Monday, January 17, 2011

The Things you find!

I was updating my data base for the Lake Country Weavers Guild, and here I found Jan Zindel's blog spot. Wow! Nice job Jan! I wish I could stay on top of my blog half as well. I keep trying. Jan is also on the Northwoods Art Tour, as I am, you should stop by her unique place and see her awesome loom. I never saw one as intracate as her's. She is very knowledgable. So go check her out!

Thursday, December 30, 2010



I can feel our time slipping away.
Time is a tangible thing.
You can hold it in your hand
Like sand.
But like sand, it slips away
between your fingers.
You can clutch at it,
Try to grasp it within your fist.
But eventually, it will all get away.

I treasure the time we share.
Each moment we have together
Is precious to me.
I want to hold each memory
Gently In my hand.
To gaze on them, and cherish them.
To string them together
Like pearls.

When we are apart, as we often are,
I will look at my pearls.
As I hold each one, I will see you.
I will see our time.
And remember all the moments we shared.
And I will hold time, our time,
In my hand, and feel peace.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Hardest Day of the year for a Shepherd

Today was the hardest day of the year for a shephard. At least for THIS shephard. Today was Cull & Slaughter Day. All the culls of my herd, those that must go, are pulled out, along with the lambs that are earmarked to go. We sort, pen, then start the process.
We have our system, Paul really ends up with the lion's share of the work. The actual killing, gutting, skinning. I do the sorting & penning, and drive/operate the bobcat that we use to haul & hang the carcusses.
It's grizzly work, messy, gory, and the barn looks like a scene from a slasher movie, waiting for the CSI team to show up. But this is our meat for the year, this is how I keep the numbers in control of my flock. You can not keep them all!! This is when I get my last gift from my sheep as they give finally their hides to be tanned.
So that's how it is for a shepherd. The sheep gives us their fleece to be spun into yarn, then they give us their flesh to feed us, and finally their hides to use. They remind us that life is all a cycle, a circle, that goes on & on & on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Northwoods Art Tour 2010

It was a great tour season, LOTS of visitors came. Again, there are now more new spinners and weavers in the world; so many people left excited and eager to get started! I knew of several looms for sale in the area, and phone numbers were given, after following up on them, about half of the looms were purchased by my visitors!! Spread that Fiber Arts virus!
Nothing else I know can bring the internal peace and self satisfaction of fiber arts. My best moments of my days are spent in my studio; it's like a whole different world there. The music is playing in the background, the sounds of equipment engaged, the warm, earthy smell of the fibers laying about the place. It's my little piece of heaven. Come on by sometime and hang out for a while.
Remember, if the light on the porch is on, then I'm working inside. And that means come on in. You are always welcome.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What's on the Loom?

This is Paul's blanket I've been working on. It's on my big LeClerc loom. I'm doing it in 4 panels, finished size will be 110 inches X 120 inches, for our king size bed. I'm hoping my seams will be fine enough to not be seen after it's been fulled. I'll keep you posted on the progress. All the sheep are represented in the big checkerboard, and it's not real fancy so he's happy.
I want to get this one done soon, as I'm already planning a Summer & Winter project, which I'll need at least 6 harnesses and 10 treadles! By the time I'm done with Paul's blanket, my research will be done and I'll be so very ready to go!

Northwoods Fall Art Tour 2009

We had a great turn out for the Art tour. The Homestead had lots of visitors; and the world has a good number of new spinners in it now. I didn't sell much in the way of woven goods, but the yarn & the hides did well.

I had a visit from a previous customer, Anna. She had purchased some of Whoopie's yarn for a sweater and came by to show me the completed work. It was truly beautiful and very well done. I'm so glad she came by!
It was a busy weekend, but I feel good that so many people came by to see my studio, to try out the looms and wheels, and to visit with my sheep. It makes all the work very worth while.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Machine Knit Socks

Machine Knit Socks: I used sock yarn, which is rather fine

Cuff: Lock (carriage) on right side of machine. Bring 70 needles forward into rest position. Open the latches.

I used a 2-1-2 ribbing, other wise, push every other needle back into the neutral position, for 2-1-2=2 needles forward, one back, etc..

Cast on to the remaining needles, and bring to Yarn Receiving Position.

Set row counter to 000.

Knit for 24 rows, then bring forward the Neutral Position needles into the working position. Turn up edge & loop onto the needles that have been brought forward, so now you have a complete row of 70 working needles.

Reset row counter to 000.

Leg: Knit for about 110 rows or till desired length, I usually want about 8” for the ankle.

Now we’ll get ready to knit the instep (the part of the sock that is on top of your foot).

With lock on right side, using a contrasting length of scrap yarn, manually knit 3 rows onto the far left 17 needles, remove from those 17 needles. Push lock to left, and repeat on right side, with the far right 17 needles; then push lock to right.

Now you have 36 needles in the working position. Knit to desired length from ankle to base of toes, I need 80 rows or about 6”. Then it’s time to shape the toe!

Toe: start to decrease, one stitch from each side, till row counter is at 28 and there are 8 stitches left in working position, (that’s the top of your toes).

Start to increase, one stitch from each side, till counter is at 56. (That was the bottom of your toes).

Sole: Knit for the same number of rows you used for the instep, (mine is 80 row, or 6”). NOW it’s time to turn that heel.

Heel: As you did for toe, decrease one stitch each side, for 26 rows, till there are 10 stitches in working position. Then increase back till there are 36 working stitches, row counter should be at 56. Knit one more row, then with contrasting yarn, run 3 rows. Remove sock from machine.

Stitching Time:

First you need to stitch together the leg tube, use your preferred method. I use mattress stitch as I can get the seam to lay flat. Then bring the heel with the scrap yarn and the bottom edge of leg/ankle tube with its scrap yarn together and using a kitchner stitch, grafting the edges together, cleanly. You should be able to pull the scrap yarns out. Join the sole to the instep. You are done! If needed, you can slip a piece of elastic through the cuff for extra support, I’ve never needed it.

NOW! Do this all again so you have 2 socks.

You will need to adjust your stitch counts to suit your foot and the type of yarn you’re using, adding or subtracting stitches &/or rows as needed to fit.

Good luck & happy knitting.