It Wants To Be Spring . . .

but it is struggling today, tonight, and until Saturday. The Forsythia and Daffodils are blooming. The grass has turned emerald green, the Asian Pear unfortunately is blooming as are the Blueberries and the Peach tree is just starting, so there may be no fruit from them. Last night it went down to 33f, today stays cold and windy and tonight it will drop to 20f, with tomorrow and tomorrow night nearly carbon copies.

Since there are tiny plants in the garden, young peas, young onions, lettuce, kale, and spinach, they are protected. Last night wasn’t enough to cause damage, but tonight and tomorrow night will be.

In the cold biting wind this morning, cheap plastic shower curtain liners that I use in rainy weather on my vending canopy were put to new use, protecting the tender growth in the garden. The sturdy little tomato plants won’t get outdoor time today or tomorrow.

The chicks got their heat lamp lowered, though they will be moved to the coop as soon as it warms up again, they are so crowded in the big black water trough. I reconfigured their pen, putting a second layer of fence wire with smaller openings and making the pen larger while removing the narrow run. The newly enlarged pen, covered with plastic erosion fencing to keep the hawks from feasting on them once they are out and about. Yesterday the old fence wire that I used to make the temporary run to herd the hens to their new dwelling was rolled and put beside the garden until it could be moved for storage. This morning, I see the rolls blown by the wind overnight have been relocated to a field. When it warms up a few degrees or the wind dies down, I will go gather them back up and find a place to store them.

The hens suprised me. I was sure egg production would be down due to the stress of moving and being locked up, but I have gotten 4 or 5 eggs every day since the move. They are making little ground nests in the straw, kicking any straw I put in the nesting boxes out and mostly ignoring the boxes, so it is like an Easter egg hunt every time I go to gather them, but they are laying.

The dishwasher installer finally came on Monday, the tractor pick up was delayed with no notice as I sat here all day Tuesday awaiting them. When I called to find out when they were coming, I was told it was delayed until yesterday in the pouring rain and that I didn’t have to be here. I wish they had told me that in the first place, the day they were supposed to come was a beautiful day and our walk could have been midday instead of after dinner. I did get the blade off the tractor and moved out of their way before they got here, that thing is heavy, and though the tire was totally flat and losing the fluid fill, they drove it up on the truck and hauled it off for repair and servicing. I have no idea how long they are going to keep it, but there are no pressing needs for it right now.

I finished 15 squares for my Breed Blanket Project by yesterday. Thirteen of them are shown here. The additional two are another like the one lower right and another of the white in the row above on the left. I don’t think I will do 15 each quarter, but I should end up with a decent sized wool throw from my year’s effort. The second April challenge doesn’t appeal to me as it would require me to spin 25 grams on my oldest spindle and 25 grams on my oldest Jenkins Turkish spindle, ply them together, and knit all 50 grams. My oldest spindle is the bottom whorl spindle I take to re enactments and I don’t like spinning on top and bottom whorl spindles since I discovered the Jenkins Turkish spindles. I may take a pass on that challenge and just work on the blanket challenge. All of the left overs from doing the squares are being knit into a much smaller log cabin pattern blanket that will become my table cover for events and craftshows. Each band of the log cabin will be labelled with the breed of wool that was spun. I am enjoying that challenge, spinning wools I have never used before or spinning some I did for the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em challenge only this time on spindles instead of the wheel. Between the two challenges, I have decided that my favorite wools to spin are not longwools and not the supersoft from the Merino line, but sturdier wools that mostly aren’t next to the skin soft.

That basket is full of 25 to 100 gram samples left to be spun for the blankets. I better get busy. This month is one I have never spun before, North Ronaldsay from Scotland/Orkney Islands, fairly soft and another light gray. My second breed for the month is one I have spun on the wheel, Finn, my last dyed sample. The rest of the year will be natural white, gray, morrit, black, and tan wools.