Friday, August 28, 2009

Cusp of fall sunset....

I feel the season change upon us and this sunset just spoke to me about it. I need to work on my photography skills a bit but hopefully you can get a sense of what it was like from my feeble attempt. Happy weekend friends.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Viking Diamond Survey

I've been contemplating getting a new serger/coverstitch combo machine so I ran down to the Viking Husqvarna dealer in Yakima and checked out one I found great reviews on, a Viking/Husqvarna 936. While checking out the features of this pretty cool machine, the dealer invited me to a Viking Husqvarna Designer Diamond Survey. I had never heard of a "survey" which is a 4-hour class held at chosen dealers with a Viking educator from North Carolina and this machine is their top-of-the-line combo sewing and embroidery machine. It was free and I would get a $20 gift certificate for attending so I figured, sure, why not? I really don't know much about embroidery machines. But these machine have intrigued me for a few things like monograms, so I trekked on down to Yakima Monday afternoon and spent 4 hours in front of this machine and giggled over the fact that Debra, our Viking educator, was from N. Carolina but had the hardest New York accent you've ever heard. And she called me "Jamm-y" instead of Jami with the A being pronounced as an A. She had been giving classes and flying all over the country and was a bit rummy I think. It embarrassed her. She was fun.

So, this machine can sew anything, launder it, fold it and make coffee too. Well, not quite but you get my drift. Pretty fancy stuff there. Great deal on the price for those participating in the survey also....ahem...cough...sputter. A real steal at $6,999.99! They said the package deal they had was originally worth over $12,000. There was a $2,500 embroidery package included. Who spends $2,500 on embroidery designs? Holy cow. One very interesting comment the educator shared was that in Europe there are garment sewers but no market for these high-end fancy machines and the US is the biggest consumer of these embroidery machines. Well go figure...the biggest consumer country on earth gulping down $12,000 sewing machines like M & M's. We are truly a glutinous society here. Ya know? Oh well...I digress, back to my new love, the Diamond.

You may think that I ran out of the store with a new Viking Designer Diamond on some store credit card with one year same as cash instead of a 936 serger. But I was so proud of myself. I came out empty handed and didn't even purchase the serger either. I want to do some looking around and think on it for a while. It's a lot of money for a serger and I have one already. Old but it works. Doesn't do coverstitch though. For one thing, I am so over buying anything on credit. I did that in my younger years and I'm older and wiser now. No more. So, if I make some sales over the winter on sheep or crafty stuff/wool products, I will purchase the serger but the Diamond is just too over the top for me. It's just too extravagant. Now, all of this may change if I hit the Lotto. Ha!

OK, so what do you think about a sewing machine that costs that much? Do you just shake your head thinking of the prices and how they change them every few years so you'll upgrade to a flashier version of the old one with a few new bells and whistles? Do you think it's your only hobby so you're worth it? I'm just curious how some of you feel about being extravagant on something like this. Would you go into debt for one?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

And the winner is.....

Toby Aguilar's Coop De Frille (I added an "e")! The "byline" will be "a classic convertible lace scarf". Isn't that a fun name? Like a classic convertible Cadillac?

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for entering the contest. I loved all of the names really. It was difficult to choose. Might have to come up with another design just so I can take some of those other names too. : )

Happy trails. And Toby.I'm emailing you to get your address, girl! After I get this in order, I'll be listing a bunch of things in the Etsy store and getting set for fall.

On the sheep front, hauled cull ewes to market today. Four productive good ol' girls that just either had some issues or got mastitis or something. Always sad to see the old ones go but hey, that's the sheep business.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Name the scarf pattern contest!

Prize - Our newly released Cooke Creek Sheep Co. knit pattern kit (includes the yarn and the pattern) for a beautiful lacy, Coopworth scarf designed by Janelle! Check out her beautiful design work. Janelle did us proud. See the picture at right or in the previous post.

And on our farm website you can check out the beautiful Coopworth yarn for this new pattern. Coopworth is a dual purpose breed of sheep with great mothering attributes and known for having twins although I have a couple of ewes that have triplets every year. They are derived from Romney and Border Leicester breeds originally and so their wool has the luster of the BL and the crimp and length of the Romney. It's a nice yarn and easy on the hands. It's a natural color although it loves to be dyed if you're up to that. But I digress....back to the contest.

Rules - The name of the scarf can be anything that represents it well but it MUST include the word Coopworth...or Coop....or Coopy (if you're thinking along the lines of rhyming with Loopy, for instance) as we want to share with the knitter that this came from a certain kind of sheep that lives here on our farm. I don't care how long the name is, as long as it's catchy and to repeat, represents your impression of the scarf design. Please enter your choices in the comments section below this post. You can enter as many times as you like but please keep the comments short and sweet for this contest. You can write a novel any other time!

The winner will be announced on August 15th so please check back and don't forget if you're an anonymous commenter/entrant I will need your email somehow. This is not a draw-a-name-out-of-the-hat kind of contest but rather what name I like best from your entries. If it's a combination of 2 suggestions, both contributors will win the pattern.

Have fun, be creative and thanks for participating! The winner will be the first person to see the new pattern besides Janelle and myself. Can't wait to see what kind of creative minds we have out there.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Drumroll please.......

It's here...the sneak peak into Cooke Creek Sheep Company's first two knit designs! These lovely patterns were concocted by Janelle. She did an awesome job and I look forward to working with Janelle again on more designs from our yarn. This is a TOTALLY LOCAL product, designed in Ellensburg and the yarn comes from our very own ewes here in Ellensburg too! I am very excited to venture into this new venue with our wool.

Mercy, my friends, it's been a busy week. First off, my mom had an appointment with her surgeon in Portland, so yesterday took her to the appointment. It went well considering the "C" word was brought up...yup, cancer. It's a watch and see kind of thing but hopefully it all came out with the gallbladder. We'll see with forthcoming CT scans.

Okay, so it's time to market lambs, the rest of the bunch. Took 21 last month. So, we weighed the remaining lambs and and they all made weight except for one little Rosebud, the bummer of the bunch. I'll just keep her for now. She'll grow out just fine once she catches up. But, this week the phone began ringing for ewe lambs. Now, keep in mind, I am happy for the sales but folks are calling the week I have to promise how many lambs we're bringing to the buy day on Saturday so it's a rush-rush type of thing. We can't take more than we reserve truck space for. I am hoping it all works out. I don't want to be stuck with lambs and there isn't time to do deposits and so forth like normal. So, Saturday we truck to Moxee to take market lambs and then have have 2 buyers coming for ewe lambs and a ram. Monday brings in another person for aged ewes. We'll separate the ram lambs out of the group and put the keeper replacement ewe lambs in with the older ewes and start thinking of breeding time in the fall. It's time to do the sheep shuffle!

Today kind of feels like a fall day. After the incredible heat we've had over the past 3 weeks, it is actually cool and sprinkling a few drops of rain, cloudy, breezy. I am wearing a long-sleeved shirt! Mercy, it feels great. Just a reprieve probably, nothing permanent I'm sure.

Well, here is the unveiling of the new Cooke Creek knit design patterns. I want help naming these patterns and we're going to have a contest soon to do this. For now, here are the pictures. The first is a lacy scarf made from our Coopworth light sport weight yarn. Yarn doesn't have to be lace weight to make a pretty holey scarf.
Here are the boot socks from our Texel yarn. It's a heavier DK weight. I like the name Boot Scootin' Texel Socks. What do you think?

I am working on a Cooke Creek Facebook page. Any of you doing FB? Have you done a business/fan page? It's not as easy as I would have thought.

Oh...I did figure out the Ipod downloads. I downloaded a country "album" of remade songs to a specific beat for exercise. It's really pretty hilarious as they sped up songs and had different artists do the singing to songs we all know from the radio. Cheesy but it's better than techno music I downloaded at first. I was about ready to throw the stupid thing in the canal by the time I got to the end of my walk.

I am finishing up a wedding gift today, got to make a wool pillow insert for the cotton cover I whipped up Tuesday and get this puppy in the mail. DH is going on a pack trip up in the hills next week and I'm looking forward to not only taking care of things around here (it's fun once in a while to do things MY WAY) and to crafting the nights away without feeling guilty about leaving him alone in front of the tube.

Signing off for now.
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