27 12 2013



We had a couple of inches of snow and the weather has turned cold again.  I wonder how my friends in Ireland are as they were suppose to have winds up to 90 miles an hour and expected flooding.


I found this bag of alpaca that I have had for sometime.  I want to make some hats to sell and decided to spin up the whole bag.


 I am spinning it rather thick so it won’t take that long. Its a nice shade of brown.


I do love spinning on my Irish wheel. spinning brings one a sense of peace.  I good way to wind down from those busy days of the holidays.  I will be teaching a How To Spin Class at Sheep  soon.  


Today  my oil company is installing a new oil tank.  My old one was very rusty and old.  I want to get away from oil but  I have to say its nice not worry about heat and just switching it on but there is a cost to that luxury. This house is not easy to heat.  The kitchen is by itself and frequently has frozen pipes in the winter .  I have a wood stove in there and keep that going during the day and the oil picks up at night.  I have a pellet stove in the  diningroom but at the moment it need cleaning.  I hope Chris and I can do it and I can get that going.  Both those things require lots of work and time and money.   It would be nice if I could figure out a way to have one simple thing to heat the house with.  I have thought of a chimney going through the center of the house.  There was one there once but it was taken down.  A brick chimney running through the house and exposed may be the answer.  A Russian Fireplace comes to mind  but they are extremely expensive to build .  The Europeans have long know how to heat their homes with AGA stoves which heat the house and also heat hot water, I have looked into them and they cost around $5000, it would a good choice for the kitchen thought and then I would have hot water and no more pipes to freeze.  I think the pay back time would be quick.

 I am familiar with Ireland more than other countries, their cost for fuel is much higher than here in the states, of course ours are subsidized by the government.   Because we have always stayed in self catering cottages we have become very familiar with different heating and hot water systems.    Instant hot water was something that I found to be so efficient.  Why have we not done that in this country.  I know the systems are out there but if everyone had them imagine the savings .  My boiler runs all summer just to keep the hot water hot.  What a waste.  I do want to install that system in my house.  Everytime I go to Florida I am amazed at how few houses have solar on them.  It wouldn’t take long to get your money back on solar there.  Until oil goes up to maybe 5 or 6 dollars a gallon people don’t care.  So far this season I have spent 1000 dollars, I will get another delivery today with will be 250 gallons at 4 a gallon so about 1000 dollars, that will last for a month or 6 weeks depending on the weather.  I will spend over 3000  dollars in oil this year.  The wood was free gathered around here and pellets are about 240 a ton and I use 2 tons.  One system would be the answer.  Changes like that need a lot of thought.

I hope you are warm and cozy wherever you are in this world. I thank you so much for reading my blog today.   Carole


21 11 2013



Enjoy the sound of  the wheel.  This wheel makes one slow down.  It will not be spun fast, it must have a slow pace to spin the best yarn


I love my Irish spinning wheel. In the mid 90’s a trip was planned to visit James Shield of Carndonagh, County Donegal to pick up a spinning wheel.  The arrangements were made by calling James and ordering one, the butcher shop took the call and got James on the phone, he only lived across the street.  He told me to come along, he always had wheels going and I could pick the color of wood I liked.

I had found his name in a crafts book I had picked up on an earlier trip.  In the book were names of three people making wheels including James but sadly James was the  only one left making them.  Now I found out that he was the last Master Spinning Wheelwright in Ireland.

The shop was in the back of his house, a wonderful well light shop with wheel parts everywhere ready to assemble . I met his wife and son and had a delightful visit and picked out my wood.  My wheel happens to be made of a mahogany Church Pew.   He scoured the strands (beaches) for parts of boats and wood washed up on shore  Two days later my wheel was done and I had spent those two days enjoying the time touring the Inishowen Peninsula and would do that for longer periods again on other trips.  WHen I picked it up you could still smell the polish on the wood.  Another visit and I was wisked off to the top floor of the house to visit with their son weaving on a large loom. it took up the whole  room.  He was weaving to sell to the local store.  Beautiful work.

In those days you could bring anything on a plane, the bottom part and legs were packed in my suitcase but the wheel itself was too large for a suitcase so I brought in onboard and put it under the seat. James is gone now but on my next trip to Donegal I plan to stop in the shop and visit with his son.  Check out their website at








Mrs. Brown and I made a quick trip back to the vets to get some eye ointment and I watched Dr. COnnor give her the meds.  I was having such a hard time getting the meds into Hazel and Mrs. Brown.  I think I have got it now.  She is glad to be home.

Many thanks for taking the time to read my blog today and I hope you have a wonderful day.  Carole