Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thoughts for the new year........

May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!
-Irish Blessing-
The kaleidoscope is one I made using Kaleidoscope Creator computer program - the snow photo is what I used in it's creation. I bought the program a couple years ago with great plans of printing on fabric and sewing incredible, quilts, etc. Well, that to-do list of mine is so long that I've only played with it a handful of times..........maybe this year.........

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to All
may you always have
love to share,
health to spare,
and friends that care.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Slouch Sox finished

The slouch sox started a couple months ago are done, just did a bit of knitting here and there on them, decided this last week to finish them up. These were knit from one of my hand-dyed sock blocks - the picture of it after dyeing is in the Sept. 21st post - it's the sock block on the right. It's a rectangle knit using 2 strands of sock yarn at once, it's dyed flat, steamed and hung to dry. Then for knitting I knit both socks at the same time unraveling as I go.....although in this case I unraveled into 2 balls before knitting. The Slouch Socks pattern is from the book Socks Socks Socks by XRX Books. I've knit this pattern several times now - love it. I've also knit several other patterns out of this book, great sock book.

Friday, December 18, 2009

New Toy

Here's my new toy - picked it up at the post office today. It's a Golding Drop Spindle - isn't it beautiful?! Now those that know me are probably wondering why I needed yet another spindle of any kind, let alone my third Golding Spindle.......well, it's not about need, well, maybe it is, I needed it for my mental health. Put some of my birthday money from last month toward it. Can't wait to try it out but still working hard at the sewing machine, hoping to finish up this afternoon or sometime the meantime I'll just admire it............

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sewing.......what I did today.

So, this is what I'm working on now - secret stuff but I can show the machine in action without giving away what I'm up to. I bought this Bernina almost 3 years ago and love it - maybe one of these years I'll replace my inexpensive Brother serger with a new Bernina.......need to sew more often to justify it though. And below is the mess of a fabric cabinet - mess on the floor had been cleaned up some earlier in the day. I just kept pulling leftover fabrics from previous projects out to see what I had to play with. Cabinet desperately needs reorganizing again - each section used to house a color family - now colors are all over the place. In addition to sewing today, this evening I actually got the bulk of the gifts wrapped - hurray! Am dying to get back to weaving but still have some other things to finish up first.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Feast of the Seven Fishes

Theresa asked about Feast of the Seven's a link to a brief explanation of what it is. The tradition comes from the Italian side of my family (mother's side). The religious aspect is totally lost on my family these days - my immediate family, as in aunts/uncles, etc. have converted from the Catholic Church to whatever/nothing or are non-practicing Catholics. But the tradition carries on. These days it's a challenge to come up with 7 fish/seafood dishes for those of us in Oregon, only 5 these days, so 7 dishes is way too much food. Many times small appetizers help fill the bill.

Back east this was a huge evening for my big extended family with plates of fried shrimp in the frito misto batter (we forgo that now for a lighter panko crumb coating), fried oysters, scallops, incredible fish soup, calamari in a tomato sauce, teaila (fish casserole), cocktail shrimp and whatever else we could come up with. I will never forget my father going down to the wharves in DC for the oysters and then working down in the basement at the laundry tub shucking them - he and one of my aunts would also eat a few raw (gross). Dad always saved some for oyster stew a day or two later.

These days the menu consists of the fried shrimp, we don't like west coast oysters so none of those, calamari, shrimp cheese ball appetizer, crab dip, smoked salmon and sometimes fish soup, scallops, crab cakes. We always have roasted peppers - my grandmother and mother were roasting peppers when I was very small, decades before you ever heard of it being done mainstream. Me - I'd be happy with a big bowl of cioppino and a loaf of crusty bread. I am so out of it this year I haven't even given any thought to the menu - with Christmas two weeks away it's time for a family discussion on the menu and who will make what.

On Christmas Day dinner - we never used to have much of one - it was always leftovers from the night before with a pasta dish on the side. Oh, and Christmas cookies with coffee for breakfast while waiting for everyone to wake up for present opening. My grandparents lived next door so between the houses and family visiting there were a lot of people to wait on in the morning.

Oh, and the Christmas cookies - dozens of kinds - trays and trays of all different kinds of cookies, traditional family recipes. That's another thing we don't need tons of out here with only 5 of us and two of them diabetics- I'd be finding Christmas cookies still in the freezer 10 months later! If I make one cookie this year it will be an accomplishment.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Current knitting

Here's what I start knitting during the power outage - it's a feather and fan pattern in a Naturally "Dawn" which is a 50/50 wool silk blend. Had to start it several times, was having problems with needles not being pointy enough to be able to do the k2tog. I finally resorted to some old metal double points which are very pointy although slippery. Will be slow knitting but I love the pattern and the feel of this yarn.
The knitting is sitting in my new (old) yarn bowl that a dear friend gifted me with recently. I love it and will treasure it, need to do some research to find out the history behind yarn bowls. Sam remembers one in the family, possibly at his grandmother's farm in southern Virginia. My friend suggested I may want to someday refinish it or paint it - was giving it thought but now am thinking I may leave it as is so when I look at it I can imagine the knitters before me with their current work in progress sitting in the bowl.

Here we go again...........

So, here we go again - hours of no power - this is not condusive to me finishing up Christmas gifts that require the sewing machine. I'm beginning to think I need a lesson on how to use the portable generator so I can at least plug in the sewing machine and table lamp next to it - I've got heavy duty extension cords that will go from the studio, through the garage out to the generator.

Thank goodness today I had already showered before it went out at 7:24 this morning. But being 9 degrees out the house got cold very quickly. I knit for a while, did some other things that required no electricity, then finally my hands started to hurt, I was just too cold (not my feet though with 2 pair of handknit wool sox on them). So, down to the garage to figure out how to take the door off the track for the electric opener - hurray, mission accomplished and off in the race car to town to do errands in heated stores! Power back on around 2:30, thank goodness not as late as Tuesday. So, now how to get that garage door back on the track.........

Right before I lost power this morning I was reading Theresa's blog about Christmas traditions - I have to admit it made me cry - what wonderful memories. I've been having a hard time with Christmas the past few years, having dealt with my Dad's terminal cancer and alzheimer's with holiday hospital stays and hospice over the next holiday. I'm just having a hard time getting in the mood. But when I have electricity I am loving the process of making gifts so maybe by next year the entire house will be decorated again with my 4 trees. This year so far all there that's up is a fresh greenery swag on the gate that Sam somehow hung upsidedown - kind of funny. Guess I will have to get or make a table centerpiece since I am having the traditional Italian Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes at my house this year.

Oh yes, and back to the weather - good news/bad news. The forecast is for the temp to warm up a bit tomorrow, bad news is that they're calling for snow and/or ice.......sheesh.........

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Knit Christmas Hat

Here is the picture of the Christmas hat I knit yesterday while without power. It was a free pattern with purchase of yarn - unfortunately not very accurate but it turned out ok. Instructions said to add bells to the end, I thought better of that and made a pom-pom..........haven't made one of those is probably 40 years, kind of fun.

Everything else I'm working on right now is for gifts so no pictures.

All good on the home front - in spite of being 10 degrees when I got up there were no frozen pipes after Sam's fix and power stayed on today.......well, kind of, lots of power blips that were just enough to screw with the computer, satellite and my sewing machine which is computerized and would go back to the default straight stitch each time there was a blip - right in the middle of me sewing!

I enjoyed reading everyone's comments, water/power horror stories, we were definitely lucky.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The morning got worse..........

Just as I hit the 'publish post' button for my post early this morning the power went out - yikes! Sam left 10 minutes earlier for work after finally showering once he thawed out the pipe down at the pump house. So, I called asking what to do as far as pipes go - took his advice and called our wonderful neighbor, Merle, to come over and help with getting the pump house roof off and he wrapped up the pipes for me - more permanent fix to come when Sam gets home this evening. So, back to no power - was without power for 8 hours - just came back on. We don't have a wood stove for heat but a wood stove fireplace insert with blowers that, of course, don't work without power. A few years ago I did buy a screen to use it as a regular fireplace. I did manage to get the glass door off but then decided to wait on lighting a fire. Glass door is back on now and a fire is going to get the house warmed up (heat pump running too) I fared well in the freezing cold but everything I wanted to do required power! So, I sat near a window for light and knit - picture of the Christmas hat to come.

Now off to shower.........finally now that I've got water and it's hot again...........

Frozen pipe.....

It certainly is chilly out this morning, chilly enough that when Sam was in the shower he ran out of water - yikes, pipe frozen somewhere. Found it down at the pump house. We still haven't figured out when they built this house why they put in a submerisble pump but have pipe coming above ground for a few inches. In our last house (which we built) everything was totally underground below the freeze line - didn't even have a pump house, only evidence of where the well was located was the pump liner and cap sitting at ground level. So, Sam ran down the hill with a flashlight and my heat gun to thaw the pipe out, luckily it wasn't split, a clamp on light is now down there for heat, heat tape to come later today. What a rude way to start the morning.

So, on the fiber front - no pictures to share at the moment. I'm working on Christmas gifts which can't be shown on the blog right now. Switched from the loom to the sewing machine and was having great fun yesterday stitching away. Three years ago I bought a Bernina to replace my old faithful Sears model that I had since 1973. It's the most incredible machine, I would highly recommend Bernina to anyone looking for a new machine. As for my old Sears machine, which was the top of the line when I got it, it's in the storage room, I can't bear to get rid of it, it's still a great machine needing service only once in 36 years.

I spent Saturday at the arts fair, bad economy evident........not anywhere near the numbers of folks milling through as usual, and not as much spending. I didn't sell as many handwoven scarves but sold numerous hand-dyed silk scarves which are 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of handwoven. I sold many other items in the moderate price range, sure glad I have varied prices in the booth or I may not have sold anything. So, taking into account my hours spent at the fair it was still worthwhile.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Finished mug rugs

Here are the finished mug rugs, there are 4 in a pile. There's actually another pile of red ones but they didn't fit in the picture. These were awaiting tags when I took the picture. I can't believe that warp was on the small loom for so long, glad it's off. Hopefully these will sell quickly.

Spent the better part of the day getting things ready for the Pacifica Fine Arts & Crafts Winter Festival this coming up Saturday........checked my bag supply, change in the cashbox, etc. Tomorrow I'll get everything packed up in plastic bins for transporting and make monster-size almond macaroon cookies that I donate to be sold at the festival. Friday afternoon is decorating and booth set-up - miles of garland, lights & red bows and more evergreen swags with red bows than one can imagine.

Weather has been foggy and cold for almost 2 weeks now. It's a chill-to-the-bone cold that doesn't subside. There have been areas less than 15 miles away with sun but the fog hangs low near us. Just up the road on the Sexton Pass it's been 20 degrees warmer and sunny because it's above the fog. So, we just keep the fire going to stay warm & cozy indoors. The only bright spot is that there is no snow in the forecast for the festival this weekend - it's threatened many years and there have been horribly icy roads for my drive in the morning in the past.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Latest projects

Here are the towels that just came off the loom that I finished hemming yesterday, a total of 13 towels off that warp using a 6/2 cotton.
These are the mug rugs (coasters) that have been on the other loom forever - finally decided they've got to be woven off so got that started the other day, will hopefully get back to it within the next few days.
And here's an example of the felted soaps I've been working on. The soap lathers up through the wool felt and acts as a washcloth. They continue to felt for a bit, after the soap is used up a slit can be cut in the felt and it can be stuffed with lavendar or such to make a sachet.
So, this is just a bit of what I've been up to. Need to put the fiber on hold for a couple days so I can get gifts wrapped that need to be shipped back east.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day


We have tons of turkeys on the property, and most choose to scratch and make a mess out in my small flower bed area when they've got 5 acres to play on. I tell them to watch out or they'll end up in the oven.......they must know it's a hollow threat since neither one of us would be willing to kill and then butcher a turkey.  Our turkey is in the oven and came from the grocery store - it's being basted every 30 minutes with wine & butter, it's Martha Stewart's Turkey 101 recipe and is the best we've ever made.

I haven't had time to post any pictures of what I'm up to fiber wise in a bit, I have been busy though. Some of what I'm working on can't be posted since they're holiday gifts. I did finish weaving the towel warp, stack is waiting to be hemmed. I decided to weave off a long warp for mug rugs that's been on the small loom longer than I want to even think about - they just didn't interest me. I will get a picture of those up on the blog soon - an 8H twill pattern.

December 5th is Pacifica's 11th Annual Winter Fine Arts & Crafts Festival in Williams, OR. I'm busy finishing up items for my booth. Mostly what I showcase and sell the most of are my woven scarves & shawls but I also have knitted and felted items, felted soaps, jewelry, shibori silk scarves, spinning/felting fibers for sale. It's really a wonderful festival - in addition to art booths there is food, this year wine tasting, different musical entertainment each hour and free kids activities. Even if I didn't sell a thing it would be a fun day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Picture taking......

I spent some time Sunday taking pictures of recently woven items - this is something I struggle with all the time. Here's an example of one of the scarves, although not perfect I like the composition of this picture.

Warping and bruised knees.........

Yesterday I started on a new towel project. I had thought a 12 yard warp would be good so I started winding on the warping board. I got one thread done and thought - whoa, what am I doing, I'm going to kill my back - this is why I have a warping reel. So, I took that one length off the warping board and moved to the reel where I decided to put on 14 yards. Here's where the bruised knees come in - it took me a few times before I remembered to keep my knees out of the way of those big dowels as the reel spun around. This morning I have bruises on the inside of both knees - lesson forgotten and relearned. Using the reel does make for easier on the back warping - I sit on the loom bench for the small loom right in front of the reel - no bending over at all. This is a Gilmore reel - works great and was reasonably priced when I bought it around 6 years ago. So, in the end I got the warp wound on the back beam and heddles threaded - next step is sleying the reed which probably won't happen until tomorrow as today is my spinning group get together.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

the second scarf........

Here's the second scarf on that painted warp. I used a black rayon novelty yarn that has black sparkles in it - too bad they don't show in photographs. It's one of those big cones of yarn I picked up years ago from an estate sale and have used it often, the cone is on the small side now, I'll be very sad once it's gone. Scarves are both washed now and hanging to dry.

I spent some time figuring out a towel warp that will go on the loom next but first I need to finish up some UFO's sitting in piles in the studio starting with twisting fringe on the 3 chenille shawls, first one almost finished this afternoon. I also have some felted items that need needlefelting embellishments.........and then there is more photography work which is always a struggle.

Saturday is another weaving guild meeting (other guild met this past Tuesday) where we'll be having a silent auction to benefit the scholarship fund. Tomorrow I need to find the perfect item to contribute to the cause. This event last fall was a huge event, very fun fundraiser.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Perfect day for weaving....rain...........

This is what went on the loom today - a warp I painted (dyed) in Henry's Attic Sarafina. The first scarf on the warp I'm using a forest green 8/2 tencel for the weft. I finished this one but am undecided what weft I'll use for the second warp so I called it a day at the loom. I wish I could tell you what the weave structure is but I forgot - bad me. I know I found it in one of my pattern books, it's a very simple 4H weave but I forgot to write it down when I planned this warp a couple weeks ago. Eventually I'll have to go back and find it so I know what it is but that's not happening today.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Three Shawls almost finished

Ok, so now that I've got these 3 pictures up here I see there's really not much difference in the photographs, there is in person, but not much here. I finally got back to the shawl warp yesterday.......spent Tuesday with my spinning group and a day trip to the coast on Wednesday. Above is one version of the rayon chenille shawl using another rayon chenille for the weft only it's one with tiny little dots of color. This is actually the third shawl which is not quite finished. I love the look of those tiny dots of color - I picked up a huge cone of this chenille years ago and haven't found any again, it's very fun. Usually variegated chenilles have repeats anywhere from 4" -12". As weaving this one I was thinking maybe it shouldn't become a shawl for sale but fabric for a vest for reality I probably wouldn't want stripes this wide for a vest - maybe I'll have to put on another warp at some point for a vest and use the same tiny dots chenille as weft.For this shawl I used a black rayon/cotton for the weft - it's hard to see it in this picture but it makes for a very nice effect.
This shawl I used a variegated purple rayon novelty yarn with tiny loops as the weft.
I woke up in a panic this morning realizing that the Pacifica Winter Arts Festival, where I'll have a booth on December 5th, is only 4 weeks away. I have plenty to fill the booth but there are a number of items I would still like to finish up by then.........not so sure they'll all get done.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New chenille warp.........

This is the rayon chenille warp I started winding yesterday and got on the loom today - have started weaving the first shawl. For the first one I'm using a novelty rayon in shades of purple, very subtle colors, very small slubs, I've used this type of fiber before with chenille and love the results. I'm not sure what I'll use for weft for the 2nd two shawls - definitely a black weft for one of them but I'm undecided on if it will be black chenille or a pretty black rayon I have.......will decide when I get to each of them.
Thought I'd show the pair of socks I'm currently working on - there always has to be at least one pair of socks in the works for taking with me to work on. These are called slouch socks - I love this pattern. The yarn is from one of my hand-dyed sock blocks - you can see it in my Sept. 21st post - it's the sock block on the right in the picture. Usually I'd knit both socks at the same time directly from the sock block but this time I decided to wind the yarn into separate balls. Both socks are in process, the other I haven't started the heel on yet.

Friday, October 30, 2009

New Ashland Bay roving available

I got another shipment of Ashland Bay rovings in - it's like Christmas opening the boxes to see what the colors really look like in person as opposed to the small examples in my sample book. As I pull each color out of it's plastic wrapping I think about what fun it would be to spin and what I could weave or knit from it........but where will I get all that time?! Reality sets in - I know I can't spin them all so hopefully those that buy the colorways I can't get to will share a picture of what the fiber looks like spun-up and then in a final project. In addition to the three types of multi-colored roving above I also got in some more solid colors in Merino and Colonial wool as well as some Shetland Moorit which is a light brown.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

On the loom now........

Here's what's on the loom now. Yesterday I put on a random striped warp in rayon chenille. I used black, light blue and a variegated blue. It's so hard for me to just go to the warping board and start winding randomly - I usually plan out all warps but I decided to try and step out of the box yesterday - what a challenge for me!
This scarf I'm using a novelty rayon sparkley black yarn as weft. It's a fiber I've used often weaving chenille scarves - adds just a bit of sparkle without looking metallic. This is actually the third scarf on the loom that will hopefully be woven off today........I've also got an Ashland Bay order that arrived yesterday that needs to be weighed out and bagged for sale and a weaving guild newsletter to get out by tomorrow at the latest, preferably today.
I used a blue rayon chenille weft for this scarf adding a black accent at each end of the scarf -
the striped border is a bit different at each end. This scarf I used black chenille as the weft.
I love weaving chenille - it's so yummy feeling and is a fast weave which is needed to add more stock for sale with the holidays fast approaching

Monday, October 26, 2009

On and soon to be off the loom........

This is a chenille warp for 3 scarves that went on the loom yesterday afternoon, finished it off and am ready to go cut it off and wash the scarves this evening. I decided being dreary weather (which I'm loving at the moment) that I wanted bright so these scarves have a scarlet red and hot pink rayon chenille warp with thin stripes of a novelty sparkley yarn as an accent. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this novelty yarn, which was a bit stretchy, won't be a problem in the finishing.

Decisions, decisions........what should go on the loom next! It's between one of my hand-dyed bamboo scarf warps or some commercially dyed bamboo - 2 solid colors and a variegated.......oh, and then there's more chenille calling my name, not to mention 3 different piles of cones of cotton sitting on the floor waiting to become towel warps. I may have another day to think on it - may be heading out for a shopping day tomorrow.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Latest spinning & weaving.......

Here is the latest project on the loom. I'm weaving a special order of a very long table runner to coordinate with some commercial placemats. The green body of the runners is 5/2 perle cotton woven in plain weave, the yellow 2/2 twill stripe is 3/2 perle cotton. The first runner on the loom had the center yellow stripe and a yellow stripe on each end which is the idea the customer gave me for a possible design. After weaving that one I took out 8 green ends one inch in on each side and replaced them with 8 ends of 3/2 yellow threaded in the 2/2 twill. I wanted to give her another design to choose from so I wove this one in the window pane design. It might be too busy with the already busy and colorful autumn placemats but it's another option. Still need to wash and hem these. I wove enough for the two long runners and another one approximately 36" finished.
This is my latest handspun. I had a bit of my hand-dyed rovings (approx 3 oz each) of Merino in my Violet colorway (on the left) and Falkland in my Very Berry colorway (on the right). I then plied the two together and came out with the skein below - it's on the blocker now. Not sure what project it will be used in - will depend on how many yards I have.
Even though I andean ply when bobbins end up uneven in plying it's always a challenge to come out even. This time I had only 10" difference at the end of plying - my best has been 3".

I'm working on a cute Christmas ornament for gifts but can't post pictures until after the holidays so no one sees them early.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jennifer's handspun & life......

Life gets in the way sometimes - not enough fiber time this past week which is why there haven't been any posts. I did get the loom warped up with a runner warp, one of which is a special order to coordinate with some placemats. Hoping to get time at the loom to weave tomorrow......... I have gotten a bit of spinning in and a bit of knitting but not much.

So, I have pictures of Jennifer's handspun to share. Jennifer is in my spinning group when she's not away at school like she is at the moment. She came over last month one day while I was dyeing roving and helped out. She brought some blue-gray roving to overdyed - here's a picture of it spun up - it's beautiful!

And here are pictures of her handspun out of my hand-dyed merino tencel in the harvest colorway - isn't it beautiful! The sheen of the merino tencel really sets off the colors. Thanks Jennifer for sending this pictures to me. Unfortunately this colorway in the merino tencel is sold out at the moment - very popular. I do have some of this colorway left in the Falkland wool and the Blue Face Leicester wool. The recent convertible mittens I knit were spun up from the BFL.

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Dyed Rovings

Here are pix of the roving I dyed last week. The top row is over-dyed Black Blue Face Leicester.
The second row and first 3 (reading left to right) on the third row are Colonial Wool. And the 4th in the third row and fourth row are Superwash Blue Face Leicester. I dyed over 34 pounds total. I can't wait to spin up some of the SW BFL - it feels so incredibly yummy........will have to wait, other fiber in the works right now.

Carol's handspun

This is handspun from a relatively new spinner, Carol, who works at Websters (a very cool yarn shop in Ashland, OR). She spun approximately 600 yards from 7.6 ounces (18 wpi plied) of my hand-dyed Corriedale Cross in a non-repeatable colorway. This is one of the dye day surprises that come out of leftover dyes in the squirt bottles at the end of the day. I think it turned out wonderful - great spinning Carol! And many thanks for sending the picture of one of your finished skeins on to me to post.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spinning BFL

Here's what I started spinning earlier this week - it's Blue Face Leicester in my hand-dyed Very Berry colorway. I had a small amount left (approx 3 oz) after weighing out the rest for sale so it's perfect for me to sample with. So I have enough to do something with, like knit a pair of sox, I'm going to ply it with another small length of my hand-dyed, Merino in the Violets colorway.

Yesterday was a roving dye day - 17 pounds! I dyed 13 pounds of Colonial Wool and 4 pounds of Black Blue Face Leicester. Will post a picture once completely dried and braided for sale. Tomorrow will be another dye day - another 17 pounds in Superwash Blue Face Leicester........will be touch and go on if I finish up all 17 pounds in one day again. Need to get it all done since we have a break in the weather, great days for being outside all day dyeing.

Monday, October 5, 2009

2nd tencel scarf

So, finally back to the loom to finish up that tencel scarf warp. Here's the 2nd scarf on the warp - I'm using the rust 8/2 tencel for the weft on this one. It's just as beautiful as the first scarf using the red weft............oh, which shall I keep???

Friday, October 2, 2009

Painted Warp Scarf

Here's the beginning of the first scarf on the painted warp I tried out sample wefts on (previous post). I love this scarf! This may end up in my personal closet. It's finished - second scarf will be woven using the rust weft. Not sure when I'll get back to it since tomorrow is a National Spinning & Weaving Week celebration at Llamas & Llambs in Jacksonville. I'll be there spinning all day. Unfortunately the weather is looking iffy for this outdoor celebration - a bit too cool and possible showers. Thinking I'll take my drop spindle instead of my wheel - less to worry about getting wet while walking from the car to the shop.

Sampling on the loom..........

Here I am sampling on the loom for what color weft to use for a painted scarf warp. It's hard to tell in this little swatch what colors I painted the warp - it's gold, orangey bronze and silver gray. I've decided to use the red weft for the first still pondering on the second scarf; either the rust brown or the gray (the top two samples). This warp is 8/2 tencel. Weave structure is a 2 block twill.

Much of yesterday was spent taking pictures of scarves & towels to soon be listed in my etsy shop. It takes so much time to do that chore, and then there's all the editing.....which is still in process. Picture taking is a struggle for me but someone has to do it and I don't remember hearing Bailey volunteer.

Back to the loom............

Monday, September 28, 2009

Flock & Flea

Friday morning I left at the break of dawn for Flock & Flea (as Sam and I call it) - proper name is OFFF.....Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. Several carloads of fiber friends from this area drove up to Canby for the 3 day festival. Friday my vanload's first stop was Bronx Bagels in Sutherlin for breakfast, then Trader Joe's in Eugene for goodies for the weekend. Then up to Bridgeport Village on the south side of Portland for shopping at The Container Store, Crate & Barrel and various other stores. I told my friends no way was I going in Origins.......they went looking for me, couldn't find me because I was in Origins finding products to make my skin look like it did 30 years ago!

Friday night found 14 of us at the Sushi Track in Wilsonville for dinner - what great fun! Saturday morning we had to do the traditional ferry ride across the Willamette River from Wilsonville to Canby (very small very - 6 car max) to spend the day at the festival. Each year there are more booths to see and spend money at. I didn't spend much this year - some goodies I found are in the bottom picture. I didn't need the tote but I just couldn't resist at a bargain price. Saturday night found us at a tiny little Thai restaurant - this time 17 of us, hopefully we weren't too loud for the handful of tables of other diners.

Sunday morning it was back to the festival until mid-day......we then headed south to the Corvallis Fall Festival where I found these two glass pieces, I just can't resist gingko leaves. Then to Trader Joe's again for groceries and a case of wine and home.

What a fun and exhausting 3 days it was. I really wasn't going this year to buy so the best part was having fun with all my fiber peeps, those that went up from here and those from other parts of the state, Washington and British Columbia that I only see at conferences and festivals. What a great weekend of fiber bonding it was.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bamboo scarf warp & mp3

Here's the same scarf warp I posted yesterday only this scarf I'm using a navy weft instead of black. Thought I'd add to the picture my new little mp3 player that Sam surprised me with last week. It's not the kind of thing I'd usually use but I thought it would be great for listening to podcasts while weaving. So far I've listened to two of the Weavecasts, I'm starting with the newest ones moving back in time. Today was on computers & weaving - it was great, especially since I'm thinking about buying an AVL 24 harness compu-dobby loom in the not too distant future, I hope. So far I've learned how to download the weavecasts off the site, Weavecast a part of Weavezine, and load onto the player......eventually I'll have to learn how to put music on it. Sam put a few albums on so I rocked to Foriegner after the weavecast.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Back to my first love..........

It's time to start spending more time at the loom, weaving is my first love. The dyeing is great fun but sitting at the loom with feet dancing on the treadles and the shuttle flying to and fro is what makes my heart sing. I put one of my painted warps on the loom today and got the first scarf woven (above). It's Bambu 7 warp & weft. This first scarf I'm using a black weft, the second scarf I'll use a navy weft. The weave structure is an advancing twill.
These 3 scarves are from the rayon chenille warp I just cut off the loom yesterday and washed last night. I wish pictures could convey how soft & yummy chenille feels. I still have to twist the fringes - those will wait for a time when I need a break from something else. I did get weft ends trimmed and pulled the waste yarn out of the fringe today.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dye Day Results

Here are some results from yesterday's dye day. Above is some Falkland roving. I decided to play with semi-solid dyeing yesterday - I really love the way the two left rovings turned out - the top makes me think of buttercream. The bottom left was supposed to be a different color (I've dyed it before) but who knows what happened in the steamer - it came out very different but I love it.
Here are some of the devore silk scarves I dyed. Another whoops in dyeing process here. I usually dye them using fiber reactive dyes - much more vibrant results. This time I was thinking silk so used the acid dyes but I forgot that these are silk and rayon. So, the dye did not take on the rayon. Not the effect I was looking for but beautiful just the same. I also dyed two shawls and some 100% silk scarves.

These are two sock blocks I dyed using up leftover dyes in the squirt bottles. I'm going to start a pair of socks using the autumn color one very soon - will be very fun to see how the socks knit up.

I did finish up a chenille scarf warp today, need to get them cut off the loom and washed, will post a picture once that's done.
Temps are very high here today and will continue for most of the week. Two very scary fires burning, one in Ashland, the other in Medford. I checked on some Ashland friends and they're doing fine but am concerned about a fellow weaver who lives in the area of the Medford fire. Smoke from those fires is in the air over here already. The rains can't come too soon for me this year.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Falkland Hand-dyed Roving

Here are pix of the Falkland roving I dyed yesterday. Various amounts of each are available for purchase. I have a little piece of the center bottom roving (loden colorway) to spin up as an example. The bottom left is my harvest colorway that I spun and knit the convertible sox out of in blue face leicester. Tomorrow will probaby be another dye day, the rest of the falkland, some silk scarves and a couple of sock blocks.

I so enjoy playing with dyes, I'm getting good at predicting color outcome except the bottom center roving - it looks nothing like what I expected. When I painted the dye on it was 8" of forest green alternating with 3" of dusty purple - it's like the colors did something strange on their own in the steamer!

Canine Angels Dog Walk

We are just back home from the Canine Angels Dog Walk in Grants Pass. Such a worthy cause to make a donation to. We got there around 8:30 to register to walk around Reinhart Volunteer Park (formerly All Sports Park). It's a beautiful park with a foot bridge crossing the Rogue River. We then saw a duck herding demonstration followed by JD Platt and his world famous K9 Kings doing tricks and frisbee retrieving (he was on that reality tv show Greatest American Dog, we don't watch reality tv but did catch one of these episodes because it was dogs). With our donation we got a few goodies and a couple raffle tickets. And wouldn't you know it - we put both our tickets in for the grand prize, a dog bed filled with goodies, and we won! Bailey is beside himself sitting in his new bed surrounded by his loot.........and napping now after such an exciting morning. He met Pumpkin, one of the canine angels in training, and new friends Gracie & Jilly Jean.