Saturday, March 30, 2019

What I'm Working On

Taking a quick break from bookkeeping for taxes to do a blog post.

Washed a bunch of skeins today, they are now hanging to dry.

L to R - 2 skeins of self striping yarn, moorit neck wool, short skein of Treviso, ram wool from the mill, two skeins of britch wool I'm using on the roadside beanie, and a gorgeous gradient yarn from fawn neck wool.

Hazel's pretty grey fiber to spin.  We clipped her last weekend.  I got her good with the scissors, gives me the willies every time I think about it.  I hate that.

Frogging the Bousta Beanie because its too big for me (which is saying something since I have an enormous head) so I have some of my handspun to knit the new hat from Shetland Wool Week 2019.  I want to make kits for the pattern, it takes 7 different colors.  Have to make it first so I know how much of each color to wind up for the kits.  If you click on the caption I set it up to take you to the free pattern if you want to check it out.

Oliver Henry's "Roadside Beanie"
The last of the 2018 clip to be carded.  I think I'll make some more gradient yarns from these.

And  here is some wool still on the sheep that I am just dying to get my hands on.

This guy is likely going to get roo'd today, its just falling off of him.  This was one of the twin lambs I videoed being bottle fed last year.

Knitting a barn hat with a cake of handspun that I don't even remember making.  I think it was from when I was messing around with that blending board.  I sold the board last year, didn't care for it, but interested to see how this will knit up.

And, we got our Fiber Testing results back this week, so Rich is off somewhere pouring over his data like a mad scientist.  So far we are very pleased with what the data shows.  Maybe I'll get Rich to do a writeup on it if anyone is interested.

Saturday, March 23, 2019


I am thrilled to announce that I am officially a dealer for Majacraft .  Majacraft makes all sorts of very high quality fiber equipment including wheels, carders, looms, and a wide variety of accessory items.  They are located in New Zealand and supply their product through local dealerships.

Here is the link to their website:

I've been toying with the idea for a while now.  The decision was finalized after a conversation I had with a woman in my booth while I was spinning on my Majacraft Rose spinning wheel.  I was yammering on about how Rich bought it for me for Christmas when we first got our sheep, how much I love my Majacraft Rose spinning wheel, how it was my first and only wheel and how my Rose and I have spun miles and miles of yarn from my sheep over the last 15 or so years.

It occurred to me afterwards that I have that same conversation so frequently at fiber festivals and why don't I make this wonderful wheel available to people in my booth so they can enjoy its quality and beauty as much as I do.

So I placed my first modest stocking order, it arrived from New Zealand a few days ago.  They have a lot of stuff so I decided to start slow with a Rose and some of the accessories that go with it.  I'll have a spot in my booth now for fiber equipment and we'll see how this goes!

Other great news is I received an email from NYS Sheep and Wool festival that my application to vend was accepted.  Such great news and I am so very happy!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Spring Countdown

 Lambing and shearing are a month away.  Rich has started graining the ewes and I am working on the final scraps of wool laying around.  I think this is one of the few years that I am going to run out of wool before next shearing.

Just refound these pretty needles that I bought at a flea market last year.  They were stowed away in a box under a bunch of Christmas stuff.

This wool came from Treviso, last of her fleece divided equally into two piles for a nice 2 ply yarn.

Prepped to spin my 5 color self striping yarn which I will chain ply for nice clean transitions between colors.

Looks pretty good!

Here are some flick carded locks of neck wool which I sorted from light to dark and measured out into four lots to spin into a pretty gradient yarn with fawn colors.

Here are the 8 lots of shading for the two ply gradient yarn.  I recycle the plastic pretzel bins that people bring into work.  They are so curious what I do with them!!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

What I'm Working On

Happy to get a few photos of some of the ewes this morning - coats to keep the wool clean to make processing the wool easier.

I'll be spinning up a 5 color self striping yarn with the remaining wool I have from last years clip - sort the colors into the bags, once I get all five colors its time to start spinning! 
Yarn I finished last weekend from the mill processed roving

Reawick is on the drying rack

This is neck wool locks, carded and ready to spin.  Will make a gradient yarn with it

Locks from same - I love the taupe fawn katmogets with darker light portion.

Got fiber samples from all the sheep last weekend and sent them out this week to the lab for our micron data.  There are some really nice fleeces out there I am so looking forward to working with.

Samples in the baggies labeled by sheep name and tag #.  We used colored chalk pens to mark the ones we sampled so we didn't duplicate any.  

Just a group of very pretty girls on a snowy day

Video of same shot - tranquil and lovely

Saturday, March 2, 2019

March Update

My favorite month of the year as a shepherd - all anticipation for shearing and lambing.  

Shearer scheduled - Check
Vacation request from work submitted and approved for our 1 week lambing shifts - Done
Buy a bigger plywood slab for the shearing platform to prevent sheared fleece from getting dirty from contact with the barn floor - still need to do this.

I have an article published in the Spring 2019 Spinoff, so that's pretty cool.  

Here are some links supplied by the publisher:

If you promote your work, we ask that you help us support Interweave and Spin Off by linking to our website: and Spin Off For magazine print or digital version purchase:

Finished one of the thrum mittens.  Got stuck as usual when it came to having to thread a needle, but braced myself to finish the thumb and sew off the top.  On to mitten two and my very last thrummed item ever.  Hate thrumming - too fiddly for me.  I did want to try it though and have a demo to show people how wonderful our soft shetland wool is for thrum knitting.

Busy today carding neck wool into batts.  

Really nice staple length on this batch, wonder who it came from?

Neck wool from skirting fleeces drying in basement.

I only have 1 fleece left for spinning, Lady Mary, so I am going to post it for sale until I finish all my neck wool, and then will work on her if she doesn't sell.  

I have Reawick's fleece still, but planning to break that down to sell as locks as her lock formation is perfect for dolls hair and Santa beards.

Trying to think of what I will do if I run out of wool to process between today and shearing day.  Perhaps write another article to submit to Spinoff?  

I could do some more needle felt sheep.  

And spin up some of the hundreds of pounds of mill processed fawn katmoget ram wool I have stocked up.

There is always something to do!