Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

I miss trick or treaters......for the past 19 Halloween's we've lived in rural America, on acreage, far off the road, no trick or treaters venture up long driveways (1/3 mile up and back down a steep hill here) they head to neighborhoods in town. I don't get to see the great costumes and have no excuse for buying tons of candy.....although I still usually buy a bag or two that disappears long before Halloween.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I need a drink!!!

I definitely need a drink after today, a BIG drink! The loom is almost finished and Sam and I are still talking, that's a good thing. Every once in a while it got a little testy but not directed at each other but at the directions, or lack of......there were some diagrams but in two spots where diagrams would have been a huge help there were none. I can't tell you how many times I read the step by step instructions over and over for us so we could try and figure it out. We were missing two small lock collars that I'll ask AVL to drop in the mail, also no dobby manual as referenced in the basic loom manual....think it would help to have that. Few other issues we had to deal with like holes not drilled all the way on harness bars for one, Sam came through with fixes.

Here it is - the front apron still needs to be put on, as the dividers on the sectional beam. Bench is still in the box in pieces, maybe tomorrow evening....maybe......
Here's a look see at the 40 harnesses and compudobby box. Of course, we have not plugged in the laptop and turned it on yet so we're keeping our fingers crossed that it works. Not sure when I'll get a warp on it - coming into my really busy season for business so it might be a few weeks.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Coming along........

Ok, so in the instruction manual AVL says it will take from 3-8 hours to put the loom together - no way! I think the 3 hours must have been for those that got it mostly assembled on a crate....but then how do you get it in the door??? It took almost 3 hours just to get all the boxes opened and figure out the parts.....and then there were the 2 parts both with #16 on them, luckily when we found the second #16 we had already used the first #16 in the right spot. All in all it's not too bad. Missing a couple little parts so far but nothing that could hold us up from finishing, I'll contact them to drop them in the mail.
So, here's the back of the loom - 13 of the 40 harnesses are put together and on the cables.
And here's the side of the loom with the dobby box - after we finish putting on all the harnesses there's another part of the box with all the electrical parts that covers up these cables. But we're done for the day, we're tired and have other things to do this evening.....hopefully we'll finish up assembly tomorrow, not sure when I'll figure out turning it all on!

And in in the beginning.....

Left & right side panels put together with cam assembly......missing 2 small pieces for cam assembly but not a game stopper as far as assembly goes.......who knows, maybe they'll turn up in another box........after lunch we hook the 2 sides together.......this is not a 5 minute job........

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's here!

Whoo Hoo - the AVL V-Series is here! We had it delivered to Sam's company since a freight truck could not turn around up here at the house. Hmm, looks like a lot of assembly to me.........

Thursday, October 27, 2011

more upbeat.......

After finishing up guild administrivia publishing the guild newsletter for the two guilds and getting the membership list updated and mailed out with the newsletter I decided it was time to turn the day around and throw out that melancholy feeling.
I pulled out my embroidery machine to play. My friend Pat had given me 3 t's and picked out what she wanted embroidered on each so I worked on those - love the results! Just playing put me in a much better mood - so much more fun to play than do what I should be doing.

Then I got a phone call from the Rogue Gallery to set up an appointment for next week to bring scarves & shawls for the Spirit in Hand Holiday Boutique that will run for over a month. I had submitted a disc with photos a few weeks ago for jurying.  

And finally, I got an email from AVL saying my loom is shipping out today! Hmm, wonder when it will arrive.....it's only got a 5 hour trip up the highway to get here. It will be shipping to my husband's place of work since the freight truck can't negotiate our driveway. I've been waiting since mid-August for it to arrive - I'm so happy! Of course, the next couple weeks is so busy I'm not sure we'll have time to put it together but after that I can relax and devote lots of time to it.

melancholy......

Feeling a bit meloncholy today, not sure why, woke up that way........so this has turned into a really slow morning of frittering. Have had a panicky feeling lately about how much I have to get done in the next couple of months.....gifts...photography work...too much adminstrivia...too many things I really don't want to do...oh well, maybe next year I'll get a better handle on it, was hoping for this year but it's not happening.
On a lighter note I finished plying this handspun from Panda which is 60% superwash merino/30% bamboo/10% nylon. It's a dream to spin. This is a bit smaller than fingering weight, 1150 yards in all...not sure what it will become when it grows up but I'll come up with an idea soon. I only dyed 2 pounds, so glad after the first pound sold I set aside the rest for myself.

I ordered something this morning, a little bauble to lift my spirits but will wait until it arrives before spilling the beans.....at that time I'll let you all know which blog's banner I spotted it on and how that blog owner enabled me to buy it!

On another  note - Tuesday a delightful group of ladies came to visit my studio and learn about weaving, the local neighborhood chapter of the American Sewing Guild. I'm afraid I strayed from talking about just weaving, afterall I do so many other fiber related things. Anyhow, very nice afternoon with some very nice people.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A bit of spinning.....

A bit of spinning took place while on the coast this weekend, did some reading, lots of walking, then decided to pick up the spindle and some superwash merino I had dyed a couple years ago.....once spun there should be enough of this for a pair of sox. Isn't that a cool pillow in the background?! It was made from a bathmat - Sam thinks it's weird, actually downright scary - I love it, bought a light blue one too! Forgot the camera once again so this was taken with the phone, not too sharp....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New on the loom......

I spent part of my morning putting together more felting bunz kits, this time the regular ones with the primary, secondary, neutral colors.....was getting low on them so figured since I was on a roll from yesterday's new felting bunz I might as well keep going.
After lunch I put a new warp on the loom for some chenille scarves....I needed to get something on the loom so it's not naked next week when the American Sewing Guild comes to visit. Now the hard part is not to weave them all off....I had to force myself to put down the shuttle. If I knew I'd have time to get another warp on before Tuesday I'd weave them off but I have other things on my schedule between now and then.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hmm, where have I been, no posts since last week.....spent the weekend on the coast, absolutely beautiful crisp fall weather, actually short sleeve sunny fall weather. It was a good for the mental health coast weekend, no chores, just walking, reading and relaxing. Yesterday I spent the morning with customers that came here to my studio for scarves and roving, then the afternoon spent trying to put away piles in the loom room and sewing room - next week the local chapter of the American Sewing Guild wants to come for a short talk on weaving which will include a show & tell and tour of my studio space. They came a couple years ago but apparently a number couldn't make it so they wanted a second go round. I was really hoping by now the AVL would be here so I'd have something new to share with them but it's delayed.....no word on the latest delay (nor the first until I e'd them), need to drop them a line again to find out the status.
Today was my spinning group day - spinning days are the best two days of the month.......hmm, pretty exciting life I lead here but I love it.....more often than not it's the only time I spin.......and it's good for my mental health to get together with my spinning peeps. After I got home I decided to put together some new felting bunz kits with muted colors. My other kits are more the primary/secondary colors plus natural, black, brown & gray. I thought all these soft colors might be a nice complement to the other kit. The new one is now up for sale in one of my etsy shops.

I suppose tomorrow or Thursday I better get something on the loom for the Sewing Guild to see.......

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Playing catch-up.....

I've been playing catch-up here....brother Chris arrived for a whirlwind visit, flying in Friday, leaving Monday so not much else got done around here other than visiting.....weaving guild on Tuesday and trying to finish up some partially finished projects since then. I did get the fringes twist on four tencel scarves, added beads to the fringes to give them some bling.
Yesterday afternoon I started making more felted bling and finished it up today. These are little felted balls that I've hung charms and beads from. The original ones I did last spring were for my spinning circle peeps to hang on their wheels during the nwrsa conference. Of course they can also adorn necks in addition to wheels. I have a yellow one hanging from my Majacraft and wear a lime green around my neck often. I added the metal chains to these, now they're all packaged for sale.....except for the gray one with earrings in the lower right corner - that's for me.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wiley coyotes......

We have coyotes, many coyotes from the howling we hear during the night. We hear them often right outside our windows, we see new coyote poop daily on our walks. I'm sure they're feasting on the turkeys and jack rabbits from the looks of the poop. But I have never seen one, they are some wiley coyotes.....until yesterday morning when three of them decided to sneak up on the turkeys roosting in the trees in front of the house. I'm not a lover of the turkeys who feel compelled to scratch around in my flower beds rather than on the other 5 acres surrounding them, if they pulled out a weed or two maybe I'd be ok with it. But I will not be a party to the coyotes eating their breakfast right in front of me.....and not in broad daylight just minutes after Bailey and I came in from our walk. So, I opened the front door, "you wiley coyotes, get out of here" while the turkeys were squalking and complaining. They gave me a glance and eventually walked off but obviously were not happy with me interferring with a fresh turkey breakfast on the horizon when one of those stupid turkeys decided to try and make a run for it. So, turkeys give me a break on the flower beds - I was your defender. Silly me, I should have grabbed the camera to get a picture......I was contemplating the gun but I really would rather not kill one of those wiley coyotes unless Bailey was in immediate danger.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More adminstrivia....and a reward

More administrivia today.....all I want to do is weave, spin, sew or knit.....but never ending administrivia. I spent time taking pictures of scarves for sale, above is one of the rayon chenille scarves that I silkscreened discharge paste on in the gingko design. Pictures never do these justice. And then after taking numerous pictures, editing them and saving them I got to run the vacuum - red letter day! So, I decided a reward was due, after I dropped off orders at the post office I drove to town (totally out of the way by at least 10 miles each way) and picked us up take-out from Abu's Deli & Oasis.....the entire house smells like lebanese food.....going to be hard waiting for Sam to get home.....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Administrivia - argh!

Today was yet another day filled with administrivia.....it's starting to get old, too much administrivia, too little time to create. I started out my day by printing out labels for a delivery of Ashland Bay roving, I then weighed out 8oz bags of many colorways - 45 pounds in all, then put it all in inventory. This took a major portion of my day. Here are some of the new Merino/Tussah silk colorways - I especially like the bottom two. Now these, a few other new colors of merino and colors I had run out of need to be listed in my etsy shop.
Last night while watching tv I reskeined some laceweight merino/silk yarn I had dyed, today I got the labels on them. There are two of each skein. I like the dye results - a kettle dye look.
This is a cute little shelf I found at a new little antique shop in town - it's going to be perfect for the beach cottage. I also found a little wooden box with a drawer with a carved flower - it's painted red, I'll repaint it seaglass teal......and a few pieces of inexpensive crystal including a beautiful little lavendar dish, all perfect for showing off seashells. I found this new shop after I left my spinning group heading  to the grocery store....needless to say I never made it to the grocery store!
And then there's Bailey - he kept standing in front of the camera wanting his picture taken - happy pooch.
As much as I'd rather be doing something else tomorrow I need to take pictures of handwoven scarves - they won't sell if I don't list them. More administrivia..........

Monday, October 3, 2011

Back to weaving.....

I've been doing too much administrivia lately and not enough of what I want to do. After busy-bee computer work this morning I decided it was time to finish off the tencel scarf warp that's been on the loom forever. I thought I had only put on enough for 3 scarves but when I finished the purple weft one there was a lot of warp still on the back beam. A quick look at my notes I saw I put on enough for 4 scarves so the last one is a rust/brown weft. All weaving finished and scarves soaking in the sink at the moment. I'm think I'll add tiny seed beads onto the fringe of these to go with the nice sheen of the tencel.

Today is a special day - it's been raining all day long! I love it. I realize many areas of the country had way too much rain this year but we haven't had rain in close to 4 months and this cool rainy weather means the fire danger level has now dropped to moderate. The end to fire season is a good thing, hoping it happens very soon.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

new toy.....

Here it is - my new toy! It's my Hansen mini-spinner. I've been playing with it today, fine tuning my storage for it and tension, etc. Of course I can't do much spinning on it right now because I've got to finish up what I've been spinning.....don't want to have a change in the way my finished yarn looks by switching methods in mid-stream. But I do have some corriedale cross hand-dyed rovings I need to spin small samples of so I get to play with it this weekend.
This rolling cart is the perfect size for storing and toting my spinner around. It's a smaller version of several larger carts I now own for carting my spinning with wheel around (and other stuff). The Hansen mini-spinner fits inside this small cart with all it's accessories perfectly with plenty of room for roving. And it's the perfect little table to set the spinner on for spinning. My bigger carts are great for toting my wheel around - I can put all my supplies inside the cart and bungee my wheel on top -  helpful when going somewhere to demonstrate. Now I could buy a Zuca bag like many others with this spinner have done but I'm not ready (and may not ever be) to part with $200-$300 for it, no matter how neat it is. My cute little cart was $13.99 plus $5.49 for the lid - what a bargain. And the larger carts aren't much more.

harvest time.......

It's harvest time here.....not that we have anything to harvest as we have very little flat ground on our 5 acres but kind souls share their bountiful harvest with us now and again. Sam came home with a box of vine ripened tomatoes yesterday, more than we can eat fresh so I've loaded up several trays of the dehydrator and it's now humming away.....they'll be great in soups and stews this winter. Yum, tomato/red onion/hot pepper sandwich for lunch today.......