Sunday, 28 October 2012

Happy Halloween.

Our deadly hot chilli crop. Apparently Scotch Bonnets aren't called that because of their suitability to the Scottish climate.

It is nearly Halloween and the horror came early to our house. At least for the cat. When our lovely friend ( and vet ) Jaqui came to visit us with her husband a few months ago she took one look at Magnus and said; " Diabetes. " In other words, that beast is too fat and he is endangering his health. We cut down the cat food and waited for the slimline version to appear. Nothing happened. Not a centimetre of cat was reduced. We suspected that Magnus was dining out.  That was confirmed when the lovely boy jumped onto my lap one day before teatime and promptly burped a cat-food burp in my face. Someone is feeding him and we have to ask them to stop. Or alert them to the fact that there is a great big stripey cat coming into their house and stealing their cat food. I have decided that the best way to do this is by hanging a small label on Magnus. The sign will read. "Do not Feed. Vet's orders."

In order to achieve my aim, first of all I had to fasten a collar onto his neck. Trickier than it sounds as all the collars in the shop had bells on them designed to stop the wearer sneaking up on the unsuspecting bird population. It also prevents the worried cat owner from sneaking up on an overweight cat in order to fit the collar in the first place. After much wrangling and a little bloodshed, the collar has been affixed. I haven't added the label yet, I figured it would be kinder to let him get used to the collar first before adding complications. He hates it. I took this photo a day after he succumbed to the collar - in my mind this is Magnus' subconscious showing just how much he hates it. It has been pointed out that the picture bears a frightening resemblance to the adverts for The Omen. That can't be a coincidence.

Terrifying. Just terrifying.

  In other news, I have been learning how to make Dorset Buttons and so far have managed to make a grand total of one. And that was with help. I am ridiculously pleased with with how my one button turned out. Any suggestions for using it? On a tiny mouse jacket? A hat for a large spider?

And a tranquil button to finish.

Friday, 5 October 2012

A Day Late and a Poem Short.

A Book Spine Poem I made yesterday.

Yesterday was National Poetry Day in the UK, I would have written a post then but I was lost in a tussle with some Jacob Fleece. A lovely friend is teaching me the spinning technique called Long Draw and she insists on me practising every day. This version of  Long Draw is the way that many Scottish spinners would have spun to make the most of our hardy sheep with short stapled fleeces. I need to be proficient in hand carding and the production of good rolags before I have the slightest chance of getting the spinning part right so I am diligently doing my homework. As with many things, it looks simple but is very hard to do well. Most of the time I'm making a dreadful mess of things but once in a while everything goes right and it feels as if I've just learned how to fly.

A gymnastic duck

Hungry Ryeland Sheep

 Last weekend was the Scottish Smallholder and Grower Festival and I spend a wonderful day meeting many types of sheep and the people who care for them. There were other animals too - pigs, cattle, poultry,  including a duck who stood on one leg just in time for me to take a picture, as well as many crafts and foodstuffs to admire. The Show Entries were a poem all to themselves.  Here are some of my favourites.

Leg Cleek
A Floral Arrangement in a Wellington

Three White Girdle Scones
A Clootie Dumpling
Four squares of Vanilla Tablet

Best Pygmy Goat

Gilts and Boars
Senior Sows
Best Pig Pen

Scots Dumpy
Hard Feather
Cream Crested Legbar

Close Wool
Long Wool
Ram Lamb

Showing a sheep.

Lincoln Longwool ( I think )

Happy Day After National Poetry Day, Day.