Monday, July 16, 2018

Let the Threading Begin!

Well, it took a Herculean effort to get a Herculean loom warped and ready to thread.  I will say that Eugene Textile Center redeemed themselves by actually having the 63" long Glimakra lease sticks in stock and had them to me in 32 hours of calling. I'm impressed.



 Yesterday I spent close to 3 hours separating the warp into inch segments and winding it on, all 16 yards of it. I lost about 3/4 of a yard at the end. Things got a wee bit snarled and rather than spend a ton more time I literally, cut my losses. I'm sure 15.25 yards will be plenty.




I'm using this canvas weave draft from Tom Knisely's blanket book.



Lots of threading to do. Unmercerized 4/2 cotton at 12 dpi.



A whole heap of cutting went on early Sunday morning too. I am trying a heavily modified version of the Style Arc Jodi jumper. I'm doing this as a top just to see how it works out. A couple of oldies worked themselves into the cutting pile. A pair of deep pink trousers in my custom pattern. It has a wide straight leg and is so in style right now. The other oldie was the Merchant & Mills Top 64. This raglan sleeve pattern has always worked well for me and I found myself wanting another in some bright floral cotton I had picked up last week at a fabric sale, Rounding out the cutting was a new pattern, the Cheyenne Tunic and Blouse.



 I did the button down version and am fooling with wide cuffs and a hidden button placket. I'm hoping the shoulder and sleeve fit is more to my liking than the Phoebe by Style Arc. We'll see.

Another version of Cashmerette's Springfield top got cut out from one of the fabrics from India. I was thrilled that it had a version with a simple back and yoke so I could preserve the text of the fabric.



Cut like this I also preserved the border and didn't need to hem. Win win!



It will be a pretty little fall tank too with a black cardi I think. The last of the cut Jalie Rose blouse was sewn up and worn on Saturday.





It was cool and comfortable. I really like this pattern a lot.
I'm hoping I like this older Butterick Sundress pattern too.



I love the back options and I can see this in a much shortened top version too. Worth a shot!

So, I wish I had pics, but we have a new slew of wild babies. So far I've seen one fawn and that makes me very happy. I dislike the deer, they are a pain so the fewer the better. Momma Raccoon has again delivered 3 winsome little bandits. They were scrapping around on our deck early Friday morning. This must have been their first outing, they were so small and cute and learned their run and climb lessons quite well. They study me as intently as I study them. Such smart little critters with their piercing black eyes and agile hands and minds. I was able to coax them down with some seed thrown out and a few eggs. Lastly, two turkey hens strutted through Saturday afternoon with about 18 keets between them. Now you know, no matter how many they start with, it always seems they end up with about 4 left by fall.

The big fire is contained, although yesterdays thunderstorms ignited numerous fires around the region. We were spared the worst of it but our guys were all out at different lookout points scanning for smoke in the forest.

Todays song features some great banjo playing. A very hard instrument to master. My Dad use to play one many moons ago.

Parting shot: Just sitting and thinkin'...about balls no doubt!


She heard me think "Timmy"!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Fire Season's Opening Salvo

Ah yes, summer here equals fire season and on the 5th of July, a fire broke out in the greater Hilt/Hornbrook area of Northern California, just over the border from us and about 15 miles from us as the crow flies. It crossed into Oregon Friday night. I can ride through the monument to California you know. Friday morning I woke up to find this on my car and it settling on everything for that matter.



Utter misery if you want the truth.

To complicate matters communication between CA and OR could be better. California has deemed from the CA border to Highway 66 Level  2 on the evacuation scale. Preparedness is a good thing and everyone who lives in a fire zone, an earthquake zone, a flood zone, tornado alley etc. should have a plan and be prepared during these seasons or events. Panic is another thing. This area should be on alert, Level 1. It is further away than the Beaver Creek complex was a few years ago and they have some pretty darn good fire lines drawn and resources on it. Anyway, poor Gene has been on the phone non-stop during waking hours with scared and worried residents. The sheriff's department handled some fundamental things poorly if not at all. So, the first fire of the season and we're working the kinks out. You would think it would be better than this.

In other news, since life goes on, the Jalie Scrub top is a work of wonder.



It is a complicated bit of sewing but oh so beautifully drafted and well fitting.



This was a generic make, for the gals to try on and tell me what needed to be done to fit them better. It is my size but if I was making it for myself I would shorten the waist about an inch, otherwise it fits beautifully. I will gt feedback this week from the techs.

I also made the Style Arc boyfriend shirt. I love the covered placket.



 The dang cuffs gave me fits. I took them off at last 3 times and then, discovered that I had made two left sleeves by not paying attention to my chalk X marking the wrong side of a fabric that is the same on both sides... I gave up.



I had worked and reworked this garment to DEATH. The collar stand was a crappy fit and needed to be recut and the collar reset. Sigh. What to do. Now I love the look of that funky cuff and I love the hidden placket and I can do those easy enough on a better fitting classic shirt pattern. This is going to be my summer of button down shirt testing I think. :-)

The blanket warp was finished and Master Kilvin made quick work of it.



Sadly I could not put the warp on Mongo because I realized I didn't have a pair of lease sticks long enough nor warp packing sticks. Dawn had sectionally warped this loom, dispensing with the need for those items. So tomorrow will find me wandering the isles of Home Depot along with a half dozen other errands.

This is where Master Kilvin lives when he's not working



 and this is one of the last of the placemats on Buttercup. Love those colors!



Tour de Fleece has started and I am finishing up some Inglenook Fibers yarn I've had spun but not plied.



Then it's onto Firefly!

Fire on the Mountain...of course!

Parting shot: Not a creature was stirring.....


Monday, July 2, 2018

Hit or Miss

Let's start with all the good "hits". The LeClerc warping mill arrived Friday.



 Due to its size the USPS will be adding a zip code up here in the Greensprings. Seriously, this is one big badass warping mill and it works BEAUTIFULLY.



 Where I hated the smallness and funky range of the Harrisville mill, this one is big and roomy and sturdy allowing for free wheeling arm movement and large enough that I can use it for shorter warps accessing only that sweet spot where you are neither reaching up nor stooping. It has a name. Master Kilvin and those that have read the Kingkiller Chronicles will be familiar with character.

Master Kilvin has earned his own special embellishment

Mongo has his new warp beam apron installed and the friction brake. Seems to work well but Gene said he would adjust if needed once I got a warp on and was using it in real life.



And of course, the 16 yard blanket warp is now in process. I'll be doing a canvas weave on 4 shafts, 48" wide in 4/2 natural cotton with a sett of 12 epi. Since these will be seamed blankets I'll balance the pattern on one side. I need to learn to crochet since I might want to do a fancy edging.

I'm finishing up Buttercups placemat warp and thinking about log cabin rugs.

A win was a long sleeve version of the Style Arc Teddy tunic.



It's getting hot for this now but I sure love the fabric/pattern combo.



 Just what I had in mind. A couple more sleeveless Rose blouses have been cut, another Style Arc pattern, a long sleeved button down boyfriend shirt in classic white and this Jalie scrub pattern that I'm doing a test run through for my favorite vet clinic peeps.



I waited over a month for these pretty fabrics to come from India.





 The prices were decent and they are certainly different from the usual stuff I can procure easily. The blue with roses was one of the fabrics I grabbed for the sleeveless blouses.

Now for the miss. I had high hopes for the Style Arc Jodie dress. The details were cute, it had a real late 60's early 70's vibe and I could see this as a jumper with tights and boots come fall. Alas what I ended up with was a zippered tube.



 The top is too large, the bottom too narrow.



If I had my late 60's/early 70's body this might work, but not so much now..... I had a good laugh though and other than the zipper (which has been in stash for at least 4 years...), this was leftover fabric from something else. I still like many of the details, so it is easy enough to raise the armholes, take a bit of ease out of the top portion and grade out for hips on the lower portion. I'm going to give it another shot as a shorter tunic and see if that works out for me. If the Style Arc Boyfriend shirt is a fail, I'm probably going to hold off buying anymore from them.

We have some new residents around Runamuck. For the first time we hear and have seen Mourning Doves. I've never seen them up this high but surprise, this year we have a pair! I have also spied (a number of times this early summer), a Common Nightjar. I catch his eyes in my headlamp, usually on the ground. They are HUGE orange red eyes. If I get too close it will take off. It likes the cleared areas in the paddock. Maybe pirating seed chafe and such from the hay? Or maybe it just likes hanging with the horses!

We have a skunk too that is jostling with the Grey Foxes and Raccoons for fallen sunflower seed.
Him I see as a moving black tail in the tail grass. I got a little close the first night I spied his movement, trying to see what it was. When I realized what I was looking at I gave Pepe all the space he wanted. ;-)

Sending you onto the holiday week with a little Beatles. Have a safe and fun 4th of July. Myself I'm going to reflect on what a flipping mess the Orange Asshat has made of this country in under two years and how it can be fixed. I hope it can be fixed.......I pray it can be fixed and maybe, just maybe improved upon.

Parting shot: Practicing for those hot summer days.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Frustration of Francine

 I would love to give a glowing report of the Merchant & Mills Francine top and dress, but I can't. It's not awful, it's just not very good.



 Years ago I had ordered their Trapeze dress and it suffered from the same problem, as does their Dress Shirt pattern. Low, ill fitting armholes. The shoulders in a size 16 become football player proportion, the sleeve still a tight narrow tube and the armhole is so low, that even raising your arms past your waist lifts the top and the sleeve head strangles your upper arm. Then there was that cute collar and facing that attracted me in the first place. Honestly, I have never seen something so simple so overworked.
Anyway, on iteration #2 I did my own thing. Sandwiched the finished collar between facing and blouse. SO much easier. I adjusted the armholes and sleeves and still just didn't find the thing comfortable or flattering. I cut the sleeves off and will just bias bind them, have a serviceable sleeveless top and be done with it.

Now the Jalie Rose pattern is another story. The beauty of that pattern makes up for all the crappiness of the M&M pattern. Here is the second rendition. I had it on before I could snap pics, so this is what you got.



The Cashmerette Springfield top is another winner. When I was putting it together I thought the neckline was going to be an utter fail. To my surprise, while it is wide, it lays beautifully and close.



I opted for the shapely Version B with the back seaming and the fit was pretty darn good right out of the envelope.





 My only adjustment next go round will to bring the waist up about an inch. I have good luck with this pattern company and their size range and drafting is very good!

I have a flock of little grey sheep now on the towels.



Once that is done, we'll have some Baa Baa Black ones too! I guess I'll give them white faces.

I sold the Gilmore Reel, and am awaiting the new behemoth Leclerc. Tracking says delivery tomorrow. I will start in this weekend on winding the endless blanket warp for Mongo.
Who BTW got his own little piece of art as all my looms do.



Believe me, I have kept myself from painting some fancy black scroll work on him......

And there has been some band weaving on the deck, complete with hummingbirds buzzing around and birds chirping merrily at the feeders.



The real news is all the pretty fiber arriving for this years Tour de Fleece!



I have missed the last two years due to life beyond my control, but this year I am on two teams, The Warped Weaver's Team and the Ashford team, both on Ravelry. I love this more than Spinzilla I think. There is no counting, no keeping track of yards etc., just spin and have fun every day they are riding.



 I love the low key aspect of that. I have one last pile of fiber to arrive. A merino/angora blend. Woot! A new one for me to try.

I'm leaving you with Blood, Sweat & Tears, Spinning Wheel, of COURSE! :-)

Parting shot: Miss Dachshund Calendar Girl of 2018.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Time for Some Bold Color

This summer, we are having our foyer, hallway and kitchen floors ripped out and instead of wood, tile is being installed. We have to do the ripping out, someone else will do the tile. But after all that stuff is done, I really need to freshen up the rest of the kitchen. The cabinets, walls and island. I'm going about as far away from any traditional color like Jadite/1940's green and doing something a bit more bold.



Dark red for the island, might lean more towards a poppy red. A saturated orange for the lower bank of cabinets and for the uppers, a taupe/grey neutral. The walls will be light with just a hint of orange in the tint. The new tiles are a light mix of beige and grey mimicking travertine. The cabinet and island paints will have to be ordered in a satin oil paint. NOTHING lasts like oil even though I hate having to use mineral spirits to save my brushes.



Actually, I make Gene handle that odious chore. I do all the painting after all! ;-)

So, I was excited to get sewing on new patterns. The first one I grabbed was the new Jalie Rose shirt. A classic women's button-down sleeveless shirt with collar and stand and a nice deep back yoke. I have to say the fit and drafting were excellent.



 This fit right out of the envelope, no adjustments needed. not even to the darts! I am impressed.
(I've also had to collapse Rhonda to reflect my new sizing). When they say relaxed fit they mean it, like most of us this shirt nicely gives a bit more fullness at the hips. I didn't have to draft it in. The length is good, the collar and stand petite and well crafted.



I love it and that's saying something since I'm not usually a fan of collared, button down shirts. Another one is already cut out in the cute Dala horse print.



 The only change I am going to make is to trim out a bit of the front of the armhole. I do a lot of forward reaching when I weave, so I like the armhole to accommodate that.

Today I'm going to tackle the Merchant & Mills Francine.

A little weaving has gone on, a little flitting about. If anyone is interested I am selling my Gilmore Warping Reel at a very good price. Sigh....with the large Macomber and Buttercup, I see a great need for some truly long warps, especially for Buttercup. She is a pain to thread and at two shafts there is no point in putting short runs on her, all you get IS plain weave after all. I found a large Leclerc floor model mill, 4 yards around that will make short work of long warps! Then it's onto the big blanket warp for Mongo. I'm leaning towards a canvas weave in my 4/2 cream cotton.

I'm leaving you with something a little lighthearted because, well, the USA is becoming unrecognizable to me. Besides calling and protesting and such there is very little I can do, until November. Our power is mighty then. Everyone, register to vote please! Just do it, you'll feel better.
Hear/Here you go!

Parting shot: All Hail! Prince of the Pillows!!