Friday, September 28, 2012

Pumpkin yummy

Pumpkin Spice Latte is my sweet indulgence this morning and is it ever good. I found the recipe earlier in the month but just today decided to make it - A Farm Girl Dabbles blog has great recipes - I've made several in the past few months. I normally use Splenda and flavored coffee creamer in my coffee, only one cup a day unless I'm having tea which is half of the time......this is really sweet in comparison. I substituted fat free sweetened condensed milk for the full fat version and we don't have whole milk in the house so skim it was - it doesn't taste like anything could possibly be missing. Next batch I'll cut down on the brown sugar. Usually I only have one cup of decaf, this morning it might have to be two cups.

This fun celtic pumpkin is an embroidery design from Embroidery Library - I recently stitched it on a linen towel for someone who won't get it for at least another month. I might have to stitch it on something for me too. If you have an embroidery machine and don't know about Embroidery Library go check it out and sign up for the weekly email, tremendous prices with new sales weekly. How can one resist when patterns end up costing between $1-$2?

Update:  Ok, so I couldn't drink another pumpkin latte this morning, can't do quite that much sweet in the morning but I'm saving my coffee and may try an iced pumpkin latte this afternoon.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

...the next one....

Here's the next scarf on the warp - a mauve weft. See the center of the scarf? Where the hearts change direction? Wish I could keep going to finish this one up but other things are on the agenda for the rest of the afternoon......

A bit of weaving....

Only a bit of weaving gone on here.....makes for a grumpy me if I don't get enough time throwing the shuttle. I did get a bit of loom time yesterday on the heart scarf warp but I forgot to take a picture of the one with the red-violet weft, here is this morning's - black weft - I like it. Not sure what the next weft will be, maybe mauve, maybe pink, maybe red.....will do some testing later to figure that out. I have been working on some other fiber projects but can't post pictures of those.....and then there was all that weighing out of wool to be listed in my etsy shop that I finished up earlier this week.

It smells like smoke outside this morning, we're still in extreme fire danger, no rain in the forecast in the near future. I'm hoping that smell is coming from a fire at Graves Creek that's being mopped up and not a new fire nearby. The temps have fallen in the morning, in the 40's, but it's getting up into the 90's in the afternoon. We haven't had rain in months and desperately need it....although it would be nice to get the deck staining project finished up this weekend before that happens.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Flock & Flea.....

Spiral Nuno Felted Scarf
  ...or more commonly known as Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, aka, OFFF. That's where I spent a long weekend. A fiber friend and I head north up near Portland last Thursday morning for the weekend.

We started out our trip as any trip heading north on I5 starts - breakfast at Bronx Bagels in Sutherlin - the New Yorker was the bagel of choice for both of us. Then a stop in Eugene to shop at Home Goods and Trader Joe's. Then on to the hotel in Wilsonville. Fiber friends from the coast arrived right after us so we all went to dinner at a Moroccan restaurant I found - incredible food and the owners were so fun, on the list of places to eat in the future when up in the area.

Friday morning brought classes for both of us while coast friends went up to the quilt show in Portland for the day. I took a spiral nuno-felted scarf class with my buddy Loyce Ericson. I'm really not a wet felter but thought this would be fun....I wasn't disappointed. My photo really doesn't do this scarf justice, the sheen of the merino/tencel is incredible and the blue is really almost black. Loyce's method of nuno felting requires no effort, it's like rocking a baby (as she said) and took just minutes to accomplish this felting. She is such a fun person and teacher. I won't be mass producing these but I will make more. The afternoon was a fun shopping trip to Fabric Depot in Portland where we ran into other fiber friends. Dinner, as always for Friday night of the OFFF trip at Sushi Track - there were 10 of us.

Saturday morning I had a soft goat cheese class with Tammi Paul. She was a great teacher. We learned about how to make ricotta, chevre & feta - definitely adding this to my cooking repertoire. Knowledge gained not only included how to make the cheeses but what to look for in buying goats milk - eye opening for me and am so glad I learned it before finding a farm to buy my goats milk from. Afternoon was browsing the vendor booths, buying very little since I don't need a thing. Dinner mexican for 16 - lots of empty margarita glasses on the tables as we left....although not one in front of me since I was driving.
Sunday morning brought more hanging out at OFFF, then we headed home making the regular stop at Trader Joe's in Eugene on the way. Next month marks the opening of a Trader Joe's in our area so I won't have to stop when on road trips to stock up - I'm so excited.

Today was back to where I left off last week, weighing out pounds and pounds of roving that needed to be bagged, tagged, put into inventory and relisted in the etsy shop - thank goodness I finished up that job today so I can get back to playing - hoping to weave this week and maybe finally getting to painting the other mundane chores that need to be done.....

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Shawl - almost ready for a milk run

The Milk Run Shawl is almost completed. I'm in the process of binding off now. Took two pictures trying to get the ruffled edge but it only shows so-so in photos.
Had a minor crisis knitting two evenings ago - the cord on my 60" long circular needle pulled out of the end when I only had around 10" left to knit on the last row. Many stitches fell off, and there were yarnovers in those stitches - yikes! So, I gingerly set it aside and shed a few tears wondering how to tackle the repair without having to back out several rows of probably around 1000 stitches (I made my shawl much bigger than the pattern). Yesterday I superglued the cable back in, which I knew wouldn't work for any real knitting but thought it would be ok for trying to work the repair. I kept going back and forth in the area where the stitches had dropped and eventually got everything close to being correct. In the yarn over areas there might be twists in the wrong direction but it will never show because it sits to the back of the ruffle. So, now I'm very carefully binding off with hopes the superglue holds the cable until I'm finished - 1/3 of the way through, so far, so good.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Be still my heart.......

This week, when I was home, was a time for winding warps for painting. I got quite a number of them wound, tied, tagged ready to I just need to find a day to do the dyeing when I have the next day available for rinsing them out.  I also got a warp on the AVL - the same heart pattern out of the Complex Weavers book I did earlier in the year only this time rather than having half-hearts on the edges and 3 full ones in the center I've got 4 complete threading boo-boo last time, point twill starting on harness 1 instead of 24. I liked the first scarves so much that I kept one for myself.

Had a hiccup while threading the AVL, the power blipped and everything turned off.....except my laptop that was on battery backup, thank goodness, that saved my place in the threading. It caused everything to go wack-a-do with the dobby so I had to turn everything off, including getting out of the weaving software on the laptop, and reboot, then all was fine. I know I've mentioned this before but a neat feature of the software/avl/e-lift system of the AVL is that I can set up the draft tromp as writ and then push the pedal to raise the next harness for threading.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cranberries galore....

This weekend is the Cranberry Festival in Bandon by the Sea. The day started with the oh so fun small town parade. Looked like most of the high school was in the parade either as a football player, cheerleader, volleyball player or in the band. Love the small town atmosphere. No parade pix because I just couldn't be bothered.....  We got our fair share of free cranberry yummies at the fest......
I got to meet Blossom Merz - The Weaving Monk - what a nice nice to meet him in person after following his blog for a while.
Here he is wearing one of his ruanas in front of a color gamp for the next warp to be woven. I love his color sense and the way he mixes and gradates colors in the warp.
With the chilly marine layer this morning these sure looked toasty. Wish my pictures were better but they were taken with the cell. Oh, and the first pictures I took I forgot to hit the save button so Sam took some more for me.
Some more color choices.
This picture is much clearer. All his colorways are beautiful but I especially like those woven on the mostly black warp, stunning colors. I hope he's very successful this weekend....and hope to see him again in the future as he lives in my region now.

Had a few other things planned this afternoon but we got in the van to find a sensor light on for low tire, which one who knew - Sam pumped up the two front ones and off we went to Les Schwab over 20 miles away. We were concerned because last night we ran over a recently creamed large deer or elk on the road in the dark - we didn't see it until too late to swerve around it without flipping the van. Blood on the tires but no bones stuck in them (gross, huh?) best guess is that the bead was loosened so some air leaked out. Keeping our fingers crossed that all is well now.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hand-dyed Merino Roving and more changes.....

Finally I finished with the photography work on the recently dyed merino roving, all are listed in my esty shop along with a picture of what each looks like spun. See more hand-dyed roving here.

I'm making a major change in my two etsy shops, and I'm hoping it doesn't backfire on me. I've been finding that my handwovens and other handmade items are getting lost mixed in with all the hand-dyed rovings in the first etsy shop I opened. So, I'm going to be gradually moving all the hand-dyed roving over to my etsy shop where I sell the Ashland Bay Fibers. To start the above rovings are in the second shop. So, for a while there will be hand-dyed roving in each shop which may be a bit confusing but I just can't sit in front of the computer for that long making the change all at one I don't want to repay fees I've just paid in the first shop, I'll move them as I renew them or as they get close to renewal. I realize it will take a while for return shoppers to get used to the change but hopefully they will eventually figure out what's going on - I've put notices on my front page of each shop about the change.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

the rocker.....and my obsession for little tables....

I had a couple comments on the nice rocker in the post from yesterday - Sam's uncle made that rocker, he worked at Lane Furniture for years making hope chests. Sam's mother gave it to us not long after we were married. It's a beautiful piece of furniture.......unfortunately not so comfortable, even with the added cushions. It's ok for a little while but then the butt falls asleep, pads or not. But we love it anyhow and we need that extra chair in the small living room. 

On my little tables - they all have to be bargains. The one pictured next to the rocker was $20. The one I painted that has carved ends was only $10. I have seen them for much more but I won't pay it. Pretty much everything in the beach cottage had to be a hand-me-down or a bargain......the hunt for furniture has been very fun, painting it too. My best bargain was a $5 small round table with already painted tan legs, it had a piece of cheap couch/upholstery fabric on the top - I pulled that fabric up a bit in the shop and found it was marble underneath....thank goodness they only hot glued the fabric on the underside.....but why even do it to begin with.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Escape to the coast.....

Have so much to do here but escaped to the coast again for the holiday weekend. This little white table is my  newest aquisition. Sam said no more little tables (a weakness of mine) but said sure when we saw this one, it's my favorite style.......although I saw another one in the same shop in a dark wood stain that he drew the line at - I will admit I have no clue where I'd put another one. And I didn't even have to paint this one, it was already white. I have another one of these tables in the bedroom that I painted very pale seaglass teal, it's really special, carvings in the ends.
Here are two bobbins of Karaoke waiting to be plied, it's 50% merino/50% soysilk. It was more challenging to spin but it's lovely fiber, the sheen is incredible. This was out of my stash dyed by Janis Thompson of Dyelots in Eugene. I'll decide what it will grow up to be once I know how many yards I have.
And here's some really ugly stuff I was working on - more stash reduction. There's a booth at Black Sheep and Flock & Fiber that has incredible hand-dyed rovings - I'm a sucker, they draw me in every time - but then when it comes down to actually spinning them I'm not so enamoured with the resulting yarn. This indie dyer is a way more technical and accomplished dyer than I, and does beautiful work, but most of it just doesn't work for what I personally want in a finished handspun. I keep wondering if I'll finish spinning what I've got or just call it quits and ply this - it would make a colorful pair of socks. I'll let others buy her rovings in the future and I'll stick with my way of dyeing where I don't end up with striped yarn, it suits me better. This was marked BFL but I really think it's Wensleydale - maybe that's why it was in the sale bin.

Nothing on the weaving front other than working on twisting fringe on scarves this afternoon. Also spent time braiding, weighing and tagging roving dyed last week - photography work still to come. The shawl I started a while ago in autumn colors is coming along - I'm now in row 4 of 14 of the ruffled border - it will be finished soon, blocked and ready to wear this fall. Winding warps for painting keeps getting pushed aside - hoping to work on that this week.