Whatever could this be?


There has been a LOT of this kind of activity on the township road leading to our gravel road.


Seen along the road to our driveway.


It continues...


and cuts across a power company right of way


to cross our driveway.

To be continued…

Posted in Antler Lake, Rural life, Technology and The Kat | 1 Comment

Oh, the problems of a prodigious knitter.

Karen Templar’s slow fashion posts have prompted me to question buying new clothes. Not that I have ever been a fashionista — I live in rural n.w. Wisconsin, FFS, and jeans are appropriate attire for pretty much anywhere I go. My standard shopping places are WalMart (gak! but it’s the only place within 50 miles that sells clothing), Target, Kohl’s, and Fleet Farm (yup), plus L.L. Bean for flannel-lined jeans and plaid flannel shirts. I already have quite enough clothes to last me for perhaps the rest of my life, so why buy anything new? I may revive my long-dormant sewing skills (I made many of my own clothes when in h.s., back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) to fill in some holes, and I will undoubtedly have to buy new jeans eventually, but otherwise… nope. (Let’s see how long this lasts.)

* * * * *

In related news, I have found that I seem to have quite enough cowls and scarves and shawlettes, not to mention hat&scarf sets and fingerless gloves. Whenever I try to imagine the perfect item to knit from a perfectly lovely skein of merino or cashmere or alpaca, I come up empty. There are perhaps two colors of scarf/cowl/shawlette that I could use, a red thing and a blue thing; beyond that I am pretty well set. To make matters worse, I also seem to have enough pairs of hand-knit socks. Oh, yeah, I will probably make a few more pairs, but really, I do not actually need them; it will be more of an effort to use up (most of) a few skeins of sock yarn.

There seem to me to be two possible solutions to this dilemma:

  1. Stop knitting and give away my stash. This is, of course, a complete non-starter.
  2. Focus on knitting for others. Hmm

That second option has a couple sub-options:

A. Knit for my family. Problem: none of them want my hand-knitted socks or other garments. Both sons and Smokey are too hot-blooded to wear wool, period. Elder Son’s girlfriend and daughter(s) are potential recipients, however.
B. Knit non-garments for my family. This is a possibility, particularly given that I currently have four (4!) afghans OTN.
C. Knit for charity, causes like the Pine Ridge reservation or Afghans for Afghans. Children’s sweaters are a definite possibility. I already have a couple in my head.
D. Knit for local causes. Preemie caps, yup. Silent auctions, yup. Craft sales, maybe; our local population is, to say the least, economically challenged, so the market — and prices — are limited.

I should add that I have four five sweater-quantities of particular yarns in my stash, so it’s not like I will never knit for myself again. Will I actually knit those four five sweaters? Stay tuned

Posted in knitting | 6 Comments

Unraveled Wednesday.


American WarHillbilly Elegy

Finishing American War by Omar El Akkad. I got distracted in the middle by having to quickly read Hillbilly Elegy for my book club (more on that in a minute), but I’m back to War again. I would recommend the El Akkad book to anyone, especially someone who enjoys speculative fiction. (I believe that is a category in Book Bingo, for those of you who engage in that endeavor.)

The wait list for Hillbilly Elegy at my library was too long — it was clear that I wouldn’t get the book in time for tonight’s book club meeting — so I bit the bullet and bought the Kindle version to read on my iPad. I started reading it last Thursday night and found it engrossing. Then, as happens occasionally, I could not go to sleep, so I picked up the iPad and read some more.

Rinse and repeat.

And again. (And again.)

I ended up reading the entire book in one night. Need I add that I recommend it to everyone? There is so much in there that rings true and also explains so much that I didn’t understand. There is a lot that is applicable here where I live in rural n.w. Wisconsin, where the soil is poor and the economic opportunities, e.g., the wage-to-raise-a-family jobs, are few. The hillbilly ethos is not confined to Appalachia, yo.




Boy, are some of those stitches cockeyed! Happily, that gets corrected by stretching the fabric both ways for a minutes. (Sorry, the emergency knitting bag is no longer available.)

I have relegated the doubleknit potholder to travel and meeting knitting. Doubleknit in fingering weight yarn on US#2 needles is s-l-ow. I am enjoying it, especially the design-as-I-go aspect, but it was delaying the move back to larger non-portable projects.


Do not question the snow shovel. It is only late May.

The current non-portable project that is keeping me happy in the evenings is the mitered square blanket. Damn, but that is perfect TV knitting! Practically no thought required, and I only need to look at what I’m doing about once a minute. Garter stitch in worsted weight on US#7s FTW!

Posted in Unraveled Wednesdays | 5 Comments

A little domesticated spring.


Once again, taken a couple weeks ago. I had lots of daffs blooming and it was glorious. Thank you, Molly The Teenage Helper, for planting them for me back in 2015.


Those wild violets I showed you on Sunday? They have numerous cousins volunteering in the garden, much to my delight.


I got some of this from the leftovers of the garage sale I ran last June. I recognize it, but for the life of me I cannot remember the name. ::ahem, senior moment:: A little help from my gardening friends, please?


Earlier this spring I saw some bleeding heart at a nursery and thought, “Oh yeah, I should plant some of that later.” And then this appeared in my garden. I have no memory of buying it nor planting it, although I do have a vague memory of wanting it last year. ::ahem, senior moment redux::

Posted in Antler Lake, Gardening, Spring | 4 Comments

Yikes, it’s already Thursday and I haven’t started the knitting links post.


Knitting and math.


Oh, yeah.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Spring progresses slowly… like democracy.

This first set of photos was taken a month ago.

Clockwise from upper left: the elderberry is beginning to sprout leaves; “I’m ready for my close-up, Ms. Kat”; the swamp maple in bloom; fishing, not something I would chose to do, especially considering how they had to dress; the alder at lakeside; everyone comes out to enjoy spring.

The following week, everyone’s mind (and other parts) turn to procreation.



Yes, that’s a bald eagle. Getting ready to make more bald eagles.

Next up: the wildflowers.


I impressed the heck out of myself when I looked at this photo on my computer. The dramatic lighting… that just happened. Google images has informed me that these are wood anemones.

P1010251 2.jpg

Lots and lots of wild violets, although a clump this large is unusual.

P1010260 2

What are all those white spots in the woods between our house and our neighbor’s?


It’s these beauties. Trillium. Lots and lots of trilliiums. (Trillia?)


What about these with the single shiny leaf?






Sadly, there are lots of these, too. Dandelion wine, anyone?

Posted in Antler Lake, Spring | 2 Comments

Another Saturday link!

rope links

Remember Rachel Herron of Yarn-a-Go-Go and author fame? This is her sister, Bethany. Support her! (check out the rewards: “Thank you even better, by improving the level of supplies for backer rewards (Noro, instead of Red Heart)”)

Posted in Links | Leave a comment

Tree-hugger links.

rope links.jpg

Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, or Microsoft?

“I didn’t vaccinate my kids and the one who lived turned out fine.”

Okay, who exactly decided that the world needed this.

Posted in Links | 1 Comment

Unraveled Wednesday.


I am currently listening to Hidden Figures : The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. One thing I am finding a bit off-putting is the narrator; she has perfect American diction, and I keep thinking that the narrator should speak like a black woman.

Bad me. Stereotypes haunt us all.

I googled Robin Miles, the narrator, and discovered she IS a black woman.

Black people can speak any way they want, and they speak in many different ways. Duh. Bad me.

american warIn other reading news, I am currently about halfway through American War by Omar El Akkad, a distopian novel about the second American civil war, which happened in the last quarter of the 21st century. It grabbed me right from the beginning; there has been a remarkable lack of books to have done that lately.

* * * * *

I have been knitting up a storm but not taking photos of it.

  • Three hats for silent auctions. One pink pussy hat, one pink hat with PERSIST on one side, and another pink one with ohm all around (omega is the symbol for electrical resistance — see what I did there?) The last one didn’t work out (I do not care for stranded colorwork), and it may get frogged.*
  • Another pair of double-stranded socks.
  • A pair of fingerless gloves from the rest of the yarn. These are for me. I was particularly proud of how I made the two mitts identical twins. Not easy with such an obvious pattern in the yarn, especially on the thumbs.
  • A crocheted potholder for my kitchen. I didn’t particularly enjoy making it — fingering weight yarn and a US#2 hook meant I had to keep my eyes on it all the time — and it turned out kinda small, even though I had measured the beginning chain against an existing fabric potholder I wanted it to replace. Still, I will use it.
  • Double-knit potholder OTN. That one is turning out quite nicely; you may be able to discern the pattern I have planned. If it were single knit, it would be intarsia; in double-knit it is easy-peasy.This one is for my kitchen, but I may make more for future silent auctions and craft sales.

I sincerely hope this potholder kick is short; as much fun as they are — quick and easy, lots of opportunities to use up bits and bobs of yarn, design opportunities — I have much more important things to knit.

Like afghans...

* After looking at the hat again with the intention of frogging it, I decided that I had so little of the colorwork left that I could finish it with minimal pain. Is anyone interested? Since it was supposed to go in a silent auction, I feel like I should sell it. How about $10 plus shipping (which usps.com tells me would be <$3)? Anyone interested?


Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Roses are red, violets are blue, and so it this yarn.


“Everyone wants to change the world but…”

Stitch by stitch: a brief history of knitting and activism.

Wouldn’t your sides get cold?

Stop her!

Socks for fans of colorwork.

Woolsley Crusher!

Anyone need an octopus?

Would you pay $30 for a merino cowl… with an obvious mistake in the knitting? (Scroll through the photos to see it.)

I could watch this for hours.

No needles required.

Don’t know what it is, but I like it..

Posted in LInks knitting | 2 Comments