NEW LOOM, VISITING FRIENDS-GARDENERS BASIL & LIME SOAP-BUS TRIP TO THE 2018 MARYLAND SHEEP AND WOOL FESTIVAL.

15 05 2017

GREETING FRIENDS

MY FAVORITE SPRING FLOWER

Today is the last of the rainy, dreary, damp and cold days.  The sun is suppose to come out this afternoon and the winds are going to pick up and dry it all off.  We are certainly not in a drought situation any more.   There is so much to do this spring I have almost finished manuring and weeding the front yard and need to get to the back this week.  I am transplanting some wild raspberries  near a fence in the front area, hoping to be able to contain them better.  My female elderberry isn’t doing well, does anyone know if they are hard to root.  I would love to start some new ones.  The male plant is flourishing.

NEW LOOM AND A VISIT WITH FRIENDS

I have been looking for a loom for months now and knew that one would come along.  When mentioning it to my friends Ulla and Dick they said they had the perfect one for me.  A 36 inch Leclerc  4 harness loom.  It’s a beauty. And there is a story behind it.  They drove up to Canada to pick it up!  Solid Maple which will be good for rugs.  About a year after I sold my looms I did a workshop at The Springfield Weavers and realized that I missed weaving.  Especially overshot which is my favorite weave.   And  also I needed a way to use up the boxes and boxes of hand-spun yarn in the sewing room.  I have decided to have it in my downstairs bedroom and have taken the room apart and made room. Now I would like to refresh the room with some paint and the loom will have a new home.

I had a wonderful visit with Ulla and Dick on the loom picking up day.  It was shearing day for them and it was wonderful to watch Aaron (my new shearer) get the job done.  He has just gotten back from Australia where he sheared hundreds of sheep.

Ulla in the background and Aaron shearing

  We had a wonderful day remembering old times,  new projects and garden ideas.  I can’t wait to visit again to see the new weathervane that Dick is making.  I was lucky enough to see a picture of it almost done.  Itsa carved turtle.  Next time pictures.  When I next visit them they will have their new chickens.

THEIR SHEEP ALL SHEARED

LYMES

The 90 days on Doxicycline did very little for the Lymes Disease I have.    I did tolerate it well though.  I will now be on another antibiotic as it is summer and with Doxi I could have a severe reaction from the sun.  I will be on it for at least 6 months and there is no guarantee.  I have to try it .  I have already had many ticks on me they say that this year is going to be one of the worst.  I am going to make up a herbal concoction to spray on myself each day.

BASIL-LIME WITH GROUND UP CORN GARDENERS SOAP AND OATMEAL SOAP

 

I made these two soaps a couple of weeks ago and they are now drying on racks.  They will be ready for the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fest.  The kitchen is filled with their smells. It was the first time I used my grinder and I love it.

 

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A COSMO SCARE-TWO VISITS TO FRIEND’S FARMS-

23 04 2017

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THE EGG MYSTERY-SHEARING-PEAS PLANTED

12 04 2017

GREETINGS

I am back after a long absence.  Feeling more like my old self again.  I am now taking a yoga class which is helping me so much.  Spring has sprung and tulips are coming up .  Today temps will be in the 80’s!!!!!!  The Farmers market starts in Greenfield the first week of May so I am busy getting ready for that..

THE EGG MYSTERY

 

Egg production this winter has been good, but recently has slacked off.  The new girl Molly should still be laying  but no eggs were found.   Morticia the black bantam slept high up on a shelf all winter long.  So yesterday while cleaning the coop I decided to check the space and give it a clean and lo and behold I found all these eggs!

I will be check this spot every day now.

THE SHEEP

The sheep have been shorn and look good.  My shearer Steve is retiring  so I have gotten a new shearer Aaron Loux for next year.    We are both on The Massachusetts Sheep Breeders Board.

MAUDE

 

 

 

LUCY, CAROL K. AND SALLY

 

PEAS

It’s pea planting time here on the farm.  I had them soaking for 24 hours and now they are going in the ground.  I plant to put another packet in soon.   The hot peppers and basil are doing well and I plan to repot them soon.   My regular supplier of veggie starts is taking a year off and I will miss all the heirloom starts she had.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this beautiful spring day.    Carole

 

 

 

 





SNOWY MONDAY- SATURDAY ADVENTURES-A PARTING NOTE

5 12 2016

GREETINGS 

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Snowy Monday

It’s not that cold out and the snow looks so pretty falling in the woods.  The sheep are curious and Carol K.  makes a few steps out the door.

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 Sheep are wonderful creatures, they can be loving, caring, nervous, instigators, and  trouble makers.  Yesterday they  did all of these things.  They got frightened while Charlie was cleaning the barn.  I think it might have been the noise of grain bags which makes a crinkling sound.  It sent them into a frenzy of running and Carol K broke down a fence.  This started a day of mishaps and cleaning.   We couldn’t find the post banger inner, now I have two because at one time I could not find the red one.  Both are still missing but in the attempts to find them we saw the new rat family that had moved into the lower part of the barn.   That lead to cleaning and finding out how they were living.  They had three different holes one to the inside walls of my kitchen and two into Mr. Peepers coop where they happily ate the food .  Now I was sure that  Mr. Peppers would go after rats but he is not as brave as I though he was. (He does try to go after me though)  Not having Skunks in resident has caused the rats to move in.  I have blocked the holes and will try to trap them .

SATURDAY ADVENTURES

Debbie and I have been planning out trip to The Walker Homestead for their winter open house and it was wonderful.  The house was built-in the late 1600’s, it’s a salt-box my favorite type of colonial home and its painted a colonial red which is also my favorite color for a salt-box.

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 Smoke was billowing out the chimney when we got there on a crisp late fall day.    The last time I was there  was in September and this time there was a different feel to the house.  One of the resident cats named Cindy, age 23. greeted us in the kitchen looking for a warm spot  near the stove . Saint Nick was there is full dress. Loads of wonderful primitive things were available for sale and there were delightful things to eat.  The house is loaded with wonderful primitives from the colonial times and was very warm and inviting.  Our hosts were delightful.  I will be at the next open house.  The herb gardens were still looking great and the rosemary was still doing well.  The sheep were not in sight but probably in the barn on this day.  I bought some wonderful Juniper branches.  I love the smell of juniper and love the beautiful berries.  These trees are hard to find and I spent many hours on the internet trying to find a couple to plant in my yard, but to no avail.  I will start looking again after the holidays.  There are plenty of juniper trees and bushes but they don’t have the berries.

Our next stop was Sturbridge, Mass just 10 minutes or so from The Walker Homestead.  We visited a few shop, one was The Mercantile which I have been following on face book.

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A bedroom set up with mostly overshot woven things.  A favorite weaving pattern of Den and myself.

All I can say about it is WOW.  It was a fantastic store with so many wonderful things even  custom cupboards.  A whole room dedicated to Rug Hooking.

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 So much to see.  Then we visited two vintage material stores. Material and sewing goods from floor to ceiling.  Now I know where I can get material to repair my Grandmother’s quilts.  It’s not often that I get to do all these wonderful things in one day.  Deb and I plan to do this again.

A PARTING NOTE

This is a scary time for Americans that believe in liberty and justice for all.  I think we are in for dark times ahead and the future looks bleak for lower and middle class Americans.  I hope in the next year to devote some time helping people less fortunate than myself and fight for the things I think made American great in the past.

Many thanks for reading my blog I hope you have a wonderful day  Carole

 

 





SOME FINISHED PROJECTS-THE LINEN SYMPOSIUM

7 08 2016

GREETINGS

A gentle rain fell this morning and thunderstorms are predicted for this afternoon.  It will take more than that to recover from the drought.  We in Colrain  have had enough rain lately to keep the grasses green and the gardens going.  I am getting ready to put another planting of green beans in and hope to get the last raised bed in and some turnips planted for fall enjoyment.

Big rain drops in Maude;s water bucket.  The board is to help chipmunks get out

Big rain drops in Maude;s water bucket. The board is to help chipmunks get out

FINISHED PROJECT

For those of you who know me I do have a huge amount of unfinished projects.  Mostly mine but some of my Grandmothers.  Today my goal was to finish two of them so here they are.  The Hen Proddy was started years ago and the Seamus Rug was started a month ago. I am still working on the Folk Art rug and hope to have it done in a few weeks..  I still haven’t decided what to take to Star Island yet.  If I get the dyeing done it will be the Farmers Market Rug from 2014.

The Seamus Rig

The Seamus Rug

  My first Proddy rug

My first Proddy rug

LINEN SYMPOSIUM

I am thrilled to be a volunteer at The Linen Symposium to be held at Old Deerfield Village in Deerfield Massachusetts next weekend.  It will give me the opportunity to meet and hear many of today’s experts on Flax and Linen from all over America and Canada.  So many people are growing their own (and I hope to be one of them next year and will prepare a bed for that purpose this fall.) flax in large acreage and small plots. I want to grow a patch and finish it myself this coming year.

We buy linen clothes and may quibble about the high price but the time and energy that goes into the process of making  clothing from plant to  blouse is astonishing.    We don’t think of these things when we are purchasing them..   When I learned to spin I appreciated the amount of work that it takes to make a sweater.  The tending of the sheep, shearing, cleaning the wool then spinning it and finally knitting the garment.  It’s a long process but so worthwhile in the end.

 I love the process and besides do love spinning flax of all types.  It’s always been one of my favorite fibers to spin.  So this is what has led me on this journey to find out more about Flax and be with like-minded people and learning what they know.  I plan to pass this onto you and  think now that I may have to make a loom to weave some material on!!!!!!  My goal is to grow enough to make a pillowcase with.  I have a vision in my head of a pillow case (and it may be for just a small pillow) with some embroidery on the edges.  We will see what happens.  The Symposium is full to the brim and has a rather large waiting list.   It has peaked the interest of so many.  My thanks go to all who helped plan this great event.

Many thanks for reading my blog today.  I leave you today with some pictures from breakfast at the barn.

Maude

Maude

 

We would like some grain please.

We would like some grain please.





HAY-THE SEAMUS RUG-MAUDE AND FRIENDS-MY GRANDMOTHER’SQUILT

15 06 2016

GREETINGS

Summer days are upon us with bright blue skies and balmy weather.  I am still planting my garden, better late than never. I took this picture of Charlie the Chipmunk this morning.  I was wondering where all my tiny strawberries were.  His mouth is covered with  juicy strawberries.  There is plenty for all.

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HAY

Next years hay for the sheep is in the making now.  I have found a reliable farm to buy my hay from.  A farm that has been in existence for over 100 years.  The farming practices have changed with the times.  From Milking cows to hay, compost and straw.  Its long grueling work but so satisfying.  John takes good care of his fields and has a long list of people whom he sells to.   Below is a picture of the hay in progress.

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THE SEAMUS RUG

Progress has been made on the Seamus Rug.  I hope to finish it this coming weekend.  I hope to get a class gong at SHeep and Shawl but first have to make a small sample.

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MAUDE AND HER FRIENDS

On my second time up to the barn this morning I noticed that Maude and a pink spot on the side of her face.  Now she could have gotten this from rubbing on the barn door.  Her fleece is very greasy and that can be itchy.  I looked up onto the hill and saw a piece of a fence that had popped up.  It must have been buried and with all their walking and eating it came to the surface.  It was easy to pull up and all is well.

MAUDE

MAUDE

Maaaaaaaaaaaa there is not enough clover in this hay was the morning call from Lucy

Maaaaaaaaaaaa there is not enough clover in this hay was the morning call from Lucy

MY GRANDMOTHER’S QUILT

I am giving the small South Bedroom a through cleaning and decided to wash the quilt.  No easy job as it entails taking out the stitches of the bottom and removing the wool batting.  While attempting to do that I see some wear and tares  in  some of the fabric.  An easy job may take days to fix.     I will spend the afternoon and evening getting it back in shape.

IMG_6832 Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a lovely day.  Carole





NEW PROJECT-THE LEAD LINE AT THE MASSACHUSETTS SHEEP AND WOOL-CRAFT FAIR

31 05 2016

GREETINGS

We are having such hot weather but some rain overnight and maybe some more tonight will help and slightly cooler temps.  Gardens will be popping up.

NEW PROJECT

The Seamus rug was a hit at the show.  SO much so that I will be offering a class in Proddy at Sheep and Shawl over the summer.  A smaller version though.  It was so much fun working on it

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THE MASSACHUSETTS SHEEP AND WOOL- CRAFT FEST

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It was  a great success lots of people came on Saturday.  Sunday is always a slow day at the fair and was this year too .  It was great seeing old friends and my spinning students but I missed by friend Lisa who was unable to come.  The show wasn’t the same without her.  Susan and I are now next to each other again so it was great fun visiting.  Of course I wish I could bring every sheep home  I just love sheep so.  

The lead line was Sunday and I wanted to share some of the contestants with you.

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This woman and her sheep were so darn cute.  The sheep was very well behaved and the woman said that she was always like that.  Only the best of sheep would allow a woodsman hat to be  kept on!IMG_6750

 

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Barb Giguere

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.  Carole  This wonderful Tunis sheep below wanted to come home with me. Isn’t she a beauty.

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