Saturday, August 31, 2013

Two Weeks of Fiber Camp

Carding, spinning, felting, knitting, weaving, dyeing "Oh My"!

Carding on the drum carder is always a favorite
This world is in good hands.  It was wet felted over a beach ball which was then deflated and removed.  Then it was stuffed with fleece.

Who knew you could spin with turnips.     We also used sticks and stones and driftwood and beach bricks to make drop spindles. 

 There are so many places to weave.

And look at this concentration while needle felting.

 This is some of our natural dyeing with -"Was this one elderberry?" So hard to keep track when you are having so much fun.

Taking it easy and finger knitting.

Some how Fiber Camp wouldn't be complete without unicorns.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Some Things are Little, Some Big, and Some BOTH

I drove three miles yesterday.  The animals stuck their heads out of the barn as I drove by and wished me well.

I decided it was time to give driving a try after 8 weeks of no driving.  It went pretty well.  No problem with accelerating or braking but my driving muscles were sore, especially on the outside of my foot.

Each day more things are possible but I think it is still going to be awhile before I can walk across the pasture planting grass seed.   My vegetable garden may not look any better for awhile either.  But, today I mopped the floor of the fiber shed and it looks great.

Campers coming the day after tomorrow, Yay!  We are going to have so much fun.  Maybe I will even remember to take some pictures.

This afternoon we are going to the community ice cream supper to celebrate Wednesday's birthday.  Thirty-four years ago today, was a special day.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Moving Right Along

Moving right along, I am now walking with no support from crutches most of the time, but still wearing the boot for the most part.  I still have to take a crutch with me when I travel about the farm on uneven ground, and there are still places too scary to get to because of slippery slopes.  I will soon be cleaning the barn independently again, SO, we thought it would be a good idea if I took a mini vacation before returning to farm chores.

Actually, Lyndy invited me to go camping and the timing turned out perfectly.  We went to the Carolina Beach State Park on the  North Carolina coast for three days.  It was wonderful to be bobbing in the ocean again.  Some things are still a little tricky to do but I am definitely getting back strength and mobility.  I must now keep reminding myself to remember the things I learned the past 8 weeks.

Kids from a summer school program came out to visit the farm today.  Cher is beginning to enjoy having visitors since she now knows it means extra treats.  Gretta and a few others like visitors too, but many of the rest of the sheep chose to stay in the barn when the kids came today.  It was a great group of kids and I really enjoyed them, even though they didn't give me snacks.

Two more weeks of Fiber Camp coming up the last two weeks of August and I can't wait.  I love Fiber Camp.  I have a couple of things to figure out; it is fun to keep changing things and that means exploring different ways to do things.

It is always interesting, to me, to see momentum for anything build, and then, at some point, things take off and move right along as they should.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Peach Pie, Girl Scouts, and Transformations

I got enough peaches to make a peach pie!  The rest of the peaches disappeared with the squirrel, the rabbits, and the deer looking in different direction saying, "not me".

Oh well, at least they cleaned up the peaches under the tree too and did not leave a mess.  AND the pie was delicious!
I only put a tiny bit of sugar in the pie and it came out sweet even with a few under ripe peaches.  Maybe a little on the "peaches floating in juice side" but that was fine with John and Charlie and me.  Wonder if Wilma got her piece.

A troop of Girl Scouts came to visit the farm and explore fiber, Saturday. We were the stop after the Safari Park but I think they enjoyed Cabin Spring Farm's animals more than all those pesky ones at the Safari Park sticking their heads in the car windows.  I told them Mira might like to live there but the others are probably pretty happy here.

There were 10 Girl Scouts and 6 adults accompanying them so things were a little tight in the fiber shed but it was a fine day so we moved a table outside to needle felt on.  A couple tried their hand at spinning and carding.  They came up with some pretty cute fiber art.

I was really impressed with the way they helped me ( I have graduated to crutches with some weight bearing), showed me what they had made, and thanked me individually.

Three things, at least, have been transformed here on the farm recently.  I am now standing upright most of the day looking at things from a different angle.  I still have to wear the boot but I can put it on the ground and put weight on it.  IT IS SO WONDERFUL TO BE WALKING AGAIN.  It is amazing how quickly it all comes back.  For long distances I still use two crutches and for short jaunts, I can get by with one.  It is harder to carry things but I am figuring that out.  Not even sure where the wheelchair is, but probably in my fiber studio. It is still easier to move many things back and forth using   the wheelchair.  I have been reorganizing a lot lately.

Violet got transformed too.  How many pickup golf carts have you seen?  She is very helpful for moving things from place to place but not in the fiber studio.

We cleaned out the water trough yesterday;  mostly John did but I helped as much as I could.  The trough had its summer algae issues and now you can see the trees and sky reflected in it.  It was nice to see Effinger and Clementine again too .  They have grown so much since the beginning of summer.  Also living with them, we found a frog and five or six salamanders.

This isn't the best picture of Cher but I never have my camera at the right time.  She is transformed as well.  She finally got sheared last week.  I will get a better soon.  Cher was pretty good while getting sheared, at least she didn't kick.  John gave her alot of physical and moral support.  John was great.  All I could do was give Cher quiet nods of assurance but she seemed to appreciate that.

Cher is still talking to us and seems to like her transformation.  I know I love mine.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Good Friends and Chicory (Part 1)

A few days ago I was feeling a bit discouraged about my lack of mobility and didn't know what I wanted to do for the afternoon when there was a knock at my door.  It was two of my young friends from fiber camp and their mom.  M brought me a bouquet  from her garden and her brother J brought me a big bag of chicory.
Here is what one chicory plant looks like that is growing near the fiber shed.  Mostly though, you see it growing all along the roadside.  A few weeks ago, I asked a couple of my young friends if they could pick some chicory for me, if they had time, because I wanted to dye some wool with the leaves.

It is reported in some old books, that the leaves of chicory make a beautiful blue dye, the color of the flower, and the flowers make a green dye.  Others say that they have not gotten a blue dye from the leaves.  The chicory plant has basal leaves that are large and lobed and stem leaves that are quite small and linear.  The basal leaves seem to have more pigment in the veins.

I think that chicory is technically a biannual not a perennial, which would explain the rosettes that were mixed in with the tall plants.  What I think are rosettes, are in the basket below.  I separated them to see if they would produce a different color.  

I decided to try the flowers too but they don't last long so I don't know how that will work out.

The thing with dyeing with plant material is, that time of season, plant maturity, location, and other things affect the color so it shall be interesting.  I have been soaking all for a couple of days.  Maybe I will have an opportunity to make a dye bath tomorrow.

Stay tuned for part 2