Sunday, November 04, 2007

Hurricane Noel - Extra Tropical Storm

Hurricane Noel made its way up the coast and passed over Nantucket yesterday dumping 4" of rain. On its way it morphed into a powerful nor'easter. Once Noel reached Nantucket weather experts called Noel an Extra Tropical Storm not a hurricane. It still packed the wind speeds of a hurricane but the eye of the storm was not as tight as a hurricane. In any event we had wind gusts up to 87mph. I couldn't resist going out to Surfside to watch the surf.

Today the blue sky's are beautiful. The house I recently posted about out on Smith's Point is gone. Several more houses are goners too. The fast-moving storm washed away more than 20 feet of shoreline in Madaket. This picture was taken on 11-9-2007. Here is how this house looked on 10-20-3007 just a few weeks earlier.Once the houses right in the surf are gone these will be the next to go.

On the knitting front I am making nice progress on DH's FLAK sweater. I am about 1/2 done with one of the sleeves. This week I received Roscalie Cardigan kit. I'm going to finish the FLAK sweater before I cast on Roscalie.

Monday, October 22, 2007

You Can't Fight Mother Nature

I don't have a knitting update since I haven't been knitting lately. I had to go to Boston all last week. So, I thought I'd share some pictures of Nantucket. Oh, on the knitting front I did receive my invitation this morning to Ravelry. Yahoo! I made my Ravelry username itsterri.

On Sunday I drove out to Madaket (Western tip of Nantucket) to check on this house. This weekend it finally toppled off its foundation. It is the last house on Smith's Point and is owned by a family in Connecticut. It was threatened before. In early 2005 the waves crashed through the basement. Since then, the beach had gained and then lost 125 feet.

The house next to it is a goner. It is only a matter of time (a very short time). The heavy part of the storm season isn't even here yet. That usually begins in December or January.

Viewing from another angle you can see the house fell off its foundation.
On the other other end (East) of the island 'Sconset Bluff is fast-eroding. The Sankaty lighthouse was in danger of toppling into the ocean. It was finally moved last week away from the bluff. It is now sitting in its new location. You can read about it's journey here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Eagle Has Landed - Almost!

I'm making some progress on my DH's FLAK sweater. I originally stopped working on this sweater when I got to sleeve island, that desolate place. I still couldn't bring myself to start knitting the sleeves so I went ahead and knit the body. DH tried it on and it fits him nicely. Now I am motivated to finish.

I've been working on this eagle for a long time. It is believed to have been carved by John Haley Bellamy (1836-1914) c. 1860-1870. Bellamy was a famous New England nautical wood carver. The eagle was perched atop an entryway on a Nantucket home for many years until it was in dire need of restoration. My involvement began by helping Nancy Chase repair the wings. She removed all the old gold leafing then I started reapplying it. What a pain staking task this has been! I've spent about 40 hours and there is lots still to do.

He really is an awesome bird. When complete the owners said he will be coming indoors.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Nantucket Sunrise

When we are on Nantucket we don't have much property to run our dogs so every day at daybreak I head to the Tupancy Links and get treated with the most spectacular sunrises. They are well worth rising early for. Tupancy was a nine-hole golf course overlooking the ocean that in 1976 was gifted to the Nantucket Conservation Foundation (NCF) by "Tup" Tupancy and his wife. Now the property can be enjoyed by the public. And a few minutes later ...

Recently DH's FLAK sweater got pulled out and dusted off. I started this in parallel with the FLAK sweater I knit for myself. Somehow mine got finished and his did not. (No comment.)
Single sock syndrome no more. Finally managed to finish the second Fetzensocken sock.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Second Sock Syndrome - What's Up With That?

The Jaywalkers are finished! Check out the Grumperina's Jaywalker gallery!

Now I must do something about this!I started this sock as part of the July (2006) Knitalong Pattern for Sockamaniac Sock Knitters. It's called Fetzensocken by Diana Meyers. The pattern was converted from German to English. Google Fetzensocken and you will find plenty of places to download the pattern. Mine is knit with Koigu KPPPM my absolute favorite sock yarn in the entire world. So why didn't I finish it and the other sock in 2006? I just noticed Sockamaniac has a Yahoo group called Second Sock Syndrome. It doesn't look like an active group though.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Knitting MoJo - I want it back!

I was reading Sonya's blog about how she got her knitting mojo back. She got it back in a big way. Her Kauni Cardigan is gorgeous and she is zipping right along.

I was thinking about how to get my knitting mojo back and decided to knit a pair of Jaywalker Socks by Grumperina. I think I am the only one on the planet who has not knit a pair. I finished the first sock today.
I'm using Fortissima Colori-Socka yarn. I'm not a big fan of this yarn but I have lots of it in my stash.

Next, I could pick up one of my many WIP but instead I've decided to start a lace project. I've never knit a shawl but have always wanted to so I plan to start Leda's Dream by Pink Lemon Twist of Mystery Stole fame. Actually Leda's Dream was the first Mystery Stole, Scheherazade was last years MS2 and this year it's ??? . Thanks Vanessa for suggesting this pattern.

I plan to knit Leda's Dream with Jade Sapphire's Cashmere-Silk (45% Mongolian Cashmere/55% Silk) in colorway #7 (Flannel Suit).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Chair is Finished...

After returning from the Windsor chair class and while Vanessa was still here we sanded our chairs in preparation for paint. Before painting the chair it got a coat of walnut stain that was diluted 1/2 stain - 1/2 water. If the paint wears off to expose bare wood you won't see the light color of the wood underneath rather you will see the dark walnut stained wood.

Next the chair received a coat of Old Fashioned Milk Paint in color Salem Red.

The next coat is Pitch Black. Many old chairs had several coats of paint applied to them. With use the underlying color comes through in the natural wear areas. To simulate this I took a pan of water with a cloth and rubbed wear areas exposing the underlying color.

Lastly, the chair got 3 coats of Golden's brand Natural Tung Oil Finish followed by a coat of paste wax.
Vanessa and I are planning to make another chair in March. I plan to make a Nantucket rocker (it's like the second chair on the left).

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

We Did It!!!

Vanessa came up from Florida last Saturday and left today. We had a wonderful time together. I miss her already. Before leaving for our Windsor chair class in West Virginia we had to stop in at WoolWinders and Eleganza Yarns. Eleganza was having a 40% off their entire stock of yarns Saturday night starting at 9pm. Heading to the store it started to pour and by the time we left the store it was raining so hard we could hardly see to drive. The thunder and lightening didn't help matters either. We did some major stash enhancement.

Now, on to the Windsor chair class. Vanessa and I attended the Waterford Fair last fall where we met Charles Boland and his wife Sherri of Storybook Joinery. Of all the Windsor chairmakers we liked Charles' chairs the best and talked him into doing a class and he agreed!

In our 6-day class Vanessa made the Bowback rocker and I made the Sackback. The chairs are handmade using the same techniques that chairwrights used in the 18th century. Windsor chairs were introduced to America from England during the 1720's. The American Windsor came into its own during the 1790's. Windsors were used everywhere (chairs, rockers, children's furniture, stools, settees, etc). We're here with Charles and as you can see we are grinning from ear to ear. We couldn't be happier with the way our chairs turned out. We loved every minute of the class and this included our stay in Romney, WV. Our lodging was at a B&B called Hampshire House where we had the place to ourselves all but 2 nights. Their high protein pancakes were delicious! We had ours without the fruit. Download the recipe here.
Charles allowed us to each make a different chair and he made one of each along with us. This made it a lot harder for him but very accommodating for us. Here are our chairs along with Charles' chairs. We started with straight grained red oak logs that were riven with wedges and a froe to create the stock for the spindles and bows. The spindles and bows were shaped on a shaving horse with a draw knife and spokeshave. The bows were then put into the steam box and bent over a form.The legs, stretchers, and stumps (arm posts) were turned on the lathe from hard maple.
The seat was shaped from a ~2-inch plank of clear pine. Here are the tools (scorp, travisher, compass plane, spoke shave, and drawknife) used in dressing (shaping) the seat after the seat was hollowed out with a gutter adze. Holes for the spindles were then carefully drilled into the seat using a brace with spoon bits at the appropriate angle.
We're getting there! The spindles are threaded through the arm-rail and are hammered into the holes previously drilled into the seat. Next the bow-back will be installed. I'll let Vanessa tell you about her favorite tool(s) and our other escapades. I'll let her explain these too.
And I can't finish the post without mentioning how beautiful the Boland property is or how warm and friendly they are. We loved their dogs Maggie and Molly too. They are good people. The last day of class Sherri made us a delicious lunch and that evening we enjoyed a crab feast in their gorgeous secret garden. (Sherri is taking the picture.)
We've already planned out our project for our next class in March. Mine will be the Nantucket Fanback rocker. I can't wait!

If you don't think you are up to making your own Windsor chair you might consider purchasing one from Charles. They are truly a piece of art.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Long Overdue Post

I have lots of catching up to do. The biggest news is our Nantucket cottage is just about complete and we are just waiting for the final sign off by the building department before we are issued the occupancy permit. Here are a few pictures. It sits on a little one-way street that used to be a foot path. The front is being bricked and there will be a flower bed next to the house that will contain things like hydrangeas and old fashioned roses.The house is only ~1,100 sq. ft. and has 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. It doesn't feel like it is that small and it amazes me how little space one actually needs. The original section of the house was built in 1925. I was looking at a recent issue of "Cape Cod & Islands HOME" magazine that featured a huge house that was referred to as a cottage. That started me thinking about what is a cottage exactly. Hmmm...

The book The Credible Chronicles of The Patchwork Village 'Sconset by the Sea published in 1886 states, "The meaning of the word cottage in society is strangely perverted. It is defined in the dictionaries to be a small habitation; a cot; a hut; formerly limited to a poor or shabby habitation, but now applied also to any neat or tasteful dwelling."

Based on the last part of this definition the house I saw featured in the magazine would qualify. I'd be interested in knowing what others thought about the subject.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Nantucket Daffodil Weekend Festival

The island was in full bloom with over three million daffodils bulbs planted over the years. Daffodils could be seen in shop windows, planted along roadsides, in gardens and window boxes. Daffodil Weekend marks the beginning of the spring season on Nantucket. Part of the celebration is the annual antique car parade where cars are decorated with daffodils.

Each trip back to Nantucket I've worked on my whale with the guidance of Nancy Chase. He's a big boy and I've nicknamed him "Bocephus".After the last time I worked on the whale it started to crack or check. Checking is typically caused by shrinkage differences between the surface and core of drying lumber. A check is a naturally occurring lengthwise separation between wood fibers. Wood logs shrink twice as much in the tangential direction (growth rings or concentric circles) as it does in radial direction (diameter). I was surprised this happened since the timber came from the Nantucket Methodist Church and is one of the original timbers from when it was built in 1823.

I filled the cracks with Swedish putty. Some of the cracks were so deep I ended up creating little wedges from wood and inserted those into the cracks and back filled with putty. It seems to be working. I worked a lot on the tail this trip. I'm very pleased with how Bocephus is turning out. This is my first carving experience. Nancy watches over me and gives me direction. She is the best teacher and so encouraging. I'm having so much fun.
I did manage to cast on the foxes sweater. While on the 2 1/4 hr. boat ride back to the mainland I cast on and knit ~ 1-inch of ribbing. Oh well, at least it is something.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Decision Has Been Made

Our black Lab Sam got his stitches out this morning. They all love him at the Vets office. Labs are such wonderful pets.

Tomorrow I leave for another trip to Nantucket then Boston then back to Nantucket before heading back to Maryland. I plan to knit on this trip! I found myself in a litte quandary (see the March 23rd post) and have made decision. I'm going with option c.) Start the Dale of Norway Fox Sweater!
The fox pattern can be found in Dale of Norway book #66. It has the black with red foxes or blue with salmon heather foxes. Dale of Norway book #107 contains the black with copper foxes. I'm planning to knit the black with copper version using Heilo.

I was supposed to attend Meg Swansen's knitting camp this year. I had a guaranteed spot because I didn't make it into last years camp due to being wait listed. Stupid me forgot to register by the deadline so I lost my spot. I was really looking forward to it too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Poor Sammy!

I'm back from an extended trip to Nantucket. We're keeping our fingers crossed that we'll have an occupancy permit soon and we'll be able to move back into our cottage.

While I was away our Lab Sam had a medical emergency. Sam suddenly developed a huge cyst. Initially the vet treated it with heavy doses of antibiotics with plans to surgically remove it. It responded well to the drugs and a decision was made to cancel his surgery. While I was away the cyst reared its ugly head and Sam had to go to the emergency room. The next day he had surgery. It was shocking to see how big the incision was. Poor guy!While on Nantucket I stayed with my good friend Nancy Chase. She let me tinker around her ivory shop while she worked. I found a beautiful slice from a whale tooth in one of her scrap caches. I sanded and buffed it and Nancy put it on a piece of leather. I now have a beautiful necklace that serves a dual purpose as an eye glass holder. The picture doesn't do it justice.
I brought my knitting with me on my trip but did not knit a stitch. Tomorrow I leave for Boston for a few days.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sirdal Update

Don't you just hate when you put a WIP down and then you get involved with other projects and realize weeks, months, even years pass by? I was zipping along on Sirdal as part of the Dale's Of Nor(th America) KAL and knit to the armholes before I put it aside. Decided the sweater looked a little big. No, scratch that. It is huge! Of course I noticed the rice stitch section looked rather big before I got to the armholes but was in knitter's denial. I swatched! Scouts honor but I should have swatched the rice pattern too because that's where the problem is. So I put the sweater down and gave it a timeout.Now that I have gotten over the shock I have 2 choices, a.) Frog, of course or b.) another possibility. Since the sweater is knit as a tube why can't I make the steek stitches occupy more stitches. That would shift the placement of the sleeves. Since I am at the armhole I can make sure the motif is centered properly on the back. Did that make sense?

I suppose I have option c.) Start the Dale of Norway fox sweater :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Is It Spring Yet?

Oh look! I have a little visitor this morning. Isn't he cute?Hmmm, I should have guessed he was only interested in my birdfeeder. I'm back from my class at The Mannings. It was fabulous!

I MUST get back to knitting. Look for a knitting update soon.

I love going out to my barn/workshop on snowy days. It is so cool to work out there and watch the snow fall. I really didn't think we would get snow today.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Mannings

Tomorrow I leave for Pennsylvania to attend a color and weave workshop at The Mannings. The special workshop was put together for the Blue Ridge Spinners and Weavers Guild. It should be fun.

I'm a convert! After taking Kati Reeder Meeks workshop I went home and built a trapeze and immediately created a 9.5 yard
tartan warp using Jagger Spun 2/18 100% Superfine Merino 386 ends at 30 epi. I created a similar warp back in September with the help of my DH and it was painful. All the fine threads kept sticking together and little fur balls would build up and the threads would get stuck in the heddles or reed and break.

With the help of the trapeze I was able to dress the loom back-to-front without any assistant and was able to do it quickly.

Winding the warp.
The trapeze is attached to the loom, the rattle is in place and the warp is attached to the rod.

The warp goes up and over the PVC pipe.

The weights are attached to the other end. Once the warp is cranked on the trapeze is removed and the heddles are threaded.Sleying the reed using an auto-denter.
Time to weave. This tartan is called Sutherland District scarf half sett.If you ever have a chance to take a workshop with Kati, DO IT, you won't be sorry.