Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ahhhhhh.... holidays! This year's hiking and camping trip is to the Pacific Northwest where we are starting with Mt. Rainier National Park. The flight in was clear and beautiful, but then more typical weather took over for yesterday and this morning. The sun is showing itself in spurts.

There are lots of great waterfalls in the park, including Sylvia Falls below. The trees are giant, old, and spectacular, often towering almost 200 feet above our heads. It is difficult to get perspective without a person in the picture or just being there. The sun showed itself just as we hiked to Box Canyon. Just behind are the hints of the mountain!

Happy hiking/ camping/ vacationing!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blogging on my phone...

The world is a truly astonishing place. Who would have ever guessed that one could write and take pictures on a lazy Saturday morning and have it broadcast all over the WORLD... using a TELEPHONE!!! That very thing is what I am attempting right this minute.

Let's go look at the garden.

Some of the yummy veggies and pretty flowers that I have around here.

And here are some alpacas for good measure.

Stay cool. Hopefully this heat wave will break soon!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yarn Along - 2

Hooray for Wednesday! Why? Because I am joining the Yarn Along at Small Things again this week. So much fun!

Yes, I am feeling a little ADD about my knitting this summer, as this is the third unfinished project on parade. I am hopeful for a fast turn around on this one though... This week's knitting is the Wayfarer Scarf by Jared Flood. I am using some of the hand spun yarn that was gifted to me last weekend (see yesterday's post for details). I love the variability of undyed hand spun yarn as some different colors stripe themselves into the knitting. So far I am loving both the wool and the pattern. This is only the third brooklyntweed pattern I have tried, but I am always amazed by how much I am learning about construction, or in this case, stitch patterns.

Today's book is The Solar Food Dryer by Eben Fodor. Constructing a food dryer still seems awfully daunting to me. I think I will wait until a friend who knows his/her way around a toolbox and construction is on site to help me with this one. But the whole concept of harnessing solar energy is fascinating to me.

Hope summer is treating everyone well!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wooly Wealth

Last weekend was not only filled with family, but I also received some unexpected fiber-related treats.

These hand cards belonged to the great great great grandmother of my step father-in-law. His mother wanted the cards to go to a home in which they would be appreciated, which they certainly will be here! The woman who originally owned the cards is Cynthia Catlin Miller and she lived from 1813-1883 in Warren County, PA. She was an abolitionist who established the Female Assisting Society and the Ladies Fugitive Aid Society in Sugar Grove, PA. Her son Franklin Richard Miller founded the Miller Foundation Tree farm, the first tree farm in Pennsylvania.

The cards have "Sargent & Co, New York" printed on them with a galloping horse in the middle. It is unclear which era of the Sargent Company produced these cards. One article reads that J. B. Sargent's father's company made wool cards for the mills in the New England area. When J. B. Sargent took over around the 1860's, it sounds like the company he headed made more hardware and locksmith items. At any rate, the cards can be solidly attributed to the early to mid 1800's.

While the cards are in excellent shape still, I will DEFINITELY NOT be using them for carding fiber. The leather holding the metal teeth is in good condition, but the teeth are just a little rusty. They will serve as a nice decoration in my study!

A friend of my mother's friend is a very active spinner in Maryland. She must have run out of space to store all of her yarn goods, and so she is passing some of them along to me. I am very grateful, as I was about to order another batch of Jared Flood's lovely American-made SHELTER yarn for a hat and scarf project. I am sure, however, that he would approve of me using handspun, American made yarn for his Fortnight hat and Wayfarer scarf patterns in place of the SHELTER yarn.

She prepared some of the yarn for sale at the Maryland Wool Show in 1990. The little tag on the gray yarn states that it comes from a Copworth Gray sheep named Norman. The brown skeins come from a Romney Brown sheep named Helga. It's fun to have a "personal connection" to the yarn one is working with.

So now, if you will excuse me, I think I will cast on a project!

Monday, July 4, 2011

1,000 Shells

This past weekend, a second cousin of mine came to visit my parents. I had not seen him since 1993! We showed him several attractions in the area, beginning with the birthplace of Thomas Edison in Milan, OH. This 1,000 shell knit afghan was made by Edison's mother for his sister's wedding on what appeared to be size 000 needles... I can only imagine the amount of time this must have taken. I am assuming that she probably spun the yarn for this project as well. So. much. work.

Here is a close up. It takes one's breath away... (Clicking on picture will make it larger. A second click on the photo, even bigger and more magnificent.)

In the afternoon we checked out the Marblehead Lighthouse and had a lovely dinner at Mon Ami. And then played some music to round off the day.

The weekend was great! Happy Summer!