Monday, July 24, 2017

A bit of stitchin'

 This afternoon I spent some fun time at the embroidery machine again. I stitched up a couple of these weaving towels - it's hard to tell in the photo but the colors are peach and rust. There are a couple of them for sale in my etsy shop now.


 I saw this new thistle design recently - it's in shades of gray and black - it's really lovely so I had to stitch up a couple of these which are now in my etsy shop for sale.


 I stitched up a sloth towel as a gift for a friend who went on a trip recently and decided sloths are her new favorite animal. This sloth is so cute.  It will be a fun surprise when she gets it in the mail.


And I stitched up a couple tank tops for myself. These tanks have been hanging in the sewing room for a year waiting to be stitched, decided to get them done so I can actually wear them this summer.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

New embroidered towels

I've updated my Etsy shop with some newly embroidered towels that will cater to fiber or farm lovers........well, with the exception of the Skull & Crossbones Santa which I just couldn't resist stitching up. More new stitched towels to come when I get some more time at the embroidery machine.

The towel on the top right is The Fates - a newer design for me that I think I'll have to stitch up for a few spinning friends. The Fates are 3 mythological goddesses who control the threads of fate. Klotho, the spinner who spun the thread of life, Lakhesis who measured it and Atropos who cut it short. Zeus Mioragetes, the god of fate, was their leader. It's really hard to see the lovely goddesses in this small photo - my etsy shop shows a bigger view of it.

Weather forecast is for thunderstorms these next 3 days - not a good thing as they're rarely accompanied by rain, only dry lightning that will cause fires. We've had several fires near us in the past two weeks, thank goodness all put out quickly.  Have I said yet today that I hate fire season.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Second scarf......

Second scarf on the warp..........once both scarves are woven I'll decide if I'm going to add beads in the fringe area.........may take a while to finish them up as I'll have to make a trip to the bead store.

I've got a knit shawl ready to block - will tackle that sometime over the next few days.

Have I said recently that I hate fire season???  I say it on a regular basis to everyone I know. Within the past week we had a couple fires close by which were luckily snuffed out fairly quickly unlike fires burning elsewhere in both the US and Canada. My heart goes out to all affected and to all the fire fighters working on them, hope all stay safe.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

First scarf woven

First scarf woven off the warp I put on the AVL last week.


Summer Sale

I'm having a summer sale in one of my etsy shops - the one that sells Ashland Bay Fibers and also has quite a bit of stash yarn already at bargain basement prices.  I have more than 160 different rovings - many different fibers, many colors.


10% off using coupon code SALE10.  If you purchase more than $75 use coupon code SALE15 for 15% off. You must enter the coupon code at time of checkout to get the discount. This discount does not apply to prior purchases.


These are some new stash sale yarns added to my etsy shop

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Just back from a few days on the coast - spotted this new 'condo' going up right on the beach - Bailey had to check it out to make sure construction techniques would stand up to high tides........sadly the next day it was all knocked down..........maybe the builder will give it another try.  

I've come up with a new solution for the politicians eager to repeal and replace the ACA with something that will not be the best solution for all of us Americans who need health coverage. All those politicans health insurance should be the same exact insurance of any new health care act they come up with. Admittedly they can afford the premiums but would they be happy with the coverage....or lack of coverage........if they even qualify for any coverage! Guys/gals - just do what's best for all of us out here - don't give us less if anything at all - don't repeal something just because it's called Obama-care - work on fixing what's there and making it the best for all who need to purchase health coverage on their own - and if you just can't stand it change the name............


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Next up........

Next up on the AVL........wound on the back beam, heddles and reed threaded.......next up will be tying on the front beam and auditioning wefts for this 16H scarf warp........but I'll save that for another day as I'm getting used to cutting back on the business end of my fiber life and enjoying playing a bit more.........off to knit.......


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Almost forgot

 I almost forgot to take pictures of the circle scarf I blocked this morning - it didn't take but 4 hours to dry outside. This scarf is Pei by Michele Wang - it only takes around 225 yards of a fingering weight or sport weight yarn. Perfect for those small amounts of handspun still on my shelves. I knit this out of handspun merino/tussah from Ashland Bay in the concord colorway - it was leftover from a bigger project.


Here is it doubled around the neck.  I can see there will be more of these in my future - fast knits and a great use of smaller amounts of handspun from fun fibers I/ve spun.


Patina......again.......

 Here is one of he finished Vines & Leaves scarves. The photo doesn't do it justice. The combination of 3 colors of copper in the warp and dark teal in the weft creates the most incredible iridescence. I wasn't sure if I'd like them or not but I like them so much that I'm considering keeping one for myself. This one is now listed in my etsy shop.


 Yesterday I blocked the shawl I started back in May. It really looks more pink in person than in these photos. I'm not quite sure why I'm having trouble of late capturing accurate color.


Here is it worn around the front as I so often see shawls online and in magazines these days. Usually it's too much bulk......in my opinion......but this shawl is so light and airy that it feels great wearing it this way........yes, I did put it on to test it out.........

This afternoon after I finished twisting the fringe on the scarves and taking photos I looked over at my shelves of handspun and decided I need to get brutal about going through it. Much of it that has lingered is from when I first learned how to spin, and it is lovely, but it's mostly Romney wool from a former local sheep herder and just doesn't suit the type of projects I care to do now. There are some really lovely singles I had originally planned to use as pattern weft for overshot afghans.......but I no longer have those colors in my house so go they must. So, I pulled everything down and have piles sitting waiting for photographs so I can move the yarn on to someone else......and then other bags that I will give away. So, how come I'm moving out all this yarn and the shelves still look stuffed??? 

Tomorrow I'd like to wind a warp to get on the AVL but I could easily get sidetracked taking photos of this yarn.........I'll see how I feel come morning......


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Patina

I just finished weaving a couple of tencel scarves in my 40H vine & leaves pattern. They're soaking in a sink right now. I used 3 different shades of rust/copper in the warp and used a dark teal in the weft. This photo doesn't do the color combo justice - it makes me think of copper patina. Do I like the way they turned out? Don't know until they're dry. There will be some iridescence in them.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Yakity Yak

Friday we took off for the coast, got back Wednesday afternoon. It was a great holiday weekend away. I did no work on the cottage, not a lick of work unless you count some house cleaning - but no painting - whoo hoo! I went to the spinning group one day, did some knitting, visited with friends, mostly lots of walking and going to community events (wine walk, parade, concert in the park, fireworks, etc) all within walking distance of the cottage. Mostly we just enjoyed the 60 degree weather compared to the 90+ in the valley just 80 miles to the east. I could get used to slowing down and not worrying about selling.........

Here's the shawl I started while over there. One year at Black Sheep Gathering I saw this shawl on a mannequin at the Greenwood Fiberworks booth - the Saratoga Shawl. I had to have it........it was free with purchase of 2 skeins of yakkity yak yarn (60% sw merino/20% yak/20% silk)......which was spendy but I wanted the pattern so I bought the yarn (of course now you can buy the pattern alone on Ravelry). I had a little problem figuring out the loops only because the photo with the pattern isn't big enough to show that they're loops and not holes created in the knitting. And it's been so long since I saw the sample in person that I'd never remember how it was knit. I went to Ravelry and saw others shawls from this pattern, some close-up pix, that showed the loops. Then the instructions made total sense. Now this is pretty mindless knitting - I'll be working on it in the evenings when not spinning. Nice to finally pull this yarn and pattern out of the closet......no need to buy more yarn here, have plenty of stash to work from. If I like this shawl on me once finished I'll be making another using my handspun.

It's only the beginning of July and I'm tired of fire season......we still have around 3 months left before the first rains, if we're lucky. A fire started around 5 miles away an hour after we returned home yesterday, they jumped on it quickly and got it out, thank goodness. A copter went over the house just a bit ago heading west.........my ears are trained to hear those copters coming from miles away even with the windows closed and air conditioner on........have I said it yet this week? I hate fire season!!!  My heart goes out to those in the midst of big fires elsewhere in the west.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

On the wheel.........

New fiber being spun here - 50% Merino/50% Tussah Silk. I've only got 3oz of it so I'll be plying it with a Superfine Merino tone on tone in this exact shade - just pulled it out of my stash to start spinning. Not sure what this will grow up to be, will decide once I see how many yards I end up with. It's lovely to spin. The photo looks like it's more of a hot pink but it's really a lovely red/purple.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Packaged and out the door........

 It's always a rush to get something packaged up and out the door to the post office. I know I could do better but I strive to mail out an attractive package without too much additional cost. First almost all my items have this hangtag on them. It's a folded hangtag with item details and washing instructions on the back and a small story about me on the inside. The only items that don't go out with these labels are my embroidered towels and a few other small items, they have miniature tags.
 Here is the scarf wrapped in tissue with a reusable gift tag ready to mail. I also put a thank you note in the package and place it in a reusable plastic bag to protect against damp/wet during shipment, then into the shipping bag or box. My reusable gift tags are newer to my packaging - I created them using a tag punch with cardstock and then gluing on a piece of handwoven fabric.
I stitched up a couple of these towels the other day just because I thought they were so darned cute. There are two of them for sale in my etsy shop now. I haven't spent much time at the embroidery machine lately but need to get back to it because I've got some great new designs. I buy my digitized designs from Embroidery Library and Urban Threads.  If anyone is ever interested in a particular design please let me know, I'd love to stitch it up for you - my only restriction is that it must not be larger than 4" x 4" as that's all my inexpensive little embroidery machine will stitch.  Look how cute that towel looks with my tea mug, total coincidence - hmm, I might have to stitch one of these up for me........



Monday, June 26, 2017

Pastels and food

 The pastel scarves have their fringes twisted and are ready for sale in my etsy shop. Pastel is not something I usually think of for a handwoven scarf but they turned out lovely. This one has a pale lavender weft...........
.........this one has an ecru weft. A customer of mine requested a pastel scarf in these colors, one of these may or may not fit the bill, it's her decision.

Today I met friend Theresa over in Medford to shop Top Stitch, our local Bernina store, that was having a fabric sale - yikes. Then to lunch at The  Ram Restaurant and Brewery - I had a great Asian salad with macadamia crusted chicken. It doesn't look like a big salad in this photo but believe me, it was huge........and good. The Ram is a chain that recently opened in our region, I have regularly eaten at one of the other locations up in Salem. They brew beer too but I'm not a beer person so I can't review that - the food is wonderful. Theresa gifted me with a box of bamboo from her late father's stash, so in turn, with trying to make room for the bamboo I gifted her with a bag of linen which she loves.

Big storms yesterday afternoon and evening - many fires being chased down today from the lightning strikes. Have I said yet this year that I hate fire season???  And the wind did a number on my fig trees - sure hope it didn't hurt them because they're loaded with figs this year.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Pastels

 I have a customer who asked if I had any pastel scarves, nope but I did tell her when I had some time I'd weave something. She requested pink, blue, lavender, green and yellow. I put all of those in this tencel warp that I wound and got on the loom today. Here is auditioning of weft colors - decided to go with the pale lavender and ecru, which actually looks pale yellow in the photo.
Here's the first scarf with the pale lavender weft. It's now finished, next up the ecru weft one. Will my customer like these? I have no clue but I'm hoping she'll decide one of them will work for her. I'm not really sure how well pastel scarves will sell so I'm only weaving two of them.

The robo calls continue to stream in.....the do not call registry does no good. Yesterday one number called 15 times, as late as 10:45pm. I did report this one to the FTC - not sure it will do any good but it made me feel better. Today there have been 6 calls.....so far, one from that same number. I might have to find out how to block numbers - there are too many different numbers showing up on caller ID to get them all but perhaps I could block a few of the repeat callers.



Thursday, June 22, 2017

This and that.........

 Today I worked on another baby quilt for charity. The fabric was donated and was fun to put together, it needed some quilting in the center of the blocks so I quilted a star in each one. Very fun. Think I've done enough charity baby quilts for a bit........need to do some sewing for myself soon.
 Recently I silkscreened discharge paste onto a handwoven chenille scarf. I hadn't done this in a while, I did think to check my discharge paste to make sure it was still good unlike last time when it had lost it's umpf. The paste almost worked too good as it bled through to the wrong side so the backside of the scarf has ghost images of the gingko leaves. This has never happened before......but I'm wondering if maybe it was the different brand of chenille that was the culprit. The scarf is fine but I'm not happy with that happening.
Here it is finished. It's amazing how different brands of chenille will discharge completely different - usually I get a really yellow gold but this chenille discharged to a goldy/lavender.........it's very pretty......just different. This scarf is up for sale in my etsy shop. One of the pictures in the listing does show the ghost imaging on the backside if anyone is interested.

Lavender Fields Scarves

New hand-dyed, handwoven, tencel scarves in my etsy shop - a turned twill design





Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Another day, another crisis

Another day, another crisis in this country. Is it never ending??? What goes through a person's head when they head out with a gun for a morning of target shooting fellow human beings???

I could only take so much of the news this morning so I moved on to activities better for my mental health like making and putting tags on handmade journals and then weaving. Here's the first scarf on the painted tencel warp I put on the loom a couple days ago.


And here's the second scarf on that warp. These are ready to be washed tomorrow. I didn't feel like starting a new audio book while weaving so I put on Netflix and watched/listened to a totally mindless and funny movie to get my mind on things other than what's going on in this country - Bridget Jones Baby. It was actually just what I needed - no message, just silliness. I would have loved to have watched more Frankie & Grace but a friend and I get together to do that while lunching and knitting - she'll be over in a couple weeks for our Netflix day. 

There's a new product from Ashland Bay - knit sock blanks ready for dyeing. What fun! I just got some listed in my etsy shop.  The blanks are 4oz and approximately 435 yards each which is enough for most knit sock patterns. They are single stranded so if identical socks are wanted they will have to be folded in half to dye or if a person is good just dye it identically all in one length. This summer I'm going to dye a pile of them for winter knitting but I'm thinking gradations for shawls and scarves, both knit and woven. Gradation yarn is really popular right now and there are tons of knit patterns being designed for it.

These are 80% Superwash Merino/20% Nylon and they are a 100% USA product. The merino is grown in the US, the yarn is spun in the US and they are knit into blanks here in the US.

Pet peeve of the day - robocalls. Whatever happened to the effectiveness of the Do Not Call Registry???  It stopped working years ago. My guess is that those companies have gotten much more sophisticated and can work around it. Now on caller ID it shows local phone numbers and business names but if the phone is answered one will find out that it's really a bank card company trolling or someone telling me my windows computer will be shut down by Microsoft. Because we have caller ID I don't pick up the phone but I still get tired of hearing it ring all day long - so far today 11 calls with no messages left, a tell tale sign they're not legitimate.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Getting an attitude adjustment

I decided I need an attitude adjustment so I'm working on that now. There are too many things in life that cannot be changed easily, if at all, so I've got to work around them. I'm cutting back my news watching....no, not hiding my head in the sand but if something is going to upset and I can't do a thing to fix it I'm going to try and keep it from cluttering up my mind.  I did spend the entire day in the studio, which was great, even if it wasn't all creative time.......just being in there was good for my soul.
 I posted some journals I recently made, here, I hadn't stenciled the inside cover of the green one at that point so I did it this morning. I'll take this journal over to the coast with me for drawing/writing.
I put a painted tencel warp on the loom and started auditioning wefts. I've got two scarves to weave on this warp so I need to find two different weft colors. Two of these are ok but I'm not really excited about any of them. I've got shelves of tencel but I don't think there's the perfect color. I'll look at it with fresh eyes in the morning and decide what colors will work best.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

This and that.............

Been kind of in a funk and uninspired this past week - can't put a finger on exactly why.........maybe I'm tired of the news and the damper it puts on each day........going to make an effort not to watch as much unless this administration starts to implode, then I will watch and applaud. It's even affecting my weaving, I sat in front of the laptop for hours/days working in WeavePoint on some new drafts and I just can't get them to look the way I want...........so, what's a gal to do, put it away and play with something else.
Today I decided it was time to frame a few cross stitch pieces I finished up this winter and bought frames for. I'm very happy with all three of them. I've got a couple more to frame but they won't fit ready made frames so eventually I will decide what I want and have Sam make simple frames that I can paint and embellish to go with the cross stitches.

I finally finished up some chenille scarves - not exactly chenille season but it's what I'm weaving when over on the coast. This would make a great men's scarf but would be equally as nice for a woman. A golden brown and sage green in a Fibonacci striping sequence.

This scarf came off the same warp but looks a little different. Both of these are now up in my etsy shop for sale.

I also put on a black chenille scarf warp. This one is solid black but the other two will eventually have discharge dyeing done on them in leaf designs. It's always a surprise to see what color comes shows up when I silkscreen the discharge paste on. Usually with black chenille I get a light golden color but when I did a test piece it's a silvery color this time. It all has to do with how the yarn manufacturer dyed the chenille - totally out of my control.  So, I'll discharge one scarf and see if I like it enough to do the second one in a different leaf design.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Giveaway - UPDATE Monday, June 5th

UPDATE:  I guess no one was interested in this book since there were no comments so it will donated/given away elsewhere.
I'm still going through things art/craft related that I would feel good about passing on to someone who will truly use them.  I have this book - The Natural Knitter by Barbara Albright that needs to find a new home where it will be appreciated and used. It's in brand new condition.

Please comment to this post if you'd like to be included in the drawing for this book which will be next Monday, June 5th.  USA only as the cost for me to ship elsewhere is just too prohibitive, I'm sorry.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Leather journals......

Recently I spent a little time making some leather bound journals - they all have watercolor paper pages so they're suitable not only for writing in but also for painting

A gray leather with cover page of my watercolor brush design - I'm not a painter as you can tell, it is really pretty in person as I used metallic sparkly watercolors, this one has an antler button closure

A lovely dark red leather that had a great natural uneven edge that I utilized on the cover, it has a wood button. The inside cover page was a Japanese paper that I photo-mounted to watercolor paper

What I thought was black leather but I guess it's really a dark dark blue, oh well.......I used a black and gold vintage button and Japanese paper for the cover paper

A lovely brown leather with more Japanese paper for the cover page, wooden button

And this one is my new personal journal to keep over on the coast - I used one of the shells I've found on the beach as the closure. The cover page inside is plain watercolor paper that I'm going to stencil shells on - just haven't gotten to that yet.

I've got two other journals finished but still need to find the perfect button closures for them.

Monday, May 29, 2017

New roving colors

Four new roving colors from Ashland Bay, now listed in my etsy shop for sale
Dusty Rose, Mulberry, Forest and Graphite

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Peace and other things..........

Peace - don't we all wish for it these days, and tolerance and kindness. Such sadness with the latest attack. I love this peace sign fence along the harbor in Bandon - what a creative way to fence in the yard. We spent 5 days on the coast, the weather couldn't have been more perfect - we left coastal temps in the low 70's yesterday to come back over the coastal range to 92 in the valley, today it's forecast to be 98. What happened to spring this year???
 I started a new shawl while over there. The colors start out dark burgundy and progressively gets lighter until it reaches a hot pink.


 We (mostly Sam this time) did some work on the guest bath - it's now finished. I should have taken a before picture. I painted the vanity and a mirror, we put in a new sink, faucets, lighting and pulled out the sliding glass doors on the tub/shower and put up a shower curtain very similar to other curtains in the house, a sheer with shells and starfish on it with a shell trimmed valance. I haven't painted that shelf on the wall yet as I'm not sure if I want to and if I do, what color.....so it stays for the time being. I can see those coral seahorse handtowels have to move elsewhere in the house, I've got some handwoven towels that will match perfectly.
Here's another view. I found this mirror at a second hand store, it was originally part of a dresser. I painted it to match the vanity that I painted. The knobs on the vanity are starfish. Sam built the new countertop with formica and a wood trim that was painted. I should have taken a close-up of it, it's sand colors with a bit of teal in it. The sink has a rope look trim, it's so pretty. It took me a long time to find lighting that I liked, something simple and not too expensive.........we are doing work on this house on a budget. Now we're working on the master bath - sink is pulled, drywall fixed where the big mirror was removed. I've started priming the linen closet and vanity.  The new floor and new baseboard had been the project before we started on the bathrooms.

The inside of the house will be completely done after the master bathroom is finished. I can't believe it. We'll eventually move on to extending the front porch a bit and adding a deck area to the front of the house - we do have a big older deck already across the back. Then finally yardwork. This will take a while as we like to play when we're over there too............