Archive for the ‘Process’ Category

Yurt of Dreams
October 12, 2009

If we build it people will definitely show up…

That was what we learned this weekend at the NH Wool Arts Tour:

We went to five of the six stops on the tour, met with Jennifer from the Mill, got some great ideas for where to source our fiber from AND learned there is a wool shortage in the area so we’re going to need to work fast!

While the weekend was intended to skirt all the wool we already have (200 lbs) that wasn’t possible to complete as we didn’t know the cut off for too dirty to clean…but fear not, we have until January/February to get it all done — I have faith that that’s plenty of time!

Thanks to everyone who is sending the Yurt Alert around the internet — I couldn’t do this without you!

Pics to come tomorrow when I’m back in New York — keep telling your friends!

Green the Lean
October 6, 2009

They say, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” — but what about gentle mocking, does that count? I think so! And thanks to my friend Anthony I can now say, I’m being mocked, in a good way. Today he posted to his satirical blog a post entitled, “Green the Lean,” which made me laugh out loud, read it to my whole office, and need to post it here — the full text is below. I still take the yurt just as seriously as ever though!


According to wikipedia “a Lean-to is a free standing structure of three walls and a sloping roof with an open side sheltered away from the prevailing winds and rains. Often it is a rough structure made of logs or unfinished wood and used as a camping shelter.”
I constructed my first lean-to when I was 13 years old. I was on my vision quest under the tuteledge of my Shaman guru Archduke Francesco Frederique. It was nightfall and I was about an hour due east of Puerto de Luna, New Mexico and the desert winds began to kick up…. I needed shelter. Remembering the words of Frederique and summoning all of the might of my newly found power animal I began to gather brush and construct the first of many many lean-tos that vision quest.
That night I built more than a three walled shelter made of unfinished logs and wood, I built what I would later realize was the foundation of a movement…
Though everyone knows that Lean-tos are adequate structures for protecting one from the elements, many people fail to see the environmental damage they wreck on our planet. My project is to build the world’s first self sustainable lean-to or “green lean” as I like to call it. It is my hope that with this project I can kick off a revolution that will shake up the long stagnant self-constructed three walled hut industry for the better. But I cannot do it alone, I need your help and support. In the coming months I will track my progress as well as the pitfalls of taking such action but I am confident in the end we can all “GREEN the LEAN!”and in turn make the world a better, greener, healthier, 3 walled place.

Kickstarter Fundraising is Live
October 5, 2009

I know everyone has been waiting with anticipation to find their own way to get involved with the yurt other than by coming to New Hampshire and learning to felt — well now you can! I’ve launched my fundraising site through, a great crowdsourced funding startup that enables creative projects to be realized. You can find my page here and you can choose your reward for pledging your support as well!


Thanks to everyone who can help out in advance — tell your friends, coworkers, family, etc. I’m excited to get this going!

The Mill
September 19, 2009

I’ve fully sourced 200 pounds of fleece from the Bartlett Farm in New Hampshire and we’re busy negotiating how best to maximize it’s feltability by blending it with other, finer wool too. The mill where all the cleaning and blending is going to take place is an integral piece of the whole process, it’ll all get done at the Connelly FiberDreams Processing Mill in Temple, NH.

The mill is above and is fully functional though not quite finished aesthetically. This is where Jennifer will clean, card and blend the wool.

That’s Jennifer! She has been critical in helping us troubleshoot multiple issues in this process that we had never ever thought of.

More machinery — through this process I hope I learn how all this works, however, for right now all I know is that the wool comes out clean, in batts and will be blended to perfection!

Above are some of Jennifer’s flock of babydolls — the sheep breed has the cutest smile and they’re so curious!

Hooks of Choice
September 12, 2009

When it comes to crochet hooks, size matters. In starting this project I thought to myself, I’m going to need a really big crochet hook. I went to Home Depot and bought their biggest wooden dowel, a rasp and a sander sponge.

Above is a picture of the dowel, the resulting hook, a hook I had previously thought was pretty big and the green hook that I carry with me just in case I have time to get a little crochet in on the subway. When we finished the cord I realized if I was going to crochet with a hook it would have to be made from a tree trunk! After some experimentation I found that using my hands was better since crocheting that dense, huge cord it more like wrestling.

Above is a close up of the hook I whittled in July. It can only crochet about a 3/4 inch piece of rope. I went back to Home Depot, the employees there think I’m a little weird, and bought a bunch of hiking rope to experiment with. As my first foray into single item oversized crochet I was really excited to find that it works!

Above is the result of those efforts — as my mom pointed out it looks like a hiking rope wreath. If anyone knows an adventurous sports fan who wants a recyclable, reusable, non-plant based wreath for Christmas just let me know, I’ve got a gift for them!

Cording Time
September 12, 2009

As I’ve been in New York thinking about how this project would work I’d come up with many theories on the cording aspect of it — none of which I knew would work. Everyone I spoke with agreed the cord process would be the hardest to decide upon. I did learn, the messy way, that I was unable to felt cord of any scale in my apartment but I did make a three foot long model, only partially destroying my bathroom in the process. In New Hampshire I have much more room and just about every tool or material I might need for felting.

There it is. Above is 40 feet of cording made of five pounds of wool, pre-felting. I laid it out on the tarp inside and then dragged it out through the side door — things I didn’t take into account included, the wind, the grade of the lawn, the width of the door — I’m learning!


Isn’t it beautiful? I laid out the fibers crossing each other for maximum felting and, in what might be considered cheating, I laid a cotton rope in the middle of the fleece when I was halfway through so that even if it didn’t felt consistently it would have the rope in the midst of it to hold onto – a great idea from the mill owner!


And so we felted, Courtney and I, with the old pool cover cut up into strips of industrial bubble wrap. I bought gloves that had grit in their coating to hold the plastic better, rigged the outdoor shower to pump hotwater to us (only mild injuries were recieved by my mom when a huge hornets nest was discovered in the shower) and we just went for it. We laid it out on the deck to dry, it didn’t, it started to smell so we made the gametime decision to stick it in the washing machine. We threaded the cord into 16 pairs of nylons, which we cut the feet off of and set the machine to “normal soil.” When we took it out, it was perfect.