two headed dog

rockin' and eye candy

5elementknitr thinks I'm a rockin' blogger!

So, 5 blogs I love? Well, hers. Does that count? Mostly I like these because there is a bit of a geeky nature to them, that often unusual things are posted (alpaca castration? snapping turtle mating? t-shirts with ancient sumerian and latin sayings? these, folks are things you can find on knitting blogs!)


KmKat and her Needles.

Stumbling over Chaos. She's the contest connection! And very nice as well.

Rhymes with Fuchsia.

Big Geek (from Syracuse, where I used to live!)

Oh, no, that's 5 already! These were the 'geekiest', but there are others that I really enjoy...and you know who you are because I'm stopping by and commenting all the time! And there are others that I catch only once in a while, because, really, I could probably spend all my time on the computer, and when would I knit?

eye candy!

Pogonia ophioglossoides, rose pogonia

This picture was shamelessly grabbed from dh's folder! It grows in boggy places, should be flowering about now. It's not rare in Maine. And, contrary to what most people think, all orchids are not protected in Maine. Not even the rare ones. In some other nearby states, like Massachusetts, the plant list is regulatory. Not so here. Plants, even rare ones, are more or less considered the private property of the landholder. The landholders in Maine that own the most land are the private industrial timber companies. We can go on their land to do plant and community surveys, but you can bet that if the list was regulatory, they'd never let us on! Some are better than others, some take to heart management recommendations, others not so much. OK, too much like work! Sorry!
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reptilian done

it's lacy and stretchy and wants to be long versus wide

I'm still not entirely sure what I think. I like its wiggliness. And its reptilian nature.

the decrease sections bunch up a bit, not sure what i think of that

i do like the beads

it's better wrapped twice, but it's 90F (32C for the rest of the world) and stinking humid

I've been wearing scarves on my head, but, um

the doggy earflap look, not so good!

better wrapped tighter

And what's that back there?

throw the ball mom throw it throw it throw it the ball the ball the ball

And in the way back,

they are mostly done!

The pattern for reptilian is here. What I did different- used US 10 needles, 27 stitches versus 31, and beaded the entire end. Some pattern suggestions are at the bottom of this earlier post.

I heard some interesting news today...that the moss class at Eagle Hill (a field research institute place in Stueben) stumbled across a human skull! Here is the most informarmative news article about it. I know the instructor...I wonder what she thought when she/her class stumbled across it. Mel, do you recognize the man (a pal of mine from the moss forays) behind her in that photo? He's a veterinarian in the Albany area.
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I realized I haven't put up any dog pics in a while.

Chappy's mom talks here about cuteness... Lucky for Chappy he's cute.

And after repeated 5 am barks to raise the dead, these girls are lucky they are cute too,

the guy's pretty cute too, but he doesn't bark loudly at 5 am!

I thought a few days I was half done with the Reptilian. Then I found an error. That couldn't be fixed without RIPPING. About 6 inches back! Loose and lacy stitches, slippery yarn... I can see why people use lifelines in a 'real' lace pattern. But it's back on track. Pics soon.
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It could have been worse

This morning, while I was carrying the heaviest down coats up into the attic, I smelled it. The unmistakable, sweet, sickly smell of death. I had a sinking feeling. Was that smell concentrated at the base of the attic stairs where my yarn stash is? I continued up into the attic. No smell.

(I have been doing minor battle with mice. I was tired of them in the pantry. I'd trapped out a female that looked like she was nursing. A smallish mouse the next day. None since, but only a few traps are still set.)

I noticed its source on the way down the stairs. Zuzu was staring at it. Small dead mouse. Thankfully I stepped over it on my way up. I took care of the immediate need. And had horrible visions of what may have occurred in the fiber. So then what?

went kayaking! At Jamie's Pond aka Jimmy Pond in Hallowell, it's close so we got a quick paddle in

Nymphaea odorata, great name, eh?

Well, then it was time to look in here

No problems in the cotton drawer, no problems in the acrylic blends/novelty drawer, no problems in the bags where there should be a drawer, no problems in the drawer that has extra socks and odd items, no problems in the bags of yarn on the shelves, no problems in the couple of loose skeins on the shelf. Then. I. Saw. It. One turd, on this,

This came out of the drawer that sat on top of the bureau because the slider is broken. So all the yarn in that drawer (wool) was super checked. Thankfully no more had any mouse droppings. None of it smelled like the latrine was in there. But, then,

Friendz Blendz that looks like it was being sampled for nesting material, see the fluff on the right?

I'm hoping that when I ball that up, not too much is ruined. Thankfully the sock yarn and the newest yarn was all wasn't in the attic stairway.

I figured since I was in there, I'd take pictures of stash to put on Ravelry. Not sure if that will actually happen, but I have the pics! When I put it back, I put the wool drawer in the bureau, even though it doesn't slide in quite right. Now I have to remember to set out the traps.

Some of what is in the sock drawer is stuff that I can't part with, that has been darned and darned again, such as

from Latvia!


also from Latvia!

I figured one day I'd figure out a way to reknit the worn portions. Or, maybe make small purses out of the tops. At the very least use them for inspiration to make some!

Death not only has a smell, it leaves a mark! And it took off some polyurethane!
even after vinegar, and then bleach, and then vinegar

Poor critter! I wouldn't mind having them in the house if they didn't poop and pee all over stuff as they roamed about and didn't keep the latrine under the kitchen sink where I can readily smell it. Oh yeah, and didn't chew up fibery stuff.
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this n that n buglers

The Sexy Knitter's Club is voting for their next KAL...there are some nice projects in there, and some of them are free....if you don't want to do the KAL and are just looking for something.

A couple of days ago I sent an email to a book author, and she wrote back already! She's Jennifer Donnelly and I'd written her about how much I enjoyed her book (aimed at young adults) A Northern Light. Here's what she said,

Thank you so much for your lovely email! It really made my day. I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoyed ANL. Mattie, Weaver, Grace and the gang are all near and dear to my heart and I'm glad that you connected so strongly with them.

I hope your cousin's daughter liked the book, and that your niece will, too. Thank you so much for recommending it!

With best wishes,


So, I've recommended it locally, and now it's out to the blogosphere. Her characters ring true, she writes about a place I briefely lived near and long played in, and wraps her story around a true event (the murder of a young woman) that I vaguely knew about. Don't buy it entirely blindly for a young person in your life though, there is some violence and some sex in the book, but it is not explicit or gratuitous. I plan to get it for one of my neices, I'm thinking the other (2 years younger) will get Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. Maybe they'll actually learn something! (Vicki Rowell has some connection to the setting of this story, and by connection of distant family, so do I, thus so does my neice!)

So do you know any buglers? Here is an article about the young man who played the bugle at my uncle's funeral. It was so special to have a real person play the bugle for him. And they need more to play at veteran's funerals. So, if you know a bugler, or a trumpeter who might play bugle, check here.

You all must know by now that I'm a bit of a biology nerd. And maybe I mentioned I took a bunch of scat pics on my trip out west... Mel posted one of his own today!

That coffee that Caffeinated Knitter sent? YUM!

Reptilian is nearly half done!
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coffee swap package

It came! It came! From my swap partner Bridget, also known as Caffeinated Knitter

and look what was inside!

Silky Wool in color 45, Forest (I just can never get an accurate photo of green). It is not the bluish green as in the photo (not good on me), but a lovely wonderful mossy woodsy green (yes good on me and one of my favorites)! Some lovely soap in a light lavender and orange scent. Ethiopian Sidamo from The Coffee Grounds, I'll be grinding some of that for tomorrow! A couple of chocolate bars, that until I sent the same kind in my package to my partner, I'd never had before. Turns out, they are her favorite! The Betty Crocker just add water Warm Delights cracked me up...they will surely be appreciated some afternoon at work...with a cuppa coffee. A mug, that admittedly when I initially saw it I thought (don't get me wrong here, I was still thrilled to get it!) oh, a mug, it's nice.... Then. It. Dawned. On. Me. (ok, I'm a bit slow). It is PERFECT folks, just perfect! It's heavy, the handle is high up, it's ceramic, and it has a is the perfect travel mug for me! I really don't like the plastic ones, and when I take my usual mugs in the car, well, I'm not the neatest pin in the cushion, so I end up wearing at least some of my coffee. So, this mug is Wonderful. Great. Perfect. Just What I Need!

And did you notice the card?

Caffeinated Knitter designed them herself!

Knitting update, and gym update... I managed to haul my butt to the gym this morning for the first time since I went out west (away, sick, tired, you know...). Brought the reptilian. Got a few more rows into it and realized something wasn't quite right. Unknit a row. Still wrong. The point here is that #10 needles and slinky yarn do not mix well with the bike, especially when you goof up! I think I'll bring my sock next time. After a cup of coffee I fixed the scarf.

Ruth is having a contest involving knitting helmet liners for the troops, go check it out. She's offered up some lovely prizes. The first was won today.
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mt. washington and reptilian

A person does not drive up Mt. Washington to get away from people! We think we saw 400 motorcyclists (the prior day the road was closed to autos, it was just for motorcycles). And maybe 100 cars. This was on a Friday morning early in the season!

what disturbed me and amused me is that they were all on their cell phones

Except the older guy on the left who long after this dumped his bike (he was ok, but the bike was not). I heard this small 'help' and told dh that I thought one of the bikes up the road fell. But just then another bike came down and checked on him. I was still unsure if I really heard anything and it was pretty far away and there was no way we could get there quickly (driving was not an option because you need to pull your car into pull-outs and that's where we were). Then a whole mess of bikes came up and sure 'nuff, there was a problem. After a bit he came down the hill on his bike, looked like the tire was flat. It was too heavy for him to pick up alone. Ummm....anybody else see a potential problem with this? We're just glad he was ok.

sock in progress in the Diapensia, an alpine plant

We were at one of the pull-outs near the Alpine Garden. We went for a little walk.

it was kind of a long way down, ~300 feet elevation, doesn't seem like much, but it was tiring!...or maybe I'm just out of shape...

don't you love all the cairns! That's ds coming up the trail between the two closest

I'm glad the weather was lovely and we didn't need them. Not without Peril, 150 years of Misadventure on Mt. Washington tells the stories of stupid choices people have made up there. Sounds depressing, but it was a good read.

The road was scary in places

Gracie at the tippity top

Do you see the equipment behind her? There's a weather observatory up there to record the worst weather in the world. And a visitor center with a gift shop, rest rooms, and snack bar. DH was commenting how odd it was that you can drive to the top of the two tallest mountains in the east (this and also Mt. Mitchell in NC).

Have you ever seen this?

krummholz...happens about tree line, ~4000 feet in the the way the trees are short and growing in the downwind direction, huh?

You need to come down in your lowest gear. So you don't burn out your brakes.

waiting in a pull-out at ~3000 feet for brakes to cool

I started reptilian. I have flip flopped about this quite a bit over the last day! I think the pattern could be written more clearly regarding the beaded section, and that the pattern needs a picture of the scarf laid out so you can see what it looks like. Some time after I finished the point of the scarf, I figured out that the intention in the pattern is for the beads to run up the sides of the increases in the outline of a 'V' rather than filling the point (which is what I did). The 25 beads called for was clearly not enough, so I ripped and strung a bunch on. I figured for 31 stitches I'd need 91 beads...then as I was going along I decided that 27 stitches was fine and so needed only 66 beads (I have a bunch, so the number wasn't an issue). Then I started the lace pattern (it is very simple) and really didn't like how it interacted with the end of the scarf...but I kept at it. And the more I look at it, the more I do like it.

i wasn't sure about the scalloped edge, but the more i look at it, the more i like its alligator back zigzag look

I'm still not entirely sure why, but I do know that I have a thing for alligators. Mostly a subconscious dream thing. And when I recognize it and embrace it I learn a lot about myself.
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Santa Fe

So here's the last installment of the trip pictures and reports!

The last day was in Santa Fe, where Aunt, Uncle, and I went to Bandelier National Monument, which is maybe an hour from the city.

partially excavated ruins, below the cliffs, with one kiva excavated and two others almost visible

the tufa cliffs, with a cave that we could go into

There were a bunch of second graders here that day. They looked at me funny, an adult wants to go in? My inside pics all have one or two of these kids in them. The thought about this place is that the people mostly lived below the cliffs, but when winter came, they slept in the cliffs. Any caves with sooty ceilings were ceremonial kivas...the caves stayed warm (south facing), so they didn't heat sleeping areas.

do you think Maine should have an exotic plants display like this one?

Then we went back to town, had lunch, and spent time browsing. Downtown Santa Fe is so interesting looking...

the Woolworth's is upstairs here!

Not only are the buildings interesting, there are interesting people...

yes, that's a rat on a cat on a dog...he's feeding the rat caramel swirl ice cream

I was very impressed with the weather...not so hot, they have winter, seemed like a lovely place! I found my coffee swap partner's yarn at Needle's Eye... here is her post about the package. Since our time was unstructured, I walked from one of town to the other to visit both yarn shops! The other was Oodles, a somewhat cooler shop, but not nearly as much yarn, got a few beads there.

I've washed my swatch (!) for the celtic icon sweater. And have started those socks. Here are the what should I make pics... update pics soon.
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fiber frolic

The Fiber Frolic was a lot of fun!

I met Lucia!...we had vague plans to meet at Amy's booth. And it worked! Lucia was with Miss B, and both are very charming and very nice! Miss B is the same age as my ds...and somewhat similar in personality! This is one of the great things about knit blogging, you often eventually get to meet each other!

Lucia! (and I think she wants that drum carder!)

One of the big advantages at being at the Spunky Eclectic booth early is that I took great advantage of her sale bins!

amy! (who is, as everybody who has met her knows, very nice)

Saw Ellen wandering about in an incredible headpiece!

yes, she really is a purl diva!

Had a great lunch, hand rolled dough, baked on top of a giant wood fired iron stove!

Was very taken with these hats. They were stunning, and soft alpaca, and very well done. Gabbed with Linda, the editor of Wild Fibers. What's coming up in the fall issue? A piece about the knitting mummy! (I couldn't find a link, but it's supposed to be famous...) Gabbed with Robbi (my favorite librarian and potter!) from Maple Lane Farm. Saw lots of folks! We managed to stay (and shop and look and touch and smell) until late in the day, when we saw the Llama Drill Team! They are pretty entertaining.

parading around before doing their drill routines

So where are all the fiber pictures? Silly me, didn't take so many! Here's the haul...but this isn't all mine!

The top row (not mine!) is 2 skeins of chunky purplish yarn from Amy, 2 skeins of Bunny Blend, and enough yarn for a really lovely sweater from Bill (who is also very nice, and an absolutely incredible knitter) at Hope Spinnery. OK, so the bottom is mine... 2 super soft skeins of alpaca from Full Moon Alpacas, I even know the critter's names in each! One skein of the bunny blend between the black and tan alpaca. All (6 skeins) of Amy's greenish speckled dk sock yarn. 2 lace weight malabrigo from Irish Ewe. 2 single dk sock skeins from Amy (I'm planning anklets with these). 2 very soft wool/alpaca blends from Underhill Farm. And in between the rows, 2 more skeins from Amy, I'm thinking knee socks, or over the knee socks!

So, I was having a minor amount of mom guilt at being there all day...DS went to Funtown in Saco for a band field trip. At first he didn't want to go, then he wanted to go only if I went, then he just wanted to go. At which point my guilt about REALLY not wanting to go to an amusement park eased, mostly. He returned safe, sound, and having had a great time. He did say he wasn't too thrilled about some of the thrill rides. And he brought back some bling!

doesn't it look great with dad's worn flannel shirt!

And what was in my email today? My Ravelry invite! No time today to investigate this though...will soon!