Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wow! NAILE was really something this year! I truly believe that we were busier and had more people passing through the halls of the Louisville, Kentucky Expo center than the past couple of years.  I got to sit and spin with Martha Richard, Helen Schwartz, Diane Lewis, and Pam Hoover.  The nice thing about getting to spin with other people is that I can see various techniques used by everyone.  Helen and Martha had the most beautiful fibers while Pam and I spun fleeces from our own livestock.

NAILE was just the kick in the pants I needed to begin doing some natural dyeing on my own.  Shortly before NAILE I had used some walnut, I'm talking the black walnuts themselves, not the hulls to dye with.  I got a dark tan and even dyed some curls to go with the yarn.  But this time I dyed with Brazilwood and got a beautiful fuschia color. [this picture doesn't do the fiber justice!]  I only dyed 4 ounces as I've weighed my fibers so that I can consistently get a 4 ounce skein.  I can't wait to dye another 4 ounce bundle of Brazilwood.  Then I will try Mimosa, walnut with the entire nut, madder, and some more.  This is so exciting to be creating beautiful colors from nature!  The only thing holding me back is my glass top stove.  I don't want to weight it down too much with big pots and ruin my cooking surface.  I can't wait to dye more! Lots of fiber holds the promise of colorful winter days!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Whew!  It has been a long hot summer and I am glad that the weather has become cooler.  It is much easier to add a sweater or a jacket than it is to sit and sweat it out in the hot sun on Saturdays at Farmers' Market.  Just two more Saturdays at Fair Oaks Mall from 9a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Then we have Hackman's Market, The Street Fair in downtown Columbus, and St. Mary's Christmas Bazaar in North Vernon.  That will wrap it up for the season.

I have been playing a lot with my Corgi, Michaela, and have found her to be relentless when she wants to play.  Don't believe me?  Then take a look at the video.  The video was taken after she had already hassled me 5 other times and we played.  She doesn't get tired as easily as I do.  She is still a puppy.  I have many more years of fun ahead!

I still have Cormo/Shetland/Finn cross sheep and natural colored Shetland/Finn sheep for sale.  I don't have the money to feed them this winter and I hope I can get them sold.  My prices are more than reasonable and these animals produce wonderful fleeces that I am going to miss.  I have about 10 natural colored that have to die for fleeces.

Well, tomorrow is Farmers' Market so I need to move on for the evening.  I hope you enjoy the video.  Feedback is always great.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer's End Can't Be To Far Off

It has been a long hot summer. So hot in fact, that I am not going to be able to afford all the hay I need to feed the animals that remain on the farm. Hay prices are exorbitant and if I can just feed my alpacas, my Angora goats (what sweeties!), and a handful of sheep, I will be blessed.

My home improvement project is on hold at this time, of course, half way through the project. My carpenter had to have some surgery and is now in recovery mode while boxes remain on my lawn under tarps until he can finish the room they belong in. Why is it nothing is ever easy?

I am working on a new hat design. I have had to start over twice now as it wasn't shaping up the way I wanted it to. I am using up yarns I have collected over the years with the hope that something strikes someones fancy at Farmer's Market. Sales have been miserable this year. Last year the sales helped my sheep eat well all winter long. This year, I am forced to cut back because of the lack of sales to feed my sheep. I believe this is an indicator of the economy because everyone at the market is noticing a decrease in sales compared to last year.

I hope I can find someone who will help me care for my animals in inclimate weather. I don't want to risk falling and breaking something. I would never hear the end of it from my parents and my daughter. They believe I have no business living on a farm alone. What do you think? I am under 5 foot tall and pushing 60. Can I do this or not?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Saying Goodbye

As with everything in life, there comes a time when one must say goodbye to Life as it has been. This week has been like that for me. I've had fiber animals since 2003 and Margaret and Snowflake, my Saanen goats, for almost 5 years. As of Monday, all 26 of my chickens are gone. Then as of Wednesday, my Saanen billy and both Margaret and Snowflake are gone.

Now I need to be selling off my sheep. I can't handle the farm by myself any longer and it is time to move on to another life. My Cormo x Shetland/Finn sheep have beautiful soft crimpy fleeces and are a spinner's dream. I have intact males, a few wethers, and lots of ewes for sale. All are reasonably priced at $125 each. Many of my ewes are twinners and a few bless me with triplets each year.

I will miss this life, but divorce forces me to downsize. I love my animals. They are my children. My prayer is that they find kind homes that make them family as well.