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Archive for the ‘Fiber Fun’ Category

As part of our 2010 cyber-reorganization, we are moving and consolidating our cyberhomes.  You can get to our website at http://www.fancyfibers.com or just http://fancyfibers.com.

Our Farm Blog is now on that site instead of in a separate place! 

Please continue to follow the news from the farm by going to our newly designed website (on a different hosting service), click on the latest blog post, and SUBSCRIBE!  There is an RSS feed link down at the bottom.  When I figure out how to add other feed readers, I’ll do that, too!

We hope you’ll check it out and watch our new site grow!

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Yesterday was a snow day in Allen ISD where I teach, so I had the unexpected pleasure of staying home.  This was a fantastic turn of events because it gave me the opportunity to catch up on a few things.  By 11:00 the roads were passable, so Ken drove me to The Colony to pick up Ge’mar.  This made things even better!  Not only did I have a day to catch up, I had help!

It was a great day to be working in the bunny barn.  Ge’mar put on his rubber boots and carried all my miscellaneous bags and boxes of fleece out to a trailer that my brother’s friend George has stored at our place.  It’s a beautiful trailer, the kind you carry a race car around in, with a workbench, lights, electricity.  I’m seriously thinking about skirting my fiber out there!  Ge’mar also moved all my craft show set-up pieces out there.  I won’t need them until October, so they can be “out of sight” and “out of mind” for a while.

In the meantime, I cleaned up the floor in the bunny barn.  A clean(ish) floor out there in the rabbit area is a rare sight!  It’s usually peppered with hay and feed and dust.  And it is a bear to clean!  I hate sweeping up dust with a passion!  It seems you put more in the air than in the dust-bin.  My brother, the Welder, solved this problem for me, though, by suggesting I get some sweeping compound.  Now, I couldn’t live without this stuff.  If you have a concrete floor where people track in wet dirt that turns to dry dirt, you NEED this stuff.  It’s basically oily sand.  You toss it out on the floor, and when you sweepit up, it attaches itself to the dust and allows you to sweep it up instead of tossing it into the air!

Voila!  Clean bunny barn floor!

Once Ge’mar had the storage area cleaned out, he turned to his next task:  Unloading the Suburban.  Now (finally), everything from last weekend’s retreat is out of the truck and in a place where I can get to it!  This is important because we’re going to start having DYE DAYS at the farm, and we need the supplies to be close at hand.  Watch for the announcement, and plan to join us!

While he was cleaning out the truck, I finished giving Coffee his haircut.  This took longer than I would have liked, but we made it.  He’s still mad at me and we had to do some wrestling (particularly when I started on his belly), but eventually we were finished.  This is particularly exciting because it was Coffee’s fur that I dyed a brilliant Violet at the retreat, and I’m looking forward to dyeing more of it!  This time, I think I’ll try crock pot dyeing.

After his haircut, I let Coffee run around on the clean floor for a while.  I was a bit apprehensive about how Dudley and Stanley would react, and was surprised when they ran from the rabbit!  Of course, Coffee and Stanley are about the same size!  Coffee enjoyed the romp, and Dudley and Stanley eventually got used to him. 

Stanley is hard to photograph

He really prefers to be held

Dudley

What’s on tap for Saturday?  Ken was hoping to finish cleaning out the last unused stall in the barn and set it up as a chicken area for our youngest chickens who have outgrown the A-frame coop.  However, after going out to feed this morning, he reports that it’s freezing out there.  He and Ge’mar might not get as far as he had hoped.  We’ll see!

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One of the knitting corners

The fiber retreat went off with only a few problems, and even those were minor. I’m still working on the accounting and getting “squared up” with Briarwood Retreat Center, our lovely wooded venue, and I still haven’t completely unloaded my Suburban. But other than that, things are pretty much back to normal.

As a gift to myself, I did not blog, or check my e-mail, or do anything else related to my computer over the weekend. There were two exceptions:  I needed to check the bank to follow up on a payment to a class leader, and my rabbit friend Brenda H (NoseWiggle) had to tempt me with the beautiful skein winders that her husband makes. Other than that, my weekend was about FIBER!

Since I was the class leader for all of the dyeing activities, I got to do a LOT of dyeing!  The Hamilton Beach sweater dryers that I brought were a big hit!  It was fantastic to be able to dye our roving in the evening on Friday, dry it overnight, and spin it the next day!  These dryers are going to get a workout at my house when I start washing fiber.  Many of the Retreat attendees thought so much of them that they ordered one for themself!

Big Tom, my new electric carder from Fancy-Kitty, made an appearance as well.  I blended some angora that I died a brilliant violet into some red/gray/black commercial roving I had for a pop of unexpected color.  Tom will be very busy pretty soon as well!

On a go forward basis, it’s time to let someone else do the work for a few months.  In March, I’ll be going to the Wildflower Retreat in East Texas, where I don’t have to do a thing but show up and spin!  Sounds like a great weekend!

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Retreat Eve!

With the 2010 Winter Fiber Fun Retreat starting tomorrow, everything this week has Retreat related! In fact, it has been really annoying to have to work for a living!! Don’t these people know they’re cutting into my fiber time???

It’s amazing how many things need to be dealt with at the last minute. It compounds things because I am, by nature, a procrastinator. And very busy.  Probably too busy.

“Curve balls” always arrive during the last week also, and this year I’ve had plenty!  Cancellations, last minute fill-ins, room assignments, supplies, name tags, insurance, head counts for each meal, the last minute grocery store trip, finding the supplies you bought last year and want to reuse, class counts, weather watching, money matters, have-I-told-everyone-everything-they-need-to-know and what-have-I-forgotten? It all flits through my head like flashbulb explosions, each grabbing its little bit of time and processing power. 

And that’s all before I even get to the easy stuff — packing clothes, the computer, my knitting, my spinning wheel, my camera, and the various chargers that keep everything up and running!

No doubt I will drop one or two of the balls that I’m juggling. Lucky for me, fiber people are pretty forgiving and also pretty flexible. It will all work out in the end, I’m sure!

Tonight’s project: Name tag holders!

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