And They’re Outta Here!

That’s right! All of you lucky Juniper Moon Farm shareholders (after waiting patiently for what seems like FOREVER) will be getting delivery of your share yarn starting this week, depending on how close you are to the farm.

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Trina and I spent the day getting ALL the orders sorted and packed and processed for shipping.  We powered through and you should start getting tracking info in the next day or two.  Full and Double shares will be arriving in boxes; half shares in the envelopes.

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The color is a lovely light grey/brown, with maybe slightly more brown than last time.

The biggest difference, however, is that the mill sent them in a different size than we ordered.  Normally share yarn comes in 4 ounce skeins. This time it was a motley mix of assorted sizes and weights.  Trying to make sure everyone got the proper amount STRESSED ME OUT.  And here is why:

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The size difference!  This is why we had to weigh everything and fill orders by that metric. I meant it when I said motley mix. We had a hard time of it, but we got as close as we could for everyone.

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A full share.

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A double share.

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All loaded up and on their way to the post office!

Keep an eye out for your packages, and happy crafting!!

Your Annual Sunscreen PSA

WHOO! Springtime!

Warmer weather!

Sunshine!

Picnics!

Days at the Beach!

Wrinkles!

Sun spots!

Skin cancer!

Okay, I’m being silly and dramatic to make a point, but it’s the same point I make every year at this time. It’s time to amp up your sunscreen routine.

I am the palest person on the planet. Seriously. I was once approached by the editor of a fetish magazine for men who are into pale women to be a model. True story. Humiliating but true.

I have spent a lifetime covering every exposed surface of my body with the highest s.p.f. sunscreen available on the market. Covering my face in the thick white glop is the very first thing I do when I get up in the morning. Sunscreen is one of the few things I’ve believed in my entire adult life.

And guess what? A couple years ago, I had a spot of skin cancer removed.

If I can get skin cancer, you can get skin cancer.

It’s time to step up your sunscreen routine, y’all. The World Health Organization has a handy list of best practices for sun protection that includes limiting your time in the midday sun, wearing protective clothing, watching the heat index and wearing sunscreen and re-applying it every two hours. Even if you are wearing sunscreen daily, you probably aren’t re-applying it every two hours, right?

A couple more tips from my own dermatologist. Be sure to get the sunscreen all the way to your hairline– most of the skin cancer docs remove is near there. It’s better to apply a couple of thin layers than one thick one.  And neglect not your neck, décolletage and the back of your hands.

Now, get out outside and enjoy the sunshine safely!

**Sarah V has the great idea to share our favorite sunscreens! I am always looking for something new. What’s your brand of choice?

Happy St. Paddy’s Day From The Flock!

03.17.15

Happy Pi Day!

Since tomorrow is Pi Day (3.14), I thought I would share our recipe for Blueberry Slab Pie with Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream. Slab pies are great for feeding large groups and for people who just love a higher crust-to-filling ratio.

Blueberry Slab Pie with Strawberry Marscapone Ice Cream

Blueberry Slab Pie

For The Crust

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups ice water

For The Filling

  • 2 1/4 pounds fresh (8 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

  1. Make crust: In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. With machine running, add 1 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Do not overmix. Divide dough into 2 disks; wrap each tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make filling: In a large bowl, toss together blueberries, cornstarch, sugar, and lemon zest and juice. On a floured work surface, roll out 1 disk to a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Place in a 10-by-14-by-1-inch rimmed sheet pan. Pour in blueberry filling, then lightly brush edges of crust with water. On floured surface, roll out second disk to an 11-by-15-inch rectangle, carefully cutting out the star shapes. These will serve as vents to allow steam to escape.  Lay over blueberry filling; press along moistened edges to seal. Fold overhang under, tucking it into pan, and crimp edges.
  3. Place pie in oven, then reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, 50 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour, preferably two. Allowing the pie to rest will keep the filling from running when you slice it.

Blueberry Slab Pie with Strawberry Marscarpone Ice Cream

 

This pie is even better with a scoop of ice cream and, if you really want to impress your family, our Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream is a dreamy addition.

Strawberry Marscarpone Ice Cream

  • 8 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 16 ounces marscarpone cheese
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 2  1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup

Directions

1. Place the slice strawberries in a bowl and mix with the balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate for overnight, or for a minimum of 2 hours.

2. Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the marscarpone cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

3. Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

4. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the marscarpone cheese mixture until smooth. Chill the mixture thoroughly. I usually just put the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours but if you are in a hurry you can use Jeni’s quick chill method. Pour the mixture into a 2-gallon Ziploc freezer bags and submerge the sealed bags in an ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

5. Strain the strawberries, saving the balsamic vinegar for a salad dressing. Add the strawberries to the ice cream base and pour the base into your ice cream makers’s canister and proceed according to the manufacturer’s directions. Spin until thick and creamy. If you prefer your ice cream more solid, you can pack it into a plastic container and place it in the freezer for a few hours.We like it the way it comes out of the ice cream maker.

Makes two quarts ice cream, which may sound like a lot before you taste it, but it really isn’t.

 

The Very Hungry Baby Gift

My friend Cris is one of my favorite people in the world. She is funny. She is kind. She has more empathy than almost anyone I know. And she is thoughtful in the sense that when you ask her a question, she really takes her time to give you a considered answer. The only thing I don’t love about this woman is that she lives all the in Kentucky, which is entirely too far from me.

Because Cris lives so far from us, and because she is raising two young sons and managing a career in academia, she was unable to attend the little baby shower get together that my friend Jeannie had for us a couple weeks ago. Instead, she sent us this gift, and I am still sort of stunned by it’s awesomeness.

Cris knitted our baby a Very Hungry Caterpillar sleep sack.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sleep Sack for baby

Have you ever seen anything so sweet in your life?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sleep Sack for baby

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sleep Sack for baby

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sleep Sack for baby

She got the idea from a crocheted version that we saw on Facebook and tracked down to Ravelry. Since she wasn’t able to find a knitted version of the pattern, she kind of made it up but studying other sleep sack patterns and experimenting.

Everything is knit, except the eyes which she crocheted. Basically, she cast on 96 stitches for the sleep sack and changed colors when she felt the urge. For the hat she cast on 80 stitches. The whole thing is made in JMF’s Neve yarn so it’s cotton and washable.

You can get more details about yarn usage on Cris’s Ravelry project page. There has been a lot of demand for her to write up a pattern and I’m sure she will oblige when she has time.

And I promise to post pics of our little man wearing it as soon as he arrives.

 

 

 

Cheerio and Willkommen!

Several months ago, I had every intention of doing a blog post about the exciting news that Juniper Moon Farm yarns are now available in the U.K. . I’m not entirely sure what happened, but that blog post never made it from my head to my laptop, which is really odd, because I was terribly excited about our yarns being on shop shelves across England, Ireland and Scotland.

Then today I got the great news that very soon, JMF yarns will be available in Germany as well!

I’m really excited that Juniper Moon is spreading around the globe but it’s also sort of surreal. When I started the farm back in 2007, I just wanted to tend my flock of sheep and make high quality yarn with integrity. I wanted knitters to have a deeper connection to the animals that made the fibers they created with. That was my only goal really.

I never could have imagined that one day I would be hearing from knitters living a world away about how much they love knitting with Moonshine or Herriot. I never even dreamed that skeins and skeins of JMF yarn with our little logo would be sitting on shelves across Europe.  It’s all like a lovely dream.

Juniper Moon Farm yarns. Now available in Europe!

 JMF yarns in the wilds of Ireland

Juniper Moon Farm yarns. Now available in Europe!

I am so happy to welcome knitters and crocheters from the U.K. and Germany Juniper Moon Farm. We would love to see what you are knitting with our yarns!

 

You can  find a stockist in Europe that carries Juniper Moon Farm yarns right here.

 

Tub Lamb

Just when all was starting to return to normal around here (and all of my seed catalogs were calling to me, reminding me I need to start my seeds), we got another snowstorm.

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It was quite lovely.  Of course, the town was in no way prepared for it.  People were trying to drive home from work in it and there were abandoned cars everywhere on our road. Paul was out on the tractor clearing our neighborhood until pretty late, but thankfully neither of us had to be anywhere.

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I love when it’s just snowed and all of the trees are heavy with it; it’s very Narniaesque!

Today it’s bright and sunny and in the upper 50′s, so everything is melting off and I am back to thinking we actually see spring soon.

It also means I can let our little Wembley outside to get some sun and fresh air.

Wembley, you see, has been living in my bathtub for the past week or so.

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“I know there’s a cat there, but I am going to stare you down for more treats”.

Right before I got sick, we found her at evening feeding time laying in the hay with her head pinned back. Susan and I agreed that this looked exactly like a thiamine deficiency. But, not having any pure thiamine on hand, and out of an abundance of caution, a trip to the vet was in order.

Dr. Davis gave her an IV with thiamine and some glucose to keep her blood sugar up. She couldn’t find anything else wrong with her, so home we went, with instructions to keep her warm and keep her blood sugar levels up.

Into the tub she went, with some hay, food, and warm water mixed with molasses.

She’s been getting many, many shots of thiamine and plenty of attention. Her head is no longer pinned back to her side and her appetite is monstrous. She’s been in the tub awhile, though, and her limbs are a bit unused to holding her weight, so I’ve been taking her outside when I can and trying to get her to stand up.  She tries all the time, but in the tub she cant get any traction to stand.  Otherwise, she is the picture of health!

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“Seriously, lady. Make with the treats.”

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“Hello, cat. Do YOU have treats?”

I’m hoping her strength returns soon and she can be back out with the flock. Keeping a lamb in the tub is just as adorable – and disgusting – as you can imagine.

A Peek Inside the Nursery

Sorry for the light posting this week. Between wrapping our test knitting for the Fall/Winter  2015 collection and the nasty sore throat/chest cold virus-y thing we’re all struggling with, it’s been hard to find time to post.

I’ve heard from lots of you that you would like to see the nursery. I’m happy to say that it is finished and we are pleased to bits with it. The theme is a sort of a Wes Anderson take on a baby explorer’s nursery.

(The space is really difficult to photograph due to slanted ceilings, dormers and the fact that it’s small, but we did our best to show you the whole room.)

We started with the color palette and selected our colors from three of our favorite Wes Anderson films, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Life Aquatic and Darjeeling Limited.

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  We already had a crib but Mike freshened it up by painting it a bold orange. I don’t want to tell you how many coats of paint it took. SO MANY COATS OF PAINT.

Susan and Mike's Wes Anderson inspired nursery

Susan and Mike's Wes Anderson inspired nursery

Susan and Mike's Wes Anderson inspired nursery

The faux antler light fixture is from The Shabby Antler on etsy.

Susan and Mike's Wes Anderson inspired nursery

The chest of drawers was unfinished pine from Ikea and another paint job for Mike! The animal prints above it are by Ryan and Lucy Berkley of Berkley Illustration, also on etsy.  I was trying to create the feel of a portrait gallery at the Explorers Club or the Royal Geographic Society. We put them in simple Ikea frames. I’m so happy with how it turned out.

Susan and Mike's Wes Anderson inspired nursery

The changing table is another Ikea piece painted orange.  (Are you starting to feel sorry for Mike yet?) The wooden boxes are recycled from a Christmas gift basket we got from Harry and David and painted yellow.  They are stocked with diapers, burp clothes and wipes.

The hand-painted oar is by HB Designs, another etsy find.

Susan and Mike's Wes Anderson inspired nursery

Every Wes Anderson set has something covered in gilt. We ordered this ceramic deer mount from the Land of Nod and Mike painted the antlers.

Susan and Mike's Wes Anderson inspired nursery-

So many people told me that the glider and ottoman were the most important thing we needed for the nursery, so that’s where we spent the most money. They are actually a bit bluer than they look here and super comfy.  The constellation lamp and shade are from the Land of Nod. Our friend Sean made the lovely alpaca receiving blanket for the baby.

I know I will get lots of questions about the art so here are tight shots of all the pieces with sources.

Susan and Mike's Wes Anderson inspired nursery

From Inkysquidkids

Susan and Mike's Wes Anderson inspired nursery

From The Print Annex

Susan and Mike's Wes Anderson inspired nursery

From The Curators Prints

Susan and Mike's Wes Anderson inspired nursery

From The Wheat Field

The only thing we need now for the nursery should be arriving in 6 weeks and some change. Thank you all for your support throughout this pregnancy. I have received so many supportive, lovely emails from readers wishing us well and asking how we are doing.  I promise to post pics soon after he arrives.

*If I left out any sources that you’d like, just let me know.

 

Farm Blankets are Here (but not for long).

So, the thing about being 7+ months pregnant, is that  you can justify putting just about anything off.  Didn’t do the dishes? Whatever– I’M MAKING A HUMAN BEING, y’all!

Thus, it had taken me more than a month to get this year’s farm blankets listed in our online shop.

Every year we make a couple of dozen blankets from the fleeces of the older members of our flock who’s wool is no longer fine enough to be blended into our yarns. These blankets are very precious to us, and to our customers, who covet and collect them.

We have a super limited supply on hand this year and I expect them to go quickly. And, because I was so late getting them posted, I solemnly swear I will get them shipped ASAP so you still have time to snuggle in their warmth before this long, nasty winter is over.

Juniper Moon Farm Wool Blankets

Juniper Moon Farm Wool Blankets

Juniper Moon Farm Wool Blankets

If you would like to purchase a little piece of Juniper Moon Farm, you can find out blankets here.

 

Lamb Shoes!

I was looking for a Spring-y project this morning and one of our most popular patterns pattern up.

Lamb Shoes by Pam Wynne are a super fast knit, and the pattern is sized for toddlers up to large adult.

Lamb Shoes, a simple knitting pattern from Juniper Moon Farm.

There were originally knit in our Yearling yarn, which has sadly been discontinued, but they would work up perfectly in Neve or any other bulky, washable yarn of your choice.

Lamb Shoes, a simple knitting pattern from Juniper Moon Farm.

Lamb Shoes, a simple knitting pattern from Juniper Moon Farm.

Wouldn’t they be super-cute in an Easter basket?

You can get the pattern for Lamb Shoes here.

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