Monday, December 25, 2006

Thoughts on Spinning

Is it me or are a lot of folks spinning now?

I know we are in a groundswell of knitters and I know I got into knitting because crochet (which I really enjoy a lot, too) gobbles up three times as much yarn as knitting. I started spinning because I had this delusion that I could make my own yarn cheaper than I could buy it... because it seems like a whole lot of my income was going suddenly to yarn. Basically, I'm cheap but want to have my crafting things.

Well, the knitting is so darned addictive that I have virtually abandoned crochet (although when folks need drinking horn cozies, I'm there).

I do need to provide a picture of a horn cozy as I think I was making them BEFORE BLOG.

And yes, if you are a mead maker, you must drink from a horn at least once in your life. There is a secret to keeping the mead from glogging in the horn and splashing you in the face after you take a sip (or while you are sipping). Turn the point of the thing down. Or is that up? I will have to try it because I forget just now. But it is one or the other.

But the whole matter of the spinning craze -- Where did it come from? Did all knitters get the same notion that I did and think they would save money and then get hooked on the spinning?

Or is it just my distorted thinking that just because I'm interested it seems to me that lots of other people are interested?

But I made a mistake. It is a false idea that I would save money by spinning my own because I ended up spending more on better quality materials than I did when I just bought pre-made yarn.

I also had this notion that I should be able to have many basic survival skills should our country have a meltdown, invasion or some other catastrophe and those skills included things like:
  • Preserving food (I know how to safely can food, pickle food, salt food, dry food, freeze food and smoke it without poisoning the people I'm trying to feed.)
  • Make clothing (I now know how to spin, knit, crochet, hand sew, quilt) I do not yet know how to weave but bet I could figure it out if needed)
  • Tan hide (I can do this both with and without fur attached)
  • Fish
  • Raise vegetables
  • Identify edible wild plants
  • Identify and use medicinal plants
  • Make candles (will need to install a couple of bee hives)
  • Make soap
  • Make cheese
  • Make mead (again the bee hives would come in very handy here)
  • Hunt (I know how but currently have no hunting weapons... an investment to be made soon, I think)
Lest you think I'm one of those crazy survivalist types, I'm not. I just know that these are skills which are rapidly disappearing and yet provide human kind with the ability to survive in dreadful circumstances. One of the biggest problems my household faces with the extended loss of electricity is the ability to pump water. I'm thinking a solar panel system that would provide back up power for running the deep freezer and pumping water is not a bad idea. In addition, if we installed a heat pump, it might also provide supplemental heat as we do not currently have a wood stove.

So thinking about these things we still need to buy:
  • Five more acres of land (nice but not completely necessary as we already have an acre)
  • A wood stove (this will involve repairing a chimney)
  • A rifle and or shotgun and ammunition for same
  • Solar power station (this includes the battery and converters, etc.)
  • Sheep (a small flock -- to provide milk, meat and wool)
  • Milking goats (probably easier to deal with than the sheep for milking)
  • Fencing to keep them in
  • A pig (would provide meat, and fat for soap)
  • Beehives and bees (for honey, wax, fertilization of plants)
  • Equipment to finish the greenhouse. This can be solar heated.
  • More hand operated woodworking equipment.
  • A good supply of rope
  • Vegetable seeds that I can store for a year or two
  • Large water storage container.
  • A windmill pump (might require digging a shallow well)
We already have chickens which could be turned loose and allowed to free range and we could take over their small yard for the pig as it was originally a pig pen anyway. The shed with a long southward facing roof where the solar power station could be set up and the batteries put inside. Access to fishable waterways, hunting grounds (for turkey, deer, groundhog and squirrel) all within walking distance. Access to wild blackberry and raspberry canes within walking distance. Apple tree, fig trees, plum tree is on the property and I would like to put in a few blueberry bushes. We also have pecan and English walnut trees on the property. There are plenty of white oaks and black walnut trees within walking distance.

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