Category: Blog

Tale of two Fleeces

Though shearing is (still) not complete, I have started in on getting some of this year’s new wool washed up and processed.

I was originally thinking that most of Daphne’s fleece was felted, but was pleasantly surprised upon washing up a couple batches that it’s just kind of bound up, and should be mostly spinnable after a bit of hand-picking and teasing apart.

Her wool is a lovely range of grays, with sun-bleached curly tips. Longer locks in the rear, and some really long guard hair. Definitely a fleece with character. And softer than her two previous fleeces, so that’s interesting

I think this might be what I take to my knitting retreat at the end of the month to play with.

And while I’ve only gotten the rear-end wool off of Felix so far, I’ve already washed and carded that bit.

It’s totally different from Daphne’s, fine, but with a fairly short staple. Has some tender tips, but I’m getting a pretty good result spinning it fine (woollen, long draw) and chain plying it into a dk-weight yarn. Hopefully I’ll be able to get the rest of his fleece off him soon.

There’s just something about this ball of Felix yarn, with its swirl of windings and fuzzy smile that makes me want to grab some needles and crank out a swatch 🙂

Alrighty folks- have good week!

So Much Good Stuff

Just got back from the Alger Garden Swap. It’s always nice to visit with folks, and diversify the varieties I’m growing in the garden. Found homes for a lot of may extra starts (tomatoes, peppers, melons, cukes, eggplant), and came home with a wide selection of new-to-me things!

Black Cherry tomato Large Italian tomato Orange Paruche tomato Blush Tomato

Purple Cauliflower Zinnias (white and salmon colored) Strawberries Borage Tomatillo

Cayenne Peppers Chamomile Mammoth Sunflowers Poppy seed Mixed runner bean seeds

Also learned that there is a seed company up in Bellingham that I wasn’t previously aware of: Uprising Organics

Cool, eh?

Squashes are all planted out now with the potatoes in the new bed just east of the hoophouse.

Cukes are planted in the hoophouse, alongside some broccoli and peas that got an early start inside

And I just noticed that the peas are getting ready to bloom! so not long ’til we’ll have tasty sugar snap pods to munch on!

Melons are planted too, since they were starting to look crowded in their little pots.

And right next to them are staged the rest of the starts for this year’s garden- peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, celery, dill, fennel, okra.

Now that I’ve got 7 varieties of tomato going (with a swap planned for 2 more), I’m realizing that I probably can keep fewer of each than I originally thought. So I’ll probably need to re-home a few yet.

And in wool news, I got Dottie partly sheared last weekend, so she’s walking around with a mullet.

Hoping she’ll let me finish the job sometime soon, before she crubs up all that lovely fleece.

I also continue to play with color on the drum carder, and have a spin of the week for show and tell- actually two, but wrapped up together. It struck me as a kind of tropical combo.

Whew. I’m beat. Have a good week everyone-

Meet Joris!

Such a sweet little monster. Made up of various fingering/Dk weight partial skeins (natural color Griff, various dyed shades of Esther, plus leftovers from my green cabled sweater)

What do you think- does he need a tail? or no?

No more shearing done yet, but seedlings are coming along great. Really looking forward to the Alger Garden swap next weekend!

Fluff Management Continues

Caught up Daphne in the shed this afternoon and she became the next haircut candidate.

She can be a handful, as she’s always been a really physical gal, always wrestling with me over hoof trims, shearing, vaccinations. Today was no different. Started with hooves- and hers are a mess right now, so I’m sure that’s why she didn’t want any of it. But thankfully she settled down a bit once I got to shearing.

Here she is in a calm moment about halfway through

(just after that, she got all freaky and dragged the wool through the straw in the shed, of course)

And here she is with her fluff mostly managed

A little felty along the topline, but her side and chest wool is soooo sweet. Or will be, once I pick out all the bedding. Grrr. At least she’s off to a fresh start for the summer.

Meanwhile, in the hoophouse, a couple pretty new colorways are drying-

That’s Blood Orange on Esther + Violet Border Leicester on the left, and Deep Water on Esther + Purple (on Felix? maybe) on the right.

And I’ll send you out with a short clip of sheep peacefully grazing-

and a little visit with yellow chig

Have a good week everyone-