Today marked the last Farmer’s Market of the year, as the next two Saturday’s are holidays. It also means that some of the vendors are finished until spring and I will miss being able to do the bulk of our weekly groceries locally sourced, regeneratively and/or organically grown. There will be a few vendors through the winter when travel from their farms allow and some products still available, but it is always sad knowing this marks the beginning of real winter.
Today was also the last Holiday Market as well and this year I didn’t participate for several reasons. There are more and more vendors selling similar products, and competition is good unless your handspun, handknit hat is competing with bulky knit acrylic one. And the uncertainty of Covid sent me in a different direction last year, slowly spinning on spindles and knitting a blanket for us instead of product for sale, so my stock was low. And the cost of participating was too great for my stock availability. I limited my events to three at Wilderness Road Regional Museum, and one outdoor event at Montgomery Museum this past year and not until I was fully vaccinated. At times, I wonder if that adventure should cease and just donate my time spinning at the Museum or heritage craft events without vending. With this in mind, some of my equipment is being sold off and keeping only that which I love and use. Now with the new variant spreading like the wild fires of the midwest and western states, we are again wearing masks even in crowded outdoor venue, and I guess will stop going in restaurants again for a while, though that had only resumed occasionally.
This week hasn’t felt much like winter, with warm daytime temperatures and mild nights, but tomorrow is supposed to be more seasonable. Today it is raining, yesterday too, but we squeezed in a walk only getting a light shower during part of it. I don’t think we will get one today. We won’t have a white Christmas this year, but it may be cold enough for a fire in the fireplace. We won’t be totally isolated from our family this year either, but still only a tiny gathering. We were so fortunate to be able to meet up with Son 2 and his family week before last and enjoy their children.
One of my hydroponic gardens has not been doing well, so this morning, I broke it down, totally cleaned it, reset the plants that were growing and started some new salad greens. The other one has gotten off schedule with maintenance power outage by the power company and power flickers due to wind. I may put both of them on an easy to control power bar with a timer as the internal timers on the units can only be reset by getting up very early and restarting them and they don’t run for the same number of hours.
I will end this not very positive missive with a holiday photo.
It is done. What a joyous ride this past year has been on this delightful project. I spun 26 breeds, used 25 of them, knit 43 squares but one was too small so finished it is 42 squares. It is spun entirely with my Jenkins Turks, plied entirely with them also, and put together with Jenkins spun yarn. It was a stress free goal, let me try wools I had never heard of or handled along with many I already loved. One huge thank you goes out to Lisa who started following my progress after I bought a Jenkins Finch spindle from her destash. She is in Sweden and sent me the spindle packed in Helsinge wool. When I posted about it in my blog, she sent me enough more to make two more squares with it, then when I mentioned in my blog I needed darker squares for the last two months, she sent me Jamtland and Gotland lamb. There are two Jamtland squares and one Gotland lamb square in the blanket with more to spin for another project, so she provided 1/7 of the fiber for the blanket. Now I need to find a new project. There are lots of small balls of left over yarn from this project that can be used.
As I knit the squares, I pinned tags of the breed on the squares. Tonight, hubby helped me make a chart in order by row and I removed the tags. A larger chart, perhaps a photo of the blanket with each square labelled on the picture will be made and taken with the blanket when I go to do demonstration spinning.
The last two squares were knit on Wednesday and Thursday in the car as we travelled part of the way across the state to meet up with Son 2 and most of his family for an evening at Busch Gardens Williamsburg Winter Wonderland. This gave us the opportunity to chat with the adults and their oldest daughter and get to know the younger ones better while also meeting the newest granddaughter. They have a beautiful family. The oldest wasn’t with them because he was near where we live at a multi day swim meet. Today we went by the aquatic center hoping to run into him, but there are 1000 swimmers so only the ones scheduled for time blocks are there. His mom sent us approximate times he will swim tomorrow and Sunday, so we will go back and watch him compete.
Sometimes a front brings a breeze, sometimes a wind, last night it was WIND. Wake you from a deep sleep wind. Being awakened by hubby who thought the roof was coming off (it wasn’t, no damage there).
This morning, it is again calm, the sun is bright, the temperature fell 40 degrees f from yesterday and will remain cold through today and tomorrow, but the damage is evident. Fortunately, nothing signicant. The back deck has a round glass topped table that I had yet to fold and store for winter and it blew off the deck and landed folded on it’s face on the rock patio under construction. Somehow it didn’t break. The huge gas grill which had blown over once before causing some cosmetic damage, blew down the hill a bit and the rusting burners destroyed, the grill plates scattered.
I haven’t gotten it back upright and up the hill, the wheels are mostly non functional and it is too heavy for me to carry alone especially since several of the frame pieces have rusted through. I removed the gas tank from it. The table is folded and tucked behind the chairs on the deck, but will be moved to the basement utility area before our first snow is expected (not counting tomorrow’s flurries).
The most damage occurred to Huck’s coop, the chicken tractor that we had placed on a cedar log raft off the ground many years ago. In a prior storm, the lift half of the top had blown off and was leaning against the side. Much of the wood is rotten, the cedar raft caved in and I had removed most of the hardware from it last summer with the idea of either replacing the rotting wood or totally dismantling it, saving the hardware cloth and buring the wood if there is a calm wet day. Last night made the decision for me. It will have to be dismantled now.
In walking around the house in the cold this morning, that seems to be the only issues. I don’t see any trees down in the edges of the fields, but I haven’t walked the woods to see if any came down there. It definitely was a strong front that blew through. It had begun when we were taking our walk yesterday, but nothing like last night.
P.S. I remade the Cranberry Orange Shortbread, this time pressed in the 8″ pan and it came out perfectly.