Thursday, November 16, 2006

Also discovered in the mantle was this small metal object. It appears to be brass and has two sets of lines scribed around it. It is shaped very much like a pen nib, but the metal is very heavy and it's much larger than any nib I have seen.There is no split at the tip to allow ink to flow. Any ideas as to what it might be?
The mantle comes off.

Here is a detail of the mystery sticks... knitting?

This is the Warner's Safe Yeast ad from the flipside.

Log joists under the house.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Today was heavy steady rain so the outside progress on the chimney was held up a little, but John had taken the day off work and was going to make the most of it. The guys just moved inside and made some amazing progress on the interior fireplace. There was a layer of brick which was laid right on top of the floor- that and the old mantle were removed- and a hole cut in the floor so that we could pour a proper slab for a hearth- and when we finish the hearth- it will be level with the floor- opening up a lot more options for that floor space. Cutting a hole in the floor gave us a great view of the joists under the cabin which look to be in great condition.

In the process of removing the mantle, John found some crumbly brown paper which he quickly passed off to me and got back to business. One little booklet was folded in thirds and the paper is very damaged from... (what eats away old paper? termites?) The booklet is stapled along the binding and I am afraid to open it and break all the pages. ...part of it I can read a list of maladies... some other scraps of paper he handed me actually fit in the same image, a beautiful although only partial, full color image of a ...(play twilight zone theme here)... a mother, by a fireplace... with her baby learning to walk!

Here are the three pieces, details in the scene: herbs hanging above the fireplace, a gun over the mantle, hat and coat hung on the wall, a cup and cream pitcher on the table and a third figure seated at the table, this figure appears to be wearing a white ruffled bonnet visible right at the edge of the window frame. There are three thin sticks on the table which I can not identify... but I think they might be knitting needles!!

On the flipside of this page is an ad for Warner's Safe Yeast which has testimonials from around the country and the date July 12, 1887 included (gotta love it when they just give you a date like that!)

Well, I was going to post some more pictures but that's not going well. More later!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The stone (from Kentucky) is washed prior to cutting.

The hole.

This is the back of the unfinished chimney as it was when it was covered with siding many years ago.

The chimney after only one day.

The chimney at the end of the second day.

(Angus chose this week to walk!)

Yeah big boy!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Finally finished! The shoulders of this sweater are pure fun. They have a very native dancer type of feel to them, like eagle wings. A tiny hint of Egypt and a tiny bit o' rasta. The color shading of the yoke bands shade around from front to back.. The center of the back starts with yellow, the arms have red- and the front is blue. I think the climbing ring of yellow adds a little extra visual movement to the entire design.

I love to see his cute face in the middle of that sunburst!

Friday, November 10, 2006

This little sweater for Angus is turning into a very elaborate project. It started in linen stitch with some inexpensive acrylic "Crayon" yarn. Shortly after the lower edge took shape- the yarn began to pool in the most amazing way- like a giant sunset across the back. I fell in love with this unintentional design element and began to try to think of ways to build on it.

I knew the pooling pattern could not survive the arm join, so I decided to switch to a stranded knitting yoke in black and crayon- maybe thinking back to those crayon scratch off art projects from elementary school. I quit with the linen stitch and started knitting a pattern in the varigated yarn with stockinette- but the darkest purple color was just losing it against the black and the patterns would not stand up if they continued being broken by sections of purple popping in here and there in varigate yarn fashion. Ripped that out and back to the armjoin row.

Next game plan was to simplify the design to vertical bars of color between black bars- but rather than allow the rainbow to trace out horizontally- I was going to force each strand of spectrum to shade upward in a straight line by using an intarsia type technique.

I wound off my yarn around some chairs and cut lengths carefully so that the colors shaded in a way that reflected the pooling colors of the lower torso. 25 strands of yarn + one black. I had difficulty at first figuring out how to manage these pieces, (first with 25 little cardboard bobbins- that was a nightmare.) I began to think a simple braid would avoid tangles and then it struck me that if I chained the hank from the tail in- I could feed out new yarn as I needed it by unchaining from the top.

This is not true intarsia because the black strands behind the colored bars- the colored bars are only twisted in once each row- so the colored bar is attached- but slightly able to slide on the strands holding it. I will have to see after blocking if this is an interesting or problematic feature- the ability of the colored bars to curl in on themselves vertically without having to shoulder the stretch of the garment which is bourne entirely by the black stranding- gives the colored sections a little puff.

I'm not working from a pattern and I hope that I can decrease through the shoulders in a harmonious way right up to the neck.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Yesterday, among other things- Phil pulled my giant rock out of the ground with his machine. I found this rock buried in mud years ago and all I knew was that it was big. (Rocks like this are very unusual for our farm)

I am hoping that we can use this rock for our front step.

I asked Broadus to take a photograph of the rock being sure to include something for a size reference. I love the resulting photo (notice the teeny tiny horses in the scene) Speck assumes the "Lion King" pose.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

After at least a century the logs are revealed. In a bold move I am sure seems akin to wearing our underpants on top of our jeans...

We are exposing the original log walls of the 1845 cabin. It was covered with clapboard siding probably as soon as the homeowner/builder (Charles and Elvira David) could afford it. They say that back then everyone would have wanted a clapboard sided house as there was no status or fashion in a crude log cabin. Oh and the clapboard was so beautifully finished! Mr. David was a captain and also had a partnership in a local drygoods store.

Revealing this west wall today uncovers a new mystery... a never finished fireplace back (square hole to the right of the bushes)- log walls without any stone chinking behind the clapboard sides (to the right of the fireplace)... no stones, no plaster, no mud... nothing but fist sized gaps between the logs... stones don't evaporate, and termites don't eat them... whoever put the clapboard siding on there- put it up over these huge uninsulated gaps. Nothing is really holding the logs in place where they are cut for the fireplace except for the framing around the hole! Other areas of the cabin do have fully finished chinking- so it must have been removed - What were they thinking? ...not even any mud or straw for insulation!

I can't say I really understand what was going on here, because there were local homes built with brick or milled lumber. It does not seem that the cabin was erected without effort- but aspects of how the cabin was finished seem such a mystery. We have to think on our feet because we didn't know what we would be dealing with untill the siding came off- but now we have winter fast on our heels and little more (or less) than some drywall holding it off.

We will probably do a fieldstone square in the central area to finish the fireplace back.

This is a close up of the southwest corner joints where the rest of the house was added on. I wonder why the angled panels? Some interior plaster lath visible. The log joints are shaped like a little house with a pointed roof.

I think I should have learned yoga last week. I am so stressed right now.