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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





KRISTEN NICHOLAS OPEN HOUSE-OLD RUG HOOKINGGEMS FROM THE PAST

7 12 2015

GREETINGS

We have been so lucky with the weather.  While other parts of the country are getting snow and flooding we enjoy seasonal and warmer weather.

KRISTEN NICHOLAS OPEN HOUSE

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I found Kristen Nicholas and her colorful life only months ago.  She lives in the next town over from me .  I love what she does with color and when I found out about the open house I was delighted.  My friend Susan came up and off we went yesterday.  It was easy to find and there were many people there.  From the outside her house looks like the Colonial Cape Cod houses which dot the countryside here in Western Mass. But when you walk through the door color hits and delights you.  Lime green walls, pinks and purples, wonderfully decorated with books everywhere, my kind of place.  It was such a comfortable house you could sit down anywhere and relax.  Kristen greeted us at the door and in this small world we found out that she had visited Susan’s old shop The Cooperage.  We chatted with Kristen and meandered off into the downstairs rooms.  In every room there was things made by Kristen.  Her delightful whimsical paintings beckoned me.

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Her Husband was giving a sheep herding  demo with his sheep dogs.  It was so interesting.

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 She has many wonderful books out and I recommend “Crafting a Wonderful Home” which I plan to get soon.

Check her out on Facebook and her web page.  She offers lots of ideas.

RUG HOOKING GEMS FROM THE PAST

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Susan brought up this box of rug hooking information.  Carefully collected in the 50’s.  It was given to her by a fellow whose Mother passed away and he couldn’t bear to toss out her life’s work.  I just started looking through it today.  She made her own color wheel,

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there are patterns and notes on bindings etc.  I would like to find a museum to give it to.  Would anyone know of a place where it would be valuedIMG_6157

Many thank for reading my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.  Carole

 

 





SPREADING THE MILKWEED-GIFT OF BOOKS- SHEEP RUG HOOKING PATTERN-NEW ARRIVAL-SORREL NEEDS A HOME

9 11 2015

GREETINGS

The warmer weather has gone for the time being and its a bit chilly in the mornings.  I am busy getting ready for The Crafts of Colrain which is this coming weekend, so far the weather looks great for it.

SPREADING MILKWEED

It seems that this past month I have been going to Greenfield  a lot.  Picking up 25# of Oatmeal for the Chickens, several appointments, and I have been parking in a parking lot.   In cracks in the pavement are milkweed ready to send off their seeds.  Each time I am in  town I pick off a branch and bring it home to spread around my yard.  Its a good feeling that hopefully some of these seeds will take and more beautiful Monarch’s will be around.

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TWO BOOKS I AM READING

Birthday wishes are popping up everywhere.

  Liz of Sheep and Shawl gave me this wonderful book, The Chicken Chronicles by Alice Walker author of many books including The Color Purple.   A wonderful story of life with Chickens.  I am thoroughly enjoying it.

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A surprise  box in the mail yesterday from my friend Jan contained a book she though was perfect for me.  The Stillmeadow Road by Gladys Taber.  I  have started it and love it.  Its about a woman who buys an old farmhouse with blinders on ( sort of like me) and takes you through the fixing up the trails and tribulations of her dogs,cats and gardens.

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I want to learn more about this author and read some of her other books.

A NEW RUG HOOKING PIECE

My friend Debbie went on a wonderful trip to Nova Scotia and went to Deanne’s shop.  She brought me back this wonderful sheep pattern.  I just love it and am now thinking of how I can do it. I can’t start it till after the first of the year by then I hope have it all figured out.

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NEW  ARRIVAL ON WEDNESDAY

Okay so I said I wasn’t going to get anymore sheep. I promise this is the last one.  I just couldn’t resist this one.  Her name is Annie, which endeared her to me right away.  We called my Mom Annie for the last several years of her life.    She was in a breeding program to promote better sheep and wool.  She is half English Leicester and half Merino.  One can only imagine how wonderful her wool will be.   She is only 2 which is nice.

  

She will fit in nicely with the girls and offer me some really wonderful wool to turn into yarn in two years time.

Here is another sheep that is looking for a home.  My friend Lisa, who raises beautiful sheep is downsizing and Sorrel needs to find a home.  I wish I could take her but 5 is enough.  

 

I don’t know how anyone can resist her.  She is beautiful and an English Leicester.  They are the nicest sheep

Many thanks for reading my blog, there seems never to be a dull moment around the farm, never expected another sheep to fall into my lap.  Hope you have a wonderful day.   Carole

 

 





RUG HOOKING AT THE SALEM CROSS INN

29 10 2015

GREETINGS

Thank you all for the kind words about Marley they were so comforting.  The sheep have not adjusted to his loss yet.  He was the boss of where they ate and where they slept so it will take time..  After a very rainy day yesterday it will be sunny and in the 70’s today.  Clothes will be hung on the line today.

RUG HOOKING DAY AT THE SALEM CROSS INN

Deb and I gave been going to this event since 2004.  We look forward to it all year and when it comes the day seems to fly by.  Debbie calls it her Christmas and I call it my Birthday.  It is always around the time of my birthday and yesterday it was on my birthday.  Leaving the house shortly after 6:30 am this is the sight I saw and the picture just doesn’t do it justice.  It was the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen.

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Everything about this day is wonderful.  The ride from Debbie’s house meanders on back roads with farm land and woods which were colorful.  The inn itself is very old and has a sense of comfort about it.

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We settled in our favorite spot and hooked the day away.  A wonderful lunch with homemade apple pie and whipped cream for dessert was enjoyed by all.  The vendors enjoyed brisk business and Mary Jane bought some delightful punch hooked things. I don’t see Mary Jane often so it is wonderful to spend and entire day with her.

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This is the only thing I purchased yesterday.

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 I have been looking for one for over a year.  It was a reasonable price and this is what I wanted it for.  A drawer full of pot holders is not convenient when you need one right away.

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I am so blessed to have wonderful children who each have helped me along this path of life I have chosen.  Thank you Cindy, David and Betty and their spouses for supporting me and helping me.I am ever so grateful.

Thanks Woolen Memories for holding such a wonderful event.  Its a big undertaking and you do it flawlessly year after year.

Thank you for reading my blog today, I hope you enjoy the day.  Carole





THE NEW HENS-PROJECTS REVISITED-PLANTING THE GARLIC

29 09 2015

GREETINGS

The huge harvest moon lit up the sky Sunday night and the eclipse was a sight to behold.  Cooler weather will be arriving with burst of color in the trees.  Rain is coming in for the next few days and we certainly do need it.

THE NEW HENS

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The three hens seem to be doing quite well.  Before the end of October everyone will be in the barn.  And in December most of the gals will be laying again.  I am getting two or three eggs a day now and just a few months ago I was getting 8 or 9

Eddie is quite happy with the new arrivals

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REVISITING OLD PROJECTS

Keeping this farm going is a full-time job.  I just don’t have the time to keep up with old projects.  Here are a few of the projects that I want to get finished and will be working on them this fall.

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I love this Camp Wool rug of Nubble Light.  I want to finish it this year.  I would hate to say how long I have been working on this rug.  Taking it out and doing the rocks, then its put away then doing the grassy areas and put away etc etc etc.  Its been a hard rug for me as I didn’t want it to look like all the other rugs in this pattern.  I wanted it to look real and after taking a class at Deanne’s in Nova Scotia I was able to get the look I wanted in the rocks, sea, and grassy areas. I have used all kinds of material, from handspun yarn and roving from my sheep to special wool material picked up here and there.  The pin is something my Mom used to wear and I will put it in the sea when I am done.  The puffin flying is Cindy’s favorite bird.    I have to get this done as I have two more rugs to make for David and Betty.  As my friend Deb said its just a weekend’s work.  Will keep you posted on the progress.

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This rug pattern I got many years ago too.  I started it and then put it away. Didn’t like the look of the straight lines mixed in with the lettering.   I am not a straight line person. I think I will rip out everything but the lettering.  I do love the chicken and cat and will do the area around the lettering in cream and white.  Drawing little circles to the design which will add depth to it.  I may change the middle to include a sheep or two!

Rug Hooking is so much fun and as you gain  experience your hooking changes..  I love hooking with yarn, I think you can be more creative with it and am so grateful to Deanne for showing the world  how creative one can be with hooking.  I have come to a place in my hooking where I am mostly satisfied with what I do.  Most times its very different than others do but I never was one to follow rules!

PLANTING THE GARLIC

Usually I plant the garlic late when its cold.  Yesterday was a beautiful, warm day so the garlic got planted..  Today I will mulch it.   Last year I just didn’t get around to it and I was very sorry.  I love having my own garlic and not having to worry about adding it to my grocery list.  Organic garlic is around $5.00 for 4 bulbs.  Planting garlic cost me $.85 per bulb.   Each bulb had at least  10 cloves on it so I come out way ahead even it only half of them survive.  I hope to get a few more bulbs..

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I have a little more room in the hill garden since the work was done in back so more things can be planted in the spring.  I am getting my raspberry patch ready for plants that my friend Joan is giving me .  My two apple trees have survived all the work that has been done on the house and I hope to have a grape arbour put up in two places next spring.

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Bird watching

Bird watching

Hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole





RUG HOOKING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE-EGGS-WAULKING WOOL IN SCOTLAND TODAY

25 07 2015

GREETINGS

Less humidity and a slight breeze is making these days summer perfect. 

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Driving through Vermont at any time of the year is wonderful but I especially love it in the summer.  Everything lush green, so many wonderful old farms. Lebanon New Hampshire is just a little over an hour and a half from my house. I take back roads till I get to Brattleboro then a highway route 91 to Lebanon.  Even the highway has some majestic scenery.  It was great to see old friends and meet new ones

Louise with her latest rug

Louise with her latest rug

Deb with her latest rug

Deb with her latest rug

CATNIP

DRIED CATNIP

DRIED CATNIP

Pattie gave me two large feedbags full of catnip.  I left them in the car.  On a few summer days they were dry.  ANd another benefit , catnip has a calming effect on people so my errand runs were less stressful!

THE NEW HEN

I love the shape of this egg

I love the shape of this egg

She has settled in and has laid an egg for the past two days.  To me that is an indicator that she feels comfortable..  I understand from Charlie that Morticia dug a hole and visited.  I am giving them more time to get use to each other, then hopefully they will get along.

WHAT IS GOING ON IN SCOTLAND TODAY-WAULKING THE WOOL

Sgioba Luaidh Inbhirchluaidh's photo.

it would be wonderful to be there, to sing the old songs and be a part of it.

Waulking is a finishing process of the wool tweed. It is usually done by a group of woman pounding the cloth rhythmically The process was timed by song not minutes or hours.  For more detailed information please look up Thistle and Broom online. 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AenBnjKhPPo
Have a listen to one of the songs.
At this time of year there is a wonderful wool festival going on in Scotland, I am enjoying it via facebook. and you can to, here is the link.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this wonderful summer day, I hope you enjoyed my traveling to New Hampshire and Scotland. Carole