Tuesday, September 06, 2016

It's All About the Wool, the Yarn and the Farm

Hello again!

So I mentioned in my last post (way back four months ago) that I had something exciting to share with you all.  And it's taken me this long to prepare myself to share it...ah, life, you do have a way of throwing stumbling blocks and detours our way, don't you?  But here I am again and thrilled to be able to talk a bit about what we have to offer.  Can you guess from the photo what it might be?

Yes, it's yarn!

Farm yarn.  Our farm yarn.  Completely Michigan grown, nurtured and processed.  Small farm, small batch, heirloom quality Corriedale and Corriedale cross yarns.  All natural colors. Not just single breed yarn, but yarn from a single sheep (or two).  Woolen and worsted spun!  I can't tell you how excited I am to have this worsted spun yarn, it makes my heart and my fingers sing holding it in my knitting hands!  If you've never tried Corriedale wool, this is a delightful way to treat yourself.

I want to write a little bit more about each of the yarns individually, and the sheep who have provided the wool for them, but as we've been getting questions, I'll share quickly that these lovely skeins were spun at Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan Michigan.  Each one is a 3-ply, plump sport weight.  With names like "Dunbonnet", "Breath of Snow and Ashes" and "Gravel Road at Dark".  The moorit brown and the pale silver are both worsted spun yarns.  The charcoal gray is a squishy woolen spun.  There are approximately 250 yards each and if you are interested in having one of your own, the cost is $20 per skein.

I thought it would be fun to offer a sample pack.  Four Corriedale "skinnies" , junior sized skeins 50 yards each of the three foundation yarns plus one of our Corriedale~Alpaca blends (either the natural black "Murmurations" or crystal white "Wise-Woman") a total of 200 yards for $18.  

I can't tell you how proud I am of these yarns and how happy I am to have them.  As you can imagine, there's a lot of knitting going on around here!  For that reason, these have a very limited availability.  If you're interested, I'd love for you to have some for yourself!  We accept Paypal, personal check or money order for payment.  I'm happy to ship outside the United States.  Prices listed do not include shipping.  You can reach me at serenityfarmswool at yahoo dot com with any questions and I'll be happy to give you a total with shipping and make all of the arrangements.

Happy sheep, happy yarn.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fleeces and Fence Posts

 Well hello Blog!  It's been awhile...how've you been?  Have you forgotten me?  No?  I'm glad to hear that!

Fleeces and fence posts ~ so much I'd love to catch you up on, happenings and every day routine things.  But I guess my farm life right now is dominated by these two things, fleeces and fences.

Some of you know that we sold our remaining farm ground back at the end of December, first of January.  What we have remaining now at this place is ten acres.  Old fences, pasture barriers, needed to be moved.  Because I wanted to save and re-use some of the woven wire and the cedar posts, this meant a bit of work!  I don't have farm equipment - at least nothing like a tractor or skid steer, and the farm truck has some tire issues.   So it was with a bucket and fencing tool, a hammer and a pair of pliers that I went to work!

A bittersweet job.  So many thoughts running through my head.  The passage of time.  The loss of the land (not really a loss, I guess, a conscious choice, but still - no longer ours).  A change in our lifestyle.  And remembering, as I dismantle this fence, being in this same spot at a different time, putting the fence up with my Dad, who's no longer with us.  I think about pausing from our work to sit on the tail gate of his truck - my truck now - to drink a cup of coffee.  Working in silence.  Admiring his efficiency and strength.  Still missing him terribly every day.

There's something, though, that's satisfying with this kind of work.  It also tests your
End of day
patience and endurance.  When my father put up fence, he intended it to last.  To stand up to livestock and wildlife, and weather and time.  So taking it down was really no easy task. But then again, now that I think of it, probably easier to take down a nice, strong and straight fence than one that is laying in the weeds or buried in the tree line.  Anyway, I cried more than a few times in the course of this job, trying to remember things Dad said or how he did it. Mad at myself when I did things wrong, proud if I got it right.  A few mishaps sent me to the house, crying to my husband, bless his heart!  At the end of the day, tired and discouraged, I poured us both a cup of coffee and asked him to just let me cry and vent my frustrations, which he did.  Then he called the neighbor and asked if they would bring their truck and pick up my rolls of newly dismantled fences from the pasture and bring them to the barn.  They did and I felt better.  The neighbor who bought the property came with his tractor and he and Alex pulled up the wooden fence posts. Friend and neighbor Caren came and hauled away wire we could no longer use.  Alex and Mark rolled up the big wire for us, as best they could (have you ever wrestled with used woven wire?)  

I'm glad that work is done. 

Kimber, a nice charcoal grey Corriedale with well defined, traditional crimp 
So in that time, as lambing finished, we also got shearing done.  As always, I'm slow to get the skirting done.  I like to do it myself and I like to take my time.  So there are fleeces available, I'm slowly getting pictures and prices.  If you are a blog reader who has spoken to me about reserving a fleece, will you please email me again?  I lost a lot of saved emails, so please contact me at serenityfarmswool@yahoo.com if you are interested in Corriedale or Corriedale-Bond fleece this year.   

I also received a lovely, large shipment in the post right in the middle of all of this work and excitement ~ I can't wait to share with you what that's all about, but I think I'll just save that news for its own post!  Thank you for sticking with me! Do any of you have stories or memories of working on the farm with your Dad or husband or someone special to you?  I'd love to hear!

Edited to add:  Although we are down to ten acres here at this place, we still have the Round House and Burnham Barn and Woods, along with about eight acres of hay at the Burnham Farm ;)

Sunday, May 08, 2016

It's Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day ~ from Francie and one of her daughters, ewe lamb "Nan"

Monday, February 08, 2016

Knitting Blahs

I just haven't been enjoying any of my knitting projects lately.  It's making me sad, actually, and I hope it passes soon.

I have been doing a little bit of spinning ~

Friday, December 25, 2015

Advent-A-Long ~ Finale

And we come to the end of the Advent mitten knitting ~ well, save for the thumb on the second mitten!  Somehow, I managed to mix up the stripes towards the end (now how did I do that?!?) but its okay.  And they fit me, so I'm going to get to keep them for myself.

I adored doing this project, it made me happy the entire way and I'll have such special memories of each time I wear them.  I'm still working on one small gift knitting project that needs to be finished before Sunday, as well as a larger crochet project that's also a gift but in the meantime I want to pick up and finish the Outlander themed sock I began one year ago (can you believe it, it's taken me an entire year and I'm still only half way finished!)  Its a great pattern but a bit fiddly and in black yarn so it's not a carry along project.  Do you remember them, my Black Selkie socks? I know I'll love them when they're finished and I certainly don't want to wait till next Christmas to wear them.

  Merry Christmas to all and any who might be reading this ~ are you already dreaming of what to be knitting, spinning or crochet-ing in 2016? I'd love to hear!  In the coming days, we'll be separating the rams and ewes, the rams will go back to their bachelor quarters and after a few days of tussle they won't mind a bit.  We'll put coats back on them, do our best to keep hay and chaff out of the growing fleeces.  It's been a mild winter here but the fleeces seem very plush to me.

God's love and blessings to you, and if I haven't said it often enough I really appreciate each of you who takes time to read and especially to leave a note! Seems like so many are leaving blogs behind but its still my favorite way to connect.

P.S. To my friend Kate who reads the blog, if you see this post, would you email me Kate?  I've been wanting to ask you about something and know I don't have your email (or its probably changed, lol)  You can reach me at serenityfarmswool @ yahoo dot com Hope to hear from you!