Blog

Digging and Spinning

I’m pretty pleased with the progress I’ve made recently with expanding my garden bed just east of the hoophouse-

My goal is to put about 80 more square feet under cultivation for next year’s veggie production. (Would eventually like the bed to extend the entire length of the hoophouse, but I’m taking it in stages.) The toughest bit is removing the turf, and trying to retain as much of the topsoil as possible. The digging is actually not too hard once the grass is up. And I do enjoy a bit of digging. One of my favorite forms of exercise.

I’ve got about 20 more square feet to go (that remaining green quadrant). Then it will be onwards to digging in compost and lime. Getting excited about next year’s garden planning already!

And on the spinning front, I’ve been playing around a little with that grey freebie fleece from the summer. Spun some fairly fine singles on Elsa, and decided to try something a little different with the ply- chaining a double strand (singles from two bobbins) in to a six ply yarn. No pictures of the setup or process, because I only have two hands, but it’s basically just using the two strands as one. Here is my result after a quick hot soak and drying on the pellet stove.

Not perfect, but not bad for a first attempt. It’s quite a round profile yarn, so I thought it might be really nice for cables- lots of pop! So I’m working my small skein into a headband- which may or may not turn into a hat. Will see how it goes

Also using the grey wool in some blends with dyed fibers in the stash- currently on Mighty Red I’ve got a grey-green-blue-purple kind of thing going

And waiting in the wings is the next little batch of colors

The grey wool is still a bit greasy, so the more fully scoured dyed wool lightens up the batts a bit. So nice to have a stash of dyed wool to draw upon when I feel the need to blend.

It’s kind of funny, a couple weeks ago I had this thought that maybe I should seek a new home for the Mighty Red wheel- somewhere that could take her to the next stage in restoration (new rear flyer bearing, upright end cap repair, perhaps some refinishing work). But then I sat down at her again and realized that I think I’m too attached. She’s such a good spinner. And has so much character.

I believe that this might be what animal rescue groups call a “foster failure”.

Bup

Sitting on the couch with my tiny pup.

Bup. Noodle. Sweet Patootie

Budgie. Bubba

Gus

He seems intent on preventing any blogging his evening,

So I’ll take the hint and just wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving-

What’s in Store?

Yarn, of course 🙂

Just wanted to share that for the next couple (few?) months, my yarns will be available at Northwest Yarns in Bellingham. Here they are getting sorted for tagging.

Also two-ply skeins in a variety of weights and natural colors. So, if you’re in the neighborhood and need a fiber fix, go check it out. They recently took over the shop next door and their newly remodeled space is very cool. Yarn, looms, wheels, fabrics, fibers. Just go see. You won’t be disappointed!

Also wanted to share the newly revised hat pattern that turns a few of those fun little skeins into something like this-

Calling it the Coast to Coast Colorwork Cap, as it’s a perfect travel project.

Have a good week everyone. 🙂

Winter-izing

We had about a week of Fall, and now it’s on to winter, apparently.

Forecast is for mid-20’s at night this week, so we’ve been wrapping things up out in the garden and pasture the last couple of days.

First came tucking in the chickens. Our new scheme this year is using extra hoophouse plastic to cover the large open areas on the south and west sides of their “atrium”. We had installed the single channel aluminum earlier in the year, and cut the plastic to size, so the installation went pretty quickly.

He have a tarp staged on the north side as well that we can drop when snowy/windy weather hits. I think this is really going to help keep the chicken area drier and more comfy for everyone over the cold/wet season.

Then we moved on to compost. Flipping and harvesting the compost is important this time of year so that I have room to start a fresh pile with garden debris and all the mucky bedding that will get hauled out of the shed over the winter. Here is our nice rich, well-cooked compost that is now ready to be cycled back into the garden

Yum 🙂

Once that was complete, I was able to thank all this year’s tomatoes, peppers, zinnias and eggplants for their good work and send them to the pile.

Well, almost all of them.

I did save one of each kind of pepper (Blot, Sheepnose Pimento, and Jalapeno) to see if I can overwinter them.

And you might remember that I took cuttings from most of our tomato plants about a month ago. About half of them have rooted pretty well- here are the winners so far

The Large Italian cutting was looking kind of sketchy, so I tossed him, but the others are still in the running and might be ready to pot up in a couple more weeks.

So here is the crew that will be overwintering on the back porch.

Just need to get their grow light hung and they will be all set.

And lastly, I moved Yellow Chig to her winter quarters, in the hoophouse.

It’s all cleared out now, except the perennial herbs and some weeds I need to pull. She has a spot over by the oregano that she likes to hang out, so hopefully she’s happy with the arrangement.

Have a good week folks- and make sure you vote!