Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November 2014

Last month we bought a stack of Sudan hay before it started raining. We soon found out the problem with buying hay right before it rains is that you have a hard time getting a hay retriever to deliver, because all the farmers need their hay moved into their barns, and their's not enough retrievers to go around. Finally the guy we always use called us back in the morning, and said he could move our hay. Once he dropped our hay, the un-stacking began. An 80 bale stack of hay is way too tall  for me to get bales down off the top, and also too tall to tarp.

 My parents, "The hay moving team".

 All re-stacked on pallets, and ready for my Mom and I to tarp.

We started using this trailer for keeping some of the hay on, as it keeps the hay exceptionally dry being raised so far from the ground.

I got this multi-colored Romney wool at a fiber show recently. I dusted off the spinning wheel and got to work. It has been so long, since I have spun, that I thought I would be a spinning disaster, but I guess its just like riding a bike.

 It carded up beautifully, and was easy to spin.

I then Navajo 3-plied it, so that I could keep the colors separate, and changing throughout the yarn. I love randomness.

 I got 4 and 1/3 skeins of yarn out of the 11 oz. of wool.

I then began spinning some white alpaca.

Here is some after I plied it.

My Mom brought in a butterfly that was dying from the change in weather. I gave it a little sugar water, and used it for a photo shoot of the new cowl I crocheted out of some the the alpaca. Unfortunately there is no saving butterflies, but it sure made a pretty prop.

I already crochet, but have decided to torture myself and learn how to knit. I tried in the past but didn't give it my all, and never got past knit and purl. Well now I think its because it turns out knitting Continental suits me better, but man is knitting complicated. I guess it exercises the brain ; )

So I put a wanted ad on Freecycle for a set of knitting needles, since I will need different sizes for different yarns and patterns. Within 24 hours I had a response to come and pick up a bunch of knitting needles. BTW if you have never heard of Freecycle, I would suggest you check Yahoo Groups for one in your area. You never know what you might find, and it's great for getting rid of things you don't want anymore.
Aren't they beautiful in my Grandmothers vase!

I pulled out a tin of yarn my Mom had spun probably over 20 years ago. It had gotten moths on it at some point, but I wrapped it all into skeins and washed it, salvaging what I could.
My room looks like it has been yarn bombed.

This is wool that I spun. But seriously, yarn bombed!

I went on a search through our storage shed looking for our tote of fiber, and was extra surprised when I found it.
 There is a lot of fiber in it that I forgot were I placed it.

 Like this Romney.

 And this grab bag.

 And all mohair from my goats that I dyed with Kool-Aid and food coloring. Plus there was a lot more than I remember dying. 

 And some had already been carded.

 And some had already been spun!

Now that is a crazy color. I don't know what I should make with it, but I do know this. I have enough fiber to keep me spinning for a looooong time.

For anyone that is wanting to get started spinning, this is a really good book that explains all the different techniques.

An update on the berry bushes.
It really is amazing what the goats have done to that monstrosity.
They have eaten and stomped probably 15-20 feet of the perimeter of the bush.

 See that hole up at the top. The goats are climbing all the way up there now.

I think this goat is saying "Berry bush, shmerry bush!"  As she just walked down from the top right hand corner in the picture. 
I'm wondering what it will look like in the Spring.

I think that's all for now.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sweet Shetland Sheep Times Three

A lot has happened since the last time I posted. 

My sweet Myrtle died. She got bottle jaw, and we tried everything, but she died anyways. Unfortunately that's part of raising animals, and it always seems to be my favorite ones.

Welcoming my Brother and Sister-in-law's new Son Ashton to the family. Notice the onesie. My Brother is a mechanic, so their getting him started early.

I crocheted this hat for my Sister-in-laws baby shower. It's made out of Satin Angora from the rabbits I used to raise years ago. The problem with crocheting a hat for a baby that's not here yet is you don't know how big of head its going to have. So I went by the measurements I found for a newborn hat, but when he was born, it was to small. He was 7 lbs. 13 oz. I guess our family makes big babies. So now I'm going to redo it, hoping I have enough yarn left.

Sophia taking a nap on me while visiting. She's such a little doll. I love having babies around.

If you saw my last post from the National Heirloom Expo, I posted pictures of the sweet Shetland Sheep they had there on display. Well.... My Mom got a trio of them.

 The goats were afraid of the newcomers at first. It was kinda funny. Eddie (the ram) was just trying to check them out, but they acted like we had just turned a monster loose in the pasture.

I cut down all those thistles the next day, but I still have a lot scattered through the pasture calling my name.

We sold Maestro (the bottle ram we raised) a couple days later. He had rammed me once. (Hey he put my back back in place for me!) That was to be expected being a bottle ram, and I was willing to deal with having a bottle ram, but since he had already done his job this year, and we got the new Shetland ram, we just didn't need him. Before we made the decision, I looked into crossing the Suffolk ewes with a Shetland ram, and it seems to be a very desirable cross. Since Shetlands are small it greatly reduces the lambing problems, and Shetland meat is supposedly much better than the commercial breeds of  lamb meat. I'm curious to see if the lambs will come out with short or long tails, since Shetlands are naturally short tailed, but I will have to wait till Spring 2016 to find out.

Sir Locksley died a few days ago. Lucky for me, his wife is pregnant. So hopefully their will be a boar in the litter. They are a really hard breed to find.

 I found this yarn I spun many years ago from Kool-Aid dyed mohair from the Angora goats I raised. So I crocheted a hat out of it, but haven't taken a picture of it yet.

 On one of my recent visits to my favorite doctor, we arrived early. So my Mom and I checked out the local thrift store. I found this book for $2 that I have been wanting for a long time.

 And these boutique cotton yarns for $1 each.

 And a totally hippy skirt. I love it!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

National Heirloom Expo 2014

My Mom and I decided to take a trip over to the National Heirloom Exposition on Wednesday. We didn't get to go last year, as I was not doing well at the time, so we couldn't wait till it was time again this year. 
I took a lot if pictures. It was a hot sunny day, and none of the buildings are air conditioned, but all us sweaty people still had fun. 

 This was the biggest one if the bunch.

 I really liked these vests. They looked toasty warm. Winter will be here before we know it.

A pretty print from Wild Boar Farm. 

Nice big canning tomatoes from Wild Boar Farm. 

 We have these plants growing all over the place. I used to hate them, till I found out they are medicinal, and great for feeding to the animals.

 I always thought this plant was called wild Mustard.

And of coarse we have lots of these in our pasture. The goats love to eat the dried up sticker heads, while I cringe. 

 Lots of everything to look at. Tomatoes, apples, pears, gourds, and more gourds, watermelons, and squash, and more squash......

 My Mom really liked these, and wanted me to take pictures. It seems to me like it would be such a waste of work, when it rots in a few days. But still pretty to look at.

Now this was the picture/ drawing/ painting (not sure) that I really liked. 
I tried to get artists names in the pictures, but they didn't show up. 

 My Mom liked this one.

 These were cute. I remembered the one was called Squash Miners, and found a link to for it. Its by Judy Robinson-Cox.

 And these little gourd houses were adorable.

This was made by some school kids. 

Mushrooms growing out of jars. Pretty cool. I can see it now. The new wedding bouquet. It will be all the rage. Hahaha 

 Jacobs Sheep pelt.

 I wanted one of  these plants, but I don't think I could have carried it back to the car in one piece.

 These people had some giant dahlias, but there were to many people around to get a picture of the really big ones.

 Glamping with bee! A display put on by the beekeepers association. It was full of bee info, and of course bees.

 This little piggy stayed home. It was delicious!

 A real sweet Shetland Sheep.

 Recognize the guy in the green shoes. Its Doctor Mercola.

Time to head home.

Through the creepy trees we go.

I think this is my longest post yet, so If you made it to the end congratulations!