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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
Saturday, October 1, 2005
Spin-In in Amherst, MA
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: The Hooters "And We Danced"
Topic: Show

It has been a week of working the other job; you know, the one that helps pay for this place and is my main money source. So therefore, no blogging was done as I was on some deadlines. But, I did get all the dyeing done that I needed to finish to send out my fiber for super quick processing (and no, don't ask who is doing it as I've been sworn to secrecy). ;-)

But, today I'll be over on the north end of the Amherst Town Common teaching wheel spinning to anyone that would like to attend. We'll be there (and by we, I mean Linda Diak from Grafton Fibers, Caroline Henriques from Falling Leaves Farm in Central MA (no website, but Caroline sells fabulous alpaca fiber!), and few generous people who have volunteered to help teach, and myself. Linda, Caroline and I will have a few goodies to sell there if people are interested in expanding their fiber or tool stash. This is hosted by the Fiber Arts Center to kick of National Spinning and Weaving Week. A portion of our sales will go as a donation to help support the FAC, which is a non-profit center.

If you would like to come join us, feel free to stop by with a chair and a wheel or spindle, and sit and spin for a while. Or if you'd like to learn how to spin, come on by! We hope to bring the joys of spinning to a few new people in the area. And if you have a spouse or SO, they can shop at the Amherst Farmers Market and the Harvest Festival Craft Fair, also on the Common.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 7:12 AM 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
Monday, September 26, 2005
It is finally finished!
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Men Without Hats "Safety Dance"
Topic: Knitting and rabbits

Back in April, I posted a blog entry about this shawl. I finally finished it last night!

I'm not a summer knitter as much as I would like to be. The thought of handling yarn or fiber in the heat just puts me off. And since I handle rabbits all year long, I get my fiber fix daily.

But because Rhinebeck is less than 3 weeks away, I needed to finish this as I'm going to sell the pattern for this with the IAGARB co-op yarn as a kit. I'm really pleased with the finished shawl; it is easy enough for a beginner, or an experienced knitter who wants an easy project with a good quality yarn. I'll be dyeing yarn this week as part of the kit, and I'll be using the new colorway for some of the batches. :)

In other news, Sophie the rabbit when to live with Michaele today. I met Michaele at Webs, where we went over Sophie, her pedigree and her potential date's pedigree. She is a very sweet rabbit, and I have a very good feeling that she is going to get lots of attention from Michaele (who, btw, is a lovely person!).

It is nice when you feel positive about where one of your rabbits went to live. :)

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 7:54 PM EDT
Let's try that again....
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: Journey "When You Love A Woman"
Topic: Contest

My mistake. Sarah was gracious in letting me know that she only voted for that colorway, but didn't suggest it. The person who did suggest it is Teresa!.


I'm working on dyeing some corriedale dark blue. Just wait till you see what that looks like at Rhinebeck! I'm in Building A, space 16 if you'd like to stop by.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 3:52 PM EDT
Sunday, September 25, 2005
And the winner is......
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Whitesnake "Is This Love"
Topic: Contest

Sarah G Brearley, who sent in this link from Sandy's Knitting.

Since Sandy wasn't aware of her picture even being entered, I'm sending a prize to her too. :)

Please look for this color way to be previewed at Rhinebeck. I'll be working on getting the colors correct this week.

Autumn has hit New England today. It is overcast, cold and damp. It is the first day I've HAD to wear sweat pants and a sweat shirt to stay warm. I even got out my slippers to keep my feet warm. I've lit a Mandarin Cranberry candle, and might even get the woodstove going this afternoon, if I feel like taking a trip out to the woodpile.
I keep reminding myself that I have 3 weeks until Rhinebeck; Yahoooo! :)

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 2:03 PM EDT
Friday, September 23, 2005
Too busy to dye
Mood:  rushed
Now Playing: Soft Cell "Tainted Love"

The last few days have been filled with work, so I haven't been able to do much dyeing. Today, though, I plan to put a lot of Icelandic into the roaster and get some interesting colors.

But for now, I must get the kids off to school, and get myself ready for work today.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 6:57 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
Monday, September 19, 2005
And it continues....
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Foreigner "Waiting For A Girl Like You"
Topic: A bit of everything
More dyeing continued this weekend and today. Here is just a glimpse of what I've been working on.

This first photo is Icelandic and Angora in the same pot. The angora is on the right of the picture.

And this is Icelandic roving.

My other pursuits this past weekend included cleaning the house (I'm very slow at this, as it is my least favorite activity!), and doing some reading. Right now, I'm reading Harvard Yard by William Martin. I bought this book for DH as a Christmas present, and he hasn't read it yet, so I picked it up. I'm really enjoying this book, as it spans a family from the late 1500's to the present time. I've already decided to pick up Back Bay, which is Martin's book about Peter Fallon written before Harvard Yard.

Now I'm off to watch a little tv, and spend time with my husband. More tomorrow....

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 8:16 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

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