Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Prove your a robot?

I have no idea where this has come from. I hate it. I will try to figure out how to get this off. I can't even comment on my own blog. Sorry bout this.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I love spinning!

I can't stop. It's so addictive and fun. I am getting better at it, since I first started. I wish I could be more consistent, but that will come with practice, I hope.

This is Adele's wool, all spun. I got 3 skeins of it. I did use a little bit of my white alpaca's fleece in this, because Adele doesn't have the best wool. It needed a little bit of softness added in. This will go to a friend who has a pretty little red headed daughter named Adele. I hope she can knit this into a pretty sweater for her. She can dye it if she wants when she gets it. I still need to set the twist, then it's done.

This is Adele. She's 3. Her mother was part hair and her father is Abraham, the Finn ram. So she is mostly Finn, but still had some course wool. This next shearing will    give me some really nice wool from her. It's looking really good. She is still not letting me touch her. I've had her since she was born here and she's always been this way. Her ewe lamb, Cassadee, is very friendly and will let me pet her all over. But not Adele.

I let the sheep out into the front yard yesterday to eat the pretty green grass. They didn't know what to do with it. Crazy sheep. So this is what some of them did, stared at me through the kitchen door. These 3 brown lambs are 3 of the quads. 2 of them are boys. The ram looked just like them. They were all 3 born jet black.

Here they all are on the green grass. They did eat some of it. Then I called to get a round bale of hay delivered for them. I had them take it next door to the bigger dryer pasture. There's a little barn with a shelter he put it under for them. So they can stay over there for awhile. It's so wet and muddy in the lot behind them in this picture. I sink up to my ankles out there. Not good for the sheep and alpacas to be walking in that.

All the sheep are looking pretty good. They are all fat and sassy. I love these sheep. And am so enjoying being able to finally spin their wool. I have 2 more bags of wool to wash, Annabelle's and her daughter Buttercup's. Then several fleeces I have bought. I need to get these all washed and ready before March. That's when the shearer will be coming. Then I will have 12 more to do!

Happy new year y'all! I hope it's a good one for everyone.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Just a few things...

 Some of the things I made as Christmas gifts for family.

This is my youngest, Abby, modeling her cowl, ear warmers and boot cuffs. I used Wooly Moss Roots wooden buttons. I love them. And I love green. Can ya tell?

This is Jason, Abby's husband. I made him 2 hats. Looks like this one will keep his head warm.

And my mom will hate me for this one, but it's the only picture I took of her 2 cowels.  Seems like I made a lot of these. Made some for the caretakers for Mrs. T too. They are fun to make. I am working on a knitted cowel for someone now. It takes forever to knit though.

I have been spinning for a few days now. I am sore. It takes a long time to get a few skeins of yarn from these sheep. I'll do another post tomorrow.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


I put some ornaments on the other tree this morning. I love seeing all the old ones I have had for years.

On the left here is an ornament my oldest daughter Heather made from an egg carton. It used to have a few more and some little bells. But it's only about 30 years old, so some things have fallen off. But I always put it on the tree.

The round ball in the middle is Heather's 1st ornament, from 1979. It goes on every year too.

And the little red box is an ornament our good friend Libby made for one of her Sunday school classes that Abby was in. 1983. I miss Libby so much. She died this past March, from a long battle with cancer. Still can't believe the Lord took her so soon.

And this is a little card a friend of Heather's gave her in school way back in 1987. I still put this on the tree every year too. Funny how certain things just mean so much this time of year.

This is my oldest grand daughter, Chloe. I made one of these for all 3 of my grand daughters for 2003. And I try to get them each their own ornament that has something to do with what they like, so they can have them when they get their own trees.

The little mice in the stocking is one of many ceramic ornaments I made a few years after my husband and I were married back in '78. A friend's sister had a ceramic studio and I'd go make some ornaments there. I made several of these little mouse ornaments.

 This is Coryn's, the middle child. She loves shoes.

And of course Kansas, the youngest.

I do wish each of you the merriest of Christmas' and the best new year ever!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas y'all!

                             Just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a very merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lots of spinning going on in the studio.

 I've been spinning. A lot. And I love it.

It's funny how some things are meant for certain times of your life. Like I've had turkeys, ducks, goats, cows, pigs. I've worked different jobs. Had 2 kids when I was 20 and 22. I could handle things at different stages of my life. Some things I've tried and will probably never do again. Just wasn't for me. Or it's just too much to handle. Then some things come back around and I start all over again. Like pigs. Which I will be getting 2 of in March. But I think I'll be ready for them by then.

But this spinning thing, I guess it's the right time for me now. It wasn't last year, when I bought the spinning wheel. Things just didn't work out. And I got too frustrated. And I had way too many sheep and goats. And life was just crazy.

Now I am ready. I knida sorta know what I'm doing now. Thanks to the class I took last month. And my nice pretty calm clean happy studio too. I can go over there now and spin all I want. I have everything I need there. And a good radio where I can listen to good music. It depends on the weather what stations I can get. But the past few days, it's been classical. Which is great to listen to while spinning. Country is good too. But the classical is calming.

So I went over to my studio yesterday and started spinning the beautiful Romney-Mohair rovings I got from the fiber show a few months ago. It's so pretty and soft. It's called Sea Turtle. I finished it today. Set the twist in the 3 skeins along with 2 skeins of the brown Romney I had done last week. And tonight spun some gray-silver roving I got from Polly at All Books in Chatt. plus some roving Sandra sent along with some fleece I had gotten from her. It was perfect to go with that little bit of roving. Made a whole bobbin full. I had some white Merino wool I had spun a few weeks back when I was practicing. It was pretty thick in some places. I spun the grays real thin. So when I plied them together, it turned out so pretty. They are all hanging on the drying rack in the studio to dry.

These are the 2 bobbins of single ply, ready to ply.

This is one of the balls of roving. I just love it. And my home made Lazy Kate, for holding the bobbins while plying. It works!

This is one bobbin full of the plied yarn. It turned out so pretty. Now to figure out what to make with it. It will go with my brown felted jacket, so maybe a scarf.

Isn't it beautiful? I am rather pleased with myself for being able to even do this. It is so fun! It's on the niddy-knoddy here.

Then off, ready to go in the wash water, to set the twist. I watched a video today and did it her way. It's so soft and smells good now.

On the left is the 2 skeins of the Romney. I still have about 5 more pounds to wash and card. On the right is the 1st skein of the  Sea Turtle.

This is the gray-silver I started later tonight.  It's all plied and washed and hanging too. I love this yarn. I'm going to use it to make something for Mrs. T's oldest daughter for Christmas.

And this is a little cowel I crocheted for one of my kids. I don't even know if it's really a cowel or not. I just started making it up as I went along. I did the popcorn stitch around the outside.  I like it. And it's fast and easy to make too. I need fast and easy right now.

So I am just happy to be spinning right now. I think I need to be able to do this. I hope to start spinning some of my own sheep's wool soon after Christmas. I want to take my time and do it right. Then in March, I'll have 12 more fleeces from my sheep to work with. I love my sheep. And the alpacas are growing on me. Poor Sugar King had some barbed wire caught on his tail yesterday. Of all the animals to have that happen to, it had to be the one who will not let me get near him. I had to go get feed and heavy duty gloves on. The grabbed the wire and pulled. It was wound around his wool, but not the skin. I got it out and he was just fine. He didn't struggle or freak out. He knew I was helping him.

Another long day tomorrow. Spending it with my mom. Then to the middle school to watch my youngest in her fist band concert. Then one more market and I am officially done til spring. I thought I would have a soap sale. Then I might start a Shopify account. See how that goes for me.

Happy week before Christmas, y'all!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Markets and dog fur.

Went to the last holiday market yesterday. Only had enough room for the length of 1 table, so had to get creative and go up. I asked my husband to make a tree out of the free wood a friend gave us, to hand ornaments from. And stacked the crates up for the soap. Brought the wire rack for soap too. I had the basket of dryer balls on the floor in front. So it all worked out. And got lots of compliments on how it looked. It was a really long day. It was over at 4 but by the time I was loaded up, it was 4:45. And still had to go shopping for Mrs. T.

And 2 of my lambs, Cara and Campbelle, were in a live nativity at a church in Lafayette Friday and Sat. night. So had to go get them. We all went and made it to the last tour though the town of Bethlehem the night Jesus was born. It was a really good depiction of what it was like, with people dressed in the clothing and selling things like bread and fish and baskets and oil. And live animals. My lambs were a big hit with everyone. And they were so good. I think they liked laying close to the little fire the shepherds had going.

This is the tree my husband made. He did a really good job. Everyone loved it. And this will be our Christmas tree! I'll put some lights on it and put some little ornaments on it and call it done. I sold several little sheep and pins cushions and dryer balls.

And this is some of the softest ever dog fur. I have been asking for a year now for some of Chester's dog fur from a customer. She brought me this bag full of it yesterday. I love it. It feels like alpaca. So I am going to spin this in with some of my gray-brown Romney wool and see what happens.

I think I'll go to the Main St. farmer's market this Wed. and that will be it. I said yesterday was the last market, but I'd like to sell more soap. So I'll have a sale buy 4 bars of soap and get 2 free. If anyone needs some, let me know. I can get them in a flat rate envelope or box. I know the box is $5.95 but the envelope is probably cheaper.

After Wed. my car will be cleaned out and stuff put away til next spring. I am tired. And need to be making Christmas gifts.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wool washing experiments. And more felted sheep.

This is the white Shetland fleece I bought. I tried a little experiment a few days ago. I had heard on a fiber forum how some people use Orvus Paste, which is a horse shampoo. So I found some at Tractor Supply. I got a little bit of the wool and used Orvus. Then another hand full and used Dawn.

This is before washing. It's more a cream color. Not a lot of VM, but dirty.

Here are the 2 drying on racks. I cannot really tell much difference.

This is washed in the Orvus. Nice and soft. Clean. But still a bit yellow, which could just be the sheep it came from. I don't really know a lot about all this. Someone did mention that not all sheep will wash up pretty and shiny white. That some sheep are a creamy color.

This is the wool washed in Dawn.  I think the Orvus is a little whiter looking at this picture. Someone also said they use Dawn and Orvus together. So I might try some washed that way today and see what happens.
But this is really soft and clean too. I also didn't let it soak as long as I usually do as I had to leave in a few hours to meet my mom. So I'll let more soak longer today.

And some more cute little sheep I'll take to the Bazaar Christmas Bazaar at Brainerd market this Saturday. The gray one on the left is from some Icelandic roving I got from  Jessica in NY. I also made dryer balls with some. The one on the right is from the Romney fleece I bought at the fiber show. I love this wool!
The 2 white sheep are made with the white Romney wool.

And have to have some cute little different sheep, right? I made a lamb to go with the big blue ewe. And added more wool to the red ones.

Off to the studio to make more things for market. I'm also making some Christmas gifts for family. I made a pretty cowel last night and will use a few of the wooden buttons I got from Wooly Moss Roots. I LOVE these buttons. But now I want some bigger ones for the cowels.

Are y'all all busy making things? Would love to hear what you're all up to.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Working around here

 See this tree? See where it's headed?

Right onto the little barn out back. Not a good thing. So it's being cut down today. The sheep are back there, so they'll eat all the pine needles. This little barn is old, but built to last forever. It's oak, from rough cut boards. I have tried to pound nails into these boards. It can't be done. The man who built this place, he wanted things to be here a very long time! So he built to last.

I spent a good part of Monday going around the electric fence, taking off branches that had fallen over the wires, trimming underneath, tightening the wires, moving things around. Last time the sheep were out here, Cora Belle had gotten out and was at the top of the hill, baaaaing like crazy.

Some of the posts needed to be replaced, so got those put in this morning. Fixed the ground wire and turned it back on. It's hot again!

So let the sheep out there this morning. There's green grass out here. So they will be happy for a few days here.

Had to get another round bale of hay Monday. They had eaten all but a little pile in the corner. I think the first bale lasted a month. So $35 a bale plus $5 to deliver, I think I can live with that. I'll have to get at least 4 more. SO much cheaper and less waste than square bales. And I don't even have to touch them!!!!

Buttercup, on the left here, and one of the Tappit brothers, were playing. She could be in heat. But the boys are wethers now, so nothing going on there. I have decided to not breed the sheep this year. I'll wait til the lambs are bigger and try to find a Romney ram for next fall. I am in love with Romney wool, so will see how the wool is with the Finn/ I love my Finn wool. And together, I think that would be some really awesome fiber.

Getting ready for market this cold gloomy dreary Wed. afternoon. Just picked collards, lettuce, kale and wild chives. Plus, found some wild dock growing out in the garden. I looked it up and it can be used like any green. I really want to do wild edibles. There is so much growing here that's wild and so nutritious and beneficial to us. I'll take some to market and see how it goes.

Monday, December 8, 2014

And some more wool...

 I have gone a little crazy ordering fleeces on-line the past few weeks. It can get a bit addicting for sure. Some are just beautiful. Others, not so much.

This one came from Windswept Acres. Romney sheep.  They are coated and this fleece is amazingly beautiful! I cannot wait to get it all washed and spun. It's just beautiful. I would love to get a Romney ram now to breed my Finn sheep next year. Wouldn't that make some awesome fiber?

I can't remember, but I think this is Border Leicester wool. I ordered 2 or 3 pounds of it. It's really pretty too. And clean. Came from John and Madeleine Messersmith.

This came today from Sycamore Farms in N.C. It's Shetland. It's really greasy but not too awfully dirty. I just bought some Orvus Paste from Tractor Supply, which is a horse shampoo. Sodium Laurel I think. It's supposed to really get fleeces clean and white. I hope this one gets clean and white after using it. It's really soft.

This is from Elk Sheep farm. Raw Lincoln fleece. Very crimpy and soft. I hope it gets white when cleaned. Don't really know what to do with this.

This came from one of my blog friends, Sandra Morris, of Mitten State sheep. It's BL too. SO beautiful and clean and soft. Can't wait to get it all washed up and spun too. Thank you Sandra! I love it!

Sandra also sent some BL roving too. Really soft and pretty. Thanks again. I love this!

Now this. I ordered 2 fleeces, which I can't remember what they are, probably Romney too, from an Emily on the Raw Wool for sale forum. When I got the box and opened it, it stunk so bad! And it felt wet. I had to leave the box outside. Then the other day, I opened the bags and put them on the racks. They are totally nasty. Full of VM and really quite gross. And still felt wet. I paid the most for these fleeces than any of the others.  I'll have to wait to even do anything with these til later, when I might not have much to do. I am not happy with these at all. And I hope I'm able to salvage enough to do anything with at all.

This is a Romney fleece that I washed last week, in Dawn and a whole box of  Borax. It's still a bit yellow and the tips are a mess. But near the bottom of the bag, toward the end of skirting it, I found some really nice parts. I am using this for needle felting and dryer balls. I might try to wash this again in the Orvus and see if I can get it looking whiter.

This is that same fleece, in some batts. It's  just a little yellower than I'd like it to be.

So, I will be busy, washing all these fleeces. They will become cute little sheep or owls or pin cushions or dryer balls. But most will become beautiful hand spun yarns.

It's been a learning experience for sure, ordering on-line. Not really knowing what I'll be getting. Some did not look like the pictures at all. And some I was very surprised and happy with. And I will be ordering more from them for sure.

Happy Monday to you all! Gotta get back over to the studio and create more pretties. What are y'all up to today?