Rain has finally come to Maine. After all of that snow melted so beautifully and slowly, I couldn’t imagine that we would end up in such a dry spell. (It was lovely, though, as mud season was almost a non-event this year!). Since early Sunday morning we have had pretty steady rain, and it’s back in the 40s again. But we needed it.
When Sunday turned into a day of steady downpours, I took the time to ignore house cleaning and went upstairs and measured off a warp for some towels that I have been planning to weave since last summer. Waffle weave towels, which are one of my favorites. I am using cottolin, which I have never woven with before. So I have hopes of some nice time on the loom in the coming weeks. If I can get this warped over the weekend, maybe I can start on it sooner rather than later!
The weather over the weekend was pretty grey and nasty. By the end of the day Sunday the wind had come up and by yesterday morning the air temps were very mild, but the wind was bitter. We are all watching that big storm as it moves toward us, hopefully not leaving too much snow behind as it comes in tomorrow or Thursday.
I spent most of the day Sunday up in the “fiber loft.” Actually got a lot accomplished, more than I thought I would. But still quite a long way to go. At least I have a setup that I think will be able to show our yarn and roving product well, should folks stop by the house. I am going to create another more portable setup for the farmer’s market. Thankfully that won’t begin until the second Saturday in June, after the annual Maine Fiber Frolic.
Most of the reason I am working up there is because I can’t get anything accomplished. I am working on fighting my way to the loom on the far end of the space. I have a project almost all planned out, and I am itching to get started. In order to do that I need to find a spot where I can hang my warping board to measure out the warp yarn. And before that can even happen, I need to sort fleeces (piles of fleece each still in its own sheet, clogging up the floor space) to get them out to be processed into yarn or roving. It is coming along and hopefully I can spend most of the day this coming Sunday. After all, I will have natural light pouring in all those lovely windows much later into the day than usual!
A little bit of a warm-up after a very blustery, cold day yesterday. It looks like we are going to have a mild day tomorrow again before getting into some arctic freezing cold on Monday and into the week. Aside from erranding today, we took the opportunity to really clean and scrub down one of the giant water troughs in by the sheep. We will do the other one tomorrow. An opportunity also presented itself to get a little more of the iciness and hard snow buildup away from some of the gates. It’s always something when we have ice and snow. Although I should go on record to say that I much prefer this to the mud! I love the cold weather in general!
It’s funny that one of the farm blogs that I read (the Kitchen’s Garden) also was talking about taking the opportunity with the mild weather today to scrub water tubs. And they are out in Illinois! It’s one of those things that is universal, I guess, when taking care of large animals. Lots of watching the weather and taking advantage. I am also currently putzing around with feed tubs to feed out some of the hay we are getting. It’s beautiful and has lots of broad leaves and timothy heads in it, but it’s shattered up, so when we take a flake off, a lot of it just drops to the greenhouse floor in little pieces. I have been shoveling that into tubs to feed out to the sheep and goats. It looks good and they seem to eat it whether it’s in the feeder or in a tub. Just one more way to deal with getting them what they need.
Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get into the loft upstairs that is supposed to be something of a fiber studio. If I say it’s in disarray, it would be an understatement. It needs a huge amount of organizing, but I really need to get going on that. I have to fight my way over to the loom and think about getting that warped. That would be a real accomplishment! And it’s a great thing to get going during the winter.
I don’t know why the change of numerical date carries with it such a weight… I have never really enjoyed New Year’s Eve and all the partying. We have not gone out for New Year’s Eve in a very long time. I usually sleep through the changing of the calendar date. This year I had the opportunity to go for a gathering at a friend’s house to “spin-in” the new year, and that was a celebration that I can get addicted to! On New Year’s day we gathered for a potluck and a day of fiber and spinning. I am hoping that 2011 will continue as it has begun: with lots and lots of interaction with fiber :*) Everyone says it, that as soon as you start a fiber farm, you lose all the free time you had before that to actually spin, knit and weave . It’s true, but I wouldn’t trade our sheep for much of anything that I can think of. Who can resist faces like this, witnessing mother and lamb, and fiber that’s to die for!
I wish I could make a really concrete list of things that I have accomplished this summer. I did take a class at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham which was good, and I am partially re-organized in my studio, but I haven’t gotten much knitting done, and I haven’t gotten my loom warped yet! I did quite a bit of spinning and am hoping to get some dying and felting done in the next two weeks. Big sigh!
Two more weeks to go until the first day of school, and counting,
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!