Friday, October 21, 2016


Note her posture, her position while treadling, the position of her drafting, and the way she has tilted the fiber cone on her sitting distaff to facilitate the draft ...surely these are all the signs of a woman who has been spinning for many, many years. Made me smile.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

walk with me wednesday

It was a golden walk today, so much yellow all around me.

In a few short weeks, the leaves will let go, and only the branches will hide the view of the river.

The wild carrot has finished out, and is wearing winter brown already...the flower heads, with their texture and line, inspire me to pick up a crowquill pen. Maybe later.

There is bittersweet growing where once, there was not. Friend or foe? I imagine the birds planted it. The female flowers, once fertilized, yield these yellow shelled (husks) fruit (arils), that will open soon, and the bright scarlet red berry seeds will be enjoyed by the Cardinals over the winter months. Quail and grouse (and my chickens) enjoy them too...and I've even seen the white-tail browse them. so. friend.

As I cross over the bridge, the wind picks up. I am glad I reached for my sweatshirt before I left the cabin. Looking up river, the sun shines in my eyes.

Looking down river, I notice the two little islands that first appeared a few years ago. They are growing bigger. With each storm and high water, they grow a bit more, soon they will be one.

I like to pause on the bridge, and watch the water pass beneath my feet. I stay until the wind becomes tiresome.

On the way home I find a favorite spot to sit and soak up a little sun. I listened to the fall warblers and played with the acorns in my pocket. Officially, the end of summer happened on the 22nd of September. I saved by goodbyes until today. Goodbye Summer! I will miss your warm days...

Monday, July 11, 2016

Taking time to pause

There is a spot on my kitchen table, where the vase sits. I fill the vase each week, with flowers from my garden. For the past few weeks, the vase has been filled with roses. Yesterday, when I went out to cut flowers for the week, there were no more roses to fill the vase with. I was reminded of the quote about taking time to smell the roses, because however trite that quote may be, there is truth to it.

We are at that time. That time, that we should pause and notice the time. Hal Borland said it this way:

"We are at the time of the longest daylight, earliest sunrise and latest sunset, which will continue with only a few seconds of change for another week. Time, if we would only pause and let it flow over us, for a little while partakes of the deliberation that is the mark of summer in almost everything except human affairs."

"The berries ripen in their own time. The bees replenish the hive. Clover comes to sweet blossom, then to seed. Daisies whiten the roadsides."

"Fireflies sparkle in the evenings. Time flows like the brooks that must have leisured through Eden when summer blessed a young and innocent Earth."

And so I notice that the roses in my vase have been replaced with black-eyed susans, and hollyhocks, purple coneflowers, and monarda. Time flows on.

Some of my hours have been filled with making a couple of distaves for a friend.

I wove the bands for distaves on the double hole tapeloom.

I modified an old rigid heddle frame and it worked out well for those times that I don't wish to use a band lock. The pattern for the bands came from the book about Norwegian Band Weaving.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016


Another example of in-hand spindle spinning without having to use a half-hitch at the top of the spindle. This is how I've been spinning these days.
When spinning off the point, it isn't necessary to make a half-hitch at the beginning and end of each make.
I take joy in noticing the amount of fiber on the distaves. Oh those optimistic Romanians!

The video has another example of in-hand spinning, near the end. I've not attempted to try my hands at this method, something more to learn.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

making more

Tying on to the previous warp, I wove a few more small towels with the Gebrochene Twill draft.

I changed the weft color three times.

There is still hemming to be done before they are completely finished. These are 100% cotton and should be nice and absorbent. Hemming and hawing with the idea of winding one more warp with my handspun linen, and weaving the weft with the handspun hemp in the same twill pattern. We'll see.

The wood-thrush and the eastern phoebe have arrived, with the snow buntings still hanging around. Outside, there have been repairs being made to the "grow house". Inside, seeds are germinating. And the seasons turn again.

"I have said that there was great pleasure in watching the ways in which different plants come through the ground, and February and March are the months in which that can best be seen."
- Henry N. Ellacombe

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Broken Twill

I've been working on weaving Gebrochene (translated from German to mean "broken") Twill.

Present day weavers may recognize this as M's and W's. This draft was available to me from the book, "The Best of Weavers- Twill Thrills"- on loan from my friend, Judy. (thanks! Judy).

I wove this cloth on a 4 shaft loom. There were 275 ends of cotton - KnitPicks Curio - from my friend Brigitte (thanks! Brigitte).

The weave structure has a long and interesting history (some similar examples dating to circa 1500s). The complex draft requires breaks and reversals--lots of patience for dressing the loom, but the results when weaving are very satisfying! Tromp as Writ! I had help figuring out the drawdown from my friends Greta and Elaine (thanks! Greta--thanks! Elaine).

As you can see, it was a group effort..and I'm grateful for all of the help!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2013 and 2016 phenological events

12th Cooper's Hawk

15th snow on the way

21st opossum hunts

28th single digits with slight thaw

phenological events

January 2016

5th first freeze

11th eagles & hawks

13th 1 inch snow

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


The weather was crisp and clear this morning. The river water catches the sun and it shines like moonlight against the silhouettes of the trees.

We had a scant amount of snow fall overnight.

...and today the winds have caught up with us. On my way to the henhouse, I grab my earflap hat that I knit from handspun Icelandic Sheeps wool. As I slip it on my head, I think of how many years ago I made the hat, and how it has worn so well. It seems to get better with age.

The sky is bright blue, without clouds at the moment. The wind will bring them, soon enough. I walk past the old tree and wonder if some critter is asleep..curled up in one of those cozy holes in the trunk. I used to think owls slept in there. If I were an owl, I would inhabit that tree.

Glancing up in the other direction, I notice the eagle. Probably looking for breakfast. I tell him to move along, and go fish the river for his breakfast...leave my chickens alone!

Back inside the cabin, I stoke the coal-fire in the woodstove. It will be a good day to stay inside and finish up some projects...

...or maybe start a new one!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

hens breath

The first freezing temperatures have arrived.  As I open the henhouse door, I admire the frosty patterns of hens breath on the glass.

Do you see vines and leaves?

or maybe...feathers?

My Golden Lace Wyandotte hen finds a good spot in the sun and sits down to warm her feet in her fluffy down feathers.

Last springs pullets produce an egg-stravaganza!  All are now laying, delivering a farmers daily dozen (or is it a bakers dozen?)
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