Sunday, October 24, 2010


I first saw the Juncos on the 13th, we had snow mixed in with heavy rain on the 22nd, and I took these pictures at 8 am on the 25th. So, the Juncos either we early or we had a little snow on the 20th that I missed. Either way, winter is on its way. YEAH! That means I will be working inside on all of the wool that we've acquired and updating all of the blogs. Stayed tuned! TTFN.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The year of destash, 10 months later

No sense in waiting until the last minute to update the destash...Click on the title to go to the original post back in January. 

So...this is some of the original post and how far I got.

I resolve to clean out my wool closet by
A) carding all of the fleeces in there That didn't happen, but I did send 13 lambs fleeces and a whole lot of adult fleeces sent to Zeilinger's to be made into roving in the early spring. I sent more fleeces to 3 different mills this fall.
B) selling some of those washed fleeces (or at least parts of them), so watch the fleece pages  Sorry, been busy. Will try to get these posted for the winter.
C) spinning the batts or  I have been spinning some out of the closet. Need to sell more...
D) selling the batts, will also be on the fleece page.  same as b...

I resolve to clean the yarn out of the wool closet by
A) knitting lots of hats and mittens for upcoming festivals and farmer's markets  did this
B) selling stashed yarn, also on the fleece page  sold some
C) weaving up a batch of the chenille, and maybe some wool, on friend Sue's triangle loom.  haven't done this yet. Hoping to teach my sister to weave while she is here from Guam. (maybe)

This has been 10 months of busy, busy, busy. Now that the majority of my shows and all my farmer's markets are over I can be busy here on the farm. And with my sister and her husband here from Guam, I can forget the house and concentrate on the business. Stayed tuned!!!

(My sister and her husband are missionaries with Trans World Radio. Check out their blog! -my brother in law is to the far left. I plan on doing a post on them sometime soon.)


Saturday, October 16, 2010

My favorite sheep-Dorsets

The Romneys coming to see what I am doing

The following is possibly a lot more than you want to know about Dorset. But, read on. (o;
LOL. Human, you are funny!

'I am just a contended ewe'

Cornelius, w/2 Romneys and a show Dorset.

Hi there! Do you have something for me to eat?
If you can't tell from our pictures from previous posts, we love our Dorsets!! Both the polled and horned, but we are trying to concentrate on the horned. I absolutely love the easy mothering, the overall gentleness, and the fleeces that we get off our sheep. Personally, I prefer the looks of our production Dorsets that we bought from Fruitcake Farm in Grafton, NH. The show Dorsets are nice, give us good fleece and great lambs when bred to Cornelius, the production Dorset. They are just a lot taller and thinner than the production Dorsets.

I have spun some of our Horned Dorset roving and am pleased with the results. We have some available for sale now, and will have the adult for sale after the first of the year when it comes back from the processor. In the meantime, go to the fleece page and read my experience with this roving.
Fleeces and roving will be available on our fleece page soon. The staple length usually runs 2-4 1/2" and has a incredible crimp. (Merino-2 1/2-4", Corriedale-3 1/2-6") On the softness scale, we are just below a Merino and just above a Corriedale. Both of those breeds also have the same length staple. So, if you can spin either of those, you can spin Dorset. The biggest difference you get from a Dorset is the bounce . And they are great in socks as they are long wearing and they do not wet felt/shrink. But, they do needle-felt wonderfully!! 
Taken from-

About this particular fleece:

Dorset is a down breed of wool, and most of the down breeds I find great for needle felting. This wool is springy, usually has a short staple and is medium-fine with a tight crimp. It felts rapidly with needles and creates a fairly soft surface with no halo effect. Dorset is one of my most favorite wools, because it is an excellent fiber for needle felting either as a core fiber or as dyed cover wool.
DraigAthar's Etsy shop-

It is nice to hear that others like the Dorset for needlefelting!

Taken from 

'Horned Dorsets also produce a pure white, lightweight fleece, excellent for hand spinning, with ewes yielding 5 -7 pounds of wool per animal.  Grading quality is 56s/50s: short demi-lustre.'

Whereas our Romneys are also demi lustre but the micron is 30-37  and very soft to handle.

Demi-lustre Wool
Wool that has some luster but not enough to be classed as luster wool. Wool of this type is produced by the Romney and similar breeds. (But, Horned Dorsets are not the same as Romneys. Even though I love our Romneys as well.)  These sheep look a lot like our production sheep

And more things about wool than you may ever want to know. (The above came from this site)

Some websites about Dorsets- These sheep look like the show sheep that we bought 2 years ago These people also have sheep that look like ours, and they (like us) occasionally have stock for sale. If we do end up moving south, I will definitely be contacting them about adding more polled Dorsets to the farm. Here they tell you the difference between the true production Dorset and the show Dorset. The Australian version of our Horned Dorset.
And England-  I especially agree with this part-'The wool of both the Horn and Poll is of the highest quality, not only is it fine and densely grown but is particularly white which helps it find a ready market in times of plenty.'

Micron Count/Bradford Count-
                                      Micron         Bradford        Fineness
Corriedale                       26-33            58s-50s       Medium
Dorset Horn                    27-32            56s-50s       Medium       (Not that I necessarily agree with this)
Merino                            17-24            70s-60s          Fine A slightly different look at the counts and what they mean. She 'forgot' my Dorsets... Micron 26-32

  USDA Wool Grade 48’s-58’s                A huge spread in grade according to this site.

One of a few groups that we belong to-  This site is FULL of information.

Down Wools

These are short staple wools; therefore, they are not a good choice for beginning handspinners. The diameter size of down wools ranges from soft to medium. The soft fleeces are used for apparel like socks and fine fabrics. The medium range fleeces are suitable for knitted and woven outerwear, longwearing garments, and blankets.
  (Merino is also short stapled...)

Dorset, Cheviot, Shetland, Suffolk

• Fine to medium texture

• Spiral crimp

• Lofty, spongy, crisp

• 2 - 3 1/2 inches staple length

• Very resilient

• Difficult to spin for beginning handspinners

• Lacks luster, chalky

• Good shape retention

• Not well suited for felting (wet, but great for needlefelting)

• Wear resistant (makes excellent socks!)

• Spin medium-thick yarn  (I tend to spin fine and use ours in shawls & baby wear, as well as socks & sweaters)

• Blends well with long wool fiber, to add resilience 
(Just one person's opinion...not necessarily mine.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The juncos were 'littering' the ground last night when we went out to feed. Look for snow in one week. It won't necessarily stick/stay...but the Juncos are always here the week before in the fall and then show back up here one week before our last snow. I've always know them as Slate Colored, never dark eyed...

Wool Arts Tour pictures to come.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sometimes I hate Blogger!!

I like that Blogger has gone back to allow us to post more than one picture at a time, but I strongly dislike that I can not move my pictures to where I want them to be in the post. Sometimes when uploading you get that one picture that is out of sequence... and you used to be able to just drag it to where it belongs. Not anymore.

So, I apologize for the previous post that things aren't ordered necessarily the way I wanted them to be.


VT Sheep & Wool Festival

 WARNING!! Picture heavy post ahead!

We had a beautiful 2 days at the VT Sheep & Wool Festival!! Thank you to all of our customers and to all of our fellow vendors. Below are pictures of those vendors in our general area. And I got to meet 2 women that I had 'met' on the internet, and LOTS of people from Ravelry!  Most of these pictures are our end of the fairgrounds. There were vendors in a number of different buildings that we got to breeze through quickly and were not there long enough to take pictures. So, I apologize to those vendors who I left out!

Kathie & Walter Bryant

Zeilinger Wool Company

Bartlett Yarns

Stitchy women

See our tent at the end of the overhang?

Jerry with a customer
Ellen Porcari, Kathie Bryant & me
I met these women through Hand
Prepared Fibers @ Yahoo groups

in our tent

In Kathie's tent

Stitchy Women



Saturday, October 09, 2010

Wool Arts Tour

WooHoo!! I am getting ready to leave for the Wool Arts Tour. We will be vending again this year at Spinner Farm in Deering.

We will have LOTS of roving and raw fleeces for sale. Come early to get first pick!

I am also sending out more fleeces to be prepared into roving this weekend. Two different mills are getting wool this weekend and Zeilingers got wool last weekend. We will be full of roving in time for NH Sheep & Wool!

Stop by and say hello! Shop if you dare. (o;

I will post pictures of VT later when the internet cooperates longer than 15 minutes at a time.


Friday, October 01, 2010


It is absolutely pouring here and the wind is blowing like crazy!! Not only are the acorns bouncing off the metal roofs, but the branches are coming off the trees as well. The sheep are not let out of their barn yet, and may not be for quite a while yet.

I need to finish loading the van, but that can wait. Hopefully this stops before we head for Tunbridge this afternoon!!

From the Weather Bug-

ALERT 1 - Flash Flood Watch 
Issue Time: 2:57AM EDT, Friday Oct 1, 2010
Valid Until: 11:00AM EDT, Friday Oct 1, 2010
ALERT 2 - Non Precipitation Advisory 
Issue Time: 12:25AM EDT, Friday Oct 1, 2010
Valid Until: 10:00AM EDT, Friday Oct 1, 2010

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