Thursday, December 11, 2014

Do You Know What I Know?

I know that wet, heavy snow for two days is beautiful, picturesque and destructive.

My flattened bushes and downed shrubbery

I know that my husband, who got up at five o'clock to shovel, really appreciated me coming out at six to join him.

After two hours of steady shoveling
 I know that it is a wondrous thing that we still have electricity.

Looks like we will have to be shoveling off the porch roof in short order

I know that this is an accurate measurement!

Who can argue with the snow stick?

I know that we are, in all probability, going to have a white Christmas!

This is a seriously heavy snow.

And finally, I know that I am not going anywhere today, but will be home baking and working on
Christmas gifts.  
Stay warm, stay safe and if it looks like this where you live, enjoy a day off from work!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

In Case You Were Wondering

Last time I posted, O'Malley the cat was in the bathtub washing himself.  That particular place for his daily ablutions only lasted a day or two.  Since then he has spent the greater part of each day here:

The best place in the house

I am  constantly walking into the bathroom thinking I have left a project soaking and forgotten it.  He is so happy in there that even when I throw him out in order to have some privacy, he is right back there as soon as I am out,  Crazy cat!!
The scarf project did not turn out as anticipated, although the end result is not displeasing.  I chose to count out the yardage on the warping board, but did not do the crosses.  Then I removed it from the board, and laid the 4 yards out on the floor.  I figured I could easily put it back on the warping board doing the crosses and match up the color blocks.
Here it is in photos:

Dye painted in one foot increments

Warp and weft hanging to dry

Warp in ball for easy wrapping of warping board

On warping board, note colors do not line up

Scarf on left with solid weft, on right with warp yarn used as weft

That was a learning project all right!  I learned that if I want to keep the bands of color I need to actually count off the warp with the crosses and taking it off the board, paint it.  Then when dry,  dress the loom, and it should line up the large painted sections.  Ha!!!

After that we had our first real snow.
Her first snow--does she like it or just not know how to get back?

The rest of the flock, waiting for me to bring her in

MacTavish Dundee, playing frisbee in the snow last winter
The snow came after we laid our beloved Gordon Setter to rest.  He was 12 years old and had a wonderful life.  We miss him, the loneliness being tempered with the knowledge that he doesn't have to struggle any more.
Tomorrow is the first Sunday in Advent.  That gives me the impetus to Decorate!!!  Christmas is really the only time I decorate the house.  It is my favorite time of the year. I do have an infinity scarf on the loom that I want to finish before the next craft fair on the 6th.  However, I am sure I can fit in weaving around Decorating.
Til then, stay warm and as Brenda Dayne says : "If you're cold, put on a sweater.  That's what they're for."

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I have a great idea for a project that I am working on.  It involves doing something I have never done, so that in itself requires a lot of research and thinking.
I have never dyed a warp. 
Now the way I see that most folks do it is to actually paint the warp with the dye while it is on the loom.  I am not up to that.  Another way to do it is to wind the warp, secure the crosses, remove the warp and dye it as you would a skein.  Eeek!! How I could I keep the yarns from tangling I do not know.  I suppose that tying them multiple places would work.  Then there is the drying part after they come out of the steamer, as I am thinking of a four yard warp.  Granted it will be for two scarves, so only six inches wide.  Still, that is seriously a lot of yardage to keep straight while drying.  The third dyeing method I read about was very interesting.  It was dyeing "palindrome skeins".  This means that the dye is applied in wide stripes across the skein.  Doing that makes the color sequence match up when you are warping and come to the turning peg to go back.  Theoretically  then when I dress the loom the colors will be in wide stripes across the scarves.  However, as I will have to wind the  yarn into a ball after it dries for ease of winding on the warp, will the stripes come out in the right place again??? 
What's the least stressful method, I do not know. 
Meanwhile, when I was washing the skeins to set the twist I heard this strange noise coming from the bathtub.  Looking over I beheld my cat O'Malley washing himself!!  In the tub.  It was hilarious.  I can't imagine why he was in there.  So I ran to grab my camera, and of course, because he is a cat, he was no longer washing himself.  In the bathtub.  Oh well.

What he does best

This is the yarn I am going to dye for the scarves.

Marled grey and white alpaca

So, now that I have procrastinated long enough, I am going to get out the dyes and Do It.  You will have to wait 'til next time to see what method I use.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Phases?  Stages?  Part 1 and Part 2?  Something like that.

                 Phase 1:

Remember this yarn from last post?
              Phase 2:

Warm and snuggly shawl
          Phase 1:

Sketching ideas

        Phase 2:

Final product

         Phase 1:

Trying out new loom location

       Phase 2:

More space and more light to weave by!

That is all for the moment.  Have a great day!

Friday, October 17, 2014


Making potting soil from compost, peat moss and dirt.  This way I will have a good potting mix in the winter when I need it.

Mixing dirt
Making the green house ready for the winter.  The poor thing has taken such a beating over the years that I have to put plastic on it to keep it rain and wind proof.

Securing the panels
Making soup.  It is actually butternut bisque.  Those are toasted pecans on top.  Very Yum.

Tasty, tasty soup
Making yarn.  I am thinking of a shawl done in all natural colors.

Shades of brown and cream
 Making space by getting things out of the house.  Space is not photogenic, so trust me when I tell you there is more of it in my work/dining room!

Making the most of this unnaturally warm (high 60's and 70 degrees) weather to get ready for the inevitable cold, dark days to come.

Making time to be grateful for such a lovely autumn, my family, and for trips--like my visit to Wisconsin!

Another one of the Arts and Crafts Movement style house

Penguins at the Henry Vilas Zoo

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fall Trip

No, not as in tumbling down, as in Autumn Traveling.  I had a fantastic bit of running around the country.  The first jaunt was to New York City.

We went past here

And went in here

Ate supper sitting in Bryant Park

Visited with Sister

Cousins in Central Park

That was only one day, so I was able to get work done on two scarves, a shawl and a hat before I went off to Wisconsin.

Two scarves
The Wisconsin trip was full of walks in nature preserves, in an arboretum and around lovely neighborhoods in Madison.

The State Capital

The interior is exquisite

Sandhill cranes at Horicon Marsh

One of the many lovely Arts and Crafts Movement houses
And of course I had a great visit with Jesse and Lisha.

Tour guides

The sad thing for me was that I did not take any foliage pictures before I left, and came home to find that the wind and rain had done a number on the beautiful colors.

My fall foliage, quite blown away while I was gone 
I am not complaining as I got to see all the glorious colors before I left.  Now we are picking the last of the garden, putting away the lawn furniture and thinking of starting up the wood furnace pretty soon.  Maybe even tonight.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Signs of Fall

It always hits me like this.  I go along, living in one season and then suddenly, I step out of the door one day and there it is--another season entirely.  Lately I was under the impression I was still having summer even though we did have one close call with frost (we held off any damage with sheet coverings over the tomatoes).  Still, I really thought it very summer like until I began to see the pots of mums creeping into the marketplace.  There are now mums everywhere, so it must be fall.  Mums being a sure sign.

Mums I have received lately

Maples changing color are another good indicator.  It seems so early to me for the leaves to be turning, although I am sure they are right on schedule.

Early morning sunshine on treetops

Not a sign of fall, but for the last two weeks I have been washing and picking a black fleece that came off of the alpaca Eboney.

Last quarter of the fleece
This was one thick fleece, let me tell you.  It took forever to dry.  Picking it was great for the first few days, but then it started to border on tedium.  It really took a great many hours to get it all picked and fluffed for Glo to take to the mill.  The fact that I get easily distracted might have contributed to the length of time.  Maybe.  I had to get it finished because it needs to be out of the dining room before I start my travels.

These begin Sunday when I take the train down to New York City with Annie to visit her cousin, Sister Gianna Marie.  She is presently down in Manhattan with her order, the Sisters of Life.  There is a visiting day on Sunday, which corresponds with a beautiful weather forecast, so we decided to take the trip down, walk the city and get to visit Sister in her present location.

After that I fly to Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday.  That trip is in order for me to visit with Jesse and Lisha for a few days.  I have been longing to go back to Madison ever since my sister and I went out last year.  It is a great city full of all sorts of interesting things to do and see.  Mostly, though, it now has family.

But before I go flying off I want to finish my second scarf.  I warped for two as I can make them very
different from each other.

Work progresses on scarf
The first was very finicky weaving as I chose to change colors every few throws in the color bands.  This second one I am treadling in a pattern called "crepe weave" and am doing larger blocks of colors, so it is not so fussy.  It is coming along very nicely.  I ordered a fringe twister from Halcyon Yarn and am excited to try it out on these scarves.  It will give me another option for finishing my fringes.

The day has turned sunny, warm and breezy.  I must get out and do lots of outdoor things before it goes away.  Hope you can get out and enjoy the day, too.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Here I Am!

When last I wrote,  Spring was valiantly trying to arrive.  Of course she did, with all her attendant wonderment.  Part of that wonder was the arrival of my new flock of chicks.

Two Rhode Island Reds and four Golden Laced Wyandottes

The Rhode Island Reds came the first week in May with the Wyandottes following two weeks later.  This was after I had chosen these two breeds as they were supposed to both arrive the same week---I had done chicks two weeks apart before, and had a lot of trouble getting them to act as one flock.  It wasn't something I wanted to do again, and TaDa!  It happened.  At least this time I was better prepared for it and they have become a nice little group.

Here are the Wyandottes at one month

They grow very quickly.  Here they are now at 16 and 18 weeks, respectively.

See how lovely the Wyandotte feathering is?

One of the Rhode Island Reds has started to lay little eggs every now and again.  I am grateful she is laying them in a nest box---lots of times new layers will leave them in odd places.  The usual age for beginning to lay is about 20 weeks, so she is slightly early.  The eggs gain size as the hen gets older.

Mama Hen, the newbie and the Buff  Orpington's eggs
The new flock hasn't been named yet as I can't tell anyone apart.  As they get their identities, the names will come.

Lest you think all I did for the spring and summer was play with chickens, let me assure you that we also had to spend June getting ready with Annie for Her Wedding.   It was a full month of grooming my father's grounds, doing last minute tasks and being happily excited.  The day dawned lovely and warm, not too hot,  and no rain.

Mr. and Mrs. make the rounds
We had a wonderful day.  As you can imagine, I could post lots and lots of photos.  I will content myself with one of the interior of the tent, which was largely decorated with hand sewn and handmade items done by Annie, and of the ceremony site with the beautiful flowers.

The beautiful decorating job

Ceremony site
We all recovered from our celebrating quite nicely.  On July 3rd we  had a vicious line of storms come through which destroyed quite a few  homes and buildings in our town.  It was so fierce that the roads were impassable in places and resulted in all our Independence Day celebrations being cancelled.  Fortunately there were no injuries.

Trees and lines down in the village
We spent the next weeks cleaning up from the mess.  And then it was August.  That was another wedding, this one the other Annie in our family and it was down in Delaware.  It also was a trip to Cape Cod with my sister in law.  
The summer also was full of weaving.  I did two baby blankets and a rug for various gift giving.  

One of the blankets
There.  I think we are all caught up!  I am at work on a pretty warp for two scarves, knitting a shawl and spinning some more yarn.  My resolve is to get into a pattern of spinning as much as possible so that I will have yarns to work with.  And also to share my life with you again, as I know it is So Fascinating!