Anyway, we've been going at full speed and there's much to tell. All good, just everyday busy-ness that keeps us hopping.
I did my yearly spinning demo at the Steuben county fair in Bath and at the Benjamin Patterson Inn in Corning. It was a nice day with a good crowd. The second floor consists of bedrooms furnished with period items and a large meeting hall that is now the home to the textile tool collection. There is a handsome floor loom...
...and a corner with some antique wheels and other items. This is where I set up. During the rest of the year the inn hosts kids from the surrounding schools and they get to try their hands at carding and spindle spinning but I tend to be a "look at/ask questions of" demonstrator rather than a hands-on "try my wheel" sort of person. My Louet doesn't pretend to be period but at least I can show comparative anatomy with the Ashford and the actual antiques.
While at the Inn I handed out lots of info for the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival which was following the next weekend.
The first half of September was unseasonably hot, which I loved, but the critters were uncomfortable. Even the honey bees that moved into our tree this spring decided to "sit out on the porch" rather than rest inside their hive tree. The smell of honey was overpowering near the tree as they worked to fan and cure it in the heat.
Every morning started with mist rising from the area below the sheep pasture.
The sheep enjoyed a lot of nice pasture and days spent moving at their own pace between grass and shade. And the Cotswold lambs were shorn.
Poor hungry creature.
They were getting pretty warm under all that wool.
Shooooorrrrnnnn! What's shooooorrrrrnnnn???
And all 50-ish of them found out that day.
We baled the rest of the second cutting hay. It was a nail biter on the last day. We could hear thunder from five miles away and see the wall of rain falling but the Good Lord made the wind keep it just to our south. Rain fell as we literally were shutting the barn doors after backing in the wagons. That put our total to somewhere just over 7200 bales of both hay and straw from the oats which we handled all ourselves. Apparently we're not old yet. Nice to know.
Among other things I did a lot of dyeing for the fiber festival. I went with some hot fall colors.
And some that were more earthy. I had been doing dip-dyeing in two different colors with overlap making a third, but I changed to casserole pans and like the multitude of shades much better.
The festival went well and I was tickled to have my friend Thecrazysheeplady come all the way from Punkin's Patch in Kentucky to play. It poured - poured - on Saturday but we had a great turn out nonetheless. Sunday was even better, due in part to the Yarn Harlot being our special guest teacher/speaker for the weekend. She also graciously agreed to stay over and give the committee members a special knitting class since we couldn't/wouldn't have been able to partake otherwise. It was awesome fun - Knitting for Speed and Efficiency. (My lack of skill improvement can only reflect on me, not her!) I joined the 21st century and bought a smart phone so I could use a Square reader and take credit cards during the festival. Both functioned well and the phone is proving to be much smarter than I am.
After that weekend of cold rain the leaves really changed color quickly and we had a week of "October's bright blue weather" in late September. Utterly clear days and cold, clear nights.
We also put everyone over the scale to check weights, read eye scores and dewormed where necessary. We sent five young Cotswolds to two different farms in Maine, and a nice colored crossbred and a white Cotswold to two different farms here in New York. I've made several kettles of applesauce from the incredible crop in the backyard. We've lost two branches off the ancient trees due to weight of the apples. The mix of varieties makes the best. applesauce. ever.
We've been to the woods several times to cut dead and dying ash for firewood. Andy is also building another pen area in the lower barn, not for more sheep but just to give the ones we have more room.
And that about brings us up to date. Of course I've left our a myriad of small things that have occured but those are the main points.
I'll pledge to do better from here out!