Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I'm so scared, and on the verge of a nervous break-down. I needed to post somewhere, as there is no one reasonable around here to talk to.

First of all, lets make this perfectly clear : I did not want to get my doggie pregnant!!! I knew I would freak and be super nervous. My boyfriend wanted it, and even before we got her pregnant all the care and stuff was on my shoulders. I had to arrange everything, from vet appointments to the actual meeting with the breeder (and the guy-dog :D) to all the other preparations. And now something might be going wrong everything is putting the pressure on me, especially the boyfriend.

The last 2 nights I haven't really slept at all. Yesterday I spent on the couch with the dog and I probably will do the same if the pups don't arrive before bedtime (not a chance really).

The most stressing is that everybody keeps calling me to ask about the pups. My mom called and asked me if I was sure the pups were still alive and the dog could actually go through a labor! Then about an hour later my boyfriend came up with the most stressing story. One of our employees had told him we had to be carefull when we let the do out to pee/... to make sure she didn't push out one of the pups!! (he had that happen once). Even worse was that just a few minutes ago the boyfriend just let the dog go out and didn't even do an efford to watch her. We have a huge place for her to run so it's not easy, but I've gone out with her all day and it's not that difficult.

I really am ready to break down and just cry. The whole day I felt like the dog was going into labor as her behaviour had changed, but now it's totally the old way again. And the boyfriend is upstairs and I'm so angry with him. He doesn't even care, while this was all his idea. I would have just bought another pup from the breeder. I swear I'm not going through this all again, ever. Not with him that is.

On the brighter note, I had a lot more energy today - despite the huge lack of sleep - and got a lot done. Let's start with the pictures of the yarn/roving I died yesterday :

Handpainted merino and Mohair, before carding Handpainted Merino/silk
Handpainted variegated sock yarn - reds and purples Handpainted yarn for calorimetry from knitty
Handpainted sock yarn - black/purple

From left to right, top to bottom (if they appear to you that way :D)

- mohair and Merino, both 100gr, in shades of purple, to be blended together
- Merino/silk, 150gr I think, same shades
- Sockyarn (90%merino, 10%nylon) dyed in shades of puple and red (the red is a bit to red for my taste)
- Superwash yarn for calorimetry , will probably knit this together with a strand of 2-ply wool/angora to get gauge
- Sockyarn dyed with all the leftovers poored together (black, purple, red), came out a lot better in daylight then I had expected

So today I started working with my carder! The first thing I did was try a bit of a different blend : merino, cotton, flitter and fake cashmere.

Batts Merino/cotton/flitter/fake cashmere

I had less then 50gr of merino left over so wanted to experiment a little. I weighed about 50gr of cotton (bought in Turkey last summer) but I ended up using only half. The flitter and fake cashmere were died (flitter gold, cashmere purple) for a previous blend. I have still A LOT left over! Anyway, my carder is not specially for cotton so it was a bit strange. I first carded about half for the batt, removed it, carded it again and added more. I had 4 batts in the end. So I started spinning it on my Louet S45. I knew I wouldn't be able to spin a smooth yarn but that didn't bother me at all. And it's not really thin either, but I wasn't going to ply it anyway.

So I ended up with a nice skein of very nubby yarn! I filled to bobbin to its max. After skeining it I weighed it and it was only 70gr. It's about fingering to sport weight, but the cotton settled in nubs so it's thicker in some places. I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the result. I tried to take a picture of the skein before setting it (it was fairly overspun but it's my first time spinning cotton so I'm happy with it) but it was already getting dark so it's not a good picture :

Spun Merino/cotton/flitter/fake cashmere

Yeah, you can't really see the yarn, though you can see the colour-parts in it (both the cotton and merino were undyed, so the only colour you see is the flitter & cashmere). I'll try to take a better picture tomorrow.

This is the first "novelty" yarn I spun. I've been concentrating on spinning a nice evenly laceweight single to get a nice sock yarn. I would love to be able to spin a decent fingering weight 3-ply, and a very fine 2-ply (that's how I prefer my sock yarn, very fine). I'm getting better at it. But it's hard for me not to try to get that "perfection". This was a nice excercise and it was freeing! I'm going to do it more in the future! I just need to find a way to use this fiber. I was thinking of a small scarf with lacy holes to show the yarn better, but I'm not sure yet. I might just put it on display for a while!

Now after putting the cotton etc through the carder I carded the merino/mohair (I just ordered merino/mohair roving to dye and spin in the future as that'll give more colour options, or at least other options, as the carding gives a very equally dyed yarn). I seperated each roving in 8 equal parts, and then carded one part of merino with one part mohair. I split the yarns and put them through the carder, then took the roving off and put it through the carder again because I wanted a nice balanced yarn (not strips of mohair and strips of merino next to eachother). It's the first time I'm doing this and it's really neat! As I said, this gives an almost solid yarn with little changes in colour. It might be nice to use similar colours (instead of the same colours) and then blend them, but I'm not sure yet. I am going to experiment with this though, and also with merino/silk blends (I have that in roving, as you could see, and I love it, but I haven't carded it together myself just yet). Anyway, the result :

Carded Merino/Mohair

I swear these feel like clouds!! I'm so in love! I have about 200gr, and I'm going to try to spin a very fine laceweight single and make a fine fingering weight 2-ply, either for a lace scarf/shawl or for socks. I haven't started on this yarn yet, maybe tomorrow or on Friday.

As I said I just ordered merino/mohair and merino/tencel roving to play with in the future. These mixes aren't available here (in Europe I mean), or at least not through ebay (I don't know many other ways though). I can easily get merino, mohair, silk, etc in fiber so that's ok. I am going to experiment more with my carder in the near future. I am however not really eager on trying to card merino & tencel myself, as I think that won't be so easy. Let's just buy that roving, right? :D

At the moment I'm spinning some BFL from Hello Yarn. It's actually the first time I'm spinning this! :D It's not really as nice as the merino or even german wool I have here, but it's nice. The colours are gorgious! I want to try more yarns. Shouldn't be much of a problem as I am part of the Spunky Club and Amy seriously does send out a lot of nice rovings! But, back the the BFL. I've realized that pre-drafting is so important in spinning a nice, even yarn in a laceweight. So before I start spinning I spend about 30min pre-drafting. Most of my yarns become 2-ply sock weights, so I split the roving in 2. Then I start pre-drafting one half (depending on the yarn I will look at colour repeats if possible) and put the stuff in a small basket. And then I don't have to worry about it anymore while spinning. I used to pre-draft in between spinning but I lost a lot of rythm that way. This way is so much easier. This is how my basket looked this morning :

Predrafted BFL from Hello Yarn

Nice and fluffy! I spun the first bobbin and pre-drafted the rest of the roving for tomorrow. Hopefully I can finish then.

I think this is about it! I should get more used to writing here. I have so much to babble about. Once I get started I can easily write a whole story! But well, I'm not always motivated and well, I don't have stuff to show all the time.

By the way, sorry for babbling about my dog all the time now, hopefully it'll be more happy puppy talk soon, but I don't have high hopes.

** Edit : My sister went to our vet with her cat this evening and she asked about doggie. Vet said not to worry at all, it can take up to 70 days! 63 is the "norm", but we all know how that goes. If it's a small litter it can take long. Her behaviour of today can say though it won't take that long anymore. But we'll see. I've thought this a few times but there are no pups to see yet.**


Anonymous Carla said...

I bred my golden retriever years ago, and she did indeed do that once (delivered a pup outside) came inside to her whelping pen, had the other 8 pups, then frantically tried to get outside to retrieve the other pup that had already been out in the cold for several hours (thankfully we were able to warm the pup up and save her)
At this point I'd just take the dog out personally on a leash, and when inside, try to keep her in the whelping pen (or designated delivery area) Some dogs are impossible to coerce to move once they start.

hang in there - everything will be just fine :)

10:32 PM  

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