It seems that after a day of toil in the garden, this senior citizen needs a rest day. Yesterday was basically a nice day, mostly cloudy, but warm, but the body said no more.
The spring cover crop seed has arrived and it needs to be planted, but the area in which it is to go must be cultivated, sown, then raked. We don’t own a tiller, nor can either of us manhandle more than a small one at this point and the only other option is to take the 3 prong cultivator and do it by hand. It is a large area and the tractor drove back and forth over it while clearing it and moving soil for the boxes, so it is fairly compacted. Instead of tackling it yesterday, I opted to stay in and craft. There is a good supply of Leister Longwool fiber from Sunrise Valley Farm locally and a plan still in place to spin enough to make me a sweater from it. The first attempt was just too heavy trying to do Fair Isle with yarn that was at least light worsted weight. One bobbin was full of a very fine singles and another was started. By last night, the second bobbin had been spun and the two plyed into 405.33 yards if fingering to sport weight yarn. If knit on slightly larger needles than that weight would normally call for, I think it will be a nice draping fabric for a sweater. There is a lot more of the fiber to go and more from this year’s shearing reserved for me. More must be spun, about 3 or more skeins that size, a pattern selected, and a decision about whether to add color, keep it natural, or dye the completed sweater.
In the midst of the spinning, grand daughter announced that she was old enough to learn to knit and wanted to learn to spin. The first knitting lesson was given with her sitting between my legs and me doing the wrap while she held both ends of the circular needle, picked up the next stitch, criss-crossed the ends in the right position, let me wrap, then over the top and off the needle. She did a row and a half before her brother came home and she wanted to go outside and play. She is in no way ready to knit on her own, but she is eager and understands what she has to do.
Also breaking up the spinning on the Louët, making the yarn for the sweater, continued practice occurs on the great wheel. There are still a couple of issues that a solution evades me. The post that holds the wheel if fully set causes the wheel to drag at one point. If it is shimmed enough to allow the clearance, it tends to pivot slightly causing the drive band to walk off. This requires fairly constant readjustment to prevent the drive band from falling. The mother of all that holds the quill is slightly loose in it’s mounting and even the light tension required to draft the fiber causes it to pivot slightly which can also cause the drive band to walk off. Both of these problems need to be solved, though the process of long draw spinning and winding onto the quill is getting more consistent.
Last night the wind howled and at first light when taking grandson to the bus stop, it revealed that both row cover domes had blown off the beds. Once both kids were dispatched to bus and preschool, a bit of repair work was done, hopefully to stay in place during today’s continued cold wind. Tonight is supposed to drop to 24ºf (-4.44c) and though there are no sprouts yet, the beds need protection.
The plum trees still need to be planted. Maybe after lunch.