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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





ROSEMARY-INSTAGRAM AN ACT OF KINDNESS-PINE HILL KNITTING-

20 01 2016

GREETINGS

These past few days have been frigid.  With wind gust from 30 to 40 miles per hour coming off the mountain, you can tell where the air leaks are in this old house!  The winds have died down and the temps will go up to 30 today.

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The sheep were toasty with their warm coats, some nice grain and  the barn to selter them.

ROSEMARY

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She finally laid her first egg and its a beauty.  Another Olive Egg Yea.  She is the white with brown hen.

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  She has fit in with the crowd and knows to stay away from Samantha and Rosie who are the bossiest of hens.  Anyone within a foot area of them gets a peck.  Wish I had a separate area for them.  But in life we all have to know how to stay clear of trouble Rosemary has learned that lesson.

INSTAGRAM

I have been on Instagram for some time now and thoroughly enjoy it.  It’s a chance to share ideas, view other countries see other people’s pets and children and learn so much.  Today while checking out new people to follow I came across something I want to share with you. A wonderful act of kindness.  A picture venue was set up with  a favorite, Beatrix Potter series laid out , a candle set on a sweet table.   The Woman wrote my Mother read these books to me as a child as  did her Mother to her.  And on her death-bed  I read them to her. This brought tears to my eyes as it did to many other readers.  Such a simple act  brought such comfort to her Mother.  I reminder to us all it’s the simple acts of kindness that mean so much to us.

PINE HILL KNITTING

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On most Saturday afternoons a group of knitters and other crafts people will be found at Pine Hill In Colrain.  A get together  of like-minded people to share their adventures in crafts and in life.  Nice crowd last Saturday.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this bright winters day.  Carole

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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

 





STURBIDGE VILLAGE AND HOW IT INSPIRED ME AND THEIR COOKIE RECIPE BOOKLET

8 01 2016

GREETINGS

Mild weather is coming but first some sleet and ice.  Its suppose to be in the 50’s on Sunday with heavy rains.  Hope it washes the snow away.  I am good now with snow for the winter!

COOK BOOKS

When my children were living at home we had a family membership to Old Sturbridge Village. A working village where you could see people of that time doing their normal day activities.  It was so educational and we loved it.  We went often.  I really felt at home and wish I could have worked there. I loved the Freeman Farm,

Freeman Farm is one of the popular living history exhibits at Old Sturbridge Village in New England

Picture taken with permission from the Old Sturbridge Website.  Freeman Farm

Freeman Farm was warm and inviting with chickens, a beautiful barn and sheep.  A spinning wheel in the parlor a herb garden  in the front and a huge Lilac bush on the side of the house,I could have moved in.

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At the end of our tour we always stopped at The Bakery which the kids would each get a huge home-made cookie and we would buy another bag to bring home.  I bought their small recipe booklet and have been making cookies from this book ever since.  

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If you ever want a wonderful place to visit that’s both educational and fun visit Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Mass.  It on my lists of fun things to do this summer.  I haven’t been there in years and think of  it often.  

I would never be in this place in my life if I hadn’t visited Sturbridge VIllage.  It inspired me to learn to spin and I have shared that love with hundreds of people.  You never know in this life what will inspire you and send you on a different path.  Thank you Sturbridge Village for inspiring me and sending me on this path of spinning, sheep the love of herbs, chickens and homespun crafts..

Below is an embroidery piece of “The Salt Box” house I did years ago.  I need to frame it again.

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

Sturbridge Village has a website which gives you information on the many activities and special events it also lists their normal hours. ww.osv.org  Check them out .





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