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April 2012

Friday's Photo and a reminder..

..that tomorrow is the Connecticut Sheep And Wook Festival!!   103 years!  

Come see us. Ball and Skein will be in the Gold Building, same spot as usual.  That's the building with the food.  Today, I'll finish up winding the last of the skeins, pack the truck, and head over to begin set up.  Looks to be a long, busy day.  

~Kindred spirit, thank you for leaving this for me to find.    

walk with me wednesday.. the last few days, before the forest leafs out and the world turns green.


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You can already see it.  The skunk cabbage are one of the first.

There's something about a forest without leaves.  Sounds dreadful when I see it written.  But not for me.  The bare bones of the tree trunks, the ability to see through a forest, the lines and shapes, the structure...  in another week or so, the leaves will begin to fill out, and all of that will be hidden until autumn.  


 Sunday morning, as I passed by side trail another hiker / photographer walked out from it.  As our pace was about the same (trying to beat the rain), we struck up a conversation.  Mostly, it had to do with our special fondness for the winter woods.  We talked about our feeling of urgency to see as much as we can in the next couple weeks, before the leaves obscure.  Interesting.  We shared notes on favorite trails, and then, at the next split, parted ways.  



You could almost watch the woods change as it rained.  Leaves began to unfurl and already, there is a light green mist of tiny dancers in the trees.


The weatherman got it right, and with plenty of notice. Saturday was beautiful, sunny and warm. The rain held off until Sunday morning, around 11 am. Not a bad forecast and one that meant I easily fit a hike into both days, a bit over 6 miles on Saturday and nearly 5 more on Sunday. Right on cue, just as I got into the car to drive home from my hike, the rain started.

In a funny kind of way, it was a relief. I've been moving pretty fast. A rainy afternoon is a great excuse to stay in, watch a movie and knit.

At some point during the afternoon, we lit the wood stove, then the oven, and baked a delicious blueberry pie. A pretty good weekend, I'd say. How was yours?

and on Sunday..

I went to a worksop.

Last Sunday morning, Slater Mill offered a Double Knitting workshop, taught by Alasdair Post-Quinn.   Terrific workshop!  It was only 3 hours, barely enough time to cover the basics.   I found myself wishing it were longer.    



If you aren't sure what double knitting is, think back to the old Starsky and Hutch show.  Starsky had a big Mexican knit sweater that I am fairly certain was double knit.  If his wasn't, certainly others that are similar are.

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                                           ~photo from Mexchic~

Sometime in the 80's, while traveling during a cold rainy season in the mountains along the Guatemalan border, I bought one for myself. It wasn't really at all like his. It had a much more inticate design, one that I puzzled over for all the years that I had it.  The inside and outside were the same pattern, but in reverse tri-coloring.  

Here's what we did..


the other side..


My edges aren't very good and my stitches are uneven.  But, I am very pleased.  I tried holding my yarn as if to throw and found that was not only very slow, but also very awkward.  Then, thinking that it made the most sense to hold both strands in one hand, I tried kniting continental style.  It was better, still slow and awkward on the first couple stitches.  My very 'sticky' coarse yarn made it worse.  I'll give this method another try eventually.  Finally, I used combination knitting, one color in each hand, as if to do colorwork.  That for me, was the method that felt right.  I was faster and my stitches improved. 

The bind off..


first bike ride of the season

this post has been days in the making..

Last Saturday, I thought I'd post this as a "weekending' post.  Later, when I hadn't gotten around to it, I figured I'd plug it into a "walk with me wednesday' post.  It is neither.  Seems like there ought to a day to mark the first bike ride of the spring.  

The weather was SO warm and beautiful (and partly overcast), that we decided to throw all of our previous plans out the window, load the bikes onto the back of the van and head to our nearest bike trail.  

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The Blackstone River Bikeway, part of the RI State Park system, is a nearly 12 mile trail that runs for a time along an old towpath paralleling both a canal and the river.  It travels through history, passing by archaeological ruins of several New England milltowns.  For an urban trail, there is a remarkable amount of wildlife.  I've seen deer, beaver and muskrat, blue heron, ducks and geese.  This weekend it was turtles.  They were everywhere!

When we crossed the marsh, we stopped to watch the largest fresh water turtle I've ever seen.  It had a shell nearly two feet long!  While we watched, it caught dinner, a bird!!!!  I still can't believe it.  I was very happy to be way up high on the boardwalk.  That's one bit of water I don't want to wade in.  


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Sorry, no pictures.  I tried.  For the longest time we thought it was a submerged tire.  Then it swam.  I had only the camera in my phone.  Though most of the turtles we saw, and at one place we counted 19, were the painted variety, the big ones must have been snappers.


It was an all too short ride, round trip about 12 miles.  Still, perfect. 

walk with me wednesday..

as I find and explore nearby land trust properties. In the past few weeks, I have begun exploring over 2000 mostly wooded acres, parcels bought by towns and organizations to remain open spaces. Today's hike was the most urban, partly following power lines upwards and along a rocky ridge.

It's hard to decide how far is enough, I love doing this so much. Time restraints dictate 3-5 miles before I have to head back to work. Taking the time out of my day to be outdoors, seeing new things, exercising and calming my mind is the best thing I do for myself.

Today was easy. When the trail hit the lip of the quarry, it was a perfect midpoint.

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