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Bring on the Spring

It may be cold and rainy day outside,

But it is a bit spring-y-er in the hoophouse 🙂

Starting to get it all outfitted- moved in my potting bench-

And The Man has fashioned a couple of other work tables out of reclaimed lumber. Really mice and solid.

Hoping to start with the seed sowing by next weekend

And am also putting a plan together for how I’m going to us the planting space inside. Thinking of trellising tomatoes, cukes, and melons to make best use of the square footage.

Also hit upon a neat idea for growing potatoes just the other day- using chicken food bags as grow bags https://the-chicken-chick.com/tater-totes-feed-bag-potato-patch/ So I think we’re going to give that a go this year.

On other fronts, baby chickens are just over three weeks old and entering their “scruffy-looking” stage

And my mountain of Felix rolags has finally completed its transition to about 500 yards of fairly fine two-ply yarn

Will be setting aside this batch for dyeing later on this year- building up my color palette for fairisle projects.

Can hardly wait for good dyeing weather!

Poly On, Wayne!

Poly On, Garth! 🙂

Big day yesterday! Took advantage of the the beautiful, spring-like weather to do the poly pull. There isn’t much in the way of in-progress documentation because it was just the two of us which is probably the absolute minimum number of hands it takes to get this bit done. But here was the setup at the start

And the technique we used is demonstrated in this video from Tunnel Vision Hoops, the folks we purchased our kit from.

It all went pretty smoothly, except for a couple of fraught minutes when the wind kicked up. But we kept ahold of everything and managed to get it pretty well square and taut.

Still have the east-facing rollup side to do sometime today, and the north end vent, but current mood is

Coming Up Short

I almost finished the robe part of Dolores’ new outfit this week- but it was kind of a bear for such a small, simple garment.

I guess I’d forgotten how much I don’t like superwash yarn. Always feels slippery to me. Kind of fiddly to knit with.

And then it turned out that there wasn’t quite enough of it. ( like that Woody Allen line: ” The food here is terrible, and the portions are too small.  “)

It’s washed and blocked, and drying now

But in order to do the second sleeve I had to unpick the caston edge and pull out three rows of hem selvage, so that is why those stitches are now on a holder. I’ll have to go back and to a couple replacement rows in some other yarn before turning it back and sewing it down.

Here is Dolores, reluctantly sitting for a try-on session

Was please that at least it’s a pretty good fit, though I had to do a line of crochet inside the back neck to give it a little more structure. Once I have her stitched up the front and properly accessorized (earrings, collar) I think she’s look properly judicial 🙂

In other news, chickies are growing fast

And I’ve been working on my “Rio Grande flip” technique on my lateral treadle wheel with the spindle mod. I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. Have been meaning to make a little video- maybe it will happen for next week. Was practicing with some Esther wool today-

We’re also wrapping up the last bits on the hoophouse structure- short list of things that we need to finish up before the poly sheeting install. That last step will be dependent on having a day of good weather with no wind, but I want to make sure we’re ready for when the opportunity presents itself!

Have a good week everyone-

For a Short Month-

February really packs a punch.

Finally got some good weather for pruning this weekend and so got down to business with pruning fruit trees and roses.

Eased myself in with rosebushes on Friday, and then Saturday I felt I was ready to take on the big apple tree. I spent about 4 hours sawing, clipping and lopping. And then I realized that we might need to take more drastic action to address a structural issue.

It turns out that, due to a bad pruning decision about 14-15 years ago, we had a rot problem atop the northwest quadrant of the tree that was likely going to cause the canopy on that side to give way at some point.

Here is the tree last year after pruning

So we had to take out vertical bit right there in the center.

And there is the aftermath- strewn on the ground beneath.

Here’s a picture of aforementioned rot

We might need to do some further reductions to bring the tree back in balance, but will leave that decision for later. I’m pretty darn worn out from hauling off the debris.

This week also saw the arrival of a bunch of baby chickens from the farm store. The Man picked out a bunch of Golden Sexlinks Friday, and I augmented the batch with a few little Welsummers on Saturday. They are settled into their little chick habitat in the shop for now- peeping and bopping about and being super cute

So that’s pretty exciting- and by late summer we should be up to our eyeballs in eggs!

In wool news, I’ve got a bobbinful of Felix singles spun up, probably almost half of the rolag mountain.

And I’ve finally made a start on Dolores’ Notorious judicial outfit.

Dolores is pretty excited about a new getup, so I’d better get on with it!