Sunday, September 17, 2017

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

I haven't written all week because I just don't have anything to say or share.........in one of those moods where I wonder if I'll keep with my blog or not, but no decisions need to be made one way or the other, I'll just post when/if I feel like it.

A few nights ago I started knitting the Bella Shawl by Annie Lee-Baker. I was using one of those hand-dyed knit blocks with a color gradation. I love the colors but did not like the way the knitting was looking. The knit block is unraveled to knit it into a new project, well it leaves crinkles in the yarn, which in turn makes for messy looking knitting.  I pulled it out yesterday evening and wound it all into a skein, it's been washed and is now out on the blocker drying. In the meantime I still wanted to knit one of these shawls - it's a fun to knit pattern. So in my stash I found some Berroco Boboli Lace and started knitting last night and since I have 2 balls of it I may make the shawl a bit bigger.......I actually call patterns like this shawlettes since they're not full blown shawls. It's hard to tell in this photo but the colors are incredible and will look striking when worn over black. After I finish knitting this one I'll start on the one using the knit block color gradation yarn.

I started working on our holiday cards - they are not woven this year, instead they are fabric and based on quilting - no pix until after the holidays. I've worked on some small gifts, have some more to get to but am not inspired at the moment.....the story of my life right now, no inspiration or motivation - I think summer got to me this year.

On the fire front - since a bit of rain over a week ago and cooler temps the growth of numerous fires has slowed. They are still fighting them and we still have smoke but we've had some relief. Rain is moving in this week which should help even more with the fire fight. It's been a heck of a summer - more than the usual fires, lots of smoke, and so much heat most of the summer that I never got outside to do any dyeing.......maybe it will happen before winter hits, maybe not............I won't fret over it..........

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Salmon Celebration

First off - an apology that these pix are sideways. I took them with my phone - they were correct when downloaded to the computer. I then saved them again as new pix and they were fine, but I uploaded them to my blog and they're turned. This only happens with pix taken on my phone. Does anyone know how to remedy this issue? It's beyond me, I can't figure it out.
Anyhow, on the coast this past weekend we attended the Salmon Festival put on by the local Indian tribe. The salmon was baked indirectly on wooden sticks beside a wood fire. It was incredible tasting. It was basted with a huckleberry jam - oh my gosh - to die for.

Here is the menu for the meal although I noticed it did not mention the basting with huckleberry jam or that they served another little container of huckleberry jam with it. We are definitely going the next time they hold this event.  I took no other pix but there was story telling, historical talks, prayers by a wise elder and dancing. There were dug out canoe races although they weren't going on while we were there. Many booths showing flint making, canoe making, etc. Then booths where one could try their hand at traditional Indian crafts. We didn't stick around for the release of the salmon to the river - I'm assuming they are the farmed salmon from the hatchery.

Nothing much creative happening here - just not inspired these days about anything much. In spite of lightning that came with thunderstorms the second half of last week starting new small fires the weather was an immense help to the fire fighting efforts. Fire growth slowed giving fire fighters more time to access and build more containment lines. It also gave some temporary relief from the smoke. Unfortunately temperatures have gone up again and fires are more active. I'm just hoping the region can hold on, without too much more fire damage, until the fall/winter rains come. There are numerous fires in our region but the closest one to us is the Chetco Bar Fire which is now up to 184,292 acres with an 8% containment perimeter line - it started on July 12th.

Does anyone else watch Outlander? I've got the first new episode of this season dvr'd and will watch it later today or tomorrow. Although I've already read the book that this season is based on I don't want any spoilers of what happens in the first episode.


 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

 Today I spent a bit of time at the sewing machine appliqueing panels onto denim and sewing up some small totes. These are a community sew project for our neighborhood chapter of the American Sewing Guild. We'll be donating these cute little bags to our local Head Start program.
The bags will be filled with assorted items for the kiddos.  I think I'll make a few more as my contribution.......then I'll move on to a new project. I came up with a 'process' to streamline making these and can get them sewn fairly quickly now.

Air quality index is at 377 at the moment, hazardous.  Some spots in our region are getting thunderstorms, mostly thunder & dry lightning (yikes more fire starts!) but a few areas are getting some rain too..........we're getting nothing so far. I haven't been able to see the infrared pix of the fires close to us for the past few days, too much smoke for the planes to fly over.  I hate fire season.......



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

This says it all..........

This says it all - just too much smoke here.......it's overwhelming, even inside with the A/C running we smell the smoke.........it's gross. I think I heard earlier on the news that it was something like day 17 of smoke. No end in sight..........it will most probably be with us until the fall rains start which will probably not be until sometime in October. Thunderstorms are on the way, unfortunately they will contain no to very little spotty rain which means more dry lightning to start new fires.  I've been trying to stay inside but even for the short periods of time I'm out I think I'm going to have to resort to wearing a mask.

I am so done with fire season and the extreme summer heat.........but unfortunately it's not done with us. I'm beginning to wonder what it is I love so much about the Pacific Northwest.......

Update - in the time it took me to write this post the count went up to 365 - argh

Monday, September 4, 2017

Career sox finished

I can't tell you how long these sox have been on the needles - maybe two years, I really can't remember. I was in-between projects so thought I'd finish them up. Now they're ready to wear if we ever get cool weather.

I can't go into all the fire updates because it's just too much to write and it's too depressing and downright scary. The fires surrounding our area and are growing by leaps and bounds. The fire closest to us is the top priority fire in the nation but only has a fraction of personnel fighting it compared to other fires a 10th of it's size - the west is overwhelmed with fires and there is just no more support coming. There are so many fires and so many fires with evacuations. Here we have been told they will do their best with what they've got - not a warm & fuzzy feeling. The smoke is in the hazardous stage at our house, so thick that there is very little visibility, no air support working the close fires as they can't fly due to the smoke. I'm not sure how many hours one would have to drive to escape the smoke at this point. It smells of smoke inside the house even with it being closed up and the a/c running - there's no escaping it. We did get over to the coast for a bit but the smoke eventually made it over there too. Doing the rain dance here hoping for the fall rains to come earlier rather than later this year.



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

 This was the yarn I spun while demo'ing at the fair - it's blocked and ready to go on the shelf until I decide what it will grow up to be. I still need to count up the yardage so I know what I've got, it's a monster skein off my Hansen electric spinner.

This is what a sunrise looks like when we're socked in with smoke.....this morning it's not yet as bad as it has been but give it a couple hours. We have fires surrounding our area - the smoke extremely unhealthy. Extended forecast for temps 100+ which is never a good thing with these fires. I feel so silly complaining about them with what's going on the Houston region.........that devastation is beyond belief, my heart goes out to all affected and who will be affected for years to come.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

 When under stress I have trouble doing much of anything creative - the embroidery machine fits the bill, not too much thinking required and I've accomplished something.
New towels for sale in my etsy shop.......yes, I'm actually thinking ahead to the holidays.......for once.  I am loving all these towels but those pumpkins are so danged cute - I'll definitely be stitching up some for me too.

I hope all stay safe in Texas and surrounding states with the approaching hurricane, torrential rains and storm surge.......sure wish some of that rain could be spread out along the west coast.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse mania.......or not.........

So, I have no photo of the eclipse because it was kind of a bust here - being in SW Oregon we were a bit south of the direct path but we were to see a 94% eclipse. We did go sit up the hill with our neighbor to watch it but we have so much danged smoke, so so much smoke that it was not great for viewing. We did see a red sun in the smoke and the moon crossing in front of it but we didn't experience any darkness because it was already dark out due to the smoke. It did get colder for a bit. This afternoon we decided to do a Costco run over in Medford - I-5 traffic was the heaviest we have ever seen it in the 25 years we've lived in Southern Oregon - all those eclipse watchers from the north are heading home.


The fires in our region are so incredibly scary. There are so many evacuations all the way from the coast inland to Central Oregon. The fire on the other side of the closest one to us blew up a few days ago and continues to blow up - it is threatening the entire town of Brookings and it's outlying areas over on the coast. We have friends that have had to evacuate. This fire is in-between us and the coast. It could very easily be us evacuating if the wind shifted pushing it to the NE. There is very little that can be done at the moment because of the smoke - it is too thick for the tankers and copters to fly - emphasis is on protecting homes. Mid-day I heard 3 homes had burned - there will be an update from the Forest Service broadcast online at 6:00 - we'll be watching.


Please send positive thoughts this way for the families who have had to evacuate so many fires and those brave fire fighters fighting the fires.



Thursday, August 17, 2017

The county fair........


Here's our display at the county fair - we sit in a circle in front of it spinning every day, all day long and have a great time visiting with the public. Everything on display is made of handspun or felted wool. I took this photo set up day so the fleeces were still closed up - now they're opened up, judged and ribbons adorning some of them.


So, I've been trying my best (ha!) to not think about fires but new ones pop up every single day. There were a couple new ones yesterday, thankfully put out quickly. Late this afternoon I walked out to my car after a day of demonstrating and looked to the right to see huge smoke plumes, then looked to the left and saw big smoke plumes. I figured the ones to the right were the Chetco Bar Fire exploding - it's been burning since mid July. I quickly checked online to see what was happening to the left. Fire right off the highway, where I was planning on heading, copters and planes flying and dumping, ground resources hard at work fighting the fire, homes nearby. Didn't take me but a second to change my plan to make a quick stop at that end of town to pick up something for dinner and just head home in the opposite direction.


At least 6 more weeks of fire season, not the official end, but maybe there will be some rain by then to lessen the chance of wildfires..........I may have an ulcer by October!

Monday, August 14, 2017

This and that........

Not much happening here on the fiber front, loom still not warped and have no desire to do it at the moment. Many skeins of handspun are sitting out for a woven afghan project.....once I get off my butt and get it on the loom.
 I did get the knit Saratoga Shawl blocked yesterday. The pattern and yarn came from Greenwood Fiberworks. I used Yakity Yak yarn which is superwash merino/yak/silk. Jury is out on if I like this on me. It's ok on my mannequin which must be a size 0000 but on me, not so sure, it's really quite small. I think I need to try it on again over a black dress.  I also blocked another Pei Cowl knit out of my handspun but I put it in our education fair display on Saturday before I took a pic of it.

I finished up the small felt applique stockings which should hold a gift card.......I say should because I haven't tried to fit a credit card in one of them yet. They turned out cute. A lot of handwork that bothered my smarting hand more than spinning or weaving does.

Still hating fire season - way too many weeks left of it.  Saturday evening I heard sirens and the horn honking of the fire trucks - they stopped way too close. I called a friend who lives close by and whose husband has a scanner - yes, grass fire just over the hill on a street coming off the side road behind us. And Bailey and I were alone as Sam and a friend were on the coast to do some work on the cottage and golf. Talk about panic time. I was preparing to pack up the car and leave if necessary. A few hours later she called back with an update that all was quiet on the scanner, a spreading fire averted. They were more on the ball than I - they had turned on their sprinklers and had opened their gate in case fire fighters came to tell them to get prepared to leave. We have sprinklers mounted on wood to set up on the peak of the roof but they're not up there right now, Sam only puts them up if we may be in dangers of flying embers........hmm, might have to think about that this week.

The fire close to us, Shan Creek Fire, continues to burn slowly. I've found very few details on it compared to other fires in the region but this morning there is 20% containment (that's new info since yesterday) but it is actively burning with flanking, torching and uphill runs in steep terrain. As of this morning there are now structures threatened - not us, I'm assuming those actually on Shan Creek Rd but I don't really know. The smoke smell this morning is horrible - I had to scan the sky to see if there was another fire close by when I walked out the door - not seeing anything so it must be a shift in the wind this morning. I wish updates were more often but they are better than in year's past - I am grateful for them.

Now off to try and get something done today other than letting fires consume my thoughts.........


Saturday, August 12, 2017

It's a war zone out there...........

Today not only the planes have been flying over the house but the copters have been flying directly over the house too, yesterday the copters were taking a different route. Must be some great air traffic control out there on the fire line. I took this photo standing on our deck. All day some sort of aircraft was going over the house, sometimes every minute, sometimes every 5 minutes. Then it stopped.........until just now -  must have been a change of shift, or dinner break. It's really un-nerving to not be able to get up to the minute updates on what's happening on this fire close to us, I keep seeing updates on other fires including some new ones but not much on ours.

This morning I went to the fairgrounds to help set up our display - we'll be sitting there spinning during the fair, talking to the public, eating fair food and having a great time. Since then I've tried to get some stitching done on the little holiday stocking ornaments but keep getting sidetracked with fire activity.

Have I said it yet today - I hate fire season.........oh yes, I think I've said it several times but this is the first time here today............


Friday, August 11, 2017

SW Oregon on fire

We've had thunderstorms in our region for days which means now there are fires being chased down all over the area. It's scary out there. I'm back from a few days on the coast and in addition to be welcomed back by the smoke and heat I'm welcomed back to fires close by. It's tough to find the latest info on the fires but I think these planes were heading to the Shan Creek Fire just to the west of us. They've been flying over the house - anywhere from 2 to 4 retardant bomber planes one right after the other. I just ran out on the deck to get these pix. I couldn't get them all in one photo but snapped them one after another.
The first bomber over the house..........

.........seconds later, bomber #2............

..........and here's bomber #3.

They'll be coming back over the house in a few minutes heading back to the airport to pick up another load of retardant. The report is that there's a woman pilot leading the planes in to the fire.

I know the forest road this fire is off of but I don't know the exact location of the fire to know how close it is to homes.......and to us. I'm hoping with all the resources on this fire that they get it under control before it becomes a real problem to all of us living over here to the west of the city. Each time they fly over the house I'm sending positive thoughts up their way to stay safe, as well as all the fire fighters on the ground. With all the fires in our region they're doing an incredible job of knocking them down while they're still relatively small.

On the fiber front - not much happening here in the way of weaving, spinning or knitting. It's just too danged hot to get much done.

Morning update - I finally saw an update that was posted late last night. As I thought it is the Shan Creek fire close to us but these planes are not the retardant ones, they are super scooper fixed wing water dumping planes. I'm not sure where they're scooping up the water but it explains the quick turnaround time to the fire, they don't have to get all the way back to the airport. Much of the Rogue River would not work for a plane coming down low to scoop so maybe a lake/reservoir? Or maybe there is a spot in the river that will work....I'd love to hear those details. Word is that they'll be back in the air in addition to the copters fighting the fire today along with the ground crews. I'm anxious to hear the morning update which may not show up online for a few hours.



Monday, August 7, 2017

What was I thinking???

What was I thinking when I bought this cute half-price kit for small felt stockings? The picture on the package looked so fun and they look to be the perfect size to put gift cards in. Well, they're going to be time suckers. First I had to draw and cut out all the pieces. My first thought was to use fusible web in spite of the directions that said to lightly glue, then hand-stitch. With fusible web I could iron it on and then trace around the shapes onto the backing paper, then cut out, then iron all the pieces on ready for hand-stitching.  Well, good thing I tried the fusible web on a small piece first - the backing paper adhered too, I don't know if it's because this is acrylic felt or what.......but it didn't work. So, back to tracing around each piece and cutting it out. Here they are with all the pieces just sitting on the stockings to keep them organized.  I did get the bird started and almost finished. In addition to a blanket stitch there are embroidery stitches embellishing the stockings. They'll be really cute once finished but not quite what I bargained for. And to top it off once sewn they may be a tiny bit too small for a gift card - ack............so much for my half price bargain..........

No weaving happening here - it's just been too danged hot. No dyeing either for the same reason. In-between trips to the cool coast I've done some spinning and knitting.

Fire season is still in full swing here. The valleys are so full of smoke that I can not only smell it but I can taste it. Yesterday afternoon there was a fire just a couple miles from the house, thank goodness between air and ground support it was stopped before it reached over 5.6 acres. Less than an hour later a car caught on fire behind us a couple miles. ODF (Oregon Department of Forestry) in our region and our local fire fighters are doing a great job so far this fire season keeping fires from getting huge.

I'm starting my count-down to the end of fire season - 8 weeks to go. That is not official and fire season usually isn't over until some time in October but I call the end of fire season the end of September because we usually get our first rain in months by then. I can breathe a sigh of relief when that first rainfall happens.

The temps have come down from a high of 113 last week to 100 today - I can't believe I'm saying 100 feels like a relief. Unfortunately with the temps coming down thunderstorms are also moving in........here they are dry with many lightning strikes which may start fires. I think I may have an ulcer by the time fire season is over.

Yes, I'm complaining about fire season once more.......hey, it's in my mind all day and night, what can I say............



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Not much to show..........

Not much to show for my time. Been here and there, haven't gotten much done in the studio........would be very grouchy over it except that I've been doing fun stuff. Above are two drop spindles with Japanese paper yarn. The one on the left is mine, on the right friend Kathy's. Next up to weave some simple little weavings (couple inches) to use as embellishment on journals. I tried one using a Weave-it type loom but it will be easier just making a cardboard loom with straight pins.

The heat wave is wearing on us and it's not even at it's hottest yet. It's over 100 today, tomorrow the forecast is 115. Fires are popping up all over - it's darned scary out there. As I was driving home from my spinning get together this afternoon I could see smoke to the west of our house. I found a little info on a new fire that had just started. We're fine as long as it doesn't blow up........with this wind and heat I'll be keeping my fingers crossed. The retardant tanker (DC-7) has flown over the house twice - looks to take 50 minutes to get from Medford (to my east) to the fire and back. I'm taking a guess our little airport here in Grants Pass is too small for it to land and fill up but I'm not sure. It should be flying over again shortly - if needed. It's so hard not to know what's going on - the fire is in steep terrain, are they making headway before it gets big? is it growing? did they knock it out quickly? The unknown can be so scary..........

Update - ODF (Oregon Dept of Forestry) once again did a great job of knocking out a fire before it became a problem - it's not out but it's contained and is in mop up stage - kudos to them.

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