Su Ba wrote:That sock looks too pretty to wear. Nice job!
Thanks, Su! Now to finish its mate.
January 29, 2020:
I sewed on 3/4 of the neckline binding today. Then I got in a cooking mood and spent the rest of my afternoon in the kitchen. A dozen chocolate donuts, cheese crackers, eggplant parmesan, a small chicken casserole, and tortilla pizzas (for the kids) were the result.
Yesterday I said I would work on my sock every spare moment to get it done. Well, let me tell you about how things actually happened.
We received permission to dig up the 3 artichokes from the old school's garden. My husband went and dug them up and brought them home. I thought it would be a quick job to plant 3 plants.... except that artichokes apparently can be divided when mature and were all too happy to do so. Those 3 artichokes ended up being over 20. I dug a 20'x4' strip and planted the artichokes into 17 holes. Some of the artichoke divisions were small with just a bit of root, so I planted multiples of those together in the same hole. At this point, it was getting close to 1 pm.
I had lunch, did some "real" work, and rested a bit before heading back outside. I took the camera with me and filmed a garden tour that I'll have to edit.
Then the neighbor came up with his excavator. He dug a 4' wide, 2' deep, and about 90' long trench for me. I had planned for a 100' trench, but he was hitting some major roots and my husband didn't want to kill the trees. He also pulled the sod off a 2' wide strip to form my path. Apparently I only took videos of the digging and not any pictures.
While he was digging, I put the sod back on where I'd dug the bed for the artichokes and then covered everything with the last of the compostingstraw. Then I hauled wood and dumped it in the trench until the kids asked for dinner.
It was a busy work day and I had little free time. Despite that I was able to finish binding the sleeve on my shirt, block my hat, and drag a handful of branches into the trench. Not that those took much time.
My husband put a lot of branches in the trench yesterday, nearly covering the whole length. I only filled in the last 15ft that he didn't do. We'll add some bigger log chunks, then the neighbor will come up to bury it and dig the next trench.
In the afternoon I spent some time working on editing videos. It turns out that a lot of the video I took was slightly out of focus. Oops!
I'm taking the evening off to finish reading a book and ponder over what to knit and sew next.
Oh, and our HVAC unit died today. It had a good long life of 21 years. May it rest in peace.
Sewed the collar on my daughter's shirt today. She tried the it on and SNAP! The neck was too tight and the stitches on the collar broke.
I trimmed a bit of fabric off the front of the neckline and had her try it on again, sans collar. It seemed to go on better with minimal stretching.
The collar is currently basted in place with about 1/4 of it sewn on using a thicker thread and a stretchy stitch. I'm pretty sure I've spent more time now fiddling with the collar than it took to sew the rest of the shirt.
The neighbor filled in the trench and dug a second one. It's at the top of the strip, just below the garden. I took pictures with my good camera but was feeling too lazy to start up my computer and take them off the memory card.
While the new trench was being dug, I moved some perennials and planted asparagus crowns. The perennials I moved were raspberries, blueberries, a grape vine, and a rhubarb.
We finished adding wood to the 2nd trench this week. The neighbor filled it in and dug the 3rd trench.
I'm notoriously clumsy and my phone slipped out of my pocket and got buried in the 2nd trench. The neighbor had to stop digging the 3rd trench and dig up part of the 2nd where I'd been squashing branches down. Thankfully it was one of the rare times where I had my phone volume on it and we were able to locate it once enough soil was removed.
I had chicks arrive Friday from Cackle Hatchery. I ordered their Surprise Special and ended up receiving 51 chicks, 2 ducks, and 2 turkeys. Unfortunately they had a stressful journey. I've lost both turkeys and 16 chicks at this point.
My first hatch of the year is due on Tuesday. I had 10 eggs go in the hatcher. We started collecting for the 4th hatch today.
I sewed a pair of flannel pj bottoms for my youngest yesterday. I may have been a bit lazy, not measured the kid, and made them the size 4-5 without any alterations. He's now wearing palazzo pants, lol! They were 5" too long so I cut off 3" and put a 2" hem. That way I can let them out as he grows.
My sontag shawl is progressing nicely. I've knit 5 repeats (out of 10) for the increase side. Then there's a center panel followed by the decrease side. It's a relaxing knit that doesn't require much attention.
I've also been filming a lot! Editing needs to happen and then... *gulp* uploading to YouTube.
Sue Reeves wrote:I would love to see a photo of the Alabama Chanin style T that you made for yourself
I'm waiting for the weather to warm up a bit since it's sleeveless and I want to take pictures outside. I think it's supposed to get in the 60's this coming week so I can try then if it does.
February 17 - 23:
Somehow I made it through this week without taking hardly any pictures. Sorry about that!
The neighbor dug the 4th and final trench on Friday. My husband limbed up more trees on Saturday and we started adding them to the trench. We had intended to finish filling it today but the weather was nasty.
I'm now officially behind on my seed starting schedule. The garden is still too soggy in the areas where the new beds will be for me to work the straw in as I had planned. I have started measuring and shaping beds though - mostly by removing the straw layer from where paths will go and piling it deeper where the beds will be.
My hatch went well. 10/10 hatched although one chick has a slight deformity (eye not in socket) and likely won't survive.
I moved 15 eggs into the hatcher for Tuesday.
On the sewing front, a lot of research has revealed that there's no patterns to make a modern bra without plastic for a large bust. It might be possible for a more experienced sewer but that isn't me... yet.
Instead I'm going to make a pair of Regency era short stays. They're supposed to be easy to sew, more comfortable than a bra, and short enough that they shouldn't hamper working outside. Mine will be made with cotton twill for 2 of the layers and quilting cotton for the outer layer. I'll need to make a drawstring for lacing.
While I was waiting for the cotton twill to arrive (picking it up tomorrow) I made a tote bag that I've been wanting to do for months. Right as I was finishing it up I discovered that I had made a mistake that has to be fixed before the bag is usable - a raw seam edge next to a zipper. It's in time-out until I can bear to rip out the seams.
On the knitting front, I'm starting my 8th repeat for the sontag shawl increases and have worked through an entire cake of yarn. It'll take at least 3 but I have a 4th in case.
Oh! I also setup my drum carder at the barn today and started carding up an alpaca fleece.
The north strip is all finished and I've started planting! My only complaint is that the neighbor accidently compacted the soil in the beds while smoothing out the terraces. Not the end of the world, but it makes seeding a bit more work. On the other hand, digging all of this up with a shovel would have been a LOT of work!
I have shaped all the new beds on one half of the garden and all the perimeter beds on the other half. At the time I couldn't remember what I'd planned for the interior bed layout on that half and opted to leave it be. I'll finish that up this coming week.
I'm mostly caught up on seed starting other than direct sown crops; namely carrots, radishes, and turnips. I'm not sure how well they'll do in the straw and I may need to put them in the older beds. I could also try planting them in the strip, but I suspect the deer would eat the greens.
Tuesday's hatch resulted in 14 chicks and 1 late quitter. This coming week it'll be a smaller hatch (8 eggs) because we had 5 clears from my daughter's pen.
I sewed a mock-up of the short stays. The pattern said to make a size smaller because it ran big, which I did, and it was still too big! I cut my muslin down one more size and I think it's fitting correctly now. My fabric is washed, ironed, and ready to cut for the real stays tomorrow.
It ended up being cold this week instead of in the 60s. I took a quick selfie in my shirt to give an idea of what it looks like. The wind really made a mess of my hair!
I'll be starting on the center panel of my sontag shawl on Monday. Tonight I'm finishing the last repeat of the increase side.
Thanks, Sue! I'm not sure why but I'm not being notified of replies on this thread...
March 2 - 8:
Monday through Wednesday were spent nursing a cold. Other than basic chores I mostly napped or read. Not the most productive way to start the week!
I planted out 200 onion sets, 32 early potatoes, peas, turnips, radishes, carrots, kale, and spinach. Onion and artichoke seedlings got bumped up into bigger containers. I'm hoping to get them in the ground this week.
The fabric for all 3 layers of my short stays is cut out. I'm handsewing them which makes progress slower. For the interlining layer, the back side pieces are sewn onto the back and the gussets are sewn onto one of the front pieces. The gussets on the other front piece are currently basted into place. In the picture the green thread is thread tracing to mark my seam lines.
We hatched 8 out of 8 eggs this week. I moved 12 eggs into the hatcher for next week.
This week I worked a lot on my shawl and have passed the halfway point. It's all decreasing from here, so it'll be progressing even faster now.
I also finished handsewing the first layer of my short stays. I have a slight fit issue that I will fix this week before starting on the other layers.
The hatch this week was 12 out of 12. The neighbors picked up 4 of those chicks today and 2 pullets from the Cackle Surprise. They jokingly offered to pay us with toilet paper.
We warned family members over 2 weeks ago to stock up on food and supplies. Some listened, some didn't. I think those that didn't finally realized the situation when they went grocery shopping this weekend and found the store completely closed because it was sold out.
My husband and I talked and decided that with the way things are right now with the coronavirus that we'll be maximizing food production with the chickens and the garden - for us AND for the neighbors.
It's been raining most of this week with some patches of sunshine here and there. Most of my work has been indoors, as you can imagine.
I finished the knitting for my sontag shawl this week. My husband located my blocking mats in the garage today and the kids promptly stole them to build a fort. Once they're bored of them in a day or two I'll be able to block my shawl. Then pictures!
My next knitting project will be the Lyne socks. My gauge swatch is finished and I'm casting on tonight. It might be cheating to do ankle socks (and I have multiple pairs planned!) but since it's my own challenge and I do need ankle socks I'll let it slide.
The rest of the week was spent sewing my short stays. All 3 layers have been sewn. Today I started sewing the layers together and finished that except for the straps. One of the straps is not quite matching up to the others and I'll need to puzzle out what the issue is before I can continue.
My hatch was 10 out of 12 chicks, bringing my total to 58 chicks. My daughter tucked one chick under her broody Silkie/Cochin mix hen and the rest are in the brooder. I have 2 broodies up at the barn sitting on clutches too.
Not much got done in the garden. I was able to plant out some artichokes and various alliums - lots left to plant! If it dries out this weekend we'll bring down compost from the barn to spread on the North strip.
This week was a wild one for weather. Lots of rain, hail, and even a brief flurry of snow.
Gardening consisted of pouring water out of flooded seed trays and checking for hail damage while the kids splashed in mud puddles. So much mud!
The hatch this week was 8 out of 9, bringing my total to 66 chicks hatched. Another 2 hens went broody, both from my breeding pen. I will likely move the remaining chooks back into the main coop this week so I can use their pen for juveniles.
On the sewing front I'm getting close to finishing my short stays. I sewed the layers together, put in eyelets, added boning, and started binding the raw edges.
After weighing the pros and cons, I opted to use plastic for the boning. Heavy-duty zipties are apparently similar to the baleen used in ye olde days and offer good support with more flexibility than steel boning. Other options are cording or quilting which work better for smaller busts.
I figured that unlike the plastics used in modern bras, the ziptie boning would still be usuable in new short stays after the old pair is beyond repair.
Not much knitting happened this week. I'm about halfway done with the cuff of 1 ankle sock.
My shawl got blocked out, but the weather was too nasty for pictures.
I took a number of pictures this week with my good camera. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to upload and edit them yet. So you're getting cell pictures instead.
The weather was perfect for working outside. I'd like to say how much gardening I got done, but I'd have to grossly exaggerate to make it sound like much happened. More seeds were sown, some beds got weeded, we brought up 2 loads of wood chips from the woods, and some of the compost from the barn.
I finished sewing my short stays! It's extremely comfortable, like the sweatpant version of bust support. The lacing caused some issues; the cotton yarn I tried wasn't strong enough and promptly snapped, the silk yarn was strong enough but very slippery. After some research today I discovered that the hemp cord I have in my kids crafting stuff is a good option. Pictures are with it laced with silk yarn and a cotton yarn drawstring.
Oh! Another issue with it is that the top edge causes a pronounced lumpy line under regular shirts. Apparently this is a common issue for all stays and demi- or overbust corsets with the short stays being particularly troublesome due to a lack of a busk (wood or metal piece that holds the center front flat against the sternum).
Obviously my next sewing project is to make this Regency dress pattern but tunic length and wear it over my new short stays. There are 4 yards of white cotton crinkle gauze sitting in my fabric stash that I'll use for it.
I didn't knit a stitch this week. Oops!
On a sad note, a coyote pack came through and killed 4 geese, a duck hen, and the rooster from my breeding pen. I guess I'm officially done with the breeding for this year because that was my only rooster carrying a mottled gene. The geese and surviving duck hen are now getting locked into the chicken coop at night. The chickens are not impressed.
My hatch last week was 5 out of 6 chicks, up to 71 chicks. There's one more hatch left and then I'm leaving the rest to broody hens.
Out business normally slows down to a relaxed pace in the warm months leaving us with extra free time. This year, with everyone staying at home, we're now shipping out more orders than we've ever done.
I've worked 7 days this week. Today I pulled items for 330ish orders and I still have 200 or so waiting for me in the morning.
As you can imagine, I haven't got much else done.
I fixed a mistake in my knitting, prepped my sewing pattern, spread some more mulch, built the bean fort with the kids, and transplanted 60+ artichokes into the ground.
My final hatch was 14 out of 15, bringing my total to 85 chicks hatched. A 5th hen has gone broody.
And it looks like my pictures from last week aren't displaying? I guess I'll have to sort that out.
I keep a blog over here: bramblewoodhill.com
We should throw him a surprise party. It will cheer him up. We can use this tiny ad: