Playing Catch-Up

You may have noticed some general quiet from me over here. Nothing is wrong, that’s just me doing a very poor job of prioritizing my time. Once the polar vortex moved on, we were excited to get outside.

img_5680

We found this spot — that little triangle in the lower left is a spot where an otter was entering and exiting the water. You can tell because you can see his little otter slides straight out in front of the point.

And we found some super cool icy prints…

img_5678

This one we believe is from a skunk!

img_5688

And of course there was ample sign of the mighty beaver!

We also made a quick trek out to my parents’ house where we got to play with grandpa’s “tank.”

51567730_10155697535302000_6180938833547231232_o

And then we drove back in a snowstorm.

img_5887

This photo was probably during the best driving conditions of the trip. We started out in rain, then it turned to freezing rain, and then heavy snow. Suffice to say, the trip took about twice as long as normal and the car was coated in a sheet of ice when we got home.img_5890

This photo was taken after we dug ourselves out from getting stuck trying to get in our driveway. Ah, winter in Wisconsin!

Oh, and yesterday we had another snowstorm.

img_5911

No big whoop, just another 14 inches.

Bear is ecstatic with this development.

The snow is probably another 8″ deeper now than when I took this video and, as you can imagine, every trip outside is mostly hilarious with this little dude as he tries to navigate through snow that is basically at eye level with him.

In between shoveling and school and more shoveling and and laughing at the dogs and more shoveling, I’ve been managing to get some knitting, spinning, and setting handspun yarn done. I finished my Weekender Sweater and it is washed and dried and ready for photos. And I started a new knitting project, a Milliken vest in Quince & Co Ibis.

img_5702

I missed the announcements provided by Quince & Co and was sad to hear that this yarn is discontinued. I used it for my Fairbanks sweater last year and now the Milliken vest. I’ll be sad to see this base gone, but I’m sure Quince & Co has more goodness coming, they always do!

I finished some spinning, too. I’m foggy on the timing of everything because I’ve just kind of kept on spinning, but I have this pile of handspun to photograph and share with you.

img_5925

With the return of my maiden from Schacht, I finished the singles for my 2-ply challenge over in the Three Waters Farm Skill Builder SAL.

img_5934

I had so much fun with this and I cannot wait to talk ply twist when I get into it! For those who didn’t know it, I did post up a video on prepping fiber, especially when it relates to this Organic Polwarth/Cultivated Silk blend. I have a set-up now that is pretty easy to do tutorial videos so if you have something that you’d like to see, please just let me know and I’ll see what I can do to create the content.

While I let my singles rest, I spun this bobbin.

img_5912

It’s from Nest Fiber Studio and the colorway is called Young Woman at  Half-Open Door. I had a bag of Organic Polwarth and I was gifted a second bag in the Organic Polwarth + Silk blend, so I broke both bags in half and am mixing the two. The blend may turn out to be a disaster, but I’m optimistic it’ll work out just fine. These things usually do.

I’ve got some school tasks, more shoveling, and snow pup play on the agenda for today, as I slowly work on playing catch-up here, but expect a post that is largely a finished handspun yarn dump coming up later this week and hopefully a few snapshots of my newly finished Weekender as well. I just wanted to touch base today and catch y’all up on where I’ve been. While you’re waiting, I’m answering “Ask me my top 3” over in my Instagram (@knittingsarah) stories today — pop over and ask me for a top 3 list!

 

 

 

 

Life Lessons From A Red Fox

Today we awoke to our second snowfall, the first that actually lasted beyond the sun breaking through the clouds for more than an hour. There’s probably still an inch on the ground, but it is melting in the bright sunshine. I really do love winter. As soon as there is snow on the ground, the whole world changes color because the light is so different. Everything looks crisp and defined in this light. The world becomes all hard lines and blinding lightness. It is the same world I strolled through in summer, but somehow it’s also totally different.

As I look at our outdoor thermometer, I see that in the sunshine at midday it is reading 28°F and the winds are due to pick up, potentially bringing some more snow tonight. It’s cold. And while I have a warm house and plenty of wool to keep me warm, I can’t help but think about a special someone…

img_3852-1

I shared an image of this Red Fox at the beginning of October and I think it’s time I share his story.

I’d spotted this fox around the neighborhood a handful of times during the past year — once loping across the street, once chasing a rabbit in an open lot — you know, doing what foxes are supposed to do. In early October when it slinked into our yard, though, it was almost certainly suffering from sarcoptic mange. Nearly blinded by its swollen eyes and clearly starving, it was resorting to stealing sunflower seeds from our ground feeder.

img_3894

Its posture and body language were all wrong.

img_3893

It was clear that it was desperate — with eyes almost completely swollen shut, we assumed hunting was difficult if not impossible. With winter coming, things were not looking good for its survival.

Mr. Knitting Sarah shared a photo on his social media and had feedback from some biologist friends for courses of treatment that might help. He dug further and researched treatment plans and then set about getting the inexpensive medicine available at our local farm store.  We set up a dosing calendar based on helpful instructions from a red fox rehab center. Since we wanted to remain hands-off (I’m not interested in wrangling sick wild animals) for our safety as well as the animal’s, we opted to inject food with meds for treatment. We set-up trail cameras on our feeding stations to be able to monitor them, making sure the fox actually was getting the meds. We’d talked about getting trail cams for a while to see what kinds of animals were coming through our yard at night and this was just a good reason to finally do it.

Because treatment needs to happen over a 3-6 week period to effectively treat mange, the key is that you have to get the fox to return regularly. I don’t think this one had an iPhone on which I could set an alarm, so per instructions we set out his favorite foods daily — a mix of wet & dry cat food and a couple cut up hot dogs. The hot dogs were key as they were his favorite. In the early days, I’d refill the stations if I knew he’d been through to make sure there was always food available.

When dosing day rolled around, I would be in the kitchen carefully hollowing hot dogs, injecting them with the appropriate dose of medicine, and then placing a couple pieces of dry cat food inside to soak up the meds in case the piece of hot dog should happen to fall over. Then I’d set the medicated “fox dogs” around the yard and wait, hoping that he’d take them and hoping I’d be able to get a glimpse of him to observe his appearance and body language for comparison.

Sure enough, he came back. And like a good patient, he took his meds every time.

Over the course of the next month, we watched carefully and we set food out and we dosed on schedule. At first, the images taken at night would catch eye shine in just the one eye and he’d return multiple times each night with that same insecure posture.

44337480_10155480742317000_4522299610034601984_o

We were ecstatic with each successful dose and I read vehemently about the progression of the healing process for this disease. I promise you that at this point, I know way more details about sarcoptic mange and treatment for it than I ever thought I would. Within a couple weeks, we started to see him spacing out his visits a bit and the eye shine of the second eye started to show up, first a little slit and then…

44665828_10155488577742000_5777575261956472832_o

Both eyes wide open!

His slink became more like prancing punctuated with the occasional leap and pounce. We started to get images that indicated the fox was pushing the feral cat that stopped by sometimes off the food station instead of skittishly ducking away from it. I even watched it once scare off a bunch of deer!

One evening, our red fox friend popped by just before dusk and we were astonished — our scraggly friend had transformed into this much healthier looking canine!

img_4324

Still  a little skinny maybe and his tail was taking its time growing back in, but his posture and body language was so much better.

img_4192

His winter coat was coming in nicely…

img_4193

It looked like an mostly healthy fox! He pranced around looking in all his familiar spots for his fox dogs just long enough to for Mr. KS to catch these photos. He was on his way, leaping and bouncing like he was walking on air until he was out of sight.

The last evening we caught a picture of him was October 30th. I’m wondering if the hub-bub of trick or treating on the 31st paired with the feral cats who were occasionally dropping by to take advantage of the feeding stations made it competitive enough that with his improved health he finally had the incentive to move back out into wilder terrain. We’re right on the edge of town, so it would make sense as he has a lot of fertile hunting grounds just a little farther afield. Of course it could be that the mange came roaring back. It could be that some other predator or the cold proved too much. We might never know.

I do know, however, that when you have a very big heart and you’re a little bit of a control freak, this kind of investment can be taxing. I started out very resistant to the whole endeavor, afraid to be hurt or disappointed or to fail, and only got involved because Mr. KS pushed me. I’m glad that he did. As time went by and I saw the fox’s health improve though, I realized that it wasn’t about making sure this animal survived  the winter (although that was and is the hope). Each easy meal and each successful dose of meds gave this animal an extra day; a day that was better than his last, a day he likely would not have had otherwise. And that was… meaningful.

It is easy to go through life and in the hustle and bustle forget just how precious each day is. It’s easy when we aren’t struggling, to forget what it means to struggle. It’s easy to take good fortune and good health for granted. And it’s easy to not recognize just what an impact you can have on another’s life with just a small investment of time. These are the life lessons I learned from our Red Fox and that is… meaningful.

I hope that our Red Fox friend is healthy and pouncing and prancing and leaping in a place that makes him happy. I hope his belly is full and his coat is warm. I hope that maybe someday I’ll see him again. But most of all, I’m thankful for the days we had each other because for as much as he needed us, I think there is part of me that needed him.

img_4191

Rested, Refreshed, and Ready to Tackle All the Things

Last week I took the week off. Not totally off, I still managed to stay up-to-date on a few things, but mostly off. My in-law’s were in town and since we usually only see them once a year, it’s important that I drop what I can and be in the moment. Additionally, Mr. Knitting Sarah also had the week off, so I always like to soak up that quality time, too.

We spent a lot of time visiting over coffee and shared some delicious meals. We went about an hour north and spent a night in a cabin to which we have access. During the day, we spent a beautiful afternoon in the sunshine at a nearby flowage…

img_3715

If you squint, you can see the trees were just starting to change colors.

My girl and I had fun giving Moose little acorn cap hats and trying to sneak his picture…

img_3710

It’s quite a feat to sneak those little hats on his head without him knowing it and then also be quick enough with the camera to get his picture, but it brings the silliest, most satisfying giggles. What can I say?! We are easily entertained!

Aside from soaking up the sun, outfitting Moose with woodland finery, and the dawn of fall colors, I did a little fishing. I had a couple bites but didn’t manage to land anything. I just like casting and reeling in such a beautiful setting; I find it very relaxing.

One of the beautiful aspects of being a knitter and spinner, of course, is that they are pursuits you can do while visiting with others. So while I was mostly off the grid for the week, I still was actively creating. In the evening at the cabin, I’d brought my spindles and I had a grand time spindle spinning…

img_3717

I finally got around to trying out the wrist distaff I purchased a few months ago from Maine Fiber Tools and I almost immediately fell in love with it. I’ll have to share a more in-depth post about this handy tool sometime soon, but suffice to say, I whizzed through almost all the fiber I brought along with me.

Back at home during afternoon movies, I finished up my September Top of the Month Club from Three Waters Farm

img_3737

And since I had a little time before Spinzilla started, I eeked out one more spin…

img_3774

This is Put Off My Blues from Three Waters Farm on Superwash Targhee and I spun it to a DK or light worsted weight yarn. This one was super fun and I’m totally in love with the results! Both of these spins are having their spa day today so as soon as they are dry, I’ll share them with you in more detail.

As the week went by, it felt like nature was racing toward fall…

img_3764

As the temps stayed pretty low and we had to fire up the heater for the first time since spring, the trees gained more and more color. Every time I stepped out the door it felt like the trees were that much closer to their peak colors.

And as Mr. KS’s parents’ visit was drawing to a close, my girl and I whipped up some blueberry muffins with lemon glaze for a road treat for them (with plenty for us to enjoy, too, of course).

img_3743

Usually I don’t let them bake to such dark tops, but once we added the glaze, I thought they were just about perfection.

As the weekend came to a close, and Mr. KS’s vacation came to an end as well, we went for one last hike and had a beautiful tapestry of color on which to tread…

img_3762

And with bobbins emptied for the beginning of Spinzilla, I worked on my current shawl spin, Down the Road and Back Again

img_3777-1

I’d hoped to get you an updated photo in better light, but it’s been dark and rainy here all day so I’m re-sharing the photo from last night. This knit, though… I barely have the words. I stayed up way past my bedtime last night because I’m tantalizingly close to finishing and it is just a true beauty in all respects. I didn’t quite get there. I may or may not get to work on it this week with Spinzilla going on, but suffice to say I’m loving every minute of this knit and I’m equally looking forward to wearing this one. It’s just so sublimely dreamy.

Despite my late night, I woke up on time and got right to my Spinzilla spinning…

img_3780

Grey for my Three waters Farm Handspun Sweater-Along. I feel a little paranoid about how I’m spinning it and getting the weight just so, but I’m trying to just shut out all the doubt, just do what I can to check in on the weight, and just keep spinning. I’m sure it’ll all work out!

And that, my friends, has been my week off. I’ve spent most of today, the first day of Spinzilla, at my computer catching up on all the things I dropped to make last week a (mostly) true week off. But I’m happy to report that I felt great this morning — rested, refreshed, and ready to tackle all the things. Sometimes a week off loaded with family and fun is just what you need!

 

Waiting For The Fog To Lift

Yesterday Mr. Knitting Sarah had a day off and we decided to take the day to have a little adventure, to see what we could see out there in this late summer world. As it was scheduled to be a scorcher, Mr. KS proposed we set alarms, get up early, and head down to Necedah National Wildlife Refuge before the heat of the day set in. We prepped the kids, warning them of the expectation to be up and out the door early, and let them know what they needed to bring — book/s, binoculars, hat, water — and what they needed to leave at home — screens, complaining, general impatience. When morning came, things went mostly according to plan and we were on the road by 6:30am.

Necedah National Wildlife Refuge has a good variety of hiking trails, but they also have a wonderful network of mostly maintained gravel and sand roads to traverse by car. These roads are pretty good for wildlife spotting as they are largely unused and go through some rather untrammeled areas. It’s been a long time coming that I admit the full extent of the mileage limitations I have for what I can cover by foot, but I am learning — slowly, but surely — accept those as my reality. And Necedah is one of those places that I can still enjoy being outdoors, still experience a certain level of wilderness without the stress on my body.

In any case, we did a meandering drive through the Refuge, spotting a few fawns and deer, an immature Hood Merganser, lots of Turkeys with their youngsters in tow, and had one close encounter with a Red-Tailed Hawk that literally flew along side the car for a short time. After an hour or so, we headed up to a wildlife viewing tower and we gazed out over thick fog…

img_2302

And we waited. We brought our picnic lunch and even though it was early, we dug in. As we munched our simple meal of sandwiches and veggies and chips, we listened to the Sora, watched a pair of Sandhill Cranes foraging, and spotted a little fawn half-hiding half-perusing the edibles around him in the thicket below us. Somewhere hidden in the fog, we heard the unmistakable call of Trumpeter Swans — ko-hoh! ko-hoh! We waited.

The fog slowly began to lift…

img_2307

And we spotted Canada Geese…

img_2303

And a pair of Trumpeter Swans farther out. The kids began to lose patience so we sent them off to run the trails below while we stayed and watched the sun slowly burn through the veil of fog.

img_2311

Even Moose was interested to see what secrets would be revealed…

img_2306

And before we knew it…

img_2317

The fog had all but lifted, the temperature had climbed considerably, and it was time to try out a new trail. After a nice smoldering hike, we piled into the car and Mr. KS googled an ice cream stop after which we made a quick detour to check out the petroglyphs at Roche-A-Cri State Park. It’s a rock outcropping, once an island of Cambrian sandstone jutting out of Glacial Lake Wisconsin.

img_2319

It’s still a pretty impressive hunk of rock and one I share because I don’t know that many people know these kinds of things exist in Wisconsin. I assure you, they do.

We stopped at another little wayside along a new way home that had similar geology and our daughter found a Five-Lined Skink…

img_2328

Such a beautiful little lizard, a native of our state but the first we’ve seen. How lucky we were to have found him on a random whim of a stop!

We got back home in the mid-afternoon and enjoyed and early dinner and a movie. I spun…

img_2330

This is Butte Shadows on Rambouillet from Three Waters Farm. I am behind on starting my TWF Handspun Sweater-along spin and this spin was another impulsive delay. Beautiful and fun and I love it, but a delay nonetheless.

I’m not quite sure why I’m putting off the sweater spin. Part of this particular delay was because I’d just re-tied the drive band on my Schacht Reeves and wanted to make sure it was just right. Part of it was that I really just wanted to spin this colorway asap. I think another part of me is also a little nervous about the Big Sweater Spin though. I’ve set myself a lofty goal spinning for a Tecumseh sweater. Even though I know that if I don’t quite get the yarn right I’ll have no problem finding a pattern that will work, I am still a little worried I won’t get that yarn quite right. Because I want it to be right.

So I’ve been kind of sidling up to these fibers, waiting for my own trepidation to lift…

img_2283

For the fog to dissipate on my own vision & determination & motivation in this project. It’s all here, carefully curated; Grey for the main color, Iron Blue & Sunshiney Day for the contrasts. I just need to bring it out into the light and get working on it.

I woke up today and it was still warm, but there was not a bit of fog or haze. The light breeze meant the sun shone brightly. The fog has lifted and I think I’m seeing clearly. It’s time to wrap up my distractions and get a move on, I think.

The Halfway Point

I left you yesterday driving away from Jensen’s Spinning Wheel Shop. While that experience was one that could have easily filled our day with plenty to ponder and discuss, Jennifer and I had other plans. We raced south to the next leg of our adventure, the Aldo Leopold Foundation. To visit has been a life goal for both Jennifer and myself for years. Part of what we share is an insatiable curiosity & deep love for the natural world and to finally get to visit the “Shack” made famous by the Sand County Almanac was thrilling.

Having left the Jensen’s at the last possible moment, we flew down the country roads and arrived barely on time for the guided tour. We met at the original gate to the property and the guide shared a photo of a gate in the same spot, but instead of the lush forest in front of us, it was a wasted field. When this property was purchased by the Leopold family in 1935, it was a spent farm. Working in nearby Madison at the time refining his ideas on game management, land ethic, and conservation, he had a dream of experimenting with re-foresting this land. Over the years, Leopold and his family planted thousands of pine trees and restored prairies on the property. A Sand County Almanac is a collection of essays from experiences in this very location.

The tour the foundation offers starts, as I said, at the original gate and takes you through a mature forest of pine and oak trees before opening onto one of the first known restored prairies. img_1552

Eastern Towees sang out their unmistakable “Drink your teeeea!” as we walked along and as the guide tried to share a story about the prairie, a male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak perched right above us singing away as if to say, “Why listen to this guy?! I am the expert of this domain!” As we continued on, Jennifer pointed out & named wildflowers. She has a tremendous depth of knowledge for plants (she is the one who is always helping me landscape in my own yard). Spiderwort. Indigo. Milkweed. Columbine. Yarrow. I have so much to learn.

And then we came up the “Shack”.

img_1434

It was a originally a chicken coop and over the years the Leopold family slowly turned it into the rustic cabin it is today. Every aspect of the structure was salvaged from the surrounding area to the extent that none of the windows match. When they’d find a usable window, Aldo would bring it back to the Shack and instruct the kids to find a spot, cut a space for it, and install it. Even more recently when a screen door needed to be replaced, one of the Leopold family members found a used one via the local paper, sanded it down to fit and installed it. Waste not, want not.

Yes, this place is and always has been a family affair.  And while I expected to be moved by the legacy of Aldo Leopold in this place — I did, after all, name my first born for this man — what I did not expect was to have such a sense of familial investment. The enormity of this undertaking and its corresponding ideals were firmly rooted in not just Aldo Leopold, but in his entire family and they all carried this sense of wonder and responsibility for the land throughout their lives. And thus it was so fitting that our tour largely took place around the fireplace in the Leopold family Shack, hearing their stories and learning a bit of their history in this place.

The fireplace was designed by Luna Leopold, who was studying engineering at the time…

img_1447-1

While Starker Leopold — not to be outdone — was put in charge of building the outhouse…

img_1439

It was incredible to hear the stories of this family of visionaries, always working together to build not only this place for their family, but for a legacy that you could sense they were committed to and recognized as important, that reached beyond their family. When I sat at their table and looked through their screen door out into their forest…

img_1435

I couldn’t help but wonder, what conversations they must have had by their hurricane lamps on summer nights when the whipperwills called? Were the wrens chittering away out front the descendants of those the Leopolds might have noticed breaking the silence on sunny summer mornings? What would Aldo Leopold think today if he could see this grand forest he helped to create?

We walked through the woods, past more Towees, Peewees, and about a zillion mosquitoes to the spot of The Good Oak…

img_1443

Where we read an excerpt from the essay on this exceptional tree. This is the spot where it spent its life and where eventually the family cut it down — led by the Chief Sawyer, Estella Sr, Aldo’s wife — for wood after it had been struck by lightning. It is the march of time; that we will all be born, grow, hopefully do a little good in the world, love & be loved, and eventually meet our end. And if we are lucky, when our journey comes to its end, we live on in our own way — like the oak that warmed the family’s shack for a season after its life had ended.

We made the short walk down to the Wisconsin River and saw Sandhill Cranes in the distance…img_1441-1

The current pushed a tree downstream, rotating it like a river boat’s wheel. It was about 100F and muggy and when the guide asked if we had any questions, all I could think was, “Why are we not having this discussion IN the river?” because my jeans which had protected me from mosquitoes were soaked through with sweat.  Surely the Leopold’s must have indulged in a dip from time to time. Alas, we turned back toward the relative cool of the forest and eventually the a/c of the car, warm sand filling our sandals.

Minds swimming in thoughts of legacy, from both our visit with the Jensen’s and now the Leopold’s, Jennifer pulled over to take this photo…

img_1557

 

Of the towering forest that the Leopold’s planted so many moons ago and I thought about what a tremendous impact they have had on the world and this road in the middle of nowhere started it all. And I thought about Jerry Jensen and his incredible spinning wheels. And I thought about family and place and the poetry of creating a life that reaches beyond the confines of your own experience. A life that by your example, inspires those around you and is destined to live well beyond your own place and time. That is some powerful food for thought.

A few moments into our drive, the wind picked up and the rain poured down…img_1555

Adding to the surrealism of the afternoon. We headed back to our hotel where we mopped ourselves off and cleaned ourselves up and headed to the final leg of our day, the International Crane Foundation. They were having a fundraiser for their Whooping Crane program and Mr. Knitting Sarah got us tickets to go, have a glass or two of wine, eat their yummy food, and see the cranes.

img_1554

We didn’t stay long as it had been a long day, but we arrived back at our hotel just in time for this view…

img_1421

The Wisconsin River at dusk.

We unwound with a little spinning and I knit a few rows on my Rainbow Warrior shawl…

img_1577

The next morning all we had the energy for was a quiet snacking breakfast at the hotel and a little knitting before packing up. I strapped my little Tina 2 back onto the luggage cart I got to make it easier to move her around…

img_1553

And I grabbed my new book and bobbins…

img_1448

And we packed up our respective cars for the journey home. Jennifer & I exchanged hugs and said our goodbyes and off we went in opposite directions, each of us toward home.

I won’t soon forget our experiences on this quick weekend away or the discussions we had as we reflected on what we heard and saw. Legacy. Artistry. Craftsmanship. Nature. Stewardship. Family. I could not have hoped for a better companion for this weekend to understand and enjoy it in the same way that I did. You could say that the halfway point between friends is always the collection of interests you share in common. Who knew that in our case, the literal halfway point between our homes would provide the perfect backdrop to explore our common interests as well. What a fulfilling, perspective-altering weekend!

 

Many thanks to Jennifer Wirth for use of her photos in this post!

The Calm After the Storm

I am so happy to say that I am in the calm after the storm. There were a number of things coming together over the last couple weeks that have kept me busy and largely away from this space. And then there was the need — introvert that I am — to spend a couple of days just in the quiet of my own mind to recharge and refuel.

A fundraising wine event Mr. Knitting Sarah was helping to put together was last week.

img_0737

And I’m happy to report that it went wonderfully. I have been working here and there as support for Mr. Knitting Sarah when he needed it on tasks for this event and it was awesome to see it all come together. And, of course, I got to enjoy a little of the food and wine at the event itself as well. Yum.

After such a big to-do, I’ve found myself turning to all the little things around me as spring seems to have sprung (at least for now) in my neck of the big woods.  img_0763

I found this Mourning Cloak butterfly in the back yard yesterday.

img_0757

And this crocus awoke as if to say, “Tidying up the yard’s not so bad now is it, Sarah?”

We’ve been slowly but surely seeing more and more migratory birds making their way north, too. Just today the White-Throated Sparrows arrived in our yard and I’ve heard all sorts of people in the area reporting Baltimore Orioles. I’ve got my jelly out, but no orioles yet. You can bet in the 75º weather the windows are open and I am listening for the oriole’s unmistakeable voice.

While the orioles are not here yet, I do, have this little dude hanging around…

img_0772

Our best guess is he’s a very confused and alone Mourning Dove baby. He seems to prefer walking to flying, he’s a little slow to react to most things (how close I was able to get for this picture is proof of that!), and we find him all over the yard doing just what he is doing in this picture, just sitting there looking a little disheveled. Yesterday was blustery and while he was sitting under a tree, you know, just hanging out and looking disheveled, a crunchy leaf from last year blew into him and he — caught off-guard, of course — attacked it with vigor. We endearingly refer to him as “our little weirdo” and marvel at the fact that he’s still alive because really it’s kind of incredible a predator hasn’t targeted him yet. I hope he remains as lucky because his little personality quirks have definitely grown on me.

In the crafting realm, I’ve not had much energy beyond stockinette stitch.

img_0778

So it’s wonderful that I have my girl’s sweater to work on. It’s Bulle by Oomieknits and I’m knitting it in Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted in the “Candy” colorway. It’s been a very restorative project through a busy time.

I’ve also been working on my long draw with my Shetland fauxlags…

img_0777

I’ve been working toward a more consistent spin, but my highest priority is spinning to a certain weight. For this bobbin I was working on a supporting long draw which I think it helping me both handle the fauxlags and spin to a more deliberate weight. The goal is to be able to spin a woolen (or at least semi-woolen) yarn that I can use for a couple hat patterns I have picked out. It’s happening in baby steps, but I am getting there!

And last, but not least, I spent some time last night with my upstairs wheel.

img_0779

I’ve got one little nestlet left to finish on bobbin #1. This is Merry Poppies from Three Waters Farm and I find myself spinning at a leisurely pace on this project. I’ve been working on it out on the deck and when I do that I’m also watching the birds and soaking up the sunshine. I have to remind myself that sometimes a leisurely pace is A-OK. It’s not about how fast can I finish, the journey is half the fun. And you know what, in the calm after the storm, there is definitely nothing wrong with a leisurely pace!