Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Just white..........

 I got some time at the loom this afternoon to sley the reed and tie on for these white chenille shawls. I'm using a white rayon slub for the weft on the first one.

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

Cutting it close

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.

Blocking......a necesssary job

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

Back in the nest........

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

First shawlette started

I started one of the shawlettes - it's called 'Pretty Basic' by Janina Kallio of  It's a no thinking knitting project. I've got 3 more repeats of this pattern and then I start a simple lace border. I may do the border as far as my handspun goes to make it bigger than the original pattern - I've got another skein of this. It looks like I missed a yarnover in the photo but I didn't - I had to go back and study it after seeing the photo, but no, it was just the end of the yarn laying underneath that hole that makes it look like it's missing - phew.


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

This and that........

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

Ginkgo Shawl - Take 2

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.........

Ginkgo Shawl

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 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 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 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....... 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 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 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 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"