Entries for this GIVEAWAY are now closed. Congratulations to our Givewaway winner, Sara, who posted on November 12 at 8:25 a.m. - she is the lucky winner of a Sheep Shares CSA 2014 Yarn Sampler (natural) membership. Thank you to everyone who posted - and for all your kind words on the launch of my new book.
I can't believe it's almost that time. The official publication date for my new book, Adventures in Yarn Farming is next week - is November 12th! On that date, my book will be available everywhere.
I'm celebrating the official publication this month by offering a chance for one lucky person to win a membership to Sheep Shares CSA 2014.
Would you like that? Do you know someone who would?
Please leave a comment here on this post - tell me what you enjoy most about working with wool. I'll randomly draw a winner on November 30th - and that lucky someone will be enrolled as a Yarn Sampler Natural member for Sheep Shares CSA 2014. The winner will be announced here and via the email address you provide with your comment (please do not type your email addy in the body of your comment, just provide in the space where it asks for email so I can contact you.)
Please do share this post and celebrate PUB DATE with me. Thanks!
And in the meantime, here's a video trailer the good people at Roost Books made to give you a preview of my book:
Just back to the farm after a weekend vending and book signing at the Fiber Festival of New England at the Eastern States Exposition. Thanks everyone who stopped by my booth to scoop up skeins of Cormo yarn and to be among the first to acquire a copy of Adventures in Yarn Farming. I'm really flattered to hear the positive, warm responses from those of you who had purchased copies at Rhinebeck two weeks ago - and have already finished reading it. Wow, and wow. You made my day.
Writing a book is like working in a bubble. It's wonderful, really,not only to be finally sharing my work but also to be receiving feedback. Thank you.
With the hour's time change, we're back to doing evening chores after dark. It's hat and mitten weather out there tonight. We'll be banging ice out of the water buckets come morning.
Stay tuned this week for an announcement about a blog give-away celebrating my book launch and a heads up about Sheep Shares Yarn Farm CSA 2014.
Note: This lovely photo was taken by Ben Barnhart, the photographer who provided most of the photos for my book.
Last Saturday a group of intrepid Sheep Shares CSA members braved the threat of showers and the back roads of western Franklin county to join us for a special afternoon. Fiber, Foliage & Friends is an annual tradition here for our Sheep Shares CSA members. The event is a celebration - with knitterly camaraderie, home-baked apple crisps and pumpkin snickerdoodles, sheep antics, donkey pats, yarn painting and some jaw-droppingly gorgeous finished projects knit from our spring share yarn - all against a glorious autumnal backdrop.
Thank you to everyone who joined us. For those of you who couldn't, here's a few snaps from the day (sorry I didn't take more, I had my hands full with prepping for the yarn painting). Enjoy.
This was the scene in the hayfield on Sunday afternoon. Norm was mopping up the last windrows with the round baler. Zoe and Farley cavorted through the behomoth round bales and chewed on stubble.
Last weekend our Sheep Shares CSA members and their guests flocked Springdelle Farm for our annual summer social event - the Strolling of the Sheep. I love this event. There's no better time of year to showcase our lush, verdant fields and to put our flock on center stage. Here are a few scenes from the day.
Of course Crackerjack, our guardian llama, received his share of the limelight. As did our mini donkeys, Cupcake, Prissy and Dulce who quickly made themselves the center of attention.
The donks seemed to think any gathering is all about them. They quickly mobbed the guests for attention. So part of the afternoon became a donkey groom-a-thon. They couldn't get enough.
Our youngest visitor, PIppin, a Soay-Icelandic bottle lamb brought by my assistant Kathryn, found a shady bower beneath the red maple and took a nap during show and tell. I could easily fill a separate post to show and tell you about our show and tell. An amazing array of sweaters, shawls, vests, mitts and mittens. Near the end of the afternoon we cast on for our Cormo Classic Knit-A-Long. Cormo Classic is our newest farm yarn, a 3-ply worsted weight destined to be a favorite.
Thank you to my Sheep Shares CSA members for making this one of the warmest, most convivial gatherings ever at Springdelle Farm. It was wonderful to see so many of you, especially first-time visitors.
Also thank you to Lisa McGuire for sharing her lovely photos to round out this post.
Every spring on shearing day I hold aside a handful of special fleeces from my flock. Sometimes it's a fleece from a sheep who holds a dear place in my heart. And some fleeces are simply masterpieces of wool, crimp and lanolin. We keep our eyes peeled those truly special fleeces on shearing day.
After a shorn sheep stands, shakes and scrambles from the shearing board we take a minute to examine the goods. If the goods are super-good, then everyone pauses to pull locks, fondle and admire. Back in March, that was the case for a number of fleeces.Those fleeces did not travel with the rest to the fiber mill. I rolled them carefully and stowed them in the wool shed.
When packing up last Friday for the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair I stuffed those special fleeces into the back of my Volvo along with my shelving racks and tote bins filled with yarn. These five were destined for the fleece competition at the festival: two moorit fleeces (one from Latte and Cognac); a snowy white Cormo fleece from Dune; Issey's dazzling white Cormo Cross fleece; and a stunning silver, speckled fleece from Cilantro, a burly Cormo Cross-bred wether.
In the moments before the start of the festival Saturday morning, after putting finishig touches on my booth, I hustled over to the Exhibit Hall to enter my fleeces in the show. Judging takes place behind closed doors. I spent the morning manning my booth. Saturday's weather set a record for the coldest, dampest, rainiest Memorial Day in recent years - at least for the Mass. Sheep & Wool. Neverthless, intrepid fiberists donned in foul weather gear filed through the barns and stalls. My little stall under the grandstand was drafty, but dry.
At 2 pm the exhibit hall opened up to the public. I took a break from my booth to see how we fared in the fleece competion.
When I stepped into the exhibit hall, I looked immediately at the fleece show results posted on the wall. I was elated to see beside the words "Grand Champion" was my name. But it didn't tell me whose fleece this was. I quickly made my way down the aisle toward the only fleece weraing a purple rosette. On this cold, drear day my heart was warmed to discover that Cilantro, my most ornery, robust wether, had captured top honors in the fleece show.
His flockmates also fared well: Dune took first in the Purebred Fine White Wool class; Latte took second place (to Cilantro) in the colored fine wool class; Issey took a red ribbon in the Cross bred class.
Poor Cognac didn't take a ribbon at all. Although she has a gorgeous fleece that received very nice comments from the judge, other fleeces captured the judge's fancy in her class. I wished I could have spent more time studying all the fleeces in that hall, but I had to get back to business in my booth.
As it turns out, Cognac had another entry, of sorts, in the competitions at the wool festival.
Kat Parks, my former farm assistant, happens to be a terrific photographer. She had entered two photos she had taken of my sheep in the sheep photography competition. Before leaving the Exhibit Hall, I stopped at the photo competition table.
I was delighted to see that Kat's photo - of my ewe Cognac and another ewe Pumpkin- had garnered the blue ribbon in the sheep photo contest.
With her permission I'm sharing it here:
A lovely profile shot. Great Although Cognac's fleece didn't win any prizes in the fleece show, her pretty face helped woo the judges in the photo competition.
Congrats to Kat, for taking terrific sheep photos - and to Cilantro and his flockmates for growing awesome fleeces. And congrats, Cognac and Pumpkin, for being photogenic.
Thank you to the many volunteers who make this show happen and to everyone who braved the elements to attend the fair and stopped by Foxfire Fiber & Designs. What lousy weather, but still a good day. Great to see so many familiar faces.