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July 2006


This morning, as I sat with my first cup of coffee, searching through my images looking for this picture of Zak, I realized that with limited time available to me before I must pack up my car and head south, I really want to walk around outside in my bathrobe, look at the gardens, and enjoy the VERY cool (mid 40's) early morning.  The things I'd planned on writting today have been said, and said well.  Over and over again.  At one time or another, usually on our blog-o-versarys, most of us have talked about what blogging has done for us.  So instead of looking back, I'll look forward.  Tomorrow starts my 4th year...  seems incredible. 

P1010770 looking back

Now, off to do some really important stuff....pick out yarn for a take with project, probably a new shawl, and that walk, my second cup of coffee and getting my feet wet in the dew.  Not in that order.

garden color II

This is the perfect time of year to study color.  Nature is pushing up bright and beautiful colors everywhere you look.  The following pictures are a sampling of some of the yellows.  I have others separated out as orange yellows.. apricots, that sort of thing.  Enjoy, and take some time to look around at all the yellow in your neck of the woods.






Monday, providing that I can find time to post, I will be looking back on the past three years of blogging.  It's been a ride.  I'm taking off most of the week to go to Aspen.  Time for a break. I'm looking forward to it.  Traveling takes more effort than staying home, and this two step trip is no exception.   

I am still having trouble getting my comments via email.  Some come through now, some don't.  I still miss some until I check the blog.  Sorry.  I have done what typepad suggested and tried different email addresses.  Some work more than others.  Gmail seems to have the best success right now.  I agree with Kellee when she says that telling your clients to change their addys if they want to get there mail is malarkey.  Come on, Typepad.. what's up with that?  It appears that there is a new face to Typepad.  Whenever programs are changed, stuff happens.  Here's hoping that it all works out soon. 

garden color




Today I give you pictures.  Inspiration for color combinations, light and joy from the garden.  I woke early and took my coffee onto the deck.  I sat with Bu listening to the birds and watching the ripples on the water.  A loon flew over calling.  That's rare here.  This pond is too small, too narrow, too enclosed, too something.  They pass on by.  We took a walk in bare feet around the garden.  The grass was dripping with the summer's heavy dew, cool, a perfect wake up.  I'm off to the Home Depot for more building materials.  It promises to be a hot day.   

learning the twist

If there ever was a day that I felt that I was spinning my wheels (not spinning on my wheels), it would be today.   It happens.  I started out skeining up the yarn I'd dyed yesterday so I could shoot pics for the blog.  Every batch is different.  I know this.  I need to learn this lesson everytime I get a batch done.  These singles have a much softer feel, they have less twist than the last batch.  When I hang them, they hang straight. Not underspun.. but less.  When I first started working with last years run, I thought it was overspun.  I learned how to work with it and love it.  That's where I stand today.  I'm learning this twist.
I dyed three colors.  Two of the singles and one two ply.  It's been a battle getting the colors to show right on the computer.

Antiquerose antique rose

Merlotandcheese merlot and cheese


The color is 'twilight.  I waited 12 minutes for it to load, first try. Finally.

goodness arrives

After a moring of de-worming (I find squishing the best method) the broccoli and brussel sprouts and tying up the tomato plants, I got down to real business.  Is it just my demented sense of humor or does it sound like I live in a house of horrors, what with the squishing and tying up?  When C came home last night, after a weekend away with the boys, he brought home the bags of my silk and merino yarn.  It's been a wait, but it was worth it.  This batch is beautifully spun.  After lunch I set up the swift on the deck and started tying (there I go again) up skeins of singles to ready for the dye bath.  Before the afternoon was out I'd managed to dye one 8 skein batch.  So, for those of you I've promised specific colors, I'll be getting to it soon.  Finally, I know.  Thanks for your patience.

P1010788 Beautiful, huh?  very soft.  I've had a skein of the 2 ply on my desk all day.  I find myself squeezing it and holding it to my nose.  The silk smells so good.


In between I walked the gardens with my camera in hand.  So many lilies are in bloom.  Lovely for inspiration. I think I'll show them slowly, so here's todays.... Lily!




  • Mt. Mansfield is the highest peak in Vermont.
  • The Gongola arrives at a lofty (for Easterners) 3660 ft.
  • The Cliff Trail is rated DDD.  (Very Difficult)
  • Hikers Judy and Norma managed most of it with their socks.

going up..the easy way

continuing on foot, over and under


We found our spot, great view.  Note the angle, good for wicked wedgies and feet that fell asleep under the pressure of holding us in place while eating, talking and knitting.

P1010780 P1010782_1

P1010783 glam shot for the sock

cooling off at the bottom



red and green

Nothing sets off red, better than green.  Right? Yesterday I spent a bit of time dyeing a couple skeins of Lincoln.  I wanted a red that I have been carrying in my head, the red from one of my carpets.  I'm planning on using this yarn for a pad I want to make for a footstool.  This morning I went out looking at RED





The yarn was spun on my HitchHiker using the 9:1 ratio umm 'drive wheel'.  If you haven't switched yours over, you might want to think about it.  What a difference, at least for me.  This is from a Lincoln fleece that was given to me a couple years ago.  While it was in the grease it felt soft and almost silky.  After sending it out to be processed, it became a sort of stiff, dry, not at all soft, beautiful grey roving.  Perfect for rugs, chair pads, stuff like that, not anything I'd want close to my skin.  It spins easily and I'm using the middle finger, from the fold, long draw method.  Still practicing.


Finally, three days without rain.  All began like this. 


With the high humidity, I haven't felt much like standing over a dye pot.  Knitting hasn't appealed to me.  Weird, everything has it's time.  Gardening begins at 6:30 - 7am and ends as soon as possible.  Spinning.  That's what holds my attention lately.  Hours of it, everyday.  Carding, too.  When I get to hot, I swim, or read, then back to the wheel.

see DUMA

Before I say anything about knitting, spinning or fiber, I have to tell you about last night’s movie. DUMA. If you love animals, enjoy the music from Africa (or not), if you own a cat, like or love CATS… this is your new favorite movie!!!! Starts with a young boy and a Cheetah cub, at the I’m learning to walk and still on a bottle stage. It goes on from there. I can’t figure out how they managed to make this film. It is unbelievable. In spite of the wonders of Netflix, this is one movie I want to own. Do not judge this movie by what I’m going to say next, but I had Buckaroo Bonzai sitting next to it (another of my all time favorites, see don’t judge), and this is the one I’d pick to own. I think I already know most of the lines in BB, having seen it at least a dozen times. DON’T JUDGE!!

So, on Knitting:   (*Please note: I have changed this post a bit since a number of you hae commented on your use of the magic loop alone to do heel flaps and gussets.  I too have done them, but found it easier to use an additional dp needle to pick up the stitches on the heel flap.  Thanks to all.)

Yesterday, I covered most of my reasons for using two circs when knitting socks but a couple of you emailed me with a question about the magic loop vs. the two circs. Method.  There are Pros and Cons to both.

2 Circs:

  • No other equipment is needed. When doing the gusset pick up, you have 4 needle ends. For travelers, this is very convenient. You never have to hunt down an extra needle or a random toothpick, you are self contained. I like that.
  • Having two circs enables me to use two different sizes of needles on the same sock. As I said in the previous post, I use one size smaller needle for the heel and sole of the sock. Can’t do that with the magic loop.
  • With two circs, you have to put up with and learn to completely ignore the flopping extra needle ends that dangle from the back of your sock, ALL THE TIME. Ignore them. That of course would be the Con and the Pro to using the magic loop.
  • Both methods give less opportunity for ladders.  There’s a good thing. And you don’t have to keep adjusting your stitches as often. Two halves, two ladders. I pull my yarn tight on the first stitch and do not have a problem with ladders.


Magic Loop:

  • No dangling ends, but there is a loop sticking out, looking like mouse ears or some such.
  • * You will still have to carry a couple extra needles to do the heel flap and the gusset that goes with it. (I think it makes it easier.)  Of course you could use a short row heel and avoid that part.


That’s about it. It promises to be a cooker out there this weekend. Perfect for working on wool socks.  Oh, and now spell check is out on Typepad.  Lately it has been a rocky road.