Thursday, May 28, 2015


The old house that my husband’s ancestors built is being remodeled. We took some photos of the original post and beam underpinnings of the oldest part of the existing house.  The original dimensions seem to be around 20’ by 30’ with the longer side facing the road.  We have an old photo of the house, dating probably to the early 1900’s.

My husband’s great-great grandfather, Jonathan Hatton bought land in Lords Valley in 1853, shortly after arriving from England.  He later sent for the rest of his family and moved to the farm.  There is no way of knowing whether there was a log cabin they lived in first, but soon there was a large bank barn and the ox barn directly across from the house.  When we moved to the farm in 1980, both barns were still standing and housed our first livestock.
HOOPSKIRT for a cherry tree?  This is my craft project for the week. This is a bunch of nylon tulle attached to a hula hoop.

Several years ago we bought a Carmine Jewel cherry tree and this year it is loaded with fruit.  We bought a plastic owl, but I was so entranced with the idea of having cherries I wanted to do more to keep the birds from eating them.  The cherries are supposed to have a brix of between 14-17 - - not as sour as sour cherries.  They sound wonderful.  So now we just wait for them to ripen.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Winter's End in Sight

Winter was very long, but not unproductive, but that is the good part about winter.
We had several visits from beautiful foxes that I thought I had been hearing at night mostly during the summer, but never seen before this.

I got some paintings done and dyed some silk for a beautifulcowl

I have some more tussah dyed and drying for another one.  Before that I used some handspun that I had blended from Finn wool, tussah silk and kid mohair for a lovely shawl.  It looks nothing like the pattern photo, but that is because my yarn is heavier.

  Most of the amaryllis blossomed, but still waiting for a couple of them to blossom. 

It is almost time to start peppers and tomatoes.  I want to try a new cross between Brandwine and an Italian heirloom tomato.  Brandwine will get its usual place in the garden though.

We both loved the Diana Gabaldon Outlander books.  I even read most of them twice – not something I EVER do.  Now while waiting for her next book to come out we watched the first season (hopefully of many) Starz Outlander series and right away noticed the “time-traveling” knitted garments the characters are wearing, and had to make the Clair Capelet .  I unraveled a sweater that I had spun the yarn for in my early days of spinning.  The yarn was beginner-thick, but I am very pleased with the results just finished this week.  I changed the pattern some and see now some other changes I would have liked to have made - - if I could go back in time!

Monday, December 15, 2014


These are some of the presents we have been working on in the days before Christmas. 

I came up with the notion to make a Celtic knot trivet out of hard maple, but Fred wound up doing all the work to make it. 
I did do the painting of the adorable pup and made the Viking Chess Set (Hnefetafl). The pieces, except for the king who was made of polymer clay, are all flattened marbles that I got on ebay and work perfectly.

I spun this two ply yarn from Merino top and then dyed it with a 16 yard repeat by making tiny skein-lets as I wound it off the spinning wheel onto the winder.  It worked very well except that unwinding the skein-lets after they had been dyed was not much fun. The final result looks pretty though.

The party with our spinning, knitting and weaving friends was last Friday and I made this beet cake for them.  Friends brought many other delicious desserts besides – which is usually the case.  Bonnie says sometimes we have more desserts than participants, but … it’s a GOOD THING!

Anyway here is the recipe for the beet cake:

I C butter softened, 2 C sugar, 1 tbsp molasses, 1 tsp vanilla, ½ tsp orange flavoring if desired, ½ tsp salt, 3 eggs, 2 ½ C cooked mashed beets, 1 C raisins, 2 C flour, 1 ½ tbsp. baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ginger, ½ tsp allspice, ¼ tsp cloves.

Add spices and baking soda to flour and mix together.  Mix together butter and sugar, then eggs, then beets, molasses, raisins, flavorings and salt.  Stir in dry ingredients. Pour into silicone bundt mold.  Set on cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes to one hour in preheated 350 degree oven.

We had way more beets in the garden this year than carrots so instead of making carrot cake, I used beets.

Anyway the party was wonderful and made every one of us feel all warm and fuzzy, just like spinning a great fleece!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, September 08, 2014


Endless Mountains Fiber Festival held annually was the biggest and best ever.
There was a display of several unique sheep breeds including a black and white Shetland ram lamb who was the epitome of sheepy cuteness.  He seemed to know that he was absolutely gorgeous and pretty much posed for photos, never flinching at the flash and -  knowing how irresistible he was, -  encouraged much petting.

There were also handsome Gotland and Coopworths.

I shared a booth with Riverrim and decorated it with flowers from the garden.  Food was great and we had a great time and saw lots of old friends. Stillmeadow Finnsheep had the booth next to ours with lovely Finn fleece, beautiful shawls and felted bags.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Took time out yesterday from getting ready for EndlessMountains Fiber Festival to go pick blueberries in Herrick, PA.  Lovely drive and loads of blueberries.  Many thanks to Judy for the tip. We came home with about 17 quarts that are now in the freezer waiting for pie crust.

I finally found a better way to display the crochet hooks and doffer pins.  But now it's back to sanding and sanding and sanding weaving shuttles.

Monday, August 04, 2014


The last of the roses have bloomed - - this one climbed into the apple tree to escape the four legged horned predators. 

The Revolutionary War Reenactors put on a terrific show nearby recently.  They were here about three years ago, but I didn’t get to see the drills that time.  Washed out after checking out the suttlers.

July is past and we’re having the first ripe tomato in a salad at dinner tonight.
The black raspberries are finished and I have two gallons of seedless pulp and juice in the freezer ready to turn into jam. The black berries are just starting to ripen.
I put a quart of basil pesto in the freezer and want to process some parsley butter this week. I pulled the last of the Romano bush beans a couple of days ago.  Someone online had described an easy way to pick bush beans for folks with arthritis: pull up the whole plant and then in a comfortable seat on the porch, pick the beans off the plants.  Works great!
The broccoli has been amazing this year.  Still getting lots of it and am freezing that.  It’s time to start picking and pickling some beets and the summer squash just started bearing.

Some friends and I spent an afternoon dyeing wool and yarn.  I had a skein of fingering – wool and silk and one of dk weight orange and tan-colored- that I wanted to overdye.  The wool and silk one is in shades of blue and I don’t know what you would call the other skein, but I am happy with it.  I dyed very small sections of the pre-soaked and then wrung out skein using Jacquard dyes applied drop by drop with a syringe and was very pleased with the results. 

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Remodeled Craft Room

My husband insulated and sheet-rocked my craft room and put in this terrific washing station.  I love the glass tile. My supplies still need to be organized better and some stuff discarded. But that may have to wait until after Endless Mountains Fiber Festival.  I’ll be there with Riverrim.

Unfortunately I think I have become allergic to rose pollen so this was about as close as I got to the ones in the back garden. 

The wisteria on the arch over the garden gate had to go because it was making terroristic threats towards our home.  Tendrils kept reaching out or sneaking along underground towards the corner of the house.  Now I need to find a harmless vine that is gorgeous and never needs trimming or cutting back - - hah!

I haven’t done anything very exciting with fiber lately except for this faux fibery concoction.