Starts with S
Shawl starts with S. I recently finished knitting this shawl and I love it! It is called the Stay Put Wrap, and it's designed to sit on the shoulders without slipping off. It does that job really well because of its shape.
The yarns I used are Fleece and Harmony Signature Yarn in Spruce (100% wool) and Good Karma Farm 60% wool/40% alpaca yarn in "Mamma Mia" (which was a variegated turquoise and purple colourway).
Fleece and Harmony yarns are locally milled at a small mill in PEI, and you can visit the sheep while you're there! I really enjoyed working with their wool - it is a sturdy yarn with good twist. The Good Karma Farm yarn is milled in Belfast, Maine, and I also visited there and got to pet the sheep and alpacas on my visit. I do enjoy using yarns from small, well-cared-for flocks. This little shawl will be a nice extra layer for my shoulders in the home office on chilly days.
On my parents' previous visit in October, my Dad and I worked on a little project to help stop the raccoon from stealing my birdseed. We made some raccoon baffles for my feeder poles. I can now report that the baffles are a great success and I have had no more raccoon incidents with the feeder ending up on the ground, or the suet being decimated in one night. The raccoon can no longer climb the poles because it can't get its paws around the slippery surface of the stove pipe sections.
The baffles are made with metal stove pipe sections, metal pipe hanger or strapping (also called iron hanger strip), and metal mesh (also called hardware cloth).
We made cuts in the top of the stove pipe sections to allow for the metal flaps to be folded down, as you can see in the picture above. Then we cut circles from the metal mesh that would be the same circumference as the stove pipe. The bent flaps of metal on the stove pipe hold the mesh in place.
We cut sections of the pipe hanging strap and used bolts to tighten it around the pole. We also used a pipe clamp and then a few layers of electrical tape wrapped around the pole just below the strap to keep the strap firmly in place so it cannot slide down the pole. Then we bent the strapping into a shape that would allow the metal mesh to rest upon it. You can see the hanger strip under the mesh. The pipe section is centred, but not attached at the bottom in any way, so it's not stable if the raccoon tries to climb it. If I lived somewhere that snakes in birdhouses were a problem, this baffle would also work for that purpose. Fortunately, I don't have to deal with snakes!
One must be careful to put the pipe on the bird feeder pole before getting the hanger strap in place. We learned this the hard way! It was a fun project for my Dad and I to work on together, and it has worked exactly as intended.
As I mentioned in an earlier post this week, I have a chicken in my flock who is supposed to be a maran, although I'm not sure what kind of maran she is. She doesn't fit the usual colours for the various maran breeds. Because of her interesting colour variation, I have decided to name her "Marble." Here you can see her wing - its appearance reminds me of marble.
Here is a picture of polished brown marble - see the similarity? Marble is a type of metamorphic rock. Metamorphic rocks are rocks that have been modified by heat and pressure. Marble forms when limestone is subjected to heat and pressure, and the calcite in the limestone recrystallizes to form interlocking calcite crystals. Marble can also contain other minerals like clay, mica, quartz, pyrite, graphite, and iron oxides. Marble that contains more minerals is more colourful, while white marble is almost entirely limestone with few impurities.
Her wings and tail are darker with more grey and even some barred feathers, more like a cuckoo maran. She was hatched from an egg from a farm that breeds blue birchen marans, but she doesn't look right for one of those either. Maybe she's a mistake cross and that's why her egg was included as an extra for the person who originally bought the eggs. She's so unusual - I think Marble is a good name for her.