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Dream Come True Fiber Farm

Fiber Dye Day on the Farm

Photo by Adobestock/hapjam

Dream Come True Fiber FarmHi, everyone, I'm back to share what I did this morning here on the farm. I spent the entire morning doing some small batch fiber dyeing. We are having quite the event here on the farm this weekend. I mentioned it in the previous post but it’s worth mentioning again. Suzy Brown, aka Wool Wench, is coming to the farm to do a workshop on blending fiber, art yarn spinning and plying. Suzy is from the Netherlands and is teaching a few workshops on the East Coast. We were to have some fibers dyed and ready to go. So this morning I got out my Goodwill purchased slow cookers and did some small batch dyeing to add to a color scheme that is in my mind. How I do my small batch dyeing is what I thought I would share with you today.

small batch dey tips and technique
Photo by Pam Blasko

Tools needed:

  • Slow cookers that will be used for dyeing only. I found all of mine at Goodwill for only a few dollars each.
  • I use Country Classic dyes. They are a one-step dye power. They can be purchased online.
  • water
  • fiber
  • wooden spoon

dye day 1
Photo by Pam Blasko

  1. Wet the fiber in a sink with hot water for 20 minutes. This is to allow the dye to be absorbed with ease.
  2. Fill your slow cookers with hot water and turn them on high
  3. Add your dye according the instructions on the jar.
  4. Take out your fiber and add it to the slow cookers, making sure it is all covered. You can press it down ever so gently with a wooden spoon. I say gently so the fiber won’t felt.
  5. Cover your pots.  In 15 minutes, turn the temp to low and set the timer for 30 minutes. DO NOT uncover.
  6. When your time is up, take one pot at a time and dump it into the sink. Be careful, it will be hot. Then fill the sink up with hot water for a rinse. After about 10 minutes, drain the sink and repeat until  sink water is fairly clear. Try not to change the temp of the water by much in between the rinsing, again so as not to felt the fiber. When the water is fairly clear or completely clear, pick up the fiber and gently give it a light squeeze to drain some of the water from the fiber. Transfer it to a screen to dry. A screen will allow air flow from the top and bottom, drying the fiber quicker.  If you do not have one, you can lay out on a towel in the sun.
  7. Repeat Step 6 with each slow cooker of fiber.

dye day 2
Photo by Pam Blasko

I use this technique for all my small batch dyeing. I find it really simple and always successful.

Today the fiber I dyed was Pygora goat locks, a small handful of Wensleydale sheep locks and silk hankies that will be used while learning our new plying technique. It should be an adventurous day. I’ll blog all about it next week! This fiber will be blended with an already dyed sheep wool that I had and wanted to work around the color scheme.

See you soon with more adventures from Pam's Fiber at Dream Come True Farm.

dye day 4
Photo by Pam Blasko

Spinning Pygora Goat Fiber Into Yarn

Dream Come True Fiber FarmPygora goat fiber is a spinner's dream. It is a cross between a Pygmy goat for their down fiber and an Angora goat for its long locks of mohair. The fiber on a Pygora goat is long curly locks that have the luster from the Angora goat and the shorter wool down fiber from the Pygmy. The best of both worlds, or both goats!

The fiber of Pygora goats reflects the best qualities of both the Angora and the Pygmy. Pygora fiber may be spun and then knitted, woven or crocheted. Because of the fineness of the fiber, it spins into a lovely yarn that is soft enough to be worn next to the skin. Items such as baby garments or luxurious shawls are well suited to Pygora yarn. Pygora also felts beautifully. The locks of Pygora may be used to create wigs, beards or novelty toy, a crafter's dream. Pygora fiber is fast becoming the preferred choice for crafts people and fiber artists for any number of diverse projects. There are three grades to the fleeces A, B and C. Each letter represents the amount of guard hair and softness in a fleece. All are good. B and C need to be de-haired when processed after shearing. A can be used immediately after shearing and washing. I have both A and B types here on the farm.

We have five Pygora goats among other fiber animals. All of our animals are raised for their fiber. Pygoras are shorn twice a year yielding a wonderful amount of fiber. As all goats, they are playful, inquisitive and sometime troublemakers! We love their antics here on our farm. They liven up the barnyard for sure. Kids love them as well.

Caring for them is much like any goat accept for the fiber. It takes a lot of work to keep chaff out of the fiber. I coat my sheep, keeping them free of chaff, but Pygoras cannot be coated because of the structure of their wool. They will felt, and the wool will be of no use. And feeding is an on-going chore. Special feeders are used to keep them from pulling out too much at once and eating over one another. I have a pet grooming blower that I use every six to eight weeks or so to blow out unwanted VM (vegetable matter) and dust.

pygora emily

As I said they are shorn every six months. After shearing I have about 12 weeks not to worry too much about the fiber. After that period of time I begin the chore of keeping the fleece clean. Goats all need a mineral salt in their diet but it differs from sheep minerals so that needs to be taken into consideration if housing both together. I worm them three times a year and, in-between, I serve up a cocktail of apple cider vinegar that acts as a natural de-wormer and has many health benefits.

I love my goats! They are truly the heart of the barnyard! Goat games are a daily thing on Dream Come True Farm. As we say often, goats will be goats.

Shown here are photographs of some of our Pygora goat kids, processing fiber here on the farm, and handspun Pygora goat fiber

pygora goat kids

Pygora kids

pygora fleece shorn

pygora goat yarn

knitted pygora neckwarmer

Shearing Day and Spring Updates on Dream Come True Farm

Dream Come True Fiber FarmHi there, it's Pam from Dream Come True Fiber Farm in Connecticut farm country. It's spring on the farm, which means lots of good things are happening. New chickens arrived with a wonderful new chicken coop! I'm excited to have this coop because it’s actually up off the ground, and the chickens are in at night with a very secure 1/4-inch wire to keep them safe. They are also lucky to have a wonderful little henhouse with nesting boxes.

quail eggsAs I said, being off the ground at night makes me happy, I don’t have to worry about something digging up under and killing our chickens. Then in the early part of the morning, I open their door and down the ramp they go one by one. Then I get to enjoy them all cackling all day long. How I love that sound. We are in our second year with quail so the chicken eggs are a nice addition to our breakfast.

We do a small scale coop, just enough for us. Our quail eggs, we get enough to sell to one regular customer, which helps with our feed bill.

chicken coop

silkie hen  Rooster

It's also shearing time on the farm. This year we are shearing one Wensleydale sheep, one Teeswater sheep, one Finn sheep, four Olde English Babydoll Southdown sheep. We also have two llamas and five  pygora goats to shear. A nice selection of wool for a fiber fanatic like me. A spinner’s flock (variety of fiber animals) has worked out wonderfully. We are still home to two miniature geldings horses as well. And of course our four dogs!

sheep llama


My yarn-spinning venture keeps on growing and growing. I have so much to share. But for this post I thought I would just pop in to say “hello” and update you all on our farm activities.

This year so far on the farm we have four scheduled events. We are lucky enough to have a spinner, fiber artist Suzy Brown aka Wool Wench visit from the Netherlands and share some of her techniques with us on art yarn spinning. We have a full workshop of 20 who will attend here on the farm.

We also have Esther aka Jazzturtle coming in June from North Carolina to share spinning and weaving techniques.

I’m planning an event workshop later in the year, which will be announced.

And we have Kelly aka Romney Ridge Farm coming from Maine in the fall for a needle felting workshop!

So much fun on this farm this year will be had by many.

So first up is shearing within three weeks. I don’t shear my animals; we have two sheep shearers come here to the farm to shear. On that day we usually have a few on-lookers who would like to learn and help.

So on the morning of shearing, we lock all the sheep in the barn and lightly feed them so as not to have sheep sitting on their rump with full bellies and being uncomfortable. We will have them all inside near the area that shearing will take place. I coat my sheep to keep the vegetable matter (VM) out, which spinners appreciate. So I will remove their coats and have them ready for the shearers.

The shearers will shear them on a clean piece of plywood to keep them up off the barn floor so as not to contaminate the fleece with hay and droppings. Each fleece will be rolled up and placed in burlap with the sheep name to be skirted later on in the day. My job is to sweep the plywood between sheep and stay out of the way. There are two shearers, they are fast and methodical.

Each animal will have its hooves trimmed, and yearly injections are given by me before the shearers let them go. We try our best to make it as stress free as possible for the animals. After shearing we all watch the sheep and goats look at one another, not knowing each other because they look different! Heads are banged and they re-establish a pecking order. It’s quite comical.

After the shearing is complete, I feed the sheep lots of hay and give them some grain, and maybe even a little extra to thank them for their gorgeous fleece. Then I feed the two-legged folks who are on the farm watching and helping. A big farm-style breakfast will be served. After breakfast we skirt the fleeces, which means we pull off all belly and neck wool, which is usually dirty and full of VM (vegetable matter). We then roll them up and put them back in the burlap readying them for the mill; workers there will clean most of the fleeces and put them into roving ready to be spun into lovely handspun organic yarn. I keep some fleeces to clean by hand myself each year because I love the process. I love my hands deep in the fleece. I love even the smell of lanolin. I find it very rewarding. Besides I get to spin it quicker!

handspun yarn

bright handspun yarn

The mill usually takes about 12 weeks. When all the fleeces are skirted and bagged, I write my washing and processing request in note form to the mill and place all the fleeces in big boxes to be shipped within a day or two.

By the time all of this is complete it's usually late afternoon, and we are all tired and ready for cold refreshments and some relaxation.

Shearing day is the one day a year fiber artist shepherdesses wait for with great anticipation. All of the winter work, cleaning pens, trips to the feed store, early winter morning shoveling paths to the barn, changing of sheep coats as the fleece gets fuller and coats get tight, and administering injections has paid off.

I hope I have given you a good idea what shearing day consist of on our fiber farm.

If I can answer any questions about shearing, fiber or spinning, feel free to email me at and please write "Grit Comment" in the subject section or add your comments below.

Musings on This Morning's Chores

sheep peeking out waiting for breakfast 

Come, sip your morning coffee and join us for our morning chores.

more patient waiting 

Today I'm going to share with you what this mornings chores were like here on Dream Come True Farm. This is what I love about having a family farm. I have shown you what we do here now its time to meet some of the critters that help our farm be a success.

 watching as the barn is cleaned up 

And meet my two favorite farm hands. 

cleaning up with Luke 

With camera in hand I followed my husband Mike and Grandson Luke out into the barn yard this morning to do chores. Luke spends 2 days a week with us here on the farm and when Mike is not working his phone company job he enjoys doing chores with Luke.

 more cleaning 

So we start with clean up from the night before. We clean each morning and each night here. Then we wash out and freshen all water buckets making sure there is plenty of clean fresh water for everyone, especially in the heat. While we clean up we have a chance to visit with all the animals which is my favorite part.

 eating and happy 

They stand patiently watching us clean, some coming over for a pat or scratch. Its always quiet in the mornings here so chores are relaxing.

 munching hay 

enjoying breakfast 

Luke finds repairs that he thinks need tending to, so he tackles whatever it is that needs his attention!

 Luke attending to some needed repairs 

repairs being done by Grandson Luke 

After clean up we feed hay to everyone!  They all settle into their spot and begin munching on the hay, eating for around 3 hours or so. Then its a drink a water, find a shaded spot and nap. Napping goes on all day on and off, on and off. You can see who else is going in for a nap. Luke worked hard all morning, now I guess he'll find a shaded spot and catch a few zzzz's himself.

nap time 

I love having him join us out on the farm for chores.  Evening comes and we repeat the chores around 6:00-7:00 pm. Not so bad right? I find it very enjoyable and relaxing.

I'm not sure what I'd do without at least a few animals on our farm. I think about that as I age, but I imagine I'll always have something here, even if it's just a few.

I hope you enjoyed your morning with us on the farm. Now its off to the fiber room for some wool work!      Pam

Spring Fiber News

Pam B headshotWell its been a rainy spring here in Connecticut! Not too enjoyable for the farm animals, but the good news is the gardens have taken off and are doing extremely well. I'm very happy about that.

During the rainy period I spent a lot of time inside so I decided to take advantage and do some mystical fiber blends with wool and other fibers to spin. I have my own drum carder, which is a tool that blends fiber together by brushing them smooth all into one direction. It's a lot of fun to do my own batt blends. I call them mystery batts because you never know what fiber will turn up in them. You may find any of the following, alpaca fiber, sheep wool, silk, soy, angora bunny wool, angora goat locks and maybe even tiny colored threads all cut up to add character.

Most of the batts are OOAK (one of a kind), SO the past few weeks I worked on the following batts and CraZy handspun yarns to be sold in my farm shop or on my line Etsy shop to knitters and spinners. The following pictures shows you a little bit of the work that has been done here the past few weeks.

 Mystery CrAzY handspun yarn 

 hand carded batting 

mystical fiber blend 

alpaca sheep blended batt 

The critters are glad the rain is over so they have been spending more time outside once again. A sight I missed during all the rain.  

Pony Boy is glad its stopped raining 

Dahli llama sunning himself 

A Lesson in Spinning Wool Into Yarn

A photo of Pam BlaskoSo many folks that have never really thought about the wool being spun into yarn ask me, "Exactly how is that done?" So I'm going to do my best here to try to walk you through it with pictures and brief explanations.  Here we go, spinning 101.

You can see in the previous  post how the sheep is sheared and the wool is skirted by hand (cleaned) getting it ready for the really big cleaning at the mill. Off to the mill it goes to be washed and put into what is called roving. Roving means all the wool is clean and carded (almost like combing it) making it all go in one direction for ease of spinning. So when it comes back from the mill we have a big bag of roving from each animal.

roving for spinning 

The next step is to start spinning it through the spinning wheel.

spinning wheel 

As you can see we treadle (peddle) the wheel to make the wheel turn. 

treadle the wheel 

A cotton string is attached around the wheel and up over the bobbin (where the wool is stored while spinning).

filling the bobbin 

There is a knob on the wheel that adjust the tension of the string, so a little tension causes the wool to be pulled through the orifice out of the spinners hands and onto the bobbin. While the spinner spins they must draft (pull) a little of the fiber out which is the part that will be spun into the yarn at that moment. The amount drafted, thickness or very fine is what determines the kind of yarn spun, either lace weight, bulky ect.

drafting fiber 

So we treadle and draft, treadle and draft filling the bobbin.

full bobbin 

When the bobbin is full it is taken off the bobbin and wound onto what is called a niddy noddy which puts it into skein form. 

winding on to the niddy noddy 

The next step is to wash and set the twist in the newly spun yarn. I use an organic lavender essential oil  with a gentle soap to  let it soak. This soaking sets the twist up nicely and gives the yarn its final cleaning. The lavender treats the wool so that it is moth proof!

washing yarn in sink 

Then the yarn is hung to dry with a weight that also helps set the twist in the yarn. The yarn may take a couple of days to dry depending on the weather.

hanging skein to set the twist 

When it's dry it's twisted back into a skein and is ready to knit with.  

finished skein 

I hope this gives some kind of idea of what the process of spinning wool into yarn is. A number of different spinning wheels are on the market, all doing the same job. The height or how smooth they spin or treadle may vary, so its important to try a wheel before purchasing. Or work with someone that can give you some idea of how a number of wheels work.

So, you're now ready to spin! You have completed Dream Come True Farms Spinning 101.       

It's Really Feeling Like Spring

Pam B headshotWell spring has arrived here officially on the farm. And none to soon for me. We in New England had our fill of winter! This past week I started spinning some wonderful natural colored fleece into yarn. I completed many skeins, washed and set them and moved them into the shop waiting for the right person to come along and fall in love with them.

handspu yarn

I also completed a wonderful little shoulder shrug with some hand dyed hot pink yarn. It's just enough to keep the chill away, worn over the shoulders ending above the elbows. I added a really cool square button which I think was perfect for this little shrug. Great for Spring!  It came out just perfect.

shoulder shrug

I weeded the strawberry patch, and rhubarb patch which took some time,  a little here, and a little  there  over the week and it was done before I knew it.

strawberry patch

Looking good! I'll make strawberry rhubarb jam for the shop in a month or so, as soon as the strawberries come.


I had my little  farm helper two days this week, Luke my grandson who knows that chores are never done on the farm. So, he lends a hand driving his tractor  filled with weeds and dumping them for me. A great farm hand he makes!


So another week has passed, and all is well here at Dream Come True. Life is good...Have a great week. See you in a week or so!  Pam 

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