Sunday, March 1, 2009

Time to catch up!

Well, I guess I have been neglecting this blog for quite some time. The months have just flown by but I have been pretty busy over these past months. I spent a lot of this past Fall knitting for Christmas presents.
In November our golden Retriever had 10 puppies. They were adorable. Mama dog ended up getting very sick and had to go to stay with the vet for a week when the pups were just over 3 weeks old. I had to finish raising the puppies for her. Thankfully they were very good at eating from the dish. They grew very quickly and each of them went to good and loving homes in January.
Shortly after the pups left my husband had a major heat attack. He is doing better but will have bypass surgery this Thursday March 5th. I have taken over most of the responsibilities in the house now because my husband has to take it easy. I can only do so much at a time but I am trying to get things done.
I have 13 new fleeces to work with and after skirting them I have picked out 8 that I want to process myself and the other 5 will go to the mill to be made into roving. So I already started washing the wool. I am on my 5th fleece. Three have already been dried and one is drying now. I am now glad that we weren't able to put the bed back into the spare bedroom because I have screens in there now with fleece on them and I have 2 fans blowing on the wet fleece to speed up the drying process. I am hoping to get all the fleeces done before my husband goes in for his operation.
I will be working at my friend's commercial booth at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival on Mother's Day weekend so I am also trying to get some things knit up. I just finished knitting 4 scarves and a hat. I would like to finish the pie shawl I started last summer. My friend Cindy will show me how to do the edging tomorrow. This will give me something to work on while sitting at the hospital this week.
So now I think we are all caught up. I will try to do a better job of posting here. I will have a lot to share as I go through the processes of wool and fiber preparation again this year. Blessings Anne
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Summer is Flying By!

I can't believe it has been so long since I wrote on this blog. This summer is flying by. We are seeing sun today which is a change from the rainy days we have been having this month. I am not going to process anymore of my wool. It is now time to send the rest to the mill and it will come back in beautiful roving all ready to spin. I am going to continue to do some dyeing though. I have a beautiful silver fleece I want to dye royal blue. The yarn from this wool will be for a sweater for me. That is a project for after Christmas. I have to start thinking about knitting Christmas presents now since I have 5 children, 4 step children and all together 13 grandchildren. Just thinking about this makes my fingers hurt lol. I am still working on my pie shawl and also knitting lace scarves hoping they will sell at a weekend gathering I am attending in September.
The wild fruit in my yard is growing like crazy and I have been taking time to can jams and jellies. It is a lot of fun. Blackberries are ready to pick right now and should last a few weeks. Then it will be time for the apples and pears. Boy, I am so busy how will I ever fit in a job. Well, back to my knitting. Enjoy the rest of your summer!!!! Anne
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Monday, July 21, 2008

Painted roving with Easter Egg dye tablets

Today was a pretty dreary and rainy day. Just perfect to spend time in the kitchen dyeing wool. If you have read this blog before you know that now and then I like to use easter egg dyes to dye my fibers. I usually do this in canning jars but today I wanted to see how this dye would paint roving. I didn't actually paint the roving this time, I sprayed the roving. Let me give you the steps.

1. Use empty dish soap bottles (or something similar)

2. Put 3 or 4 tablets of the dye in each bottle.

I used 4 blue in one bottle and 4 red in the other bottle

3. Fill the bottle with a vinegar/water blend and let sit until the tablets are dissolved.

I use 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water

4. While you wait for the tablets, wet your roving but make sure it isn't soaked and place in a baking dish going up and down the length of the dish. You can keep layering until the dish is full.
See picture.

5. Gently squeeze the dye onto the layered roving making stripes. Do one color and then fill in the non colored areas with your second color dye. You may use as many colors as you like.

6. Gently pat down the wool to make sure there is no white showing.

7. Place baking dish in a 300 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
You may use a microwave if your baking dish is small enough

8. Turn off the oven but keep the baking dish in the oven until it cools. When you take it out you can let it stand a bit longer until it is fully cooled. The dye really gets soaked in during this time.
Since I didn't have to use my oven tonight for dinner, I just let the roving stay in there until early this evening.

9. Rinse and set out to dry.
When I finish rinsing my fiber I spin it out in the washer. It takes much of the liquid out and the fiber dries much faster.

I have to say I am very pleased at how this came out. I believe this would work for yarn also. That will be my next experiment. I can't wait for this roving to dry so I can spin it up. I may ply it with something different. I will post pictures when it is spun. Happy Dyeing!!!!! Anne

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Friday, July 18, 2008

First Shawl Finished.....Hooray!

Wow, I can't believe it has been so long since I posted. I have been so busy here at Emerald Hill. As you know I have been working on 2 shawls and last Friday I finally finished one. I love it. I blocked it yesterday outside in the warm breeze. It wasn't very comfortable standing out there in the glaring sun but I just had to get it done so I could post pictures. The pattern I used is the Mohana shawl by Monika Steinbauer. I did change the edging though because I couldn't quite understand how to do the picot edge so I added a couple of rows of my own and then did a crochet bind off. I like how it came out. I don't believe I will ever be able to get the color the same. It was a dye experience.
The past week I have been out almost daily picking the wild blackberries in the yard and then cooking with them so I haven't had a lot of time to knit on the pie shawl. I have never seen this amount of fruit in my yard. The vines are growing everywhere. I have made jam, pies and muffins. Today I will make jelly from just the juice of the berries. I can't eat berries with the seeds so this batch is for me. After extracting the juice from the blackberries and storing it in the fridge for my jelly making I added some water and vinegar to what was left in the pan and then some wool to see if it would dye the wool. I heated it and then left it overnight. Unfortunatley most of the color stayed in the water and the wool was a very very light raspberry. Maybe if I had added more juice it would have taken better but I think I would rather have the jelly. I started washing fiber again and it is now sitting in tubs in the kitchen. I sure do keep busy but somehow I always manage to find time to knit. Anne

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Friday, July 4, 2008


I hope everyone has a great day today. My daughter and 2 of my gradnchildren including the new baby are coming over for a cook-out. Her husband has to work and my husband is on call so we have to stay close to home. I won't get to see the fireworks because the baby can't go (too loud for him). I volunteered to stay home with him so my daughter can bring her 8 yr old son to see them. I really don't mind at all staying home with JJ. He is only 6 weeks old and growing so fast. I just want to spend as much time with him as I can.
I hope to find some time to work on my Mohana shawl today. I have some weeding of my flower garden to do and I am back to washing fiber again and today is a beautiful sunny day just right for drying wool on the screens.
I still have some fiber for sale at the website. I have been spending so much time knitting I have been neglecting the fiber and my spinning. I have some beautiful red/violet wool I want to blend with some white and spin up. I am also thinking about doing a rainbow blend to spin fine and then use for a lace shawl. So much to do and never enough time. I need more hands or another me. I must make a list and prioritize. Of course I never do that. Well, I am off to get the day started. Have a Wonderful Fourth!!!! Anne

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Remember that beautiful pinkish yarn I posted recently? Well, I found a project for it already. Because I only get one clue a week with the mystery shawl, I had to find another knitting project to do in between the clues. With the help of my friend Cindy, I found a wonderful lace shawl pattern to try. This is a triangular shawl named the Mohana Shawl and the designer is Monika Steinbauer. After knittng the first chart I got very confused being this was so new to me. I couldn't find anyone to ask ( none of my friends were home) so I wrote to Monika herself. She was so helpful. She couldn't believe I was taking this on as a new lace knitter. I have found that after she explained what I needed to do I was ok and the shawl is coming out just beautiful. Thank you Monika.

I found this free pattern on If you haven't joined Ravelry and you love to knit or crochet please join. It is a wonderful place for patterns and to be in touch with others who love the craft. I will post another picture after I get a little more done. Anne

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The past couple of weeks have been so very busy here at home. I have been spending every free minute knitting. As you know from my last post I started my first lace shawl. I finished the second clue the beginning of this past week and am now on the third clue. I was finally able to get a picture of the second section(clue 2,chart C). I will post a picture each time I finish a clue. This is so much fun. Anne