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With the first of four Aldo Leopold benches we have built before we knew there were plans readily available. I had copied a comfortable bench we found on Seguin in 2008 and drew up my own plans.

Today Wednesday Warriors arrived and worked on the tram, sumac, windows and museum. It was a whirlwind, sprinkled with several boatloads of visitors.

By sunset, we were on our own. And what a sunset it was!

Island bound

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We arrived on Seguin Island with all our possessions dry and intact for a 12 day tour. Weather forecast looks good, sunny but rising seas. May give us a few days to ourselves.

The Island has been well cared for. We have to search for projects. What a treat!

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I’ve been dreaming of weaving inkle bands for straps, bags, and so many other options. But I don’t need another loom. I already have (ahem) a few. I considered trying to modify my rigid heddle loom but then decided I could do it just as easily on the copper loom I made for card weaving.

I lashed a rod to the base to hold the string heddles and lashed another bar to the top support for the warp separator. I didn’t initially appreciate the need for the warp separator but without it you would have only one warp “shed” and would be simply passing string back and forth without changing anything.

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Once I got that straight, I wove a little band. I quit early though, because the yarn I used was too fuzzy and kept sticking to itself.

This is all part of travel planning. We’re lighthouse bound and I have to choose a few projects to bring. They must be easy to transport and fun. Maybe I’ll stick to knitting a pair of socks.

I splice

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We needed a new traveler line for the boat with an eye splice. I’ve grown to love marlinspike seamanship, otherwise known as ropework. I found a simplified method in a chapter of a book I found online. Plus i get to use the old lines to weave mats.

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Summer is almost over, the crowds have left and kids (and sorry, teachers) are back in school. So we took advantage of some time off and spent a few glorious days in the woods. We hiked to waterfalls, a gorge, lots of ponds and a mountain, with lots of swimming along the way.

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I packed light with a pair of shorts with zip on legs. However, one zipper was broken and my exposed leg was enjoyed by many mosquitos at dusk. Luckily we had a bandage in our pack and I taped the leg to the shorts but couldn’t make any fancy moves for fear of another mosquito feast.

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We returned to my bountiful garden where there is not much left to do except remember to harvest now and then.

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I’ve used some of my flowers to dye yarn with, so far, mildly disappointing results. I used colorful zinnias, dahlias and day lilies (with an alum mordant) all of which produced a yellow dye.

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I saw so many mushrooms during our hike, I want to learn about mycopigment. In the meantime, I’m soaking various lichen I have collected in ammonia to see what they produce. Early results are promising.

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Wild and weird

Summer ticks away. The garden is nourishing us. Today we had pizza with home grown tomatoes, purple basil and oregano (thank you Janice).

Sunflowers were planted for dyeing but they are too pretty to behead just now.

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I’ve been experimenting with my top load updraft gasification stove for cooking dyestuff outside. With my newest rendition, I boiled water in 6 minutes and had jets of gas burning across the top but won’t be able to sustain a flame for an hour. The “top loading” is the problem. You load sticks from the top, which means you have to keep lifting the large stock pot to add more fuel. Nope.

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It did satisfy my pyro tendencies for a day however. Now I’m planning a cinder block rocket stove. There are lots of metal varieties but I don’t weld or snip metal very well.

I had to tell this American Carrion beetle, “I’m not dead yet!” It was marching across my front porch while I worked outside.

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They don’t usually have “tails”. Not sure what was coming out the back door but it was icky.

Spiders, coyotes and turkeys are up to shenanigans. The coyotes are becoming too bold; hanging around in broad daylight. Today Tim counted 33 turkeys cross the yard and I encountered this spider web down the road.

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We needed a kitchen rug to absorb my spills and cushion our feet. I had already cut the the top logos off about 9 of my old tee shirts with the plan of sewing a tee shirt quilt.

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Then a pattern for a tee shirt rug arrived in my mailbox in the latest Handwoven Magazine. The math and sampling were already done – by someone else!

Yesterday I warped my loom with 3/2 cotton and cut the tee shirts into 1/2 inch rounds. I looped the rounds together to make a “yarn”, two layers thick.

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In a couple of hours this morning, I wove my new rug. Now onto that quilt.

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Details: 332 ends at 12 epi
2.5 yard warp, plain weave
1/2 inch tee shirt loops
27″X 45″ on the loom

Reaping and sewing

My latest gift quilt has been delivered and used for a few nights.

20140815-081141.jpg I managed to prevent Tim from running off with it and installing it in his cabin. Patience.

In a mad rush, I thought I would sew a dress for the weekend wedding (the day before). I hesitated when the pattern had 13 pieces and should have stopped when I realized they all had duplicate lining pieces for a total 26 pieces. I got all the way to the hem and decided not to wear it. Now I can leisurely hem it and restrict wearing it to when I clean the house.

The garden is providing plenty of green beans, arugula and tomatoes are just starting to ripen.

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And the flowers are to dye for.

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Sew old, sew new

I used my new(ish) serger and my antique treadle sewing machine to make a portable toddler high chair. I found the pattern at Made by Marzipan. It won’t fit every chair but may fit most. I had something similar when my kids were babies and found it very useful.

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My next one may use a longer wrap to accommodate all chair shapes. I ‘ll see how this one works first.

There was a coyote in the field across the road this afternoon. I’m usually casual about leaving my cat, Loki, out when it’s light but saw this disturbing video today and rustled him inside. They’re howling outside as I write.

Flowers are blooming. I haven’t had the heart to pull off their pretty heads to create dye baths.

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Maybe next year. So far, I have only processed purple basil; there wereno flowers to sacrifice.

Sailing lessons

More specifically, sailing knitting lessons. Lesson number one. Save colorwork for calm moments. Multiple balls of yarn become a tangled mess when thrown into the cabin when all hell breaks loose.

Lesson number two. Time flies and you’ll never accomplish all you plan.

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Lesson number three. Enjoy these moments.

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