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Bay Colony Farm
Fibers and Rabbits For Sale at Bay Colony Farm
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Another Day at Bay Colony Farm
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
And away we go!
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Smokey Robinson and the Miracles "I Second that Emotion"
Topic: Fiber

Remember this?


It's the shawl I knit last fall from the IAGARB yarn from our co-op. I have another 5 pounds coming to me shortly. So it's time to get dyeing! I'll be using the microwave in the garage for this venture instead of the roaster. If anyone has custom dye orders, please let me know. I'm always willing to dye things to order. :)

Anyway, IAGARB is sponsoring a pattern promotion for the IAGARB yarn. Our goal is to get people to realize that angora yarn is a wonderful fiber to work with, and that no rabbits are harmed or killed in the shearing process for their wool. So, if you have an original pattern, please check out the promotion. And anyone that contributes a pattern to IAGARB and buys their yarn from me, will get a small gift from me (you'll still be entered in the IAGARB contest; but you'll get a small gift from me too).

Now, for the knitting content:
I'm also going to start working on a knitted shawl. I have some Marine Blue Jaggerspun wool/silk blend, and the Fiber Trends Flower Basket Lace Shawl. I'm feeling a real need to get back to fiber work, which is something I was feeling burnt out on all winter long. I know, winter is the best time to be working with wool, but what can I say? I'm hoping that working on one project instead of having multiple WIPs will keep me content like it has Cassie.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 11:18 AM EST
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Wah-lah!
Mood:  blue
Now Playing: Lindsey Buckingham "Trouble"
Topic: Fiber

No, I'm not feeling blue, but have lots of blue surrounding me.

Here are three of the plyed skeins.



I was having some trouble plying the first singles off of the second bobbin as I apparently spun them a bit thinner than the rest of the singles spun on Sunday (a good reason to finish your spinning on the same day!). This resulted in two breaks while plying, thus, the smaller skeins. But, once I got down to the Sunday singles, it has been smooth sailing.

I'm really pleased at how the yarn has come out. I still have 2 half full bobbins left to ply, and I'll finish those up today. I'll also wash these three skeins today too so that I can see the bloom from the angora. :)

Oh, and yes, I use scrap acrylic yarn to tie my skeins with instead of using the same yarn. Why waste perfectly good yarn on ties when you have scrap stuff lying around?

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 7:02 AM EST
Monday, March 13, 2006
What do you know!
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing: Modern English "I Melt With You"
Topic: Fiber

Yes, I've been spinning! Yesterday afternoon, I brought out my Joy and spun almost 2 full bobbins of the Winter's Night Sky roving (German Angora/Corriedale blend). It took me almost 5 hours to spin that much, but I'm spinning it really fine, so that I can use it later for a shawl. This is what it looks like on the bobbin:




When I finish working today, I'll spin up the rest of this bobbin, and ply the two together. I can't wait to see what it looks like finished. This is something I've been planning since last October when this lovely roving came back from processing.

Yesterday wound up being a busy day. In the morning, my husband and I finally planted 2 sweet cherry trees and two peach trees. I actually bought them last year and I never got them in the ground. They survived the winter in their pots, and we took advantage of the warmer weather to get them planted in the back of our yard. Cherry trees don't need much pruning, but egads! pruning peach trees makes me feel like you're killing them. With peaches, you have to prune them back to just a few larger branches, and then cut those back severly. Even my husband wondered if they would make it back to fruit bearing. :)

I'll leave you with some pictures I took while out working today. One of the cool things about my main job is that I get to travel around, and I see neat things to photograph.

An old family cemetary over in Deerfield, MA




Sugaring season in Deerfield, by the Connecticut River



Posted by baycolonyfarm at 2:36 PM EST
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
How is this for Wool P0rn?
Mood:  party time!
Now Playing: Def Leppard "Hysteria"
Topic: Fiber
My fabulous processor got everything back to me in time for Rhinebeck.

Want to see a sneak preview of what I'll have in the booth? Check out the photos below:

Pioneer Valley Autumn - Icelandic and German Angora Wool




Winter Night Sky - Corriedale and German Angora Wool




Mixed Berry Pie - Border Leicester





We'll also have our new Magical blends too, but no picture of those right now. :) I might show those later this week, after I've weighed up all the above blends into 2 ounce balls of roving.


Posted by baycolonyfarm at 6:11 PM EDT
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
When the going gets tough....
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: ABC "Poison Arrow"
Topic: Fiber

The tough get dyeing!

A trip to WalMart this morning solved one of the problems I have having, which was not being able to dye fiber quick enough. The rain we've had has slowed the process considerably. So this morning, I hit WalMart with the idea of buying roasting pans so that I could dye in my oven (something I normally wouldn't entertain, but I've got a lot to finish before Rhinebeck). After checking out the turkey roasters, and really thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that dyeing in the oven wasn't a great idea. My kitchen is on the second floor of my house and even though I have a nice (but small) deck off of this area, it doesn't have steps down to the ground. So I would wind up carrying dye pans down a flight of stairs, through the newly carpeted family room to the first floor deck. I had visions of all kinds of disasters, including triping over some toy on the floor, dumping a pan of fleece and dye water, and ruining my new carpeting. Not a good idea.

So, the answer was this:




A Durabrand Electric Burner, which was less than $9.00.

Add that to my electric turkey roaster, I can now do 4 pounds of wool at a time.




I've already dyed over a pound of wool this morning, between 8 and 10, and if I can keep this going, I'll have all of my "need to be done NOW" dyeing completed by tonight. Then I'll take it all into the office, where the dehumidifier is going, and it will be dry by tomorrow morning.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 11:36 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Yes, I can see how it would look like that....
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Kool and the Gang "Misled"
Topic: Fiber
I'm afraid that I just about gave Judith heart failure. She was new to my blog, and upon opening the link, thought that the dyed Icelandic and Angora pictured yesterday was actually sheep entrails.

Nope, just freshly dyed wool, still in the roaster. :)

This is it now:




Posted by baycolonyfarm at 4:19 PM EDT
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Dyeing Icelandic
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: M/A/R/R/S "Pump Up the Volume"
Topic: Fiber
Today I'm working on dyeing some Icelandic wool. I washed the fleece and before it dried, I put it into the roaster to dye.

Washing Icelandic is different from other fleeces. Icelandic will felt *easily* if washed in water that is too hot. Warm water works just fine since it is a low grease fleece.

I had a nice Icelandic fleece from True North Farm in my barn, which even after sitting for a year, was still lovely and in perfect condition. So I decided to wash that one. It was snow white. "Was?" you ask? Now it's this color:





And how about a picture of these two cuties? They are both bucks, born here back in April. Aren't they sweet?



If you are interested in purchasing the one for sale, e-mail me. I can tell you all about him. His background pedigree is spectacular!

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 6:12 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 6:14 PM EDT
Sunday, September 11, 2005
More dyeing today
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Sting "Fortress Around Your Heart"
Topic: Fiber
I've done some more dyeing today. More Border Leicester, which is one of my favorite wools (besides Icelandic and Corriedale). All of the dyed wools are outside drying in the sun. Now it is time to dye some angora, which I'll do in the microwave.

Denise asked about dyeing in a roaster. It's fairly simple, and I do mine outside on the deck.

I presoak my fibers in some liquid dish detergent and water for a short time. Then I fill the turkey roaster up about half way with water and add a couple of good glugs of white vinegar. I set the temp at 300 degrees to start, and then add the fiber. Once I have all the fiber in that I want, I add enough water to cover it. Then I sprinkle dye over the fiber. I drop the temp to 250 degrees, and let it cook for about 2 hours. I unplug the roaster and let it cool on it's own. Once the roasting pan is cool enough to handle, I dump the fiber out on one of the custom made fiber drying racks that my friend Deanna makes. I allow it to completely cool, then I rinse it with water from the garden hose.

Here is what we have today:



Posted by baycolonyfarm at 2:51 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 11, 2005 2:55 PM EDT
Saturday, September 10, 2005
The Dyepots resume
Mood:  lyrical
Now Playing: Badfinger "Baby Blue"
Topic: Fiber

I'm back working at the dyepots. I have 35 days until Rhinebeck, and the weather is perfect for dyeing! I'm using the roaster method for this batch. Usually I like to use a microwave, but that isn't practical for dyeing more than 1 pound of wool (and even that is a lot for my microwave to handle!). This is Border Leicester, which will be blended with other fibers for batts and roving.




And just incase you interested, I've put this Bobbin Tree up on eBay.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 5:27 PM EDT
Saturday, July 23, 2005
As I've said before
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Jimmy Buffett "Boat Drinks"
Topic: Fiber
Sometimes life gets in the way. Who would have guessed that I'd spend the last two days doing rush jobs for my own company, and then for the company where my husband works? Let me say that working in a building with NO a/c, when the temp is 89 degrees leaves one exhausted by the time you get home late at night. :) But, the money is good which is what counts.

This is what I've spent my morning making for the gathering:

introducing "Cherries and Chocolate"




Two ounce batts of a 50/50 angora/alpaca blend. And it's ooooooh so soft!

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 8:58 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, July 23, 2005 10:39 AM EDT

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