Todd Morrison Jan 2002 – August, 30, 2014

August 30, 2014 was a sad day for Charlie and I.

Another of our furry family members passed.  It has taken me some time to be able to write a post about Todd’s passing. Todd came to us when he was about 8 years old.  I had started herding lessons with Kathy in Ft. Lupton, CO for Abbey, my red tri color border collie.  During the time that I was taking a few lessons with Abbey, I met Todd and we bought Todd.

Todd

Todd wouldn’t always work for everyone.  He did like to work for me.  He occasionally worked for Charlie but most times he would not work for him.  Todd needed a firm but patient handler and if anyone shouted at him, he shut down and would refuse to work.  He and Kathy had a difference of opinion.  He wanted to gather up the sheep and bring them to her, she wanted to train him to go further and drive and do other things.  If the sheep or goats were moving away from the human, Todd was NOT happy.  Well for us and our minimal needs, Todd’s style worked well.  He could gather up the sheep and goats and bring them to us all day long so I didn’t have to go down that big steep hill on the Colorado mountain side.  He understood that he wasn’t required to work every day, that when we walked even without any critters to herd I would run through his commands for practice, and that this was his retirement home.  We had about 6.5 years with Todd.  He adored my husband Charlie, me too, but there was a special bond with Charlie.  Charlie was his playmate.

Todd moving Michelle, one of our angora goats

Todd started going downhill dramatically about 2 weeks prior to our decision to let him go.  We did run numerous tests and our best guess was that he had a bone cancer in his back hip and some sort of spinal injury as no messages from the back end were reaching the brain.  He was staggering, struggling to use the bathroom, didn’t want to eat, and in pain.  It was the correct thing to do for him, even though it sucked for us.  I waited a little bit and tried a few pain medications and he had some initial improvements but not any significant increase in the quality of his life.

Todd and his mate, Charlie

I had hoped the medication would turn the tide and was going to give him a few days to look for improvements, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.  Charlie was offshore at the time but the extra few days making him a bit more comfortable with the pain medications allowed Charlie to get home to be with Todd that last evening before going to the vet the next day.

 

 

Todd working the training sheep

Our Todd would gather up the sheep, but he really enjoyed the belligerent stubborn goats.  Those were his favorite to herd and bend to his will.  He had a great eye and barely made a sound when doing any herding.  It was a joy to watch him work.

Todd will be missed.

 

Fibery Goodness Module One through Seven Yarns

 

Here is a little photo gallery of all of the Module yarns from One to Seven in order.  Enjoy.

Mod 1 – Basic Go To Yarn

Mod 2 – Chain yarn

 

 

Module 1 yarn is my Basic Go To Yarn that I spin easily without thinking.

 

Module 2 is a Chain yarn made up of 4 plys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mod 3 – Gimp Spiral yarn

Mod 4 – Beaded Spiral yarn

 

Mod 3 is a Gimp Spiral.  One ply is 50% smaller than the other ply.

 

Mod 4 is a Beaded Spiral.  Beads are fresh water pearls strung on a silk thread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Module 5 – 4 Variation Spiral
1. Basic Spiral
2. Spiral with extra tension on one ply to make it a stronger spiral
3. Beaded Spiral
4. Super Coil almost core spun extreme spiral

Mod 5 yarn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Module 6 – Basic Go To Yarn revamped

Changes: 2 plys spun even, thinner and tighter. One silk ply with garnet seed pearl beads. Silk ply trapped between two merino plys to correct a previous problem of silk ply loosening off and beads getting caught and broken out of yarn

Mod 6 yarn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Module 7 – Slubby Flame Spiral

One ply tight, even and thin. One ply wild, slubby with huge changes between thick and thin. Fat uneven ply spiraled around tight ply to create a balanced strong and fluffy yarn

Mod 7 yarn

Fibery Goodness Module Seven Yarn

As promised, here is my Module Seven Yarn photos.  I spun these several weeks ago and just managed to get some photos taken this week.  Also of note, is that I spun Module Six in the morning and Module Seven in the evening.  Two totally different and unique yarns which required two widely different styles of spinning and plying techniques.  Make sure you see Mod 6 yarns as well.

Mod 7-7

 

Mod 7-2

I used the same 15.5 Micron Merino commercially prepared combed top in white.  I spun one ply a bit finer than usual with a bit more twist and evenness than usual.  I spun the other ply with throwing it at the wheel.  I spun slubs, thin bits, thick bits….anything I could to make the texture wild and crazy.  I plyed the thick slubby wild single spirally around the thin even tightly controlled one to get a lovely slub flame spiral yarn.  This is super soft and a very comforting sort of yarn but still has strength due to the tight controlled spun single.

Mod 7-6

This completes the spinning portion of my course with seven stunning yarns all created from the same 15.5 micron Merino commercial prepared combed top in white.

My focus in this course was creating the seven yarns using the same prep and wool in the same white color while creating 7 obviously unique and different textured yarns due to the ply structure and spinning technique only.  It was a challenge that I set for myself and I think I achieved it.

 

Mod 7-3

Now for the preparation that will be Module 8 and constructing a final project that will use some of all seven yarns in the final item.  Stay tuned because I have a fantastic final project planned.  It will involve circular weaving, rigid heddle weaving, wet felting, free form crochet and a lot of creativity.

 

Fibery Goodness Module Six Yarn

I have had my Module Six yarn spun now for several weeks but hadn’t taken any photographs of it.  I know….I was slow.  It is a 2+ ply hand spun yarn of the 15.5 Micron Merino.  Natural white with a 3rd ply if you want to call it that which is a silk thread with garnet seed pearls strung on it.

Mod 6-3

I have spun some beaded spirals in the course but was having troubles with the merino shrinking and fulling a bit in the setting process with the silk thread staying the same.  The end result was that the thread hung loose with the beads on it and would get caught and break…. losing beads.  This made the yarn super fragile.  I wanted to make my usual go to yarn that is a medium weight 2 ply, mostly evenish.

Mod 6-1

I decided to spin the 2 singles a little bit finer and try for a much more even yarn with a tad bit more twist in the final plying to give it more strength than usual.  I trapped the silk thread with the garnet seed beads on it in between the two merino plys to give it some added strength.  I was going for a 2+ ply that was 2 plys for strength and softness, and 1 ply for bling and character.

Mod 6-2

I do not usually spin fine or even like this so this was rather outside my comfort zone.  Probably not even in the room where my box was….that is was soooo far out my box.  I am over the moon pleased with this yarn.  I really like it.  I spun the Mod 6 yarn in the morning and the Mod 7 yarn in the evening.  They are two very different-night and day yarns even though spun from the same white 15.5 micron merino wool.  Look for Mod 7 yarn coming soon.

Mod 6-4

Werid fungus?

I have seen something super weird outside in the bark and one of my garden beds in the last few days.  Some weird fungus perhaps?  At first when I saw it, it looked just like a bright sunflower yellow dusting like some pollen.

Before Fungus

But that night around 1 am when I was outside checking on the goats, I noticed it again.  It had changed.  Greatly!!  It had swelled up over 4 times its original size, puffed up big like yeasty dough rising and swelled.  Creepy.  The next morning I was curious and looking at it as again I was stunned by the changes.

After Fungus

It was still a bit puffy but not as big as during the night.  It dried out, turned a pale beige color and looked all crusty.  I had two spots in the driveway.

Two days later, I noticed another small dusting on one of the pine logs in the wood pile.  I checked it out last night again in the dark around midnight and it was swelling to huge sizes again and still that brilliant yellow.  And now….you guessed it.  EWWWW!!  Creepy.