Monday, May 14, 2012

Homestead Life - Lots of Chores and A Little Weaving

This past few days has been a whirl wind of chores here on our little homestead.  All three gardens are tilled and now have begun to be planted with the first round of plants.

Up first up is our little garden, I planted 24 tomato plants, 5 rosemary plants and an entire flat of marigolds in this garden.  If a lightening storm passes through I wonder if all the steel tomato cages will draw the lightening bolts!  Quick way to make fried green tomatoes....


Second up is our big garden in this shot you can see 4 of the 5 bean bamboo tee-pees I set up to grow heirloom beans along with some blue lake and kentucky wonder beans.  In the foreground you can just see the onions and garlic growing merrily away.  On the left hand side of the picture is one of the lattice systems my dear husband made for me to grow cucumbers, squash and pumpkins on.  Growing those crops vertically saves room in the garden and makes harvest really easy.  Personally I think they are kind of cool looking too.



Here is a shot of the grape arbor my husband built for me. These vines are my very first attempts at growing concord grapes they even have tiny little grapettes on them already.
Grape Arbor


Here is my supervisor Sam Wise resting in the shade of the workshop while he guards my Mother's Day presents.  Hubby made me the wooden trellis and bought a lovely climbing rose to grow up that lattice for my Mom's Day present.  I think it is so nice to have a present that will be around for awhile don't you?  The other small green plants you see are a nice variety of herbs and young asparagus plants.  When we moved into this place last November I discovered about 20 red brick edgers in the storage shed.  Decided that they would be perfect to edge my herb garden.  After spending several days digging the edgers into the ground and hauling many loads of dirt from our big garden I had a nice bed to plant my much loved herb garden.  Here you can see the results of a whole lot of hard work.


This is a shot of my brand new chicken coop.  I found the weather vane on etsy - www.etsy.com/shop/swenproducts - the flying pig is wonderful and adds a bit of whimsy to the coop.  In a few more weeks I will have baby chicks to brood and shortly after that they will get to live in their new house and run.  These girls will be my first venture into chickens and I am most excited about it.



Another chore around the homestead in the warmer months is something I just love to do - hang laundry on the line outside.  The smell of fresh clean wind blown sheets on your bed at night in the summer time is one of life's little pleasures.  We set this little laundry line up last week and this is it's maiden voyage.



Not to be forgotten, is my weaving studio where I am working on a Monk's belt pattern that I spent several days working out by hand on graph paper.  So far so good, I think I like it.



My newest toy for the weaving shop is a 4 hole angel wing set to hold my lease sticks.  This is my very first time working with this contraption and I have to say it is working really well.  Had to wait almost 2 months for my order of angel wings to be delivered - Purrington Looms is backed up and Bruce the owner is swamped with orders.  It was worth the wait, the angel wings are made well and do the job they are designed to do.  All in all money well spent.  Oh and before I forget, just ignore the dangling threads....not sure what to tell you about that over estimation of warp....you guys are weavers I am pretty sure you will understand.


Hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather and getting outside to work on your gardens.  

Until next time,
as always....
Happy Weaving!





Friday, May 4, 2012

Different "Treadlings" For Different Folks


Finally got around to weaving the checkered stripes towel that many weavers have been weaving lately.  As usual I didn't like what everyone else is doing, don't get me wrong the towels are pretty but they just aren't my thing I guess.  Ended up weaving two towels on this warp and cutting the rest off the loom.  Yes, it was wasteful but if I don't like a project I just can't make myself sit at the loom and weave.  I have to be engaged and looking forward to every pick of a project to make the time I put in at the loom "worth it".  This project turned out nicely, but it just isn't my kind of weaving.



Next up are some E. Worst Linen towels I have long been wanting to weave up.  Put a nice long warp of natural cotlin on the Gilmore and played for several days.  Now this is my idea of fun.  Think the pattern below looks somewhat like lace flowers - don't you?


Played around with the treadles a bit and decided I love the look of the lattice in the towel below.  Ended up weaving 3 in this color combination of cotlin and 1 more in a cocoa brown version.




This is the cocoa brown version, I think the darker color weft makes the towel look softer.  Same yarn just different colors sure can make an impact on the finished look of a towel.




The final towel was a lot of fun and an exercise in making my limited supply of natural cotlin yarn go as far as possible.  Played with the treadles a bit and came up with this version.


Spring has finally decided to show up here in central Illinois with some much needed rain.  This weekend I plan on working in the big garden and getting some gifted heirloom roses planted in the yard.  Roses are not something I have ever been good at growing but I have been reassured that I will have no problems with these....time will tell I guess.

Happy Weaving!