Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pine Cone Fire Starters - Things to do with our raw pinecones

Raw Pinecones from our property
I will be offering Pine Cone firestarters at my table during a couple craft shows this season. Maybe on my etsy site depending on demand. For the 2012 holiday season I will be at the Orleans County craft show Albion, NY 4-H fairgrounds Nov 10th and Candy Cane Lane Craft Show in Newfane, NY Dec 7th.
The following is INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE of your firestarters handmade by me from cured pinecones taken from our property here at KeepEmGoing.

Place your fire starter in your fire pit, woodstove, campfire, or fireplace. This is a FIRE STARTER, it is flammable and not to be used as a candle. Surround it with kindling.
Next light the pine cone. NOT the paper.
The pine cone will burn for a while. The salts may emit a white flame.
While the fire starter is burning, add kindling to the front of it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hand Prepared Lilly Batts

Both the Shetlands (Lilly and Orchid) fleece are washed. I started the rest of the process with Lilly. Her total fleece was (unwash/unskirted) 3lbs 1/4oz. I felt I was more aggressive with skirting her fleece than that of Orchid. Twice the waste as it was about a lb skirted off, hope not too much. Live and learn I guess. I used a flick carder to open the locks, and then drum carded. Right now only finished off 3 small roving batts total of 2 oz. I wanted to go ahead and drum card before flick carding the WHOLE fleece to know if I am opening the fiber enough, not enough, wasting too much in the flick process, or happy with the end product quality regardless of the loss. Hope to keep moving along with this fleece, plan to spin at next guild meeting...Mother's Day!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 27th Shear the Sheep (and Angoras)

Chilly outside! This has prevented me from pulling out the fiber for inspection, and starting to wash and prepare, but temps are supposed to be on the rise towards weeks end. It was interesting to see that fleeces off... Orchid(white face) has some silvery tones to her. Hazel's (taupe angora) Mohair is still very fine, but didn't have the length of the fall locks, a bit disappointed with that. Molly (fading red angora), standing proud in the right picture, her Mohair is probably ok. Lilly the newest moorit shetland, I don't want to jinx things, but she appears bred. Something that was possible as she was exposed to a ram fall/winter. Very excited we could have a lamb on the way!
Below is some before shots.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Melted Crayons

From roving to hat... one of my favorite projects to date. I purchased this as "Melted Crayons" 4oz of roving from a vendor at the Finger Lakes Fiber Fest 2009. Did not have a lot of time at this fest to shop because I took 2 spinning classes. One spinning silk, and one spinning novelty yarns.
The first 3 oz became a 2 ply skein of about 160 yards. The last oz I plied 60 yards with blue glass beads (thanks to that novelty class!). The pattern I used is probably my favorite hat pattern right now. It is a crochet pattern, but has ribbing that mimicks a hat that is knitted. Used the larger skein as the hat, and beaded skein for the band of the hat. There is a bit of beaded skein left, probably enough to make a scrunchy, that is about all I can think it can be good for. Love the coloration of this hat, and happy to see the roving made it into a completed project. Not quite my style so haven't decided if I will list on etsy, keep, or perhaps the garment competition at Finger Lakes 2010?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Louet Roving Carder

My drum carder arrived last week. As suspected I went with the louet. Tough decision between the standard size and the new roving style carder. After a guild meeting, some consideration of cash (where else I could put the spare $200), and the fact these things just don't devalue quickly(resale a possibility to upgrade), I settled with the smaller one.

First projects...
1. Recard the mohair alpaca blend from my hand cards now a half dozen balls instead of many little fluffs. I still have over a couple lbs to blend but have to pick the mohair first. A task for when I have more time. Once I settle with a good blend percentage, I just might list some of the kid Mohair on etsy. I won't be parting with this cheap though, Hazel's first clip was a decent length AND a nice micron count.

2. Carded the last bit of Icelandic lamb wool. This I previously dyed with foodcolor to get pink. Or did I? Maybe it was kool-aid? Well something food dye related anyhow. I blended this with un-dyed bamboo. The intended project was to spin and then ply this pink with some pokeberry dyed wool from the fall. I have a ball of firestar in pink I have not decided if I am going to run the wool/bamboo back through the carder for some sparkle or not. Being rather green with my carder I don't want to have all the sparkle end up on the smaller drum instead of in the roving.

3. ???? I don't know what will be next. I have to root through my fiber tote and see what I have in there. I know some merino and bamboo. BUT with sheep shearing this coming weekend, I might get involved with processing my new shetland wool before toying with novelty fiber I have acquired in antiscipation of the carder.

**on 5/5/10 decided to run the pink back through to add in the firestar. Maybe spinning this at the Mom's day guild meeting. Hoping for enough to get a hat for Paisley next winter.

** it's early June and I turned this pink into 2 ply yarn. It's soft, Jim thinks it is insulation pink. Only came up with 114yds so I don't see it becoming a hat, at least not using my fav hat pattern.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kid Mohair

I was very pleased with the micron results of Hazel's Mohair at a 20.5! Thoughts of shearing are in the air, so I went ahead and washed the rest of Hazel's mohair. I am in the final stages of picking a DRUM CARDER (probably louet) and then can get this blended with the alpaca. Was able to get a few oz done on hand cards, but was getting no where fast. I do want to spin that, maybe this weekend.

What else is new?
SHEEP shearing (and goat) March 27th. The Nigerians are milking for us now, have to pencil in time for goat milk soap. We had 3 doelings in January, all in their new homes, and twin bucklings by Hi-U in Feb. Both of them are now sold. May breed Yippee for late summer kids, or that's all folks for the ND kids in 2010. We are hopefully bringing in a couple more shetlands by month's end.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Spinning and puppies

Excited to have brought home 2 lbs of Alpaca fiber from local farm's shop. Barter system worked out nicely. Eden Valley alpaca's was looking for someone to demo spinning in their holiday shop on Main St in Hamburg willing to trade Alpaca products. 2 spinning sessions in I have a nice amount of a medium brown alpaca fiber to card up with my kid Mohair from Hazel's september cut.

In other fiber news:

Spun up some more tumeric yellow and pokeberry Icelandic lamb's wool. Not as fond of the breed as I first expected. Glad I spun first, before buying the critter.

Just posted some of Molly's raw mohair, and other icelandic lamb fiber on etsy shop.

Critter news:

Blur's pup's were born earlier this month, follow them on my website, picasa and youtube.

First due dates forNigerian Dwarf kids mid-Jan.