Here's a bit of a close-up to see all the different fibers and lumpies/bumpies in the handspun. There is everything but the kitchen sink in this yarn.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Yesterday I spent hours at the warping board winding warps for painting/dyeing. Today I'll probably spend a few hours winding more of them. So far they've been tencel or rayon/cotton blends. Then they'll all be sitting in the queue for the morning I wake up and decide to start dyeing.
Generally the only ties I put on a warp are at the beginning and end of the warp and the cross no matter how long that warp may be. (I don't advise skipping choke ties for the beginning weaver) But, when I'm winding warps for dyeing I tie the bejeezees out of the warps to keep any tangling from happening. This warp will be soaking in a soda ash solution for a bit, wrung out, laid out to paint the dyes on, sit overnight to batch and then it needs to be rinsed, and rinsed, and rinsed to get the excess dye out. That's a lot of handling and moving around - if I didn't put any ties on it I'd end up with a tangled mess.......ask me how I know this........and it only has to happen once...........
When dyeing for scarves I generally only wind enough for 2 or 3 scarves. Even though weft color choices can change up how each scarf looks I still don't want too many to be from the same dyed color schemes, I want this to be more of one of a kind scarves. This is tough for someone who generally puts on long warps but I'm much happier in the end if I don't have more than 3 scarves from the same color schemes.
I moved my warping board into the room with the tv so I could watch Reign (about Mary Queen of Scots) on Netflix only to find that I couldn't get a good connection to the internet - ack. I'm up to episode 38 of 44. This room is the furthest from the router/modem, sometimes it's fine, sometimes not. So, I ended up listening to a book on CD instead.
Toward the end of the day I wound a few 5/2 perle cotton 'warps' to be used on the inkle loom - they will be very fun painted/dyed and then mixed with solid colors for bookmarks. One of them I even took the time to tie up for ikat dyeing. Hmm, maybe some dyed warps for table runners would be fun - they could also be mixed with solid colors.
My goal before the summer is over is to dye enough warps for weaving this fall and winter. It's so much easier to do my dyeing outside, I'm just not set up for inside dyeing other than a small dye job here and there.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
No, I am not joining the slow weaving revolution........if it's still around, saw it mentioned in the past couple of years. I love weaving, enjoy the bejeezees out of it but slow weaving is not for me. I need to weave at a good pace to develop a rhythm.......then it becomes relaxing and zen like.
But today was all about slow weaving. First I wove the last scarf out of handspun on the loom, then I wound a warp of some of my novelty handspun full of all kinds of fibers, glitz, locks, ribbons and more - I had plied it with a rayon sewing thread. Got it wound on the back beam, heddles threaded, reed sleyed and was ready to get to weaving. Well, in the first five inches 6 threads broke and I really hadn't even gotten up to my normal weaving speed. So.........I moved to slow motion, very deliberate, easy weaving and so far in the 60" woven this afternoon I've only broken one more thread. Normally I don't have a problem weaving with handspun but in hindsight I can see that I really didn't spin the novelty ply tight enough and the rayon embroidery thread ply just wasn't strong enough to handle the abrasion of the reed on it's own. So, tomorrow I'll be back to slow weaving until I finish weaving the shawl. I'm really loving the look so I hope it's just as beautiful once it's washed which is part of the finishing process.
Monday, July 18, 2016
This past weekend I took a watercolor journal making class on the coast. It was great fun, learned lots, and will be making more journals here and there over the coming years. Many thanks to my instructor Mary who not only taught a great class but has also enabled me to spend some money on a couple books, tools, nice paper, leather, etc. etc.
Here is the outside of my journal - that's leather - pink leather! I forgot to take a photo of the spine where it shows how I sewed the books (sections of watercolor paper) into the journal - I used a waxed linen in the same teal color as my leather tie closure. It was tempting to put a button closure on but I've decided I want to try embossing the leather with a rubber stamp, I thought a decorative button plus the embossing would be too much. Next journal will get a beautiful button closure.
Here's the inside of my journal. I'm wondering if I could use handwoven fabric for a journal cover.....would have to back it and figure out something for the raw edges without creating too much bulk. I don't know if I have any suitable leftover scraps at the moment to sample with but I will give thought to weaving extra on a perfect warp in the future.
And here's the back page with the colophon which Mary said we should add to our books. I looked up a definition and it's "A statement at the end of a book, typically with a printer's emblem, giving information about it's authorship and printing. Mary said in artist's book they may include the type of paper used. Since I went totally out of my comfort zone with the pink leather I thought my colophon page should be colorful too. I only had a regular black pen and some colored pencils over there so this is what I came up with. I plan on doing some watercolor washes on other pages, maybe some stamping, need to put my name and contact info in the front of my journal but will wait until I do a little playing with the watercolors on that page.
Sunday morning we went blueberry picking again. Twin Creeks Farm south of Bandon has 5000 berry bushes and they're still loaded. We picked another 20+ pounds. I baked a blueberry cobbler for Sam since he said I've never baked him cobbler in the 33+ years we've been married and he loves cobbler and has fond memories of his grandmother's from down on the farm. I'm a crisp or pie girl myself but I made the cobbler. It's good but he had to admit maybe it tasted better when he was on the farm visiting his grandparents - looks like crisp and pie are next up.........
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Today I decided to do a bit of sewing in-between other mundane household chores. I made us little snap bags for our kindles and the charging cords. Sam's is in golf fabric......of course (it was leftover from an afghan I made him a few years back). My Kindle is tangerine on the back side so found this fun fabric in my stash. Now our Kindles are protected from getting scratched but not in a permanent heavy case. I made many of the small size of snap bags last fall as gifts - in the casing of the opening are pieces of metal tape measures that 'snap' open and close.
I was still in the sewing mood so I quickly sewed a tote bag in some beautiful Tula Pink fabric with seashells. I didn't take a picture of the inside of the bag but the lining is a coordinating fabric, just as cute as the outside fabric. This was fabric I had in my stash that I bought on speculation a few years back - it goes great with my new Zuca tote with the wave design. I splurged on this rolling Zuca tote to use for carrying my electric spinner, the tote has a hard top on it so I can use it as my table to set the spinner on. I'm still looking for the perfect size storage box for the inside - I'd like to store extra bobbins in the box and then set the electric spinner on top of it for transporting. This would also make a cute weekend getaway bag but I'm not sure I want to dedicate it to that........maybe someday I'll feel flush enough to buy a second one. I think these bags were originally made for ice skate toting....there are all colors and types of covers to be found all over the internet if one does a google search. They make all styles now and ones specifically for travel which seem to cost almost twice as much as this one.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Today for a lunch get together I made a recipe from Taste of Home for Thai Chicken Pasta Salad. It's always a gamble making a recipe I've never made before but it worked out great today - this is definitely a keeper recipe. Yummy and easy. It called for shredded Chinese or napa cabbage but after going to Costco yesterday and then Trader Joe's which didn't have the cabbage I went with what I found there - some regular shredded cabbage and some shredded kale/brussels sprouts mix - it was great. I have a limit on how many grocery type stores I can go to in a day.....or week for that matter. This dish tastes great hot or cold. It makes a lot so we had leftovers tonight for dinner. Click on the dish name above to find the recipe on the Taste of Home website.
Monday, July 11, 2016
In the evenings I either knit or catch up on reading magazines while watching tv........occasionally I spin. Since I'm trying to rest my right hand from knitting (it's smarting along my thumb) I decided to go search my stash for something fun to spin (it doesn't seem to affect my thumb). On the back of a shelf I found this mystery fiber I had dyed years ago........it may be merino but I'm not positive.......it may have been dyed with easter eggs dyes but I'm not positive. I'm loving the way it's spinning up. I don't know what it will grow up to be once spun - I'm spinning for what will be a fingering weight. I don't have a tremendous amount of it but plenty for a pair of socks, maybe a shawlette. The colors make me think of the forested area I live in.........
Sunday, July 10, 2016
New false damask towels ready to purchase in my etsy shop. I have to admit I'm in love with this weave structure and the block arrangement I designed........that's why it's back on the loom again in a multi-colored warp.
Friday, July 8, 2016
Cousin Jim gave me some apricots from his neighbor's tree so yesterday I made a batch of apricot jam. These apricots were incredible to just pop in my mouth, tree ripened.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Gotta love blueberry season.......it's my favorite berry although this year's crop of local strawberries was exceptional. Today I made 3 batches of blueberry jam and a loaf of lemon blueberry bread. I have a bowl of berries in the fridge for eating and have several bags in the freezer for smoothies, muffins or whatever. I posted the recipe for the lemon blueberry bread once before - it can be found HERE. Next up is some apricot jam, cousin Jim's neighbor gave him a bunch of apricots so he's sharing - I'll get enough for one batch which is plenty of apricot jam for us - will get to that on Friday. Blackberry season will be here soon - haven't made blackberry jam in forever. Yum, can't wait to slice into this bread after dinner.............
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
We spent the past 6 days on the coast - absolutely lovely weather, sunny, cool and windy.....could have been a bit less wind but I'm not complaining because it's so much hotter here in the valley. I did some reading, some relaxing, some spinning , some weaving and some of lots of other fun things. This morning before we headed home we went to a blueberry farm south of our beach town and picked over 18 pounds of blueberries........not sure how many we ate while picking. Blueberry jam is on the schedule for tomorrow, I think I've got enough sugar for at least 2 batches. Will freeze blueberries but since I have a couple lemons I might have to make some blueberry lemon bread.
......here they are in a cheery yellow
Since I finished up that warp and am still on a kick to use up my cottolin stash I put on another towel warp in the same draft but this time I was using up odds and ends of spools that were getting low. I've got 4 different colors I'll use for wefts on these 10 towels. These look pretty orange in the photo but there's no orange in them at all - mauves, pinks and a little lavender. I think after this there's enough cottolin left for another mixed color towel warp.....not sure what weave structure yet. After that I'll move on to something new on that loom.
Bailey is exhausted after his time on the coast. The neighborhood was hopping so he sat out on the front porch watching and never got his naps. He was especially interested in watching the kids play baseball across the street, and then later the kids next door shooting off fireworks. But the highlight of his time on the coast was getting this new football at the parade on the 4th. We sat on the curb and he watched the parade, watched all the kids running out into the street to get the candy and toys being thrown. But then a bus from Bandon Dunes golf resort went by and threw out this little football - no kid had a chance, it was coming right at Bailey and he jumped up and grabbed it. Go figure why a one of the top golf resorts in the world threw out a handful of footballs but Bailey was happy they did.
Saturday, July 2, 2016
This is what I've just started spinning, it's a 50/50 merino/bamboo blend I bought at OFFF a few years back, it's lovely, it has a beautiful sheen to it. I'll be anxious to see the resulting yarn once plied. I've got a pound of it and am spinning very thin so it will be a while before I finish this.....especially since I spin here and there.
Back to the saga of Windows 10 on my laptop. According to the IT guy at Sam's office others also lost their bookmarks in a MS update. Luckily for me I don't have many bookmarks on my laptop so I could put them back in not too much time.........but will it happen again in the future??? So, here's the latest. I was trying to download photos off my camera to the laptop and it wouldn't work - the Photo app in Windows 10 disappeared in that same MS update - argh! And this has happened to others too this week. Correct place on MS website found to download app again but it's not working at the moment. I wonder what's next with Windows 10........
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
I put on a handspun warp for 2 scarves and wove the first one. Before weaving the second one I want to see how it feels after washing since I used some handspun weft. If I like it I'll use the same weft for the second scarf, if not I'll find something else. No waste of warp cutting of as the warp I tie back on will become the fringe of the next scarf. Those stripes in the warp aren't from separate skeins, that all one length of handspun blending from one color to the next.
Next up is another warp of handspun for scarves. I'm trying to pull together some items made of my handspun to use in our county fair display this summer. These won't be entered into the fair for judging, just part of our display that we sit in front of and demonstrate spinning during the fair.
So, interesting thing happened yesterday with my new laptop with Windows 10 on it - I lost all my favorites. It may have been a Microsoft update, or it may have been Norton which was running but somehow my favorites disappeared - ack! Luckily it's not my main computer so it only had around 15 favorites on it for sites I visit regularly while away from home. I've had the laptop for a few months and there had been no issue until yesterday. Has anyone else had this happen? Was there a way to retrieve your favorites? And for the record I do not care for Windows 10 - Windows 7 has been great (we know Windows 8 was a bust for MS). Why mess with a good thing? I sure wouldn't have bought a new laptop just because of this new operating system except that my netbook bit the dust..........
PS - is anyone else watching Outlander? The season will be ending all too soon on July 9th. I heard that Starz has picked up season 3 & 4 with 3 in the works already. I binge watched the first season on DVD when a friend loaned it to me this past winter - I 'had' to sign up for Starz so I could watch the second season as I couldn't possibly wait until it comes out on DVD.
Monday, June 27, 2016
I finally did a bit of photography work......dreaded photography work........so I could list a few items in my etsy shop.
The handwoven table runner using a hand-dyed warp.
A white chenille shawl - perfect for a wedding or any ole' time.
Another white chenille shawl using a seed rayon as weft to give a nubby or pearl like look
Saturday, June 25, 2016
I spun this black baby alpaca and dyed silk yarn a while back. I started 2 different knitted shawlettes and took them out because they just didn't look right, then I started a crocheted scarf and didn't like that. Today I decided it needed to be woven, finally I got it right - it's going to look beautiful woven. It was close on having enough yardage - I only put aside a tiny bit in case of any broken threads which did not happen. I just wove it in plain weave to show off the handspun.....although my first choice would have been some sort of twill but I didn't have enough yardage since a twill needs to be sett closer, which would mean more warp ends. For the weft I'm using some commercial merino/tencel yarn I had gotten from Webs a while back - it's perfect. I can't wait to cut this off the loom and get it washed......it's not finished until it's washed. I'm thinking this will be for me as I've been wanting a black shawl to wear with many colors. It's a shame I couldn't capture the sheen of the silk in the photo..........
Here are what the batts I spun it from looked like. And here's what the handspun looked like (3rd photo down) - I plied it with black thread. This is pretty good for me - less than 2 years from batt to handspun to finished project........usually it sits in some form or another on the shelf for a while before being finished.
Now I'm looking at 2 different novelty handspuns that have been sitting on the shelf marinating for a few years thinking I'll weave some scarves out of them. I do need some new items made from handspun for our county fair display this summer.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
I'm using a slightly off-white rayon seed yarn for weft on the second one. Remember I used almost all of the chenille for the warp and was hoping there would be no broken threads..........well, there almost was......I had one thread weakening where the fuzz was coming off leaving just thin thread so I put in a repair thread for around a foot and now am hoping that particular end isn't weak the rest of the warp.......looks ok so far.
The hope is that these sell - the last few times I wove white chenille shawls they sold immediately......brides seem to like them for a wrap with their gowns.......with that said watch these linger in the etsy shop..........
Sunday, June 19, 2016
This afternoon I decided to wind a white rayon chenille warp for some shawls and boy did I cut it close. I had two 1 pound cones for warp for two shawls. I knew it would be close but I actually ran out and couldn't wind the last half inch of the warp. Not a big deal as a half inch doesn't make much of a difference. I stuck the cones up on the raddle here on the back of the loom - very little left on them. Not sure what the weft will be - I might have enough white chenille (different brand) to use for one but will need to triple check that.........I can always use some white rayon, it will make a lovely drapey shawl.
Yesterday I blocked two of the shawlettes knit a few months back - it's a necessary chore or the lovely lace design will be totally lost and the knit item will just look like a scrunchy mess. These are still pinned out, can't wait to unpin them and see how they turned out. These are holiday gifts for later in the year - I can show them as these two don't read my blog but once I start blocking other ones they will not be seen here as they are also gifts. The shawlette I started last week is almost finished, the peachy one, I worked on it while riding in the car on our road trip.
Yesterday I also did another chore, a dreaded one...........weighing out a big order of roving to sell in one of my etsy shops. Sam helped me which makes the job goes three times as fast as just one person doing it - as he says, we have a 'process'. Then I spent much time on administrivia putting it into inventory and updating the etsy shop. So, glad to have that behind me........until I place the next order........or decide to call it quits on the roving side of my business.........
Happy Father's Day to all the father's out there. I miss my Dad terribly, we lost him in 2007.
Friday, June 17, 2016
We are back in the nest again.......yes, I realize none of you knew I was gone. Hubby, Bailey and I took off on a road trip to visit friends in Northern Idaho and then on to visit family in Big Fork, MT. There was a lot of driving involved. We had a great time but alas, I took practically no pictures.........this trip was all about visiting. So, the only pix I have to share is when I churned butter in Idaho - very fun and even more tasty.
Here friend Diane is demo'ing how I'm to churn the farm fresh milk
She turned the butter churn over to me and after much churning here is my butter sitting in resulting buttermilk
Here the buttermilk is draining off. I don't like the taste of commercial buttermilk, it's great for baking, but not for drinking. I tasted this farm fresh buttermilk and it was heavenly
And here's my butter - probably around 1 1/2 pounds. I took it on to my next visit in Montana to share - believe me this was incredible tasting. If I had access to fresh farm milk at a reasonable price I'd be churning my own butter from now on......but the cost here is prohibitive as in $10-$15 a gallon.....if anyone reading this is local and knows of less expensive farm fresh milk in our area please let me know.
Today is all about catching up......or as I call it 're-entry'........which usually sucks. I'm hoping to get a warp on the loom in the next few days and get back to dyeing some silk shawls soon.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Two new projects to get started for evening knitting - both shawlettes. The one on the left is with commercial yarn in 5 shades of dusty purple. The one on the right is my handspun. I had also planned on starting a shawl using some of my other handspun - black alpaca with all different colors of silk mixed in but I started it today at my spinning group and it wasn't working so a new pattern needs to be found for that handspun.....need to think on that one for a while. (photo not so good as I didn't feel like walking in the other room for the camera, used my cell phone instead)
Sunday, June 5, 2016
Just back from 4 days on the coast - we left 64 sunny degrees late morning over there and 2 1/2 hours later pulled in the driveway back here in the valley to 100 degrees. Phew - too early in the season to be this hot.........I have heard by mid-week the temps will come back down.
I didn't get much weaving done while on the coast but a little bit - a couple of green false damask towels.......
......and a couple of blue-grey false damask towels.......the rest of the warp will be there waiting for me whenever we get time to go back over.....which is not right now......
There's a fun rally & charm trail going on over on the coast to benefit the Coos Art Museum in celebration of their 50th anniversary. It's a quite impressive museum for a small town, I've seen some wonderful shows there. I've collected around half the charms so far from area businesses/galleries/museums........I've got until the end of the year to collect them all. It's been fun to visit places we haven't been yet on our travels.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Take 2 on the ginkgo shawl - it dried in short order from the dry heat after blocking it this morning. I like it enough to knit myself another one out of handspun.......after I spin the yarn. This one is really autumnal, another not so seasonal will be great. And I may put 3 ginkgo leaves in the border on it. I'll definitely need to use a shawl pin with this in order to hold it so the ginkgo leaf will show.........I've even got a ginkgo pin I could use.........
I wanted to finish the ginkgo shawl last night but just couldn't knit the last 2 rows and bind off - too tuckered out. So, this morning I did something so unlike me - I knit, usually knitting is reserved for evenings and knitting/spinning get-together's. I had a goal to get it blocked today as the temp would be 90 and very dry - the shawl will be dry in a matter of hours. I could have waited 'til the weekend when it's supposed to be 100 but then I won't want to be outside putting those blocking wires and pins in. I hope I love this shawl after it's blocked, I like it now but I want to love it. The ginkgo leaf is in the foreground, I guess I expected it to show up a bit more. I was picking autumn colors but I do wish I had picked colors closer in value. If I love this once finished I have plans to spin yarn to make another using plum and chartreuse.....unless I change my mind......which may very well happen......
This pattern is the Ginkgo Shawl by Connie Peng from yellowcosmo designs. It can be found on Ravelry and bought there.......I noticed it was $4 as opposed to the $6 I paid locally.....will remember to check on Ravelry first in the future. It was fun to look at others who have knit it and the color combinations they picked out. Some added more ginkgo leaves, which I loved. Some knit the leaf in a totally different color, loved that effect too. Ideas for the next one I knit...........
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
New baby just outside Bailey's fence this morning. Bailey was barking and barking, never stopping so I finally went out to see why he was being so mouthy. Well, he was practically nose to nose through the fence with this new fawn - just 2 feet between them. The fawn is so new it could barely stand. It wasn't afraid of Bailey at all, maybe it thinks Bailey is it's Momma. It wasn't afraid of me talking to it. Sam ran to get the camera so we could get a picture of them practically nose to nose but Bailey had come to the deck stairs with me by that time so photo op missed. I snapped this quick pic and we've now left the fawn alone hoping it stays put and Momma comes back soon. It would have been so easy to have gone and hugged it up, I know it wouldn't have run off...........but that would have been the wrong thing to do so I kept my distance having faith Momma will be back soon.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Here's the finished ice-dyed warp woven up in an undulating twill. I like it but don't know as if I'll ice dye any more warps..........the watercolor effect I was going for wasn't quite what I expected, not as much color variation.
Friday, May 27, 2016
After the tee's I started stitching some towels. I have some very cottagey flowers in vintage canning jar patterns. I have 8 patterns but have picked out 4 to stitch right now - 2 of each design. Four stitched, four to go and then photos and listing in the etsy shop.
It looks like parts of the country are getting some terrible weather for the holiday weekend. It's lovely here, sunny, clear and very spring like temps..........although I hear the 90's are back next week. This 3 day weekend is Boatnik with hydroplane boat races on the Rogue River. We're around a mile from the river and we'll be able to hear the boats from the house. This is one of those weekends we steer clear of the crowds in town and hunker down at home - too bad I didn't think of doing some grocery shopping ahead of time.........
Yesterday I wound the warp and got it on the loom. Here it is underway. I finished the long table runner and it's now sitting in the sink washing, then off on a towel on the deck to dry. I like the effect although I still see distinct lines of color in the warp. I've done this technique once before in silk for a scarf and loved it so much I kept the scarf for myself rather than sell it. This ended up being a table runner because I just pulled a small cone of 5/2 perle cotton off the shelf to give to Verna to knit for me as a test. I'm going to ask her to knit up some more blanks on her knitting machine but this time in silk and maybe tencel which I'll use for scarves.
Now off to walk Bailey and decide what to do with my day.........so many options........