Natural progression ... of sorts


We've had a long stretch of uninterrupted bone-chilling cold.
The second heat lamp in the pump house has been kept on
[ not good to risk frozen pipes with our primary water source ]
but nothing stops the back pond from freezing over;
much to the chagrin, I imagine, of the small band of buffleheads
that paddled around in sweet abandon for a week prior.
Wonder where they've gone off to now?

The ice crystals criss-cross in a beautifully random manner.

Knitting seems to be primarily a winter habit for me ... dunno why.  
It's a soothing activity in the long hours of darkness.  I'm not much good at it
[ close inspection would reveal many wabi-sabi mistakes ] but I enjoy my time with it nonetheless.
The season has arrived, for this bit of lacy indigo recently came off the needles

and this green scarf-lette jumped on next.
Fell in love with this nubby yarn ... a blend of 70% silk 30% cotton
Very light ... shall come in handy on my summer travels when an 
evening breeze next to some bonny shore
has me reaching for an extra pinch of warmth.

Had to order an especially long pair of circular needles for this one
as my longest edge will be 52 inches.
Whoever invented the circulars should be awarded a Nobel prize,
don't you think?

So, late yesterday a pleasant walk with the dogs took us round the far back side
of the pond where we hadn't ventured in quite some time.  There are two
"wrapped trees" back there and it's been my practice to check up on them occasionally,
see how the cloth is faring ....

oh my
what a surprise
to discover the downed willow was missing its wrap!
And not only was the the cloth gone, but
the tree had been severely gouged by wandering deer
who'd used it for a scratching post

If you've been visiting here for awhile you may remember its earlier days ...
Here's the photo I posted four years ago showing the fresh wrap
[ notice the willow hadn't grown any lateral shoots yet ]

~ newly wrapped, September, 2010 ~

This piece of old cutwork cotton was from a tablecloth
I found at the thrift store.  So pristine, so   WHITE    back then ...

Then, just two years ago this is how it looked, greening up nicely from the lichen
and lord knows what else.

~ January, 2012 ~

~ May, 2013 ~

By spring of last year, the top portion had slipped some although the binding cloths
were still holding fast.  I contemplated removing it at this point but my curiosity 
won out and I decided to wait some more.
At that time, I was the last holdout amongst the members who'd
joined 'wrapt, tied and marked by nature' 
[ the blog has since been removed by its owner so I'm unable to provide the link to all the stories ]
... an interesting group project which involved about 8 of us from 
different areas of the world who wrapped cloth around parts of trees, 
leaving them for a period of  six months or more
in order to see what marks Mother Nature might provide.
We then recorded our results on the group blog, exchanged ideas, encouragement, etc.,
great fun overall.
Other climates produced very different results and
since I saw zero change after six months,
I decided to just keep going.

I wish I'd copied my original posts from the group blog
where I described in great detail the varieties of trees and the types of 
cloth I used for each.  Alas, all is not lost for I still have all the photographs spanning
the years, if not my written words.

But back to the fallen willow ....

After rooting around in the leafy detritus piled underneath,
lo and behold I found a scrap - ONE scrap of the original tablecloth !
I had visions of local deer galavanting about the woods with cutwork
dangling from their antlers -- what a sight that would be --
for what other conclusion was there than they'd scratched all
the rest away?

It's barely holding together.  Quite a fragile delicate thing now.
Once it's dried I'll carefully lay it out flat, assess what's really become of it
and make a decision about what's to follow.

First it was found,
then it was dyed ...
I may already know what comes next.


  1. Interesting. I think I wish you had checked the fabric before the dears ground it away. Your knitting is beautiful. I just can't get into knitting, but I crochet is one of my loves, especially at this time of year. We have a fish pond in the back. We have a heater in it that keeps a circle of ice melted through the winter so the koi and goldfish will survive the winter. Sometimes you can see them swimming under the ice. It's also fun to watch the birds and squirrels venture out on the ice to get a drink from the melted circle around the heater. Funny how such things warm our hearts and excite our spirit.
    xx, Carol

    1. Am determined to look - every day of this season - for the beauty in the quiet and dark; also to pay more attention to the small happenings out there because life goes on in the woods & around my hood even without ***light*** [which I usually start to miss, sooo much]. Trying to focus on what is vs. what isn't. I love the mental image of your fish swimming below the ice ....

  2. Oh my, quite a forest adventure for this scrap of cloth. To bad it can't tell us its story, perhaps someday you'll find another scrap of it in the woods and it will whisper its tales to you. I am totally in love with the Summer Tweed yarn - what a lovely, scrumptious bit of fiber. Makes me want to reach out and touch it.

    1. I'm going to look again ... have a feeling there's more, buried perhaps under the quite substantial leaf fall. In the meantime, I knit ;>]]

  3. I always worry for the trees when I see cloth or yarn bombing as they like to breathe and they don't need clothes!

    1. In general, I might tend to agree with you. Thank you for your comment.

  4. hmmmm.... maybe the deer decided they needed some frippery for the Christmas table? I'm sad you didn't find any antlers nearby. :( and re: the old website, you can always try: http://archive.org/ (type in the url) and see if it was in fact, saved. ya never know! xo

    1. I will check that source, Jen - thank you for the tip!
      Found one antler last year. Twas in the middle of the driveway of all places. But in all the years here, only that one.

  5. un temps pour le tricot..un autre pour la teinture... :)))

    1. Absolument ! L'hiver est la saison pour les deux ;>]]

  6. Nature always rules supreme and has a way of reclaiming her own. However, it is fun to intervene a bit sometimes in the process and enjoy the fragments of what once was and of what could still be. I love the glimpses here into your world...beautiful knitted pieces!

    1. It's very hard to accept compliments about my knitting. oy vey, it is messy & inaccurate & fine knitters cringe when they look too close ! but thanx for the kind words anyway.

      Nature certainly reclaims her own around here, simply a matter of time ...

  7. what a post , havent seen it before now , christie you knitt very well , nonens you cannot knit or it is bad , lovely colour blue and the old white one seems happy , a lot of activity and your garden or farm looks great

  8. Thank you, Bodil. I try to practice my knitting each winter - I see a little progress these days ;>] My grandmother loved to crochet, but so far I am more drawn to knitting ....

  9. As I'm sure you've noticed I knit year round but I agree, there is something special about knitting this time of year. Something that suits the short days. That was a fun project, the wrapping of those trees. One of the trees I wrapped was the apple tree that had to come down this year.

    1. Oh yes, I admire that in you, Deb, can see it's a huge part of who you are.
      Isn't so much for me ... just as you say, it suits the short days.
      And I'd forgotten you participated in the wrapping - seems about a hundred years ago now .... can't remember: did you get marks from the apple tree?