Thursday, July 17, 2014

On a whim......

On a whim I entered the Webs 40th Anniversary Contest back in May. There were 4 categories that were to have 3 winners in each; First Place, Runner-Up and Honorable Mention. All weavings had to use at least 75% Webs Valley yarns in them - Webs is where I buy my tencel so my scarf used 100% of their yarn. I sent photographs of one of my Iranian Tilework scarves to Webs, it was judged in the accessories category and made it to the finals. Final judging took place last week but winners weren't announced until 7:30 east coast time tonight in the Webs booth at Convergence in Rhode Island. I received an email this evening with the list of the winners - My Scarf got Honorable Mention. There were actually 2 honorable mentions in that category so the judging must have been difficult. I won't get my scarf back until fall as it will be in an exhibit at Webs for National Spinning & Weaving week the first week of October. I'm hoping they post pictures of all the winners on their website because I'd love to see them. Oh, and a fun thing is that I get a gift certificate to Webs - hmm, maybe some black silk in my future........ 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


 There is a spectacular sunset tonight - this is looking off the deck.......

.....this taken less than 5 minutes later......

From one warp.........

Here are 3 scarves that came off the same painted rayon flake warp. The same scarf, just a bit different colorway. I love tencel but when I use rayon in the warp and tencel in the weft I love it even more - these scarves are so soft and drapey, I love the feel of them. I put them up for sale in my etsy shop although I keep eyeing one of them to keep for myself......will give it thought.

It's that time of year again - blueberry time......blueberries in smoothies, yogurt and on cereal. After I got home from town today I 'had' to bake a blueberry pie - it's not a beautifully made pie but I'm sure it's going to taste yummy........with vanilla bean ice cream tonight........

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

On the needles.......

I finished knitting a slouch hat the other evening and looking in my knitting bag I found around 1" of this sock on the needles so I pulled it out, figured out what I had done months ago, and got to knitting on it last night. It's a feather and fan pattern, I'm using some Opal yarn from my stash. This may go on the back burner again for a bit as I want to get back to knitting on the felted bag in the evenings and there are a couple shawlettes waiting in the wings..........

Forecast for 107 seems to have been downgraded.......maybe 104 matter, it's still hot.

Monday, July 14, 2014


I've made some progress on the tencel warp put on the loom yesterday. I finally cried 'uncle' due to the heat. Scarf #3 will have to wait and since I haven't decided on the weft color yet that's ok. I got some good feedback on colors to consider and tried them out in-between these scarves - the navy blue is a thought but I'm not positive yet. I've been wondering about gold with the red and black, will have to give that a try before starting the final scarf.

Here's the scarf using the same red for the weft as was used in the warp. This is what I'm thinking might interest my customer the most from what she said....or not......   The white grosgrain ribbon is my measuring 'tape'. I have it marked for 60", 65", 68" and 70" - I generally weave a scarf 70". I also have it marked at the midway point for 65" & 70" as there are times when I'm weaving something with a definite direction that I want to reverse mid point in the scarf.

Here's the version with the black weft. I like both of these scarves but the black one is really striking. I love this pattern so much I might just have to weave some towels next using it.  I got the draft out of the Carol Strickler 8 Harness book, pgs 106 & 107 #384-3.

Now off to find something else to work on up here in the air-conditioning...........

New on the loom....

New on the loom yesterday is a black and red tencel warp for 3 scarves. I have a customer wanting that  color combo - not sure if she'll like what I weave or not......if not, she doesn't have to purchase. I usually don't weave custom orders but after thinking about this one decided it might be fun.

Here I'm auditioning weft colors.  I'm definitely using the bottom red weft for one scarf - from the flash of the camera it looks like a different shade of red but it's really the same as the warp.  I'll also weave one scarf using the black for weft - with the flash it's looking more gray here. I haven't decided what to use for the 3rd scarf.......I don't care for the other colors I tried out, 2 different shades of red. I could end up weaving another in the first red or maybe do a combo of red & black.........will decide that when I get to it.

It was so danged hot yesterday that after winding the warp and getting ready to weave I just couldn't sit there anymore to start on the scarves - I need to have so many lights on to see well that it makes it even warmer in the room. After auditioning the wefts I moved on to twisting fringe on 3 scarves woven recently. Will weave today until I get too warm....then will move upstairs to do something else.

And yes, we have air conditioning but it's on the upper level of the house only - there are 2 furnaces in this house (overkill for the size) and only the one upstairs in the main living area (kitchen/dining/living/2 bedrooms) has a heat pump so there's air conditioning upstairs. The lower level is a daylight basement with the garage and 2 more bedrooms/storage area I use for my studio - it has it's own forced air furnace for heat. My thought is the previous owner figured if they used the wood stove insert upstairs in the winter that they'd need to somehow heat the downstairs since the stove heat wouldn't reach there - it does make sense. For the most part downstairs stays cool since it's a (daylight) basement but when we've got numerous days weeks of over 100 it can get stuffy down there once I close the windows for the day after letting the early morning cool air in.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Road trip

This morning neighbors Carol & Merle called asking if we'd like to take a drive over the mountains to Agness.  We've never done that 'hairy' drive so knew it would be fun, and Merle is such a good driver there were no worries on my part riding along those narrow, no guard rail, mountain roads.

This is not terribly far up from where we live. The brown is part of the remnants of last year's big forest fire that was close to us.
Here's a better photo of that section of the fire area - it was ravaged by the fire - such steep dangerous terrain for the fire fighters to work.

This is the infamous Bear Camp Coastal Route sign near where the Kim family got stuck in the snow and the husband perished trying to walk out to save his family. Personally I've never understood why they tried to drive this way to the coast even if their GPS told them it was a route. After starting up in elevation and quickly running into snow I would have turned around rather than to go even higher into the mountains into deeper snow. There are signs on the road leading to our place warning against taking Bear Camp Rd. but the Kim's must not have seen them, or had turned off the road before seeing them.......I've always seen them starting fall through spring. Very sad incident.

We live just off the right lower corner of the map to the right of Galice - today we drove all along the coastal route to Agness on the far left of the map.

Here's another view of part of the fire area from the pullout spot where the map is - it's immense.

This was just a nice overlook we stopped at - I loved the stone wall. We were at around 4700 ft in elevation here - warm but much cooler than the 101 in the valley.

Loved this flag painted on that stone wall.
And really loved the smiley sheep dog/poodle mix dog we met there.....
....and his smiley sister.
Here we've finally gone past the fire area and are into the coast side of the mountain range - much greener than our side of the range.

Finally to Agness where we had lunch at a seasonal restaurant that caters to rafters who come out from their 3 day trip down the Rogue River. There's a tiny little post office in Agness that gets it's mail from the mailboat that comes up daily from Gold Beach on the coast. We've ridden along the mailboat twice - very fun riding the jet boat up river through the more wild areas than the river here on our side of the mountains.

Heading back home after a lovely day - I couldn't get a good picture (without falling off the cliff) but the Illinois River comes into the Rogue River at this spot.

It was nice to escape the brutal heat for around 7 hours today, no escaping it this week, temps of up to 107 expected. Since I will be spending time in the air conditioning I'm hoping to get some fun projects worked on.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Feels good to be weaving......

It's felt great to get some time to weave these past two days - I haven't had all day at the loom but a partial day is better than what it's been lately.

Here's scarf #2 on the painted rayon flake warp - this one has a mauve tencel weft.....

....this one a gray tencel weft. I could have finished up this warp today if it weren't so danged hot - I gave up, will finish it tomorrow and get them washed......then on to the next warp which was going to be another painted warp but I have a customer who wants a red with a bit of black scarf so a warp for that is up next.......need to give thought on the structure/color combo.

Beach cottage kitchen update

The beach cottage kitchen remodel is still under construction but thought I'd share a few pictures of the work in's slow going as we're not over there all the time........and drywall mud takes a long time to dry over there.

So, here is the before showing that cabinet hanging down over the stove. It really closed off the kitchen from the dining area not to mention being in the line of sight seeing someone on the other side. I wanted that set of cabinets removed and the soffit above them.

Here's another view showing soffits that have no reason for being. I wanted them all removed but when Sam kept balking about the work involved with having to take down all the other cabinets to do it I compromised and said the small soffit above the sink and part of the one over those cabinets had to go - we're not sure why they followed the cabinet line until they got to that section of cabinets - it really darkened up and closed in the corner. Sam was concerned the vent from the sink went through the soffit and he'd have to move it but it didn't so no extra work.

So here is it as of this past Monday. Cabinets and soffit gone from over the stove - a section of those cabinets will reappear on that empty wall to the right of the window. Small soffit on the back wall gone, that area of drywall is slanted to keep with the slant going in the dining room where there's a cathedral ceiling. Soffit to the right of the fridge over the cabinets cut back (cabinet doors are off at the moment as they were in Sam's way). He's got a tiny bit of drywall touch-up, then texture and painting of the ceiling and wall. It's really opened up now - I love it - no more worries about hitting our heads on those hanging cabinets.

Next up will be to hang that section of cabinet on the empty wall, hang 2 pendant lights we recently bought over the counter , re- hang the small scallop shell light over the sink (I found the scallop glass shade at a second hand store, Sam made it into a hanging light). I haven't found the perfect ceiling light yet (we removed ugly fluorescent) I saw an old fashioned green glass globe which Sam wasn't sure of so we passed it by, when he went back to buy it, it was still on the look-out for something.

After the ceiling and wall work is finished up I'll start painting cabinets - I'm going white with sea glass green knobs. A new white dishwasher and stove will be coming soon as these are toast and new counter-tops too.....when we get to that point.....and when we pick them out. I'm thinking for a back splash wood bead board painted and distressed, maybe a sea glass green.......still in the thinking stages on that.........would love sea glass colored tiles but we're doing this on a shoestring and those are most probably definitely out of the budget. The flooring will be wood but that won't happen until we're ready to lay the floors through the entire house.

Boy the kitchen sure looks bigger in the pictures than it is in real life - put 2 people in there and you can't move.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

More scarves.......

Just got more scarves listed in my etsy shop

Back to weaving

It felt good to get back to the loom today. I was going to weave plain weave/tabby on this warp but you know, I just love the drape of twills so I went with a very simple manifold twill - I wanted the drape and hand but didn't want the pattern to fight with the painted warp. First scarf woven with a purple weft - two more scarves to go that will be woven in different wefts. This is a painted rayon flake warp which accounts of the thick/thin areas.

Before I got to spend time threading heddles, the reed and get to weaving I had to do some photography works (argh) - many photos taken of 6 scarves, editing still to be done, then listing in the etsy shop. I've recently sold several scarves and shawls so need to get more listed.........and I've got more in the studio to sell, I just run out of time to do the photography work to get them all in the shop.

The heat is oppressive today due to the humidity which is rare in this area - one of the many reasons I left the east coast - the humidity. There's a chance of thunderstorms all week which is not a good thing since they come with no rain, just dry lightening........have I said it yet today that I hate fire season???

Monday, July 7, 2014

4th on the coast

Ultimate laziness or just plain worn out - we didn't feel like walking down the hill to watch the fireworks at the water's edge. When the first boom happened I went out in the front yard to see if we could see the fireworks over the trees - well, yes, we could, perfect view from the sidewalk in the front yard. There is a power line in the pix but I never noticed it while watching them. Bailey even got to go out and watch - he thought it was grand, his tail wagged the entire time. My little camera did ok, wasn't expecting much.

A huge, I mean huge, barge is coming into the harbor to dredge to keep it open for fishing and pleasure craft going in and out to the ocean. It's sitting right where the Coquille River meets the Pacific Ocean.

Here is it as it's making a turn at the inlet. I wish I had gotten a picture of one of the fishing boats that passed by it to show just how immense this barge is.

Bailey's ready to play fetch the stick on the beach......well, almost ready.......

Get that stick Bailey

Run Bailey Run
Pushing Bailey to his limit - he doesn't like the water touching his belly - what a water dog he is. Come to think of it, our last golden didn't want to get above her knees wet - I thought golden's were water dogs......

Success - and he's not letting go of it
Oh, life is good

Now back into the heat - 100+ in the valley


Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th

Happy 4th to everyone. I wish you all a safe 4th of July as you celebrate our nation's birthday with fun BBQ's, picnics, time on the water and the boom and sparkle of fireworks.

In the 22 years I've lived in SW Oregon I've never been able to figure out why fireworks are legal - extreme fire danger and pyrotechnics don't mix. Keep your fingers crossed that all areas of the country susceptible to fire danger are kept safe this holiday.......Napa Valley in CA sure could use all our positive thoughts. And keep those in the hurricane's path in your thoughts too - I'm sure many a fireworks display planned for tonight has been cancelled.

Happy 4th

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Back in stock

I've been playing catch-up today since I had been away.......boxing up and mailing orders, weighing out alpaca/merino/tussah roving so I could restock my etsy shop and also putting together more Felting Landscapes kits for my etsy shop in the Purple Mountains Majesty colorway - I sold out of both of these recently.

I labeled cones from a recent UKI order - the order arrived right before I left on my trip and cones were laying all over the studio floor. I put a label on the inside of each cone with the type of fiber, yards per pounds, price per pound including shipping cost per pound, where the fiber came from (in this case UKI) and the date. This is valuable information when I'm planning projects for cost of materials sold information. I weigh my cones before I start a project and weigh them at the end to see how much yarn I've used........I'm very used to using the metric system for this so it's always on the gram scale. I've got some wonderful new colors to use on the next towel warp that goes on the loom.

Home from Tacoma

Mt Rainer, WA
Just home last night from spending time up in Tacoma, WA for the Complex Weavers Conference. It's a very different conference from regional ones or Convergence, smaller and more intimate. It was my first time attending as with so many others this year. I was in awe of the talent from around the world - the weavers I read about in magazines and online. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with old friends and meeting many new ones. The gallery exhibits, Complexity, the informal fashion show and the informal show & share were incredible. The Complexity exhibit can next be seen at Convergence in Rhode Island in a couple weeks so if you'll be attending you should be sure to see it. Sorry I have no pictures - it was tough to take pictures with the crowds of attendees so I didn't bother.

I won't go into my seminars - there was one that was really good and I'd love to find a 2-3 day workshop with this person in the future, 3 were not my favs, and then for my last 2 which I could see weren't going to work for me, I ditched and attended 2 others which I enjoyed very much. Sometimes the greatest weavers (or greatest anything) are not the greatest communicators or teachers, I'll leave it at that.

Keynote speaker Madelyn van der Hoogt was fascinating to listen to as was Shelia O'Hara who was a speaker the next day.

The Hotel Murano where we stayed and where the event was held was very plush - the hotel filled with artwork by a different artist on each floor - incredible glass art all over.

The trip home didn't start until conference was over late Monday afternoon - it included a stop at Shipwreck Beads before heading to Portland for the night where we had dinner and shopped at IKEA before checking into the hotel. Then Tuesday morning stops at Fabric Depot, Pendleton Woolen Store and The Mill End Store followed by lunch at Sushi Track and then down the highway home. It was a great trip - my two road trip buddies, Kathie & Elaine very fun to travel with.  Now back to real life, first on the list this morning is boxing up and mailing orders that came in while I was gone.......and dealing with a return to oppressing heat and extreme fire danger.

New inspiration where do I find extra hours in my day???

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Working on the stash......

.....the stash of painted warps, that is. Usually I get all that I dye during the summer woven over the winter but I've got some I never had time to get on the loom.
This was off the last warp that came off the loom - chartreuse weft.
Here's another off that same warp using olive for the weft.
 There's still one more using forest green for the weft that's not ready for it's photo op yet.
Both of these scarves are now up for sale in my etsy shop.
And here's the painted warp I wound on the back beam this afternoon, it's a rayon slub, enough for 3 scarves. I haven't decided on weave structure yet, am considering just plain weave, I know hard to believe, but am thinking for this warp/colors it might be best, maybe a bit warp faced plain weave.  It was a bugger to wind on as the slubs were sticking to one another, guess that happened during the dyeing and drying.  There's one more painted warp, tencel, in the wings to be woven. Then it's time to do some dyeing again.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Re-entry sucks..........

Re-entry, as I call it, is tough. Each time we go over to the coast I deal with re-entry when we return. Playing catch-up with orders (boxing and mailing), inventory updates, transaction posting, etc. etc. etc. It get harder all the time and what suffers is time to be creative.

I'm going to do some real soul searching and crunching of numbers on the roving side of my business. It provides a nice income but at what cost? The roving sales have a life of their own, just when I think things are slowing down like they always do for a month after school lets out they pick up again. We haven't experienced Sam's full retirement and loss of income yet since he's doing consulting work for the company, sometimes 1/4 of normal hours, sometimes up to 1/ will I be sorry I give up selling roving once he retires completely? Something to think about. My biggest problem is how much time the roving side of the business takes - I feel like I spend too much time in front of the computer dealing with it.........too little time to weave.....not to mention sew, spin, felt, knit, felt, bead, craft, etc. etc. etc. So, the next step is to evaluate it and make a plan. Even if I do get out of selling roving it will take a long time to sell off stock - there is a lot of stock, a whole bunch, a huge amount........takes up one complete bay of the garage a lot of stock. So much to think about over the next few months with the main goal of getting more time to weave and be creative.

This was what it was like the past 5 days on the coast - picture perfect

Here's a house around the corner from us - look at that yard, it's incredible. Sam says no matter where we walk, around town or on the beach I always manage to pass this house getting home.

Our yard does not look like the one around the corner but we do have 2 hydrangea bushes in full bloom right now. Someday I'd love a beautiful yard but we aren't over there to take care of it and we don't have a sprinkler system so it's very sparse at the moment.

I spotted this snail, probably up to no good on my hydrangeas but cute

The new knitting project is the Noni knitted felted bag. Right now I'm knitting intarsia for the stripes - I need 9 balls and 2 threads for each which means I'm working from the inside and outside of each ball. The tangling was horrible so I devised this solution using plastic Ziploc containers. Yarn bowls would work but I only have 2.

It's looking pretty tangled here after just knitting 2 rows but it's actually very fast to untangle.