Often when we participate in local events, children and adults alike are surprised at seeing our children spinning away on a wheel. Children have commented, 'She can't do that!' or 'Kids can do it too?' or 'But she's a little kid!'; while the parents point and say - 'Look at him, he's making string - or is it yarn?' and 'Wow, look at what she's doing!'.
Putting some eggs into the cast iron skillet and thought to show you the difference!
Look at the richness of the goose egg and size vs. the chicken and ducks. The geese love their grass more than anything else and it gives that beautiful deep orange hue.
Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
As we're harvesting more wools and having the short heat wave I thought to capitalize on the quick drying time and dye up some angora fiber, fine sheep wools and over dye some yarn! Over dyeing simply means your covering up the old dyes with another color you prefer. The deep purple and charcoal blend hand spun yarn used to be a washed red that I did a while ago. I really like how the purple took to the fiber.
I draped a bit of the violet dyed Angora that is showing more of a blue in that batch. That bright green and yellow is German Angora as well. I actually over dyed a black wool so you will see traces of that black as it is combed out.
You can see some more angora done in salmon and teal on the fine sheep's wool - but I also dyed some angora with the residual teal in the dye bath... Don't worry a bit about how it all looks rather clumpy while hanging. It did not felt. It spreads readily with a little work of the hands, it's just easier to dry with what I have and I keep spreading it and turning it to keep it drying on all sides.
I took what used to be a charcoal and white blend wool yarn and turned it into 'Forest Moss'...It's harder to see the variation in the green tones, but I LOVE it. You can also see that the bluish angora actually does have some lilac in it on this side of the rack.
This was a pleasant, productive activity during the early summer heat and I really enjoy the bright colors hanging in the house. It brings a smile to my face and is a unique way of bringing in the colors of spring grasses, flowers and blue skies...
Have you considered a project with your fibers lately?
How do you think you'd use these fibers and colors in a project?
What colors do you have yet to try?
Feel free to share your creative ideas!
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands Proverbs 31: 13
The weather has been either pouring sheets of rain or blasting heat. It doesn't make it easy for shearing plans. We've had to put off shearing for a couple of weekends now because of rain then the heat comes on in the week and we finally got to the point where we said - we'll just have to do it when we can - with what we have, scissors. All of our shears are out for sharpening, of course!
It seems 'Jack' has decided he only feels comfortable with 'Tech' doing the semi-shearing here. The poor guy is a rich, beautiful black with a TON of dense fiber on him. Remember alpaca is 4 times warmer than wool so he is actually hotter than the sheep! Armed with a pair of craft scissors, 'Tech' was quite pleased Jack is so comfortable with only him. Mom sheared the two Giant angora rabbits (not seen here) - they were happy and got to romp in the garden afterward for a treat - they didn't want to move around much due to the heat - even after their coat was off. They liked the carrot pieces much better!
They are all enjoying a small patch of extra long salad that they've quickly grazed. Limiting them to new, small paddocks every day is making quick work of this out-of-control yard that will be naturally fertilized and growing even better after they move along. Behind Tech, I hope you can see the length compared to what they have grazed. The variety in their diets is only improving their rumen function and enabling them to uptake a greater variety of minerals. Sometimes they like to graze together, sometimes we have the alpacas in first or last and the sheep at another time...
If you haven't learned about the benefits of mob grazing - take a look at what the Salatin family shares through their farming experiences at Polyface Farms.
He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth. Psalms 104:14
We had our first booth at the Lattin's Country Cider Mill, nestled between the beautiful forests of Rainier and Olympia, Washington. A sweet gal we'd met at the Shepherd's Extravaganza thought it would be a fun vending opportunity and they were happy to have us. We had been there for a short visit years ago but the children were a bit too young to remember it.
The weather predicted was rain - surprise! - so we prayed for the Lord's work. We were anticipating a great time, enjoying a 'mini-vacation' to a unique destination (substantially more feasible when you have animals to care for), meeting new people, sharing our products and perhaps paying for our 'vacation'! How many other families get to do that?!
Dad learned the night before he wouldn't be able to be there to help us set up or participate in anything except possibly take down. This threw a wrench in our plans but we knew we could meet the challenge.
The children really pitch in well together for events and it was the same with this one - except that we needed 'mini-Dad's' to do some extra, and they sure did!
We missed a few key steps - left with only one table and the table cover quilts that were thought to be loaded, but the folks at Lattin's were kind enough to share an extra table and we used our extra front drape sheet as the entire table cover - it made a bold statement, as you see in the first photo.
There are quite a few local people that make Lattin's their common stopping point for delicious apple fritters and award winning apple cider. Including the Fed Ex and UPS drivers that stopped in and left quickly with their full white bakery bags. They aren't wrong. I've never had the joy of reliving my Great Grandma's home made donuts until I tried the apple cake donuts here. Oh, the sweet memories!!
I really should have taken some pictures, but to be honest, they disappeared quite quickly and we were so busy savoring every morsel, we just didn't think about it! Oh, and the warm apple cider kept us from the bit of chill making it's way through, but praise the Lord, no rain!
Lattin's also has a number of cute critters that share the farm and they even offer a little walk through petting zoo for just $2 per person. Ducklings, chicks and baby goats were just a few available to snuggle. There are pigs and sheep and goats that you can feed and watch gallivant around...and there were at least two families taking advantage of their birthday party packages that include free use of the giant tricycles - FUN!
Dad met us at nearly the end of the day and had a chance to chat with an owner of the mill. She shared a bit of their personal struggle to keep the historic place going and the challenges with the rising fuel costs for delivery of those higher priced apples. It's another sad example of a small business losing the battle with the sagging economy. It made me consider, all the more, the choices we make when and where we purchase....
All in all, Lattin's Country Cider Mill was a beautiful stop for us. Although many of the visitors of the day seemed to have one track minds - FRITTERS! - we were able to bring a few smiles as they stopped to watch us spin or picked up a few of Lil Miss's cards or Mini Farmer's soaps.
Did our vending booth pay for our trip? No. But we had a great little adventure that got us out to support a struggling local business; we met some fine folks and learned a bit better to make those lists and check them several times BEFORE we leave!
We may have an opportunity to visit again during their Famous Cider Days at the start of apple picking season in September. If you're looking for a fun place to stop or a fantastic bakery to visit, you won't be disappointed with Lattin's.
As we drove home through the winding roads, flanked by beautiful green tall firs, we thanked the Lord for our beautiful day, savored the richness of his glorious creation and smiled at the rains we finally met after a day of outdoor fun.
I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number: Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields: Job 5: 8-10
This is our journey.