Thursday, May 29, 2014

Updates coming soon ... In the meantime ...

A picture of the lady slipper up near the stone wall. Last year there was 1 blossom. This year, 2. Very happy.

Friday, May 16, 2014

From Mary M. Atwater ...

I was just reading these wonderful paragraphs this morning in the book I bought at last weekend's Sheep & Wood Festival. The book, if you recall, is Mary Atwater's "The Shuttle-Craft Book of American Weaving". Since the book was copyright in 1928 and 1951, I suspect it will be ok for me to quote a bit. These words tickle my fancy... especially the last few phrases ...

"The old patterns are curiously like music; like little melodies of four notes, full of runs, trills and returns. When noted down on paper they look like music, so that one feels it should be possible to play them on a violin or to sing them. There is a story of a new weaver who had a loom but no pattern draft, so threaded her loom to Mendelssohn's "Spring Song." And perhaps some day an American composer will write a "Weavers' Symphony" with "Whig Rose" or "Pin Bloom" for motif over the whirr of the shuttle and the dull thump of the batten for accompaniment--embroidered all over and in and out with the weaver's thoughts, gay or sad or contemplative.

"Many of us--most of us, perhaps--still feel happier and more comfortable with the simple old patterns than with the exciting new ones that, though sometimes very beautiful, are often extremely hideous, and almost always slightly insane. It is a matter of taste.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Knits ... an update ...

Baby Surprise Jacket is finished. Will take it with me to NY next week. It's so sweet! Rather makes me wish I had a baby... or at least a baby to hold from time to time.

The jacket was not very complicated to knit... not from the directions I had: An extended version from School House Press. It contained Elizabeth Zimmermann's original instructions but also had them interpreted into line-by-line instructions for the whole jacket. The packet of instructions also came with size variations for adults. I may make myself one, one of these days.

But first, I've started a vest for myself for the coming holidays (yes, Christmas is only 7 months away! ;) Heehee!)

The pattern is from a book of wonderful vests called "Folk Vests" by Cheryl Oberle. There is an errata online for the book -- a good thing since I was finding mistakes in the write-up. There was also a mistake in the errata! So if you decide to get this book, lookup the errata and check them carefully.

The vest is interrupted yesterday and today so that I can whip up a cowl for my grand-niece whose birthday is this weekend. A one-skein quick-and-easy creation:

This pretty 'yarn' is called Iristape from Lucci Yarn. 50% cotton, 45% acrylic, 3% nylon, and 2% poly. Sparkly and elegant, yet fun.

Moonrise ...

Snapped a pic of the moon rising last night. 'Twas very cheesy colored.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

NH Sheep & Wool Festival ...

I had made plans to go to the NH Sheep & Wood Festival yesterday, but when it appeared that rain was going to fall all day I had second thoughts. At one point it was looking quite unlikely--I could always travel down there today. But after a few chores I decided that with umbrella in hand and a rain coat it wouldn't be so bad, so off I went. Turns out the rain stopped, the sun came out and I spent a most glorious afternoon walking around the vendor's booths and viewing the sheep & alpacas in sunshine with temps in the 70s. A very good dose of just what the doctor ordered. My soul drank deep from the colors, crafts, people, and animals. It's the good life.

I was thrilled to see a lot of cars in the lot when I arrived about 12:30pm, but it was a comfortable crowd--I didn't feel jammed in like at some of the bigger festivals. Absolutely pleasant to stroll amongst the knitters, crocheters, spinners, felters, breeders, feeders, show-ers, sheep, alpacas, and rabbits.

I came home with a miner's head for the great wheel. Best find of the day for me. An old book (1951, first printing) by Mary Atwater called "The Shuttle-Craft Book of American Hand-Weaving". It's full to the brim with over 200 drafts--most of them 4-shaft--for weaving. Great find. Four skeins of wool yarn at a bargain price, a sheep figurine--very cute, a fused glass pendant, a rug-hooking kit, a felting pad with 2 needles, and some spice tea. All in under budget! Happy, happy.

One of the great wheels for sale was from the Shaker village in Enfield, my home town.

The bobbins on this recently rolled-out wheel appear to be almost a foot long! Must hold a thousand yards!!

I'm so inspired by the sight of rug hooking and this absolute beauty of a rug was being worked on yesterday. I must get onto another rug project soon.

My purchases.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Herbs ...

Despite straining a muscle in my lower back, which made it quite difficult to bend or stoop or get down and up again, I managed to put together a little herb garden over the weekend. I'm very pleased with this little circle of culinary candy. (Oh, and my back is better this evening. Whew!)

I have in there some Sweet Majoram, which is my favorite to sniff from a pinch of leaf. Oh swoon! There are 2 types of Thyme, some Oregano, Lemon Balm, and Parsley. I have a chunk of Chives out back and I plan on digging some up to relocate into one of the large beds, along with a clump of Egyptian Onions which are growing down by the cold frame.

Trying to find compost has been impossible, and when I have found some, it's prohibitively expensive. So, I have the wheel barrow and 3 acres of land. Going to dig up some dirt from the previous years' garden and dump it into the beds and augment it with some bagged compost; that will be more affordable. I would have been out there digging over the weekend had it not been for this muscle in my back.

I'm so itching to have the peas planted. As I recall they don't care for warm weather too much.

So many plans... I want to build a couple arbors, one for a Clematis I purchased last week and another to lead into the garden area. 2 bed for annuals in addition to the 2 for vegetables, though I'm sensing that maybe I'll have enough of 1 bed for this year. So many plants to move from other parts of the property. Paths to forge. Yes, it will probably never end and that makes me happy.