Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Year End Wrap-Up

Getting back to the simple life continues to bring much enjoyment.
Six months later, I finally got that fleece spun up, with the help of a friend's spinning wheel!
I haven't gotten motivated to knit anything with this yarn yet - doesn't look like much, but hand carding the wool and then learning to spin did take a fair bit of time, and after all that work I want to be sure I know what I'm doing!
Meanwhile, I tackled another craft challenge - a hand cranked Gearhardt Circular Sock Knitting Machine built in 1924!
With the help of this cylinder of needles I can whip out a pair of socks in about 2 hours, compared to many more hours of hand knitting. No wonder it gained great popularity in the late 1800s and early 1900s! It even played an important role in the battle against trenchfoot in World War I, helping to provide extra pairs socks. Today it brings much enjoyment to knitters, some who like me, stumbled across one of these neglected machines at a garage sale, only to find a whole subculture of CSM knitters who hold regional "crank-ins" and even a national annual conference!  So far I've even been able to sell enough cozy wool socks to support this hobby!

One of the best part of all these crafts is the friendships being built with other women at our Fiber Arts Group, and it's a privilege to teach the homeschool kids too!

This fall we have also been working on our new business venture - Honeyberries! (or Haskap as they are called in Canada & Japan). We are importing plants from Canada for resale, as well as for an orchard on our acreage. Dubbed "Blueberry of the Prairie", this tasty, healthy honeysuckle berry fits right into our desire for a healthy lifestyle.
Check out our business site at for more information.

Jim aquired a 1950something Alice Chalmers WD-45 tractor to push snow and for future use on our acreage.

Jim also prepared a lot for bulding a small house in the spring.

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