Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stashing and casting on…

Finally some pictures of my cast ons from Cast On Mania!

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Two new items have been added to the farm store:

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Soysilk in Teal and

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The Green Eyed Monster

and finally a peek at the roving version of Starry Nights coming soon to the Phat Fiber Box.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Store update and an oops…

First the oops.  Apparently I was supposed to pick 10 happy blogs not just 5 so here we go…

The Purl Bee keeps me inspired.  Reading this blog convinces me I can be surrounded with beauty of my own making…

Photocritic.org because I want to be a photographer when I grow up…

Hey Dawn, How’s the Studio Coming keeps me from giving up on weaving…

and finally Grumperina when I need a bit more inspiration…

And now for the store update……

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The White Witch Batts

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The Emerald City

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Aslan in Merino (also available in Romney)

Monday, January 18, 2010

My First Award!

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…and since it’s a happy reward I must list 10 things that make me happy!

Things That Make Me Happy
1. My family!   I hug them every day, they are such a blessing!

2. My bird!   Tyler, my African Grey never ceases to amaze me (or make me laugh)   His latest thing is to laugh then say “That’s not funny!”

3. My farm!   I love watching my chickens, listening to my sheep baa and making cheese from my fresh milk.   God is so good!

5. The sun!  I am desperately searching for it right now……

6. Knitting!  I love the joy of casting on a new project and the victory of finishing it!

7. Spinning!  I feel so accomplish when I can take it from sheep to yarn!   I love the way the Cormo washes so bright white and spins so soft and bouncy!

8.My craft guilds!   I attend spin guild once a week along with knitting, and rug hooking once a month.

9. My Savior!  The way He loves me it often makes me wonder if he knows me at all!

10. My new nails!  I just joined The Biggest Loser at my gym and after being weighed (195!!) I felt a little down.   Yes, you can milk with a manicure!  They make me feel so pretty!

Five Favorite Blogs:
How do I pick just five?
1. The Stockbridge Boiler Room:  An honest discussion of faith.  Even if you are not a Christian it is a good look at who we are…

2. Parrot Musings: Lovely blog! All about….you guessed it….parrots!

3. Craflit: Oh, Heather….you light up my life with wonderful books!

4. Farmmom’s musings: Linda knits and spins with me, in person and online!

5. Farming in the Shade:  Another farm mom living the life!

Friday, January 15, 2010

It’s Cast On Mania at The Counting Sheep Farm!

From now until Sunday we are casting on with abandon!!   To add to the fun we are having two contests with two lovely prizes:

Contest 1 (Random Post Winner)

A $25.00 Gift Certificate to The Counting Sheep Farm Store!  (I know, I know we are trying to get rid of stash….but…..)

Contest 2 (Crazy Cast On Guru)

8 ounces of the The Counting Sheep Farm Custom Blended Alpaca/Cormo and Silk Roving.

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OR (for those of you who are not knitters)

8 ounces of yarn in your choice of weight/colorway from The Counting Sheep Farm Store.

All the details you need to join in the fun is listed here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Making of Cottage Cheese

Really, it’s easy!   Here’s what you will need:

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1 gallon milk (avoid ultra pasteurized if you can, sometimes the results aren’t so great)

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1 packet direct set mesophilic starter (available here)

a thermometer

a curd knife (a knife long enough to reach the bottom of your pot will work in a pinch)

and a stainless steel pot.

Before we start I should note that I use raw milk from our cow and have not tried this recipe with pasteurized milk…I have no reason to believe it won’t work however.

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Heat your milk to 72 degrees then add the starter packet.  

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Mix well then put the lid on your pot and let it sit at 72 degrees for 16-24 hours.  

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My house gets a bit cold at night so I wrap a couple of towels around the pot (away from the stove of course) and that seems to keep it at the right temperature pretty well.

Once the curd is set (it will be a rather soft albeit solid mass, if you put your thermometer it will stand up for a few seconds then begin to fall) it is time to cut it.

To cut the curds simply put your knife in the curd (while it is in the pot)  all the way to the bottom and slice across in rows about 1/4 inch wide.   Remove your knife and the cut rows again in the opposite direction so you end up with long cubes.

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Let the cut curd set for about 15 minutes or so.

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(I apologize for my crooked curd!)

Once the curd has set begin to heat the curd slowly until it reaches 110 degrees.  Leave it at 110 degrees for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Slowly heat it to 112 degrees and keep it at this temperature until the curds are firm.  *

Once the curds are firm drain them in a colander with small holes.  Taste them to see if they taste too sour, if they do rinse them in cold water.   Add salt to taste.

That’s it!  Your cottage cheese can keep covered in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Barn Cat…

Hey mom!  Come look at this!

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Get that cat off Rock before he claws him and makes him buck!

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Did you put that cat on Rock??

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NO!   He just jumped on while we were saddling up!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Today’s goal

Today has been strangely productive!   Dye pots are simmering (this time it is Romney and BFL) and I got a bit of spinning done AND met my goal to spin for 1 hour this week!

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I still am hoping to get this stash listed on Ravelry.  This is the box that sits in my office/craft room waiting for my attention….the one I intend to get to first….

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We’ll see!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sneak Peek…..

How about  is a sneak peak of the latest dye job?

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Just enough to make you want to see the finished product I hope!  It’s been a while since I have done yarn; I admit mostly it’s because I just hate tying off the skeins!

The latest update is being posted to the store right now.  Here are some of the things you will find:

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Monday, January 4, 2010

I am still…..

stashing yarn!  

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and I am just starting on the fiber…

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We are having a blast over on Ravelry!   Come on over and join usHurry, our first contest ends at 8 am tomorrow morning…

Friday, January 1, 2010

Join us for the 2010 Stash Down Challenge

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Every year I think I am going to organize my stash of yarn and fiber and every year….I start out and then fizzle!  I have WIPS (both spinning and knitting) that are over 2 years old and I am running out of room!

What to stash down with me?   All you need to do is join The Counting Sheep Farm group on Ravelry.  One you join you will be eligible to earn points for discounts at the Farm Store and will be able to enter the random contests.  We officially start Monday January 4th, so get ready to stash down!!

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