Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New fawn

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

Ice-dyed warp

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.

Vintage mason jars

Sweet Vintage Mason Jars with Flowers embroidered towels now in my etsy shop......morning glories, daffodils, sweet peas and chrysanthemums. Definitely stitching some of these up for myself.

Friday, May 27, 2016

A bit of stitchin'

 I had originally planned to wind another warp today and start weaving but the embroidery machine was calling me......actually the many tee's I bought weeks ago were calling me. Penney's has a nice weight of t-shirt for embroidery (St. John's Bay) at a really nice price, especially when on sale.  The black tee got a silver lotus, another type of lotus on the coral tee - it looks orange but it's really a lovely shade of coral, a fun mermaid, another lotus (a favorite on a 3/4 sleeve tee I have) and a mendhi medallion. I messed up on the yellow on that one, should have been more toned down. The funny thing is that I agonized over the yellows and then ended up picking the one that was too bright.......oh well, I'll still wear it. Now I feel better, those short sleeve t-shirts won't be hanging there come fall when I'll want 3/4 sleeve.


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.........




Fun effect

 Recently I asked friend Verna to knit me a blank on her knitting machine so I could experiment with dyeing and weaving it. I forgot to take a pic of it in the dyeing process, I folded it over so it would be a mirror image along the length of it and blended from a grey dye to eggplant. Above is what it looked like after being dyed and washed  - it's all curled up into a tube which will happen being stockinette. I could have wound the warp straight from the knit piece but the last time I did it I was dealing with corkscrews of yarn while trying to thread heddles and reed.........so I wound the knit blank into a skein and wet it to get those curly-q's out of it so it was easier to deal with.


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........




Wednesday, May 25, 2016

This and that.......

This is the ice-dyed warp on the loom. It's not quite this pale teal in person, it's got a bit more seaglass green in it......not sure why I couldn't capture the color. Here's the link to the ice-dyed warp before it went on the loom, in that picture it's more grass green than it really is. This experimental scarf is finished, ready to be washed in the morning.


A false damask towel warp on another loom. The brown is just where I used up what was left on a bobbin to weave a couple inches to spread the warp out and make sure there were no threading errors. This warp is ready to weave when I feel like weaving towels.


Yesterday morning while walking Bailey on our property I decided to take pix of the wildflowers on our property. This is what we have this week, there were different flowers blooming a few weeks ago, different ones will be blooming a few weeks from now. Unfortunately it was windy so the flower heads were wanting to blow around so not the clearest pix of some.  In addition to the yellow flower can you see the tiny little baby yellow flower to the right of it?


Love these little purple ones. Wish I had taken pix of the other purple flowers earlier in the spring.


This is one of my favorites - I think it's a wild iris.....although I could be wrong.


Cute little white flowers - see those leaves of three near them - that's poison oak. It's all over our 5 acres except Bailey's fenced yard. I have real problems with poison oak, some years I end up at the doctor's over it. I've gotten rid of it in Bailey's yard but there's no way I can control it on 5 acres......and there's a bumper crop this year.


This is another fun  little white flower - lots of poison oak around it too.


Some different little yellow flowers


More of these......because I love them. I had pix of two other wildflowers but accidently deleted them when I was editing......oh well........





Wednesday, May 18, 2016

More ice dyeing.....

Just a bit more ice-dyeing - love the hot pink in this.......

.....love the subtle lavenders and blues in this one......

.......and this one with the lavenders and grey blues has really caught my eye......I've listed it in my shop but am still giving thought to keeping it..........if it sells soon then it wasn't meant to be but if it sticks around it's definitely mine.......or may end up being mine anyhow........


So I decided to try out ice-dyeing on a warp (for you non-weavers, a warp is the lengthwise threads that go on a loom for weaving). Usually I paint (dye with brushes) warps for weaving but thought I'd see what happens with ice-dyeing. It's not what I expected. I guess I thought it might be more mottled like ice-dyeing fabric. There are some color differences but not much. This warp is just for one scarf as it was an experiment. The fiber is a blend of cotton and rayon. So, I'll put it on the loom soon and weave it off and see how I like the effect - will it have a watercolor effect? or just look almost a solid shade of green? How it turns out will determine if I ice dye a warp again.

I have more silk/rayon shawls to dye - some ice-dyed, some with ombre effects but I need to set those aside until sometime next week as I've got other things that need attention first.

I'm coming down the homestretch on the gingko shawl. I took it to work on at my spinning group yesterday - big mistake as I'm down to the lace rows which include a gingko leaf. I ended up backing out two rows, last night here at home I reknit those and knit one more row so not much to show for my day.



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

More silk scarves........

More ice-dyed silk scarves available in my shop



Monday, May 16, 2016

Golf wiffle balls and ice dyeing

Yesterday I tried out something new on two of the silk scarves to be ice dyed. I confiscated 2 packages of golf wiffle balls from the golfer in the house as he doesn't use them for practice.  I then wrapped the scarf over the balls and rubber banded them in place.


Here they are piled with ice and fiber reactive dye.


Here's what they looked like this morning before I patiently removed all the rubber bands and wiffle balls before rinsing the scarves. 

And here are those two scarves.  Kind of a neat effect although looks a little tie dye to me. Will I do this again? Not sure. I know I keep seeing more and more tie dye but not sure that's what I want to dye..........although I do think these are really interesting looking.

The 8 scarves dyed yesterday will be listed in my etsy shop as soon as I have time to edit the photos. Sitting up the ice at the moment are 3 silk shawls and a wound warp of a cotton/rayon blend. Not sure how any of these will turn out - all are experiments that will be rinsed out sometime tomorrow.





Sunday, May 15, 2016

Ice dyed scarves ready for sale

Ice dyed scarves for sale in my etsy shop. More to come after being rinsed out and photographed in the next few days. There are a couple that have caught my eye.....will be thinking on if I want to really sell them or not........



Ice dyeing

 Yesterday morning I washed out the first batch of ice-dyed silk scarves - love how they turned out.......except for the yellow one on the end. It's just a bit too yellow and people are afraid of yellow.  That one will get over-dyed sometime this week.


I set up 8 more scarves with ice and dye yesterday morning, look at the colors in this one. I started with turquoise and terra cotta - look at how the dyes break and create even more colors. I'll be heading outside shortly to wash out yesterday's scarves - will be a fun surprise to see what I got. I've got 8 more scarves to set up to dye today.........two of them I'm using a fun technique...........photo later. Hopefully will get a warp wound today to try this dye technique out on a warp - will either be very interesting or a big mottled mess which is why the warp will only be for one scarf for this experiment.




Friday, May 13, 2016

Ice dyeing

 It's that time of year again - time to play with ice dyeing. This morning I set up the tables and dye stuffs and painted (with dyes) a knitted blank to use for a warp (hope it turns out) and set up ice dyeing for 8 silk scarves. It's so warm the ice is melting pretty fast.


You can see the silk scarf peaking through in this photo - it's looking like it will be a beautiful scarf.  Always such a surprise to see what I've got the next day when I rinse the scarves out and hang them to dry. I've got more scarves and some shawls to dye, haven't decided if the shawls will be ice dyed or if I'll paint the dyes on like I usually do.  I'm also going to wind a warp and see how that turns out ice dyed - it could turn out incredible or a mottled mess. Will get to that in the next week.





Monday, May 9, 2016

Clark Tartan

The Clark Tartan towels await hand hemming, then off to their new homes less the one that will stay with me to show at the guild meeting for our guild challenge for the year - create something based on my heritage.



Sunday, May 8, 2016

It's strawberry season..........

 It's strawberry season here in Southern Oregon already. The strawberry stand at a big field of strawberries practically in the city was open on Friday so I picked up a half flat.........to start........


......and turned them into 10 jars of jam plus a bowl leftover for eating straight up. Hmm, fresh strawberry jam on my bagel this morning. I think I need to pick up some more berries for another batch.........and some strawberry bread, strawberry cake, strawberry smoothies.....there's nothing like fresh picked, totally ripe, strawberries..........

My heart goes out to all those affected by the fires in Fort McMurray, Alberta, CA. I just can't imagine the magnitude of it. We've had a fire that big in area but only on the edges of homes, nothing like what's happened and continues to happen to our neighbors to the north.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there of 2 and 4 legged kids........




Monday, May 2, 2016

This and that........

 We spent the past 6 days over at the beach cottage - the weather was picture perfect, couldn't have been any better. My 24" Macomber resides over there, for years I've dealt with the ratchet brake, which I hate. I finally ordered a friction brake so that got installed a few days ago..........only the old crank handle doesn't fit on the new drum - argh. Sam will take the handle to the machine shop at work to see if they can make the square hole bigger, otherwise I'll also be buying a new handle. I also put 400 new heddles on the first 4 harnesses, decided to order 400 more which were already waiting at the post office here at home today - will replace the old bent heddles next time at the cottage.


 And then there was the new IKEA cart I had to get. I've been lusting after this cart (Raskog) for 3 or 4 years but am so conscious of the limited space available so hadn't bought it. Well, I saw it on someone else's blog last month, commented how I've been good at not buying one.........but then friend Kathy emailed not one hour later saying they were stopping at IKEA in Portland on their way home from WA and did I need anything. I said no, didn't need a thing. Then I quickly emailed back telling her to get this cart for me........which she so kindly did and I met her at the highway as she was passing by my area to get it. It must have been a sign seeing it on a blog and then being asked if I wanted/needed anything at IKEA - it might have been bad luck if I hadn't bought it.........


 So, what's really been going on at the cottage is new flooring. Here's the living room with the new flooring. The house doesn't smell anymore like dog pee in the old carpet from a previous owners dogs - hallelujah. We went with Coretec Plus which is a 'luxury vinyl plank flooring' with a cork backing. Real hardwood was out of the question price wise - wood composite was also out of the question as it can have problems getting waterlogged.........like when big dogs drink water and leave a trail throughout the house. This is perfect, totally waterproof.  Cousin Jim was a huge help in laying this flooring. We still have the guest bath to go - new carpet in the bedrooms will be installed soon.


 And here's the dining room, we also put this flooring in the kitchen, down the hall, laundry room, mater bathroom and the guest bath is the only room left to have it laid in. What's really special about this room are the new French doors we put in.....well cousin Jim and hubby Sam put them in last Thursday. There had been an old rusty, rickety, black sliding glass door that looked terrible and was hard to use. I convinced Sam we couldn't leave it..........what a huge improvement. Pictures are deceiving, this is a fairly small house with small rooms - my camera does a great job of making it look big.


I recently found this fun tote bag that seems fitting for the grower's market on the coast - "Always be yourself unless you can be a mermaid, then always be a mermaid"



Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ginkgo Shawlette

The other day I finished knitting the gold/brown shawlette so last night I started on this Ginkgo Shawl, pattern by Connie Peng, yellowcosmo designs. I'm using Madelinetosh yarn. It seems to be a very easy pattern, hopefully I'll still think that when I get to the border/ginkgo leaf. I'd love to knit this pattern again using some handspun - I have two colors in mind, a dusty plum and dijon.  I'm out of the Ashland Bay Plum in my shop right now so will have to wait to start on it after I get my next order placed. I'll have to check my stock to see if I've got any Dijon in stock right now.....if so, I can start spinning that..........




Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spinning and knitting...........

 This is what I started spinning last week - 531 yards.  I got the hand-dyed roving in a raffle basket a couple years ago. The only info on the business card from the farm was that they have American CVM Romeldale sheep - so is that what this fiber is? I don't really know but that's what I have to go on. When I started spinning it I thought it felt rough so decided it might be destined for handknit socks but after washing it, it's softened up and I might knit a shawlette out of it. The colors are lovely.


I don't think I posted this shawlette when I first started knitting it. It's out of some of my handspun, a blend of soy silk and merino. I'm coming down the homestretch on the knitting, then it can be added to the pile of other shawlettes that need to be blocked.  I'm doing great on working on holiday gifts for this year although I'm loving this one so it may end up being a gift to myself.

Next up on the needles will be a gingko shawl with some commercial yarn........this one is for me. It is definitely autumn colors - if I love knitting the pattern I'll spin to make another one in everyday colors - I'm thinking a plum and chartreuse.



Monday, April 25, 2016

Tartan


The Clark tartan weaving underway......towels in 8/2 unmercerized cotton




Thursday, April 21, 2016

Planning.......

 I'm planning a towel warp based on the Clark Tartan. The funny thing is that in 2 books I have and from looking on several websites I saw variations a bit in the plaids at each source. So, I've gone with the plaid that strikes me from the Scottish Registrar of Tartans website. Clark is my father's mother's maiden name.


 Now I'm trying to pick out the blue. I feel like it should be the blue sitting on top of the black cone, or even a little darker blue but then I'm drawn to the more gray teal blue sitting in-between the white and black cones. And the gray blue is probably more authentic for the kinds of dyes that may have been used in the 1700's rather than the dyes used in the last century. Since I can't decide I decided to set it all aside a day or so before winding the warp.


And I moved on to spinning for fun.....for peace of mind. This is from some roving I received in a raffle basket at a NWRSA conference a few years back - very lovely colors but not so soft to touch. I think it will grow up to be handspun/handknit socks as I don't think it will be soft enough to go around my neck. Final decision will come after the skein is washed but I have a feeling it won't soften up much.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Strawberry Cake - Yum

Ok, so this isn't the best picture - it was taken quickly before I had to dig into this strawberry bundt cake last night. I saw it the other day on Crazy as a Loom's blog.......and she had the link to the recipe so I printed it out for future use which turned out to be last night.  Here's the recipe

Not much happening on the fiber front as I'm dealing with other 'stuff' at the moment but I hope to play with yarn tomorrow..........



Friday, April 15, 2016

Etsy shop update

New handwoven towels and table runners available in my etsy shop

A good part of my day was spent with the camera and these handwovens, lots of editing to get some decent photos to use in my etsy shop. This is the part of the job I struggle with but no one else is going to do it so I've just got to suck it up and do the best I can.




Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Table runners ready to cut off the Gilmore Gem loom - I really cut it close - back bar all the way to the back of the heddles trying to eak out those last couple of inches.


I got many emails asking for more details on the Gem loom. As I've said - it's a well made, high quality, sturdy, compact, easily transported little loom.......it's just not the loom for me. I don't want to discourage anyone else from considering one until they give it a try - it might be perfect for someone else, just not perfect for me. Threading heddles gave my back fits and weaving gave my feet, ankles and legs fits.........I think I'm just a Macomber gal that loves a front beam that folds down, beater that comes out and treadles that push straight down with little effort.


 Latest handspun washed and out on the blocker.  This pvc pipe yarn blocker design came out of a very old issue of Spin-Off........I made a few changes but it's pretty much like the one in the magazine. I'm sorry I don't know which issue it was in - it was before I subscribed and a friend made me a copy of that page (no page number or issue on it)


 My little herb fairy garden is doing well so early in the spring

Mom, I'm here - did you say you needed some help???