Thursday, January 30, 2014


I'm having a Valentine's giveway because I have these extra scrabble pins I made and because I love all my blog readers - US/Canadian only, so sorry. If interested comment to this post with which pin you'd like - your 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice (Love red hearts, Love peach hearts, XO). I'll draw a winner using on Monday morning, February 3rd - I'll get it out in the mail as soon as I get the winners mailing addresses so you'll hopefully have it by Valentine's Day to wear yourself or to gift to someone else. I will post the winners names Monday morning so be sure to check back since many times there is no way for me to contact you.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fun stuff

I had more fun yesterday embroidering towels that are now for sale in my etsy shop. I had sold out of the spinning wheel and country sheep towels. Then I found the cute little knitting birds with heart and the fillagree heart. If I can find the perfect t-shirt in my stash today I'll be embroidering that heart on it for myself.

In-between changing colors of thread on the embroidery machine I was throwing the shuttle on the name draft warp - didn't get too much done running back and forth between the two but did accomplish something - hoping to finish it up the warp today.  I've also got lots of photography work to do in order to list more items in the etsy shop but that will have to wait for another day.....

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

This is a test......

This is a test.......Sam and Bailey just un-installed IE11(Internet Explorer 11) on my desktop and I seem to be able to upload pictures into my blog post as in the past.  Whoo Hoo!  Not sure how long it will take blogger to catch up with IE11 but since it looks like I can post again without going to another computer (that still had IE10) I'm happy......Bailey is looking pretty thrilled too......

Having fun embroidering

Had fun embroidering this weekend. I had sold out of many embroidered towels in my etsy shop so yesterday afternoon I got to work.  I still have some other sheep and spinning wheels towels to embroider - those are on linen/cotton towels, hopefully sometime this week. Today a friend came over and we embroidered 2 t-shirts for her, she got a lesson on the machine, I think I've enabled her to buy one too.

I love this sheep with heart towel - great for Valentine's Day - love the soft flour sack towels too.....

......and here's a sheep with a star......

....and I couldn't resist this heartwood embroidery pattern, this is new to my shop........

.....and these oh so cute chickens, sold out of them recently.
Hubby Sam 'may' have figured out a way around the Internet Explorer 11/blogger issue - he uninstalled IE11 on the netbook and I was able to load pictures just fine for this post - next he'll do it on the desktop and hopefully that will work like it used to a few weeks ago too.  When blogger supports IE 11 (which they aren't doing yet) then we'll update. In case anyone else is having this problem (lots of folks on the blogger community forum are) I will update once IE11 is uninstalled on the desktop and I do a post to see if it's working again.

Friday, January 24, 2014

More name drafting

Today I wound a warp in a very pale steel gray 10/2 perle cotton and threaded the heddles to a name draft I had designed the other day for 'I Love Weaving'. I think it turned out pretty nice. It's woven in overshot, the pattern weft is a very dark teal/navy in 5/2 perle cotton

Here's a shot of the underside - I might like it even more than the top.

When I went to unload the dishwasher this little doe was watching me through the kitchen window. She posed for many pictures before sauntering off.

 Here's a close-up - her ear turned at that moment, maybe listening for her friends who earlier in the day were all laying amongst logs from dead trees Sam and neighbor Merle took down on Wednesday.

As I mentioned earlier this morning we're under a red flag warning for forest fires due to the dry conditions and wind. Wouldn't you know it when Bailey and I went out for a walk someone was burning nearby - so stupid. Fires are burning to the east of us, maybe an hour east......and in numerous other areas of the state. What a crazy winter - no rain in Oregon, unheard of............

Clear skies

Clear skies seen from the deck this morning - whoo hoo. We have been stuck in freezing fog for around 2 months. Yesterday afternoon the skies cleared and the sun came this comes with a red sky warning for fire danger - the winds are what cleared the fog out will also spread fires and in this area all winter long folks have burn piles going. Fire danger in the winter in Oregon??? Unheard of but we're coming off a drought year, lowest rainfall on record, and have started 2014 the same. We're all hoping for rains this winter and spring or it will be a scarier fire season than last year not to mention folks having trouble with wells. But for today I'm rejoicing at being able to see Mt Sexton.

Interesting entertainment tidbits the past week........I attended two movies at the theatre, I usually average a movie every 1 or 2 years so this is a major thing. First movie was Saving Mr. Banks - I loved it. It reminded me that at the age of 9 my birthday party was taking my little gal pals to see Mary Poppins, now I know the story behind it. I definitely need to watch Mary Poppins again. Movie yesterday was August: Osage County.....incredibly done, tremendous acting, but what a downer, not my kind of movie. 

Keeping with the entertainment theme we went to the community concert Wednesday evening, we were entertained by The Diamonds singing 50's-60's music, very fun, we really enjoyed them. I got tickled at one point when some Bobby Darin songs were sung- it reminded me of a campy lounge act at the Ramada Inn in Rockville, MD back in the mid-70's......some of us used to hang out there after late nights at work while in college.

And now on to curling - who of my friends and family would have believed that I'd be on the cutting edge of curling becoming more mainstream in the US. I read it about it everywhere these days and now there's a curling club a 2 hour drive from us. This past week I found out from a friend via an article in the Wall Street Journal that there is a 2014 calendar called Men of Curling. I'm not the type to be interested in buying a beefcake calendar but I might just have to for the entertainment factor I'll get seeing the faces of my husband and cousin.......and the net proceeds go to charity.

I've gotten very little time at the loom but did spend some time this week weaving on the name draft warp which is now cut off the loom. I'm hoping to get another name draft warp on the loom today, one more to go after it for the guild program. I need to spend time working on my handout and WOW factor - there always has to be a WOW factor with a guild program but that won't be divulged until after the program in April as some guild members read my blog.

On another note - still having issues with blogger loading my photos. I seem to be able to get around it moving to a different computer and then it takes several trys. Have not found a solution and no responses in the forums other than the one a while back about blogger not supporting the newest version of IE. I've followed suggestions to clear cache and cookies. This issue is getting old. (just checked community forums again and many others are having the problem, no solution....wonder why not everyone is having a problem)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On the wheel...........

Today was our spinning get together - I needed something new to start on.......with hundreds of pounds of wool for sale in my etsy shop I'm easily tempted by certain colorways but I decided to go check out my personal stash. I found almost 2 pounds of mystery batts from Fantasy Fibers so I decided to start on it. A mystery batt is what's leftover when Janell cards commercially for clients, it's bits and pieces that she then mixes into giant layered batts. It's very fun to open one of these up and see what colors are hidden inside. She sells out of these quickly at both Black Sheep Gathering and Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival.
Last night I pulled some of the batts into strips to ready them for spinning

And here's the start of that spinning on my Hansen spinner - Bailey and Buster are looking pretty bored in the background as I set up my spinner here at home to continue spinning in the evenings.

Our area is still stuck in a freezing fog mode, yes it's better than what's happening in the midwest and east coast but that doesn't help us dealing with this going on 2 months. We escaped to the coast for the past 4 days, just over the mountain range from us it was sunny, blue sky and 60.  As we neared home yesterday evening we hit the fog coming over the last pass near our house - wish we could have pulled over on the highway for a picture of what that fog hanging over the valley looked like. I don't think it got above freezing today. We had a record drought last year and it's continuing with no rain in site - winter is our rainy season and it's dry, not enough snow in the mountains for the ski resorts to open let alone give us water in the summer. Sure wish some of that snow back east was falling in our mountains........if something doesn't change 2014 will be an even scarier fire season than 2013.

Monday, January 20, 2014

On the needles.....

Last night I got some new socks started.....always need a pair  of socks on the needles to grab to work on in meetings or on the go. This is Opal sock yarn, I think the pattern is from the book Socks, Socks, Socks although I can't remember at the moment, it's a simple feather and fan pattern that I wrote down and keep in my sock knitting bag. If anyone is interested in the pattern please let me know and I'll go look it up to make sure that's the book it's out of.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Blocking a shawlette

This morning I decided I should get the shawlette recently knit blocked. The pattern is Brome from the book Free Spirit's a great book. I knit it out of some of my handspun, between a dk and worsted size - merino in the Baltic colorway from Ashland Bay Fibers. It's a great color to go with jeans. The garter stitch area at the top is done in a series of short rows, wider in the center, dwindling down to practically no garter stitch area on the ends, just couldn't capture it all in the picture from my angle. Next I want to knit the pattern Framework out of the same book - it calls for fingering weight yarn - first I need to decide if I want to knit it with commercial yarn, some of my handspun stash or spin something new.......there are some roving colorways calling my name so who knows what I'll decide..........

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Name Drafting

I finished threading a name draft on the leftover warp from our holiday cards for 2013. This draft is based on the words 'happyholidays' and it will be used for our 2014 holiday cards - whoo hoo - I'll be ahead for once. Even though I worked it out on graph paper I still don't know exactly how it will look until woven - I like it, I think it turned out great, and it's an original overshot design. It would be so easy to preview and work on it in weaving software but I'm doing all on graph paper since that's what I'll be teaching in April......after all everyone doesn't have weaving software, besides it's a good learning tool on how to draft for all those newer weavers in our guild, as well as the more experienced ones who just follow drafts but don't understand them.

I can't believe today is my 1000th post on this blog - hard to believe I've kept it up, hard to believe people do read it........

New roving colorways

I've just updated my etsy shop with roving with new fibers, new colorways and relisting of previously sold out items. I've got some beautiful 75% BFL/25% Ecru Tussah Silk blend - I can't wait to dye some of this when the weather warms. The 5 multi-color rovings above (2 in 100% merino, 3 in merino/silk) are old colorway names but new dyelots/blendings from Ashland Bay. They are so different than the originals, I almost feel like they should have changed the names - a few of them are so different. I can't wait to spin up samples to see what they look like as yarn - I bet pretty outstanding which is the norm for their incredible colorways.

Yesterday was spent taking inventory and weighing out 100 pounds of wool into 8oz bags, this morning it's been listing in the etsy shop and updating inventory records. Phew, have had quite enough of administrivia. And my new worker bee, my husband Sam, complained (good heartedly, in fun) all day yesterday about standing on the concrete in the garage weighing wool, complained about his shoulder hurting (which was hurting before he started) and complained about the color purple whenever he came to a roving with purple in it - he says purple makes his head hurt. Phew, I guess I got what I paid for in help......but it was very nice to have company and not do it alone. Pretty soon he'll be doing all the weighing on his own, learning how to update inventory, pack up and print postage for orders........this will free up more time for me to do what I love most, weaving.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Name Drafting

In April I'm giving a program for my weaving guild on name drafting. It's a process of creating an all original draft based on a name/word/saying. In the past I've made table runners to gift using name drafts to commemorate special occasions - then in the hem of the table runners I've embroidered the name/word/saying used to create the draft along with the date. A short explanation is that each letter of the alphabet is assigned a number from 1-4 in the case of a 4 harness overshot weave structure. Since my head is still 'cloudy' from my cold I decided this was something I could concentrate on today - just playing with graph paper. I have several magazines and books for my bibliography but can't concentrate on reading those articles right now, maybe tomorrow........

Here I was playing with a draft using my guild's name, 'Saturday Handweavers Guild' and another one using 'Love To Weave'. There is a much quicker way to do this using a weaving software program but that's not what I'll be concentrating on since most guild members don't have weaving a big purpose in giving this program is to teach drafting and we have many newer weavers that have not gone past reading a draft and weaving, they don't understand how the draft works.
I'm trying to come up with some fun hands-on ideas for learning to make the drafts, first learning how to do it on graph paper, then maybe weaving with cardstock - doing that really makes it clear how it works when you treadle a pattern, raise certain harnesses and put the slip of paper through so you can see what happens when some harnesses are raised and others that stay down. I'm thinking this may be a fun activity to drive the concept home.

I'll need to start working on a handout and weave some samples - would love to get this program finished up early and let it sit until April so I can move on to other weaving.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Slow start to the new year.......

It's been a slow start to the new year around this house. We spent New Year's Eve and the following week on the coast, unfortunately both of us had colds so we didn't do much. Days were filled with walks, reading, watching tv and knitting. I planned on working in WeavePoint planning new drafts and also doing research for a guild program I will give in April but didn't do either. We did get out antiquing one day (nothing bought), went to an excellent glass exhibit at the Coos Art Museum and took a drive 2 hours south to visit friends and have a yummy fresh crab lunch. A seagull pooped on my head during our walk on New Year's morning - Sam said it was good luck......I say it was good luck he was the one that didn't get pooped on. Saw a warning sign on the Hwy 101, which runs along the coast, down at Humbug saying "Wild Cows"........we never did figure out were they cows that got loose and were running wild or if they were wild partying cows. And, just as I thought, I am on the cutting edge of being a US curling fan (the sport of curling) - there were 2 mentions in the latest AAA magazine, an article on gloves in the latest Piecework magazine that were originally worn for curling (friend Nadine told me about it, I have yet to pick the magazine up) and at Running Y Ranch in Klamath Falls to the east of us they are giving curling lessons and plan to start up a league this year (Nadine also told me about the article in the local paper mentioning it).

I had high hopes for working in the studio all day but I've had a relapse of my cold and feel plain old worn down so have been working on adminstrivia instead since that takes so little effort. UPS was just here dropping off 80 pounds of wool that needs to be measured out into bags, labeled, put into inventory and relisted in the etsy shop......that's not happening today either.

I made fun bird seed ornaments for gifts this year and have found their the perfect way to feed the birds at the beach cottage. My past experiences with bird feeders over there was having the raccoon raid them during the night or having them blown to bits by the wind over there when they'd swing and hit the tree limbs. These hanging ornaments work perfectly - I can put them on flimsy enough branches that the raccoons can't get them and the birds love them. I found the recipe in Taste of Home magazine.
 Here is one of the birds enjoying the seed, my friend Yvonne thinks this is a thrush. I had 4 different types of birds eating on the see ornaments that day. Sorry the picture is only so-so - I took it from across the room through the window.
Start with some bird seed, some cookie cutters, approximately 4" in size, gelatin, ribbon, a baking sheet lined with waxed paper or foil, non-stick cooking spray, 1 1/2 cups of birdseed (although I found that I needed to add anywhere from 1/2-1 cup more to soak up the gelatin solution.

Tie the ribbon into loops, instructions say to use 12" lengths but this time I made them longer to go all the way through the ornament. Place cookies cutters on lined baking sheet, spray inside with non-stick spray.

Mix 2 packets (1/2 oz) of unflavored gelatin powder with 1/2 cup of boiling water, stir to dissolve, add to birdseed mixing to coat all of the seed. This is where I'd start adding more seed to make sure the mixture wasn't too watery. Mix until it's stiff but sticky.

Press the mixture into a cookie cutter halfway up, put ribbon across.

Then cover the ribbon with seed filling to the top of the cookie cutter.

Here they are all done - this was two batches of the recipe, some of those cookie cutters are pretty big. After a few hours push each ornament out of the cookie cutter and set back on tray to dry, flipping every so often for 72 hours or until it's hard. Hang ornaments in the trees. These make fun gifts packaged in clear cellophane bags.

I don't know if anyone else has been having trouble uploading pictures to blogger but I've not been having fun trying to get them in my post. I think it still has to do with the new Explorer which blogger isn't supporting yet. Two weeks ago they wouldn't load at all, now they'll load into Picassa but then won't load from there. I finally switched computers and was able to get them up - not all our computers have updated to the latest Explorer.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


2014 - May it be safe, happy and full of fibery goodness. No long post today with my hopes of the new year - just depressing to go back and read about all the things I never got to, changes never made, so I'm just not going there this year. My only hope is that the year is a great one for myself, my family, my friends and everyone out there reading this............and that blogger will start cooperating again in letting me upload pictures. I finally got the clipart loaded last night after going back and editing my post several far this morning it's not working. Not sure what the issue is, this happened the first week of 2013 and went on for months with no help from blogger, I eventually was able to publish the text and then go to edit it and get the pictures uploaded........I'll keep trying with this new issue........sheesh. 
(update - I just went back to try and get the clipart to load with editing my post and it worked - might be back to doing that until the blogger issue is fixed - I'll be happy if I can get photos up doing that rather than no photos at all)