Thursday, October 10, 2013

Juniper Moon CSA Shares

This year I became a CSA share holder in Juniper Moon, an organic, no-kill farm that produces yarn and fiber from humanely-treated sheep and goats. I first read about Juniper Moon in Country Living magazine, and it's exactly the sort of enterprise I like to support. Also, I just thought it would be cool to get some yarn directly from the source.

In return for investing in the farm I receive a share of their clip, which arrived last week:



The wool is a lovely creamy white, and still smells like the sheep at the farm (this is because while it's beautifully milled it's not washed, and arrives with all the lanolin still intact.) To get it ready for my project, I had to first wash it in some Dawn and rinse with vinegar:



Once the skeins were clean they fluffed up quite a bit, as you can see from when I put them out on the back porch to dry:



After drying them in the sunshine I then began winding them up into balls (for crocheting it's easier for me to work with a ball versus a skein):



Now every morning I'm using my yarn to work on a holiday project. Crocheting is something I can usually do without thinking about it, especially if I use a simple, in-the-round pattern that I can easily memorize. This also gives me time/space to think about the current WIP and all my other writing projects, or just relax and think about nothing at all.

As you might guess with my crabby fingers it's slow going, but that's fine; I'm in no hurry. The wool is amazingly light and has a very smooth hand, and while now and then I have to pick out a stray dark hair or a tiny bit of grass it's been a lot of fun to use. As to what I'm making, you'll have to wait and see, but here's one block to give you a hint:

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful yarn! It looks very soft and I do love working with soft rather than stiff yarns. How exactly does one go about investing though, beyond simply buying their merchandise? Or is that what you meant?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can invest in the farm by purchasing a CSA share from their online shop here: http://www.fiberfarm.com/shop. Shares are available in half, full or double (which works out to 3, 6 or 12 skeins of wool once they've sheared the sheep and milled the wool.) Please note that there is no monetary return on the investment; you simply get yarn. The yarn must also be washed after it arrives as I noted in the post.

      If you'd rather not invest in CSA share and wait a year for the wool, you can also purchase their yarn from various shops that carry their line (and to find one that is near you, visit this page: http://www.fiberfarm.com/our-yarns). Either way you're supporting a wonderful venture that provides ethically-produced yarns, sustains animals who are treated humanely, and employs some really lovely people.



      Delete
  2. Fran K9:30 AM

    What a wonderfully novel way to receive yarn. It must be a smug moment, standing there soaking your investment - so to speak. I think your square looks great and envy you as I find crochet such an alien operation for my hands. I think after years of knitting learning crochet puts it all on its end and my hands ache so much when I try, I just haven't mastered the knack. I may go back and try again after I've finished my first quilt sampler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to give up knitting a few years ago for the same reasons, Fran -- I just couldn't hold a knitting needle with my left hand anymore. Crochet was always easier for me, too, because my grandmother taught me to do it when I was a little girl and it doesn't require as much two-handed dexterity as knitting. I miss knitting, but I'm glad I can still make a few things every year with crochet. Love yarn too much to give it up!

      Delete
  3. Very cool that you've invested in such a worthwhile company, and oh, that yarn looks so creamy and soft. Love the pattern in your square, it will make a beautiful...afghan?
    Other than knitting socks, crochet is my preference. My granny taught me when I was a kid, then I started collecting the hooks. Over the years I've gathered them from antique shops, thrift stores, estate sales, and many times in my travels I've found some very old and unique ones, made from a variety of materials. Weird, the things that strike our fancy... ;D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love old hooks, although my grandmother's are so fragile now (she used the tiny wooden kind) I can only admire them. It would be a wonderful item to collect. :)

      Delete
  4. Looks like an afghan! Lovely wool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It made a nice-size lap blanket, I think. I was tempted to add some different yarns to it to make it bigger, but the Juniper Moon farm wool is so soft and lovely I don't think anything commercially-milled can pair well with it.

      Delete
  5. Ooh, lovely wool! I taught myself to crochet a couple of years ago with the help of Youtube. It's wonderfully relaxing, isn't it? I can't find my way around a pair of knitting needles at all, but crochet is very soothing in its mindlessness. Plenty of time, as you say, to think about other things or nothing at all. Plus there's something so satisfying about working with your hands. I'm a quilter too, but most of that's done on the machine, which is a different kind of experience. Looks like you're making a blanket? Or maybe a bag? Have fun, whatever it is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is very different from quilting, Marina, and yet satisfying as you say in another sense. I have a real emotional connection with crochet, as that was my grandmother's favorite craft, and working on something with yarn always brings back many happy memories of her making hats for me or showing me how to make squares.

      Delete