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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Its March already

Where the heck does time go? Seems like just a few days ago I finished up canning the last of the  garden stuff. And here it is almost time to start more seeds for another crop. Or maybe its just that I have gotten older and times just seems to go by faster. Not sure, but this new year has took off to a running start. And just when I thought winter might be behind us, we get snow. It is snowing here as I write this. Big ole flakes too!! It most likely wont amount to much but we have a lil on the ground from it. It is cold out and with the snow I guess we can say March is coming in like a lion. So we can hope it goes out like a lamb. Not much gets done around here when the weather is cold and nasty. I have stayed in and puttered in the house. I did finally get started on the lil cocoon I was telling you about in earlier post. I guess you could say I cheated. I used a knitting loom. I makes really pretty stitches and a nice pattern. This is what it looks like.

 The loom has 2 rows of 18 pegs. I made the back panel of the cocoon using all 18 pegs for the correct width. Then made 2 more panels using only 9 pegs and the same length as the back. You can use a crochet hook to finish off the piece once you have the panels made. I wanted the front to be open a lil bit at the top. So here is what it looks like finished. (sorry I didn't take pics as I progressed) You know how well I remember to do that stuff.

With wrong sides together you crochet stitch the sides and bottom and up the front leaving about 1/4 open at the top center. I just put it on the floor to get a pic so I had dark contrast. I really did not follow a pattern for this. I looked online for ideas of cocoons that I liked and would not be hard to use  with a wiggling wee one and started knitting on the loom. I think I would like to have a round loom to make the lil hat to go with this cocoon. This cocoon measure about 18 inches long and 12 inches wide. Just right for a wee one. I made a "tool" to cast on the knitting loom with. I am sure you can use prettier ones but this did the job for me. It is hard to weave the yarn around those lil pegs with your fingers. This makes it much faster.

Yes I took apart an ink pen, fed the yarn thru the pen barrel and it was much easier to cast stitches on the loom. Made for faster work too. Thas called hillbilly ingenuity right there. Or skin flint for not buying the "tool". So my lil grandson will at least have his cocoon.

I checked on my vinegar start today and it had got invaded with some strange mold. So I had to toss it. I did save the mother and placed it in some apple juice for now. I am really just toying with this vinegar making idea as I have no clue what I am doing. All I know is I inoculated the first batch of apple cider with raw apple cider vinegar and that is where I got the mother to develop. That part is pretty easy. I think maybe it needs to be warmer to work better. It is warm enough in the house for us but not for making vinegar. Any who, we got the mother in juice for now till I get some apple cider.

I also strained my Kefir grains and put them in new sugar/molasses water to brew. I have Kefir grains all over. I have 1 quart jar stored in the fridge for if and when I manage to kill the ones that I am using. The jar on the left is extra grains headed for the fridge, the jar on the right is kefir with added strawberries for flavor and added nutrition. This will probably be my saving grace this summer as I usually lose all my potassium if I sweat the least lil bit. Hopefully the kefir water will add back the minerals that I lose.

This is the kefir grains that will go back in fresh water with sugar, molasses and a piece of clean egg shell (for added calcium) and allowed to ferment for a couple days. This is how much the grains have multiplied since I received them from Ivie.

I started out with grains about to the line on a quart jar and compare to above photos to know how they have multiplied. They seem to grow by leaps and bounds if you give them extra calcium such as egg shell. Fun to grow and good to the body. Me thinks me kitchen has become a science lab of sorts. Next I want to try to start sour dough starter. Don't laugh, I will do it just to see if I can.

I went to close up the chickens this evening and to gather the eggs. They are such pretty colors.

A whole range of color from white to beige to brown to light green and occasionally some that look light blue. I love getting colored eggs. I also have 2 lil hens setting on nest. They had been having problems with other hens laying in the nest box with them. So last evening I out a "fence" of sorts around the 2 nest boxes they are setting in so they can still get off the nest to eat, drink and do their business and not have other hens hopping on the nest to lay. And the others still have 4 other boxes to lay in. I should have babies in about 3 weeks.

Not much else happening here on the farm, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


1 comment:

Deb said...

It's really strange to me that we are always working on the same projects at the same time even when we haven't talked for a few weeks. I'm working on making vinegar with the mother and sour dough too! Can't wait til May when the lil one gets here.I love listening to first time Grannys!