Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bone Tired!

Saturday's chore was to finish out the front siding and install the panels of 6 ft. board fencing we had been given, on the inside as  the fixed divider walls.

 Our dear friend in this picture has offered to make the front doors for us in his workshop, but he wants to use the wood from the premade panels because they will make lighter doors.  He will build one solid door and one Dutch door, that is a door with a bottom half and a top half, that can be opened independently.  I had just been thinking early Saturday morning about maybe having a Dutch door for ventilation during the hot summer months!

Since the pre-made panels were spoken for, we had to figure out how to make the fixed divider walls ourselves.  Calling upon our recently learned carpentry skills, we framed out the walls and began cutting panels out of the old barn siding and the new siding left over as well.
We decided to do all the cutting first and then start putting up the pieces.  You may be able to see the 3 pieces I have fastened down on the left hand side of this picture. 

At the same time Hubby and our dear friend finished out the front of the barn minus the doors.  He hopes to get them up this next week.

At 5:00 pm we called it a day, we were tired and knew that there were several more days to go before we could call it done.  It is funny how many barn construction days we have called it quits at 5:00pm!

Next in line is to fasten all those boards to the frames, and then build the gates.  One of the cool things is that when we cut the boards for the 6 ft divider walls, many times it left a 4 ft. piece that we will be able to use on the gates! 

I am writing this early Sunday morning, and I cannot believe how bone tired I was last night, and how renewed a good night sleep can make you feel!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, January 28, 2011

Today's List

We are still working some on the barn as we have time.  Yesterday Hubby, dug the post holes for the interior stalls, and I mixed concrete to fill in some other holes that already had their posts but not enough cement.  We have gotten alot better about the size of our holes as we have gone along.  We had a post hole digger, but it was not a very good one and we weren't very good at using it either.  So we dug most of the holes for the foundation with shovels, which proved to be a little hard to control the hole size.  Hubby watched a video on YouTube, and learned how to use the hole digger and he bought a really good one, it had a slightly bigger head to it so that it could get a bigger bite of the earth.  He really did a great job on the 6 holes I needed for the inside, and we will use a lot less concrete for them, yeah!  You can learn anything on You Tube!!

Today my job was to put just a little gravel in the bottoms of the holes so that there was only 12 inches of hole for the post to go into.  So that is what I did after morning chores.  This pm I think we may be setting the posts in preparation to do the walls tomorrow!  Another yeah!

When you have critters at home you have feed sacks.  Most feed sacks are of paper, but every once in awhile I run to the Tractor Supply Store that is close to my house to pick up a quick bag or two.  These bags are more of a plastic fabric or something.  I really like the colors, and I wonder if I could do something with them.  Maybe a doormat or something.  I will need a lot more of them before I have to decide so I can put that off for awhile, and let it percolate.  (And shop more at the TSS!)

Today I am also working on taxes.  It is cold in the computer room, so I am wrapped in a wool blanket that I wove ages ago and sipping hot tea, it makes the chore almost cozy!  It is always much easier than I think it is going to be, it is just that "getting started" is the hardest part! 

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Encouragement, Tinkering and Training!

I ran across I picture of some of my handspun yarn online the other day.  I was shocked to see it, you see I had forgotten that we had sent it off to Syne Mitchell of Weavezine.  It will be used in her 40th Birthday Blanket, that will be auctioned off to benifit Doctors without Borders.

I was pleased however that she seemed to like what I had spun!  I am a Weaver that also likes to spin yarn.  I am self taught, which means I slugged it out with a spindle for awhile, and then went on to fight with a spinning wheel until I liked what I was spinning.  It took a long time.  I don't have a preconcieved idea of what the fiber will become, I spin with it awhile til it tells me how thin or thick it likes to be.  I really enjoy it, but I don't devote much time at all to it.  When I saw what Syne had written about that yarn  I pulled up the wheel and finished spinning the rest of it.  I am getting ready to ply it during the evenings this week, It is a yarn I have promised to my daughter.  She loves to knit and crochet, I am curious to see what she makes out of it.
Here is one skein that has been done, and waiting patiently for it's sister skein for at least 2 years!  I am excited to get it finished and out of my guilt pile.  What will I spin next?

While I was at the center yesterday with the Tuesday Weavers, I was working closely with Carl, we were doing a piece on weaving in  sticks to hold your warp tensioned and in place if you need to cut off a piece.  While  we were working he mentioned that he was having trouble with the shuttles breaking thru the shed and falling to the ground.  I have been having the same problem at home with Lillian, the Burchard 4 harness Counter Balance.  I noticed that his open shed was at least 1 inch above the shuttle race, and I wondered if that had something to do with it.  I didn't have time to investigate on his loom, but today when I was looking at Lillian, I noticed that very same problem.  I did a few adjustments and to my delight, the shuttle hasn't gone thru the bottom of the shed once since then!  Next week we will see if we can adjust Carl's Loom!

I was weaving away on Lillian happy as a clam with all my victories, when I noticed something.  I had noticed it several times before and have tried to address it each time it comes to my attention.  You see weaving is like a dance, that is particularly true with Overshot.  Your feet learn which treadle comes next in the sequence, 2 5 1 6 2 3 1 4 2 5 1 5 2 5 1 5 2 5, one foot going between treadles 1 and 2 and one foot on the other four, 3 thru 6.  That was going along swimmingly.  Even going from one loom to the other, meaning one pattern to another, only takes a few minutes of refreshing  of the new dance steps and off  I go.  No the problem wasn't there.  It was with my hands and arms.  When you weave you throw the shuttle with one hand and catch it with the other, then you  should take your empty hand and beat with the beater.  That was all well in good going from right to left, but when I would throw with my left hand to my right, my left hand wanted to take the shuttle from my right hand so that IT could do the beating!  Now I have seen this same kind of behaviour in other areas of my life, pulling weeds for example, my left hand is more than happy to hold the weeds while the right hand does all the pulling.  Well I wasn't going to put up with it I tell you.  So I purposefully made my left hand fully participate in the dance.  You would of thought it was a 2 year old the number of times I had to get after it to do what I said!  Of course while I was concentrating on that I would forget to move the temples, or miss a treadle or something, but really we all have to work together so that I don't end up lopsided after 20 more years at the loom!  Do you have an hand, arm or a leg that doesn't fully want to take part in the dance?

Back to the studio, Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Triangles and Trailers

Today was another Barn day.  We had a smaller crew, since we had a smaller job.  Today the plan was to close in the triangle shaped places under the eaves of the pitched roof.  They had an extra truss that we hadn't used, so They used it as a template to establish the slant of the roof, so that the pieces could be cut to fit on the ground.

One ran the saw and was in charge of the precision cuts, I think that was DSIL.  The oak on this barn siding is so tough they had to predrill the nail holes.  Last week we had a power nailer, that was not available this week, so it went just a little slower.  Not to mention the fact that the two that manned the hammers are going to be very sore tonight!  DH was one of the nailers, and he told me that I had missed a great shot.  It seems that while he was hammering in a nail at the top, the ladder slipped out from underneath him!  He grabbed the top plate as he went down and hung there til the others got a ladder under him!  Would have made a great picture don't you think!

Back side done and the front side almost complete.

 While the men were outside, I made some baked beans for lunch and the DGK's and I put together some yummy cookies for afternoon snack.
While the men were pounding the nails and DGD was "taking a nap", DGS was out in the trailer.  He had strung up a couple of bungee cords and was playing with them.  He stayed there for a couple of hours, stopping only for a pee break.  (click on the picture so that you can see him.)
I took his lunch out to him and he ate every bite!  Papa is talking about building a tree house next.  I think he would be better off building a trailer! 

We knocked of a little earlier than last week which was welcome by all.  Time for a hot bath, and some knitting by the woodstove.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, January 21, 2011

So simple, and yet!

I put it off, I think that it won't make that much difference after all, it is just a work sweater after all.  Nobody is going to see it except me.  I don't have time to take care of it, and on it goes.
What you can't see is that the blue of this sweater really brings out the color of my eyes and I really like it a lot, but since it is all pilled up I really shouldn't wear it in public.

So this week in a quiet moment, I brought out a razor and shaved my sweater.  You would have thought it was new!  I had to be careful of the cables but I am thrilled with it and could kick myself for not doing it sooner!  Now to tell the truth I have only done the first half of the front, but I will be able to finish it in just a few short sessions between other duties and chores.

Tomorrow we are going to have another work day on the barn.  I would love to be able to move some of the animals over as well, we will see if we can do that.  To do that, we need to get the triangle under the pitched roof and the front done as well as make some temporary inside walls with the chain link.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Until next time, don't put it off, do it now, Tina

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Barn Raising! Lots of Pics!

 Today's mission: See how much we can get done on the barn today.

We have lumber for the Trusses.

We have barn siding.  ( It smells so good!)
We  have the tin roof.

We have the bare bones that DH and I have been working on for the past 2 weeks.
This is the little pickup that has put in more miles, hauling stuff for the barn, with a borrowed trailer.

We also have a balmy 25 degrees F!
Our buddy is a roofer, so he put the Trusses together for us.

The first Truss going up!
Going along nicely.
Last Truss being lifted in place.   Time for lunch!
We had a good sized group out to help us.  We were 6 people in all, so I made a baked pasta dish, being prepared in the picture.  Layers of Penne pasta mixed with sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Stick it in the oven at 350 for about an hour.  Serve with salad, bread and sweet ice tea.  Yum!
After lunch, they started putting on the siding.  We chose barn siding that we can get from a local mill.  It was the same price as the shed siding and looks so much better!  It will last alot longer too!
Here is the first wall done,
and the second.
Then, as one crew started on the other long side of the barn, our roofer went on top and started putting on the tin.
Then it was a race to see which team would finish first.  They were racing each other, and the sun!  ( That is DH on the ladder.)
Here is the last picture I was able to take.  I was very quickly running out of sunlight.  The 2 teams finished within minutes of each other, and just as the light was really failing!  We had just enough light to put the tools away. 

We were able to exceed our wildest expectations.  We finished the siding on 3 sides, except for the triangle space under the roof, and we got the roof on too!  On the front of the barn there will be a large double door, so that will have to be built.

 Mission accomplished!

It is now time for a hot bath and a bite to eat.  I think we will sleep like babies tonight.  Many thanks to our great team of friends, most of them from a small group that DH has been meeting with weekly for years.

I will keep you up with our progress, 
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, January 14, 2011

Keeping Going

"Kings Flower" in Smokey Blue, a thank you gift for a friend.
I am thinking about reversing the twill at the borders after I take this batch of blankets off the loom.

I have completed this giftCouch Throw,  and a Baby Blanket in Limestone to  sell.  Next I will do a gift Baby Blanket, and then one to sell.

 The reverse of the Kings Flower design is every bit as good as the front!
This is a shot of the very start of the Limstone Baby Blanket.

This is a shelf unit that was in the old barn.  It was holding the whole thing up! 
As sturdy as it is it will certainly find a place in the new barn!
Today is prep day for the big barn finishing day tomorrow!  Cooking and cleaning are going on full force!  I hope this will be the end of the big stuff, then I can do the inside at a slower pace.
Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Snow Day, or Why I need that Barn!

On particularly cold days this is how I start my morning "outside" chores.  Hot water!  2 gallons for each type of critter that I have outside.  Goats, chickens and dogs.  There is a cat outside but she gets a little water from one of the jugs. 
 The jugs go outside on the back porch, and I take them 2 at a time where they need to go.

The first to greet me is Pheobe, or Mrs. Landingham for those not well acquainted with her.  She gets her water on the porch and her food in the shed.

Here is the temporary feed storage shed, it will return to it's garden/tool shed status as soon as the barn is done.  There is hay in the basket and feed in the bucket and bags.
 I take it out to the critters, and feed the chickens first, mostly because they are the first ones I come to.

Scratch grain on the ground and I check the level of the pellets in the dogloo there behind them.
 The older hens have finally decided to join the younger hens in the coop at night.  They will have a toasty warm place in the barn with all their food and water inside.
When I get to the goat pen I have to put down the hay and feed, and fool around with their "gap" in the fence.  It is fastened with carabiners, which are really good at keeping them in, but a real pain to have to unfasten and refasten once I am inside, because they will try to get out even with the food inside!
I feed them in 2 different spots, so that instead of fighting over one place, they spend their time going between the 2 places and nobody gets too pushy.  Again in the barn they will be served their food inside.
All the while the dogs are waiting impatiently for me to get to them.  Most days we take a run, and then when they are cooled down I will feed them,  today was no exception.  (I was lucky to get such a good shot of them, they are really all over the place in anticipation!)

This is part the road we run on.  Not much traffic on a snowy day like this so,
I let them off lead for the woodsy part of our run.
(Be sure to click this pic to make it bigger, you don't want to miss the look on Wally's face!)
It is really much safer for me because I tell you there were some really slippery parts out there.  One tug too many and I could end up on my fanny!   After we pass this bit of woods it is back on lead and carefully make our way to the bridge and back, a good 2.25 mile run. 
Where the road is really slick, I run on the side where there is snow a couple of inches thick.

It is true that I will still have to haul the water, and the dogs will still be crazy with anticipation, but to have all the feeding pens under cover and within feet of the feed room is going to me marvelous!

I am still working on decluttering, just at a slower pace.  I am getting some weaving done too,  the Baby Blanket in Copper was a huge hit, I am told.  I still have some gift weaving to do, but I think that I will alternate between that and weaving for profit.  I still haven't opened an esty shop, mostly because I don't have anything to put in it!  So one piece for a gift, one piece to sell is going to be my mantra for the rest of this month.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Saturday, January 8, 2011