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.


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.


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.

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.




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.


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.



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


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.



And the flowers are to dye for.



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.



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.




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.


Lesson number three. Enjoy these moments.

We are spending a few days sailing and have already experienced extreme highs and lows ~ moods and pressure.

First day was beautiful. I started knitting a skirt for me, we swam and saw a lovely sunset. This was a nice finish after we were squeezed out of a harbor where huge boats kept coming in and rafting up. Just as well because we found a spot with plenty of room to ourselves.




Today was another story. Big storm predicted. To our credit we got under way early, but not early enough. I managed to rip a stanchion right out of the deck while furling the jib in strong wind. (Swimming does build upper body strength). Tim spilled tea on my new skirt when things happened quickly. Then the mooring field was full and we had to drop anchor while the storm plowed through. But we were visited by a flock of ducks when they got the all clear sign.



Wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Perfect place to swim after dinner.  I did.

Perfect place to swim after dinner. I did.



Can you guess this mountain's name? Can you guess this mountain’s name?

Shaded mountain

This may be it. These photos don’t really do it justice.  Elk Lake Is a pristine lake surrounded by, dare I say, majestic mountains. We arrived in the afternoon and paddled a canoe for a bit.  Then we retired to cocktails on the porch, dinner and a swim. Nice day.


Glory days

Someone told Tim this is the most glorious summer she has ever experienced. I agree.

Warm days, cool nights, wildflowers, wildlife.





What fun!

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.








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


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




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.


I hope the rest of my garden yields more.

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