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Category Archives: self sustainability

  • Ultimate Megaman blanket

    961 squares, ~30000 Tunisian stitches, countless hours of work, years on the project list & a move to the other side of the country later: the Ultimate Megaman Blanket is born.

  • Top-bar beehive progress

    Modeling in Google Sketchup really helped make building fast & seamless. The 2x12x16 are very thick so the hive weights a ton, on the other hand joining pieces was really easy as there is much surface for glue and screws. And I hope this will provide some good insulation against New England winters.

  • Top-bar beehive design

    Here’s a Google Sketchup design for a simple top-bar beehive.

    Some pics:


    Notes:

    Only 2 measurements really matter in the design of a top-bar beehive: the angle of the side panels (70 degrees) & the width of the top bars 35mm. They both pertain to bee behavior and this design has them both optimized. From what I gather, other measures are quite forgiving.

    This design is simple & well researched, I do not know yet how it will fare in practice, more to come on that.

    Material:

    All you’ll need as far as wood is concerned is a couple of 2x12x16 and a 3/4″ sheet of plywood:

    Lastly, all units are in millimeters but based on standard lumber sizes available at the hardware store.

  • Chicken cam

    As part of my CCTV installation at home, a cam is placed in the chicken coop. This has very little direct purpose although it is fun to watch chicken behaviors with no humans around. And I guess it is nice to check if we have eggs or if everything is all right.

    Really, this is an experiment towards what our future farm will be like. We’d like for people to be able to watch how their food is grown. Maybe even interact remotely with the animals.

    It’s a little slow due to my 3Mbps connection and the proxying but have fun with it:

    The chicken cam has been disabled as we get ready to move to a new state.

    A year a and half after our big jump, it has been re-enabled :)

  • Crochet pattern for a slightly fierce but friendly really Dragon

    I was introduced to a really cool crochet pattern: http://heavens-hellcat.livejournal.com/807.html , I finally finished it, it took a few trial and errors for a beginner like me but the result is freaking awesome and I got a lot better at crochet-ing.

    Nostrils:
    8 sc in ring
    FO leaving a bit of a tail.
    8 sc in ring, then sc into any stitch on the first ring and go all the way around both of them, ending up with 16 st. Use the tail to sew up any gap between the 2 parts.

    Head & Body:
    16 sc
    do the following reductions at the middle top and middle bottom of the nose
    14 sc
    14 sc
    12 sc
    10 sc
    do the next 4 increases at the top to create the head
    14 sc
    14 sc
    14 sc
    do the following decreases at the top
    12 sc
    10 sc
    8 sc
    8 sc
    8 sc
    increase by one stitch anywhere
    9 sc
    10 sc
    10 sc
    10 sc
    11 sc
    12 sc
    do the next increase at the bottom to create the body
    18 sc
    18 sc
    increase every 3rd stitch
    24 sc
    24 sc
    24 sc
    do the following increases at sides
    26 sc
    26 sc
    26 sc
    28 sc
    28 sc
    do the following reductions at the sides, but a bit randomly, or there will be a distinct line
    26 sc
    24 sc
    22 sc
    20 sc
    18 sc
    16 sc
    14 sc
    14 sc
    12 sc x 11
    11 sc x 3
    10 sc x 3
    9 sc x 3
    8 sc x 4
    7 sc x 10
    6 sc
    keep reducing every 2 st until the hole is too small to do any more
    FO

    Back legs (make 2):
    6 sc in ring;
    12 sc x 4
    6 sc, dec 2, dec 2, dec 2 -> 9
    9 sc
    9 sc
    6 sc, inc 2, inc 2, inc 2 -> 12
    1 sc, inc 2, 1 sc, inc 2, 1 sc, inc 2, 1 sc, inc 2, 1 sc, inc 2, 1 sc, inc 2, -> 18
    18 sc
    18 sc
    3 sc, dec 2, dec 2, 4 sc, dec 2, dec 2, dec 2, 1 sc -> 13
    2 sc, dec 2, dec 2, 2 sc, dec 2, 1 sc, dec 2 -> 9
    2 sc, dec 2, 2 sc, dec 2 -> 7
    keep reducing every 2 st until the hole is too small to do any more.

    Front legs (make 2):
    5 sc in ring
    10 sc x 4
    6 sc, dec 2, dec 2 -> 8
    8 sc x 6 rounds
    keep reducing every 2 st until the hole is too small to do any more.

    Spikes on back (make a long as needed):
    ch 3, sc into 2nd ch from hook, hdc into 3rd ch from hook, ch1

    Wings (make 2):
    ch 16
    skip 1st ch, 3 ss, 5 sc, 7 hdc, ch 2, turn
    7 hdc, 5 sc, 3 ss, ch1, turn
    3 ss, 5 sc, 7 hdc, ch 3, turn
    skip 1st ch, 2 ss (to make claws), 7 hdc, 5 sc, 3 ss, ch1, turn
    3 ss, 5 sc, 7 hdc, ch 2, turn
    7 hdc, 5 sc, 3 ss, ch1, turn
    3 ss, 5 sc, 7 hdc, ch 3, turn
    skip 1st ch, 2 ss (to make claws), 7 hdc, 5 sc, 3 ss, ch1, turn
    3 ss, 5 sc, 7 hdc, ch 2, turn
    7 hdc, 5 sc, 3 ss, ch1, turn
    3 ss, 5 sc, 7 hdc, ch 3, turn
    skip 1st ch, 2 ss, 15 sc
    Then sc along the base of the wing and along the other side, ch3, turn, miss 1st ch, 2 ss to make last claw.
    FO leaving tail to secure the last claw to the rest of the wing.

    Ears:
    Ch 6, turn
    skip 1st st, sc, dc, sc, ss.
    Leave the last ch and ss up the other side of the ear to the tip.
    FO

    Completing your dragon:
    Sew it all together!

    *** this pattern was slightly adapted (made a bit simpler) from http://heavens-hellcat.livejournal.com/807.html , all credit due to heavens_hellcat ***

  • The last harvest

    With sub-zero temperatures just around the corner, it’s time to remove all the unripened fruits of our plants. Preserve will be made out of the green tomatoes.

     img_0003 img_0012

    and all that is left of the garden is a decrepit mass of dying plants img_0015