Monday, August 31, 2009

phenological events August 2009

1st- rain
5th- harvesting summer squash
7th- harvesting green beans
8th- black berry bushes ripening
10th- elderberries ripen
11th- harvesting sweetcorn
After this date, I just got overwhelmed and didn't have time to keep up with records. It has been a very rainy, buggy, humid month...the garden is bursting with life!

Monday, August 24, 2009

tow from the line


Since I'm planning to spin some flax in public next weekend, my fingers needed some reminders..a little practice was in order.

Using some flax tow that came off the hackle (Tow is the shorter and or broken pieces that came out in the hackling from the line flax), I dressed the tow distaff that I picked up at the Mannings in June. I placed it on my Ashford Traditional Wheel. The flax from the hackle was rather knotted and wadded up, so I just teased it with my fingers, and spread it out on the table before dressing the distaff. It seemed to work out well enough, there were some areas that slid to the top and got bunched up, but they pulled down easily.


The flax magically untangles itself on the way to the bobbin. This makes me very happy. I find myself entranced by the thin strands passing down from what seems like a nest of grass. Occasionally, I will dip my fingers in the water pot and smooth down a slub before allowing it to wind on the bobbin. I'm not worried about a few slubs coming from this tow. They will be an interesting addition to whatever project I decide to use this linen thread for.


An hour or so later, my bobbin reveals a sample of what the overall thread will look like. And I am satisfied with the results. I imagined that the tow would be really lumpy and hairy, but I discovered that it wasn't half bad.


I will most likely ply this. The length of the individual fibers was short and inconsistent, so I think it needs to be plied and that will reinforce the strength of the finished thread.

The singing has started, "6 more weeks" they say... may find the songsters in the most unlikely just have to look for them!


Sunday, August 16, 2009

how much?

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?


The word woodchuck- according to several sources- was taken from the Algonquian/Narragansett tribe word "wuchak"...

also called Land Beaver, Whistle Pig, or Punxsutawney Phil..a sciuridae marmot...otherwise known as a Ground Hog.


And while this woodchuck was not chucking wood, I have been. There are buttons to be made for the upcoming show...shown below is an afternoons worth of work, waiting now for polishing and tagging.


The question remains, how much wood?...I've always heard that "He would chuck, he would, as much wood as he could, and chuck as much wood as a woodchuck would chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood."

A quick internet search found a few variations on the theme..I couldn't resist linking to them for your amusement.

As a Hockey player: How much puck has a woodchuck struck, if a woodchuck has struck puck?

On a farm: How much duck would a woodchuck pluck, if a woodchuck could pluck duck?

At a party: How much potluck would a woodchuck upchuck, if a woodchuck could upchuck potluck?

Taste testing new jello flavors: How much guck would a woodchuck suck, if a woodchuck could suck guck? (guck means goo)

Eskimo shoemaker: How many buck would a woodchuck mukluk, if a woodchuck could mukluk buck? (mukluk is reindeer boots)

In love: How amok is a woodchuck struck, if a woodchuck is struck amok?

If his pants are too small: How much buttock would a woodchuck tuck, if a woodchuck would tuck buttock?

Taking things out of his wife's purse: How much buck has a woodchuck snuck, if a woodchuck has snuck buck?

Getting shot at: How much luck makes a woodchuck duck, if a woodchuck does duck ?


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

keeping up with production


There is going to be a fiber festival at Fort Delaware in Narrowsburg on August 29th. I will be vending in the Hatton's booth. In addition to making buttons for sale at the festival, I am making a pioneer costume to wear. I decided to sew the skirt and got a pattern at "Abrahams Lady" when I was down in Gettysburg last month. My old singer treadle machine needs a new belt. I've tried patching the old one, and it finally gave up, there is too much slack on the belt and it won't grab. I finished the waistband on the skirt by turning the drive wheel by hand, ugh.

The garden is not as productive compared to years past. The weather has not been cooperative. There are, however, some vegetables that are performing and showing reasonable yields...on an average day of picking I'm getting at least a gallon zip lock bag of broccoli side shoots, a little over a gallon of green beans, 6 or 7 sweet peppers, 4 or 5 summer squash and 8 or 9 ears of corn. The elderberries have ripened and so have the crabapples. Oh, and the chickens continue to be productive!


I picked the Whitney crabapples, and the size of them makes me happy. The tree didn't produce many blossoms this spring, but the individual fruit that developed from each blossom was impressive!


The summer squash is starting to come in, and it is important to check the size of those each day, least the zukes become as big as baseball bats...the patty pans are called "flying saucer" I think...or was it UFO? UFO is appropriate where my knitting is concerned, I haven't managed to finish many projects these days...


Finally, the sweet corn is ready. The ears are only about 8 inches long, but fully pollinated ears are always a blessing.


Monday, August 03, 2009

does life imitate knitting- or does knitting imitate life

Has it happened to you?


Life is sailing along, no worries, things unfolding according to plan, no bumps~


There are days, when life can be as smooth as a strand of silk coming from a center pull ball -then suddenly- things just seem to get messed up. Stuff happens. You have hit a giant snag.


You don't know how, you don't know why...(winding the center-pull didn't indicate that there would be any problems)....nonetheless, the snag remains... And you are left to sort it all out. And it is such a big snag that you cannot move along with your project until you do something about it.

Which do you do?

a. reach for the scissors immediately --cut your losses and move on

b. try to patiently untangle the mess, but then reach for the scissors cut your losses and move on

c. patiently and with determination --with a "no matter how long it takes attitude", untie the snarl and try to move on with your project that will forever show a portion of yarn that looks worse for the wear, reminding you of the snag

d. stuff the entire project in a bag to marinate until you decide what to do...

and then there is always...none of the above...


I wonder if my methods of smoothing out snags in knitting reflect my methods of smoothing out the snarls and problems I face in the day to day world. Maybe it is the other way around, and knitting has taught me a few ways to untangle some issues that need to be addressed. One thing is for certain, I hardly ever reach for the scissors. (And in real life, the options aren't always as clear.)

Photobucket ps...I normally choose "c" or "none of the above".

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