Monday, April 22, 2013

Blackberry winter

Every area seems to have its descriptors for weather. What exactly are the "dog days of summer?"

Here in the Ozarks, we have "Blackberry winter" every few years. That is the freeze that comes when the blackberries are blooming. This year's blackberry winter was mild, just a frosting on the tops of the hay stacks and the sheep shelters.
The blackberries from Leesa; elderberries from Melody C; day lilies from Linda W.;  and on around the garden are all fine. I love that my garden is growing into a passalong visit with my friends..

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lamb games

Lamb watching takes up a big part of chore time in the Spring. Laughing at Lamb-pedes as the lambs race up and around the hill while their mom's eat grain; watching the little cliques challenge each other; watching the new babies learn the ropes of lamb play.
This is one of the best reasons for having a farm. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Red mohair

The swirls in the dyepot as the colors blend
Lucious reds in mohair, drying on the porch
I rarely take custom orders or commissions any longer. I stress over them too much. I also tend to work on what I'm enjoying a the moment. Sometimes, I really want to weave rugs on the big loom, other times, I love the fiddly-fuss of weaving shawls and frequently I just want to sit at my wheels and spin (yarn).

But, I tell people, I will take suggestions and inspirations. Then, when they check back with me at Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour, or Christmas Showcase or look in the Common Threads etsy store or visit our Shearing Days Open House, maybe, just maybe, they'll find just what they've been looking for.

During our Shearing Days open house on March 31, someone mentioned that she'd been looking for a quality yarn for a Christmas project. She needed a red and white candy striped yarn. Well, that stuck in my mind. I'm spinning a super soft white lamb's wool fleece (Poncho's) on my Louie Wheel at work and I just sheared a very shiny, if not quite the softest white mohair from Tillie. Hmm, dye that red, spin the yarns, ply the two textures... gotta try it.

So, I cranked up the dyepot yesterday and did several versions of red, ranging from bright red-red to purpley-pink. Give it a few days to dry and I'll be spinning the red at home. In the meantime, I've just finished Lefty's lamb's wool fleece into 4 skeins of nice two ply Jacob wool yarn and I've started spinning Fritillary's divine cloudy mohair. It must be a Spring for spinning.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The sunny side of spring shepherding

Yesterday was a gorgeous bright spring day. The sky was intensely blue, the hills were soft spring green, the birds were chittering and the sheep were enjoying perfect weather.
We sheared the last of the yearlings and the last angora goat. The last lamb of the season was born healthy and easy.
A perfect day on Havencroft Farm.

Beautiful four-horned Hester's eyes are as blue as the spring sky.

Yearling Helen had this exquisite little ram lamb Sunday morning. He's the last lamb of 2013.

Nilly is enjoying the sun now that her winter coat is off.
Lucious mohair! We sheared the last of the angora goats this weekend. Gamma Rae's gun metal gray fleece inspired a felting project.