Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What will Santa do!

This pile of bricks is all that remains of the exterior portion of my main chimney.  The last time they were handled was in 1890 when the chimney was constructed.
I wonder if someone else in the house at that time had a circular sock knitter.

Besides being a beacon for Santa,  the chimney also held my internet dish. Fortunately i still have my phone!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lorna's Laces St Charles

Here's another of the new Lorna's Laces colourways I got this year: St Charles, in Shepherd Sock (80% Merino 20% Nylon fingering). An interesting combination of oranges, greens, purples and earth tones.

Definitely of the Jazzy persuasion!

This pair is size Medium, knit with the 72 needle cylinder and 36 ribber on the Verdun 47. Reverse e-wrap selvedge on a 1 x 1 topper; leg and foot in full stockinette.

On my monitor, the top two photos are leaning (incorrectly) red, while the bottom two are truer to the burnt orange.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Fourth

Happy 4th of July to my 'merican cousins, readers and friends!

Here, a reprise of Fortissima colour 1776, 75/25 Wool Nylon. This pair, size Large, knit with the 72 cylinder and 36 ribber on the Verdun 47.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Lorna's Laces Worcester

Another newer colourway from Lorna's Laces - Worcester. Here in Shepherd Sock (of course). Good grief can you imagine if you had this in a worsted weight. Worcester Worsted! Your tongue would be tripping all over the place.

This is another colourway that I find provides lots of interest in the mix without going flashy.

The pairing of browns and greys make for a versatile accessory that will work with many colours in the wardrobe.

This pair is a Medium +, knit with the 72 cylinder and 36 ribber on the Verdun 47, using a 1 x 1 topper and 5x1 leg and instep.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


I haven't had chickens for several years - ever since the chicken coop had to come down to make way for the wool shack.

The sheep flock is smaller now and I don't need as much barn space dedicated to the shearing operation. Where I once needed space for two shearers and a double sized catch pen, I now only need space for one.

I divided the catch pen space in two, and set up a chicken coop in one re-purposed half.

The top of one wall opens to the outside (south), and top half of two walls open to the inside of the barn - enclosed with chicken wire of course.

The bottom right of the photo shows, barely,  the nesting boxes, and against the outside window wall is the roost. The roost is over a chicken wire covered frame through which (hopefully most of) their poop will go. There are two heavy duty plastic bins under that frame. The plywood panel facing is held in place with two screws - easily removed to haul out the manure bins as necessary.

Today the six ladies arrived.

Jesse is beside himself with excitement!

I look forward to eating home grown eggs again.

A home grown egg with some home grown bacon on a home made English Muffin. It just doesn't get any better.

There are a zillion egg recipes at Egg Farmers of Canada. Besides the web site, they have apps - I've got one on my phone and one on my iPad - they have a handy egg timer built in that clucks when your eggs are done.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Home Made English Muffins

Who knew that English Muffins are actually a fried bread? Not me.
I've been eating these since forever. In the last few years I switched over to whole wheat version but was still a little unhappy with the additives.

I found this recipe of Honey Oat English Muffins while sloffing around on different blogs.

I found this set of frying rings cheap on eBay and was off to the races:

The first time I followed Emily's recipe as closely as I could. I'm not sure what the difference between White Whole Wheat and Whole Wheat are so I used what I had in the pantry - Robin Hood Bread Whole Wheat flour.

For my next batch, instead of mixing in a bowl, I tried this:

Our bread machine has a dough setting and I customized that a little to suit this recipe, and I also inserted a 30 minute warm rest at the beginning the cycle (which I read somewhere was a good thing to do with whole wheat recipes in general).

I also substituted Spelt Flakes for the Oatmeal which raised the protein and fibre levels some.

I also added the ingredients to the pan slightly differently than for the bowl, ie all liquids first, yeast last.

As you can see, I get a very good rise of the dough, and the bonus here is that the recipe now gives me 16 muffins instead of 12.

I (sadly) don't have a gas stove. (Very sadly.) And only 4 rings - so I worked in batches of 4 in a frying pan, 5 minutes a side at level 4, and then into the over @ 350 for 10 minutes on a cookie sheet. I lay a piece of tin foil over top while in the oven to keep from getting to browned.

This timing works very conveniently - for one batch is in the over for time it takes to do the next batch in the fry pan.

I just leave the rings on long for a minute or so after I press the dough to shape.

At 16 muffins, this works out to about 120 calories a piece. Pretty good!

I make a home made Egg McMuffin with one of these for lunch almost every weekday. 

Mmmm. Good!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lambs 2014

Here are a few of the 2014 lambs that I'm thinking of retaining:

This little gal (and her identical twin sister) as likely keepers. I don't have any grey fleeced Shetlands in the flock and these would  be dandy. I'm not yet sure if the colour will remain as shown. The legs and underbelly have already darkened some since birth.

And this tan coloured lassy would be another welcome addition.

I also like the look of these twin brothers. I don't have any wethers in the Shetland flock. While wethers don't contribute to lamb sales on a farm, their fleeces are much larger and typically stronger as they don't have the seasonal stresses or demands of reproduction/lactation on their bodies if female, or in rutting amongst males.