Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yet, Another Use for WOOL

I have an ever growing list on my" To Do List" board on Pinterest.
Today I get to check a wool project off the list.

Wool Dryer Balls- I have had the roving stashed for this project for quite some time.

I have read several  tutorials on  different blogs on how to make them.
There were a  few differences on how they were made but the results are pretty much  the same.
You need 100 percent WOOL. Some used yarn, scraps of wool clothing or roving.

I used wool yarn that I have had from a previous project and wool roving that I bought at the Fiber Festival just for this project.


I made a ball of yarn for the inside and covered it with roving.

I had enough to make three.




I put the balls in some tights. One at a time, tying off the end before placing another one in.

I Put them in the washing machine on a setting with HOT water.
They need to be washed more than once.
The second and third washing was  with a regular load of laundry.
( I hate to waste)

You want to wash them until they are felted enough to stay together.
They  become more felted as they are used in the dryer or so I have heard.

After 3 washings...




I have to say that it was one of the easiest projects I have done.  They are definately not perfect but I am happy with my first venture.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the purpose behind the project.
Well according to the experts they:

1. Cut down drying time
2. Eliminate Static Cling
3. Clothes come out softer

A good way to replace the dryer sheets with a more natural resource.




Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dog Gone Fun

One thing about having Border Collies around is that they can keep up with the kids.

We started them on agility recently. Just tunnels and jumps but they seem to like it.
It has been a great way to burn off some of that BC energy. (works great for girls too)









Monday, October 15, 2012

Bread Therapy

What to do on a gloomy, rainy day?

Today we decided to make bread.
I usually just end up doing laundry but with the cooler weather baking is in order.



First thing-Grind the wheat into flour. I usually grind about 5 pounds at a time.  Enough to use for today and some to put in the freezer for later use. 

I have a Ktec wheat grinder. It sounds like an airplane taking off but it gets the job done.
I also have a Kitchen Aid which takes the work and time out of kneading the dough.

I would feel like a pioneer, if it wasn't for all of the gadgets that I have to make the job so much easier.

It can be the best therapy for a gloomy, rainy day.

I have a lot of bread recipes I use.
Here is one of our favorites.

Whole Wheat Bread

2 Cups warm water
2 Tablespoons Yeast
1/4 cup olive oil (can use canola or vegetable)
1/4 Cup Honey (can use less)
1 tsp. salt
5-6 cups flour

Combine water, honey and yeast in mixing bowl. Let sit for a few minutes. (I like to make sure the yeast proofs)
Add oil, 4 cups of flour, and salt.  Mix.  Add additional flour 1/2 cup at a time until the sides of bowl are clean.
Knead for 10 minutes.

Place the dough in bowl, that has been sprayed with oil. I turn the dough over so the top of the dough has oil on it. Cover the bowl (with towel or siran wrap)
Let rise until double. 

Punch down. 

Form dough into 2 loaves.
 Place into greased bread pans. 
Let rise 20 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes (until lightly browned)

*** I use mostly wheat flour but I do usually add at least one cup of white flour.
*** I usually double recipe and freeze loaves.



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Working Farm at Greenfield Village

 
We went on a field trip to Greenfield Village.
First time for me.   It was not a dissapointment.

It is a great place to visit.

One of our favorite places was the Working Farm, of course!



Merino Sheep
 
 
 
 Carding Machine
 
Wool Picker


 
 
Brick Farm House...Loved it!


 

It was a great time with more than enough to see in one day.  Looking forward to another visit.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Shepherdess

 
 
 
 
 
DICTIONARY

shepherdess

Definition

shep·herd·ess
 


shep·herd·ess·es Plural

NOUN

1.
woman shepherd: a girl or woman who looks after sheep
 
 
Is that what I am?
 
I have been raising sheep for the last 14 years. Does that make me a shepherdess?
 
It has been an adventure, to say the least. 
I have learned a lot.
 
My girls have been raised on a farm. They have a different outlook  than I do. I am a city girl- gone country.  I feel like I am still not quite in my element at times.  The girls have known  nothing else.
 
I wonder how many years I will have to raise sheep before I will feel like a "true" shepherdess?
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Five thing I love about Fall in Michigan

Defiinately number one on my list is fall colors! Nothing like natures artwork. Absolutely beautiful.


Cooler weather. Time to pull out the sweaters, after the heat we had this summer it is most welcome.

Campfires. Cooler nights are perfect weather for roasting those marshmallows. Relaxation at its best.



Harvest/Autumn theme- Straw bales, indian corn, pumpkins, gourds, mums, scarecrows.  Lets Decorate!

Easy Farming- I don't know why but fall seems to be the easiest time of the year raising livestock. The Lambs are gone, ewes are still getting enough grass so we are not having to feed hay yet, cooler weather means less stress for them. They seem to enjoy the fall weather as much as we do.

 
 
 
 



The only thing I would like to change about Fall is that it would last a little longer. It always seems to be the shortest season of the year.

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