Saturday, November 21, 2009

How to Kill a Saturday in One Huge Project

Or, The Subterranean Greenhouse Redo in pictures.

First, I had to pull a layer of ceiling panels off, then a layer of plastic that went across the top and to the floor on each side, then another layer of ceiling panels and two more layers of plastic that were wrapped around the frame and taped together for dear life. That took over an hour and I had no help with it.

Now, what you see here is the bare bones of the pvc frame. It is a rectangle that is 7' across and 9' long. the wrought iron railing is at ground level and you can see the top of the basement door on the lower left in this picture. The slanty hunk of pvc is a brace that holds that corner of the frame up when the whole thing is together.

Another view of the frame, this time the house wall side. The tall pole holds (or held, it's not as necessary anymore) the center of the pvc rectangle up. In this shot you can see the door and window more clearly. The door stays shut and the electicity for the heater comes out the window.

Another angle of the frame. On the far side, you can see the chimney sticking out from the house wall - it gave me a natural barrier to help keep the cold out and help keep the roofing on as well as the perfect door opening. I no longer allow the door to be useable in the winter - have another pvc rectangle that just fits in that spot that holds the plastic in place so the wind can't blow it - and I insulate that with bubble wrap.

This lovely spider decided she was going to help me. I decided that she wasn't.

There were dozens of these moths, dead but perfectly preserved, in the layers of plastic. I call this the attack of the polyvinal moths.
After ripping off the plastic and cleaning out the mess, I decided that I needed to add the middle brace to the rectangle. Went to home depot and grabbed another hunk of pvc and two t joints, got my saw and a little later this is what I had. I am hoping it will help hold the plastic up better since I did not wrap it all the way around the pvc frame this time - just draped it over. You can really see the door and window in this shot.

First layer of poly on the frame - the frame is slanting toward the end with the railing because the brace is not in place. It's much easier to put the poly on with the frame loose so I leave the brace out till later.

After the first layer of poly, I put a row of ceiling panels - corrugated, clear plastic - across the top of the frame. Unfortunately they had all sagged and are now curved. I turned them over so the curve goes up, but the curve made them shorter and it made things difficult. After that layer of ceiling panels, another layer of poly - this one drapes down to the floor on the 'door' end (by the chimney) and down past the bricks on the other end.

After the second poly layer, I put another layer of the clear, corrugated ceiling panels - this holds the entire roof on the subT and, hopefully, adds yet another layer of air and insulation. You can really see the curving on this layer of ceiling panels - sure hope they lay down quickly cuz otherwise the first windy day they'll all fly away.

This is the inside from the 'door' by the chimney wall after I moved the plants in. I must have less plants this year cuz I have more room - tho I still have the 4 biggest plants to move in there. It's a lot brighter than it was yesterday so I'm glad I went to the trouble. Plus, I discovered that even the most protected and clean of the original poly was brittle and cracked and tore easily. Next year I think I'll get new ceiling panels (even tho they were the most expensive part of this whole installation).

This is looking down into the SubT from the top of the stairs that go down to the basement door. You can see ground level and the brick wall and the wrought iron railing.

And then, after I ripped out the old and rebuilt it, then moved all the tropical plants down into it, we all played basketball using the backboard that the neighbors left in our yard when they moved. It was fun.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Spinning - A day late

but not a dollar short. I started knitting the blue Mr. Greenjeans and it's coming along nicely - only one mod so far. I am still working on the black back attack and am stuck on a design element. I'm also working on testing a pattern for a hat but it's coming along slowly - need to hurry up and get it done because the designer is waiting for the testing to be done. I went out yesterday and bought some lovely green wool for a sweater for myself - just a top down raglan with roll collar and maybe cuffs . . . not sure. . .for comfort and warmth. Also need to get the yellow surprise knit and now a hat . . .

Now, on to the spinning as promised a couple of days ago. First, the blue/white roving that Mom got for me at Puffy Mondaes. It was superwash wool, but I dunno what kind and it was in some form that I've never seen or heard of before (not really roving). It spun beautifully and I made 236 yards of a lovely 2 ply, about a worsted weight. Don't know what it's going to be yet, but something and soon cuz it's nice and soft and pretty.

As you can see, it goes nicely with the blue/white that I spun a month or so ago. Mom's is the bottom and the older one from Corgi Hill is the top. I think that there is less of the Corgi Hill, but can't remember how many yards I had.

And then there is the Mardi Gras that I got from Alaskan Sass on Etsy. I spun it into a nice single that I navajo plyed into a 3 ply. It came out at least a heavy worsted weight, 142 yards. Miss S wants it to become a nice hat for herself . . . probably will become just that.

And next on the spinning wheel is the Robin & Wren from Feeling Sheepish. It is 5.8 ounces of New Zealand Romney wool - nice to spin. I'm spinning it into a pretty fine single and thinking about navajo plying it as well. Tina's husband is making me a new lazy kate cuz I don't like the one I have and if he finishes it, plying will be so much easier that I will be a lot more willing to do it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Knitting today . . . .

hopefully spinning tomorrow. I've been doing a fair bit of both, but I don't seem to have time to post about it anymore.
First, for your viewing pleasure, another shot of the famous Max costume. The girl wears it everywhere.

And second a pair of socks I finished for the younger girl. These are made with some Mountain Colors Bearfoot yarn that I bought a really long time ago - I think the colorway is dark rainbow but I'm not sure. I made a sweater out of the same colorway but thicker yarn for the same girl a couple of years ago. She's still wearing the sweater so maybe she'll wear the two together - but probably not. Anyway, the socks are knit in the Primavera pattern. I probably won't knit using this pattern again because it hurt my hands doing all the purl 3 togethers. Still the socks are nice and squooshy and hug your foot nicely.

Tomorrow I will try to post pics of all the spinning I've been doing . . .

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Finally Blocked

Finally blocked the Hemlock Ring and it came out much better than I expected. It seems to want to curl on the edge and I didn't think it would be useful at all. But it bloomed nicely in the water and blocked pretty well too. Still, it's made from pure alpaca which has little body and little bounce, so as soft and warm as it is, it's a little floppy. I was ready to rip it out but Steve said not to - I think it's a waste of lovely yarn. I'm wearing it as a shawl now and may leave it in the basement to be my shawl for when it's cold down here.

And the handspun Ishbel is done and blocked. It's absolutely gorgeous. I wasn't sure I was going to like the contrast on the jump from the red to the green, but it ended up pretty much at the beginning of the edging stitches (half a row of the last row of pattern, but you can't see that when you look at it). It turned out very pretty - the colors are more true in the pic with it on the back of the chair, but you can see the gradual shading up to that last change better on the table. It's bigger than the other ishbel, but the yarn was thicker and I used bigger needles - so that's no surprise. I'm afraid there isn't enough of the yarn left to bother to send it back to you - but I'll replace the indian-given fiber with something better . . . .


A wood fairy and her hot dog . . . . The other one was dressed in period clothing and running from a headless horseman . . .

Sleepy Hollow


Mama Van Tassel

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Two more