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???


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Just not for me...........

Today I got the Gilmore Gem II loom warped up for some patriotic table runners. Theresa loaned me this loom so I could see if it was a loom I'd be interested in ordering for the beach cottage. Well, it's just not right for me. It's a quality made sturdy little loom but just doesn't work for me. I made myself a pros and cons list when I started today and the cons were overwhelming.  So, now I'm thinking of putting some money into fixing my 24" 8H Macomber that was 'dropped on it's head at birth'. I think I'm just a Macomber gal - I've had my 40" 10H Mac for 30 years - it had decades on it when I bought it and I will never give it up.

Yesterday was my guild hands-on program on bow weaving. I taught 30+ fellow guild members how to bow weave, most finished their beaded bracelets by the time the meeting was over, others well on their way to finishing. It was a bit overwhelming to teach that many but I had two friends, Linda and Margie, who kindly offered to be helpers - they were life savers. I think everyone enjoyed the process and had fun.

I'm done weaving for today, will pick it up again another day. So now I'm off to work on hemming a huge stack of towels while I watch the first episode of the new season of Outlander. I signed up for Starz on our satellite service just so I can watch this........and after I watch that I know I'll still have more towels to hem so I'll put on Thursday's dvr'd episode of The Vikings.........



Monday, April 4, 2016

ACK!!!

ACK!!! Re-entry sucks. We spent the last week on the coast getting back late yesterday afternoon - on the drive home I was already getting stressed over my upcoming week and how much I have on my to-do list. If we lived over there full time would the craziness and stress migrate over there?  Or would it stay relaxing and idyllic?  To make matters worse I opened the big freezer this morning to get something out only to find the door not tight and the entire inside full of frost.......ack, I didn't shut the door completely before we left for the week. With all the frost I couldn't get the door closed back up so I chipped off all the frost from the edges of the shelves and quickly closed the door to deal with it another day. We did need to defrost it but I was hoping to eat everything out of it first, not have to take it all to the landfill..........


Anyhow, we had a great week getting lots done on the cottage (well, Sam got lots of remodel work done on the cottage), many walks on the beach, some reading, knitting, weaving and twisting of fringe of scarves and shawls. The weather was perfect - sunny and just warm enough to have windows and doors open.
 
I have some newly woven scarves up for sale in my etsy shop - another few of my original ginkgo draft. They all have a ginkgo charm on one end.


Here's the process of twisting the fringe, adding little silver glass beads along the way. I've shown my handy dandy hair twister in the past - makes such fast work of twisting fringes.


Here's that scarf finished. I can't begin to describe the sheen in these tencel scarves.


Here's another scarf - twisting fringe underway.


And here it is finished.


Rather than weave another ginkgo scarf on that warp I wove my vines & leaves draft, this one has tiny little gold beads in the fringe.


And here's one of the silver rayon slub shawls - it feels like 'butta'.  This would make for a great wedding shawl with a white gown with lots of bling.........it would make for a great shawl for any time, summer or winter.  I have another one that I used white for the weft but I haven't finished twisting the fringe on that one.


I spent time weaving while over on the coast too - this batch of towels came off the loom and were washed - they're now awaiting pinning and hemming.  I'm doing great with weaving up all my cottolin stash.


I also wove this warp while over there of checked twill towels in brown, some in red and some in a charcoal gray/green. These are now in the queue to be hemmed......it's a big pile now.......


I started another shawlette using some of my handspun - this is merino and soy silk.


Bailey wanted his pic up today to show what a great time he had on the coast last week - today he's totally exhausted sleeping the day away.........all that running and playing on the beach wore him out.

 


Sunday, March 27, 2016

House guest.......

 I have a house guest for a few weeks - Theresa's Gilmore Gem II.  It's a cute sturdy little loom. I'm trying it out to see if I want to buy one for the beach cottage where space is a big issue. Unfortunately I don't have time to get a warp on it for the next week but the following week I'll get to it. I like it's look and design but the decision on whether to buy one or not comes after I've sat down and woven a warp on it.........does it fit me, feel good to sit and weave at, do I like the tie-ups. I can't wait to get a warp on it............


Yesterday afternoon after a nice visit with Theresa here and then into town for shopping at The Kitchen Company and trying out a new restaurant, The Horney Goat, I sat down at the loom. I finished weaving the all silver shawl and got this one started using white rayon flake for the weft. Ok, so I need to remember to ask at the restaurant who came up with that terrible name - beautiful restaurant, Theresa and I both gave it a thumbs up, but the name is bad......



Saturday, March 26, 2016

Yummy feeling scarves

New yummy feeling scarves in my etsy shop. They have a space dyed rayon flake warp and tencel wefts.
Down to Earth Scarf - Olive - Buy it HERE


Down to Earth Scarf - Taupe - Buy it HERE

More new scarves to come, gingko scarves, but they are still drying, all need the fringes twisted and then the dreaded photography work......... the part of my job that I really struggle with.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Outlander

Ok, I'm hooked - I've been binge watching the first season of Outlander. It's right down my alley, historically themed books/series/movies. I only have 3 episodes left - ack!  The new season will be out soon but I don't have Starz so I'll have to wait until it's out on DVD.  I've been ignoring the books so far but think I'll have to make a long term commitment to read all 8 of them as soon after I read the next books up in my Library2Go queue (digital library books).


So, while I've been binge watching Outlander I've been spending time in the studio. I twisted the fringe on 3 scarves, they're now waiting to be photographed. I also got both the Macomber and AVL warped up..........and then there was some down time when I was so mesmerized by Outlander that I just had to stop and watch it..........


I put on a rayon flake shawl warp on the Macomber. Here's the beginning of the warp where I'm testing out using white rayon flake as weft and the same silver rayon flake for weft that I used for warp. I'll weave a shawl of each as I like them both very much. This is an 8 harness twill design.


Here's the all silver grey shawl being woven.


On the AVL a warp went on for 4 gingko scarves as I'm sold out of them. These will be lighter colors to go with the season. I was trying out weft colors here and will go with the taupe, silver grey and mint green for 3 of the scarves. I'm thinking I'll switch and weave the final scarf in taupe using my vines and leaves draft.


Here's what the back of the loom looks like with 40 harnesses threaded. It is a stretch to reach those back 8 harnesses when threading the heddles. Thank goodness there's an option to use the weaving program to raise the harnesses tromp as writ for easy threading. I can't imagine what a nightmare it would be trying to pick the next heddle up in the pattern without that. Theoretically I will have no threading errors this way but that's only if the computer program has no hiccups.




Thursday, March 17, 2016

Studio time........

I got to spend quite a bit of time in the studio today. I got back to this scarf warp that's been on the loom for too long. I wove 2 scarves using the same taupe weft as the first scarf and then this scarf using a sage green weft. One of the taupe scarves will go to a benefit auction for our local Humane Society.

I also got a warp wound for the AVL to weave more of my gingko scarves - it's wound on the back beam awaiting threading through the heddles and the reed.

I started listening to the audio book Sarah's Key which is very good. I meant to download the digital book from Library2Go but accidently got the audio book instead.

In spite of the lovely weather and temporary break in the rain for a few days I'll spend tomorrow in the studio again rather than outside because of the need inside me to weave......



Happy St. Patrick's Day

May the leprechauns be near you,
To spread luck along your way.
And may all the Irish angels,
Smile upon you St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Pad Thai Pizza

Yesterday I made Thai Pizza for lunch when a friend came over to knit/spin and watch 3 episodes of The Borgia's on Netflix - we've just finished watching the first season - this is a long term commitment of watching a series.........very fun. (I love period movies/series)  This photo is not very good or necessarily appetizing looking but the pizza/flatbread is outstanding.  Yesterday I tried out the fresh pizza dough from Winco grocery store - it was good but grew - it was like a super duper thick crust pizza which was too bready for me. Usually I buy the Trader Joe's fresh pizza dough but TJ's is 45 minutes away so not always convenient.  This is what's on this yummy pizza.

Start with your chosen pizza dough/crust
Spread a layer of your favorite jarred Thai peanut sauce on top
Next up a light layer of provolone cheese.....
very thinly sliced red onion......
roasted shredded chicken (I make this pizza the day after having chicken for dinner so I use leftover)
Now sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top - I love tons of cheese on pizza but for this one I go light on the cheese........just enough to hold it together.
Now bake it - I baked mine for around 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

After it comes out of the oven sprinkle on chopped peanuts, shredded carrots, bean sprouts and tons of cilantro........if you like cilantro..........I realize it's something people either love or hate - I love it so I add tons of cilantro.

Now dig in. I served it with a salad in a bag - the Asian salad.  Sam was thrilled to come over to leftovers of this pizza and ate a ton of it for dinner last night.




Friday, March 11, 2016

Etsy shop update

Newly woven towels up for sale in my etsy shop. I love the spring/coastal/beach/seaglass look of these.
It was tough not to keep all of them as my towel drawer is full but I did manage to squeeze one more towel in for my own use.

For anyone that hasn't ever used a handwoven towel they're really missing out.  They last what seems like forever. I wash and dry mine weekly and they just keep looking nice for years. I could never go back to store bought hand towels for kitchen or bath.........well, except for the cute embroidered towels I create and sell in my etsy shop.........



Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Re-entry is the pits.......

We're just back from 6 stormy days on the coast. It was great but 're-entry' always sucks. We're both thrown into trying to play catch-up with work, phone calls, the emails we've ignored while being gone. I've done all I can do today, will pick it back up tomorrow morning when I pull and box up orders to get in the mail.


Sam was pulling up vinyl and underlayment in preparation for new flooring we'll be installing. It's slow going but coming along.  Since I determined working with a crow bar was a one person job I went to the spinning group at The Wool Co and spent time weaving. We did get in walks in-between squalls, we had hurricane force winds but were able to manage not to get wet until this morning........as far away from the house or other shelter as we could be the skies opened up - we got drenched..........although Bailey didn't mind.


Here's the cottolin towel warp I was working on - very beachy colors - this one I used the seaglass aqua for the weft. I'm still working on this stash of cottolin although it's getting smaller. Maybe 2 more warps and all that will be left will be small bits on the spools.


Here I used the sand color for weft. Forgot to say - this is a 4 harness point twill.



Sure wish I had mentioned to someone before I decided to tie this new warp on to the previous warp. A friend would have reminded me that I don't tie on to warps because I can thread the heddles and reed much quicker. It's been years since I've done it, hopefully I won't forget how much I dislike it so it won't happen again. And then there was one warp end that the knot came undone as I was winding on the back beam.........now there's a warp end with a weight hanging off the back of the loom.  I won't get into warping methods because weavers are very divided on this subject.......other than to say I'm a back to front warper and tying onto the previous warp is too much like front to back with tangles as the warp ends have to travel both through the reed and heddles - argh.

But I got it on and started weaving on a new towel warp. I like these colors although they're not very spring/summery. They'll actually go well in my kitchen in the woods here so I'll keep a couple.

I started knitting another shawlette, this one using my handspun. I got a little further on it on the drive home.  This yarn was spun from some of my hand-dyed merino/bamboo - it was my Baltic colorway.



Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bunnies!

New bunny towels in my etsy shop just in time for Easter and Spring.........or really anytime of the year as they're not pigeon-holed to Easter with having eggs or Easter greetings on them. Perfect for those who love bunnies or have bunnies.  I'm thinking I need a set but which design - I love the cute little bunny with the flowers but then also love the leaping bunny with the vines........decisions, decisions.

As I posted recently I rarely get time to put out any holiday décor anymore so I'm going to stock up on holiday towels for my own house, woven and embroidered, as they're easy to pull out of the linen closet and put out for the holidays/seasons. I always use woven towels in the kitchen and bathrooms but usually they match the décor, not the holidays so that will vary in the future.  So, which will it be.......maybe the bunny with the vines..........or maybe the cute little bunny with the flowers.......or maybe both..........guess I better get back to the embroidery machine........


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

At a loss

I'm at a loss as to what weft to use on the next two scarves. I've 'auditioned' numerous weft colors and so far this is the only one I've liked. I don't want to use the same weft for all three scarves. Will have to ponder on this some more before I get to scarf #2. I've got plenty of time for pondering as there are too many other things on the schedule for the next week, I'll be lucky to get time at the loom to get this scarf woven on anytime soon. What has happened to those days I spent in the studio from morning until dinner........I miss them.........