Sunday, November 26, 2006

A Brooke Sighting

Ah-ha! I have been discovered - LOL!

Yes Brooke (or should I say Sock-ret Sleuth?) you have figured me out! Did the clues help? I went to the barn this morning to snap a photo of my sheep Brooke, to tease you with:

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If she looks a little disdainful, it is because I had no sheep cookies (also known as Vanilla Wafers) for her. She hates to come running, only to find there are no sheep cookies....she tells me so by turning away like this, then looking over her shoulder in disgust. This is quickly forgotten when she hears the rustle of the cookie box!

This is fun!!! And, now I can order sock yarn from you without trying to remain a secret ;D

Do you think we will be looked down on by other secret Sock-ret folks??? I don't think so, it is a pretty cool group!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Braided Rug Fun

What fun! Last weekend, I got the chance to get away for a few days...spend some time with my best friend Cherie and another dear friend Mary (Hey! We were Cherie, Mary and Cary - we rhymed!) AND do fibery things! We went to a 2-day Workshop with Letty Klein to learn to braid wool roving into rugs (well, we actually made a chair pad in class)

I really went just because Cherie and I have both been so busy that we rarely get to visit any more. An excess of roving to be braided into rugs is not a problem for me...I rarely, RARELY have roving available from my fleeces so if I have it on hand I have purchased it to spin. But this was fun, and I was quickly taken by the beauty of the rugs. I've always loved braided Great-Grandma made them, my Mom and Grannie had them and I often thought I would learn to make them (even have books on the traditional way), but Letty's process is even better...another way to make use of the marvelous natural product our sheep produce!

If you haven't heard of Letty Klein and Anne Brown's book "The Shepherd's Rug", visit Letty's site, Pine Lane Farm Karakuls to read more about it (and see great photos of some of their rugs)

I won't go into detail about the process of making the rug (you must buy the book or take the workshop - LOL!) but it was a fun time, very easy to learn and worthwhile, I thought.

Here are some photos of my in progress chair pad (including ALL of the supplies Letty included in the workshop for us to make the pads):

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Here is a closer look:

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If you ever have a chance to take this workshop, I HIGHLY recommend it!

But we had more fun than just this over the weekend! Wonderful food, great company - the best! - and yarn shop hopping! We shopped at the sweetest little yarn store outside Kalamazoo, called Handweavers. No website or I would share it with you, but it was a wonderful place with two of the friendliest young women running it that day! I bought (no surprise here...) yarn and patterns! The next morning we joined forces with two other friends who were taking the workshop and headed out across country to my dear, dear friend and sheep mentor Rita Walters at Mar-Rita Farms. Rita has a shop on her farm, The Wool Room, that they recently expanded and WOW ... does she ever have some GREAT new yarns! She was just unpacking some when we arrived. I left there with (you guessed it) some of that yarn, some sock yarn, patterns and Corriedale roving ;) We also visited the Corriedale sheep and fed them cookies. Its nice to see some of those old girls who are the mothers and grandmothers of my own flock! Two of my friends left there with fleeces of their own.

It really was a good time, and I came home relaxed and also recharged. Its always good to get away for a time and expose yourself to other creative and like minded people. I'm grateful to Cherie for inviting me to go along and to Cherie's dear Mom, Jean, who put us up overnight in her beautiful lakeside home. It was wonderful to travel with Mary and get to know her better (what a neat lady she is!) We got to meet some other new fiber friends, visit with old fiber friends and just generally have a really good time!

We are thinking of making this an annual get-away ;D

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Some New Things

I have had a longing for color since my recent dyeing workshop with Nancy from Woven Art in Lansing. Working with my own yarns, here is what I came up with this past week. I call this yarn "Bittersweet and Goldenrod" (not for sale):

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And this delicious Corriedale lamb and English Angora bunny blend yarn, grey, overdyed in our Serenity Farms colors (teals, blues, turquoise). I thought laying the yarn out on the frosty Lambs Ears in my garden, with the sun just peeking up, was pretty. This yarn has already sold. I will try to make more soon:

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Not just yarn but roving, freshly returned from Spinderella's, my friends in Utah who do such an amazing job in processing, especially these smaller finer blends for me. Corriedale, Alpaca, Mohair and Silk combine to create SILVER SAGE MOON (below) This is so incredibly ethereal, a photo does not do it justice. I can't stop looking at this one, it just shimmers!

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HONEY SPUN GINGER (below) is a blend of Shetland lamb and dyed silks. This was a very, very pale fawn fleece - almost cream colored. The silk is sunny yellow, seashell pink and palest peach. You can't see the highlights of color from the silk very well in this photo, but it is there - it shines and glows as it flows through your fingers to the spinning wheel:

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Not shown here is the intensely deep and mysterious Corriedale, black Alpaca and dyed silk, haven't even decided on a name for that one yet! about MIDNIGHT TAPESTRY? The colors of the silk is very rich, velvety tones that add so much depth to the roving. And it just doesn't photograph at all well, but I will keep trying. It is raining and gloomy here today, I might be able to get a decent picture.

You can see more of these fibers at our web site Serenity Farms, where they are offered for sale in very limited quantities.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sock Swaps Update

I am far behind in updating about some of the Sock or Sock Yarn Swaps I am in. A naggling cold keeps threatening to sideline me, hard as I try to resist it ;(

So here, though a few days late, are some delicious goodies I have received in the mail this past week!

First, that sneaky (and very dear) Pamela strikes again! These little treats arrived on seperate days, giving me more than one smile:

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Heirloom pepper seeds, teasel seeds (from your garden Pamela?) and one of those adorable little Lantern Moon sheepy tape measures everyone is blogging about! It is much cuter in person than in photos, and actually reminds me of one of the little black lambs in my own flock - Charm! See for yourself, below is a picture of Charm the real sheep:

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I love squeezing the tummy on the little sheep (tape measure, not Charm!) and the tape reels in! hohoho!

Next, all the way from Oregon, my Hot Sox Swap goodies from Carrie!

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Knit Picks Sock "Parade"; two internet patterns with a lace theme (I had mentioned I love lace as much as socks!); some Tuscany Orange Spice tea AND (not pictured) the most amazingly yummy jam - blackberry I think? Ohhhhh, so good on toasted English Muffins! And that tea? How did I NOT know about this tea before? Here I was, scratchy sore throat and irritating cough to accompany my cold - along in the mail comes all of these things and this tea is perfect! Spicey, even a bit "peppery" to keep me going these past few head cold laden days...truly an inspired choice, Carrie, thank you thank you so much! My box of sock goodies is on its way to Oregon to Carrie, hopefully with no cold germs inside...

I received a soothingly beautiful ecard from my Sockret Pal to let me know that she is thinking of was so pretty! AND I sent another package to my own Sockret Pal that seems to have been right on target, judging from her website - woohoo! (I can't believe I am still managing to remain a secret, I am so terrible at that)

In my own Feet To Prayers update, I sent a little something off to Eve AND am nearing the toe of her sock. My last shopping outing I scored big in the little gift department to go along with her socks - YIPEE ;) Our deadline for that swap will be here before we know it.

A new swap I am in is the Handspun Sock Yarn Swap. I have written twice to the person I am sending to, but haven't a reply yet. But I have been contacted by the person spinning FOR me and we have hit it right off...visiting back and forth! Turns out she was raised here in Michigan!

I THINK those are all of my updates for now - I know it is about all my little cold medicated head is good for. I'm glad we can't share germs just by reading the internet!