We have a CLOSET!

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Apparently, back in the 1910s, people didn’t like closets or really didn’t make them in their homes.  Because our 100 year old farmhouse has no closets.  Well, we do have one sort of closet in a spare room but it was clearly added on.  But no closets anywhere else.  We have made closets from cabinets and we scored another one a bit ago from a salvage yard!  For only $40…  solid wood, came from a elementary school.

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We had an idea to put it in our kitchen nook to serve as a place for all our winter gear and also some homesteading and farm related stuff.  Like animal care things and medicines, that sort of thing.  However, we did have a little issue… it was TOO TALL to set straight up!  We ended up having to trim a bit of the base off the darn thing.  IMG_3176 IMG_3177 IMG_3178 IMG_3219

But we managed and now the big old thing is working out great!  Maggie is going to build a little bench to the side so you can sit and put your boots and shoes on.  And we need to get some hangers for inside of it.  With no closets in the house, we don’t have any hangers to spare!  Honestly, we really don’t have too many hangers at all!

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A pretty darn cool thing if you ask me!

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Learning to Basket Weave…

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As you might know, I’m a weaver.  I love to weave on my big floor loom and smaller inkle looms.  My daughter started a company to make tools and looms.  We raise our own sheep for fiber for fiber arts.  So, yes, we’re quite invested in our weaving arts here at our little homestead.

However, there has been one form of weaving that I’ve never really given a try to!  Basket weaving!  So I purchased a kit from Amazon to give it a try.  I thought that is the best way to give it a whirl, see if I like it and not spend too much money on tools and supplies.  IMG_2893

I picked a melon or egg basket from various simple kits from a fine company called Commonwealth Basket Mfg. Inc.  It came with everything that I needed.  And the instructions are very easy and perfect for a beginning weaver.  The steps were simple and in a hour or so, I had a beautiful little basket!  I am hooked!  Here are some of the steps that I took pictures of…  In the end, I really recommend giving this a try!  The kit was like $15 and it was very well organized with plenty of materials so you can make a mistake or two!

Enjoy!!!

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Our First Completed Yarn!

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It took almost 9 months to get it back, but our first batch of mill run yarn from our sheep has come back!  We sent in 10 pounds of fiber from our sheep and goats and got back 25 skeins of a beautiful, soft fingerling 2 ply yarn!  It’s fairly thin, not exactly what I normally work with, but I’m working on a little scarf with it and it’s so delicate and beautiful.  IMG_2790

Now, we have sent our fleece off to be made into roving, which is the first step in making actual yarn.  And once that comes back, I’ve been spinning it myself and also selling some of the roving as well.  But just never had a mill finish it all off.  It’s not cheap.  25 skeins cost us $160.  That’s $6.40 a skein before you figure in a lick of feed, care or shearing costs.  Considering it takes a year to grow a fleece, I would say our cost is nearly $11 to $12 a skein!  Wow!  IMG_2793

I know some folks would say that it’s not bad considering all the input and time invested.  I just think that we won’t be going this route again because if we double it again to actually make a little for our efforts, we’re looking at $20 to $24 a skein!  That just sounds a little high to me.  When we do all the processing ourselves, for our small flock, it’s an enjoyable task and we can sit and watch tv and spin or card and thus sell the yarn at a more economical rate and still make us a little coin for our effort as well as the enjoyable task of creating the yarn.  IMG_2794

But, that being said, it was wonderful to see how our flock’s fibers could compete in a commercial market and how lovely the yarn would be!  I can’t wait to dye some and perhaps give it a spin with some other fibers and make 3 or 4 ply yarns!  How lovely!!!  What a cool experience…  IMG_2795

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