I'm going to get my own little fiber studio!!

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My interest in fibers has taken over a substantial part of our house. John has indulged me in so many ways. He is encouraging me to pursue my interests - raising my goats and now rabbits and doing stuff with the fiber, including, selling my handspun yarn at our local market, the Leavenworth Farmers' Market.

Anyway, as I said, my fiber, yarn, wheels, drum carder and all kinds of other stuff have slowly taken over the house. last week, we drove up (through a big snowstorm!) to a lawn and garden show in St. Joseph, Missouri, and we saw this really cute little portable cabin with 2 lofts and a little front porch.

And before I knew it, John bought it for me, for all my fiber stuff (and my other hobbies). It's 10 ft x 18 ft and has 4 windows and two loft storage areas. It's just as cute as it can be.

He hopes that someday I will be able to break even with my fiber stuff, pottery stuff and my animal stuff, but in the meantime, it is so incredibly wonderful to have a husband who supports me and has faith in me.

Now, I just have to wait for the snow to melt and the ground to dry so my little fiber studio can be delivered.

While I'm waiting, I'm trying to figure out how to power it. I'm looking at both Solar and Wind possibilities.

I don't need a lot of power. Some good light, and a fan for summer. And possibly a solar heating unit.

Have any of you tried out any of the solar options on the market? Have any advice?

I have a few weeks before it will get here. I'm pretty sure John can't wait for most of my fiber stuff to migrate from the living room, kitchen and laundry room to the cabin. :)

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You seriously need to hook up with my friend Vicki, who’s teaching felting these days.

I’m pretty sure John can’t wait for most of my fiber stuff to migrate from the living room, kitchen and laundry room to the cabin. :)

Anymore than you could wait for the Gun Room to get finished so you would quit tripping over bangsticks and such…

That is so cool. You will LOVE IT, Beth!! I have my own craft room in the house, and it’s awesome. Messy, but awesome. My Mom gave us money for storage units for the craft room for a wedding present, and I’m still reorganizing.

I have not had much experience with solar heating units, however I have made some contacts while designing my house-to-be-built-someday while discussing such options.

The company is called STITT and they do nothing but Energy Star related construction. They are extremely helpful and if nothing else would be more than willing to help point you in the right direction. The website is here http://www.stittenergy.com/. Drop me a line if you need a direct contact and I’ll introduce you to the gentlemen I have been talking too.

I do believe that I am ever so slightly jealous. Torn between envy of your new crafts house on one hand and the ongoing envy of parts of the Arms Room on the other LOL.

My friends that are both knitting friends and shooting friends have this mantra “Bullets or Yarn????? Either way, the budget’s blown”.

BTW, do you sell fiber too? I’d be interested in a pound or two when you shear the goats this spring.

Mother Earth News and Hobby Farms websites have excellent suggestions. As for alternative energy, I would do solar for environmental comfort, like heating and cooling. However, even though Strides have been made to cut costs, it is still expensive. Now, if you insulate your studio with R-30 between the studs, joists and floor, that will help keep it warmer. I would suggest a pellet stove in the winter, with a fan, and a solar powered AC unit in the summer.

Not only that, when you buy said AC, take into consideration cubic feet, as in height, length and width of said cooling area.

Beth, You are one lucky woman! You have John’s love and support AND John’s Gun Room :o) I hope the snow melts soon so your cabin could be delivered and we can see the pictures :o)

Beth, a while ago I read an article in Popular Mechanics about verticle-blade wind turbines that Jay Leno installed at his ‘green’ garage. The web link isn’t near as complete as the magazine article, of course, but it gives you a starting point. IIRC, the turbines were very inexpensive, relatively easy to install and supplied more than enough energy to run his automotive shop with all the assorted equipment, a/c, etc. Anyway, give the link a check. Hope it helps. 0>;~}


If you want to put John to work you can try http://www.powerupco.com/index.php They have as good a set of prices as there are on the market and a series of design your own tools.

I’m interested in that cabin. Sounds about the right size for an idea I have. Could you let me know who, where etc can get it. Like both of your blog sites. Ta

Start small, end big. For your electrical power needs:

For starters, buy yourself a Honda EU2000i gasoline generator (fuel it with off-road gasoline, which contains no alcohol). Cost, about $1000. You might eke by with the 1,000 watt model of the same generator, but you won’t have any reserve, and that little genset will be running wide open most of the time, where it’s big brother will be running quietly on it’s “eco-throttle”.

Next, buy 4 golf-car batteries, size GC-5, cost about $90 each, cabling and boxes another $100.

Buy a decent 3-phase battery charger, such as the Xantrex Tru-Charge 40. Cost about $350.

Buy a decent quality 1500-watt inverter. Cost, about $400. Or, buy a Heart-Freedom/Xantrex inverter AND charger, has it all in one case, about $900.

The generator will run about 8 hours at 1/2 power output on a gallon of gas. Power drawn comes from the batteries to the inverter.

You will be able to run many fans, a small fridge, all your hobby equipment. You won’t be able to run air conditioning. You will be able to run the pellet-flinger on the stove and any fan it will have, on A/C power.

This equipment will run for you out of the box, requires no special knowledge to put up. Solar can be added later. The genset will never be worth less than 2/3 of it’s purchase price. Same for the inverter and charger.

In case you’re wondering, I have all of this electrical equipment, installed on my 31’ cabin cruiser, and we’re comfy.


It’s a Derksen Building - they make portable buildings - storage, cabins, small barns,etc. and you can make them pretty much any size you want them to be.

I can’t find a picture on the web of my model, but it is 18x10 feet.

Riverdog - we have a generator already, for power outages and such, perhaps I can just use that as you suggest for awhile - have you seen this, though: http://www.mysolarbackup.com/ ?

I’m trying to get info on it.

Also, I’m not sure I could safely use a stove in this little cabin made of wood! I will have to research that.

If you have slate, tile, brick or concrete surrounding your stove, you would be safe, because that is required in houses. However, I also second your concerns. A stove set out from the wall radiates heat into the room, whereas a fireplace…well it goes up the chimney unless you have a heatilator to help blow the heated air into the room.


The other drawback is keeping wood chopped to heat your studio, and you have to keep the air moist; we always use a teakettle set on simmer and add aromatics from time to time.

That is a truly awesome thing; to have a fiber studio. I am thrilled for you and can’t wait to see it and the great things you will do!

On the stove: you’re not going to use a traditional wood stove. The modern pellet stove uses a metal flex hose that exhausts out the side, not through the roof. Almost all the heat is recovered out of that exhaust stream.

On the “Solar Generator” - SCAM ALERT! The unit has FAR too small a solar panel to pump 1800 watts, that panel MIGHT put out 5 amps at 12 volts, or 60 watts, in mid-summer at noon. The system is simply a battery/inverter set up, probably with AGM batteries, maybe even with L-IONs, but if you draw more than that small panel is putting out, the battery will eventually go away and you have no power. $1600 will buy you the Honda, and the batteries and cables. I just saw an 1500 watt Cobra inverter for $140. So, for about 500 bucks more than this sham system you can get the equipment I listed.

The reason you want the Honda is that they are a forever generator. I’ve had mine about 8 years, run it several hundred hours per year. I’ve had one tune-up for $160, and I’ve changed oil many times, but it only takes 1/2 quart of oil.

With solar panels, you need many square feet. My daughter’s sailing yacht had 64 square feet of the most modern kind of panels (@ about $8K), and the best current they ever got was 11 amps, near the equator. To get useful power, you need to COVER the roof with panels.

Email me and I will give you a point-by-point indictment of that sham system.

I’m so excited for you! This all suits you so much better!

I’d have to examine with you here. Which isn’t one thing I often do! I take pleasure in studying a post that can make people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to remark!

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This page contains a single entry by Beth published on March 1, 2010 4:36 PM.

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Must be Spring - we have a new Buckling Kid! is the next entry in this blog.

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