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February 2005

good storm syndrome

Flying in the face of ‘best judgment’ decisions, the ‘I love a good storm’ syndrome won out over all sensibility. Bring it on, the Nor’easter is coming. Originally, the forecasters were using terms like ‘measured in feet, not inches’. Now, that my decision has been made, appointments changed, all that stuff... it’s looking more and more like it’ll be under the one foot line. We’ll see. The last row of firewood stored on the porch has been hit hard. This morning is last good weather window for reloading. Oh, my back… The thought of sitting at my wheel, in front of the glass doors, watching it snow and snow and snow, hmmmm... But, that’s not today. Today is for business, all day. It’s billing day, just like Monday mornings come faster and faster; billing day marks another month racing past, flip that page over on the calendar. The local weather guy remarked this morning that it is the meteorological (there’s a word to wrap your tongue around) first day of spring. What the heck is that? The signs this year are everywhere. A woman I know told me yesterday that for the past couple weeks she has dreamed either of her job or of goldfinches. Goldfinches?? She’s not the first to mention them to me recently. My father emailed that in western PA they are turning yellow. Surprise, they are doing the same here, too! I still have them by the hundred at the feeders. There must be a sign in that, huh?

My time in the woods, on snow shoes, has increased each day. I’m covering parts of the farm that are too hard to walk through during the bare months. The northern woods are in terrible shape. It’s hard to pick a path over all the downed trees. This time of year, I can walk over the tops, on the snow. But the area I covered yesterday was so bad that it looked like someone had tossed the trees around, giant pick-up sticks, piled so high that I couldn’t go over them, even with all the snow. Woods like that make it hard for the deer. They can’t live there, they can’t walk there. I found some wonderful holes, snow caves, dug out by somebody making a winter home. Tracks are everywhere. There isn’t anything like the woods in the winter.

The beaded shawl is progressing nicely. I will have enough yarn to make it as long as I want it. I’m hoping that it will block wider than it’s looking. I’d really like it to BE a shawl, not just stretch to one.


Knitting has taken to the back burner the past couple days. I’m spinning. I plied and washed another skein of Massam yesterday. When I took it outside and whipped it around my head, it froze solid… hard! I worried that I actually could felt it, while spinning the water out so I came back inside and hung it to drip dry from the stove.

In preparation for today, I weighed out more Massam into 4 oz balls of roving. Then, I discovered, in one of my stash bags, absolutely beautiful mohair/ wool roving that I had hidden carefully packed away. The Massam will wait, I’ve GOT to play with it, what weight, plied or not, all the fun stuff.


022705004  merino / silk ready to spin

I sidetracked from the book I was wading through and picked up the new Jimmy Buffet, ‘A Salty Piece of Land’, at the library. When it’s -10 outside, island hopping with Tully is the next best thing, almost.


Her name is Annabella.  She's very hugable and has mastered the art of snuggling when it suits her.  This little sweetie pie was born in the bitter cold of last weekend.  Her Mama and Grandma are making sure she's warm and loved.  I know that all babies are cute, but cashmere goats are really right up there on the cute baby scale.

022605026  with Mama & Grandma

022605027_1  Mama

022605029   Papa checking on everyone

I'm stopping here, while i'm ahead.  Time for a snow shoe!

rollin' along

Time flies...  seems like everything I read, everyone I talk to, and yep, me too, we're all racing time.  The good thing about this next drive, I'm the passenger.  I think I am.  Things could change, but I'm hoping.  Then, I'll get some knitting in.  In preparation, I'll wind a few balls and pack a front seat knitting bag.   Maybe I'll get a couple good hours of steady work done.  That depends on Zach.  He generally sits on the drivers' lap.  Not always.  Kim asked about the yarn I'm using for the Feather & Fan shawl.  It's handspun from teeswater roving that I dyed a while ago. I loved the color and wantedto think about what I would do with it.  I found some gold beads to use and beaded both plies as I spun them.  Teeswater has the sheen and some of the feel and drape of mohair.  It's hairy, smooth, and heavy like Wensleydale, a long wool breed from Northern England.  It's one of my favorites.  Very cute...

3teeswaters  this shot was borrowed from the breeders web site


These are the buttons that I scored last weekend, mostly from 'Unique One', a vendor from Camden ME.  The balck ones are almost impossible to photograph without pulling them from the group.  Imagine concentric ovals in a bakelite lookalike.  I read on the NETA  list that she bought one of my 'Wristaff's.  I'm pleased.    



The rest of the week, I'll be back on dial-up.  Margene, you know what that means.  Bear with me,  I'll try.


Yarn & Firewood

The gold beaded yarn has taken on a life of it's own.  This is the third time I've started knititng with it.  So far, so good.  How many times can you enjoy knitting the same yarn?  I told Tamara yesterday, in answer to her comment, that the beaded yarn now has the fire wood analogy attached to it.  So, okay, if you don't use fire wood, you may NOT know this one.  Fire wood heats you up three times, when you cut it , stack it, and burn it.


  A note here.. this post had two more paragraphs attached here, I accidently lost them ( something I've done before, you think I'd remember) when I went to look up the URL for Wendy's online interview at Knitcast.   You've got to check this out.  First of all, it was done using Skype.  I've NEVER had a connection that good.   Believe me, Cindy and I have really worked at it.  Usually our feed sounds like we're using two tin cans in a long tunnel.  But, aside from that, hearing Wendy speak, well, come on... after reading her blog for almost three years.. now having a voice to put to her words, that's terrific!  She also mentioned that she has a book coming out.  Another Celebloger.. Blogging hit the mainstream. 
The beautiful yarn that I bought at Spa ( and so did everyone else, it sold out the first night)

Dsc_0001_1   from Fleece Artist and Gaspereau Yarns

NETA Spa weekend

Every time I think I'll get started on a new post, one about the NETA Spa weekend, and now since, something comes up, like Norton AntiVirus that restarts the computer, losing everything I had forgotten that I had waiting, unsaved, OR something where I leave the room , answer the phone, talk to an employee.... and it's gone.  So there.  Whew!!!!  Try number 16783... 
We left Friday morning.  That's a start.  The plan was simple: NO PLAN.  When we reached NH we decided that we would make a stop in Kittery to have lunch and shop, just a little, that's what you do in Kittery, that's what it's about.  So, we went to the Coldwater Creek outlet,  got some great deals at the 70% off lowest price sale and found a place along the river for soup and salad.  Okay!  On to Portland, without mishap.. and sliding into the hotel just before the really heavy snow squalls began.  By the time other friends arrived, the roads had iced up enough that we waited into the evening before heading over to Spa central at the Doubletree.  The vendors had set up already and sales looked brisk.  Kudos to the people that chose the vendors.  The selection was not just the 'usual'.  Old favorites were joined by new ones, and by the way shopper's bags were filling, I'm not alone in appreciating this.  I really didn't buy much, I am increasingly aware of the pile(s), gathering like storm clouds about to burst, behind me.  But, 20% off Lantern Moon needles was too good to pass up, I increased my collection by two pairs, and the buttons... that's what I came home with, buttons, lots of beautiful buttons... between the deals at the spa vendors and then the WALL OF BUTTONS at Central Yarn, oh well.  I have absolutely no plans for them, they'll enhance my button box, and I have something to plan a project around. 
We ate!  Saturday, we hit a terrific Thai place, quite small, near the Caravan Bead shop.  (Yep, I was very good there, didn't buy, looked at everything, fun place.)   Back to the food.. Excellent soup!  Full of coconut milk and cilantro, I'd go back to Portland just to eat.  Sunday, Cindy and I went to Gilbert's Chowder House.  That was off the charts for great seafood chowder.  I know, I should be raving about the Spa.  But the Spa is there to exist without structure, no particular plans and it was very very crowded.  Not once, were we able to find a chair, or space to put a chair, in the main room.  When we did sit down to knit, spin, we sat in the hallway, or in the middle of the vendor's space.  It became clear rather early on, that it would be better to leave our wheels in the trunk and just carry spindles and our knitting bags.
With so many people,  it follows that there were SO many wonderful knitted items walking around.  Inspiration was everywhere!   I found sweaters, that are and have been on My list, walking around.  It's a wonderful thing.. checking them out, getting hints on changes that should be made, and all that stuff.
And what did I knit??  Not much.  I realized the first night, something that I already knew.. that I just would not have enough of the gold beaded yarn to continue the shawl as I was.  Cindy and I looked at it, and my first purchase was a pair of #13's ( the Lantern Moons).   That night I frogged what I had brought with me.  Saturday I started off fresh with fewer stitches and the bigger needles.  Starting a lace pattern, even a simple one, with all the chatting, visiting, and moving around didn't work out very well for me.  I forgot WAY too many times, just where I was.  By the sixth row, I had six extra stitches.  That night I frogged again.  I do like the results.  I'm still hoping I have enough yarn.  I am using stitch markers; something that would have made all the difference on Saturday. 
Sunday, we met and met again, Spa goers that were staying in our (remote) hotel.  Instead of heading back over, we packed up and went to see the Portland lighthouse, the day was so beautiful.  Cindy has posted pics on her blog of us standing in front of the lighthouse.   My camera went dead as soon as I got to the lighthouse, hers shortly after, as well as another Spa-er's that we ran into while wandering around. There must be a magnetic force there on the point.  Insert here the Twilight Zone tune, na na na na.. and repeat..  or if you were a spa attendee, insert the numa, numa song because it is certainly not out of your head yet).

Cyber Kick

This morning, as I was opening the blinds, I heard the now very familiar Numa Numa song coming from the TV in the kitchen where C was making coffee.  Yep, right there on the Today show was the great performance that's been circling the Internet of the Kid, lip syncing, waving his arms, giving the raised eyebrow... BUT no interview.   C was amazed, "you know about this thing?"  Yep, it's been around for a while, and funny.  But, NO interview.  They did mention that it has had over a million hits in the past 3 months.  The kid is a cyber celeb, and NO interview.  After all the speculation on the NETA list, I wanted to hear him tell his story.  Check it out, here's the MSNBC take.. msnbc
and here's the original, guaranteed to put a smile on your face, even if you suffer form the February doldrums..   numa numa
The second Cyber story..  a new blog has been added to my Favorites List.  Check out this site, it's all out wonderful.. Knitcast   This is an online interview.  This month, with knitting biologists.  They talk about the beautiful patterns in nature ie molds, bacteria, fungus.  Right up my alley, for sure.  Patterns are Mother Nature's specialty.  Anyway, they are broadcast.. podcast.  Neat, huh?  Really, check it out.  I promise you won't be sorry.  I'm hooked.
I'm also rushing around getting ready to leave tomorrow morning for the NETA Spa!!  See you there.

not enough yarn..

My weekend ‘what’s happening’ was pushed to the back burner with yesterday’s moosey news. Pretty fun stuff though, huh? I’m still grinning. ‘Cowy’, the female, (can you guess what the male’s name is?)  loved having her nose scratched. It was my pleasure. She’s also a big fan of jelly donuts. What a gal!

Sunday was the Friends of Fiber monthly spin in. I love the company and the food is always terrific. Jessie made frosted cut out cookies in the shapes of sweaters, hats and mittens, all decorated as aran knitted items. I consumed all my sugar for the week.  Yep, there was food too, yummm… Jessie brought us each dish cloths. All that work, I can’t use them for dish cloths.


Mine will be face cloths. She made me one a few years ago that I still use as a doily, my ONLY doily, under a lamp in the bathroom. I took my hand cards with me and used them to blend the merino silk that I will spin forever.

I wound my beaded yarn into a ball and started the Feather and Fan shawl. I’m pretty sure I won’t have enough yarn to make a real shawl. This is eating yarn.



I’ve got it on #11’s but have put it on hold until I can estimate how much more of it I can make from whatever roving might be left. This little fishing trip will have to wait until after this weekend. It’s the NETA Spa in Portland. I’m starting to put together my knitting / spinning projects to take, stuff for door prize donations and all that.   This is my first year at the Spa, sounds like a great time, several hundred (who knows, after all the first hotel filled up and we spilled into two more) knitters, fiber people, all in one place, just hanging out.  Too Hoot!  It's always the same, lots to do, little time.  We had 3 inches last night, the belt on the snow blower just shredded, and another 6 inches is on the way.  I'll hate to leave right now, it's pretty perfect snow show conditions.   

Happy Valentine's Day!

I got to do exactly what I wanted to do on Valentine's Day.




  1. No, this is NOT a zoo.  My friend has taken care of these two since they were abandoned at birth.  And, this is not a cage, but a 40 acre range.
  2. Yes, they do like bananas.
  3. Yes, those lips and noses ARE as soft as they look.


a brighter shade of grey

Remarkably, the snow started just about the time the meteorologists predicted, Wednesday night.


After spending the day avoiding the iced areas of the walks and driveway, the snow was welcome. Let it cover some of that three inch thick ice, bond with some slosh and freeze up. That was then. It’s been snowing ever since, more than 37 hours so far, and time will tell how well their predictions hold up for the next 12 or so. The TV guy says the snow is over, it’s obvious he hasn’t looked outside my windows this morning.  It’s still coming down hard. C finally has decided it’s time to warm up Millie (the tractor) and reconnect us with the outside. I watched him walk through hip high drifts, making his way down to the barn. I cleared the decks and walks to the outhouse / generator shed three times yesterday, but no way can you see them now.


I spent the day spinning the charcoal llama, after all.


Once the snow came down in earnest, it brightened... you know, it was white out. The grey wasn’t so GREY anymore. Zach spent his time watching the finches.


I’ve never seen so many at the feeders at once. I figured it meant we were in for it. The animals know it better than the ‘weather man’. He lives on the other side of the state; the warm side. And, Zach and I spent time in front of the wood stove.


No place comes close to sitting in front of the stove when it’s cold outside. And, I worked on Clapotis… go figure, another GREY project. My mood brightened with each falling inch. I’d forgotten all about the grey dye that bleeds onto my fingers from that beautiful yarn until I went to the sink to make a pot of tea. My fingertips were as black as if I’d just read the entire Sunday paper. I’m continuing, hoping that I can set the dye with an acid bath when I finish knitting.

This is up next. I went through some of my stash looking for a brighter project. I think a Feather and Fan shawl will knit up nicely with this. It shines! 


grey time

After yesterday’s rant delivered here, if any of you are willing to read further, remembering that the ground is still thawing, the rain stopped, but NO SNOW… not a flake even, then maybe you should read the Harlots post of yesterday. Take it as a warning. Her weather yesterday, becomes mine today (most weather is still coming from the west. But,a Nor’easter, which does not come from the west, is speculated for this evening, I can hope). Now, that said, if you read it, you know… it’s very grey.. get under your skin, niggle with your brain, get back in bed and pull the covers up kind of GREY. I had started a bobbin of dark charcoal GREY llama on the Dixon yesterday morning.


As intrigued as I am with it, today just may be a day to work with color, maybe the blue on the Schacht. I actually was checking through my projects this morning looking for something cheerful: Light GREY socks, two shades of GREY Ingeborg (poor thing, still waiting), GREY kid mohair Clapotis, and then the very cheerful Dark Olive MH sleeve.


I stopped there, more could be hiding. C did point out some very orange roving hanging on the wall. Hmmmm..

I may take a last slosh through the woods today before the Nor’easter (see, I am optimistic) hits tonight. And, I certainly will open the windows and air the house before the temps start to fall.


Here’s a pic of the first skein of dark brown llama


And a shot from the woods.. Mother Nature wins again.