Tuesday, May 29, 2007

so...where was I?

As soon as my jeans were washed and lost that Eau de Sheep scent, a tangy whiff I've grown so fond of, I was in Montana.

Montana looks just like you think it should. They didn't just make up that purple mountains' majesty line in the song, y'know. I kept thinking the ranch we were staying at looked like the movies,0507shear13mile_0816 until a neighbor told me that they had, indeed, filmed The Horse Whisperer and A River Runs Through It right up the road. Thus inspired, I got on horseback for the first time since junior high. It felt great. But looked dorky, as I white knuckled the reins while grinning ear-to-ear, so I'll skip the visual.

My sister, the mitering Lulu, came along for this leg of the Shear Spirit book photo marathon. We briefly - very briefly- considered bringing our loose squares to sew at night.

Here she is arranging yarn skeins for a still life.
Behind the scenes view:

What we were doing:
Lulu's really NOT a country girl and was a good sport about it, getting up close and personal with the animals and all.
This one liked her. A lot. She left that morning covered in Corriente cattle slobber.

I'll spare you an exhausting incident that involved her vigorously herding a group of pregnant ewes. We thought they should be in a particular spot with good light to make an interesting photo near a sweater for one of the book's patterns and they, the ewes, felt otherwise. I think they just wanted to be left alone till they gave birth. Selfish animals. No sense of publication deadlines and editorial needs. You know I'm joking , right? We had carte blanche from the rancher. He set us loose with the sheep, hoping the activity would get them into labor. I am considering a sideline: photography and fiber animal birthing coach.

We also met sheep with personality. 0507shear13mile_0218This is Devil. His mixed breeding left him with a lovely teddy bear face but these unfortunate horns that stick straight up . I was made to promise he wouldn't end up in the book. But the blog? Just don't tell the rancher if you know her, OK?

Do you wonder if still knit? I do! But with little to show. I was, as far as I could tell, the only person knitting while waiting for Old Faithful to blow a couple days after leaving the ranch, while playing tourist in Yellowstone. And then, 90 minutes later, while waiting from a different vantage point geyser-side, I was the only person ripping out 8 inches of cashmere lace, having found too many dropped stitches to live with. I think the cashmere lace will wait until I can work on it in one spot.


kathy in juneau said...

Yay, you're back. What a treat your post was. Can't wait for the book!

Carole Knits said...

Once again I must say - I CANNOT wait for this book!

Cookie said...

There you are! :D

Sounds like you had another great trip. How many ewes when into labor and how many times were ya'll pulled over by the cops? ;^)

se_lydem said...

Hey, great to have you back and hear about your adventures on the road! I have to say that I've come to look forward to your blog -- and, of course, your amazing photos. I think we met briefly on the train into NYC last summer -- you had the layouts for the Red Scarf Project folks (I think) and I was on my way in for the knit out with the SNB New Haven girls. Was that you? Think I'll knit a scarf for the project this year... Sue

kt said...

You: New ewe doula

Sister LU: Drooly moo doula

we missed you, but you were having fun and now you've shared so it's fine.

(contented grin)

gale said...

Since you asked:
(Cookie) No tickets! No speeding! No idea about the lambs - I was too scared to find out after I left!

(Sue) Yep that was me - er, still is me. Hope to see you if I ever make it to SnB again, thanks for stopping by the blog

(KT) Ok you didn't ask but loved my new tongue twisty job description!



Melissa said...

Oh my gosh! Gorgeous!

Baycolonyfarm said...

Your photos are just so beautiful!

Robin said...

Great photos! Worth the cattle slobber!

zippiknits said...

Wow, you were really out there! I'm so glad that you blog and share so much. Montana, I wanted a horse ranch there for many years. Then reality struck.

Rita said...

Your blog is so nice to look at - and read! One day I will get to Montana, I grew up reading my Dad's cowboy books, and I just built this dream world in my head of mountains, horses, and handsome cowboys! Now I'd settle for mountains, horses, cows and sheep!