Category: Blog


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!

Sweater Weather

Sorry I missed y’all last week. Was away in FL for some family visiting.

Now I’m back, and there is no mistaking that the fall is well and truly upon us.

We had a long dry summer, and the rain is so welcome.

I had gotten my Dottie and Chone Marjolaine off the needles just before I left-

And this morning, I wove in the ends, making it an official completion.

Such a comfy sweater- and with a good strong foundation of Dottie wool, I expect it will nice and hard-wearing too. It was a fun knit. Could see knitting another one sometime- or maybe incorporating the colorwork charts into hats or other projects.

Cross-country travel offers a lot of good knitting time, and I managed to get two hats made on the trip

My old standby hat pattern. Might start calling it “Coast to Coast”.

Mending Fences & Sweater Progress

This morning I helped The Man with an item from the To Do list- re-tensioning the wire cross-bracing on our pasture fence. These wires take a lot of abuse from the sheeps, who like to lean in on them and do their scritching, and eventually end up coated in stray wool fibers like so

Being wrapped in gunky felted wool isn’t a big deal, but they tend to make the wires slack over time, which defeats the purpose. Here is a picture of our lovely, new well-tensioned wire

and the gang of sweet sheepy culprits who will no doubt start rubbing their booties against it as soon as our backs are turned. 🙂

In Marjolaine sweater news, sleeving is believing!

and the sleeve colorwork detail-

It’s really coming together! Hoping to have a matching second sleeve finished in a few says.

Then when the cool, rainy weather finally comes (forecast is saying end of this week?) it’ll be ready to wear.

Can’t wait some good PNW precip to clear the smoke from the air.

A Little Fall Shearing

Yesterday the opportunity to shear Fiona presented itself, so I grabbed it.

I thought that it might be a good idea to reduce her bulk a bit, and it will be a while yet before the temps are freezing-ish. Thankfully, she was onboard with the the idea. She was exceptionally cooperative, right up until I got to about her hips. Then she started getting a little antsy. But we pushed through, and have a bin of lovely fleece to show for it.

While you can see some of her taupe-y color in the photo above, this one captures the texture a little better, I think.

I was so pleased to see that her wool had grown in a lot softer and finer over the spring/summer, as her previous fleece was quite coarse. So this is a big improvement, texture-wise. Locks are about 4-5 inches long. Should be nice to play with.

And in sweater news, the body is done! Finished it off with corrugated ribbing this morning and set it out for a quick block

Here’s a little closer look at the fabric- I love how the Dottie yarn fuzzes up a bit when washed. Feels so nice 🙂

Onward to the sleeves!

And out in the garden, pumpkins are coming into their own. Just pulled a couple of pretty Jarrahdales out in order to get at the potatoes, whose patch they had invaded

And starting to think about overwintering some hoophouse plants. Lemon verbena will be coming in the house, as well as a few pepper plants. Watched a video the other day about overwintering tomatoes, and so I thought I’d give it a go while I’ve still got some viable shoots to clip and get rooted.

Would be cool if I could save a couple interesting varieties and get a headstart on tomato production next season.