Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 21, 2010


I can't hardly believe it has been 2 1/2 months since my last post! Being a stay at home mom certainly doesn't translate into being a lady of leisure. Now, more than ever, I have plenty of stuff to keep me busy. Downsizing our income has meant that some things require more time and labor, like hanging clothes on the line instead of throwing them in the dryer and cooking most everything from scratch. But, I sure am enjoying it! I get to come home in the morning after taking the kids to school and running my bus route and go out in the pastures with the livestock for a little while before I get the day's chores started. I also get to do laundry at 10 in the morning instead of 10 at night! And all those errands that would add up and take up the entire Saturday? Well, Saturdays get to be spent right here on the farm.

We have had a few additions here on the farm since my last post. We now have a Cotswold ram and some more Shetlands, Border Leicesters, and crosses between the two. Nancy Barnett of Barakel Farms in Alton, Missouri is managing to keep us well supplied. Her sheep are so lovely we just can't say "no", and I think she has figured this out! I will post pictures as soon as I can. We are deciding right now which ewes and rams we are going to breed next month - I can hardly wait for babies!

I have also been learning about natural dyes. I started with black walnuts (you should have seen our hands!) and used both the hulls and the leaves of the trees. The hulls made a rich chocolate brown dye and the leaves made a creamy light brown.

I also experimented with the spice, tumeric and got this deep yellow roving.

Mom picked some Hibiscus blossoms and I have some lichens in stewing right now creating more dyes. They take a while to develop the dye, so when I get done I will post some pictures.

I am also finishing up the processing of all the raw fleece that I ordered last year and from my own flock. It is very time consuming, but well worth the effort. I end up with the softest fiber that almost spins itself. There is Cotswold cross and Coopworth in the Etsy shop right now, with more here in my stash waiting to be worked up. We are also getting ready for the Arkansas Fiber Extravaganza at Mount Magazine State Park the first weekend in December.