"Don't wish me happiness I don't expect to be happy all the time....It's gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all." Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Rats, a mouse, and a squirrel

The islands history goes back to over a hundred and twenty years ago when white man first began to settle here. Even with the long history of steam boats servicing the island there have been no rats. All of this changed in the last year when black rats were trapped on the island. When I found a single dropping that was to big to be a mouse dropping on my covered back porch I was mortified. Five weeks later when I went out to town I purchased two plastic snap traps - each one made by a different manufacturer - just in case one did not work. I baited them with peanut butter and placed one on the back deck. I put it under a table and tied it to the table legs next to the cabin. The second went into a box with two small holes cut out as entrance ways and weighted with bricks. I put this trap under the foundation at the front of the cabin. Than I waited. The first night I caught nothing. The second morning I caught a red squirrel in the trap on the back deck. The third night I caught a deer mouse in the other trap. These rodents I am used to. In the four nights following that I caught nothing. It turns out that red squirrel droppings are similar to black rat droppings so this seems to be a case of mistaken identity. I am truly grateful. Nevertheless my trap line is still set up. I am sure none of you have any interest in seeing pictures of any of this......

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

All about thumbs


My daughter needed a new pair of mittens for her growing hands. She loved the fish pattern and colours from the last pair I made so I simply enlarged my pattern. I have a basic pattern that I use for all of my mittens. Each pair that I knit for her I write down how many stitches I used at the key points and that assists me in estimating how many stitches I need to enlarge another pair. (I also write down what yarn and what size double pointed needles I have used.) I only use double pointed needles to knit mittens. After knitting to where I want to place the thumb I estimate how many stitches I will put on a stitch holder. This is approximately a quarter of the total number of stitches you cast on. For this pair it was ten stitches. Immediately after placing them on the holder I will cast on the same number - ten stitches. I will then finish knitting the mitten. After the mitten is knit I will return to knitting the thumb. I put the stitches on the stitch holder on two double pointed needles - dividing the stitches equally between them. For this pair of mittens I put five stitches on each double pointed needle. Than I picked up ten stitches - putting five stitches on each needle. I now have four double pointed needles with five stitches on each of them. I will now knit these twenty stitches with a fifth double pointed needle until I have knit to the top of the thumb. ( You will have to try the mitten on to determine this.) At this point I will divide the stitches equally between two double pointed needles. For this pair of mittens it was ten stitches on each needle. The shaping for the top of the thumb is: knit 1, slip 1, psso, knit to the last two stitches on the needle and k2tog. I repeat this on both needles until I have 8- 10 stitches left - roughly half of how many stitches I started with. This is counting all the stitches on both needles. I will than do Kitchener stitch ( There are some excellent video's on utube demonstrating this finishing stitch.) to weave the opening shut. There are many other possibilities of doing this - but this has through trial and error become my signature way. I like to keep things simple and I look for repetitive patterns and I use proportions to assist me in this way.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

The fridge - part two

As you all know my fridge quit working on Jan 21. The serviceman for propane appliances came back from his holiday on February 1 and never returned my call. I waited politely and than snow fell and for two weeks the roads were impassable. As soon as it melted I went back to work. It has now been over a month since the fridge stopped working and everything is ok. I have simplified our eating. I am conscious more than ever of what we are eating and I have learned and am learning new ways to prepare and keep food. I am also finding that a transition to eating vegan for now really helps. After all Adam and Eve (who were given that diet in the garden of Eden as God's original diet for mankind) never had a refrigerator. The cool weather has also helped. Life is decidedly simple and I am content. I am thankful for my peace of mind. This is an answer to prayer and I am truly thankful for His care.

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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

A rug for Helping House

Welcome to helping house - This is my daughter's playhouse and here is a 3" by 2" rug that I wove. After weaving the rug you saw in the preceding post I flipped over my discarded picture frame (my loom) and wove this.
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

My loom

Women have been weaving for thousands of years and until recently they all used what was around them to build their looms with. It is possible to still do this today. This loom is a discarded picture frame and the remaining loom components are various weights of cardboard, string, and masking tape- things I already had. The loom is sitting on my kitchen table and the weaving is 3" across. It is a rug for my daughter's dollhouse. Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Mittens and a saw

Bob Dustrude's quick action buck saw is a wonderful tool however I find the square tubing uncomfortable to hold with bare hands. (I have average sized hands.) I knit these mittens from two strands of leftover worsted wool using 2.75 mm double pointed needles. They are very heavy and they are perfect when I need to use this saw in the winter months. The saw is foldable and built to last- I have given it plenty of use this winter after having to recut much of my firewood. Any blade will do although it would be wonderful to find a blade that I could resharpen myself - instead of the disposable blades which is the only option I have been able to find. There is a wooden tensioning device not shown at the top of the photo to tighten/ loosen the blade.

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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Snowed in

On Thursday after pushing the wheelbarrow home from town I saw three robins in the yard. Are they not the harbinger of spring? I hope they quickly turned around and flew back from where they came from. On friday it started snowing. It snowed and it snowed until the roads became impassable and than it snowed some more. There is no snow plow on the island so it will not be removed until it melts. With the freezing temperatures it has stuck around longer than I can ever remember. There is no vehicle traffic and no boat traffic either but there is an abundance of tranquility. This makes me so content. All I hear are bird wings, snowflakes and silence.

"We need to find God and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature- trees, flowers, grasshopper grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence......We need silence to be able to touch souls." Mother Teresa
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