I'm so excited to announce that Lupine Blossoms Fiber Arts will be holding a yarn tasting event here in the shop! On Sunday, March 17th, from 2 to 3:30 PM, I will be serving samples of various yarns for you to try out. There will be swatches knit up, as well as pattern suggestions. Each guest will receive knitting needles and a bag of yarn to enjoy. Refreshments will be served. Come in to the shop and reserve your spot for just $20. I have space for 20  guests, so check your calendars today. 

Happy Knitting,
Today was shearing day at Forrest Acres Farm. Our shearer, Jeff Jordan, professional sheep shearer from Chichester NH, came by to do the deed. 
Jacques, "Hey, what's the meaning of locking us up last night?"
Dexter checking out the napping quality of the dog coats that the sheep will be sporting after their shearing.
Augustus (to the rest of the flock), "Okay you guys, something is up. We have now been moved from our shed and locked on the porch. I vaguely remember this happening some time in the past."
Dante goes first. Darn it, this is process is scaring the crap out of Jacques!
Wait for it . . .
Dante, slightly embarrassed, "Where is my coat?"
Dante, "What happened to my head? It's so much bigger!"
August is next.
Augustus, "Uh oh, I am now as small as Finlay (in the background)."
Finlay, "Hey Augustus, this guy is scaring the crap outa me!"
Jeff commenting about Jacques' demeanor, "This sheep is so calm. The calmest one I have sheared this season." 
Jacques, "Where is my coat? Where is my coat?" Meanwhile, in the background, Finlay is finally captured after jumping over both Jeff AND me while we try to corner him for his first shearing.
Jacques inspecting the fleece that is no longer on him.
Finlay, "Help! Augustus, help me! Help! Help! Help!"
Finlay to Augustus, "I am so embarrassed. What do I do?"
Finlay, "Hey you, my coat is too big. I don't like this style."
The flock, looking around and thinking, "Hey, who are you?"
This season's beautiful fleece harvest. Top left to right: Augustus, Dante. Bottom left to right: Jacques, Finlay. Hmmm, what will my next project be. Let me think . . . ."

Happy Knitting,
When Barry and Keira (our Patterdale Terrier) arrived home from Clark's Grain Store, Finlay 

Happy Knitting,
This is a sneak peak of the beautiful yarn that will be available for purchase at a Yarn Tasting to be scheduled in March. Stay tuned.

Happy knitting & crocheting,

Lupine Blossoms Fiber Arts announces new workshops for January 2013 with additional workshops to follow throughout the year. This schedule is effective immediately. Please note that the Home Schoolers Fiber Arts Group is no longer being offered, and students from that group are welcome to join the Friday morning Drop In Spinning group or the Saturday morning Drop In Fiber Arts group. 

01/19/13 AND 01/26/13 - Children's Learn to Knit Workshop
2 PM - 4 PM

Registration fee: $20 (refundable in event of cancellation)
Materials fee: $20 (Peace Fleece Learn to Knit Kit, includes knitting needles, instruction sheet, button, tapestry needle and enough yarn to complete one of the projects listed below) (non-refundable in the event of cancellation)

Your child will learn to knit a coin purse, hair tie or stuffed animal scarf. Space is limited to 6 students. Registration deadline 01/14/13 so materials can be ordered and received in time for the first workshop day. Please stop by the shop between 10 AM and 5 PM on Fridays or Saturdays to register. Payment in advance for materials fee is required. Registration fee must be paid on or before first workshop date. 


Drop In Spinning
Every Friday from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Bring your wheel and a spinning project. No formal instruction provided; however, if you have a question about your project, there will probably be someone in the group who can assist you. 

Drop In Fiber Arts (knitting, crocheting, rug hooking, needle felting)
Every Saturday from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Bring a project to work on. No formal instruction provided; however, if you have a question about your project, there is will probably be someone in the group who can assist you. 


Lessons in Knitting, Crocheting, Spinning
Private lessons by appointment. $25 per hour or five lessons for $100.

I am also in the process of scheduling a unique knitted scarf workshop for January and a Latvian Mitten workshop for February. More news of these workshops to follow soon. 

If you have any questions about the above, please stop by the shop on Fridays or Saturdays between 10 AM and 5 PM, or call 603.244.8050. Please leave a message if I do not pick up your call, as it is important to me. 

Happy New Year!
It's been a while since I have posted here. On 09/21/12, my husband, Barry, and I traveled to Unity ME to visit the Common Ground Fair for the first time. What a treat!

My favorite part of the trip was the Fiber Tent and the Wednesday Spinners. The photo to the left is me with a white Merino fleece purchased from Long Cove Farm on Vinalhaven Island ME. This is the second fleece that I have purchased from Wanatha Garner. Her farm and sheep are beautiful. 

I also picked up a white llama fleece and a couple skeins of yarn from Good Karma Farm,  and some beautiful alpaca spinning fiber from Northern Solstice Alpaca Farm.
Below are additional photos taken in the Wednesday Spinners' Tent. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed the photos. Next up, The Sandwich Fair, which was last weekend in Center Sandwich NH.

Knit on . . .
Yesterday, my first day off since mid May, I decided to construct a simple 4' x 5' skirting table for the first stage of cleaning my Shetland fleeces. I went to the local Aubuchon Hardware store and purchased four 10' lengths of 1-1/2" PVC pipe, four Ts, four 90 degree corners, four caps, one roll of 24" x 25' vinyl coated chicken wire and a bag of 100 wire ties.
The first thing I did was measure and cut two 46" lengths of pipe. These lengths were for the narrower end of the 5' x 4' table. Next I measured and cut four 4" lengths of pipe. These fit between the 90 degree corners and the Ts on the 5' side of the table. Then I measured and cut two 42" lengths of pipe. These fit between the two Ts on each long side of the table to complete the 5' length. I then cut four lengths of pipe for the legs to put the table at a comfortable height for me to skirt. The following photo is the table top assembled but not yet cemented.
I then took PVC primer and cleaned all the joints to be cemented.
This is what the pieces looked like after being primed prior to being cemented. This was a messy job and I recommend that you wear gloves to protect your hands from being stained purple.
I did not cement the legs to the table top. This allows me to remove the legs so that I can store the table flat when not in use. I also put water in the legs to make them heavier than the table top. 

Next I wire tied two lengths of chicken wire cut to fit the table lengthwise. After attaching the chicken wire around the outside perimeter of the table with the wire ties, I connected the two lengths together down the center of the table with wire ties. If I had 4' wide chicken wire available, I would have purchased that instead of using two lengths of 2' chicken wire. This would have alleviated wire ties down the center of the table.
Below is the finished skirting table.
Skirting a fleece.
Skirted fleece ready for the next step - scouring (washing) and picking at Juli Hird's wool processing shop in Center Sandwich. 
I hope you enjoyed this educational tidbit. 

Happy spinning, knitting, crocheting, weaving . . .

Forrest Acres Farm a quaint little farm in North Sandwich NH

Here's a brief look at our quaint little farm in North Sandwich NH, courtesy of my friends at Squam Arts Workshops. Enjoy!

Fiber Arts Forever!

ducks in a row or, you know . . . running free

29 June 2012 | elizabeth

Do you ever feel like the week has just flown by and your chicks are still not lining up in long, neat rows?  Hell, the first of July is the day after tomorrow and I'm thinking an entire month has flown by and my chicks are off dancing in the grass with no conga line in sight.

:: sigh::

But hey-- what's the fuss, right?  Maybe if we sink into the rhythm of farm life we will all breathe a bit easier and feel a bit less pressed for time.  Hence my reason for sharing the video above.  It is a wee glance of Jen Elliot's lovely farm in North Sandwich, NH -- Forrest Acres.

I met Jen a number of years ago and I remember clearly what I said, "how does it feel to be the mother of a future president of the united states?"  You see, her son Forrest was a huge help to me and to Squam in the early years when I lived in Sandwich and I am lifelong member of his fan club. (For those of you at the Squam Art Fair Saturday night in June-- you might have noticed Forrest helping out at the raffle booth).

Jen has recently launched a beautiful knitting & yarn shop in Center Sandwich:  Lupine Blossoms Fiber Arts

It's a marvelous place that provides a venue for local fiber farms to sell their products and for fiber enthusiasts of all abilities to learn about wool processing from the farm to finished product.

Local wool fibers and yarns, luxury yarns, patterns, notions, spinning wheels, looms, fiber processing equipment, and local hand made gifts are offered for sale-- there's even custom spinning services, lessons and workshops.

Everyone who came to Squam in June was gifted with a lovely skein of yarn thanks to Lupine Blossoms and I thought it would be so fun to say thanks and have an excuse to watch chickens and sheep and butterflies.

photo credit:  Forrest Elliot

:: :: :: ::

In other happy news, we finally have posted all the extra goodness of activities, workshops and whatnot going on this September at our fifth year anniversary gathering.  There will be not one, but two fabulous writing workshops Saturday morning as well as a book discussion Saturday afternoon, for the first time ever THAI MASSAGE will be available (only a few sessions, so first-come first-served), there will be gorgeous yoga set up around the beautiful fireplace in Deephaven Dining Hall, and we have a fabulous OPEN STUDIO space brimming with art supplies for you that will be open from 9 am - 4pm on Saturday where you can hang with friends, play, and practice all the wonderful techniques you learned in classes.

Whew.  Probably best I don't tell you about the celebrations happening Friday night and Saturday afternoon-- I don't want to overwhelm you with goodness.  But then again, the question I love to ask . . . how much pleasure can you take?

Here's wishing you a sweet weekend with lots of ease and laughter.

bisous, e

Reposted from http://hotair.com/archives/2012/06/21
The Olympic Committee just messed with the wrong old ladies

Normally when you see the word “Olympics” around Hot Gas these days, you expect to see the word “Dressage” following in close order. Not so today. The US Olympic Committee has established a long and well-deserved reputation for jealously guarding their name, symbols and copyright perimeters and aggressively going after anyone they perceive as trying to make a buck off their corporate brand. In fact, the Wall St. Journal ran a lengthy piece during the last summer Olympics which details the various scofflaws they have shut down, including, but not limited t0
  • The Ferret Olympics (now called the Ferret Agility Trials)
  • The Nose Olympics (now the Nose Aerobics)
  • The Rat Olympics (Xtreme Rat Challenge)
  • Olympets (National Pet Games)
But now the USOC may have taken on a battle which they may come to regret. They’ve thrown down the legal gauntlet in front of Ravelry. Now, in case you’ve never heard of Ravelry – and if, like many of us, you spend all your time focused on government and politics, you probably haven’t – you may be wondering what it is. It’s an online social network for people interested in … wait for it .. knitting, sewing and other related crafts.

Lest you think this is some backwater story with no place here, Ravelry isn’t some collection of a half dozen old grannies in their parlors. They are one of the top ten largest social networks, boasting more than two million registered members and daily traffic which regularly matches – or sometimes vastly exceeds – that of Hot Air. And while you don’t normally expect a group of knitters to take up pitchforks and torches and go occupy something or throw tea bags in the Potomac, now they’re ticked off.

If you mess with the Olympics trademark, a cloud of legal hurt will descend on you faster than Tyson Gay in the Men’s 100 meters. Case in point: The U.S. Olympic Committee has sent a cease and desist letter to a knitting-based social network for hosting a knitting “olympics.” Now, knitters are in revolt.

2012 was to be the third year that the knitting social network Ravelry—yes, this exists and is surprisingly popular—hosted a “Ravelympics,” a knitting competition for users that includes events like an “afghan marathon,” and “scarf hockey.” Knitters were supposed to compete in their events while watching the actual Games on TV.

But that was before the U.S. Olympics Committee got wind of it and sent Ravelry a cease & desist, for making a mockery of the Games with their needlework.

That article covers some of the basic facts, but gets quite a few more wrong. It seems nobody at Ravelry was making money off the Olympic brand, nor were they “mocking” the games. They were encouraging their members to watch the games and knit at the same time, challenging themselves to exceed their personal best for the most projects finished while the games went on.

They also make another ironic statement toward the end.

The USOC is demanding Ravelry change the name to the “Ravelry Games,” but we say: Why not make knitting an Olympic sport instead? Pair up knitting a baby sweater with target shooting and make it the summer version of the biathlon. Those would be some Nike ads.

Why is that ironic? Because knitting actually was an Olympic event at one time.

Be that as it may, Ravelry is largely – though not entirely – composed of ladies… ladies who habitually carry sharp pointy things. And now they’re angry. So who is conducting the war on women now?

Fiber arts forever!

Last Friday, Betty Alcock, Alex (Betty's granddaughter) and I went to Sandwich Central School for a NH Ag In The Classroom presentation for the K-2 graders. As it turns out, we had K-3 graders as our audience. 

On the way to Sandwich Central School, Betty and Alex stopped by Kindred Spirit Farm to pick up a 2-week old ram lamb as part of our presentation. What a cutie! 

I started the presentation by introducing myself and talking a bit about my own farm, Forrest Acres. We have 4 Shetland wethers that we are raising for fiber. Then I asked the children if any of them had sheep, and several hands went up. The next part of the presentation was reading the book "Charlie Needs A Cloak" by Tomie dePaola. The children's favorite part of the book was the illustration at the end of the story where one of Charlie's sheep started munching on the new cloak. 

The best part of the presentation came next. I brought out a fleece shorn from one of my sheep in February of this year, some washed Shetland locks and my hand carders. After carding a few locks, I passed around the three stages of fiber for the children to smell and feel. Then came the spinning wheel -  my Ashford Joy, a niddy noddy, umbrella swift and wool winder. After the children watched a brief spinning demonstration, I passed around my handknit shawl. 

All the while, the little ram lamb meandered around the circle of children and then tinkled on the floor - the hit of the morning! "Hey, he just marked his territory," remarked one of the children. 

Here is the thank you card that I received from Mrs. Petitti's students.

On Sunday evening, Barry and I met our son, Forrest, at the Corner House Inn for dinner. This is the vehicle we parked beside. How cool is that! We are in the SHEEP mobile. 
My current project is a lamp to hang over the table in my shop. Here is a photo of the completed fabric in the process of being blocked to the mylar liner. I can't wait to see the finished project! The fabric was created with the Open Check Stitch from knit & purl using NORO Kureyon in Color #40 (available here). My next project will be a pair of socks knit from Opal Feen & Elfen sock yarn (coming to the shop soon) on Knitter's Pride Cubix double point needles (now available in the shop). 
Look for the following yarns coming to the shop soon: Opal Sock Yarn from Vincent van Gogh, Bicolor and Fairies & Elves collections; and, Mountain Colors sock yarn from the Crazyfoot collection. 

Well, that's all the news for now. Happy knitting (crocheting, spinning, needle felting, weaving . . .) to all!