Wednesday, August 31, 2011

phenological notes August 2011

August 2011

2nd Sweet Corn Coming
3rd cicadas sing
8th fawns loose their spots
12th elderberries ripen
14th golden rod blooms
15th rose of sharon blooms
16th whitetail bucks in velvet
28th Hurricane Irene
30th caterpillar's march begins

hurricane mittens


Thanks for all of your good thoughts and wishes for safe keeping, we are fine and dry. The power went out (as expected), so we had a bit of inconvenience and gave the refrigerator a good clean out in the process. We are feeling very grateful for the fact that the trees on our property held on, and that the river didn't take out the bridge.

It is a bit ironic that I'm sending out a package of eight inch squares that my spin/knit group made for the Blankets of Birmingham Tornado victims. I think we will have to get busy and work up some more for the victims of Irene!


The force and power of nature is hard to reckon with ...the destruction is sometimes overwhelming, a reminder of just how fragile all life is. Soon after the storm, I found caterpillars coming out of hiding...


Amazing to think of these small creatures surviving all the wind and rain that Irene brought to the riverrim.


While the winds were whipping around outside, I worked on a pair of mittens. Almost finished, I'm tacking down the applied I-cord trim. The Endless Mountains Fiber Festival is having a mitten contest this year, so maybe I will enter these.


The pattern is from Robin Melanson's book, "Knitting New Mittens and Gloves". The yarn is my handspun Shetland, from my samples...Rita 2011.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

buckets of rain


I've been reading a very old book that is full of the history of the little river that flows by my cabin. It is interesting to note, that the river has seen many changes over the years.

These changes are a result of man and environment, I think about the changes as I make my check list for the upcoming hurricane...and I find myself humming a Dylan tune..."Buckets of Rain". Irene is coming.


A powerful storm. Spinning. Around and around again. S-Twist. Counter-clockwise. Widdershins. She reminds me of the spiral galaxies as seen from the Hubble telescope.

It isn't as if I haven't seen hurricanes in these parts before. Hurricane Ivan has been the worst to come to the riverrim..hum...that storm had an "I" name too.

Many folks have been evacuated from their homes for this storm. So far, we have not had a call. So, the list is checked, and doubled checked. I'm thinking we may not sleep upstairs tonight, and crossing my fingers that the big oak tree next to the cabin will keep its feet firmly planted in the ground. Hoping tomorrow that the bridge will hold and that the water won't get too high!


And that I'll be back in time for my blogiversary ;-) Stay safe....see ya after the storm!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

walk with me wednesday-adjust


We haven't walked together for a time.


It is late summer, the early mornings are foggy and the air is thick with mist, the dew collects on grass..and fragile.


There isn't much to say today. There are, however, so many, many things to think about. So the walk is a prayerful one. A meditation.


A private moment. Shared.


The fawns are loosing their spots, and the bucks are showing their velvet.


and there are changes, to notice, and accept. deliberate as they are...and startling at the moment...a reminder that it is time to adjust.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

a crofters life


The National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Screen Archives have a wonderful collection of films about the Shetland Isles. Back in the 1930s, Jenny Brown made several films about the Crofters. One of which is called "In Sheep's Clothing".

This film depicts (silent) scenes of the men and women herding the Shetland Sheep, they can be seen gathering and then "rooing" sheep. There are also shots of the carding and spinning of wool and the women knitting to make jumpers and shawls.

You will have to go directly to the website to view the films, here is a link for you to get there:

Related films can be easily searched. I watched several. There is one that shows the washing and blocking of the finished shawls. I was amazed to see how vigorously the delicate shawls were washed and wrung before placing sticks in the ground on the open field for the blocking of the shawl. Very different from today with our blocking wires and mats and pins!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

flax article


About a year ago, Anne (otherwise known as bunnyspinner on Ravelry and Twitter) contacted me about writing an article on bast fibers for Ennea Collective e-Magazine. Anne is co editor of Ennea Collective, a terrific online resource for handspinning, knitting and weaving patterns and articles. Anyway, I happily agreed to write an article for the magazine...(spinning flax is my favorite thing to do, talk and write about!).

It hardly seems like a year has passed, and the article is now live --in the summer 2011 New Issue!

Meanwhile, ..with early August and late summer arriving, there is the feeling that the summer months are beginning to slip away. The nights are cooler, and without the sounds of fans and air conditioning, there are the insect songs. The crickets and the frogs chorus tell me to enjoy what is left of the summer. It is only a matter of weeks before it will be time to think of first frosts, they warn! With September comes the Endless Mountains Fiber Festival..and I have to get down to business if I'm going to have any offerings ready for the table...(I've been making some small flax wicking pots and diz and thread hooks, as well as the buttons that I always have for sale.) When I think about it, maybe the frogs and the crickets are telling me to get busy ;-)

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