Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Yesterday I did muster up enough energy to twist the fringe on the ginkgo scarves and do the photography work.......then I ran out of steam and finished up the photo editing this morning. These scarves are now listed for sale in my etsy shop.........well, the purple one isn't yet as someone asked me for a purple one, if she doesn't end up buying it, it will show up in the etsy shop.

When I look at this photo my mind immediately dreams of autumn - it can't come too soon this year. Beside being ready for the end of fire season autumn is my favorite time of the year. I can feel it coming - the temp this morning was 48, crisp, cool and lovely.......if you ignore the smoke.

Whatever this 'county fair bug' is - it's gotten us all down. I'm feeling much better, not much coughing now, just no energy. I have too much to get done to be down - this is getting old.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Slow day......

I knew it would be a slow day with the county fair respiratory bug but I didn't think I'd end up prone on the couch again which is what happened mid-afternoon.....and the coughing started up again, ribs aching.......but I'm still better than yesterday.  Late this afternoon I washed the 4 gingko scarves and put them out over the deck railing to dry - with our dry hot weather that took all of 30 minutes. Maybe tomorrow I'll work on twisting fringe - that won't take much energy.....if I'm short on it again tomorrow. Need to get over this bug, have to much on my to-do list to be down........

Spinning at the fair

This is what I spent 4 days spinning while demo'ing at the county fair. It's some of my hand-dyed merino/tencel roving. I know a lot of people don't like yellow but I love it and I think this will make an elegant spring/summer shawl........and maybe I'll even have it knit by next spring or summer.....maybe. Would love to have enough energy to finish spinning up the rest of that roving this evening and then move on to plying another evening this week. Not only does this look like butter but it spins like it........

The toll keeps rising - another sick one from the fair, and another has an appointment this afternoon with her doc. I'm feeling rundown and still not up to par but at least today I'm not laying prone, coughing and headache not as bad.....just not getting a terrible amount accomplished........

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dropping like flies........

We're dropping like flies in the aftermath of the county fair. The majority of us demonstrating at the fair have come down with a respiratory ailment - one has already gone to urgent care and  got a diagnosis of pneumonia - two others are going to urgent care today and will report back to the rest of us. It was very strange that we suddenly got sick within a day of each other. My professional weaver/spinner's diagnosis was legionnaires' due to the cooling system in the building........and based on the fact that I recently saw an update on the news about it in NYC. But, honestly, I have no business saying that - it just sounded like something that could happen to us all very quickly. As of right now I don't have it as bad as others - headache, scratchy throat and a cough - my cough isn't as bad as it was 24-48 hours ago. On my way home from taking down the fair display this morning I did pick up another bag of cough drops and will be relaxing and drinking hot tea with honey today.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

County Fair Display

This year's county fair display is much different than year's past. I issued a challenge to our spinning group to get more of the group motivated to have something for our display rather than just a handful of us - 17 of our group participated which is incredible.

Back last fall Iput several roving color combinations for everyone to vote on their favorite to use as this year's fair theme. The colors that got the most votes were Hyacinth, Berry and Kiwi (Ashland Bay rovings). Rule #1 was that these three colors had to be used in a project - they could be blended, spun on their own or other colors or fibers could be added to them. They could be spun, felted, knit, crocheted, woven, whatever - the sky was the limit. Look at the incredible collection we came up with all starting with the same 3 colors - all different techniques. I think it was a huge success. Yesterday was our first day demonstrating spinning at the fair - the public seemed to really enjoy looking at our display and visiting with us.

The highlight of this year's fair are the sea lions - they have a show several times a day, other times you can have your picture taken with them.....for a fee. I watched a couple getting their picture taken with 3 sea lions hanging over their shoulders, big smiles on their faces hamming it up for the camera........the sea lions, not the couple. I'm trying not to think about whether or not the sea lion show is humane - hopefully they aren't constantly traveling and get to spend time in some big tanks as opposed to the ones at the fair.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Final gingko scarf

I finished up the final gingko scarf this morning, this time the weft was sage green. I have extra warp on the loom to still weave off - will be using a charcoal grey with hopes of including that woven piece in a purse. Temps today are to be over 100 - it was already getting too warm in the studio so I'm done weaving for the day.

Whoever designed this AVL V Series loom must be left handed - that little screwed on block of wood that will hold a couple pencils and scissors is on the left hand side of the castle - very awkward for a right handed person. I could move it to the right side but hate to leave holes in the wood.  Might have to check to see how much another simple little block of wood with a couple holes and slot in it costs so I can install a second one.....or I could work on being ambidextrous.....nah......too much work, easier to buy another one.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Taking a chance

I'm taking a chance here weaving purple gingkos - I really like it, very subtle. I was contacted by a prospective customer about purple when I mentioned I had a black warp on the loom and what colors I was considering for wefts. I don't know as if she'll be interested in buying once I've got it ready to sell but I'm taking a gamble that if she doesn't someone else will. One more scarf to go on the warp - maybe tomorrow.

I'm slowing down my weaving a bit to do other things and I'm enjoying it. I'm still really driven to produce so it's a challenge but I'm working on it.....trying to keep that nagging voice in the back of my head telling me I have to be productive all the time at bay. I'm also considering a big change in the selling of roving to free up even more time for creative ventures - sometime in the new year I may put that part of the business on sabbatical for a few months to see how it goes.........still in the thinking stages on this as it's a good portion of my income. I've had some ideas of drafts I want to create for the AVL for around 4 years but just run out of time to sit and design them - hoping to free up more time for that along with other fun creative tasks.

So, now instead of weaving on that last scarf I'll go paint my toe nails a bright hot pink.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Red Gingkos

In-between mundane chores I did get another gingko scarf woven today - this one in red

Friday, August 14, 2015

My favorite leaf.....

I put a black warp on the AVL last month with plans of weaving more gingko leaf scarves. Today I finally got them started. I auditioned many weft colors, a small glimpse of that is on the bottom in this picture. First scarf up is a coppery brown weft. I think another scarf will be red, a sage one and possibly a purple one. Someone visiting my etsy shop asked about purple so I might give it a try and hope that someone buys it if she doesn't. It will be very subtle. I'm loving the coppery brown one above. Not sure when I'll get back to this warp - have another warp to wind and get on the Macomber and also have many warps to wind for future dyeing/painting.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Ok, so this is a terrible pic but this lemon blueberry bread is the best. I've been wanting to make it for a few weeks but either I'd have blueberries and no lemons, or I'd have lemons and no blueberries........finally yesterday the stars aligned and I had both.  I think I originally got this recipe out of a Country magazine years ago but don't quote me on that.  I bet it would be good with fresh raspberries too.

Lemon Blueberry Bread

1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 tbs lemon juice
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbs grated lemon peel
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Glaze: 2 tbs lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar, juice and eggs. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternating with milk. Fold in peel and blueberries. Pour into a greased 8x4x2 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes or until bread tests done. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine glaze ingredients. Remove bread from pan and drizzle with glaze. Cool on wire rack.

Notes - when I made this yesterday 2 lemons gave me exactly the amount of juice I needed but that will vary depending on your lemons.  Also in my convection oven it only took 50 minutes to bake.

Hmm, still have more blueberries.......think I need to pick up a couple more lemons.........

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

More freebies.

I've got a few more giveaways for anyone in the US or Canada - just leave me a comment with what you're interested in and a way of getting in touch with you. I also still have a few other items from my post of June 25th that are still available - the Hummingbird applique pattern, the Notion Nanny pattern and the Welcome Quilt pattern.  I'm working on passing on things that someone else may be interested in rather than letting them languish in my studio.

This pattern has been spoken for - it's no longer available
Sewing Bird pattern - pincushion. This is really cute - I made several of these for gifts

Veronica Pocketbook - I never made this one

The Urban Knitter book by Lily Chin.  I got this in a raffle basket and won't use any of the patterns but maybe someone else will. It's autographed.

I spent a good portion of my day ridding the studio of paper. Tons of old catalogs will be heading to recycling along with a huge bag of old weaving guild newsletters. I found I never have gone back to look at them so no need for them to clutter up the space. I also had several notebooks from Convergences and ANWG conferences - I've never opened them since putting them together. I now have a nice supply of empty notebooks and many page protectors that I can use for weaving project records. Hmm, what shall I tackle next.........

Not happy about big copter flying over - can't see any smoke plumes and haven't been able to find out if there's a new fire.....hoping not.  It was the giant snorkel copter that sucks water in to drop on a fire rather than using a bucket.  It went over yesterday but was gone quite a while before coming back so I was assuming it went to a fire west of us in Agness......but this was a very short trip before it came back over the house.  And it's such a big copter it shakes the house, there's no missing it flying over. Have I said yet today that I hate fire season..........well, you haven't heard it but yes, I have said it to Bailey, our golden, he and I discuss the heat and fire danger every single day. Approximately 7 more weeks of fire may very well be longer than that but we often have at least one good rainfall toward the end of September that makes me breathe a little easier.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Handspun merino

I finally washed and blocked the merino I had been spinning. The top 3 skeins were my hand-dyed plied with Ashland Bay merino in the Seafoam colorway, 1,125 yards. The bottom skein was the same hand-dyed plied on itself, 122 yards.....I was lazy and didn't feel like spinning more of the seafoam for that so just decided to have a little constrasting yarn by plying it on itself.  Not sure what this will become when it grows up - it will sit on the shelf and marinate a while.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Free chenille

UPDATE: The chenille is spoken for - it's found a home - hurray.

In my continuing effort to find homes for 'stuff' as I'm feeling like it's all closing in on me I've got a GIVEAWAY.  This is rayon chenille, 500 yards per pound, so it's fairly thick. I bought it years ago but in reality I don't weave with this size of chenille so it's time for it to find a new home and be turned into something wonderful.  It feels incredibly yummy which is why I've hung onto it for so long but how long can I keep it around just for fondling.  The skeins do have 2-3 ties on them but they may be a challenge since the skeins are so large and chenille worms so rather than selling this I'm giving it away for the cost of shipping via USPS Priority Mail (Canada it will go First Class).  Just put it on a swift or squirrel cage and take it slow winding it into a ball - it may or may not take a little patience.....since I haven't wound any into balls I'm not sure, it could go quickly with no issues.

I've got 3 skeins of this - first to claim any or all of them gets them......I hope someone wants them......please, please......
1 lb 4 oz skein
1 lb 4 oz skein
1 lb 5 oz skein

If you're interested drop me a note with your email so I can send you a Paypal invoice for the shipping costs. Don't forget to send me your mailing address too. 

NOTE: this is open only to US or Canadian folks

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Glorious day.....

It's been a glorious day - the wind shifted and we had no smoke.......and the temps in the 80's. I've been soaking it up as the wind may shift again by tomorrow bringing the dense smoke hanging over us.

No pictures as I've just posted them on my page for stuff for sale. I've put some Henry's Attic yarn there and some hand-dyed French braids. It's my on-going cleaning out of things I haven't used and don't see myself using - they need to find new homes. The Henry's Attic yarn is lovely but I wove with it for years, time to move on. These are all original skeins, no yardage ever used.  If you're interested in checking them out just click on 'Other Stuff for Sale' under Bailey's picture at the top of this blog. These will also show up in my etsy shop when I get a chance to list them.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Another shawl

Forgot to take a photo of another handwoven shawl.  This one is using the same county fair challenge handspun yarn as the knit shawl I did earlier this summer.  I had extra so I figured I'd weave a shawl to add to our fair display.  Unfortunately I didn't capture the color quite right but that's life......I'm certainly not a photographer. I haven't decided if I'm keeping this shawl or not since I have the knit one in the same colors - it would be nice to leave over on the coast to use there......will be giving it thought........

I haven't complained about the fires in at least a day or so - there's now one a bit NW of us in Kelsey Creek. I heard the heavy copters heading out this morning, there are crews on it. I haven't heard any updates but am hoping they jumped on this one before it blows up out of conrol like the one to the NE of us, the Stout Fire - the terrain and winds are beating the heck out of those fire fighters. The worst thing for the past few days is the smoke - sinus headaches abound.  We're getting the smoke down low in the atmosphere from the Stout Fire - getting it higher in the atmosphere from the fires in Northern California. Have I said lately that I hate fire season??? 

That dreaded job.......

Oh, that dreaded job - photography. I forced myself to do a bit today - it's such a challenge for me, I'm really not very good at it.  But photos of 3 shawls are finished up and they're now listed in my etsy shop.
Sage Green rayon and cotton shawl with silk ribbon embellishment

Sage Green Lace Rayon shawl - this one is a bit lighter in weight than the one above that has a cotton weft

This is the charcoal grey alpaca shawl - oh my gosh, is this ever the softest thing I've put around my shoulders. There is no way to capture how lovely it is in photos, especially since it's so dark. There's an all black one to come, it's still drying and will then need the fringe twisted.

Look who showed up out the kitchen window this morning - momma wasn't far away

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Going on a yarn diet......

I'm going on a yarn diet - I have no business buying knitting yarn, no business at all. I arranged, in bags, 8 projects - the yarn and the knitting patterns. These are from patterns and yarn I bought and threw in the closet in the computer/guest room.............this is not from my huge knitting yarn stash down in the studio......all that yarn bought on speculation because I liked it and/or it was on sale and I couldn't resist. So, I'm hoping my friends will help me keep on this diet - if you see me starting to buy some knitting yarn ask me what I'm going to use it for - the only reason I should buy any for several years is if it's for a specific project I'm going to start and I don't have suitable yarn already in my stash. So, the photo above is just those projects up next in the knitting embarrassing photos of the studio stash. Now I should clarify that this doesn't apply to buying yarn used for weaving - I have a huge stash but I also go through it quickly and empty cones on a regular basis......after all I sell my weaving.......I don't sell my knitting.

Ok. so as an offshoot to this yarn diet I need to stop buying knitting needles just because I don't remember if I have them in my stash. For example - I just counted 16 size 7 double points - why in the world would I need so many of that size???  The only double points I need extras of are size 1's and 2's for when I have multiple pairs of socks going.

Now to decide once I finish my current spinning what knitting project I want to start on. Spinning and knitting are perfect to work on while we watch tv in the evenings or when I'm on the road.

Now we won't discuss a food diet at the moment.......all I can say is that I need to go on one of those too.........