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Take a break

Summer is all too short.  After a long, cold, dark arduous winter, the carefree days of summer fly by way too fast.  There’s so much to do, besides quilting, knitting, weaving and spinning.  My dye garden is beginning to bloom.  Now I have to be willing to cut off the flowers instead of enjoying them in the garden.  We’ll see how that goes.  I’m even conflicted about weeding.  Some weeds are just too pretty to pull.

Tim had to bribe me to go sailing the other day.  I’m not sure why it was so hard to leave home but I was engrossed in a couple of projects. I went and it was glorious.  The breeze was steady and consistent, as usual there were hardly any boats on the lake and we swam when the boat was tucked away.  And I collected my bribe: dinner on the water.

Yesterday, I went paddling on newly acquired state lakes with some old and new friends. It was a beautiful day.  I counted ten loons, three swims, three beaver lodges and one dam holding back at least four lakes.

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There was a neat culvert, which ran under a road, between two lakes.  I, of course, had to do my echo cry.

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A lot of time was spent paddling through lily pads and watching frogs splash into the water.

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Thankfully, rain is predicted for today and I can take a break from all this outdoor fun.

 

 

Blueberry crop

Three plants may yield 4(!) blueberries if the deer don’t get them before me.

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I hope the rest of my garden yields more.

Aerobic crafts

The new belt for my treadle sewing machine arrived and I was motivated to clean, oil and get her working. I even had a project in mind. A small zipper bag I found through pinterest.

It took two attempts to get the belt the right length. It ‘s probably still a little loose but I ‘ll give it a day or two before I shorten the leather belt again.

There’s definitely a learning curve to get the gears to spin in the right direction. That, coupled with thick fabric and a loose belt, made me treadle myself into a lather.

But I made a cute little bag and my machine shines.

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And I still went for a run later in the day.

In the trunk of my car. Wonder how it got there?!

Just when I decided to part with my 1951 rotary sewing machine and replace it with a treadle machine, a treadle machine was listed on Craigslist. Sadly it was for sale in a town in Vt, an hour and a half away, that I had been in yesterday! Alas it was still meant to be.

I saw two pictures and only asked if the needle moves up and down. It does. So away I went.

Although a little dusty, it sews beautifully. All the parts move smoothly and I only have to replace the belt, which is under $10. It was made in 1910 and is known as the “Red Eye” because of its ornate decals.

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It included lots of useful accessories; my favorite is this cute little oil can.

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The best think is it only cost $50. Bring on the power outage!

Water girl

Since traveling downstate, I’ve been ON the water, while we sailed the east end, IN the water, when I swam in the ocean off Fire Island, and, yesterday, BY the water of Manhattan.

I was in THE city and walked along the Highline Park, which is a reclaimed, elevated railroad track that spans about 20 blocks, just off the Hudson River. The gardens are spectacular and surrounding graffiti, whimsical.

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I continued south along the Hudson River Park, which is at the water’s edge

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and paused for a while to begin knitting a(nother) pair of Hedera Socks by Cookie A, one of my favorites. I think I’ve given two pairs away so never have any left for myself. It’s still available free from Knitty and has an easy lace pattern.

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Finally, I wandered through Soho and the Village.

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What’s a water girl doing in the mountains?

Armed

One laceweight sleeve completed for my sweater, one to go. It was a handy project to knit while sailing because the yarn was so light it floated in the breeze and showed the wind direction.

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This poor little lighthouse, Cedar Point, in East Hampton, one of the wealthiest communities in the country, lost its tower and doesn’t have the money for repairs. Tsk, tsk.

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Weather

Is experienced fully with body and mind aboard a boat. A delightful sunny day turned from this:

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To this:

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Winds picked up, water turned green, happily after we were safely anchored and had swum and taken a tour in the dinghy.

These clouds were a dead giveaway there was something brewing.

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Sunset was beautiful despite (or because of) the whistling wind.

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Cruisin’

We love sailing on Lake Champlain but have the privilege of sailing a friend’s boat this week in the sea. My hair is frizzed, my skin is sticky and I’m in my glory at a beautiful anchorage.

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Stash busting

I wish.  But I have made some inroads.  I started a queen size quilt yesterday using only material from my shelves.  I have to make more room on those shelves because I acquired two nifty fiber devices last week.

First, a neighbor passed along a Brother 929d serger via freecycle.  She thought it had some issues, but I read the manual, threaded all four strands carefully, spun a few knobs, watched to make sure I didn’t cut off a finger, and away I went.  This will be especially useful as I start to sew with my woven fabric.  It binds along the edge to stabilize it then slices off the excess.  When I make my next bathing suit it may be helpful too.  As an aside, I wore my homemade bathing suit to swim laps yesterday and it’s holding up fine.  Today I think I’ll have to wear a wetsuit because I am going to venture into Mirror Lake where the water temperature is only 68 degress f.

Next I purchased a Louet drum carder from Goodwill.  I have a lot of alpaca fiber, maybe part of a wool fleece, that has been sitting in bags, after I washed them, waiting to be carded. And waiting.  I have visions of blending fibers to get new colors but at least making some headway on my fiber so I can empty those shelves to refill them again.  Tim’s getting nervous.  We just read about a woman who was a hoarder and died among her possessions when the first floor of her house collapsed upon her.  I am a only hoarder wannabe.

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I made quick work of some alpaca fiber and carded two beautiful batts.

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After the girls left, I sat back and tried my hand at a couple of potholder looms.  What fun.  Every weaver should start with this rather than return to it after using a floor loom for a few years.

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This baby blanket came off the floor loom and has been shipped to the new baby.  I love the colors and it is quite soft.

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Creative geniuses

I am so lucky to have my daughter and three friends visit me at Camp Adirondack.  They are experiencing it at its best, despite the fact it’s still black fly season and the pine pollen is falling in clouds.  They’ve hiked locally and afar.  We went for a sail on a blustery day, played board games and of course have explored arts and crafts. Now they’ve crossed the border and have headed to Montreal.

In anticipation of their visit, I invested in a Harrisville Designs Pro Loom and a couple of bags of 10″ loops.  The larger version is an improvement (in my humble opinion) over the original 7″ design.  I never could have imagined the fun they would have with it or how competitive they would be – hoarding loops and judging the finished products.  In a couple of days, on their own,  they have explored color work, texture, twill and sett.  It’s amazing. It may have allowed them to appreciate the thought that goes into even the simplest project.  Plus they have a useful reminder of their time in the North Country.

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I also played with some yarn necklaces before they got here because there were a few – and why not celebrate them all – birthday celebrations.  We saw a version of this in a craft store in West Virginia and it looked easy to replicate.  I bought a little jewelry making kit and practiced bending and twisting wire.  I think the wrappings are smooth enough and hopefully won’t gouge anyone.

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One morning, during breakfast, my neighbor pulled up in his tractor to tell me there was a fawn next door.  We must have walked by it the previous afternoon and had no idea it was there.  We returned with cameras and found this beautiful little fawn lying in the grass.   We gave it a wide berth and I  used my zoom lens to capture its image.

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Their weaving enthusiasm inspired me to complete a scarf, which had been languishing on my rigid heddle loom since December.  Now the loom vacuum is begging for another project.

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Over the past couple of days I have scored a Louet Drum Carder and Brother Serger.  So much experimenting to do.

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