Saturday, August 21, 2010


There was the most brilliant sunset tonight: gone now. For a brief moment, the sky was was burnt orange.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I consider myself to be a fairly tough bird.

I'm not afraid of black bear and can handle a cougar well enough. I'm not squeamish with spiders. I can crawl into a rat infested crawlspace even if it does tend to smell terrible.

I can muck out a chicken house and inspect a mutated duck to find out what sort of monster ate it. The realities of farm life can be harsh but so far I have managed them.

However, there is one critter that does bother me. I only just found this out this week. I'm not exactly afraid of it, just slightly freaked out by it. So it's more of a physical reaction, rather than an emotional one. I see the little grey whiskered face peeping around the corner at me and I immediately go 'eek!'

That's the standard reaction for seeing a mouse, right?

Two cute little grey mouses cuddled up in my spice cupboard should invoke a little sequel and heart palpitations. Shouldn't it?

I think it's just the suddenness of the unexpected visitors that gets me. I don't mind them if I expect them.

The mice invaded the house Friday night and they are wrecking havoc all over the house. We haven't been able to find them to kick them out yet.

I don't mind so much that they eat our food. Most of their leftovers can be fed to the chickens.

What really bothers me - and I mean REALLY
bothers me - is the thing that has me in tears right now, literally sobbing as I write this. It is the thing they ate last night. The mice ate my silk!

Not only did the mice find, mess up, poop in, eat a substantial portion of, and violate my silk fibres ready for spinning. The silk they choose to eat was my beautiful hand dyed, bamboo and silk fibre that I saved up for. I've washed it and managed to save most of it. But still... it's just not Cricket.

What vial creatures mice are. I can forgive them everything else - after all, they are just doing what mice do, it's very honest. But eating my silk! That is unforgivable!

This means WAR!

just as soon as I stop crying.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

My new friend

For some reason this is the month for people to sell their antique spinning wheels. I've never seen a wheel this cheep before, so I had to go and have a look. Lovely! Needs a bit of love and it will be fully functional again.

This last photo is of a punch mark that was set into the wood, probably, by the maker of the wheel. I cannot quite make it out, maybe a little horse and a trident, or a THA?

I hate to admit it, but it's not the only wheel I bought this week. It is however, the only complete wheel.

If anyone knows of a source of spinning wheel restoration parts (particularly the miners head for a great wheel) I would love it if you would share it with me.

Also, where has that database of antique wheel maker marks gone?

something new in the house.

More about this later.

Sunday, August 01, 2010


I had a dream the other night. I was wondering in an enormous herb garden, full of vibrant, flowering plants, just as the sun was starting to rise. My stocking feet were heavy with dew from the clover and the garden practically sparkled with condensation.

Amongst the plants were beautiful sculptures, like large trumpet flours and funnels, each three or four feet high, but only a few inches thick at their widest part. Some of these sculptures were made of mettle, others, glass. Each of these sculptures had a hollow stem that settled in the dirt next to a plant, looking all the world like its sentinel.

When I looked closely at these sculptures, thinking that they belonged more on a science fiction show then in a herb garden, I noticed that they too glistened with dew and that the dew trickled down the trumpet, inside and outside of the stem, to the soil, watering the plant.

These beautiful sculptures were dew collectors and although they did not collect a huge amount of water, each morning they provided sufficient moisture for their particular plant to thrive in the heat of the day.

That was my dream.

Now I'm fascinated to learn if this is possible. You see, I am actually clearing some land for next year's herb garden. It's going to be quite large, and difficult to water in the summer. However, it does get a heavy dew every morning... if I could harvest that somehow... Has it been done already? I know there are plants that have a specific shape to capture the morning mist. Can we imitate these plants and create a water gathering system of our own?


Twist collective fall 2010

It surprised me to discover that the Twist Collective is two years old now.

Between The Twist Collective, Knitty and Ravelry, a knitter could hardly ask for more from the Internet.

One of the things I like about the Twist Collective is that the format feels like you are reading a magazine, only without the ink-stink. I also like that their patterns are pay-as-you-knit (yes, free is better, but if you have to pay, this is the way to go).

I love fall knitting, all those little hats, socks, fingerless mitts, sweaters and even better, cardigans. (the fall issue of the Twist Collective just came out) I'm even taken with a cardigan/coat kind of pattern which goes to show you that I need more time in a day to accomplish all the marvellous things that one can do with yarn.