Archive for August, 2012

Crazy dyeing weekend and poking about the garden

August 12th, 2012 by knitnzu

Two weekends ago, I went with Dianna to Kristen’s place in Vermont to hang around with friends and dye fiber and yarn. It was a blast! We had pots going outside for natural dyeing, including an indigo vat, and there were acid dyes on the porch… we experimented with kettle dyeing, painting and steaming the fiber, crock pots, dyeing with plants and fungi, overdyeing what we dyed, overdyeing bleh fiber we brought… Chaos, but great fun, and great folks to spend the weekend with. Many of the same folks as were at shearing in May, but we missed Sara!

All the photos are here in my flickr set, but here are a few highlights…

Everybody hanging on the porch, getting ready,
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The indigo vat… the fiber comes out of the vat green and turns blue on exposure to oxygen. Way cool!
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Acid dyes, Toby handpainting, and fiber wrapped and ready to steam:
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Simmering weeds, and rinsing Phaeolus dyed yarn,
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Some of our results:
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The rain held off until we were done with the bulk of it all! We got to visit with Kristen’s flock, and I got to help with the foot rot treatment (just a few of the goats, they’re all doing far better now).

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The calf thought Toby was made of milk. He started on her hand, moved to her crutch, and then her knee! Little Blue (see the shearing link, first paragraph) has gotten bigger, and he’s a little fatty, but he’s still the smallest goat!
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And here’s the stuff I dyed:
dye weekend results

Couple of mystery skeins dyed in indigo. I think they both are from Friends Folly; the top one is a mohair/wool blend and the other is angora or an angora blend.
dye weekend results (12)

Some old gray icelandic called Georgetown that I used to make DH a sweater years ago (rav link), and some Aarlan alpaca/wool/silk that was a brownish to start with. The icelandic took the “paint”, the color is more subtle on the other yarn. These are on the bottom, on the right, and here,
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I also overdyed some charcoal mohair in indigo… only one half of the skein. It’s subtle and hard to see in the photo, but I like it. This is hanging in the middle on the bottom of the big pic.

Pretty sure this was dyed initially with goldenrod, and then into the indigo. Much better! It’s just domestic wool roving from Halcyon.
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Tencel and Seacell out of the crock pot and acid dyed. The fiber went from being smooth and silky straight to somewhat kinky. I think it’ll spin up well. I can tell which is which by feel, but not in the photo.
dye weekend results (2)

The photo doesn’t do this color justice… It’s a fabulous grey/green/sagey color. It’s handspun romney that a friend picked up for me. Dyed first in tansy, giving a really “meh” pale yellow, so we added some iron, which saddened the color and made it kinda greyish green, and then we added what was left of the goldenrod to the pot, which deepened the grey-green.
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There’s also some pink/purple romney roving (it’s in the top photo). I was stepping outside of my usual color scheme with that one. I think it may go to somebody who will love it more than I will.

garden pics!

Pappus of some seed…
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You can see I was screwing around with the macro on my little point and shoot,
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Seems like everywhere the damned Japanese beetles are mating…
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What was interesting, though, is that many of them would assume some weird posture when I got too close… legs out and up at an angle, and both the male and female would do it, as would the ones near them.

The morning glories are doing well, as are the sungolds behind them,
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And DH was away for a week, and I didn’t pay any attention to the cucumbers… oops,
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We’ve managed to squirrel away most of these in neighbors’ and coworkers’ cars…

I can see clearly now… and bats!

August 12th, 2012 by knitnzu

Well, when I’m in the barn and looking out. More to the point, the glass won’t be falling out of the panes any time soon.

This was a rather large project for only 3 windows, lots of work to get the old panes out, clean up the wood, sand, paint (primer and two coats, both sides), get the new glass in, and get them up.

To start with:
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Windows out, panes out,
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Variety of points I found,
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Kinda not a lot to work with in places,
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Between waiting for things to dry, and having to do things like work, and going away for a weekend to play, the project took almost 2 weeks,
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Done!
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(the photo on the right was waiting for 4 replacement panes).

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windows done (2)

And now I have to do the ones over the deck.

I learned a lot in this process…

It is easy to break glass getting the panes out. It is hard to cut glass when there’s only an inch or half an inch to trim off. I ended up having the hardware store cut it for me.

Only after I set the glass in the smaller windows with narrower mullions did I learn you can trim the ends of the points (not the pointy end, the flanges).

I bought a glazer’s putty knife, and it was really helpful, because it’s so stiff.

I was extremely frustrated with the local hardware store. I went to them first to get more DAP 33 glazing compound and points. They didn’t have points. And I waited 20 minutes while the single person available helped another person, and then another helper came out. He couldn’t find the points either. So I left the compound and went off to Lowe’s, where one can buy a whole gallon of the stuff for only $6 more than the quart cost at the local shop. And they had lots of points.

Apparently the DAP can be very variable. I’m used to it sometimes being a tad dry (add a drop or two of linseed oil while you knead it). But the new gallon was wet! It was unworkable! I found one reference online where they talked about adding whiting to stiffen it up so it’s workable. This is calcium carbonate, or lime. When I asked for whiting at the local hardware store, they didn’t know what I meant. I said what I wanted it for, they still didn’t know. So I said “calcium carbonate”. She says “something a little less Latin please?”. Sorry, hon, not Latin. Anyhow, I told her “you know… lime???” Oh, we have that, but you have to buy 50 pounds. Cripes. I needed about 3 ounces.

So I used cornstarch on my hands. It helped. And I kneaded some into the compound. Probably beetles will get into it, but we’ll be gone by then.

Also, I re-glazed the windows over the deck about 10 years ago, and they are in sore need of it again. I learned this time around that it helps if you either put down linseed oil on the mullions (I didn’t do this, but if I had oil paint, I would have), or prime and paint them (this is what I did).

I did take the windows out and had them flat to work on. I can’t imagine doing all these little panes in place.

There, now you know.

Bats! At work!

We think they’re living on the unoccupied 3rd floor… in the past 5 weeks, we’ve had 5 bats in our office areas… one was flying up and down the hall. These two were just hanging out. One in a doorway, where it wasn’t there the 5 minutes before, and then it was. It was squeeky/noisy/unhappy about being moved. The other I discovered under my gym bag. It was pretty sleepy.

Claire thinks they’re cute, and they are. It’s nice to see they don’t appear to have the dreaded whitenose syndrome. We think these are little brown bats.

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Good thing Claire has such long legs (she’s a few inches taller than me!)… she hardly got any burdock on her.

All the bat appear to be behaving normally, so we don’t really worry too much about rabies. But I tell everybody not to touch them!

I have loads more to post, but it’ll have to wait for another day… dyeing! spinning! dinosaur bra!