Sunday 28 October 2012

The last of the lambs

This afternoon we took the last of our 3 lambs that were grazing at our friend's smallholding to the Abattoir.
We thought we were going to a right battle to get them not only into the trailer, but into a holding area to "dagg" them out. Thankfully when we arrived, my friend had been able to get the boys into a smaller paddock next to the stables. Originally they have been in a 5 acre field, which to get to you had to cross another 5 acre field and a bridge across a stream! and as anyone who has sheep knows, moving a large flock of sheep is so much easier that trying to move just one or 2, even if they are bucket trained!!
Once into the holding area we were able to clean them up, (and I'll let you guess who had the job of holding onto the lamb and who was doing the "dagging out"!) and then man handle them into the sheep trailer.
The abattoir is only 5 miles away and they have an arrangement where you can take your sheep on Sunday afternoon rather than have to rush on the Monday morning, and when we arrived, the owner was waiting to book our lambs in and get them settled into a pen, next to other pens of lambs.
I've cleaned the freezer out so all I have to do now is wait for a call from the abattoir to go and pick up the meat. So it looks like we will be having lamb at Christmas.

Snow, Dyeing and Spinning

On Friday night we had our first flurry of snow, and it's not even the end of October. So the dog walk on Saturday morning was a cold and wet one, the snow had gone, but there was sleet in the rain. We were supposed to go to the North Yorkshire Smallholder's AGM but even though there was no snow here, we knew that some of the roads over the moors would have laying snow and overnight some of them had been closed due to the snow, so  we decided to stay at home.
Tim remodelled the inside of our fitted bedroom wardrobes, I dyed up 2kgs of Blue Faced Leicester/silk sock weight knitting wool. I'm trying out some new dyes, where you just sprinkle the dye powder onto the wool then gently push the wool into the water, making the dye spread into the wool. You can get some very interesting colour combinations with this method of dyeing, but you have to be careful that the dye goes right through the full skein of wool. Something I'm finding is taking a bit of practise, but so far the effects are quite spectacular.
Whilst waiting for the dyed wool to "cook" in the oven, and for the rest of the afternoon, I got on with spinning some of the Corriedale fleece that I've had made into rovings by my friends of Norweft. It was also a good excuse for me to test out the new Woolie Winder on my Schacht Spinning Wheel. The Woolie Winder works exactly as I expected and enables me to produce very evenly filled bobbins of over a 100gms of fibre, which, when plyed will produce large skeins of wool for a special project I have in mind,

Sunday 21 October 2012

We now have safe electrics...

We now have a lovely new fuse box in the under stairs cupboard. Every room has plaster chiseled out where the new wiring has gone in. Some of the old wiring gave our electrician one or two shocks, quite literally at times! and we have taken the opportunity to add extra electric points to various rooms, sort out the way the lighting works in the kitchen and hall. Gone are the days of having to walk through a dark kitchen to turn on/off the kitchen light, or going down stairs and walking down a dark hall to turn the hall light on/off.
The electrician discovered that all the house and outside sheds were all on one circuit, the attic rooms were not on a ring main and quite a bit of the house wiring was just flex!!!!
Whilst all this work was being done, there was not a great deal I could do, so I spent most of the time in the lounge, with the dogs, and my new spinning wheel, giving me the ideal opportunity to give my new wheel a good try out.
Now we can start to think about decorating

Sunday 7 October 2012

Site of some destruction!

Over the past week the electricians have been here rewiring the house, and in some ways not a moment too soon. The whole of the house and the sheds were all on one circuit, which is not good and the attic rooms were not even on a ring main!!!! So we have spent most of the week with carpets and floor boards up, holes have been chiseled into the walls where new wiring has been chased in and on Friday the electrician, Andy, was changing his name to Harry Potter, as he spent most of the day in the under stairs cupboard fitting a new fuse box and attaching all the new wires. Hopefully they will be finished early next week, and then we can start and decorate!
Yesterday was another day of destruction, but this time of a different type, destruction of the garden. Our friends the Hedge laying Hollands were here to help us to remove 4 large specimen conifers and five smaller ones planted around the base of one of the magnolias and finally an overgrown clematis planted near the back door and trained over an arch onto the roof of the utility room. Now it has gone, it's amazing how much more light there now is in the utility room.
 This is the pile of debris from the cut down conifers

 Where the conifers once stood, we now have room for a new shed
Now the conifers have gone from underneath this magnolia, we can now see it in it's full glory as a specimen tree in our garden.
What I didn't photograph, and you can't see it behind the magnolia, is that I've made a big dent in removing the flowers from the boarder that is going to be my veg garden. I won't get anything planted this autumn, but I'm hopeful for the spring.