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Friday, June 13, 2014

Spring update on Dream Come True Farm and Pamsfiber

Helloooooo Everyone!
Its complete and ready to ship!
The big update is the NEWS about my "Spinners Notebook". For those that are unfamiliar its a three ringed binder that is put together here on the farm fro Fiber Artists......a book all about wool with actual fiber samples from the sheep who's shepherds participated. They each wrote clear and informative information on their breeds and send us the actual fiber samples which is fabulous to be able to touch and feel the breeds.  They all offer fleeces and yarn for sale through their farms. Their contact info is supplied in the book. We also had some of who I consider awesome fiber artist who may or may not have farms write some awesome article for the book. The book has been around for over 12 years but now has completely been re-done! An Awesome book and very exciting for me! A must have book for any new fiber artist or a seasoned one that would like to record their experiences with fleece, dyes etc.

 If interested please take a look and learn more about in my Etsy shop where it sells and is pictured

  Also I have  page on Facebook that works as an extension to the Spinners Notebook, Tips, texhniques and more shared daily.  Dream Come True Farm and Pamfiber
Or visit me on FB Pam Blasko

www.pamsfiber.etsy.com

Take a look in my etsy to see all the fun things I have been creating lately. Weaving, making fiber vassals, wall hangings, woven wrist cuffs. Knitted wire wrist cuffs, AWESOME handspun yarns and kits. And so much more.

It's been an awesome busy spring! Shearing, fiber trips, fiber fairs and new chickens!  I'm going to try and just highlight what has been happening so as not have this post be a novel!
So let's see April we had The Wool Wench Suzy Brown visit with Arlene Thayer from Spin Artiste on line publication.  Suzy is an international instructor of art yarns and she did a workshop here on the farm with 25 women!  It was spectacular to say the least.
I was a vendor in CT Sheep And Wool Festival in April as well.
We had our goats and sheep shorn early May. So you know what that means. FIBER, FIBER AND MORE FIBER!
Ashlyann and I went to the spin Artiste Studio in Maryland and took a workshop with Girl With A Hook who is an adorable free form crochet instructor. It was an awesome workshop.
We also attended the MD sheep and Wool Fest. Yup, more FIBER!
And for both April and May we added new chickens to the flock and created a new space for them. We call their space Coop Town USA    I adore all these chickens and could spend hours watching them.  It's actually a bit of an addiction.  Believe it or not chickens are very interesting to watch while they interact with one another.
Mike added onto our back deck. It now wraps around the side of the house and over looks the entire barn yard. It's like heaven. Plans to spend the summer on it spinning and weaving!

Upcoming next week is JazzTurtle spin to weave workshop, 2nd annual workshop here on the farm. Should be an awesome time. New deck to spin and weave on, I'm excited. There may be a space or two still open so if interested contact me dctfyarns@aol.com

So check out my Etsy shop to see ALL the new things I have been creating. I must say Ive been very busy. The creative juices are flowing!

Summer is next week. I hope your gardens are in, your porch furniture is out and ready to enjoy the sunshine. I know I am here in the New England.

Off to be creative.

XO



Sneak Peak at the Spinners Notebook





Already working on a large supplement to be added to the book in the fall!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chicken News And Small Batch Dyeing Tips and Techniques From Pamsfiber


Small Batch Fiber Dyeing

Hi everyone, I'm back to share what I did the other morning here on the farm. I spent the entire morning doing some small batch fiber dyeing.  We are having quite the event here on the farm this weekend. I mentioned it in the previous post but it’s worth mentioning again. Suzy Brown aka Wool Wench is coming to the farm to do a workshop on blending fiber, art yarn spinning and plying.  Suzy is from the Netherlands and is teaching on the east coast a few workshops. We were to have some fibers dyed and ready to go!

 So this morning I got out my Goodwill purchased crock pots and did some small batch dyeing to add to a color scheme that is in my mind. How I do my small batch dyeing is what I thought I would share with you today.

 

Tools needed

1. Crock pots that will be used for dyeing only. I found all of mine in Goodwill  for only a few dollars each.

2.  I use Country Classic dyes. They are a one-step dye power. They can purchased on line.

3. water

4. fiber

5. wooden spoon

Step 1.  wet the fiber in a sink with hot water for 20 minutes. This is to allow the dye to be absorbed with ease.

Step 2  Fill your crock pots with hot water and turn them on high

Step 3. Add your dye according the instructions on the jar. 

Step 4. Take out your fiber and add it to the crock pots, making sure it is all covered. You can press it down ever so gently with a wooden spoon. I say gently so the fiber won’t felt.

Step 5. Cover your pots.  In 15 minutes turn the temp to low and set the timer for 30 minutes. DO NOT uncover.

Step 6. When your time is up take one pot at a time and dump it into the sink. Be careful, it will be hot. Then fill the sink up with hot water for a rinse. After about 10 minutes drain the sink and repeat until  sink water is fairly clear. Try not to change the temp of the water by much in-between the rinsing, again so as not to felt the fiber. When the water is fairly clear or completely clear pick up the fiber and gently give it a light squeeze to drain some of the water from the fiber. Transfer it to a screen to dry. A screen will allow air flow from the top and bottom drying the fiber quicker.  If you do not have one you can lay out on a towel in the sun.

Repeat step 6 with each crock pot of fiber.

I use this technique for all my small batch dyeing. I find it really simple and always successful.

Today the fiber I dyed was pygora goat locks, a small handful of Wensleydale sheep  locks and silk hankies that will be used in our new plying technique that we will be learning.  It should be an adventurous day. I’ll blog all about it next week!  This fiber will be blended with an already dyed sheep wool that I had and wanted to work around the color scheme.


                                  






I would also like to mention my new chickens! Lots of new chickens! Earlier in Spring we purchased from a local farmer some silkie chickens who are absolutely gorgeous! Gentle and friendly they have just started giving us eggs. Our quail from last year are still giving us eggs daily as well. Mike came home with 1/2 dozen one week old Leghorn chickens last week! He says these eggs are going to be bigger!! So the silkies are now mine and the leghorns are his! he is building another small coop for his chickens this weekend. And now I'm going to have to listen to "My eggs are bigger then your eggs!" Jeeeez! Oh well, as long as he is happy. He sure keeps me happy with all of my animal adventures!!



Miss Jooojooo
Silkie hen

The General
our roo



Thank you for stopping in. Please be sure to sign on as a follower so as not to miss anything! lots more to come. I have an entire agenda for my blogging this year. Please feel free to comment of ask questions. Ill like to connect with you all


 Spin On!    xoxox

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Farm Update with a FREE spiral sock pattern

We are so thrilled to have completed The newest version of The Spinners Notebook





 I've offered a spiral sock pattern here with no need to do a heel turn! It's a tube sock that takes shape of your foot as worn.  I hope you enjoy it. A wonderful pattern for your warm weather knitting. The pattern is posted below. Feel free to copy.
 
Well the long worked on Spinners Notebook has been completely revised. I'm so thrilled with all who contributed to the notebook. These contributor's are some of the fiber artist and shepherds that we admire the most!  Thanks to ALL of them, we have produced an awesome reference book.
 
The Spinner’s Notebook – a New Resource for Fiber Artists

Pam Blasko of Dream Come True Farm and Ashly Ann Bartholomew of Ashly Ann’s Hands have put together an important resource that brings together a community of fiber artists and shepherdesses.  The Spinner’s Notebook has been created to help those who want to learn more about animal fleeces including micron count, crimp, and other important characteristics.  This book will help its readers choose the right fleece and/or fiber for spinning, felting, knitting, and other related projects in order to get the best results in their work.

The pages are filled with helpful descriptions of the animals, beautiful photographs and actual samples of their fleeces.  These animals are lovingly raised by local farmers who are dedicated to having their animals produce first quality fibers. There are also instructional pages written by experienced fiber artists to help in the decision making process.

For more information and to purchase the Spinner’s Notebook please go to:

 https://www.facebook.com/dctfHomeToTheSpinnersNotebook?ref=br_rs

the Notebook is 38.00 with 12.00 shipping anywhere in the US payment.  To order one while they last until next printing you can simply go to paypal and make the payment of 50.00 total to dctfyarns@aol.com

For out of the country purchases please contact me at dctfyarns@aol.com  and we can make the arrangement.
 

 
***********************************************************************************
 
 
CrAzY Spiral No Heel Sock Pattern  (great for beginners)

(tube sock style will fit most any sz foot)

 

by:Pamsfiber @ Dream Come True Farm

 

Material list:

*yarn is approximate because most are using a light worsted weight handspun which will vary from person to person.  Mill spun is fine, but pattern was written with

handspun in mind. Approx. 300 yards to be safe. Scraps of many colors are so much fun! Be creative.

 

*sz 5 double pointed needle

 

*darning needle

 

 

Instructions:

 

 

*With sz 5 dp needle CO 42 st dividing them on to 3 needles evenly. Join with a knit st and place a marker then k 2 more st. then P 3

 

*From this point forward  you will K in rib st K 3, P3 for the cuff of your sock. Do this until you cuff measures 3.5 inches

 

*End at the marker - *change yarn color if desired at this point

 

 

 

*Next you will k 2, increase one by knitting into the back of the 3rd st. then P2

 

 

 

*Now you will K3, P3 which will give you  the spiral pattern which you will see after about an inch more of knitting.

 

*Knit until the entire sock not including cuff measures 9 inches. Ending 2 st before your marker *change yarn color at this point if desired

 

 

 

 

*Next you will K 2tog to go back to the original 42 st  you started with,  continue knitting in stockenette for 6 full rounds ending at your marker

 

 

 

 

*Now your going to decrease as follows for the rest of the toe:

 

*K 4, Ktog all the way around

K the next row

 

*K 3, K 2tog all the way around

K the next row                                  

 

*K 2, K 2tog all the way around

K the next row

 

*K1, K2tog all the way around

K the next row

 

*K 2tog all the way around this final round before the toe

 

 

 

*Next cut the yarn leaving a 5" slip this through the eye of the darning needle and thread it through remaining st, pull tight to close the toe

 

 

 *You can change yarn colors for the cuff and toe, mix it up, change colors all the way throughout. Don't bother matching the second sock exactly, the craziness is what makes these socks fun! Repeat same for second sock.

 

 

 Enjoy,


XO

 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Pams Fiber at Dream Come True Farm update and FREE flower pattern

Welcome this cold, very cold Monday morning to Pamsfiber at Dream Come True Farm.
 
 
 Adding a little bit of spring to my wardrobe! I'm going to knit a few of these up to brighten up the dull days that have settled  here in the North East.
 Fast and simple for even a beginner. Here goes, the recipe:
Spring flower from Dream Come True Farm
Use a needle that is suitable to the yarn size you choose. I used a worsted weight with a sz 7 needle.
1. CO 10
2. BO 9
3. CO 10
4. BO 9
Continue doing 1 through 4  until you have 6, 7 or up to 8 spiky petals
knitted.
Next you will end your work, you will only have one st on your needle so you will just pull the yarn through it to secure.
Next you will sew the piece with a piece of yarn into a circle by placing the first and last spiky petal next to one another. Sew into the circle. Adorn it with either a bobble in the center or a button.  Jazz it up and sew some tiny beads on. If you like some quiet hand work this is a perfect really fast piece.
Play around and be creative while waiting for spring to join us. Have fun with it!



 
This is the Magical Mystery Lace pattern that I created for a quick and easy way to make another great item for the spring. Its geared toward beginner knitters but even a seasoned knitter would enjoy the outcome of this. I have put kits together with really pretty handspun yarns. Mulberry silk, merino blend. Soffsilk, light weight Babydoll Southdown and a few other wonderful handspuns. I'm making up these kits with one other kit for a shrug/shawl to be sold on FB, my Etsy shop and at the CT Sheep and Wool Festival, last weekend in April. If your in the area or live with in a few hour its the first fiber festival of the year, so come on down and be inspired by many talented fiber artist. Ill also be doing a lecture/demo on chooding the correct fleece to be spun for your knitting project.
 

 
Pictured here is my Module 2 assignment yarn for The Journey of the Golden Fleece course that I am participating in through Wool Wench, Suzy Brown and Spin Artiste, Arlene Thayer. They are the team that offers this awesome course together!  Its an online course approx 10 months long. Its full of challenges, good info, friendships, and so much more. If your a spinner you must check out this course
This particular yarn pictured represents the how and whys I got started in raising first horses then sheep. The yarn itself is wool plied in Navajo ply to represent a lead line for horses. The long sheep locks that were spun in while doing the Navajo ply represent my sheep. Its adorned with leather hearts, turquoise, a small horse and a bouquet of horse tail. Ending with a clip on the lead line like yarn.
So much fun!!
 
So shearing season is near, first week in May. A workshop weekend is happening here in April with Suzy Brown from the Netherlands teaching. Joining her will be the ever so wonderful Arlene Thayer from Spin Artiste and 20 wonderful participants!At the end of April will be the CT Sheep and Wool Festival in Vernon CT
With the sheep and wool fest so near my concentration has been on spinning up handspuns of a variety of fibers and creating kits of my own design to be offered.
Spring is not here as of yet. Nor is there any signs of it. I'm so done this year with the frigid temps and the many snow storms. I try to look at it and say, well with such a bad winter maybe my fiber buddies grew and extra long fleece. Well, I can hope.
I hope Spring visits us all very soon. Until then, be warm, knit, spin and weave and dream of sunshine, the color green, blue skies and the smell of spring.
xo
 
 
PS I'm going to spill the beans on a little secret. I have been wanting to revise the Spinners Notebook that I offer for a while now. So I spoke to Ashly who shared in this project with me about revising it. Well, revision turned into redoing almost the entire book. It will have articles written by who I consider and value as some of the most talented and knowledgeable fiber artist in our community. We also have all brand new farms with their desired fiber to feature. We chose them all by their breed of fiber animal, their knowledge and their animal husbandry. The book is in the proofing stage but will be available by April. I know you will love what is in it. If you already own one we will sell the new info at a slightly discounted rate without the notebook for you to insert in your already existing book. So stay-tuned!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Join me on Facebook

So it's been so long since I have posted here. I'm finding it hard to find the time because I devote so much time to writing and posting on FB. I'm thinking of just changing over  to my pages there.  I'm under pamsfiber Pam Blasko and my farm page is Dream Come True Farm and Pamsfiber. I update daily.  Pics, sales, videos and stories can be found there.  With all my spinning and animal husbandry I'm not finding the extra time to write here. I'd love you to join me on FB it's a social media venue that seems to be working well for me. Making new friends, learning and sharing.   So come on over and join me there.   I will still occasionally post things of interest here, videos, learning tools and some important farm updates.     Hope I see you on FB!
xo

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

So much to tell, Golden Fleece Journey, new critters, shop updates, new friends!

Where do I start with what has been going on in the last 2 months? I have been happily busy here on the farm. A tiny bit of sadness visited us this past weekend so I guess we can start there and get it over with. We lost our sweetest sheep Hershey Kiss. She was 14 years old and a happy sweet sheep that loved me dearly. I know this for a fact by the way she stuck to me like my shadow whenever I was out in the barnyard. And I loved her as much. We had such a routine together daily.  Because of this I will miss her dearly. She showed no sign of illness of distress, I went out one morning and she was gone. Gone to greener pastures, a new flock with a new shepherd to care for her. I like to think she dyed of old age and it was quick and painless. It did seem that this was the case   RIP Hershey Kiss I will miss you dearly......

Now for happier subjects. We have 3 new sheep in our flock. Rosie the Finn, she is a lamb with a fleece to die for. 8 months old now, a sweetheart. She still acts like a lamb so she makes me smile quite often.

They there is Tomasina the Wensleydale 3 years old and Shira the Teeswater 3 year old. Tomasina is plain old sweet. Sweet as could be. She is a big girl with the biggest kindness eyes and lots of fleece. Accept for her size you wouldn't even know she was out there. Sweet. sweet, sweet. She allows me to pat her, give kisses and admire her curly fleece daily.

And Shira. Well I'm not sure how to explain Shira. She is a quick moving bull in a china cabinet!! A big sheep too, she makes me laugh daily with her crazy antics and her silly ways. But keep and eye on her. She'll knock you right over with her bull in the china cabinet movements. She doesn't mean it, its just who she is. Not a mean bone to her. She will allow kisses but at some point, enough is enough and she's done!

Both these girls are from an awesome breeder, Virginia from Yellow farm in NY
We visited her lovely farm, spent the night, talked fibery talk and enjoyed her critters including her Scotish Highlander cow, Bubbles!  If you have the chance google Yellow farm. These sheep are taken sunch wonderful care of and her breeding program is tops! Not to mention Virginia's Fiber arts talent...

So now to talk about the 2 new goat kids.   Tiny Tim and Mr. Bojangles. Tiny Tim has the best pygora goat fleece out there. He is giving Chip a run for best fleece!! Mr Bojangles, a character, a people person, a goat clown and sweet. They have added a lot of personality to the goat barn. Never a dull moment. My grandson Luke enjoys the goat games that they allow him to par take in.

So as you can see we've grown here at Dream Come True! Loving each and everyone of them   I'm blessed to be among such beauty each day. My Babydoll sheep don't quite know what to make of all the new family members but they have adjusted just fine. The llamas love the new company. And the ponies just shake their heads. Mike my DH just goes along with it all smiling. Its a wonderful life.

Ive started an on line course through Spin Artiste and Wool Wench, called The Golden Fleece. Its a wonderful spinning and weaving course that is opening my mind and getting my creative juices flowing. Its for 10 months and I'm in month 1. Looking forward to the many assignments that will come. I'm meeting people from all over the world! All in the course too. I think there is about 100 of us. What a cool thing to be involved with. We are keeping a journal on the entire course with samples and photos. There is a workbook that we receive pages of for each assignment called Modules every 6 weeks. We network, we share, its awesome. Part of the course is a circular loom made especially for the course, logo and all. Lots of thought and planning went into this course and these ladies are very busy working with all of us. This will be a large part of my work over the winter months that I'm looking forward to. I'm grateful to be involved in such creativeness. Ill share as we go along some of my work.

Hmmmmm, what else! as if this is not enough. I had over night guests that were passing through on their way to shows.Shepherdess  Kelly from Romney Ridge Farm in Maine. Who I call Master Dyer of yarns. You should see her work.  She  stayed a night on her way from a show. Girls night of yakking and wine drinking! Very Late!  It was nice to share some time with her. Check her yarns out on the net. She always has some awesome ideas for her yarns, patterns etc. Oh and did I mention her adorable artistic needle felting kits! Romney Ridge Farm, Maine

And there was Kathy Withers from Creative Designs by Kathy. She is an angora goat breeder. She was on her way to a show and spent the good part of a day and over night here. We spun, shared ideas, spun some more, spread her wonderful goat fleeces out all over my kitchen in bags, invited some of the girls over to make some fiber purchases! Great time, great angora fiber and a new friend for sure!

Earlier this year I participated in Spin Quest in VA. While there I visited a FB friend Candy and Bill. Calluna Farm. Candy is Shepherdess to Navajo Churro sheep, alpaca, horses a mini donkey and some beautiful chickens.  AND soon, Navajo goats will join her farm.  She is a talented fiber artist who shared her home, farm, ideas and fleece with such joy. We had an awesomely special time.

Our farm is having our annual OPEN HOUSE December 1 12-4pm. You can meet all the new critters and visit with the old one's, have a cup of hot cider, visit and meet new friends around the camp fire, shop our farm shop and visit with Mr. and Mrs Claus. Yes,  I said Mr. and Mrs. Claus!! Santa will be be here once again making a list and sitting for photos. Come on out and enjoy some good old fashioned farm fun.  A gathering of friends to bring in the holiday season. What could be better. We need gatherings like this just to remind us of the simple things in life that should be cheerished.

My weaving has taken off in a big way. That and my spinning are daily activities for me that I thoroughly enjoy.  Lots of both in the farm shop. Oh and Ashly from Ashlyannshands has brought me an entire new line of pottery for the shop. The shop is surely full with holiday gifts for all. Mike has some woodworking in it, I have woven wall hangings, shawls, scarves, hats, mittens, art yarn lariats, cowls are my big thing this year. Of course handspun yarns galore! So much color and texture when that shop door opens.   So come take a peek. Call anytime, email or FB for an appointment.   Or come to the open house. 12-1 12-4pm. We will also be open most Sundays through Christmas, but give a call to make sure we will be here. 203-218-0508

I took a saori weaving class that was awesome. I learned so much. It was so freeing to weave the saori style. I'm taking another in 3 weeks. Cant wait.

My studio is organized for the winter, so that is where you will find me most days. Spinning, weaving, creating, reflecting and enjoying life while I look out of the studio window on the second floor over the entire barnyard. A room with a view for sure.

Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday season with a grand New Year!

Woolly Hugs from all of us on Dream Come True Farm xo

RIP Hershey Kiss
 2012 Holiday Open
House! A gathering
of cheer!





 Some woven items in the
shop

 Handspun yarn galore!
 New Friends from
Virginia. A great
visit!
 Some hand knits
in the shop




                                  
So come on out on December 1 12-4 for our Open House Day here at Dream Come True Farm 82 Freeman Rd Oxford Ct. Or call for an appointment most anytime!  Hope to see some of you.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fiber Art Event Here On The Farm

Ive been spinning using wire and elastic as a core for a while now and I'm enjoying creating wearable fiber arts with this technique. I have been asked to have a class on the techniques so I have put together an event that will be a lot of fun here on the farm.   Click the link below for the details of this farm event and class.

https://www.facebook.com/events/250292428453791/







Sunday, October 13, 2013

Classes offered on the farm:

Fiber Art Days On The Farm class description. Hourly or full day experience
I teach spinning to beginners or to folks that are ready to go on to the next spinning experience:
beginner spinning 
art yarn techniques
 drop spindle spinning,
art batt carding
fiber board techniques
washing fleeces
carding and picking fleeces
dyeing fiber
beginner knitting
I can supply the drum carder, picker, wheels, drop spindles, fiber and pretty much everything needed if you're a newbie.
My fee is 35.00 an hour or 155.00 for a full day of classes on the farm which includes lunch.
I welcome and encourage you to bring your own fiber but I can supply fiber for an extra fee as well. I also have lots of fun add in's for purchase if needed. 
 So if you have an interest in learning to spin, a fiber arts technique or a particular art yarn technique that you need some help with, lets talk.
I will travel to your guild, shop or group. Cost depends on where and what your request are
 



             For more information email me or call the farm at 1-203-218-0508
                                                dctfyarns@aol.com


                                                    Give us a call!