Rainy Day Olio – 3/25/2021

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things

My Facebook memory for the day shows snow 3 years ago, so I have to keep reminding myself that it is spring on the calendar, but still 6 weeks to the last average frost. I am not patient when it comes to the garden. Once I start, I want to plant, to harvest, to start putting by for the off seasons, then I look at the pantry shelves and freezer and realize we haven’t used all of last year’s stuff up yet. I have never had much luck starting my own seeds that aren’t direct sown, but the new hydroponic unit with 12 plugs has the healthiest little dozen tomato plants. The unit has LED lights and a gentle fan so the plants are sturdy and only several inches tall, not shooting for the moon as leggy starts.

Eventually they will be transplanted into 4″ plantable pots and start spending part of each day outdoors on the deck, but not yet. Most of the starts of spinach, kale, and mesclun greens that I transplanted and then covered with plastic didn’t get enough water from the rains and few survived. The 8 mini head lettuces that I bought at the Farmer’s Market as transplants are doing great. Yesterday after morning showers and before today’s rain, I direct sowed more lettuce, kale, lacinato kale, and spinach in the bed and left the plastic off. I see no frost nights until late next week and I will cover them just for the nights then.

I have resumed my love affair with spindles over the past year. They are so portable and can be put down on the side table and left until I’m ready to return to them. They can be put in a tin and dropped in my bag to take with me in the car, and the smaller ones can even be used when hubby is driving as long as the road isn’t too winding. On a spindle I can create fine, even, consistent yarns, the small balls wound together and plied on either a larger spindle or even on my wheel. My wheel has suffered neglect this year. To use it by my chair, I have to move the ottoman and move the wheel every time I need to get up. But day before yesterday, I chose to pull it over and decided to finish spinning a 5 ounce braid of very soft wool/silk blend I had started on the spindles. It took me two days to finish spinning two very full bobbins and plying it on my jumbo flyer and large bobbin. I told hubby I thought it was about 1000 yards of singles spun.

I finished plying it last night and let it sit overnight before winding it off this morning. I was close, it is a two ply yarn, lace weight, and finished at 484.5 yards, so it was 969 yards of singles. It is a very pretty, soft and drapey yarn that has been washed and is drying now. The spindle is the one my hubby gave me for my birthday last November and it is spinning wool for my breed blanket. I should have 14 or 15 squares finished by the end of the month. I will lay them all out and take a picture then.

When a spindle isn’t in use, it is safely nested in it’s own little compartment on thick felt in this box. When out and about, it travels in a tin like one of these, nested on a bed of the fiber being spun on it.

On Sunday, the museum where I used to go and spin in costume, regularly, is scheduled to have Founder’s Day. As I am fully vaccinated and the event is supposed to be outdoors, I plan to attend as a period spinner with wheel and spindles, combs, and cards, and wool I washed to process for spinning. The event has other re enactors, carriage rides (pre-registered) through town, but the weather app is showing a 90% chance of rain. I can’t take a wheel, yarn, and knits out in the yard in the rain. I guess I will wait and see if the forecast improves or see if I can be on the roofed porch, still “outdoors,” but protected. I will be so glad when it is safe to resume life again.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.

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