Friday, February 24, 2012

Going Green!

Green, green, green - a beautiful life confirming, affirming, delightfully succulent colour!

I love green, on trees, in the garden, tasty spreads of sheep pasture but......

I don't know what to do with green, how to work with it, how to make it sing - and go ping -  how to make it vibrate the way a red can vibrate when I put it next to ...... whatever my whim dictates in that instance.

Next month I am teaching/facilitating a needle felting art project at a local middle school. And so I went through my stash two days ago to figure out what was available already and what needed to be dyed so the kids will have an ample amount of enticing colours to do their community art project with.  More about this project later.

For now I will tell you that ... as any good horder I found ....... something green, which initially thrilled me because it was a beautiful pile of many shades of beautiful green, couldn't really ask for too much more in that department.
However, I touched the softness of the fibres and voila I was off in spinning heaven. The locks were soft and open, not needing too much teasing and no carding at all to go on the spool on the Colbeck Spinning wheel. I was trying to talk myself out of it. With not much success I have to admit.
The  thing is, a dear friend of mine had given me four x 50grs of silk for christmas, 200 grs of silk, two in green hues and a blue and a red one. The silk came from her mother's stash. As it happens, Jali passed away a couple of years ago and her daughter was gifting me a few little tidbits from her beloved mother's treasure box.
The green/yellow/blue silk and the green wool from my stash seemed to me to swing just fine, and so I started to spin. One can spin for many hours - I at least take a pile of time when the yarn is fairly fine, not cob web mind you, but, not on the heavy side at all. 1 strand of wool and one strand of silk. 
In the end I only finished spinning about half a spool of silk (as opposed to the 3 spools of wool that were already done. I couldn't wait. I needed to know if ..... what I saw in my head would really work, if the two strands would embrace each other and fall in love.
Phew, in my eyes it seems they did, so I can continue spinning - the half spool of silk had about 200 meters on it and so my first little 'sample' skein is 200 meters. Which means I have another 6-800 meters of silk to spin on top of the wool (app. 1000 meters = 1km) which is already done. I love spinning - good thing now, isn't it =-)

ps time will tell how it all looks when it gets woven up, but I am hoping for beautiful. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lambing Season AGAIN!

Meet Dotty - she is turning 12 this spring, and as far as I can see there is a bun or two in the oven again this year. Last year Dotty was lamb-less and  she lead a life of leisure, grazing, ruminating (ha), basking in back scratches, pieces of apples and the overall love which humans bestow upon her because ... she is cute as a button and always ever so friendly - just don't forget that apple!

Next in line, a yet unnamed ewe lamb from last year. She is one of two daughters of Dotty-2 (right behind her) which we kept last year - originally for the freezer, but we shall see.
And then with the white streak down her face is Dotty-3, also daughter of Dotty, so sibling to Dotty-2. Do I have you completely confused now? Somehow it works for me this way at least for now - then I know which ewe-line they belong to.

And may I present, a Freezer Frazer - one of the two which Harriett-2 birthed last Sunday. Nothing at breakfast, except no wild hunger and then, bang, before lunch ..... there they were, two strong wet, sticky and very hungry boys. And they are doing well these days. Up and about, jumping, running investigating.

So Dotty came back in, and mr. FF needs to check her out, just to see if there is any milk available, could she be his mom or .......

oh, sorry, madam, my mistake, here is my mom and she brought my brother, Freezer Frodo, the fact is we don't name the lambs, when we know they won't stay with us for more than the summer.  But.... they are so beautiful, lively, lovely, fun and clever!

And if there is an opportunity for a visit at the milk bar, I can assure you that that opportunity is never, ever, missed. The more milk the merrier!

And this morning it was Dotty-3 who was a bit off, not wanting breakfast, going over to look at the always open birthing pen - except of course when someone is in there. I went to check on the sheep just before 7am and she was not so interested in neither the grain nor the hay - and I wrinkled my brow, slowly bent to sniff her breath (if a ewe has pregnancy toxemia it is easy to recognize the smell on her breath) but she was fine.
And so I went back to the house, had my morning tea, and about 1 hour later when my husband went to feed his horse he checked and there was one lamb that he could see, and when I got down there, there were two. A very large black ewelamb and a very small and spindly white ewelamb. When I went to check on them a little while ago, I discovered that the little one was actually warming up. Earlier today she seemed so cold so I clipped the sleeve off a sweater and put it on her, and this time when I touched her, her nose was warm and she seemed much better.  Dotty-3 is a magnificent mother, talking, humming, I think sheep language is beautiful.

Vandana Shiva - in my 'back yard'

There are so many issues in our world today - sounds like - a dry talk on a boring subject. But I want to say that I am so excited, for this coming Friday in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, we will have the honour of hosting a fabulously outspoken, stubborn, brave, ingenious and inspiring woman.
Vandana Shiva, a modern seed warrior, is spending a good deal of the day in Wolfville, she will visit the Wolfville Farmers' Market, which I used to have a booth at for many years and have seen grow like 'a weed' - Vandana Shiva will partake in a fundraising dinner at a local restaurant and finally she will give a talk at Horton High School.  I will be at the market in the afternoon and I will be at the talk in the evening - this as I see it is a once in a life time opportunity - when would we ever be able to meet a 'film star', a seed activist of this caliber, who as far as I know inspires many, many of the organic seed producers we have here in this province.

This event is a sign to me that we are thinking in the right direction - we are on the move, when we take a stand when it comes to clean food, clean seed (non-GMO), clean soil, clean water etc, our opinions matter. When we have the strength to keep the pressure up it will provoke a change in the end - makes me think of the occupy movement, and when the temps will be ok for them to come out and set up camp again without risking getting too much frost bite. I will welcome them.

It makes me think back to the early days in this house, when there was a garden as  big as ..... well I want to write half an acre, but I know my husband would come home and say - ah, your math skills are great when you weave, but I think you have to recalculate this....... so what I will say is that the first year we had a garden here I had 24 different kinds of tomatoes (From Salt Spring Seed in BC) 17 different kinds of beans and peas and .... it was a lot of work, and we did a lot of weeding and picking and eating. When my kids were nowhere to be found a search party would go to either the peas or the strawberries and ........ there they were, in no hurry for neither lunch nor supper.

These days I no longer grow a large garden, hm, sometimes I try to grow stuff in the green house but.... I do get distracted by the looms and the other fluffy creations which I do and so instead I go every week to the Wolfville Farmers' Market to purchase a weeks supply of local, mostly organic (and if not certified, then no-spray) produce of many kinds. It is a pleasure  to walk out of there with bags full, return home, stuff the fridge and then, eat to our hearts content for the week until we get to go again 7 days later.

And at home I ...... spin, weave, dye, walk the dog, plan the next meal, think, meditate, watch the ewes lambing and feel grateful for my rich, eventful, peaceful life and the people in it.

Have a great one!