Friday, October 24, 2008


During the night after we went to Rhinebeck, a bear killed one of our sheep.
The PA Game Commission brought a barrel-type bear trap and set it up at the end of our driveway. The trap has been there for about five days now and … no bear.

This is disturbing on a number of levels. The road we live on has a lot of school age kids as well as some very small ones. Some of the houses they live in are set right in thick woods next to a swamp. Bears have killed our sheep before this, but this is the first time in seven years.

The bear climbed over 4’woven wire fence topped by two strands of electric fence and the fencer was working.

Okay, that was the bad news. But there is some good stuff. I finally got my son’s birthday present finished - - this Rune Stone. The inscription is in Old Norse. The runes say “a tree is not felled with the first blow (of the axe).” It was carved into our native bluestone – a type of hard sandstone - using a wooden mallet, steel cold chisels and a steel punch.

Another positive development is that I found a good way to hand paint my handspun.
I’d spun up a couple of skeins at demos during the summer from Carol Lee’s bargain roving and wanted to dye it.

First I wet the skeins thoroughly with a vinegar and water solution, spun that out so it was just damp and placed the tied skeins on a table covered with plastic. I made up dilute solutions of Jacquard spruce, sky blue and turquoise and used a foam brush to place the dyes in stripes along the skeins. Then I wrung the excess dye out of the skeins to keep it from puddling in the bottom of the container and put it in the oven to set the color.

I’m happy with the color - - not as happy with the way the fingerless gloves are going. The pattern is very nice and easy to follow, but my I keep making mistakes anyway.


Blogger cyndy said...

...hum...still no bear...that is worrisome...

The Rune Stone is very beautiful, Grace! What an awesome gift!

And the handpainted fingerless gloves look terrific--nice dye work! (ps...I can't see any mistakes from here)

3:49 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

Grace, the stone is beautiful! and the gloves are great too. It was another nice time knitting and chatting with you this afternoon and I hope that nasty bear gets caught soon

4:13 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I was just wondering, what are they using to bait the trap?
The stone is beautiful. That must have taken alot of time. I am always in awe of the fact that you start things and breeze right threw them.
The yarn/fingerless mitt are pretty too.
Have a great weekend.

7:32 PM  
Blogger LDSVenus said...

Oh my goodness, did they catch the bear? How awful to have to worry about your sheep and the children. I would guess the bear is hybernating now in November.

I love the fingerless gloves, I noticed they only have it in chart form so when I knit them I will have to convert them to written instructions (learning disability :P). The color you dyed them is beautiful!!!

10:41 AM  

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