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3 days ago

Soxophoneplayer

The are lots of deer on the farm. Early mornings in the grazing season there are often several grazing in the pastures when I take the sheep out early in the morning.

When Jonah and I walk out the back he usually runs about 100 yards ahead of me, waiting at trail intersections to see which way we will turn. Whatever deer are back there get spooked by Jonah and most often all I see is a few white tails disappearing into the deeper bush. This year we've often seen a group of 7 does of varying ages/sizes. But the other day is the first time we've seen a buck in several years.

This is a poor quality picture, but a miracle I was actually able to get my phone out of my pocket before he disappeared. That's because he ran part way up the hill but then stopped and faced us, and started walking toward us. Jonah froze instead of his usual chase. Before he got close enough for a better picture Jonah barked, and off the buck went into the spruce grove on the left.

The buck has a wide rack but only three points per side. That and his size - more like an older doe - I'd guess him to be 2 -3 yrs old.

Plentiful deer are problematic for crop farmers - particularly apple and corn in my area. And I know deer ticks can cause serious health issues in sheep.

Still, I always enjoy seeing them.
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The are lots of deer on the farm. Early mornings in the grazing season there are often several grazing in the pastures when I take the sheep out early in the morning.

When Jonah and I walk out the back he usually runs about 100 yards ahead of me, waiting at trail intersections to see which way we will turn. Whatever deer are back there get spooked by Jonah and most often all I see is a few white tails disappearing into the deeper bush. This year weve often seen a group of 7 does of varying ages/sizes. But the other day is the first time weve seen a buck in several years.

This is a poor quality picture, but a miracle I was actually able to get my phone out of my pocket before he disappeared. Thats because he ran part way up the hill but then stopped and faced us, and started walking toward us. Jonah froze instead of his usual chase. Before he got close enough for a better picture Jonah barked, and off the buck went into the spruce grove on the left.

The buck has a wide rack but only three points per side. That and his size - more like an older doe - Id guess him to be 2 -3 yrs old.

Plentiful deer are problematic for crop farmers - particularly apple and corn in my area. And I know deer ticks can cause serious health issues in sheep. 

Still, I always enjoy seeing them.

4 days ago

Soxophoneplayer

Lots of folks use up their leftover bits to make unique socks - some call them Scrappy Socks, some call them Frankensocks, and I'm sure many other creative names.

I call mine Eco Socks because I'm using up bits of yarn that might otherwise end up in the land fill. It's also a timely thing to do IMO, particularly with the rise in 'green awareness'.

I don't actually use random bits, and I also don't use each bit in its entirely, necessarily, Typically, I'll sort the different colours of bits from one kind of yarn on a table, and organize them in a sequence that I like and that is different from the sequence I used in a previous pair.

I look for my biggest scraps - which may be several small scraps from the same colourway - and I use that for the top, heel and toe of both socks in the pair - so in one way they are still 'a pair'.

Then for the leg and foot I knit 10 rows from each scrap, then switch to the next scrap in the sequence I've laid out. This (also) makes it easy to keep track of counting rows.

For me, Earth Day and Christmas season have been particularly good times to market these socks.

The frequent colour changes mean the socks take me a little longer to knit than working from a single skein, so I'm more inclined to knit them when I'm feeling 'caught up' with my inventory.
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Lots of folks use up their leftover bits to make unique socks - some call them Scrappy Socks, some call them Frankensocks, and Im sure many other creative names.

I call mine Eco Socks because Im using up bits of yarn that might otherwise end up in the land fill.  Its also a timely thing to do IMO, particularly with the rise in green awareness.

I dont actually use random bits, and I also dont use each bit in its entirely, necessarily, Typically, Ill sort the different colours of bits from one kind of yarn on a table, and organize them in a sequence that I like and that is different from the sequence I used in a previous pair.

I look for my biggest scraps - which may be several small scraps from the same colourway - and I use that for the top, heel and toe of both socks in the pair - so in one way they are still a pair.

Then for the leg and foot I knit 10 rows from each scrap, then switch to the next scrap in the sequence Ive laid out. This (also) makes it easy to keep track of counting rows.

For me, Earth Day and Christmas season have been particularly good times to market these socks.

The frequent colour changes mean the socks take me a little longer to knit than working from a single skein, so Im more inclined to knit them when Im feeling caught up with my inventory.

Comment on Facebook

They are lovely! Will you have some at the market Saturday?

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6 days ago

Soxophoneplayer

I've seen many variations of tagging socks for sale, and over the years tweaked my method until I arrived at what works best for me.

The most important information to give a shopper: is this my size? and, how much does it cost? The unasked question: what do the socks look like?

The first two questions I answer with a small (1/2") price tag that I get in bundles of 50 from Staples. Size, and Price. (In my photo sample there is no price because its a bespoke pair.)

I will also add in small print at the top of the tag if there is some key feature: I'll print 'Beaulagh' if the socks are from her special yarn. Or 'joboba' if the sock yarn has joboba oil in it. Or 'Premium Merino' if its 100% merino. Regular shoppers know the absence of anything printed at the top means the sock is a wool/nylon blend.

The unasked question - I answer by limiting my visual obstruction of the sock to the 1/2" tag instead of interrupting the view with a huge label. A large display of socks with big labels, to me, looks like I'm selling labels, not socks.

Of course additional info needs to be readily available, and this I have on a business card sized label (Avery clean edge business card blanks from Staples or elsewhere). I place the tag between the tops of the legs, just under the cuff. This gives more precise fiber content, washing instructions and personal branding. (If the size or price point aren't what a shopper is looking for, the additional info is irrelevant.)

If the fiber is from my own sheep I'll use a photo of the sheep on the tag. If not, I use a picture of the circular sock knitter.

I attach the tags using a short piece of scrap yarn and run it through the two tags with a darning needle. The tied yarn goes only through the legs, so the sock can be opened out for further inspection.
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Ive seen many variations of tagging socks for sale, and over the years tweaked my method until I arrived at what works best for me.

The most important information to give a shopper: is this my size? and, how much does it cost? The unasked question: what do the socks look like?

The first two questions I answer with a small (1/2) price tag that I get in bundles of 50 from Staples. Size, and Price. (In my photo sample there is no price because its a bespoke pair.)

I will also add in small print at the top of the tag if there is some key feature: Ill print Beaulagh if the socks are from her special yarn. Or joboba if the sock yarn has joboba oil in it. Or Premium Merino if its 100% merino. Regular shoppers know the absence of anything printed at the top means the sock is a wool/nylon blend.

The unasked question - I answer by limiting my visual obstruction of the sock to the 1/2 tag instead of interrupting the view with a huge label. A large display of socks with big labels, to me, looks like Im selling labels, not socks.

Of course additional info needs to be readily available, and this I have on a business card sized label (Avery clean edge business card blanks from Staples or elsewhere).  I place the tag between the tops of the legs, just under the cuff. This gives more precise fiber content, washing instructions and personal branding. (If the size or price point arent what a shopper is looking for, the additional info is irrelevant.)

If the fiber is from my own sheep Ill use a photo of the sheep on the tag. If not, I use a picture of the circular sock knitter.

I attach the tags using a short piece of scrap yarn and run it through the two tags with a darning needle. The tied yarn goes only through the legs, so the sock can be opened out for further inspection.Image attachment

Comment on Facebook

Mr Soxophone you do such a beautiful job with your socks! Thankyou for sharing!

I agree with you on the labels. People want to open the sock and see the entire sock. Not to wonder what is under the band on the socks. Very nice.

Love this! Your socks always look so good it's great they get to be front and center!

Great idea!

I like your thinking on labeling. Do you sell your yarn?

very nice

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2 weeks ago

Soxophoneplayer

Setting up for the Owen Sound Fine Craft Show, which ran Friday through Sunday.

First pic is getting the skeleton of my booth done.The is a heavy duty tent, adaptable for indoor and outdoor use. (The outdoor version has curved roof trusses in addition to the 'box' frame. I bought this from www.flourishdisplays.com, first as an outdoor booth, then later adding components to allow indoor booths of 10 x 10 and 10 x 20.

(Many years ago while my daughter and I were setting up a pop-up tent at an outdoor show a storm moved in. Every tent except one blew to smithereens. One tent was completely in tact and everything inside it was completely dry. My daughter ran over an looked at the label on that tent - Flourish Company!)

The white covering on the back wall is a heavy duty mesh, which also goes on the side walls. On top of the mesh goes a fabric, in my case, black. You use curtain hooks and pierce through the fabric into the mesh which is sturdy enough to hold a fair bit of wait and prevents the fabric from sagging/tearing.

The fabric that goes over top, as well as my table coverings are certified fire resistant. Some of the bigger shows require these certificates as a condition of acceptance.

The second picture is of the almost completed set up. I wasn't quite finished with the back wall but took the shot while I was thinking of it. Sometimes (lots of times) I forget to take final shot and I like to have them for reference.

Set up time from arrival to show-ready was about 4 hours. Take down and loading the car was 2 1/2. I never use this for a one day show, but for a multi day show, indoors or out, this simply can't be beat IMO.
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Setting up for the Owen Sound Fine Craft Show, which ran Friday through Sunday.

First pic is getting the skeleton of my booth done.The is a heavy duty tent, adaptable for indoor and outdoor use. (The outdoor version has curved roof trusses in addition to the box frame. I bought this from www.flourishdisplays.com, first as an outdoor booth, then later adding components to allow indoor booths of 10 x 10 and 10 x 20. 

(Many years ago while my daughter and I were setting up a pop-up tent at an outdoor show a storm moved in. Every tent except one blew to smithereens. One tent was completely in tact and everything inside it was completely dry. My daughter ran over an looked at the label on that tent - Flourish Company!)

The white covering on the back wall is a heavy duty mesh, which also goes on the side walls. On top of the mesh goes a fabric, in my case, black. You use curtain hooks and pierce through the fabric into the mesh which is sturdy enough to hold a fair bit of wait and prevents the fabric from sagging/tearing.

The fabric that goes over top, as well as my table coverings are certified fire resistant. Some of the bigger shows require these certificates as a condition of acceptance.

The second picture is of the almost completed set up. I wasnt quite finished with the back wall but took the shot while I was thinking of it. Sometimes (lots of times) I forget to take final shot and I like to have them for reference.

Set up time from arrival to show-ready was about 4 hours. Take down and loading the car was 2 1/2. I never use this for a one day show, but for a multi day show, indoors or out, this simply cant be beat IMO.Image attachment

Comment on Facebook

Your set up and finished look is so inviting. I helped Pat Fly set up once (and take down) and it was quite the job. Like you, she knew just how and where everything should go.

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3 weeks ago

Soxophoneplayer

Its not every year there's enough pasture, or not too much snow, to be grazing into the 4th week of November. The snow has come and gone twice, but not enough to restrict grazing, and the dry semi-sunny weather the last few days have been a bonus.

The days are shorter, of course, and the coyotes plentiful, so the grazing day is shorter and the flock chows into round bales of hay when they come in before dusk.

A couple of close up pics - Beauregard (with the horns) - the wether Cormo x Shetland - and his his friends. And in the last pic, three Wensleydale x Gotland lambs born in May this year.
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Its not every year theres enough pasture, or not too much snow, to be grazing into the 4th week of November. The snow has come and gone twice, but not enough to restrict grazing, and the dry semi-sunny weather the last few days have been a bonus.

The days are shorter, of course, and the coyotes plentiful, so the grazing day is shorter and the flock chows into round bales of hay when they come in before dusk.

A couple of close up pics - Beauregard (with the horns) - the wether Cormo x Shetland - and his his friends. And in the last pic, three Wensleydale x Gotland lambs born in May this year.Image attachmentImage attachment

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❤️

Beautiful peek into your sheep’s lives.

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