So many things have happened in the last month on the farm. First the sheep were shorn a few weeks ago without too much fanfare. I can get used to it. No sheep escaped and no one got hurt or cut, sheep nor human. I had some great folks who come every year to help. Paul and Liz always help me sort the sheep and help our shearer, Tom move the sheep efficiently. My friends from the spinning guild did such a fabulous job skirted the fleeces they are show ready!
Next was the annual visit from my friends at Fiber Craft Studio. For the last three years Fiber Craft Studio have selected my fleeces for their teaching program. Their specialty is teaching people about fiber and how it connects us to our world. They hold an open house the first weekend in June. Be sure to check out their website for more information. I took some photos of their work which is exquisite.
Last we had our second sheep to shawl fund-raiser at the Leigh Valley Zoo. Once again we used Jacob fleeces from my sheep. It is always a fun time to spin with friends and watching the shawl grow from roving to a finished garment in a matter of hours. It’s like a tiny a miracle! I finally got to see some of the animals including the African Penguins and the river otter.
Better run since I am getting ready for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival next weekend. Stop and stay hello if you are going. I will be at the Jacob Sheep Conservancy Booth in Barn 4 all weekend.
May the fleece be with you!
Where’s my fleece?
Suko wearing vest made from Felicity’s fleece
Fiber Craft Studio
2012 Jacob Wool Shawl
2013 Jacob Wool Shawl
Posted in Demonstration, Farm, Festival, Fiber, Jacob Sheep, Seasons, Shearing, Sheep, Spinning
Tagged shawl, Shearing, spring, zoo
It’s that time of year again when the sheep will be getting their annual hair cut. Shearing Day is set for March 30, 2013. Our favorite shearer Tom Horton will be back again to work his magic. As always friends and visitors are welcome but call ahead or email me to let me know if you want to attend. Space is limited.
We can always use help moving sheep and skirting fleeces. Of course, there will be fleeces for sale.
Thanks and hope to see you in March!
Where’s my fleece?
We just took another day trip to Lancaster County in hopes to get some pictures of the Amish harvesting their crops. Just a few miles off the main highway and we were in another world. The Amish were very friendly and we tried not to be intrusive with our cameras. We ended up having dinner at Shady Maple Smorgasbord before driving home. We will be coming back to take more pictures soon.
Four horse team
Buggy in traffic
Barn near Kutztown
This summer we did not travel much this past year but have started taking day trips around the area. Since Bob got a new camera, I was upgraded to a Canon EOS 1D Mark 4. Not to shabby but there is a lot to learn on how to operate it.
A few weeks ago we took a drive to Seaside Heights. Neither of us had been there since we were teenagers. It still looked the same to use. Nothing like the Jersey shore. It’s trashy but we love it.
Ferris Wheel at Funtown
The famous Chatterbox
Do you know where the term the ” dog days of summer” originated? When I was younger I thought it was because it was too hot to move and would imagine a dog finding a cool spot to sleep. Turns out it’s not far from the truth. Dog days are considered the hottest days in the Northern hemisphere from late July through August. The term Dogs Days comes from the ancients siting Sirius, the dog star being in close proximity to the sun causing the hot weather.
Speaking of dogs, I spun some dog hair for my neighbor, Lena. Lena is in her late 80′s and is unable to get around but she is still quite active and is a very talented knitter. She made a beautiful dog sweater and asked me to spin her some yarn made of the dog’s hair. In fact, this dog unknowing donated his own hair. Dog hair is not the easiest to spin but I find blending it with wool makes the job easier.The end result is well worth the trouble. Dog hair yarn can be so soft and very warm. Lucky dog!
Dog hair & finished yarn
Carding & Spinning Dog Hair
The lazy days of summer are upon us. The temperatures have been hovering over 90 degrees for several days and will stay there for the next week. I have a hard time sitting still normally but I am learning to slow down with this heat. I watch how my animals react to this heat. They seek shade under a tree or to cooler areas in the barn. Smarter than us humans.
So please take it easy when you are outside, drink plenty of water and slow down to enjoy the warmth on your face. Think like my sheep and take a nap in the shade.
Peace and stay cool, Joanie
Hanging out in the barn
Hampton and Izzy staying cool.
Jenny Jump Izzy
This past weekend we had planned a farm tour and demonstration for a group of Cub Scouts from Ridgewood, NJ. I have learned knowing you audience is crucial in creating a fun experience. Besides meeting the animals I had to think of a project that what would interest the boys ages 5 – 13. I thought making a felted pouch would be fun. I did a practice run using wool and a bar of ivory soap with water. It took only 15 minutes to make a pouch. All this could be done in under an hour.
As the day arrived, I set up four stations showing the care of sheep and the progression of making wool into a finished garment. Great, now I am ready for anything or at least I thought I was.
However, in place of the Cub Scouts we had their sisters and two younger bothers along with their mothers show up for the tour. The Cub Scouts had decided swimming was more fun than a visit to a sheep farm. So much for planning ahead. Despite the change, we all had a great time. The kids loved petting Josey, the sheep and feeding Arbee and Max carrots. Since there were only four kids they had a chance to spin and felt wool. Children catch on quickly and were spinning their own yarn within minutes. The adults also enjoyed making felted pouches and were a great help with the little boys.
Their finished pouches were amazing and each one was quite unique. They combined white, gray and black roving giving each an interesting texture and free form look. We all were so involved including my husband who took some great pictures. Many thanks to Ellen for taking some pictures of the pouches.
Well, I hope they come back again next year and I will be sure to take some pictures of the finished pieces.
Please click on picture for full view in the gallery.
Josey and Brooke
Feeding Arbee and Max carrots
On the fence
Step one roving
Drop spindle demo
Gus, funny guy
Gus, serious guy
Felting a pouch
Cub scout group at jenny Jump Farm
Brooke spinning her own yarn
Fiber Craft Studio Festival
June 3, 2012
“Today, more than ever, the crafts have the mission
to reconnect the human being to the Earth and her substances, bring
healing to the senses and soul, and foster the creative capacities of the human
- Renate Hiller
I have had the pleasure to meet some great people since I have been in the sheep and fiber
business. Renate Hiller is one of them. Renate with Mikae Toma have a mission
to bring back the simple task of making things with your hands. Their passion is working with fiber and natural plant dyes. I am honored they feature my Jacob fleeces in
their fiber program.
I was fortunate to participate along with my friend Peggy Van Beek in their annual Fiber Craft Studio Festival in Chestnut Ridge, NY. Their clients come from NYC with their
children to spend a day in the country. It was amazing how calm and focused the
children were when creating their own felted cloth, dyeing yarn with plants, or
making little birds out of wool. Of course, Po,the yearling Jacob ram, was a big hit with the kids. Po was a complete gentleman and loved having the kids and adults scratch his back.
Our day was cut short by a thunderstorm but spending the day with friends, sheep and fiber is a good day anytime. I had a chance to take a few pictures before we had to pack up.
Check out the Fiber Craft Studio’s website for more information. Be sure to view their gallery. They have taken knitting to another level. Simple but eloquent.
Po, Jacob Ram
Fiber Craft Studio
Plant dyeing in using the sun
Felted cloth waiting to dry
Basket of dyed yarn
Learning to knit with your fingers
My Fria’s fleece on display
Cute girl with handmade wooly bird
I had the privilege to participate in another sheep to shawl demonstration held last Saturday at the Easton Farmer’s Market. It is the oldest open aired farmers market in the US since 1752. The vendors produce was amazing. I plan on going back every week to get my veggies, cheeses and artesian breads.
The two shawls made from Jenny Jump Isabelle’s fleeces were completed from the last demonstration and will be auction off in the fall to raise money for the Leigh Valley Zoo.
The shawls made from this event will be used for to raise money Food Alliance in Easton. We were using Jenny Jump Everest’s fleece. It was so soft and a dream to spin. I never had a chance to spin my fleeces from the individual sheep since I usually sell the best ones. I can’t wait to see the shawl. I was so proud my fleeces were chosen for these two events.
Karen and I carding wool
Carding the wool
Center Square Easton
Shawl made Isabella’s fleece
Roving from Everest
4H Shearing Demonstration
Jean plying yarn
Cat in a bag