Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Did Say Yarn For Mittens...

I titled my last post "yarn for mittens" and then I only showed you the yarn!  Well, here's more of the story...

Yesterday my daughter and I planned to move some sheep - weanling ewe lambs that we aren't breeding this fall to a different pasture where they will spend the winter.  Two younger ewes and one older ewe need to go in with the ram (I didn't want them lambing so early next year, so have held off putting them in to be bred).  The weather did not cooperate ~

Rain, wind and ice is no kind of weather to be working the livestock and moving them from one location to another.  Especially when you need to be working around a breeding ram - even though we have good tempered rams, sometimes you have to be quick on your feet! 

This is Derek, a ram.  Nothing moves in the pasture near his girls that he misses!  See the apples on the ground?  The sheep love them ;)
 So, we put that plan on hold and hunkered down in the swirling storm.  I could have been cleaning house or something, but decided to work on mittens and sorting stash yarn and fibers instead (okay, I did cook and do dishes and numerous loads of laundry)  We didn't get the quantity of snow that our neighbors to the south did (Renee at Tail Spin Farm is only 20 miles south of us and she says they have about 8 inches!!!), probably only an inch here but it was very slippery.  And cold!  Cold enough that wool mittens are the best thing around and much needed. 

The first pair finished are already being put to good use as you can see!  Two little farm boys have put in their requests, and I'm also working on a pair of black ones for a big brother and a pair of lavender-pink for a bright eyed little girl.  I love knitting childrens mittens, they take no time at all.

Hmmm....I'm thinking some matching wool caps and socks might be in order, too.  You know, it's nearly impossible to find tall, warm, wool socks for children unless you make them yourself.  Something to fit inside chore boots and look like Grandpa's hunting socks....
Come to think of it, I could use some new chore mittens myself.  And Grandpa needs new socks, too.  Let that winter weather blow all it wants to, there is knitting to be done!!!  I guess we'll have to move the sheep another day ~ and we'll have wool socks and hats and mittens to do the job warmly ;)

Note: All of the mittens shown in this post were produced completely here at Serenity Farms from wool grown by our Corriedale sheep, then spun, dyed and knit by the shepherd (that would be me).  There is a special satisfaction in that, I must admit!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Yarn for mittens

A result of some of the yarn dyeing I did last week, posing for a picture on the Round House steps.  Spruce, Plum, Red and of course the white is natural.

I had fun having the dye pots out again, after long neglect!  Nothing fancy or involved, just single colors on white and overdyed on brown.  The wool is all from our Corriedale sheep, as you've probably guessed ;)

And best of all, knitting with these yarns has already begun!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's Always Something

First I wanted to say hello and Welcome to all of you who are new visitors to the farm (well, to the blog anyway!) who found us through Maple Valley Farms - it's great to have you here and I hope you can stay for a cup of coffee or tea and a visit with the sheep and the family ;) But I don't want to forget old friends and followers, too. Grab your mug out of the cupboard and let's catch up on farm news!  You're going to have to follow me around the kitchen and to the barn, though.  Life has been incredibly busy the past few weeks and shows no signs of slowing down.  In my dreams, I write incredibly lovely and poetic and informative blog posts about sheep and spinning and knitting and cooking here at Serenity Farms.  I share some of my daily visits with God and how He leads me through the day.  Yes, in my dreams....

Well, while its true I have my daily visits and He leads me - more often than not He is the parent and I am the toddler who continually veers off path, grabbing at every bright and shiny penny that comes along to distract me ;(  Sigh...does God ever tire of saying "No, no Cary, don't touch that - it's hot...It will burn you.... Don't run, you're going to fall down and hurt yourself...Come back over here and sit down for a minute"

Does that sound familiar to anyone else?  I'm sure it does.  And just when I think I have my days all planned out nice and neat, someone else's schedule changes and I'm at the mercy of it.  I think I have things settled in the house and something happens that alters the course of the day.  This morning I am feeling like that ship going up and down, and up and down, and up and down on the waves.

Dear God, I need that cup of coffee with You this morning...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Encouragement and endurance

The sunlight streaming across our yard as I prepared to leave for my friends farm
God says, in His Word (Hebrews 12:1-3 NLV) "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart"

I heard these words at church last week and it was like hearing them for the first time - they replayed in my head over and over again.  And one of the things that I kept thinking of is that sometimes we need encouragement and confirmation from others when we are trying to "run the race".  It has particularly been on my heart recently for other farm wives, mothers, grandmothers, daughters who sometimes face discouragement and opposition - especially those of us with small farms or farmsteads.  I've been praying about it a lot!

Yesterday, I was able to spend some wonderful fellowship time with just such a farm woman.  And even though we are fairly new friends, it seems like we have known each other forever in the things that we believe and love and care about.  I came away so refreshed and encouraged, I will treasure this memory for many days to come and hope we will have many more!

Thank you, my friend, for the joy of good food; gracious and energetic children; special farm animals and just the gift of our time spent together!  Yes, definitely you have to come this way next time ;)  Oh and tell the girls that next time I am your way, I am bringing my pitchfork (lol...I have my own personal pitchfork, a long ago engagement present from my dear husband!)

A recently finished shawl, handspun from our Corriedale wool, warm as a friends hug!