The farm house

The farm house

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chesterville Spin-In

On Wednesday I attended a Spin-In for the very first time. It was their 15th anniversary of such a gathering and the theme this year was All Things Shetland. So, I attended as a vendor. I sold a bit of roving but met all kinds of helpful people. Spinners were spinning with all kinds of beautiful things some good quality, some just because it was given to them. If you had questions, they had the answers and were very willing to share them with you.

Of course there were the folks I already knew which is comforting when attending a new "venue". Of course I never thought to take photos as I always seem to become overwhelmed in these places: so much to see, feel, hear...I would love to attend Rhinebeck but I could see myself freeze, like a deer caught in the headlights just taking a glimpse at all the items etc...

After speaking with a few attendees, I may be setting up shop at a Farmer's Market end of summer-fall.It will take that long to get this year's product back. I also saw a demonstration of a blending board...Pretty simple and effective.I may invest in one of those.

Still no lambs and I'm glad as it has been cold. Today's weather is much warmer but...snow, lots of it and blowing. School buses are cancelled and my walkway is covered by drifts...I'm supposed to do some bookkeeping for someone today but it will have to wait as there is also no car available. The ewes are not bagged up yet, although they are lounging more and biting at their sides because there is movement in there. Maybe for my birthday? But no Valentine's day babies.

Now, I think I will continue knitting a double knit mitt, pattern provided by a spinner I met on Wednesday. Reversible and 2 layers of warmth. If I ever finish the pair, I'm already prepping for next winter!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Catching Up

Yesterday, an old friend came for a visit. In fact she brought lunch and some wine and we had a blast discussing thing and venting on other topics. A visit is not complete without a tour of the barn and the critters! While we were chatting in the barn, Fiona decided to jump pens. Oh, no! She was in with the rams. She decided she wanted back on the other side and was bleating for her friends. I also did not want to be with the rams. I went into her old pen, lured her over and grasped her firmly and put her back where she belonged. Add sheep wrangling to my resume!

 In the evening I attended the February gathering of the Ottawa Knitting guild. I had an overdue library book and felt compelled to attend if not only to return the book. Fortunately, there are no fines! Meanwhile, I heard a wonderful lecture about different cast ons and how the knitter utilized them for different purposes. It is good to have a repertoire of techniques. This way, you have options and you decide what suits your project best.

I had brought with me some of my wool so folks can "feel" how nice my Shetland wool is. By doing so, I met a few new faces at the knitting guild. Some old familiar faces were also about squeezing the wool. I was too shy to get up and speak about my lovely product but I will have to get over that and promote my product as shameless as it may be!

This morning I also met with an old friend. It is totally awesome to have all the wonderful vibes from folks coming to me and I hope that I can reciprocate the feeling.Knitting is a beautiful thing!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February Blues..2014

February has almost always given me the blues, even though the color blue does not appear often throughout the month. The sky is a drab grey or shades thereof. Right now it is white because it is snowing, yet again. I can barely make out the farms on the next concession over. Mother Nature has been oppressing this year. Almost as much as Hydro One... The local utility company who charges a delivery rate, a debt retirement fee on top of what you use thus doubling your invoice in one month, to the point that some folks can't afford to pay- I being one of them. $600 for an actual consumption of $308-which is high due to a furnace coming on at all hours because it has been a cold winter. It's unreal and now I wonder if I must sell my house, sell some livestock, what else? The cost of living has gone up so much since we've moved here I truly fear for the future.

Last week, Mr. Guinness passed away. I did not expect this. I figured he would have more time. I swear that with every animal that passes here, a piece of my heart gets harder. Enough said about that. The hens have not been laying and I am anxiously awaiting the ewes to have lambs. I really can't get into the whole shopping from the seed catalogue as I don't think winter is anywhere near done. I also think my hens know it. Heck I can't collect enough to spare any eggs  for hatching... The turkeys haven't started either.

I am now debating whether I should apply for farm status or just a small business. at least with farm status you get a break on the municipal taxes but...There is a minimum amount of income required. And right now, I can't even sell eggs! However, next week I am attending a Spin-In as a vendor and not as a spinner as my spinning is not as refined as I would like it to be.-I need practice and with a small cat around who figures the belt is exclusively for his own amusement-no deal; for him or for me...

This photo is of a geranium that I purchased 2 years ago. I bring them in in the Fall and now I do have a bit of color all year 'round. If any of you are on Facebook, go to Karberry Farm and tell me what dates and what sex, singles or twins the ewes will have...better hurry because they can happen anytime after the 7th!