Monday, April 27, 2009

Great Weekend

I spent the weekend in a very pretty little town of Vernon, Connecticut at the 100th Conn Sheep and Wool Association Fiber Festival. Now, I have not been to many fiber fests, but this one seemed very nice, not too big or too small. Christa Hobson, of Aisling Yarns, and I set up our booth on Friday night, enjoyed a good night sleep and hoped for a day of good sales on Saturday. Good sales we did have.
So, I had to do my part to ensure the other vendors had a good day too, after all, it's only fair! Now I did not buy ALL of this, some was a birthday gift from my parents (the swift and ball winder). I turned 36 on Sunday the 26th. I LOVE my sheepy mug, too cute.
This, however, was my favorite purchase!!! I found my Sonata!!! And with some of the pretty purple, mohair blend roving I bought....
I've started this. I love the way this wheel spins, so smooth. And it looks so pretty in this picture with the Flowering Almond just starting to bloom in the background. Makes my think I may either find or dye my own pinks to ply it with. Did not think I was going to find color inspiration while staging a photo! I guess it just shows you can find inspiration anywhere, anytime. Enjoy the beautiful weather, get outside and spin, knit, crochet, weave, or just sit!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A New Home

It's finally done! Our "no money spent" chicken coop is move in ready. We had a motto when building this, we were not going to spend a penny on it, and we didn't. The building itself came from a family home that burnt down, it was all that was left standing. Some siding was melted, but the chickens don't seem to mind. The lumber was from an old trailer we tore apart and scrapped, the wire was from a chicken coop and garden from about 25 years ago! Storm door and windows were found in the loft of a family barn, who knows where they came from, but judging from the coat of dust on them, they won't be missed. We also confiscated some nesting boxes, feeders and waterers from years gone by. I guess it's a fair trade for farm fresh eggs!!!
We have left the large "people" door open until they figure out how to use this one. At first they seem to have thought it was just a window. They are too funny all pushing and shoving to be able to peer outside at their new world outside the box. I love watching their personalities develop. They are finally starting to make chicken noises too, not just the sweet little "peeps". Can't wait for the roosters to crow.
Love this picture...the little Bantam peeps like to hide other the three larger ones in the box. We are not real sure what the larger ones are. We were told they were Dominiques, but I am doubtful. Anyone able to help in this department? We also have one solid grey bird with a black beak, all the others have orange beaks.
And lastly, I have to show my sweet old girl. She is after all, sharing her pasture. This is Abby, my 27yr old Thoroughbred. I've had her since she was 5. We have been through alot together and I hope she will live forever as I cannot imagine life without her!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Walk MS 2009

What a beautiful day for a fund raising walk. My family and I just completed the 4 mile fundraising Walk MS 2009 put on by the National MS Society. I raised over $350 in donations, most of which came from High School friends I have reconnected with on Facebook! I feel very loved.

I was officially told I was graced with this disease in 2000 after a long bought of severe dizziness, to the point I was falling out of the shower, down stairs and just by simply turning around while walking or standing. Since then, I have lost the vision in my right eye, thanks to optic neuritis (it has 99% returned), have severe muscle "cramping" and a continued weakness on my right side. Luckily, these are all things I can live with and continue to lead a fairly normal life. There are many afflicted with this disease that are not that lucky. It was for those that I walked.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Progress

First of all, let me say Happy Easter to everyone and I hope Spring is finding you. Our weather here in NE PA is slowly starting to warm up. I am noticing more and more signs of Spring everyday. My husband is starting the summer long process of trapping groundhogs, my horse is eating less hay and drinking less water, she is finding what she needs in her pasture, and today we saw our first farmer working up his fields. Soon, they will be planting.

Here is a little peek at one of our new Bantam chicks .
Notice the feathered legs and feet? I have now added 6 of these to our flock, they will be keepers and most likely NOT going to the butcher. Of the first 13, we have now established that 7 of them are roosters. Leaving us with 6 laying hens, all of which are Rhode Island Red crosses.

I took the Easter weekend off from weaving and started a new project, as if I need more! I few months ago I had purchased two balls of Schoeller & Stahl's Limbo yarn. It is a 100% virgin wool superwash, worsted weight. I LOVED the color and had to have it! Before Christmas I had bought a book on crocheted sock patterns, Crocheted Socks by Janet Rehfeldt and Mary Jane Wood. I started their Pebbled Sand, toe up, sock and am in the process of turning the heel. It is going to be a very heavy, very warm, pair of socks as each row of a single crochet is the passed over a second time as you do a long single crochet into the stitched two rows down. Me feet should be very happy next winter wearing these!

I also took advantage of my self proclaimed vacation and dug into this pile of roving I had purchased from Phylleri Ball, of SteamValley Fibers. It is a colorway of hers called Silver Sparks and is a blend of 55% wool, 40% kid Mohair and 5% Nylon Glitz. The little card she gave me with it says the goats names are Neville, Lavender and Lily. I think it's kind of neat to know the names of the critters who shared their wool with me! It is a beautiful blend of natural greys, pink, blues and purples. Very subtle shading to say the least. I've been longing for the time to get to this.

While catching up on all the of the TV shows I had stored on
my DVR, (You know, all the shows that the husbands don't want to watch (Ghost Whisperer, Legend of the Seeker, and sadly, General Hospital) or in the case of the latter, shows the kids cannot watch) I spun two bobbins full. Now this is where wanting my own wheel is really stating it's case. I only have one bobbin with my "borrowed" wheel. So in order to ply, I have to spin a bobbin, then wind into a ball, spin another bobbin, wind into a ball and then ply from two balls which are rolling all over my floor. The dog chasing them and getting all tangled up just pleads my case for me to my husband.

But here is the end result. I am pretty tickled with it. My consistency is getting better. It turned out to be a sport weight. or maybe DK. I need one of those little gauge gadgets, add it to my wish list! I am not ready to spin to a desired weight, it is what it is. I let the roving decide what it wants to be and then just try to spin consistently until I'm done.

But the best part....I got the go ahead to get my wheel! I will be vending my baskets at a Fiber Festival in Conn at the end of the month. If I can find the wheel I want, at the price I want, I will be bringing one home with me. Otherwise, I think I will be ordering one when I get home. Yippee!!!!!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spinning and Weaving Demonstration

I want to take a minute and announce a Spinning and Weaving Demonstration, being put on by the Susquehanna Valley Spinners and Weavers Guild, this Sunday, April 5th, from noon to 4pm. The location is in the auditorium at the PP&L Riverlands Preserve located on Route 11 in Berwick, PA, right across the street from the main entrance to the PP&L Power Plant. We will be demonstrating the entire process from raw fleece to finished garment. Carding, spinning, weaving, knitting and crocheting will all be shown with many hands on opportunities as well. If you are interested, please stop by any time during the demo, this is free to the public! Make sure you say hello.

My "borrowed" wheel and a basket of roving, all packed up and ready to go. I am so looking forward to an excuse to sit and spin all afternoon!

A closer look at all that roving....have I mentioned how hard I have been bitten by this spinning thing? This only represents a small amount of what is in my closet. Don't you just want to dive in?! The grey fiber is Romney purchased at Mad about Ewes in Lewisburg (my current spinning project). The autumn colors and the grey with pink are both mohair blends purchased from Phylleri Ball from Steam Valley Fibers. The "white" is BFL top that I received free in a lot of basket weaving supplies I purchased on E-Bay! Free is always a good thing!

On the weaving front...these are just a few of the baskets I have been feverishly working on the past few weeks. Show season is here and I am far from ready...