Sheared Bliss

Catch Up

Wow, where did the last week go?  My only excuse is that it was National Volunteer Appreciation Week which makes for a super busy week at work when you work with volunteers.  Then MommaCodeMonkey and I did a bunch of work around the house this weekend and I’m basically too tired to move.  So while I’m being exhausted and boring, here are some pictures of the Sheep to Shawl event at the museum last weekend.

Here's the before shot.

And the after shot.

And a gratuitous shot of Daisy in the background with a thoroughly nonplussed ewe in the foreground.

I spent most of the day dyeing yarn with PioneerV and PioneerJ.

The root of the madder plant gives lovely oranges and reds.

Yellow from marigold flowers, fuchisa from cochineal, and orange from madder.


Hello, World!
April 14, 2010, 6:00 pm
Filed under: History, Museum | Tags: , , , ,

Meet Daisy.

Please excuse the goofy expression on my face. I was busy making silly, baby talk noises at Daisy.

Daisy is the newest arrival at the museum.  She was just three days old this past Saturday when I took these pictures and she’s a tiny little thing.

To give you an idea of just how little she is, here we have (from left to right) a full grown ewe, one of the lambs born back in February, and Daisy.

Yes, Daisy is actually closer in size to this pigeon than she is to any of the other sheep. 

And she’s still pretty wobbly too.  Just look at those knobby little knees.

Daisy’s mom is a first time mom and she’s a little unsure about the whole having a kid thing.  So unsure that she actually butts Daisy away every time she tries to nurse.  In order to get some milk in little Daisy, they’ve resorted to putting momma in a stanchion so Daisy can nurse a little bit.

That’s FarmerT holding momma by the horns so she can’t butt Daisy, and PioneerA making sure that Daisy is actually nursing and not getting stepped on.  To make sure Daisy is getting enough to eat, she’s also being bottle-fed goat’s milk.

Like most babies, she enjoys wearing her dinner as well as eating it.

Come see Daisy at Sheep to Shawl this coming Saturday.

Monday Punny
April 12, 2010, 10:53 pm
Filed under: History, Museum, Randomness | Tags: , , ,

What do zombie sheep eat?

Graaaaainsssssss . . .

Mark Your Calendars

If you live in the Denver metro area (or don’t, but are willing to travel) and like fiber arts and living history (or just want a nice day out at a farm), mark your calendar for Sheep to Shawl at the Littleton Museum on Saturday, April 17 from 10am to 3pm.  There will be sheep shearing, wool processing, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and, of course, baby lambs.  If you come, look for me by the dye pot and say hi.  Hope to see you there!

FO Friday
April 2, 2010, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Fiber Arts, FO Friday, Knitting | Tags: , , , , ,

This may just be the quickest sweater to knit ever.  I finished it in just a few days.  It’s taken me longer to get around to blogging about it than it did to make it.

Pattern: Anthropologie-Inspired Capelet by Julia Allen on Peony Knits

Yarn: SunKissed Hand-Dyed Yarn from One Sheep Hill

Modifications: The ribbing on the bottom ended up being a little shorter than the pattern calls for because I ran out of yarn.

I really enjoyed this project.  The pattern is well written and simple without being boring.  It was the perfect use for this single skein of hand dyed, organic cotton that has been sitting in my stash for about two years waiting for me to figure out what to do with it.  The finished product is cute and fits well.  I foresee wearing it a lot to make tank-tops more work-appropriate or when I go dancing to keep the chill off before I’ve warmed up.

My only issue with this sweater is the name and that’s really Anthropologie’s fault.  They apparently have an incomplete grasp of the English language and insist on calling things with sleeves “capelets.”

Pronunciation: \ˈkāp-lət\
Function: noun
Date: 1912
a small cape usually covering the shoulders.


Function: noun
Etymology: probably from Spanish capa cloak, from Late Latin cappa head covering, cloak
Date: 1758
a sleeveless outer garment or part of a garment that fits closely at the neck and hangs loosely over the shoulders.

Ahem.  Sleeveless.  Therefore, this garment will henceforth be referred to as a shrug.

Function: noun
Date: 1594
a woman’s small waist-length or shorter jacket.

Yes, that seems more likely.

Anywho, one of my favorite things about this shrug is the closure.  I couldn’t find a button I liked for it so I started looking at vintage brooches on Etsy.  I found just the right one, don’t you think?

I Scream, You Scream
April 1, 2010, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Food, History, Museum | Tags: , , , , , , ,

As promised – ice cream!

Different cultures have been making a variety of chilled and frozen desserts for hundreds of years.  Everyone from the Chinese to the Romans to the Persians have been credited with inventing ice cream, but their concoctions were not the same as modern ice cream.  No one has pinpointed when true ice cream came about, but the first documented advertisement for ice cream appeared in 1744 and a recipe that would result in something very similar to modern ice cream was printed in 1751.    Several of America’s founding fathers including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were ice cream fanatics.

Ice cream aficionados rejoiced in the 1840s when Nancy Johnson patented the first mechanical ice cream churn.  Prior to her invention, ice cream was made by placing the ingredients in a small bowl, placing the small bowl in a larger bowl full of ice and salt, and stirring the ingredients by hand until they froze.  Johnson’s freezer still required a fair amount of elbow grease, but it did simplify the process.

To make ice cream you’ll need an ice cream base.  There are lots of recipes out there and you can use whichever one you like, but they all consist of some combination of dairy (milk, cream, and/or half and half), sugar, and flavoring (we made both lemon and vanilla ice cream at Dairy Day).  None of them contain eggs.  If you put eggs in your base, you’re making frozen custard not ice cream, just so we’re clear.

You will also need an ice cream churn (or two bowls, one slightly smaller than the other, and a big spoon, if you’re feeling brave), ice, and rock salt.  Oh yeah, and three pioneers.  Why three?

NurseK, PioneerV, and me making ice cream.

One to churn, one to sit on the churn, and one to sit on the one sitting on the churn.  Obviously.

Put your ice cream base in the canister of the churn, pack the churn with ice and rock salt, and turn the crank.  Churn constantly but slowly or you’ll make whipped cream or even butter instead of ice cream.  Yes, this really can happen, we got butter chunks in several of our batches of ice cream from too-enthusiastic churning.  Do not stop churning or it will freeze solid and you’ll have made a giant milk ice cube instead of ice cream.  As the ice cream begins to freeze, it will become harder and harder to turn the crank.  Add one pioneer to the top of the churn and keep cranking.  It will get even harder to crank.  Add the second pioneer on top of the first pioneer and keep cranking.  Eventually the churn will go from very difficult to crank to very easy.  This indicates that the ice cream has solidified around the dasher in the center of the canister and pulled away from the sides of the canister.  Open the churn.

If the ice cream is as hard as you want it, serve it up.  If you would like it more solidly frozen, you can either keep churning it while it hardens further or transfer it to another container, cover it, and put it in the freezer until it reaches your desired consistency.

Mmmm . . . ice cream . . .