Wednesday, November 30, 2011

phenological events november 2011

2nd white oaks drop leaves
4th frost on garden
12th black bear on property
16th 8point buck and 2spike
28th raccoon breaks into henhouse

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

cap and booties


We spent our Thanksgiving holiday visiting with we were on the road a good part of the time. It gave me a chance to finish up this set of booties and matching hat for the newest member of the extended family...little Elizabeth Margaret. I intended to make the Better than Booties Baby Socks by Ann Budd, but reached for my old stand-by pattern..scribbled out in my hand writing from years ago when I was knitting for my own baby. Where does the time go?


The hat worked up in a jiffy too...Quick and Easy Baby Hat by MyFairKatie on Ravelry. I like this pattern so much I might have to adjust it to an adult sized head! The hat finishes at the top of the crown, and the stitches turn into an icord that ties. Cute!

Both the hat and the booties knit up on US size 3 needles..with handspun ...not sure what it was..something soft that was leftover from some other project and just enough to finish a hat and booties with. Lots of love and good wishes for a little girl were locked into each stitch! I hope they will keep her warm and snuggly over the next few months...little ones grow so fast! I should start working on the next size up!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving !

Enjoy the bounty!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

mr. postman


Dear Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe,

I read about your speech earlier this week, the one where you spoke to the National Press Club in Washington DC. In your speech, you mentioned that "Congress needs to step back and look at the postal service as a business".

What ever happened to the idea that the basic function of the Post Office was to provide a service? Remember the old quotation:

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Sir, I realize that you have a lot of speeches to make right now, and that things look grim for the future of the U.S. Postal Service.... but could you please find the sock that I mailed to my Uncle R. last week?

This past summer, my Uncle R. kindly requested a pair of hand-knit socks from me. I picked out the nicest color of a good quality sock yarn, Zauberball, and set to work on them. I found just the right pattern in the book, "Folk Socks" by Ann Budd. I was faithful..working nightly on my US size one bamboo knitting needles. Once, I had to frog back when I noticed a small mistake....however, I finally finished one of the size 12 socks just in time for his birthday.

I carefully packed it in a padded envelope that I purchased from my local Post Office, which, by the way, is within walking distance from my cabin. I enclosed a birthday card with instructions for my uncle to try on the sock to make sure it fit properly, and to let me know if any alterations needed to be made. If the sock fit perfectly, I would make the other sock and deliver it to him for Christmas.

You see, Post Master General, Sir, it has been over 2 weeks ago that I mailed the sock. When I was mailing the size 12 sock, I asked my Postmistress, Ethel, (yes...we are on a first name basis)..."Ethel", I said, "How long do you think this package will take to deliver?" And Ethel answered that it would probably take a few days at the most. I was mailing it First Class, and it was just going to the next state over. I picked out the stamps and paid the fee of three dollars and twenty-five cents. I didn't think it was necessary to purchase a tracking code, which now, in retrospect, I wish I had.

My Uncle R. and I talked over the telephone on his birthday...I asked if he had received a package from me, and he had not. We figured it must have been the Veterans Day holiday that delayed the U.S. Postal Service the benefit of the doubt. As of yesterday, my uncle has not yet received the sock I made for him. Or his birthday card.

If there is anything at all you can do to find the missing sock package, I would be very grateful. After all, I did promise my uncle I would make him a pair of socks, and size 12 socks require a lot of knitting, especially on size one U.S. knitting needles with Zauberball Sock yarn. And if you don't find the missing sock package and deliver it to my uncle, I shall have to make two more size 12 socks...and I'm a little worried that I might not have enough Zauberball yarn left, and you know how tricky it can be to match up yarn from a certain dye lot.

Also, I notice that you and I share the same last name. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that things go a little better for both of us in the near future. I have attached the above photo of the unfinished sock for identification, you never know how many single socks may be lost in the U.S. Postal Service System.

Hopefully yours... deliver de letter de sooner de better....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

note to self

*make note to self.


A few days ago, I wound off the yarn that was on the bobbin of my Canadian Production Wheel. A custom blend of my own making..some Alpaca, Gotland, and Tussah Silk...spun up soft and silky...long-draw and woolen style..nice for knitting with.


A spontaneous decision resulted in the making of a plying ball, so I wound half of the bobbin off with my skein winder. I took the tail of that half, together with the tail of what was left on the bobbin ...and wound off together to make my ply ball.


I now have a lovely skein that was wound off on the Nod with the twist set in soft bath..and tenderly air dried near the gentle heat from the glow of the coal stove. One problem. I don't have a yardage count. I'm sure I counted the turns I took on the Nod...just absent-mindlessly-neglected to write it down. Does this ever happen to you?


On a happy note...I have been invited to write a regular column for the MAPACA newsletter. You can find the newsletter online here... or simply use the link by clicking on the MAPACA Newsletter Icon conveniently located on my sidebar. Look for "riverrim alpaca notebook" to read about my adventures with Alpaca fibers.

The Mid-Alantic Alpaca Association Newsletter is a terrific publication. Editor-in-Chief, Diane Beauchner of Shepherd Hills Alpacas in Wescosville, Pennsylvania does a fantastic job of putting the Newsletter together (and she is so much fun to work for!)

"News You Can Use" is a true statement here... and I would encourage you to download it, or sign up for your own hard copy. The hard copy publication is a nice full color magazine type presentation..good break time reading material... (curl up on a crispy fall afternoon with an alpaca afghan and hot beverage of your choice). There is always something interesting to read about... Spinners and Weavers out there may want to take a look at the article on page 18... "From Vision to Fabric and Beyond" by Wini Lebrecque. So inspiring!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

novemberbeaver moon


We had a lovely frosty full moon last night. I should have hung my fine linens out on the clothes line for bleaching. Maybe next month.

The sunlight and moonlight of November have made me restless. As restless as the oak leaves rustling underfoot..everything seems crisp, the light, the leaves, the air..I am restless and alert. I wake in the night with eyes wide open and moonlight pouring in my window. It is so lovely, I roll over, closer to the window where I stare and stare at the blue black sky and white stars. Who can sleep when there is so much beauty going on outside?

The whitetail are restless too. The rutting season almost over, they are always on the move, hard to photograph. In a few weeks, they will settle down..the leaves will settled down too, and winter will settle in.


This years fawn still tags along with mama, not ready to go it alone.


Not wanting to be left behind, not wanting obstacles to come between them...the fawn is restless too....


The seasons are changing. Maybe that is why- the restlessness. Are you ready? Are you finished? ..the wind is bringing the change as it chases the leaves across the field. ..yes..sometimes I can almost see it happening..season overlap...summer not yet finished, but winter wanting to begin...


Saturday, November 05, 2011

buttons on the brain

I love buttons. Some of my earliest memories are of buttons. My mother kept a tin box full of buttons, and I remember spending hours playing with her buttons...., sorting them, counting them, arranging them into shapes and pictures, faces...I even confess to putting one or two of them into my mouth because I thought they might taste as wonderful as they looked.

Buttons keep things together. Fastened. Connected. These past few weeks, buttons have kept me connected with people. Sally, Susie and Mary. They don't know each other but they all know me, and my handmade buttons. See? Connected.

First, there is Sally Rowe.


Sally is a founding member of the Barryville Area Arts Association.

Sally had purchased some of my handmade buttons a few years ago at a local festival. She emailed me to inquire if I had any more buttons that may match one of the buttons she had previously acquired.

I arranged to meet with her, and she showed me the buttons that she was trying to match. It was fun to see some of my older was as if I was meeting an old friend. I don't often get to see any of my handmade buttons after they leave, so it was fun for me. I remembered where I was and what I was thinking about when I made them.


Sally knit this gorgeous sweater out of Berrocco (Peruvia Quick).. and she picked out a few more of my handmade buttons that would fit the button holes in her sweater. I really enjoyed chatting with her, and watching her select certain buttons that she liked. She wound up choosing the toggle shaped buttons for her sweater. I think she made a good choice, and I'm sure you agree. Isn't it cool the way she sewed them onto the sweater? The slant of the toggle button reflects the slant in the cables. Perfect!


Susie contacted me this week to request a special sized button. She wanted to replace a plastic button with one made of wood.


She even sent me the plastic button that she was going to replace. This made it easy for me to work one up to the same size and substance.


Luckily, the weather was beautiful and I set up to work outside on the deck. Occasionally, I would look up at the ceiling of my "studio".


As I worked on the button, I was aware of the sounds of the river, and the birds..the wind through the leaves on the oak tree..the occasional car driving wind chimes... I lost track of the time and concentrated instead on the smooth surface of the wood on my fingertips. I thought of all the buttons my hands have made, and how each button contains a little piece of my imagination in it....I thought about all those buttons going out into the universe.

.....small little bits of my imagination in the form of a button....going out into a very big universe... Suddenly, I realized this button was finished. I will pack it up and send it out on Monday.

I hope she likes it.


Finally, we come to Mary.

A few days ago, I discovered Mary's button portraits. I was at once- surprised...delighted...entranced!

You can go look at them, I'll wait....

When I looked at these portraits, it was as if someone had been inside of my mind and created the images of the buttons of my memories!

There they were!

Colorful and Happy!

Floating around in the universe just as they float around in my memories!


These portraits are so like the buttons that live in my mother's button tin! The details, the essence of is all there.. I smiled and smiled and even got a few chills when I looked at them. Oh my, the universe is an amazing place...full of all sorts of surprises..and buttons too.

...and yep...somehow we are all connected...

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