Customizing My Spinning Wheel

My first and only spinning wheel is a Louet S-17.  As a novice spinner, the reason I chose this particular wheel was I wanted a quality, yet inexpensive basic wheel and the S-17 more than fit that criteria.  Yes, there are fancier and prettier wheels, but I love the simplicity of my S-17!  

Most spinning wheels have a lacquered finish, while some are intricately carved from beautiful oak and cherry woods.  Not my S-17, it's unfinished, laminated hardwood that has been sanded satiny smooth.  Now some might find this unattractive, but I see it as a pristine palette calling me to create something uniquely mine.  And so that is just what I did.

Let's Spin . . . Blue Faced Leicester

Blue Faced Leicester, or more commonly referred to as BFL, is a favorite fiber of handspinners, as well as knitters, crocheters, and other yarn lovers.  Because of its popularity, BFL fiber is fairly easy to find.  It's also one of the most readily available breed-specific commercial yarns.

The Chicken Or The Egg?

Since childhood, I've heard "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?".  I'm not sure that I can definitively answer that age old debate, but I can tell you how chicks came to Green Pastures Farm. . .

Flora & Fiber Events

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to teach three natural dyeing workshops at the SC Jamboree hosted by the Lexington County Master Gardeners.  This year's theme was 'Let's Go Native', so I fit right in with my presentation of 'A Rainbow in Your Garden-Natural Dyes'.  

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!