Saturday, August 30, 2008

VT Sheep & Wool Festival

is September 6 & 7, 2008. And that is where you will find us this next weekend. Hope to see you then!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

25th Annual Wool Arts Tour

The web site is now up. Check it out for information about the 25th Wool Arts Tour in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The sun is out!!

The sun is out and I have the day off!! So guess what I am doing? Other than sitting here at the computer updating the blog............ (o;
I am finally going through all the extra fleeces and skirting/reskirting, shaking, sorting and getting ready to wash. These fleeces will then be sent off to a mill to become yarn or roving.

We use our old heavy duty washer to wash fleeces. On the right is one of two cast iron tubs that we use to prewash the extremely dirty fleeces. We will soak the dirt out in the tub, and then bring in to spin out the water. We will then wash the fleece.
When I say wash, I don't mean that I use the wash cycles. I fill the washer with hot water and as much Orvus paste as I think the fleeces will need, and then I shut off the washing machine. I put 2 (or more) fleeces into the machine, shut the lid and walk away for about 40 minutes. I then come back and run the machine on spin cycle. Make sure NO cold water comes out at the beginning of the cycle before you do this. The best thing is to shut off the cold water. I take out the spun fleeces, and fill the washer back up with hot water. If it is an extremely dirty fleece, I will add more Orvus. (If it is an extremely greasy fleece, I will use Arm & Hammer laundry soap and a cup of ammonia to degrease the fleece, and then I will use Orvus in the next wash.) Soak the fleece for another 30 minutes and then spin out. Generally 1 wash and 1-2 rinses are plenty.
Lay the fleeces out in the sun, or near the wood stove in the winter, on screens and fluff as needed until dry.
I will then reshake the fleeces to make sure all the extra VM and second cuts are out before I put the fleeces away.
Just a few of the fleeces I have to make sure are skirted and shaken as much as possible to get out all the extra debris- second cuts, VM, shavings/straw. They will then get bagged up and will wait their turn in the washer.

The view from the basement door. (o;

The blue barrel holds a large bag which will be filled with the fleece from the skirting table. The bags then go into the garage or basement to wait their turn to be washed.

Horned Dorset in shavings bag, Suffolk in grain bags.

Romneys on tarp, llamas in bags and box. The llama will be processed here on the farm.

An unwashed fleece on the skirting table waiting to be picked and shaken, next to a screen full of washed and drying fleece. The Orvus does a good job of cleaning the wool.
So far I have 4 contractor bags full of washed fleece waiting to go to a mill to be processed.
The fleeces on the right are Jacob fleeces that I need to wash and have processed.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My newest project

Golden retriever. This dog's fur was a joy to spin. I just grabbed small handfuls from the bag and spun away. It was clean and had no scent that I could smell. I now have a large bag and will be spinning it and then knitting it into mittens for its owner.

Musterfield Farm

One of the things at Farm Days that has always fascinated me is Gina and her ability to take flax from a plant and through all the steps required make gorgeous linen fabric.

The links will take you to a story book telling of flax to thread. The pictures are from this Sunday at Musterfield.
Want to see a bunch of women get excited? Tell them there is fresh flax on its way.

This is the flax growing in one of Musterfield Farm's vegetable gardens.

Gina running flax through the hackles to remove the tow (less desirable) from the good.
Telling visitors to the farm about flax/linen.

I did not see her spinning this time, and therefore did not get any pictures.

New yarn

Our new sock yarn has arrived from Zeilingers Wool!! It is 70% wool and 30% mohair. I am in the process of skeining it up and putting the first batch in the dye pot. When I find the camera, I will take pictures of this and let you know the price per skein.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

2008 fleeces left for sale

We still have a number of fleeces left for sale. Their pictures and descriptions can been seen here-

I am destashing heavily this fall and will be posting on both the yarn blog and the fleece blog. I will let you know here when I update either.

Work is keeping me incredibly busy, so I am not able to post as much as I would like. But, I am off tomorrow and plan on updating the blogs.

Till then, have a great Sunday!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Matilda coats

Jerry & I are now dealers!! It only made sense that we would do this as we are so happy with the results that we get with our coats! We have coats in stock and will be ordering more (hopefully in time for the VT Sheep & Wool Festival).

Size / fabric Length Tag color Retail On hand
A 27.5" Blue $11.00 5
B 29.5" Green $12.00 5
C 33.5" Yellow $15.00 3
D 36" Red $ 16.00 8
E 40.5" Tan $18.00 12
F 45" Gray $20.00 0
G 47.5" Orange $22.00 0

With our Dorsets and Romneys, we start out with Yellow after shearing, Red in the summer, and Tan by fall through until the next shearing.
My Corriedale wether starts with Red and works his way up to Gray. He has worn Orange once.
My lambs get Blue as soon as they are big enough, and then work their way up the sizes as they grow.

If you would like to purchase coats from us, let me know the number, color and your zip code and I will get a total out to you. For those who would like more than we have in stock, I will get back to you as soon as I have the information for you.

New Hampshire Sheep & Wool growers website

Friday, August 01, 2008

I think this is the coolest recycling idea yet!

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