Walk With Me Wednesday
October 13, 2021
Where the river meets the sea…
The leaves are falling so quickly now, I don’t think there will be much left beyond the weekend. I love to see the pools of color under each tree. Though both of these are Sugar Maples, one dropped red, the other yellow. The leave blower is fired up. As fast as we remove them from the driveway, more fill in the empty spaces.
October 12, 2021
One sweater came off the blocking frame and another went on. I knit this one 10 years and many pounds ago from a two ply handspun. I haven’t worn it in quite a long time. Too short, two tight, and one of the cats had torn the front in three places while pushing away from my attempts at snuggling with them. It was a shame to keep it and worse to let it go. I found a near match in a small skein of natural handspun and got to work. Afterwards, a nice bath and on to stretch it out.
I finally decided to end The City Lights Shawl. It blocked to a wingspan of 76” before I ran out of space.
A little scull shawl pin arrived from Katrinkles. Very cute, I had to see how it would look.
October 08, 2021
Walk With Me Wednesday
October 06, 2021
or, more aptly titled, ‘Walking With Willy’.
Most mornings, we’re out the door before 7:30. Willy races out to find whomever was walking on his deck during the night and I focus on keeping my second cup of coffee from spilling, as I follow him doing whatever he needs to do. After the initial house inspection, we take off. Walking with cats affords plenty of time to look around. Generally it is a slow business. Lots of stopping and staring off into the weeds or woods. If it hadn’t been for one of these 15 minute stops, I might have missed this cocoon that was hanging, quite literally, right before my eyes. It is very well camouflaged. Just a mass of dead leaves. At first, I thought the branch had broken and reached up to break it off. As my hand closed around it, I felt a purposed shape and knew at once that it was a treasure. I’ve found such things before, but always on the ground. Could it be a Polyphemus Moth? Or Luna? I’ll wait until the frost comes, them put in a safer spot, away from the edge of the driveway where the tractor or fuel truck will beat it with each passing this winter.
Slowly, I’m breaking out my scarves and sweaters. I can’t remember another year where we haven’t had frost by October. The leaves are nearing peak, proof that the shorter days make the difference. It’s gorgeous, even with the weeks of unending mist and rain. I read weather reports of sunny days to the south and wish that it could blow a brighter day up north before we are buried in the inches of soft moss that’s accumulating underfoot.
The warm weather has given me reason to procrastinate where the gardens are concerned. They should be put to bed. I’ve begun. Slowly.
October 04, 2021
The past weekend would have been hectic and exhausting and wonderful, but the in person Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival was cancelled and the Virtual version took its place. Instead, of driving nearly two hours each day, I set up the studio in the same way I’d set up my show booth, put my sign out at the end of the road and had a very very relaxed kind of weekend. The raw, rainy weather that has been stalled over the kingdom for the past week, never let up. It was good to be indoors.
I spent my studio time blocking a sweater, winding up all of the sock yarn I’d dyed last week and managed some knitting while chatting with a friend.
This is the third Love Notes, I’ve knitted. After wearing the first one all last winter, I hung it up in the display. It looks like new. That little bit of mohair and silk make all the difference. While the inventory is on display, I did a bit of shopping for myself. There’s a dark charcoal sweater in my future using this combination of yarn, one lace wt. silk mohair with a fingering merino. Warm and light as a feather!
March 05, 2021
Walk with me Wednesday
March 03, 2021
When there is snow on the ground, even a cloudy day can feel bright. It is one of the things I love the most about winter. A summer woods is dark, close and deep. A winter woods is full of light. It is a study of long strong shadows, dark and bright, drawn in light.
The past few weeks, we found ourselves near enough to the ocean to be able to take walks on the winter beach. Some of the beaches we walked for the first time. I find it hard to imagine that these long wild stretches have escaped me all these years. There were magical days when the snow covered much of the beach and the ocean foam froze into a whipped cream edge to the sea. Rocks wore crowns of ice.
On another day, we were caught in a snow storm, and watched the snow settle onto the sand and sea birds backs. Last week, we walked by endless snow fences, placed to hold the sand back from its endless journey to somewhere else.
The birds tell me the back of winter has broken. (The relentless howling wind that brought -4F temps this morning did little to reinforce that.) The calendar agrees. We’ve taken to working on the wet, snowy or days too cold to manage. When the sun shines bright, I pack a lunch and we head out for an adventure. Winter will be gone before we know it. You know what comes then?
March 02, 2021
“I love my socks, I love my socks
My socks are so comfortably lovely..”
Donovan P. Leitch
From: I love my Shirt.
If you’re old enough to remember Donovan, the Scottish heart throb, musician, composer who wrote ‘Sunshine Superman’ and ‘Mellow Yellow’, you may also remember another of his, ‘I love my Shirt’. If you do remember it and have read the lines above, you probably have today’s earworm already playing in your head. (You’re welcome.) Those of you who are too young and missed the 60s and 70s, check him out. I bet you’ll find a song or two that you know. Donovan’s early album covers featured psychedelic writing, which I am certain gave rise many years later to the colorful, inventive graffiti that we now see spray painted on railroad cars, abandoned buildings and underpass walls.
I’ve strayed. This post isn’t about music or graffiti. It is about socks. My socks.
As a knitter and a dyer, I have bought and hand dyed thousands of pounds of sock yarn. So, I’ve knit my share of socks. Frankly, sock knitting doesn’t do it for me. There are parts of sock knitting that I enjoy, like turning a heel, or grafting the toes. But, I’d rather knit a sweater, or a shawl, or hat. There’s a lot to be said for the fit and beauty of hand knit socks. I happen to like store bought socks better. Particularly, Costco’s wool socks. They fit me perfectly. The problem I have, with all wool socks, is that I wear them out very quickly. Impossible as it sounds, I’ve gone through a sock in a day. I really don’t like to throw otherwise perfectly good socks away. A couple years ago, the piles of single socks sporting holes, began to take over my sock drawer. I was faced with a real dilemma, either start wearing mismatched singles everyday, throw away both socks in the pair, or learn to fix them. That’s when I began to darn socks.
If I told you that darning is not only sort of fun and relaxing but also provides nearly instant gratification, would you believe me? In less than a television show worth of time, my sock can not only be put back into service, but can be embellished with as many colorful circles, squares, or squiggles as I care to make. Visible only when stacked in my sock drawer, the little darned patches are my secret, hidden in my shoes, and enjoyed while I fold the laundry.
That brings me to my new to me contraption. Around the Christmas holiday season , I chanced upon a photo of a small metal darning loom. It was made in the fifties, in Ukraine. The genius of it astounded me. I absolutely needed it. Ebay produced several on auction. From England, one with a wood disk was going for nearly 125.00. I could buy an awful lot of socks for that price. The few from Ukraine were priced a bit better. I set my limit and bid. Each time my limit was passed. Over the next couple weeks, I checked for others. Then, three showed up from the same seller in Russia. Unlike all the others I’d seen that had wooden disks, one had a lovely swirled plastic disk to attach as the darning mushroom. It was beautiful and It was totally unique. It is mine now. I’ve thought about this purchase and it’s journey. Imagine, something made in the 50s, maybe 60’s, used to darn someone’s socks, maybe generations of someone’s socks, in Russia, stored in a sewing basket, or maybe a cookie tin on a shelf or under a bed. Imagine that someone’s granddaughter finds it and wonders what it is or why anyone would bother to use such a thing. Then imagine that someone thinks to sell it instead of tossing it away, and that I see it for sale, halfway around the world and want it. Really want it. It gets packed better than any package I’ve ever received and travels through bureaucracies, by how many people, in how many ways until it reaches me. And, finally, last night, it once again, was used to darn my sock.
January 11, 2021
and then there were two..
It was a beautiful but chilly weekend with temps topping at 26F. I spent most of it outdoors. I took walks in the woods, stacked two weeks worth of firewood on the porch and scouted out the beaver ‘lodge’. We made pizza on the grill.
Friday we prepped the ice for a Saturday game with friends. Mother Nature had other plans. By the time Saturday afternoon rolled around, the ice had magically acquired a very slick new surface, making it impossible to stay upright.
If you haven’t watched Bridgerton, the costumes are amazing!