The wheel isn’t turning

And that is because my spinning wheel broke today, I am hoping that it is an easy fix because I was in the middle of plying this gorgeous romney I blended together.

I have been having so much fun blending batts lately, I wanted to finally spin some up to see how they turn out….I’m also trying to keep myself occupied spinning these batts while I impatiently await my recently purchased wool combs from Susan’s fiber…I won’t lie, the fact that she allows sheep to roam around her shop was the reason I choose to buy from her 😂

I have so much merino waiting in my basement to play with, but it does not turn out well when I run into through my drum carder….the one I spent almost two years researching…the one that claimed it was for fine fiber like merino (it was written right in the description!!!)

I am excited to try out these combs and see how well they work (Hopefully better than my handmade combs 😞 not very pretty & it’s just tetanus waiting to happen)

The snow is starting to melt, the chickens are laying over 80 eggs a day, we have 150 chicks arriving any day now (I hope) & seeds have been started for this years garden.

We have been making plans for when the snow melts. A wattle fence is on the list, more fruit trees & berry bushes (Elderberry Jam anyone?).

The fiber festival is happening soon, because of course the 60lbs in my basement just isn’t enough, one must try out all wool options before choosing a breed of sheep.

Another big trip will be to Fedco in Maine, for their annual tree sale, lots of fun planned for the year!

Have a great weekend folks!

Is a vacation really a vacation, when your kids wake up before 7…every single day?!

After a long week away, a four hour drive home, & a power outage due to storms, I am finally able to put pen to paper…errr fingers to iPad screen.

When I left off we had gotten two new babies, Old English Bantam Roos. We started off the year with 18 chickens, after a few trials and tribulations we were down to 9.
It took awhile to get a handle on the predators, however after moving the dog run out by the chicken shed, & the guineas finding their voices, we seem to have the problem licked knock on wood. Any-who we thought for sure that we had three Roos out of the surviving chickens, until they all started laying eggs.

After all the losses this year, my husband stated that we wouldn’t be buying anymore animals until we owned our own house and could get a proper guardian livestock dog to live out with the chickens (to be honest, Moose may be mountain cur, but he is also part lab, boarder collie, & plott hound. It’s in his blood to hunt birds, he is just very well behaved).

My dreams of hatching out baby chicks next year started to fade away, when all the chickens started to lay eggs. I was beyond thrilled when my friend Jen asked if we wanted a couple of Old
English Bantum cockerels, they are so calm and gentle and the kids can hold them. Maybe we’ll have babies next year after all!

Thanksgiving has been extra cuddly as of late

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He snuggled up with my husband while we were waiting for Marion to bring her babies outside for the first time.
I’m pretty sure however that he knows what’s up

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He’s already practicing for November.

I tried to capture then ducklings first outing on video, however Robin caused a few issues and well, after three 5 minute videos of nothing happening but two grown ducks hissing at each other, I gave up. An hour later however, this happened

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They have taken to Moose’s water bowl
In the week that I have been gone, they had a growth spurt

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Now on to non cute fuzzy animals:
While visiting family up north, I spun up some beautiful mohair

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I spun up an oz of mohair

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With the help of my nephew

and sadly realized the handy andy my husband attempted to make for me out of PVC only was helpful inducing headaches. I wanted to show my grandmother how to ply wool on the wheel and was about to give up when my niece showed up, she was only to happy to help…I think anyway

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She endured a half hour of her hands being wrapped, and comments from my nephew (her cousin), but she was a good sport about it, even when my grandfather walked into the house with a tool that will make my life a lot easier.

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He made me my very own handy andy! I was blessed to come from a family of woodworkers & blacksmiths.

After the mohair was plyed, I wrapped it on the knitty knotty my husband made and counted 54 yards

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Not as much as I hoped but I figure, spinning will teach me patients.

The sun is starting to come out so I will leave you with one more picture

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Have a great day folks!

Well, I’m getting SOME stuff done.

I didn’t finish carding all my wool, I could place blame on ten different things but really, I got burnt out. It’s okay though, I spent about an hour yesterday cleaning the drum carder and I wasn’t about to get it dirty again after all that.

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That looks good right?! I hope so because I got a little OCD when it came to cleaning it. I wanted to ensure that there was no wool left on it at all.

The last thing I did end up carding was some of llama and then I blended it with the Icelandic wool, I even spun some of it

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I managed to spin it thicker then I normally spin, unfortunately after my husband saw the yarn, he informed me that he wants a pair of socks before the snow falls. Good luck with that buddy, last year I made a dress, three Halloween costumes and a few small items, this year I made 80% of a sweater…I’ve dropped the proverbial ball.

On the other hand I did make:

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Pickles

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Ketchup

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And started my first batch of kombucha!

Here is what has been happening on the farm this week

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Maid Marion gave me a quick glimpse of the eggs that should be hatching this weekend, it will be exactly 30 days tomorrow since she started sitting full time.

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Ailey has been trying to pester Moose at night,but he is so gosh darn tired from chasing foxes and woodchucks.

Have a nice night folks!

Carding frenzy

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That’s a whole lot of llama! One of the ladies in the guild was given llama, she wasn’t going to use it and offered it up to whomever was interested. Lorraine (kromski wheel), dropped this off at my house earlier this evening and it is so soft! I think I will blend it in with the icelandic wool.

I plan on bringing the carder back on Saturday so I will have to get the wool carded between now and then.

In other news, I finally got my hands on some graph paper and started filling in the designs for my shawl. I was so thrilled that I had created a pattern….until tonight. I picked up the Fall 2012 Jane Austen knits magazine and noticed that one of the shall patterns had partially the same design mine does…it isn’t very close as I have tied four different stitches into my pattern, but it’s close enough where I don’t want to be stepping on anyone’s toes :-/

Hmmm maybe I’ll knit up a sample of both and post it, everyone can tell me what they think. Perhaps it will be back to the drawing board.

Have a great night folks!

Washing wool

When I started my blog over a year ago (the first year is on blog.com), I figured making my own clothes would entail buying fabric or yarn at the store and making items.

if your goal is take make your own clothes, you’re not doing such a hot job this year
Shut up I know
what happened to your so called ‘year of Jane Austen’
I still have time
no you don’t
Alright brain, can it.

I never imagined that I would be spinning wool to make clothes
What clothes?!
Ahem

Any-who, I have to say that I love washing wool, not the length of time, but how my house smells of sheep when doing it.

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This is wool I “cooked” yesterday….no it’s ok Stephanie over at Yarn Harlot said it was ok. Anyway, I “cooked” up two pounds of the white icelandic Shetland wool, 5oz of pygora, & some hog island sheep.

They are now currently in my sunroom drying out

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Well, half if the icelandic is “cooking” again due to the lack of clear water.

Over the next two weeks I will be carding as much fiber as I can, I was informed by my husband that if I get all of the above carded and have time left over, he’ll buy me more fleece, what a guy!

Now I’ll leave you with a few pictures of what is going in around the farm.

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Three chickens started laying eggs! (Sadly Lola was taken by a hawk last week, the ups and downs of free range:-/)

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Robin has taken up a game of hide & seek, this where I found him this morning.

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Squash!

Have a great day folks!

Oh Mother Nature

Mother Nature and I have always lived in harmony together. When I was a young girl, I grew up deep in the woods of Maine on a 40 acre farm. I would listen to the symphony of birds singing together, watch the squirrels & rabbits play, catch a glimpse of deer, moose, and on occasion a black bear.

Today however, we are butting heads.
mother nature, I need to card more wool to spin. I’m almost out
Mother Nature: hmmm that’s a little messy isn’t it? I bet you would like a nice dry sunny day to card outside.
why yes, it is a bit messy. A dry day would be fantastic, it would save me from having to vacuum up the mess today
Mother Nature: well check the weather, do I have a surprise for you

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You’re a real treat, you know that.

Oh well, I will spin and ply the rovings that I have, and continue to work on my bartók tunik.

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Here is the yarn I have spun and ply’d for my guild project, a little bulky in places but I like it!

Have a great day folks!