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…

Upgrading the tin hut!

Winter is coming….
And to be honest it’s blooming freezing for the first night we stay at the tin hut as the oil fired burner warms up enough to get the damp off the air!! So to avoid some of the draughts etc we have made a couple of upgrades!!

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curtains!!!! Ahhh the warmth is increasing!!!

That along with putting foil insulation behind all the radiators!!!

Leaks

Yes Leaks not Leeks!!!

The same weekend as the building news in the previous post…. Water began to leak from the hovel ceiling….. Now the previous owner had kitted it out in a rudimentary and temporary way, but then had lived in the place for 10 years!!!

We turned on the water, we turned on the heating as normal when we got there (the concrete slabs all round the place like to suck out the warmth and the place can feel quite damp on times)

Then the dripping started…..

It started above the green cylinder in the corner of the room drip….drop…. Drip…. Ugh….. James opened the hatch…..

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Turns out the over flow ballcock wasn’t working as it should so the tank was overflowing into the ceiling space and dripping through the pipe holes…..

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Thankfully last weekend James and his dad spent the morning taking it in turns to be legs poking out of the ceiling hatch and rigged up a temporary solution to the issue!!! Hurrah!!!! No more drips!!!

Last weekend at the smallholding

James and I took a trip to the smallholding last weekend, mainly because he wanted to chop up the rest of his trees!!! I on the other hand took some work with me!!!

Upon our arrival…… Mid Saturday afternoon….. I unlocked and did a customary wander round and found this in the bucket we have been using as a bin!!!!!

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Argh!!!! Three dead mice!!! Three dead mice!!!! Yes continue the rhyme along!!! But thankfully they won’t be running after this farmers wife to be nor will I be chopping off any tails thank you very much!! I actually felt a little sorry for them…. Especially the little one all curled up!! They must have fallen in the bucket and died because they couldn’t get out!!!

Well these three dead mice made their way back into the compost heap from whence they were disturbed over half term and I think I must have used a bottle of bleach on most surfaces!!! Also I now have mouse traps and crunchy peanut butter on my next pre visiting smallholding shopping list!!!

As to how they got in….. Well the back wall of the tin hut is basically a black bin liner!!!! So…… Time for investigations and traps!!! And also mental note not to leave any munchables in the hovel!!

Half term antics on the farm

We managed to get back to the farm on the Tuesday of half term after James finished work and after I had had a day of baking cakes for all our planned visitors and our lovely cat sitter!! So two plum loaves, two Victoria sponges, and one large chocolate cake later we packed up the car with stuff, tools and dogs and hit the road!!

On our arrival we found a new padlock on the tin hut and a note from the neighbours!! Our tin hut had been raided by the police!!! Apparently acting on intelligence!!!! In fact they had wrong address!!! Ha!!!! Some intelligence hey!!!! Anyway our neighbour had kindly secured the hut with a new padlock and was fortunately in when we arrived to hand us the keys!!! Phew!!! And after closing the drawers and righting a few items we were able to unload the car!!!

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After unloading we decided to take the dogs for a romp about in the fields and check over the land. We found we have a few Laburnum in the hedgerows that are all in full bloom and looking beautiful even though they are highly poisonous to a lot of animals….. Oh well apparently they also burn well!! So maybe another thing to eventually add to the wood pile in the barn!!

A few views of the smallholding and buildings from the weekend before last

I took a few photos which didn’t get put into a post over the previous week so…….

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Some more views of the tin hut and the box beside it…. The birds on a wire…. That have nested in our house!!! The gaping hole in what will be our driveway round the back…. James and the hedge cutters…. Sookie lamping about in the fields….

And we have a couple of plants that need identification!!

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Oo and we heard a cuckoo this weekend!