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June 2007


I've signed up for the Mystery Stole 3.  I went back and forth on it, should I, shouldn't I.  The Spring Things Shawl is on the needles and only up to the first repeat of the first border.  It is a long way from finished.  My knitting time is shared with my spinning time and that with my dyeing time.  I signed up anyway.  The clincher was checking out Melanie's blog, Pink Lemon Twist.  She has pictures of her stole patterns, including the last two Mystery Stoles.  It took one look at her Hanami Stole to know I wanted to play along.  There are over 3000 other player / knitters.  That's a lot of knitters making the same thing.  But different. 


The yarn choice was easy.  I went into my umm.. shop and chose a merino & silk lace wt. in the colorway Pokeberry.  The instructions call for beads.  (If I wasn't hooked by her patterns, the beads would have done it, lol.)  I'm thinking a silver lined clear glass E bead.  Nothing too flashy.  My second thought was a plain silver bead.  Since you can't predict the look of the pattern, it is a hard choice to make.  Anyone else playing? 

spindle sleeve

I posted my drinking straw on the spindle idea on the Weekend Whirls blog.  Rose came back with something she had seen at Nancy's Knit Knacks.  So much for original thought.   I had tried to slide the yarn off the spindle shaft and onto a straw at some point, but found that the fine singles caught and pulled on the edge of the straw.  Winding directly onto the straw eliminates this problem and also the additional step.  Try both.  See what you think.  This video, although a sales pitch for the Spindler's Kate, is interesting.  Check it out.

spindle sleeves and beading

I am crazy wild for spindling, can't seem to get enough of it.  I love the way the fiber moves through my fingers, the whirling spindle, the satisfaction of winding it on.  Most of all, I love handling all the different the beautiful woods.  Not much down side.  Not much.  There is one thing that I continue to struggle over, the removal of the yarn from the spindle.  I've tried a number of things.  I've wound it from the spindle onto toilet paper rolls, bobbins, and into center pull balls.  I've Andean plied.   Finally, I think I have hit onto something that works for me.  I posted that I was sliding a bright red plastic straw onto my Hardy, then winding the yarn directly onto it.  Works great.  When I was ready to remove the yarn, I slid the straw from the spindle onto an old metal knitting needle and into my lazy kate.  The other ply on my kate was wound onto a toilet paper roll.  Easy.  Yesterday, when I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for an iced coffee, I replenished my straw supply.  Aside from the fact that they are not a beautiful compliment to my spindle, I can't find much of a down side.

P1030770  P1030760

My Spring Things Shawl seemed a bit small, so following Susan's suggestions in the pattern, I have added a couple pattern repeats.  Two more rows and I begin my first beaded edge pattern.  I'm going for the nupps.  And for the beads.


lost and found

Last Saturday I flew out to western PA for a family visit.  I packed the usual, plus three spindles, roving and some knitting (a shawl in progress and the Embossed Leaves socks).  Just to be safe, I checked everything but the socks.  There wasn't a problem, I knitted as usual.  A friend of the family went to Maryland this year for the first time and bought herself a lovely Golding Tsunami spindle.  She needed a lesson.  I packed mine. I took the olive wood Hardy that is spinning the llama & silk and I took Ed Jensen's Osage Orange Turkish spindle, just to show off.  The Friday night before I left, I threaded 600 beads onto the next skein of my own Alpaca & Silk hand-dyed yarn that I am using for the Spring Things Shawl.  These were the things that were in my checked bag, the important things.  Things I did not want airport security, the TSA people, to take away from me.  Things to keep safe.  When, at 2:30 am on my return trip, I reported my bag missing, these were the things I pictured my head.  I sweated it out for two days.  Early in the morning, first cup of coffee in hand,  I saw the bag sitting just outside my back door   Things I hold dear.  You can't knit with crossed fingers.  600 beads.  A shawl half finished.  A spindle full of singles but most importantly a spindle out of several already completed for a project.  Hours.  Dreams.  But the thought that kept coming back was that really, in spite of how very much I wanted them returned, I was home.  Safely.  I would have more dreams, and projects, and that what was lost were things.  Easy to say now that they are home again too.  Easy to say on a bright sunny day.  Easy to say, hard to remember. 

Have a beautiful day.  Remember what you have.  Pictures tomorrow.

the little family

Out of the mist.  Each morning they come to breakfast on the lawn at pond's edge.


They come and go through out the day and evening, then back to a nest that I don't see for the night.  The gosling have down and pin feathers. They are still too young to fly.  They hop about and pull up grass.  Such fun to watch.  Sammy can't resist. As I watched them, I could see Sam's ears peeking up through the tall grass at the base of an apple tree.  How long would it be, I wondered, until he has to chase them back to the water.  What will the adults, the good parents do?  As I watched, he ran out.  They honked quietly, I was surprised.  The goslings (who mind their parents very well, like no children I know today) went quickly to the water, a parent on either side of the downy bunch, and slipped in.  They didn't go far.  I yelled after Sammy, NO!, Sammy NO!  He stopped in his tracks, I went down to get him.  The geese sat quietly in the water and watched.  As I carried poor Sam back up the hill they returned to their spot in the sun. 


Of course, knitting continues.

walk with me wednesday

Last night, before going up to bed, I stepped out onto the deck to listen to the frogs and peek at the stars.  Last night the stars came down to greet me.  The fire flies are out!  Not in force, not yet, but there they were,  blinkies dancing.  Lots of creatures have made themselves known in the past week. 

The turtle came up onto the bank during the week to lay her eggs.  I have such mixed feelings about this.  Sammy chased her back to the pond, but not until she had deposited and covered the eggs in her freshly dug hole.  Every year, EVERY YEAR, she comes to the same place, works very hard to dig a hole, lays her eggs, covers everything and stamps it down before returning to the water.  And EVERY YEAR, someone, (the skunk, this year I smelled him come) comes in the night, digs them up and eats all of them.  EVERY YEAR!  One year I covered the area with hardware cloth and worried that the young turtles would make their way out, but even that year, someone got to them.  I wish Sam had chased her sooner.  She needs to find a different spot.  What a laugh watching a young cat walking after a turtle to the pond's edge.


the opened hole, what's left of the eggs..


The shells are soft and thin.  Walking back up the hill from the pond I startle a little snake sunning himself.  They see me so often, I wonder they startle.  Perhaps they also know that Sammy follows and loves to carry them around.


Coming back up the drive, a black bear runs across in front of me.  This time it is my turn for an adrenalin rush.  Remember to sing, remember to whistle, make noise, I remind myself.  I sing the words I know to the Teddy Bear's Picnic and hum the rest.  Anyone know all the words? 

  picnic time for teddy bears....

Back at the house, brushing last night's webs from the windows (the spiders are back) I find these beautiful moths, a Rosy Maple and a Sphinx.



There's more, lots more, but I'll save it for another post.


Dandelion season is over.


So too are my Dandelion Toe Up Socks.  After knitting a new gusset, heel and heel flap, a pattern I really liked by the way, I've decided that the sock is still too tight around my instep.  The sock would not be comfortable.  It pulls across the top and distorts the stitches.  The new pattern I decided on, (toe up with a heel flap) that Wendy posted, is a much better choice for my high instep.  If I tried it again I probably would have a pretty good fit.  But after all the changes, I am not sure that the heel will stay in place.  I've got my numbers in a top down sock worked out for a good fit.  When I get around to it, I'll wind the yarn back into a skein, wash out the knitted kinks and try again.  Top down.





waiting for allium

It was in my Grandmother's garden, that I first saw allium.  She had ordered the bulbs and planted them, as you do most bulbs, the previous autumn.  Now it was spring, the time when the smell of honeysuckle filled the air.  She walked us out, along the garden paths to show us her treasure.  They were the most amazing flowers I had ever seen.  Not of this earth, surely.  It was in the days when space exploration was new.  We had put a man on the moon.  This flower, this strange orb, must have hitched a ride home in the bag with the moon rocks.  I have loved them since. 






just like magic!

more sock yarn, finally

Whew!  Here are the new sock yarn colors.  Hope you like them.  Some are repeats, some, like tomato soup and dream are new. 

Black_cherry  Comet

Dream  End_of_winter_ii

Gourd  Indian_corn

Iris  Leaf

Lichen  Mosaic

Mountain_spring  Tomato_soup  

Sargasso_sea  Sunrise


Next up for the dye pot is the alpaca & silk blend lace wt.  I've been nearly sold out for far too long.  I'll take a week or so off, catch up on gardening and family, feel the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, then get them going.  My merino & silk yarn should arrive during this coming week from the mill.  This is the last to be spun at Indigo Moon for me.  I am so sorry to see them close, but know that Mary Lynn is off on an exciting new life adventure.  Good luck to her! 

My apologies to those of you on dial up.  I know how slow this must be.