Recent Projects

I got back home about a month ago, so I haven’t been able to post without the ready access to electricity. Here’s some of the projects I’ve been working on recently;

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Some knitting needles, crochet hooks, shuttles, little wooden containers, spoons, &c. I’ve never been a very good woodworker, and right now I’m trying to teach myself how to work with green wood raw from the log. Here’s my first attempt at something more complex:

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I admit, it’s pretty terrible, haha. I’m just going to use it as a birdfeeder. Right now I’m trying to learn ornithology, and as much as I dislike feeding the birds, I think that’s probably the best way to get and introduction to the topic.

My goal for this summer is to learn how to work with raw wood well enough to make a rabbit cage entirely from scratch with an axe and drill. Splitting all the planks and holding it together with dowels, that sort of thing.

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Here’s the inside of one of those little containers. I use allot of containers. I’m going to need to figure out a good way to make larger ones for things that can’t be stored in felt sacks soon, cause I plan on gathering all my food for next winter. I don’t like relying on bought rice, oats, and pasta to get through the winter. I can support myself entirely off the land easily enough throughout the summer, and doing so through the winter is just a matter of setting enough aside to store. I figure a reasonable goal is to gather two gallons of food to dry per day. I’d guess that’d average to about two hours of work a day. It’s probably quite a bit overkill. But I’d sooner have more than I think I’ll need than too little, and I’m already out gathering for both supper and to make a living all day anyways, so it’s not much different than just a bit more time in the woods each day. I’m going to really work on preserving allot of fish and root crops, those are easy sources of food I almost entirely use fresh.

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As always, spinning allot of wool. The white yarn on the left is from my dogs.

-mouse

Building my House

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Just the process of how I built my house. Now, I’m not a very good carpenter and had no clue what I was doing, and I did use allot of materials like glass windows and plywood, and I did use a chainsaw for most of the cutting (I used a crosscut saw too…but back then I didn’t know how to properly sharpen it so it took a lot longer than it should have I realise now, haha), so it’s not entirely coherent with our beliefs. But like everything it’s a step closer and a work in progress.

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Almost all cedar, cut 12 and 14 foot lengths. The interior of the cabin is 10 by 12.

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This is what I was living in through the Summer while I was building my house. The actual cabin itself only took 14 days altogether to build, but they were spread across the whole Summer.

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I didn’t do the roof in any way I’ve seen it done before, but it seemed like the most intuitive way to do it to me. It’s very strong and has held up well in any case. There’s a little loft two-thirds of the way across the inside that you can’t see in any of these pictures.

 

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Some of the cedar shakes I was making. I tried so hard to make enough to cover the roof, but I was running out of time before Winter and really needed a roof, so I went with some plywood a neighbour had left over from a project of theirs they never ended up using and gave me. Between how twisted the cedar was (they logged all the best wood off the property before I got it) and how bad I am with a froe, they didn’t turn out too well. I still have the pile, I split it into kindling and use them for plates to eat off of and such. Ah well, I’ll count it as practice for next time.

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And the inside. It still doesn’t look too much different from that in there, asside from the massive pile of books. I ended up building it for next to nothing compared to how much it usually costs to build a house except the cost of chainsaw gas, most of the materials that didn’t come from my land I got for free from other people. The windows came from the dump, all the 2×4’s I used in building it were excess from building my goat barn on the old property I lived at before this one, the stovepipe and a couple rolls of tarpaper came from a shed a friend of mine was tearing down, and my father had the fitting for the pipe to go through the roof. I did buy the plywood for the floor and the screws, though.

Next one I build will be ALL the right way, with nothing but an axe and materials all straight from the land. I’m away working to pay off my land right now, but when I get back I hope to finish building a wigwam I was working on and move in there instead.

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Some wool off my dogs. I’m using a crochet hook instead of a drop spindle because I’m not terribly good at spinning and the staple length for Samoyed wool is much shorter than sheep wool. Still, with a high twist count and double ply it’s really quite strong. And extremely soft and warm, much more than sheep wool.

There’s about 33 completed yards of yarn in that picure, and when I finished that pile of wool I had around 55. I’ve got one more pile that size to spin, then I’m saving up the wool to make a piece of clothing. From what I’ve heard, Samoyed wool is seven times warmer than sheep wool so they don’t recommend making clothing 100% out of it, so I figure it’ll make good Winter gear when it gets -40 out here in the Winter, eh?

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This is that blanket I took all those previous pictures on, it wasn’t finnished then but it is now.

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The Amaranth patch is doing well!

Recent knitting projects

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Baby boots for my friends’ recent babies.
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Two halves of a pair of knitted underpants. The short wide section at the bottom is the part which wraps around the leg, the top long part is the sewn to the other half and goes on the torso. Extend the short wide section down a couple feet long and you’d have pants. They’re really surprisingly comfortable.
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Just a little pouch I’d knit. Only took a couple minutes.
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A baby blanket. The yellow is cattail pollen I accidentally spilled on it.
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A tunic. I love these giant tunics, they’re wicked comfortable, and go down mid-thigh. I was really needing another shirt, I only had three and the one I’d knit out of cotton yarn kept breaking strands and running stitches up from the edges.

I did all of these in the past two weeks.

Also, the blanket all of these except the last picture are on is only half finish, I am knitting that right now. On my list of projects next I’ve got a hiking pack, a couple small cloths for sundrying fruits, some socks, a pair a pants for a friend, a hat for a friend, a pair of felt pants, a tunic for a friend, a couple little pouches and two large sacks for storage, a blanket, three gigantic pullovers, and that’s all I can think off off the top of my head but there’s probably more. Should take me till about the end of the year to finish all that. As of now the only pieces of clothing I wear that aren’t handmade are my boots (although I usually forgo shoes in the Summer entirely), some socks, and one pair of pants. If only I could figure out how to weave straw boots like the Chinese used to do.

-mouse

Link

Fungi Perfecti

Check this site out for all of your fungi needs.  It provides several kits for various mushroom growing projects.  They are an inexpensive way to bolster at home food production and it requires only a small bit of effort.  They are perfect for the urban homesteader with limited time and space to be grown in an apartment or even a wandering nomad who just leaves the kit to grow in a secluded rock outcrop.  Either way its a cheap and fun way to grow delicious mushrooms!

 

-Civil Savage