Let's Spin . . . Jacob

This is the second post in the Let's Spin. . . series.  You can find the first post on spinning Coopworth here.  

Today's spin study is Jacob wool.  Jacob sheep are relatively small sheep that were historically kept as ornamental animals by the gentry of England. Jacob wool is interesting because there are multiple different colors within a single fleece.

Let's Weave . . . Bead Leno

As with the series "Let's Spin . . ." that I started with this post "Let's Spin . . . Coopworth", I'm starting a similar series on weaving.  The purpose of this series is to bring you weave structures and techniques that may be new to you.  There are certainly a lot of resources out there that explain and demonstrate these, but I have found that sometimes the many choices seem overwhelming.  If you're like me, sometimes just deciding what to try next becomes the stumbling block.  So my hope is that by providing you some information and an example of something I've actually woven, you might just say, "Hey, I can do that!".

I'll start this series with Bead Leno.

Woven Stained Glass

My mission with Flora & Fiber is to inspire you to create your own handcrafted traditions.  As such, I am exploring a variety of fiber arts techniques and bringing them to you.  This project, woven stained glass, was fun and a little off the beaten path.  It started with contemplating how to use leftover yarn from another project.  

Let's Spin . . . Coopworth

Today is the first installment of a recurring feature that I'm calling "Let's Spin . . . " There is such a myriad of fibers that can be handspun - wool, mohair, angora, cotton, flax, bamboo, polyester, silk, alpaca, and so much more!  As I work my way through spinning these varied fibers, I plan to share what I learn both from my study, as well as my experience with the fiber.  I hope you enjoy and find inspiration!

March Morning at the Farm

I thought I'd share some glimpses from my walk around Green Pastures Farm this morning.  It's a beautiful day . . . sunny, blue skies, the early Spring flowers and leaf buds are emerging . . . it's peacefully quiet except for the birds chirping and an occasional soft baaaaa from the goats . . . there's an earthy smell of freshly turned soil and a faint sweet scent of the Tea Olive blooms . . . the sun is beginning to gain warmth as it moves higher in the sky.

The Greenlaw Tartan

A few years ago, Pete and I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Scotland.  As part of our excursion, we visited Greenlaw, Scotland,  located about 35 miles ESE of Edinburgh in the county of Berwickshire.  

About 3 miles to the south of the village are the remains of Hume Castle. The name of Hume or Home originates from an Old English word Hôm, describing a place on a hilly outcrop or height; which aptly explains the name of the castle as it sits on just such a rocky hill.  Originally built in the 13th century, the castle was destroyed by Cromwell’s invading army in 1651. So what does Home/Hume have to do with Greenlaw?

More [Really Cute] Baby Goats

Back with another chapter of 'The Baby Goats of Green Pastures Farm'.  This time it's Jill's triplets born on Saturday morning, February 25!  Yes, two doelings and one buckling, all weighing in at 4 to 4 1/2 pounds.  Mama and babies are doing great.  Here's a little video taken when the babies were about an hour old.

Spinning Fairy Salad

So what is Fairy Salad you ask?  A yarn I custom blended and then spun using 'Fairy Fibers' from a Phat Fiber Sampler box and the 'Salad Batt' carding techinque.  

I thought I'd share my process of creating Fairy Salad in my hope to provide you with inspiration and, at the very least, a little colorful enjoyment. This is Post 1 of a 2 part series on Spinning Fairy Salad.  Today I'll cover the fiber preparation and blending of the salad batt and the second post will be the actual spinning and final handspun yarn!

World's Cutest Babies

I'm know that is a very broad and grandiose claim.  And I also know you may disagree with me, thinking your child or grandchild or niece or nephew or even your puppy or kitten is the cutest.  But really, look at those faces.

Launch of Flora & Fiber

A year ago I retired from my almost 4 decade healthcare career.  I truly enjoyed my years as a nurse and nurse practitioner and I honestly believe it to be my life's calling.  While I remain a nurse/nurse practitioner, those endeavors will be mostly of the volunteer nature - Free Medical Clinic, mentoring, presenting . . . not to say I won't do some consulting work if offered big bucks!!! ;-)

There were many reasons for my decision, but one of them was that I wanted to try my hand at something new - something I could create . . . own . . . manage.  So, I took 2016 to be the year I explored the possibilities.  Being a lifetime learner, this was a fun project!  What I found is that I really enjoy fiber arts - specifically weaving, spinning, dyeing and the such.  I bought a 4 shaft loom and a spinning wheel, planted a dye garden, set up an area in the barn for a dye area, joined a local spinning and weaving guild, and voraciously consumed online and print articles and videos about the subjects.

I then pondered, so what do I do with this new found knowledge and skills?  I could just quietly enjoy "retirement", but that's not really my style.  As I told everyone when I resigned from my job, it wasn't really retirement, but the time for a second career. 

So that brings me to today.  For the past month, I have been preparing for the launch of Flora & Fiber.