Saturday, January 31, 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A few finished projects. And a dilemma.

I asked Kansas to model my shawl and hat I just finished. Look at this silly man. He just had to do this.

I love this shawl. It's made with Lion Brand Homespun yarn. I hate crocheting with this yarn. It's awful. But I do love how it looks when done. And SO soft. And heavy and warm. This is a c2c shawl. I think I'll put a few buttons on it.


And I made this hat this afternoon while sitting with Mrs. T. I was over in my studio, carding some wool, when my phone rang. It was Mrs. T's number. Betty, one of the caretakers, was crying. I immediately thought Mrs. T was dead or something horrible had happened to her, the way Betty was crying. But she said her husband's nephew just died. He'd had a stroke last week and they were just going to move him to a room and he died. She was so upset and wanted to leave. So I went to stay with Mrs. T til another caretaker could come for the night.

Betty did this same thing a few months ago. Called me crying and I could not understand a thing she was saying. Again, I thought the worst about Mrs. T. But it was her daughter and a grand baby disaster. Betty is a very emotional lady. So anyway, I brought my yarn and made this cool hat while I was there.

So I have been thinking about farmer's markets. And if I should really be going to them. I love the Main St. market. And the people who come there to shop. But it's $15 for a 2 hour Wed. afternoon. That's a lot of money. For 2 hours. And this year, the membership fee will be $100 for the whole year and $50 for half a year. And most weeks I would not make much money. Mostly around $100 or so. If I count the time I start preparing for market, picking veggies, loading up the truck, driving 30 miles one way, setting up, then the 2 hours selling, then loading back up and driving 30 more miles, it's just not worth it. And the other market is on Sat mornings. Same distance. 2 hours. Not near the people there and a totally different area and older customers.

So, I don't know what to do. I need to make money. I also need to do a lot of canning since I am out of most everything right now. I also want to be able to start selling my hand spun yarns. And other wool related items.

I also want to make soap. And lotion bars. I love making soap.

But I also would like to start selling wild edible plants. I have been thinking more and more about this. I have so much better luck lately with more wild crops. Like dandelions. And I want to grow more medicinal plants too. I would love to sell to restaurants and stores.

So there is Etsy. I could try that again. I could also go around to shops to see if they would buy my soaps.

I am just not a get-out-there-and-sell-myself kind of person. But I need to be. I need to be out there meeting people and letting them know who I am. And what I do.

I really would love to get my little studio up and running too. I'm going to talk to the sign people up the road about a new fiber art sign. I want people to come here to buy from me. That would be the best thing for me. Then I wouldn't have to travel much.

Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions or advice, I will gladly listen. I need all the help I can get here.

Oh, I am also trying to get AdSense on my blog. But not sure it'll work. I would make money for every click on the ads I get. I suppose I might need to get a real blog too. One where I could put all that stuff  where I want it. Like an Etsy store link and all.

Thanks for listening. And for coming to my blog. I hope you are not bored with all the wool and sheep posts lately. But I love wool and sheep! This is what I want to do.

PS- I stopped at the feed store in town and asked about putting my soap there to sell. She said sure, bring some. So yay! That's a little step forward. She is also wanting to start a little farmer's market there on Mondays. No fee either!

And I am still working on the AdSense. Can't seem to get things going. I may have to get my niece to come help me get it set up for me. I am not very bright when it comes to computers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Just keep spinning, spinning, spinning...

I have been spinning Amarillo's wool for days now. And still have some left to do. It's really pretty and soft and really white. In the basket, which I am using as my Lazy Kate, are the 2 bobbins I just plied onto the bobbin on the wheel.The empty bobbin was as full as the other bobbin, but it was spun a little bit thicker. On the right is so thin, like thread. So on the wheel is that full bobbin plus half the other. I didn't think it would all fit, but I kept going and did get it all on.

143 yards on this niddy noddy. That's the most so far that I have gotten on here. I spun some more today and got 93 yards on the next one. I am rather proud of this yarn. I love it.

I feel like I am getting better and better at it. I so love spinning. This is just about all I want to do any more.

I started washing some of Buttercup's fleece Sunday. This is from last May. Finally getting around to washing it. I also have a bag of her mother Annabelle's fleece too. This will be the last of last year's fleeces. Then we start all over in March, shearing all 12 of my sheep! More wool to spin!!!

Buttercup's fleece is so pretty and soft. Lamb's wool. I washed a bunch and didn't flick the tips. Then washed more and did flick the tips. What a difference it makes to do this. I only had to do 1 wash, then rinse. So much faster to wash. But does take longer to flick. Can't wait to spin this now. I may just spin from the cloud. Looks like I could.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Almost. Maybe next week.

 I was going to do a little work out in the garden Saturday. Like take up all the tomato stakes and cages. And cut down all the okra plants left from the last garden. Take my loppers and cut all the hard trunks that the 2 old retired guys didn't get the other day. Even had my wagon out there to load with stuff.

But it was such a pretty day. So brought my bag with all my goodies in it and a cup of coffee and sat out in the sun, in the garden, in my old yellow garden chair. I worked on my shawl  I started for myself the other day. I really love this yarn. It's so soft and pretty. But I HATE crocheting with it. It's horrible to get all stuck on the hook or too tight or I have to pull it too hard and it snaps. But it's so soft and pretty. And warm too. I knit  Mrs. T a long rectangular shawl and she loves it. Wears it every day when it's cold.

I didn't do any of the other things I was going to do in the garden. I did walk around a little and saw the bees out and about. And washed some wool. And spun some more.

It's still just January. I have plenty of time to do things in the garden, right?

2 old retired guys.

 2 old retired bored guys did this Thursday. There  was a huge brush pile  at the end  here and a huge evil nasty horrid wild rose tree by that phone pole. Then I had a field fence to the right of the pole dividing the garden to the left from the orchard to the right.

So my husband's friend Kid came down Thursday and together they cleaned off the fence row of all the trees and briers and crap and burned the brush pile. It looks great now!

This is looking the other way toward the south pasture. I am going to have to keep the garden looking good now. It was hidden behind all the mess.

            Here comes Black Bart, checking for any good bugs left. I hope all those big dandelions will come back though. Under all that brush grew some huge ones.

This next week, they are going to start working on all those downed tree trunks in the back pasture. I'll be getting pigs in March so need it all fixed up for them. There is also another pine tree leaning toward the electric fence back there that needs to come down. Gotta keep these old bored retired guys busy, right?

Now to get the rest of the garden cleaned up and get some seeds ordered and start dreaming of a new garden.

Friday, January 23, 2015

BIG difference!

 I grabbed the 2 skeins of the brown Romney I spun last month and wound it up so I could knit a cowl for me. And I can really see a big difference in the way I am spinning now from just a little over a month ago. This is pretty thick. The wool I'm spinning from Amarillo is really thin. I have to make myself make it a bit thicker. I like a bulky yarn though. And I like size 13 needles too!

This is SO soft and not stiff at all. I love it. I have only spun the 2 skeins so far and still have a huge garbage bag to wash and spin. It's almost got a hint of lilac in it.

I only really know a few knit stitches yet. I did make half a hat using 6 different stitches and will try to use them in something. But I always end up curling when I knit and purl. I've read different ways to prevent that but I just wanted a quick project now.

I have got to find a Romney ram y'all. There is someone in Kentucky who has beautiful Romney sheep. I may try to go up there in the fall.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

More yarn. More sheep.

 I finished spinning the big bag of Romney wool the other day. It's so pretty! When I put it up to white wool, it's a pale yellow color. I just love the natural colors right now. I'm sure I'll try to dye some. But right now, I'll stick with natural. If I do sell any of this yarn, then whoever gets it can dye it. I just wouldn't know what colors to dye them anyway.

Some of the lambs, checking out this strange stuff. They are so funny, these lambs. Very curious about everything. Where the adult sheep will run away from anything strange, the lambs will walk right up to it. They ain't skeered of nothin'!

Isn't this so pretty y'all? To me, it looks like a fresh water pearl necklace. I love it. I am getting better about spinning smaller. But it takes forever to fill a bobbin with really small yarn.

                        Just look at all these big fluffy wooly sheeps! I hope to have them sheared in March.

This is Adalaide's back wool. Is this not just the most beautiful wool ever? It's SO soft and crimpy. I still have some of hers from last year but I am waiting on some combs so I can get all the locks apart to be able to spin it. This looks a lot better though. I posted this pic on a fiber forum and lots of people are interested in her fleece.

So then I started in on the rest of Amarillo's wool. It's so white and soft. I love it. Sure do wish I had hand combs though. The batts would be so much smoother and I could get out all the little nibby-nubbies.


Clack had to come up on the porch Monday while I was spinning, to check it out. This is his mother's wool. I wonder if her knows it's hers?

A close up of the fibers. I just love watching it as it goes from my fingers to the bobbin. I am so amazed  that I am even doing this. I love it and cannot stop. I still have a bag of Annabelle's and her daughter Buttercup's wool I need to be cleaning. I will when I get these 2 bobbins plied.  I started that last night.

Well, I think our really nice sunny warm days are over for awhile here. I have so enjoyed being able to sit on the studio porch and spin. It's been so nice this week. But today is a bit overcast and cool. Supposed to be a 90% chance of rain tomorrow. And just when the ground was starting to dry up. UGH, I hate mud!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My boys...

I sure love them all. They are such good protectors for all the girls here.

Yesterday, I was sitting on my studio porch spinning and heard a sheep stampede. They they all came running through the gate into the yard. Then I heard the loudest strangest noise. Took me a minute to figure out it was the alpacas hollering or whatever it is they do. It sounds like a peacock. It's so loud. They stayed over there in the pasture, looking toward the barn. They even walked over closer. But they made the sheep leave. They are such good protectors.

I walked over there and never did see anything. But something gave them a scare. They all followed me. The alpacas kept looking at the barn. It could have been a stray cat. I never saw a dog. But I have been hearing lots of coyotes all around, really close, the past few weeks. Last night, across the road, they were really close and loud. Makes me nervous.

And this fella. Black Bart. He's the best rooster. He loves his girls. He finds some good things to eat and calls the girls. He will not eat til they do. He is usually crowing all morning.

This morning though, he was quiet. I heard a rooster far off to the North as I was feeding the sheep this morning. I had to go check to see if maybe he'd gotten out and left. But I do believe there's a new roo in the valley. And Black Bart was hanging low. He has still not crowed this morning.

                                                   He is the most handsome roo ever.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Some visitors this morning.

Had visitors this morning. Campbelle and Cameron, the 2 ewe lambs I had to bottle feed last year. I let the sheep in the front yard and they stayed all night. I have been hearing coyotes yipping a little too close the past few nights, so I felt safer with them in the front yard. (I know the glass needs cleaned. But we have 2 dogs. They are like children with dirty hands.)

I let them in. They wandered around the house a little while. I wonder if they remember being in here for so long when they were little? They are getting bigger, but still way too small. They have 2 brothers, Click and Clack. Amarillo raised the boys and I raised these 2. They are the smallest of the lambs. Aren't they the fluffiest little cuties though? They will be sheared with the rest of the flock in March. Can't wait to see how their fleeces look off of them.

This is Campbelle March 3rd, 2014. Little bitty scrawny baby. She was the smallest of the 4. Didn't think she'd live.

                                              And Cameron was so black, like her 2 brothers.

                                                   We can't hold them like this anymore.

Happy Monday y'all! And hope you all have a great holiday, as we remember a great man, Martin Luther King.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The mystery is solved.

Ok, look at these 2 sweet dogs. Aren't they just the cutest sweetest best ever dogs? Just look at those faces. How could they ever do anything wrong? How?

Well, one of them is so bad. So evil. So sneaky. One of them is a cat food stealing dog. Yes, that's right. Stealing cat food. Can you pick which one it is?

Well, Stella has admitted she has a problem. A big problem. She said it was just so easy to do it. It's right there, in front of her, all the time. All she had to do was take the lid off. Cat food is yummy. Really, it is. She just couldn't live with the guilt any more. She has confessed.

Well, she really did not confess. I caught her, red handed. Or red pawed. Right in the very act of eating cat food. I was wondering why the lid kept being  off the cat food container for awhile now. Never even thought it could be one of my sweet doggies. But it was Stella Bella Luna. The bad cat food stealing dog.

Just look at that face. She could not live with herself any more. She is so relieved.

Monday, January 12, 2015


I just had to see what all the fuss was about this c2c. Looked at a video this morning. It's so easy. And fast. This is just a few minutes in. I will have to make a run to Micheal's tomorrow to get more of this yarn. It's so cool.

Has anyone else made an afghan using this corner 2 corner method yet? It's really pretty.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ignore the robot....

Yeah, just pretend it's not there. Like the elephant in the room. It's not there. If you want to comment, just ignore that little box that says to prove your not a robot and just hit publish. It's just that easy! When you want things to go away, just ignore them, right?  Just sayin'.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Song of Songs.

I bought this pretty "faux" stained glass piece at the Christmas bazaar. It just kept calling to me. I love it. I have it hanging on the back door of my studio. I don't know if you can see the writing up in the top right corner. It's partially hidden by the blue. It's a Bible verse from Song of Songs. Had to get my Bible out to see what it said. My mom had given me a new NIV Bible for gardeners for Christmas, so I looked it up in there.

Song of Songs 4:16- Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that it's fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste it's choice fruits.

Isn't that beautiful?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Very fine Romney fleece.

I am SO glad I didn't start on my fiber journey with this fleece.  I would have cried and given up right away. I feel like I know enough now to know what to do with this. It's a white Romney fleece I had bought awhile back. I washed it and put it in this bag and forgot about it. Some things are just meant to be.

I finished the Shetland fleece I'd been working on for about a week. So took some of this fiber out and put some on the drum carder. It just kept sticking on the licker in wheel like crazy. And  had lots of nebs and things on the bigger wheel. When I took it off the wheel, it was so fine, I only had to do one swipe with the tool that separates it to get it off. With the Shetland, it took all the strength I had to get it off.

So, I got the hand carders out. I have not had a very good relationship with these things. I had tried them a few years ago when I first got them. And I hated them. I really didn't know how to use them then. At my spinning class, I tried some again and figured out how.

So I put some of the fiber on one of the carders and then used my little dog brush to comb it in. This way, I only had to card once.

                                                    Just look at this fibery goodness!

I did a basket full and started a bobbin on the wheel. I love spinning from what ever these little puffy clouds of fiber are called.

It's really spinning up pretty. It's going to take a LONG time to hand card that whole bag of fleece. I hope it will be worth it.

     It's looking good so far. I just love working with sheep fiber. But I think I will be investing in a set of fiber combs soon. And a blending board. And a loom maybe? Oh, there is so much to dream about!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Animals in the cold.

     So, all the animals made it through this bitter cold night. I think I was a little worried about the chickens. I have not put up the plastic around their coop at all. I have been adding more and more straw to the bottom though. I did have to move one lone hen over to some other hens. She may not have made it all by herself. So this morning, I went out there and they were all outside, scratching around. And laid 2 eggs to boot! They were just fine.

     And all the old cats were fine as well. I have 6 cats that are between 8 and about 12. Maybe even 13. Last year, I let them go in the little house when I had hay over there. But now it's my studio and ain't no cats going in there! They have the room next to the kitchen that we call the cat room. They are fed in there. And there are lots of nice boxes with pillows and blankets and things. They are quite toasty in there.

    Of course, the 2 dogs are inside. because they are inside dogs. When Bubba was a puppy, 6 years ago, he was an outside dog. But it was so hot that summer, he got sick. I took him to the vet and they kept him a whole week. He had pneumonia. Really bad. Poor dog. And so now, he hates the hot weather. So he stays inside. And so Stella, his best friend, stays inside with him. Because, she has to be right by Bubba's side at all times. And, when they do go outside, they bark. At anything. They bark a lot. And when they  bark, they look back at the house to see if we're looking. Because they want to be inside. And we let them in.

    Then there are the sheep. They are such sheep. They are fine in this weather. Unless it's windy. Which it was last night. So they wanted back over in the smaller pasture with the stalls. And since the wind was blowing from the North, the stalls are facing South, so they had protection from that wind. And they were happy. And they have the most amazing warm wool coats on. So I do not worry about them. They are out back tonight, laying under the trees and stars.

    And the alpaca boys are with the sheep, so they are happy too. They love their sheep so much. They make the saddest noises when the sheep leave them behind. Which isn't much. But they are always the last ones through the gates.

   The bees now, I am not too sure. I did wrap them up yesterday. This morning, I went to check on them. I did see a lot of dead bees in the entrance. I opened the entrance reducer and there were more laying on the bottom board. I know that's probably normal this time of year. But until I can see them getting out again, I will worry about them. I hope they'll be ok.

    So that's the wrap-up on the critters. Now tonight, it's still freezing, but only 17. If they all made it through 9 degrees, this will be a piece-a-cake, right?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

All tucked in...

 for the night. I had to do something to help my poor cold bees. It was so windy today. The wind was blowing so hard from the North, so I put that board there. Then later, I got this old heavy quilt and tucked them in for this freezing 10 degree night. I hope it helps. It's going to be 17 tomorrow night and 16 Friday night.

I was over in the studio spinning til almost 8 tonight and the ground was already frozen when I walked back home.

I went out after covering the bees to pick kale for dinner. It was frozen.

The sheep and alpacas will be just fine with their nice wool coats on. I put them back over here for the night, so they can get out of the wind in the stalls. They seemed happy to be there.

I am ready for spring. How about y'all?

P.S. I just left a comment and went past the robot thing and just clicked publish. Went through.  I have tried everything I can to get rid of that, but it's still there. So, if you would like to comment, just ignore the robot and hit publish. Just that easy!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Freezing nights and honey bees.

My good friend Beth gave me this cute little hand blown bee hive ornament she found at Tuesday Morning. Made in Poland. I just love it. I hung it in the window in my studio.

It's going to get to 10 degrees in a few nights. And it's been in the 20's at night. I hope the bees make it. I wonder if I should put something around the hive to protect them. It's supposed to be really windy too. I have an entrance reducer on already, with only the smallest hole open for them.  I tried to lift the top a few days ago to see if they've eaten the fondant I put in there for them and it's been sealed shut by the bees, which is a good thing. I suppose they know what to do. Bees are really amazing smart creatures. They've made it so far with not too much help from me. But I am a little worried about these extremely freezing nights coming up. 

Does anyone else have bee hives? What do you do when it's so cold at night for them? Or do you just let them be?