putting off learning lace knitting for a long time, although I've long been attracted to it. I'm left handed, and I knit left handed, so things are likely to come out the wrong way round if I knit lace without planning it beforehand. I've done a few simple motifs in lace before and got really confused about why my ssk's and k2tog's were coming out backwards. But after some research on Ravelry, I think I've figured out what to do. Basically I just have to read the charts in reverse, simple!
Well it would be simple if I could follow charts accurately. A few repeats after the photo above was taken, I got into a dreadful muddle. Fortunately I'd threaded a 'lifeline' through my stitches before the muddle, so I was able to frog back safely. But I've now knitted (and frogged) the following few repeats far more times than I'd like to admit. I keep miscounting, doing too many yarn-overs, dropping stitches, it's driving me a bit crazy! Perhaps I have too much foal on the mind. I feel inclined to put it away for a while and return to some nice simple sock knitting for a while. But knowing how my brain works, I won't be happy until the lace issue is fixed, so I could be in for a froggy weekend!
Hope to post some happy lace news soon. And also about my plan for the Tour de Fleece. Yes I have a plan, and I've even written it down. Somewhere, on my computer. It's probably hiding underneath all the photos of horses from yesterday... :)