Sweet Harmony Farm

  (Deerfield, New Hampshire)
Simple joys of the alpaca life ...........
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The Fiber Twelve Days of Christmas

once again, it's time for our annual song ...................

On the twelfth day of Stitch-mas, my true love gave to me:

Twelve knitters knitting

Eleven cones a’ winding

Ten orders shipping

Nine rugs a’ hooking

Eight yarns a’ dying

Seven needles felting

Six sample cards

Five spinning wheels!!!

Four pounds of fiber

Three nuno scarves

Two socks on one needle

 And a yarn store that understands me

 Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

 
 

The Fiber Twelve Days of Christmas

 On the twelfth day of Stitch-mas, my true love gave to me:

Twelve knitters knitting

Eleven cones a’ winding

Ten orders shipping

Nine rugs a’ hooking

Eight yarns a’ dying

Seven needles felting

Six sample cards

Five spinning wheels!!!

Four pounds of fiber

Three nuno scarves

Two socks on one needle

 And a yarn store that understands me

 Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

 
 

In the Good Ole Summertime

Ahhhh........ summertime.........  The grass is green as are the leaves.  The days are long, hot, and sticky followed by a hopefully cooler night.  Thunderstorms pop up occasionally to water the earth and cool the air.  The garden is sprouting with green beans and beets and carrots and budding tomatoes and zucchini.  The scent of basil and oregano are in the air as I water.  The daylilies are blooming.  Birds and butterflies abound.  Robins nest on our home’s log corners, finches nest in the bushes, barn swallows nest in the barn, killdeer nest in the pasture, bluebirds nest in the birdhouses along the pasture fence, and the hawk makes a daily appearance swooping over the pasture.  Stella spends the entire day outside, lounging about in the shade.  She sometimes takes herself for a casual walk around the fence perimeter, all the time keeping an eye out for a chipmunk to chase.  I sit quietly outside soaking up the sunshine while I spin, weave, or knit, facing the alpacas grazing in the pasture. 

Wild critters large and small quietly pass through our property at night.  The other day my neighbor mentioned that a raccoon had gotten into his coop, again, and decimated his poultry flock, and that a bear had destroyed his beehive.    Whether you have a teeny homestead or a large one, farming is not always easy or fun; Nature works on her own schedule.

Coyotes and deer still abound.  We’ve been fortunate.  The deer have not decimated the garden yet and the coyotes have never, ever bothered the alpacas.  They do that well enough amongst themselves!  10 intact male alpacas on a hot summer day can get easily bored or irritated with each other ~ I’m guessing that’s it ~ and suddenly have to provide themselves with their own entertainment by chasing each other down .......... which means I’m having to run out to the barn to break up the ‘fight.’  ‘They say’ it’s a normal thing, a hierarchy thing, and to let the boys work it out amongst themselves but I have a hard time standing by idly when a smaller one is screeching. 

And usually they do work it out amongst themselves but when it carries on and on, there I am, running.  And stumbling as I run.  Yes folks.  12 years of ballet as a kid and I can still manage to trip over my own feet on a daily basis.

At least it’s summertime.  All I have to do is jump into my little barn shoes ........

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Handmade Love

A few days ago was Dan’s birthday so I baked him his favorite birthday cake:  chocolate cake with thick chocolate buttercream frosting.  Yes I made it from scratch!  Always!  There’s nothing like an imperfect looking, but fabulous tasting, homemade and handmade cake.  No two cakes I’ve ever made have come out looking the same.

Chocolate cake for Dan’s birthday is tradition for us.  Once, many, many years ago, I experimented a bit and made it a chocolate-raspberry cake with chocolate-raspberry frosting.  The cake part was easy enough; I just added some raspberry extract along with the vanilla.  For the frosting I melted chocolate-raspberry chips.  I’m sure there was plenty of melted butter too along with plenty of sugar.  I spread all this yummy goo over the cake and let it cool.

Well, melted chocolate chips with melted butter and sugar that cools turned into a frosting that hardened like fudge!  I’m pretty sure we had to cut this cake with a serrated bread knife to get through the frosting.  You could eat the cake and the frosting would just stay standing up intact on your plate like a taco shell.  So, we ate the frosting as if it were a piece of fudge.  To this day, it still is Dan’s favorite cake.

No, the alpacas won’t be eating chocolate cake.  They’re much too busy growing fabulous alpaca fiber for me!  This wonderful fiber will be made into yarns or roving or felt and then hand made into scarves or hats or rugs or something else wonderful.  One reason I love the small batches of mini-mill spun farm yarns is that every year the outcome is different and unique, complimentary to the changes in the alpacas’ fiber.  Each year’s harvest of fleece-turned-into-yarns is unique. 

When something is hand made it is always one of a kind.  You can follow the same pattern or instructions 10 times and all 10 times it will be a little different.  I love that!

While you’re making something handmade you can share your spirit of love and good wishes into the item you’re working on. 

A handmade item can be tweaked so that the intended recipient feels extra special. 

Handmade items are usually never perfect either, and these little flaws add to its uniqueness.  The uniqueness of something handmade is its beauty. 

Handmade is a simply joy of life.

Let’s share the handmade love!

 
 

First Farm Yarn Project

Back in October, I picked up our farm’s first yarns made from our alpacas’ fleeces.   I had decided then that my first project would be made with the Geldings’ yarn and that it would be something for Dan.  Julio and Guinness’ fleeces made a deep, dark brown yarn (nice manly color) in a rugged enough grade 3.  I love grade 3 yarn.  It’s very durable, but still soft enough to be worn close to the skin.

At first I was going to make Dan a hat.  Then my new 7 foot adjustable rectangle loom arrived from the Hillcreek Fiber Studio, so needless to say, I decided I’d make him a scarf instead.  I love scarves.

Lucky for me, Dan is agreeable to these things. LOL.

large rectangle loom

This nifty loom can be set up to make 21 different sized rectangles ~ oh the possibilities!  Right now it is set at about 11” by about 64”.  Once it’s off the loom it will ‘settle’ a bit, and again when I wash/full it, so it will still be a good manly sized scarf.  After setting up the loom on Sunday, I got about a third of the scarf done.

Dan's scarf, one third done

I’ve even managed to figure out Ravelry a bit more.   I will try to remember to post updates there too.  You can find me on Ravelry as:  harmonyhandwovens

 
 

The Fiber Twelve Days of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Stitch-mas, my true love gave to me:

Twelve knitters knitting

Eleven cones a’ winding

Ten orders shipping

Nine rugs a’ hooking

Eight yarns a’ dyeing

Seven needles felting

Six sample cards

Five spinning wheels!!!

Four pounds of fiber

Three nuno scarves

Two socks on one needle

 And a yarn store that understands me

 

(I'd love to take credit for this great twist on the popular Christmas song, but I found it on the Halcyon Yarn Store website.)

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