Funny Farm

A fearsome foray into my fiber follies. I talk about weaving, knitting, spinning and dyeing. Some chatter about the sheep, goats, pigs and chickens.

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Location: North-east PA, United States

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Off the loom

No idea what happened to the text when I hit "edit". I had to change the title of this entry as I've gotten many span comments. I think the word -hot- generated some interesting comments that I didn't think anyone would want to read. I got tired of deleting them so I'm hoping changing the title will help.
Since these photos I've woven 8 more scarves and of course failed to take pictures before going to their recipients. You'll just have to trust me on this. I may have some in-progress pictures in the camera, I'm not certain. I'll have to check.
A friend brought over a rag rug she received 20 years ago. It was falling apart, so I took out the weft, warped the loom and now I'm reweaving it. The weft material is certainly circa '60's........whoosh! My eyes are bleeding. It was also a strange dimension so I'm adding some denim strips to hit the golden mean. I would have preferred a navy but don't have any on hand.
That's my story!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Musings on a winter's afternoon

My dogs on a cold winter's day, longing for..........

warmer days to come.
Me too!

It has been a long while since last I wrote. So many things have happened and things to come in the near future I'd imagine. I've been away frequently dealing with an ill Mother and eventually moving her into assisted living. It has been very hard on her and she accepted it kicking and screaming. It has not been easy or pleasant. I do hope I grow old being a kinder and gentler person. However, I thought I'd reach this age looking like Katherine Hepburn. I never looked like her to begin with, but a person can dream can't she? I just don't want to grow old being helpless and angry at those who love me and help me. In pondering my way of life, growing as old as my Mother is highly unlikely. Humph!

I finally did finish knitting one sweater during the earlier stages of the Mom Saga. The sleeves are tight which speaks to the change in gauge and state of mind. I think I may have been a wee "uptight". But it's finished, tight sleeves and large neck. It'll make a fine barn sweater. Then I started another sweater, a cardigan in alpaca. I got it started a day or two before one of my flights back out to AZ. It was going well during that particular trip until more Mother drama. It needs to be frogged back. Perhaps even ripped out all together and a fresh new start. Someday.

There are either two or three rugs finished on the loom with the final one, half way to the end. Odd verbiage, but I like that! As usual, my poor camera with fluorescent lighting does not give accurate color, but here is the latest:

So, to my minions, that is my whine. Pass the cheese, please!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Farming and Weaving, a very brief overview!

Luckily, this is not a "scratch and sniff" photo. The girls are growing well for this winter's eating, but they sure do stink! All CornishX do. Chicken *hit doesn't smell good, but eating breed chickens really have an awful odor. Other details "of the why" I will keep to myself!

Bee Balm and Cone Flowers I keep meaning to plant

Mindless wood carvings of the summer.

Rayon scarf

and another rayon scarf! Clever.

I'll be away for a bit. Family issues and I'm flying out to Arizona this Monday. Not the best time of year to visit the State, but if you're in the Phoenix/Peoria area, send me COLD air. I'm going to swelter.
We sent 7 critters off to auction this week. Mr Buck has been retired (sent to auction) and Joey will be the new goat stud. I must get a picture of the studly dude. Whadda guy. Several lambs and kids and one dairy goat (crazy girl) headed out as well. I'm afraid some of the spent hens are due to go soon as well. I've found raising chickens much easier overall. However, the hens did a job on the asparagus and raspberries this summer and Mr Princess is not a Happy Farmer. I keep yelling, "FENCING, YOU MORON"! No, don't like the word either, but how many times must this be reiterated, I ask you? Late Blight has hit the North East and I'm afraid all my the tomato plants must be ripped out. No idea if the potatoes will make it. Note: I had to plant a second crop because the first rotted due to all the rain we've had and continue to have. This is the same blight of the infamous Irish Potato Famine. That's what brought my family over here. I do wonder what it would have been like to have been brought up in Ireland. Brief thought though only, since I probably wouldn't have existed! A fond fondue until I'm back in the Land of Much Rain.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Painted rug warp

painted rug warp and dyed cotton sheeting for weft

sett 12

strips cut at 2"

hem strips cut at 1"

what colors does Marie like?

More scarf warps

No orange

orange scarf #1

Need to trim the fringe

orange scarf #2

Sunday, June 14, 2009

all dyed

All 8,000 yards are dyed and dried and ready to be wound off onto the spools. Eventually. I'm warping the big loom for a rug as a reward for completing the above task.

I failed to tell of the (almost) dye disaster. I had just enough dye to dye 4,000 yards of each color. I haven't dyed vast quantities on the stove in a long time so it took some sleuth work to find my trusty big pot. Mr. Princess often (always) takes my stuff because I'm fairly organized and it's easier to pilfer from me than for him to go looking for his own stuff. Lord only knows what he used my pot for. Probably seating near the wood stove in the basement. But I found it, washed it up and put it on the stove in the kitchen. I tossed in several cups of salt, some boiling water and 3.7lt of dye stock. Stir, stir, stir. Turned on the heat and began filling up the bucket with water. I added one bucket full and filled up the next. While adding the next bucket I saw dye on the (glass) stove. I grabbed some paper towels and began wiping up. The more I wiped the more dye appeared and suddenly, whosh, a LOT of dye. A hole in the pot! I started bailing dye from the pot BECAUSE I HAVE JUST ENOUGH DYE FOR THE PROJECT! There was no way to calculate how much dye was lost and how diluted it was. After resuming breathing I found a smaller pot, added less water and started again. Luckily all 4,000 yards appear the same purple color. No more disasters and the dyeing is done. Though photos would have been amusing, clean up and dye saving was more important. Lesson: always hold the pot up to the sun and look for holes. Amen and amen.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

8,000 yards of chenille

I pulled this alpaca/silk scarf off the loom several weeks ago. I need to twist the fringe (ugly story) and wet finish it.
As I was cutting the warp off the loom I got distracted and cut about 1/3 shorter than I should have. This should be fun stuff to twist and to knot. Not!

Sorry, but Penelope should have been the final photo. Here she is with one of her 2 kids and a few chicks on her back. She is a conveyance at that moment.

Damn! Blogger won't let me rearrange the photos today.
I've wound off 8,ooo yards of chenille and have dyed 4,000 yards thus far. To the left is a photo from Handwoven, issue 132, of a shadow weave shawl. I'm using this pattern to make a chenille throw, approximately 60x80. It's really more of a blanket.

Here is an overall view, albeit a crappy picture.

These are the colors I am dyeing.

When the dyeing is complete, I'll wind the yardage onto spools. . .
40 freakin' spools, and hope I wind sufficient yardage onto each. My main problem is that my clock reel is not adjustable and I know that the hanks will have shrunk. I'm still unsure of how I will transfer the 200 yard hanks to the spools. Once that is complete, I will check myself into a mental hospital for about five years. Please write.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Spring overdrive

The table cloth has been off the loom for two weeks. I finally got it washed, hemmed and pressed. Overall I'm pleased. The center fold I'm not pleased with. Unlike wool, cotton is less forgiving. I had trouble finding a rhythm and when I did, I began to fret about the center fold. I can see I should have just woven. Where I thought the weft was too tight would have been just fine after wet finishing. Lessons learned.

At least the inconsistent tension appears to be a design element. Sort'a.

And now we know why it is recommended that there be a color change at the fold....lesson 2 learned!

The first six chicks of the season.
75 more will arrive in early June.

The seedlings are growing in the greenhouse. The garden has been enlarged to 100 x 40 and I'm waiting for the fence to go up so I can get the potatoes, peas, beans and lettuce in. However, Mr Fence Man is in the woods today cutting logs for the 2,000 mushroom plugs he just got. I ask you...priorities? The plugs can wait but my peas can't! They're vining in the greenhouse. My onions will be useless!

adopt your own virtual pet!