Wednesday, September 30, 2015

september 2015 phenological notes

7th harvesting sweet corn

9th morning glory blooms

20th warblers passing thru

Sunday, September 20, 2015

How to slow down

One of my favorite poems comes to mind as I harvest the carrots.

How to Slow Down, find a little bit of land somewhere and plant a carrot seed. Now sit down and watch it grow. When it is fully grown pull it up and eat it. – Stephen Gaskin

I grew Nantes and Danvers on the far side of the garden this year. This is the first time I've ever planted carrots as a spring crop to harvest in the fall. One long row produced about a half bushel and yielded about 12 pints. And then some. for eating fresh.

I planted another row as a fall crop that is now well underway, and should be ready to harvest by Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, there is some weaving under way. I'm experimenting with some Afghan Hound singles that I spun from distaff to spindle. I am using the spindle as a shuttle and have not finished the yarn, rather, just started weaving straight away with it!

I realize I may regret this decision, but sometimes you just have to take your chances.

Monday, August 31, 2015

phenological events August 2015

2nd harvesting green beans
4th planting wintercrops
17th digging taters
22nd 2 spike bucks
29th red tail hawks

Monday, August 17, 2015


It has been a long time since I've seen so many honeybees on the corn tassels! Today, they were here in large numbers!

Standing nearby, I could hear the humming of their wings.

I could see the little puffs of pollen falling from the Staminate flowers down to the silk (stigma).

I could see their corbicula or pollen baskets... and thought of the bees returning to their hives with the pollen from my corn.

Welcome back, bees!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

a winter weavers window

This winter, there are attempts being made to achieve the goal of weaving with my handspun linen. Samples have been woven on a 4 harness table top loom that sits in a somewhat south/west facing window. The light is at its best in the mid to late afternoon, and the room is situated on the second floor, above the woodstove. The cabin has the old "gravity feed" vents in the floor, and the warmth radiates upwards. It is a pleasent place to be during these very cold days.

From my vantage point, I see the slope of the snow covered road.

If I look through the trees, I can see the river winding its way through the valley.

There is the old maple that has been severely trimmed this past fall. It holds a bird feeder, and late in the day, the turkeys come down off the mountain to eat the seeds that the smaller birds have dropped. Turkeys are normally very shy, and it is hard to get close to them. They do not notice me looking down on them from above. It is remarkable how much their behavior is like the chickens we keep. Or maybe it is the other way around.

The warp that I have dressed the loom with, is made from commercially spun cotton. Pulling one or more strands through the dent will allow me to decide what sett I will use for the final piece. I used a handmade mini-triangle loom for a raddle, but I'm not so sure it was the best idea.

The heddles are threaded for plain or tabby weave. I must remember to take notes about what I think works well, and what does not. Surprisingly, the weave structure that happened due to a threading error, is a favorite. I am learning and enjoying the process.

My inspiration comes from these towels (shown above), work of my Grandmother's and Great Grandmother's.

As you can see, there is still much for me to learn. The weft for the samples is my handspun linen singles. The singles were spun with Z twist.

Next, I plan to try the handspun hemp singles for warp. I don't mind telling you that I feel a bit daunted by the idea.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Double Flyer Spinning Wheel & Wetting the Line

A few weeks ago, I had a chance to make a video of how to wet the line while spinning on the Double Flyer Wheel.

With both hands busy, it is a little tricky to take time to dip, and smooth the line while spinning!

But it can be done! Occasionally, you can hold back both lines with one hand and use the other hand to dip.

If you had asked me, several years ago, if this move was possible, I would have answered, NO! But practice has proved me isn't impossible, it is tricky to get the timing just right.

In the video, I have dressed the distaff with some hemp that I purchased at the Endless Mountain Fiber Festival. I was told it comes from Romania. It is very nice quality, and comes in a roving type of package.

We won't talk about the weather. There has been a lot of snow shoveling going on, and there is still more to come. Temps are dipping down into the sub zero zone. And February is a good time to sit by the fire and spin. And weave!

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