Getting Ready for Spring Festivals

I moved (again), this time to Seattle. Boss-man decided to shut down the company and laid everyone off, so I thought, what the heck? I'm getting outta here. I have very few plants now; I'm trying to keep the collection to a more reasonable level.

After I moved here last month, I got offered a spot to vend at Maryland Sheep & Wool. I wasn't planning on doing a show so soon after my move--I wanted to find a day job, but since I accepted the spot at MDSW, I have to spend basically all day every day getting ready, since I'm starting from scratch after selling off all of my fiber to help pay for the move. I'm trying to dye at least a few pounds every day; if I do, I should be ready for the two shows I'm vending at.

If you're in Virginia or Maryland, come visit me!

Powhatan's Festival of Fiber, Powhatan, VA, April 30

Maryland Sheep & Wool, Howard County Fairgrounds, MD, May 7-8


I have a target for hand-dyed braids, and I need some accountability to reach it, so I'll be updating this post and the progress meter below every once in a while as I continue dyeing.


Update: 1 April 2016

A little behind where I wanted to be; this week was full of non-dyeing-related activities (a spinalong I'm providing fiber for, contract work, and I'm going away for the weekend), but I made a little progress. Next week, I should have a bit more time to dedicate to dyeing.

Update: 12 April 2016

Still pretty far behind. I keep having contract work eating up my time; for example, all of today and tomorrow will be spent on one project, no time for anything else. Yesterday was eaten up entirely by labeling and shipping spinalong fiber. But I think I'll be ready for the show. I still have a week and a half of dyeing left, and as long as I have three or four good days of dyeing, I should have plenty of braids!

Update: 25 April 2016

A bit behind, still. Contract work. Godsdamn. And I have 200 braids that aren't fully dry, prepped, or packaged; and most of the Savage Blends haven't been weighed. I have plenty of work ahead of me for the trip.

Update: 17 May 2016

The festivals have come and gone, and I'm back in Seattle! The drive across the country and back wasn't as horrible as I feared it would be, but it was certainly long (4 days straight of driving each way). But I really enjoyed the festivals, and I can't wait for next spring!

I had plenty of hand-dyed and blended fiber for sale. I could have gone with a little less, in fact, but I am happy I had the variety of fiber I had. Next year, I want to have a lot of colorways, but fewer overall and larger quantities on the same bases (at least a pound to a pound and a half for each base, dyed on multiple bases). I have plenty of time to plan my approach for next year. I'm definitely looking forward to it!

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Backyard Garden: A Virtual Tour

Because I haven't updated about my own plants in a ridiculous amount of time, I thought I'd share an update about plants that used to be mine and are now thriving in someone else's garden.

Two years ago, when I vacated my plot at Newark Street Community Garden, I ended up giving a bunch of my fruit plants to a contractor I work with at the day job (we talk pickling, canning, and gardening a lot when she's in the office working for us). She picked up strawberry plants, a grape vine, blackberry and raspberry canes, rhubarb, and more from me--and they are super-happy to be living with her now.

This spring, she has sent me a couple series of photos; I've even been the lucky recipient of some of her bounty (she had very, very tart strawberries--I loved them!).

Here are the strawberries in May, growing next to the raspberries:


She's been having some issues with the raspberries--they are vigorous growers! I'm sure she'll get a wonderful harvest next year. They and the blackberries look really happy now, next to the grapes and strawberries.


Here is what the rest of her backyard garden looks like--tomatoes, dill, cucumbers, beans, radishes, squash, and so much more!

Perilla!

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Hippeastrum Getting Ready

The Hippeastrum I grew from seed I crossed are ready to bloom again this year! They grew out front last year and had quite long, luscious, green leaves. I brought them into my office in December, stopped watering them, and waited for all the leaves to die back. Last week, I saw some new leaves trying to pop up, so I decided to start watering again; and this week, the flower stalks started shooting up! This will be the second year these babies bloom.


The second Hippeastrum's main bulb rotted out--it stayed too wet for too long.


But look! One of the side bulbs it had produced is sending up a flower stalk!

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Orbea variegata Blooms

I bought this two years ago in Berkeley, California, at Cactus Jungle. (The Plant List says it is, in fact, Orbea variegata, not Stapelia variegata. It has been languishing a little--poor light for most of the year (in the house), it's in the same pot I bought it in, and it keeps getting bumped so stems fall off.

But it has filled out significantly, and it's clearly happy where it is out front this summer, because it's blooming.

Orbea (Stapelia) variegata

And yes, it smells.

You have to stick your nose within about 8 inches of the blooms at the right time of day, but yes, it stinks. Taking a whiff any closer to the blooms is distinctly unpleasant.

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Amorphophallus Bombardment

Various Amorphophallus (several paeoniifolius from different sources, a NOID, and smaller ones under the canopy--plus some Ledebouria etc.)

Various Amorphophallus

Amorphophallus bulbifer with the barest hint of A. titanum in the back on the right

Amorphophallus bulbifer

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