Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

Just a quick note to say thank you for all your wonderful support this year and a very happy 2016 to you!

We are ending the year with a very exciting milestone - 100 likes on Facebook!  Our goal is to triple that by the end of 2016...if you are on Facebook, you can like us here!


Here is to a wonderful new year full of fun, growth and prosper!



Thanks! See you in the new year, friends!

Ash and Ric

Monday, December 28, 2015

Granny Chic a Week and Farmer and Maker Spotlights-

It is almost 2016!  Can you believe it?!  We are really excited about the new year and the opportunities that a new year brings.

We have a few fun series we will be working on to share with you all in the new year...

First, is our...




Granny Chic a Week!  We will be making a Granny Chic project each week next year and sharing the DIY with you!  Granny Chic is me all the way, so it is a fun way to share the things we love while dressing up the house (and maybe even myself....)


We are also going to start a once monthly series on...


We will interview a farmer or maker each month to get a glimpse into their work and passions to inspire all of us to do what we love!

And as always, we will fill in the gaps with what we are up to here at Fiberton Acres!  We can't wait to start sharing in the new year!

Happy New Year everyone!

Ash




Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays from Fiberton Acres!

We just wanted to say Happy Holidays to all our lovely folks out there!  We hope you all have a safe and joyous filled holiday season.


We have a LOT of fun stuff planned for the new year, so stay tuned!

Ash

PS - Here are a few of the other photos from our shoot with Rocky...


Look at that sky!  It started raining a little right after we came inside.   Ric is trying the 'hey look over here' hand signal...didn't really work. ;)


And if you have not seen it yet, you have to go to our Facebook page and check out this video of Rocky and Ric playing ball!  Too cute!


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Looking into the future - a.k.a. - New Year's Manifesto

As we wind down the year, I have been thinking about our new year ahead, as well as the hopes and goals for our business and lives.

But I can't set normal resolutions.  It is impossible to stick to them.  It makes me feel bad or make some excuse for why it was a stupid resolution when I don't stick to it.  A while back, I found another blog (which is sadly down right now) which they showed their beautiful manifesto for the new year.  It was perfect for me!


So I have tried each year since to create my own manifesto.  It is something to hang on the wall to remind us of things we want to try for or try out.  I love Google Drawing, so I went in and put this little ditty together, and we would love to share it with you.

I will be printing one on nice paper and hanging in the house where I can peek at it from time to time to remind myself of the things I want to do.

We hope it inspires you to think about things you'd like to do more of, try out or just the small things that make you happy that you want to infuse into your new year.

Ash

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Holiday sale at Fiberton!

It is definitely the holiday season!  This evening it even rained here on the Central Coast of Cali, which is kind of the closest we get to winter weather!  I wasn't sure I was ready for the cooler weather, but I broke out my big crazy bulky knit house socks and my sweaters and I am feeling pretty good about it now.  Plus, it is kind of the best time of the year to be in the fiber arts!



Speaking of which, we totally want to extend the fun and cheer to our awesome blog readers with a little sale at our Etsy shop. 

We already have a deal going right now that if you buy a hook or needle organizer, an upcycled project bag, or a ball of yarn you get a free hand carved crochet hook.  BUT...drumroll please...for all our awesome blog readers, we are offering free shipping! Just use the coupon code "secret" (wink wink) at checkout now until Dec 18th! Check out our shop here!

I have been working on new yarns which will be up on the shop tomorrow, as well as knitting some cowls with fibers we spun and lovely chunky buttons we made.

Drop spinning alpaca by the tree.

Knitting in the evening (note all the yarn related objects in the background...haha!)
We hope the season treats you well!  

Ash and Ric


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Welcome to Fiberton, Rocky and Adrian!

After a bunch of work on fencing and prepping for them, we are excited to announce the arrival of our new Shetland Sheep, Rocky and Adrian!



These two now have a nice big pasture to graze to their little hearts' content!  Here are a few quick and interesting facts about these guys:
  • Shetland Sheep are a Heritage Breed and are currently in recovery.  According to The Livestock Conservancy, Heritage breeds are traditional livestock breeds that were raised by our forefathers. These are the breeds of a bygone era, before industrial agriculture became a mainstream practice. Heritage animals once roamed the pastures of America’s pastoral landscape, but today these breeds are in danger of extinction.
  • Shetland sheep are fine boned and small in size. Rams weigh 90–125 pounds, and ewes weigh 75–100 pounds. Most rams have spiraled horns, while most ewes are polled. Shetland sheep are calm and charming in disposition, docile, and intelligent.  (They are so small and cute!)
  • The Shetland breed is especially prized for its wool, which is fine, soft, and strong. Fleeces average two to four pounds and vary in crimp from wavy to straight. (Yay!  It will be awesome for yarn!)




This is Adrain.  And guess what...we think she will be having a baby soon!


And this lovely chocolate brown guy is Rocky! He is so funny and playful!  And so protective of his gal.


They love their new home!  

It is a whole new experience getting sheep, but we are excited to learn all we can and work with these two little cuties!  Stay tuned for more soon!

Ash


Friday, November 20, 2015

Cottage Chic Crochet Stocking Tutorial

It is rounding the bend quickly (too quickly!) to the holidays, and I have been in full maker mode!  I recently made a crochet stocking that was inspired by vintage everything - colors, style, feel - basically anything that invoked a feeling of nostalgia for my Etsy shop. (As you may remember from a previous post.) And I thought, "Hey Ashley, you should share this pattern with the world!"




So this is just that!  Here is the tutorial here, but down at the bottom you can find the downloadable and printable pdf for your crocheting ease.

Fiberton Acres' Cottage Chic Stocking Pattern

Tools/Materials:

Size I Crochet Hook
1 Skein (~200 yards) worsted weight yarn (on the thicker worsted weight side) in color of your choice
Alternative for yarn: Use up your stash or small balls for striping or if you have thinner yarn, use two strands of yarn.

Abbreviations:

Ch: Chain
Sl: Slip Stitch
Sc: Single Crochet
Hdc:  Half double crochet
Dc: Double Crochet
Dc2tog: Double crochet 2 together for decrease
Cbl: Cable Stitch

The Pattern:

Note: This pattern is crocheted in the round until we reach the heel, then after the heel, you will resume crocheting in the round.

Step 1: Chain 3 and then slip stitch into first ch to create a loop.


Round 1: Ch 2 (this will act as first dc), dc 14 into loop, resulting in 15 dc. Sl st to join.


Round 2: Ch 2, dc into same stitch, then 2 dc into each around, sl st to join. 30 dc total.

Round 3: Ch 2, dc into same stitch, dc next stitch, *2 dc next stitch, 1dc into next 2 stitches*, continue from *  to last stitch, sl st to join. 41 stitches

Round 4: Ch 2, dc into same, dc to end, sl st to join. 42 stitches

Round 5: Same as Round 4.  43 stitches


At this point will have a little 'hat'.  This is the toe of the stocking. 



Round 6: Begin the crochet cable stitch.  Ch 2, 1 dc in next 2 so you have a total of 3 stitches like this:


Then wrap yarn as to dc, but reach back across all 3 stitches and insert hook into the last dc of the prior row and dc as normal.


Basically this will create  a cable look back across the last 3 stitches.  To continue, skip the next stitch, and dc in the next 3 stitches, as seen below.


Once again, wrap your yarn as if to dc, reach back to skipped stitch and finish dc.


Continue in this fashion to end of row, sl st to join.

Round 7: Dc across and sl st to join.

Rounds 8-10: Repeat rows 6 and 7. 

Heel: The heel is worked back and forth.  

Heel Row 1: Ch 2, Dc 19 stitches - 20 stitches total

Heel Row 2: Ch 2, dc 7 stitches, dc2tog twice, dc 8 - 18 stitches total

Heel Row 3: Ch2, dc 6, dc2tog twice, dc 7 - 16 stitches total

Heel Row 4: Ch 2, dc 5, dc2tog twice, dc 6 - 14 stitches total

Heel Row 5: Ch 2, dc 4, dc2tog twice, dc 5 - 12 stitches total


Your heel will look like this (above.)

Closing the heel: 

Turn wrong side out and fold in half as pictured below.



Then slip stitch closed and cut yarn.  I like to use a little Fray Check to make sure end won't come undone.


You should end up with a heel that looks like this:



Picking up stitches to continue in the round - a.k.a - Round 11:

Now we will pick up stitches around the heel and foot to make the ankle part of the stocking.  Starting at the seem of the heel, pick up and sc 8 stitches to corner.


At the corner, skip a stitch and continue to sc across.  Do the same when you reach the next corner, skipping a stitch, and then pick up and sc 8 and sl st to join.  


You should get back to your original 43 stitches. (Hey - don't panic if the numbers are not quite right! Just rip back a little and add a stitch or sc2tog to subtract a stitch to make up for it. But 43 is the magic number to get back to.)

Now we will resume the pattern! Yay!


 Rounds 12-25: Repeat rows 6 and 7


Round 26: Ch 2, dc around

Round 27: Ch 2, turn, dc around and sl st to join. (Here you will be dc-ing around in the opposite direction, which will create a nice fold for the cuff.)

Round 28 - Scalloped Edging: Ch 2, dc 6into same stitch, skip 3, *7dc into next stitch, skip 3*, repeat from * around to end, sl st to join.  


Finishing: Cut yarn and weave in ends and now only one thing left to do!  Make your loop to hang the bad boy from!



For the loop: Chain 20, turn and skip 2 ch, hdc across. Cut yarn and then sew in your desired location for the stocking to hang how you'd like.  

And tada!  A lovely cottage chic, vintage inspired stocking of your own!  Make the whole family one, or use it as a very special way to wrap your packages.  


Or, if this all sounds like a little more than you want to bite off, you can buy one at our Etsy shop here!

We hope you love this pattern as much as we loved making it!  And make sure to share your finished creations on Ravelry, or your favorite social media (use hashtag #fibertonstocking)

Ash



Monday, November 9, 2015

Jet's big debut...

TThe rabbits are starting to molt, which makes life rather hairy. (Get it? Hehe!)

I decided I'd better give Mr. Jet a trim, as he is having a little trouble with fur block like his mom. (Who, by the way, is doing much better! Her treatment worked and she is eating and drinking again like nothing happened.) 

But that little man would not sit still! See?

video


That's ok, at least he's cute!

Ash

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How is it already November? (AKA - Time to start the holiday crafts!)

Ok, ok, I know November has just begun, but in the crafting world it is totally time to get ready for the holidays!  And I have to admit, I am kind of having fun.

Little Leia also likes the colors I chose for the Autumn Bunting Banners...
I have started on new bunting banners for the holidays, including this one with Thanksgiving or Autumn colors.  Perfect for decorating your front door or your dining room for the holiday festivities.



I have also begun working on stockings.  I love the chunky, big, sort-of-pottery-barn stockings.  So I created my own pattern (which I will release soon) for a fun crochet stocking.




I am pretty happy with how it turned out!  I will be offering folks the option to choose whatever color they like that will match their home.

I have a few other holiday items on the hooks and needles I will show off soon!

Are you getting ready for the holidays at all yet?  Or are you like the hubby and think I am way too early?

Ash

Friday, October 30, 2015

Playing in dirt and prepping for winter-

It is most definitely Fall!  It has finally started to cool off, and it feels like it is time to begin chores to ready ourselves for the winter.  In our area, we hope the winter will bring more rain than usual, hopefully with a little help from El Nino.  That means weatherproofing, planting, etc.

Our friends at Vicarious Ranch have been in need of help to prepare for the rains, and I have been happy to help.  It has been a great deal of fun to play in the dirt, see all the farm animals, and learn more about the workings of farm life.  My part in the project involved fertilizing and mulching each tree, and then spreading compost down the rows between the trees. Then Mike came in with the tractor to till up the very hard earth and mix in the compost so they can plant peas as a cover crop.  I learned much about fruiting trees, as well as some of the timing involved in planting in our area. 

I am a helper!

At Vicarious Ranch, they are conserving water as much as is possible.  By mulching, water as allowed better absorption into the soil with less evaporation.  The cover crop will be watered by the rains and what the trees don't use.  And in turn, these peas will replace much needed nitrogen into the soil and can also be used as food for people and their animals.  Like these wooly pigs!  I couldn't help taking some pictures of the piglets...



Here at Fiberton, we are taking all the cues and pointers we can from our friends at Vicarious.  It has been inspiring to see what they are working on (as well as getting actual experience) and I am hoping to get our few beds readied for the winter and add a few more.  I would love to plant more of the greens that both myself and the rabbits love for the winter, and use this winter as an opportunity to learn our local growing season better.  

Speaking of the rabbits, this week Penny and Rory got their 3 month trims.  Look at this before and after!

Super fluffy Penny! 

Ok...so not a great haircut, but look how much smaller she looks!

This is a typical 'after grooming' scene.  I'm a bunny barber!

Sadly, Penny has taken a bit ill.  One of the things that angora rabbits can get is fur block or wool block.  Her trim was much needed not only to get the fiber off her for us to spin, but also because as it gets longer, the fur gets harder for them to pass and clogs their digestive tract.  Today I am starting her on some higher powered enzymes that can be found in papaya (papain) and pineapple (bromelain).  I usually give them some pineapple juice in their water to help maintain their digestive health, but Penny is at a point where eating and drinking are difficult for her, so we will be going with a strong enzymatic supplement mixed into a nutritional drink (the suggestion we have read about is using Ensure) and feeding it to her with a dropper, and keeping her on hay and greens.  Hopefully we will have her out of the woods asap.  More on her status soon!

What are you doing to prepare for winter?

Ash


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

After ZappCon Update-

We had a blast at ZappCon! Being that this was our first con to sell at, I wasn't sure what to expect.  But it was a blast!  We met tons of great people, got to see the funny and talented band, The Doubleclicks, had great food and drinks and sold some of our goods!

Here are a few shots from our weekend...

Ric at day one of the booth
View from our booth into the vendor hall. 
The Doubleclicks during their awesome performance.

After hours party with great beer at Tioga Sequoia Brewery
(not pictured is the awesome food-truck food from Meltdown Bistro.)

And a blurry pic of me on day 2.
End of day spontaneous dance party.

Being DJ'ed by Batman and Batman

We also met some of the other vendors...all of which are crazy talented!  I wish I could have bought a little something from all of them, but alas, we were only able to get a few things.
Our spoils! Our Doubleclicks coloring and activity book and sticker, an original signed comic of Tomorrow, a postcard with original artwork by Felicia Ann, 3 mini comics of Flaccid Badger by Cat Ferris and other random goodies!

I also got that cute little guy in the middle, called a Sickling by Yosiell Lorenzo.
We also promised our new email list folks to a giveaway!  The prize is this travel sized hook/needle/artist organizing roll...




And the winner is....according to the random number generator....drumroll....Brooke P!  Yay!

I had so much fun with this giveaway, that we will be doing these more often.  So stay tuned for more soon!

And thanks again to all the Zappers we met, and to the great staff who put on this well organized event.  We are already looking forward to next year!

Ash