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An Update from the Mountains

I just realized that I have been silent for quite a while, almost two weeks.  It hasn’t been due to illness or vacation, it has partly been due to participating in a Le Tour de Fleece competition, so much of my effort has gone into spinning.  During that period, I obtained a supported spindle and spindle bowl and have worked to learn to use it with some consistency.  That has sidelined the top whorl and Dealgan spindles.  I have carried my little Turk with me too, so that when my frustration with the new skill became too great, I could return to a familiar that is small enough to pack in my tote.

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I have learned to dye roving and played with color.  The one on the left has been spun into yarn.

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Used some natural colors in fibers that I had never used before.

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Taken some of that fiber and blended it with other natural fibers to create a mixed fiber batt on my drum carder and then spun it into yarn as well.

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This is what I have produced during the past couple of weeks.  The reddish bobbin on the right has a mate still being spun on the wheel and those singles will be plyed tomorrow for another skein.  The lime green is being spun on the support spindle.  To ply it, I have learned to Andean ply, where all of the singles on the spindle are wrapped in a specific way on your hand and then plyed from the two ends to the middle.  I am plying it onto a bobbin on my wheel each time I fill the spindle.  There is still a third to a half of the fiber to be spun.

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The little Turk has Merino and camel on it and is almost ready to ply.

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In the midst of all of this spinning, some organizing was accomplished.  We bought me a stressless chair toward the beginning of the month and as it took up much less space than it’s predecessor, and as I took up weaving too, we bought me a three shelf cart that I assembled and set beside my chair with a knitting basket, a weaving basket, a spinning basket, my laptop, my loom, and a vase of spindles on it.  With my wheel for spinning time, or my ottoman for relaxing and reading time, I have spent a fair amount of time in my “time out” corner.

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I did finish my first weaving project, a 6 foot fringed scarf.  I am sure that I will improve with experience, but am pleased with the outcome of this.

A matching cart was purchased and assembled for the utility area to organize and store my soap, lotion, and salve making supplies; and for my yarn and fiber dyeing supplies.  It allowed me to get much of it off the pantry shelves and onto a rolling cart that can be moved to the area where I am working on product making or dyeing.  Eventually, I hope to purchase an inexpensive microwave for the top of the cart that will be used for dyeing as I have found that to be the easiest method tried to date.

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On the farm front, we have started harvesting cucumbers and peppers and I have pickled two pints of jalapenos for  hubby and son so far.

The first two batches of chicks have all been cut loose by their Mama Hens and are beginning to form a flock of young birds that keep away from the adults for the most part.  Some of them still return to Huck’s coop at night, some to the layer’s coop.  The single chick that hatched from the third batch only survived a week and it’s Mama Hen continued to try to sit on whatever eggs were layed that day, but wasn’t committed to hatching them.  She has now returned to the perch with the other adults at night.  One hen is unwell.  I don’t know what is wrong, but I isolated her with food and treated water.  She is not rallying and I am torn whether to euthanize her or keep trying to make her well.  Because of her symptoms, all of the feeders and waterers were sanitized and the entire flock is getting water treated with electrolytes and Apple cider vinegar.  Once the temperature breaks a bit and the sick hen either gets better or is permanently removed, I will sanitize the layer coop and the isolation coop as soon it will be needed to house the culls.

We still love our life on our mountain farm, even though it is hot and humid during the day right now.  It gets delightfully cool at night.

One thought on “An Update from the Mountains”

  1. Glad you’re back, Fran! I’ve really missed your updates on farm life and on your crafting. The yarns are gorgeous!
    It’s hot and humid here in Georgia, too. Hope you can all stay cool. Blessings!

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