Author Archives: bluestempond

About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.

Learning New Things

I am always up for learning additional fiber-related skills, so when the local Handweavers Guild offered up a day to learn tapestry weaving, I jumped on board. It is coming up in October but I decided I wanted to get … Continue reading

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Orchard Harvest

This has been a great year for fruit in Southwest Michigan. Even my little orchard has produced like magic, and I don’t know if it was due to the good weather in the spring or just what I should have … Continue reading

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New Wider Loom

I have spent about a year learning to weave on the floor loom I inherited from my sister. I have made a lot of interesting things and was inspired to join the local Handweavers Guild where I have met several … Continue reading

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Combing My Wool

I read up on how to handle wool, differently than I do with my goat’s mohair. The book told me that the drum carder I use to make batts of fiber to spin is not the best thing for wool. … Continue reading

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Checking In…

So here it is, mid-August already. We have had a few difficult weeks in the family. Both our dogs passed away– one from a progressive illness that had us agonizing over how to decide when his quality of life was … Continue reading

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Fiber Season

I am preparing for a trip, and worrying over all the details I will be leaving in my husband’s hands while I am gone. He is quite capable, but we divide up the labor on the farm and neither of … Continue reading

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Lucious Wool

Just for the record, the shearer came on Tuesday and got the job done. I successfully corralled the sheep and goats in their pen so he could grab them one at a time. The night before, I released the baby … Continue reading

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Taming the Lambs, and Reupholstering

I have been speed-taming my new lambs, sitting with them quietly several times a day, knowing that by Tuesday they must be released into the pasture. I’m not sure a week was enough. They don’t seem as afraid of me … Continue reading

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New Lambs Are Home

We went ahead and fetched our two little Shetland lambs today. I am surprised at how small and light they are, little bundles of fluff with sharp hooves. They are no bigger than our little terrier, and much more timid. … Continue reading

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A Promising Spring on the Farm

You know how farmers are, eternally pessimistic and complaining about the conditions every single year. In that, I am not a natural farmer because I tend to be an optimist and forever look on the bright side. Some people find … Continue reading

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Preparing a Sheep Trap

I’m waiting anxiously for the sheep shearer to contact us to say what day he will be here to shear Eddy and the girls. It has dragged on for weeks with us on alert for that call to come. The … Continue reading

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New Goat, New Sweater

It has been a surprisingly busy month, with travel plans, spring chores, band concerts, and prepping for new animals in the barnyard. We were waiting for a stretch of dry weather to bring home the new goat, but it never … Continue reading

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Adding to the Farm Family

Spring is sprouting and it is baby animal season! We made a decision not to have our Shetland ewes get bred, and instead to buy a couple more babies to fill out the herd. We are going to the breeder … Continue reading

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Gray days of February

Covid precautions, doctor visits, snowstorms… It seems that not much is moving in February. We are planning a mini-getaway in March but my husband’s recent back pain has been putting things into suspended animation for a few months. I think … Continue reading

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February Snowstorm and Fiber Arts

I love snow, especially if I don’t have to go anywhere and can just stay on the farm and enjoy it. A big storm has been moving across the country and dumped over a foot here before moving on. I … Continue reading

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Dishtowels!

I finished weaving the dishtowels that took so long to warp last week. I was dismayed that they were kind of gauzy and stiff, but after I hemmed and washed them they are soft and absorbent. When I searched online … Continue reading

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The Tedium of Warping

I am enjoying learning to weave, but am blown away by the sheer tedium of hooking up the lengthwise strings, or in the proper terminology, “beaming the warp.” It is quite possible I am doing something wrong, as I am … Continue reading

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New Year, New Projects

I’ve done a lot of weaving over the last couple months. I am getting more confident with my loom and recently most of my errors have been due to wanting to finish up for the day and hurrying carelessly to … Continue reading

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Nothing Special

I love those blessed days of “nothing special.” We already had most of the holiday rehearsals and concerts, the parties, the present-buying, etc. Now, it is happily a smooth ride into the final holidays of the year. I find myself … Continue reading

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Barn Cats and Lazy Chickens

I’m so lucky that both the barn cats we adopted four years ago turned out to be the kind that love humans. Emmie is a little stand-offish when her “brother” is present and she hisses at him to make it … Continue reading

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