Sunday, October 30, 2011


It had been a warmer than usual October - - up until now. Luckily the snow here was fluffy enough to fall off trees and didn't cause power outages as it did to the south of us.
The snow built up on cold surfaces, but there were only about four to six inches accumulated where it was on the ground. The chickens were not amused. They took one look outside and decided to stay in today.

It is a good day to wash fleeces and catch up with indoor chores.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Yesterday I picked broccoli and will get the kale and parsley today. We cleaned the barn and in a few days we are supposed to have our first snow.

We found a tiny kitten in the barn, hungry and grateful for food. Then his mom came and got him back. He is very adventurous and must have followed her and maybe fallen asleep or been playing in a little corner when it was time to go home. Fred found where the litter was living and got the kitten back plus his little sister for company. If they stay this time, we will get them spayed and neutered and keep them.

The sheep are all shorn and I washed and dyed most of their fleece. The blue is a blend of Jacquard Acid dye colors including spruce, turquoise and sky blue. The warm shades are russet (which to me seems more like salmon), brown and vermillion. The Finnsheep roving was carded by Pufpaff’s fiber mill in Michigan. The roving is for sale for $3.50 per ounce or $24 for 8 ounces plus shipping. There is only one pound left of the blue roving. There is over two pounds of the warm colored roving.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Rhinebeck was great as always. We drive up I-87 and while the colors weren’t as bright as some years, there is nothing that can take away from the impressive Catskills or the Hudson River.

Right away we ran into Mardi, Nufflebutt on Ravelry. As we left building A, alpacas and llamas were marching past. We had a nice visited with the Harrisons. Rose is Colbertnation on Ravelry. We waved “hi” to Jesh through the thick crowd around Holiday Yarns. We glimpsed Trish and caught up with Brigitta and Patti, - who took fourth place in the spindling competition -, right at the end of the sheep to shawl competition. There were tons of people there. Lisa, aka Tsock Tsarina had her own big booth this year and was delighted with how things were going. We didn’t get to talk with her for long because she was busy already first thing Sunday morning.

It seemed to us there were more vendors, more food booths, more of everything. I took photos of gorgeous things that impressed me, but only the wonderful hooked rug dog turned out. This was the first year the Finnsheep Breeders Association had an exhibit in the breed barn.

I watched the parade of sheep breeds for a while. Then with sore feet and happy hearts we headed home.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


The scratching and rototilling chickens evicted the foxgloves from the garden and the plants took refuge in the wall. I haven’t the heart to remove them, at least until after they bloom.
Cooler weather is here. I am still holding out hopes for a patch of radishes that self-seeded in the garden. Some are nearly ready to pick.

Monday, October 10, 2011


We have not yet had a frost which is very nice. In other years there has been snow - not on the ground, but flying through the air this time of year. The geese aren't taking any chances and they have been flying.

I harvested the carrots and made carrot cake.

The sheep have been shorn and their wool washed and dyed and it's ready to send out for carding.

Saturday, October 01, 2011


Last week when the girls came here for the afternoon, we dyed with onion skins that Greta had collected from the bottom of the supermarket bin. We used vinegar as a mordant and most of us got a warm orangey-tan color.

This week we used one ounce of alum to a gallon of water to premordant the wool and got a slightly stronger orangey color. We also steeped goldenrod flowers to release the dye and got lovely lemon yellows. Debbie dyed cotton as well as wool and Cyndy dyed some silk. Cyndy dipped some of her goldenrod dyed fiber into the onion skin pot and got variations between the colors.

A very nice surprise was the pleasant fragrance of the goldenrod-dyed wool - - herbal, almost citrusey.

I have been shearing my sheep and washing and dyeing their wool with Jacquard Acid dyes, ready to send out for carding and here are some of the results.