Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wet and dreary

Sunday was nothing but gray skies and rain.  And in the early morning hours, snow covered the grasses.  However, that soon melted.  I've got puddles in the driveway - yea!

I happened to have three logs of dry wood left in the wood box, and it felt mighty good to put them in the wood stove for a warm fire; the house heated up nicely.  Ahh...it felt cozy.

Cozy enough to want to cuddle up with some knitting.

The dragonfly sock #1 is coming along...I'm finally past the gusset and am moving toward the toe.  I'm continuing the lacy pattern down the top of the foot, which I think looks so pretty.  The color changes in the yarn don't really show off the dragonfly pattern as nicely as a solid color, but it looks nice just the same.

 Rain in the high plains...and yarn running through fingers - both are welcomed!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Moving on

So, I've been watching the bunnies.  I believe Kathy B must have the inside story...for momma bunny is no longer hanging out under the boardwalk.  Here she is on the west side of the house, enjoying the freedom from the little ones, who must be able to fend for themselves.  In fact, I don't see her paying attention to the bunnies or any other rabbits at all.  She seems to be moving on... and the little ones must start they own bunny lives.

I have seen that 3 of the 4 tiny bunnies quickly moved out of the den and are now romping around the woodpile.  They have found several places under the pile to hide.  When I can catch a glimpse from the window, they are so entertaining to watch, scampering from one protective place to another.

The littlest of the bunnies is still in my yard.  This little one doesn't look quite big enough to be out with the others, but she (let's just say it's a girl) is getting bigger and  braver by the day and is exploring more of the yard.  I have finally seen the little one get several yards from the protection of the den under the boardwalk. Here she is, photographed right about sunset, and I have been having so much fun watching the progress.  I'm so curious to find out if this little one will stay in the yard.  I keep thinking she must be lonely without the brothers and sisters around her.  But what do I know?  I will continue to talk to her from a distance...I hope she feels safe.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Somebunny surprised me

You might recall some posts about the bunny living under the boardwalk in my yard; the bunny has been insistent on staying inside the fence and hasn't been particularly afraid of me.  I called him Peter Cottontail around Easter time.  Since the weather has turned cold, snowy/rainy, and windy, I haven't seen much of this bunny and the others that live at the wood pile for several days.  I was away over the weekend, and I was looking forward to catching fresh glimpses of the bunnies as they nibbled the new grasses that are coming up.  

Monday morning I took a look out the window above the computer, just to see if Peter Cottontail was up to coming out into the sun for a mid-morning snack on fresh grasses.  Yep, I could see his ears.  Wait a minute!!  More ears?  Little, short ears??  Baby bunnies???  I could see two sets of little ears.  No, three.  I grabbed the binoculars.  Four??? Four sets of little bunny ears?  These little ones were huddled in the shade, very close to the entrance of their home.  They were a bit difficult to see, but I definitely saw four little bunnies.  Peter...umm, I mean Penny Cottontail has surprised me!  And today she was letting the little ones out into the sunshine and the world beyond the den.  

I watched them for probably 15 minutes...and I couldn't help but be tickled by their antics.  They are so cute. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A fiber banquet

At the Interweave Yarn Fest, Julie and I attended the Saturday night banquet.  The featured keynote speaker was to be Linda Cortright.  I knew nothing about her, but the topic of "WILD FIBERS" sounded interesting.

When we went into the banquet room to find a couple empty spots at a table, I suggested we get close to the front so we could see the speaker, etc.  One gal saw us looking and invited us to join her table.  It was the center table in the front row; the view wouldn't get much better!  As we were just getting seated,  Julie recognized another gal who came to be seated at this table as well: it was the guest speaker!!  So, we were included in some interesting conversation during dinner!  The guest speaker was quite gregarious and animated.  She started out raising goats for cashmere fiber and she had worked on some documentaries for other folks... that eventually led to her current job as editor and publisher of the magazine called Wild Fibers.  In her presentation, she showed a PowerPoint presentation of her travels and experiences getting stories for the magazine.  It was very interesting, entertaining, and educational.  She has traveled the world to seek out interesting stories about sheep, rabbits, goats, musk-ox, etc. 

It turned out to be a very enjoyable evening.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Browsing the fibers

A knitting-buddy and I attended the Interweave Yarn Fest in Loveland, CO over the weekend.  It was a very well-run event.  Everything you needed was right there...great rooms, well-attended classes with world-class teachers, fiber shopping in the Market Place, and plenty of good food.

I took one class: Fixing Mistakes.  I was not sure I how much I would enjoy this class, but it turned out to be just right...some great hints, but not overwhelming.  The teacher, Kate Atherley, did a very nice job; I would definitely take another class from her.  She's from Ontario. 

As soon as we got there and were checked in, we decided to go through the Market Place, isle by isle, vendor by vendor.  Three hours later, we had pretty much checked it all out,...and made some purchases.

I have "ideas" about what I'm going to make, but am still thinking and looking.  I'm a little anxious to get started on one of those skeins!!  The teal colored yarn is (lace weight) 50% bison down/50% silk; oh my goodness, it is so soft and is advertised as something like 8 times warmer than wool.  The coral colored one is also lace weight:70% baby alpaca, 20% silk, 10% cashmere.  It's sooooo soft too.  The purple/white is a fingering yarn, Mode Knit Yarn: 100% Superwash Merino.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Gettin' green

In the area around my pine tree where it got some deep fertilizing, the grass is green and lush (well, as lush as it gets around here!).  Looks like it may be about time to fire up the ol' lawn mower.  Although Peter Cottontail has been out helping by nibbling down some of the growth. 

And then I saw that the Columbine is getting ready to shoot up a spring bloom.  I love the delicate look of the Columbine; it's definitely one of my favorite flowers.  I'm looking forward to seeing this year's blossoms.  Hmmm, appears I need to do a little raking as well.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

On the needles

OK, I really should be reporting knitting progress.  And there has been SOME.

I think I might have about 6-8 more rows on the lacy shawl.  Talk about slow progress; that's me on this project.  But, I'm still working at it.  The yarn eventually changes colors...and it will be good when that happens.

A traveling project is a must.  So, I've cast on a pair of socks with Opal cotton sock yarn.  Hey, Dee, I'm using the Dragonfly pattern again.  I really liked the first pair I knitted; it's worth a repeat.  Now I've got a project I can pick up any 'ol time...and the lacy don't-get-distracted project. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It's a stretch

I think Peter Cottontail has been huddled in a ball all winter, and it must feel really good to finally stretch out in the warmth of a little sunshine. 

More leaves are stretching upward toward the warmth of the sun's spring rays.  These leaves are early.  By nearly a month.  So far they are surviving the very cool evenings.  The weather forecasts predict that we may not be dipping below 30 degrees as we move through April; I hope that's true.  Leaves on a branch of one of my aspens also leaved out in APRIL.  Seems like a stretch...

The mountains are still covered in snow.  Makes for a beautiful sight, as it helps define the foothills from the highest, rugged mountain peaks.   Will we get more spring storms to help fill the reservoirs?  Hope so.  Might be a stretch.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Open and Closed

A gal in Laramie who has the Cowgirl Yarn Shop asked me to consider making an open/closed door sign for her; the request came last fall at our Yarn Fest.  It has taken me some time to come up with just the right concept for the design.  I finally felt like I had the right idea and started the project. 

I chatted with my woodworking neighbor, and he suggested we work up a piece of distressed wood to which we could attach the felted pieces.  The wood was cut, burned with a blow-torch, brushed with a wire brush to remove the charcoal and further distress the wood.  Then, I gave it about 5 coats of polyurethane, and it's nearly ready to go.  I finished the "Open" felt first.  And then I got the idea for the "Closed" felt.  The Cowgirl and sheep are the images from the logo for Cowgirl Yarn. 

I'm hoping to have it all finished and put together in the next couple days.  I've got turquoise and brown suede leather laces to braid a length for hanging the sign.  I plan to deliver it this weekend, so the pressure is on to finish it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Sunday drive

I like to make a trek to The Sinks when the spring run-off is in full swing, but I made the drive with a friend over the weekend, and we saw that the melting snow was just beginning to rush down the river.

In the above photo, you are looking up river, and the water flows around to the left and makes a big curve, as it flows into a cavern. 

From deep in the cavern, it is actually a mystery as to what happens to the flow, but the best guess that researchers have made is that the water goes underground into quite a large reservoir before rising above ground about a mile down the hill, at the "Rise of the Sinks." 

When the spring run-off is at its peak, most all of these rocks are covered in roaring, foaming water, and the top of the cavern is barely visible.  See the "white" around the pine trees?  Yes, that's snow.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Making good on a promise

I got a text about a month ago from a fiber friend; she was wondering if I had forgotten that I was going to make a needle-felted Santa for her - in turquoise.  Oh wow...yes, I had forgotten.  Darn it.  Since I had been doing some other needle-felting projects and had all the wool out, I knew I needed to get that Santa finished.  Seems odd to be working on Santa when I'm relishing the return of Spring...  On the other hand,  I probably spent a little extra time on the details, as I wasn't in a  "holiday hurry."  So, he's now ready to go. I'm not particularly thrilled with this picture, but you get the idea.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Monday's Musings...

My little Peter Cottontail spent some quality time resting and soaking up some warm sunshine.  I suspect he had a busy night delivering eggs around the community. 

In the past couple weeks, very near sunset, I have been sighting the bunnies, usually three to five of them, playing... frolicking...around the yard area.  Oh, it has been absolutely delightful to watch them chase each other, jump, and dart.  I had not seen a rabbit jump straight up (like I have watched kitties do) and then start the chase.  It is funny and so entertaining. 

I have admired a lot of beautiful cross-stitch work, but have done very little myself.  Probably sometime in the late 70's I made this piece for my Mom.  It hung in her bedroom for years, and now it's hanging in mine.  

Springtime in the Rockies continues to be a roller-coaster ride...some warm days ... some cool days... I hope these leaves make it through the cold nights ahead.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thursday's Thoughts

It's good to have a day with nothing on the calendar.

It's good to have the neighbor stop by for coffee and a chat 
before going in to town.

It's good to watch some cloudy, cold weather move in... and OUT.

It's good to watch the bunny taking an afternoon siesta...and two yellow finches hanging on to a twirling, windblown sock of seed.  It  must be quite a ride!

It's good to see that the cottonwoods feel confident it's spring and a few light green leaves bare themselves to the elements, despite the grey skies...