Chore Day!

I don’t usually sing the praises of warm weather in January; mostly because it’s enough of a tease that it makes those bone-chilling February days seem cruel after the fact.  Today, though, we were lucky enough that it was both a holiday AND the weather was nice enough that we could tackle some more important farm work with Paul home. And BONUS: I had my phone with me so you can see some sweet sheepy noses!

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One of our lambs, Finchley, has been scouring (he has diarrhea), and since they can get super dehydrated, super fast, I’ve been giving him a supplemental bottle of lamb milk.  The dogs absolutely LOVE it.  Here’s Orzo having a bit after Finchley’s evening dose.

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I’ve also discovered that I can’t mix this stuff up in the kitchen if the kitten is around or she will tear me to bits trying to get at it.

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Lamb congregation. They were expecting me to produce their evening food.

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Yeardley and Wimbledon seem to be having a conversation.

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Mabel got moved to the back coop.

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Fairfax is looking sassy.

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Get my good side.

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Fresh bale, delivered into the new shelter……

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….which hopefully can withstand Caramel.

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Check out Perivale’s spotted ears!!!!

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Staunton.

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Perivale.

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Wembley still likes to get all up in your business.

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Suspicious Wimbledon is suspicious.

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We also finally got our Christmas tree out to them, and they dove right in.

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Hannah loooooooves the taste of pine!

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We also got some fresh bedding into the prison coop and discovered an egg had been laid.  Fingers crossed this means we will start seeing some production out of these girls at last! (We’ve been threatening them with the stewpot but they’ve been unphased.)

Now that we’ve had this lovely mid-50′s weather I wonder how long before I’ll be posting super snow pictures!

Winter Work

Now that we’ve finally started seeing some winter-appropriate temperatures we finally ventured out for the weekend motivated to achieve some important farm progress.

It was apparent after last winter that having our water lines partially buried out to the back field was not a great idea; the above ground portions would thaw out in the sun and allow water to flow in the warmest portions of the day, whereas underground saw no benefit whatever from those warm rays. Not wanting a repeat of that this year we dug up the buried hoses and moved them into a different field along with the water troughs. After a long year of wet weather the troughs had begun to sink into the mud, which never seemed to dry or freeze completely. I was sick of the mess, the sheep were sick of the mess, and we were hoping by moving the water we could keep them out of the muddy areas altogether.

After that we decided it was time to install a better shelter against the possibility of freezing rain AND take back the chicken coop that we’d been using as a makeshift lamb shelter.

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There’s plenty of room under there for everyone when they want to get out of the weather – it’s about the same size inside as the run in shelter on Susie’s old barn.  I even put their feed troughs in there. Not that it made any difference at all in yesterday’s monsoon; they would have zero to do with it.  I will probably put their next bale of hay inside both to encourage them to go in and also to help pad the ground a bit with the waste hay.

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We started putting hens from the coop out front into the back one now that it isn’t overrun with goats (there is fencing in front now to keep said goats out!).

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Look at all the room for chicken-related activities! (One of which better be laying eggs, because I’m tired of this egg drought we’ve been having).

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Obviously we will still have to knock off any heavy snow that might come our way, but the pitch of the roof on this shelter will make that far easier than the flat-topped ghetto shelter of years past. Our biggest concern was simply a wind/sun/rain break for them, and I think this will accomplish it marvelously.

Merry Christmas From The Flock!

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We had some holiday fun today.  Not everyone enjoyed it as much as we did, but I think you’ll all like the results!

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Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!

Probably something you would like…

10 Tips to Start Living in the Present

10 Toxic People You Shouldn’t Bring With You Into The New Year

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The 30 Most Amazing Photos Of Frozen Things You’ll Ever See Actually, there are about 6 or 7 that are amazing, some that are pretty good and a couple that leave you wondering why anyone would publish them, but the ones that are amazing are worth going to see.

This is the trailer for “Addicted to Sheep”, a feature length documentary that I want to see.

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Magical Russian Fairy Tale Photographs. These really know me out!

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Special Delivery: Rare Set Of Elephant Twins Born In South Africa

Best Wedding Photo of 2014

25 Must-See Wedding Photos From 2014. These are all pretty amazing.

What’s making you happy this week?

Oh, you better watch out!

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Come see me in NYC!

I apologize for my prolonged absence from the blog- I came down with a wicked cold a couple of weeks ago, and, being pregnant, I couldn’t take anything for it. It was a pretty brutal two weeks of sore throats, stuffed-up head and exhaustion, but I am feeling much better now and I’m desperately trying to catch up on everything I missed while I was holed up under my comforter.

Before I go any further, I want to be sure and tell you that I will be speaking at Vogue Knitting Live in New York on January 17 in New York City and signing books afterwards. VKLive has turned into a super cool event (think a sheep and wool festival without the sheep.) There are so many amazing teachers and classes, and there is also a great marketplace with lots of vendors. If you can make a weekend of it you really should! But you can also just come hear me speak for the bargain price of $35, if you like.

 

Vogue Knitting Live in NYC

Mike and I are making the trip to NYC for VK Live into a little romantic getaway (I can’t stand the word “baby moon”. Am I the only one?). We’re planning a trip to Mood Fabric and would like to have a couple of knock-out dinners. It’s been 10 years since I lived in Manhattan and my restaurant knowledge is a little rusty.  Do you have any suggestions for really amazing, destination restaurants? Please share!

I am happily past the half-way point in my pregnancy. To be honest with you, the second trimester has been a breeze! More on that next week.

 

 

Probably something you would like…

I don’t know about you, but the last couple of weeks have been emotionally exhausting. I am in dire need of reminding that the world is a wonderful, magical place. Here are a few of the things that are making me happy this week:

 

The Man Who Quit Money: An Interview with Daniel Suelo. Interesting read.

Dishwasher Cooking

Dishwasher Cooking is apparently a thing.

Abandoned Textile Mill

A colourful past: Haunting images of abandoned textile mill show wool still on the looms and stacks of yarn on shelves. Amazing pics.

Van Gogh Inspired Solar Bike Path

Solar-powered Glowing Bike Path in the Netherlands Inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Is there anything making you smile this week? Please share with us here.

A quilt for the baby

I am blessed with a man who is willing to try anything and is good at just about everything he tries. As far as Mike is concerned, so long as there are Youtube videos, her can probably figure it out.

So it was no surprise that when he started sewing clothes for my step-daughter Gabbi last year, he was a much better sewist than I am right out of the box. (His attention to detail is and patience are a lot greater than mine as well.) This week, he decided he wants to make a quilt for our baby’s nursery and this is the one he selected:

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I’m super excited, because I love this quilt and it fits in perfectly with out son-to-be’s room, but there is no way I could possibly have the patience to cut out all those fiddly coast lines! Lucky for me, I don’t have to.

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Mike did task me with picking out the fabric I wanted for the continents. It was much more difficult to put seven prints together than I thought it would be, though. I originally tried using fabrics that sort of represented each continent (i.e. stars/stripes on North America, bold pinks and reds for Asia) but it the fabrics were fighting with each other and it looked too noisy.

 I’ve pulled together five options from our own fabric stash and the local fabric shop. I like them all in different ways but I would love to hear what you think.

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First up is dots of different sizes and colors.

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Next, the blues.

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This one is all bold prints. mostly from the latest Denyse Schmidt collection.

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This is an even bolder collection that I put together from what we have on hand, but it needs to be filled out more.

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Finally, the plaids. I love the gentle colors in this grouping but I think it is too pale to go with the rest of his nursery.

Keep in mind that the water background will be either white or a pale, pale blue.

Help me out, readers! Which collection do you like best with the pattern? Or should I scrap these and start over?

 

Modern Country Knits is Here!

Modern Country Knits

It’s hard to believe it’s really here! Putting together and publishing a book seems to take forever until you are holding a copy in your hands. Then it all seems to have happened at lightening speed. I shot most to the images for this book in January/February, practically yesterday.

The real star of this book, though, are the designs. We hired some amazing designers to give us their take on Modern County knits and they really delivered. I’m posting some of my favorite images below but honestly? Every pattern is the book is something I would want to make and wear. In fact, I insisted on it, because no one wants to buy a book with one or two great patterns in it.

(I’m putting in links to Ravelry so you can heart and queue your faves!)

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This is the Pella Pullover by Carolyn Noyes. It’s knit in Findley DK ( a Merino/silk blend, so it’s warm as the dickens, but light.)

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This sleepy lamb was so comfortable in Shay’s arms that she couldn’t keep her eyes open.

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I adore the mini cables in the Paducah Pullover by Bonnie Franz.

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The Cloud croft Pullover by Galina Carroll wins the prize for “garment everyone on the shoot wanted to swipe”. It’s made with Herriot Great, our 100% baby alpaca bulky yarn, so it knits up fast.

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The Mattatuck Tee by Tabetha Hedrick. I’ve worked with Tabetha a lot and she always brings something so fresh to her designs. (In case you’re wondering, we took about 400 shots to get the horse to cooperate. He was our only diva model.)

Mattatuck Tee

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County Line Vest by Theresa Schabes. Knitted plaid, y’all. It’s so cool.

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The River Falls Cardigan by Susan Adkins is so delicate and feminine. It’s made with Zooey ( a cotton/linen blend) so this model is freezing in this pic!

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Decorah Cardigan by Zahra Jade Knott. This card uses Findley and Findley DK. Again, warm but light.

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Maryville Cardigan by Lois S. Young is a super fun Fair Isle.

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In addition to the new patterns, we’ve included 10 of Juniper Moon Farm’s most popular patterns that are no longer available in booklets. And the most popular of all is Darlington Dress (formerly called Hattie) by Caroline Fryar. My friend Caro Sheridan took this picture and it’s everything knitwear photography should be.

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Abilene Stole by Yoko Hatta is a work of art.

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The Williston Hat by Nadia Elgawarsha. Not only is the hat super cute, it was so much fun shooting our model Maddie with Cini, our beloved Maremma.

This is just a taste of what’s in the book, believe it or not. You can see all the projects in the book right here.

And, if you live in Pennsylvania, you can get your very own signed copy of Modern Country Knits and see all of these gorgeous garments in person this weekend! I’m doing two book signing at two wonderful local yarn store.

  • I will be at KNIT in Newtown, PA on November 22, starting at 10 a.m., signing books and showing off the trunk show. This is a little GEM of a shop, and the women who run the place are amazingly helpful. KNIT is located at 10 S. State Street in Newtown PA in Bucks County. For more details, give them a call at (267) 685-0794
  • Sunday, November 23 I will be hosted  by Purls of Wisdom in Phoenixville, PA from 4-6 p.m.  This event is being held off-site at the Kimberton Inn, and you must get a ticket in advance by calling 610 933 5010. They are also doing a small dinner with me after the main event that should be really fun! Details on the Purls of Wisdom site. 

Stranded Colorwork Sourcebook Winner!

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Oh my goodness! I completely forgot to pick a winner in our book giveaway! In my defense, Mike worked from home yesterday and today is a holiday, so he’s home again, and it just felt like one extended weekend around here. I am so sorry.

 

The winner, chosen at random, is…

 

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Carolyn, shoot me an email with your mailing address and I will get this out ASAP.

And to the 109 people who didn’t win, please do add this lovely book to your holiday wish list. It really is a treasure and there is simply nothing like it on the market today.

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