Category: Blog

Return of the Locker Hook

Was a warm day out at the Alger Sunday market- a bit of a challenging environment for wool sales. 😉

But was nice to be out and have a chance to chat with folks about the sheeps and their fabulous fiber- and also to have a bit of quiet crafting time. I brought along a long-dormant project, my locker hooking sample

And I made quite a bit of progress! It is very close to being a pillow, or maybe a seat cushion.

Garden update-

Tomato lineup- clockwise from upper left: large Italian, German Pink, Orange Paruche, Blush, Black Cherry

Cherokee Purple are just starting to color up, as are Blot peppers. More on those next week

And I found my first Weinlanderin bean!

Neat, eh?

Also, I’m pleased to report that I got my hay. Boo Kitten is so happy to have her sweet-smelling highrise hangout back, and I’m relieved to have sheep food put away for the winter.

Have a good week folks!

The Heat is On

And it really zaps my energy.

But I’ve been trying to make good use of the mornings, before the full force of the sun is upon us. Making sure everyone has fresh cool water and trying to stay on top of garden chores.

The garden, of course is going nuts with all these heat inputs- so that’s the focus today. Standby for photo-overload 🙂

Large Italian tomato- crazy that these big fruits are among the first to ripen. is off to a super-productive start.
German Pink – first ripe fruit. Such a gorgeous rosy color!
Diamond Eggplant (this is by far the most productive plant- seems to like the far south corner of the hoophouse)
D’Elene Celery – this guy did well in the hoophouse, shaded by peas and cukes. more planted outside are not quite as far along yet.
Blot pepper- excited to see how these ripen and change color
Sheepnose Pimento pepper- need I say more? who doesn’t love a sheep nose 🙂
Craig’s Grande (not so grande yet!) Jalapeno
and even some little Cayenne peps!
Petite Gris De Renne melons (only a few this size so far- hoping for more!)

Also noticed this morning that Black Cherry tomatoes are starting to show some color.

Also wanted to share a photo of a new-to-me plant that I got in a seed swap this spring. Malabar Spinach. So unusual and beautiful.

and my Weinlanderin beans are flowering. Aren’t these just the sweetest little flowers?

ok, that’s probably enough for now.

Forecast is promising a cooling trend starting tomorrow. Low 80’s will be such a relief!

Have a good week folks-

Luck Runs Out

It had been quite a while since an eagle had made a move on one of our chickens out in the pasture.

Despite having two good roosters on the job, I suppose it was inevitable that it would happen at some point. So many raptors around here. Everyone looking for a tasty morsel to take home for dinner.

At least I was home when it happened. I was upstairs carding some wool and I heard the commotion.

Raced out to the pasture to see the attack in progress, and managed to disrupt the eagle’s plan by causing a scene like the crazy chicken woman that I am. 😉

No tasty morsel for you!

I collected up my poor chicken and went about assessing the damage. She’s intact, but her back is pretty ripped up. She’s a really healthy, feisty chicken, so I hope that will give her an advantage in recovering from this attack. I’ve got her wounds dressed with gauze and covered with a chicken saddle. She’ll have to stay in a crate for a while so i can get her healed up. She’s not thrilled about that.

But having another unexpected special-needs chicken meant that I had to come to terms with the fact the my poor gimpy chicken wasn’t responding to physical therapy, and was growing weaker. I felt like I’d done as much for her as I could, and it wasn’t going anywhere. So I had to admit failure and let her go. That was hard.

So one chicken saved, one chicken buried. Enough pasture drama for one weekend.

The peace is restored, for now.

Mighty Red Spins Again

I’m so pleased to report that Mighty Red is back in service.

Last Monday, with some much-appreciated help from The Man, I was able to get the maidens freed up (not glued, thank goodness!). After that I got down to sanding the groove in the wheel to take the gloss off the paint and create a more grippy surface for the drive band to run in.

Also sanded some gloopy paint bits from the grooves in the bobbin and whorl so they would operate smoothly. And The Man removed paint from the flyer axle and orifice with a wire wheel.

She was missing a rear flyer bearing, and I didn’t have any suitable leather handy, so I improvised with a zip tie, which is working quite well so far.

Next bit was the treadle. There was an old repair that with a rusted screw and protruding nut below the treadle bar that we replaced (again, not on the level of restoration, but with a focus on keeping her functional)

and we gave her a new pin in the left side of the treadle

After that, with a bit of adjustment of her threaded rods to get the right alignment on the wheel, she was pretty much up and spinning. But I found that I had to rotate the end cap on the spinner side wheel up right to keep the wheel axle from jumping out of the bearing when I treadled.

It’s supposed to sit the other way around (as you can tell from the little carveout in the bottom edge for the axle), but this will work for now. I’m thinking about how we might best re-create the missing bit of the cap- any ideas appreciated!

Other longer term work might include reinforcing the glued flyer arms, but they currently seem pretty stable.

She’s a really nice spinner- drive wheel is about 25″, and I estimate the ratio as 12.5

With a drive band of regular old cotton household twine set under very light tension she’s got a nice easy-going takeup.

And for her first sample skein she got to meet almost everyone in the flock 🙂