Thursday, May 02, 2013
May has arrived and the woods are waking up! The quince and forsythia are in full bloom, and the warblers are starting to appear. The blue blue skies of May and the bees on the blossoms on the fruit trees are pretty enough to paint. There is bird song filling the woods, and nesting materials filling the branches of nearby trees. Around the riverrim, we planted a few plum trees another cherry tree and a peach tree. Gifts from my husband.
The creatures that live in the wood are waking up as well. We were visited by the Black Bear around suppertime the other day.
He waltzed right up the back steps and through the open gate onto the back deck. We will have to make sure we close the gate from now on..and walk with bells and pocket air horn. He or she was much to close to the house for my comfort.
The snakes woke up with the last thunder storm. I've seen small garter snakes around.
They don't begin to compare with the size of the one that tangled himself in the netting we had around the blueberry bushes last summer. I felt so badly about that situation. Garter snakes are good guys, and I encourage them to stay around my garden. Last summer, the Blueberry bushes need protection from the birds who were stealing all my berries, so I hung netting on the bushes. I never thought that a big big garter snake would come along and get himself tangled up in it. By the time I discovered him, it was too late.
I've been taking my distaff and spindle with me when I walk. I've been experimenting with dressing the distaff with a painted roving arranging it in a way that allows me to draft down different colors when I want to.
The fiber I'm working with is a merino/ tencel blend, and I am enjoying the way it handles. I can slip the distaff into the belt loop of my jeans, and walk and spindle...walk and spindle....down to the river, out to the garden...walk and spindle ..it is very relaxing. It is not the type of walking that you would call a power walk, it is more of a stroll, or a wandering meandering type of walk. In the bucolic setting that surrounds me, I can well imagine a shepheardess of old accomplishing a good deal of spinning this way.
The amount that is on my distaff was easily spun in short walk down to the river and back...maybe a half mile? Maybe a half an hour or 40 minutes was spent on my afternoon break for spinning.
The distaff is a great tool for walking and spinning. If I want to stop and take a few photographs, I just park the spindle in the fiber and set the staff up against a tree or a rock. The distaff holds the fiber and spindle until I return. While I left it unattended...the little nesting birds showed great interest in the fiber...and I allowed a small chickadee to pick at the merino tencel on my distaff. She didn't take much.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Saturday, April 27, 2013
....the hyacinths ...
...the lungwort..all showing bloom. They are my old friends, and I enjoy our visits while they last.
The lilac leaves are as big as a squirrel's ear, and phenological records of the past tell me that it is time to plant potatoes.
There are two new hens in the henhouse.
and a large pileated woodpecker visits the Norwegian Pine stump almost every morning.
Knitting has been getting accomplished, despite the fact that my hands hurt from all the garden work. This is my amalgamation ...my version of Laura Nelkin's Butin Collar.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
In addition to planting my seedlings and getting the garden ready for sowing, I'm learning to weave a warp faced pattern on my rigid heddle loom. At my spin group, Grace and Greta were my teachers (ahem. enablers extraordinaire.) The timing was perfect. I had just purchased a gift for my husband, a lapis lazuli guitar pick, and decided to make a guitar strap to give along with it.
Grace let me borrow her warping board. We picked a warped faced pattern from one of her books. Greta showed me how to read the pattern and string the warp on the board. I was going to continue the project at home and return the following week to finish and transfer it to my loom, but my car broke down, and I decided to go it alone without instruction. I managed to make it work, but, I'm not sure I did it correctly. This is something I would like to try again. It is really nice to have good friends who are also good teachers.
I hope he likes it!