Quick note to let you all know that after long deliberation we have decided not to farm in 2022. Between Covid, supply chain issues, etc. it is too much of an uphill struggle. We are going to take the time to update our website, and important things like that. Our website still charges $5.00 for shipping while the real cost is $9.00. Anyway, I am sitting here coughing as I type this. I hope you all have a good year and we will see you again in 2023.
Meduseld will be at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival this weekend in Berryville, Virginia. We will have two new batches of yarn (back from the mill that was closed for much of 2020). Both are popular types with our customers. One is the Romney Fingerling with its characteristic sheen that comes from the Romneys. We also have Our Brown Romney/Alpaca blend that has lovely sheen and drape.
We have set our online store on maintenance mode until after the Festival so that no items will be double sold.
We hope to see you at the Festival!
Hello Friends. What a long, crazy, tortuous year. Nearly everyone we talk to can’t wait for 2021, hoping that better things are around the corner.
Being on a remote farm has protected us from many of the inconveniences. But it hasn’t isolated us from the excessive trials that society has been swarmed with. If you were following Meduseld on Facebook, you saw the repeated late frosts we had that killed much of our vineyard. But the most sorrowful was the loss of our wonderful dog, Viggo. It is painful to even type this.
Our hearts go out to all of you who have also had these trials, and have had to endure not being able to be with loved ones in the hospital, or go to funerals, or weddings, and have had to blow kisses through closed doors and windows.
Every fiber festival we usually attend was cancelled or done virtually, which is nothing like the real thing. When you are talking about fiber, the texture and color are so important, and neither can be well experienced over a computer or phone screen.
None-the less, we are going to try to make the best of it. Meduseld still has lovely candles, yarn, roving, and some lovely handmade clothing items such as hats and corsets. We hope that you will consider supporting local businesses like ours. The mega on-line stores have made a killing this year, and will no doubt change this nation for years to come.
Expect new items to be added to the store almost daily!
Quick Post to update everyone. Shenandoah Valley Fiber Fest was great fun! We took several custom orders for corsets and Charlotte’s schedule is filling up. Get your orders in soon before there is a longer waiting list!
We have turned Meduseld’s store to “Maintenance Mode” so that we don’t sell more of an item then we have. Can be tricky when we are selling at Festivals. We will turn it back on after the Frederick Fiber Festival and we have done inventory.
Speaking of the Frederick Fiber Festival, it is October 12 in Frederick. Check Meduseld’ Facebook page HERE for details about that event.
Yesterday we went to the Alamo to watch The Biggest Little Farm. We felt we could relate to the day-to-day activities of this pioneering couple the Chesters, who like us, are trying to develop their land into sustaining cycles of life between the plants and animals in a way that enhances the quality of both.
We bought our 230 acre farm in June, 2000 and they bought theirs about ten years later. While the sizes of the farms are comparable, they seem to have had much more investment income, being able to do very large clearing and excavation projects.
But it is on the daily trials and successes that their story is so moving. Like us, they have predator problems. For them it is mostly coyotes, in our case it is an assortment of possums, raccoons, foxes, snakes and even the periodic fisher that eats our chickens and Bantams. A blue heron even drops in from time to time to eat our fish, and completely cleaned one of our small ponds of Koi. The Chesters solves this in much the same way we do, encouraging the dogs to patrol the animals in their care, with mixed success.
When they state in the movie that they planted over 75 varieties of fruit trees I had to chuckle to myself. Our vineyard has over 20 varieties of grapes, and we have planted about 20 kinds of fruit trees on a property that when we arrived only had only apple tree. We agree with their desire for diversity. Not only do most trees ripen at different times, but some will show more resilience to the specific soil of the area. It is this trial and error process that eventually leads you to the best varieties of trees and plants for you area. Doing this means that you can limit sprays and treatments that would be needed by a weaker plant.
They have solved other problems by seeking solutions that benefit another part of their plant/animal cycle. For example, when inundated with snails that devoured their citrus trees, they released their flock of ducks into the vineyard to devour the pests. Food for the ducks, fertilizer for the trees, and no pesticides. Problem solved. Many of their processes and philosophies echo Sepp Holzer’s permaculture methods, but his name, or the work permaculture, are never mentioned.
We try to solve problems in the same way. I used to spend hours weeding the hoop house (low tunnel), or seeking a safe way to get rid of pests like aphids. Now I pick up the phone and call Moyers chicks for a batch of Broiler chicks. They eat the plants and aphids and I get a fertilized hoop house and 9 weeks later excellent quality chicken. I call this a win-win situation!
The Chesters use this method to solve many of their farm problems, including installing owl houses to control the gopher problem. They found that their farm thrived on the checks and balances of nature and achieving equilibrium. It was a delightful movie.
We have been trying to attain this equilibrium here as well, but we are fighting against the stream. The predators that we have the biggest problems with are ones that have few natural predators to keep them in balance. Snakes abound, and the DNR released rattlers some years back to keep the turkey population in check. As a result the rest of the natural bird population took a hit. We haven’t seen a grouse in years, or quail. DNR states they are concerned about a dwindling Whip-poor-will population, but I wonder if it occurred to them that the snakes might be an issue. Years ago we scarcely saw snakes but this year alone we’ve sighted over two dozen and just this morning had an almost five foot snake in our family room. Still seeking to protect the animals we raise, and always looking for more solutions, just like the Chesters.
April showers have provided beautiful May growth on our grape vines, and weather permitting we will have these to sell at the Market at Silver Lake Farms later this year. Next year, we will provide the option to pick them here at our farm.
Enjoy these pictures!More information on West Virginia wild grapes can be found HERE – WVDNR
Behold, my friends, the Spring is come.
The earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun,
and we shall soon see the results of their love!
Find some Spring-like shades of yarn in our store HERE!
Snow is still in the forecast, but we are preparing for Spring! In one hoophouse, the Spring garlic has already been planted and little green shoots can be seen.
In the warmer Conservatory, we are watching some banana clusters mature. Hopefully they will be ready to eat soon. Tables and shelves are filled with seed trays with an assortment of vegetables that can withstand colder temperatures. We have been planting mesclun mixes, mizuna (a mustard), kohlrabi, assorted kales, beets, chard and more. With the lengthening days, the plants are eagerly growing.
We are fortunate to be able to sell some of our produce at the Silver Lake Farm in Delray, WV. It may open as early as April this year. They carry quality locally grown fruits and vegetables including from their own farm, as well as many artisan products. Their lamb chops are outstanding.
Cold weather is the perfect time to snuggle indoors with a good book or movie. This winter, we have been revisiting The Sherlock Holmes movies, especially those featuring the great Jeremy Brett. With those movies in mind, we have dyed a series of Meduseld Romney and Alpaca blend yarn inspired by the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. A link to the store follows each description.
These are all limited stock 200 yard skeins, but we may be able to take special orders for small lots.
The first is inspired by the Hound of the Baskervilles. According to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the predatory dog is covered in a luminous phosphous that makes his muzzle glow. In the Grenada movies, they show the hound in a luminous, glowing green. We have mingled this green with an earie mixture of browns and burgundy reds. Pipe is not included. Hound of the Baskervilles – Romney Alpaca
Sir Arthur was actually not happy with his Sherlock Holmes stories and tried to kill Holmes off so that he would not have to continue to write about him. He set Holmes’ passing at Reichenbach Falls. After an uproar by subcription readers, Sir Arthur was forced to resuscitate his hero. This blue variegated yarn is inspired by the water in the Reichenbach falls. Reichenbach Falls Wosted Romney/Alpaca
There was only one person who ever got the best of Sherlock – Irena Adler. In addition to her beauty and intelligence, she was a talented singer. We’ve dyed these skeins envisioning a dress she might have worn at the opera. It has wine colored reds and hints of antique gold. Irena Adler – Sherlock Inspired yarn
In The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, the nanny is required to dress in an electric blue dress and sit in a window in order to impersonate the daughter who is being held against her will in an upstairs room. We’ve used a bold blue and a subtle variegation that hints at the shades the folds of fabric would produce when light falls upon it. Copper Beeches Wosted Romney/Alpaca
A favorite of ours is The Second Stain, a sober reminder that what comes around goes around (if you are a blackmailer) and that if you are going to tamper with a crime scene, it’s best to put things back that way you find them. If you’ve seen the movie or read it, you don’t need a description. Fittingly, this yarn is dyed a bold red. Turn the carpet at your own risk. Second stain yarn
Wisteria Lodge is our final yarn in this Sherlock-inspired set. It is dyed in shades of wisteria purple, and shades of green, and hints of blue. Much more cheerful than the plot of the story. Wisteria Lodge Worsted Yarn
Stay posted for future inspirations in Meduseld’s store.
We have been busily sewing and updating inventory at our store. We have completed two lovely corsets and they are now available.
Corsets should fit very comfortably, so we welcome you to contact us about exact meansurements and fit. A well-fitted corset will feel much better than an underwire bra.
The first corset is a lovely civil war style corset. We have made it with a delightful pale blue silk and lined it with a pure cotton that has a delicate pattern. The corset has a combination of both plastic and spiral steel boning. The spiral steel is in the sides where it provides more flexibility for bending and twisting while still providing good support. The corset is made with a quality busk and strong grommets. Other advantages to this corset is that I have created the cups to curve back in toward the body slightly so that you don’t get a pronounced ledge effect under your garments.
The second corset is an 1860’s style corset with gussets for a very custom fit. It will fit approximately size 12 with a D cup. The shell is 100% cotton Moire’ and the lining is a polyester in a silky grey. This corset has plastic boning, and has some hand finishing on the exterior and interiror. It has a sturdy gold colored busk and quality gold colored grommets.
If in doubt, we can make a custom corset to your measurments and made out of the fabric of your choice. Please contact us for a measurment form. You can see all our clothing items here.