Episode 10!

Episode 10 of the podcast
Sunday 21st January
Knitting: 

Finished James’ Vanilla socks

Half finished some toddler socks for William, from my toddler sock pattern available on Rav, LoveKnitting and in the Etsy shop.

Started knitting up a secret shawl pattern!!! Using RiverKnits Indian Giant Squirrel.

First designed this shawl for my granny for James and my wedding, now reknitting to check the pattern before writing it up for release!!! 
Spinning:

So I have finished up some bobbins and skeined them up…..

Mystery yarn

Sara’s Texture Crafts BFL no clue as to the colourway….

Wheeldale woolcrafts merino silk blend in the heathers colourway

All of these have been spun half and half onto two bobbins then plied using my lazy Kate and made into two ply yarn, all about 145m from 100 g which would make them maybe a chunky yarn….
These now need washing, thwacking etc to set them…
Adelaide Walker Masham wool in four colours spun up as singles

And I have had my first try at Navajo or chain plying, which makes a three ply yarn!!! Rather pleased, but I reckon it’s going to come off the bobbin very squirly….

So I’m leaving it to sit a rest a bit first…. Hardest part about the Navajo ply was keeping the tension on the yarn coming from the bobbin…. Plus elements of the initial spin were over spun and squiggly….
Going to keep trying though because I like the way there is no orphaned yarn on the bobbin….
Sewing:

I have three FO’s 

Puts me on track for one a week for 2018!! 

The Fitted Tee by Elemeno Patterns

The Coco dress by Tilly and The Buttons

The Bucket Hat by Oliver and S
Plan to cut out and make another bucket hat in the tractor fabric this week and watch my seam allowances…. I think I need to actually measure my seam allowances to make sure I get them as asked for!!! 
Weaving:

Over halfway on the loom…

Photo story…
Shop update:

Alpaca is in the shop!!!! 

Caramel, charcoal and grey
Patterns:

The Lovehearts hat and the Broadleaf hat are out for testing!!!! 

One of my lovely test knitters has finished her already and has put a mini podcast episode out about it, you can find her as Gaga knits on YouTube! 
I have the coniferous hat almost ready for test knitter or two if anyone fancies it, please head on over to the Ravelry group for more info!! 
Right giveaway time!! 

Two separate skeins of alpaca yarn…..

One grey one charcoal…..

In order to win one….. You can earn one entry by for any/each of the following….

1. Subscribing to the podcast

2. Following the blog

3. Following me on Instagram

4. Liking/following the Facebook group

5. Joining the Ravelry group

6. Commenting on/in any of the above groups or sources and adding the #Tyddynbrynalpaca into your comment!!!
So six ways to get an entry!! Multiple comments/ follows get multiple entries and I’ll draw before I next podcast in a fortnight!!! 
Woodwork:

Starting to make hazel panels to cover the gaping holes/drops into the slurry pit…

Thinking I might make them hazel and willow though as we seem to have more coppiceable willow about the place….
Farm update:

More wood collecting…..

Rain

Hail 

Snow

High winds

Looking at ordering our fruit bushes and plants for the fruit cage starting to plan planting and work on planning raised beds for the slurry pit which need to be built

Awaiting planning’s response for our application for the tin hut….

Sheepy friends are doing well out in the fields….

Things to entertain William have restarted in the form of forest school and nursery tots group…

A first try!!

So a different sort of weaving has been happening here…..

A hazel hurdle is in the making!!!

We have decided to have a go to make some prettier panels to make the gaps into what was the old slurry pit and will be our fruit and vegetable garden, safe!! Hopefully child safe!!!!

James and I selected an old beam which was big and heavy enough to form the jig…..

Then whittled the ends of some larger hazel rods to make the uprights….. lots of our hazel is very overgrown so we are working with some very bobbly bits of wood, but using what we have!!

This took ages to sort…. the beam was OLD and rather solid to drill the holes into!! And some of the uprights, in order to get the straighter bits were a tad large in diameter!!

I’ve even found a use for the ash mallet I made on my forest school leader course!!! Fantastic for bashing down the hazel whips!!!

We are at the stage of weaving in the thinner whippier bits of hazel now and over half way up the panel!!

And I’m surprised how pleased I am with it!!! We both predicted this first go would be a disaster but no….. totally a usable panel!!!

The barn circa 1960!!

So this was our old barn in an old aerial photo!!!!

The big Agri barns aren’t there, neither is the tin hut but there are lots of smaller barns and the land behind the barns is so much flatter looking, without the slurry pit and the spoil heaps which have sculpted themselves into our garden and yard areas!!!

And notice the extra porch part on the barn, an old engine house apparently for milking…. and the roof!!! It goes to the ground at the back!!!

Apparently not long after this shot the old farm house was levelled and rebuilt and the family who did that work lived in the hayloft of our barn for the duration of the work!!!

Collecting, processing and stacking

A big part of our new lives here this time of year is collecting processing and stacking wood for our Esse and logburner. The Esse allows us to cook, heat water and heat our home and the log burner tops us up on chilly nights and even sometimes allows us to cook tea on it (like baked spuds or a simple something in a saucepan) 

Luckily here on the smallholding we have 9 acres of woodland and lots of very overgrown hedges round the rougher pastures…. So this time of year if the weather is good we have to get out wood collecting every chance we get!! 

Yesterday we spent two hours out cutting and collecting wood!! And luckily a friend called past with his tractor to cut our hedgerows in the fields which entertained the small man for ages and allowed us a wee bit more time!! He adores vehicles!! 


Today however the weather has turned miserable so in between small bean wrangling and going to our nursury Ti a Fi session we have been processing and stacking what we brought up!!


Phew!! A few more days of wood burning NEXT year!! 

Fencing….. Fencing and more Fencing!!!

Last week our fencing started in a big way!!! We have been fortunate to get into Glastir which is government woodland and land management scheme, which allows us to manage the land in a way that is more geared to the local wildlife and promoting that!! 

Last Monday our top field looked like this….

 

We already have lots of woodland…..


…..and in addition to the new woodland planting we did at the start of this year covering a probably just over an acre…..


…we now have new fencing ready for new hedgerows…..


new gates….. 


Well gates of out yard piles and into fields where they need to be!! We are awaiting the arrival of three new hardwood timber gates!

So next job hedge planting and a few more gates then the paperwork!!!!

Work around the Holding

So since we are here now every day…..

We have started doing some bits around the place other than he workshop and the house!

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Planting some bulbs for some spring colour about the place….. Crocuses, tulips and Daffodils….011012

Mowing the grass …. so we can get at the bed we planted and weed the heck out of it….once this latest bout of storm and rain is finished….013

Oh my poor rockery and bog garden…… this soooo needs attention…..014015016017

But there are now 50 crocus bulbs in the front garden hopefully settling in and getting ready to pop up come spring….018

James has built some composters in the far end of the slurry pit as was…..019

Our bales stacked up in the yard…. plus the mess of the far end of the slurry pit as a before photo…020

I mowed all the grass and weeds…..021022023

Sir played on the gator again!! (we are so going to have to hide those keys!!)024025

James de-baler twined the roto-tiller…..026

We carted some muck from the barn and planted a box and forsythia hedge from some cuttings we took and rooted before we left the old house…..027028029030

and finally I am not sure you can see the rocks but we have marked out for a fruit cage…. which we ordered at the start of the week and it arrived VERY quickly from First Tunnels.

Now to mulch the area marked, build the fruit cage, anchor it FIRMLY in place, order and plant the fruit!!!!

I have plans for gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, currants, strawberries etc etc!!! the rhubarb will find itself in a shady spot in the muck the other side of the wall!!

Apologies for the radio silence…..

We have been crazy busy round here…. At school we are getting an inspection… I’ve been boxing up loads of things at our house and we’ve hired a van and moved it to the farm… Little bear has started to walk…. Yay but oh help!!! 

I promise there is a podcast soon!!!!

But here are some photos in the meantime!!