Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In Memoriam - Aunt Fran

My Aunt Fran passed away a bit ago. I was to go over and sit with her today while my cousin Jim did some errands. Her cancer progressed very quickly, last week the doctors said 6 months or less and hospice was called in - I received the phone call this morning at 2:45am.  Fran was the real reason why I started weaving. Before we moved to Oregon we came out (from DC area) in 1986 to buy property and Fran was involved in a loom exchange where members of the guild put something on their table looms and passed them around during the summer to weave all the different samples. She had to pass the loom she had along to Phyllis (whom later became one of my great weaving friends) so as we drove to town to go shopping I was in the back seat with this table loom on my lap. Although always involved in the arts and an art major back in college other than some tapestry weaving I had steered clear of the fiber arts concentrating instead on printmaking (and tapestry weaving just wasn't my thing). That day, with the table loom sitting on my lap, I thought weaving looked like a wonderful thing to try so once back home I found myself a teacher and took off on an adventure I never thought would be my calling. Fran had an interest in all kinds of crafts but her real love was cross-stitch. Every year at Christmas time I put out all the holiday cards she has cross-stitched over the years - they are wonderful. Sitting here at the computer I'm looking up at a small print box my Uncle Dave made that she cross-stitched little pillows to sit in. The cross-stitch projects she had been    working on most recently were little lavendar sachets that were left on the pillows at the Family House of our local hospital for those staying there while visiting loved ones or while going through medical crisis of their own. Thank you Aunt Fran for all you added to my life........

Monday, June 28, 2010

Towel Exchange

Yesterday was the potluck luncheon get together for the multi-guild fingertip towel exchange - these are the incredible towels I recieved back in exchange for the 8 celtic knot towels I submitted - aren't they great?! I recieved the draft and weaver's bio for each towel. I love them.

I started the multi-guild exchange (Southern Oregon Weaving Guilds) 4 years ago. I wanted to see members of the regional guilds get to know each other, I already knew many members of other guilds but most of my local guild members did not. I coordinated it for the first three years (towels, napkins, placemats). Each guild participating gets a notebook for their library with all drafts, bios and either sample swatches or photos. I was ready for a break after last year so my fellow guild member, Denise, took it over and did a wonderful job and she has volunteered to coordinate next year as well - thank you Denise! Next year's exchange will be holiday table runners - we will each turn in 4 and recieve 4 different ones in return. We'll be campaigning to get more guild members involved next year.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finally off the loom.........

The 10 celtic knot table runners are finally off the loom, don't ask me why I made a career out of letting them sit on the loom, I just haven't been very efficient with my time lately I guess........or maybe other things keep coming up.........who knows, no real good excuses here. Anyhow, I'm anxious to get them stitched and cut apart so I can wash them and then get them hemmed.

We did take Wednesday off and drove over to the coast - Bandon again - it was beautiful.

What happened to spring? We missed it - it's summer all of a sudden, too hot for me. And Sunday is the towel exchange potluck luncheon which is outside (remember I made the same celtic knot pattern in fingertip towels back in March/April).

Fire season isn't starting until July 1 - I can't believe they're waiting to call it until then knowing the forecast was for temps in the 90's and dry. The first fire in our area was this morning - probably 1-2 miles as the crow flies from our house. As I was heading out the firetrucks raced by the house heading toward the river so I decided to check it out before I left home for several hours - small flames moving up a hilll along the road, many fire fighters on site so I went on with my errands feeling confident they'd get it out before it spread. Smoke plume was non-existent by the time I was heading home.

I had big fiber plans for this week, a long to-do list to start crossing finished items off of - pretty much nothing got done.......oh well, maybe next week!

Monday, June 21, 2010


I forgot to put this linen towel in the pic of 'stuff' bought at Black Sheep. Since Sam is a golfer I thought it was really cute - love those sheep - not sure where it will live yet
Been knitting in the evenings, socks for family in Michigan. These came off the needles last night - perfect blue jean socks knit in Opal sock yarn.
And these are the new ones that went on the needles last night - love these colors, very fun, also Opal sockyarn

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Black Sheep Gathering

Left last Thursday for Eugene for the Black Sheep Gathering. This year took no classes, just hung out and had fun visiting and watching sheep & goat judging. I did a little spending but very little since I don't need anything. My fun find of the weekend was the water bottle holder out of neoprene with the embroidered spinning wheel on it. I bought some SporFarm shetland/merino in 2 shades of green (sorry she has no website to link to). I have no business buying any fiber but I love her heathery tons and the greens called to me - bought one 8 oz bag of each Friday and had to go back and buy one more of each on Saturday. Bought a shawl pattern, some Barmaids Lo-Lo Bars and forgot to add to the picture one of the Debra's Garden needle gauges that I'm going to make a necklace out of. Oh, and the fun skein of sock yarn was a door prize at the Barmaids booth - whoo-hoo!

Very exciting goings on in the gallery. Fellow guild member, Kathy Coolidge won the Black Sheep Cup for her handspun, handwoven Navaho rug - huge honor! Here's a picture of it - isn't it grand? I don't have pictures of friend Karen's ribbon winning felted items but she's got pix up on her blog - she does incredible needlefelting.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


So go back and check this little corner of the front yard in my post of June 11th to see the difference. It's an example of how the entire yard looks around the house. I'm very happy with how the landscaping turned out. There is still one spot I'm concerned with looking too empty once plants die back in the winter but they put one of the grass plants that stays nice looking all year in that spot so hopefully that will fill in with color in winter months. If not, we'll just go buy something else to add to it next spring. Now my job is to keep it up! (Landscaping update - not happy with one area and don't think the owner of the company cares....and we've already paid him....wrote a letter, hubby calling, we'll see if they stand behind their work, it's a small town)
On the fiber front - today was spinning and I wore my tiara.......until my head got too hot! Lots of loud chit-chat today while everyone was spinning or knitting away - very fun time.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My tiara!

My friend, Kathy, surprised me at guild Saturday with a tiara - it was hysterical. We had talked about how much more fun a tiara would be than the plaques for winning best of the gallery at the NwRSA conference. Well, she knit, felted and beaded me a tiara this past week - I love it! So, tomorrow I'll wear it to my spinning group, might have to get there late to make an entrance. I'm sure everyone will get just as tickled over it as I did!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I'm being asked "but what about Phil?"  Phil the Pheasant, that is. (pic on May 23rd post)
Well, Phil is still around but he's found a friend in neighbor Merle across the ravine and up the hill. Merle is outside working much more than I (can't you tell that from the landscaping being done here?). Phil follows Merle around and talks to him, in Merle's words he talks a hundred different languages and talks all the time. So, Phil has found a buddy, guess it's much more interesting over there than here at my house.....but I'm hoping he comes back to visit.  

Today is the last guild meeting until September for the Saturday Handweavers Guild, our potluck luncheon and show & share of our challenge. I posted my challenge a bit ago - I had the scent 'cinnamon' and made a felted sheep with cinnamon stick legs. It will be fun to see all the other challenge results.

And yes, reminders to get out there and keep up the landscape will be needed here, playing with fiber is much more interesting, especially when it gets hot. And a reminder not to let my hair grow all the way down my back is another one I need help with.........finally cut it off a couple weeks ago. It probably still looks fairly long to some, just below shoulder length, but I must have gotten 10" cut off..........it was getting too heavy, giving me headaches, taking all day to dry and strangling me when I sleep. When I asked my friends to remind me that I shouldn't let my hair grow long they let me down, hopefully this time they'll slap me up side my head as a reminder!

Friday, June 11, 2010

What's up here today.........

So, this is what I've been doing today - making kumihimo samples in preparation for a guild program I'll be giving next month to a guild over on the coast. I already have tons of samples that are in all different kinds of fibers, many more complicated but I didn't have samples of all the braids I'd like the participants to try making.

Now below was what else has been going on here although I'm not breaking sweat over it - the guys from Applegate Landscape are here getting my beds/plantings back in shape. Last year I let it go, supposedly I was going for the country cottage look - hmm, looks like wheat growing in with those weeds and a few flowers.
Above is the only corner of the beds still untouched - they've been working here for two days already so some areas are done, others in the works - this will be worked on Monday. Anyhow, it looks pretty bad - really embarrassing to be putting it out here for the world to see but I was busy weaving and dyeing last year and just let it go.

Here's the part of the yard that's been cleaned up. There are some new plants in there (lots of old ugly looking plants removed) and a new bush. This past winter we lost 3 bushes and 1 tree from the harsh freeze in December. It's already making me feel good............of course, this means I need to keep it up in the future, can't afford to have a landscaper come out to fix it every year!

Currently on the wheel.........

Here's what's currently on the wheel - Ashland Bay Merino/Tussah Silk in the Concord colorway. I'm spinning up the last pound of stock I have but will be ordering more soon. This fiber is a dream to spin, such beautiful sheen and all the colorways are incredible. I lost out on the Yellow colorway - I sold all I had and it's no longer available - that will teach me for not setting it aside as soon as I laid eyes on it - that won't happen again!
Bailey wanted to say 'hey'!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A few pics from NWRSA trip

Just got back last night from the NWRSA annual conference (Northwest Regional Spinner's Association). This year the conference was held at Pinelow Park which is a camp/lodge resort on Loon Lake north of Spokane, WA. What a great time we all had.....the 2 day drive was well worth it.......as always! But I will be very happy next year when it's just 4 hours north of here in Salem. Weird thing though, we were forewarned, no breakfast, we had to bring our own breakfast food which is kind of a pain when traveling a far distance (buffet meals are served in a dining room). It became the joke between us all - no breakfast! We did put together a big raffle basket from our area to donate, sorry there's no picture, lighting in the area with the spinning circles was very poor so the picture isn't very good. Our friend, Janis Thompson, of Dyelots in Eugene, OR won our basket. Spinning circles were very crowded and tough for visiting in other circles but we managed to enjoy ourselves. Congrats to the conference committee for putting on another great event and for all the time spent planning and following through - I'll bet they'll be spending the week recovering.
Yes, this is my merino/tencel handspun handwoven scarf you recently saw me post about as I was weaving it. I won the grand puh-bah prize - Best Use of Handspun which is the top prize of the gallery each year. In the judging I scored 100 points out of 100, I didn't realize that it's a rarity for the judges not to, at the very least, take off one point - I'm honored. I was so surprised, I actually didn't believe it at first when I saw it in the gallery after judging. I know it's a beautiful scarf but there are always such beautiful knit lace pieces I never thought a woven piece would win out - hurray for weaving!  Ok, so the funny thing is that I get this plaque plus another one that I need to go get my name engraved on with the year noted - then I return these next year. Hmm, wonder where to keep this safe until next year..........I did suggest something else to add to this that would be very fun - a tiara - lots of  sparkle & bling with fiber.......who knows, that may happen.
I took 3 fun classes, nothing to do with spinning or knitting and I loved it. I took 2 basket classes with Sharon Gunter: the berry basket and the wool drying basket. She's a great teacher, so well prepared, so patient and very fun. I also took a journal making class with Ruthie Haworth. We made one journal and came away with materials to make another in a different style (hoping to get to it this week). Ruthie was so prepared and had little kits made up for us. I'd take anything Ruthie ever teaches - not only was she a great teacher but she's a really fun gal. 
Here's a picture of my room before my roomie and I destroyed it with our piles of 'stuff'. It was very comfortable for a rustic lodge, we even had our own bathroom and didn't have to walk down the hall to a community bath. Did I mention we got no breakfast...........
Here's the view of the lake from the deck at our lodge. There were a couple lodges, many cabins and even RV and tent camping. This was taken on our first day there - next day it poured!
Here's the little gift I gave to my spinning buddies to hang on their wheels. It's a wrap per inch guide from Karatstix who has an etsy shop. She was so wonderful to make these up for me special since she only had one in her shop when I first looked to buy. Everyone loved it! Check out her shop - she has some very fun accessories for spinners and knitters.
Driving home we stopped at a really nice Comfort Inn for the night in The Dalles, OR along the Columbia River. We got very tickled over the fact that there were phones in the bathrooms. We went for a walk on a bridge to see The Dalles Dam - what a site. We also watched one of the paddle boats head into the lock to get around the dam, unfortunately when in the lock it was out of our sight. Did I mention we DID get breakfast at the Comfort Inn!
I took this picture of a partial rainbow, too bad it's hard to see in this small picture - it was beautiful. This picture was taken from out on the bridge looking back to the shore. I did get an incredible shot of the complete rainbow but the background of hotels wasn't exactly the scenic look I would have liked.
Did we shop???  Well, of course! And we learned how to pack very efficiently. There are four spinning wheels, suitcases, workshop supplies, tons of fiber, etc. in the back of the van plus all we bought on the trip home! An unplanned stop was Fabric Depot in Portland - oh my gosh, an hour there was not nearly enough time but we managed to drop hundreds of dollars between us all. And then, of course, the outlet mall and the mandatory Trader Joe's stop (we made that stop on the way up too to pick up wine & snacks for the conference).

So this is what I've been up to the past week. It's now time to get back to work. I'm dying to get back to the loom but I've got a program/workshop to prepare for on kumihimo that I'll be presenting to a weaving guild on the coast next month. I've also got a display board to put together for the county fair display we put up each year, that needs to be done by August. With the way time is flying both of these will be here before I know it so they've got priority before I get back to weaving.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Latest sox and handspun

These are the current socks on the needles - I love these colors - perfect blue jean wearing colors. It's amazing to me  how quickly I'm knitting them since I only knit here and there but when not doing a knit pattern I can move right along.
These are the socks that just came off the needles, also Opal sock yarn, knit in the slouch socks pattern.
And finally here's my latest handspun. It's 353 yards of my own hand-dyed merino roving. The picture doesn't do it justice - the muted blue teals and muted purples are beautiful. Sure wish I had more of it, projects are limited with this few yards, but it was one of my dye day surprises where I play with what's leftover in dye bottles at the end of the day - this was all there is of this color combination. I'll eventually find the perfect project to use it in.