Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Since  the summer we have had a raccoon problem. They are not my favorite woodland creature but then again, I have to admire them. They are smart and adaptable and very successful as a species in general. I was going to live trap this particular raccoon until I saw her with a kit. The live trap went back to its owner and we sat it out. For the past 3 weeks I have only seen ( and been raided by),  her.
The trap was fetched, I got the fox by accident one morning last week and almost got a skunk. Finally, after putting the trap BACK in the tack room, Sunday night/Monday morning Ms. R. Bandit was secured at last.

I felt rather bad, it was like cheating on a worthy opponent. Just as it was beginning to get light we loaded her into the Subaru and drove her up the BLM road a good 4 miles out. We had originally discussed taking her down the road to a little used dirt road, but after going down and scanning around there last week I had decided it was too different. She lives in deep woods up here with a little grassland/meadow and I want her to be successful in her new area. There are streams and no houses, this is all part of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument  and there are a lot of trees! It took less than a minute to have the trap out of the car and get the door open and she was off. Good luck girl, I'm glad we did this in a time of plenty instead of winter.

Spinzilla started yesterday and I have filled about half a bobbin with the Rusty Bucket art batt.

It is, for the most part. pretty easy to spin but some of the add ins can make it challenging to draft down easily. It's a learning experience for sure. It certainly has an October/fall/Halloween vibe.

I had promised a pic of the yellow pillowcase in process

and here too is the in-process warp for the new little Macomber.

I really need to name her!

Lastly,  Little Knits had a sale on Namaste products and I picked up these two circular needle cases.
They have some great daily deals and this was one of them!

I have all my circs and double points thrown willy-nilly into a travel bag. I am hoping to get a little better organization happening on that front. Anyone have some good tips for storing knitting needles?

Parting shot: Teasing Turkeys with my bird call app!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I couldn't say no when I was asked by my local yarn store The Websters to join their Spinzilla team. I doubt I'll be the most productive spinner on the team but I have set aside a decent chunk of time every day to spin and am laying in some fabulous fibers.

 This one is called "Rusty Bucket" and is from Etsy seller Gargoylelover

and another artsy batt is coming from Kitty Mine Crafts. And of course I have some wonderful bags of roving from friend Cindie at Eweniquely Ewe Fibers too. I'm hoping to spin at least a mile!

In between spinning practice I have managed to get a couple of fun things sewn up. Here is my spooky fall tunic for 2015.

Alexander Henry always comes up with some interesting skull and Day of the Dead prints don't they? I used TSW Florence pattern without the tuck or collar, added side seam pockets and for plackets used up some scraps of the taupe linen I had from some recently made pants.

I had made mention of a new pattern in the mix. This is the first run through of the Metro Middy Blouse by Folkwear Patterns.

 I have to be honest, I haven't used a Folkwear pattern since the mid 90's
and the couple of blouses I had sewn up then had their share of fit issues. This pattern was released in 2011 I believe and I have to say the drafting seems so much better. I did nothing to this pattern for adjustments and the fit out of the envelope is close to perfect. I love this open decorative collar and can see having a lot of fun drafting slightly different shapes and even bringing it down to a modest shawl collar.

My one gripe is the length. It is meant to be short and swingy but it is a bit too short for my style these days, so the next one will have some length added. Easy enough.

The weaving end of things moves slowly but it does move! All 4 looms have seen some action. The Murphy loom has a prayer flag warp on it and have just gotten past weaving in the header. A little weaving on the Gem's overshot runners, the pillowcase warp moved about 18" and a bright white and orange warp is being prepared for the new to me 32" Macomber, serial number 4411. I was told she was made in 1966 for a customer in Portland ME. It certainly has traveled some. The 40" Macomber was made in 1953. Both were made in Saugus MA although Macomber is now located in York Me.

The fox and I have our egg routine going again. We had a little break in service due to the raccoons but we have got our timing issues down. The foxes come early, just after sunset and the raccoon is an early morning visitor for the most part. I have seen some incredible bucks this year but alas it is hunting season and I'm doubtful I will see these handsome deer again. We did have one die under our deck. This little fellow was seen by the paddock on Saturday.

I chased him off from being near the horses and goats because it was obvious he was sick. The wasting disease or WNV or something else, who knows? Gene pulled him out on Sunday and tractored him into the back 40 to let nature take her course.

My Mom is doing great! We are having a Macy's day Friday!

Parting shots: Siblings ,when they aren't snarling at one another. ;-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bogged Blog

Yep, it happens maybe not to all of us, but at one time or another, most of us. Now is my time when there are so many things going on and lets face it, life is much more interesting living it than writing about living it. ;-)

I promised some pics of the outdoor crew, I didn't get everyone but I got some beauties of my little red pony.

He's 20 you know and I think is looking pretty darn good.

Dandy doesn't know he's moved into the "senior" realm and I sure am not going to tell him.

Big Sal the AVL Production dobby loom left a little over a week ago. It is nice to have all that space back. Even broken down she took up a fair amount of floor space in my back room. The Murphy loom is happily out there with a prayer flag warp on him. I got it wound on and tied yesterday, even a little test weaving and four I have made two threading errors in the first two inches. I transposed the order in a portion and will have to cut the whole thing off, and rethread those couple of inches.

The new aprons have been installed on the 32" Macomber and they look great. I need to replace some rubber pads and then we are good to go. Maybe I'll get a small maiden warp wound this week. A big maybe....

The pillowcase warp is now well into the third case, a pretty sunny yellow and I'll certainly get pics

One of the triple weave blankets I made back in 2011 has been bound in linen and given away to a happy couple for their first wedding anniversary.

 Hopefully it will be used and enjoyed and worn out!

My Mother came through her third hip surgery pretty well and after a long recuperation is scheduled to come home Friday. What a long miserable summer she has had with this. Fingers crossed that other than regular PT she can go back to just enjoying life, and some shoe shopping....;-)

Sewing has been slow, a few things finished, many more cut and awaiting to become something. I have a few new patterns in the mix I'm excited about.  Here is one most recent make.

 A lovely Japanese cotton paired with some great medium weight lightly crinkled linen pants. The tunic is another modified Sewing Workshop Florence.

I have also taken the Sew House Seven Mississippi Ave dress and done some modifications to make a simple camisole.

 A staple in my wardrobe in all seasons. This one a light linen. And oh heck, how about a selfie wearing it and the crinkle linen pants.

The blouse was made last fall and is the Sewing Workshop's Liberty pattern.

I can't promise that going into the fall we'll get more regular with posts this year, but I'm sure going to try. And I do keep up with the blogs I read even if I don't always comment.

Parting shot: Oh NO! She found it again....

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Loom Downsizing

No, that does not mean that a loom has left, it means that I found a smaller version of something I love. The ergonomics of the Macomber loom and the ease of weaving on it suit me quite well. I decided to put a call out on the sales lists for the 32" size.  Now fiber folk in general are excellent enablers and within a week someone had contacted me and they were right over in Klamath Falls, a mere 40 or so miles from me!  I looked at it last Weds, haggled and paid for it and Gene picked it up yesterday in the truck. It needs a bit of work, new aprons have been ordered and two additional harness kits to turn her into a 6/8 configuration.

BTW, for anybody interested in a new Macomber I was told the factory is going great guns and they have about 40 looms ordered and in production! Wow!! And that is such good news for a small, very specific type business. It also means my harness kits will be 6-8 weeks. It's all good! I really only need the aprons and those are quickly made and shipped.

Of course we had a day of musical looms. The Murphy went out into the back studio room. The AVL should be picked up within a couple f weeks I hope.

The Gilmore Gem took up it's perch in the front guest room, with the great view and the dressers full of fibers.

 The two Macs will live in the studio proper. The harnesses have been removed for transport and will not go in until I have a chance to clean and give the wood some quality polish.

In the loom excitement a few things got made in the sewing salon. I'm pretty much into fall type sewing and eyeing my coat patterns to use some of the great wools I have curated over the last couple of years. A Merchant & Mills Top 64 got made up in two great linen/cotton fabrics.

 Love the browns and teals. I also made a very modified Grainline Scout T in some lovely Japanese double gauze.

And no, I could not resist adding in some of these silly little cheerleading bears!

This one is hiding on the back under the side seam pocket.
With a little cami or long sleeve tee this will serve for fall into winter wear easily. I so prefer light layers and a sweater. I use to love turtlenecks but for the most part now, I find them too hot and confining. I have kept a few for winter riding.

I have added just a little bit of spinning into the morning routine

while catching the first half hour of Dan Patrick.  I'll probably never be a great spinner but it makes for a fun start to my day combining the latest sports news (gossip), and fiber. ;-)

My mother made it home last Thursday and it was wonderful. But there are still some problems with the hip, it pops out and she will need a small additional appliance inserted to keep the ball tighter in the socket. The surgery happens Friday and hopefully she will be released from the hospital in a couple of days. What a slog this has been for her! There has been a silver lining, she has met a lot of new friends during her stay in the health center and that is no small blessing after having just moved into the area. Their year anniversary will be 9/18!

Fall is slipping in slowly here, the heat is leaving the days are clearer and crisper, the temps well down at night. Horses are starting to lay in their winter coats. I see the hint of curls and ripples starting.
Next post I'll have some pics of my handsome steeds.

Parting shot: I insist....
Stella and new favorite, Orange Timmy!

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Proverbial Dog Days

August has always been the gateway to fall for good or bad. When I was younger, it meant the demise of summer vacation. August was the month equivalent to Sunday. When I was older and worked, it meant my favorite vacation time was coming up. A week in early October spent at the family summer home in West Pawlet Vermont. Now it is the month when we hold our breath and pray for early rains. It is smokey, dusty, dry and hot here in Southern Oregon, fires to the north and south and resources spread so unbelievably thin that should there be a fire in the valley, the 12 man volunteer roster of the Greensprings Fire & Rescue would be needed to assist through Jackson County. A fire in the forest, ODF (Oregon Department of Forestry)  personnel and resources are in John Day and on the Stouts fire. We have been informed we are on our own and that pretty much sums it up for every rural fire department in Oregon and Washington and maybe California.
Anyone know a good rain dance?

But sitting and worrying about stuff is really non productive. The pillowcase warp has seen some action and pillowcase two is almost done and I'm planning number 3. Beautiful new Macomber made aprons have been installed on the Murphy loom and I am planning a prayer flag warp.

 Something a bit different. I've been fleshing out the details in my mind and am just about ready to commit to winding it up.

I've also been working on some gift knitting. All I can show you is the selection of little cashmere balls! ;-)

It's quite nice to work with though....

A few makes up in the sewing room, two TSW Florence shirts, both in a rustic medium weight linen. These are more for fall but really, linen is a year round fabric.

 I had fun with the little added details on both.

I also tackled another Tina Givens "Bianca" duster, this time in black linen. I had forgotten just how much I dislike working with black and this was a fiddly garment made more so by the color.

 It is wonderfully wearable though (has pockets!), and will see a lot of use, so worth the time spent on it.

I'll be spinning at the Josephine County Fair Saturday morning with friend Cindie. I'm not a great spinner but this certainly will be enforced practice and the event should be fun and interesting. I know the company is!

And as I said, it IS the dog days, so parting shots of course reflect that!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Deer Me!

Okay I love bright and unusual fabrics so when this fabric jumped into my basket last year no one was surprised.  The pattern is by Tula Pink and is titled "Oh Deer". Then it sat in stash while I figured out which pattern to use it in, and then another long while as I grabbed other cut items from the baskets. Finally, I made myself sit down and sew this together and I was left wondering why I had waited so long. The slightly oversized Schoolhouse tunic done with in the side seam pockets and bright fuchsia bodice lining is cool, comfortable and with such a stunning print.

 It is hard not to enjoy this almost forgotten TNT pattern all over again.

And this is what Stella does when SHE sees deer.....Watch out Bambi!

I also worked on a new pattern. The Sewing Workshop released a new button down shirt pattern "Florence" (link will show you the line drawings and details). I just love the longer length and the fun front horizontal pleat, which is almost impossible to see with this print.  Now I'm not a collar person, but this pattern was easy enough to ditch the collar and stand. In fact that's the only modification I made.

The bright red and white graphic hedgehogs were fun to use and will get a lot of wear. Fabric of Vision received this bolt of fabric on a Weds and it was sold out in just over a week. I'm glad I got a length of this happy Moda print and already have another trimmed down and pocketed version cut out in linen.

I started on my second pillowcase on the Macomber warp. This one in a beautiful Louet lace weight navy blue linen that was given to me.

 What a wonderful and generous surprise it was too! Now I did buy some of the same linen in an acid green and a deep rose from The Webster's, who never fail to have something you just gotta have. This time it was some Habu linen paper yarn.

One of the recent Handwoven issues has mention of using "Shifu" and I thought it might be fun to play with some on a future warp. I need to do a few small scarf warps and I'm sure I can make some space and time to give this a try.

Saturday afternoon I spent searching for the culprit making a whole heap of noise in the woods. It took me a little while but I finally found the source. One of our favorite woodpeckers, The Pileated Woodpecker! To me they almost look prehistoric in shape. This is not a small bird either. We are blessed to have many woodpeckers and tree clinging birds in our area but the Pileated is certainly one of the most eye catching. I took 64 pics of this one working the downed log for insects. These are the best.

Parting shot: Contemplation