Warning: This is a non-fiber post!!! SPRING Has Sprung! A brief tutorial for creating a hanging planter.

Greetings earthlings!

Mark and I put up my greenhouse nearly 2 weeks ago and as we’ve finally entered the spring equinox, I figured I would do a post on how to make a hanging planter for those of you who are space challenged. I’ve seen the upside-down hanging tomato planter thingies and I just don’t like them. I tried the upside-down method of growing tomatoes and found that it’s just not worth the 3 or 4 tomatoes the plant manages to eke out. I have learned that, when modified, these planters are excellent for starting and growing small batches of lettuce, spinach and radishes. The added benefit is that the rabbits can’t get at these!!

Objects and tools needed:

  • washed clear 2 liter soda container
  • utility knife or sharp pocket knife
  • pantyhose
  • hole punch
  • potting soil, your own soil/compost mix, or any other growing medium available to you
  • lettuce, spinach or radish seeds
  • a place to hang your planter

Start by removing the label from a clear, 2 liter, soda container. Use a sharpie to mark the cut-off point (about 2.75″ from the bottom). Sometimes there is a mold mark line there and you can just cut around that.

container with utility knife mark the container

Take the bottom, flip it over so it can be snugly inserted into the opening you’ve just created. Use a hole punch and punch holes in 1/4 increments around the container as shown in the 3rd picture of this grouping. (*Please forgive my errant thumb.) *Use the sharpie to number at least two of the holes so you can line it up later.

cut the bottom off test the fit of the bottom

punch holes for hanging

Get a pair of old pantyhose (nylons or whatever you’d like them to be called) and cut off about 3 – 4″. Place the cut off piece into the mouth of the container. This will act as your ‘screen’ against the dirt falling out of it and will provide extremely adequate drainage in the coming growing months.

pantyhose cut off some of the pantyhose

place the pantyhose in bottom

Fill with soil, making sure to leave at least 4 inches of space so the ‘lid’ will fit and the seeds will have room to sprout. Poke some holes in the ‘lid’ with a sharp knife (please don’t use a dull knife as this may cause injury).

fill with soil poke holes in 'lid'

Plant your seeds. I’m using a space hybrid spinach for this example. This spinach is designed for growing in close quarters and will fill up the top of the container quite nicely by the time you’re ready to harvest it. (Note: I did cover the seeds up, I merely forgot to photograph it.)

plant your seeds spinach seeds

Place the ‘lid’ inside of the container and make sure you line up the holes. The holes are used to hang the planter.

put the cover on

Cut 4 pieces of strong twine measuring 5 feet long. Double each one and thread through the holes. Do this with all 4 holes. Tie up or knot your hanger and hang it up. You’ll notice that I have an inch of space between the bottom of the ‘lid’ and the soil. This will allow the sprouts a bit of room until you need to remove the lid.

hang up the planter

Pour a 1/2″ of water into the top of your new hanging planter. This setup acts like a mini greenhouse so you won’t need to water it a lot.

water the planter watch the water drain

When the plants are nearly touching the lid, take the planter down and remove the lid. Rehang the planter and water as needed until you’re ready to harvest. Do not hang this planter in an area you don’t want to be wet.

Update: 03/21/2015 @ 5:19 PM

I’ve also made a couple of planters from milk jugs and planted lettuce seeds in them. You would make these in the same way as you do the soda bottles.

My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

Questions? Feel free to ask!!

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Kick Spindle

I’m always happy to see other people building and re-creating their own tools!!! Spin on!

Making Progress

Later this month I’m teaching a two week introduction to spinning course. Here is one of the spinning tools I’ve built recently, a kick spindle.

As a starting point for my design I read this post by Layne Brosius, a.k.a. AFrayedKnotter. My kick spindle is pretty similar to hers. There are two major differences. The first is that I used a 1″ thick piece of poplar with feet, as you can see in the pictures. The weight of the flywheel (a furniture bun foot from Lowe’s) seems to give the device sufficient inertia both to spin for a while and to not slide across the floor during use.  I’ve only used the kick spindle on carpeting and outdoor cement, but I think if I put some rubber feet on the bottom it would stay in place on wood or tile, too.

The second significant change I made is in the…

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This is for Velma and anyone else who’s curious about string heddle weaving!!

I will be republishing old blog posts from the last decade.

Greetings earthings!!

I will be republishing old blog posts that were written by me in the last decade. I’ve had a few people requesting info that I covered back then and I figure it’s time to get them out there once again.

The one that I’ll be publishing as soon as I figure out what I’m doing concerns using a simple table loom as a 4-harness loom for weaving more interesting fabrics.

Wait for it. It’ll be there before you know it. (For starters, here is the monster that started it all (aka: blogspot): http://www.shastadaisy3000.blogspot.com/)

TLD

I know I promised to do a video of me making dryer balls, but when I get hella busy, I don’t do much blogging or video recording. I wrote a post which was pretty much a brief tutorial on how I make my dryer balls (https://frozentundrafiberarts.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/this-is-how-my-dryer-balls-are-made/). So, after several months of being super busy and finally moving into a nice studio space, I am now, finally making good on my promise.

My new studio space has made a huge difference for me in production!  The laminate flooring makes it super easy to clean up after and God knows I can be very messy at times. It has tons of natural light, which I crave and need in order to create beautiful woolly and fibery things.

When you’ve finished watching the vid, you can scroll down and take a peek at all the fibery things I’ve been creating!

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

Bright colored dryer balls

Bright colored dryer balls

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

Green Bay Packers dryer balls

the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree for display

the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree for display

close-up of the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree

close-up of the coat tree I turned into a yarn tree

mystery wool yarn I finished spinning

mystery wool yarn I finished spinning

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck warmer

hooded neck wamer

hooded neck wamer

Here’s the follow-up video about how I make my dryer balls!

Mad Man Saved

Gregory is one of my most favorite gentlemen in the whole world (other than my husband). He’s also a fantastic knitter, chef, author and super blogger!!

Mad Man Knitting

Ok, I’ve struggled to write this blog for the better part of the day. But, I was so overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude I couldn’t think of what to say, nor how to say it. I just wanted to hug everyone and hold them.

See? Even now I’m getting emotional. Watery eyed, its hard to write a blog post. But, that’s good! I mean, that has to be one of the best reasons for not being able write something. Sounds poetically pathetic. “I could not see to write for the tears in my eyes….”

Yesterday I ran around paying rent, paying the utilities (which were already one month behind), paying the internet (definitely can’t lose that), grabbed some groceries, ran back here and worked on four bears that needed to go out ASAP and started refunding money to people who have not been happy with me.

And today? I slept…

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My latest card weavings.

A couple of weeks ago, I started warped my loom for another running leaves card woven band/strap/belt. It turned out to be too wide to be a dog leash, so I’ve decided that it will make a great guitar strap or belt.

These pictures are of the 3 yard warp; on the loom (a standing rug/navajo weaving loom); and the first few inches woven.

3 yard warp for 16 card weaving  On the loom beginning of running leaves

Cut off the loom and almost finished.

Cut off the loom Ready to finish showing off the running leaf pattern

This is 2 inches wide and 6 feet long.

Ready to weave in ends and wet finish.

The next card weaving project. This is a green, gold and black, dragon breath weaving on 22 cards. The finished strap will be 3 inches wide and about 6 feet long.

pattern and cards ready first cards up half of the warp up

last card to put up finishing attaching the warp to the bottom beam Ready to start

Here’s what was accomplished Monday & Tuesday.

The backside of the dragon's breath weaving DSCF1016 DSCF1015

I think I’m going to experiment with the dragon’s breath pattern for awhile because I really like the way you can customize it!!

Thanks going out to Guntram and his fantastic card weaving Thingy that he invented to make all of this creating possible!!

I know I’ve not blogged in awhile!

I’ve not blogged in awhile because the farmers market season got into full swing and I’ve been super busy creating things, restocking the things that do sell, and working hard at beefing up my displays. I’ve not had the best luck with displays and I really do hate putting up and taking down my tent. Natural lighting is what suits my fiber products best and I would prefer to display in natural lighting.

Now that I’ve taken a few weeks off, I’ll try and whip up a post sometime tomorrow about my latest adventures in the wonderful world of card-weaving!!

Til then, get some fiber and get spinning!

New Compost Bins from Shipping Pallets

I’m all about recycling as much stuff as we possibly can and I’m an avid composter as well! This pallet idea is perfect and functional!! Best of all: FREE!

At Home And At Sea

After coming home from a trip to witness no less than 30 seagulls feasting on our out-of-control compost pile, some fist shaking ensued and then some head scratching.  How could we compost the many and weekly 5 gallon buckets of vegetables scraps that come off the Riggin all summer long and have the compost meal du jour, enticing as it is, be less attractive or available to our critters?  The result were these shipping pallets — free from the local dump.  We started out nailing them together and then found that it was far easier to use polypropylene line to marry the unmatched ends together.  They’ll be topped with a sheet of luan plywood and all of a sudden, the seagull restaurant is closed! New Compost Bins 1New Compost Bins 2Annie
Happy in my tidier yard

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Card weaving or tablet weaving (they’re the same thing).

There’s a lot of talk and publicizing of card weaving and tablet weaving right now. This is something I’ve been doing for the past 4 or 5 years and I knew it wouldn’t be long before it would be swinging its circle back to being popular again. I’m always amazed at how cyclic the trends are and how everything old and suddenly becomes ‘new’ again.

All that said, I figured I’d just do up another blog post, with all the pictures of nearly all of my card weaving endeavors, including my hand-made cards. I’ve also shared a couple of tutorials I’ve published in the past.

This is the first guitar strap I made for a friend in Milwaukee. It measured 6 feet long by 3 inches wide when it was finished. He requested acrylic yarns only because he didn’t know much about wool yet. I originally started out with playing cards cut into weaving tablets.

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This was a 2-sided (exactly the same on both sides) Anglo-Saxon braid card weaving that I did next. It became an adjustable belt. It’s 100% from my hand spun, hand dyed wool yarns! All of it is Suffolk from the Ahrens’ Suffolk sheep!

My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

 

At this point, I considered buying some weaving tablets/cards because the playing cards pretty much wore out after about 5 weavings. I made another set of playing card tablets and then I started playing around with all of the plastic containers we had around the house. A year after I perfected something I liked, I created this Instructable for them (http://www.instructables.com/id/Card-weaving-how-to-make-your-own-cards-from-rec/). Cat litter jugs and milk jugs work the best!

My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

 

As you can see, I use a rug loom to do my card weaving. I prefer standing and I prefer weaving top down. The skinny ones became dog leashes and the wide ones became belts or guitar straps. The last one, on the triangle weaving cards was acrylic (another special request).

My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

 

I also discovered that I love triangle weaving. That patterns that can be created are unfathomable, but that will have to be for another post while I learn more with the triangle cards. Both of these became dog leashes also. The first one is acrylic. The 2nd and 3rd ones are my hand dyed, hand spun wool yarns.

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During all the madness, I decided I needed a more portable way to card weave, so I made a back strap loom and designed and built a wooden, portable card weaving loom.

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This first one didn’t work out so well because I realized I needed to be able to pass the shuttle back and forth, unimpeded.

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This ‘minor’ modification, using a jigsaw, turned out just right (and yes, I still use playing cards to weave with because it seems I end up selling off my recycled plastic ones.

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Here is the video of me demonstrating triangle card weaving. I did all of the editing with help from my friend, Azharuddin Khan!

 

Also, a special thanks goes out to Guntram for creating awesome, free software to design all of those designs you want to create. His software comes with a bazillion preprogrammed patterns, but also allows you to design your own and save them all. The software is called, Guntram’s Card Weaving Thingy!

As always, if this prompts you to want to start card weaving and you’d like some nice, slippery cards that don’t tip over while you’re weaving (unless you want them to), see my etsy listing for them.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/128994950/1-dozen-unmarked-card-weaving-cards-made

Get busy and make something!!