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Skills to build on during the winter — The Grow Network Community
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Skills to build on during the winter

RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 498 ✭✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Hobbies: Indoor & Outdoor

For when you're stuck inside this winter.



  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,978 admin

    I plan to start learning pottery... may as well.

  • AcequiamadreAcequiamadre Posts: 247 ✭✭✭

    I just pulled half my tomatoes out today (to hang upside down) and made persimmon cake. The time of calm is close at hand. Thanks for sharing your list.

    I plan on learning to knit socks--something besides hats and fingerless gloves.

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 197 ✭✭✭

    This summer, besides growing things, harvesting things, and preserving things, I managed to make a quilt and clear out a storage shed. This summer I need to complete my course work in herbalism and complete scrap-books from all that I found in the storage unit.


    I too want to learn how to knit socks. Also, I just want to learn as much as I can about raising livestock such as pigs, goats, cows, ect.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 254 ✭✭✭

    I plan to study more herbs. The winter is my big growing season so I tend to be busy at home, but it is the slow season at work. I am fortunate that when we are slow I can entertain myself. That’s when I get most of my learning done, my 8 hrs a day at work ❤️.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,334 admin

    As a First Responder, I'm a huge fan of #1 on the list of 10 Indoor Homesteading Skill-Building projects. Everyone should take a first aid course. I hadn't heard of online courses before but that is a good place to start. Then go take an in person class whenever your jurisdiction is allowing that sort of contact. Take an Herbal First Aid course. There is a free one with 7Song. Type 7Song into the search box here and it will take you to a study group and the link to the course. If you do a bit of searching in your area, you should be able to find a wilderness first aid course. That can sometimes be more useful if you are an outdoor enthusiast or are very rural and may have to wait an extended period for assistance.

    Pet first aid is also a great idea. One of our team members took the pet first aid course so that we would have someone with those skills on our team.

    Sign up for herbal medicine courses. There are free ones and some that are relatively inexpensive. Type SWSBM into the search box and it will take you to a study group and link for that course. @judsoncarroll4 is doing a great job with summarizing all the lessons for us. I hope to be able to complete that this winter.

    Good luck to all of you who are planning to learn to knit socks. I'm sure I was a huge disappointment to my mother as I only have rudimentary knitting skills. She was able to knit such fine socks. Two needles was hard enough for me. But I am pretty good at crocheting. Only one needle. :) I have a couple of "in progress" crochet projects that I hope to complete this winter.

  • RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 498 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey "Good luck to all of you who are planning to learn to knit socks. I'm sure I was a huge disappointment to my mother as I only have rudimentary knitting skills. She was able to knit such fine socks. Two needles was hard enough for me. But I am pretty good at crocheting. Only one needle. :) I have a couple of "in progress" crochet projects that I hope to complete this winter."

    I only use one needle to knit my socks, usually a 36 or 48" circular needle. Less like to go missing than a set of double points.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,334 admin

    @RustBeltCowgirl My mum used a set of 4 needles to do her socks. She had several sets for really fine wool up through thicker work sock type wool. But scarves are a challenge for me.

  • RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 498 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey I first learned with a set of four double points, then moved to the 5 needle set. Never could manage to get rid of the ladders that formed between needles. Switching to a circular needle did the trick.

  • Megan VenturellaMegan Venturella Posts: 312 ✭✭✭

    I have an herb course I have to finish, and while I’ve done lots of knitting projects, I’d really like to learn to spin!

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,334 admin

    @Megan Venturella I would encourage you to learn to spin. I have a wheel. I haven't spun for years but that is a project I would like to get back to. I would prefer to spin the wool and then have someone knit the socks for me.:) I find it very relaxing and the lanolin keeps your hands pretty soft. Its easy to learn to spin but takes a lot of practice to get a nice consistent, fine twist. Definitely a case of practice makes perfect!

    If you decide to purchase a wheel, the only bit of advice I would offer is get a newer, brand-name model. Then you can get parts for them if required. It is very tempting to want to get one of the lovely antiques on the market but they may not spin properly (wobbling) and parts are hard (if not impossible) to find for old wheels. My wheel is a Louet.

  • ValorieValorie Posts: 2

    Winter is a great time to run the freeze dryer full time to put up meat. All the fresh fruit and veges take all the summer months so winter is for meat.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,334 admin

    Welcome to the forum @Valorie. A friend just got a freeze drier and I am looking forward to seeing what it can do.

  • CherlynnCherlynn Posts: 165 ✭✭✭

    I dry lots of stuff and my husband loved it so much he got me another dryer so we can all year long and dehydrate tons of stuff. I vacuum seal dried stuff into bags and then store them in 5 gallon food storage containers. I make lots of soup during the winter to can up. I am going to make braided rugs this winter for next years Christmas gifts. I've never done braided rugs before so decided it was time for me to learn. Got to love you tube! You can learn anything off of you tube. I also am going to try growing baby greens for salad makings in trays inside. I love growing greens as you clip leaves and they keep growing back over and over. We are also going through our stuff and getting rid of more. I don't want my kids to have to go through all this stuff when we are gone. My nephew's had a hard time dealing with all the stuff my sister had piled up. He filled a storage unit up and had me go to Nashville and pick it up. It was a lot of my Sister's Christmas stuff and all of her cookbooks. I have a lot of stuff to go through. If it's stuff I think my kids will want I ask them now... Better to know ahead of time . Some of it they wanted enough that they went ahead and took it now. But a lot of it they had no interest in at all. off to the Nifty Thrifty! Since we sold off most of our farm we got rid of so much as we thought they were buying all of it but didn't want the house etc. so we still have 12 acres which includes the pond that everyone calls a lake. Big enough for a boat or two but I can see all the borders of it so it's a pond not a lake.

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 438 ✭✭✭✭

    This winter we are “building” a raised walkway to have access to the lower gardens even in the prolonged muddy season. And I HOPE to get started on the lean-to greenhouse, but that might be more of a spring endeavor.

    My big winter project this year is to dig into ancestry.com and see how much further I can get in my lineage. My second cousin sent me all of her and my great-aunts research that stopped in England 1824. They did all the searching in the late 80’s so I’m sure I can get more results with internet availability now.

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 440 ✭✭✭

    This winter I'm hoping to start working on crocheting again, buckle down on my studying and start experimenting more with fermenting, canning and herbal medicines I haven't tried yet. It gets so cold where we are. Tons of snow. I love it but it makes indoor activities a must haha.

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 440 ✭✭✭

    That's so cool. I had a chance to talk to a spinners group once. A really nice group of ladies. I would love to get into spinning my own wool but the wheels are so expensive. I have been looking at the hand ones. Are drop spindles very difficult to use?

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,334 admin

    @karenjanicki I have never used a drop spindle but have seen them used. The ladies using them were quite experienced and made it look very easy.

    Try to find a spinners group that has some sort of newsletter or website/FaceBook page, you might find a used wheel. They are very expensive to purchase new.

  • AcequiamadreAcequiamadre Posts: 247 ✭✭✭

    So many good ideas here. Plenty enough for the winter months.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 377 ✭✭✭

    Study for your ham radio license and take the test.

  • GroundedGrounded Posts: 154 ✭✭✭

    I would like to dive into more herbal coursework and time to get outdoors. Indoors there are cleaning projects to get done.

  • annflancanannflancan Posts: 81 ✭✭✭

    A medicinal herb course is on my agenda this season along with knitting scarves and hats for family.

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 562 ✭✭✭✭

    IK took a short drop spinning class they did under adult education classes that were offered one year at a local school. It was a lot of fun, hardest part for me was getting the wool to stay on the spindle while I got it started. Would love to get deeper into that. And is one of my dreams to get a wheel and the time to spin. Other projects I hope to get to will be spoon carving as well as other kitchen utensils. Have always wanted to do those. Unfortunately working takes up most of my time right now and carving in the house is kinds not a good thing. lol

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 515 ✭✭✭

    Many of the rooms in the house need redone. Its too nice in tehr summer to do these projects.

    What I need to help me more with this project is learning more about carpentry. I need to redo most of the shelving and put in a root cellar or pantry.

    I alsop have had all the pottery equipment for years and have not used it. I need to set up a space to do that.


    I just *learned how to knit. So I think I want to practice on some fun projects this winter!

    *I kinda already knew, kinda. But I didn't know how to purl, and I learned that.

  • DesireeDesiree Posts: 206 ✭✭✭

    I have been taking so many courses throughout the pandemic that I think I will slow down a bit for now. It was a way to fill time since the world shut down and kept me somewhat sane. I took herbal courses (three), medical courses (two) and different Master Classes that popped up and looked interesting.

    So this winter I want to catch up on some crochet work that has been resting during the spring and summer and some indoor house projects (the outside will be sleeping, at least until it snows and then I'll clean that).

    I have some herbal medicine that I will be finishing and I want to work on some tea blends that I can use in the colder months.

  • AcequiamadreAcequiamadre Posts: 247 ✭✭✭

    Craftsy.com has a 50% off sale this weekend. You can pick up a class between 5-20 dollars.

    I have too many classes and not enough time:)

    @Desiree--How did you like Master Classes?

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 330 ✭✭✭

    I hope to do the courses here at the Grow Network. And 'fall clean' the house after another crazy busy summer.

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