Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Two Table Tuesday

Like Tongue Out Tuesday, but with tables...and, yeah, it's just barely still Tuesday.  It's a fun title though, so I'll type fast :-).  

When you live in a small house and a small wool house, space is always at a premium.  I've been stacking balancing stuff on the back beam of my big loom for years.  It occurred to me that it would be very useful if I could turn that into an actual table.

The "table" rests on the back beam and hooks onto a loop of mop cord (another weaving tool that's not getting used as much as it should around here :-/) attached to the bar at the top.  When I want to use the loom, I just need to unhook the back loops and remove the board.  Pretty clever if I say so myself :-).

The weaving sheep look very interested in the yarn cones.  I need to do a post showing the before and after yarn the next time I'm skeining and washing.  Everyone who's seen the unwashed yarn compared to the finished yarn is amazed.  It is pretty wild.

The other new pretty darn clever table is in the spare bedroom at the not quite as woolly house.  I wanted a way to spread out and package orders without having to carry all the shipping supplies into the dining room, making a huge mess.

Putting a board on some hinges off the shelf was pretty do-able, but setting legs underneath it was problematic and I wasn't super jazzed about having chains holding up each side.  In the process of propping up the table to set the hinges, Tim noticed the quilt rack was the exact height to support the table.  

And when I'm done I just slide all my shipping supplies back on the shelf, remover the quilt rack and drop the board.  How about that!

It's two minutes until Wednesday, so I'm going to table this and go to bed :-D.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

An Amazing Afternoon

Three years ago I attended a library presentation by RAPTOR, Inc., a bird of prey rescue, rehabilitation and education center outside Cincinnati, Ohio.  The program was fabulous and I've been interested in the organization ever since.  After trying unsuccessfully to make one of their open house days, I finally scheduled a private "behind the scenes" tour.  It was outstanding.

After a short introductory talk, we headed out back and they brought out Scarlet, a Red-Tailed Hawk, and shared her story.


After rehabilitating from a fractured wing as best she could, she's been working in the education program for around 15 years.  All the permanent residents at the center are there because they are unable to survive in the wild.

We were then taken around all the bird enclosures and told about each bird as an individual and as a species.  They also discussed the different styles of housing and perches and how they accommodate injured birds who aren't able to fly up to standard perches or boxes. 

Great Horned Owl - The Tiger of the Sky - look for the ear tufts.

Barred Owl - their eyes are different - almost sleepy looking.

A partial albino, also known as Leucistic, Red-Tailed Hawk

Apparently this can happen with other birds as well.  I believe my dad said he's seen a leucistic Cardinal.

This is where my photo tour ends.  I took pictures in the beginning, but ended up getting distracted by all the beautiful birds and interesting information and asking endless questions... We also saw a Bald Eagle, a Turkey Vulture, two Eastern Screech Owls and another Great Horned Owl.  You can see and read about them on their ambassador page.

We weren't able to go into the actual flight enclosures (one is 140' long!) they use for rehabilitation and testing, but were shown the live camera feeds.  We then moved into an indoor classroom to meet Storm, a gorgeous and loudly opinionated barn owl who I wish I'd taken a video of...but didn't think about it until we were on the way home :-/.

Tim has seen a barn owl here twice this fall/winter, so we are now going to install a barn owl box in our barn.  The only other owl I hear around here is a Screech Owl.  I haven't seen one though since our visitor back in 2011 (good old blog :-).  I'm hoping as our "woods" continues to grow out back that more owls will find our farm welcoming. 

A big thing they talked about was dangers to these birds - one of the biggest being cars.  Apple cores around here get saved for Cheeto (her favorite treat...besides Cheetos ;-), but if you are tempted to toss yours out the car window, don't.  That draws in small rodents, right along the road, which in turn draws in birds of prey.  From now on my banana peels will be saved for a mid field toss once I get home.  Poisoned rodents is another huge danger.  

If you ever get the chance to visit RAPTOR, Inc. or attend one of their public events, do it.  And if you are not somewhat local, do a search for a similar organization in your area.  I wish I could remember exactly how many birds of prey RAPTOR, Inc. rescued and rehabilitated last year, but I know it was well into the hundreds.

These programs are incredibly important to the birds themselves and the people they educate and inspire.  We were thrilled to experience a small part and help support the work that they do.  It was an amazing afternoon.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Good Morning!

Everyone's in their spot.  Rocky at the gate, waiting for breakfast, Jared standing at the ready, Maisie and Cheeto, relaxing in the warm sun.  Cheeto is watching me carefully to see if it's time to get up for breakfast, though.  The chickens are scratching around in the straw, but mostly happy for the sunshine.  Three cold mornings.  We are all happy here :-).

Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Willard Pillow

Billy Belly has always loved sleeping on a pillow.  I thought it was just him, but in searching for that 2007 picture, I found quite a few of Emily, his momma, sleeping on her last lamb, Casper Belly.  I'm trying to remember who he used to sleep on before he moved to Easy Breezy...ah, it was Boudreaux!  That's right.  Good old blog :-).

He frequently snuggled up with Renny, even in the summer.  I'm glad he has B. Willard now.  If I had to pick a wool would definitely be Willard.  Good old B. Willard :-).

A sheep of (mostly) Impeccable Character ;-).

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Lamb Camp Legacy Yarn

After we got Baaxter back under control, I was able to get a couple really sweet pictures of the sheep with the new yarn.  

I always wonder how much they understand  I know they understand that getting sheared makes them feel a lot better, but do they know that what's in the basket is the wool from their backs?

Or their kids backs?  Rocky was very, very interested in the yarn.

Remember when I threw Rocky under the bus for being a spoiled sport about getting his picture taken?  Jared...  This is as close to the yarn as he'd get and it was just for a split (and blurry) second.

"Dudes, I don't know nothin'  about that yarn.  I'm just here for the ladies...and the cookies."

So this is the Lamb Camp....Legacy yarn.  It's a limited edition, small batch run, spun from some of the nicest lambs sired by Nistock Farm's Rocky and Jared when they were working over at Tring Farm, before they retired over here.

The yarn is a really versatile DK weight and I think it would be suitable for almost anything, except possibly socks...but I'm not a sock expert, so I could be wrong.  It's comfy and soft, but still has some texture and feels like actual wool.  I'll stop here before I say something disparaging about over processed merino... ;-).

Rocky and Jared are Cotswold crosses and the mommas are crosses of North Country Cheviots and Polypays and maybe a little Dorset, so the blend is a lovely mix of crimpy down type wool with a lovely longwool drape and luster.  I love the natural colors and the soft sheepy feel.  It really is beautiful.

Each washed skein measures 250 yards and the two grays weigh around 3.5 ounces and the white weighs almost 4 ounces, so it's on the heavier end of DK weight.  I can also wind off skeins without washing, for weavers.  Unwashed skeins are measured at 262 yards to account for shrinkage.

I've knit the three color sample and dyed and knit the Forest for the Trees hat.  I've also woven a dollhouse rug  with it for a friend.  I enjoyed each project and am very happy with this fun and useful yarn.  I'm also getting ready to start a small cable project, too, you know...for marketing purposes ;-).

Speaking of marketing, each skein is $18.  And it often goes without saying, but buying this yarn supports not just our farm and sheep, but also Tring Farm, who raised these legacy lambs, and Stonehedge Fiber Mill, who spun the yarn, and our sheep shearers, our veterinarians, our local feed mill,  our hay and straw producers...  (In case you were needing a way to justify breaking your New Year's Resolution to not buy more yarn ;-D.)

By the way (more marketing) there are still about a dozen Equinox Farm calendars and 4 Lamb Camp calendars left in case anyone is still needing a 2020 calendar!  We are no longer able to recycle paper here (do not get me started!) so I'd love to find them good homes.  Sale prices $10 (farm) and $8 (Lamb Camp).

As always, if you are interested in making a purchase, it's as simple as just sending me an email.  More details at our farm shop page :-).  Thanks!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Lamb Camp Legacy...The Outtakes

My plan was to do the official post for the new Lamb Camp Legacy yarn this evening, but the  photo outtakes were so funny I couldn't help posting them first.  For all you Baaxter fans... :-D.

I'd been walking around trying to take some nice pictures of the yarn and noticed the sheep were in the side field with a lovely sunset behind them.  I set the basket of yarn down in there thinking it would be nice if I could take a picture with Rocky and Jared in the background.  Rocky and Baaxter walked right up.

Baaxter in the lead.

I couldn't believe my luck and started shooting.

I moved over a bit to get out of the sun glare...

...and that's where things headed south.

"You sure you're supposed to eat that, son?"

"Yeah, I get to do whatever I want..."

...because I'm yarn worthy!  And I know my Auntie Reg will bail me out ;-)."

He ate the tag.  I tried to take it away from him, but all I could get back was the yarn.  Hope his Auntie Reg makes him something nice with it ;-D.

I'll post the "real" pictures tomorrow and if anyone would like to buy some really nice yarn with only a little bit of sheep spit on it...

Friday, January 3, 2020

My Magic Hat

My first finished item of 2020.  It's just the 3rd folks, so I'm really killing it so far!  Actually I basically finished it at the tail end of 2019 (better late than never) and just added six extra stitches yesterday ;-).

Why did I add six extra stitches yesterday?  Let me bring you up to speed...

If you look closely (click to biggify) at the top picture, you can see the two brown stitches now up in the tree.  I actually added two "owls"...a pair...and then decided I wanted three owls, so they are a small family.  And yes, I realize that I probably don't want a owl mixed up in a tree full of my favorite smaller birds, but these are kind owls and are only here "visiting" ;-).

Here's where things went a little...awkward.  Last night I had a dream that I was sitting on the end of the bed and the little blond chicken was sitting next to me (yes, in the house :-o) and outside the window were five new brownish-black chickens gathered together looking like they, too, would like to come in the there may be a glitch or two.

*     *     *     *    *

Project notes:

This is the Forest for the Trees hat by Mary Scott Huff.  

I used a partial skein of the new white Lamb Camp Legacy yarn and I dyed it using Jacquard acid dyes.  It's lovely :-).  I promise I will get the yarn posted soon.  It's posted!  

I noticed on the projects page that some folks had trouble with the hat being too short, so I added three extra rows...and if I make it again I will probably add three more somewhere.  I am hat challenged...or pointy headed.

I used duplicate stitches to add some cardinals, blue jays and owls and changed the top to brown to look like a pine cone :-).

It was a very fun knit and a beautiful hat.  I give it a thumbs up...and will now wait patiently for my owls to show up.  Owls...Not Chickens.

Thursday, January 2, 2020


We have big white sheep guardian dogs...and a big white Frankie guardian horse.  And I'm guessing Jared might be staying out there alone because of his horses nearby.  He could make a commercial as the most interesting sheep in the world.  

Lancelot was a little worried about the sheep and nearby cows when he first got here, but I think Frankie convinced him they were okay.  Frankie, who has been very nervous around tractors/ATV/The Unit has learned from Lancelot that they are okay as well.  They are a good match.

New puzzle :-)


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