Life repeats itself

I rely way too much on my iphone for photos. My memory was full and I wanted to delete old photos. I found last year’s photos on Seguin, which look a lot like this year’s.

The fog rolled in, surf was up, we glazed windows, painted windows repaired and painted picnic tables and worked on lawnmowers.

The only thing new is I’m trying to develop a panda pattern and worked on the first prototype. More work is needed.

I knit a test hat and am working on a beret.








Fall is just around the corner. Purple asters are in bloom all over the island. These berries are in various shades of orange; wonder if I can use them for dye.


The caretaker’s garden has a big pumpkin, overgrown green beans and basil but it’s also writhing with plump garter snakes. I may leave it for them.

Monarch butterflies are migrating and can be seen all over the island. I thought this one had problems but it was merely resting in the clover.


We’ve explored all the trails, Tim cleared his favorite North trail, while I cleared the amazing South trail.


We’re used to scant trail markers in the Adirondacks. Someone went overboard here.




The donkey engine and tram need some love.



Today a team came out to the island to oil 600 feet of cable. I manned (womanned) a radio and relayed messages (stop and go) to the intrepid engine operator (Major Tim) while running in place to stay warm.

Hiking at home

I took at least 6 trips down (and up) the hill to the cove today. I estimate it to be at least 1000′ elevation gain. No need or energy for additional exercise.

I awoke to a seagull shuffle on the whistle house roof. The island seems to be overtaken by black backed gulls.


We had a group volunteers from Idex visit and scrape old paint off the tower railing. They are encouraged (and paid) by their employer to take a day to volunteer in the community. What a great idea and the lighthouse benefitted, although they had a pretty nice view while they worked.

Tim tackled an annual project – he repaired two picnic tables – while I glazed a couple of windows.

Towards the end of the day, a rain cloud drifted overhead followed by the suggestion of a rainbow.


Another great day and I’m comfortably exhausted.

Perfect end to a perfect day



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


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!


Inkle weaving on a copper tablet loom


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.


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


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.


Time to camp, reap and dye

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.





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.


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



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.


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.


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.



The shirt off my back


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