Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Yarn Thrifting

One thing I've been doing lately is visiting the thrift shops as a good source of yarn - not necessarily balls of yarn (although sometimes you do find those!) but for things I can unravel and re-use the yarn.  Today I went to the thrift shop for that reason, because I had to go to town anyway for groceries and sheep feed.  I picked up some really nice scarves for re-purposing the yarn.  Some of them are the "fun fur" type of yarn which works well in many of my crazy chicken hats and other novel knitted or crocheted items.  Some of them are colours I liked, and some of them are lovely chunky yarns.  Here are a few of the scarves and yarns I've thrifted lately.

Here's a lovely big ball of thick-and thin cream coloured yarn from a bulky scarf - I'll probably give this one a dye job and turn it into something more colourful!

These are 5 balls of yarn from a lovely 100% wool thick-and-thin scarf.  I adore these colours and I think I might re-use them in a shrug for myself, along with some solid red and grey.

This is the content of 7 scarves, unraveled.  The scarves cost me about $12.  The novelty "furry" yarns are usually $6-8 per skein, and I've got 5 skeins here.  The thick-and-thin wools are more than that if you buy them from the yarn store.  And the alpaca blend would be more yet again.  In all, a great haul!

Not everybody likes fun fur, but I love it for accents on scarves and hats, not to mention "wings" on my bird hats.  I loved the variegated blue, turquoise and mauve in these skeins.

This was a prize - an alpaca and wool blend.  Scrumptious!

Another batch of scarves that I purchased today, waiting to be unravelled!  There's more fun fur, some mohair, and some wool.  

 This is a lovely deep cranberry - I think it's an acrylic, but that's OK - it's easy wash and a super colour!

This scarf is actually woven, not knitted.  I'm sure it's 100% wool by feel...

...and it was woven by Branigan Weavers (so says the front of the label) in Drogheda, Ireland.  I thought that was a lovely bit of finery from across the pond!  And such a rich colour once again!  I might felt it for re-use, or I might just keep it as a scarf.

Of course, one can also find good sweaters for felting, which I remake into mittens for selling in my Etsy shop, or for unravelling for the yarns!  This one is for the yarn!  That's my colour!

This is a 100% cashmere vest from Garnet Hill - perfect for an extra layer of warmth on cold days like today!  Their cashmere sweaters retail for $150 to $200 Canadian, so I think this was a good deal for $3.50, don't you?!

Sometimes, there are other good finds besides the wool and yarn.  Today, for instance, I scored 100% silk pajamas with dragons on them, with the original paper label still attached - clearly never worn.  Really nicely made, with "frog" style buttons on the front and a Mandarin collar.  I couldn't resist for $4.00.

I mean, if you're going to lounge around in your PJ's, you ought to do it in style, right?  So what do you think - do they suit me?  They're certainly comfortable and I love the colour, so as far as I'm concerned, it was a day of deals!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A New Dawn

"It's a new dawn,
It's a new day
It's a new life...for me,
and I'm feeling good..."

I bet you know those lyrics.  Most people of my vintage do, and even those who are younger, thanks to the great cover version by Michael BublĂ© from 2005.  I thought those were appropriate words for this post, because it's the first post under my blog's new name.  If any of my former followers are still around, you may remember that when I moved from Iowa to Nova Scotia, my goat Lucky Nickel was excited about the move to "Can of Duck," which is goat-speak for Canada.  Goats have trouble with new words sometimes, and Nova Scotia was waaaay too difficult for those goatie lips to manage, so Can of Duck it was!

The fact is that nothing....and I really mean nothing....about that move, ended up the way I hoped or expected.  What seemed like a dream in the making turned into my biggest nightmare.  It has taken me a very long time to come to terms with the magnitude of the mistake I made in choosing to move here, and in choosing the relationship that I did, and in leaving behind everything I'd spent my life building to pursue those choices.  I've never made a mistake before on that scale, and I hope I never will again.  I've learned a lot, I've grown a lot, and I've begun to forgive myself, ever so slowly, for turning my life upside-down and taking my family and friends on a roller coaster journey of madness.  I made those dreadful decisions, but I've been making better ones lately, and I plan to keep on doing so.

So, I'm leaving "Whispering Acres" in the past.  If you wish to follow me, you might want to update any old links to reflect the new blog name.  I haven't got a name for my current farm yet, and I'm not sure when I will have one, so for now, I'm sticking with Dispatches from Can of Duck.  It's certainly not a blog name that's already in use, so I give myself a point for originality.

I'll be posting updates of my new dawn and new days, because things are finally beginning to turn a corner, and although I have a very long way to go, the future is not as bleak as it once seemed.  Coming along with me on this journey will be the Fab Five - Lucky Nickel, Fezzik and Caramel the goats, as well as Tucker and Twilight the sheep.  I'll be sharing the improvements I've been making on this falling-down farm.  I'll be talking about my new work, my new plans, and the new love of my life....oh yes!  He's a very handsome guy, with big strong muscles and beautiful eyes, and he keeps me warm at night.  In fact, I think the very first picture I'll share on this new blog is my guy, Jet.

I'm also apologizing, to long-term readers, for having been absent for so long.  It has really been a rough road, and I just didn't have the heart to talk about it - mostly because I had nothing at all positive to say or share.  So thanks for re-joining me, if you were here before, and welcome to any newcomers.  I hope the journey ahead is worth following.