The weather is so beautiful I can't resist writing about the joys of spring. One of my favorite joys is all the new life--flowers, green grass, blossoms on the fruit trees and the new babies. Our birds have been busy for weeks, setting up nests and laying eggs. We had nine of our domestic Pilgrim geese on nests, but we are down to eight. Something got the eggs in one. It is probably just as well because the nest was a panopoly of eggs--goose, duck, and guinea. I don't know how the mother would have managed if she had managed to hatch the eggs. She is busy setting up a new nest. We had two duck nests, but both have suffered complete destruction--one appears to have frozen, the other was attacked by crows. We found broken eggs all over the place. The crows pick up the eggs in their beaks, fly up into the air, drop the eggs when they reach a certain height and then swoop down to eat the contents. I have tried hard to counteract this by craftily getting the birds to nest in covered spots. The crows are not stupid and they still get in when the mothers go for food or drink.
Two nights ago, I heard peeping when I went into the chicken house to check on one of my setting hens (there are two of those). There propped up on a corner of the nest box was a delightfully cute little peep, pumping his little wings (I think he is a baby rooster--he is the light colored one with a dark spot on his head) and getting ready to jump off and hob nob with the big birds. He and his mom and the two other little chicks, along with the other eggs were quickly moved into a brooding box I have which is warm and safe from predators. The little family is settled in and gives me great pleasure. I love watching them. I could watch them all day. Momma is busy showing them how to drink and scratch to find good things to eat and they think they know everything. When she makes a certain low perk sound, they jump back into her feathers and are gone from view in an instant. She is a wonderful mother, especially considering this is her first brood.
The peacock, Morgan, is strutting around like he owns the place. He has been fanning his tail desperately and shaking his wings trying to attract the female's attention. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem too interested and there are no eggs-yet.
This week we are, once again, changing our hours. We are adding an hour from 11:00am -12:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Shopping during other hours and classes can be set up by appointment, with the exception of embroidery club which will continue to be the first Thursday of each month at 10:00 am.
We would like to have evening hours one or two nights a week, but due to health reasons can't spend 10 or 12 hour days at the store or running home and then back again for evening hours. An option would be to open late--say 3:30 or 4:30 and stay until 7:30 or 8:30 one or two days a week. Would this option be convenient for most of our customers? What evening(s) would be best?
We would also like to get our knitting circles going again. What are the best days and times!
Please let us know what is convenient for you so we can set up hours that work for most of us!
Our daughter graduated from Virginia Tech and for some reason the Virginia Tech magazine still arrives at our house on a regular basis. I always enjoy reading it and was amazed by an article on knots in the fall 2011 issue which was still lying around the house. Although I normally wouldn't read an article about knots I did gaze at this one and was fascinated by the different types of knots it covered. In particular the picture of a knot from a loblolly pine caught my attention and I read the whole article--word for word.
Imagine my amazement when one of the knots featured was our old familiar standby in knitting and crochetting--the slip knot. But the article was not about how to tie a slip knot. It was something much different. I latched onto the magazine and read with fascination that Alexander Worden, who received a master of architecture from Virginia Tech in 2011, was an avid crocheter. He apparently taught himself to crochet to help learn the modeling software that architects use. I have no idea how these two things could possiblly be related, but apparently he saw something there. According to the article in the Virginia Tech magazine, architects are using computer-based curvilinear forms that react to each other. Mr. Worden was playing with a lace doily and thought it represented a real life example of how forms can warp without tearing. "As you pull ( a crocheting piece) and stretch it, the knots reconfigure and transform into a different system." The article goes on to say that "he was immediately hooked." Ha, ha, what a play on words. Mr. Worden now apparently is one of the few people who applies crocheting skills to architecture and continues to look for "potentials" in textiles.
Mr. Worden's resume indicates among other things that he was a Top Ten Finalist with Digital Crochet Print in the 2011 Dimension Extreme Redesign Competition and that he works for Enclos. Info on Enclos states that it is a company that involves the concept and design development of advanced building facade and enclosed structures , including glass facades, cable trusses, cable nets, grid shells, exposed truss systems and glass structures.
Who would ever have thought that trying to write a simple blog on the slip knot in crochet would lead to a modern, avant garde, architectural firm?
I just noticed another knot in the article is the Tom fool's knot which is used in animal restraint. I need to sign off and study that for awhile. Maybe I can apply the principles the next time we are giving the alpacas their ivermectin shots. I have no inclination to be thrown against the door of the barn again. I am still worried about having blood (from the scratch on my ear) run down the side of my face when a customer comes in. How awful--I was the Tom Fool!
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As you know, for the past 9 months or so, we have been selecting colors of the month from birthstones. March has two birthstones--the aquamarine and bloodstone. Aquamarine is a blue form of the beryl gemstone family, which can also show up as green (emerald) or pink to red (morganite). Aquamarine comes in many attractive shades of blue and can be the color of the sky or water. It is alleged to arouse feelings of sympathy, trust, harmony and friendship.
Bloodstone is a green jasper (chalcedony quartz) dotted with bright red spots of iron oxide. It is called the martyr's stone and was used during the middle ages to carve scenes of crucifixion. The legend is that bloodstone was first formed when drops of Christ's blood fell on some jasper at the foot of the cross. Both of these stones are lovely. My mother has always loved aquamarines (even though they aren't her birthstone). My Dad has a lovely set of bloodstone cufflinks. I loved them when I was a child until I heard the story about the crucifixion which horrified me. Now I am much more sympathetic to such histories.
Unfortunately, I didn't find any yarn in the store that I felt represented either of these stones in either color or lore. So, I decided to choose the color of the flower of the month. The flower for March is the Jonquil, or daffodil, in sunny yellow. The jonquil symbolizes friendship and domestic happiness and that also suits me this month, so the color of the month is yellow. We have some beautiful, springy yellows in summer blends. Yeah, spring is nearly here and yellow makes it fell closer!