Author: denisemor

Breaking New Ground

First literally- as in establishing another planting bed. Plan is to use this space for potatoes and squash this year-

Managed to lift and move most of the sod to other spots around the property, and now it’s onwards to amending the soil! I’ve got a good-sized pile of compost standing by and ready to go.

But also figuratively- in that I tried a new-to-me knitting thing this week. Double Knitting.

It’s been a while since I tried a new knitting technique, and a couple of things I watched on YouTube recently inspired me to give it a shot. (Inspiration references: Sockmatician pocast and Fruity Knitting w/ Alasdair Post-Quinn )

Amazing, mind-bending stitch structures and projects. Got me thinking about just how much there is to know.

So I decided to give it a shot. Just a simple swatch.

Nothing fancy. But it worked! And it makes this really lovely cushy fabric.

So now I need to figure out how to do it using my usual purl technique (norwegian purl). Might need a yarn guide or something.

So many colorwork possibilities-

Back to the Blog

Many thanks to The Man for his contribution to the blog last week.

We were both really happy to get the possum situation resolved to the benefit of all 🙂

Thankfully no more of that kind of excitement this week.

Just Garden Planning Excitement!

Our seeds have arrived- and this morning I spent some time getting the planting plan together. Last year the seed-starting schedule was dictated by how quickly we could get the hoophouse enclosed. We got the first wave sown March 23.

This year we’re going to go earlier, and see if we can get tomatoes and other heat-loving stuff ripening a bit sooner.

This year’s selections include:

Tomatoes: German Pink, Sunrise Bumblebee, Martino’s Roma

Peppers: Craig’s Grande Jalepeño, Sheepnose Pimento, Blot

Melon: Petite Gris de Renne

I’ve also got two little tomato plants who volunteered last fall (I think one Brad’s Atomic Grape, and one Honeycomb) growing under lights in the house right now. Really hope I can keep them happy and growing for a few more months.

And on the wool front, I finished spinning up the Florida Cracker Sheep wool (three ply, same style as the Gulf Coast Native)

It was a really fun, easy spin. The two wools seemed very similar to me. I’m thinking/hoping to use them together in a project soon. Would be interested to see what they they look like right off the sheep. Maybe next time I’m in Florida….. 🙂

And on the needles this week- mitts, of the fingerless variety. Wool is Jacob- sample skein from that fleece I processed as a demo for my Country Living Expo class. Think I might just keep making vanilla mitts for a while. They are so quick, and I’m kind of in the groove. Thinking that maybe once I’ve got a batch of them I might play around with embellishing them- a little embroidery?

And in case you are not subscribed to Clara Parkes’ Wool Channel- I thought that this recent episode was particularly engaging: https://www.thewoolchannel.com/viw-s1-e6/

Have a good week!

Thawing

Despite what Stringer says (“The Wire” reference video removed due to language worse than I remembered), I am enormously thankful for a 40-degree day.

While it was a stressful and tiring week, I’m pleased to report that we came through the snow and cold without any death or destruction. Structures intact, all critters accounted for. Whew!

This weeks expected rain should melt away the snow quickly, but cleaning all the mucky bedding out of the shed is going to be a big job.

And while hunkered down by the pellet stove, I actually got a fair fit of spinning done- you might remember that I brought home a bunch of new-to-me fibers from Florida last month-

So far I’ve spun up two of the three- the white below is Gulf Coast Native

true three-ply. singles spun on Elsa, plied on Moto. Really enjoyed this- smooth and easy spinning from well prepared roving.
light and lofty in luscious berry colors, spun on Moto (3.5), chain plied also on Moto (2.5). This prep was more like combed top. A little compressed- so I pre-fluffed and broke off sections to spin from the fold.

Next up is the Florida Cracker wool! Going to do it up in the same way as the Gulf Coast so I can do a direct comparison of the results- so I’ve got it divided up by weight into thirds and ready to spin

And we just got out garden seed order in to Baker Creek. So exciting to think about the cool stuff we’re going to grow this year. We’re dialing back the tomatoes a bit (still three varieties, just fewer of each), and making space for peppers (sweet and hot), eggplant and celery.

There’s still a lot of winter to be gotten through, but I do find that garden planning helps to keep me moving forward.

Have a good week folks!

Cold is Exhausting

And it is quite cold.

We have about 12-14 inches of snow on the ground and a high temp today of 14 degrees.

The Man and I have expended quite a bit of energy over the last couple of days trying to keep the critters out of the worst of it. But blowing snow is a real bugger.

We’ve fortified the shed with tarps, hung heat lamps for the chigs, and rigged water defrosters.

If anyone is out there looking for a makeshift chicken heater, I think that we might have hit upon something that might help in a punch- seedling heat mats

Didn’t take a picture while I was out there (reluctant to remove my gloves) but you can kind of see on the chicken cam.

You basically wrap one seedling mat around the 5 gallon reservoir, and place another beneath the tray. I’ve got a rubber flooring tile below the bottom mat so that it’s not sitting directly on the concrete pavers. So far it seems to be working well keeping the water in a liquid state.

The sheeps seem to be doing ok, but are a little agitated. Don’t know if that is maybe because we’ve been out there so much puttering and messing with stuff, or maybe they are kind of freaked out by the sounds the tarps make in the wind. But I wish they would cool out and hang in the shed where it is marginally comfier.

That’s it for now. I’m pretty beat. And tomorrow isn’t supposed to be any better weather-wise.

Take care and stay safe folks-

Photos, for the record 😉