Thursday, August 25, 2016

More painted warps

Warps painted/dyed yesterday now rinsed out and hanging to dry. I hope I can squeeze in time to wind more warps and get them dyed before the weather turns........which won't be too soon for me, I'm tired of this heat and fire season........unfortunately we have at least 5 more weeks of this if we get rain at the end of September..........if...........

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Painted warps

 Yesterday I painted/dyed some warps for future weaving......this morning I rinsed, and rinsed, and rinsed them out. Mostly rayon or tencel. The couple of short ones are 5/2 cotton tied in a skein in the perfect size for putting on my inkle loom, I thought it might be fun to inkle weave some painted warps......I'll add some solid colors to them when I warp the inkle loom.  One of the short ones is ikat dyed - holey cow does it ever take a long time to tie those ikat choke ties.....not to mention removing them once it dries.


I had more warps to paint/dye today - here's one just painted ready to have the plastic put over top and rolled up to sit and batch until tomorrow morning when I wash it and the others out. Sometimes I paint a warp for two scarves, like here, sometimes for three scarves. I always vary the wefts so the scarves look a bit different woven up. Me, being in production mode most of the time would love to paint longer warps but I really don't want that many similar colorways for my scarves - I want more one of a kind.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Phew

Phew, the fair is over - had a great time visiting with my spinner peeps and the public. Thank goodness we were in an air conditioned building as it was 100, 106, 111 and 105.....yes it was really 111. The walk to and from my car wasn't too terrible although the car itself was incredibly hot to get into come late afternoon.

This is what I was spinning at the fair - I only spun this bobbin and got a bit into the second bobbin. I'm spinning fairly thin and these bobbins will hold around 8oz. This is from the rolags I made recently on my blending board.  So, what do I do today after taking down our fair display but come home and pull out the wheel and get back to spinning. I'm pretty worn out from this week and just sitting at home doing not much of anything is awfully inviting.........with the air conditioner running and the ceiling fan going overhead.

Now it's time to get back to weaving. I've also got to get to work on painting warps, they're all wound ready to go. Mid week it might be ok to work outside in the mornings, mid 90's are forecast for the high, but later in the week we get back to triple digits. I can't wait for cool rainy fall weather.



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Not the traditional overshot

This baby blanket warp is not the traditional colonial overshot - the border is but using stripes in the warp is not. There will be this large border area on each end of the blanket. I love the look. This afternoon I got this warp tied on and started weaving, then it was just too danged hot to continue weaving, just got enough done to see how it will look.

Sunrise and other tidbits

 Sunrise this morning was spectacular although our trees are growing too much and obstructing the view of Mt Sexton. You'd think there were a new fire in the area with those colors in the sky.
 Saturday we put up my spinning group's fair display, the fair opens tomorrow. None of the finished items or skeins are in the fair for judging, they're for display only. The fleeces will be judged tomorrow morning and ribbons awarded. For the next 4 days we'll all be sitting in a big circle in front of this display spinning, carding, knitting, felting, whatever. It's always a great time visiting with the public........and each other. It's hard to believe that we can sit there for 4 days and never run out of anything to talk about.  Unfortunately tomorrow looks to be the only day below 100, forecast to 'only' be 99 tomorrow - the following three days will be anywhere from 105-108. We're in an air conditioned building but we have to walk back and forth from our cars to get there which will be a killer come afternoon. I wonder how this heat will affect fair goers.
 When I met friend Linda at the fairgrounds today (to add the tablecloth I forgot to bring on Saturday) she brought me some of her home grown tomatoes. On the way home I stopped at the Ft Vannoy Farm Market to pick up other veggies. I made one of my favorite kinds of sandwiches, fresh tomatoes, banana peppers and fresh sweet onion. Ft Vannoy has the best corn around here - it's still not as sweet as corn back east but it's pretty danged good - at least it's not field corn to feed the pigs, as my father would call the rest of the corn here. We'll be having fresh corn tonight with a tomato basil salad (my homegrown basil) and northwest salmon.
It would have been perfect if the farm had the hot banana peppers but they only had sweet so I added hot pickles to my sandwich. Yep, I know this would kill some people's stomach's but not mine. My Dad used to make sandwiches like this - I come by it naturally.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Baby blankets

Baby blanket warp going on the loom - will have overshot borders for a girl blanket, a boy blanket and a few that could go either way.

We've been lucky so far this fire season but now fires are popping up all over the region. Luckily they've jumped on them quickly but Friday evening 3 homes and 4 outbuildings lost in the fire 20 or so miles south of us.........a human caused fire, perp already in jail but probably won't stay there for long since no one in our county wants to pay for law enforcement.  Sore subject for me - lowest tax rate in the state, we pay 25% of what most counties pay - these morons in my county vote down any taxes for services. Personally I have never understood why we get to vote on things like law enforcement - that should be a given and we shouldn't have the choice of voting it down just because we don't want to pay any taxes.  We also no longer have a county library system - thank goodness a group finally got together to take over the libraries and make them a community library funded by donations. Folks like us donate each year but everyone can get a library card whether they donate or not which means those same morons that vote down having a library now get library benefits for free. I think being inside in this 100+ degree weather is making me grumpy so enough of my ranting because I could go on and on about the craziness in this county.........


Friday, August 12, 2016

More rolags

I spent more time playing with my blending board. Here are more little piles of rolags ready for spinning - there are 4 identical coiled up rolags in each pile. Now I really must get back to doing the things I'm supposed/need to be doing........


Thursday, August 11, 2016

New towels for sale

Newly woven and hemmed towels for sale in my etsy shop


There are many colors in the warp - mauve, pink, purple, off white, light turquoise, mint, teal and coral. I used a dusty pink for the weft here......


.........a deep mauve for the weft here.......


.......and a light mauve for the weft here


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Life is good..........

A bit of weaving on the coast - I finished up the false damask towel warp (now awaiting washing and hemming) and put on another cottolin warp in a 2 block twill pattern.......off white warp, oatmeal weft. If my oatmeal cottolin lasts all towels will be woven using it, if not I'll choose another color to finish up the warp. I love neutral elegant but kitchen worthy towels and have nothing neutral for sale at the moment. Will get back to weaving on this warp next time on the coast.

Bailey sure enjoyed the temps in the 60's & low 70's on the coast - what a relief from the weather here in the valley which will be back up in the triple digits in a day or so - ack. I keep telling myself "at least there's no humidity" but it really doesn't help when it gets up over 100.

Life is good


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Love this shawl

Here's the shawl that was blocked yesterday - I love it. I spun the yarn out of some mystery fiber I received in a raffle basket at a conference. This will make a lovely spring shawl but I think if I wore it over brown it would work for autumn too. I might have to knit this pattern again in the not too distant future..........but first back to mukluk knitting for holiday gifts........

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Blending board fun

This afternoon instead of doing things I should be doing I decided to play with my blending board. I'm going to stop beating myself up for not focusing on my business all the time, it's the time to do more playing with less guilt involved.


I pulled out a bit of roving bits & bobs and separated them into color family piles


I put together an autumn color scheme including some bamboo, glitz and silk sari bits


Then I put together the blues, greens and purples along with bamboo and glitz


I decided to play with the blues, greens and purples randomly putting them on the board and then pulling off the rolags for future spinning


And this is as far as I got - there are 9 piles of rolags - 4 rolags in each pile/color order. This is approximately 1/2 pound. I still have a huge pile of roving on the floor waiting to be finished up which will probably make around 1 pound total of this colorway. Can't wait to start spinning it.

Pulling the rolags off did 'smart' my right thumb to my wrist. Recently I had to lay off knitting for a few weeks to let it recover but this has made it flare up again.  I've got to be more wary of repetitive tasks.

Shawl spending time on the deck.......

This morning I finally got around to blocking the last shawl I knit out of my handspun. It's now spending time on the deck until it's totally dry.........which won't take long in 10% humidity, 90+ degree weather.........still thankful every single day that we no longer live on the east coast where we were born and grew up, that humidity was a killer.......of course the trade off is living in an area of high fire danger since it doesn't rain here for many months at a time. 

And yes, you're right I have not been complaining about fire season, yet, it started a couple months ago and will be for at least a couple more months. A couple of ODF copters flew over the house heading west yesterday afternoon, no buckets (for water) though, not sure where they were heading as I haven't heard of a fire in that direction.  I hate fire season..........

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Knittin'....

Been knitting away the past couple weeks on Mukluk slippers for gifts (Pure & Simple Mukluk pattern). Very fun to knit and very comfy on the feet. These and others knit so far are out of acrylic chunky yarn for easy care for those who do not enjoy hand washing......enjoy is putting it lightly, detest and never wash is more like it if they had to hand wash 100% wool.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sturdy baby blanket

Here's a baby blanket off the first of the baby blanket warps (one of them already listed in my etsy shop). I love the colors. I love the tracking that happened after it was washed creating that very cool texture in the blanket............but this cotton is not as soft as I would like.  It still makes a sturdy baby blanket, it could even double as a bath towel for baby......but I was expecting cuddly soft. I guess that's why a weaver should sample.......but that's just not me.  I will go ahead and weave the blue/green blankets out of this same cotton as it's still very nice and I wouldn't hesitate to use it if I had a baby (which would never happen) but before I do those I'm going to weave a warp of blankets using a softer cotton........that I know will turn out cuddlely soft as I was hoping for this warp.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Fig Jam

After weaving for a bit this morning I decided to make some fig jam......never made it before, very tasty although really sweet.......think it will be great over brie or goat's cheese on crackers.  We have two fig trees, usually I eat the figs right off the tree or dry them - this year enough ripened at the same time that I could eak one batch of jam out of them. I had to scrounge around for jars as I've made so much jam this year I've pretty much used up my jam jar stash. I'd still like to make some blackberry jam but need to find a place to pick blackberries.......


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

New weaving underway

The new weaving underway is for baby blankets. A family member is possibly interested in one but doesn't know yet if it's a boy or girl..........I'm going to need one after the beginning of the year (boy or girl???) as a gift and my only baby blanket in stock is the same as one I already gave the new mother 18 months ago. And I always need baby blankets in stock to sell.  So, a good time to weave baby blankets. It's hard to tell in the photo but this is a very pale peach and a very pale pink window pane check.  Next warp up with be green and blue window pane check. Very simple weaving with no floats for baby's fingers to get caught in.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Slow weaving shawl ready to wear

 I washed and twisted the fringe on the 'slow weaving' shawl out of my novelty handspun. It is incredibly soft.......I can't wait to wrap up in it in colder weather........which won't happen for quite a while with the 100 degree temps on the way this week.


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.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Preparing for dyeing.......

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

Slow weaving.....

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

Fun weekend

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

A bit of sewing

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

Yum

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

Spinning mystery fiber

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 towels in shop

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

Rain!!!

 I woke up to rain overnight - it sounded so lovely and what a welcome relief, at least for a few days, during fire season. We don't usually get rain in the summer - it stops raining sometime in May/early June and doesn't restart again until late September or early October. I don't care for the humidity that came with it but it's also cool out so it's not bad at all.........and I'll take just a bit of humidity in exchange for a nice break from the dry brittle weather.


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

Blueberry season

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

A bit of weaving.......

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.


 I got back to weaving on the false damask warp I had started weaving last time over, just love this weave structure for towels......


......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.

Monday, July 4, 2016