We’ve survived the Blizzard of 2017

Beauty on a snowy day.

The weatherman got it right this time. We spent most of Monday getting ready for the storm–extra feed, lots of straw everywhere, hay in all of the shelters and one of the large bales moved into the barn. All of the water heaters and both generators were tested and a gasoline run to fill all of the cans was made.

Tuesday, we woke up to a winter wonderland and it continued to snow until mid afternoon. Paul had a great time plowing–something about boys and their toys! We both got our exercise yesterday stomping through the snow to make paths for the animals–especially for the pigs. Their shorter legs put them at a bit of a disadvantage but all have done well.

The goat kids snuggled up with their moms deep in the straw and didn’t see the big deal we were making! I’m glad that Gina held off–she’s the last doe to kid yet this spring.

We’re grateful that the electricity stayed on for us and praying that those that lost electricity soon have it restored.

Hoping that Mother Nature has gotten this out of her system and that we’ll have a perfect day on April 15th for our shearing. Hope to see you then.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 32

garter lace alpaca scarf


I received my shipment of new 100% alpaca yarns from Morningstar Fiber Mill last week and they are beautiful! This is the ecru and you will see the fawn later after I overdye some of the skeins in the next few days.

This scarf is the Textured Lace Scarf designed by Linda Medina and published in 50 garter stitch gifts to knit. The pattern for the body of the scarf is 8 rows repeated 40 times. In order to keep track of this, I wrote the pattern on an envelope and made a chart of the 8 rows in 10 columns. A tic mark on each row number let me know where I was in the pattern. The only trick is stopping at the end of each row to make a mark. Inexpensive system but effective.

While this scarf is attractive, it’s telling me that it wants to go into a dyepot!! Help me pick a color.


Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 12

When at market, I always have yarns, fiber, needles, hooks and small looms in my container with the bags and tissue paper. Heaven forbid that I have nothing to do for several hours. My fellow vendors agree since I cannot sit still for long if sales are slow and there’s nothing to do.

This past Sunday this hand dyed alpaca yarn wanted to be knit up into a hat. (Your yarn talks to you to, right?) This is a fawn yarn overdyed so thought that a fawn ribbing would look good. The problem was the fawn yarn was a lot thinner than the dyed yarn and I only have one circular knitting needle with me.  Doubling the fawn yarn was the answer and it worked well into the hat.

A quick trick to see if yarns will work at the same gauge is to hook them together and then run your fingers over them and across the join. If they feel the same, or at least very close, you can be fairly sure that you can use them interchangeably in your project.

Not sure where I learned this trick. Definitely not my original but I’m happy to pass it on.

See you tomorrow!!


Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Fiber Arts–Day 9

Welcome back! Spinning is the craft of choice today. Fortunately I’ve practiced using my left foot to treadle the spinning wheel so was able to make some yarn. I have friends that are amazing spinners and their yarn is uniform and professional. My yarns are much looser. While my goal is to make uniform singles, but if it doesn’t work out I’m still okay with it. The thing that I’m much more concerned about is ending up with a beautiful, balanced yarn that can be worked into a usable item.

The first bobbin is our alpaca blended with a commercially dyed merino wool. The second bobbin is 100% brown alpaca. I love the yarn that results from the plying of the two. Tomorrow I’ll make it into a skein and wash it to set the twist.

Hope that you’re staying warm and enjoying your weekend. More tomorrow!