Sunday, April 28, 2013

April Pictures From The Farm

The boys having their morning latte and croissant

Cherry blossoms

Pear blossoms

April full moon

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Valley Spinner's Guild April Sale Meeting

Twice a year Valley Spinner's Guild hosts a fiber arts sale.  As a member of VSG, one can sell there fiber related products, so I took the opportunity to introduce my fiber to the members. 
$20 for 4 oz of carded Alpaca 1st.

Valley Spinner's Guild show and tell about completed projects.

Valley Spinner's Guild Fiber Arts Sale

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Locker Hooking Class

This weekend I learned Locker Hooking.  It's a form of rug making that can be used with fiber roving or strips of fabric.  With fiber roving the finished product looks and feels like Berber carpeting.  Different designs can range from stripes to animals, flowers and geometric designs.

It was a fun day sitting around with friends from Valley Spinner's Guild learning this new craft.  I chose to make one with a cat design on the sample sized 8x8.  We used wool roving with a hand spun wool yarn to hold the loops.  Afterwards, I was inspired to do more and I definitely want to do a bigger rug or two smaller ones for our bedroom with alpaca roving from our own herd.

Starting materials:  locker hooking tool, yarn, rug backing and roving.

Getting started.

The finished product.

For more information on how to make your own rug:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Road Trip to Alpacapalooza 2013

Alpacapalooza 2013--this is just half of it.

This year we decided to check out Alpacapalooza which was hosted in Ridgefield Washington, about 200 miles south of Lake Stevens where we live.  It was well worth the drive, just to get away and see some fine animals in various shades of colors.  They also had a halter show and vendors.  There we picked up some nicer halters than the ones we bought when we first got our alpacas and an alpaca food sample to try on the alpacas.  They seemed to like it a lot after their first confused sniff.  We also got to see a few of our friends who own alpacas which is always a pleasure.

Some adorable baby Suri alpacas.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Has Sprung

Winter has gone and Spring has made it's bold appearance.  The neighborhood is alive with the buzzing of lawn mowers and the fruit trees have started to bloom.

Albert and Shadow's spring coats are getting fluffy and will be ready to cut at the end of May.

One of our dogs, Bo Bo.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Fresh Ingredients are Key

The most important thing about Marsh Spring Farm's food products are the fresh ingredients that go into them.  While most processed food found on the supermarket shelves have sell by dates of a year or more, ours are packaged within days of shipping, and recommended to be used within 6 months for that fresh home made taste.

The clear packaging allows you to see these fresh ingredients for what they are.  The recipes are simple to make and don't require lots of extra ingredients to make the dish.  When you open the cupboard, they look appetizing, not some secret inside a box full of marketing.

It's important to know what we are consuming.  At Marsh Spring Farm we believe what you feed to your family and yourselves, makes a difference to your whole body health and well being.  Future projects include recipes that offer whole wheat and alternative sweeteners.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Musing on the Moon

The beauty of the starry night with moon so clear and bright. 
Sometimes the best view is the big dark blue night sky.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Research and Development Begins

Chunky Chocolate Brownies and Hearty Spring Soup
In addition to fiber and plants, we're adding a line of food products. Marsh Spring Farm is dedicated to producing healthy, wholesome products from soups and dinners, desserts, dressings, dips and rubs. Starting with research and development of some of our favorite foods, we'll soon have these new items available on our website. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Spinner's Book of Yarn Designs

The Spinner's Book of Yarn Designs, written by Sarah Anderson is so much more. It gives you essential building blocks to create unique custom yarn and inspires you to look at your spinning in a whole new light. I had the chance to meet the author, Sarah Anderson, at the spinning demonstration at the Sons of Norway. That was my good fortune and after a chance to see her book, went straight away and purchased a copy of my own from Amazon. A chance to support a local artist and business, and ended up with a valuable resource in my library.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Alpaca (Shadow)/Angora (Dyed) Yarn Project

Tonight I carded some of Shadow's fiber, a beautiful black with some dyed Angora.  Just enough to make 1.65 oz of bat to finish the second spool so they could be plied together.

 Here it is being spun into a single ply.  The angora gives it an interesting texture, color and good stability.  I ran the two together through the carder three times which mixed the colors and two different fibers together well. It made spinning them easy to work with, and they flowed well.

Drafting it on worsted style.  

After plying, it gets taken off the spool onto a niddy noddy and secured.  It is then taken off and washed to clean and set.

Finished product before washing.  You can see the colors blended through the black.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Frog Songs

Heralding Spring, the frogs gather and sing.  It sounds like a thousand, who knows how many there are in the pond in back.  It's cool sounding though, the sound of the many.  Sometimes you can pick out the individuals, a croak here and there, high and low.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sons of Norway Spinning Demonstration

Today I'll be with a group from Valley Spinner's Guild demonstrating spinning with some of Shadow's black alpaca that's been mixed with dyed angora.  We'll be at the Bothell Sons of Norway.  Always a good time.

 The process of carding the alpaca with angora...

Carding the alpaca.
Taking the alpaca fiber off the carder as a bat.
Adding the dyed angora.

Taking it off the carder in roving form.

Friday, March 8, 2013

March ~ Start Your Tomatoes

March Madness is upon us, with just over a week 'til spring, and the itch to get out in the garden pulls every time the rain lets up.  It's time to plant your tomatoes indoors to have them well grown by the time May comes around.  Choose an early maturing tomato like Early Girl, Stupice, Oregon Spring and Yellow Pear, to name a few, for better results in our Northwest region.

Monday, February 18, 2013

February ~ Celebrate Presidents Day!

Spring is coming despite the freezing mornings and chilly rain.  Get started gardening by planting peas and onions on Presidents Day, February 18th. 

Early greens can be planted also at the end of February.

Be careful overworking the soil with all the rains that saturated it.  Instead cover with a cloche to warm the soil and reduce the amount of saturation.  If the soil crumbles in your hand, it’s ready to work.

The time is right to safely divide your perennial plants that bloom between late spring and fall.