Tag Archives: sheep

A Little Taste of Shepherding Camp, In Pictures

I made it home from from Shepherding Camp at Juniper Moon Farm last night. I had the best time hanging out with Susan and Zac (Caroline was sick for most of the weekend, but is on the mend) and my fellow campers as we learned about taking care of sheep. I learned to trim hooves, worm, herd, separate flocks, and how to build a fence or two. The best part is, I get to go back in April for shepherding camp 102 when all the ewes we put in with Solomon, this year’s ram, should be in the midst of lambing. SO EXCITING.

Just as an intro, here are a few of the pictures I took while I was there.

Advertisements

Hand-Spun! . . . and a whole lot more

055
200 yards worsted weight hand-spun wool

I am thrilled to announce that I am adding a line of hand-spun yarn to my etsy shop! The first addition is pictured above and more are on their way. I have been spinning all day long. I find the motion of spinning a deeply soothing exercise now that I have the hang of it. Because of that, I have been spending a lot of time at my wheel. So much time that there is no way I could ever knit all of the yarn I have been spinning. (Well, I probably could but I would really like to avoid having my apartment over flow with yarn the way cartoon laundry rooms do with soap suds.)

The summer is winding down. I have been finished with school for about three months now. Athrun started Kindergarten on Tuesday, and I have had zero luck finding a job outside the coffee shop, particularly a job I feel like I can really do well. This summer has been full of waffling back and forth on the issue: Do I find an office job that pays a little bit more and allows me to sleep like a regular human being or do I concentrate on growing my own business ventures and creating a job for myself? Do I find a job where I might have to cancel on Shephreding Camp (because did I mention I am going!) or do I stick with the coffee shop and work toward my goal of starting my own farm, possibly fiber csa, sometime within the next decade or do I go try my luck as an administrative assistant or a customer service rep?

To tell the truth, as ready as I am to be the coffee shop customer instead of the barista, I also want to have the opportunity to participate in 2012 season with Growing Growers so I can learn more about growing food out on my Future Fantasy Farm and meet the really great farmer’s who live in my area. I can’t tell you how drawn I am to the idea of participating in that program, but concerns about money kick in just like they always do. The basic concern being that I could really use some more of it. The temptation of money has pulled me back and forth over the past three months, but the strangest thing pointed me in what I feel is the right direction about two weeks ago. The complete lack of money for the right thing.

Not far from my apartment, there is a great shopping center which is mostly full of small, local businesses. One of these, a coffee shop that has always struggled (and was never open when I could go there, might I add) closed down. It’s a cute shop space, and if you’re from Topeka, you know which one I mean. It was all wood with big windows, a nice bar with a little seating downstairs, with a homey upstairs. I noticed the closed for good sign one morning on my way to work while filling up my gas tank. All I could think was “STUDIO SPACE!” and that’s pretty much all I thought the rest of the day.

The downstairs, with some renovation would make a really cute yarn shop, which Topeka is sorely lacking. And upstairs would be the perfect classroom space. You could hold small knitting/spinning classes and maybe even some dyeing lessons. It would small, cute, cozy, a gathering space even. Maybe I would keep the espresso machine. Everything a yarn shop should be. I could see it perfectly, but I knew the rent on that place would be more than I currently pay for where I am living, and nobody is giving out business loans–especially to a girl who already has a little debt and barely-above-minimum-wage job–but the motivating thought the past few weeks is that I can get there.

I don’t necessarily need the rented studio space, but it might be a stepping stone somewhere along the line. Right now I don’t really know. All I do know is that I am putting myself full-steam back into Tiny Dino Studios and going where it takes me. (I am hoping this means more blog posts as well as more products.)

I have some hand-knit samples worked up, but the photography hasn’t quite worked out yet. I almost feel like I need a dress form. But one, dress forms are expensive, two, most of the modern ones are ugly, so I would want to find a vintage one, which is probably even more expensive, and three, I have a very small apartment and finding a place for it might be a problem. All that aside, if you know of someone who has a nice vintage dress form along these lines, I would be happy to make them an offer.

Now, I am off to do some yoga, which is my other new project: losing all the weight I gained when I went back to school–which is a whole other blog post.

Tour de Fleece, Day One

My Day One Work

Tour de Fleece Day One

Almost 2 oz. of hand dyed corriedale from the Cosymakes Farm Wool club.

Big Shop Update

I just added over 2 pounds of fiber to the shop! Most of it is spinning fiber, up just in time for Tour de Fleece. Now is the time to stock up!

Re-Emerging

I have been hard at work lately on a few things, but most of them don’t include my fledgling of an etsy shop. It has not been neglected by any means, but I do have to admit that my energies have been elsewhere.

School is quickly drawing to a close, and with it, a large, but not obscene amount of writing. It is all my kind of writing: the creative yet slightly self-indulgent kind. If you want to know what I mean, go to your library, local bookstore, or your (preferably) your bookshelf, or you can go here: Essays of E.B. White, and read the foreward. If you read nothing else, read the foreward now, and you will know what kind of writing I have been doing, what I am trying to do, and why I love E.B. White. (Now you should go buy that book, but not from amazon unless you can’t find it nearer. I have that problem myself quite often, you would be amazed how little a bookstore in Kansas actually stocks about agriculture. It’s shameful, really.)

Despite the large amount of writing which stands between myself and the rest of the school year, I am feeling remarkably calm. That is a big change. It helps that the writing I am doing is the kind I feel most comfortable with, but what is really different is that I feel as I am emerging from some the frantic state of mind in which I have been residing for the last few years. My time in school is quickly coming to an end, and instead of feeling the dread of not having an amazingly profitable job right away, I am just feeling excited.

Here are a few of the things that have been distracting me from the blog lately.

1.
This Earl Grey tea with lavender is not really a distraction, more of a crutch. I know Earl Grey is an afternoon tea, but I have been drinking this stuff every morning (and most afternoons as well). It is delicious and rich, and the perfect substitute for coffee. I am not sure when or how it happened, but I started taking my coffee with cream a couple of years ago, and not I can’t have coffee without it. I am trying to eliminate more of the dairy from my diet, because I am one of those people who does not do so well with too much of it. My solution is to drink this tea instead of coffee. So far I am doing all right. I got mine here, but your local health food store might carry it as well.

2. I am going to ReThink Topeka this afternoon. My friend Julie is doing her best to get me out of the apartment a little more often.

3. In fact, earlier this week, we hit the cutest yarn store in Kansas. I bought some fleece off a sheep named violet, which is going to teach me to better use my hand carders.

4. Jacob’s Reward Farm is another fiber CSA, of which I am a brand new member. I have really been enjoying their blog. They are expecting a lamb! Check it out.

5. I am visiting this farm on Tuesday to meet the sheep. I bought 1 lb of Aran’s (the sheep) roving, and the wool is gorgeous, so I assume the sheep must be as well.