Saturday, December 3, 2016

Tennessee County Fair: Sheep


they were so sweet! They loved the attention
When the county fair came to our area September of this year, we went on a Friday on one of the hottest days ever (or so it felt like it was the hottest day ever... I dislike the humidity here very much.) and stood in line waiting to get tickets, when we did we hurried through the gate and the whole crowd walked to the left where all the food, rides and concerts were taking place and only a very small handful of people (including us) walked to the right...

 As we turned right you can smell that familiar smell that only a farm would smell like, dust particles were flying everywhere and instead of grass there was a thick layer of hay and dirt one had to wear boots to walk on, then you heard it... "Baaaaahhhhh.... Baaaahhhhhhh"  

 Ah, yes. The best part of the fair was right here, the sheep judging was about to commence and we arrived right on time.

 The smell of wool is the most amazing scent to me, seeing bags of raw wool on display as they were being judged made my fingers itchy to touch and spin them into something amazing, hearing the judges muttering what they thought about each fleece was intriguing and watching the judging while both young and old showed off their best in hopes they will leave with that coveted blue ribbon.

 I watched intently the judging to learn something, anything, as I want to show like they are showing to produce the best sheep so they may produce the best fleece! 

 I looked around the stands and besides my husband and myself there were only 10 people in the stands. I wanted to run to where the rides and concerts were taking place and speak in the Mic. " Do you not know what you are missing????" But I forget, not everyone is as passionate about wool as I am. Ah, well. Their loss!

 I watched everything and asked questions and at the same time I was knitting up a cabled hat for a friend with my own hand spun yarn, a fitting place to knit wool yarn don't you think?  

 One day I will be up there not just in our local county fair(s), but in many state fairs and I will learn and improve and we will provide the best quality wool because we will raise happy and healthy sheep.

  ... One day.   



Home is where the heart is

Thank you for joining us in our adventure like no other!
It has been almost 3 months since my last post concerning knitting or anything fiber related and 6 months since anything about our land we were waiting to move on, so I wonder what kind of post this will be?

 We are finally Home!!!!

 Do you not know how long we have been waiting for this? We purchased our property back in April but it was bare of any home, electricity, sewage or running water. It was just used to keep cattle on and the last time there was a home on it was maybe back in the late 40's if I remember correctly.

 We have been waiting because my parents were also going to move onto the land and their house needed to be built in order for us to move our fifth wheel trailer there to connect certain utilities up to. We purchased our '93 Jayco on Craigslist for $2,000 and we have been living in it for about a month.  
husband took off some of the wall in the slideout and replace it

 When we first purchased the trailer it was dirty in the inside and some of the siding came off and there was minimal water damage and some old mold here and there. After chatting with Dustin about it I said, "Well, we want to save money and you want to homestead. This could be our first project fixing it up!", after consulting with my dad who (along with my mom) went with us to check it out and found that it was actually very sturdy and sound (just needed some lovin'), we decided to make this Saved By the Bell era trailer our temporary home until we build our permanent dream home!

Let me go back and reminisce all that has happened when we first moved to our Home...

a break after cleaning rented house
 Packing up the rental house we stayed in for the past, almost, 2 years was quite easy as we didn't have much anyways but the cleaning... phew! That was a different story. We wanted to be a blessing to our amazing landlord who has shown us so much grace and mercy the very first 2 months moving in...

 When we first moved to Tennessee, Dustin worked in his new job merely a month and a half when he was let go to our shock. We were very nervous and somewhat afraid because we barely knew our surroundings, we had zero family in the area and we were just getting to know new people, so we were somewhat alone when this happened. We were afraid we would have to already move out of our home, so Dustin talked to the landlord feeling helpless and embarrassed that we just moved in and now we were about to move out on a year lease.   
My hottie loading a uhaul truck

 Our landlord was very compassionate and empathetic with what we were going through he said, "I will lower the rent $100 until you get back on your feet. Just let me know when you have a permanent job and we can raise it back to what was agreed upon."  The relief was so stupendous I broke down crying in deep gratitude. 

When Dustin found a better job than he did when we first moved here (he is still there today and they are so good to him!) we immediately told our landlord and before we even called we were so excited to raise our rent back to the original price! 

We were so happy we couldn't wait to raise the rent on ourselves. HeeHee!

Another blessing to have such a wonderful landlord was when my parents decided to leave California and make Tennessee home they were wondering where they would live. We asked our landlord if they may stay until we found a permanent home and he, AGAIN, was so understanding he agreed.

 When we cleaned that house we didn't just clean... we SCRUBBED and made it glisten and so clean you can drag your tongue across the floor of that house without getting a lick of dirt! We also had Sadie Girl (our large labrador) and you wouldn't even know we had a dog in that house.... Another blessing was when we first  looked at the house we didn't know he didn't want pets, so when he met with us the very first time we had sadie in the car. He was a little hesitant but after meeting Sadie girl for the first time, he fell head over heels in love with her (that pup knows how to make any person love her) and immediately took the "NO PETS" off the lease and there was no fee for her!

Stayed in a hotel for 3 days until my parents home was ready

  When we moved our furniture we (meaning Dustin and I) had to do it all ourselves (except unloading, we had a friend help us do that). Let me say something about my man... he is a genius.

 He loaded the whole house so quickly (I helped with small items) with large furniture he was not just the hulk but he was also the Brain using ingenuity to move very heavy items from the house to the truck and played some "tetris" with every item packing everything snug to make room for more if needed.    
My Viking man fixing bottom of trailer

We moved a 3 bedroom/2 bath home into a 5x10 storage unit and into a 32' trailer. We really purged what was not needed and what could easily be replaced.

 I love living small. I love our tiny kitchen, tiny living area and small bedroom (our Queen mattress fits perfectly). I love the simplicity of our lives now. Don't get me wrong, I do want a nice size home (i'm still not sure if farmhouse or cabin style yet) but it's nice to remind ourselves that big doesn't always mean better. I feel more peace living in our tiny home than I did when we rented a large home! Crazy, isn't it?

 Before moving in, my husband has been working fortifying the trailer, sealing leaks, ripping out some of the interior walls to kill any small mold issues and adding insulation and re-paneling... When I moved in I cleaned whatever needed to be cleaned, and began putting items away playing my own kind of tetris, such as, where to put my spinning wheel and fiber goodies, ALL our clothing, and many other needed and desired items (i'm still in shock how much room this trailer has!), Dustin told me after we moved in, "Wow, what a woman's touch can do to a place. When I came everyday it was so dull and lonely in here. It just felt like I was coming to fix something that wasn't mine yet. It was cold and lifeless. Then you moved in and made your presence known with the way you fixed everything up and the way you decorated and just you here brought this trailer to life... It's no longer just a trailer, it's a home. And a home I can't wait to come back too after work." That absolutely made me teary and happy!
First breakfast in our little home!

We had our first Thanksgiving on our land there. My parents were on the road so it was just Dustin and Sadie girl and myself. But I wasn't going to let that small area and very tiny oven stop me from making that Thanksgiving a memorable one...

A man and his dog on his land
We went to Costco and got a 12 pound turkey ( perfect size to fit in the oven and fridge), I purchased stuffing package and all the trimmings to add into the stuffing, turkey and to make gravy from scratch. I also purchased what I needed to make pumpkin and apple bread.   

Night before Thanksgiving I cooked for over 3 hours prepping and dicing and cutting and stuffing and glazing. After I prepped the turkey I looked out our kitchen window and saw 16 wild turkeys pecking away near a large water bucket we put out there for the wild animals as our pond dried completely up as East Tennessee has had a horrible drought. For a second I thought, "Sorry about your couins, turkeys." He was delicious. Ha Ha!

For about a month I just could not STAND the design of the interior walls. It looked like Saved by the Bell had a party in there and the 90's stayed plastered on the walls. I needed a solid cottage color. after a week of contemplating what kind of color I wanted I researched the best kind of primer for the walls (Gripper brand just in case anyone was wondering) and went to home depot and purchased a Cottage color from Behr. I started my project, Dustin liked what I was doing, grabbed the brush from my hand and decided to complete it.

 Hey! I'm not going to argue, if he wants to paint, by all means go ahead! Heehee!    
Choosing a color for the walls

 Anyways, fast forward to now...

It's December which means it is the most wonderful time of the year... Christmas! 

Each year I love going to get a tree from an amazing family-oriented Christmas tree place called Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm that we enjoy going to now every year to either cut our own tree or pick up one already cut.  But this year I thought there would be no way we could pick a full size tree and place it inside our home. I was really sad because we don't know when we will build our dream home so that meant for a few Christmas's we wouldn't be able to put a tree in our tiny home.

 I was thinking of getting a table top tree but after some eyeing a certain area of the living area and measuring I thought, "I will make this happen... we will have a tree no matter what!"

Perfect size tree, perfect color for walls!
 We made sure to get a tree that was not taller than my husband and perfect height would be my height (i'm about 5'4) and skinny as possible.

 We went to the tree farm and guess what? We found the perfect tree! We decorated it with Christmas Jazz on the background and Sadie girl watching curiously as Dustin did the lights first (that is HIS job and I love that he is so uncompromising on that and that he delights in the simple things like Christmas time... our children will cherish that in a father.) and I made french toast with bacon and coffee in santa cups with marshmallows!    

 Our dreams is starting to become a reality but also we realized what we thought were big dreams are nothing but that the simple things we are working toward and we are living in now are what dreams are made of! We are blessed, we are safe, we are secure, we are full of joy, full of thanks and full of hope!

First night moving in Dustin was fixing a leak. Such a hard worker!

Fried apples for our first breakfast. Yummm!

First night at our home we drove half a mile to be with our community of fellow believers to worship around the campfire

Sadie girl and I enjoying a view of our land after or walk
Spinning from the lock in my little home!

We get our drinking water from a local park that has a nonstop flowing fountain of fresh spring water!

Merry Christmas from the Edberg Clan to you!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My first time knitting

I'm a crocheter. I've been crocheting for over 3 years going to a class at a community college in El Cajon, CA. My teacher MaryAnne was AMAZING! She made me excited to crochet and she was assisting the head teacher over the whole class (both crochet and knitting were being taught at the same time) by Athena who took over the knitting section.

 I really enjoy crocheting because it is extremely easy and forgiving if you make a mistake (just rip it out until you reach the stitch you messed up on and continue from there) and crocheting small items, like flowers, is fast and easy... but... I really did NOT like the bulky look a crochet item gives in wearable items like as sweater or gloves or head wear.

 I did crochet a sweater for Dustin which took me over 2 years to make because it was so extremely easy I was easily bored! Ha Ha!

This pattern is from Red Heart and it is called: Father Pullover  It is extremely easy to create and VERY warm (if using Red Heart Yarn I started out with 2 years ago).

 The only knitting I have ever done in my life was about 3 years ago I was sitting in our teeny tiny 2 bedroom apartment in Honolulu, Hawaii (just minutes walk to the beach and 3 min drive to Waikiki! For some that was paradise, but i'm a country girl... I thought at the time I thought we were going to live in Hawaii forever that I wanted to move to the country side of the island which would be from Mililani to North Shore.) and all I did was cast on and what I thought was 1 row... oh my goodness... I didn't know a knit from a purl and just went with what I thought was knitting... Oh dear... Hahahaha!

 Just over 2 weeks ago I had to try knitting. I wanted to learn to spin sock yarn and not just list for sale but to knit socks for my beloved husband as he works on our land to keep his feet warm and dry and for me and other loved ones as well.

 So I had leftover yarn I purchased from Walmart 4 years ago (I wasn't going to use my hand spun yarn. Haha I put a lot of work in that! I needed some practice yarn first before I try my hand at knitting my spun yarn.) and looked up youtube videos on the basic knit and purl and I began to practice. After 2 rounds of immediately understanding I had some US13 circular needles and decided to learn how to rib in the round. I was itching to not waste time and begin creating something.

 I searched and searched for a very SIMPLE knitting pattern for fingerless gloves after I found this pattern on Pinterest I found that though I didn't need it, she used double pointed needles.

 I went from only knowing cast on on straight needles to quickly jumping onto double pointed needles and not just that... but size ONE double pointed needles because I was working with fingering merino/mohair yarn I purchased at a yarnival in California before we moved to Tennessee (beautiful yarn)!!!!

 When I want to learn something, i'm determined. I dive in and then learn to swim. I'm insane in the membrane!

 I purchased size 1 double pointed needles and circular needles. I wanted to try one glove on each kind to get practice in at the same time.

 My first glove was on DPN.

 My husband and I were at a local mom and pop coffee shop that is non-profit to help families who have a heart for children to adopt! Plus their coffee is delicious and the ambience is relaxing, perfect for studying and crafting...

 I took out my DPN from it's packaging and I thought, "Wow... these needles sure are tiny and... the stitches can easily fall off the other end if i'm not careful and... I have to use all 4 at the same time in this pattern... and I have a fifth needle to use as my working needle... alrighty then."

Cast on and first row
 Listen to me and listen to me good... It took me 4... FOUR stinkin hours to cast on AND knit1 purl1 first row. FOUR HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 I remember how I thought, "pffffttt, I can easily do this. Come on now." when I read the pattern, my hands thought, "A little over confident up there in your head, girly.", my hands were right.

 I wanted to take one needle and stab at my ball of yarn and scream, "DIE! DIE! DIE!", I was literally this guy below:

 But I am no quitter... I kept practicing casting on and making sure my yarn wasn't twisted at each corner and while I was knitting along I was shaking because I was gripping so hard that I was literally sweating... i'm not kidding. I... was... sweating!

But after 4 hours of not giving up I finally got my cast on and first row perfectly!

I was so proud of my cast on and first row I wore it. Lol!

 The next couple days I kept going extremely slowly as to not mess it up and I enjoyed the rustic-ness double pointed needles feel and look like while using them, I felt like if I could do this! I can do anything! I kept going about 2 inches when I finally reached the part of the pattern that said to continue in stockinette stitch. Phew! Easy, all I gotta do is knit since there is no turning my work.

How cool to work all 5 needles! Very rustic and beautiful to behold.

La la la la laaaaaa... knit, knit, knit with confidence this time as if I was doing it for ages, I reached about 4 inches of stockinette when for the first time I actually looked at my work... wait ... what the...

No... NO GOD NO! I looked at the ribbing on the cuffs and the beginning looks good until at the halfway point I must have accidentally turned my work inside out or I began knitting the other way, no matter, I was knitting on the WRONG SIDE!!!! ::face palm:: and there I went just knitting away like a doofus! Anger made another special appearance.

yep... was knitting on the wrong side. Sigh.
This is right side! Can you tell the difference? By the way, this is from my second glove i'm working on with circular needles as my left glove is completely done.

 So I tried frogging (Which is not a stitch that looks like a frog so I learned.) and I did manage to go back quite some ways without ripping the whole thing out but that didnt work because I kept messing it up more. So... with a sigh of defeat, I took off the yarn from my needles and began to rip it ALL out. Felt like a kick to the gut.

 Did I give up? Pfffttt... NO! After talking to the yarn with dominance " you WILL submit, do you hear me? You WILL turn into a glove and you will LIKE IT!" and gave a pep talk to my needles, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings... shut up." I did some stretching and settled down and put on some Rocky music and pumped up to "Eye of the Tiger" as Sadie Girl watched on without batting a eye as she is used to seeing her Mistress go crazy... away I went... 13 stitches on each needle and and ribbing began from there, but this time I was super careful I didn't do anything stupid.

 FINALLY! I reached the point where I found out I was knitting wrong side and continued... I never felt so excited in all my knitting years-... I mean days!

If I wasn't crazy enough, after I reached past the thumb gusset I decided to look at YouTube videos and other blog patterns on how to make individual fingers but only halfway to keep the tips free! I am happy to say I actually found a way and had to improvise by increasing/decreasing so that it would be snug on my fingers and not too tight nor loose.

I had a scare. I thought I completely lost my fifth needle and as you can see in the background I tore the living room up! Thanks to my mom and dad who helped me locate it!

 Listen, don't be intimidated by anything... give what you are curious to create a try and don't give up! Ya, you WILL have a headache and want to stab your eye out with a DPN but hey... that only means you need to back away for a breather and return when you're ready... because when you finish it, you will feel extremely motivated and proud of yourself!

 Now that I have done gloves, I will be working with my own yarn to make beanies, gloves and soon be spinning sock yarn to knit up some socks! This is some fun stuff!

Here you see that I am knitting the index finger. It looks scary at first but in all honesty... it's NO big deal.

You don't have to start knitting at the VERY basic, if you have a knack for understanding the pattern and can follow a video or a friend/class then you can create anything with any kind of needles.

I'm a first time knitter and I created gloves with DPN and Circular needles. 

left glove: double pointed needles. right glove: circular needles

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Adding beads while spinning singles

 I have been mastering a certain way of adding beads onto a single spun yarn at the same time you are spinning with only using a fishing wire!

 I've done the crochet hook method onto un-spun fiber but with some of the beads, even the teeniest tiniest crochet hook just will not fit through! So after much thought I decided to try using the wire that the beads I purchased already came with (I purchased my beads from Michael's for this yarn I made) and even if you purchase loose beads, you can easily just string them onto fishing wire.

I made a youtube video, with the help of my husband, that I will explain how simple it really is to do it! 

What you will need:

  • Beads: Make sure the beads you use will fit through your orifice AND flyer hooks. Trust me.

  •  Fishing wire 
  • Fiber of your choosing: For me I hand dyed some border leicester locks with Jacquard dye giving it a ocean inspired color and on one bobbin I spun straight from the lock but for the second bobbin I hand carded and then rolled into rolags using crochet hooks.

spinning from lock

Make your own rolags with hooks


 I hope it was simple enough to understand and I hope you enjoyed it! 

Under the Sea will soon be available for purchase in my Etsy Shop!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

There is something about my man...

A hay bale at the top of our new land cut and baled by our neighbor for his horses

" ... I'll fly away, fly away, Oh Glory
I'll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I'll fly away (I'll fly away)...."                                   

Softly Allison Krauss was singing away on my laptop in our small apartment living room. Sadie girl was gnawing away on her chew toy at the feet of my darling husband... Dustin had his feet up on our $15 table I found at a thrift store, sighing as he usually did when browsing the web looking at homesteading sites. Dreaming... always dreaming but yet had a restlessness within him that was longing to bring to life these dreams he had, yet, glancing around our small 2 bedroom apartment in the small town of Alpine, CA with only a teeny tiny backyard (enough for Sadie Girl to walk around in) proved that all he could do was dream of the farm and farm animals he desired to have in order to be self sustaining.

Darling husband looked to his left with a small smile as his wife sat quietly trying out her very new drop spindle she purchased for only $17 which also bought a small amount of alpaca roving. She sat there frowning over her spindle trying to understand it and though the frustration was growing her determination was growing, she would not give up! Finally, her spindle began to twirl awkwardly, yet she was understanding she had to pinch and draft... the weight of the spindle wouldn't draft the roving itself!

With a sigh of contentment she leaned back and relaxed spinning away.

I recently went to Yuma, AZ with my parents to pick up a dodge neon that used to be mine. While there I visited my dad's parents and he picked guamachil fruit from their property to bring back to Tennessee and plant on our property and hopefully it will grow! The buds in the pod that hold black seeds you eat and it taste like a very sweet almond with even a hint of tamarind (what I tasted). Very beautiful and delicious!

There this young couple sat enjoying the quiet evening but yet inside her husband he was wrestling with an urge to just... just... "... I'll fly away... i'll fly away..." the song continued. That was it! He wanted to fly away with his tiny family and start his dream, but how? When? Where?

 Elisa looked at dear husband and casually brought up homesteading and dreaming along with him about purchasing land and becoming more self sustaining, he then said, "But what primary farm animal would we want? I want to handle animals for a purpose... but I wonder what?" as he said these words he was hypnotized by the spindle beginning to finally lose it's awkward twirl and began to confidently twirl gracefully as it's handler kept drafting more confidently. 

Wild raspberries, a colorful butterfly, and happy bumble bee... so much life on our land!

Elisa stopped the spindle and placed it on her lap and looked up at the ceiling wondering along with him and with a nonchalant tone, " Would be nice to handle sheep for the wool. Maybe have a small business spinning yarn or selling the raw fleece..."

As if there was a sonic boom we both jumped at the idea Elisa mentioned and looked at each other, Dustin placed his feet on the ground and sat up straight and said firmly with a flash in his eyes, "That is it! That is IT!"

He then began to research on sheep, looking at photos and videos and could not STOP! His passion began, his dream was one step closer to becoming a reality, there in the small 2 bedroom apartment where they dwelt in the small town of Alpine, CA.

Spinning away at the top of our property... so much inspiration around me!
What I am currently spinning: Under the Sea

   Fast forward to today...

There we were on our 22 acre pastured land in the great state of Tennessee 1 year and 8 months after that conversation looking at the beauty of what God has blessed us with in awe how far we have come in just a short amount of time... an added blessing is that my parents has invested in this land believing in our dream and will also build their dream cottage just a walk away!

My husband working so hard near our pond

 Today, I watched my husband as he passionately used my father's weed whacker and removed long grass that was not cut by a neighbor (who cut our pasture for hay for his horses) and as he rested from his work he would have this serene look in his face and excitement in his eyes... I saw it... A man who has found his purpose and realizing that his dream was no longer just a dream but now becoming a reality. 

Taking a much needed nap. How handsome is my man!

There is nothing more sexy than a man who won't stop dreaming and working toward his passion. Nothing more attractive than a man working in the hot sun sweating away, smelling of the earth, with eyes filled with determination and a heart consistently thanking the Lord or His goodness and mercy and guidance! 

There I worked alongside him cutting down branches at a nearby tree where we will be building our small tiny temporary home until we have raised enough funds to build our dream farmhouse. 

Dreamers dream but people of passion take action.

My grizzly man, how you inspire me and I am constantly rising in love with you.