Sunday walk in the woods and some little mysteries

Remember the contest!

Snow Melt Contest with prizes of Nantucket Baggs and fiber!

Enter your guess on the contest post please.

There have been a lot of contest entries! I usually try to reply to everybody who comments, but I just can’t do it for all the contest entries… hope you understand.

little mysteries on our sunday walk

DH says, why are all of these leaves above the snow?
deerbed (4) deerbed

At first I thought because that big tree is an oak and it lost its leaves after it snowed some, and they’ve just become exposed. But then I noticed the depressions in the leaves, so I said deer bedded here. And I’m sticking to that theory… they came by, dug around a bit, and created little leafy piles of leaves to keep them warmer in the snow.

Here’s some corroboration…
deer print deer poo

Yesterday, and today, I was thinking how the pine needles and little seeds on the snow looked like it could have been the inspiration for 1950′s formica. What do you think?
Make some of those specks glitzy and it looks like the tables on some diners I’ve been in.

Somebody’s doorway,
snow (2)
But whose? The melted area was maybe two inches wide, and the hole in the ground maybe an inch. Chipmunk?

Art? Trash dump? Lost item?


Remember the contest!

Snow Melt Contest with prizes of Nantucket Baggs and fiber!

Enter your guess on the contest post please.


I was at Chewonki today with a modified invasive plant/native plant display (posters) for the Maine Environmental Education Association annual meeting. Not the crowds we see at the flower shows and fairs, but a different audience (the regular display is at the Maine Home and Garden Show in Gorham).

Here are some cool things I saw…

I had to lay on the floor to get this,

It’s the life-sized lower jaw of this,
a northern fin whale.

Still snowy in the woods,
chewonki snowywds

But some green showing in open places,
chewonki vpdic
(that’s broom moss aka Dicranum scoparium in case you wanted to know…)

I heard some loud squacking while I was out for air, which I knew had to come from a large bird, but I was a little surprised to see this,
chewonki be

Look what I saw in the worm bin at the Connecticut Valley Biological Supply table,
chewonki bugs
Pill bugs (the bigger darker ones) and sow bugs… and here I thought they were different names for the same critter. They had some great stuff for teachers, but the thing that caught my eye was the MiScope… a little lighted box that connects to your pc, and you can see things on your screen magnified 40x-140x. The software can take still images and videos. WAY COOL.


I spun up the remainder of the bfl… thin! Pics soon, after I spin up the rest of the sample fibers!

There’s a date for the 2009 Fiber Frolic!

spinning thin!

Remember the contest!

Snow Melt Contest with prizes of Nantucket Baggs and fiber!

Enter your guess on the contest post please.

Spin Thin!

So last night I took the “spin thin” class w/ Amy,
spinthin amy

It was fun and I learned some things (like using the small whorl, lacing the yarn over the flyer hooks, and that Amy has a peave about roving vs top!), tried some things (aztec plying, long draw), and got totally confused about some other things (mostly around the intricacies of woolen and worsted).

We got to play with this fiber,
spinthin top
Merino combed top, merino/tencel top, a batt of wool of some sort, bfl top….

I had a lot of uncontrolled spinning, as witnessed by this, some of my leavings… much of it from trying to spin a thin single…
spinthin uncontrolled

I managed some thin spinning w/ the merino top (white) and the bfl (under the dime),
spinthin bobbin

But that long draw with the batt? Probably a loosely plied chunky (except those parts that I was doing some variation of short and/or sliding long draw-who knew!)… but the long draw was pretty entertaining!

Aztec plying? After some serious cognition troubles, and several show and tell demos, I finally got how to wrap the single around my hand…
spinthin andean

This little sample totally has lots of problems, but some good areas, and I love the color and feel of the fiber… definitely something for my growing balls. Here they are last year, though the big one is a little bigger,

ice out!

The ice went out on the river last Sunday…
iceoutsun iceoutwork
and the other day the sun was just blazing off of the water… of course when I got to where I could park (as opposed to taking photos as I drove down Winthrop Hill), the angle of the light was different. If you embiggen that pic on the right, the pink arrow points to where I was headed… work…

where I have this bit of color and wonderful spring smell,
The garden shop told me to remove the anthers to make the flowers last longer, which I did, but I really like the burnt orange color against the pink. Maybe I’ll leave the rest of them on.

doggy update

Saw brother Sid yesterday… Mr. Shaggy Matty Boy got a close trim,
sid nose

His sister Gracie and he share some behaviors…
(he gave her that bone and ball bandana… she’ll wear it, but Zuzu sure won’t!).

spinning and knitting, all about icelandic, for now

Remember the contest!

Snow Melt Contest with prizes of Nantucket Baggs and fiber!

Enter your guess on the contest post please.

icelandic spinning

Spun up the last of the icelandic fiber from Frelsi Farm. This medium brown color was pleasant and quick to spin, just like the very dark brown, though it doesn’t seem to smell as lanoliny.
They are each about 143-148 yards and 2 ounces.
That sounds about like DK, no? Maybe a tad heavier, but I’m a loosish knitter, so it should be good. Now to figure out the mitten pattern to use with this!

icelandic knitting!

With Lopi… The diagonal rib cardigan,
That’s about half of the back.

more spinning?

I’m taking the “spin thin” class at Amy’s this week.

Am hoping to learn to spin thin, so I can perhaps make a 2 ply sport or lighter weight yarn out of this,
8 ounces of alpaca roving!

A birthday gift! And what was extra fun was that my friend took me shopping, and we went here,
yurt 010 yurt 008
Pogo and Marcia’s Friend’s Folly Farm. If you haven’t been to her new “Yarn in a Yurt” shop, go visit their website and check out the yurt pics, including pics of construction.

I don’t need more yarn but

Well, who does…

I raided the bargain basket at FFF and came home with 6 sample skeins. Probably some of that will go into the snow melt fiber prize.

And had to have this, because it was only $4.99.
3 full and 2 partial Berroco Monet, lion suede, 3 adriafil liberty trends, 2 filatura di crosa gioiello, 1 grignasco top print (100% alpaca!), 1 old tahki chunky wool, some novelty thing from tahki, some red wool, some crayon colored cotton slubby thing (that will make a great baby thing w/ the lion suede), some crazy confetti wool (another baby item, maybe a hat?), and a georgeous metallic mohair thing. I already gave away what I think was snowflake.

snow melt contest #2!

Remember last year’s snow melt contest? Well, it’s that time again! I figure it’s a great way to celebrate the first day of spring, don’t you think so?

And the prize?
Yes, that’s right, but not one, two! TWO!! (well, one for each of two winners)

Here’s the details…

Guess when all the snow will be gone from the bigger of the two giant snow piles at work (pictures below). Leave the comment in this post. The contest will stay open for two weeks and will close 5 pm eastern time on Friday, April 3. I’ll draw a random winner when the contest closes, and we’ll have to wait and wait to see who guesses most closely to the actual snow melt date. If two people guess the same date, I’ll draw one of them randomly.

The random winner will get their choice of a black or a pink and lime bag, and the actual melted and gone date winner will get the other bag with some fibery offering in it. I don’t know what yet, and I’ll likely base it on what I know about the person who wins (if they have a blog or I know them anyhow).

Charlie and Jo from Nantucket Bagg were incredibly generous and have offered these bags for this contest! Thank you so much!! They are GIVING AWAY these two bags! They really know the power of the knit blog!

More pics of the bags in this post from a couple of days ago (or scroll back!).

And here’s a bonus

Announce the contest on your blog, with a link back to this contest post and to the Nantucket Bagg site (, and telling your readers that if they announce the contest they’ll get two entries into the contest, and I’ll give you two entries into the random part of the drawing.

So what does the pile look like? (you can click to embiggen all of these) I don’t have any mid winter shots, but here it is on March 9,
snowmound10mar09b snowpile8mar09a

And earlier this week on Monday, March 16 (getting uglier and dirtier… it was actually sort of pretty during the snowy winter),
ok, ok, I know it doesn’t look like much, but see how the leaves are at my feet, and how small those posts look at the bottom? Think how glaciers distort perspective…

Here’s Janet walking out to where I was standing,

And standing where I was standing,
snowpile16mar09g snowpile16mar09f

And here are a pile more for you to ponder…
snowpile16mar09d snowpile16mar09k
(that speck of red is Janet!)

snowpile16mar09j snowpile16mar09h

Some hints:

The date of the snow pile melt last year was July 10 or so. This pile is bigger, though I don’t think we’ve gotten as much snow as last year. The even bigger pile (if you can imagine) that is a municipal snow mound melted last year early/mid August. But this pile is bigger than it was last year, and they drove lots more snow out onto it… so it was packed and icy early. But the weather has been warmer earlier. So who knows when it will be all gone?

I count “all gone” as when I walk down there (in my rubber boots most likely) there will be no visible ice on the ground. Last year it looked gone, but when you actually went to where the pile was, there was ice for a long, long time.

Good luck!