Seasons of change.

 Hi guys – it’s been a while! But as you may or may not know, I supplement our family income with a bit of casual Virtual Assistant admin work on the side. Which is great because it means I can work flexible hours from home, but also means – like the chef that never cooks at home – I work on other people’s admin and often neglect my own! 

But I have been spinning, we have been accidental, no-clue farming, and the year has been ticking along. Which was clearly evident last Friday when I booked a stall at Katie’s school craft market and found myself donning my stall’s merchandise in order to keep warm – it was freezing! 

Looks like Autumn is just around the corner!

  

Wool from a rescue sheep (‘Wilma’), handspun by me and dyed with natural organic plant dye (Madder).
  

 

So we decided to dedicate Saturday to one of our most pressing Winter-prep chores: collecting firewood.
      

Fortunately, throughout the year a large tree or two inevitably fall, so we are pretty self-sufficient for heating. And 2 trailer-loads full of large rounds later, we added to our impressive wood pile and felt much more prepared for winter!

Wood pile number 2!

All that’s left is to split it into bits and cover it!

  
Now we just have to plant our winter veg: broccoli, cabbage, beans, silverbeet, radish & caulis! The garden beds are full of beautiful compost, organic matter and manure. And now that the tomatoe, zucchinis, capsicum and basil are finishing, we’ll have plenty of space to fill! 

Plus we need to think about re-stocking our hay shed for the horse and goats over winter. Hay is a bit expensive at the moment, so I have my ear to the ground waiting for a deal! The goats are already starting to coat-up, which makes me excited for cashmere fleece in spring, but in the meantime, I’ve got Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show to look forward. Or “Spendigo” as we fibre/wool fanatics call it! And I’ve still got a whole Corridale fleece which I got given, just waiting to be prepped, scoured, dyed and spun!

So much fleece to dye, so little time… 😉

And hey: Winter is coming! Start knitting now! That jumper isn’t going to knit itself! XD

If you need some wooley inspiration, feel free to check out the store…! Click on the ‘store’ tab at the top of the page.

  

Well, I’m off to read a bit with a cup of tea, in these few blessed quiet moments before bed! One thing to look forward to in the cooler months: Fireside reading! Flannel sheets! Woollen beanies! 

Wait that’s 3 things… 🙂

What are you knitting for winter? Have you prepared your firewood? What will you be planting? And what’s your favourite thing about Winter? 

Hope you’re enjoying these last long warm days x

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Crouching tiger, hidden courgette.

Zucchinis. Many many zucchinis. 

While it seems our fruit efforts were a bust this year, our veggies are killin it! Although technically tomatoes are a fruit right? And the girls have been in the garden popping cherry tomatoes into their mouths almost everyday. So all our efforts weren’t in vain!

I don’t know if you’ve tried zucchini brownies, but these are AWESOME. Rich, chocolatey and fudgey! And not the slightest hint of zucchini taste! The girls wolfed them down! (And they’re vegan! So I wolfed them too! LOL) 

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

  

  

  

I while back I spoke to our neighbour about how great it would be to host some bee hives on our properties, to pollinate our plants, help the environment, and learn more about beekeeping.

Not long after, I met a local apiarist at our farmers market, and found out that the trees on our place are particularly sought after, and only flower for 3 or 4 weeks once every 5 years! 

So Paul the bee guy came and had a look at the farm, said it all looked great, but when I checked with the ladies who keep their horses here, they weren’t so keen. Fair enough. So I told Paul it was a no-go as not everyone was comfortable having them here, but my neighbour Murray asked for Paul’s number.

  
Well. That should’ve been that. But instead, Paul moved a few hives to my neighbour’s place (which is wonderful, and he is well within his right to do on acerage in a rural area) 

    
 

Dyeing to try it.

I’ve been experimenting with dyeing my own fibre for spinning of late, and Im getting more and more inspired by natural dyes. Ive been finding my brain exploding into sparks and catherine wheels of inspiration, thinking of all the plants, barks and fruits around Hill Shadow farm which could dye my yarn. I LOVE feeling inspired.

Here’s a link which shows you some of the differences between natural and synthetic dyes.

It looks like a fairly simple process, though I think there’s a lot of variables which can affect your colours.

Aaaaaaaaand since Im getting my online store up and going (!), keep an eye out for my new natural dyed, Hill Shadow Farm inspired, compassionate yarns… I cant wait. Im going to be a busy busy bee!

Here’s some beautiful dyeing and natural yarns to get YOU inspired! ❤

Timber and Twine

Dye-lot

Right: I’ve got a tonne of fleece I have to get clean and dry before tomorrow’s carding.

 
  
Im getting together with some friends and very talented fibre artists so we can swap knowledge and fluff.

Check us out on FB

Watch this space…!

xx