Thursday, May 02, 2013

the woods

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 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.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Walking and spinning??? I can hardly walk and chew gum. ha... It is fun to see the garden and all around awakening. I would be a little leary of bears strolling through the garden. Do be careful.

Teri said...

Are you mainly using prepared fibers on the distaff? Have you tried unprocessed wool? I'm thinking about trying an uncarded Shetland fleece this weekend. I have a Bulgarian distaff and five Bulgarian spindles (from Bulgaria! I love Ebay.) I haven't tried the distaff yet, because I haven't figured out how to dress it. And I'm still trying to get the hang of using the Bulgarian spindle. So I guess I won't be walking with this just yet.

Ann said...

Someday when you have a wee bit of spare time, would you please consider showing more views and details of your distaff? I would dearly love to try to make one to try.

Thanks so much for your postings. I check eagerly each day to see if you are there....I do so enjoy each and every one.

cyndy said...

Hi Teri,

I have mainly been using unprocessed wool with my distaff, or flax. Prepared fibers are something I'm starting to experiment with.

Your uncarded Shetland fleece will be perfect for the distaff! Try teasing it by hand, and then fasten it onto the distaff with a tie.

cyndy said...

Hello Ann,

Thanks so much for the comments!
Nice to know that you are reading along.

I plan to make a few of these types of distaves to sell, so when I get some time to work on them, I'll post about it, and you may watch over my shoulder.

I've already made two, the hardest part is selecting the right wood from the woods!

Jody said...

What a peaceful looking place to live...even with the 'wild animals'. I would be nervous with a bear around (my mom has the same on occasion)though. I love and appreciate nature and never want to live in the city :-)

Cathy said...

So much fun to walk with you... we are just greening up here.

Anonymous said...

We seldom see snakes. The farmers around us mow the side ditches and have removed fencerows, etc. Snakes have few safe places to go.

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