Saturday, January 7, 2017

What I've been working on

Uploading and editing pics for show applications, thought I'd share a few here. Then I'm off to measure and warp for 2017's first project: spring green and natural Gizmo poncho. Contemplating a honeycomb structure like the first pic below, stay tuned!



Happy January!

We've had our first big snowfall here at the farm. 2+ feet is a bit daunting to shovel out but luckily family was still visiting, and they got put straight to work!


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Coming out of hibernation...


Well, it's March- time to start coming out of hibernation! I'm applying to craft shows and finishing projects. I managed to get a number of scarves snow-dyed before the snow ran out. There was a tiny shady patch in the pasture that I made use of, as well as scraping up the paltry inch we got a few weeks ago. 
I finished this shawl a few days ago and had a photo shoot yesterday:

It was a little breezy, but it gave the shawl some nice movement. 
The pacas have been outside a lot lately, I think the grass might be starting to grow!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Catching up, again

Once again, I'm catching up. Website has all my shows listed, Maine Made profile is updated. Meanwhile, yarn is pre-soaking for the dyepot or drying outside. Here are some just-finished things:


Friday, April 10, 2015

Soon, I hope!


So gloomy today, I thought we needed to see some green. Shearing is in about a month, here are some pics of the boys last year, just before their haircut:



They would love to be doing that right now! Sadly, what it looks like right now:



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Coming out of hibernation

Is it possible? Is Spring coming?? Officially on Friday, but it was snowing this morning, so I'll let you draw your own conclusions. 
I'll admit, I've been hibernating. I have been getting some 2015 show applications together, here are some pics from a photo shoot I did:
Just some of the things I've been working on!



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

When life gives you lemons?

So, summer is back it seems! Perfect day for ice dyeing even if the day is almost over. I'd hoped the cold front would be thru by now, but not until tonight. I'm going for autumn leaf colors and am soaking 3 silk scarves: white chiffon, white habotai, and previously dyed coreopsis yellow. 
Soaked in warm water and citric acid, piled on a screen and covered in ice and snow:

Randomly ( my favorite part!) sprinkle dye powder, in this case red, orange, terra cotta and yellow:


Now, let the sun do the work! As the ice and snow melt, the dye strikes the silk, and sometimes the crystals cause the dye to split in unexpected ways. 

The results!


Left to right: coreopsis base, habotai, and chiffon!



Coreopsis!

Summer is filled with growing things and is a great time for natural dyeing! I needed to deadhead the coreopsis anyway, so today was perfect. First, I had spun up some yarn at First Fiber Artwalk on Friday in Portland by Paca Naturals and on Saturday at the farmers market in Gorham. Weighing the dry yarn to determine the amount of plant material:


While the yarn is soaking in warm water to open the microscopic scales on the fibers, it's time to pick some flowers! Luckily, I only have to walk out the back door:


Now the yarn must simmer in the mordant of alum and cream of tartar:


I make a tea bag of sorts with the plant material in some mesh so petals don't need to be picked out of the yarn later (learned that the hard way!):


Add the bag to your mordanted yarn and simmer for an hour or so:


The happy result!

Shibori dyeing

I had some leftover dye from snow-dyeing last week, so I thought I'd do some shibori dyeing. First, I used cotton string to wrap around pinched sections of my silk scarf. 


There are sooo many ways to do shibori, but I opted for simple circles. Next, soak in warm water and citric acid:
 
Now, into the dyepot! The dye is a mix of jade, silver, & magenta, but looks mostly dark purple:

The interesting thing about purple is that it tends to split. The reds take up into the fabric or fiber first and the blues take longer, especially the turquoise from the jade leftovers:

Purple can be tricky if you want an even tone but I really wanted the splitting. I usually keep it at 180 degrees until the water is clear. After it is cool comes the tricky untying of the string, rinse and hang it out to dry in the breeze!

Here's a close-up. I love the sheen of the silk!

You can see where the red took up first and the blues filled in later. I may be inspired to do some with more intricate wrapping. Maybe layers of dye?? Could be fun! Last step? Post it to my etsy shop!




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Catching up!

I've been a bit lax in keeping up with the website, but while I'm waiting for my yarn and silk scarves to soak in preparation for the dyepot I'll get caught up. I had some leftover dye from snow-dyeing the other day, so I thought I'd try some more shibori style dyeing. I'll take pics as I go and post the whole process later. Here are some snow-dyeing pics, yes I saved snow in the freezer just for this! You can also use ice cubes. The July sun melts it fast so there is little waiting time!

Coreopsis

I think my favorite part of summer revolves around all the natural dyeing opportunities! Dyeing with flowers is fun and easy, and encourages me to remember to deadhead. Here's the first batch of coreopsis dye results. The tansy is also flowering and the marigolds are coming along. Now I need to pick, wash, card and spin more fiber from Clementine and dye more!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Getting out of my comfort zone

The weather outside is truly frightful, I hate ice. The alpacas are locked inside with extra hay, Luna is sound asleep and I am spinning. I've decided to step outside of my comfort zone and try some  woolen spinning. I generally spin semi-worsted with the fibers mostly lined up in a nice tidy roving. Woolen spinning results in a loftier yarn and is spun from a rolag, where the fibers come off the end of a rolled up batt. The colors I dyed are also not usual for me. Hunter green and terra cotta dyed on white ended up more like grass green and salmony-orange but I still think it'll end up an interesting yarn. The singles are spun and resting, can't wait to ply!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pre-storm fun

Today, Luna and I broke out the snowshoes! It was a little too warm to stay up on the crust in the pasture but much better in the woods. Wildlife Central out there, loads of tracks. We followed the deer superhighway for a while before looping back. Now I need to finally plying those singles I spun before Christmas and get ready for the upcoming snowstorm!

Nice day for a snowshoe!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!


With warmest wishes for lots of long grass to nibble on!
 - Captain, Caspar, Gizmo, Roscoe, and Snickers

May your bed be soft and everyone you meet have treats in their pockets!
 - Luna

Best wishes for a very happy and relaxing holiday!
- Falling Star Farm

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Here's Lookin' at You!


If you come visit Falling Star Farm -- or even if you're just passing by and slow down a bit -- you'll most likely be greeted by these furry faces (from left to right: Captain, Casper, Roscoe, Snickers, and Gizmo). They're quite curious, so if you stop your car by the fence, they'll probably wander over to see what you're up to. And if you take the time to pick some of the long grass that's *just* out of their reach and offer it? You'll have a friend for life!