As summer comes to a close, the sun is setting further south and can finally be seen dipping below the horizon here. Sunset is a very busy time at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. Everyone hopes for that perfect photo. One night people abandoned their cars on the road so as not to miss it since the parking lot was full. If I sit in the living room, I can see people running down the hill to catch their photos.
Rather than join the crowd lately, I have enjoyed my own views.
Sunset and bell reflection, and shadows on the bell house.
I march to my own drummer. This seems to be especially true when I swim. My watch tracks my path when we swim in Echo lake.
It’s almost a wrap and I am enjoying the beauty of these last few days.
I took a break from Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and went to visit Monhegan Island and its lighthouse. I have wanted to visit for years because we can often see it from Seguin Island and I romanticize about living there.
It is located 12 miles offshore and boasted a population of 64! in the 2020 census. on the way we passed Marshall Point Lighthouse.
I only had time for a day trip on the mail boat but it was well worth it. I visited the lighthouse, a few galleries and walked along the dramatic, southern cliffs.
The lighthouse museum devoted quite a bit of space to the women who lived there, which is often omitted from the histories. Maybe because it is HIStory! There were various kitchen implements, a spinning wheel and a couple of treadle sewing machines.
Fog settled in for my drive back to Acadia the next day and nearly obscured the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, a cable stay bridge. I know of two people who are afraid to drive over it. Maybe it would be less frightening if they couldn’t see it.
I sprinkled chili powder on my dahlias before I left and every night since. I’m not sure what the pollinators think but it has kept the deer from chomping off the flowers.
Drop spinning is a productive activity while I talk to people at Bass Harbor. Here are some of the fruits of my labors. Just like lighthouse keepers of yore.
Although I slept through the northern lights display, sunset was beautiful from the porch last night. I slipped out among the visitors, and snapped a few photos. Everyone was so busy taking their own pictures they didn’t even see me.
I hit my tipping point. Last year I bought a beautiful fleece at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival. Long grey locks with lots of crimp and clean with some lanolin.
Then a few weeks ago, a fellow spinner gifted me this beautiful, clean fleece, a 4th place Romney. Long locks, beautiful color and did I already say, clean.
Finally, the other day we received a box from Terhune Orchards. I thought it might be sweet, NJ peaches. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and found 10 pounds of raw fleece.
That was it. I had to clean these fleeces. I bought a plastic bucket and tub and a bottle of Power Scour. Yesterday was sunny with a light breeze so I broke up the day by processing two of them. The third is so clean I plan to comb it lightly and spin in the greece.
Here’s my production line.
I soaked them in hot water with the power scour, rinsed them, put them in pillowcases and spun them in the washer, then hung them from the clothes line in little hammocks made from sheets. It was too breezy to spread them on the ground.
After a day and a half indoors, it’s finally sunny and calm enough to let them finish drying on the front porch.
My fingers twitch at the thought of all the wonderful spinning and knitting I have in my future.
This is my last weather post for a while. It should settle into normal spring weather at this point, right? No more snow. Good old thunderstorms instead.
We had a slew of visitors, 4 sets, last week! The first set arrived the day we learned our well had bacteria in it. Ouch. I began boiling water and advising guests. Then the rains came and the rivers rose.
It was very dramatic at the local gorge.
I found a quiet moment or two to get back to spinning. The funny thing is, I don’t think I took this photo but there it was, on my camera. Very nice. Andre?
I am spinning a local alpaca fleece from the lock. I washed it last year or so and now I just grab a lock, flick it on a brush and spin away. I have been plying it with some Blue Faced Leicester and may dye it with my lichen stash. What will it be, what will it be?
The Indigo Bunting woke me yesterday and I managed to get a better photo of it later in the day. Dawn is about 4:30 here and the birds sing their little hearts out. Better than an alarm clock but I wish I could set it a little later.
Yesterday was a perfect day to spin outside and whatever I left behind was a gift to the birds for their nests.
I have plans to make a pair of leggings for a friend in South America, where it is almost winter. She wanted grey. Amazingly, I don’t have any grey yarn but I had grey roving and I spun it up into a worsted/bulky two ply. Not my best effort but I have let my spinning wheel languish for far too long. In order to wind a skein of my new yarn, I had to take a skein of Blue Faced Leicester/Alpaca blend off the bobbins. It is luscious and I have tons of it.
I think I bought a pound of BFL roving and I distinctly remember buying the alpaca fleece. There are several breeders in the area and when I saw an ad for alpaca fleeces I headed out to the address. To my surprise, it was a chiropractor’s office. I walked in and approached the receptionist. As if I was engaged in an elicit trade, I quietly asked if I was in the right place for an alpaca fleece. Sure enough, she pulled 3 bags full from behind the counter and I paid with my credit card. I cleaned it and carded it and have been gradually spinning it. I plied it with the BFL and think I’ll either knit a soft, cushy warm garment from it or use it as weft for a blanket. After I dye it. Perhaps with the lichen I have been collecting.
My braided rug is coming along. I tore strips from several old sheets and it will make a great rug for one of the bathrooms. I began with an old table cloth in the middle and it wasn’t the right weight or material. But it will remain as a reminder.
This little dress is on the needles and the baby has been born. It’s the Clara dress and is an easy, knit, great for meetings and travel.
We were spared the snow storm that affected southern New England and only saw a dusting of snow on Jay Mountain this morning. We caught the last of the season’s color on Friday before a gusty wind blew the remaining leaves off of most of our trees.
Last colorful hill
I have been up to my elbows in dog hair and don’t even have a dog. I am spinning some dog hair for a very dear friend. I am blending it with wool and think I am up to the last pile of it. I won’t be sad to see it leave the house. For some reason dog hair, which should be cleaner than sheep, alpaca or even wallaby, is less pleasant to work with. I find I always have a mild grimace on my face and try not to breathe too much through my nose, even though it’s been washed. When I was winding a large portion into a skein the other day, Tim’s head perked up, his nostrils flared and he kept swiveling around trying to figure what that smell was. A very dear friend.
A big gust blew most of the leaves off our white birch trees in one sweep. It wasn’t strong enough to knock down the wires but no worries, they are coming down anyway. Next week Tim and his brother are digging a 600 foot long ditch along our property so the power company can bury the lines which run in front of our house. I’ll be sure to take pictures. The scary part is, once they are underground, we own them, and have to be the ones to reconnect them to our house. I may be really off the grid next week.
Our record rains were reported on the news last night. I missed it. The rain has stopped and the weather today reminded me of a crisp fall day in Maine. It will be windy for the next few days and with a southerly wind (perhaps from Antarctica) and I had to find my wool socks again. Tim went off to do manly things and I hung around the house. He found some of the culverts we just cleared full of silt after the last downpour. I guess it’s back to the rock pile for me.
I spoke with the crew of a boat, which anchored at Erith Island last night, and gave them the weather forecast. it looks like they will be here for a few days. They made an ill fated attempt to leave this morning and encountered big seas and 30 knot winds. So they came back.
The garden is a big success. I’m pulling carrots out in bunches. I finished spinning a skein of alpaca on the drop spindle. And it’s sooo soft.
Here are photos of the turkish drop spindle, spinning, then being taken apart
to result in, like magic, a center pull ball of yarn. Lastly, I take both ends of yarn and spin them together again to ply the yarn (combine two or more strands together). So after about 4 days work, I have 100 yards of 2 ply, lovely alpaca yarn.