woods

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived" Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)


"Judge every day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you sow." - Robert Louis Stevenson


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bluejay Happenings

We are not the only ones that had a little blessing a couple of weeks ago (8th grand).  But the mama bluejay just had hers. 

I have been able to take some really close pic's of the progress and she has not attacked me yet.  She even stays close and I talk to her while I take pics of her and chicks.

Heres she is on her nest.  She started to fly away in the beginning but stayed on her nest for the photo shoot.


  Here she let me take a pic of her eggs


And also let me take a pic of her babies, awwwww , this was taken yesterday May,12


She stayed real close when I took the chick pic, I count 5


I talk real soft to her, thank her and walk away real slow.   My Dad use to call the Bluejays down and they would take pecans from our hands.   I'm not sure if that will happen again.   Last fall a Bluejay hit our window and I was able to get it before our cat did.  It was not happy but after it recovered it flew off.   I like to think this is the same bird and remembers the help : )  Or when these little babies get bigger I may just be hit with dive bombs from the mom.   I keep a watch out. I would like to get a couple of shots with all feathered out, well see : )

Have a good one
linda

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Bag of Fleece

My daughter brought over a couple of bags of fleece from her sheep for my Mothers Day gift.  I was  in the garden and all garden planting came to a stand still.  There was wool to tend to : ).  I'm hooked on this spinning adventure and have been a bit down cuz I ran out of wool to spin.   I almost thought of spinning dog hair, cat hair, dryer lint, anything to get back to spinning.  And today I'm a happy camper, I got bags of WOOL!

My first with raw wool, so heres what I did. I watched YouTube,  got the jest of what I needed to do and hit the bags. 

I started with the female sheep's wool , it was a bit more whiter.   Had some debris but not to bad.



Then came the cleaning, hot water, Dawn soap, dirty wool and you get a nice wool soup, yuck!


 This wash took the lanolin out and made some really white wool.   I had the wool dry out on my racks from the mini greenhouse.  Worked real good and was able to card and spin same day : )


Here I used cards that I have had forever, dreaming of this day to happen.  The left over debris falls out doing this and in the spinning.


My first roll.  Soooo soft.   This wool is from a Dorset hair mix.  Had some curly's and about a 4 or 5 inch staple.


 A basket full and I'm ready to spin!


I'm still not getting a consistent thin ply but I'm getting better, and with another bag and a half to practice , yeah!
I love this Ashford Joy 2, its was so enjoyable to sit out on the porch, listen to the thunderstorm and hope rain would hold back until I got a bobbin filled.    It did and I did 108 yards of yarn.  Put it on the Niddy Notty and will dye it up tomorrow.




Garden update:

Tomatoes and more tomatoes,  was a planting day until the wool came.  I did get a lot of things in and hoping there was not going to be a hail storm.  It passed and all was good.  I do have buckets to cover the plants just incase. 

Need to get the Winter Sowing in coffee cans planted. Just did a few cans today with more to plant out.  Altho a lot od plants in the WS, there was many that did not come up b/c of old seed.


Mothers Day:
Going out to see my Mom tomorrow, she is doing wonderful after her broken leg a couple of months ago.  Check out my sisters garden, have coffee on their porch and hear about how my BIL got to see a Bald Eagle swoop down and catch a fish at the pond he was fishing at.   How exciting to see that!  He had no camera : (

Have a great weekend, thanks for stopping by.

A very Happy Mothers Day to all the moms.
linda




Sunday, April 27, 2014

Spinning In The Woods


A couple of weeks ago I got myself a new spinning wheel, Ashford Joy 2 and I love it. Altho I got to work on my spinning techniques but having fun doing it.

I chose this one for easy handling to take out to my Outpost and camping.  It is so quiet and spins like a dream.  I spin outside and just listen to the birds and cows and sheep in their pastures, so very peaceful. I wish I had done this years ago.  

I have an older fairly tale type spinning wheel that I never got the parts for.  So my dream of spinning was put on hold for so many years and now I'm spinning : ).   DD is raising some sheep so I'll have wool and go from sheep to socks.

Here is my very first spun yarn.  Its from wool I had for some time and it was a bit compacted.  I dyed it and then carded and made rolags which made it easier to spin.  Still its rough and will make a nice little project.

After the spin it is then put on the Niddy Noddy and then twisted into a skein.   



This was a wool I spun, dyed and then did my first 2ply with a textured tread, it to is a bit on the rough side but was fun to do. planning to put beads on this one.

I'll call these practice yarns Art Yarn : ).   Someday I'll be making a thinner yarn that is even.   Dyeing the yarn and then on a blending board will make for some interesting yarns, sky's the limit

Morels are up and the hunting is on.  Hubby and I found about 80/85 and we just started yesterday, some today before the storms came.  They should be out tomorrow full blast.   

Gardening is going full blast to. With cold crops put out earlier, peas are up and onions.  Lettuce, radishes, carrots, potatoes, kale, garlic and herbs and lots of wild flowers and perennials.   The flowering trees are beautiful this season.  

With over 2 hundred heirloom tomato plants that will be planted around May 1st.  I plan not to put that many out this year and give the plants to DD.   

Winter sowing did OK but could have done better if I had newer seed.  I used a lot of older seed and will I took a chance.  But I'll be planting lots of plants from the WS.  Its a really good way to get head start on the plants.  I'm very sold on it and cuz works : )

More important of all is my Mom is recovering very well.  She is a trooper and does her therapy and it sure makes a difference.  She even helped my sister transplant tomatoes in her wheel chair.  She was very happy doing that.   Now she can use a walker and soon move on to a cane.  She'll be dancing before we know it : ).

We have some nasty storms today so I hope you all are safe and perfect weather.  Thank you for your visits.

linda

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Might As Well Knit

What do you do when your mom falls and breaks her leg and wait while a four hour operation is going on.  You knit and knit.  Pray and knit.   Its been an ordeal and mom is coming along really well for her age 87. She is spunky!  Mom is back home at my sisters and we take turns watching 24/7.   Pee breaks in the middle of the night with a bell ringing from mom. Sis and I would be sleeping in the living room with moms bedroom door open and jump up and run in, lift her on the pot.  Hats off to nurses and aids who lift their patience.  It really is a job. We are doing good along with nurses and therapist who come out and work with mom. 

So theres nothing but knitting to do when mom is sleeping and recuperating.  So I got a couple of different  socks made and now I need to make those second socks.
I'm making my socks a bit more challenging with harder patterns to follow.  So far so good with just a few glitches.

Ridge and Eyelet from Hand-Knit Socks by Threads Winter 2014, very easy



Periwinkle Picot from Love of Knitting  Spring  2014  designer Phyll Lagerman
This pattern I altered and did for a smaller foot.  I thought I was going to be in trouble but turn out ok.  Next pair I will use the correct yarn and follow the direction to the letter.  Was fun to do after I learn how the pattern went. 


 Tomorrow I'll be watching mom and I'll bring my knitting and work on those second socks : ).

Garden update:

Seed potatoes (Red Pontiac) are cut up and ready for the St Patrick's Day planting.  Rain, snow, sleet or sun shine I always plant the potatoes on that day.

Almost Spring!

Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day-- don't forget to wear green ; )
linda   

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Asking For Help Pays Off

I'm on a site that has many members from all over the world, called    Ravelry (click on).     Its a place  you can keep track of your knitting's and crochet projects, your own library , patterns , an outstanding data base and you can share and ask for help with many more features.  It is awesome.  I have already learn some new things and the one that I thought I would never understand and do is the cable stitch.  So heres 
the first attempt that had me working on  tell dawn.  I gave up and asked what was I doing wrong and in no time I had help and the answer by just a picture of what the problem was.

So heres the problem pic. The problem was the cable getting real tight. See how it is getting smaller.   If your a knitter you can see what the problem is just like a few members seen.  




After they told me I  was leaving out some rows (which I thought I was following) I finally got it quick : )  Heres the result of their help.  Now thats more like it and was so much easier to knit.  


And here is the finale project, a cabled headband.   I Can Cable Now, yahooooooo!
 

After sewing up the back I made my first knitted flower and added a vintage button. Its not perfect for sure so each time I'll do better on my knitting.  This was started in the evening Feb 28, and blocked it, March 1 I sewed the back up and flower.  So this is a very fast project.  Fun to do!

These will make great gifts. the next ones I'm going to work in some beads, the sky is the limit on cables.   Plans for cable socks and someday a sweater.   The pattern for this is on Ravelry (free) and was so easy to do.

Something I thought would be so hard was not at all.  Its about following the directions, having a little help to understand , I'm so very grateful for the help.   

I do hope you check out Ravelry ,, there are so many who enjoy helping and make it very easy to share.


Garden:

I picked up 100 lbs of seed potatoes today , Red Pontiac and  Kennebec .  I'll be giving half of each to my dd and I'll still have a lot of taters : ).

 Bulk seed :  picked this up today as well
Sugar Snap Pea
Denver 1/2 long
Boston pickling
Red Kidney Bean
Blue Lake Bean
National Cucumber
Kandy Korn  Corn
Kentucky Wonder
Purple Top White Globe Turnip
Mammoth Sunflower

Picked up a some seed starter mix and new trays for the heirloom tomatoes and peppers to start tomorrow.

A big snow storm is heading our way, wood stove going and all hunkered down with knitting projects : )

Have a great weekend
linda 



Monday, February 17, 2014

Forcing Spring



With snow on the ground this Forsythia is a warm welcoming of Spring to come.   Starting's from my grandmothers plant back in the 70's we now have many bushes that will burst with flowers this Spring.   But for now this handful of cut branches started in warm water inside will do just fine.   They bloom right on St Valentines Day, perfect!


New project:  Wool felting
I always wanted to do so I did a very small project from some wool my DD gave me.  She has the sheep so I'll have plenty of wool to play with.  I checked out some youtubes and was so impressed with how its done (looked pretty easy) and the creations ppl made.  Beautiful art.   Would be a great kid project!

This is a leaf 5' by 4 1/2" .  DD colored in beet juice, an experiment.  It turn a nice brown color and kept it color through the felting process.   She did well in the coloring.  Fun project to do and easy!


Watching the Olympics and knitting.  I finished a sock and now the that second sock.   Its always hard to do the second sock b/c I'm already to start a new one.   But its got to be done.   My goal is to start doing some fancy socks , that means a trip to the yarn shop : )


After the snow melts I'm keeping my eye on the ground for popping crocus and other early pop ups.

Have a great week
linda



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter Snow


We got a nice snow storm yesterday so I got my old showshoes off the cabin wall for a photo shoot.   Here they are in the snow with a pair of cuffed knitted socks I started during the Super Bowl and finished yesterday.  They went fairly fast.   The pattern is in Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush collection.   Called "The Road to Oslo"   Back in the 1920's skiers would wear these types of socks, the cuff pulls over their ski boots keeping the snow out.   I think the snow would go right into your foot faster.  No matter, I always get snow in my socks and feet no matter how hard I cover them up.

I love these snowed in days in the cabin.  Woodstove  keeping us warm with single digits outdoors. Makes it fun and peaceful knitting.  Until I run out of yarn and all these beautiful things to knit.   Next time in town will be to the yarn shop.  Would it be cool to have these new drones dropping yarn off by the cabin, I might like that ; )

My next challenge will be knitting 2 socks at one time on a single circular needles.  I have had the book for some time and I think I'm going to give it another shot.   Youtube helps on some of these techniques.  I need all the help I can get.  Plans on working more on Fair Isle patterns.  Lots of great patterns to work with. 
 

Here the snowshoes are on our porch with about 10" of snow.  These old snowshoes have not touched snow for many years.  They will go back on the wall in the cabin for the winter look and lots of history they must have had.   I have had them for many years and have no history on them other then decoration but I can imagine how they must have help someone through the deep snows.  Maybe a dad bringing food for his family from a far away hunt.   Mom keeping the cabin warm and kids doing their chores.  Happy to have their family back together.   I hang that on my walls.

 Winter sowing:
Well just what the doctor ordered, snow and thats just what the winter sowing needs.  Cat does not know theres coffee cans with seeds under that snow.  Probably could care less but I'm excited.   Snow will be good and before long there will be green plants ready to plant in the gardens.   Love Winter but oh boy Spring, it will be here soon. 


 

Thanks for dropping by, have a good one
linda
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