Fiber

Keeping My Ears Warm this Winter

So I’m outside at dawn each and every morning (farmers do not get snow days, rain days, weekends, holidays, or even sick days off) This winter has had some right cold mornings for this kid as those temperatures have plummeted to a wind chill of the high teens and 20s some days. Now I can bundle up pretty well, but whatever I did my ears were still cold. What is a girl to do? Well, first be thankful she is a fiber lover and has a stash.

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A few hours work and dilemma solved.

I remembered one day that I had some alpaca from Starry Knight that I had spun and was just sitting, waiting for the perfect job. I had at last found that perfect place for it. So I gathered up the skeins and then went looking for a headband pattern. Now I crochet and do not knit. And after perusing patterns decided that just thick and basic was the way to go. But being me, of course, I changed it and ended up crocheting a longer first row than the simple pattern suggested. You see, I wanted to be sure that it would cover my ears and do the job at hand. Then it was just a double crochet in the back loop along each row. After going so long, I decided that maybe I had made it too wide after all so then needed to decrease for the area at the back of the neck, at least. Now I may say that I crochet, that doesn’t mean I am a spectacular wonderful crocheter. I do some nice things but all in all I crochet like many things in my life. I call my method “By the Seat of My Pants”. So I didn’t go looking for proper way to decrease and then increase again, but I did my own thing. It all worked in the end and can I say, I haven’t had a single cold ear since. Actually, I have even had a sweaty forehead some mornings before I got back inside.

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What better way to show it off than with my other morning friend – tea.

So now with these cold mornings, I get a pot of tea going and under a cozy before heading out. When I get back inside I can take off my headband with my warm ears still intact and drink a warming cup of tea and then a second cup and then… Yep, tea is a great friend in this weather as well.

A problem solved without having to go to a store, spend money, and solved in a way that has worked so well. Nothing commercial could be as good. Well, except maybe that hat Mark bought at Housestead Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall that day that was so incredibly miserable, rainy, cold, windy, miserable. If anyone knows where it ended up in our move, we’d appreciate you letting us know. That aside, I’m a happy camper.

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Categories: Fiber, Spinning | Tags: | 1 Comment

A finished Apron

So last August I was able to attend the Stepping Back Accurately Civil War Era Ladies event in Washington, Arkansas. It was a new adventure for me that I didn’t know what I was getting into. All in all, it went well and the next time I go, I will be better prepared for what is happening.

But to this apron. One of our classes was the making of a Gathering Apron. Now you could take a sewing machine with you and all pertinences but being me, I didn’t want to go to that trouble and my machine is older and decrepit and in our last move was very mistreated by the movers. Wonder it actually still works, but it does. Sort of. Well, more than sort of, but her better days are well behind her.

I began my apron at the meeting by hand stitching the binding on the main panel of the apron. I will have to say that I was pretty pleased with how it came out.

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Binding to the apron

I even was even more happy with how the join I made with the binding looked. I would say it almost looks sewing machine sewn, but no it was just me.

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Join on binding

With such an auspicious start, you would think that the journey would have finished rapidly and well. Alas, should I admit that by the time I got home and things in the house, I spent a few months not even knowing where it ended up. Sad to say but true. Well, I did find it and what else I was missing, and finally this week got back to finishing it in the hopes it would help me to get on with another project. So it was time for the pockets.

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The poor pockets

This I did on the sewing machine. I took the perceived easy route. Well, for most people. That doesn’t mean it is for me. I still think they look like ruffles and the picture upside down, but this is as close as I came to the directions. Which I might add I thought I did pretty well on that point. Well, it would look a lot better if I had gone by what was back in 1860s Texas. You see the sewing machine didn’t make it here till after the war so no apron like this would have been made with one inside of Texas as far as we know. Now just maybe someone in Galveston got one before the war and brought it over from New Orleans, but then the story of Galveston and the war isn’t pretty, and I doubt they were using it at all – if it happened to be there.

But back to my apron. I did get the pocket on but don’t you dare look at the backside. Yes, the bobbin decided to rebel for a moment and though we were working again, I didn’t look at the previous sewing and well it does have those bunches of threads in an area. May cut them out yet and if it falls apart hand sew it back. I must admit though that I like the seams to be hidden and they show quite well. Or maybe not quite well if you aren’t looking for them. This is a bit of business in a plaid to be looking for matching color in thread.

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The waistband

After doing the quick easy way for the pockets, I decided to go back to the old way for me. There were two options for putting on the ties and waistband that included a major stressed point that one must realize the one way was faster and easier than the other. Well, it didn’t take two seconds to know I was going the slow and easier route for myself. I did use a machine on part of it. I sewed the two pieces together for the center and then folded it wrong side out and sewed up the ties on the two ends. Then turned it right side out and hand stitched the ends closed. Next was pinning it over the top of the waistband and sitting down with Time Team to sew tiny stitches on both sides to get it attached. I didn’t get the gathers all nicely spaced but it did go on and after ironing it again, I believe it doesn’t look half bad and would have looked worse with my sewn seams showing from the machine.

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The finished apron

So this day, I have finished the apron started last August. It really isn’t too badly done. Well, except for that sewing machine. So just remember that no matter if a project gets lost or well past the time most have theirs done or whatever excuse we can come up with, it is better to go ahead and finish it. Learn while your doing.

And now maybe I’ll get back to my BIG project that scares me.

Categories: Fiber, Sewing | Tags: | 1 Comment

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning

So it was 54F when I went out this morning. Oh such a wonderful feeling as this summer it has often already been in the 80s when I go out. The sun was just coming up and it was crystal clear. I do want to remember this one.

I posted before about a morning in October of last year. A few things have changed since then. The sun wasn’t quite as high yet for pictures and not as far south so it didn’t show as soon. Candy has had a few companions as we have fostered horses. She alas doesn’t care for the constant change so now has a companion that the odds of getting adopted are slim and none. Four of the heifers went to auction and one to freezer camp. Yep, we eat beef almost exclusively for meat here at home now. Mark is loving having a steak anytime he wants one. Lastly, there are now additions to the farm that weren’t here last year. So lets head out.

The temperatures this week have made the tank a sight to enjoy each morning.

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Early morning at the tank

Once I get what I need from the house the first order is to give the chickens their bit of feed. They will come running when their door opens. Despite the fact they free range all day and eat lots of bugs and plants, they do like their feed as well. So a little bit gets spread about ten birds.

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I have gone to just throwing their feed on the ground

Then it is head to the barn and give Candy and Poppy their feed. They get a special one each morning and afternoon that helps with growing old (for Poppy). They will be nearby and Candy will holler as soon as she knows I’m close. She does love her feed and will guard and steal what she can. Mark met, a couple weeks ago, the first gal to ever foster Candy back several years. She said she came in with a major food protection attitude. Tells a bit about where she came from and her old situation. We feed them in their new stalls out back of the barn. The gates stay open unless Candy is being testy and then the gates close till they are done. Candy did well today except that when I went to muck out Poppy’s side (why do they poop in there? They have a few acres to spread the wealth.) Both horses were in there together. Not the best situation for me to enter.

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Enjoying Breakfast. Candy on the left. Poppy the right.

Now the sheep were already grazing halfway up the rise to the upper paddock. That didn’t keep them from knowing I was about and down they came running. They love their alfalfa. We had an health issue with them. Not serious to most, but as you can see, Ruth was the one that had to make a vet visit. She even ended up overnight at the vet’s who thought she would probably be dead in the morning. Alas, they didn’t know what good blood she did have in her. She surprised them by morning and has been getting back on top of life ever since. Alas, if you have a sheep with ulcers over both eyes (part of her trouble), do you think it is easy to catch her now that she is feeling back on top of life and put cream in her eyes? Think again. Easy at first when she was slow and not able to see well. But I dare you to try and catch her now. She can even keep quite the vigilance while eating and can see the wires of the fence so doesn’t run into it any more. But, back to the flock, they do get alfalfa each day to help build them up more, and at this point they would probably kill for their alfalfa. So here they are waiting for mom to finish with the horses and get on to more important beings to feed.

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Tabby also waiting with her charges. Yes, Ruth is there looking worse for wear but doing quite well. The camelid look is compliments of loosing wool but still having a bunch on her rear.

Tabby took on a new roll this morning that mom likes. She didn’t allow chickens to come near the sheep or her feeding areas. No chickens allowed to share the wealth. I have shooed chickens away (they really like alfalfa and have been giving Tabby’s food a try as well. Omnivores they are.) But I doubt too many of them will challenge her as they do me. A flurry of feathers as they skedaddle through the fence to make a try for horse droppings instead. Hopefully soon, Mark is going to make a feed trough to make this chore a bit better for all concerned.

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Yummy! Scoop is on ground as I tried to catch Ruth, but no one’s sticking their finger in her eyes today if she can help it. I didn’t press the issue. Try again later.

Next Tabby has been waiting ever so patiently. She gets a bit of meat to go with her dog food each morning. Food is a great friend. She does go under the gate and visit the tank, so hence the dirty feet.

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Am I next?

I will have to admit to taking several sheep pictures at this point. Who wouldn’t but then I headed to the upper paddock and loved the view. The moon has been lovely the last few early mornings when getting Mark out the door. By this time it was sitting above the trees with the sun shining brightly on all. But then it was time to head over to the chicken coop and see about it. Fun! One of the Barred Rocks just laid an egg. Still warm. So took it in for breakfast. If you haven’t had an egg fried very over easy that is less than hours old. You haven’t lived. The yolk is ever so creamy. As in creamy goodness. As in never had anything like it before with an egg goodness. Nothing like the old things you get in the grocery store.

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Gift in the nesting box. Thank you!

So after going inside and feeding the dogs there, they always have to wait ever so patiently on everyone else to get fed first; it is my turn (I might add that I often have first breakfast and second breakfast in the mornings. This was actually second breakfast for me today.) That new fresh egg went in the skillet and oh was it good.

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Cook it on the bottom well and then flip to just harden up the whites on top a few seconds, and you will have creamy yolk heaven.

Now one must move on to other things. But what a way to start the day.

Categories: Bent Oak Farm, Fiber, Gulf Coast Native Sheep | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Lena’s Off the Loom

I finally have cut the material for the dress off the loom. Now, I will admit I was hoping for at least another foot woven, but alas and alack, this warp just decided to give up the ghost, and die on me, and I decided not to fight it any more let it rest in peace.

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Solution to increasingly bad tension

I had two inches of warp that decided all of a sudden that tension was for the birds and seemed to just totally loose it. So I tried many things before suddenly grabbing spools and tucking them under. Alas, I needed a bit more height and they wouldn’t stay stacked. so a bit of cloth wrapped around kept everyone where I wanted them and it worked. The far right was a minimal tension problem that got taken care of at the same time.

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Broken warp with the end in sight

So all was going well for, oh, how about two inches. Then I noticed a broken warp thread. In a pattern like this you just can’t throw it out and say, I will pretend I never noticed and pretend it never happened. So do I consider it done? The end is so close. Or try and fix it? I tried and fixed it, only to discover that there were two broken threads. So we fixed both – or should I say, I thought I fixed both. I went back to weaving. Wound a bit more blue on the bobbin and wove a bit more only to realize that the new warp threads weren’t being caught by the weft threads. I swear they came through perfectly. They should be exactly as they should. Oh well, so much for confidence. Obviously they weren’t right so what to do now?

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Cut off the loom

I finished off both shuttles which ran out at the same time and considered it done. The on loom length came to just four inches shy of 11 yards. Cry. I would have loved to have made those last four inches at least. But no more fighting this warp. So it is cut off and on the table downstairs now. I am going to be spending a bit of time now going over it to find what I can fix in problems. There are many that need a needle to help out. Despite my best efforts at wanting a perfect piece of cloth, that didn’t happen here and probably never will.

So for this project we are a step closer to the end. Albeit that end is still far in the distance.

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A Pretty Scarf

I did finally finish a scarf I started not too long ago. You see, my mother had a friend who gave her some spools of yarn. Yep, the kind fiber people like but what on earth was she going to do with them? So she held on till I visited her and gave them to me.

Now I loved the colors in this one and thought I would just play with it on my Zoom Loom and so started making a square. Not the easiest as this yarn (Which has a fancy name for its style, but not being one to use these types I don’t remember what it is.) has little loops off the sides of it which just are begging to get in the way. But then to compound that, I decided to weave them together into a scarf. I had played with this idea before, and have posts on it, but have never made an official good enough to use project with the method. So besides the little loops getting in the way, I was also trying to catch the loops of one while weaving the next. I can just be a glutton for punishment.

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The finished scarf

In the midst of creating, I needed a handmade gift for a friend, so decided that is what I needed to get me to finish it.  So I got a few more squares added and then promptly forgot to take it to give away. YIKES! How me is that? So, back home I added a another square (couldn’t decide how long to make it) and then sent it in the mail.

I will admit it is far from perfect as it was hard to keep tract of what was where. But in the end I loved the colors which are much more jewel-toned that show here on my computer. I did add a single crochet edging around it to help hold it all together so that it didn’t get pulled out of place somewhere. You can ask me how I know it can get pulled out of place?

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Three squares joined with crochet edge

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

A Tale of Two Towns

So this last week I have been between two towns that their names come from back east and from much more famous places. First lets look at the trip I took.

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Washington, Arkansas

Last week I went to Washington, Arkansas for the Stepping Back Accurately Women’s American Civil War re-enactors meeting. It was an interesting time to learn more about how people lived and dressed in the 1860s. And to meet ladies just as crazy as I am. It was held in an old 1914 School House that is in Washington. A town that time bypassed when they didn’t want the railroad, but it didn’t totally die either. It did, however, survive with many old houses and buildings and is now a state park as an historical town.

What would I find so interesting there? Of course ,many things, and I would love to go back and see more of the town. But one morning Peggy and I skipped the meeting and went on a tour. Our first stop was the Trimble house and after telling the docent we were with the group at the school and lovers of history; and that I was a weaver and Peggy a seamstress for the Alamo, he said he thought he could trust us and we got to leave the red runner and walk over to things to get a close up look. So what does a weaver spot ever so quickly? Three wonderful overshot coverlets.

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First coverlet

The first one I didn’t get a good shot of just it as it had a dress laying on it. But here it is in such beautiful perfection. I must admit to drooling over it. But on to another room.

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Second coverlet

Oh,  this one was a dream. It was wool and linen and woven in three panels which were sewn together. It was incredibly wonderful despite the fact that the panels didn’t all line up perfectly. The actual weaving was something to behold. I did actually get to touch this one quickly. The docent folded it just a bit back so we could see the back and then told me, I could lay it back right. What a pleasure! I probably took more care and less touch than most of the docents in getting to touch this gem. It so spoke to me in my language. It was quite stiff and rough to the touch. I would assume it is the drying out of the linen over so much time but maybe I’m wrong, and it is just the age and wool and linen get rough with it.

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Closeup where it does line up pretty well.

Then one more coverlet came into view in a cabinet. It was an eye catcher as the colors weren’t just the natural and green and blue that the other two were but was in a red/brown and rust.

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Third coverlet

This quilt though quite common in pattern (if I was near my books, I could look it up quickly, but I haven’t learned the pattern names though I can recognize so many and think I should know their names) to me was quite unusual in these colors. I just wished it wasn’t in the cabinet so I could get a better picture.

So had a great time in Washington, but was soon back in good Lexington. So what is happening here? Yes, I’m still weaving away on my Lena dress fabric. I have officially today crossed the 8 yard mark and have 4 more to go. Yippy! Two thirds of the way done. I do have several things that do keep it at a slower pace than it would be. Not the least being that the brake release has frayed, and so I have to get up and do both the front and back brakes separately. Must go to Ace and see if they would have what I need. Also, still dealing with some of those cantankerous warp threads but all in all it is going along and looking pretty good except for my left hand selvedge. Hard to accept that the handed side you are is the worse one. The right looks quite nice.

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8 yards headed on the cloth beam

I am happy to be this far along, albeit, I had hoped to have it all woven before Washington but, alas and alack, what can I say, it didn’t happen. But it is moving along.

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The big fat sections are loosing their girth.

So, I got to see some wonderful coverlets that make you wonder who wove them and their personal stories. And I have made more progress on my own weaving, albeit, not an overshot at this time, but I feel one coming on soon.

I tend to love those two shuttle patterns best. So now I am doing Color and Weave which I love and next it probably will be an overshot.

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Lena’s Dress Oh Dear, Me, Oh My!

Well, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since I started this project, and no it didn’t get as far as I had wished. After posting last, I looked at my beautiful warp and start and had the biggest groan. There on the right side was a white line so out of place it was glaring. Why didn’t I see it sooner. As in a lot sooner. As in from the very first.

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Wildly out of place white and blue warp threads

So do you cut your loses and start over? I did. I really hate not being able to make something work, but I guess pride does go before the fall as I thought after all it took to get started, I had done it well, and now looking me right in the eye, was this line that couldn’t be ignored. So yes, I took out the scissors and with great sadness cut the cloth off, fixed the warp threads, retied again, and started over. Not getting very far very quickly at all.

So we headed back to weaving again only to keep discovering little problems here and there. Even to the point of not cutting off again, this was a time eater, adding in threads and taking out and doing warp thread fixes to the already started cloth.

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More problem threads

Well, two more here fixed. Alas if you look closely at this cloth you will probably decide that there are other threads that could be fixed as well but we are leaving the rest. Nothing glaringly noticeable.

So we are weaving and we have just over 6 yards woven on a 12 yard warp. Sounds pretty good to be half done. Alas, again, I had wished to have it finished and wet finished by this weekend to take to an event this coming week to get advice on making the dress and getting it started. Alas, and alack. It will not be going though I am tempted to cut off where I am and do what I have. Alas, we all know that I will undoubtedly cut it right in the middle of the bodice or a sleeve and will be at a lose for fabric then. Alas and alack. Yes, this is an alas and alack sort of feeling.

But we must continue on and get it done. It is going better than the stumbling of the first yard that has quite a few problems in the weft, and that ever fussy left selvedge that always tells me I have a ways to go to be good at this. I did manage to start weaving better, the selvedge is better, and the cloth is looking better. I will still have some fixes to make when it is cut off but all in all I am much happier with it, and it will be wonderful when finished, and I can’t wait for the finished dress whether it takes me a decade to finish it.  –  Lord have mercy, I hope it doesn’t take a decade to finish it.

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The pattern of the fabric for the dress

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Lena’s Dress is on the Loom

For some time. Probably since I started weaving and saw the first picture. Found the first description. I have had a desire to create a dress that would be a copy of Lena Dancy Ledbetter’s that she spun, wove, sewed while 14 years of age during the American Civil War. I won’t have an exact copy to say the least but I am hoping for something that will be close. I have the skirt and bodice figured out but not the sleeves yet. But then that is getting ahead as we still have 12 yards of cloth to weave first.

It has been a bit of a trial to get it on the loom. Getting the yarn ordered and here. Then while dressing the loom realizing that I am very short on heddles. Yep. Confirmation this is my biggest project yet. So ordered more and loaded the shafts and continued on.

Today I finally finished threading the reed and started weaving.

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All dressed. Yes one problem found and fastest fix was to pull a thread and add a thread.

So we are ready to weave. How will it go? I’m hopeful with this warp and was so careful dressing the loom. Thankful that it seems that there was only the one problem. This is a Basket Weave as Lena called it, but today we call it Log Cabin pattern. So every other thread was a different color. But then I had to make that harder as I wanted the dark thread to bookend each square so the squares are 13 picks each. Same as Lena’s. So, somewhere I ended up with three dark blue together. Oh dear, such mustn’t be at all. So, checking and yes, there should have been a natural in the middle so just pulled the middle blue and added a natural. As this was found when threading the reed, I didn’t want to spend the extra time moving threads all the way to end to make it work out right without adding the thread. So here it is. Hope it doesn’t drive me bonkers but then I usually have something hanging off the back before completion so won’t be much different.

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Header woven

Excited to start and see if it was looking right. I had thread from my last project still in the shuttle so used that for the header. It spaced out quite easily and looked pretty good. So went and wound four bobbins with my natural and navy blue yarn. Just a side note. Lena’s dress was black and white. I just didn’t want to be exactly the same in color. Not that I don’t like black and white, as I do. But then I wanted it to not be quite so jarring so was going to do a grey and natural, but in the end, it ended up navy blue and natural. I think it will look rather nice.

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A start at 12 yards.

So yes there are a few things to see here. I do think this is my widest piece and at first had a bit of a time getting the wefts to be smooth. A few bits wrinkled up and poking out there. But the last three sets are looking good. It seems like I do need to go back and look at one line again. I noticed it before, but it looked like it was just illusion and it was right. But looking at the picture the same warp line is looking too distinct. Need to check that out again. After that, 12 yards of counting to 13 over and over and over and over and over again. I think this will take just some of my music to listen to and not stories.

But this isn’t the only fibery thing around here. Finally, was able to pick up my last Gulf Coast Native lamb. It is a ram that has the color gene and boy is he lovely.

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Jacob

I had already decided to name him Jacob as I had Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah. So he needed to be a Patriarch. I thought. Alas, the only one that thought sounded good as a name for a lamb was Jacob, so Jacob it was going to be. After I picked him, and they asked if I had a name for him, it dawned on me he was well named. What better for a colored sheep. Now his color shows strong in his face and legs but maybe it will move to the wool in bits with his offspring.

And I can’t end without a Sarah picture. She is growing so fast. No longer getting a bottle. Alas, she would like to argue that point. We sit and sing in the evenings together. My sweet baby that is already looking older than this picture but still such a sweet, white, child-like face compared to the rest of the flock.

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The sweetest of babies. Little Sarah.

Categories: Fiber, Gulf Coast Native Sheep, Weaving | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

CHT Conference 2017

Have you spent two years waiting for something and then suddenly it’s here and gone? That’s how I feel about the conference this past weekend. Two years of seeing the planning and helping in a small way, and it is all gone and past so quickly.

I think one of the fun things with a conference is seeing others responses. I watched as a new member realized we got goodie bags and what wonderful things came in them donated by vendors and guilds. Yes, these bags are worth a bit on their own.

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My goodie bag haul along with table favors and door prize

The last conference I took a picture with all my accumulations in one shot. Alas this year was a bit much for that. So above is some quite practical goodies along with some just wonderful creations with woven fabrics, felting, and dyeing. The bag of fiber is a silk and baby camel mix that I received as a door prize from Red Fish. I got their door prize at the Austin conference as well. Such lovely fiber they turn out. I talked with the gal and learned a bit about spinning this particular blend. It will be dreamy and will need a special project. I could say something about each item, but for space I won’t, but I do enjoy looking at all these items here.

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Class items and money spent

Now for the picture of what came home with me otherwise. I do highly recommend if you are a spinner or lover of touch, watch where you stick your hand. Now I like black and white and grey and seeing some fiber with such coloring, I went over and touched it. (Don’t you love an obsession that vendors want you to touch because … well follow on.) I stuck my hand in a tub full of wonderful softness. Touching clouds of silk and merino. Such loveliness that, yes, it didn’t take two seconds to look at the price and say, “I’ll take three ounces of that.” Then while waiting, yes, there was a tub of some brown lusciousness. Mistake again. I stuck my hand in it. It was Yak and silk. Lord have mercy (aren’t we thankful He is merciful), I added an ounce of that to my order. So have three new bags of wondrous spinning fiber when I didn’t mean to bring any home. As per weaving fiber, I also bought some more navy blue and natural cotton for a project that will need more.

Now I might add that I only used my egg money (plus some demonstration money) for any spending while at the conference. Don’t you love having chickens and people who will buy eggs and then you get to be old fashion and use your egg money to buy what you would love to have.

The color card and color-aid sheets were from a class that was great in the sense that, yes, I had heard a bit of it before, but actually messing with colors hands on was a revelation in many ways. I was amazed at what happened and want to actually do all the exercises over again. Great mind blowing day on Saturday. Also got to play with embroidery ideas for textiles on Friday. That was fun to experiment outside the box as I do quite stay in a box there. Many of us in the class had done needlework in our distant pasts and all agreed that dipping our fingers in again made us want to delve back in on our own created textiles.

Now if ever I wanted a raffle basket it was this year. Tall Pines was the guild I began my fiber journey in, and I have several friends there. We gathered at this conference and roomed together, ate together, gad-abouted together. It was great seeing them again. They put together a basket to dream about. It had a log cabin theme and was full of foods as well as log cabin woven textiles of different types. I wanted that basket. Alas, when the name was called it went to Jane. It stayed in the group but not to me. It was a bit disheartening. Alas afterwards as we were getting to see it all together, Jane shared the wealth as there were things in it she couldn’t eat or was gracious enough to share. So she gave me the three small cones of cotton as well as some whole wheat flour that missed the picture. The small log cabin bag was one she had woven for the basket so she gave it to me as well. I loved the way the pattern looked in it. I love log cabin and all of its various variations. Could you just weave it the rest of your life and never repeat a pattern?

Now I went this whole conference without taking pictures. Never thought to take a single one until after the fashion show, and I wanted a picture of us all together. So asked Marian if she would snap it and here we are after a wonderful day and evening. Thanks, Marian, for a great picture.

group

So here is the Friday to Sunday Tall Pines contingent who hung out together at the conference.

Categories: Fiber, Fiber Arts, Weaving | Tags: | 4 Comments

Bent Oak Flock

I have not reported to myself in awhile. Not that anything has not been happening around here. But the biggest news, I want to record here and remember. I am collecting Gulf Coast Native sheep. We are up to eleven now.

I wrote about James and John joining us here on the farm.They weren’t named yet and that took some time to find the right names, but a friend suggested the Apostles as a naming scheme and as the bottle babies were twins, I decided that James and John would work great. The day they arrived how tiny and helpless they were.

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James & John on the ride home. So tiny.

Then came the call of another orphan baby girl. Of course, we would jump in the truck and head to Bryan (an hour away) at 9pm on a Sunday night to pick her up. She was without a mother probably most of the day and didn’t have anything to eat. So warm bottle in the truck, we headed out and went and picked up my little precious one. My sweetheart. My heartbeat. My warm hug, My warm kiss. My …. In case, you can’t guess I love my Sarah. I named her Sarah in hopes that she will one day be the mother of a little nation of lambs.

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Sarah’s first night. She got to stay in the house as it as cold out.

Then I found two more boys to add the farm. Mark went to pick them up one day and brought them back getting home just after dark. They were not sure they were happy at all with a new home and new people. Especially, not being around people too much. But they soon made friends with James and John and since they came together they became Peter and Andrew.

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Peter, Andrew, James, and John

So we were up to five lambs and Mark was out checking on lambs ready to go to new homes. He was bitten by the bug. Now I was already in line to get more from where the orphans all came, but Mark decided we needed twelve. Who was I to argue? So not long after we were headed to another farm to pick out four girls to bring back. That was an adventure of running my hand through lots of wooly backs and picking the softest ones. Yes, my husband may be thinking leg of lamb sounds good but his wife though loving lamb as well was mainly thinking in terms of wool. So four more girls came home with us. They were named continuing on from Sarah to Isaac and Jacob’s wives. Then added Hannah in for good measure.

I might add that at this point, he also made a cage to fit in the back of the truck for hauling lambs and about anything else that will fit.

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Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and Hannah in back

Exciting we were up to nine lambs now. Then, it was finally a good day to go and pick up two more girls from the farm where I got the bottle babies from. So east we headed again and what lovely girls we picked up. They are the oldest of all we have as they were born in December so larger, more self assured, and just downright lovely to look upon. Alas though, this must be becoming too common as I do not have a first day picture of them. Why didn’t I?

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Naomi and Ruth. Really thought I had great pictures of them but must go try again.

So now there are eleven and one more to come. We have a ram reserved until he is weaned. Then one more trip to pick up a baby and we will be set … for now. They are so much fun. “They” say chickens are the gateway animal to a farm, and though I do love my chickens would affirm that statement, lambs are the heartbeat of my farm. I still love my eggs but oh, to sit out with lambs is a far greater joy.

I did just check and do not have a picture of all eleven together. Guess it is time to head out again with the camera. Aren’t we thankful for digital cameras today. I’d hate to know how much film I would be using up right now or how many awesome shots I would have missed by not just snapping all the time.

I am working on good pictures of each one for the sole purpose of learning their individual characteristics so that when someone asks who is who, I don’t have to check ear tags to remember. Not all have them have tags, but boy I am glad the ones that do have them. Thankfully, they are the ones that look the most alike.

Categories: Bent Oak Farm, Fiber, Gulf Coast Native Sheep | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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