Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Spinning for a Challenge

Have you ever been Magic Linked? Do you even know what a Magic Link is. Magic Linking is a mechanism on Ravelry to make someones ears burn by linking them up in a message. It is where you put someones name in brackets and then a subject in parenthesis and when you post, it magic links that person to a message. For instance, I was Magic Linked on June 05 from Moonfire Handknits about a spinning challenge. The message said " Are your ears burning? You've been magic linked in Moonfire HandKnits."

That ear burn was an invitation to a spinning challenge to be completed by June 27and it was June 05 so I figured sure, why not! I have plenty of time. Well, I got ear burned again on Friday, June 21 and below is all I had completed! I needed to get cracking or miss out!



This is what I started with, 4 ounces of hand painted 85% Polwarth wool and 15% Tussah silk. I had purchased this back in late April from Capistrano Fiber Arts on Etsy and I can't wait to get more! It spun beautifully and I just love the sheen.

I spun all day on Sunday. Here is the finished product from the first 2 ounces.Then we had a big summer storm move through, so I decided to move out to the front porch for some spinning in the rain and on to the 2nd 2 ounces of roving. The colors were so lovely. I had purchased 6 ounces, but decided to reserve 2 ounces to spin later and do a Navajo ply as an experiment to see how it would look in a 3 ply.


 Ready to ply on the left and plyed and moved to the niddy noddy on the right. Then it was time to wash and rinse.

Next it was time to roll it out and hang it to dry and set the twist. I was especially happy with this skein because the twist was perfect and I didn't need to weight it to straighten it out. Before I left for work I hung it on the front porch to dry. I sure was glad I hung it on the front porch and not out back on the pergola like I normally do because we had another whopper of a storm yesterday and it would have gotten soaked. I really wanted a dry skein so I could twist it up and get a good look.

 So here is my finished product. 180 luscious yards of DK weight yarn. Tell me what you think?

 I personally couldn't be more thrilled with the results!

Friday, June 14, 2013


To continue the conversation about Google Reader, I wanted to talk today about Feedly. It was getting close to the deadline for the disappearance of Google Reader so I have been researching alternatives and I think I found one I really like. It is called Feedly.

Feedly allows you to organize all your favorite blogs, news sites, podcasts and Youtube channels and access them all in one place and you can or migrate your Google Reader account. I haven't added a lot of new items since I made the switch, but for the few I have added, I am very happy with the simple ease with which this program works.

Another pleasant surprise about Feedly is how fast it works. Photos in the blogs I follow load lightening fast and it gives you 4 options for how you want your items to load.

The Basic Title View
The Magazine View which is great for my iPad
The Cards View -  which is kinda cool

And the Full Article View
I generally use the Full Article View because I read the blogs I follow at night on my laptop and this view allows me to fly through every last one of them on a nightly basis without a lot of opening and closing and I still feel like I ma getting the full effect of all the lovely photos that you all share.

Another great feature is the many Preferences that you can easily set to customize how you view the world from your Feedly.



Start Page
Which page would you like feedly to load when you start feedly ? Tips: You can also bookmark any feedly page and jump back to that page directly.

Default View
Change the view setting of all category and feed pages at once.

Categories With No Updates
Use this knob to hide the categories with no updates in the left navigation panel.

Featured Articles
Feedly can curate and feature articles based on how popular they are on Google+ and Facebook. Do you want to see featured articles at the top of the magazine view?

Giant Mark As Read
Should feedly show a giant mark as read button at the end of each list to make it easier to mark content as read?

Auto-Mark As Read On Scroll
Should feedly automatically mark articles as read when you scroll through them

Header font
Which font should feedly use for the header of articles?

What should be the default language for the Explore and Essentials pages?
Should feedly try to optimize featured articles?

Read Links Color
What should be the color of the links for read articles?
Unread Links Color
What should be the color of the links for unread articles?


Comma delimited list of tags you would like to be able to assign to articles when you collect them for later


Pinterest Integration
Make it easy to pin images you are reading in feedly in your Pinterest boards.

Twitter Postfix
Message added to the articles you tweet in feedly.

mini toolbar

Mini Enabled?
Should feedly mini (tiny sharing toolbar located at the bottom right of the browser window) be enabled ?

Exclude List
Comma delimited list of sites you would like feedly mini to not display on. Based on URL pattern matching. Example: facebook,my space !important: no space before or after the commas
Bottom Spacing
At how many pixels of the bottom of the page should the feedly mini toolbar be located? The default value is 14.

side area

Facebook Newsfeed
Should feedly include a facebook newsfeed module on the homepage?

Twitter Module
Should feedly include a Twitter module on your Highlights page?

Finance Module
Which stocks would you like to track in your feed? Comma-delimited list of symbols. Empty to disable.


Confirm Mark As Read
Should we show a mark as read confirmation dialog ?

Confirm Unsubscribe
Should we show the Google Reader confirmation message when unsubscribing from feeds ?


Contextual Menu
Should feedly display a contextual menu when you select some text while reading an article? The default value is yes.

Customization Key
Special key used to customize feedly for some media organizations.

Look at all these preference and I am no longer a No Reply Blogger! I can also easily connect this to all of my social media accounts. Between all of these and the fact that you can set an individual background color, I think Feedly will work out just fine.

Have you tried a new reader and if so, which one do you prefer?

Monday, June 10, 2013

A New Alpaca Cria and No Reply Bloggers

Have you become disenfranchised with Google and all that used to be great? I know I have. I love Google iReader and now that is going away. I also love the convenience of iGoogle and now that is going away too! I am finding that there will soon be no reason to use Google at all. I haven't cared much for Google+ since it came out and I see no benefits to using it for my business and it also causes issues for anyone that has a Blogger hosted blog. They push and push for you to connect your Blogger blog to your Google+ account and when you do, you become a No Reply Blogger! This has been going on for quite some time now, so it would seem that Google has lost touch with its users and they have lost their focus! I guess they feel we are no longer needed because they have made the big move to cell phones and they think we all want to use our cell phones to blog, etc. Well, I for one do not! How about you?

On to happier thoughts....

Two weeks before Mother's Day we had our first cria born on the farm.

Charity's Angel wearing an XL cria coat.
The two boys born before her were born on the farm where we were agisting our little herd before they came home to live at Old Cedar Knoll. And I have to tell you that it was a real roller coaster ride! Our Dam Charity was the expectant mother and this baby came out at a whopping 21 lbs., which is large by Alpaca standards. She was weak because she was so tall, but she soon gained the strength she would need for the next three weeks of her early life. Charity's Angel - that was my husband's pick - was born without a vaginal opening so we quickly became old hats at all things Cria; hand expressing urine (doesn't that sound like a load of fun) administering twice daily antibiotic shots and trips to the vet's office with an Alpaca in the back of my Explorer. We have a farm vet that comes out to the farm, but this little girl needed surgery to create a vaginal opening so she could urinate on her own and there was no other way to get her there because our trailer was much too large for her to travel in all alone.

Mama was very unhappy the day we took her, but thank goodness the surgery went well and she was back in a few hours and she is thriving! So much so that she is already half the size of our yearling Ice Star and she is already grazing, eating Orchard Grass and a little grain in the mornings when I feed. And she is quite the little bugger. She loves to run and pronk and tease you into thinking she is going to come see you, but just at that split second that you reach out to touch her, she takes off!
A proud Mama eating some grass for energy.

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