Showing posts from January, 2015

Art Yarn and Eggs

Continuing adventures in yarn production have seen some dramatic improvements. from this... Although my first attempts produced a hugely thick and uneven yarn that I struggled to imagine what I could do with, subsequent days ended with stuff that I am much more proud of.  Albeit it is still a little bit on the 'slubby' side with a lot of thick and then thin bits. to this. Spinning is a hobby that comes with a whole new vocabulary - this contraption for skeining the finished yarn is called a 'niddy noddy'. On the horizon is the prospect of acquiring a couple of fleeces from friends later in spring when their sheep get their annual haircut... these sheep are all white in colour and I hope to be able to not only spin enough wool to make a jumper but also to try dying it with some vegetable matter gathered off the finca.  So many hobbies... so few hours in the day! In the meantime I struggled to think what to do with the yarn already spun


I had planned to learn to spin over the winter.  But once the weather turned wet and chilly I came down with a flu bug and didn't really feel much like learning anything new.  So this has become the winter of crochet mats. The patterns called for a smaller crochet hook and finer thread to make a 10 inch mat but all I had was four ply knitting cotton so I just set to and ended up with a small tablecloth or large centre mat whichever way you look at it. This one I think I went wrong somewhere as it won't lie flat, even after starching and ironing. The bad weather is continuing and Steve spent yesterday overhauling the spinning wheel.  It has done a lot of miles and just needed a clean and a couple of new tension springs to bring it back to peak condition. A little oil and then it was good to go. Now... I do not know how to spin.  I am learning from a book and from youtube videos. I started by simply practicing with the treadle and not actually spinning

The Blues are Banished and Blue Skies are here!

As I write this it is raining, but the previous week was definitely glorious sunshine and slowly my 'blue' mood lifted and I am raring to go again.  The rain is actually very welcome as the ground was beginning to get very dry and I thought I might have to start watering plants. We were given some money as a Christmas gift and put it towards this table cum blanket box cum footstool... we like that it multi tasks! Everyone around about has been struck down by the usual winter flu bugs and I did not escape though Steve has so far managed to stay bug free.  My flu was eased by being able to spend the afternoons getting some sun on the veranda.  Just looking at blue sky is a tonic at this time of year. The 'estuffa' problem took a while to sort out, mostly it needed cleaning and a new chimney piece that enables us to empty out creosote deposits easily has been installed. This is just some of the crud that came out of the chimney pipe... the funniest thin

Taking Stock and Moving Forward

This is traditionally the time of year for thinking about what has passed... drawing a line under it and beginning anew.  I have never really been much of a one for doing that.  I never needed a special time of year to take stock.  And I have often made major changes and 'resolutions' at any time of year.  However, we have been so busy here that I think a specific time to take stock and evaluate what we are doing and where we are going is a very good idea. The goal was always a little loose.  A vague idea of being self sufficient and of enjoying ourselves doing stuff that doesn't cost any money.  A healthy lifestyle with goals and challenges to keep us busy and productive.  Our retirement was never about resting... This past year we have in many ways not achieved as much as we had hoped.   I used the phrase 'learning curve' a lot.  Just as we feel we are getting on top of things something breaks, or breaks down and we have a new challenge to cope with.  Wh