Saturday, August 6, 2011

This and that

As much as I admire the many spinning friends who participated in Tour de Fleece 2011, I just didn't have the gumption for it.  Even with the longer days of summer, there are only a few hours after work each weekday, and mine have been taken up with gardening, putting up food, eggs and chicks.   I haven't even thought about spinning in ever so long. But, I found myself on Etsy  this week, and bought some dyed silk hankies to spin.

The colorway is called "Peony," and as you can see, they are shades of pink, peach, cream and spring green.  Since I tend to spin pretty fine anyway, I thought I would ply it together with some Cormo I bought at KSFF.  Very Spring-time colors, which may seem odd with Autumn approaching and the strong colors that go with it, but knowing me, it won't be done until Spring anyway.  

I've never spun silk before, unless it was blended with something else into roving. Years ago when I was in a spinning group, I remember Jane plying some silk with some cranberry-ish something she had, and it was beautiful.  That was before Jane left spinning and went to 'the other side.' You know, those who don't spin their yarn, but buy it.  ;)   

As for what has been keeping me so busy, I don't have any new chick pictures.  They have gotten used to the 'giant' lurking outside their coop, but every time I pull out the camera, Abigail 'bwaks' to them and they dive under her.  Silly girl.  As best I can tell, in my completely novice way, I have only one pullet and two cockerels.  The feather-sexing wasn't too successful.  They're just too small.  But I also read the females feather out a lot faster than the males.  One definitely has more going on with her (?) wing feathers than the other two, and they are pretty much alike. All still adorable - and I'm hoping I'm wrong about the 'boys.'

Dolley is getting more attention, and is developing a routine. She wants to perch on the towel-covered  arm of the couch each evening until dusk.  I'm sure it's because she can better see everything that's going on from that vantage point.  No eggs from her yet - and she can't even use the heat as an excuse.  She's at least 6 months old now, but others on Backyard Chickens are moaning they have Cochin girls over 8 months old and not laying yet! 

I picked (and ate) my first green beans from the garden this week.  I'm picking a dozen tomatoes off my Roma plants every 2 or 3 days. I have some replacement eggplant growing, and later this month and in Sept. I'm going to to be putting in some fall garden plants.  I want to try turnips again, Brussels sprouts, maybe broccoli, garlic, lettuce and radishes.   Try as I might, I can't find any winter onions other than the kind that only produce scallions. I must be the only person in the world who can't grow radishes.  Mine in the Spring have been a bust every year.  Maybe they will do better in fall. 

My dehydrator has hardly stopped.  For reasons I've mentioned before, I only can a couple of things, and freeze very little.  I'm drying everything I can get my hands on - Roma tomatoes (for home-made 'sun dried' tomatoes) onions, leeks, zucchini  and summer squash (from the Farmer's Market) bell and hot peppers, Bing cherries, carrots, celery, corn (I found a recipe for dried-corn soup) , mushrooms and more.  I bought some watermelon to make and can watermelon rind pickles, and I want to try dehydrating some of the watermelon.

Some 'sweet' banana peppers I bought at the Farmer's Market were NOT, and since I had been processing them with bare hands, my hands burned like fire for hours. They were even tender the next day. Between the hot banana peppers, and the jalapenos and cayenne that are growing like crazy in the garden, I have plenty of hot stuff.  Thinking ahead to Christmas, I want to do some herb and spice mixes with some of this dried produce I have, and put them inside cards for 'work' gifts. 

This has reminded me I'd better get back at it.  Busy as a Wren Cottage. 


  1. Another way to sex your chicks (if they have "normal" combs), is the length of the comb on their heads. The cockerels' combs will be longer front to back than the pullets.

    It's pretty hit or miss, too, but I've had reasonable success with it!

  2. Let me know how you like spinning the silk hankies. I got some and they drove me nuts. The tips of my fingers were dry and they kept catching on the silk and it felt weird. LOL