« May 2005 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
A bit of everything
Blog Move
Class information
Class Information & Shows
Fiber Friends
Help this Cause!
Knitting and rabbits
Rabbit Care and Grooming
Secret Pal 5
SheepThrills Blogs
Prev | List | Next
The WeatherPixie
NewEnglandKnits >>
Knitting Bloggers
Previous | Next
Fiber Arts Bloggers
Previous | Next
Subscribe with Bloglines
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
Buddy Page
View Profile
Back To
Bay Colony Farm
Fibers and Rabbits For Sale at Bay Colony Farm
Fibers For Sale
Rabbits for Sale
Comfort A Friend
Another Day at Bay Colony Farm
Sunday, May 22, 2005
More fleeces, and yet more fleeces
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Four Tops "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)"
Topic: Fiber

Oooooh, I can see the moon rising in the east while sitting here at my desk. It is a lovely pale yellow orb nestled in the tree branches. :)

I purchased two fleeces yesterday while up in Jamaica. Both were directly from the sheep, so skirting was minimal, but they were so pretty, that I couldn't resist. The first one is a Finn-Dorset, which had a bit of VM in it, but not as much as I expected since the sheep wasn't covered. That fleece is on it's third soaking and now enters the rinsing phase of cleaning. It is coming out beautifully, and I can hardly wait to card this up this week. It's white, and very, very soft, while having a fine crimp and a lovely handle to it.

My technique for washing is very simple; I fill my washer with the hottest water I can, stop the water, pour in some cheap laundry detergent until the water feels a bit slick. Today I added a bit of washing soda, which cut down on the suds during the draining phase. I soaked the fleece for about 20 minutes, then drained and spun out the water. I always turn off the water behind the washer as soon as I stop the water on the washer. By doing this immediately, I don't risk water pouring down on the fleece during the spin cycle, thus felting it. I will soak the fleece one or two more times the same way (using detergent) until it no longer feels greasy to my hands. Then I'll soak in plain hot water again, until there are no soap suds left. Sometimes, on a particularly greasy fleece, I'll add some Simple Green to the soap water. But, this also promotes LOTS of suds, which then increases the plain water soaks I have to do. But Simple Green cuts the grease quickly, and is worth it on the heavy grease fleeces. After the fleece has been soaked several times, I spin it out (again) and place on special drying racks that Deanna has made (these are a god-send, especially since they stack on each other and I can dry a lot of wool at once, yet maintaining a good air flow through the wool). Usually on hot days, the fleeces will require one or two turnings, and they are all set to card. The real secret to washing fleece is to make sure that you get all the grease out, because sometimes you will be fooled, and find that a fleece that you washed earlier is still a bit tacky and requires a few more soakings with detergent.

The second fleece is a white Shetland fleece. While I haven't taken this out of the bag, it shows great promise, especially for what I'm thinking of as carding with some angora.

Tomorrow I will contact a local college and see what they have for their fleeces, which they tell me are "dirty". But for the price, we'll see. It might be worth my time to pick through and remove the VM, or it might not. That is the chance you take when you buy fleeces from people not raising sheep for the handspinning community.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 8:53 PM EDT
Looks can be deceiving
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Motley Crue "Smokin' in the Boys Room"
Topic: Shows

The front side of my new t-shirt:

Makes a non-fiber person think that I'd been all the way down to the Caribbean for sheep. Huh????

And the back side:

I find this very amusing. :)

The show was nice yesterday. Lots of people turned out to help Jamaica raise money to restore their town hall. I was vending in the town hall with Linda Diak, Margaret Wilson from Mostly Merino, and several other vendors, including a couple who sells handmade items from Peru, and all of the money goes back to Peru to the people that make these gorgeous garments. I had remembered attending a lecture and slide series they did at Textile Traditions in 1999, when Alyson has her store open. They had just come back from Peru, and explained how there was a unique way of weaving, which had to deal with an interrupted warp, and only two village members knew how to do this art form. They told me yesterday that now there are 40 village members that know how to do this, and therefore the art will survive. The textile they were selling were gorgeous!

I will get my brochure from the car a bit later, and post their names for you in case anyone is interested in contacting them.

I also brought home a lot of spindles, crochet hooks and circular knitting needles from Linda and Tom to sell at MAS&W, aka Cummington the "cult" as Cassie refers to us followers. ;-)

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 10:43 AM EDT
Friday, May 20, 2005
Ambitious or just crazy?
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Dire Straits "Money for Nothing"
Topic: Shows

My intentions were good. But sometimes I bite off far more than I can chew.

Today is a good example of that. I'm heading to Jamaica, VT tomorrow for the Jamaica Fiber Fest. Deanna was supposed to go over to Webs to represent Bay Colony Farm, but after taking stock tonight of everything I had to offer, I just didn't have enough inventory to do two simultaneous shows. And after the way I've been pushing myself for the past few weeks, my body said "Enough!" and forced me to take a nap today (something I don't do unless I am extremely tired or very, very sick). Forget carding, washing fleeces and dyeing. I was too tired. So Webs is out. And while I do love the Webs show, I want to see the Jamaica show too, since they have so many things planned during the day, including a Maypole dance, foot rug felting and various other cool activities for the people that attend. Besides, I'll be located next to Linda, and I'll enjoy the chance to visit.

So if you are looking for me tomorrow, I apologize for not being in Northampton.

But, I will have some really cool fibers for Cummington, as I'm now officially a Peace of Yarn retailer from Deanna's urging after she had been to MDS&W. Just wait till you see what I'll have with me at Cummington! :)

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 9:56 PM EDT
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Fiber artists and bloggers
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: Air Supply "Love in Love"
Topic: A bit of everything
I am constantly amazed at how the Internet has brought people together. Before I was online, I felt rather alone in my pursuit of knitting. But in March of 1997, DH decided that we'd been behind the masses long enough and opened up our AOL account. Since then, I know that there are so many other people out there that share the same interests, AND are fun people to talk to!

Last night, Cassie called me about a particular fleece that had been calling her name (you didn't know that I could make fleeces talk to people, now did you?). ;-) We got to talking and she is a delightful person. Little did I know that when she stopped by the booth at NHS&W, that she was wearing an Icelandic shawl. Those of you that know me really well know that I LOVE Icelandic fleeces. I have a shawl that I made 4 years ago out of some roving that I spun and then knit myself. It is one of the knitting accomplishments I'm most proud of. Had I know that Cassie was wearing Icelandic, I would have mugged her, wanting to pet the shawl. It was lovely! I'm hoping she'll bring it to Cummington which is less than 2 weeks away.

And because I was a good wife, and decided to give my husband a break, I mowed most of the lawn yesterday before he got home (he had to do the trimming with the push mower). But mowing also forced me to start looking at my stash of Icelandic fleeces, and several have caught my eye, so I'll be carding those with some angora within the next week.

And speaking of angora, I have been working at shearing my rabbits down. Annie was shorn on Tuesday, and I'll probably do Cosmos and Chunky Monkey today. Both are in need, and I need their wool.

Later today, I'll post picture of the Hitchhiker wheel I purchased at NHS&W from Cate.

BTW, if anyone is in the area, there is the Jamaica Fiber Fest in Jamaica, VT on Saturday. There will be vendors there selling their fiber related wares, including Linda from Grafton Fibers and Cathy from IBIWISI Alpacas. Please come join us for a few hours and enjoy the lovely town of Jamaica!

And if you can't make it to Jamaica, Deanna will be at Webs Fleece Sale in Northampton on Saturday, manning the booth for Bay Colony Farm. Some great vendors there too! :)

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 7:10 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 19, 2005 8:16 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
The long and not so short of it
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Billy Idol "White Wedding"
Topic: A bit of everything
NHS&W was a nice show. I love the fairgrounds (peaceful, and yet, lots of things going on there). I know that some of the alpaca people weren't thrilled, as one of the neighbors started burning brush on Sunday, which engulfed them in smoke, but other than that, it is a very nice show. We were located in the Home Arts Center building. I was next to MaryLynn from Indigo Moon and she's a very nice person, with beautiful batts. I had my husband and two kids with me, and they enjoyed the fair as well. DH is a glutton for fair food, my oldest son is happy eating hamburgers daily, and my youngest is getting a taste for fair food too. Me, on the other hand, did some serious damage on the charge card, all in one felled swoop! Cate happened to be walking by with Marcy on Saturday morning, carrying her Hitchhiker Wheel from the Merlin Tree. She was on the way to return it to Dave, as she had accidentally grabbed a leftie wheel at another show, and wanted to exchange it for a righty wheel. Well, since my Joy wheel was buried in my garage, and at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, I wasn't about to start moving stuff around, and potentially wake up our neighbors, I had left without a wheel. I asked Cate to give me a try, and decided that that was the wheel for me for the weekend. Cate says I mugged her for it. ;-) All I know is that she took my credit card up to Dave, and as he explains it, she handed it to him and he said "Wait, this card says "Helen" on it; are my wheels already on the used wheel market when they have only been out for 2 weeks?" He thought that was amusing. I did get a bit of spinning done, especially since I decided that the Bobbin Trees needed more filled bobbins on them. AND I discovered that plying from a Bobbin Tree makes life much easier, especially since no cord is needed, as there is enough drag on the bobbin from the wood to allow for easy plying.

We had a lot of people stop by and introduce themselves. It makes me laugh to hear people say "Oh, I know you! You post on the NETA all the time." That just cracks me up (Do I really post that much??) :) Helen from NETA and Fibertraditions stopped by, and took a picture of me. Granted, it is by far from being my best picture, but hey, I had worked on Bobbin Trees until midnight on Friday, got less than 3 hours of sleep, drove to NH and set up a booth. I think I'm entitled to look less than stellar. BCF booth picture. If you want to see Helen's entire picture folder, click here. She's a wonderful photographer! :)
A surprise was finding Stephanie, the Yarn Harlot shopping in my booth. It was a real treat to meet her, as I had missed her appearance in Amherst at the Fiber Arts Center. And I sent her home with a skein from the IAGARB Yarn Co-op. I think she liked that.

Karla from NETA stopped by the booth with her two handsome and very well mannered sons. It was a pleasure to finally meet her. I also saw LauraJ (a long time friend) Judy, Kat, Barbara L., and so many others (forgive me if I don't mention you here; the weekend is a blur, but a fun blur). It is always a pleasure to meet people face to face that I've "known" on the various lists, or through blogging.

Anyway, we had a nice time for the weekend, and I was exhausted by the time I came home on Sunday night.

And now, for some pictures.

I've had a few people ask about the Felted Coat/Vest Class that Leslie Samson is teaching here in June. Here are some samples of what you can do;

The purple/blue vest done on a white batting

The white vest with silver streaks

The red/purple vest with really cool buttons!

And here is a picture of some of the dyeing I did last week. These skeins are part of the IAGARB yarn, and will go into kits. I've designed an easy shawl pattern, which will be ready for MA Sheep and Wool in Cummington in two weeks.

And for those of you needing a bunny fix, here are pictures I took today of the babies, which are now 6 weeks old, and below that is a picture of Molly Mae, who will be bred later this summer.

This picture above shows their favorite place to sit; the large bowl of oats. Of course, it also makes for messy clean up, as they like to pee in there too. Ewwwwww!

Mia and one of her babies.

Molly Mae, who was just shorn last week before NH. She has a great body on her, and nice wool. She's going to make a great breeding doe!

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 3:28 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 3:32 PM EDT
Monday, May 16, 2005
Help the Lowell Textile Museum
Mood:  cool
Now Playing: Paul McCartney and Wings "With a Little Luck"
Topic: Help this Cause!
This just in (and I'll post about NHS&W later today):

***Mike Smith, the CEO of ATHM invites all weavers and spinners to attend the
Annual Meeting on Friday, May 20th at noon, at the museum in Lowell. You
may have heard that the museum is in financial difficulty. The Board of
Trustees may vote at this meeting to close the museum to the public in the
fall in order to conserve funds. The support indicated by our presence at
this meeting can have a strong impact on the decisions that will be made.

Please attend if you possibly can!!! If you cannot attend, please send me
an email in support of the museum and its work of preserving the textile
history of America. I would like to have a fist full of emails from those
who cannot attend!

Lunch will be provided, and I need a count for lunch by Tuesday morning at
the latest. You may email me at peggychurch@earthlink.net or call me at
860-455-0724 to RSVP.

Peggy Church


Please do what you can to support this museum. This is our link and lifeline to our fiber arts past!

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 8:16 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
The countdown continues.....
Mood:  rushed
Now Playing: Mr. Mister "Broken Wings"

I had to miss the Harlot in Amherst tonight. DH didn't get home until 7:45, and the kids were just too busy playing in the sandbox for me to drag them out. Besides, I was busy dyeing wool and yarn in preparation for this weekend. Sometimes (most of the time, who am I kidding???) work takes precedence over fun. This is just one of those times.

I washed my lot of the IAGARB co-op yarn today. All the skeins are drying or dyeing. ;-) I'll keep some natural, but I'm having fun with Cushings dyes on a few others. And I've been busy over dyeing some grey corriedale roving too. Tomorrow is a major dye day and fleece washing day. And I'll be dyeing some grease fleece too, just for fun.

I did purchase a turkey roaster tonight at Target. That will allow me to dye a lot of washed wool at one time.

And did I mention the other day that all of my fleeces from Whitefish Bay Farm showed up? Four (yes, 4!) boxes, plus a box that Leslie Samson sent to me containing samples of the vests and coats for me to display at NH for the Felted Coat Class in June. I'm sure my postal carrier Sue just loved me that day. She's a good sport, and laughs at the boxes of wool when they show up. The former carrier Penny thought it was really funny last year when I tracked her down, after just missing her at my house by about 25 minutes. I found her up road, two streets over, and was able to get all my boxes from her then, rather than have to go to the PO later that day. They must find my obsession with wool amusing.

Now I'm headed back out to the garage to check on the skeins that are in the microwave right now. If I'm lucky, the dye has absorbed, and I'll be able to put more of the corriedale roving into dye. Grey corriedale overdyed with purple. I'll take pictures when I put it out to dry tomorrow morning. :)

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 10:01 PM EDT
Monday, May 9, 2005
Alden Amos and Stephenie Gaustad coming to Western MA!
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Class information
After having known Alden and Stephenie via ST's since 1999, I'm please to announce that I have booked them to come teach in Amherst on June 12th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A write up courtesy of Stephenie is listed below. If you are interested, please sign up quickly, as I need 7 people so that I can run this class. Alden and Stephenie will only be in this area for a short while, so this is a great chance to meet and learn from some of the best!

A materials fee of $15 is not included with the registration fee, and is due the day of the class.


Production Spinning:

There are tips and techniques that can improve your yarn production. This class will present ways to get the most out of your wheel as well as several drafting techniques that improve the speed with which you make yarn.

Please bring a functional spinning wheel, pocket calculator, skein winder (niddy or reel), extra bobbins.

And related topic questions are of course welcomed.

We will supply all fiber, handouts.

Fiber/handout fee: $15.00.

I can't say that this class will make you a production spinner, but you certainly will have a good idea where the bottle necks are and have several options getting 'round them.

(When I took this class from Alden some years ago, it transformed my attitude towards spinning, and all for the better!)


If you are intersted in taking this class, please e-mail me at Baycolonyfarm @ aol.com for a registration sheet.

Payments must be received to be considered registered for the class; no phone or e-mail registrations accepted. Payments are due by June 3, 2005.

Please register ASAP so that we can run this class! :-)

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 7:43 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 9, 2005 9:06 AM EDT
Friday, May 6, 2005
Hell needs a cat, and her name is.....
Mood:  don't ask


This is Calvin's cat. We got her from the pound when she was about 6-8 weeks old (the pound said 8 weeks, vet said 6 weeks, tops!). Trina has always been "special". I think her brain has been scrambled a bit. She's never been right since coming here. That might explain why she was the last kitten left at the pound too.

But, that does NOT give her the right to drag my IAGARB angora yarn all over the place, still attached to my needles, and royally mess up my shawl. It isn't going to look right at one section, but I'm not fixing it and ripping out. I'm too darn tired and too sick to care. Yes, that's right. The annual Spring Cold has struck Chez BCF, and now both boys and I have it. I've resisted for several days, but tonight; I feel like, well, you know. And I'm too tired to care. The only good thing is that DH is busy with other stuff at work, so I don't have to go in tonight or possibly tomorrow to work. That is good, as I'm supposed to attend my god daughter's (and neice) first communion and then take Calvin to a birthday party at a place that will have him coughing up a lung (Kidsports, which has some serious exercise for kids during their birthday parties).

I'll worry about that tomorrow too. Right now I'm too tired and sick to care.

Yes, I'll take some more cheese with that whine.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 10:00 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 6, 2005 10:04 PM EDT
Thursday, May 5, 2005
I thought this was fun
Mood:  a-ok

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

40% Yankee

0% Dixie

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 6:19 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

lunar phases
Days Until MA Sheep and Wool at Cummington

Site Counter

Previous| Next