Thursday, January 22, 2015

Easy Knitting Projects, To Fight Off the Winter Blues



I have been trying to keep my hands busy these days. For me, knitting is a great way to do that.

A basket full of imperfect hand spun yarn, just waiting to be used. I figured if I wait until I have the perfect hand spun yarn, I will never knit anything!!

My first completed Sheep to product, was a hat for Mike! He has patiently waited for about 17 years for a hat, made from the wool of our sheep.

At long last....

The great thing about making anything handmade for this guy, is the bonus of being treated like you are a GENIUS! He is the most grateful person, I have ever met!


Hat made from Hand spun Border Leicester (Ethel)


I made some headbands for me and the girls, great way to keep those ears warm while doing chores. Again, an easy pattern, I just used two strands of the hand spun yarn, to get effect I wanted. I used a Garter Stitch (10-12 stitches wide) Knitted until they were about 19-20 inches long. Seamed the edges together.

Jacob Hand spun(Natural Colored)


Border Leicester hand spun (dyed with Pokeberry and Sumac)



Today, I decided to try a Mug Sweater (mug cozy) I found a pattern that I liked, and altered it a bit to make it work with the cup I was using. I love how it turned out! I was able to finally use some sheep buttons I had stashed away, just waiting for the perfect project to use them for.


Border Leicester Hand spun (Dyed with Walnut)


Last but not least, I wanted to mention that at the Michigan Sheep Breeders Symposium, the photo contest was not the only contest I entered. They had a hand spun Yarn contest. I almost chickened out, but Mike wouldn't hear of it and made me bring it along. It was nice to get some feedback on my yarn.





I seem to struggle at this time of year, I am glad I have wool to keep me busy!

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The HomeAcre Hop #104



Welcome to the HomeAcre Hop!
How is Winter in your neck of the woods? We have been having a little bit of a warm up, which has been nice. 30's feel much better than below zero temps.

I look forward to hearing what you have all been up to. Just link up your homesteading, homemaking, or homeschooling post!

HomeAcre  Host
Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Tracy@Our Simple Life
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal


  Each Host will have their own Featured post, Make sure to visit their blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)


Most Visited Post






Congratulations!
We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.
Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board 
where we share our Hop Favorites each week

Saturday, January 17, 2015

First Lamb of 2015




It started with Mike coming in the house and stating that Eleanor just passed her afterbirth but he couldn't find any lambs!

What?

Eleanor is Delaney's ewe-Delaney made it out to the barn before I was even able to get my boots on.
By the time I walked out there, she had already found a lamb curled up behind some boards. Somewhere, he was not supposed to be.

He was fine, his first time mom, was not! She was quite upset about not knowing where her lamb had gone.

We put them in a different pen, one he cannot get out of. Eleanor has settled down, he is nursing and all is well!





We only have three ewes that are due this month, the rest are not due until April. It has been really cold, so we have been very watchful with these ewes, hoping to catch when they lamb. We are grateful, that this lamb was born during warmer weather. Hopefully, the other two will follow suit!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

The HomeAcre Hop #103




Welcome to the HomeAcre Hop!

I have been feeling under the weather, the reason this will be my only post this week.

I hear it is going around, I hope you are all well. I look forward to your Homesteading, Homemaking, and Homeschooling post~

HomeAcre  Host
Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Tracy@Our Simple Life
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal

 

We will be featuring the most visited post each week. And each host may also have an additional feature.  Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)



                                                       Most Visited Post









Congratulations!
We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.



Friday, January 9, 2015

Saving My Kitchen Aid



I  have a Kitchen Aid Mixer that I use almost every day. I purchased it about six years ago-after we decided to upgrade to a larger model that could handle larger batches of dough.

It started making a little more noise and one day it decided to seize up and quit working when I was making a batch of pizza dough.Ir would turn on but the dough hook would not spin.

I was shocked!! Yes, I use it on a regular basis but the smaller Kitchen Aid that was replaced was more than 10 years old and still works!

What to do?

I got online looking for the closest  Kitchen Aid- Authorized Service Repair Technician.

Mike said he would look at it. (which means take it apart! )
My response-"You are not an authorized Service Repair Technician, and it states that you should take it to an "authorized" technician.
Mike's response (after rolling his eyes)- I build proto type machinery for a living, I think I can handle a Kitchen Aid!

He did some researching of his own and found some online video tutorials. Doable!

So he commenced with taking it apart (okay, I was a little nervous)
We found the parts on Amazon-ordered-they arrived- Mike fixed it!

Even as I type, it is busy making bread dough.

Total cost for parts-51.00
Cost of Labor- Free (unless you count the loaf of French Bread :) )

We purchased our parts on Amazon from Seneca-River Trading

I am a little disappointed the newer Kitchen Aid Mixers appear to not be built as well as they use to be, but with all of the attachments I have for mine and how much I use it, it was worth the 51.00 dollars to have it up and running again.

There are several tutorials online as well as places to purchase parts. I would just advise you do your homework before you start taking your Kitchen Aid apart.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

The HomeAcre Hop #102

                    


                       Welcome to the HomeAcre Hop! 


I am not sure what the weather is like in your area but in Michigan this morning it is a balmy -8 degrees! A great day to read....

                                  
HomeAcre  Host
Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Tracy@Our Simple Life
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal

 

We will be featuring the most visited post each week. And each host may also have an additional feature.  Visit each of the blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)


Most Visited Post

Ready To Be Offered ~ Grace in Small Places

\
And

My Featured Post





Congratulations!
We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.






Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board 
where we share our Hop Favorites each week


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter on the Farm, Brrr



The Holidays are over, Mike is back to work and I am trying to get back into some sort of routine.

The weather was pretty mild in December and not much snow. Well,  that is changing with January. Winter has finally decided to arrive in full force. Below zero temps are coming...Brrrrr...

The guy we purchased wood from the last couple of years didn't have any available until December. We couldn't wait that long so that meant spending some Saturdays cutting wood on our property. There were quite a few downed and dead trees that make for some great firewood. We saved a bundle ($), and are hoping that we will only have to buy a few loads this year.






The sheep are all bred. We have a few Tunis ewes that are due in a few weeks, hoping for some good fair lambs.  The rest  of the ewes will not be lambing until April.








This is our first year using round bales. We were expecting more waste, and messier fleeces. Thankfully, that hasn't been the case. Mike made a couple of make shift bale feeders from some panels that we had. So far so good. The feeders have managed to keep even the goats from jumping on the top of the bales. A big plus, it is a LOT less work than feeding square bales.

We attended a Sheep Symposium this past weekend, that is always a good time. This year we entered the Photography contest- Our Snowy Ewe photo received first place in the Portrait of a Sheep category and Overall Best of Show.  I was very excited, especially when I found out the prizes were a sheep mug and some Wool Socks.  Just what I needed for winter :)





Stay Warm!!

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