Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Out and In!

When I saw how much yarn was in that last skein for Hubbies sweater, I thought that I would hold the rest of the black fleece, if I could, for some lace weight.

I then decided to switch my spinning energies to this Romeny wool that I processed some time last year.  It is kind of silvery with some nice heathering going on as well.  I have been dying to get some spun, but felt that I should finish some of the other stuff I had going on first.   This is 4 oz. of fluff, carded on the drum carder.  I think this should make a nice sized skein if it spins like the black did.

Here is the first days worth of spinning.







  Tuesday at Weaving, Bonnie was talking about a road trip to R & M Yarns, since she needed to pick up some yarn.  Lou Ann said that she needed to go too, since she needed to pick up some mop cording.  I happen to have a whole shelf of mop cording that has been there for 10 years or so, and since I have no need for it right now, I offered it to Lou Ann.  I went home after weaving, weighed it all and loaded it up for a quick trip to Lou Anns, happy to  have freed up a whole shelf in the studio, and planning what I was going to put there.

  I arrived at Lou Ann's and we discussed the cording, decided on an good price for it and then turned to other subjects.  A year or so ago, LA had acquired a couple of looms and a bunch of weaving stuff off of Craigslist.  She has posted many times about her go to Rug Loom John, and his many good qualities.  She may even have posted about what she has woven with all the stuff she got.  But, I don't think that she has posted much about Sally, the other loom that came with John.  Sally is a 24 inch, counterbalance, 4 harness, Glimakra.  LA has had quite the time trying to get her to work.  She even was finally weaving on her when the warp would not advance!  She said that she was going to give her one more chance and then out!  Life is too short to waste it on a cantankerous loom!  I told her that before she gave up on Sally to let me take a look at her and see if there was anything I could do to make her work.  Well, before I could say Overshot, Sally was in the back of the truck and LA said something about not letting the door hit her on the back beam on the way out!

On the way home I was trying to figure out what had just happened, and where I was going to put her.  Since she is quite a good looking loom and petite as well she has found her place in the family room.  I wondered what Hubby would say when he got home.  I got back from walking dogs to find that he hadn't even noticed that the loom was there!  I don't know how he could have missed her!

  I have pulled out my Big Book of Weaving that LA says talks all about these Swedish Looms, LA says that these looms are a different!   Next week I will be looking at her really closely to see if I can make her a productive part of the business.   I think I will start with a mug rug warp with a simple design, so that I can concentrate on getting a good shed. 

I have already cut off the sectional peg strips that were just tied on the warp beam.  I may use them at a later date, but I will have to carefully screw them into place.

Who knew when I woke up yesterday morning that I would end the day with a new clean shelf  in my studio and a new Loom in my family room!  It just goes to show you that nothing stays the same, it is always changing, and sometimes it is good changes!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Saturday, February 19, 2011

.4oz a Day Challenge ETA!

Last week I posted over on the Tuesday Weavers blog "Loomy Tunes" about a self imposed challenge I was taking on.  I had not been spinning very much at all for the last couple of years, and I really missed it!

I challenged myself to measure out at least .4oz a day of prepared fiber and spin that much each day.  It is simple, not too much and it keeps me from going overboard, the whole all or nothing rut I get myself into!

This week, even though I had the flu, I kept at it, and here are the results:

I love the fact that I know exactly how much this skein weighs!  Without my handy dandy scale I would never have guessed that 4.3 oz is the absolute max I should ask of this bobbin.  I am numbers challenged to be sure, no concept of how much yarn I need for a project, or how many people in a crowd.   I always have to look it up.   What may be common knowledge to some is totally news to me.  That is the me that I have to work with every time.  It is ok as long as I keep that in mind.  But now I know 40 oz of this yarn looks like this.

I haven't decided if I am going to do another skein of this same yarn, or try something new.  I suppose I will need at least one more skein for the sweater I am working on, I don't want to run out this time, and I am on a roll with it.  So yes, maybe just one more to be safe, and then on to something else. 

I have 2 orders I need to get out this next week and also several gift throws that I need to get done, I am hoping my strength returns soon so that I can get at it!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

ETA!

A whopping 290 yds on this skein!
                                           



Sleeves already in progress.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coming out Party!

What I called a case of the Cruds on Sunday turned out to be a case of the flu.  I wasn't totally sure until Hubby came down with it too yesterday.  I had thought I had gotten a whiff of mold from the hay, which always gives me a bad sinus infection, but I don't think that is contagious and you don't get all the aches and pains with it either.  So I have been all cooped up with it.

Speaking of all cooped up, on Sunday, I think, I had moved the new Chickens over to the new coop to get used to the new digs, and I had planned on processing the old birds later on this month.  The problem is that I have been getting as many eggs from the old hens as from the new hens!  I hadn't counted on that!  I suppose what I will have to do is sneak the old hens over a one or two at  a time til I am not getting any eggs from the remaining ones.

I have been doing just a little bit each day toward the clean up of the yard.  I took down the old goat fencing yesterday and put it up for the chickens today.  It is only 100 ft., I will add to it later this month, but it was all I was up to anyway.  Right after I got the fencing up I took some advice from my neighbor, who suggested that I could dig a little hole under the foundation board instead of cutting into the barn siding.  I had not planned on doing this, but with Hubby on the couch and me still a little shaky, I did not feel like handling the power saw.

Once the hole was dug, it only took these two a few minutes to figure it out.  I had dug from the outside first, and then went inside and connected.  Before I could get back outside to get a picture with the sunshine, they were out.
These girls however were not very sure about all that light streaming in!   Some of them may not come out til tomorrow!

Now I need to decide who of the old hens to move over tonight, to join these girls. 

It sure was simpler the way I imagined it!



Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Goodbye Tarp City!


Chickens need a nest box to lay their eggs in.  Ideally it will be located away from the roosts and with easy access for the egg picker.  This nest box fulfills both requirements.

I put  cardboard under the roosts so that clean up will be easier.  The chickens were moved in tonight after dusk.  I only moved the young chickens, as the old ones are destined for the pot, I know not looking forward to that!  (Maybe I can get my neighbor to do the hard part.)


The goats are settled in nicely and act like they have been there for years.  Goat diner to your right!
A view of the goat yard, 32 ft x32 ft it will be expanded greatly once the big electric fences are up, but even when the fences are up I will continue to close them up at night in this pen.  It is easier for a dog or coyote to get into those electric fences than it is for goats to get out.




One doggie door coming up!


Goats and dogs, good fences make good neighbors.  The dogs have the same size yard as the goats do, 32 ft x 32 ft.  I will probably expand their yard as well when the big fences are up.


It may be tough to see, but here you can see both of the pens coming off of the barn.  The goats to the right and the dogs to the left.  To the far left you can see what is left of Tarp City.  It is now history and I hope to never see it again.  It served it's purpose, but it was at best second choice!




Happy campers!
  Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina


Moving on up!

I am home from church today with a case of the cruds!  So, I thought I would update you on our progress.

We worked hard on barn related stuff yesterday and finally got the goats moved in.  I will try to get some pictures of them in their new digs when it warms up this afternoon.  I had hoped to get the dogs moved in as well but the day just didn't have any more hours of light, and I didn't have anymore energy, the cruds having taken over.

What I can show you is a picture of the roosts before we installed them.  That is just short of 15 ft of roost space. 
I can also show you the beginnings of the greenhouse.  I wanted to get the sides up so that we could store some of the old wood we want to use for greenhouse tables.







Hubby did a great job cleaning up all the stacks of old barn wood hanging around in the side yard.  We sorted thru, and saved what we needed, cut up the icky stuff for firewood and carted off the rest to our neighbor who has a place for such things, for "just in case".  The old tin roof also went to that special place as well.

This afternoon, if I am up to it,  Hubby will pound in the t-post for the dogs fences, I will fasten on the fencing, and get them moved in.  All that is left to do then is move the chickens in after dark, and let them hang out in the new coop for a couple of days, before we release them to their new fenced in area.  That way they will bond with it, and not fly the coop!  I will try to get some pictures this afternoon of all the completed pens.

The final clean-up will be a welcome job, we are so glad we have built the barn, but we are ready to get on with the other areas of our lives!

ETA: Last night, one skunk and one cat I have never seen in the traps!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 2, or should I say Night 2

Mr. Critter Catcher returned with the cages yesterday afternoon and set them up as before. ( I asked no questions about the trio he had caught the night before.)

Last night was the first skunk smell free night in what seems like forever, when in reality it was only a few nights.  The traps were still empty this morning, though we will probably keep them up for a couple more nights, just to make sure.

We continue to work on the barn in every free moment.  Yesterday we hung the next to the last door,  I can't find the hinges for the very last door, I know I put them somewhere obvious, I just can't remember where!  We plan to do major clean up on Saturday and probably move the goats and dogs in too.  I just need to make sure we have all the extra nails and screws picked up first.

I will post on the Tuesday Weavers blog later this afternoon about the very little fiber activity that has been going on in my life these days, but I know that very soon I will be back to my normal activities once again.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, and Sweet Dreams, Tina

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Skunk Trapping

Night before last we were just heading for bed when all bedlam broke loose under the house.  I thought about going to my Daughters house, but we ended up "sleeping" here.  Hubby slept fine, but I was unable to sleep very much at all.  Oh the stench!

First thing next morning, we called in our church family Critter Catcher.  He came out and helped us make sure we had no more gaps in the foundation that the skunks could get thru, and set 3 traps. 

One under the back porch,
and one on each side of the front porch.   He had me put the cats up so that we wouldn't be trapping them instead.
By nightfall trap one had sprung, so we were hopeful.
In the morning, we found all three traps had been sprung.  So we texted Mr. Critter Catcher, and he came out during a free period at school to pick them up.
Much to our surprise and I must say disappointment on my part, there were only 2 skunks and one big fat opposum!  Yuck!

Mr. Critter Catcher loaded these three cages into his SEDAN!  I was sure he was going to bring a truck.  He will be out this afternoon to set the traps again, hopefully we will get more skunks tonight.

Oh, and even though I it smelled a little bit skunky last night, it is nothing compared to it being under your bed, so I slept like a rock!

See you tomorrow for day 2 of the skunk trapping adventure.  Until then, Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, February 7, 2011

Up Early!!!

Yesterday afternoon before the Super Bowl, we hung the three doors and put the boards on them.  Then we dug out the last two post holes and got the posts in place and cemented in.  We then called it a day!

Today I was up bright and early, like 4 am!  Not because I couldn't sleep, but because a skunk had decided to come calling under the house!  We turned on some loud music and put the speakers facing the floor, that usually runs them off.  There was no going back to sleep, we will need to find where they are getting in and fix it!

 It is amazing what you can get done when you get up at 4 am.  It is now, 10:30 am, early before the sun was even up, I washed the Teal handspun that I finish plying last night, and hung it up to dry.  It is well over 1000 yds of fingering wt. 


     I have also done the usual  outside chores and then I have moved all the feed over from the shed to the barn.  I figured out very quickly that the hay was not going to fit in the feed room, there just wasn't enough room.  I pondered on that a minute and decided to use the smaller of the goat pens for hay, I can hang the hay rack right there on the wall, for easy access.  The other slightly larger pen that was going to be for the milking stand, I will use for the quiet zone, and I can put the milking stand  right by the Dutch Door, much better lighting anyway and it will also be close to the storage in the front area of the barn, where I will have things I will need like meds or milking supplies. ( I am on the lookout for some old Kitchen cabinets upper and lower that are about 4 feet in length for the storage)  Sometimes you just have to be flexible. 

After that I added hardware to the gates we mounted yesterday, and took down the 2x4 supports on the posts we put in as well.  I then did a little clean up, gathering all the different feeders that were in or near the shed and taking them to the feed room. 

Now I am ready for a snack!  I may even get to do some weaving today before I babysit.  I wonder if I remember how!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday in Pictures!

When we got out the door to the barn this is what we were looking at.





This will be the Dairy area, complete with milking stand that can be used also when I need to trim hooves, and give meds.  Measures 5ft X 7ft.






This is a pen off of the main goat area that will be used for anybody that needs some peace and quiet like maybe a doe getting ready to kid or maybe to separate the kids at night when I want to milk the does in the am. Measures 5ft x 7ft.



At about lunch time we called a break for lunch and a siesta! We had done quite a bit as you will see!






You can really begin to see the actual pen take shape.  This is the dairy area, with the main goat area behind it.
The main goat area measures  6ft x 8ft.


This is the peace and quiet pen.  Now we were ready for some peace and quiet too!








After lunch and siesta, our dear friend came by to start putting up the doors he has so lovingly made!  While he was doing that we continued on, making the gates.





One of the dairy pen gates is complete and up.  It took a little longer than we expected, but we  got it up and looking good.  This pen will have a second gate.






About that time we ran out of the cut boards for the gates.  I had Hubby cut the 2x4's for some of the other gate boxes that I could put together while he cut the big boards.




Here are three gate boxes ready to hang and then put the big boards on.

It is getting colder and windier outside, and it is again 5:00pm, quitting time.  We of course didn't get done all that we wanted to, but, as we have every day we have made progress!








Here is a parting shot of the doors hung and almost finished.  He will be back this week to finish up.  Didn't he do a great job! 


Once again I am bone tired, and looking for the bathtub, and some comfort food!  Until next time, Happy Weaving, (somebody better be doing it!)  Tina

Friday, February 4, 2011

Details

We are really beginning to see the end of the tunnel on the barn project!  It is taking all our extra time, and energy,  so we will be glad to see the end of it.

 Here is the wall that goes from the feed room to the chicken coop area.  I have made 2 small doors so that I can collect their eggs and fill their feed hopper without entering into the coop!   It will really be nice to have everything so centrally located.
This is the nest boxes for the hens.  There will be 4 compartments, 2 above and 2 below.  This will snug up to the back of one of the little doors pictured above so there will be no back to it, that way I can open the door and reach right in.

Once that is in place I will work on the roosts, then the door, and we can call that room finished.  We will of course have to put up the fence but that isn't difficult or time consuming  just pound in the t-posts and stretch and fasten the fencing.

The feed room just needs to have the door hung, and we can bring in the feed.  Husband is setting the final 4 posts in for the last bits of wall and gates.  I had planned to do some 7 ft. gates, to save on digging post holes and cement, but I think that it will be better to have a 4 ft wall and a 3 ft gate instead.  It will just be sturdier.

It looks like tomorrow we will be able to finish up most of those jobs, and this next week I may be able to put up the fences and  start moving in the critters.  That will really be great!

In the future, when we have recovered, I plan to put a loft above the ground floor for hay storage.  I will only have about 3 ft of head room so I can't make it a solid floor the whole length, but I can have a shelf all the way around above the animal pens and leave a 3 ft space in the middle so that I can access the shelf with a ladder.
I will update tomorrow evening, Until then, Happy Weaving, Tina