Stasia's Place Of Grace


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

All Moved In

Hi there! Hard to believe we've already been at Tuppinz Farm for a month.

The moving dust has cleared a bit, only to be replaced by barnyard dust. I "enjoyed" a trip to the ER, our boy Chester crossed the Rainbow Bridge peacefully, my in-laws and my mother came for a weekend (at the same time - they were extremely helpful but I had to work very, very hard to keep up with them), we had the electrical wiring and a toilet replaced, and the house leans at a severe angle. If Valentine leaves a tennis ball on the floor on one end, it'll roll down to the other. Did I mention our antique, claw-foot bathtub came with only three feet?

One good thing about moving is that you can eat an entire pizza by yourself every day and still lose weight. Trust me.

This about describes my fiber life of late:

That would be the high-speed whorl of my Ashford Scholar, a wonderful wheel that's no longer in production. What's wrong with this picture? The movers must have lifted the wheel by the flyer alone - they sheared the pin of the whorl, which goes into the bearing on the right of the picture, right off, ruining both whorl and bearing. Again - this wheel is no longer being made! (And this was the one spinning wheel they actually put in a box - it's amazing the others survived at all; one arrived Saran-wrapped.)

Enter this wonderful woman:

That's the lovely Elizabeth Ashford, my hero. I sent off a frantic email to Ashford, pleading that they search the back corners of their warehouse for the odd Scholar whorl that may have rolled off into a corner. My worries were needless, as my prior experiences with Ashford should have reminded me: Elizabeth soothingly replied that they had my parts right at hand and she'd pop them in the mail. They arrived in less than a week, to my great relief.

New spinners often ask for advice on purchasing a wheel. Here is my advice, after over ten years' experience with various wheels and manufacturers: get a wheel for which you can easily get replacement parts, from a company with excellent customer service and educational support. The maker that rates tops for me in those categories, as well as for value, construction, and ease of use, is definitely Ashford. (Don't confuse them with that other "down under" maker, with whom I have experienced terrible customer service - not only towards me, but also to their poor distributor who sold me two wheels which both had to be returned due to major design flaws - the wheel has since been redesigned, but at the time they refused to acknowledge my concerns.)

There is a reason I have kept my Ashford Scholar and Ashford Traveller, despite adding to my wheel collection: they are sturdy workhorses. When I want to spin at a wheel that doesn't require a period of reacquaintance and fiddling and resulting temper tantrums on my part, I pick these.

Once I knew my Scholar was safe, I had a moment to enjoy the view from my back yard. What do you think?

This is a common sight in these parts. I'm getting rather used to observing a 16 m.p.h. speed limit:

An Amish Buggy

This gives a whole new meaning to the question, "Why did the chicken cross the road?"

Wild Turkeys

Despite all the stress of the move and discovering that my house has no garbage disposal or storm windows, there are plenty of things to be happy about. There is a sheep barn and a chicken coop! We're converting the 100 year-old granary, which is sound and snug, to house them (it's less work than dealing with the house's concerns, one of which is a very peculiar odor that comes up the bathroom sink whenever I do laundry. A vinegar and baking soda volcano had no effect on it.)

The chickens have arrived, baby chicks are coming from McMurray Hatchery vis USPS this week - nowadays you can get anything online. The chickens pictured are adults and were a gift from my friend, Nancy Frank.

Chef Jeff in the coop with the flock.

Our two Amish ducks (a Buff and a Khaki Campbell) and my favorite chicken, Azteca (she looks pre-Columbian, don't you think?)

The big guy on the right is our rooster, Ali Baba.

My beautiful Shetland ewe lambs have been reserved and will be delivered by Lael from Maplewood North (home of the famous Sparx) as soon a proper fencing, feed, and housing are all in order. If you are going to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival in Jefferson this coming weekend, be sure to say hi if you see Lael there! Also, check out the Midwest Shetland Sheep Breeders Show. Sadly, I cannot make it. :-(

This year's babies were all named for cheeses. Meet my soon-to-be fiberpets...



and Cantal

Ricotta's sire is Maplewood Onix:

Fontina's and Cantal's sire is Maplewood Garlic:

I can hardly believe I am actually going to have sheep!!!

I'm sorry for not updating in so long, and I hope that you are well and happy! I must dash to the farm store for a manure fork. What an exciting life I lead...

Animal Breed Zip Code

Welcome To Stasia's Blog

Stasia is a knitter, spinner, weaver, writer, reader, and musician from Wisconsin, USA.

Join her here as she journals about beauty in nature, the joys of fibery pursuits, special people and pets, and great places to shop. It's her hope you'll leave spiritually inspired and creatively motivated. Thanks for visiting!

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