Category: Blog

Refinements and Repairs

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood- cool and sunny. About as nice as it gets for December in the PNW.

That haze is steam rising. Just a gorgeous scene- fresh and crisp. And still fairly green! I think that might change as this week progresses, though. Forecast is for cold and snow.

But we’re ready for it now that we’ve got a cool new hay shelf installed in the shed- courtesy of The Man.

Here is it with the front panel down for hay bale loading

And front panel up for secure storage

A significant improvement from storing hay over on the chicken side of the shed!

And in the repairs category- I spent some time today to giving one of my favorite old woolens some love. This old Bemidji Wool Mills shirt/jacket is my go-to top layer for a outdoor work in all but the most inclement weather, and so does take quite a beating. Frayed cuffs, missing buttons, etc.

First it got a sudsy handwash. Then I secured it’s fraying bits and replaced missing buttons with some cool antler ones I had in the stash.

A neat look I think! All spiffed up and ready for another year of chores 🙂

And.,,, registration just went live for the 2022 WSU Country Living Expo. It will be virtual again this year (spread out over three days – Jan 28, 29, 30), and I am going to be teaching a Basics of Wool Processing class on Sunday the 30th. First time teaching via Zoom- wish me luck!

There are Sheep in Florida

Or so I am told.

I didn’t actually meet any of these sheep, but I did find some new-to-me wools of southeast regional breeds that should be fun to test drive!

Neat, eh? That’s Gulf Coast Native and Florida Cracker Sheep wool (plus a bit of an undisclosed blend in a colorway I couldn’t resist). Was in town visiting family, and discovered there was a fiber mill right in the neighborhood! So couldn’t miss the opportunity for a field trip.

If you are ever in New Smyrna Beach, check out Pioneer Fiber Mill. Was cool to see what they have going on there- they have beautiful Belfast MiniMills equipment including a De-Veg-er ( I think maybe that is the fiber separator in the website) and a little retail corner in the mill with fiber and yarn.

Also was able to get almost three hats knit up in the travel to and fro.

These thick and cozy caps (and lots of other woolies) will be available next Sunday at the Alger Holiday Market

Have a good week!

Flying Needles

The Griff Twisted stitches vest is a wrap!

And here it is with the collar turned back-

And the armhole finishing detail

Only loose ends to be woven in, then it’s ready to wear. So excited about how the mods works out. 🙂

Was really a fun, satisfying knit too. One I could see doing again, maybe an Esther version?

And speaking of flying needles, did some planning this weekend for travel knitting. Arguably the most important bit of packing.

Enough to keep the hands busy for a week? We shall see—

Saturation

7.93 inches of rain so far this month. 2.39 of that today alone

I’m very thankful that the sheep and chickens have a comfy shed to hang out in. I went out and got some more straw this afternoon so they have fresh bedding. Everything gets mucky fast when it’s so wet out there.

Inside, I made some progress today on prep for my Expo zoom class. I shot a set of short videos documenting the washing of a batch of fleece. Hoping that The Man can help me edit it into a useful little demo for the class.

I’m really happy with how the Jacob fleece from down the road is washing up. Very soft and fluffy-

Next up, carding! hand carding, drum carding, flick carding. options abound—

And, I am excited to report that I just cast off the back of the Griff Traveling Stitches vest!

I think tiny Gus is kind of jealous. I might need to make one for him one as well. It would look super cute on him. 🙂

So now it’s time for blocking. Blocking and assembling, before I can work on the neckline. I am kind of anxious to see how my v-neck/shawl collar hybrid is going to play out. Looks like I’m doing ok on yarn yardage, so that’s a relief. Enough left for a nice substantial collar.

Alrighty folks. Hope you and yours are all staying dry and safe as the waters continue to rise.