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Bay Colony Farm
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Another Day at Bay Colony Farm
Thursday, October 6, 2005
Autumn in New England
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts "Crimson and Clover"
Topic: A bit of everything

Now this is inspiration for dyeing!

This picture was taken driving home today. The way the colors just seemed to bounce off the blue sky was too appealing for me not to stop.

And this tree was just farther up the road:

Seems to me I'm going to have to work on these colors some more in the dyepot. And since I purchased some great tools at the beauty supply store and Michael's, I have a few more ideas going around in my head about ways to dye. :)

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 3:28 PM EDT
Tuesday, October 4, 2005
Easier reading?
Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Aerosmith "Love In An Elevator"

I finally subscribed to Bloglines. We'll see if it makes my blog reading time any shorter. While I only have a portion of the blogs I read listed here, I have another 30 that I check in on once or twice a week. Hopefully this will cut down on my blog surfing time.

I'm washing that alpaca fleece today. Yesterday was just too busy.

And this weekend is the NH Wool Arts Tour. This is a fabulous show that I've been attending since I was pregnant with DS #1, so this will be my 8th year. I haven't missed one yet. Marcy and I plan to go on Sunday. Are there any readers that we'll see there?

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 3:55 PM EDT
Monday, October 3, 2005
It's all about technique
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: Elton John "Philadelphia Freedom"
Topic: Show

Saturday's Spin-In was a huge success! I spent over an hour demoing at the Fiber Arts Center's booth, which was located inside the craft fair. I answered a lot of questions, and directed people over to the Spin-In tent on the north side of the common. For most of the day, we had at least one newbie sitting at a wheel, learning the basic techniques of spinning. Some people picked it up right away, like they knew what to do, even though they had never spun yarn before. Other people had a bit more trouble, and when that happened, we would switch them to a different tool; say from a wheel to a spindle.

I'm a wheel spinner. It is what I learned on first. However, that isn't the way it works for everyone. Sometimes people get so involved in treadling, that they forget to let the twist run up the yarn, creating something that kinks extremely fast. So when that starts to happen consistently, it is just time to try a different technique and tool. Spinning tools work differently for each person. I love spindles; the way they look, the sheen of the wood, the different types of wood that spindles come in, but it isn't my forte because I haven't practiced enough. And there are people that learn better on a spindle than a wheel. One of our last students was like that, and by the time she left, she was spinning a nice single on a Grafton Fibers spindle.

The other thing that I want to stress to people is never tell a new spinner that a fiber is too difficult to spin. That is negative thinking, and once that is in a person's mind, they get caught up in the thought process that leads them to believe that spinning something like angora is too difficult for them to even try. It's all about technique. If you can spin one fiber, I think that you can spin them all or at least try. Various fibers take different techniques, and even though you may not have mastered spinning one fiber, that doesn't mean that it is difficult for everyone. But telling people that something is hard to do leads most of them to believe that they can't do it either and what is the point of that? If someone said that Romney was too hard to spin, would you believe them? Probably not, because it is a great fiber with which to learn spinning. The thing we need to be doing is encouraging spinners to try spinning anything, even if it is milkweed silk. Isn't life more fun with a great variety of things to try, rather than sticking to one tried and true method? :)

And if you didn't have enough fiber pictures lately, here is my latest purchase from my friend Caroline of Falling Leaves Farm (e-mail me if you'd like her contact information since she doesn't have a website). It's a black suri alpaca fleece. Isn't this gorgeous???

The staple length is 5 inches. It will be washed later today and then carded with dyed angora for batts.

Posted by baycolonyfarm at 11:53 AM EDT
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

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