Category: Blog

Robing & Disrobing

First the Robing- Dolores’ judicial gown and lace collar ala RBG!

I love how the pearl earrings complete the look. I’ve still got two other collars to finish, but she seems pretty happy with this one, so we’re good for now 🙂

And in the Disrobing category, we’ve got Esther, who gave up her fleece earlier this week-

And now she’s a white sheep again! I haven’t sorted her wool yet, but there is a whole lot of it- maybe 10 pounds?

Out in the hoophouse, seedlings are mostly potted up- and there are a lot of them!

Potato sprouts in the feed beds are starting to pop up too! Carrots, parsnips, snap peas are sown in the raised beds, and broccoli starts already planted out. Feels like things are moving really fast this spring-

Spring Things

Despite some recent crazy weather, including sleet/hail, Spring is definitely in the air!

Baby chickens are growing fast- now about 6 weeks old

(taken through chicken wire so they wouldn’t all run off and hide)

and Yellow Chig is keeping a close eye on them

She’s such a sweet old gal. Yesterday I dug back in my photos to figure out how old she is- I was thinking she was probably about 6 or so, but it turns out she’s 8 years old! And still laying the occasional egg. She loves to hang out in the hoophouse and dust bathe in the warm surface soil, and I like to watch her enjoying her retirement. 🙂

In the hoophouse, the seedlings are coming on strong

And on the pasture side, I’ve gotten one sheep sheared. This year, first haircut honors go to Fiona

I even got it all in one go- except for her belly, which will need to be cleaned up later.

And I’m striving to wash as I go, so I don’t have a lot of raw fleece hanging around-

Fleece plus Tiny Gus!

It’s a lovely creamy taupe color. Will be so fun to work with. Had some issues with felting along the mid-back, but those bits, with their curly tips, will make excellent toupees for future sock monkeys!

some of those lovely curly tips, alongside some newly spun Chone wool from 2018 (spun on Elsa, chain plied on Moto)

Not sure who will be next in the beauty salon, but there is a lot of fleece out there on the hoof right now. Check out Esther’s current style-

She’s a walking wool festival!

Have a good week everyone-

Darn It! (Again) or, The Tiniest Loom

Look what I got in the mail the other day!

If you’ve not seen anything quite like it before, it is a “SpeedWeve” type darning loom. With this little guy, you can weave a patch in place right over a hole or a tear in fabric.

So yesterday I dove in gave it a try. Here is the basic procedure:

Find yourself a hole of suitable size
Center the hole on the wooden disc and secure with rubber band
Attach the loom to the disc using second rubber band
Run the warp threads , anchoring them in the fabric beneath the hole and looping them through hooks above
Laying in the weft, tacking each row to the fabric beneath at the edges. Note that the hooks create a shed in the warp when they are flipped from side to side using the little tabs above
Weft all filled in!
wider view of my work site, with helpers Gus and Yellow Chig
panning to the right, Boo Kitten enjoying a hoophouse nap 🙂
Loom removed
top loops stitched down
view from the back
ends tucked in

And there you go! How cool is that?

Love this tiny loom. Such a clever design 🙂

Oh- and since it’s Easter, I thought I’d share some beautiful (naturally) colored eggs

I especially love the rosy brown of the eggs the new little Amberlink girls are laying. So pretty. Happy Spring everyone! 🙂

Garden Planning and Progress

Hey hey hey! Seed starting is underway! 🙂

3/23 I planted tomatoes (3 varieties) , cukes, broccoli, melons(!), okra, bell peppers, oregano, basil, anise hyssop, and coleus.

They are on heating mats in the hoophouse, and I’ve been covering them with an additional sheet of light plastic overnight. Most of the seed packages indicated germination times of at least 7 days, so I didn’t expect to see any activity this soon, but check it out-

okra, cukes and melons popping
oregano and broccoli
and even some precocious little tomatoes!

That has me really excited. I’ve decided that I’ll be growing my two types of indeterminate tomatoes (Brad’s Atomic Grape, and HoneyComb hybrid) vertically, using these cool clips that I learned about on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBDqskBk3lQ method demo starts at 7:37)

clip on twine like so-

I’ve got one determinate variety (Principe Borghese, a roma type) and those will probably go in cages, but not sure yet. (Kind of nervous about having wire tomato cages in proximity to hoophouse plastic…..)

The Man got me a big ole bag of clips, so I think I’m going to try the same method with cucumbers and melons (with nylon slings to support melon fruits). In this way, I’ll be able to make the most of the square footage of the soil space in the hoophouse, and hopefully underplant the trellised things with herbs and flowers.

And here are those feed bags I mentioned last week, newly planted with French fingerling and Yukon Gold potatoes.

Feels good to see the plan coming together.