Friday, November 17, 2017

In Which She Realizes the Holidays are Looming

Holidays are sneaky. Seems like it was Labor Day like 2 weeks ago and I had all the time in the world to get things done.  Father Time is messing with me again. I must have two days work of hemming to do on gifts and a few things still on Fiona the Wolf Pup.

 Time to engage rear into gear and since there is nothing in process in the sewing salon, I can thread up the machine for the various hemming jobs.

There were a couple of fun things that went from cloth to clothing. I am in love with the Style Arc Patricia Rose dress/tunic pattern. Many of the patterns are one size, so you need to carefully look over their sizing chart. I hit it correctly for once! I lengthened the bodice an inch for the blue tunic

 but cut that to a half inch with the green number.

It preserves the proportion better and once the bunnies are strapped into their hutch it is perfect.

I flirted with the looms, started threading on the Mac

and wound on the bumblebee warp and made a start on it.

I have to be honest, while for some things I like the built in raddle on the Louet looms, but mostly I still use my old loop raddle to wind on. It is smooth and allows for a little play with delicate  or grabby yarns like the unmercerized 8/2 cotton can be. Along with the warping valet and some weights on the warp bundles, I made fast work of the 8 yards Sunday morning.

Monday was beautification day, so I picked up my Mom and we went off to the hairdressers. Melinda hit me with another Mermaid Blue streak. Here it is, first thing in the morning.

 Those twizzlers of white and grey hair are making quite the halo!

Way back in September I ordered a Jonathan Seidel tape loom, the new Scandinavian style.

 It's a beauty and we are just getting to know each other. I was able to repurpose this bench to accommodate the loom

 since I sold the Baby Wolf. It can go back to being an adjustable bench easily and the loom can rest on a table too.

The Cedric floor inkle is soon to receive a new warp too.

 I'm going to weave myself a some "leashes" to hold my specs around my neck. The beaded ones break all too easily.

I'm offering up a Joni Mitchell song, appropriate given that this present gawd awful administration is going to open up the arctic to drilling, allowing elephant trophies into the country (thus effectively making the ivory trade stronger), and and finally, allowing the killing of bears & wolf pups while they hibernate or den in Alaska. Really? Mercy, Mercy Me.

Parting shots: Don't touch that!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Elections Matter

Some more than others.

This is quickie post so you can all see the wonderful diverse faces of the winners in yesterdays elections around the country.

I have great hopes for 2018. We can make a difference, one by one. Oh yes we can!

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Same but Different!

I have a lot of ideas that I keep on Pinterest. They provide endless inspiration for when I get bogged down. A little detail here, a design idea I can incorporate, an awesome weaving draft. Really that's what Pinterest is about, a place to park ideas. This one has been niggling me for quite a while now. I relented on the last cutting jag, grabbed some screaming orange Japanese linen and went to town. How perfect that the selvage edges where nicely decorated in a deep royal blue. I made use of them through the whole garment and saved some time on hemming I might add. I used my frankenpattern of a Scout Tee and an Indigo Junction tunic and came up with this. It looked like a hot mess for quite a while and flipping through those layers was a bugger,

 but I couldn't be more pleased with the end result.

It's everything I love in a piece of clothing. Nice fabric, great color and interesting but not too overwrought design and I think, flattering.

 I felt pretty good stepping out Saturday night with Gene to take my Mom out for dinner.

Also out of the sewing salon was a fun Sewing Workshop Liberty Shirt. I make one of these at least once a year.

 It's a nice pattern and is a lot of fun to make. Usually I hit the linen shelf for this but I wanted something more colorful and playful.

 This lightweight cotton canvas in a print named "Juicy" was just the ticket. Just because we are coming into winter, doesn't mean drab colors!

The bumblebee warp is wound and waiting to be beamed on the Ziva David loom. I'm just starting to thread the hemp/linen bath towel warp on the Macomber and scanning drafts for the Louet Spring.

We spent last Thursday and Friday buttoning down the hatches for our first snow. The goats got bedding in their little hutch in the run in shed, the heater for the water tank got hooked up and dropped in, wood has been split and stacked in the shed, shovels found and placed in appropriate places etc. Let the winter begin! For the wildlife it is hard times, but I am happy to report we've had some interesting pre-dawn sightings. Not one, not two, but three grey foxes spied together which confirms my suspicion that they are siblings hanging together this first winter. Momma raccoon brought back all 3 of her brood to pirate one of my feeders. All adult size now, fat, furry and healthy looking. I'm betting they will den together this first winter.  Lastly, I saw an owl flying out of my barn Saturday morning. Likely a Barred Owl, or a Western Screech Owl. It was silent, large and ghostly as it sailed forth from inside my barn and out of my light beam in a blink of an eye. Any day you see an owl is a good day!

This posts song is a farewell to an all too short fall. Enjoy! Holidays are just around the corner....

Parting shot: The two bricks, red and gold!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Mandy relents to heavy costume pressure, but no hot dog buns please, unless of course they are edible.

This one is for you Martha

All Hallow's Eve

Even though I no longer participate in Halloween (oh woe),  I do love a good pagan holiday! It appeals to my spiritual nature. Halloween has a pretty interesting history that stretches out long before it was co-opted by the early Christian Church ( and likely ruined). You can grab a quick read here on Wikipedia.

While I didn't make any costumes this year, refraining even from putting Mandy in a pre-made bun with mustard, (although I really, really wanted too), I did get some sewing salon energy working.
The new Stye Arc Patricia Rose dress was a joy to sew.

No alterations needed out of the envelope for a good wearable muslin. In fact I took a fabric I disliked and turned it into something that I'm rather smitten with.

There is but one adjustment I will make and that is to lengthen the bodice just a touch, maybe an inch. Some beautiful dark grey wool challis is aging in the stash that would work up into a beautiful dress using this pattern. Everyone needs at least one nice any occasion dress and this might be a perfect match.

This tunic got done right after the Fefe coat.

I love this linen cotton fabric and I love the tunic pattern too. It is so pretty on, either with or without sleeves and comfortable.

This second asymmetrical tunic has a secret.

 I have wanted to gussy up that crossover top flap for ages and when I saw this panel, while shopping the last time with friend Cindie, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

I bought a second, different critter panel and you'll just have to wait and see how that one gets used. The challenge was the raccoon faced the wrong direction so everything on this tunic is reversed and thank god it was fabric that was the same on both sides because I had it cut out before I cut the panel. Whew, good save!

After these two got finished I had all empty buckets. A sad state of affairs which needed to be set right. At least once a year I make a Sewing Workshop Liberty Shirt.

It's a nice pattern and you can sort of see the fun canvas print I've chosen this year in place of the usual linen. I've also cut into some screaming orange linen for a tiered tunic. I'm making that one up using the Grainline Scout tee sloper. We'll see how that goes.....

While for the song of the post I was tempted to use Voodoo Child,

I decided instead on this, because who doesn't need a fun earworm. I have no clue who ya gonna call to get rid of it.

Parting shot: Sunday Patriot's fans on dropped snack watch.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


I just couldn't resist! It is such an awesome coat, it needs its own fefe at the end. It also took me forever in sewing terms. Part was Spinzilla, part was getting holiday weaving done (it is!), and part was just plain old butt dragging. That leather collar had to be detachable, how best to do it? I agonized over leather flaps on the pockets, what kind of details to put on the coat and basically arrived at the less is more approach. I hate buttons, so I went with snaps for detaching the collar, no leather on the pockets and just a bit of almost sashiko done with some of the same cream to dark grey variegated yarn I had used on my birchbark runners. I credit Martha with the bits of primitive embroidery. Not a strong suit of mine.
So, showing off here are pics of the new jacket. Upline Jacket pattern by Sewn Square One.

Once I got past my sewist block I was excited to order some new patterns for winter sewing.

The Folkwear pattern has so many fun possibilities, the Style Arc dress gives a few new details to a cut I already love and the Named dress has that interesting almost saddle sleeves. That one may be a wadder as written but I want to give it a go anyway.

Did I mention I finished up some weaving?

I did didn't I. The snowflake/star towels are off Ziva David. I got 5 long towels from a a 6.5 yard and some warp. I'm happy.

And I also finished up on the pillowcase warp. Three nice cases. There wasn't enough warp left for a fourth but I would have woven about 3/4 of one to find that our. I suspected I had shorted myself on this warp and I did. No pics yet, but those will be coming. I have A LOT of hemming to do.

My weekly reading included some pretty fun little books. At one of my vet visits we had all discussed the merits of the Skippyjon Jones books and Dr. Beth had asked if I had ever seen Hairy Maclary books. Why no I hadn't. At my next appointment a few had been filched from her daughters library.

They are dog eared and much loved and if you have kids you are reading too, I highly recommend both series. Silly as it sounds, I am adding a few to my library. Teagan, (sp) now onto middle school would like her copies back. :-)

I picked up a cute little journal this week.

 It is a used book, spiral bound and with blank pages added. The story is retained throughout the book.

Mine appropriately was titled "Ball".

I think these would make great gifts so I have included the info on who does them. There are all sorts of books they use BTW.

Last thing I want to say is that I am so disgusted at our government right now, I could spit nails. It does no one any good. Participation does, awareness does and education does. There is no benefit to ignorance or the dumbing down of society. It is not elitist to be educated or believe in science. Stop vilifying it. There are three things I believe that must happen in our democracy. Everyone should participate in it, be it a year's service in the Peace Corps, the National Guard or some other branch of government (EPA,BLM, Parks Service?), or nationwide organization such as Humane Society, Unicef, Red Cross. (As an aside we have been having a discussion about the draft. Really, is it fair for just 1% of our country to be responsible to protect it. Maybe the reinstating of the draft would wake people up to just how far this war on terrorism has branched out), I am sure that there is something for almost everyone  Higher education should be free to anyone who wants to go and lastly healthcare for all. So instead of "did that just happen", I'm going to offer up a song each post because good music is universal and a pretty good tool for change too. :-) Click here for the song of the post!

Parting shot: In my own little corner on my own little bed....

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Autumn is Just Another Word for Overload

Simply put, fall snuck up on us. It was so hot for so long we were lulled into laziness. Then poof! frost is on the pumpkin (and everything else), and high gear kicks in. Time to winterize, oh and then there is wood and fences and shelters to attend to. Plows to think of, hay to get in. Any of you living on a farm or ranch or with a garden can understand the urgency with which one welcomes in the most wonderful two seasons of the year. Pretty leaves and fresh pressed cider followed by the reverence of the world (mine at least) shrouded in white and pale grey, muffled and quiet as we have a time to reflect. And there is certainly a lot happening in the world to reflect upon.

And then of course there was the week of Spinzilla, I managed 1830 yards, which for me is a happy total. As much as I love Amelia Joy 2 the wheel, I am still not a fast spinner and will never be, but my yarn did improve and I got some very nice fingering yarn. Here are my humble skeins,

 which have gone to The Web-ster's to give away to those who are inclined to do charity knitting. The shop sponsors hats for Dunn House a local emergency shelter for women and children escaping abuse be it domestic, sexual or date etc.

This was the skein I finished up before Spinzilla started, one of the few I'm keeping for myself.

Once that ended there was just a whole lot of catch up on mundane chores. Last Friday was the year anniversary of my Dad's death.  Can a Friday the 13th get much worse I ask you? We muddled through, maybe it should be puddled through.

All those give-aways minus two mailed out Monday. The two held back I was waiting on addresses, which I have but they missed the big batch. They will leave here this week too.

 I am just about to take this warp off the loom. Five holiday towels for gifts.

I really love this pattern and will do it again, and again. It doesn't have to be in Christmas colors. Oh and looky loo, who wants to learn to weave! ;-)

Another warp is starting on the reel, I'm calling this my bumblebee warp.

Yellow, white and black. I've wanted to do one of these for years and dagnabbit, now is the time. The first bout of 170 ends is just about done. I sold the Harrisville reel to a weaver in Klamath Falls. Hope she loves it.

The ever rotating road crew has been out all the days I didn't have to go to town. This is the usual group. Jack, Hazel and Mandy.

Speaking of Mandy she has found a toy to call her own,

these Nylabone fake rawhide bones. I bought one and when she called dibs on it, I bought 3 more. She seems to feel all of them are hers. Don't mess with the Little Red Queen's bones, just ask Jack!

 Dogs must be the original hoarders.

Speaking of walks, some of my most loved birds are back now that the seasonal interlopers are gone. Mountain Chickadees, beautiful Chestnut Backed Chickadees, Red Breasted Nuthatches and a first this year a White Breasted Nuthatch. The little Pine Siskin's have taken over the thistle feeder. Our Junco's are back and the Stellar Jays and Ravens make themselves known throughout the day with the calls and caws. We spied bear scat, in our back yard and across the road on one path. The foxes have returned to pillage dropped seed and raw egg handouts. There is a pair. It is too early for mating so I suspect they are siblings just sprung from their mothers protection to make or break it this first winter. The raccoons are here but not as often seen as when Momma had the 3 terrors with her. They may have a different denning place for winter. The deer are gone, the stupid hunters are back. Sigh.

There have been a few little treats these past couple of weeks, some fun fabrics.

You do know I like mushroom and hedgehog fabrics right? And this little treat came home with me when I dropped my yarn off at the Web-ster's.

 I have the hat kit too and am going to try to knit both of them up this winter. HA!

Four hours later I'm sneaking in a "Did That Just Happen" because this opinion piece is so well written and finally tells us something about the four soldiers that lost their lives in Niger. My heart goes out to the families, not only for their heavy loss but that it now must be part of the political circus of the so called President.

Parting shots: Weenie in the wild. We had to cross a pretty wide stream to get to this spot!