Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November 2014

Last month we bought a stack of Sudan hay before it started raining. We soon found out the problem with buying hay right before it rains is that you have a hard time getting a hay retriever to deliver, because all the farmers need their hay moved into their barns, and their's not enough retrievers to go around. Finally the guy we always use called us back in the morning, and said he could move our hay. Once he dropped our hay, the un-stacking began. An 80 bale stack of hay is way too tall  for me to get bales down off the top, and also too tall to tarp.

 My parents, "The hay moving team".

 All re-stacked on pallets, and ready for my Mom and I to tarp.

We started using this trailer for keeping some of the hay on, as it keeps the hay exceptionally dry being raised so far from the ground.

I got this multi-colored Romney wool at a fiber show recently. I dusted off the spinning wheel and got to work. It has been so long, since I have spun, that I thought I would be a spinning disaster, but I guess its just like riding a bike.

 It carded up beautifully, and was easy to spin.

I then Navajo 3-plied it, so that I could keep the colors separate, and changing throughout the yarn. I love randomness.

 I got 4 and 1/3 skeins of yarn out of the 11 oz. of wool.

I then began spinning some white alpaca.

Here is some after I plied it.

My Mom brought in a butterfly that was dying from the change in weather. I gave it a little sugar water, and used it for a photo shoot of the new cowl I crocheted out of some the the alpaca. Unfortunately there is no saving butterflies, but it sure made a pretty prop.

I already crochet, but have decided to torture myself and learn how to knit. I tried in the past but didn't give it my all, and never got past knit and purl. Well now I think its because it turns out knitting Continental suits me better, but man is knitting complicated. I guess it exercises the brain ; )

So I put a wanted ad on Freecycle for a set of knitting needles, since I will need different sizes for different yarns and patterns. Within 24 hours I had a response to come and pick up a bunch of knitting needles. BTW if you have never heard of Freecycle, I would suggest you check Yahoo Groups for one in your area. You never know what you might find, and it's great for getting rid of things you don't want anymore.
Aren't they beautiful in my Grandmothers vase!

I pulled out a tin of yarn my Mom had spun probably over 20 years ago. It had gotten moths on it at some point, but I wrapped it all into skeins and washed it, salvaging what I could.
My room looks like it has been yarn bombed.

This is wool that I spun. But seriously, yarn bombed!

I went on a search through our storage shed looking for our tote of fiber, and was extra surprised when I found it.
 There is a lot of fiber in it that I forgot were I placed it.

 Like this Romney.

 And this grab bag.

 And all mohair from my goats that I dyed with Kool-Aid and food coloring. Plus there was a lot more than I remember dying. 

 And some had already been carded.

 And some had already been spun!

Now that is a crazy color. I don't know what I should make with it, but I do know this. I have enough fiber to keep me spinning for a looooong time.

For anyone that is wanting to get started spinning, this is a really good book that explains all the different techniques.

An update on the berry bushes.
It really is amazing what the goats have done to that monstrosity.
They have eaten and stomped probably 15-20 feet of the perimeter of the bush.

 See that hole up at the top. The goats are climbing all the way up there now.

I think this goat is saying "Berry bush, shmerry bush!"  As she just walked down from the top right hand corner in the picture. 
I'm wondering what it will look like in the Spring.

I think that's all for now.


Harry Flashman said...

I didn't know anybody still spun like in the old days. I'm glad the skill is being retained by younger people, because it's a useful one.

Looks like things are going well on your end there. I buy hay at the farmers depot, it costs $5.75 for wheat straw , each bale, now.

An At Home Daughter said...

Hi Harry,
Yes there are actually a lot of people that still spin. The equipment is getting extremely expensive though. There are even men that spin. You should try it ; ) It's really relaxing. Fiber shows always have some fiber groups putting on start to finish demonstrations that are very interesting to watch.

Wow I am surprised that you are paying so much for straw! Those are the kind of prices people are paying out here. Most people don't call straw hay, because its only used for bedding. We actually got the Sudan for $6 a bale, and that is considered a really good deal in our area. Most people don't feed Sudan around here, so that's why we got the deal, and our animals like it. We will still have to get them alfalfa to go with it.


Natasha Marie said...

Loving all of the spinning you've been doing! I'm inspired to dust off my spinning wheel and use the multi-colored bit of fleece that someone gave me! It does pay to be married to a sheep shearer - when his customers find out I spin, they usually want to give me some fleece. ;) I will have to find that book! My mother-in-law and sisters-in-law spin and have been teaching me, but it would be nice to have a reference for when they're not available.

It's such a good feeling to get most of the hay you need for the winter. We finally did. Our hay isn't quite as expensive here, thank goodness! Alfalfa is pretty spend-y, but it always is.

Goats are such wonderful brush eaters. I have a love/hate relationship with my goat. She's wonderful for eating unwanted brush and trees, but she's so bossy to the sheep with her horns. I'm looking into selling her and getting a hornless milk goat instead. :)

It was so good to get an update from you!

An At Home Daughter said...

Tasha, so good to hear from you!

I could imagine that would be very beneficial. Does he have any brothers? wink wink. There are a lot of felted things you could make with the wool too. Felted dryer balls are a big thing right now. My sister was suggesting I make them to sell, but by the time I buy the wool I wouldn't make any money. But if the wool is given to you... Sheep shears out here are quite expensive too.

You should check your library. Ours has a lot of spinning book. It seems to be a trend right now, but some people are spinning some pretty weird things like newspaper.

Yes, goats sure can be like that. We have a couple that are real nasty with there horns. Look for a "polled" goat. So you won't have to disbud kids. Polled goats get bumps on their heads instead of horns. You will mostly find them in Oberhasli's, and Nigerian Dwarfs (Nigerian's are small and harder to milk). There was a poor study done that made it look like the polled gene caused the hermaphrodites in goats, but the study was wrong. There are a lot of people now that breed polled to polled, for multiple generations with no problem.


Kris said...

Wow, you really hit the jackpot when you found all that fiber stash! You will be busy for a long time. At least til spring when you can shear your sheep. I love the browns and the turquoise. And I have that spinning book. Was just looking through it last night while setting the twist on all I had just spun.

Have fun with all that yummy fiber now!I want to see some pics of all your finished projects.

Shine said...

Hi Kimberly! Thanks so much for stopping by my little spot. I have had a very difficult year, so I have not blogged in a long time, but I do pop in and check my favorite blogs regularly. Praying that I will be able to blog again soon. I still have those looms...still not sure what to do with them :P I love all your spinning's my favorite art....will be following your blog now! Blessings~~ Shine

Harry Flashman said...

Kimberly, I just came by today on Christmas to wish you and your family the best of the season. I didn't want you to think I had forgotten you!

There is a South African lady who is getting into spinning and all. I am too old to be learning new skills but I am going to send her your blog address as I am sure she will be interested.

An At Home Daughter said...

Yes it's definitely keeping me busy. I got the Romney spun, half of the grab bag, and I have been mixing the mohair with the white alpaca, and haven't made a dent. Yet I still can't wait till the sheep are sheared!!!!
I plan to post pics.

An At Home Daughter said...

Thanks for following back : )
I hope you do start blogging again. When I was looking at your blog I didn't even notice the dates!

Do people ever rent out looms? There is a lady here that rents out spinning wheels. If so, that might be a good way to keep them.


An At Home Daughter said...

Merry Christmas to you. Our family actually stopped celebrating Christmas several years ago, so Thanksgiving is our big celebration of the year now. We have been enjoying the season, and will be spending the day mostly relaxing by the nice warm fire, as it is quite cold and windy here today.

Thanks for recommending my blog.

His Princess said...

Ooh look at all that lovely yarn! I've never spun but Mum used to when we had our sheep.

That is an interesting way to store hay. We usually stack ours on pallets in the barn to keep them off the ground. We buy the big round bales but truthfully I miss the square bales, they were easier for Mum and I to handle.
Do you usually get your hay in December? We get ours around July. And yes! Hauling hay before a rain is terrible. It's kinda stressful trying to get it under wraps before it gets wet. Even still, I love haying season.

Have a great day,

An At Home Daughter said...

It just depends on the hay harvests and when we can purchase the hay as to when we get stocked up. I dislike hay season, its a lot of work and stress of expense. We have irrigated pasture, and a warm climate, so people here don't need hay usually till pretty late. I wish we had a big barn we could fill with round bales, but we don't have anything to put the hay in....


His Princess said...


Yes it is a lot of work and stress of expenses but very rewarding to stand back and know that your animals will be well fed through the winter.
That makes sense. We live in WA so it's a bit colder up here.
Well you seem pretty good at making due with what you have which is a great trait to possess, especially on a farm.:D