New babies at Cupcake Ranch!

Yes, it’s true! We have two new residents at the Harveyville Project. They’re still too little to name (we want to make sure they’re good & strong first), but intoducing: the little boy and the baby!

It turns out that Agnes, the shyest, daintiest of the sheep, had a little secret. Miss Agnes apparently came to us knocked up, and Sunday morning & afternoon, Ron & I delivered 2 adorable little lambs. Read all about it here. I have a whole new level or respect for farmers. I wasn’t planning to breed them (they’re a spinner’s flock), so didn’t do anything special in caring or feeding her–I never even read the lambing chapters in any of my books. So we alternated between running back to the school & calling for advice, and just winging it. Huge ordeal (Ron, who was already sick, ended up with a bad fever), but really awesome, too!

Hopefully they’ll make it  (Agnes isn’t an especially keen mom, but she does seem to be warming up to them) and those of you coming to the Sunflower Spring Knitaway or Spring Yarn School will get to meet our newly-named little bundles of joy. They’re really tiny and cute.

In the meantime, I’ll try to add some better pictures. And here’s their mom, Agnes.

Spring Forward!

We’re moving into the green season here at The Harveyville Project. I’m probably going to regret planting so early, but I’ve just started my experimental hay bale garden (spoiled hay courtesy of one of the many Green Acres-style lessons I’ve learned in the last year), and the poor little starts are hanging in there, despite the fearsome winds we’ve had all day (steady 30-40mph with gusts to 50). Hopefully, you’ll be eating fresh-grown goodness next time you’re here!

Even if my bales fail, my friend June’s husband Tom’s planting a little extra for me in their gianormous garden, and I’m going to help them harvest & can. So between that & the Sundog CSA, I’m looking forward to heaps of fresh local produce.

April 6 is shearing day at Cupcake Ranch, so if you’re interested in seeing sheep get liberated from their home-grown wooly sweaters, let me know. Keep in mind that we only have 4 sheep, so the whole thing will probably wrap up in about an hour.

We’re offering private workshops starting this year, and our first, a private (well, semi-private… more on that in a sec) workshop is this June 6-7, a custom Felt School taught by the fabulous Shannon Okey. We’ve got room for a couple more students, so we’re offering a limited public enrollment. This will be an intimate workshop with tons of hands-on attention! Details & registration here.

If you’re interested in a private workshop (days or overnight) and you have a group of at least 6, let me know your ideas & we can discuss possibilities. Craft options include spinning, knitting, crochet, dyeing, etc. If you’re a teacher with a group who is looking for a venue, we’re set for that as well.

I’m also in the very, very early states of organizing Cheese School, a cheese-making workshop. If this sounds like your dream come true, let me know & I’ll put you on the notification list.

Happy springtime!



Camp Pluckyfluff + Spring Yarn School = FREE bonus!

Been busy all weekend (and into this week) dyeing up fiber for Camp Pluckyfluff, yum! We still have a few spots open. If you’re in the Midwest, this is a wonderful chance to join the Handspun Revolution and spin with the inimitable art yarn spinner and author Lexi Boeger! It’s one of only two Midwest Pluckyfluff camps this year, and the only one that includes all your meals/snacks/accommodations/supplies/equipment on site. So it’s a great opportunity to take a fabulous workshop in an equally fabulous environment with minimal fuss if you’re traveling. Yes, I’m very very very excited!

Spring Yarn School registration is also open now! There’s even a 4-monthly-installment option to help with your budgeting. And because all this fiberlicious excitement is making me feel expansive: If you attend both Camp Pluckyfluff and Yarn School, you will get a free 4-hour Dye Lab session (including fiber) the Sunday night or Monday after Pluckyfluff!

Bye bye 2008, Hello 2009!

One of my many plans for 09 is to get back to the monthly wrap-ups I meant to do in ’08.

2008 at the Harveyville Project saw two Yarn Schools, Felt School, the advent of Cupcake Ranch (read: laying hens and fiber sheep), a Vans catalog shoot, and a Kid Congo record, for starters! It was a busy year, and ’09 promises to be equally whirly.

Photos by Justin Kosman, September 2008.

I’m bound and determined to buckle down with the grant-seeking this year. I have two major projects I’d like to fund: a more formal, robust residency program headed up by a long-term resident coordinator, and a quarterly artist-in-residence program with a concurrent community arts workshop. If you’re a flush benefactor type or a university program coordinator who wants a lot of bang for his or her funding buck, let me know.

In the meantime, we’re funding our gradual improvements with more workshops. In addition to Camp Pluckyfluff, we’ve got Spring Yarn School  May 7 – 10, and a few private craft retreats planned for the first part of the year. We’ve decided to take a break from Prom this year (back next year). And there’s a cheese-making workshop in the planning stages. We’ll also start offering private workshops in 2009 for groups of 6 or more (knitting, spinning, felting, cooking basics, pantry builders, sausage, etc.).

But for now, we’re just trying to take the chill off.



Chantel Guidry Poetry Reading Friday Dec. 5

Chantel Guidry, former Harveyville Project resident and Lawrence, Kansas poet, will be reading poems from her new project at the Lawrence Public Library (707 Vermont Street) on Friday, December 5. Doors will open at 6:00pm and she’ll start reading at 6:30.

The work comes from her new booklet, Poems of the Year, inspired by the Kansas seasons.

Chantel was a delightful resident and I’m really looking forward to her perception and wit. Hope to see you there!

FIBER SCHOOL (Yarn School and/or Felt School) Goodie Bags & Door Prizes

Natalia’s Spring ’08 goodie bag from the Yarn School Photo Pool

Every Yarn School and Felt School student gets a marvelous fiber goodie bag. If you’re a fiber arts supplier and you’d like to get samples of your goods into the hot little hands of rabid fiber enthusiasts via the Yarn School and/or Felt School goodie bags, contact nikol at harveyvilleproject dot com.

Here are our guidelines:

  • Fiber items should be at least one ounce
  • Add-ins like locks, sparkle, notions, etc., may be smaller
  • All samples should be clearly labeled with the vendor’s name & contact info
  • Please provide 36 items for the Yarn School bags and/or 24 items for the Felt School bags
  • Door prizes should be clearly labeled with vendor’s name & contact info
  • We’ll have a vendor literature rack available. Anyone may submit literature; door prize/goodie bag contributors may have literature/sample cards inside the goodie bags as well.
  • All goodie/door prize contributors may submit a 50×140 pixel gif of jpeg banner for display on the Fiber School, Yarn School, or Felt School pages (please specify) and The Thrifty Knitter website. Banners will post after items are received and will appear until registration for the Spring session opens.

Send goodies to:

Nikol Lohr
The Harveyville Project
13149 Harveyville Rd
Harveyville KS 66431