Friday, July 29, 2011

New Product Line

Last spring sometime, Lou Ann and I had a major fleece cleaning day.  She has said more than once that she would love to see that fleece once it is processed to spin.  So on Monday, I got an ounce of top combed from that perfectly beautiful dark brown Shetland.

My Daughter brought her camera over and we played a bit with it.  First I made little nests with it, but that made it look a little fragile and we weren't sure how that would ship.  Then, I rope braided it and made a wreath of it.  That was better but not great!  Of course I don't have those photos to show you since they are in her camera!  We decided to call it a day, and on a whim she left her camera here at the house. 

I got to thinking about how I was going to package this Top!  I did a search on Etsy, and found that almost everyone does a braid, which for hand combed Top is just not the right presentation.  Machine combed Top is very dense, almost rope like, and hand combed Top is as light as a feather and very soft.  I also noticed that anything that wasn't a braid caught my eye! 


Then I remembered that I had bought some roving a couple of years ago that was simply wrapped around a core of brown wrapping paper.  I have plenty of that, so I made my core and began to wrap.  I tried to wrap evenly up and down the core, until I ran out.  The end product, you see here, I believe is a winner!  I snapped some pictures with her camera and took it all over to my daughters house to get her opinion.  She loved it!  (These pictures I took with my camera so they are not the final views.)

 I will need a new lable, a little longer and a little wider than the usual one.  I also think I will try and see what a 2 ounce package would look like.  I can fill a normal size bobbin with 2 ounces, and when plied together the 4 ounce skein would fill a jumbo bobbin! 



There is still some work to do on this product line,  I may offer "Clean Locks" at one price, and the "Combed Top" at a different price.  That would leave the "waste" wool to sell for felting, or stuffing.  Nothing goes to waste! 




This is a bit of a trial run to see how I might be able to sell some of the 15 clean fleeces I have in the studio.  I will spin some myself, but really there is not enought time in the day to spin all 15!

Until next time, Happy Creating, Tina

Friday, July 22, 2011

Last Tuesday!

Tuesday was an interesting day.  We had all three cars broken down, or semi broken down, (the truck with no rear view mirrors and one car with a muffler issue, the last really was undriveable).  So there was the shuttling of cars to do.  I was thankfully able to ring up Lou Ann to see if I could ride to weaving with her, but I was still unsure about what part I would play in the great car swap off.

  There was also the few hours we are on duty with the grandkids on Tuesday, I generally take Monday, but sometimes I am called upon to do Tuesday as well if Hubby is tied up with something else.  After a few calls back and forth it was decided that LA would drop me off at my daughters, while Hubby was dropped off by a friend to pick up the now fixed car.  Then we could take the kids swimming.  Great sounds like we have a plan!

Then the phone rings, my new hay guy is cutting today, can I pick up my 30 bales tonight?  You must understand that when you find a local hay guy, you must do everything in your power to keep him!  The price for his hay is half of what I am paying at the local feed store.  So of course I said yes I would be there!  Remember that my Truck doesn't have any rear view mirrors, (the last one fell off while they were fixing the 02 censor)  The kids are in the swimming pool, and my Hubby had a meeting that night, and won't be able to help me.  Can you say STRESS!

I ended up borrowing a small truck from my SIL, and picking up the hay 10  bales at a time and stacking them in the barn up to the rafters all by myself, all 30 of them, at around 70lb each.  At times I felt like I was on the biggest loser show and I needed Gillian to be screaming at me to not give up, and that I could do it!  I finally finished up at around 10pm, just about the same time that Hubby drove in the drive way.

I got into the shower,  I got a bowl of cereal for dinner, and I posted the Tuesday edition of the Loomy Tunes blog.  The shower felt great, the cereal was perfect and knowing that I had 30 bales of hay out there in the barn felt the best!

 








Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Produce!

Tomatoes are almost a given this time of year.  Some years it is true have been lean, but not this year!
Here are some Yukon Gold new potatoes.  These are a thin skinned potato, just right for digging all thru the summer.  The Russetts we will let go til the fall, for storage.
This is my second batch of Blackberry Jam/Preserves, this time I used Maggies recipe, which uses no pectin.  I was a little nervous because I did not have a candy thermometer to keep track of the the temp.  I had bought one yesterday and left it at Wally World, when I went to go get it today, they didn't have any more.  So I followed the old sheeting method you find in books like "Stocking Up ".  To say I was a little nervous about it is an understatement.  I had a little left over so I put it in a little glass bowl on the counter to cool.

Well what do you know, it worked! Yumm!







Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Camping!

The tent has been borrowed and the car is packed, the tomatoes are staked and the blackberries picked.  The animals fed and the  neighbor is coming this evening and tomorrow morning to do the chores.  All because, in a few minutes we are going camping!  This first time it will only be an overnight stay, and we will be with good friends that have camped for years.  We don't have far to drive really, only 45 minutes or so to the Great Smokey Mountains! 

We have always wanted to take more advantage of our proximity to this natural wonder, and this may be a way to do that.   I am hopeful that this will be the kind of thing that we can do frequently during the warm summer months with the grandbabies.  We will see.  I am taking the camera so stay tuned for some first camping trip pics!

For those of you who posted in the comments over on Loomy Tunes, concerned about our sleeping arrangements, I will have an air mattress, two layers of eggshell, and a comforter, and sheets between me and the tent floor!  We are bringing our own pillows and a comforter for a cover.  So I have tried to make it as homey as I can for Hubby, who hasn't camped much at all.

I will report back Sunday evening or Monday morning.

Until next time, be Happy Campers, Tina

Monday, July 4, 2011

New kid pictures!



They aren't speaking to me right now.  I took them to be disbudded on Saturday morning, and they are a little on the leary side.  Just this morning, though, one of them came up to me to sniff my leg, now that is progress!

Captain and Tap Dancer on the bench!







Acrobat moving too fast!  He just turned his head!












Left to right: Captain, Ballerina and Acrobat.








Left to right: Ballerina, Tap Dancer, Captain and finally a good picture of Acrobat!














Ballerina







I found a milking stand on Craigslist for a song, and I will be picking it up this afternoon.  I am so glad I don't have to make one!  They are very useful for other things besides milking, for example for hoof trimming and preventative treatments for lice and intestinal bad guys, not to mention when the vaccines are due.  No more wrestling a goat with a syringe in my hand!


Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tatted Lace Cap

I visited my Son and his family this week in Texas.  While I was there his wife brought out a Tatted Bonnet that her Great Great Grandmother had made.  It is so beautiful that I had to share it  with you.  A Cabbage Patch doll with dark hair offered to model the hat for us since we didn't have a real babies head to do the job.
I hope that you can see the detail on this cap, be sure and click on the pictures to enlarge them if you want to. 

It really got my fingers itching to bring out my shuttles and try to duplicate it!   There are so many picots on this hat and the thread is so fine, I know it would take me forever to make it, but I may have to try, maybe with a thread that isn't quite that fine.  If I do give it a try I will post pictures as I go along.

That is it for now, I am off to do some laundry and see if I can finish weaving the baby blanket that is already in progress on the loom.

It is good to be home,
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina