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February 2007
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March 2007

a few things

First, my compliments. ... another great cover!  This should make up nicely in a bag.


My book came today.  I'll post the 2007 shows on the sidebar as soon as I can get around to it.  (There's a lot going on around here!)

A couple people asked me to tell them the vendor's name that sold me the silk that bled so badly.   I don't remember the vendor by name.  I also haven't checked the other colors that I bought from her.  Hopefully this was an isolated mistake.  If not, I know where she locates each year and I may ask her about it.  I've had yarn rinse clear three times in warm water, then bleed on the fourth.  Go figure.

My Dad emails his comments to me.  They almost always say what I wish I could, only better.  Here's his comment on the woods in early spring, he is a man who knows.

There is something new and wonderful about the air of a day in a hard wood lot as it reappears from under a bank of winter snow. Sharper Image would have a red hot product if they could capture and sell it.

The Ball and Skein Electric Winder.  The prototype has been fine tuned, the parts list finished and priced out.  Hopefully, by Friday it will be on the site and advance orders can be taken.  We have all the parts on order and are ready to go back into the shop.  Pricing looks to be about $395.00.  This one will be followed by a non-electric model.   I love it.  Why shouldn't I, it was made according to my specs, and I've tested it all the way through.  It is fully adjustable to any size skein up to 2 yds.  There is a counter to keep track and a storage box for scissors and tie-ups or whatever.  I'll post it here, too.

Now, a question.  How much yarn, in weight (ounces would be good) have you spun on your spindle at one time and on what spindle??


walk with me wednesday

Not all those who wander are lost.    
                             J.R.R. Tolkien



I love returning to these woods as the winter snow and ice recedes.  Much the way one enjoys a visit with an old friend.  I've tramped this trail for years and know it well.  Out again, from under the blanket of snow, I see the familiar rocks, stumps, and footpaths angling off to the sides.  Soon enough, I will begin looking for plant friends, in the spots that I see them, year after year.  Already, a few early skunk cabbage peeking up.


Out from under the snow, there is color, the brightest greens, and chartreuse.


the vernal pools and streams overflow..



For me, it has been a long wait.  My tendon is better, not whole.  Instead of my usual 3 miles, I'm still doing a cautious 1.5.  The walk is sweeter, slower.  Beautiful.




You bet.  This is the hassock in front of my chair.  It's where I spend the evening, mostly. 
But it is 3 pm and way too nice outdoors to sit down now and pick up any of the projects that I've got there.  Maybe if I hurry, I can fit in a walk.

You never know, it could always snow tomorow.

the weekend whirl

I searched through my stash looking for something wonderful to spin on my new Jenkins spindle.  Silk seemed the perfect start.  I found one braided hank of a luscious orangy dark red that I bought at a small booth at Rhinebeck a couple seasons ago.  It even went with the wood.... oh my.  Everything was perfect, the spindle was a pleasure, the fiber, it worked into the Saturday spin-in and Wanda's new The Weekend Whirls blog.  LOVELY.  I spun, I plied.  I could have spun a lot more on the spindle but I was anxious to see it plied and washed.  The first 2 ply skein yielded 58 yds.  But when I put it into the warm water...


I changed the  water a dozen times and still it ran.  Finally, in disgust, I rinsed it in icy cold water, as only water from a 400 ft. well in winter can produce.  Then, it held... barely.  I'm not fooled into thinking it's all over, but it is controllable.  I won't buy anymore silk from that vendor.  I have another couple colors in the bag, I'll check it before I start. 


Wanda mentioned that she liked a heavier spindle for silk.  I'd heard from many people that they work with a light weight, so I wanted to see for myself.  I liked it.  The tag said this one is 2.1 ounces.  Just right.  Even though the color hadn't changed as badly as I'd feared,  it soured me on that silk.  I changed tack and found something else in my stash, a wonderful 60% cormo 40% alpaca.  Completely different and I'm loving it just the same. 



at weeks end

Wednesday was one of those BAD days.  We all have them.  B.A.D.  It was one of those days that made me want to work for someone else, let them have the responsibilities, the problems, complaints, employees... whew!  The day more or less ended with my little finger of my knitting hand, the right one, slammed in the car door.  Ugly looking, and man did it hurt.  Maybe it didn't end there.   I didn't get my walk posted.  It was another walk through the very snowy woods.  Everyone is probably a little bit tired of seeing snow by now.  It was still as beautiful as ever.. more that most ever... and probably the last really great snow for the year.  Lets get onto Thursday.

I was a little gun shy about answering the phone after Wednesday, so when it rang in the office at 8:15 and I was still on my first pot of coffee, I picked it up with reservation.  The day had taken a turn!  Elton John was performing in the evening and could we bring BIG plants for his dressing room,  the usual arrangements...  and comp tickets.  Great comp tickets!   Sure thing!


A little office work, yada, yada, and the mail lady left me a package.  Wanda and Ed, of Fiberjoy & Jenkins Woodworking had a drawing last week for a number of beautifully crafted fiber tools that Ed makes.  I won one of his Osage Orange Turkish spindles.  If you don't remember how much I love these spindles you can refer back to this previous post.  This one is a beauty.  I don't think I'd ever seen this wood before.  I grew up with the trees, the knobby fruits scattered on the ground, but not knowing that the wood held an inner flame.  Gorgeous color!


It spins like a dream.  Also, Wanda had enclosed her book on spindling with a Turkish style spindle.  This book would be a perfect start for any novice using any spindle.  She covers all the points, with pictures.


After dinner, C and I went into town for the concert.  At 60 (this weekend), Elton is still rockin'.  Terrific, the man never breaks.  Really, after almost 2 1/2 hours straight, he left the stage to go back to NY and prepare for the Big one this weekend, says he.


and Sammy.. my boy???


well... it's all good!

last day of winter?

Poor cats, the snow is way too deep for them to get around.  Sam spends a big part of his day on the kitchen counter (only at times like this is that kind of behavior overlooked) watching the birds.  If it weren't for nearly 4 1/2 ft. of snow under the feeder, I would wash the window.  Every time I look at this picture, I count more birds. 


I'm up to twelve.

Saturday spin -in

Llama down, this was a wonderful Christmas gift from a friend.  A fiber like this one is almost too good to spin, not something to fool with.  I left it sitting on my desk next to me, within touching distance for many weeks.  Amazingly soft.


It said it wanted to be fine... fine by me.


One down and one to go!  Now back to digging out. There was less than expected, I think.   With all the blowing, it was impossible to measure.

socks, then and now

Sometimes you can just feel a storm coming.  This morning when I woke up, I could feel the nor'easter on the way.  In spite of the not so awful temperatures, I still felt a bone chill.  The air was and is heavy, damp.  The grayness is oppressive.  It felt like a day for heavy wool socks.  I went digging around in my drawer, not for the lovely "sock" weight hand knits but for my older, heavier ones, the socks I used to make, started with.. my worsted weight wools.
So cozy...


When I first came back to dyeing, some 5 or 6 years ago, I dyed wool for socks, and halfmits.   A couple friends and I made kits, complete with needles and instructions.  We sold them, cheap.  Everyone said that nobody in their right mind would pay $15.00 to knit socks.  Who would pay that much to buy them ready made?  At that time, there wasn't much interest in making socks or "fingerless" gloves.  That was then. 




While I'm waiting for the predicted 20"-30" to start falling, I can still say, "they sure feel good today!"


something new!!!

I had a finished sock to show you.  It's pretty nice, too.  As I got ready to take some pictures of its fancy new and improved heel and it's pretty picot top, C called me via walkie-talkie (we aren't wired for phone yet) to tell me that the ahemmm... electric skein winder was ready to try.  I grabbed two skeins of yarn that needed attention, my coat and gloves and ran down to the shop.  Almost.  Sam ran out the door when I opened it.  He came along. We had to stalk a few snow balls and rough up the newly showing dirt along he way. 

I am so proud of this.  C has been working on it for a month or so.  We've been dreaming it a lot longer than that.   This is a prototype.   It works like a dream, smooth, no jerky stops and starts.   It holds the speed and keeps track of the yardage.


The Electric Ball and SkeinWinder


pretty neat, huh?

walk with me wednesday

When, after several huge snow dumps, the weather decides to turn dramatically and unseasonably warmer, it can only mean trouble.  Three days of temps in the 40s and 50s have turned snow pack into something extraordinarily heavy and sticky.  Parts of my drive are accumulating melt off, forming huge pond like areas, navigate able on foot only in my neoprene muck boots with yaktraks strapped on or perhaps by small boat.  The roads are "greasy".  I love that term.  It refers to mud that's nearly hub deep and pulls you off course, as you slip slide your way down the road, barely in control.   

There have been fisher tracks around the house the past few weeks.  The cats aren't allowed out unaccompanied.  So we walk, throw and chase snowballs, fill bird feeders and explore.


Rain is expected.  If I was going to get into the woods and follow the tracks, it was now.  I got all the cats indoors and strapped my smallest snow shoes onto my summer boots.  I call this my running shoe combo.  It worked well in the areas that have been hit by the sun, thus packed.  One step off into the shaded areas puts that leg crotch deep in the still soft snow.   The tracks went in one side and out the other of this well used hollow log.  it looks like a great home to me,  but probably not, just a temporary shelter. 


The snow is still so deep that  I found myself standing in the middle of the main wood's road, before I recognized it. 

P1030348  P1030349

I could hear C shoveling the heavy snow from the shed roof.  As a point of reference, I am standing so that I am looking down at the roof or across it.  I'm not on any piles, just three or so feet up from "ground" level.  The change in perspective is so much fun, like having stilts. 



Then, back up the road.


Time spent with Sam.  Knitting.