What happens after the sheep is shorn?

Before we visited the sheep farm this past Saturday,
my husband, boys and I stopped into this nondescript building
near the traffic circle in Greenwich, NY, to the east of our home.

It's the new home of Battenkill Fibers Carding and Spinning Mill
where they produce "artisan quality natural-colored and dyed
yarn using traditional semi-worsted milling machinery."
We were all mesmerized by the whirring and spinning!

As part of the Washington County Fiber Tour,
visitors were invited in to learn what it takes to go
from fresh-shorn fleece to processed and dyed yarn.

The mill is filling a huge need here in upstate NY
by providing a service that small hobby farmers
used to have to send out of state for, and that was
only if they deemed it a financially-viable step.

We all got a free skein of partially processed yarn (on the right).
Both it, and the natural sock yarn (on the left) that I bought,
are going to get the Kool-Aid dye treatment at some point.

I also parted with some of my hard-earned cash
on three skeins of yarn seconds in these great hues.
The imperfections appealed to me --
a lot like homespun leading to a bit of variety
in the stitches of the finished product.

Can't wait to go back!


Saturday on the farm

This past weekend we visited Hartshorn Ridge
 as part of the Washington Country Fiber Tour.
The Graves family, transplanted cityfolk,
raise Romney sheep on their Greenwich, NY farm.

We spent most of our time in the barn full of ewes and lambs.


The dark lambs were hard to capture in the low indoor light
so I didnt get too many shots of them.

Some lambs were inside while their mamas roamed outside,
baaing loudly back and forth to each other.
Sounded like my own house at times!!!

The two studly rams were kept on the other side of the property.

Hanging inside the lamb barn were the bright paintings of Leslie Peck.
If I can't have farm animals, can I have some of her work?

I wanted to sit here all day and just enjoy
the sheep and the rolling country hillside.

Of course, I had to take pics of the other red hens!

This is the third year we have done the the local farm tour.
Each year, we have picked different farms
and met alpacas, angora rabbits, goats and sheep
as well as the open and friendly people who raise them.
If you get a chance locally, take your family on a tour.
What an experience!


Inexpensive decorating

It's spring and we have caught the new furniture bug.
We haven't gone to the big furniture warehouse
or even to any of the many local antique stores.
Think of much cheaper sources --
like a thrift store and even curb crawling.

It was the price and potential that drew me to these two.
Octagonal end tables with coveted storage space underneath.
Oooh, they will be perfect for our living room,
after getting a layer of bright white paint and new hardware.

They came from the Salvation Army thrift store,
where my son and I were looking for vintage prom wear.
Besides these $6-each pieces I hit the motherlode
also finding quite a bit for my Etsy shop.

This bentwood rocker, probably 70s vintage,
was the contribution of my three younger boys.
During a walk, they found it in a neighbor's yard,
with a sign that said "Free, Broken Seat."

They carried it home all by themselves
for their older brother to do the minor repair.
After getting cleaned up it will be ready to use.
I loved some photographs of similar rocking chairs
painted white, so it may get that treatment too.

This furniture has inspired me to redo our living room.
Might have to butter my husband up with first.
Maybe something newer, like a flat-screen tv, will do it.
We've certainly saved enough on the furniture purchases.


Learning something new

I know I have been remiss in posting lately.
Been a crazy time around here, as spring always is --
bagpipe band activities, yearbook production
and now the kids are on spring break.

I have been able to sneak in some crochet time,
and I am so proud of my progress and all that I am learning.
Thanks to the help of more experienced crocheters
I am now able to read elaborate patterns and diagrams!!!

My first version of this square motif took forever.
My issue was with how I was ending the rows.
It really goofed me up with the next row.
Once I got straightened out, it was amazingly simple.

This is going to make a pretty lightweight scarf.
The yarn is hand-dyed wool-blend sock yarn


Falling in love with English chintz transferware

Either you love this set or you hate it.
My friend's aunt was going to toss it out
but gave it to her to sell instead.

This brown English chintz transferware pattern
called "Bermuda," made by Myott & Sons in the 30s,
is very rare due to a 1949 fire that destroyed
the company's records and pattern books.

I have multiple listings for the pieces on my Etsy site
but also have permission to offer the whole lot,
9 pieces in total, for a lower cost of $400.00.
Let me know if you are interested.


Drumming in the sun

The pipe band competition may have been inside
but it was such a warm and sunny Saturday
the drum corps was able to warm up outside.

I'll be back with more photos from the stage 
at the New Hampshire Scottish Indoor Festival.


Views from the neighborhood

Yes, I did take pictures of things other than crocuses
during our multiple neighborhood walks last week.
I enjoy discovering something new with each outing --
and being able to share them here with you.