Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Odds and ends........

I was supposed to be dyeing merino/tencel roving today but I woke up and just didn't feel like standing out there on the concrete in the heat as the day went inside I've stayed catching up on things in the studio. I put away piles of 'stuff', finally finished twisting the fringes on 3 chenille scarves, did some photography work for the etsy shop, planned a towel warp, planned 2 scarf warps using handspun wool and much more. It's been a nice day since I made the executive decision this morning not to dye......when I know I really need what's the worst that could happen, weather turns and I can't dye that remaining 30 pounds of fiber before winter? Hey, life will go on. Maybe next week..........

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lots a shopping!

I had a weekend full of shopping but first here's Bailey - he's a turncoat - he's now a Beaver's Fan! His pooch pal Sophie and Mom Janette who is an Oregon State alumni saw the picture posted last week of Bailey with his green and yellow duck - that was just not acceptable in their eyes so a new dog toy was gifted in Beaver's colors. Bailey is saying to heck with those Ducks - I'm a Beaver's fan now!

Early Friday AM I headed north for the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. That was really my side trip this year as I had lots of other shopping to do. A number of us from down here were heading up and all met at Bronx Bagels 1 1/2 hours north for breakfast, then a caravan of vehicles pulled into Trader Joe's for snacklets for the weekend. At that point we split up with Margie and I heading up to the hotel in Wilsonville to drop one van and go on up to Fabric Depot. I went with my list for making a few beach house quilts. I never looked at any other fabric because the place is too overwhelming - they have maps at the information counter to find your way around! I did leave there with a lot of fabric and a whole lot less money even at 30% off everything in the store. On the left are the fabrics plus a white on white fabric I forgot to take a picture of which will make two 9 patch and snowballs twin bed quilts. On the right is what will become a log cabin quilt for a full size bed. It was too overwhelming to pick out fabric for our queen size too so that will wait.........besides it will take a long time for me to even get to sewing these quilt tops. The ginkgo fabric in the center is for who knows what - I just love ginkgos.
Friday night was the annual dinner for all at Sushi Track in Wilsonville - sure wish I could get there more often but a 4 hour drive is a bit much for sushi. Much of Saturday was spent at OFFF which is held at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds - great fun, saw lots of friends I hadn't seen in a while and did a little shopping. Really very little shopping since I don't need a thing. I bought some mystery batts (above) from Fantasy Fibers just because I loved the coral colors in them. Picked up some short double point needles, a small gift and that was pretty much it. Left there in the afternoon to head up to Crate & Barrel and The Container Store in Tualatin, on the south side of Portland - dropped a bundle there. And then dinner with 15 of us at a Mexican restaurant.

Sunday I didn't go back to OFFF with everyone else but instead drove through a driving rain down to the Corvallis Fall Festival to see all the craft/art booths and visit with friends Janette & Mark (Beaver & Duck alumni). Had a nice visit and then back in the car down to Trader Joe's in Eugene before heading home. And yes Lynne, I am a wus, I hate those passes with the big single/double/triple big-rigs that slow to a crawl going up hill and speed coming down - tough drive home being as tired as I was and on the road all day. All in all a great weekend, very tired now, trying to play catch up.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Currently on the Needles

Here's the knitting project I started yesterday, I know....I know.....I have many other fiber related projects I 'need/must' do but here I am starting a knitting project. My original plan was to use handspun but since I run out of hours in my day I decided to purchase yarn.....I'd really like to wear it this winter! This is some of the sale yarn from The Wool Company, I had planned on just looking for a worsted weight I liked but they had the exact yarn called for and it was on sale! The main color looks pretty navy in the picture but it's navy on the teal side. This pattern is from Plymouth Yarn Company - Vest Kimono. This won't be finished in a week, will work on it here and there......the majority of it is totally mindless knitting which is good for toting to appointments and meetings.

Monday, September 20, 2010

One tired pup........

Bailey has been one tired pup today, three days on the coast with lots of new smells to deal with can tire one out.....not to mention never getting his regular naps. That's Ducky resting with him, fiber friend Mary gave that to him well over a year ago, amazing that Ducky is still living.......guess Bailey is an Oregon Ducks fan being the Oregon native he is.

On the fiber front - I got nothing done today, feeling kind of punk, actually feeling kind of overwhelmed because I have so much to do, so I do nothing. Well, didn't actually do nothing all day, errands, grocery shopping (argh) and then re-strung a shell necklace and beaded bracelet for my friend Yvonne's daughter.

While on the coast I took advantage of a sale at The Wool Company in Bandon, OR and bought some yarn for a few projects. I need to expand my knitting horizons. Am thinking tonight of knitting a swatch to check my gauge so I can start a vest. Of course, this vest is no on the long 'to-do' list of things that are overwhelming me....guess it's a good way of avoiding those things.....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More hand-dyed roving - Polwarth

I don't usually post all the pictures of the roving I've dyed other than on the drying racks but for lack of any other pictures here they are. This is all Polwarth, a merino/lincoln cross. I've spun a sample and it's lovely, soft, and springy like merino with the bit of sheen and added strength from the lincoln. Two braids are curerntly sitting in my spinning basket - two of the far right, second row from the top - I just love those purples, especially that red purple. And then below the chartreuse to black gradation which I dyed specifically for myself - there's only 6 ounces of that. I know this colorway probably repulses some but I love it! I'll divide the roving in half lengthwise, spin each and ply them together. Maybe it will end up in a scarf, who knows, that's a long way off. These will all start showing up in my etsy shop over the next couple of weeks.

On the home front - had quite a scare last night when Bailey, our golden, looked to have a seizure or some sort of episode. Of course, Sam was out of town on business last night so I was here alone. I called a friend for advice, then our vet who will answer calls until 10pm. Today Bailey is just fine like nothing happened. Am keeping fingers crossed that it's a one time event and doesn't become a regular occurance. Kids!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Merino Tussah Hand-dyed Roving

Thought I would show a picture of some finished roving ready to sell. This is some of the merino/tussah silk. It's a dream to spin. I keep looking at the top left colorway, Stormy Sea, wondering if I should put aside a bit for myself.....of course I think that of more rovings I dye than I could ever spin in my lifetime!

Today I'm planning on braiding, weighing and tagging all the Polwarth I recently dyed, some superwash merino, blue face leicester and merino/bamboo. And then weigh out more roving that needs to be dyed in the next couple of weeks. Hmm, what am I doing sitting here at the computer instead of getting to work??? But first a trip to town.......then to work in ernest.

On the fire front - not the old fire that's just smoldering away but new fires popping up here and there, human caused, and thankfully quickly jumped on and put out before they get huge and out of control. What are people thinking? Do they think that because summer is basically over they can do what they want? It's still fire season - it's been in the upper 80's and we've had no rain - stupid, stupid people. The forecast is for rain starting Friday - I truly hope so before any more fires happen.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Yet more dyeing.......

I'm coming down the homestretch on least I hope so. I've still got 3 different fibers to dye but it doesn't look overwhelming.......well, it doesn't look overwhelming in those nice bags in the huge box. Today was the remainder of the Polwarth.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Paybacks can be very very good...........

Ah, Theresa of the Camp Runamuck blog, thought she was paying me back by finding me this dining set to buy at a  shop going out of business in Ashland....but she forgets I was looking for a set for the beach, she wasn't looking for that cute little Camp Runamuck bench I found her and enabled her to buy! Check out the bench on her blog here! I'm so lucky that she felt the need to enable me to spend money because this was just what we were looking for - that neat beachy, cottage look....and I made an offer on it much lower than the going out of business sale price and got it....that really made me happy.
On the weaving front - nothing happening! I'm having withdrawals but I really need to concentrate on getting all this dyeing done. Tomorrow will be another dye day....if I get more sleep than I've had the past two nights. Yesterday was the first guild meeting of the year, the other guild's first meeting is this coming Tuesday.

Friday, September 10, 2010

More dyeing........

Today's dyeing - 10 pounds of Polwarth, a merino/lincoln cross.....
10 more of this fiber to do next week, then on to another pile of fiber........

One of many dye days to come..........

This is one of many dye days to come - I'm feeling pushed to get 80 pounds of roving dyed before it gets too cool and rainy out. I work under cover but when I'm rinsing rovings I'm out in the open.........not to mention that if there's no sunshine it could take a week for roving to dry as opposed to drying by the end of the dye day, the last to come out of the steamer dry by morning. I thought it was going to be an easy dye day - just two special orders of roving and a small partial box of silk hankies (for spinning).......I underestimated those hankies, I guess it does take more than an hour or two to dye 100 hankies! Today is another dye day - it's only 41 and foggy out right now so I'll probably wait to start after 9am. I'll be dyeing Polwarth today and probably for another 2 days next week.....decided I need to split it into 3 dye days instead of 2, standing on that concrete for hours is a killer, need to make shorter than 8 hour days of it.

Frightening news this morning when I turned on the news - gas explosion in San Bruno, CA - fire is so scary. And this on top of the horrible fast moving wild fire in Colorado. My heart goes out to all involved, my wishes for all firefighters to be safe..........

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Great finds.........

Today was spinning day - we did our annual spinning in the park - what great fun. We sat in the huge gazebo since there was a chance of light rain. What a fun day. Following spinning I decided to check out a few local antique shops for more finds for the beach cottage. Well, I came away with a couple little book shelves that were just what I was looking for. The one with the v-shape bottom is a style I've been searching for - and it was only $10!
Thought I'd also show the great spinning wheel lamp I scored at the same shop a few weeks ago - that won't be going to live on the coast, undecided what room it will reside in here....hmm, guess I better get that shop dust off of it and find it a home!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back from the cottage by the Sea......

We took off for the coast again Friday afternoon and returned this evening (Monday). We spent a relaxing, sunny, blue sky (no smoke!) weekend at the beach cottage. No work on the house this time - all play. It's amazing how once over there we totally forget about everything that needs to be done here at home.

Below is a picture of one of the two hydrangeas in the corner of the yard....the only good things in the yard - it's a mass of dandelions, or many dying dandelions since I sprayed them, looks pretty bad but revamping the yard will have to wait until next spring....too many other things to be done this year....and it will be a slow drawn-out process.
These are some variety of lilies found in different spots around the edge of the fence. Hopefully I'll be able to salvage them in the spring because they definitely need dividing as you can see from the mass of bulbs in the second picture - they're all above ground! I can't believe that's how they should be growing. I'm thinking they really need to be planted in the ground. If anyone knows better please let me know before spring.
And this is my favorite treasure of the weekend. An antique bird's eye maple table to put on my side of the bed at the cottage. We had already picked up a similar table in oak for Sam's side. Isn't this beautiful! We also scored a little painted table (sage green & white) for next to the couch and 2 old knick-knack shelves that I'll be painting white to hang in each bathroom. It's very fun to scour antique shops and garage sales for great finds for the cottage. Many pieces will eventually be painted and distressed for more of a vintage cottage feeling but certainly not this table - it's way too beautiful to paint!
On the fire front - we were glad to leave all the smoke behind on Friday - we came back to the news that the fire is now 95% contained and firefighter's from outside the region will start pulling out tomorrow leaving just the local ODF fire folks here to keep working the fire and making sure it doesn't escape containment lines. I sure will be glad when the fall rains start and fire season is over. They've all done a great job!

And on the fiber front I need to spend time dyeing but not tomorrow - it's spinning day tomorrow! 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Yummy feeling.......

This is one of the two scarves that just came off the loom and were washed. The light grey/multi-color in the warp is my handspun from a mystery batt, not sure what's in it other than definitely a soft wool and silk. The black in the warp and weft is commercial alpaca. Yummy feeling - so soft! Too bad pictures can't convey yummy.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I just couldn't resist running back outside to take pictures of the clouds. I've never seen clouds like this out here - so wispy and delicate looking. They make me think of what fine silk top looks like it it's pulled into wispy pieces......always have fiber on the brain........and then there's the rising smoke plumes to the west

Featured on a blog......

Quite often items for sale in my etsy shop are featured in treasuries but this is the first time someone has pulled an item's picture to feature it on their blog. Check out Knot Cha Cha's blog to see not only my scarf but the others items featured in her cinnamon, brown sugar and caramel theme - lovely selections.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Morning Surf Scarf finished......

I did finish knitting the Morning Surf Scarf (pattern in Spin-Off Summer 2008) yesterday afternoon out of my handspun in my Harvest colorway. This past winter I made a pair of convertible mitts out of the same handspun so now I have a scarf to go with. I love the way it turned out, was a bit worried before blocking when it looked like a mass of curled up threads. Very fun pattern to knit, easy to memorize for mindless knitting.

The tablecloth the scarf is sitting was crocheted by my Great Aunt Angela, an old Italian who put curses on people she didn't like. It's an absolutely beautiful tablecloth that fits my oval oak table, not a stain on it....not sure it was ever used by anyone until me, it was always in my grandmother's cedar chest.