[personal profile] alexbayleaf

Originally published at Spinster's Bayley. You can comment here or there.

I recently took part in a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) – 15 days of classes and hands-on activities covering everything from ecology to passata-making, spread over the first half of this year. I’d been told that doing a PDC makes you see the world differently. I must admit that I didn’t find this to be […]

A bike holiday to Castlemaine

Jul. 11th, 2017 10:56 am
[personal profile] alexbayleaf

Originally published at Spinster's Bayley. You can comment here or there.

It’s deep winter in Central Victoria, and rather than being at Deep Winter (in lovely warm northern New South Wales) I’m… still in Central Victoria. While I would have loved to go spend a few balmy days with regenerative farmers and food sovereignty activists, I couldn’t get all the pieces to fit together quite right. […]

Handspun weaving lessons

Jul. 10th, 2017 03:45 pm
doushkasmum: (Default)
[personal profile] doushkasmum
A a first step towards a big weaving project I thought I would sensibly try a sample piece. Using my great wheel I Z spun up some purple roving I had bought as weft. This turned out to be quite lumpy due to neps and short bits in the fiber. Not a big problem for weft.

I then S spun some other, smoother roving for warp, also on the great wheel. I think about 150 g of finished single, with an additional 30 or so spun for (much needed) warp repairs. It came out averaging 20 WPI, but with some lumps and thin bits. The commercial yarn I used before was around 30 WPI and wove nicely at 20 EPI. So I took a stab at 15 EPI, warped it up and started on on tabby.

The first little bit came out very nicely, but the warp started to stretch unevenly and many threads broke, primarily from wearing on the reed. It presently stands at about 35 cm woven and the next bit of warp looks a bit rough.

So I am going to experiment with a flax seed sizing, I figure if I wind out the warp a bit I can treat it and then wind it back when dry. Might mess up the tension but the piece is pretty ragged anyway. I would like to rescue it if I can because the fabric that worked is lovely.

Lessons for next test piece - warp needs to be more regular, harder spun and less fuzzy. I shall spin it as worsted as I can and use the modern wheel.
Weft could be more regular too, better fiber prep needed there.
Apply sizing to warp threads before warping up the loom, probably easiest to do in the skein.
Go for the wider reed, for less wear on the threads. Possibly get a 6 dent? Clean up the 8 for sure, or replace it if I have to but I think it is worth trying the clean. Stronger rubber gloves and very good ventilation 8-)

Wondering if texsolv heddels would be better for hand spun? I certainly need to do a bit of renovation on the loom. Repair the cracked heddle frame for one. Possibly replace them all. Improve the balance on the springs too, as one shaft consistently fails to lift and poking it slows the rhythm a lot. Or decide that I am a serious weaver and spend big bucks on a new one? Not this week.

Pork shoulder slow roast

Jul. 7th, 2017 10:33 pm
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[personal profile] montjoye
1 point something kilo of pork shoulder roast. Allow to come to room temp for an hour or so before putting in the oven. Score the skin deeply and rub in half a teaspoon of salt.

par grind 1 teaspoon each of fennel and caraway seeds.
mix with half a teaspoon of salt, the finely grated rind of a lemon and enough lemon juice to form a paste.
Spread this paste over the non skin parts of the meat. (can do this the day before, but just before the oven is fine)

Place meat, skin side up, in a covered casserole dish*. Add 1 cup of white wine (or cider, water, stock). Bake at 160C for 3hrs. Remove lid, turn heat up to 180C. Bake for a further 1hr. Keep an eye on it so the liquid reduces but doesn't dry out completely. Meat should be falling apart, you will have cracking if you are lucky and good gravy under the fat of the liquid.

(was served with jacket potatoes, roast pumpkin cubes and pan fried green beans)

*can use foil over a regular roasting pan. I used an enamelled cast iron pot because I've got one.



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