Weaving between storms

I was very excited to attend an overshot weaving workshop at Red Stone Glen fiber art studio in western Pennsylvania – 7+ hours from home. 

First my car was declared unsafe to drive by my mechanic and had to be left behind for repair. We high tailed it up to Plattsburgh INTERNATIONAL Airport where I picked up a rental car.

I sorely missed my deer whistles en route while I saw live and not so live deer along the highways. And I missed my EZ Pass. Did you know it costs $15 to drive across PA. No bridges or tunnels, just highway with deer. I don’t appreciate how muc tolls cost when I breeze through in the 65 mph lane. 

And I spent 4 hours cautiously driving through this storm.   

But I arrived at my cabin on a lake at Gifford Pinchot State Park unscathed. And I never met the prey in my bedroom. 

  
I brought projects from home to work on in the evenings. 

  
I enjoyed mornings on the lake with coffee.   

And wove for 2 full days to make this beautiful overshot shawl. 

   
 Now I’m visiting my precious new grandson (and his parents) but may need to skedaddle in my rental car without deer whistles or snow tires because 10″ of snow is forecast at home!

These are a few fall shots from home. 

  
The mighty Boquet (that’s BO- kwet to you southerners) at sunset. 

  
Our local morning rainbow. 

  
Our cute little cabin in the woods. 

  
And at night.  

 Bet you can’t spot the deer in our yard. Get out the whistles!

 

Blazing through fall

The leaves changed color in breathtaking beauty and hung out for a while.  Now we’ve had our first snow and many, but not all, have fallen.

  
  
  
I haven’t said much about felines lately but they gave me a run for my money this month. My 14 year old cat, Loki, was  declared doomed by the vet. I almost left him there to be euthanized it was so grim. But I chose to bring him home instead. AND HE MADE A COMPLETE RECOVERY!  Lucky guy that one. 

  
While I was away playing with my new grand darling (thank you Shirley for that lovely phrase), Tim texted to say he couldn’t find little Elli and she was going to have to spend the night out. We don’t have lions and tigers but we do have coyotes, martens, fishers and bears, all of whom would find her little fat body a treat. Tim texted me, “Good luck Elli, good night Lynne”. She survived and came home to my call. Then stayed in for 36 hours. 

  
Friends and family chipped in and helped with the insulation layer of my earth oven. We “emptied” a few wine bottles for this layer and then I covered it with a clay-hay mixture. What fun playing in the mud. I need another layer to even it out. 

First I cemented a ring of river rocks on the base Tim helped me with. 

  
Then filled it with wine bottles and clay-hay. A good time was had by me but it was moderately back breaking. 

  
  

 

We celebrated by having the last of our single malt scotch from Tasmania in the cabin. Tim shanghaied me from my other projects to make insulated curtains to reduce the cold wind whistling through the windows and I got to see them hung on their cedar branch rods and brackets. 

  I’m knitting and felting a gaggle (15 pair!) of crab themed slippers for my darling daughter and an army of her friends. 

  

  But today I’m off to “work” to relax and fund my habits.  

Full gear

It took a little while to acclimate, reassess and see what needs to be done on Seguin. There’s always something. 

My door is finished and I’m very happy with it. I had to replace the board to the right of the door. I got to rip and cut wood on the first power saws I ever used, back in 2008. Here’s the reveal:

  
Once again I had a garter snake encounter but this was more of a stand off. It coiled and hissed at me because I disturbed its peaceful rest: around, under, and probably inside the pump house. 

  It got foggy.  Tim turned on the fog horn to lull me back to sleep – vhf 83, click 5 times. 

   
    
 We’ve had visitors this fall including some we’ve met on the island before. 

The Wednesday warriors arrived, just after sunrise, with a solar set up for the Clivus composting toilet down at the cove. It’s a good thing because without the fan the outhouse was less than its usual pristine self. Guess who got to install it? The support person at Clivus was awesome. I called him several times throughout the process. And we’re back in “business”.

  
   
 After the fog cleared, painting began. 3 porches and one to go. We had overnight guests; visitors can arrange to stay here through Friends of Seguin, who really appreciated and took in the whole island. 

In the meantime, Tim mowed, weed trimmed and kept the place in shape. We’ve run out of data on our plan so we spend the evenings reading, knitting or weaving (me) and playing cards and trivial pursuit. 

Here are my island creations so far. 

   
    
   
Shoelaces!

And then of course, there is always lots of sky watching. 

   
   

 

The simple things

The simple things make life pleasant. I made this alpaca silk tank as the first addition to my wardrobe in 2016. I’m no Victoria’s secret model so here it is on a hanger. It feels way better than it looks in this picture. Warm, and well, silky! Alpaca silk tank

We are taking care of our adorable little grandson for a few days and yesterday, the library ladies referred to me as his mother. Yeah! I still have it, at least with the library ladies. I can’t really play with my big toys while he is here but can still knit and spin a little. At a friend’s suggestion, he’s “sewing”. I cut a piece of rug canvas, taped the ends of some yarn and let him sew away. He mainly drags it around as a way to lure the kitten but calls it his sewing. Perhaps we have a budding fiber enthusiast.

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I sent off my shadow weave scarf. The fact that the colors were too close in value was very forgiving. I had a problem with the warp at the end and had to cut it off the loom a little earlier than planned. C’est la vie.
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I used the down time to finish some projects. I made this little sweater and blanket for my stash.
Dogwood blanket

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Dogwood on bench

My life is so simple these days, my equilibrium was thrown off by a lost, hand made glove. Of course I may have to move to Canada in November.

Look how pretty

Sometimes it’s fun and educational to follow a knitting pattern as written.  I rarely do and end up with a variety of results.  Not so with my most recent hand knit projects.  The patterns are from Brooklyn Tweed kids and are beautiful and a fun knit.

The first is a young girl’s sweater, Petal.  It all began when a niece requested another sweater for her daughter, in white please. Well she also has a son, and a sister with two boys. You see how it goes.  One white sweater became four.  I had fun planning the projects.  

Here’s Petal.

  
Look at those details. Not your average circular yoke cardigan. I have a cone of lovely sock yarn from Webs I’ve been using for all sorts of projects and it really softens after washing.

The next is Wyatt.  I liked the Henley style and stitch pattern.  I happened to have some yarn recycled from a girl’s dress made of cotton, cashmere and angora that is machine washable. It knit up beautifully and I have some left over for a soft hat.

   
 
Now for the older boys.  I wanted to knit sweaters on my two knitting machines. One can handle worsted and bulky weight yarn.  I found a nice raglan sweater on the Webs’ sight and converted it to work flat.  I liked the bold stripe and, since the boys are big Islanders fans, I incorporated their team colors.  It worked out beautifully.  What a way to sail through all that stockinette. The pattern is Jonathan.

  
Finally, I wanted to do some stranded color work on my knitting machine that works with fingering weight yarn.  I saw another pattern I liked in Brooklyn Tweed called Carson, which appealed to me because of the way the colorwork was used in the hem and sleeves.  But it was too small and a little tricky to convert.  I decided to make my life simple and knit a modified drop shoulder sweater with a V-neck.  Then I found a stranded pattern I liked in the book, Traditional Knitting by Michael Peirson, and made a punchcard to work with my Passap Dm80. I kept the neck detail from Carson, which rolls a little.

 
The first two sweaters took two months.  The last two, four days!  
Now I can finally get back to working on Tim’s quilt for the log cabin. 

It’s clean up time

Our departure date is set. The new caretakers arrive Wednesday and we leave Thursday. We’ll get to sleep in the new bed we built for the visitor’s house when we move next door.

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We shoveled and swept sand from the jetty road since we had 116 mm if rain in May. I also found a dead possum and tossed it into the tussocks. Let’s just say I had to shovel the loop of intestines as well. No such thing as paradise. I hope it wasn’t this cutie pie who wanders by our sunroom every night.

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We’ll be busy these final days cleaning and moving. Our food stores worked out surprisingly well. We didn’t run out of anything. I bought too much jam and feta cheese but that’s OK. We are making dinner for the new crew tomorrow and I have to work out what to cook with supplies on hand. Probably a pasta bake, fresh bread and apple pie.

Tim submitted our final report to the ranger and I added a photo of my kitchen improvement. The corner of the stove exhaust fan can surprise you at times.

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I finished the body of my shetland shawl and grafted the two pieces together with the kitchener stitch, can you say “knit, purl, purl, knit” 210 times!?

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Now I’m knitting the edging. It will be lovely. It’s soft as a cloud and warm.

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Now I’m off to clean and do laundry.

All the stockings were hung

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On an old halyard line and tied to our loft railing. And it worked. The line was lowered to loot the stockings then raised again out of our way. I may store the stockings on the line so they are ready for next year.

We celebrated early, so everyone could be together, and had a blast. Early, meant I had to finish projects by mid-December, and as a true procrastinator, things were down to the wire. I spent some late nights at the loom.

I finished weaving 6 towels (one for me) and never took pictures of them finished. Mine was a sampler and has all the different weave patterns. It’s also a little dirty because it is in use.
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I made pin cushions for my quilting buddies with woven fabric I had saved.

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The cloth is stretched over a little embroidery hoop, stuffed then glued on a base.

I ended up making three pairs of (to be) felted clogs.
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We have a variation on a white elephant exchange with my hand made goodies. I wrap 8 hand made items and then people open and either keep or exchange them. The sock loop rugs were a hit.
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I crocheted a fox hat/cowl and made a little panda hat but never photographed it.
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Somewhere along the way, I got a Passap single bed knitting machine and now all is lost. I can’t even knit a hat!

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Busy, busy

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When the cat’s away, the mouse will play!

Tim’s off hiking in the Grand Canyon and I’ve been tackling mounds of projects. My woven cloak is finished and shipped. I kept dark fur for the collar. I wove straps, with the hope of including a wolf and falcon, but the pattern didn’t turn out as expected. Ah well.

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But they are still pretty. I sewed 2 D-rings for the closure and they snug up well.

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Several baby gifts left the premises. I made another back zip sweater and a couple of hats for the older siblings.

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These blankets went off to swaddle a new set of twins.

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I marbleized the wall behind the wood stove because it was all marked up. It was a fun process and I felt very creative.

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I’m pretty happy with it. I’ll see what the man of the house thinks.

Best of all, I know my hiking spouse is safe because he is traveling with a SPOT, which is like a personal EPIRB. I received a message Saturday night that he was fine and linked to a map which showed me where he was.

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Better tidy up before he gets home.

Southbound

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After a brief hiatus at home and work, I hit the road – flew in the air – to visit my darling daughter.

I tied up lighthouse projects before I left. In addition to repairing picnic tables , glazing and painting windows, mowing trails and making scaffolding marginally safe, I knit two hats, tried two panda patterns (one of which I rejected because it wasn’t fun to knit) and wove a potholder.

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Now to see what projects Chelsea has for me at her new apartment.

Water girl

Since traveling downstate, I’ve been ON the water, while we sailed the east end, IN the water, when I swam in the ocean off Fire Island, and, yesterday, BY the water of Manhattan.

I was in THE city and walked along the Highline Park, which is a reclaimed, elevated railroad track that spans about 20 blocks, just off the Hudson River. The gardens are spectacular and surrounding graffiti, whimsical.

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I continued south along the Hudson River Park, which is at the water’s edge

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and paused for a while to begin knitting a(nother) pair of Hedera Socks by Cookie A, one of my favorites. I think I’ve given two pairs away so never have any left for myself. It’s still available free from Knitty and has an easy lace pattern.

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Finally, I wandered through Soho and the Village.

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What’s a water girl doing in the mountains?