Black Spruce Hound

A Wisconsin Girl in the Woods, Knitting, Crafting, and Cooking. Also: Ugly Dresses.

September 19, 2014

Photo Friday: Northern Flicker, Again

Another flicker photo. A photo of a flicker for photo Friday. Someone stop me before the alliteration train pulls completely out of the station. 

In a true sign of autumn approaching, the yard has been full of birds lately. In one morning last week there were 8 varieties in the yard all at once - sparrows, robins, bluejays, flickers, 2 types of woodpecker, another tiny bird I have no name for, and one I am currently forgetting.

Memory like a sieve, over here. CHICKADEES! There were chickadees everywhere. (Knew I'd remember it!)

I plan on taking full advantage of the bird-a-thon for as long as it lasts. 

Have a good weekend!

September 17, 2014

Knitting: The Tess Sontag

This thingy is called a sontag or 'bosom friend.' It crisscrosses over your front and ties in the back. I've been wanting to knit one ever since watching 'Lark Rise to Candleford.'

You can find patterns for these as far back as the 1860s Godey's Lady's Book. I have a fascination with historical knitting, what can I say. Anyway, it's just a huge (HUGE) triangle shaped shawl with a row of eyelets running down the center back. 

The pattern is here (free!) on Ravelry, and my project notes are here. I knit this in a wool blend, and it's very warm and comfortable.

This was a very easy knit. Super easy. It's just that the damn thing gets unwieldy after awhile, and when you are reaching the end of the pattern you've got over 300 stitches on your needles. Not fun. I actually broke my circular knitting needle on this bad boy - it was so heavy it pulled the cord from the needle. A little patience and some Gorilla Glue fixed it. 

I knit this watching 'Frasier' reruns and season 5 of 'The Good Wife', mostly. I think there were a few episodes of 'The Sopranos' in there as well, but it feels strange to knit while watching mafia shows. True facts. 

See you later!

September 15, 2014

Forest Hikes

I'm not sure how it came to be the middle of September. Seriously. But while it's here, I plan on enjoying it. On Saturday the husband and I headed out to the woods again. 

The town we live in is actually located in a national forest, so it doesn't take long to get to the woods. Within 10 minutes we were in the middle of nowhere. On this jaunt we did have an objective, we were looking for something (spoiler: we were on the wrong road) but we had fun just the same. The woods are full of these old roads that head nowhere in particular, and not all of them are passable with a vehicle. You could have made it back a ways on this one in a truck, but then...nope. Nopity nope, unless you feel like getting stuck.

Case in point. It was the opening weekend of bird season, so the husband brought a shotgun along. (Spoiler: we saw zero birds.) In my case, I had food, toilet paper, and a camera. I know what's important.

We saw a lot of neat things, like this lightning-struck tree. 

Old crosscut saw stumps, a particular favorite of mine. (God knows why.)

There were two little streams we had to hop over. 

 There were more red leaves in there than I would care to admit. 

I thought this was way too cool. A rotted out stump-thing. Awesome. 

At this point we were about 1.5 - 2 miles back in the woods. Do you know what you can hear when you're truly in the middle of nowhere? Airplanes. That's it. Plus, I got to see what was potentially the biggest frigging boulder I have ever seen. I took this picture from eye level, standing next to it.

We were about 100 yards from the end of the road (it just kinda petered out. You could see where it intersected with an old logging road, but it was barely visible in the undergrowth.) when we saw this tree. In the picture it looks like a tree, but lemme tell ya...this thing was huge. A massive, towering thing that was probably 40 feet taller than anything around it. See those trees to the left? Those are good sized trees!

We were on the way back out and as we passed this tree again we encountered....The Creature. I have no idea what it was, but it was in that tree. And it snuffled. It groaned. It shook leaves and needles down to the ground. The assumption is that it was a porcupine or raccoon, but we hightailed it out of there and didn't get a good look at it. 

Which was alright with me. 

The heart of a lion I have not. 

See you later!

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