OUR TOWN IS SADDENED BY AN ACCIDENT- THE CORN-THE HEATH FAIR-MY RANT FOR THE DAY

21 08 2017

 

HERBS DRYING IN THE BARN

GREETINGS

A tragic accident in our little town has shaken the town to its core.  There has been many accidents on that same stretch of road and many scary near misses but this time there was a death. It reminds us that we need to appreciate even the smallest things in life.  A meeting will be held tonight and there will be  discussions about what can be done.  The state feels this road is not dangerous I wonder if one of the people making that decision would feel that way if they lost their brakes or started skidding on ice.  We are so removed from Boston politics here!

 

 

THE CORN

The second field of corn was ripe and two bushels were ready for me to freeze.  The question of the day was should I blanch it like I usually do or freeze it right off the cob.   According to the internet blanching is best to keep the taste the longest.   Wednesday and Thursday of last week I did  over 140 ears.  All of it is safely in the freezer to be enjoyed over the winter.  Now on to tomatoes and blueberries.

THE HEATH FAIR

  A wonderful fair with Horse pulls, fried dough, and a parade, Firemen’s muster and so many other things.  This was the 100 year of the fair(well really 101 but in 1942 the government  asked that no functions be held where people would gather because of the polio epidemic.) I got lots of spinning done and met lots of wonderful people . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY RANT FOR THE DAY

Thanks to Verizon and Direct TV for being the worst companies in terms of service.  The  other day it was raining so I could not stream anything or get any info on the internet.  This happens every time it snows , rains, is overcast, kids come home from school. work hours end and on weekends.  They know this happens but we  in my area are in a bind its all we have.    The great news is in a year or two they will have competition and I  for one will probably switch.  

And for Direct TV, thanks for charging me 70 dollars a month for 10 channels the other 190 you couldn’t pay me to watch.  And the same thing goes for the rain, snow, overcast no local channels work and some of the others don’t either.  It would be nice to get urgent weather info but oh no.  This will change for you too direct tv .  New things are coming on the market making your services obsolete.

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





THE CABINET STORY-LOOSING ANIMAL FRIENDS-VISITING FRIENDS

14 08 2017

 

 

LEMON BALM

GREETINGS

Freezing sweet corn , drying lemon balm, digging up  garlic,picking tansy and artemisia, waiting for the tomatoes to ripen are some of the things I love about summer.  the house smells of herbs and flowers .

LOOSING ANIMAL FRIENDS

On Saturday my youngest daughter, Betty had to put her beloved horse Beamer down.  He was a beauty who came to her as a young horse from Western Canada.   He was the perfect horse for her.   A registered Morgan who was loved by everyone who met him.   The decisions that we who love our animals more than life itself have to make are never easy, but they have to be made for the animal sake.  Run free Beamer you and Betty will be together again someday.

THE CABINET ADVENTURE

It all started with a ride to Brattleboro, Vermont to look at appliances.  We didn’t have much luck there but we did see a sign saying doors and window for sale.  This was Deconstruction Works of the former renew store.   We asked about cabinets and he said to follow him on Facebook and so I did  In less than a week he  had cabinets from a home he was working on.    $250. for 6 pieces seemed like a bargain price.  They were a darker maple color and it came with a counter top and sink.

 

Measurements were taken and they would fit nicely.   I plan to get a new counter top and will have the new/old sink that I bought put in it.  Now they are on the porch awaiting the other things to get done  I really like the idea of reusing and the trip to Newfane, Vermont was delightful.  The house was located on a muddy dirt road with a wonderful field and meadow and beautiful views.  It had a lovely large birch tree close by and a huge stone wall.

VISITING FRIENDS AND WINDING  A  WARP

Yesterday I went to visit friends and wind a warp.  Charlie and Ken live in a lovely cottage by the side of a babbling brook.

And there are many wonderful gardens.

 Charlie wanted to weave again and I told him about the Structo Loom used by The Springfield Weavers to show people how to weave.  He remembered seeing the group at The Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Fest this year.    A couple of weeks ago he purchased on   eBay and  yesterday I wound a warp for scarves out of mohair boucle.

  There is enough warp to weave 4 or 5 scarves.  Ken made a delightful lunch and Charlie and I spent a delightful afternoon.

Heading to the Heath Fair on Saturday.   Come and visit me at the large tent.  I hope to be spinning.  Many thanks for reading my blog.   Carole

 

 

 

 





THE LINEN SYMPOSIUM

22 08 2016

GREETINGS

It’s a lovely morning with cool temps and cool breezes.  I guess that this will change when the sun comes over the mountain but for now its enjoyable.

THE LINEN SYMPOSIUM

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It was exciting, educational and so much fun.  I saw old friends

Myself Jill who has moved close to be and Jody who I haven't seen in years who lives in Maine.

Myself Jill who has moved close to be and Jody who I haven’t seen in years who lives in Maine.

and met some new ones. I took a small notebook full of notes and lots of pictures.  I participated in the hands on and enjoyed touching fabrics from the late 1700’s.  The Linen Study Group outdid themselves and I thank them for their years of hard work.  The staff  at Old Deerfield Village out did themselves also.  It was the perfect place for this venue.

I especially enjoyed Christian and Johannes Zinzendorf (authors of The Big Book of Flax) who were the key-note speakers and delighted us with stories and linen pieces of the past. I have bought flax seeds and some flax to spin from them and even in our voice  and e-mail conversations they were delightful.    Jeff Silberman shared his experiences in growing flax and the benefits of student help.  He also shared some frightening statistics about how much wool and plant materials like hemp and flax are used here.  The numbers are frightfully low.  Polyester and man-made fibers are in the top numbers.  These materials are mostly made in foreign countries so do not benefit us much..  Cassie Dickson of the John Campbell School ( I have wanted to go there since I started Spinning) and I had a wonderful conversation on how she grows and retts flax, and we chatted about the school  which is about an hour south of Ashville.

I especially enjoyed Becky Ashenden who runs a very famous weaving school in Shelburne Falls.  Her weaving is beyond exquisite .  She talked about how her weaving career started and talked about Keeping Traditions.  A very important thing to me.  This is why I teach spinning and am so interested in the Linen process.  Today there is not much flax grown in the world.  It was quite popular years ago but since the time of man-made polyester its popularity has gone down.  It’s important to keep the knowledge of this unbroken.    In just a couple of generations this knowledge can be lost. Almost anyone can grow flax and I will be among the numbers next year.  Getting the plot ready this fall will be a priority.  

An old friend Florence Feldman Wood author of The Spinning Wheel Slueth  presented a wonderful slide show of Flax spinning Wheels.

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Patricia Bishop of TapRoot Fiber Lab  of Nova Scotia talked at length about her business and when her Flax would be available to wholesale.  In my small business years ago I sold a lot of Flax Stricks and enjoyed spinning and weaving with the hand-spun.  I hope to add that to my online shop when it is available.

Justin Squizzero of The Marshfield School of Weaving in Vermont showed a video of his weaving techniques and showed us  the linen sheets he wove.   He is a great weaver He even wove the material for the shirt he is wearing.  He works on a barn loom.

Justin wearing his woven shirt and the linen sheets he wove

Justin wearing his woven shirt and the linen sheets he wove

There was a coupleof hours  where you could see spinning and try all the steps in getting flax ready for spinning.  We were able to see all different kind of equipment some from the late 1600’s.

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THE FIRE BAG

Another interesting thing from the past is THE FIRE BAG.  I had never heard of such a thing but there were some on display and many pictures of them  They were usually made of linen and kept somewhere where you could grab them in case of a fire.  Usually they were filled with gold coins and your important things and you would grab it and run with it in a fire.  Very sensible.  Below is a poor quality picture of one that had the owners name embroidered on it.

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Those were just a few of the wonderful presenters that talked with us.  In the future I will share more of The Symposium.

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you enjoyed hearing about the Symposium as much as I did attending it.  Hope there will be another one.  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.





WINTER IS HERE-SHEEP FRIGHT-SPINNING

9 02 2016

GREETINGS

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It’s a winter wonderland out there today.  Lil was sledding  and snow flakes flying through the air.  We are supposed to get bitter temps over the weekend so I will try and bundle up the house more.

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SHEEP FRIGHT

Last night I went up to feed the sheep later than usual around 7 pm.  There were no sheep in the barn and it was so dark I couldn’t see them in the pasture.  I called and called with no one baaing  or coming..  With all the talk about coyotes and the recent article on FIBERuary about them I panicked.  In a last ditch effort I opened the grain bin and they all came running covered with snow.  This small flock has never been known to sleep outside.  My Border Leicesters always did.    With coyotes around I am keeping them in at night and will be sure to get them in before dark from now on end.

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SPINNING

I am spinning everyday now trying to get all those bags of wool turned into yarn, and eventually into rugs, mittens, hats and scarves. Yesterdays spinning was Alpaca, and I am almost finished with that bag.  Still have one more bag of  alpaca to spin which I will get started on today.  I am going to ply it with a dark wool for added strength and then make a hoodie scarf with it.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this now bright sunny winters day.  Hope you have a wonderful day.  Carole

 

 





IT’S FIBERUARY IS COMING

27 01 2016

GREETINGS

Sunny and glorious today.  The chickens are out  and it may be in the 50’s on Sunday.  Not normal winter weather but I do love it and on top of  that oil prices are low.

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IT’S FIBERUARY IS COMING

I have been reading Wovember for the past 3 or so years and thoroughly enjoy everything about it.  I have learned many new things. met many new people and learned about fiber life in The British Isles.  British Wool and Farmers are promoted in each article.  

We here in our local, Western Massachusetts area have such a diverse farming community but its relatively unknown.  I had been thinking of something for us to do in the cold winter months to promote the same thing here.  I spoke with Liz of Sheep and Shawl Shop in South Deerfield about my idea of It’s FIBERuary and its a go for this year.  

In the month of February we hope to have an article each day about people who work with fiber and animals.  Some of the articles will be Rug Hooking, Raising Sheep, Angora Rabbits, Alpaca’s, Pygora goats and other fiber animals, Shearing, knitting and weaving, needle felting, dyeing  and so much more.    Please join us on FIBERuary on WordPress.

Sheep and Shawl Shop will offer speakers on each Sunday of the month of February.   Times  and directions will be announced.  There will also be a Valentine contest made out of fiber at Sheep and Shawl  and information will be forthcoming .

The following is a list of the talks.

Sunday, February 7th

Stories From The Farm – Carole Adams

I have raised sheep for over 20 years and have a book full of interesting stories and have lots of experience in farming with sheep in a small way.

Sunday, February 14th       Three presenters that day!

Chris Pellerin – Dunroamin Farm

Pygora Goats

 

Hilary Woodcock-Woodcock Farm

Hilary will give a talk on Alpaca to Yarn

 

Jenny Atkins Angora Rabbits

Jenny will talk about her beautiful Angora Rabbits

 

Sunday, February 21st

Margaret Russell

Weaver of Rare Breed  Wools

Be Sure to put these events on your calendars.

Many thanks for reading my blog today and I hope you will be able to attend some of these events or read about them on the blog.  Have a wonderful day.  Carole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





CHICKENS AND EGGS-NEW SPINNING STUDENT-WILBUR-NEW PROJECT

16 01 2016

GREETINGS

Yesterday was a beautiful winters day sun in and out some clouds and not too cold. Today we are having sleet and snow won’t amount too much just enough to cause poor driving conditions.  Had quite a nice lunch out with friends yesterday and watched  a few people skiing on Berkshire East.  We have been so lucky with winter weather this year.

CHICKEN AND EGGS

The inside hens are laying and I was really surprised in the difference of color of the eggs.    I really though of Helen’s and Gladys eggs were the same color but as you can see in the picture one is olive-green and the other is blue.  Love the colors.

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SPINNING STUDENT 

I have a new spinning student coming to the house.  I had forgotten how exciting the process is to a new student.  It reminded me of my early spinning days .  How excited I was to find a different fleece, be it the color or breed.To make my own yarn from it, learning how to spin a fleece and to dye wool.  All these things have held my interest for well over 30 years.  I love teaching spinning and passing on this historic craft and the knowledge of sheep on.  My new student plans to get some sheep, she has thoughtfully checked out breeds and fiber and will give a couple of  lucky sheep a good home.

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WILBUR

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Wilbur has been gone over 5 years now but his presence remains through his yarn, fleece and roving.  Two of his great grand daughters are here on the farm.  Not everyone liked Wilbur he was a big, very shy sheep,   I was very fond of him and was glad to give him a forever home.  I share his remaining wool with friends these days.  My friend Sandy wanted more Wilbur wool to give to her sister, Marti  who has fallen in love with Wilbur. This was before the holidays and I forgot all about it.  I happened to see Sandy this week and Marti sent up a gift.  How appropriate.  Now I have a Wilbur mug, a sweet little bag which fits my knitting  nicely and some wonderful chocolates.  I still have more Wilbur to share.  Thanks Sandy and Marti.  

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FUN PROJECT

 

This project has been waiting in the wings for a purpose for many years.  I asked a friend to be on the look out for some small windows for the Chicken Coop.  She came back with three, two of which are in the coops now.  I loved this one and knew it had a purpose but for what!!!!!!!

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I have gotten back to embroidery again and saw some transfers of chickens and ordered them.  The four windows will contain different embroidered chicken pictures.  It will make an  unique frame and interesting pictures to hang on the wall.  I am on the look out for more windows which  I think might sell.

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Many thanks for reading my blog on this winter like day.  Carole