Sunday, August 06, 2006

Spinning and Gardening

Garden Plot!

Last Tuesday I picked up some of the blocks that I will be using to make my raised beds in the vegetable garden. We had already picked up the soil sifter but no progress was made otherwise as I needed the blocks to contain the sifted soil. So once I got home and offloaded the 33 bricks I'd picked up I decided to make a start on one of the beds. I wasn't able to get the sifter to work for me well so I decided to use my old one and wait for Don to get home to check out what was going on with the big sifter. I did get quite a bit of dirt sifted and rocks removed and debris thrown away and by the end of the day I had one bed basically done. It felt so good to see it progressing and now I truely feel I can call it a "garden area" instead of a "garden dream". lol By the end of the evening I could barely walk and raising my arms above my head was a bit tricky. (Darn lazy muscles! lol) I do tend to over do it so that's not really a suprise. ;)

Here is a before picture. You can see the big spinner in the background, my mounds of dirt and the big dog sleeping in the shade. ;) This whole area is going to be transformed into raised beds of various shapes and sizes with the walkways covered in shavings. I used the shaving covered walkways in another garden area and it is a snap to maintain. The shed on the right side of the picture is my dry storage of miscellanous items. (Right now it's being purged of wool! lol) You would think that the shed would shade out the area too much, but that's not the case and often times it's too hot to work in the area during the heat of the day. With some careful planning of the planting, it should be a bountiful garden area.

Here's the after shot at the end of the day. Large "apple" bin was moved and set up... Spinner was set atop it....frustration set in when it wouldn't work....moved to plan B. Anyhoo....about half of the larger pile was moved or sifted. I'm getting quite the rock and gravel collection going against the side of the house. It's amazing how rocks breed here. With that one bed in place, the whole area is starting to lay itself out in my head. I can draw it out a thousand times on paper, but it will never draw out like it ends up being. It has something to do with how I see things in my head. Nothing usually comes out the way I planned, but usually they come out better. So I'm hopeful. I've enough blocks to build one more square bed and then will have to buy some more. I may pick those up on Wednesday when I'm off work. I didn't get much done outside today as by the time I got out there it was the heat of the day and today was another scorcher. I did get the pile of sod removed from the front yard though. Don spent some time out there trying to "automate" the sifting process for me to help me out but had to cut short his time out there when he ran a drill bit through his thumb. Luckily he didn't hit any nerves or bones and I'm doubly happy he made it into the house on his own. (Don and blood don't mix well.) Really, I'd rather manually sift the dirt than have him get hurt like that.

Fiber Time!

I finished plying the Corriedale this last week and ended up feeling a bit down about it. It's absoluelty beautiful and I ended up with about 308 yards of it. I don't know why I was let down other than I keep thinking I could have gotten more yardage if I'd only.....what? Beats me! I'm not overjoyed with my plying and think I'm going to have to work at plying more consistantly. There's really nothing wrong with the resulting yarn and it came off the wheel pretty balanced, better than some I've done. :) I'm still looking for a project for this skein and maybe knitting or crocheting it will improve my outlook on it some. I washed it up today and put it back on the skein winder to dry outside. It's so wonderfully soft and light. I don't know what my problem is. lol

I washed another fleece today and picked another one out in prep for washing. I need to get a move on with the washing as it's been over a week since I did any and I have several left to do. There is a possibility of me being gifted a Llama fleece soon and I'll want to play with that too so I need to make more room. (lucky lucky girl. Oh to always have these problems! lol)

I've been drop spindling this past week on some merino/tencel blend that came in a Spindlers Swap last spring. I was lucky enough to recieve this as well as some silk and have been very intimadated about spinning it up so I put it away. After finishing the Corriedale, I took the silk out and's time! This stuff is so silky (duh!) and smooth and soft and spins up nicely. There is a multicolored merino/silk in the package too. I'll probably spin it up and ply it with this solid as the colors go together well. (I didn't notice it at the time! another duh!) I'm really working at spinning it a consistant thickness and will be very careful with the plying. No, I have no idea what this will become. Right now...just yarn.

Well it's time for the ribs to go on the grill and the tomatoes to come off the plants and hit the salad! mmmmm dinner. All it needs is cheesy bread!


Cindy said...

You have been busy. Your raised gardens will be wonderful and handy. Hope your DH is ok after the drill bit incident. And your yarn is exquisite. You should be thrilled. I always think I'll have way more than I actually end up with. Maybe we're just unrealistic. Still, it's lovely and so is the silk.

April said...

I think you're right Cindy. I think I was expecting this skein to be a million yards long or something. Maybe it's because it's soooo wonderfully soft and I really really want to knit a shawl out of my own hand spun. I think this one will have to become a lacy scarf so I can put it to use. ;) Thanks for the compliments and encouragement!

Sydney said...

The raised bed will be really nice for a garden. I like how the Corriedale turned out. I have some silk that I keep putting off spinning. Fear of messing it up I guess. :)

April said...

Oh Sydney! You have to try the silk!!! I held onto mine thinking I'd ruin it too.....although I'm now thinking that subconsiously I knew I'd fall in love with it and want to buy, buy, buy. It's wonderful to spin on a drop spindle (or a park and draft spindle if you're I really wish I had more. I've not tried it on the wheel yet as I'm wanting to drag out the spinning of it as long as I's that good!

Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

You raised beds look great. We're trying to decide how to replace ours and were contemplating those bricks. Do they work well for you?

I too am pretty consistently disappointed in my yardage. I keep hearing people can make socks from 4 oz of fiber, but my yardage always seems a bit small for socks...

P.S. Thanks for your kind comment!

April said...

Thanks for dropping by Kristi! The blocks work great and they come in different sizes. I'm only planning on doing one "layer" of blocks but my mother in law did two layers so she wouldn't have to turn soil.;)

Abigale said...

I'm so glad you tried the silk! Yep, you will want to just keep buying more, but the good news is that it does go a long way.

I know what you mean about feeling let down with the yardage on the Corrie - my Confetti wool which came out at 180 yards, I thought there would be a lot more - but the good news is I can make more!!! Yippee

Have fun!!


chaindropz said...

I made a small sifter from 5ft of hardware cloth that turned out better than I expected. It fits a garbage can and is fast. it let me pour the sifted dirt to another garbage can while it held the rejects. Then I could turn the can and dump the rejects. The sifter is on chaindropz Solutions. I was making a strawberry bed.