wombat McCoy

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since Jan 28, 2010
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Recent posts by wombat McCoy

here's a video to go with the poetry!



6 years ago
Walk:  I agree that machine wasn't very practical, but mechanically interesting anyway.

My old KnitKing knits a whole row at a time, as many stitiches as you have cast on with one swipe of the carriage.  It really is a lot faster than I can knit by hand, and it makes a lot less mistakes.  In just an hour or so you are up to the armholes on a sweater, and then you could transfer the garment to hand needles if you wanted to.

Im sure it would be a hassle to do lace stitches but there are a number of them with instructions in the manual.
7 years ago
Walk:  I thought you might be interested in this home made knitting machine I found on You Tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUXk-EHKD_c

7 years ago
Walk.  That is simply amazing.  I never heard of anyone converting an electric sewing machine to treadle power.  But what a great idea!  Getting rid of the noise and making the machine controllable.

My machine is a 1950s Husqvarna viking.  My mother-in-law worked in a sewing shop in Northern Michigan (lots of Swedes and Norwegians) and she gave me the machine for a wedding present with all the gadgets to go with it.

Ive read about felting but I haven't tried it yet.  I did find some accidentally felted sweaters at the local thrift store in the freeby box.  I got them to make dog blankets.

I never did learn to crochet.  Probably out of rebellion.  My Mom was an expert.  She would make me crochet dresses that I had to wear to school -- so embarassing!  Some were feed sack prints with lace collars.  Of course I wanted t shirts and jeans like everyone else.
7 years ago
Walk.  You are where I wanna be in the fabric arts but Ill probably never make it to that level!

I wish I was better at knitting.

I have an old knit king knitting machine.

Here is one from the 1950s.

http://goodeys.tripod.com/Knittingtoys/id6.html

Mine is c.  1934.  Once its oiled and cast-on the knitting goes really fast.  Then you can switch to hand needles to finish off.  It works best on fine yarn, but you can do heavier yarn on every other needle.
7 years ago
Diane.  You can train climbing roses pretty much any way you want.  Just make sure the rose you choose is not too vigorous for your design.  Check out the mature ht of the rose and then plan on that volume.  You might want to visit one of the rose gardens to see what they look like.

If you are in California there are many excellent rose gardens:  Descanso, The San Jose Rose Garden, and also there are a lot of old roses growing around the missions--if they are still there. (Not sure if you are in California).

I have seen Lady Banks roses cascading from telephone pole sized posts--so they grow much taller than the posts but can be arranged to cascade down. 

Don't forget though that most climbing roses bloom just once a year so you will want something else for interest perhaps.  Many of the climbers do however have interest throughout the year -- the Lady Banks feathery foliage for example and of course, hips in the fall.
7 years ago
I normally do not have ants except that they get in the cat's food and the dog food.

Doggies and cats do not like to compete with ants for their food.

I ordered a pack of diotomaceous earth and make a bait out of ant infested cat food and d.e.  put a lose lid over it and let the ants have at it.

Possums raid my front porch at night for left over cat food.  They eat the left over food, ants, d.e. and all.  They really don't mind eating live ants either.

Ants are good to have around because they are scavengers--the cleaner uppers.  In fact if you have them its probably a good sign that you need to upgrade your cleaning habits--or find better ways to store your pet food.

Ants help protect your house by eating termite eggs and larvae:


http://drdons.net/do-ants-kill-termites

In fact I notice an add at the bottom of this page for controlling termites with ants.
7 years ago
http://www.onpointradio.org/2010/05/the-risks-of-environmental-cancer

46 minutes.  Audio.

The president's panel on environmental cancer risks:  what we don't know.

Presidents panel on environmental cancer risks recommends replacing chemical lawn maintenance with organic practice to protect children and animals.

7 years ago
Complicated is right!  Most people need to learn to edit their landscapes --- and their lives.

Maybe you would good person to ask this question since you are doing permaculture in the tropics.  As you know the permaculture 'food forest' model is based upon the tropical forest's tendency toward layering.

I grew up in the woods myself, but it is in the Northern Temperate forest--Northern Michigan.  It seemed to me our woods was more horizontally organized.  There were spaces of open meadow -- then groves of maples, or serviceberry along the edges.  And open spaces where only the bracken grows under open spaced pines.  Now our woods was used as pasture and it was regularly cleaned up by lumberjacks.  ( In those days--lumberjacks cleared out the dead wood and made room for the best trees -- they didn't clear cut).  But I think the temperate forest is of quite a different character than the tropical forest with respect to layering.

This is the north woods where I grew up:  http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/feature-articles/3864-food-forest-example-northern-michigan-forest.html.

Do you have any thoughts on that issue Fred Morgan?
7 years ago
Ninajay:  Perhaps you could convince your neighbor to rotate his wheat with some other crops that would restore the soil.  A summer crop of buckwheat for example would let a lot of air into that soil.  The best thing to do would be to leave the residue.  Perhaps he could just mow it when he wants to plant the wheat and plant his wheat crop in the stubble.

Another factor is going to be how much clay is in your soil.

Here is an article on soil compaction.

http://www.uwex.edu/ces/ag/issues/soilcompaction.html
7 years ago