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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 5758
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 17 8:54 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

MR if your driving license is still a paper one I suspect that it may need to be renewed for a plastic one..didn't think the paper only were still legal....

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8115

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 17 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I checke that a little while ago, and as far as I know, they still are. I have to get an updated one in 5 years time , but until then I think it is still all right.

Lots of flowers around yesterday down nearer the sea. The early daffodils age coming out, the later snowdrops, and the bluebell wood I pass had enough leaves up to look quite green. Plenty of what I think are mirabelles, but could just be blackthorn in flower.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1242
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 17 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The Herdwick shepherd seems to have USA's agriculture going down the drain, Jam Lady? Surely farmers get looked after by the government to produce food?
Regarding Driving licenses, I thought had to be renewed at 65 for men and then again at 70, doubtless at a cost, and they are definitely plastic now, with happy, not smiling face in my case, the beard hides all however!I don't have a passport, but may get one to go to Aus. to see the friends in Brisbane. I am glad you have mentioned daffodils MR., mine are well in bud and likely to burst forth this w/e, when I will be in Bridgnorth visiting my friends-communication stops from me till Tuesday-and hopefully a trip to Ludlow to see the latest arrival-Matilda Daisy. I am looking forward to that, and another Christening to go to at some point.
The local Blackthorn won't appear, (shoot), till late April/May at our end. At one point on RC someone was picking sloes before our p. spinosa had blossomed!

An exciting morning today, no work, waiting for the electricity company to arrive to replace the cable from the pole to the house and subsequently the meter; all done and dusted in about 2 hours, but I was there and cutting wood early so that as they worked I was able to resist ""helping"" and get on with some chopping. I should have called in and collected the nets I have done already as they have sold 4 since yesterday afternoon-another trip up and down the hill-I'll take 6 and hope it lasts till Monday evening.

The i/d thing Jam Lady is to help sort out those who should not be in USA in the first place and I agree it is a nuisance for you to have to do, but if in looking at all the info they can send an illegal sponger whence they came, then it is surely worth the effort for all to do this to get rid of the few who are in the wrong. I understand your point of view, but can see the government's reasoning too.

Like the half empty/half full-viva Mr Pratchett!

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1563
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 17 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Crazy weather. Well, it's edging up towards Spring. Yesterday was rain and thunderstorm, with temperatures up to 69 degrees Fahrenheit / 20.5 Celsius. Currently very windy, noisy windy, weather. And I think it is tomorrow night that it will drop into the teens Fahrenheit, perhaps with snow. Hope my hellebores shrug it off.



Bread just went into the oven, and I'm taking a break from writing a book review for my web site: The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini by Cara Mangini.

Gregotyn - when you get back next week and read this - I see what are likely illegals, Hispanic men who collect in the parking lot of a mini-mart store looking for day work. They don't seem dangerous, neither do potentially illegal lecturers on horticultural topics. If there truly are 11 million illegals I would rather focus be placed on the dangerous ones - criminals, gang members first. There must be practical limits on collecting / incarcerating / shipping out all the people grabbed in raids. Trump wants to shove anyone who comes up from South America and enters through Mexico back into Mexico. And Mexico is saying "No." On top of which, while I forget the exact figures, the cost of flying the illegals from here to there to out of the country ain't cheap. So focus, put priority, on the ones who could do harm.

The government looks after mega-farms. My daughter-in-law's father who owns a ranch in Texas (horrid dry place, he rents out grazing and there are a couple of small donkey engine oil wells) received payments for not planting peanuts which I don't believe he ever intended to plant to begin with. Crazy.

Timer just went off, need to go uncover the bread so it can brown nicely. Ciao.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8115

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 17 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Glad you got your electricity done Gregotyn. Have a nice weekend.

The hellebores are nice Jam Lady. Can you tell me if the things in the picture that look like crocus are crocus, or are they something else, as husband seems to think they could be.

I am pretty sure what we have in flower at the moment is Mirabelle. Blachthorn is later and the saying is that there is a 'blackthorn winter' so don't assume winter is completely over until the blackthorn flower finishes.

Finished off and delivered some log sacks yesterday, then did various bits of paperwork to book fairs for the year, checked the banks statement looked right etc. Weather was lovely and sunny yesterday but a pretty cold wind. Think we are staying about 10 C or lower during the day at the moment, today with added rain.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1563
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 17 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tell your hubby, Mistress Rose, that the flowers that look like crocus are indeed crocus, Crocus tomasinnianus to be precise. It is the only species I am aware of that happily grows in woodland.

Here's a this year plant portrait of it:



Quite chilly today and we've gone from clear blue skies in the morning to full overcast and it's snowing right now. Shall go and bake some cookies I think. Or should I say biscuits?

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8115

PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 17 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks Jam Lady. That is a lovely picture too. The confusing thing is that most of the others come into flower with the leaves, but that one seems to flower before the leaves.

We use biscuits for some and cookies for others. Generally, thicker, softer ones are cookies and harder thinner ones are biscuits, but all get called biscuits. I suppose the ones I make are strictly cookies as they have a long slow cook and although crisp are quite thick.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1430

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 17 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Homeland Security, like our Border Force, is getting too big for its boots. Time to rise up and reclaim the Country I reckon, though I would rather sit and spin (literally, not in slang terminology).

I have been busy for the last few days, so sorry I was off line. First the shed has finally arrived and been erected! I am rather pleased with it, and have just taken the vacuum cleaner out and given it a good going over (which is more than I have done for the house for some time!). I will hose it out on Wednesday to get rid of the last traces of metal filings resulting from the construction process.



They did sweep it out for me, but it was rather a half hearted effort at the end of a long day, so I can't complain. They also left behind some useful leftovers - several rolls of insulating material (I had the roof insulated but not the walls), and off-cuts of sheeting that will make a useful raised garden bed in due course.

And yesterday was the Spin In, so lots of fun there! Not to mention huge expense! I wanted some coloured fleeces and had a choice between one jet black one for $130, or another one for $30. Clearly the first was out of my range, but the other one was less than an inch long and badly shorn, so that was that. No black wool. I did get a lovely bag of brown wool though which is rather darker than the photo suggests and has a few patches of white in it as well so those bits will be nice and tweedy.



Also a gottland fleece which is shaded grey (darker at the tips than the roots)




It will be nice as is, or dyed as the grey will influence the tone of the final colour. I will not dye it till I have my dyeing set up properly as I am thinking natural dyes for this one.

The Ryeland fleece turned out to be free and is also fairly variable in terms of shearing - the chap who did the shearing is a bit out of practice by the looks of things. Split down the middle I shared it with a friend. I will be spinning some of it next so as to make a beanie for the donor.

Now for some pics of the day:



There was a local woman who carefully bred up sheep that carried the Moorit gene (which makes for brown and black fleeces) who died and her flock was split between two other breeders. They had a memorial competition using moorit-coloured fleeces and these were some of the prize winners.





And this stall was my downfall - they had so many luscious things there! - More later.




I did an indigo dyeing workshop. This is the indigo after the hydrosulphite has been added (that is apparently something that stops the indigo from oxidising with the result the surface is covered with an oily layer that produces a ring of bubbles called a flower. You scrape that to one side before lowering the yarn into it. We each were given a small skein of superwash merino and a length of top to dye, and tried out different ways of creating undyed bits in the wool. The yarn was knotted in two places, loosely and the tops i did not soak properly so no dye entered the middle bit.




This is it drying in the shed. I thought I had felted the tops abominably, but as they are drying out they are fluffing up a bit, so I live in hope they can be recovered.

Finally my stash of wicked things:



On the right is a peg loom which is an easy way to make things like wall hangings, mats etc. And on the left you will see a striped bag which contains four different tones of Shetland wool which I will not spin till I can spin a lot finer on tops than I am achieving at present. There is also a length of dyed tops which have been blended with nylon to make socks as well as various trinkets like sari silk and bits of lace to add to art yarns when I feel inspired.

So a good if exhausting day - it was bright sunshine all day and I was burnt to a crisp.

Gregotyn, your neighbour can teach herself to spin by borrowing books from the Library (the Spinners Book of Fleece is a good one to learn the meaning of the terminology spinners fling around with gay abandon) and by watching YouTube - there are some excellent short teaching videos available on YT. Warn her once she starts she may never stop. It is incredibly relaxing - helps me manage my Anxiety remarkably well.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8115

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 17 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Looks as if you have had an interesting couple of days Cassandra; a shae and a show.

I find the easiest way to spin tops finer is to divide the length into 2 or more sections. I personally find it best to divide it into 8, but you may not want to spin that fine.

I have dyed with woad, which is the British equivalent of indigo, and will grow in the UK. The old way was to make up the bath with stale urine, but we used ammonia as it was easier and slightly less smelly. I haven't done any for years, but we got some quite nice blues. Other good natural dyes are madder, or any member of the Gallium family root, such as goose grass in the UK, and weld, which gives a good yellow. Onion skins are not bad, although mine are never totally wash resistant. I knitted a pair of socks (hose) for 17th century re-enactment using hand spun wool dyes with onion skins, and although they are still an orange yellow, they still shed dye during every wash.

We had a good day in the woods yesterday with our Volunteers and managed a bit more hedge laying, some brash burning and some flora surveying, so a pretty productive day.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 5758
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 17 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have a look at wool-tribulations.blogspot.co, it is by Fran Rushworth, a DS member (lurking at the moment I think, can't remember her handle) she is hand spinning and natural dyeing

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8115

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tried to get it, but couldn't. Will try again later Gz.

Managed to get the raised bed turned over for the onion sets. It had a compost heap on it for the last year and the soil looks lovely and loamy, so hope the onions like it.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1430

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jam Lady posted the link a couple of months ago. Here it is:

http://wooltribulations.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/several-effects-of-iron-solution-on.html

It will take you to her latest post on the effect of iron on onion dyes. I have been following her blog since JL posted it. She also has a range of nice patterns she has designed, and does other interesting stuff, so well worth bookmarking.

I went to town today, both literally and figuratively. Bought some shed shelving i found on special, then headed to the vacuum cleaner shop where I picked up a stick vac and a steamer - the first because having a cordless vac seems more likely to get the kitchen floor cleaned more frequently than having to fight my way into get the cord, find a spare plug etc, and then have to cope with tangled cords and furniture. They were both fairly inexpensive so no idea how they will go. The steamer comes apart to be hand operated to clean around taps, oven tops, walls etc which seems fairly useful. I won't play with them till the kitchen is back in place, but the steamer may come out to play earlier as it seems likely to be useful for giving the cement slab that passes for a floor a bit of a clean up to allow the lino glue to stick.

Then on to the tip shop where I found a second hand crock pot to use for dyeing and poked around in their building materials with half an eye to the greenhouse i plan to add to the side of the shed - definitely worth another visit when I have space in the back of the ute.

On to the second hardware store where I bought the corner unit I will be needing promptly when I am putting the kitchen back together. The sales woman was lovely! Made several helpful money-saving suggestions, including shopping elsewhere for particular bits I had in mind. I was rather horrified when the bill was tallied as the entire thing (door, hinges, handle, internal fittings and cabinet) cost almost as much as one of the complete straight-line kitchens I bought to make the first edition of the kitchen (I have two of them in total, so only a third of the total cost, but still!!!)

Then various dog and cat purchases, groceries, some plastic bins for storing fleeces (in a cool dark room) and home to unload the car, stow things in various parts of the house and shed, stuff fleeces into bins and head in to clean the bank. I bought Seb a goat's horn which he thinks is a great new toy, but i will have to take it off him at bedtime as it seems to break into bits that may be harmful.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1563
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 17 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Neighbor has little lambs but it isn't yet Spring.

Phooey - I wanted to provide a link to a web site entry but keep getting Page Not Found. Suspect the issue is an apostrophe in the html name. If anyone knows the secret and is willing to reveal it I will try again.

Pleasant weekend. Saturday went to a garden center / nursery's winter chat room. Sunday was another open hearth cooking demo event at Bouman Stickney. Today? Today I'm back to laundry, change bed linens, etc etc.

Busy Cassandra. Lots going on in your life, all of which sound very good.

Mistress Rose, these were chocolate chip cookies. Would not be dunking them in tea.

Gregotyn, trust you had a pleasant weekend away. Let me say, "Welcome back!"

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1563
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 17 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

O.K. If I cannot provide the link for the cold weather website entry, try this one instead.

A Winter Kitchen's Meal at Bouman Stickney

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8115

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 17 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for the link Cassandra. An interesting blog. I have always used alum with onion skins and it comes out in shades of orange. Using an iron pot has a lesser effect than an iron salt. Go careful with the iron as it can make the wool brittle.

You have been busy. I thought about one of those steam cleaners, but the cheap ones don't took terribly good long term and the good ones are quite expensive. I can think of several places I want to use them, but as most are in the kitchen around the cooker, think I will stick to washing up liquid and soda for now.

Jam Lady, the cook in sounds interesting. Don't know why they used puff pastry for the boiled apple pudding as I would have thought it wouldn't puff properly, and couldn't see from the picture if it had. It is more usual to use something like suet crust. Some of those delights sound definitely expensive. Those German puffs used everything that would have been expensive then, and isn't that cheap now so definitely a 'show off' dish for a party I would think.

I was brought up to only using one egg in a cake, as it hadn't been that long before that eggs were strictly rationed, and my mother was very careful with them. I have no idea if they were expensive as well, but they came from very free range chickens. The lane the farm was on always had some chickens along it so you had to drive or cycle carefully. They were shut up a night, and the man who ran the farm, and who had a loud voice, always used to end up swearing at the chickens or the dog that helped him. So I was told anyway, as Mum was careful that I was never in earshot as she didn't like bad language.

I had a go at a another basket yesterday, this time a sort of bread basket thing. My main problem was getting the 2 halves of the frame to hold together with the ribs in place. I ended up getting a nasty hole in one thumb from the gimp pin (fine nail) I was using and they kept coming apart. Eventually I got it to hold and am now about half or more way though the weavers. Have to split a few more, but have found it a lot easier with some selected, good rods.

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