Monday, June 28, 2010

Greasy winner!

Beverly wins! And you were all so close. I am impressed.
The actual weight of the sheep coat in full grease was 28 oz. Beverly came closest at 29 ounces. Congratulations! More fun and games to follow.

I just returned Saturday night from a week in Seattle working with Earthues and a small group of natural dyers on some interesting projects. Our group was diverse and incredibly talented and I was honored to be amongst them. We made our own handpainted silk ribbon yarns...

and worked through some basic but stunning dyes on two yummy substrates, did some handpainting on shibori scarves, did overdyeing with woad and spent considerable time on current trend colors and their relationships on fabric and yarn.

As always the Pacific Northwest holds a special beauty and this was one such evening on Puget Sound.

Thank you all for your thoughts on the loss of David Hinman, our sheep shearer and friend. I received the news from Jack while I was in Seattle and I was quite set aback while so far away. Our community is small here and such a loss is profound and personal. Jack was able to attend the memorial service atop a hill on David's land in Acworth. 100's attended and it was a fitting farewell to a both unique and authentic man.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In Memory of David Hinman

...our shearer and friend suffered a heart attack and died Monday. He has sheared our flock for 10 years.

God speed. We will miss you.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Phew! It's been four weeks since I returned from France and I am apologetic as all get-out to my loyal readers! I returned in the dark, and I mean dark of the night, from France. I missed my connecting flight from Paris to Boston. I had an hour to connect from my flight into Paris from Toulouse to the flight to Boston but I was in the back of the plane and by the time I got from the gate around the airport on a bus to the right terminal I missed checkpoint security by 5 minutes! So after much hemming, hawing and tears I found a flight into JFK that night with a connector to Boston due in at midnight. I rescheduled my transport from Logan to the farm (hooray for Ken's Transportation in the Southern NH area!!) and arrived back at Long Ridge Farm at 3AM, May 22st. It turned into a full 24 hours of awakeness and I crashed.
Up that morning at 7AM...afterall it was 1PM in France and I was thinking isn't it time for some great food and a splash of wine? After stumbling through that glaring disappointment for a few days (the one where I wasn't in France, eating great food, drinking scrumptious wines and leaning over dyepots or viewing yet another incredible vista) I grappled with my reality and saw my responsibilities looming.
But Luna and Kalie were just happy as could be!

It was time to get the sheep's hooves trimmed, coats changed, de-worming done and some lamb vaccinations, ram lamb castrations, not to mention setting up pasture fencing for summer and a few farm improvements. Here is Lilly, the bottle lamb, having gained 12 pounds in my absence!

And the sheep have moved to pasture....ahhhh.

The baby chicks had leaped forward into young chickhood, the lambs were all chewing cud and boldly moving about further from their moms.

Bianca, our lone adult hen was managing to cover the farm from front steps to the field edges in grand style and overall the farm was bursting forth since my departure to France.
We got the vegetable garden planted with Bianca's help by Memorial Day.

Then two weeks ago an awful spell of weather came through and we had reports of tornado warnings among the thunderstoms rolling through. It was a pretty hot spell and I was delighted to see it go. The weather alerts were pretty ominous so we stayed close to the radio. We got the animals secure in their pastures and barns, tucked in the chickens and waited. It got darker and darker and then the rain came. The weather radio gave us a direction for the storm but it appeared to be headed a bit south of us. And so it was. Averted. But not for Harrisville.

Harrisville, NH is our prior home town and not only holds many fond memories but still many dear friends. I learned that, now what has been coined a microburst, touched down along a route near Wellscroft Farm to Silver Lake to Child's Bog and on to Cabot Rd and Tolman Rd in Nelson.

We took a drive over the next day and saw the force of nature with fury unfurled. Even after 24 hours and 80 trucks and men working many roads were still closed but we did travel along the Nelson Rd to Child's Bog to see one touchtown and back on the Chesham Rd where the destruction was shocking.

Folks endure these storms in all parts of the country but I am always in awe as I stare at the ruins, and think how frightening the moments were before, during and after the fury was inleashed.

Back to chores, as I was washing sheep coats I thought what fun to try your hand at weights and measures! Here I am holding an amazingly greasy sheep coat.

Here's the game:
How much does this coat weigh "in the grease"? Dry and clean this particular coat weighs a mere 8 ounces.

Two part answer: 1) your answer within 1 ounce of the grease weight
2) Share this post with one other blogger and post their blog address along with your answer.

The prize is the Long Ridge Farm Cascadia Mitt kit in Chameleon (green) or Rubia (shown) just released at the spring shows, designed by Jennifer Chase- Rappaport. It's an awesome mitt knit up with my fingering weight Romeldale/mohair yarn.

Game open until 6/27 so spread the word and I'll be posting the winner 6/28! Good luck!