Saturday, October 13, 2018

Autumn tasks

Spent this morning putting coats on some of the ewes and clipping their feet.  I think we got about half way through.  Also was able to take a few photos of them pre coating.

I am carding and spinning Marianne's 2018 fleece.  I always am pleasantly surprised by her wool's lustre, just stunning.

I finished Ivy's gradient yarn, I love how it came out and there is a lot of it.   I now need to final wash and dry, measure, mark it and get it on the etsy shop.

I had a customer send me some photos of her Santa's that she makes with my curly bits.  So cool!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

What I am working on

Been looking forward to this weekend of nothing to do.  So I have a pile of activities and stuff I want to do.  (And yes I do realize these two sentences contradict each other)

Here is one of the bottle ram lambs growing up.

Paid a quick visit to the two new girls, gave them some of the loose hay from the wagon, here they are munching away.

Washed Fanny's fleece, I love her color gradation, and she is so pretty and soft!

Still spinning up O'Brien, I expect I will get three skeins from her.

Knitting a pair of mittens with Caramel Mocha's yarn and thrum from Blue Diamond..  Never did thrum before, these are going to be warm and comfy mittens!

Helped a little with the hay - here is the view from the top of the hay wagon.  All I see is all there is to do.  But the clouds look really cool.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

WNY Fiber Festival

Saturday's WNY Fiber festival marked the end of our three weekend marathon of fiber festivals I attend every year, and I am very happy to say it was a terrific day.  Beautiful weather, steady traffic and great conversations made it a wonderful event for us.

I am spending today unloading the van and reorganizing my studio.

During my breaks I am spinning up O'Brien's fleece from 2018.  I was demo-ing spinning it yesterday and hope to complete in the next week or so.  My inventory has been severely depleted so I have a lot of work to do to catch up on my backlog and prep for Knitters Circle event in February.

I'm also washing Aries's fleece (young man on the left in this photo), rather stinky but I think I'm making progress.  I am reflecting on how nice it is we coat the ewes as I am on my 5th soapy soak on Aries's fleece vs. my usual 2 soaks with my lovely girls.  And there is still a little dirt left in the sink after soak # 5.  Should probably get some of that scour solution that one of my mentors keeps telling me about.  Will add to my list...

So much to do!  Looking forward to next weekend which I 100% dedicate to puttering in the studio and trying out some new ideas from these last few very inspiring weeks!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Fingerlakes Fiber Festival Sunday

Expecting a quieter day today, and preparing for the heat with lighter clothes and a fan.  It was really hot yesterday, but still managed to peddle some wool.  Here are some photos from yesterday. 

Hat made by Marina using Whispering Pines Soft Shetland Wool

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Fingerlakes Fiber Festival

It is the nice quiet morning of the festival, Rich and I set up the booth yesterday so we can leave here at around 8 and arrive in time for the vendor parking.

The two new arrivals are doing well in their quarantine pen.  I tried to get some nice full shots but turns out they are both so friendly it was nearly impossible.  So here are some closeups of our pretty new girls:

Looking forward to seeing everyone today, looks like its going to be a nice day for a festival!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Wisconsin Fiber Festival

 We are driving home from the festival, we drove to LaGrange Indiana last night and had to break.  Joining us in the van is this little peanut who we bought from Kelly B at the show.

Today we pick up our 2nd new lamb and then head on home. She is from Whispering Pines Wentworth and May who are now living in Michigan.

Really enjoyed our time at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival.  I got a lot of spinning done on our grey katmoget ewe's fleece, Ivy.

Saw so many good friends and had time to catch up on important wool/sheep/fiber crafting news from the past year.  Looking forward to connecting with everyone on their progress with the projects that involve our soft shetland wool.

This pretty cowl was shared by Sue who used yarn from we think Pearl and Edith.  Sue is headed to the Shetland Islands soon, so very excited to share her work and have a shetland wool item to keep her warm during the trip!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival

Day one of the festival is done and dusted, had a terrific day.  I love this festival so much.  Today we have to get to tractor supply before the show as we need to get a crate to bring home certainly one and maybe 2 new additions to the flock!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Spin off article

I had two business trips in August.  Which is very bad timing as I am also frantically preparing for 3 fiber festivals in September.
I'll be marking this yarn today

Lots to mark and organize!

 Yesterday I got home from an international business trip to find the Spinoff magazine in the mail.  It has a pattern featuring our commercial processed ram wool.  So that was pretty cool.

And it made up for the disappointment of this morning's cup of coffee at home compared to the cup I had in Germany yesterday morning.  Why is their coffee so delicious?  At least I got to drink from my favorite fancy mug rather than a boring hotel one.

Anyways, I don't hand card adult ram fleeces.  Most of the time I just toss them in the trash.  I know this is shocking behavior but other than the first year lamb fleece, ram fleeces smell really bad, and we don't coat rams so the wool is really dirty and gross.  However, when there are particularly nice ones we send them to Acorn fiber to be processed into roving.  So when the editor of Spinoff asked me if I would donate ~ 2 lbs of wool for this project I was very happy to have a large amount available from a recent order we had processed.

Normally I hand card everything I sell, but this year I will have the commercially prepared roving in my booth in the next three weekends of back to back fiber festivals if you want to try making this pretty shawl for yourself!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Signs of wear

One of the unique aspects of the wool I provide, in addition to being incredibly soft and bouncy (thanks to our flock of lovely soft shetland sheep) is that I hand process pretty much everything I sell.  I think it makes for a nicer experience for the knitter/spinner.

The equipment I use to hand process is starting to show its age, and as I am using the tools of this trade I reflect on the volume of wool that has passed over the guides, cards and hands.  I wonder where all that wool is across the world and if it is providing use as a decoration, a source of warmth or some other type of value.

Every lock is flicked.  My flicker tines get a little misaligned over time.

Clean dirt build up.
That callous on my index finger is from holding locks while they are flicked.  I think it could stop a bullet.

This guide has a groove worn into it from the yarn passing over it, it still has some use before I'll need to replace it 

But this guide has just about worn right through.  I'm going to keep using it until one day it will just break in two.  I wonder what it will feel like when it happens

My doffing tool is all crooked

I use my paddle cards to pack the wool onto my drum carder like so

And one day realized that it was getting grooves worn into the back of it from the tines on the drum carder.  This observation is what inspired this post.