Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Back to the present

I've had my computer off most of the last few weeks.  It was great, I got a lot of things done both on the farm and in the 14th Century.  The only down side is the mountain of email waiting for my attention.  400+ emails waiting for me...sigh.  This is going to take a while.

I spent most of my week enjoying cooking in the kitchen.  It's wonderful.  A much slower pace of life - Tortoise work if you will.  You know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare?  Where the two critters have a race, the Hare starts out all fast and zippity, but quickly tires, whereas the Tortoise plods along, slow and stead, and unexpectedly (or expectedly if you've heard the story before) gets to the finish line first.  That is what life is like during our week in 1371.  There is always something to do, but nothing urgent.  Just keep on keeping on, until it's done and it's time to start the next task.

Speaking of Tortoise work, it's time to get back to those emails.

Tour de Fleece is coming up in the next day or two, so expect to see me around here a lot more this month.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Strawberry Moon

Strawberry Moon on Friday the 13th, 2014
Rising over the trees, breaking through the clouds.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

random pictures

A couple of random photos that I took this week.  I really like the shadow and light in the second one, a bandit sitting on tennyson.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Random animal pictures

 On the whole, I've been spending as little time on the internet as possible.  I feel frustrated by it, as it takes time away from doing actual things.  Sure it's great for instruction and information, but it takes too long to find anything anymore.  But anyway, here's some animal photos to let you know what's up on the farm these days.

geese getting nice and fat, ready for dinner
ram yearling wonders if they will try to eat his ear again

chickens dust bathing 

Abby, a Black Welsh Mountain x Southdown

And her wool
It's a real pity about her wool this year, it has a weak place in it about 2/3rds along, so that when you try to work with it, it makes little noils.

Sam, now called Larry, or when he's really in trouble Samwell Larry Spot, what have you gotten into this time?  But most of the time he's adorable and wants to eat green things - like garlic, or kale, or anything that is fenced off.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sam the Lamb

Newest member of our farm.

He's all tuckered out from his morning at church and coming to his new home.  I don't know why he went to church, but I am told he loved it and was very popular.

Cute little fellow, follows us around everywhere.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Animal photos because life is crazy but I don't want you to think I've forgotten you

Oh, and suddenly I have sheep

you already know my ram Asterix 

and his friend (ie punching bag) Jeff

These are my three new girls
(from back to front)
A-marry, A-minnie, and Annie
They are such a delight.  Very curious about everything.  The two at the back are pure breed Black Welsh Mountain, a heritage breed.

The Black Welsh Mountain sheep is one of those old breeds that is dying out.  There is thought to be less than 2,000 in North America and only about 10,000 left in the world.  To put this in perspective, it is estimated that there are 30,000 sheep on Vancouver Island alone - that's three times the world population of Black Welsh Mountain sheep.  I feel privileged to help preserve this friendly and playful breed.

Makes lovely yarn 

Monday, March 31, 2014

March like a lamb - mmm, lambswool... how lovely.

It's the end of March already.  That's three months of the year gone, poof, just like that.  It's amazing how fast time slips away as you get older.

This is the tail end of winter here.  There is still a chance of snow until mid May, but unlikely.  So on good weather days I've been outside, plodding away at the farm work.  There is always more farm work than a person has energy or time to complete.  It's all Tortious work, just keep working slow and steady at what needs doing, then maybe something will get done.  But, if you rush at it full speed like the Hair, things usually go wrong.

When the weather has been unpleasant, and all the outside chores are done for the day, I've been playing with yarn.   Mostly I've been spinning for sale.  I'm really excited about this yarn.  I picked up 4 pounds of fibre from the local fibre mill, these are all just extras she had leftover from the milling process - usually it goes to waste, but instead she carded them together for a random result.  I took this reclaimed fibre and made yarn.  I'm almost finished too.  Less than one pound left.  All this yarn is spun the same style and approximately the same thickness, so the skeins will make a great mix and match for weaving or maybe knitting a sweater.  I have a few of them for sale already, but the rest still need to be washed, blocked, measured, tagged and photographed - it turns out that crafting is just the easy bit of having an online store.  I'm not entirely certain if it is worth it as it gets fewer views per day than even my blog, but (shrug).  It's a fun experience.

Weaving wise, it took about two weeks to dress my loom with linen.  It's beautiful warp!  I'm not certain I want to weave it, in case I don't do the warp justice.  But if I don't weave it, then I can't weave the next things on my list.

This is my first proper experience weaving linen, and I'm not certain I choose the correct techniques.  Things are bound to go wrong, but that's how I learn.  If things go absolutely terrible, I'll cut it all off, and use it as weft for some saori weaving.

The goal of this thread is to become bread cloths.  That's cloths that I wrap homebaked bread in when it comes out of the oven... I find that bread lasts weeks longer when wrapped in cloth rather than plastic.  Linen longer than cotton.  There is also the alternative motive of learning to work with linen, as I'm very interested in working closely with the local Flax to Linen group this year.  I even have some special seeds and a bit of land put to one side to grow my own.

That leads me to other thing that's been in the forefront of my mind these last few months: what to wear.

cotton seeds, all sprouting
A lot of little things inspire me to reexamine the clothes I wear, like my sheep who make wool, the group of people are relearning old textile skills like the flax to linen group I mentioned earlier, the big collapse of the clothing factory a year ago... Anyway, still thinking what I can do about this in my own life.  Later next month is something called Fashion Revolution day, so I'm going to look more into this.  There are some amazing stores in town that focus on local textile artisans, and I'm curious to see if any of them get involved in this.