Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Killdeer nest

In the asparagus patch...Mom killdeer was not pleased that I took this picture!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Asparagus from the garden...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Before & After

My first re-footing project for PP. Men's stockings....foot was totally worn out. Ripped back to the ankle and re-knit the foot in a similar shade of green.

My quilt is DONE!

Project: Split Rail Fence Quilt
Started: Early March?
Finished: May 17
Notes: Quilt is strip-pieced. And I ended up machine quilting :-( I wanted to hand-quilt, but more than that, I wanted it done and it was all machine pieced anyway... I'm now using left-over blocks to make a pillow sham.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring Yellows

There are so many things growing and in bloom it is hard to keep up! The daffodils are out in full, the forsythia is noticeably yellower today than yesterday, but still mostly buds. Also, dandelions! The bats are out, Sunday night I heard a woodcock out by the garden, and there are painted turtles galore sunning themselves down by the pond.

Projects…I spent part of the weekend at Laura’s house where we encouraged one another to quit procrastinating and get something done on our myriad projects. I got the top of my blue and brown quilt finished, though I am displeased with it…I had a hard time with the ease on the curves and it puckers. Perhaps when it is quilted it will behave better.

And we spend a considerable amount of time on the porch knitting, too. I finished the Gunnister Gloves for PP…they are washed and blocked, though the dye (cochineal) on one of them washed out more than the other, so it will have another bath before I turn them in.

Last night I made some cloth napkins in appropriate spring yellows and greens out of some fat quarters:

Oh, and I set up a hammock on my screened porch, so if anyone is looking for me between now and say, October, that is where I am likely to be!

Friday, April 18, 2008

And Woodfrogs and Peepers!

Quite a racket last night....it would have been better if the restaurant hadn't been open doing some event (lots of cars in and out...noisy). But sure enough, there were woodfrogs quacking away and peepers peeping!

I took my other group of homeschoolers to the little island as well, and we got equally soaked. There were many more newts visible than on Wednesday - wer're talking HUNDREDS of newts! I really want to go camping out there - soon.

Daffodils are blooming up by East House.

And I did find the brown fabric for my blue & brown quilt. Washed it last night, so will perhaps cut the pieces out tonight, then work on it and maybe my big quilt at Laura's over the weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Yesterday I took my homeschoolers out for an adventure....there is a small, lovely, blueberry-covered island about 20 feet from the shore of one of the ponds, and a very shallow, rocky crossing place. Most of them were wearing rubber boots, and I piggy-backed the other two with sneakers. Well, we all got soaked anyway, but it was so warm that no one was in danger of freezing to death.

But the best part - the newts (Eastern Spotted, that is) are out! There was still quite a bit of ice on the pond, but there in the shallow bits were the newts, sunning themselves.

There were peepers galore in Plymouth this weekend, but none here yet that I've heard, though I didn't go out to listen last night.

Also in Plymouth this weekend I visited the PP Embroiderers. I had been reading the blog, but WOW in real life. I sat with them for about 3 hours and knitted while they stitched. I now have one glove done, and the gauntlet cuff done on the other. The yarn is handspun, dyed with cochineal and it rubs off on my fingers, turning them purple.

Oh, and the rhubarb and chives are coming up in the garden.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Blue & Brown

I spent the weekend at Laura's house working on projects. To her dismay, I seem to be obsessed with blue & brown these days. I decided to make the Color Wheel Quilt from "Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts" but with the color wheel in all blues and the background a deep, dark chocolate brown. I had about 40 blues in my stash, but only enough of about 35 of them. So I had to visit the Henniker quilt shop and buy 17 eighths (you need 52 wedges) to complete the wheel. Then I thought it would be easy to find the dark brown. No. Way. Even Keepsake didn't have what I was looking for. Grrr. Anyway, here is the blue part:

blue color wheel

It is actually still in four separate pieces in this picture...you have to put the inner circle wedges and outside border on before you sew it together, which, at this rate, with brown apparently being impossible to find, could be a while yet. (The dark one at about four o'clock in the picture look out of place, but it is actually a dark teal silk and fits in just fine when you see it in real life).

I'm also making the "Follow the Lines" quilt for my new baby step-niece out of a big flowery pink and brown print....

And I finished a pair of socks this weekend out of Trekking Hand Art colorway "Jamaika" (very bright!) Thanks for the yarn, Laura!

Also, good news, Michael picked up the yarn from the PP costume department for me to start knitting gloves. But he says he's holding it hostage until I finish some other projects.

Saturday I went to a flea market with Mom & Ed and picked up a jug of antique buttons - there were lots of ones I will probably end up using with students for craft projects, but I bought it for the treasures! Probably about 20 antique porcelain, some interesting glass, mother-of-pearl, and quite a few hand-drilled bone buttons, too.

Crocuses are up, and daffodils are on their way. Rivers are flooding. Definitely spring bird songs.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Testing, again.

Blogger wouldn't let me merge my Gmail and Blogger accounts, so I had to set myself up as a second Admin on my blog. We'll see if it works.

Testing, testing...

Does this thing still work?

I am inspired to pick up my blog again. I have (albeit slow dial-up) internet at home now, so we'll see what happens.

I am buried in projects: a quilt, spinning, and knitting, perhaps I will post some pictures one of these days.

And we are buried in snow....any bets on when the last snow bank will melt? August?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Reasons I'm a Bad Blogger

1. I don't have internet at home. I'm at work right now and feel guilty.
2. It's really nice outside most of the time. There are all kinds of green things out there and I like to go look at them.
3. When it isn't nice outside I am inside knitting or spinning or something.
4. My digital camera is on the fritz.

BUT it was nice to catch up with all those knit bloggers at NH Sheep & Wool this weekend. And apparently Laura has linked to my nearly non-existent blog, so if you are reading this - welcome - and I'll try to update more often.

Seemed that just about everyone was indulging in Golding spindles this weekend. I'm not a spindle collector, but I did have an idea for a custom Golding - two spotted salamanders carved in a really dark wood with yellow painted spots. I'll think about it.

Well, I'm off to dispatch my roosters (with some help). Attack roosters are unwelcome here (to be a docent rooster at this museum, one must be well-behaved). And docent hens should break themselves of the habit of stealing visitors' sandwiches, but we will address that issue later.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Paddling the Nemasket

Saturday Chris and I went canoeing on the Nemasket River in Middleboro, MA. He is working on an archaeological contract project in the area and, though we didn't go with them, were inspired to go canoeing because he had heard that this tour was being offered the same day.

We put in at the Oliver Mill and headed downstream. The fall colors were lovely and it was nice and sunny and warm. Well, so much for archaeology...most of the cool things we saw were faunal - a great blue heron that flew ahead of us most of the way, a painted turtle in the water, three deer swimming across, an eagle's nest on a high-tension power line tower, a baby salamander under a log where we stopped for lunch, lots of birds (including a wayward Muscovy duck), and a very cool colonial-era (I think) stone bridge that was a bit of a challenge to get under.

We paddled all the way down to where the Nemasket empties into the Taunton River and upstream a ways on the Taunton to pull out and have lunch. Then we headed back to the Nemasket and all the way back upstream (thankfully, very little current for my tired arms to fight against) and got back to Oliver Mill just as it was getting dark. It was a fun trip (though my canoe steering skills leave much to be desired - not that much experience, plus I got busy looking around at all the cool things there are to see and tended to steer us into the bank or a log or something - sorry dude!). Future trips now being planned!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Excuses, excuses

I really suck at being a blogger. No good excuse really, just that I have been super busy all summer with camp, transitions at work, spending time with friends and family, being outside, and all my fibery pursuits. Plus, there's that pesky issue of having to conduct all of my online stuff at work since I don't have an internet connection at home. And my digital camera is broken. I like the idea of having a blog, I read other people's blogs, but I get too busy to keep up my own. I'll try harder this fall!

So most recently I've been canning: applesauce, spiced pears, wild grape jelly, wild cranberry sauce, green tomato relish, pickles, peach jam, salsa - all sorts of stuff - yikes, I counted last night and I've done close to 100 jars in all! Nothing like my sister and her husband, though - they did 44 quarts of applesauce, canned over 100 pounds of tomatoes and other jams and jellies.

And I just got involved with some folks who are starting a farmers' market in town for next season - first meeting next Monday - exciting!

Then of course, there is the fiber stuff - I finally finished my sister's wedding shawl and have been making a lot of socks and getting a head start on winter gift knitting. I started a gansey, and have been soing some miscellaneous spinning. Too many projects, of course.

And it's fall - my favorite season. I love the chill feeling and smell of damp leaves. I've been spending more time lately exploring the property here, especially up on the northern end of the property around the ponds (that's where I found the wild cranberries!)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I made it!

Yes! I got to go to the NH Sheep and Wool festival! (I had to take a somewhat advanced emergency first aid/CPR class in order to get our summer camp license and it was scheduled for 9:00-3:30 on Saturday, but got out early at 2:00 so I zoomed to the fairgrounds!) I got there at 3:00ish, an hour before the gates closed, and ran through the flooded fairgrounds to find Doug, Laura & Pat's booth. Laura took me to the next barn to see some solid-colored sock yarn and on the way I became enamored with a 1 lb. bump of heathery rose-colored romney/blue-faced leicester/corriedale roving. I reached for my checkbook.....and it was gone! So was my Mastercard and my car keys. Yikes! So I turned and re-traced my steps to the entrance gate where the nice lady said someone had extracted said items from a puddle and turned them in. Whew! Luckily the other nice lady with the roving accepted my soggy check, as did Pat when I decided that an ounce of taupe cashmere from her dear goats was also on my spinning horizons. I also got to meet Mamacate, on whose blog I have been lurking, and was kissed on the cheek by a very sweet alpaca. Doug, Laura, Cindy, Pat and I returned to Laura's house for some spinning, eating and talking to cats - a pleasant evening.

Today I am at work at the Admissions desk because we are open for the season now. Except it's raining a lot in central NH this weekend - up to a foot of rain in some places. At least it's not snow, but there is a lot of flooding. People don't do the outdoor history museum thing in weather like this. Oh well...at least the lilacs are blooming.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Overdue update on spring...

So there was a Big Night on Sunday, April 23 (and probably Saturday, but I wasn't home to go check it out). We went down the trail behind the Trustee's office at about 9:00 with a flashlight and didn't see any spotteds at all. At the first pool we didn't see anything at first, and then.....we realized they were EVERYWHERE in the water! I've never seen so many salamanders in my whole life. We lost count. At the second pool we checked out a corner where I had seen some egg masses already and again saw a whole tangle of adults in the water and I was able to pick one up out of the water to hold for a minute - it's amazing how strong those guys are! The last pool probably had the highest population density - there was a branch in the water and it was absolutely swarmed with salamanders! No wood frogs seen, but they had already been out laying eggs (which at this point have hatched and there are tiny tadpoles in all the pools).

We have new baby chicks here -- see Laura's blog for some photos of her portion of the brood. We had to order a minimum of 25, so Laura took 9 and our land manager here at the museum is going to take about a dozen, leaving the rest of them here. We got the rare breeds mix from Murray McMurray so it is going to be interesting! I'm sure we have one White Crested Black Polish, a White Laced Red Cornish and some miscellaneous bantams.

Working on getting my garden together - not quite warm enough yet to put anything in the ground, and I need to prepare a patch up there. I'm so excited that I have HUGE compost piles to apply this year!

The museum opens a week from tomorrow - yikes! This winter has flown by. I need to get the Family Center up and running, but can't set anything up until we have the carpet cleaners come in. Until then it's just piles and lists of things to do.

The leaves are out enough now that you can hear the wind swish through them. Also heard the first tree frogs singing along with the peepers last night and noticed yesterday that the apple blossoms are about to pop!

I'll try to be better about posting, but there is so much to do!!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Amphibians on the move...

No Big Night yet, but there are some signs that our amphibian friends are out and about. I led a vernal pool walk today and saw 3 red-back salamanders, 2 adult eastern spotted newts, a green frog slowly emerging from its winter hole, several masses of wood frogs eggs, and could hear the woodfrogs clearly, though we didn't see any up close. One of the people in the group thought he saw a spotted salamander swimming in the water, but no confirmation and no salamander egg masses yet.

The forsythia is blooming today, as are the daffodils and maple trees.

On the fiber front, I have all but finished warping the Harrisville loom for dishtowels. I just need someone to help me roll the warp onto the back beam because I can't keep tension on (and untangle) the warp from the front and turn the back crank at the same time by myself.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Not yet...

Thought last night was going to be a Big Night for amphibians - I went out looking with the flashlight but I think it stopped raining too early and may have been a bit too cold. I did hear some distant woodfrogs and a few peepers! Soon, soon, soon! Today I had a vernal pool walk but only one family showed up - maybe next Saturday will be more busy. It wasn't the most pleasant weather today, not raining, but raw.

I did manage to start working on my sister's wedding shawl...it is the Bird's Nest shawl out of Folk Shawls in pale blue Silky Wool (Elsebeth Lavold).

And I did receive my new Ashford Joy via UPS on Tuesday! It's the best!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Random Update

Gosh, it's been a while. Pretty busy around here lately - I've been out and about too much to blog! I'll summarize the highlights...First, just to follow up from the last post, I did finish the back of Laura's sweater for the "Olympics" and now have a bit of the front done as well. We did our first Sheep Shearing Day on March 11 and had 200 people visit and learn about fiber/fiber arts (and see our sheep get shorn, poor guys!); Sugaring Off walks on March 25 drew in about 140 people, too. I'm really starting to notice that after about 2 1/2 years, people are catching on to our family programming at the museum.

I broke down and ordered and Ashford Joy from Copper Moose...according to UPS tracking it will be here tomorrow. They'd better be right! (I couldn't stand banging up my Traditional as I haul it around with me).

Still haven't warped the loom.

Still haven't started my dress for my sister's wedding.

But I did block out my Pi Shawl (will try to post a picture soon).

I went to Plimoth Plantation this weekend and also watched harbor seals sunning themselves in the warm spring sun in Manomet.

Speaking of which - IT'S SPRING!! Right now I'm all excited about my garden - I have most seeds, still need to order tomato and pepper seeds. Poplar trees are in flower, bulbs are pushing their way up, water is running, robins are out in the fields, red-wing blackbirds are at the pond, woodcocks are saying "peent, peent" in the evening. When I was in Manomet I heard peepers and woodfrogs....could be a Big Night soon!

Monday, February 13, 2006

All right, fine, I'm in....

So I decided to make a valient effort on Laura's aran sweater for the Harlot's Knitting Olympics. I may have mentioned this project before, but let me re-cap...when Laura moved to NH she had several raw sheep fleeces that she sent out to be made into roving. When they arrived I asked if I could play with a particularly nice gray romney and she said sure, "as long as you make something for me!" We decided a sweater was in order, one with fancy viking cables. I made a swatch in the form of a hat seen here with Asterix last year:

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So then I started the sweater and then had to rip it out because it was too big. Then I procrastinated for about a year.....So now I've started it again and am mostly done with the back. We'll see...

Also, I wanted to post a picture of my beautiful new drop spindle, made for me by one of our tour guides who is an excellend wood turner. It spins very, very well and for a long time. I managed to drop it and crack the shaft, but it seemed to glue nicely. The woods are curly maple, cherry, yellowheart and padouk:

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Warmer times ahead

After a run of spring-like weather, it's cold again today (but still not enough snow to do my animal tracking program this weekend). I do like winter but browsing through our photo files today, I found this picture which makes me want this weird snowless winter to be over:

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Toasty toes...

Here is one of each of my two most recent pairs of socks - both are from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Shurch. The one on the left is mossy-rock colored Koigu with mini-cable rib and the one on the right has 3 x 3 cables (with seed stitch in between) in Mountain Colors Bearfoot "flathead cherry" colorway:

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Yarn Kids...

My homeschool class with their KoolAid dyed yarn!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Field Trip!

Yesterday I went to Hancock Shaker Village in western Massachusetts. It was the first other Shaker Village I've been to. They are definitely not in full swing right now, but at least they do guided tours in the off season, whereas we are entirely closed. My tour guide gave me a behind-the-scenes tour of their Dwelling House which has sustained some pretty bad water damage in the attic - we are so lucky to have so many of our buildings restored! Overall the comparing and contrasting was fascinating...so many things were very similar to Canterbury, but they have some very differently designed buildings (the round barn - cool!). They are also a working farm - sheep, oxen, chickens, etc. so that gives it a whole different feeling. The gardens are a lot more prominent - you have to walk through them to get to the buildings, whereas ours are a ways out behind the village and many people never bother to visit them. Fun!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My "new" wheel

I'm trying to be more consistent with postings, so I figured if I can at least post a picture every other day or so, that would be a step in the right direction.

To that end, this is my "new" wheel...It needs a lot of TLC (it doesn't actually work right now). The wheel rubs against the diagonal piece of wood, among other structural things, and it needs to be refinished.

Every spinner needs an historically accurate wheel for demonstrations...(and one for traveling, and one or two to lend to friends who are learning to spin, and one for everyday spinning...) Right?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Today's eggs...

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Oxbow Initiative

Those of you, especially, that live in central NH should familiarize yourselves with the Oxbow Initiative. A co-op of towns in the area is proposing to build a solid waste landfill on the banks of the Merrimack River (and on top of a major aquifer) as soon as 2014. Does this sound like a bad idea to anyone else?


Last week I decided to try out a cochineal dye bath. Pretty crazy stuff really - the dye is made from the crushed bodies of a Mexican scale insect (Dactylopius coccus). I pre-mordanted the yarn (Knitpicks Color Your Own) with alum. Here is the dye pot on the stove:

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And here is the finished yarn...magenta:

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Some pictures...

Laura came to tea the other day and urged me to post these pictures of my coffee table (with knitting needles, plant, bowl of rocks, ball winder, swift, sock book on the couch, Twilly, etc.):

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And yarn stash in the Shaker built-in cabinetry (edited to put in Laura's picture...it's brighter):

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Kids & knitting

Last week I taught my homeschoolers to knit. They made their own wooden knitting needles with fimo clay end-caps, then I cast-on for them and they learned the basic knit stitch.

During the first class one little 7 year-old boy finally got the hang of it and said to me, "does this mean I'm making a scarf?" When I assured him that he was, he was so excited that he jumped up and bolted down the hall to the room where some of the moms work with younger siblings, "MOMMMMMMM, I'm making a real scarf!!!!" The excitement level is so great!

Next week we'll continue with our scarves and KoolAid dye some yarn to add to them. Should be fun & hopefully I'll have some pictures!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Socks, socks, socks...

Now I'm on a sock kick and it's all because of these:

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"Little Lace" socks from A Gathering of Lace.

It smelled like spring outside today...mmmm. Then again, it's January -- that can't be a good thing. I went for my first snowshoe expedition of the year on Saturday -- explored around out behind the museum -- even out onto a solidly frozen pond. It was beautiful.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Happy New Year!

Back to work after a week off...kind of nice to be back, though I did have a lot of time to catch up with people...my sister and I went to Cape Cod to see my dad's side of the family there; my Granddaddy came back from Florida so I spent a day with him watching college football; my Mom and I spent a day checking out yarn shops and looking for fabric to re-upholster a second-hand chair she got me for Christmas; Michael and I spent New Year's eve day driving around northern New Hampshire; and I spent a day catching up with a friend from high school and her one-year-old (picture coming soon!)

I also had time to work on projects! I started winding warp for cotton/linen dish towels:

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And have almost finished a pair of lace socks from A Gathering of Lace:
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Now I'm planning for February vacation camp, spring preschool programs and spring family progams like animal tracking walks, maple sugaring demonstrations, sheep shearing day, and vernal pool walks in April.

Finally, some cat shots; Curious Twilly with the sheep scarf my sister made for me:

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And the lovely Abbey with daffodils:

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Friday, December 09, 2005

First big snowstorm

Snow, snow, snow...by noon today there was a foot on the ground and it's still coming down (or sideways rather, it's windy, too). Messy and cold but very pretty (and it means I can go snowshoeing soon!) No excuse for me not to go to work today since I live next door, but pretty much everyone else stayed home today! I did manage to get a lot of work done with no one else around to ask me questions :)

I joined the knitting group in town in November which has been a lot of fun -- good to get to know fellow knitters. Mostly I've been working on my Shetland Tea Shawl from A Gathering of Lace. It's almost done -- I'm working on the edging!

On the spinning front, I taught a drop spinning class for three people at the Center for Traditional Arts on Monday -- it went reasonably well -- the one guy was really into it, the two women were seemingly not as interested, but it was a good experience anyway. A lot of people here at work want me to teach them to spin, so we'll have to figure something out for after New Year's. It would be nice to start a spinning group, too.

I loaned my digital camera to my sister, so no pictures, but I did intend to post a picture of my "new" spinning wheel. It's actually a very old spinning wheel that needed some love. I have been looking for a reasonably priced junker that I can fix up for a while now and the other day Michael alerted me to it's existence at a an antique shop in Northwood. I went to visit it, didn't buy it, and then went back a few days later and found it was on sale, so it has a new home now! It will need some work to the wheel, a new driveband, and eventually to be refinished.

I've also been working on the gray alpaca fleece from Wool Day at the Village. Hand-carding, spinning, then washing the yarn -- just looking at and handling the fiber you wouldn't notice how horribly dirty it is, alpaca isn't greasy like sheep wool.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Yesterday evening...

...I went out to put in the chickens

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and then headed down to the pond to feed the swan. When I got to the top of the hill I saw a strange animal swimming in the pond
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which then emerged on the bank near me
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a moose! So glad I had my camera! When she saw me she took off and I went on down to feed the swan
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On the way back I took some pictures of the Village, since I promised to when I first moved here and hadn't gotten around to it -- it was a lovely evening!
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