Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Yarn Along - Iknitarod Dreams

As the first flakes started drifting down that afternoon, the upcoming Iknitarod immediately dinged into my head. I think because we get so little snow and for some awesome coincidence I have been able to thoroughly enjoy knitting in the snow (sometimes actually IN the snow) during both of my Iknitarod races, I now associate any snow with sled dogs and exciting knitting :-).


I hadn't planned on starting Maisie's yarn until February, after I'd finished spinning Hershey.  I couldn't help myself.  


"Yeah, I know that feeling!"


I knew Maisie was a little messy when I dropped her off at Ohio Valley Natural Fibers, but I didn't think she was that messy.  They usually do did* such a good job cleaning up after my messy sheep. Leave it to Maisie ;-).  "I have no idea how this stuff keeps happening to me!" (her mantra).


Some is not too bad...


Some is appalling (DON'T click to biggify :-o).  Oh Maisie... (my mantra)


But...she probably comes by her messiness naturally ;-).  There couldn't be a better mother/daughter picture.

Actually, I'm not too upset by this.  First of all, much of that will fly out when I two-ply.  Some more will come out when I wash the finished yarn.  I can pick out the rest if I want to...but I don't think I will.  That's part of Maisie, part of her story.  

The best gift is probably going to be that if the sweater is already messy, I won't be nervous about wearing a white sweater to the barn.  I'd stewed about trying to dye it a non-dirt showing color, but really wanted it to look like Maisie.  This sure will, and who says a barn sweater can't be pretty! Besides, wool washes quite well ;-).


Just a hint of snow left along the shade of the fence yesterday.  For now her buddy Hank is watching over her and I'm able to stay inside and spin. Hopefully she stays that "simple" for awhile ever. Please keep your hysterical laughter to yourself!


22 ounces of singles to go.

Reading/listening to another Mrs. Murphy mystery while I spin and I'm joining in with Ginny...

*      *       *       *       *

* So, about Ohio Valley...  I'm sure everyone's heard by now that they are closing.  Retiring and moving to Florida (away from snow???).  I've had quite a few concerned emails about what are we going to do now?

There are other mills in the US, but none really "in our area".  Another concern is how back logged they already are and now having to absorb OVNF's clients.  One good option for handspinners is to process our fleeces ourselves.

While a pretty intimidating option for 35 fleeces, it can be really enjoyable for a special fleece or two. There's really not much better to spin than beautiful freshly washed, hand combed top.  Which brings me to my second group of emails.  How do we do that?

Washing and processing a fleece at home is completely do-able with just a little patience and practice. There are plenty of on-line tutorials and even whole books written on the subject.  I have a pretty good set up here.  Would there be any interest in coming to the farm for a fleece processing workshop?

It would need to be a two day workshop so we could enjoyably cover skirting, washing, picking, hand carding, drum carding and combing.  We could probably do it in one really long day, but that doesn't seem too fun or allow for sheep hugging, cookie feeding or bathroom breaks ;-).

We have an excellent Bed and Breakfast nearby where several farm visitors have stayed and thoroughly enjoyed.  She can accommodate several guests at the end of February, which suits my schedule as well.  A Friday Saturday combo would work best.

Let me know what you think.  I'd be happy to set this up :-).



34 comments:

RuusVerd said...

I would definitely be interested in a workshop! My basement's starting to pile up with raw fleeces I'm too scared to wash. I've read all the online tutorials, but I learn much better by seeing demonstrations than by reading descriptions.

toastyyak said...

(dang it - google just ate my comment!! sigh)

Well, I'd be really interested! I was disappointed not to be able to make it down to Hug a Sheep day (long story, at least I got some IKEA meatballs in Cincinnati...). I like the idea of 2 days, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that the time that works for you fits my schedule :)
"Spicyfleece"

Susan said...

Me three! I've got everything I need to process my fleece(s) except the know-how! Plus, my sister will be moving in the area and can farm sit - yippee!

Shirley said...

Looking forward to the Maisie sweater. Hmmm, looks like you may have started a new business for yourself.

Dahle said...

I wish I lived closer and could come! Your farm looks amazing. What an experience!!

Natalie Buehler said...

I love your spinning, it looks amazing and so balanced :)
x

Fiona said...

With our land purchase...farm hunt in the works at the moment can I book a slot for the 2016 workshop! :)

Donna said...

I think that yarn will make a lovely sweater. I love how the little bits of hay will remind you of Maisy! Your spinning is lovely. I just got my Hansen a couple of weeks ago and I just love it. I wish I lived closer to attend a workshop. I think everyone should process their own fleece at least once. I typically send mine out but once in a while it's nice to do your own.

Jazz said...

Amazing photos, thanks for sharing!

Here's my WIP: http://mibruno.com/en-proceso-142/

snapshotsandwhatnots said...

wow I'm in awe - knitting a sweater from yarn spun from your own sheep - well it doesn't get much better than that does it!

Tracey ~ Clover said...

How I wish I could attend a class on how to wash fleece and then I wouldn't mind a class on spinning too. :) I have watched lots of videos on spinning, but I have a feeling it would make more sense if I had a live person to help me, no one around here spins.
PS-I love your top photo!

Tombstone Livestock said...

Too bad I'm too far away, sounds like you have a new venture coming up, you might even make room for a couple of campers or small RV's cause it sounds like your are going to have a big group.

Wol 'n Draad said...

Ohh, I really wish I lived closer to you now! I would love to have come and join this lovely wool processing sheep hugging party!
But alas, there's this huge pond separating us.....
Have al lovely time!
Love, Ineke

steph said...

what joy knitting your own sheep!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lori Skoog said...

You are really cookin' Miss Sara.

LL Farm said...

The workshop sounds interesting, though not doable for me.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Sounds like you got some takers, what a lovely workshop that would be! Learning from the ground up so to speak. If I lived closer I would love to come but I am 1,000 miles away. Your Maisie sweater will be beautiful and warm ! :)

Pam said...

Love the mother/daughter photo. Looks like you're a REAL farmer...

Sandra Morris said...

Oh ,messy sheep! I have two that just can't seem to keep their fleeces clean!
Glad you are enjoying Maisie's fleece-VM and all!

Auntie Reg said...

No body mentioned the cool slippers. Of I see Maisie' s sweater will not be a bulky knit. Could you call it a weedy stitch knit!

Tyche's Minder said...

I want to come! But can I come for only Saturday? Darn day job, farm job, and all that....

karen said...

how awesome to be spinning and working with your own sheep's wool :) I bet that is pure bliss!!

Tina Marie the Willow Witch said...

I am interested and willing to travel, but I am new to everything and this seems like the perfect place to start at the beginning. Would that be ok?

Susan Mckee-Nugent said...

I would say Maisie has a tweed fleece........yeah, how does that keep happening?? haha she is a 'treat'! Your yarn looks great and your workshop sounds super cuz it ain't brain surgery! I have always done my own (too many and too cheap :)
For those on the west coast there are several but one in my neighborhood who does fantastic work, pin drafting, spinning wool, whatever you want is: fibersfirst.weebly.com and Karen Goodson at fibersfirst@gmail.com 208-773-8384

sophy0075 said...

I would *love* to attend a fleece prep workshop, though I've scoured four fleeces now and not managed to felt any yet (yeah, four whole fleeces - big whoop. ;) )

Alas, mid-January through mid-April is a crazy time for me, because that's when I do seasonal work for an accounting firm. Perhaps one year you'll push the workshop into June, and we can spray each other with water while we scour?

Lisa Smith said...

I love your Haflingers . . . I have had them for years, both the clogs and the slippers. (Sorry, Auntie Reg, I did notice them right away, but didn't get my comment in yesterday. . . .) I think your Maisie sweater will be perfect with it's flecks of "character", just like Miss Maisie herself!

LannieK said...

Your singles are beautiful ~ a perfect representation of Miss Maisie :-)

MarmePurl said...

This just might work out for me...

thecrazysheeplady said...

It definitely does! Wish you could come out :-).

thecrazysheeplady said...

We actually do have a camper plug in at the Wool House :-D.

thecrazysheeplady said...

I think that would work okay :-D.

thecrazysheeplady said...

This would be a great place to start!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Actually, June would probably work too, but we'd all have to take a turn on the tractor and mow for awhile :-).

thecrazysheeplady said...

Please come - it will be fun :-D.

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