26 November 2010

happy happy

It's been awhile since I've posted a blog, but this holiday weekend has given me a break from school and time to spend with my family and my yarn basket.

I've got various projects that I should be working on: some baby things for my sister, some mittens for myself and a neck cowl. I haven't picked up my knitting needles for almost a month and now many of my projects have me confused. What stitch was I on? How did I modify this pattern?

If worse comes to worse I guess I'll have to tear out some of my projects until I can get to a moment where I understand what I was doing. Right now I have a pile of yarn on the coffee table in front of me. I'm going to try and start a few new projects.

This holiday I was supposed to be part of a Christmas cookie exchange, I had all the ingredients to make a batch of lemon refrigerator cookies, but ran out of time. My family still gave me some cookies though. I think I'll sample a few and spend the afternoon knitting.

Happy holidays everyone!

24 September 2010

half a mitt knit

I've been so busy lately, my knitting has been forced to the fringes of my life. Hopefully I'll find some time this weekend to start on the other mitt.

20 September 2010

a litte B & E

I have this book titled Normal is just a setting on the Dryer by Adair Laura and it's filled with helpful tidbits on life. It contains wise sayings such as:

Wine, heavy cream, and salt can make you look like a genius in the kitchen.
Give the people you love some slack.
Never pass up on a opportunity to pee.
Blame your parents and get on with your life.
Perms are always a bad idea.
Never dive into anything if you can't see the bottom.
Your mother isn't always right, but a lot of the time, she is.
Always know how to break into your own house.

Do you know how to break into yours? I had to break into mine tonight. I think the lock must be sticking or something, because there I was, after twelve hours in the studio, dying for a beer and the sofa, and I couldn't get the front door open.

I also have a key for the back door of the house . . . but the screen door was locked. THE SCREEN DOOR WAS LOCKED, people. No matter, I teetered into the flower beds with my high heeled boots and bent myself into a shape a contortionist would have gawked at and finally got into the house.

I went straight to the fridge to grab a cold beer, but someone forgot to restock the beer after they took the last one. Huh, I guess sometimes life works out that way.
P.S. I'm using some of the yarn in the image above to knit myself a pair of cabled mitts for winter. More images to follow.

02 September 2010

a welcome letter

Dear New Roomie,

We are happy to have you here. At first we couldn't decide if we liked you. You talk a lot and disrupt our places on the sofa. You move our toys from their rightful place in the middle of the hardwood floors and put them in wicker baskets.

You distract the boy who should be petting and talking to us . . . instead he is talking to you and shooing us off of the tables that used to be our territory.

Still, you've brought interesting things into the house. Baskets full of yummy smelling fiber. We like to roll in it and shred it into bits. Our favorite toys are now the balls of yarn you bring into the house.

We like to find balls that are small enough to carry around from hiding place to hiding place, never mind the fact that in the morning you wake up to yarn wound around the legs of all of the furniture.

It's fun to watch the boy crawl around on all fours winding it up before you notice. This could be an exciting new game.

We would tell you that we like the way you clean our litter boxes on a regular basis, but that is beneath us, of course.

As long as you know your place in the this house and rightfully respect ours (purr) and as long as you keep bringing us yummy new fiber -- we heard something about angora rabbits the other day -- we will allow you to stay and not mess with your knitting.

At least not very much.


Furball and Chewy

31 August 2010

3 ton boxes (and other heavy hobbies)

My recent three weeks of blogging silence can be blamed on the exhaustion that results when one changes residences. Over the last five years I've moved around seven times. This time, however, I think I may be living in my new location for a while.

For those of you who follow this blog, you'll know my current location when I write that I'm finally living in the house that overlooks my garden. (Garrett's house!)

Every time I move I rethink my hobbies . . . the bags of books, cooking and knitting magazines. Are they really worth the backache and the pain of moving them from point A to point B?

Yesterday we finally got my last bookshelf in place and I was able to unpack all my books. Garrett had a hard time believing this, but every book that I chose to bring with me is a book that I have read and would reread.

Here are some of the greatest hits:

Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer
Alice Hoffman's Here On Earth and Practical Magic
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility
Mary Oliver's poetry
Rumi's poems
E. M. Forster's A Room with a View
and much much more, of course!

Still, I have to admit that I did appreciate the lighter boxes that had to be moved from my apartment. The baskets full of fiber and yarn.

The yarn in the top photo is some of our mill spun CVM romeldale fiber in a soft charcoal gray. I already have a sweater (Interweave Fall 2010) in mind to knit with it when I get the chance.

This naturally colored yarn makes me think of all the colors and textures that can be found in the world around us. Shells, bark, horns and bird's nests.

A sheep's soft fleece.

Here's a specimen from our pasture at Crosby Hill Farm. She's pretty proud that last year's fleece made it into yarn.

Happy knitting and spinning everyone!

11 August 2010

valentine's chili + coffee (iced)

I don't know if anyone else out there is like this, but I found this recipe in Good Housekeeping for "Red Valentine's Day Chili" and even though it's August in the middle of a heat wave I had to try it out.

First of all, the recipe called for tomatoes, peppers, onions and beets. Ingredients that I have on hand in the garden.

There were some things that I tossed into the chili pot even though the recipe didn't call for them. Tomatillos for example. I have one tomatillo plant, and I swear, if it could it would take over the entire garden.

I've cut it back several times, but it's still branching out. Its fruit reminds me of Chinese paper lanterns.

Here's some of the ingredients mixed up in the pot. One of the things I love about cooking is chopping up all of the vegetables and mixing them together. This recipe called for a red pepper, a red onion and two large beets.

All of those shades of red looked fabulous combined together. This shot reminds me of some yarn I just spun. The magenta flashes are like the ruby red flesh of a fresh beet. (Beets are one of my favorite veggies, by the way.)

Anyway, I find it always feels good to use something from the garden when I'm cooking. Another great thing about this recipe is that it allowed me to use some of the stewed tomatoes I had stored in the cupboard from last year's garden.

I used two pint jars and let the chili sauce simmer down into a deep red sauce.

It was tough to beat the heat while making this. (I chugged two large glasses of iced coffee.) This chili -- even though it's peppered with hot spices and ground up chipotle peppers -- wasn't hard to eat in the heat.

There's something about spicy food and hot climes. (And I guess anything goes well with an ice cold beer.)

09 August 2010

when the opposite occurs

I was home at the farm this past Thursday, and you know what that means: I spent the entire afternoon planted on my butt spinning fiber.

This fiber.

A while back, when I finished dying it I thought it was a bit of a dud batch. Some unexpected things had happened. I expected the black dye to absorb more and hoped that the reds and magentas would stay subtle, but the opposite occurred.

More rosy reds, less dark blacks.

I guess I should know by now to keep an open mind when I start tipping jars of color into the dye pot.

If you don't unintentionally do what you never wanted you won't get results that you couldn't imagine. (I only sanction this mindset with dying fiber, finger painting, and plant combinations in the garden.)

06 August 2010

some tendrils & some twines

I'm working on several projects here in early August. I can't deny one of the biggest is the garden. Suddenly I have weeds and vegetables everywhere. I thought I could keep up with my two rows of green beans, but the bean pods are starting to grow into food fit for giants.

I had to compost a bunch yesterday. I know I could wait for the beans inside to mature, but I haven't got the time or a place to allow them to dry out . . . yet.

I'm just happy none of my plants have fried in the sun, but I've managed to keep on top of the watering. It's relaxing to stand out in the backyard barefoot and water the thirsty garden at twilight.

The image above is of the floral edge of the my garden. I have petunias, moss roses, rosemary, thyme, blooming cabbages and marigolds -- an afterthought this past spring, but now it's one of my favorite parts of the garden.

Here's a project that I'm working on: Jennifer Tepper Heverly's Windjammer Socks, found in a lovely book The Knitter's Book of Wool by Clara Parkes. I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in breeds of sheep and grades of fiber. The first entry is about CVM romeldale sheep, so how could I not check out this book?

The yarn I'm using is from Briar Rose Fibers: Grandma's Blessing in all shades of green things that sprout. So far I'm loving its plush texture and soft finish.

And finally, I'm almost done with the baby sweater I'm knitting for my friends' new daughter. The yarn is Kaffe Fassett's collaboration with Regia sock yarn. I've had to tweak the stripes somewhat, but for the most part I've let it stripe as it was designed.

I should be sewing in these loose ends this afternoon.

Looks like this weekend will be a mix of bon fires and volleyball with a bit of spinning on the side. (Hope the weather complies.)

26 July 2010

gardening by candlelight

The green beans are coming in out in the garden, as well as the cucumbers, beets, broccoli, basil, swiss chard and tomatoes. My zinnias are blooming.

I spent a lot of time out in the garden this weekend, tying up my wayward tomato plants and clearing out the pea plants to make way for a row of carrots that should be plump and sweet in time for an autumn harvest.

We've been trying to keep up with all our ripening vegetables by eating something fresh from the garden at every meal. But, wouldn't you know it, we still can't keep up.

Late Friday night I found myself out in the garden checking on my tomato plants. Some candles were still burning on the table out on the terrace and the flicker of candlelight was cast into the garden.

I guess I'm kinda weird, because I found the atmosphere very appealing and would have stayed out longer had the mosquitoes not discovered my ankles. Sometimes, even though my garden is located in south Minneapolis, when I'm out in it I feel like I'm far away from everything else.

Here's to hoping I find more time to garden by candlelight.

15 July 2010

footware malfunctions and other hazzards

Yesterday, on my trek into the library, I stumbled on a crack in the sidewalk and my flip flop broke. Those of you who wear flip flips will immediately realize my predicament: I then had to hobble home with one flip flop on and one flip flop off.

This wasn't very fun on the dirty sidewalks around campus which are littered with broken glass and garbage. I tried not to think about all of the times I'd seen other disgusting things on the sidewalk over the course of my stay in this neighborhood called Dinkytown.

Imagine the evidence that could be left on the sidewalk after a throng of undergrads gets let out of the bar at one in the morning.

Believe me, I tried not to.

But on to less stomach troubling thoughts, as hoped for, my toasty twist socks are complete. Here's a pair of socks that can be worn with some trendy shoes with no worries of a wardrobe malfunction that will leave one hobbling home trough debris.

Here in Minnesota we are experiencing the dog days of summer, a stretch of time when I for one can't help dreaming about chillier sidewalks, colder breezes and the call for sturdy shoes and cleverly knit socks.

Cheers, everyone!

11 July 2010

a busy weekend

My feather and fan throw is finally finished. It's going to stay at my mom and dad's house so that everyone can enjoy it. I think it makes sense, since so many people had a hand in making it.

My mom and my cousin Ashley spun some of the colored yarn, I spun all of the dark brown yarn. And best of all, most of the yarn used in this project comes from our sheep.

10 July 2010

some loose ends

This weekend is all about tying up some loose ends. I have a few projects that are nearing completion and I intend to get them done. How this is going to happen with all the work that needs to be done in the garden and all of the baking I want to do is another question.

The image above is of my first finished toasty twist sock. I'm about to turn the heel of the second, so I'm nearing home plate on that project.

I'm up at my parents' farm this weekend. There's a lot of weeds that need to be pulled in the garden and the carrots need to be thinned out. I'm thinking roast carrot soup with rosemary and homemade croutons. Plus some stuffed peppers from the stash that I froze last fall.

I don't know what I was thinking, but I actually didn't bring my spinning wheel out to the farm this weekend. I already miss it. Here's some fiber I found in my mom's stash that I'm just dying to spin right now: our One Red Hen colorway.

I like the subtle transition of colors in this fiber. From orange, coral, russet, brown to tan, saffron and pale turquoise--should be fun to spin.

Here's the gals that inspired it. This photo was taken by my cousin Ashely. She and her fiance spent a week "barn sitting" for my parents' recently and she captured a lot of great photos of the animals.

My mom has been spinning a lot of yarn this summer. She discovered books on cd and now she's listening to murder mysteries as she spins away.

Here's something she plied together last night. Our Coral Forest colorway. She's thinking about combining it with natural solid color and knitting a striped cap.

Now I want to do the same thing. Sheesh, this is why knitters always have half-a-dozen half finished projects on their needles.

Catch you all later.

02 July 2010

three's a charm (working on it)

I can't believe that I've been spinning for a little over two years and I've never attempted to make a triple ply yarn. Here's a picture of my first attempt. I want to make a chunky yarn, something that will knit up quite nicely on size 10 or 11 needles, and I'm not there yet.

The singles that go into this triple ply are going to have to be a bit fatter. Here's an occasion where a little bit of extra plump is a good thing!

This yarn will have to wait though, because this weekend I'm going on a camping trip to a cabin up north, and unfortunately there's no room in the car for my spinning wheel.

I do have some small knitting projects packed, through. It wouldn't be a vacation without my knitting.

Happy independence day everyone!

P.S. the background for this picture is a quilt my sister made for me this past fall and the fiber I used for this yarn is available for purchase . . . just check out the sidebar links to Crosby Hill Farm on this blog.

29 June 2010

toasty twist socks

It's been a long time since I've knit a pair of socks, but I couldn't resist this pattern when I saw it on Ravelry. So far it's been easy to read and fun to knit. I'm almost done with the first sock.

The twisted stitch that forms the spiral around the sock is a new discovery for me. I love its simplicity.

25 June 2010

feline approval

How is it that the cat always knows which object in the house is the subject of the most creative energies . . . and therefore moves to roll about on said object whenever the opportunity presents itself?

My feather and fan throw is now 60% complete. We have a camping trip and a long drive coming up at the end of the month, which means I should be binding off and sewing up loose ends soon.

23 June 2010

just spinningly

This weekend I worked with some fiber that almost seemed to spin itself . . . almost.

I don't know if it's a good thing to say that about a type of fiber, when it seems like hand-spinners are perhaps one of the only groups of people I know that love the challenge of hand crafting their medium through hours of processing and hard work.

Maybe this batch of yarn seemed to go so "spinningly" because of the over-the-top, luxurious results that I got from my efforts.

This fiber is 60% creamy CVM romeldale wool and 40% kid mohair. I'll get a natural example of this fiber up on the blog soon.

21 June 2010

knitting + hammock = bliss

I spent some time by the lake at a cabin in Wisconsin this weekend and participated in the usual "cabin activities." I attempted to canoe across the lake with my mother as a navigator only to discover that we were both exhausted when we got to the far side . . . too bad we had to row back.

That happens every year when we go camping.

I watched others attempt to catch fish off the dock and saw several sunfish reeled in. (Tonight we'll be eating some of those fish at our grill out.)

I sat in the shadow of the cabin drinking beer and watched as one of my cousins got thoroughly skunked by his wife in a game of washers. (That's where you throw a really large washer at a bucket in a wooden frame. 3 points for the bucket, 1 point for the frame.)

Then, when no one was looking, I grabbed my knitting a tiptoed out to the hammock by the edge of the lake. It was one of those impossible days in Wisconsin where there were actually no mosquitoes buzzing around your ears.

I love summer.

17 June 2010


As promised, here's a preview of the new project I'm working on using the yarn from the partially completed socks I was working on last fall and talked about in my previous post. The pattern comes from Beth Ann Paustian of Black Purl Designs : Sock it to Me Baby.

This little sweater is addicting, but I've had to pause indefinitely as I've run out of yarn and I'm hunting for more. Hopefully I'll have found some in time for the weekend, if not, I've got more than enough knitting to keep my fingers busy.

16 June 2010

design camp + knitting

This week I'm working as a teaching assistant at a design camp for a local twin cities school. The students I'm working with range from first to fifth grade.

Our design goals for the week are to teach the kids design principles and process, while at the same time, helping their teachers incorporate what we in the studio call "design thinking" into their teaching curriculum.

We're helping them to design and build "gathering places" on the grassy lot and nature area behind their school. First we'll investigate the site through sketching, photography and note taking, next we'll help them build study models out of collected materials, and finally we'll help them build full scale structures.

Should be a blast, these kids are so creative.

Anyway, the entire design process and thought behind it always brings me back to my knitting and spinning. Designers, whether of buildings or knitwear, (and I'd like to do both) go through the same process.

Knitting has helped me immensely in architecture school. I'm not afraid to take what I've learned from a project and set it aside to explore a new aspect of an idea. (Just like I'm not afraid to frog 3/4 or a sweater . . . well, I said I wasn't "afraid" but I do sometimes get frustrated.)

They say that "designers fail faster and better," and it makes me think back to some of the projects I've started and my own learning process to complete them has required me to rip them apart at several stages.

Anyway, this may be a tangent . . . but I can see the connections between design camp and knitting. You can bet I'll have a knitting project in my bag today and that I'll be working on it during my lunch break.

P.S. the images in this post are of a pair of socks that I was working on at a wedding I attended at a Wisconsin vineyard last fall. I've completely unraveled them and now I'm using the yarn to make a striped baby sweater. I'll have some images of that project in my next post.

09 June 2010

slugs, bugs and beer

I want lace on my knitting needles, but not in my garden.

To bring you up to speed: this year I'm tending an urban garden in my boyfriend's backyard. (He graciously donated about a third of his yard to this project so I can't have BUGS eating my plants!)

Currently most of my broccoli plants and a handful of my bean sprouts look the delicate lace leaves of a hand knit shawl. The culprits, I suspect are two varieties of beetles and a clan of slugs . . . well, not to mention the rabbits . . . but they seem to be afraid of the garden hose. So I have a handle on the rabbits . . . I think.

Never get to cocky about your garden. That's rule number one.

Rule number two is expect the unexpected. With this new garden on a new site in the city I knew I would be coming up against many unknowns. For instance, the soil that I found beneath the sod in the backyard seemed rich and loamy. It's filled with earthworms and plant matter, but I still don't know whether it will have the right matrix to sustain hearty vegetables.

I've brought in some compost from my parents' farm and started a compost pile of my own in the back of the lot, but the success of this garden will take time. I just want to see my plants grow into their blossoms so that they have a chance to produce fruits.

To do that I have to outsmart the bugs, slugs and rabbits. Like I noted earlier, the rabbits seem to be afraid of the garden hose I've wrapped around our tiny garden, but ultimately I'll probably need a short fence. The bugs and slugs are my immediate concern. I've tried a mild soapy spray on the leaves of my plants, because I will not use chemicals.

What seems to be working the best, however, is beer. A dollop of beer in the array of ceramic coffee cups that I have strategically placed around the garden. I found the coffee cups stashed in Garrett's garage. (He doesn't use these cups because they have a rim of metallic glaze that makes them spark in the microwave.)

The slugs don't mind. They seem to love slithering over that silver edge and plopping into the frothy pool of golden liquid I've set out for them. Too bad once they're in they can't get out!

Ah, the adventure and anxiety of a garden.

07 June 2010

a weekend at the wheel

This past weekend was gray and rainy, perfect for the garden and for time spent at the spinning wheel. On Saturday afternoon, my mother, my cousin and I sat in a cozy room off my parent's kitchen and spun yarn as lightning flashed across the sky and pinged off the tin roof.

Progress is also being made on my feather and fan throw. I spun some more chocolate brown worsted weight yarn for the spacing between the colorful yarns that make up this project.

I recruited both my mother and my cousin to each spin a skein of yarn for this throw, so the finished object will be a group effort.

I think that's the best way to make a large project. When it's finished this throw is going to stay at my mom and dad's house. Whenever one of us snuggles underneath it we'll think about this spring's sheep, the colors we spun up and the memories we shared.

05 June 2010

things a farm girl should know . . .

I keep on forgetting my grandma Lolly didn't grow up on a farm. Sometimes I expect her to know things that a farm girl should know, like how to treat slugs in the garden.

(She told me to stick a rusty nail close to the stem down near the roots of my tomato plants. That's for cutworms, so she was on the right track and I can't find fault with her desire to help.)

No, grandma grew up in town, the daughter of the owner of a small gas station. She and my grandpa farmed a small dairy farm later on, but that she married into, so she can't claim she was a farm girl.

And I don't think she'd want to.

My grandma Lolly is known for her watermelon lipstick, baked chicken and petal pushers. She was my first boss. When I was fifteen she taught me how to count back change to weekend campers at a local RV resort.

My sister and another cousin worked with us and I don't think we'll ever forget grandma Lolly laughing and shouting at us for some of the practical jokes we played on her. (Like fixing things to the ceiling fan and waiting for her to flip the switch and turn it on, or the time we all smeared on her watermelon lipstick and waited for her to notice our movie star lips.)

It took her fifteen minutes.

I'm home for the weekend, so grandma Lolly and grandpa Bob came over for dinner. Grandma Lolly brought one of her signature desserts. Her signature being to never bring the same thing twice. This new recipe was a daring improvisation from Country Woman or some other magazine. A confection of crushed nuts, coconut, pudding and whipped cream.

"Just something new." She told us. "Just something different for once."

Meanwhile the chickens were running around the yard outside the kitchen window. Grandma looked up and suddenly shouted.

"That roaster is attacking that hen. Look at it!"

We looked. No, we had to tell her, what she was seeing was something more along the lines of affection between the roaster and one our egg-laying hens.

"I suppose," grandma Lolly said, "this is a farm after all."

Yes it is, grandma. Yes it is.

P.S. The top image is of a card I illustrated for my cousin Ashley's birthday and the fiber is some yarn I spun last night . . . while I was watching the chickens chase each other across the yard.

The colorway is called Barn Raising, which is appropriate for this farm girl, I think.

03 June 2010

barn notes : lil jenny (not jilly)

Some of you may remember our donkey, Betty Lou. We got her last winter from a friend who basically gave her to us because she needed space in her barn and knew that our farm would be a good place for one of her animals.

Well, Betty Lou has grown on us . . . after a fashion.

Initially, we thought she would be a good addition to our farm because she could serve as a guard donkey for the sheep. But this spring when our lambs were born, she took one look at those cute, wobbly bundles of wool and tried to stomp them to death with her sharp donkey hooves.

That's right, we're lucky my mom, Julie, was in the barn. Because Betty was going after those lambs with blood and brimstone in her eyes. I don't think she had anything against lambs, maybe she'd never seen one before.

Anyway, after that Betty Lou wound up in another cow yard - with the bulls. (And yes, she held her own just fine.)

I think everyone has been so focused on the lambs that we forgot that Betty Lou was expecting herself . . . though no one knew exactly when.

About a week ago my dad went out to check on his cows, he does this a couple times a day, and he saw a strange creature standing behind Betty Lou. A little baby "donkeyette" with short donkey legs and a large donkey head with wide, soulful donkey eyes.

Baby donkeys are the cutest things.

We're lucky Betty is the gentlest of mothers . . . perhaps we'll be able to mix the sheep and the donkeys soon. We're naming the baby donkey Jenny, after my twin sister. I was supposed to be able to name her, and after I heard Jenny was promoting Jenny, I tried to push for Jilly.

I didn't have any luck, though.

01 June 2010

knitting in appropriate places

It's finally summer vacation for me and that means I'm spending a lot more time with my knitting needles. I've finished a few projects and started some new ones. Some people might find it strange that I knit all summer long.

Perhaps to the general public knitting seems like a winter or fall "sport" not something one would choose to do during the summer. Wool and 90 degree weather are not exactly compatible - and we've already weathered some pretty hot days here in Minnesota.

A few weeks ago I had a funny conversation with my boyfriend, Garrett. (His summer sport is volleyball. On a side note, I like to play with him . . . but there's always this fear in the back of my mind that I might sprain or jamb a finger and that would interfere with the knitting, you know.)

Anyway back to our conversation. He said he was going to play volleyball and I said "great, I'll come with. I'll sit and watch, try to soak up some sun . . . and I'll bring my knitting."

I was pretty excited about this. Not only would I be entertained by the sport and my project, but there was also the prospect of a cold beer and some tacos after my fingers were worn out.

Garrett seemed to find the idea of a young woman knitting beside a sand volleyball court on a hot summer day sorta funny. Now, ladies, he has so many other wonderful facets to his personality that I didn't tell him off or leave in a huff, trailing a spill of brightly colored yarn. I brought my knitting bag with us to the volleyball game and did some thinking along the way.

My thoughts were about people who knit. Here are my reflections: if you happen to enter a room with a lot of people and find one person, say a women, knitting chances are she's making something beautiful and has an entertaining story to tell about the project or its recipient.

Chances are she's educated and successful in some way - and I don't just mean she makes a lot of money or has a college degree, success is measured on so many levels. She's probably happy or at least happy with the project she's working on if it's going well.

My point is: if I walk into a room with a lot of people and I see someone with a bag of yarn and knitting needles, I'm very likely to gravitate toward them and start up a conversation. "What are you making? What's the stitch pattern? Who are you making it for?" Yadda yadda yadda. And before you know it, you've made a connection and you've learned something new.

I'm not going to worry any more about knitting in appropriate places, I'm just going to bring my knitting and dig in.

The images in this post are of a current project. The pattern is a simple four row repeat of a feather and fan stitch, the fiber is a variety of hand spun, hand painted and store bought yarns.

21 May 2010

it's all natural

left to right: tan roving, chocolate brown roving

This past spring my mother and I worked really hard dying over some of our creamy white top. We came up with vibrant color combinations and gave our creations inspiring names like Mermaids in the Basement (after a poem by Emily Dickinson), One Red Hen (after one of our crazy red hens) and Spring Fling (after all of the colors we were seeing in our woods.)

But at Shepherd's Harvest this year, none of those colorways seemed to sell. Everyone was after the CVM romeldale natural colored top and skirted, but unwashed fleeces. Crosby Hill Farm sold out of our skirted fleeces, but we still have a few pounds left of the top that we colored so prettily.

I'm not complaining. I guess that leaves more for me to spin this summer. I'm planning on making some pretty crazy socks.

left to right: white top, 80% wool 20% mohair chocolate brown top, and gray top

And looking at these beautiful bundles of fiber now, I halfway wonder what we were thinking when we dyed over some of it. I can imagine how these earthy tones will look spun up and knit into cables or seed stitches.

This is what you can expect out of the fiber of our lambs. They come in many shades and tones.

19 May 2010

spring lambs for sale

Crosby Hill Farm has been around for awhile, but we've only been in the business (or should I say lifestyle) of raising sheep for the past three years. These last two years my mom has been growing her flock, but this year we're ready to sell some of our stock of registered CVM romeldale sheep.

To the right of this post, in the handy selection panel, you'll find a link to all of the photos of the lambs that we have up for sale this season, a selection of ewe and ram lambs with a variety of natural colors to their fleeces. Also to the right, is a link to the National CVM Conservatory's website, of which Crosby Hill Farm is a member under the web address tendrilandtwine.com.

In this post I'm sharing a few of my favorite pictures of our lambs.

Those of you who follow this blog know that I'm Jillian. I try to post an entry every few weeks and I live in the city. It's my mother, Julie, and my dad, Wayne, who raise the sheep on the farm that I grew up on miles north of the city here in Minnesota. I try to get home as often as possible to visit my folks and also take some fresh produce in the form of eggs, fiber, veggies and meat back to the city.

Please feel free to contact us here at the blog's email address tendrilandtwine@gmail.com if you have questions about our breeding stock or fiber. More likely than not it will be my mother, Julie, who answers your inquiries.

There's nothing like a small flock of friendly lambs to change your perspective on life.

The world, through a sheep's eyes, can be a very enjoyable place . . . if its a sunny day and there's a large grass pasture in sight!
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