A Pleasant Saturday

The beet tops that were to be eaten for dinner are still out by the garden, forgotten until a few minutes ago… after supper dishes were washed.

This morning the fog was so heavy and moist everything was drenched, but it was past time to finish digging up the root vegetables. Shoes and gloves caked with mud, the last of the potatoes and beets washed and laid out to dry under the covered back deck, I headed back to the garden with a basket and began sorting through the snapped off beet tops that I’d left when we dug up the beets.  Bug holes riddled a number of them (we’ve been so negligent) but many looked fresh and delicious. Humming while picking them over I suddenly felt movement in my hair as though something were caught in it.  A bird had flown overhead a moment before the squiggly feeling and I feared nasty gunk.  I bravely put my hand up and encountered a body which I quickly brushed at, very thankful it wasn’t goop. More frantic struggling ensued in the hair so I grabbed the offending creature and pulled it violently away. To my great alarm it was a yellow jacket which took swift revenge. Flinging it away I watched in horror as it angrily came back at me.  Only the cold damp weather befuddling the bee allowed me to out run it.

One summer while picking blueberries with my daughter I was stung on the finger and the field owner taught me to look for buckhorn plantain leaves to chew then put on the sting. It worked wonders! They are a prolific weed throughout my yard with some  growing near the garden but I didn’t take the time to look for a plant with the vengeful yellow jacket nipping at my jeans today.  I was afraid it was going to call for backup and rally the troops to help it do battle.

It’s been a lovely Saturday, one that I’ve been craving for some time. A bit of physical work in the garden.  Originally I’d planned to tackle writing on the knitting needles and spindles that are still waiting on the kitchen table which Ed had brought in from the shop yesterday afternoon–his labors of the week. But we’ve been putting in long work weeks with Saturdays too much like the other five days with hours of work to be accomplished in order to be on top of things come Monday morning. So, other than spending some time going through emails and sending PayPal invoices I ignored the work.

Ed headed up towards Portland in pursuit of more wood so I got out the violin and practice for almost a couple hours. (The finger is only sore at point of sting.) It’s wonderful to be enjoying the violin again. There was a long spell where the muse seemed to be gone and I wondered if I should stop: the violin is a demanding taskmaster. A week ago during ensemble practice the joy came back. I’ve been playing at least half an hour every evening and sometimes few quick moments here and there during the day. The advantage of having the violin readily accessible in its box stand.

I spent some time spinning (more about that in a following post), a bit of knitting, cleaned the bathroom (much needed!) and worked on hairpin lace.

The loom is still empty. I rummaged through the fiber closet to find the cotton warp needed for the blanket had been used up so more needed to be ordered. It took almost two weeks for it to be delivered. (should have ordered it through Woolworks!)  By the time it arrived I’d started on a hairpin lace wrap for my friend. It’s been a slower project than anticipated but I’m making it plenty big for her to snuggle in, and best of all, she loved it when I showed her the work in progress.
Yarn: Classic Elite Alpaca Sox – 60% alpaca, 20% merino, 20% nylon   1 skein = 450 yards, I’ll be using two skeins.

I finished spinning all of Picperfic’s hand-dyed Kid Mohair. I used my 14 gram Walnut Aegean spindle for the second half and easily spun it all up with room to spare. I’m in love with my Aegean! (Ed still hasn’t had time to make enough to put up on our website but there’s a picture of a batch as well as a picture of all his styles of Turkish spindles.) So light, fast and yet efficient, effortlessly holding more than three times its weight in yarn. I believe that if the fiber hadn’t run out at 52 grams it could have easily packed on other 10 or more grams. Next time I’ll start with 100 grams and see how much it will hold before it either bogs down or runs out of holding capacity.
It was fun to try a different approach to wrapping the flatter armed Aegean: instead of over 2 under 1, I wrapped the yarn round and round, going over 2, under 2 in a circular fashion, ending up with a type of basket weave that produced a very compact ball when it was taken of the spindle.


Ed is headed for bed and after a couple of late nights (late is 10:30 – 11 with an odd midnight jaunt now and again) it’s calling my name too. If I can ignore the spinning wheel with the newest project. Which is one reason I was up late last night, couldn’t resist the fibery call.

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Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Great Wheels aka Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing my fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays we try to set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

9 thoughts on “A Pleasant Saturday”

  1. Other than the yellowjacket it sounds like the perfect Saturday – You need to make a date with Saturdays for yourself regularly…

    And of course I have to reserve an Aegean for whenever they are ready… the name makes me Happy 🙂

    Glad you like that wind-on. t has become my standard…

  2. I had precisely the same experience with a wasp recently – even to putting up my hand to find what was wriggling in my hair! I headed for the vinegar bottle to ease the surprisingly vicious sting.

    You make me want to work some hairpin lace again, yours is so lovely. Haven’t done any in years. I remember frustratedly bending old metal dpns when I couldn’t find a loom the right size!

  3. Thanks for the buckhorn plaintain tip. So sorry about the yellow jacket sting. Those guys know exactly who their target is when they are mad. When my son was about 10 he ran into a nest while retrieving a ball from the garage roof. They swarmed after him, even when dh stood between him and the yellow jackets, they went right around dh for their “enemy”.

    Glad you were okay enough to play the violin. Funny how those creative pursuits call for us to take a break every now and then. But when they return, the gift of small daily sessions seems even sweeter.

    I’m intrigued with the Aegean and am thinking I might get myself one for my birthday….exactly two months from today. (yep. the last day of the year.) Let me know if he’s up to production and what weights they will be.

    Loved the new way of wrapping on your spindle…I picked up on that from the photo before getting to your text.

    Hope your Sunday is as blessed as that Saturday was!

  4. Mmm, beet tops. I love them steamed, with butter. Sadly, others in my family think they are the part you trim off and throw away when cooking beets. We love beet borscht, though, and sometimes I cook the tops in the soup and no one notices!

  5. Other than beets (yuk) your site is so inspiring to me! I am just about to start the last “chunk” of my year-long commission project, and so looking forward to being done so that I can get back to spinning and “fun” things! Enjoy the violin! I am on “reduced activity” after a nasty cold(as opposed to my RESTRICTED activity of late…)so I figure the piano is much less straining than housework! woo hoo! Musical Recovery! Happy November!

  6. Hah! Had a YJ sneak in the house the other evening, Bobby got up to ‘take care of it’, hmm, how are you going to do that? “Swat it”, oh no, let me get you a jar and lid, which I did, then he took the YJ filled jar out and left it on a table on the back patio.. leaving the lid on! (!!!) I went out and lifted the lid and YJ went on his way without having to be too angry :^)
    The HPL is Lovely!
    The single balls are gorgeous!

  7. I’m glad you escaped a second sting! We mostly have bees around here – they prefer not to sting if possible 🙂 The lace is lovely, and your spinning is just amazing! I love seeing how beautifully you wrap the spindle, and how even your yarn is. Keep enjoying that violin 🙂

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