I promised myself I’d be better at Blogging as well as Vlogging…. but life kinda happens!! Anyway here are the links for the blogs this week
Also I’ve managed a load of baking this week!! 😁
How to process firewood!! Well how we collect and process it!! 😂
You can find a short video here of what we do!!!
Someone LOVES the chainsaw helmet!!!
Especially the visor!!! 😂
And whilst the chain saw was out!! Himself chopped me up some logs to make a log circle in the littlie’s forest school area!
I’ve added a few new videos to the YouTube Channel!!!
Some tours of the animals and I’m planning a weekly ish….. vlog about the happenings on the smallholding!!
Here is Episode one!!
So in order to get anything done with Mr Whirlwind around he has to have things to occupy him!!! So gradually using and repurposing things around the farm and planting and making etc I am building a play area…. or lots of bits of play area
Inadvertently with some of the digger work that has been done we have created areas he enjoys playing in already… like the one wet muddy ditch!!!
Anyway what we’ve managed so far!!
A water play wall…
Car ramps and the dry ditch!!
We’ve made space for some outdoors toys…. started planting willow to make some structures….
A teepee, a tunnel etc etc…. maybe eventually a maze given time after seeing the small maze at the Welsh Wildlife centre! They will all be made from a range of basketry willows so hopefully will all provide an additional crop for the farm for an income eventually or raw materials for me to make things with!!
And the tractor tyres we acquired are positioned… now I just need to fill them and make some mini play zones!! For example a dinosaur swamp…. a digger/construction site… the possibilities are endless for the small world play!!
I have so many more ideas and I have created a Pinterest board or two of ideas which I plan to use about the place…. some close to the vegetable and fruit gardens some near to the flower gardens and orchard and some maybe for the wetter areas!! I plan to try to have something at all points to occupy and entertain and inspire the boys to explore, play and create!!
Here’s the links to the Pinterest boards if you want to look!!
So….. deep breath and here goes…..
Back at the end of April…. the Polytunnel finally had its skin put on!!
We almost immediately started planting and moving some of the seed across that we had started in the house off into the tunnel….
Spring finally arrived after the seemingly relentless winter!!
The small boy found more vehicles to sit on and press all the buttons….
The fruit cage planting was finished and now it’s just a case of weeding, watering, mowing and mulching at regular intervals…
The chicks, born on the first of March, got new digs and moved in!!
With the advent of spring the endless grass and weed management begins!! We are fortunate in that we have been gifted a field and brush mower in previous years and that mower chimps through long grass, brambles, weeds etc like they are butter!! And then to get the lawn effect in certain areas I am using the little old electric mower from the old town house!! (I am going to start saving for a normal Petrol lawnmower just so I don’t have to run an extension lead out each time!
Look at the little faces!!! Grandad bought the boys a new toy!!! Look!!!! It’s a fabulous tractor!!!!
There is a plethora of blossom in our orchard!! So we are hoping for plenty of apples this year!!!
The one and only flower bed needs a darn good weeding and I need to start making more flower beds and tackling the weeds on the banks cutting them right back and digging out where I can so I can start designing and planting garden areas!! I harbour a small dream that one day our garden will become one of the yellow book gardens that open for the national gardens scheme!!
I have planted some more willow whips and have more rooting!! I am making a willow tunnel, a willow teepee and I plan to maybe try a few more willow structures around the place! I am using a combination of osier willow and basketry willow so eventually as well as winter colour the structures and other willows will become another saleable crop in both cut willow and baskets or willow creations!!
Can you spot them?! Clue- they are yellow basketry ones here!!
The Polytunnel has started to green up slowly!! We have a multitude of different vegetables starting to grow!!!
And James has been out practising using a topper attached to his tractor to cut the grass!! We have now also been out to see a topper for sale nearby and James’ offer was accepted… we have trailer to borrow and now are awaiting a collection date!!! Exciting!!!
Finally James has had opportunity to start the raised bed walls!! So we will have even more growing space for our vegetables!! (Lucky as we have loads in seed trays starting to need to be planted out!! And we have more seeds to sow for more autumnal and winter crops!!)
Phew!! Lots of work!! Lots of plans and always loads more to do!!!
So Saturday last Mum and I took the tribe of smalls to Wonderwool at Builth Wells!!
I love this yarn show and have attended every year for the last ten plus!! Apart from the year William was born as him arriving and Wonderwool were just that wee bit too close in dates!! (He would have been a week old!!)
So here are a few photos I managed between yarn fondling and toddler wrangling!!
Best way to travel in the sling right next to the mobile buffet!! Look a snap snap!!! The toddler was very impressed with the crocheted croc!!!
The wonderful wall of poppies I commemorate the end of World War One 100 years ago this year!
And then something else beautiful some started smiling!!!!
More about my multiple purchases in another post!
So now the Polytunnel has been skinned we have been able to get in and plant!!
So far now we have planted mangetout, beans, beetroot, carrots, spinach, leeks, rocket, spring onions and salads….
Then James has moved our two new grapevines into the corners, one red one white…
He has also moved all the baby tomato plants, chilli plants and cucumbers in….
and plans to plant the courgette babies etc out there this afternoon!
He and William have been earthing up the potatoes like fury!!
I have plans to weed the onion and shallot bed and the fruit cage this week in between trips out with William to our usual activities!!
Some of the seeds we planted the other week have started to come up so we shall soon need to plant out small broccoli and cauliflower plants etc!! James needs to build the walls for the raised beds soon!!! Well for at least one of them!!
This year we should be able to produce the majority of our fresh food!! James has even won a competition and we have a mushroom kit arriving soon!!!!
William, our toddler, has been super useful with his new wheelbarrow and has been collecting all the rocks from around the Polytunnel!! Hurrah!!
Soooo in lieu of a podcast which I may not have time to do or enough content for, for a few weeks…. here is the farm update for recent weeks!!!
Sooo…. back at the end of March on his due date we became a family of four when baby Mathew put in an appearance!!
All 7lb 15 of him and the birth itself went that well I should have been in and out in the one day…. but I decided tone dramatic and have a rather nasty PPH which saw me lose nigh on 3 pints of blood… so overnight obs… what a joy…. opposite the nursing station…. and at one point I’d just gotten the baby to sleep and in they came to do his obs…. ugh!!!
Anyway he is now a gorgeous chunky 11lbs!! (He didn’t have to wait for milk to come in as I still feed William) and he is four weeks old!!! Not sure how that has happened!!
Soooo we have had LOTS of visitations from family, but whilst the female portion of the family cooed over the small people and helped me to keep on top of washing and housework and William in the early days… the menfolk fought through the tiredness and….
Helped lambs in the barn…. being born…. putting them into separate quarters to bond with mums…. etc
Skinned the Polytunnel!!!
Hurrah!! On with the planting!!!
Moving and placing and cutting tractor tyres for the kiddos play area!! And planting potatoes we have had chitting for an age it seems!! Both in tubs and bags and out in a large potato bed James prepared!
Sorted the chickens who are now huge and ready for their new accommodations!! More about that another time!!
Made teeny fires to cook over!!
Then we as a group have been…..
Wrangling sheep to get them into the right field!! Te he!!!
Charging round the fields and feeding Wanda!
We’ve been to the botanical gardens for Welly Wednesday!!
We have tidied up the front garden and planted seeds both for flowers and for the Polytunnel !!
Plus we found a worm!! Fascinating!!!
And the other big news!!!
Young man turned TWO!!! I have a two year old!!!! More about how that feels in another post but look how happy he is with his digger!!
And I made my first attempt at icing a cake other than slapping a small bit of buttercream in or on!!
So busy times!!! Hopefully things are starting to settle…. and will improve further when we all kick this latest cold that has struck myself and the boys!! Ugh!!
Hope to at least write more soon and maybe I’ll squeeze in a podcast at some point!!
Sunday 18th March
So I’ve made it this far!!! Still got bump in tow!!
Lots of little bits to tell you all about this week, some sections are a bit light on content this week, because we’ve had disturbed nap times due to toddler illness ( joyfully he threw up in the car the other week so that was a heap of pulling apart the car and car seat to wash!!)
Plus more getting ready for the new baby, growing season by sorting out the seeds etc..
Well it’s another snowy day here in Wales and it’s freezing!!!
I’m wearing James’ fleece as it covers the bump!! And I’m wearing a cowl my Mum knitted for me!! It’s a Song of the Sea cowl by Louise Zass-Bangham and the Pattern is on Rav.
I’ve managed to finally block my samples I had knit up and have subsequently tweaked patterns etc!! Now just need to get some more projects off the needles so I can cast on the full projects for those!!
I have two FO’s
Two little baby hats!!! The pattern is my Jelliebean Baby Hat pattern and it’s on Rav, I’ve knitted one in Rainbow heirloom solo light and one in some left over hedgehog fibres, plus a small amount of my own hand dyed yarn to stripe in so I was definitely not playing yarn chicken!! These are in my bag that the lovely Zoe of Pins and Needles made me.
I am halfway down the foot of the second sock for my Dad’s birthday
These are a Plain top down vanilla sock knit out of Weavers Loft sock yarn which is 75% super wash wool and 25% nylon, so good and hard wearing for much use for my Dad! These are in my fantastic Thimble and Thread Makes Harry Potter bag.
I have managed a heap more rows on my Hazels shawl and the leaves are really starting to come through now!! Ive knit this in River Knits 4ply fingering in the colourway Indian Giant Squirrel and it’s a pattern I am working on for release after the baby is born
I have decided to start using my progress keeper on my weasley sweater, because I can’t for the life of me remember whether I have even knitted on it since I last podcast!! The progress keeper I am using is a lovely tardis one from Jennie of Owl about Yarn.
Yep none…. No FOs….
But I have managed to cut out some fabric for a commission project and have some more to cut out this week so I can get sewing on that!!
However I have managed some mending/darning etc!!
I’ve mended The rainbow jumper which is the DayDreamer pattern by Jennifer Steingass, James’ socks and two pairs of Williams socks!!! Some knitting required…..
Zero…. Too much getting the desk cleared and the loom hoiked about at this stage of bumpness…
Also zero!! But to be fair I have been awaiting the plying of the Icelandic to carry on with that….
So that leads me into Spinning….
I have Navajo or chain plied the Icelandic!! Just need to skein it, wash it thwack it and it’s good to go into a crochet project…
And I have thread plied the Sara’s Texture crafts exmoor BFL!!! I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out and can see more thread plying in my future especially with the beautiful variegated skeins of yarn. Mainly because I believe my yardage for this skein of yarn is going to be HUGE!!! in comparison to the Icelandic which will be minimal as it is three ply and super chunky!!
So I have received the fabric I ordered for the commission project
And I have ordered more rip stop and received it to make the boys waterproof dungas using the Made By Jacks Mum Free Range Fun Over Trousers.
And also this last fortnight I had a really happy post day!!!
The Lovely Anita from the Gaga Knits podcast has sent me some beautiful gifts!!!
A beautiful little cardie for the newbie when he decides to put in an appearance.
A book for Will which he has had read several times already!!
And a beautiful roving of Fondant Fibre in merino and mulberry silk!!! Part of their Illume collection called awakened spirit.
Thank you soooo much Anita you are so very kind!!
I’ve been inspired this week to get my backside back to the dye pots!!! So hopefully (baby arrival allowing) later this week I shall have a little shop update with these two colour ways!!! Daffs and Crocus, they are currently drying out, having been my first attempt at yarn dyeing on the wood fired stove!! Man I needed to haul lots of wood!!! Or it seemed that way because I can only bring in small amounts at a time, not the big basket!! However I digress there are two bases, a sport weight merino base, which are the slightly softer colours, and the Stardust sock weight base which are the more vibrant colours!! So keep an eye on Tyddyn Bryn on Etsy later this week for them to pop into store!! One time limited dye lots, using up the last of the undyed I had in stash…. The next time I dye I shall have to do another big restash of the undyed before I dye!! And who knows when I might get time to do that!!! It has been two years since I last dyed yarn I believe!!!
I’ve been out varnishing the sign for the front of the house again, and giving the bird boxes a quick coat too to protect them…
So James hired a mini digger a fortnight before I was due to pop….
He has now dug raised beds in the slurry it, which he needs to blockwork out…. watercourses…. Potato beds….. Flattened an area for me to make into a digging zone for the kids….
I’ve sourced some tractor tyres for digging pits for the boys…..
We’ve scoped out a pond site, but it wasn’t safe to take the digger to it….
In looking at that though I have found loads of my basketry willows have grown and need cutting back allowing me to get more plants going…
And Friday next if no one comes forward we become accidental sheep owners…. Still no idea if it’s multiple deal…. As in whether she is I lamb or not…. But we have bought some feed to supplement her diet in case and come next week we shall book a vet out to see her and register her as ours.
The chicks are growing well and feathering up… They are much bigger much faster than the last two, and are certainly eating more, drinking more and stinking more!!!
We’ve baked more cakes…. Muffins of the White chocolate and Rasberry variety and the banana and chocolate chip variety!!
I shall add a little photo montage at the end of all the farm happenings…
I hope you have enjoyed this weeks podcast!! I’m not sure when I’ll get to podcast next…. Baby is due Friday next!!! So in the meantime Happy crafting everybody!! And you can find me as Tyddyn Bryn on Instagram, Twitter and Ravelry, there is a Tyddyn Bryn Facebook page…. The Tyddyn Bryn Etsy shop, which I am going to attempt to keep open…. But we shall see what occurs in the next couple of weeks…
If you enjoyed the episode please give us a thumbs up at the bottom and I hope to see you all soon!!!
So James decided to hire a mini digger this week…. and has been out in it all day every day working hard to create better waterways, raised beds, scrape the barns, flatten play areas…. etc etc!! Busy times!!
Someone else rather liked the digger too!!! And very quickly figured out whilst sat on Daddy’s lap that two levers made it go forwards and backwards!! Therefore lurching it about whilst Daddy was digging!!