Fiber Arts Friday – My New Old Girl

What I’ve done today is exclusive to Fiber Arts Friday. Many of you who read my Blog have already met my “New Old Girl” but for those who have not, here she is:


IMG_1277

IMG_1278

I got her last weekend at the Fall Fiber Festival. She is a “Mystery Wheel” with no markings of any kind. We thought it was an Ashford but it doesn’t appear to be. Best guess, it’s around 50 or more years old, in very good condition..of course it needs work, which I have already started. On Sunday it was an effort to make it spin, now I’ve spun a half a bobbin and it’s moving like a dream. It would be nice to get an idea of its maker because it only had one bobbin with it and it could use a couple of smaller parts.

Now for those who do not already know, I paid $60.00 for her! I’m thinking that this will make a nice demonstration wheel in the future. I just love it.

For anyone who is interested in participating click here Fiber Arts Friday to join in.

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Fall Fiber Festival & Sheepdog Trials

Yesterday we decided a day off from everything was necessary for mental and physical health. We got up early, took care of the livestock and headed for Montpelier in Orange county, VA, to the Fall Fiber Festival & Sheepdog Trials.

What a beautiful day! We still can’t believe how clear the air was . It was a little cool when we left home but by the time we arrived, it was in the mid 70’s. An added benefit to the trip was the leaves are starting to turn. We took in everything – all 5 large tents with rows of vendors selling everything fiber – beautiful hand dyed silk and wool blend yarns and rovings – there was a lot of yarn. It seemed that the vendors choose to cater more to the hand worker than the spinner.

We passed by the outside tents and went over to the Livestock Exhibit tent. They had a good example of various different fiber producing animals – the Angora Rabbits, Llama and Alpaca were not represented very well in this exhibit but I later found more of them in the outside tents. After looking around we found our friends Magi & Jay from Magi’s Wood Farm, you know, where we just got our Icelandic’s from.

Magi & Me

Magi & Me

She was happy to see me because she had let a child play with her wheel and it wasn’t working. She’s been having a problem with it every since she got it but it was worse. Later in the day, hubby found the same wheel and discovered her problem is incorrect set up. Hopefully the pictures he took of the correct set up will fix her problem.

Hubby wanted to take in the sheep shearing demos and I really did want to check out those outside tens, so I left him. My first stop was the Fleece Sale tent. Lot’s of beauties in there.  I found a CVM Sheep fleece that was really beautiful – when I looked at the price, I came very close to passing out – 2.2 lbs./$102.00. Needless to say that didn’t come home with me.

As I walked by the outside tents – something caught my eye – A spinning wheel! It looked to be very much like an Ashford Traditional but then again..it didn’t. I’m not going to tell you the price yet. This wheel had suffered a child assult on Saturday and it was broken. I got a handful of roving and a chair and set out to fix this cool little wheel. Whatever this child had done to it, I don’t know but it would not spin at all. Hubby came to find me and got involved in the fixing process. An hour later, I walked away with a fixed $60.00 spinning wheel! It is a mystery wheel though. I’ve added a photo, maybe one of you may have an idea about who made it. It does need work but it will spin yarn.

The New Old Wheel

The New Old Wheel

Armed with mystery wheel, we set out for food and Sheepdog Trials. I was a bit disappointed in the food options. In years past there has been lamb chili and fruit plates. Not so this year, so we got a heavy BBQ, set up our chairs and became spectators. The dog trials were great! We stayed to the end and we got lots of photos.

At The Pen - Look real hard..see the green on her shoulder? It's a Parrot!

At The Pen - Look real hard..see the green on her shoulder? It's a Parrot!

Trial Shot

Trial Shot

Trial Shot

Trial Shot

"Nice Job"

"Nice Job"

This lady works without a crook or a whistle..she's amazing!

This lady works without a crook or a whistle..she's amazing!

"The Shed"

"The Shed"

"The Pen"

"The Pen"

It’s so enjoyable watching a dog work..they take their job seriously. I am so happy we have 7 Border Collies of our own to work with.

We left the event feeling invigorated and hungry. In the town of Orange we went to a restaurant called the Silk Mill Grille. As you may have guessed from the name, it is an old Silk Mill and the place is decorated much of the old salvaged accessories and processing equipment. Had a great meal and we were home by 7:00.

I have a lot of readers that know very little about this side of my life – they know me for the goats and goats milk products. You see fiber and fiber arts is my true passion. Any opportunity I get to do a day like this, I will put all else aside to do it. My only regret – Didn’t go both days!

I’m going to add an events page to my Blog so everyone might have an opportunity to see and possibly attend what’s going on the rest of 2009. Some I will be a vendor..some I will just visit.

Parting comments and a little rant! Please, if you bring your children to events like the Fall Fiber Festival, try to pay attention to what they are doing. One of the wheels that was messed up yesterday is a several thousand dollar wheel. We want everyone to come to these events..especially children, they are the ones who will keep this going in the future but vendors and demonstrators put their life into this and it shouldn’t be destroyed by an adults carelessness of not watching their child. At this event, I saw big pulls of rovings run off with, a driveband ripped right off a spinning wheel, Angora bunnies being plucked through the sides of their cage by uncontrolled little fingers, hand crafted wooden knitting needles being used as swords and a grape snow cone dropped on a beautiful silk scarf. Please bring your children and please be good, aware parents! Rant is done.

Have a wonderful day!

Another Giveaway In The Near Future

Well, I have found now that I just need to give more time when I do the next Giveaway. Lucky for my two winners but a lot of our customers and friends want more Giveaways so they can get their names in the hat to win Goats Milk Soap and more. This week, I will announce another Giveaway so keep your eyes open for it. I will also make sure there are pictures of the product too! I love the emails I’ve gotten after the fact and have encouraged everyone to hold their comments until the next one. I like doing this because there are many people who have never used goats milk products and it’s a great way for them to try and see what they think. Not all contests will be for goats milk products though, we will also have fiber related contest too. So keep an eye out.

Over this past weekend I pulled out the dye pot and started my annual creations in color. Apparently, the new colors I’ve come up with are very desirable because one of my friends was here and she bought everything I had done. Guess what? I forgot to take pictures and she’s on her way back to Japan. As soon as she gets home, I will get her to photograph the yarns so I can post them for everyone to see. At least I wrote down the dyes I used so I can duplicate. See, when I say I’ve been crazy busy, I mean it.

Today, it’s soap making day. My girls (goats) are still giving me lots of milk so I’m not only making for sale now but stock piling for the Holiday season. Last year we rocked over the holiday buying season. If current sales are any indication, we will be rocking in double time this year. Bring it on!

Have a great day!

Time On The Move

I can’t believe that it’s the middle of August. Time has just gotten away from me and I suppose that’s the case with everyone. It seems as though it was just yesterday that I announced our Spring Fiber CSA and as of today, word from the Mill is all of the fiber should be spun into yarn and ready to ship by the end of the week. It seems as though they wanted to get the really large orders out as soon as possible..my good and our shareholders good. All of the Roving is ready for shipping now and should go out Friday.

So many people have emailed me asking if we have any plans for a Fall CSA. As of right now, no. I am trying very hard to get all of the soap and lotion orders caught up before the Holiday season gets here and I’m not sure that I’ve got it in me to set up another CSA for the Fall. The only thing that makes me want to say yes, is all of the fiber I still have here at the farm. It would be nice to move it out of the loft before next Spring. We are working on another idea though for Fall that I will discuss more in upcoming blogs. It’s a little different but I think that the concept might be well received. Keep checking back to find out more.

As of last count, I have moved over 300 bars of soap out of here since the 1st and that’s what I am doing today..making soap. It’s amazing how well this side of the farm business is doing. We just shipped a very large order to Italy yesterday and I am working on a pretty good size order to deliver tomorrow locally. Breeze Hill Farm is becoming a household name in the states and abroad. Can’t beat that, eh?

I wish I could say that our Co-op sales were this good but they aren’t. I don’t know what is going on but each week sales are consistently going down to the point that this week we’ve sold less than $100.  of product. We love this Co-op and the other producers and members but it gets a bit costly to travel close to 100 miles to deliver so little. Maybe everyone is concentrating on final vacations and school starting. Don’t know but I miss my customers! Our products in a “food” Co-op have been fairly hard to sell anyway. Try as we may, we just can’t seem to get the point across that we are trying to “take care of outside while the food producers are taking care of the inside”. The fact that our soaps are molded in pretty molds doesn’t take away from the benefits of goats milk soap for the skin and our lotions and creams are just wonderful, for the whole family. Of course, being a producer, I just want everybody to buy bunches all of the time. Maybe in the Fall.

Got to get back to the soap. Everybody have a great day!

The Whole Garden is Finally In

Well we may be picking our last tomatoes and peppers as the first snow falls but our garden is finally in..now it’s time to think about fall planting. It will be interesting to see how well this garden does. If the rains continue to come every 4 or so days and it continues not to be so horribly hot, everything should grow well. Just can’t believe we took this long. Oh well, it’s been really busy here and there just wasn’t enough time to get everything done.

I am trying to get a rather large goat’s milk product order filled and it’s really slow going. Probably because I’m trying to fill other orders at the same time, while dying roving and yarns in between.  Also, I am making myself sit down at the spinning wheel everyday for 1 hour and spin. It’s good for the mental health and I have a custom spun order that I’ve been working on for several months now that is finally getting finished. Usually by this time of year I have completed the 12 items that I spin and knit each year to sell..I don’t even know where my knitting needles are!

All fussing aside, things are really going great. The animals seem to be doing very well, even though Boggie, my 18 year old sheep, gives me a good scare everyday with her “dead sheep lay”..guess she’s practicing or just exercising her Mommie.

 

"Boggie"

"Boggie"

She’s looking good for an 18 year old, we think.

 

 The goat’s are fat, happy, and giving lots of milk, with little to no incident. All is well for today.