Friday, June 25, 2010

Suddenly Summer

   The date said June 21 and suddenly summer arrived.  Seriously.  We had been going back and forth between warm and cool and not really enough sun to jump start the vegetables  planted in the garden.  We wait up here until after Memorial Day for planting - usually, as we have been known to get the occasional June snow.  
     I was out watering today and the  cotton has new leaves (it took this long to get over being disgruntled about having been transplanted), the tomato plants have shot up, the beans are merrily twining around their tower, and the hops is growing so quickly you can almost see the tendrils stretching outward!  Lovely!

     Still spinning - I have a bunch of roving and tops from a grant I wrote a couple of years ago.  I was going to spin it all for part of the project but could only afford a drop spindle. HA!  The same yarn I started with is still on the spindle.  At least now I know how to ply it!  

  I am working with a cream coloured Corriedale top 
      - it is good for me as it moves apace, but is not too slippery.  I also found that I had ordered some Merino with that grant money - can't wait to try that!  Well, yes, I can wait long enough until I feel I am pretty good at this.  The Merino is a gorgeous multi-hued dyed bit of wool  and it was expensive!   Being able to spin all this with a wheel means I may actually be able to complete this project!   One thing I have noticed is I have to watch my posture as I spin or I will be a hunched backed little troll lady before long!

Can honestly say the cat seems only vaguely interested in the whole spinning/fibre/yarn thing -  the dog, however, is fascinated!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Spinning and fluff

   The spinning wheel is now together and it feels like it is working fine.  I have started spinning a bit of Icelandic roving on it to test it.

It works for me.  It is a bit different from the ladybug wheel I am learning on at the studio; single treadle, not double, and it is not as smooth - but a little oil may help that.  Still very excited to have it and be able to practice.  I foresee a lot of hats for Christmas presents, as the lumpy yarn won't matter to much, but I will get better with practice.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Good Tuesday

   Spinning class today - plying from a _____(something) kate.  I cannot remember all the terms yet!  We will be dyeing the yarn next week.  We were going to just wash it, but Annabel, my teacher, decided there was no reason not to dye it - so, yeah! Another new experience! Bought 2 oz. of Icelandic roving - a pretty grey - so when the wheel is assembled I have something to play with!

  Last night was the last meeting for the year for my Cadette girl Scout troop.  We had a backyard barbeque at our house and did a flag retirement ceremony as part of a patriotism badge.  Unfortunately, the ragged flag we put to rest was nylon, so it was hard to be totally respectful and quiet when acrid, black  smoke was  blowing in our eyes - but overall it was nice. 
Tearing the stripes away, one by one, with each colony acknowledged.

Last to go, the blue field. With a kiss and a salute. Goodbye.

     Hit the library after spinning and picked up nine books I had holds on. Lovely!  When I got home, I picked up the kids and went back to the library so they could get books out, too!

     The older two went bowling with Daddy and our youngest and I are making sugar cookies - waiting for the dough to chill is the hardest part!
     A bit of rain today, so no need to water the garden.  Need to get the second planting of beans in, and perhaps may try to throw more peas in.  personally, I do not think they are worth their space in the garden - they do not yield enough for our family in the space we have - I'd need to dedicate an entire bed to them.  Maybe next year...
       Overall, a good Tuesday!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

random bits of everything

Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there.  Today began with French toast, cantalope, coffee, orange juice, and a big bowl of cherries.  We got out the china (which is so rarely used we found the coffee cups still had the store tags on them) and it was a lovely  breakfast.  

I love the colour and gloss of cherries, don't you? 

 I got the upper deep on the second hive - no pix - and found the girls had built a bunch of burr comb and were rapidly running out of room, so my timing was good.  The build up of a nuc is so much faster than with a package of bees, I am still learning every time I go down to the hives.  I'd call it a bee yard, but two hives barely qualifies!

       For everyone who has been asking me for pictures of the kitten, here she is.  She is pretty in the way all calicos are. We are lucky that she seems to be sweet, although she is trying very hard to tell the dog that she is the alpha animal - Ha! like that's gonna fly!


Here we see a picture of my sleep muzzy husband, just trying to get his coffee ingested  with a cat trying to explore the upper reached of his his shoulders.  

My eldest son really likes to mow the lawn.  Really.  He is not really allowed to mow it without supervision, since his  means of mowing  is generally to use the tractor.  Today he decided that the push mower was fine and spent a fair amount of time mowing the fenced in part of the back yard.  The dog is very funny, because as a border collie mix, she has a strong herding instinct. The way my son mows is very frenetic - no real pattern, as the next shot shows, just random moving around in the long grass until eventually it is mostly shorter.  So when he mows, she sticks close by, ready to herd him should he need the extra help!
You can see the pattern of the mowing in this shot if you look carefully.

These are some roses which are in the yard - they are very bushy, but tall - maybe a climber, but they are so interwoven with raspberries and the rhododendron that it is hard to follow which plant is which.  Does anyone know what they are?  They bloom once and have little to no scent. It is not a major "need to know" thing.  I suppose I could research it if I cared that much, but right now I am off roses for a bit.  In Baltimore I had some gorgeous roses - a climbing Don Juan that was easily 12 feet high and 5 across, a golden rose - climber - whose name I forget, and a couple of damask roses with perfume that would scent the entire yard.  However, these were fairly time consuming plants, and with all the things I have going on right now, I just drool over the rose catalogues and wish of a rose garden again - but I do not really have time to plant and care for one. 

If you look hard, you can see some of the seedlings that have emerged in the lower garden - the raised beds are further along, but this may prove to be the more interesting garden of the three.  A week ago we had a big rain storm - a real gully washer - and indeed that was what happened. The brick and stone sluiceway we have to focust water run off failed, and the rain washed through the garden digging that large gorge through the center of it.  It went around the hills of zucchini, but the lettuce, basil, carrots - all the tiny "surface planted" seeds were washed hither, thither, and yon.  I see small leaflets popping up in places I KNOW I did not plant things, and now I am waiting to see what grows where.  Interesting grouping may ensue!

My daughter and youngest son. He wanted to touch the kitten's nose.