Love this! Click the link and see the OFFICIAL MIKE HARDING WEB SITE
He is a real author! Look at all the things he has written, photographed, and/or created. I tried the BBC links but you can only hear the podcasts if you are over there and I am not. Click on his bio--the man plays an accordion! As soon as I figure out iTunes, I am gong to listen.

Until then, I am right here, practicing my banjo. Hour and a half yesterday. Too bad I only know two keys and two rolls. Not counting the mistakes, that is four different sounds series I can make.


Two lessons yesterday. Crochet in the morning with Char. I learned a LOT.
Banjo in the evening with Kerry Warbington. He is very patient. I have a lot of practicing to do today for both.


This summer we visited The Lost Sea Adventure--underground caves in Tennessee near Coker Creek. Jeff's brother, James, and his wife, Sandy, were with us. On the way home, Sandy found a waterfall for us to visit. It is called Coker Creek Falls. It is so remote it took us almost half an hour on gravel road to get there. The parking area couldn't even hold more than 20 cars. It is an unspoiled, unvisited, unknown piece of natural beauty. We didn't have to hike at all to get there. About 10 minutes on a path and we had quite a view. Now I know what the sports setting is good for on my camera. I have some close up shots where the individual water droplets can be seen as they tumble over the rocks.

Below is a shot I took on the gravel road back out.


Why they call it the Smoky Mountains... Yes, I live here as often as I can. Usually a week around Thanksgiving {USA--4th Thursday November, etc.}, Christmas, "Spring" Break {March/April}. That is the view I see every morning I am here. Sometimes less cloud cover, sometimes more.

American Goldfinch. Just outside my window. I love it here.


What is that? It WAS going to be a bathrobe.

Now it is the interlining for this project:

The light yellow in the photo on the right is leftover from the rubber-chicken purse linings. I replaced the horrible acetate. The newsprint is the paper I use to draft out my patterns.


Is that not the goofiest thing you have ever seen? I LOVED it the minute I found it and ordered two of them; one for me and one for HMHC. Since we both knit, I thought they would be fun conversation pieces at weekly gatherings. Unfortunately, the zipper is {*WAS*} so small, our hands were barely able to fit in.

There, that is a better size zipper! I cut out the attached acetate lining, gave the chickens episiotomies...

Here they are before I color the stitching on the black feathers. Due to the delicacy of the operation, I chose to sew by hand. I should have changed thread color when the chicken changed color but permanent marker is so much easier.

If you want one, too, be careful when you visit this site that you don't order the coin purse. I can't even imagine how small THAT zipper is, even with the pictured coin purse!


I wanted to show some amazing hummingbird pictures sent to me in an email. I checked further and found that they are copyright protected so instead I'll give you the link to the site. A lady in Louisiana has tamed hummingbirds and her husband photographed them feeding from her hand. Another woman submitted one of these amazing photographs and claimed they were HER hands the hummingbirds were in and won a prize. No wonder the Alfano family decided to copyright the photos.

The day I received the email with the stunning pictures, this tiny lady crashed into the window just about at my forehead level. She lay on the roof just outside my window for several minutes and I was so upset--I was sure she was dead. Not so! After about 5 minutes, she struggled to this position and stayed there about 10 more minutes. She is a female ruby-throat.

Pretty soon she flew to a nearby tree branch and rested a little longer.

Then she was gone. Two or three females have visited my feeder since then and I like to think she is one of them.


Sock MOMster finishes another pair! She is really clicking along on those needles!


I watch a pair of woodpeckers from my window. Above is one I saw just before it rained one day. Look at his wing tips. He is huge, appearing to be about two feet from pileated head to tail tip.

Here are two more pictures from another day. When they fly, it is easy to see the black and white markings.


I have been away from the blog almost a week. Here are some pictures to show you what I've been doing. Above is the Welsh Coopworth that I spun long draw. I did ply it. Not a very satisfying experience. Since I am never going to go into competition for spinning and I only spin for my own pleasure and yarn, I have decided to continue spinning the way I enjoy most.

In the background of the above is the fiber I bought from The Perfect Skein. Below you can see it drafted, then spun, then plied.

This was a real pleasure to work spin. The fiber was smooth, the colors fun, and the product is a little bit shiny and inviting to touch.


I do NOT hate them. I am going to keep them and not frog them. They are a little loose probably because I carried the rib pattern all the way around from the toe up. Also, next time I will use size 3 needles or possibly 2 if I use Fiesta Baby Boom again. The yarn is wonderfully squishy. It takes the better part of 2 skeins, so it is pricey. Costs less at LOOPY EWE than at WEBS.


Short post today; making changes to the blog.


Yesterday's post: 2 balls of Noro Taiyo, "Sensationally crafted in Japan of 40% cotton, 30% silk, 15% wool & 15% nylon. I chose colorway #11. Cast on 106 stitches, knit until you barely have enough yarn left to cast off. Determine where you will drop stitches and let them go. Cast off, casting on 4 stitches at each drop zone. Insert blocking wires, pin, spray with water, let dry overnight. Select a color and weave yarn back through the drop zones.

Finished product is on the way.


A UUFO--Unidentified Un Finished Object. Actually, I intend for this to become a bag. Have company this week, more later.


Company is here, so this will be a short post. There may well not be one tomorrow. Later today we are taking a trip to Tennessee to look in some caves. Hope I will have some pictures.

I had 2 Bali Batik jelly rolls in near similar colors and I pieced them, cut them, framed the strips and made rectangular blocks. The color behind is what I chose for the backing. I am considering making it into a duvet. After I find it again. I usually write on the outsides of boxes what is inside, but we recycled all of our moving boxes. Some of my yarn is in boxes marked "picture frames".


Sleeping late, groceries, then no electricity when we came home. That is my excuse for yesterday's bloglessness.
I dislike knitting with Cotton Twist. Still, when I saw the bright colors, I bought two skeins to make handles to replace the horrible nylon rope in this canvas Cedar Key Rigging Bag. I am very happy with the result and have decided not to knit the second cord which would make it easier to open and close. I just do not enjoy the yarn. I will someday get my act together and destash it with some other bits and pieces.


I am a little late today. Spinning class yesterday and then a little more spinning during the knitting meeting at Yarn Circle in North Carolina. I am trying to learn the long draw. I've been spinning with friends for two or three years now, just bumping along, not really doing much but enjoying myself. Yesterday I learned the long draw, or I should say, learned to recognize the long draw. Haven't actually done it for more than a few feet which isn't saying much since I was at it for about 2 hours and have almost a full bobbin of New Zealand Coopworth.

Here is a picture of a little bag I knit for a friend with her first hand spun. She was going to throw it out and I would not let her. The variegated is a Lopi Bulky I had in my stash. Her dark blue blended in nicely and the gauge was about the same. I want to learn to spin worsted and bulky weight yarns.


My continued chicken obsession extends to the dishes on the left which are so tiny, the tray will barely hold a quarter. Then there are these tiny figures which are 1:12 scale, actually made for use with doll houses.

Here is a little rug I made some time back. The darker stripes are some of my early handspun--Romney. The lighter stripes are a wonderful grey Lopi tweed. I love Icelandic style yarn. It is not the right thing for the climates I usually habitate, but I can not stay away from it. In this case it was just right to extend the little bit of handspun into a little foot rug.

I believe I used size 13 or 15 needles to knit this.




These are pictures of my studio from last year. Half of my stuff was here and then last summer we moved up another half. In the meantime, I added ANOTHER half because everything was here and none of it there so I had nothing to play with! Anyway, doesn't hockey have three halves? I always liked hockey.

The second picture shows two-thirds of my long work space under the window. Since then, J attached a hummingbird feeder outside the window so when I work at the desk portion I can watch the birds. A picture taken right now would not look that different. I have been dabbling in this and that and have lots of containers open and partially disgorged, I have the blocking pads out all over the floor, and the spinning wheel and some fiber is taking up a lot of space.


Spun and spun until I was dizzy. Finished the pencil roving.

The last spun and first plied is the best and has the least sway at the bottom:

It is about 60 yards.

The giant clump of not too awfully spun and terribly loosely plied is 300 yards:

Good thing I have a spinning lesson lined up with Martha Owen from the John C. Campbell Folk School