Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Natural dyeing day

With the busyness of fall harvesting  it's a wonder I got any natural dyeing done at all. But I did and I love the results. I managed to dye 6 oz. of roving a medium blue with Japanese indigo, spun into yarn and overdyed with black oak bark. I prepared my dye bath by bringing 1 oz of dried oak bark almost to a boil, turned it off and let sit overnight. The next day I strained the bath and added alum, cream of tartar and tin using Bancrofts one pot method described in J. Lilies book.( I love this method, especially for roving). Along with the yarn I put 2 oz of white roving in the dye bath for a beautiful yellow. I simmered the bath gently for about 45 minutes. Turned off the burner until dye bath was cool. I then washed and rinsed the yarn and roving in warm water. I can spin these rovings as is or blend on my drum carder. The possibilities are endless.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Fall is here


Lots of things happening in the garden before the first frost. Lettuce, kale and greens are in a raised bed, ready for a hoop house. Sweet potatoes have been dug and stored. The garlic I harvested in July has been cleaned up and stems cut off ready for storage. From left to right, Chenok red, Inchelium, Italian and Polish red. My favorites are the Chesnok and Inchelium. My husband built a small greenhouse, which has carrots, spinach, lettuce and greens in  a bed I will cover with remay to winter over. Eliot Coleman has written several books worth reading on winter veggie harvests. The last of the Dahlia blooms will be cut and brought in for one last bouquet. Time for lots of knitting and weavin

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Horse lover

After many months of feeding and caring for Deets, our 2 year old gelding, he is ground driving and doing a good job. Since this photo was taken Dave has built a small sled, one he can stand on and is working with it also. In the future he will be trained to pull logs, a mower and other small equipment. We will be training him to a cart for enjoyment. It can't be all work. He is a smart boy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Great Lakes Fiber Show

Here is a shot of my booth who I share with Cathy at The Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster, Ohio on Memorial Day weekend. Lots of interest in the dye plants I bring to sell, and how to grow and use them for dyeing. There was good attendance and the weather was beautiful although a little chilly in the a.m. I bought a few things as this in my chance to get things I normally would have to order. A beautiful moiget Shetland fleece was the prize of the day as was cotton yarn I will use to weave a baby blanket for our 4th grandchild in

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pansys and potatoes

Now that spring has arrived I can't help but get my hands in the dirt. Planting is in full swing with more seeds going in the ground every day. We are close to our last frost date, May 10th so tender annuals can be planted. Pansy's are my favorite spring flower because they can be planted early and last a long time if I dead head, and many varieties reseed themselves. Johnny Jump-ups and violas. I still have a variety that I got from my mother-in-law when we moved here 15 years ago.
Another favorite is Yukon Gold potatoes. They are fairly easy to grow and will store all winter if you don't eat them all up before spring. Which means I didn't plant enough. I have also planted a red variety for new potatoes, which we dig right after they bloom. They are small and tender and melt in your mouth. Potatoes are high in potassium and grown organically the skins can be eaten right along with the rest of the potato. I will hill the dirt up around the spuds and mulch when the plants emerge to keep down weeds and to keep moist. Now all they need is sunshine and rain.

Monday, March 2, 2015

First Overshot Project

With all the cold and snow and lots of time indoors, I've tackled my first over shot project. I love weaving with my hand spun yarn and this skein although mill spun using my sheep's wool, was naturally dyed with indigo. The warp was a 10/2 unmercerized cotton. I don't think I made any mistakes. 5 of my 6 ewes have lambed and my first dairy goat is due next week. Fresh goat milk sounds so good. I can make kefir and soft cheeses once more.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fall ewe flock

These two ewes were ones from a lamb crop two springs ago. We had sold them to an Amish friend and had no plans of buying them back but...... our friends moved and weren't taking their sheep and we lost a 2 year old mule ewe last month to plant poisoning. A tomato plant had sprouted in the compost pile next to the pasture and when we noticed a problem it was too late. These ewes are out of our last texel ram and BFL/dorset cross ewes. that brings our total to 5 ewes which is plenty for our small farm.
The BFL is very obvious in the face and clean necks and bellies. The texel is also obvious in the hind end. They are nice ewes. They will be bred to our yearling texel ram, Elliot.