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 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............

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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

I finally found some time to do more dreaded photography work, otherwise these scarves would get moved from hanging over the back beam of one loom to another to get them out of my way. Now they're photographed, tags attached and hung with other scarves listed in my etsy shop.
Here is the second echo weave scarf - this one has a red tencel weft. I've been wanting to weave something in echo weave but hadn't gotten to it, always put on the back burner. Our weaving guild challenge this year is to weave something new, the perfect opportunity to make time to try it out. I'll show my two scarves at the June guild meeting.

I put a warp on the AVL for my original Iranian Tilework draft. I love this draft I created and hadn't woven it in a couple years. The iridescence in these scarves is incredible. They all have a fuchsia warp, above a dark teal weft........ a gold weft...........
.....and here a lavender weft.

I sewed a couple more baby quilts for donation via the American Sewing Guild group I joined in March. These are a part of our community sewing. I'm not sure what I had in mind when I bought the sheep fabric many years ago - so far I've made two baby quilts and there's enough to make two more. The polka dot flannel was from the ASG stash.

The train flannel fabric and navy polka dot was also from the ASG stash. I've got a third quilt in the works, a simple pieced top in red, white & blue, but I ran out of my leftover stash of batting so I'll have to finish that one up after I feel like going to JoAnn's with my discount coupon.

There are days when I just don't think I can stand to watch or read the news. It's something new each day with this administration, I use that in very loose terms. And the news is not good, it's disturbing, embarrassing to our country and downright scary. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that 'he' totally implodes at some point but he's such a weasel he might 'do a little sidestep' and get out of it. Yes, that's from a song from the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, very fun movie, hmm, that would be much more fun to watch than the news..........

Pet peeve today - when people say 'you guyses'. Ok, when we moved to Oregon back in 1992 I noticed wait staff in restaurants would always address us as 'you guys'. Then it progressed to a plural  'you guyses'. I didn't realize guyses was a word, is it one of those new ones that I don't pay attention to???  Or is it an Oregonian word???  So, I'm used to hearing it these days in restaurants, store, coffee drive-thru but now I'm hearing it from our local newscasters........didn't they go to college??? didn't they take any English or writing classes???  Am I wrong? Is this really a word and I'm just behind the times?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Garden Party Quilt Show

Friend Teresa of Camprunamuck suggested we meet on Friday to go to a local quilt show - the 37th annual Rogue Valley Piecemakers show - this years show was called Garden Party. We thoroughly enjoyed the over 200 quilts on display and spending money at the vendors. I only took a few pictures as it was hard with many others there, and they aren't great since I often couldn't take them straight on, but I thought I'd share a few favorites although there were many more I loved and wish I had pictures of.

I love dragonflies so this quilt caught my eye. I'd love it on a wall in my house.

This is lovely, I love traditional looks and applique

My favorite quilt pattern - grandmother's garden (hexxies). This is a vintage quilt from someone's collection. I'm going to make myself a hexxie afghan quilt in the near future only my hexxies will be big/monster size in comparison to these. I can't remember how many pieces were in this but it seemed like it was over 2000.

I love this Dresden plate variation

I'm a dog person, I am not a cat person. It's not because I dislike cats, it's because I'm allergic. If I wasn't I'd have a cat in addition to our dog (but I'd still be a dog person first).  I love this cat quilt - there are little mice in-between the cats.

Here's a more contemporary quilt which I love just as much as the traditional designs. It's very Japanese in feel, the simplicity is beautiful.

I wish I would have taken pictures of all the quilts but that would have taken more time than I had to spend at the show. I have always been in awe of the incredible quilters in our region.  I hope I can make it to many of the quilt shows in the region this year.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Love/Hate relationship.........

I'm having a love/hate relationship with technology right now. My little inexpensive Brother sewing/embroidery machine that I bought only for embroidery is not wanting to do any embroidery, correctly, at the moment. I had taken it to a get together where others were using it (as a regular sewing machine) and lo and behold when Sam was working on it he found a pin (not one of mine) down near the bobbin case and a needle had broken off after it went through the bobbin case - argh.  He's worked on it and it's better but still not good enough. I haven't figured out what to do yet as the repair may cost as much as a new machine...........will be thinking on this for a while.  All I'm thinking is thank goodness I didn't bring my expensive Bernina for others to use............
Then my AVL was acting up.......but I did get the last scarf woven on the Iranian Tilework warp. They are soaking as I type. And my desktop keeps getting stuck in Explorer and I'm having to do hard shutdowns - it must have been last week's update, usually they come in on Tuesdays so hoping there's a patch for the issue. I'm thinking after 3 days of dealing with issues with computerized machines tomorrow I'm going to do something that's more 'old fashioned', no technology required.

Saturday, May 6, 2017


Today I squeezed in a little sewing time and made 6 pillow cases which are destined for a care facility in town - another one of the community sew projects for the local American Sewing Guild chapter here. It makes me smile to think the elderly or ill will have these nice pillow cases to brighten their beds. I haven't used my serger in eons so I had to figure out how to get it from a rolled hem back to the regular old overlock stitch. The serger made fairly quick sewing. I'm thinking I might have to make us some pillowcases in the near future.........

Friday, May 5, 2017

12 Days of Christmas

Finally a photo of the finished 12 Days of Christmas shawl, this was handspun and handknit from fiber from the 12 Days of Christmas fiber from Inglenook Fibers. I spun them in order starting with the gold at the top which was day one. I'm very happy with my finished shawl. I knit until I ran out of yarn and only had 3 feet left by the time I bound off.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A bit of weaving...........

The AVL was working much better today since I replaced the USB cable - at least that's what I'm assuming the issue was for it going wack-a-do. It worked fine all afternoon so hopefully that was it, those cables do go bad. There's still the issue with harnesses not raising occasionally but I've had that issue for 4 years. In March AVL admitted that was a problem and will fix it when I (and others) send back our dobby boxes for repair. I'll do that as soon as the loom is empty.

This is one of my original drafts - a 32 H twill based on Iranian Tilework. Next scarf on the warp will have a golden/mustard weft. Then the final one will have a pale lavender weft...........unless I change my mind before I have time to get back to the loom..........

In two days we have gone from winter to summer - what happened to spring???  Temps are supposed to come back down by the weekend, I'm hoping that forecast is right as I'm not ready for summer yet, I want some beautiful spring weather.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Photography work........a challenge.........

I think photography will always be a challenge for me. Perhaps/maybe if I took a course in it I'd do better but I'm not sure where I'd fit that course into the limited hours in my life. We can't all be good at everything and photography is one of my downfalls - I can accept that.  I did get these 3 items listed in the shop..........there's still a chenille scarf needs it's photos re-done - instead of turning out hot pink, they turned out red and no amount of editing seems to help so I'll try again.

Here is one of the echo weave scarves. I love it. Since it is so dense warp wise it is heavier than my usual tencel scarves but it is still lovely and drapey and I'm happy with it. I love the iridescence in this scarf, it makes me think of peacock feathers. The other one was just washed this morning and is hanging to dry, I used a red weft in that one.

This is another one of my rayon flake shawls in silver and white. It's been sitting waiting for the fringe to be twisted for a long time. Since the other one recently sold for a wedding I thought I best get to finishing this one up and get it listed in the shop. This shawl makes me think of liquid silver, it's incredible feeling.

And here is a baby blanket - I love the way it turned out with the bright colors.

There are sewing updates but no photos. I went to the American Sewing Guild local chapter's Make It Take It event on Saturday. What a fun day. I was able to take 3 two hour classes for $15 (plus a few small material fees) and it included lunch. Many thanks to the group that put it on.

I took my small Brother machine that does embroidery and regular sewing - I only use it for embroidery so it was a challenge to figure out how to work it as a regular sewing machine going from settings to settings. I didn't want to cart my more expensive Bernina to classes. Looks like I'll need to spend some time learning all the features the Brother has other than embroidery if I'm going to use it for classes........or eventually buy another machine, maybe keep my eye out for a nice used machine to use for carting around.

I took a class on free motion quilting - oh my gosh, it was wonderful. I learned so much from the instructor and I can see doing many projects in the future using this technique..........of course there will be lots of practice before an actual project happens. I took a class called quilt as you go - it was a bit hard to follow as I had no clue what we were doing but once I got my samples made I can see using one, possibly two of these three techniques in the future, especially for the community sews donation baby blankets. And then I took a non-sewing class - a 3D star made from fabric. I have not unpacked anything so no pix.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Echo weave

I finally got back to the loom and started weaving on the echo weave scarf warp. It's very hard to see, especially when I'm looking at it straight on while weaving..........and much attention needs to be paid to the treadling sequence. I don't know if I'll like the hand of these scarves, it's a very close sett, not as many ppi and I'm even doing less than I've seen in other echo weave projects using 8/2 tencel. I feel like these may not be as drapey as I like to weave my scarves but maybe I'll be surprised.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Making progress.......

I'm making progress on the shawl, coming down the home stretch. It will look much nicer when blocked and all the holes show up, especially along the bottom few inches.....intentional holes, not mistake holes. If I were not following 'the rules' of spinning each packet of this 12 Days of Christmas fiber I may have rearranged the colors but this is how they came, so that's how I spun them.

I've been having hand problems the past several months so I'll have to let it rest a day before knitting again.....or weaving. I guess overuse is catching up with me............

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Take two

Well, yesterday while sitting and watching Frankie & Grace with a friend I pulled out the 12 Days of Christmas shawlette that I had knit on size 6 needles. By yesterday evening I had gotten almost to the point of where I was yesterday morning. I decided to be brave an go with size 8 needles figuring size 7 wouldn't make that much difference. I'm so happy with it now, so glad I started over. Size 6 needles was perfect for the size of yarn if I wanted something like a sweater, but for something drapey like a shawl it wouldn't work. When this is blocked it will be lightweight and the holes will show. I'm on color 3 of 12 at this point. It's looks darker in this photo but that's only because of the lighting - it really looks closer to the first photo colorwise.  Now I can't wait to get more time to knit on it..........

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What to do???

Decisions, decisions.........oh, what to do. Remember starting on December 25th I started spinning the Inglenook Fibers 12 Days of Christmas fiber?  Then I finished it up by plying it with rayon embroidery thread? Well, I loved the look of the resulting handspun but it was laceweight and I started many a shawl only to rip them out, I just didn't like the look and was kicking myself for not originally spinning fingering weight yarn. So, last week I Navajo plied it - a risk since I'd be putting more twist in it but it worked out ok. I started the Pretty Basic Shawl pattern the other evening. Now the issue. I'm using size 6 needles but am now wondering if I should have used size 7 or even 8. It's not a big deal to rip it out because it knits quickly. I tried stretching it out to see how it might look after blocking and still can't decide.........decisions, decisions............ 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A view from the back..............

A view from the back of the looms - warping in process on two looms
Tencel echo weave warp - many ends alternating purple and teal in the lease sticks.......I did get the heddles threaded on this warp....this was one of those drafts I really had to pay attention to while threading........still need to sley the reed. I haven't woven echo weave before so this is a test to see if I like the feel and drapiness of it for a scarf or if it feels to heavy......I know I like the look of the weave structure.

Tencel warp in the raddle, going through the lease sticks awaiting threading of the heddles and sleying of the reed - these will be scarves using my original Iranian Tilework draft. This color is really fuchsia, for some reason came out looking more burgundy in the photo.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A bit of weaving

A bit of weaving happened today........finally. Two baby blankets woven, one to go. This is tough weaving for me - the reach is a bit more than my arms are comfortable with so I can't weave too long. Can't wait to get these off the loom but tomorrow is supposed to be lovely outside so may have to work in the yard instead.

 Recently woven scarves finally photographed and listed in my etsy shop. Above hand-dyed tencel in a twill weave structure.

Chartreuse rayon chenille with a few stripes of novelty yarn in purple, teal and blue. I like this one so much I'm keeping one for myself..........chartreuse is one of my favorite colors if not my all time fav.

Another rayon chenille scarf in two shades of seafoam green. Fibonacci striping in the warp. Half the weft is the lighter shade of seafoam, half is the darker shade. The colors are very close so it's a subtle difference.

Not really the time of year to be listing chenille scarves for sale but that's what I'm weaving on the loom at the beach cottage right now so I might as well put them in the shop.

Comedy of Errors

Yesterday I decided it was time to get a baby blanket warp on the loom, one for a gift, others for sale. Photo shows heddles being threaded, I did finish this and get the reed sleyed so today I'm ready to start weaving on this circus colored warp. 

So, I get almost to the end of threading heddles and I'm short 15 on the left side of harness #3 - argh. This never happens to me but I messed up when sliding heddles to the left side for threading, I didn't count brain must have been out to lunch when I counted. So, I had to pull heddles off the right side and put them on the left side - not a fun job. Oh, but this wasn't all - I had made mistakes on all 4 harnesses. I had enough for threading but then there was a huge amount of extra heddles on the right side of the other three harnesses. I could have left this except that I'm weaving almost the full width of the loom so I had to take the extras off as they interfere with the warp..........of course means they'll eventually have to go back on.

I guess we all have to have a big slice of humble pie once in a while. It's probably been 30 years since I made a mistake like this..........

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Back at the sewing machine............

Today I put together another baby/toddler quilt to be donated. I also had this fabric in my stash.........good use for it rather than sitting in the cupboard for another 10 years. It's hard to tell but those are little sheep on the farm in the small panels. I love the bright red backing and binding I used.

After making the quilt today I made a few of these caddies. I learned how to make them last week at the American Sewing Guild meeting, many thanks to Kathy K for leading us in this project. The quilted cover with pockets sits over top one of those $1 plastic standing picture frames. There are pockets on the front for sewing tools, pens/pencils, scissors and one pocket on the back that can hold a notepad or whatever. Today I made this one and two others, all gifts. I'm already making a list of others to make these for as gifts this next holiday season.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

More chenille.........

I wove off the other chenille scarf warp on the beach cottage loom and put this citron chenille warp on. I love, love, love this color........added some fun novelty yarn in one section, would have added more but this was all I had left of that ball. It was a valued ball having used it several times in other projects but now it's gone and most probably not available any longer. Hmm, I might have to keep one of these scarves for myself.

And Bailey was doing what he does best while on the coast - when not walking the beach he's planted on the couch with his Buster........and Buster is looking worse all the time and is a bit smelly now. I might throw him in the washer and see how he comes out. If he doesn't make it that's ok, I have a brand new back up Buster hidden away.......

Friday, March 31, 2017

Funny sheep

I recently joined the local group of the American Sewing Guild. I had thought about it several times over the years when they came to my studio twice for a presentation about weaving. I held back on joining because I had no idea how I'd fit one more monthly meeting into my schedule. I still don't know how I'll fit it in but have decided I'll just do and attend when I can. I'm hoping it will get me sewing more as I really enjoy it, and eventually sewing with my handwovens which I've only done a small amount of over the years.....and of course learning new things with all the programs and classes available in the region.  There is something called community sew within the organization - I'm not sure exactly how it all works but one project my local group is working on is quilts for babies/toddlers/kids for county visiting nurses to bring as gifts to at risk homes. Yesterday I found this great sheep fabric in my stash so stitched up a quilt to donate - it was fun but this super simple quilt took longer than I thought it would.....will have to think on how to speed up this sewing. I have another fun sheep/farm fabric waiting to be sewn into another quilt.  I've found that I do need to learn about my walking foot, which I've never used. Then I'll move on to sewing up some organizers for gifts that we learned how to make this past Tuesday - when I get one finished I'll post a picture. Anyhow, good organization, lots of learning opportunities and community sewing on top of it.........and a nice group of folks.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Seafoam Chenille Scarves

We spent a long weekend on the coast - mixture of pouring rain and beautiful sun and blue skies. Typical Oregon weather - it was wonderful. I hadn't planned on putting a warp on the loom over there but ended up putting this chenille scarf warp on - two colors of seafoam/teal. I got a bit of weaving done in-between other things we were doing. Last month I took over a load of chenille and decided the focus for the beach cottage loom for a while would be chenille scarves.

Busy week coming up which means no time to weave here at home - might be pretty grumpy in a few days..........

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Crimp Cloth

This past weekend my weaving guild brought in Dianne Totten for a workshop in Crimp cloth. It was great. Dianne's a great teacher and wonderful person - I totally enjoyed learning from her. I'm so excited with the possibilities. I've only touched the surface as I had a 8H point twill and extended twill on my loom - so many samples woven but more could be....but then there are so many other weave structures that can be used. My loom was warped for weft crimp but then there's another whole side to this - warp crimp. How I wish I could set aside everything else I have to do and play with putting on many samples warps. If you ever have the opportunity to take this workshop from Dianne don't hesitate, but if that option isn't available to you she has two different videos out there, one on weaving crimp cloth, the other on sewing with that crimp cloth. They can be found on the Interweave Press website. I own the weaving one and am thinking I need to buy the sewing one.

I wove a total of 11 samples but honestly don't feel like taking photos of all to post here. So, here's one of the samples before and after crimping. My warp is 8/2 tencel, my weft is polyester sewing thread woven in a clasped weft technique. Most of my samples were woven using Orlon for the weft but I did a few with sewing thread and they turned out incredible, so lightweight.....not that the others were heavy but these were so yummy feeling.  The weft needed to be something that would hold the crimp when steamed, for warp crimp the warp needs to be a fiber that will hold the crimp. (details in Dianne's video). The white threads are my pull threads - I pulled it tight (sorry forgot to take a picture of that) like in shibori and tied it securely in preparation for steaming. It's hard to see above but there's a pattern to those pull threads to create columns.......I wove many samples with different patterns to the pull threads, the diamonds were pretty neat looking.

And here it is after steaming and after washing. See that incredible crimp?  It's permanent as long as I don't take an iron to it to flatten it out. You can see on the left that's where I had it threaded to an extended point twill, on the right it was just a point twill.

I found a picture of one of the samples pulled ready for the steamer, it's not the same sample as above but it shows what it looks like when the pull threads are pulled tightly. In this sample my ground cloth is a twill ratio tie-up - you can just see a bit of it above the crimping. My crimp threads are in a diamond design.....which you can't see. My weft was black orlon for this sample.

I'm so excited to try some scarves with ruffled trims. I wove a few samples with extra length for ruffles where I can experiment with hemming techniques. So, there will be some crimp scarves showing up on the blog but first I have a list of other weaving with deadlines........would love to just set those aside and jump into crimp cloth but I can't. I'd love to make a couple vests too. So many fun little time!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Giveaway Winner!!

The winner of the sheep ornament kit is Thistle Rose Weaving.  Martha I hope you have fun making these.
This giveaway wasn't as popular as the last one, maybe no one is thinking ornaments with the holidays not far behind us. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Auditioning wefts....

I got the AVL warped with one of my painted/dyed tencel warps. There's enough for 2 scarves here. I'm auditioning wefts at the moment....sometimes I find it easier to decide by looking at a photo. So, I think I'm going to use the first color, a maroon which is closest to the knots where I tied on and then maybe a purple, maybe - second from the top of the page.......but I like the contrast of the black weft too. I'll probably change my mind on all of it by the time I walk back downstairs........

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Two new shawls & stash sale yarn update

I finally got the shawls recently woven finished up - they needed to be washed and have the fringes twisted. These are woven in an undulating twill pattern in rayon, rayon slub, bamboo, rayon cotton novelty and rayon seed novelty yarn. These make me think beach wedding or beach/cruise vacation.
There are shades of taupe, peach, off white and pale mint green in the warp.  In this one I used a white novelty rayon for the weft. This shawl is so light and lovely, almost fly away......

.....this one I used a heavier weft in a peach rayon seed yarn - it's a heavier shawl but still perfect for cool summer nights.  Both are available in my etsy shop in the Shawls - Handwoven section of the shop.

There's an update to the Stuff for Sale section of this blog - more destashing of yarns. Details can be found in the Stash Sale Section of my other Etsy Shop.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


I've got another giveaway. This one is for a kit called Holiday Flock.  It's a knit sheep ornament kit. It doesn't say anywhere how many ornaments it makes but there are 4 bells so I'm making a guess that it makes 4 sheep ornaments.........don't hold me to that though since I don't know for sure.

So, if you're interested and live in the US or Canada please leave a comment to this post. I'll pick a name next Wednesday the 15th using the random generator site.  If there's a way to contact the winner next week I'll do that in addition to posting the name here on the blog, if there isn't a way to contact the winner please be sure to check back to see if you've won.

Crimp weave workshop

I'm very excited to have a guild sponsored workshop coming up with Diane Totten on crimp weave. This is not a collapse weave created by using different fibers or overspun fibers. This workshop is based on woven shibori and using polyester/orlon/orlec for the warp or weft, pull up the shibori threads, then steam which sets in the 'crinkles'. Monday I got my table loom warped for it. I decided to put a few stripes in it, some solid areas and some thin stripes of variegated - I want to be able to see different variations  of colorplay all in one warp. My warp is 8/2 tencel, my weft will be orlon, the shibori pull threads a bonded nylon. I'll post pictures of my samples in a couple weeks.

In April there's another guild sponsored workshop - this one on supplementary warp with Deb Essen.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Shawl warp

I finally got back to the shawl warp today. Finished the first shawl and am part way through the second. For the second one I used a different rayon novelty seed yarn. I 'think' I'll like these once off the loom and washed......they're very beachy which I do like.