Sheep and Gardens

Don’t get too excited, it isn’t what you think. Believe me when I say, that I want this title to be about my very own sheep. Alas, the sheep in which my title refers is to all the beautiful sheep that I saw Mother’s Day weekend at the NH Sheep and Wool festival.

I had my mind made up before I left the house, I had a list & knew what I wanted.

And I will tell you friends, that Alpaca was definitely not on my list

But I bought a pound.

Goat was also not on my list…yep, I bought an entire angora goat fleece.

I had considered buying merino again, from a new vendor this time. Alas I found none. Instead I went to the judging barn and fell in love with a beautiful Corriedale fiber. The only thing I got this was actually on my list was Navajo Churro, I am interested to see how that spins up.

Not everything thing has been washed, but I finally got the chance to washed the beautiful Shetland wool that I was gifted last fall. I’ve been using my new combs and combing up a storm at our booth at the farmers market.

I also has some of NoΓ«l’s fiber to spin up. She has fought me for so long about getting sheared, last week we had a hot day of 85 and she just sat on my lap with no fuss and allowed me to cut away. She looks like a whole new rabbit!

As much as I love snow, I am glad the heat is here. We have been busy transplanting veggies out into the garden beds. Last week we had the help of my nephew who was up from Georgia!

He helped with the beds and helped us fence off two acres of woods for the pigs

The potatoes are getting bigger every day, we planted thirty pounds this year!

Set up a drip irrigation line in the greenhouse

And finally put the babies out with the big girls.

I have two (yes that’s right) projects finished

This beautiful lap blanket that I had been making for my grandmother, I gave it two her two days before she passed.

The second is the mandala waistcoat I had been working on for my cousins wife. This was a challenging project, but I enjoyed making it.

As we are on our first of many days of rain and it is dreary outside, I will end this with a bit of color. I’ve had a request at the farmers market for colorful wool for felting.

And I delivered!

Have a great week folks!!

New babies

We have been hit with the flu, school has been missed, and house work has been ignored. We’ve spent our time cuddled under blankets with books and “pizza”

Or consuming large amounts of coffee to get us through the day

We won’t let it get us down, there is far to much to do.

Despite the freezing rain coming down outside, we have flowers popping up

We have veggies of all kinds making appearances in our indoor greenhouse

and we have 150 new babies

Making friends with old babies.

My wheel has been fixed and the cake batter romney yarn has been plyed.

Wool combs have arrived

and I can already see a large difference between combing and carding, also carding already combed fiber is softer than regular carded fiber.

The merino for instance. Combed vs carded. Not perfect as I am realizing this merino was picked out when I had no idea how to pick wool and I have a lot of second cuts it appears. I know better now.

Look how nice and clean the romney looks, free of dirt and neps.

Combed and carded together.

My mind is racing with different ideas for this wool. Will I stick it on Etsy, will I dye it and spin it? I’m just not sure. I can say that I am very excited for the fiber festival in a few weeks.

Have a great day folks!

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 πŸ˜‚

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!

Color everywhere

Oh Mother Nature sure fooled us, with her warm sunny days melting all the snow. We were expecting rain today, but woke to a wintery mix.

The chickens don’t seem to mind the weather cooling off, the greenhouse is still warm believe it or not.

Ragnar is still walking around, keeping an eye on everyone to make sure all is in order.

His brother Bruce is soon in need of a new home

Too many roosters in this 50’x24′ winter home. Anyone need a good Easter egger Roo?! Free to a good home.

I’ve been playing more with the wool I dyed last Sunday, I had an idea yesterday morning and it stuck with me all day.

That is some angelina that was sent to me from Natalie Redding from Namaste Farms

Every single bobbin I own is claimed by one fiber or another, I simply couldn’t wait however and dug out a drop spindle

I hope to get a little more spun up this weekend.

Now for the last bit of color fro, my home to yours

Have a great weekend folks!

Learning

When my kids take interest in a hobby I enjoy, I am always tickled pink!

I was slightly nervous sharing my wheel, silently cursing at myself for giving my other wheel away. Biting my tongue and trying to keep myself from interrupting with a “hey, you are holding that wool too tight” or “you are too close with your hands, back up”

Then we moved on to sewing by hand, did you know that “sewing by hand is actually super easy.”, as someone who dislikes sewing by hand, I wish I took to it as easy as he has.

Even mom is learning new things

Dying wool in mason jars for one, I don’t own a microwave and lacked the patience to dye one color at a time.

Reminds me of Easter.

Have a great day folks!

Adventures

The snow is melting. I’m most certain that I am one of the unpopular people who is sad about it, but to be fair, this week was the first time all winter that the snow has been wet enough to build snowmen and extremely tall snow forts

Perfect for ducking down just in time to miss snowballs heading our way.

We spent a quiet morning inside Monday, waiting for it to warm up outside. We played games, read books, spun some romney

Attempted to build wool combs

Still a work in progress, the nails all fall out, which I am okay with as I plan on buying a new box of nails to replace the ones with rust. This is more for show.

Today, if you can believe it, got up to 70 degrees. Snowmen and snow forts are gone, replaced with wet muddy grass. Not much fun to play in if you ask me.

Today needing to get out of the house, we went on an adventure to Portland Maine to visit my dad. We also stocked up on some goodies at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, just odds and ends that we can’t find in our area.

Two exciting things happened while we were on our adventure today. The first was happening upon this amazing shop, Port Fiber.

This is my idea of Heaven, honestly it was hard to pull myself away.

Look at this gorgeous fiber, the colors are simply stunning. I managed to keep myself in control and only purchased one roving of fiberI have yet to have the experience of spinning Targhee, I can’t wait to work with this fiber! I recommend this shop to all fiber lovers. If getting to Portland Maine is an issue for you, well don’t worry, Port Fiber has an online shop πŸ˜‰ I know I will most certainly be going back!

The second exciting thing to happen today, happened only moments later down the road when I stopped in to Tap Root. This was my first visit, I’m not certain who was in more awe of the shop, myself or the kids. Who do you think I got to meet? Amanda from Soule Mama. Very exciting indeed!

We had quite the adventure today, which made for a quiet ride home.

Have a great evening folks….oh and it’s going to snow on Sunday 😊

The de-stash continues

This project has been fun to work on, not all hats are getting finished but that’s what snowstorms and power outages are for right? To lounge around after chores are done. We have certainly have had our far share of snow storms and power outages over the last several months and we still have a few months of winter left.

I’ve been experimenting with dying more

Very much looking forward to finishing my current order so I can sit behind my spinning wheel again and spin up some luscious yarn to dye. Yarn stores are nice, but it is nice to be able to make your own unique color-way.

Speaking of orders

I am on a roll, five more to go!

Stay warm folks!