Early February News from the Farm
Color, Mittens, Art, Lambs and More
Hello Colorful Friends:
This week, it’s all about color. We’re heading towards spring although in western Massachusetts you never know when that will be. We’ve had a warm couple of days up in the 50’s and everyone (dogs, cats, chickens, sheep, and peeps) is starting to yearn for the end of winter. It is so gray and white and tan and brown outside. You just can’t escape it. That’s why I crave color and why I decorate and knit and sew and paint with such bright and happy colors. As many of you are new here, you may not know that I wrote two books on creating a colorful home —
Crafting a Colorful Home (I’ve sold all mine but you can purchase cheap here)
Since we are talking about color, I want to share the latest Knitting Videos I did with One Big Happy Yarn Company. Previous, I told you about the Bargello Mittens. This week, it’s about these really colorful Norwegian Flower Mittens. Knit in Rowan’s Felted Tweed, they feature a pointed tip and thumb, colorful corrugated ribbing and a graphic colorwork flower front and mini circle back. To top it all off - I added some really simple embroidery to put them over the top.
Norwegian Flower Mittens……
This is the first Norwegian Flower Mitten How-To Video. Includes Color Theory Discussion, How to Knit Colorwork, Reading a Chart, and Afterthought Thumb Placement.
This is the second Norwegian Flower Mitten How-To Video - Includes Shaping Mitten Top, Afterthought Thumb Pick-up and Tip, and Blocking
And …… Next week, the Grand Finale Video of the Norwegian Flower Mittens - Adding the Embroidery.
Kits are available for both the Bargello Mittens and the Norwegian Flower Mittens from One Big Happy Yarn Company. Patterns are also available printed and in PDF form. I’ll let you in on a secret. One kit will most likely have enough yarn to make both pairs of mittens. You would have to purchase one of the patterns that your kit didn’t come with. I only had one ball of each color to make both pairs and there was leftover yarn. If you will run short for the largest sizes, it would be of the background color on the Norwegian Flower Mittens. There are three colorways for each design to choose from.
Since we are talking about color today, I want to share an exhibit my friend Cynthia and I visited a couple weeks ago in Brattleboro, Vermont. It was really spectacular. And it was FREE! (What a great way to get more folks involved and interested in the arts - FREE ADMISSION!) Aurora Robson is an artist who has been working with recycled plastic for over twenty years. Her show is called Human Nature Walk and it is open until March 8th at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. You can read a informative description of the show here. I’m not going to write too much about the work because I think she does it better over on this page on the BMAC, on her website and in this one hour video here. If you can believe it — all these sculptures were made of recycled plastic. Walking through, I felt like I was in an underwater garden.
We all know that plastic waste is a major problem in our current world. To think that Aurora makes these incredible sculptures with 100% recycled plastic is thought provoking to say the least. I’m still thinking about every piece of plastic I discard daily. If you can fit in a trip, I promise you - you will leave inspired. Besides Aurora’s exhibit, there are six other smaller exhibits currently being shown. The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center is a jewel. Housed in a restored old train station, the BMAC is a “non-collecting contemporary art museum focused on the work of living artists.” The artists Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason were big supporters of this little museum. Aurora’s exhibit is open until March 9th. Can’t get there? There is always something interesting to see and you can walk across the street and get a bite to eat at the Brattleboro Food Coop. Plan a visit to one of my favorite haunts in our area.
In Leyden Glen Farm News, it’s been a busy couple of weeks at the barns. Lots of new life. As of this writing, there are 81 new lambs. Here are some photos that I think you will enjoy.
I happened to be at the barns shortly after a pair of twins were born. We had been waiting for this ewe to lamb and hoping she would deliver healthy lamb(s). In the second photo, you can see Mark carrying the lambs with the mama following close behind. Although this looks quite bizarre, by dangling the lambs close to the ground the mother will follow him as he carries the lambs to a pen (aka lambing jug) where she will clean, bond, and nurse her lambs. After a few days, they will be let loose so another mother and her lambs can take their place. The good bond will then carry through until the lambs are weaned. We use reasonably priced, lightweight hog panels for the temporary lamb jugs. (I wonder when the term lamb jugs began. It’s a funny one, isn’t it? - - but that’s what they are called.)
Here are today’s links. Enjoy…….
• I found a new podcast to listen to. It’s called Haptic & Hue and you can find the 6 seasons here. The host delves into the historic and cultural place that textiles plays in our lives and the world. I am a longtime student of textiles - even having gone to university and grad school to study Textiles and Clothing. I really appreciate being able to continually learn about textiles by listening to this podcast and more.
• I haven’t had a “proper job” where I have to show up daily in an office in a couple of decades but I am still interested in the business and publishing world I used to be part of. The Print is Dead Podcast is another favorite podcast of mine. You might enjoy this interview with Tina Brown - the editor of Tatler, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker and author of books including The Diana Chronicles.
• These shortbread cookies from Tartine Bakery in San Francisco are unbelievable. So tender. The secret is cornstarch. Try them.
• The Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, MA is also offering free admission through March.
• I watched The Many Lives of Martha Stewart Documentary on CNN here. She was not interviewed for it but a lot of her friends and employees are included. She really was a trailblazer for all the young Tik-Tokers, YouTubers, and food and lifestyle influencers. I loved her magazine and waited monthly for the new issue to arrive.
• There’s an interesting FREE online program coming up on Saturday, February 24th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm (EST) put on by The World Hope Forum. It’s called WHF Heads Upriver. Author Barbara de Vries will introduce designers, artisans, and entrepreneurs who have restored farms, barns, cabins, and churches, featuring rustic textiles and handcrafted living spaces. See the list of artists and sign up HERE.
That’s it for this issue. I hope you are surviving winter and finding something creative to do. I’m noticing the days getting longer so we know spring will be here soon. Thank you for reading. I appreciate your comments and thoughts.
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