Day 3 of beautiful garden weather…

but it is going to end tomorrow, 20 degrees f colder and 100% chance of rain. I took advantage of the day to do the fencing work on the garden. The chickens lost about half of their run around the garden. The south edge of it was about 6 or 7′ wide between the inner and outer fence and had 36″ high fencing on the garden side, plus there were gaps beneath the fence they could get under. I also realized that there were asparagus growing almost to the fence on the north side, and the chooks could reach my comfrey through the fence on the west side. That section was only about 3 feet long. I secured them in their pen and and removed the inner fence, set better posts, shifted it away from the asparagus bed and reset it only on the north and east edges of the garden, a narrow open topped tunnel about my shoulder width and 48″ fencing on both sides of the run. They have scratched nearly all the weeds out already, but because of my shifting of the inner fence to narrow their run, I have some areas in the edges of the garden that now need attention. I put a “gate” at both ends in case one of us has to go in the run.

This morning, we drove to daughter’s house and picked up the post pounder and I set 3 T posts from our supply and used a guide rope between the outer two so that the inner two were in line (that doesn’t usually happen when I am fencing). The sturdy exterior welded wire fence was moved in the 6 or 7′ to the south edge of the area that I plant. After I move a few rocks, that area can now be mowed and the working garden is fenced.

The tall weeds and grass are the old fence line.

I didn’t get to the spoiled hay down today because it was recover and dinner prep time by the time I was done. After dinner, I hung the gate.

And pulled down the solar charger so I can get a replacement battery for one of the two we own. All of the extra fencing was rolled and stored. All of the short cuts were folded up to be taken to the “convenience center” where we have to take our garbage and recycling.

While I was doing that work, the tiny spindle I was awaiting arrived in the mail. I thought the spindle I used the most was tiny, but this one is as small as it’s name, Bee Humingbird.

The ruler is for scale. It came in a little tin with the brown alpaca for me to spin. Tomorrow as it rains, I will spin, knit, and recover from 3 days of hard work. On Wednesday when it is dry and cool, I will move spoiled hay to cover the cardboard and weed mat. I will grab some old deck wood from the barn and terrace the upper third of the garden and get spoiled hay down on that path as well. One more day of weeding and hay moving and then it is plant and maintain. If I work a few minutes a few mornings a week into summer, the maintenance shouldn’t be too bad. My garden plan is done, the worst of the prep work is done. Now to start enjoying the fruits of that labor.

UFO’s

In crafting terms, that is unfinished objects. The past week has been finishing those WIP (works in progress), making the UFO’s, finished objects. There was a skinny scarf on the needles for daughter and a hat that I started in mid February. Both were worsted weight hand spun yarn. Both are finished and blocked (though the photo is prior to that occurring). The hat went into the shop. The scarf is sitting here as I try to figure out how to get it to her without contacting her or her kids. It may get mailed.

One of my travel projects became a stay at home project, a narrow triangular scarf, pattern is Easy Goes It by Finicky Creations. The yarn is Lollipop Yarn, Whirling Dervish sock weight that I won as a door prize.

Each block of the blocking mats is 12″, so the scarf is nearly 6′ long and about 16″ deep at the point of the triangle. It was made with unknown plan. I have too many knits in similar colors for my wardrobe, but it is washable, so a potential gift for a family member or an addition to the shop.

Now that all the needles are cleared, another skein or two will be tackled, a hat with a cabled frog in apple green is planned for the shop and a lacy skinny scarf for daughter. She wears lots of black and white and uses the skinny scarves to accent her work outfits without adding too much weight and can help keep the back of her neck warm from air conditioning drafts.

Spinning for an hour or so on the drop spindles to make the fiber last as long as possible is part of the daily activity.

I’m about halfway through reading The Dollmaker. It is a book I have wanted to read for a long time. The copy I am reading is from eldest son’s extensive library and is a paperback that is older than he is, so it is yellowed and fragile, but care is being taken with it and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It will be returned to their library next time we are able to visit.

The seed starts are doing well. I’m awaiting a series of warmer days to sow some lettuce, radishes, and some direct sowed Chinese cabbages. I have three half barrels that held herbs last year that are close to the back deck, they are going to be my salad garden this spring.

Slow I go

My favorite knitting needles developed a flaw, a major flaw. The nickle plating on the brass tips wore off of the needle I was using on a scarf for my daughter. I fear that the set purchased from Amazon were seconds as they were about $30 less expensive than the same sets from online yarn shops. Amazon agreed to allow me to return them and refund my money. I ordered a new set from a well know national yarn store and now must await their delivery. I can work on one of the three projects I had on needles using a wooden circular needle I had on hand.

This has provided more time to spin on my spindles. My two favorites are a pair of Wrens, turkish spindles by Ed Jenkins. One is cherry, the other Osage orange. The Cherry one has a substantial cop of plied silver Shetland wool, the Osage orange had just been removed from the smaller cop of dark gray Shetland wool that was a sample that came with the spindle.

Lately, I have spent much more time with the spindles than with my wheel. I spun a braid that was about 4.5 ounces on the wheel while I was at the retreat two weekends ago, but this is the production on the spindles, plus another mini skein of the silver Shetland that must be in hiding tonight.

Everything here were samples that came with spindles or with fiber purchased from independent shops, except the silver Shetland. I am working my way through a pound of it. It is delightful to spin, especially on the spindles.

I had made good progress on getting through my stash of fiber before I went away. I scoured some Cotswold and brought it home, carded some Jacob that I had previously scoured. Then at spinning last week, one of the spinners brought a huge bag of various fibers that she wanted out of her house, FREE. I came home with two of her offerings. I will continue on the spindles, but some time needs to be spent on the wheel or I will run out of places to store my wools.