Friday, September 30, 2011

Wool dyeing days least for this season...

Whoo-Hoo! I've put away the acid dyes for the season. The dyeing from the past week is now braided, weighed, labeled, photographed and most of it now listed in my etsy shop. All the merino and falkland are now up for sale in my shop, the corriedale cross will start going up tomorrow. I've finished spinning up samples of the merino and falkland, pix still need to be taken...then will start on the corriedale cross - very fun to see how they spin up.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Whoo Hoo!!!!

Whoo-Hoo.....the last of the roving dyeing for months!  This is the second half of the corriedale cross roving I was dyeing yesterday. I've put the acid dyes away, all utensils/pots are drying and will be put away next, two burner propane stove ready to come inside the garage for the winter.Tables will stay out  under the deck for a bit as I want to wind some warps to paint....but that's using fiber reactive dyes, totally different process.  I'm still working on spinning up samples from all the fiber I've been dyeing, then pix of them to add to my etsy shop listings.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dye day.....

Today's efforts - 8 pounds of corriedale cross. I love the one on the right, it's hard to tell in the picture but it looks like the felted wool fabric that's out there for sewing/penny rugs/etc - kind of heathery, can't wait to spin a sample of it. If I wake up tomorrow in the mood to dye  I'll finish up the rest of it and then then acid dyes get put away for the winter - hurray!

Road Trip!

Road trip!!!! Left early Friday morning heading up to OFFF, Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival, or as Sam calls it Flock & Flea. First stop my road trip friends and I made was for the New Yorker bagel (cream cheese, lox, capers, red onions, tomato) at Bronx Bagels in Sutherlin, then a quick stop at Trader Joe's in Eugene. Then off to check in the hotel in Wilsonville and back on the road to Fabric Depot in Portland. And yes, I did buy some fabric but tried to restrain myself....everything in the store was 30% off plus had a coupon for 40% off one item. Sorry no pic - still in the bag in the pile of other stuff by the door. Pictures taken were with my phone so they're just so-so....didn't feel like carrying a camera.
Dinner at Sushi Track - annual event - there were 8 of us this year. This is what's left of my spider roll -yum! We all ate a ton of sushi Friday evening.
On the drive to OFFF we pass a dahlia farm in the Canby area - this is just a small section of the fields
Here's a close up - this dahlia was gigantic
A must is the ferry ride between the hotel and OFFF fairgrounds. I think our group are the only ones who do it - everyone else jumps on the highway.....but look what they miss, we see beautiful countryside too, we would miss those dahlias if we took the highway.....
Yes there were critters to see - this is a beautiful angora goat who liked having her picture taken
And yes, I did make a major purchase - a Hansen electric spinner - yikes! It's still in the bag as I haven't had time to play with it but I did test drive the one I bought before plunking down that credit card. I had trouble with a Woolie Winder in the past and wanted to make sure the one on the spinner was smooth - it was, I'm a happy camper. Oh, plying is going to be so much nicer now.......if I haven't mentioned it at least 100 times before I don't enjoy plying, it's boring and goes on forever. I managed to only buy a few small items in addition to the spinner and thank goodness I left without buying any spinning fiber - I don't need it!

Drive home Sunday found us at the outlet stores and Trader Joe's for some major shopping - torrential downpours driving home, hard to see the road at times.

Today is a dye day but it's chilly out, too chilly to be dealing with cold water out of the hose so am waiting a bit for it to warm up.....although it's clouding up and looks even colder out there.....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No internet again.....

No internet again in my little world - argh! It went out around 5:30 yesterday evening, still out this morning. Last night when I called there was the recording saying they're aware of the problem and technicians are working on it.....hmm, I was thinking those technicians were home in bed. Called again this morning, got the same message but then I thought to hit '0' on the phone to get a real live person in some other country. At least this live person, whose name I could never figure out after asking several times, was more competant than Audrey who I talked to on Monday. This gal immediately put me on hold to find out if she could get more information on the problem. I got to listen to a recording about how much faster dsl is with Centurylink since it took over/or whatever it did, with Qwest.....hmm, ours has been slower since that happened. My tech support gal, name still unknown, came back - and just as I thought - techs went home to bed because they're waiting for a piece of equipment that 'should' arrive today. So, my internet is in the hands of whatever delivery company Qwest/Centurylink has contracted with. Luckily I do have my Verizon Mifi that I use over on the coast and for traveling but I do pay for limited access each month, what I figured I'd need, not intended to be on all day long here at home. To top this off, I'm on the laptop, wanted to print something in an email and it's not talking to my always does.....except today when I really need it.......

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Current spinning

I forgot to post a pic last week of the spinning I've been doing, plied the first of it - I'm around half done. This is Panda that I hand-dyed. Panda is 60% superwash merino/30% bamboo/10% nylon - it's a dream to spin. Have temporarily suspended spinning this while I spin up samples of the recent dyed rovings.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hand-dyed merino roving

Today's accomplishments.....merino roving........all of it was playing except the center light yellow which is my colorway called Buttercream. I adore yellow and should have put some of this color aside last time I dyed it but I didn't and it all here's some more.....hopefully I'll pull some out for me before it sells.


Turned on the computer this morning, checking mail, read 3 of them, then off to a website and down went the internet. I went through turning off/on the modem, rebooting the computer - nothing. I had orders to mail which meant postage to print.....and I needed to be at the post office when it opened so I could be back to dye all that merino I weighed out on Saturday. So, off to call Centurylink......argh

Me: (after listening to many computer voice generated prompts) "I have no internet, could you tell me if there's a problem here locally"

Audrey: (hmm, I'm thinking, interesting name for someone with an accent.....thinking of the movie Outsourced that I just watched, cute no brainer movie) "Let's trouble shoot"

Me: "I've already rebooted, troubleshooted the modem, all lights are green but it's not working....oh there the internet light went out, now back on"

Audrey: "Let's check that modem - what is the Qwest model number"

Me: "It's not a Qwest modem, we've gone through two of those, they're designed to fail after one year, this is a different brand that works great"

Audrey: "Not a Qwest modem? What kind is it - what is the name & model number"

Me: "Make is XYZ - I can't get find the model number (standing on my head under the desk) but I really don't think it's my modem, I've already checked it...can't you check to see if there's a service issue in my area?"

Audrey: "Can't you move your desk to get the model number?"

Me: "No it's at least 200 pounds.....can we please check to see if there's a service issue?"

Audrey: "Let me talk to my upper tech support"

Me: (on hold biting my tongue - why does this always have to raise one's blood pressure?)

Audrey: "Let's trouble shoot that modem"

Me: "It's not the modem!!!!" (now 40 minutes has passed)

Audrey: (perturbed with me) "Let me talk to my upper tech support"

Me: "Thank you"

Audrey: "There is a problem with service in your area, engineers are working on it and it will be fixed within 24-48 hours, we will call you when service is restored"

Me: "Thank you - why couldn't you have checked that 40 minutes ago?"

Off to the post office (late) to mail orders the old fashioned way at the counter which costs me more $$$. Told the gal at the counter about internet since I usually just drop my packages with postage on them - we agreed that the terrorists have it all wrong - what are they doing blowing up planes and buildings - just knock out our internet.....and cell phones! We'll come to a screeching halt and probably kill each other in frustration after talking to our providers on the phone. She added they could knock out the credit card processing machines too and really cause havoc.

Service came back on in a few hours.......still no call to tell me it's restored like promised although I wasn't sure why I needed it since I'd know it was back on.

Ok, so even though I don't agree with outsourcing since so many people here are without jobs it doesn't neccesarily mean I'm getting inferior service - I would probably get just as crummy service from someone in Anytown, USA......but it would be nice to talk to someone in the area where service is coming from. Back when I was having major problems with Qwest DSL I contacted the CEO, a friend knew of him through her former business life and assured me he answers every email personally very early in the morning - he did and the problem was fixed within a day, new equipment installed down the road.

Now back to the dye steamers to take out the last of the merino......rinsing still lies ahead of me as well as making more stock solution to be ready for next dye day.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Another dye day....

Perfect weather for dyeing today, sunny and around 70 degrees. I finished up the last of the Falkland - that taupe colorway doesn't show off to it's best in the photo but it's beautiful - I might have to spin some up myself. I also had 10 skeins of laceweight 75% merino/25% silk yarn that I dyed. What's with all the blue???  Then I weighed out the next roving to dye - 12 pounds of merino.

drumroll......the envelope please......

Here's what was in the mystery envelope from earlier this week.....fingerless mitts for Theresa. Back in the spring when Theresa went back east to visit her folks she asked what I'd like - I said bring me a lobster, obviously a joke. Well, she brought me some beautiful hand-dyed yarn from Lobster Pot Yarns - colorway name Lobster Bisque. I made a beautiful shawlette, The Traveling Woman Shawlette, which I showed finished and blocked in my post of August 31st. I had some 'leftovers in the pot' so I made Theresa a pair of fingerless mitts.

Off to the dye stock and steamers, more Falkland to dye today.....then only 4 more days of roving dyeing before the rains and much cooler weather hits......but the heat is coming back mid-week so those days may have to wait.....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cool weather = Dye weather

Today was a perfect dye day - cool and overcast - sun finally showed it's face late afternoon
I like the days efforts...especially those seaglass colors on the left (whoops, forgot to say that this is Falkland wool)
I love it when the pampas grass blooms....well, it may not be called blooming but that's what I'm calling it - these 'blooms' are around 10 ft tall

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A bit of weaving this aft.......

Back to the tencel scarf warp - red weft above using a different treadling than the first scarf and purple weft below using yet another treadling. 4th scarf will be using a bronze/brown weft, not sure of treadling yet.
Satellite dish stopped working while I was weaving - argh! I could watch dvr'd stuff........but now the local news is on and I'd like to see it but can't except for on the bedroom tv that's hooked up to an antenna. Technology!

Not much of a picture.....

Ok, so this isn't much of a picture - what's inside this envelope will be seen as soon as the recipient gets it in the mail. Can't show it now since this person reads my blog and it's a surprise. Only hint is that there was still some left in the pot.

Too much administrivia in my's always my complaint, too little time to create, too much time spent on administrivia. Now adding to it is updating all the tagging on every item in my two etsy shops. Last month Etsy changed the relavancy of tagging so I'm not getting as many sales as usual. So, I'm learning the best new way to optimize the tagging/searches but it requires editing every single item listed - over 200 of them between the two shops. Last night I worked on a few, within minutes one of the items sold. I like the old way better........not sure if I'm saying that just because I have all this busy work ahead of me or what......

There's a new food trailer in our area - Rocco's Amore owned by Bill, my friend Kathy's significant other......Kathy's deep in it too, working away cooking and serving. They just did their first gig on Saturday at a winery event.....more to come plus setting up at lunchtime somewhere around Medford. They'll be serving up yummies for Fiber Mania in November - I'll have a tab going for the weekend for my breakfast and lunch as I work my booth. There were leftovers from the winery gig so Sam and I ate good last night - 2 kinds of lasagna, salad, italian bread, antipasto tray and the yummiest raspberry panna cotta for dessert (every bite I took I said "yum"). They also packed some espresso brownies for us to try, we'll try those today. The website is still under construction - I just took my first look at it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cranberry fest......

This past weekend on the coast in Bandon was the Cranberry Festival. Bandon and nearby towns host many a cranberry bog....from what I can see the majority of them sell to Oceanspray. The festival was great fun - parade Saturday morning, booths, car & tractor show, petting zoo, musical entertainment - Old Town was hopping....parking was at a premium but our cottage being close enough to walk is a big plus. All I bought at the festival were some cranberry food related items and they are all very yummy....and then there was the Oceanspray booth giving away cans of cranberry seltzer and dried cranberries.
Two of my favorite places in town were having sales for the weekend. The haul above was from The Wool Co. I found a cute ear flapper hat pattern made with super bulky yarn - two yarns were bought for these projects for a couple family gifts. I couldn't resist the Noro yarn (upper left)....not sure what will be made with that yet. And then the best buy of all are all those skeins of baby alpaca laceweight yarn from Cascade Yarns. The shop is discontinuing Cascade so it was 50% off. And that chartreuse is one of my favorite colors! Not sure what these will become but scarves/shawls come to mind.
A stop was made at the quilt shop too - Forget-Me-Knots Quilt Shop. This is a great quilt shop as are many of them up and down the coast - quilting must be big over there. They've recently renovated the upstairs for quilt retreats - there's a kitchen, bedrooms to sleep 8 and bathrooms and a nice big work area for everyone's sewing machine, there are cutting tables, ironing boards, etc. It's very reasonably priced too. Ok, so what I bought - not going to describe the patterns because if I get on the ball they'll make a few gifts, couldn't resist the dragonfly fabric (for what, who knows right now) and those rolled up sets of fat quarters - love those colors! I also bought something I haven't bought in years - an actual cross-stitch kit. Usually I would buy the pattern, the fabric of my choice and I have hundreds of skeins of  DMC embroidery floss in my stash. But I haven't found a cross-stitch seashell pattern that I like and I really like the one in this kit. Not sure when this will be started......too many other things on the to-do list right now but I've got it for when I'm ready. After I left the quilt shop I ran over to the Oddfellows Hall to see the quilt show, very nice. Now I'm showing my ignorance but what are imagination isn't too flattering because I know a couple odd fellows! (update - ok I looked it up if anyone else is interested - Oddfellows)
Finally, I couldn't close without just one picture from the parade. This float holds the Cranberry Court (Cranberry princesses). I'm not sure which one was voted queen. They were madly waving at their friends standing right there in front of us. The parade was full of crowns - the cranberry court, the queen & king of cranberry food, Miss Oregon and some others I have no clue what they were. So, if we win the fun old car in the raffle here in GP for the foster kids I've told Sam that we (Bailey included) will have to be in the Cranberry Parade next year doing the beauty queen wave and throwing out tons of candy. He's not too worried since I only bought one ticket.......

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hand-dyed BFL

Quite a bit of the hand-dyed BFL that I dyed last week is already sold - a big thanks to my very own spinning group for putting a big dent in it. Two of the colorways - pinks and reds are totally sold out. These are going up in my etsy shop over the next several days....there are several braids of each colorway at this point.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back to my first love.....weaving, that is....

It's close to 100 degrees out so it's definitely not a dye day so it's back to what I love to do most and haven't been doing enough of - weaving. This afternoon I wound an 8/2 black tencel warp for 4 twill scarves. Here's the first one, just some random diamonds on the one end, I'll probably vary the treadling on each scarf. Still auditioning colors for the next 3 scarves.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mystery solved.....

The mystery is solved about the Spin-Fix tool. It's definitely a skein winder/swift. My friend Cathy, aka Boom, found it on a german blog. Just scroll down a bit and there's a picture of it how it should look. All I have to do is unscrew the square middle pieces and turn one 180 degrees - then it will hold the arms out in a cross. This is great - not only do I have a fun little swift but it's very compact. It's going to live at the beach - compact swift for a compact cottage. Thank you Boom!

Seen this before?

Has anyone ever seen one of these before? I found it in an antique shop for $8. It's called a Spin-Fix and says Made in Germany. It sits on top of the clamp and spins. The arms are adjustable although they're next to one another rather than in a cross design like the swifts we usually see. I'm sure it's a yarn swift. I tried searching online for any information but no luck so far. Not sure how I'll use it but it was a fun find.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Handspun samples from the latest BFL's looking like fall is coming....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Another day of dyeing......

It was another day at the dyepots. Today my fibery friend Pat came over to help, I really enjoyed having company for the day and she was a huge help. She was doing everything from mixing dye colors to painting it on and rinsing it out....and then there's all the washing of tools. The heat is returning so dyeing will be put on hold for a bit, as soon as it cools back down to at least 80 I'll be back at it - have 6 more dye days to get under my belt......if I wore a belt........

Pay it forward winners.....

Ok, here are the pay it forward winners of the weaving books.....I'll be emailing Sisters and Susan for their mailing addresses. Heatherabarrick & Tinkertots please email me with your mailing addresses - for some reason I can't seem to link to any contact info for either of you.  cindiesam @ yahoo dot com

Weaving As an Art Form - 'Sisters'
Card Weaving & Conventional Card Weaving - 'Susan'
The Rosepath Motif - 'Heatherabarrick'
Weaver's Study Course - 'TinkerTots

Bailey picked the winners - each person entered for each book was assigned a different color dog biscuit which Bailey dashed for....unfortunately I was alone here at the time so I couldn't place the biscuits, hold him back and work the camera at the same was comical.......and he was wishing there were more biscuits after we were done!