Welcome to day 18 of our Spinners of the World December blogposts.
We're counting down the darkest days by exploring and learning more about the world we live in, but I'm not the one writing the posts!
Each day the post has been written by a volunteer spinner, they're be telling us about their mid-winter holiday traditions, and a little bit about the place they live. I still need volunteers, so if you enjoy this post please head over to the form here. This is open to everyone, please don't worry about your language skills, or even if you think your holiday traditions aren't very interesting, I want to hear from you!
Todays spinner comes from Sussex, New Brunswick , Canada
I am a homeschool mom, and I just recently got back into spinning now that my son is getting a bit older and I have some more free time. I am hoping to do more with our wool this coming year then I have in the past. I love spinning, I have been trying knitting but I'm not in love with it, I really have to work at it. I am interested in trying a heddle loom, that seems to be more appealing to me then knitting . My husband and I are sheep leaders for our local 4H club, the kids in our project show most of our lambs, some have their own sheep. We also go to a couple local fairs to show our flock. When we aren't busy with the sheep or cows we try to get some horse riding in. We have a foal that was born in July so we have been working with her a lot.
I have just started getting back into spinning. Our wool mainly goes to Briggs and Little Woolen mill. So this year when we took our wool to sell, I got back a 5lb bag of washed and carded wool to work with. I have been working on long draw spinning some of it. So far I have 2 skeins of 2 ply yarn that my niece helped me kettle dye.
This year I made boot cuff's for my sister in law. I'm left handed and my mother has been teaching me to knit (she's right handed), so that was quite a trial. I made them with yarn I had spun myself.
Our family is Christian, so the focus of Christmas for us, is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We farm for a living, so we don't venture too far during Christmas. Usually Christmas Eve we head to our local church if there is a service. We milk 100 cows ,plus have a flock of 60 ewes (Polled Dorset, Hampshire and North Country Cheviots), guard donkey, 2 really spoiled goats, 4 horses, and some chickens. Christmas day in ways is like most other days, however we aren't in as much of a rush. We wake up , start the wood fire, then head out to the barn. My husband gets up at 4:30 am and travels up the road to the main farm where he milks the cows with his father, and our hired man . We live 3 km away on a small farm where we have 2 barns, one is for our sheep and horses, the other is for our dairy heifers, and my son's laying hens. Usually Christmas morning my son opens his stocking before we head out to do barn chores, We really enjoy Christmas ,sometimes we are lucky and have newborn lambs. I love when the sheep are all fed and you can just stop and listen to them eat their hay, it's just a happy sound. Once the barn chores are done we head to the house for breakfast. When breakfast is over we read the first part of Luke chapter 2 from the Bible. then we open presents. Usually there is lots of phone calls , my family all live in Nova Scotia - 8 hours away. Nearing dinner time we head up to the main farm to enjoy Christmas dinner with my husband's family- grandparents, aunts, and cousins. The farm has been in the family for over 100 years. My husband's grandfather was born in the farm house and even though he lives off the farm, he still comes to dinner, this year will be his 93rd Christmas Dinner in the house. Everyone pitches in to help with the meal. We have turkey, vegetables, and my mother in law's dressing- it is soo good. For dessert we have trifle, some pies, and a birthday cake to celebrate Jesus's birthday. Once dinner is finished it's usually time to head out to the barn. My brother in law, nephews, my son, and myself usually help out with the cow chores and milking so our hired help doesn't have to come in the afternoon. Once the cow chores are done we head down the road to our barn to feed the sheep. In the evening we head back up to the main farm to visit and warm up some leftovers if you have room.
My favourite food at this time of year- Besides my mother in law's dressing , I love my grandmother's gumdrop cake.
3 1/2 cups gumdrops- cut up and put them in 1 cup of flour
3 cups flour (reserve 1 cup for the cut up gumdrops)
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt 3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup of milk
1 tsp lemon and/ or vanilla flavoring
Mix butter, sugar, eggs, flavoring together. Sift flour from gumdrops. Add flour from gumdrops and the other 2 cups flour and milk (alternating). The fold in gumdrops by hand. Place in a greased and floured cake pan ( I usually use a bundt pan). Cook at 350F for aprox 1 hr-1.5 or until cake tester comes out clean .