Taking the socks for a walk

sock and iris

With staying home, there are some new activities that one develops. The dog and cat daily saunter, the attentiveness to weather, cooking more than normally done pre-Pandemic, and a new one- taking the socks for a walk. Photography and fair weather and much time at home blended well for this photo op.

dandelion with sock


Hand-dyed farm yarns stripe the naturally colored wool/ alpaca blend all sourced from the grasses here in the pastures over the years.

hand-dyed stripe on sock of natural wools

lavandar lilac and sock

Many of the flock have gone, but the few alpaca boys are still in those pastures. So when I wear these socks this winter, the process from grass to garment, to Pandemic survival will be knit into them, …if the fates allow.

sock in the apple tree

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Pi Day and the Blizzard

Daylight Savings time, our fifth set of goat kid twins and now a blizzardy noreaster have all altered this week since Sunday began at its forwarded-by-an-hour morning. The snow coated GP and I just returned from our dark morning stroll in boot-top deep sugary snow. It’s still coming down like a wall of whiteness in the predawn black. The dog and I both had to shake off on the rug.

The herd and flock will need a check whenever it’s light out. Much shovelling will be waiting once the snow tapers off. Better save my energy. Start the coffee…I lost a good friend one year. She was a geometry teacher among her other attributes. Pi Day was her own special holiday. The 3.14 blizzard just might be her little reminder or a tribute.

 

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Soon the Fall

Next the sauce

Next the sauce

Another moment to pause and reflect on the passing seasons…Why do we only slow to make entries when the changes are noticeable? Daylight is growing shorter, daily average temperatures are falling, leaves too. The farm’s wooly inhabitants grow longer overcoats, put on their undercoats of fine down. They embrace the coming winter without a conscious thought. Are we humans too detached to recognize the need to yield to seasonal changes ourselves?

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The Vortex Returns

Swirling sheep? No- just more of this season’s fickle weather. 66 to 16 to 60 to -6, howling winds and blinding, blowing white out conditions. Sounds normal for the DaSnow beginning...againkotas, but not so normal for Mother Nature in southern ¬†Pennsylvania. She’s having a tantrum. She’s creating beautiful scenery, but under it are frozen waterlines, crummy driving conditions and school schedules that will run into summer. The herd and flock seem to be handling it all in stride as long as the hay and water keep coming. The handful of alpaca even lie out in the open field with backs to the wind and everything covered in white- except the big dark, long-lashed eyes.

Maybe we should be like them. Embrace and enjoy it. …oh yeah- Work! Snow Day! Wait for daylight. Warm up the diesel. Start to plow. Find some knitting and a cup of tea until then…

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Summer’s Dyeing

Oh when the pot boils and steams, these are the days of dyers’ dreams!

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Heading into the end of summer

It’s greener than I ever remember an August to be. Sheep are in the meadow. Goats have mowed the fencerow. Apples are doing the ripening thing and the corn is going toward dryness on the stalk. Butterflies are hitting the bush pretty hard. They must know…

Butterfly bush

Butterfly bush

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Summer of heat, drought and storms

Farming in the Mid- Atlantic teaches you patience and planning–and learning to realize that your plans get altered. Weather and climate determine how most farming progresses.

Summer color

Field Thistle


You learn to manage weeds on the weeds’ schedule. Mow them down. They make more! It’s the give and take of nature.

Leicester Longwool Ewe

Care for the flock when they need it.
Bake bread when the temperature allows it.

Whole Wheat and Honey

Spin in the Tour De Fleece.

alpaca handyed, tufted, beaded yarn


more beaded tufts into yarn

In fact, spin almost every day for a month. Lots of yards get finished.

Manx Loaghtan fiber

More Manx


Triple plied Finn Wool


And even more… Spin a fine yarn

Mohair in watermelon colors of summer

To be Navajo plied

DO a bit of wet felting with the Guild.

Wet felted wool onto alpaca

And tend the flock once more.

BFL x Cheviot mule ewe, Great Mom!

Find them some shade.

In the Shade of the not so old apple tree


And continue to care for the bottle babby until weaning in the heat of July. She’s doing fine.

Leicester Longwool Bottle lamb


Check your weeds again…They’re still growing, even when the hay has gone dormant.Summer color

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