Author Archives: bluestempond

About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.

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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Some Recent Weaving Experiments

After all the detailed instruction-following required to make the pretty placemats that were my last weaving project, I felt like going free range and weaving up some of my stray yarn. I did a fast, undisciplined job of warping the … Continue reading

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The Elusive Raspberry Shade

I’m still working on my quest to get the yarn my friend wants, in the right weight and color. I decided it is so tricky to get a consistent color from a dye lot that I make up by myself … Continue reading

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How to Be Like a Machine?

I have a project that I don’t know how to complete. A friend loves the idea of home-grown, home-spun yarn to make a little sweater for her granddaughter. She showed me the pattern and told me the color she wants, … Continue reading

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Weaving and Yarn Experiments

I joined the local Handweavers’ Guild this year to get some help understanding why my loom was giving me so much trouble. One member was especially kind and helped me identify things I was doing that were getting in the … Continue reading

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Short Trip to the Market

One of the best thing about living here is that the produce section of our local market is just out the back door. I was thinking about what we need for the next few days of meals and decided to … Continue reading

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Lessons Learned About Grapes

Ok, last year I thought I was smart to prune my concord grapes in the early summer, giving the lovely little green baby bunches lots of sunshine and air. At the end of the season, I was so disappointed to … Continue reading

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September Shift

We are moving into the next stage on the farm, with new crops coming ripe and new colors taking precedence in the fields. The goldenrod is becoming king of the landscape, and all other flowers are stepping back to make … Continue reading

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A Couple Interesting Things

This week I attended the Michigan Fiber Festival, at the Allegan County Fairgrounds. I go every couple of years and it is a special treat if I can take a class while I am there. This year I signed up … Continue reading

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Perspiration by Gender

I was out in the garden after a couple days off and there was so much that needed to be harvested. As the rivulets of sweat freely ran down over my glasses and I gave up trying to wipe them … Continue reading

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Reptilian Repose

We have our own “Brutus” the snapping turtle living in the pond this year. I normally only see him (or her) in the spring at egg-laying time, but I was surprised to see that he dragged himself up onto the … Continue reading

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The Busy Season

August and September are crazy busy on our farm. All the summer crops are ripening up and we are switching out the spring plantings for new fall crops, such as spinach and lettuce. My husband went to town planting potatoes … Continue reading

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Graduating the Chicks from Kindergarten

Our baby chicks are getting big, and it is time to ease them into the flock. I have begun locking the adults into their main area to leave a smaller room open to the babies where they won’t be molested … Continue reading

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Moist Days in Michigan

After an unusually dry spring, the weather has finally caught up and it is very humid and rainy. We needed it! The prairie fields around us are waving in the long-awaited yellows of cone flowers, brown-eyed Susans, and tall clover, … Continue reading

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Cat in the Patch

Mickey, the barn cat, is lonely. The other cat does not come around much and doesn’t want to play with him anyway. When one of us is out at the barn and Mickey shows up, he “meows” loudly, rubbing against … Continue reading

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The In-Between Weeks

Ah, the sweet moments between Spring and Summer! The fields are back up to a foot or two of growth after their spring mowing and the earliest wildflowers are beginning to bloom — purple vetch and bladder flowers. The concord … Continue reading

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