Archive for July, 2012

Rabies Free!

July 16th, 2012 by knitnzu

Not long after I started this blog (back then it was on LiveJournal), we had a run-in with a rabid bat, resulting in a 45 day quarantine for Zuzu (we didn’t have Gravy then) and her brother Sid.

On Saturday evening, after that lovely day on the water, we had rather a lot of excitement around here, which led to some 36 hours of concern that we had a rabies exposure… to the girls and to me. But no! Rabies free!

DH was out in the garden, and the girls were in the yard. I heard him make some noise, and then he called me in that tone of voice that says Come here NOW something BAD is going on! Even with the dysosmia, as soon as I stepped out the back door, I knew basically what happened. Skunked!

I ran back in, grabbed some dog shampoo and just grabbed the first girl I could and started bathing with the hose. Zuzu was foaming at the mouth! But that was because of the skunk chemical in there.

While I was taking care of girl #2, DH was busy bagging up the skunk. And then I got the skunk odor removal recipe-baking soda, H2O2, and dish soap. While we were giving the girls bath #2 with this concoction, I got the story.

A young skunk wandered into the yard. Nobody knows exactly what happened next, but you can imagine the “conversation” in their little minds.

“oooh! a fluffy toy!” “no, it’s alive!” “but it’s like a toy” “you grab one side, and I’ll grab the other” “Right, and we can shake it until one of us gets the whole thing”

DH said he heard the sound of it tearing from across the yard. Someplace in this disaster, they got sprayed. While I was first grabbing the first girl, he was up there putting the poor little thing out of its misery, because it was clearly mortally wounded.

And then, while we were giving Gravy bath #3 (in the tub, where we could really concentrate on her face-she got it worse apparently), we started thinking about rabies. Luckily we still had the skunk, and it hadn’t gotten hot in the sun before we put it in a cooler.

I thought the lesson we learned the last time was not to tell anybody so we could skip the quarantine. But rabies is serious business, so we made phone calls on Sunday morning.

My doc’s office was extremely non-committal about whether or not I should start the rabies series. The concern is that I handled the dogs, including their faces, and that they had basically bitten and torn the skunk, and that I had a fresh puncture wound on my hand (that fox tooth!). He said well, if you want to be absolutely sure, go to the ER and start the vaccination series… And I said, what do you mean, if you get rabies, you die. Is this your recommendation? That I start the series? And he wouldn’t commit.

Doc at the ER was committed 100% that I did not need to start the series, but agreed with me that a tetanus shot would be a good idea (since I couldn’t remember the last one). I asked Even though?… and Who are you? What’s your name?

I figured if the test came back positive, I would have more information and would get another opinion. But, thankfully, it came back negative! No 45 day quarantine for the girls! No rabies shots for me!!

I was pretty distracted all day. I hadn’t quite realized until I got that call that it was weighing pretty heavily on my mind. And then look what arrived in the mail!

Rubber Chicken Earrings!!
chickens 011 chickens 014
Get yours here

Lisa (another Lisa, there are so many of us!!) made them after I saw them on a friend at the Fiber Frolic and noted how wonderful they were. I’ve never had these chain earrings, but I like them!
frolic2012 (3)

And now I have my own!!!! bwa hahahahahahahahaa….

And I’ve re-blocked the Maplewing… it was getting scrunchy, much like the pre-blocked pic at the link. I bought myself a 4×8 foot piece of foam just for this (and every other knitted thing I might block…)
maplewing reblock 003
(crummy photo, but you get the idea… it looks better now!)

rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ down the river

July 14th, 2012 by knitnzu

Well, floating…

Today several of us floated and paddled the Kennebec River 9 miles from Sidney to Augusta. It was lovely to be on the water on this hot day. We kept cool! We saw 8 eagles, a bunch of kingfisher, a few great blue herons, an osprey, and several jumping sturgeon!

There’s a bunch of these “islands” in the river, from back in the day when they floated logs for the timber industry (aka log boom piers, this link shows the ones just south of Augusta). Usually they span the river, but the ones we saw here went along the west side of the river. They were used to pen the logs for a time before sending them down to the mills.
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Here’s a PBS video about log driving on the Kennebec, which took place until 1976!

Can you see the eagle?
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Here is somebody else’s old blog post about paddling the river, from Waterville to Augusta.

Do you recognize that Canoeing Canadian? She was a Kayaking Canadian today, and she didn’t bring her cat this time!

She spotted the dead animal (young fox we believe… the skull sutures didn’t look right for adult), skull and bones and bits of fur and skin. She even picked up the skull… but I poked at it to get the gobs of leathery skin and fur off (because even with the dysosmia, I could tell it reeked), and a tooth got stuck in my finger! The stick I was using slipped and the tooth was hiding in the fur. It landed in the bottom of the river. It stuck just like a rose thorn, but it bled pretty well. Luckily rabies isn’t a concern with an animal as long dead as this one was.

I put the skull on the back of Linda’s boat… when we finally landed in Augusta it got baggied up. But phew! Nobody wanted to be upstream (downwind) of her for the rest of the ride!
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so I took the day off

July 12th, 2012 by knitnzu

And took myself to the beach! But on the way down, I had to stop at Halcyon Yarn because I wanted to get some different fibers. I’m not spinning every day in this Tour de Fleece, but I am spinning again, so that’s a good thing.

Before you knew it, I had a little haul… I plan to dye some of the natural/white stuff, probably before I spin it, but who knows.

Half a pound each of Domestic (on the left) and Romney (on the right). Notice that the domestic looks like less… I’m thinking it is less airy.
halcyon domestic andromney

Three ounces of something called “Coyote Cotton”… it’s soft (and a gorgeous soft,, rich brownish color)!
halcyon coyote cotton

Two rayon-like things. Tencel on the left, it’s creamy white and very slippery/soft. The camera had a hard time focusing on it. And something called “Black Diamond” on the right. It’s the color of a charcoal brick. Two ounces of each, I think…
halcyon tencel halcyon black diamond

Two ounces of hemp… it feels kind of greasy, which is interesting. I’ll probably make a bag or basket out of it, but I don’t know.
halcyon heemp

Some cotton out of the sale bin, Louisa Harding’s Ondine. I’ll probably make a Montego Bay Scarf (Ravelry link).
halcyon ondine

And a Noro Kureyon knock-off by Plymouth, Gina. I’ll probably use it for some Maine Morning Mitts (pair #37 or so… I make a lot of these).
halcyon gina halcyon gina (1)

And some very cool steam-punkish buttons (for those bracelets I’ve been making).
halcyon buttons halcyon buttons (1)

I love the drive through Bath to Popham Beach. I had a great time at the beach… the tide was way out. I took a much needed sorta nap. I swam and floated around and played in the waves. And I started reading a new book (The Historian). Couple of things… I love my cup-sized bikini, but it isn’t really meant to keep things contained while swimming. So I developed this technique of surfing in a wave and then flipping over to face the ocean to be sure that what spilled out went back in. Didn’t want to frighten the young people you know…

And I think maybe I should have gotten the prescription bifocal sunglasses, no?
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It was as always, beautiful. And since it was Thursday, it wasn’t crowded!
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There was a very cool sea breeze coming off the water… you could see the mist flying about. The water was warm, for Maine. At first it seemed cold, but after I finally got to that critical depth (where you can pee), it was fine. I loved floating in the waves. And when I finally walked in (for those of you who don’t know the place, it’s long and shallow, so you can walk out for a long way and still not be very deep), it felt like bath water in the shallows!

Here’s some recent spinning… blue-faced leicester and silk, in the color “tropical fish tank”. It’s from the Portland Fiber Gallery and was a dream to spin. For the first time, I beat the yarn after I washed it… it really makes a difference! Freshly spun on the left; soaked, beaten, and dried on the right.
tropical fish tank unbeaten tropical fish tank beaten and hung

DH has been away this week. I developed a little irrigation system in the garden… ahem… actually it’s to hide the paw prints. Guilty as charged, yes, I did not close the gate behind me…
garden dogs in the garden

Check out this awesome thing I got at the Salvation Army store in Rye (NH). I think it’s goat (angora mohair??), and it’s woven, and I got two at $1.99 each. Based on Gravy’s reaction, I think somebody used them for what I intend… dog beds/blankets. Even after washing (they shrunk quite a bit, but still will be bigger than the girls’ crates), there is a lot of shortish black hair, so I’m thinking maybe they belonged to a lab.
woven goat

ooooh spahkly!

July 1st, 2012 by knitnzu

I had no intentions of joining Tour de Fleece, but somehow it seems I might have. This is a “spin-along” that takes place during the Tour de France. Anyhow, I finished spinning up that purple batt I started over a month ago, spun up the sparkly batt I made at Gilead Fiber Farm, and spun up some wool-mohair I got a few years back from Friends Folly Farm. I even Navajo plied the purple yarn!

Here it all is:
purple wool single (1)
The purple wool single… I let it rest a day before plying. I swore rather a lot until I got into the swing of the chain plying.

purple wool navajo plied
Navajo or chain plied, a pseudo three-ply yarn. I ended up with one small skein (the single broke, thus the swearing) and one larger, 17 and 115 yards, respectively.

The glittery batt was like a creature. It seemed that no matter how much I spun, there was still this big fuzzy thing hanging to my left…
glitter batt glitter batt (1)

Eventually, though, the wheel ate it all up. I’m not sure what to do with this single. It needs plying, but I think I’d rather it as a two-ply than a Navajo plied yarn.
glitter batt (3) glitter batt (2)
The color is probably most correct in these photos, but it shifts and varies, and it is very sparkly.

And last for the day, a loosely plied single. This is a 50-50 wool-mohair mix.
friendsfolly_loose_single (1) friendsfolly_loose_single

I soaked all the skeins, smacked them a few times on the decks, spun the water out by swinging them around, and hung them to dry.

Oh, and I ate this today… the first sungold.
sungold 1july2012
It was very nom!

There’s another almost ready…
sungold 1july2012 (1)