Thanks so much to all who have entered! The comments are now closed and I'll be back very soon to announce the winner.
Kristin Nicholas is an exceptionally multi-talented and hard working person. She designs books and knitwear, paints the rooms in her house vibrant colors, sells Leyden Glen Farm lamb at the farmer's market, develops recipes, plants a garden and huge field of sunflowers every year. All of this (and more) while she's being wife, mother and assistant shepherd. Her color sense is so inspiring, she's even managed to nudge me out of my earthy colored comfort zone on occasion! I think she's a wonder woman!
Kristin has a brand new book out that is full of so many fun little projects, it's impossible to resist. 50 Sunflowers to Knit, Crochet & Felt has flowers, birds, bees, butterflies, lady bugs and more! It's all so clever and creative, I want to knit them all.
Now, the good news for you. I'm giving away a brand new, autographed copy of Kristin's book, 50 Sunflowers to Knit, Crochet & Felt along with a sampler pack of 20 balls of Color by Kristin wool+alpaca+mohair blend yarn from Classic Elite Yarns. The yarn is perfect for nearly every project in the book and the only way to describe it is luscious. The winner of this giveaway will have many, many hours of knitting fun ahead of them. All you need to do is leave a comment here and I'll have random.org select the lucky person next Tuesday, April 2 at 5 pm EST. Good luck everyone!!
Thursday, March 28, 2013
This picture is inside the studio, which is the only place the forsythia is blooming. I brought a few branches in a week ago and the buds opened up to present me with some springtime hope. I'm hanging on here and need all the hope I can get. I'm telling you, this weather is wearing me completely out!
|(Taken from my command post at the kitchen sink - through a not so clean window and the screen)|
So, a little note here about the dye workshop. It filled immediately and I've already received payment from all but two people. There is a waiting list and I'm happy to add anyone to it, but it's looking as though we are set for this go-round. This might be something I would consider hosting again at a later date (if Dagmar were up to it). There are also some other workshops I would love to host here at the farm. I'm going to think about that after this one is behind me. Thanks so much for the response to this first endeavor
Now for something fun. As anyone who read this blog knows, I am a big fan of Kristin Nicholas. Her bold and brave color sense is truly amazing (and she's a fellow shepherd!). Kristin has a brand new book out titled " 50 Sunflowers to Knit, Crochet and Felt" and I'm going to be offering an autographed copy (that would be personally autographed by Kristin - not me!) to the lucky winner. Plus, I've added a little something to sweeten the pot. Check back here before the weekend for all the details.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
|(My dye pot of madder extract)|
|(Two shades of purple logwood - naturally dyed)|
Event: Natural Dye Workshop taught by Dagmar Klos (author of "The Dyer's Companion")
Date: May 2-3-4, 2013 - 9 am to 4 pm each day
Location: Tanglewood Farm, 4565 Cummins Ferry, Versailles, KY 40383
Workshop Fee: $180, which includes all three days of instruction, plus refreshments and lunch.
There is a $15 materials fee that will include dye matter, sample skeins and printed
materials supplied by Dagmar. You will leave with approximately 75 sample skeins
of yarn that we will have dyed during the workshop.
You do not have to be experienced at dyeing to participate in this workshop. It is for beginners and for experienced dyers alike. This will be a wonderful opportunity to learn from someone who excels in the art of dyeing. There are limited spaces available for this workshop, so please don't delay if you are interested in joining us. Email me at - firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, March 18, 2013
|(Carson inspecting Miriam)|
Miriam cardi (Carrie Bostick Hoge pattern). I wrote about the inspiration for starting it quite a while ago , after visiting KnitWit yarn shop in Portland, Maine. The pattern is beautifully written, but I had to complicate it by not using a yarn that gave the gauge specified in the pattern. I wanted to use some of my own 2012 Sheep Dreams-Fresh from the Farm wool/alpaca blend, which knit up at 4.5 stitches per inch and the pattern called for 6.25 stitches per inch. Ugh! Math is not my favorite thing. Anyway, after cruising through the body, I got bogged down on the sleeve shaping and put it down for several months. Last week, I got over myself and plunged ahead. I have to say, I'm pleased with the end result. The yarn is a warm oatmeal color and I know I'm going to wear it a lot. I love the simplicity of this sweater. I added some length to the body and made the sleeves longer, which suits me better. Now I'm thinking I'd really like to have one in a dark natural color. I seem to be all about the natural colors these days.
|(I love garter stitch)|
It feels good to finally have a little knitting content on here. I've made a bunch of hats and cowls lately, but a sweater and a shawl feels like so much more of an accomplishment! I'm trying hard not to feel justified in casting on something new. It's back to the UFO pile for me.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
We had a rude awakening this morning to snow on the ground. Where it came from, I have no idea. I didn't watch the weather last night (which is unusual for me), but instead got straight into bed with a new copy of British Country Living magazine and drifted off to sleep soon afterwards. The poor naked sheep are wondering if the end of the world is nigh. It was 70 degrees on Sunday when they were shorn and there was quite a lot of frolicking about. Today I think they are doing laps around the pasture to try to stay warm! It actually isn't that cold, in fact, the snow is already melted away, but the wind is unpleasant and makes it feel much colder than it really is. The younger girls have been out and about and the older ones are content to stay in the deep bedded straw inside the barn and bellow for more hay every time they see me. I've heard that warmer temps are on the way and I hope green grass is not far behind.
Shearing went off without a hitch. Bill Haudenschield and Gavin McKerrow were here on Sunday morning, bright and early and by 2:00 o'clock we were all done and they were on their way to their next stop. Well, we were not completely done because I still had some fleeces to skirt and the barn to clean up. I finally got to the house just as it was getting dark. It's a wonderful feeling to have that task behind me for the year. I was totally worn out and was still dragging some on Monday. Hmmm, wonder if that's another sign I'm getting too old for this stuff?
Shearing did not reveal all I had hoped for in the way of lambs we could be expecting soon. It appears that Mr. Bates didn't quite get the job done. Several girls don't appear to be pregnant and the ones that probably are seem to be lagging behind schedule. I knew there was some risk of this because Mr. Bates was on the young side, but since I was only exposing six ewes to him, I thought he'd be able to manage it. Anyway, it will happen the way it's meant to happen, so I'm trying not to be too disappointed. Given the situation with my shoulder, less is probably better this year.
Shearing did reveal some pretty nice fleeces. Overall, I'm quite happy with the quality of the fleeces and the body condition of the sheep who grew them. I'm especially pleased with the fleeces from the ten ewe lambs I kept from last spring - the ones that are half Wensleydale. There are some beautiful, long, lustrous fleeces in the bunch and as soon as I can get a little time, I'll put up some photos (and maybe even do a little washing and sampling myself).
Friday, March 8, 2013
|(Notice the supervisor up there on the tractor?)|
|(This is not everyone - the others are at another feeder in this end of the barn)|
It's funny how just a matter of days can change my perspective on things. Two days ago, I found myself wondering what kind of masochistic person would continue to do what I do year after year. (Don't answer that, please.) Today the sun is out, the promise of spring is in the air and all that is forgotten!
I'll be back soon with some shearing day pictures and some idea of when this year's lamb crop will finally start showing up. I promise the lamb-cam is coming soon!