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Brighton Wool and Honey Co.

Fresh from the Farm

Month

October 2015

The Farm in Fall

All over Northeastern Ohio, the fall colors are exploding and bursting out … and the farm is no exception.

fall tree

This morning was the perfect time to take a stroll through the pastures to see what everybody was up to and to enjoy the scenery.

Farm in Fall

I’m not sure the alpacas were happy to see me.

Alpacas

Do those look like welcoming faces to you?

Or how about these two?

Young Alpacas in the Fall

I’m sensing attitude here. I’m not feelin’ the love.

So I moved on to the chickens. Chickens never give me attitude. They are, after all, chickens.

chickens

They spent their time ignoring me.

But I persevered. I was determined to find someone who was happy to see me on this fine fall day. It didn’t take long.

scarecrow

He’s the strong, silent type.

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Fall In Full Color

It’s true, Vermont and the rest of New England may get most of the glory this time of year. But I’m here to say, Northeast Ohio, you’ve got nothin’ to be ashamed of!

Spruce trees at a distance

Sure, sure … Summer can get stinkin’ hot and humid. Winter is grey and filled with snow (not that that’s a bad thing). Spring is mud. Lots and lots of mud.

But Autumn. Ahhh, Autumn in Northeast Ohio is filled with beauty.

Orange tree in fall

And one of the most beautiful places around is Holden Arboretum in Kirtland.

Peaceful

So many colors. Everywhere you look you think, “Now that’s my favorite view.” Then you turn around and say it again, looking in the other direction.

tree roots

But one of the best views is from the brand new Emergent Tower.

View from the  Top

The tower takes you 120 feet into the air, above the tree tops.

The Climb

And yes, I will admit to a bit of trepidation on my part as I climbed higher and higher. My life didn’t exactly flash before my eyes, but it may have meandered. And to my fellow acrophobia sufferers, I’m here to say, Let. It. Go.

The climb is worth it. The views of Lake Erie alone are worth it.

And as long as you’ve decided to live on the edge, make sure you do the Canopy Walk too.

swinging bridge

The Canopy Walk is 500 feet of swinging walkway, elevated 65 feet above the forest floor. Once you get into a rhythm, it’s kind of fun to be swaying with the trees, looking down on squirrels and other animals hanging out on the safety of the ground.

I would highly recommend a trip to this beautiful place before the leaves leave. You won’t regret any amount of time spent here.

Take that New England!

reflection

holden

Spinzilla Continues

Oh Spinzilla week, I had great plans for you.

In my head, I was going to sit down every free hour of every day this week and spin, spin, spin. I was going to spin like my life depended on it.

What’s that famous quote about the best laid plans of mice and men? I’m here to tell you that you can apply it to roving and women as well!

That’s not to say I haven’t spun at all. Because I have. Just not as much as I wanted to.

single ply alpaca roving
single ply alpaca roving

I have about 200 yards of brown and black alpaca spun. And really, it was like spinning butta! Smooth and soft. It’s  beautiful and I’m enjoying every minute of it — what few minutes there are!

black and brown alpaca roving
black and brown alpaca roving

This is roving from the farm’s own alpacas. I plan to go out to the barn tomorrow and thank each and every one of them. They grew very nice fiber and I think someone should thank them!

alpacas

Thank you!

Tomorrow, I start on this fiber.

Colorful roving
Colorful roving

This vibrant fiber is a mix of merino wool, silk, bamboo and alpaca. All hand dyed. All stunning on its own. I can’t wait to see how it will look spun into a mixed yarn.

My wheel is ready.

Louet Spinning Wheel
Louet Spinning Wheel

She was starting to squeak a bit (an overuse injury?), but I got her all oiled up and she will be ready for business.

The yarn she makes will be available at the Cleveland Flea this Saturday if you’re in the market for some handspun deliciousness.

Spinzilla Has Begun

Welcome to Spinzilla week. Never heard of it? It is a monster of a fiber spinning week. Here’s the skinny:

spinzilla-sm-icon

Spinzilla is a world-wide spinning event where competing teams and individuals challenge each other to see who can spin the most yarn in a week. There are 1,754 registered spinners this year. The goals are:

  • To raise awareness about the joy of spinning yarn by hand
  • To empower spinners to spin more
  • To connect spinners globally and locally
  • To support small business
  • To endow educational programs for the spinners and weavers of tomorrow
  • To spin enough yarn to reach around the globe in five years!

Officially, Spinzilla started at 12:01 this morning. Call me lazy, but I did not get up to ring in the week. I was sound asleep, resting by treadle foot, and mentally preparing for some early morning spinning. So after a shot of caffeine, in the form of ice tea, I am ready to start.

cvm roving

Bring on the alpaca. Bring on the mohair and CVM. No bamboo or silk or Merino is safe during Spinzilla. I’ll spin yarn full of “bling”. And yarn in natural colors. Thick yarn. Thin yarn. I’ll blanket the world in yarn!

art batts

Or, more realistically, I’ll spin about six or seven nice skeins of yarn. I was caught up in the moment there for a minute!

My goal is to spin at least two hours every day for the duration of Spinzilla, which ends on Oct. 11th.

You can follow along the whole Spinzilla revolution on Ravelry or FacebookAnd I’ll be blogging about it here and on our own Facebook page.

spinning wheel

But now, my wheel is calling.

I’m going in.

Upcoming Shows & Special Events

fall colors

Welcome to October!

If you’re like me, you’re shaking your head wondering where Summer went and how exactly did October get here already. Wasn’t it just the Fourth of July?

We’ve had a great Summer, meeting so many new people at a variety of farmers’ markets, craft fairs and special events. And we have a full schedule going into Fall and Winter. We look forward to seeing you at the following markets and special events:

Countryside Farmers Market

Howe Meadow, Peninsula.

This is a beautiful, vibrant, outdoor producers-only market managed by Countryside Conservancy. We’re here every Saturday, from 9 a.m. – noon, through October 31st,  before we move indoors to Old Trail School, November 7, 14 & 21 and December 5, 12 & 19.

mums

Cleveland Bazaar at Winterfest 

Saturday, November 28th, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Cleveland Bazaar is northeast Ohio’s longest-running independent craft show. Join us on Small Business Saturday at the beautiful 5th Street Arcades in Cleveland for a fantastic DIY, craft, art, truly wonderful show.

That’ll Do Farm Holiday Open House

Sunday, November 29th, noon – 5 p.m.

Bring your camera for this one! Meet the alpacas. Say hello to a goat or two. Tour the barn and stock up on alpaca socks. If you’ve always wanted to pet an alpaca, you won’t want to miss this open house.

Cleveland Bazaar on Coventry

Saturday, December 5th, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

We’re hanging out at another location for this week’s Cleveland Bazaar. We’re heading to the East Side and Coventry Village in Cleveland Heights. Cleveland Bazaar is always a fun time and we’re excited to be in this eclectic neighborhood.

Cleveland Bazaar Holiday Show

Saturday & Sunday, December 12th & 13th , 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

This will be our second year at this show. We had so much fun last year! We were next to the wonderful people of The Sweet Spot and were willing samplers of their outstanding gelato. It was a tough job, but we were up to the task. The 78th Street Studios, on West 78th Street, is a great place with so many talented artists. Don’t miss this one!

Last Minute Market 

Saturday, December 19th, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Our second year at this show, too, except this year, the show is moving to the Galleria at Erieview in beautiful downtown Cleveland. The Last Minute Market is a curated, one-day marketplace of modern art and craft. More than 100 jury-selected artists and craftspeople from Cleveland and across the rust belt region will have their best work on display, just in time for all those people on your Christmas list you forgot about!

We’re working on adding a few more shows to our schedule, and once we have all the details worked out, we’ll let you know. Please plan on coming to see us at at least one of these great venues. It’s an opportunity to avoid the big box stores this holiday, support local, small businesses, and – the icing on the cake – find a unique gift you know will be perfect for those on your list.

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