Tag Archives: plying

Olio – June 9, 2017

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.






Today was the last full day of the Harley Davidson 5 State Rally in Roanoke and the third ride that Jim was the ride Captain.  Grandson had his last day of school and I picked him up at 11 and we drove to the covered bridge in our community and sat for a few minutes until the 15 or so bikes rode by us on the way up to Mountain Lake Lodge to see the Dirty Dancing display, it was filmed there, and to have lunch.  We hurried in to town, picked up granddaughter from Preschool and back up the mountain where we joined the big group on the porch for lunch.  They were a really nice group of folks and the kids were well behaved and hungry.

Back home, my ride, the tractor was brought out and the yard mowed, showing the clear demarcation between the lawn and the hay.

It was such a nice afternoon that the new wheel and I adjourned to the front porch and a funky skein of yarn was plyed.  Daughter named it “Seussical” as soon as she saw it.  I am now spinning a yellow and orange skein that will be used with “Seussical” to make a hat and mitts for the Holiday Markets in the fall and winter.

While sitting there, the distinctive buzz of a hummingbird was heard and soon, the little emerald green hummer was feeding right in front of me. I have tried for years to get a photo of one and if I sat still and stopped spinning, it returned repeatedly to the feeder.

While I was prepping tacos for dinner, the haying team arrived and the area where the photo of the short grass and the tall hay along with most of the rest of the area in front of the house were mowed with a sickle bar to be raked and baled tomorrow or Sunday.  The big 15′ mower will arrive tomorrow and take on the big fields that have fewer obstacles and longer straighter runs.  The sickle bar will go around the rock piles and along the edges of the fields.  Soon the farm will be neat and mowed.  Farmer Jeff is right on schedule, he always gets to us in the second or third week of June.  The grands will be glad to have more area to play once the hay is all in.


Putting by has commenced

Putting by” is an old-fashioned term for preserving food for eating long after the harvest or butchering.  This is a challenge each summer and fall to try to store enough from the garden, the orchard, and the coops, to help us stay local and to reduce our winter food budget/footprint.

One of the easiest items that go on the pantry shelves are pickled jalapenos.  Jim and eldest son both love them and eat them with most dinners.  Some years the last jar gets opened just as the first peppers are harvested from the garden.  This year, too many peppers went into salsa and the freezer, as some of my plants last year produced the jumbo variety.  We had to buy 2 cans of commercially canned ones.  The first 3 jars have been pickled and are curing.

Today, a few bell peppers, a handful of Dragon Thai peppers, and the first Habenero were harvested.  The Thai and Habeneros will be made into hot sauces as more are harvested.  As they come in to the house, they are washed, stemmed, and put in a jar of good vinegar or frozen.  When there are enough in the jar, they will be ground, garlic, salt, a grated carrot added, cooked until smooth, jarred in half pint jars and canned.

Daughter and SIL purchased a fruit share from a Farm to Table group and this time of year, the share has been heavy in berries which they enjoy, peaches that they don’t care for fresh, and spring green cooking apples.  Today to make sure the peaches didn’t all spoil, I bought two mangos, a box of golden raisens, and good sized chunk of fresh ginger, and made 7 pints of Mango/Peach Chutney.  It smelled heavenly cooking and after canning it, one did not seal so I got to taste it before storing it in the refrigerator.  It tastes just like real Indian Chutney.


Tomorrow, the second batch of green apples will be made into applesauce along with some of the apples that were frozen last year.  There are already 5 pints of applesauce made from the first batch of the apples that they brought home.  There will be fewer apples from our orchard this year.  We had a late frost that killed all of the flowers on the three trees that produce our eating apples.  We will get some fruit from the smaller cooking apple trees and a small harvest of Asian pears.

This is a start to our old tradition of putting by.

Tomorrow, the fiber challenge ends.  Today, I went out with a bang, finishing the second bobbin of the red Pohlworth, plyed it into 205 yards of sport weight yarn.  Tonight it is resting and will be washed tomorrow.  I still have some of the lime green alpaca and merino blend to finish and one fiber that was in my plan did not get done, but it will eventually.  I need to get busy knitting or sell some of the yarn I am making, it is accumulating quickly.

Cold, Rainy Weather Activities

For three days we had cold temperatures and rain, lots and lots of rain.  Some wind thrown in to make it more miserable.  So what’s a girl to do in such nasty weather, especially since she seems to have caught the coughs and sniffles from the Grands yet again.

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Wrap gifts for those living in the house and for those that must be mailed.  This did require a trip to the craft store to buy more wrapping paper, tissue, and tags which are already on sale 22 days before Christmas.  So far, 6 bags have been filled, labelled by family and stashed in our bedroom.


Make salve for my etsy shop.  After my last experience with the supplier of the tins, I chose a new vendor and ordered more tins and bottles, as well as shrink bands to go around the tins after I found one emptied of its contents after the last Holiday Market. I can’t help but wonder where they put the lotion bar and what kind of mess it made in their warm hand or pocket before they found a better place to put it.  I put out testers of several scents for people to feel and smell and I don’t really want the ones for sale, opened and touched.  As I was putting together Apothocary boxes for the Winter Holiday Market, and as I could buy one ounce glass jars locally, I purchased a dozen and made some salves in them for this event.  I couldn’t get  1 1/2″ round labels, so I had to make them on oval labels and cut them to size.  Maybe, I should have used rectangular ones and put them on the glass jar instead.




Spin, ply and wash the last 342 yards of the Coopsworth wool I purchased at Hawk’s Nest Retreat last February from hearts of the meadow farm.  I have 4 skeins made from the pound I bought.  I need to see how many total yards are there to decide on the sweater pattern to make from it.  It will be the first garment that I have spun, plied and knit all of the yarn for it.

I still have the foot and toe of granddaughter N’s second sock to knit and about 9 more inches of sleeve on my other sweater before I can even think of beginning anything new.  Plus I have to finish getting organized for the Holiday Market on the 12th  I will be focusing on promoting more gift sets for holiday gift giving.

Today is bright and sunny, but cold and other than an hour of Christmas shopping with Mountaingdad and another 15 minutes back tracking to find his lost scarf that I knit for him several years ago, I am laying low.  We found it still in the parking lot, under a car that had parked where we had been earlier.  He is happy that it was recovered.  Most of the rest of the gifts, I await delivery from UPS and FedEx and another wrapping session will commence.


I’m on a spinning roll.  As soon as I finished the Random Colors Merino last night I started on a top of Romney that has long color gradient.


It starts with yellow and moves through sunset colors to midnight blue.


After reading a Yarn Harlot post quite a while ago, I have wanted to try to spin a long color gradient yarn and I found some lovely tops at The Homestead Hobbyist on Etsy.  After dividing the top down the middle lengthwise, I spun two bobbins beginning with the yellow and ending with the midnight blue.


The result after plying today is a skein 136 yards long of light worsted yarn, named Midday to Midnight.  What else could it be called.

Once it was finished and I was rummaging around in my fiber basket trying to decide what I want to spin next, I decided that I really should put my inventory on Ravelry in my notebook.  If you are a knitter or crocheter, please feel free to browse, http://www.ravelry.com/people/Mountain-g-mom, maybe something will catch your eye.  Some of my yarn is for sale at Greenberry House in Meadows of Dan, VA, some I still have here and can’t decide whether to use it or sell it too.  At least, I now know what I have on hand, well most of it, there is a sampler of fiber that are tiny hanks that haven’t been spun or inventoried.  They will likely be added to my Funky Fiber yarn that will some day become a knitted throw.  I didn’t decide what to start.  Perhaps I should finish the Tunis with the Finn X Jacob and have that yarn ready to knit when I get out of the spinning mode and want to make the Rib Warmer for fall.

Selfish knitting

The holiday knitting was completed, the baby set, the finger puppets, 3 pair of kids socks, the scarf for my sister. That one required that I first spin the wool/silk blend, ply it, then knit the scarf.

Now it is my turn. A couple of years ago, I purchased a 3 13 ounce bag of wool/silk blend fiber from Green Dragon Yarns at a fiber festival.  The color way was called Tidal Pool, predominately teal with other seaside accent colors.  This bag of fiber has been in my stash since then. Today I decided to spin it into a single. Santa brought me a new wool coat for Christmas, so I don’t always look like the marshmallow man when I go out in my ski coat. My Ruby scarf and hat look great with it, but I wanted choice and decided that this new yarn to be is a good color.

I know there isn’t enough to ply for a hat and scarf.  Recently when looking for yarn for the baby outfit, I purchased two skeins of Green Dragon Yarns fingering weight called Cypress.

The colors looked very complementary and though I have never plyed homespun to commercial yarn before, I knew it could be done and decided that was an excellent way to extend the homespun and make a yarn that would look great as a hat and scarf.


This is one skein of the plyed result. This is about 245 yards of yarn. When the rest is plyed, it should be enough for the scarf and bottom couple of inches of the hat, with the crown just the Cypress color.

The scarf is The Yarn Harlot’s pattern, One Row. Homespun Scarf. The hat will be a new design utilizing her stitch pattern from the scarf.