Friday, June 29, 2012

Like Riding a Bike

Isn't that what everyone says when you do something you haven't done in a while? It wasn't quite that easy remembering all the little modifications specific to getting Murphy warped up but it was close. It all came back to me how to get the warp lashed on to the back apron and how nicely the old Purrington angel wings worked with it.

 Out of all the looms I have had or have, this one is the easiest hands down to get the warp rolled on. Having said that, the time you gain in getting the warp on you give to threading and sleying. The breast beam is fixed as is the beater. A small concession really as old Murphy rarely disappoints in the weaving. A small warp was put on for another string of prayer flags. I used the opportunity to change the pattern. I'm using Ginny's Coat (pg.30 Var. 1) from "A Handweaver's Pattern Book".

 In fact I never even had to change the tie up from two plus years ago when I last wove something on this loom. Of course, Jack is excited to get weaving. He's not too sure of that tilting bench though and neither am I, but we're going to give it another go.

In sewing news, not much. Another Marcy Tilton/Vogue french housedress was completed. Pattern 8813 is awfully fun to make, and fun to wear. It really does fit the bill as being the "go too" garment around the house.

Big pockets, loose cool fit and of course you can get so creative with fabric choices. This one is in a toile. How much more French can you get? I love toiles but for the most part, they are relegated to fabric more suited for use around the home as opposed to around the body. Happily I found a pretty girlie toile in a lightweight cotton that was suitable for a garment.

 A little pink and brown mini print and a brown and cream plaid for the pocket linings and the dress was done.

 The fabric is from the French General line by Moda and has such beautiful selvages, I used those too for the pocket ties.

In farm news, the weather has been either wet and cool or almost warm. The grass ( such as it is) is tall and green and I've been rotating a horse out to graze every couple of hours.
All my horses are use to this. Basically, throw a halter and lead rope on, flip the lead rope over their back and let him loose. They always stick around. I've tempted fate and put all three out loose at once, but they are more likely to roam further afield than I would like as a complete herd. When it's time to switch out for a change, just bring a carrot and whomever is out is more than willing to be "caught".

Parting shot: Dandy, always "Mr Photogenic".

Monday, June 25, 2012

I've Grown Accustomed to Your Shed

 LOL, that title could have a few different meanings, but no, I'm not talking about the bi-annual release of canine, equine and feline fur. I'm actually referring to the shed on my looms. I am so spoiled by the Louet sheds but really it was the old Murphy loom I sold
that started me on my assumption that all sheds should be generous. And that assumption brings me to the present day. While on vacation in MA I decided to sell the Glimakra Julia.

While there are many many things to love about her, I didn't love her. Simple as that. It's not a Glimakra thing, and it certainly wasn't that she was a bad loom, she was just little and there is no way a loom with such a short span from back beam to breast beam is going to have a shed like a larger loom.

  Right here is where either (or both) my DH ( who did BTW) or my Dad would remind me I wanted a smaller loom, but she was never going to live up to Murphy. I never should have sold him. My first loom and I loved him. The Julia ads hit a few markets and that was that. Two weeks ago she sold, the morning after she sold I was on the local Craigslist, doing my usual daily searches ( and yes, looms are one of them), and low and behold, there, right flipping THERE was my old Murphy loom. He had never been used and the buyer had decided to sell him. Well, I'm just not one to mess with the universe. When she puts a wish like that right in your face you take advantage of it and I did. While I was meeting a lovely weaver from Washington state in Ashland proper with Julia, Gene was in Rogue River with the truck picking up the Murphy loom again. Welcome home Murphy! I promise I won't be so foolish a second time.

The Stella and Robin quilt has been completed.

 It's on the bed and has been pressed into service already for afternoon reading and catnapping. I took a morning and finished up the binding by hand.

 It washed up beautifully and while I was not use to working with such a lofty batting I like how it turned out after a wash and dry.

A pair of eggplant Flax copy pants was completed too, in my one of my favorite pant weight fabrics, Brussels washer (linen and rayon).

While waiting to meet up yesterday I had a little cutting session with some lovely linen and cotton denim. Pants and a light weight jacket are in the works. The pattern for the jacket is almost a dead ringer for an Eileen Fisher one being shown this season here. For comparison the Simplicity pattern I'm using is here. No hood but I don't like hoods, so I'm good with that.

In other news, the Paragliding Nationals kind of fizzled with the heavy rains and cold weather we got at the end of the week. I'm told there were some epic flights though in the days before our unseasonable precipitation arrived. Bob the tractor has a slow leak in one of the big rear tires and will be taken out for service sometime this week for repairs.
Robin's toe is healing up nicely. So there is your toe and tire report and a few other things thrown in for good measure.

Parting shot: Cooper

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bringing in the Sheaves

On a scale of one to ten, this has been a solid eight in the busy category. New glasses, new hair cut, paragliding nationals, crazy weather and most importantly, a barn full of this years hay bounty. Instead of turning straw into gold, we turn gold into straw it would seem....

After two years of courting, I am finally on a custom hayers list. It means a lot to me too. The wait was worth it. The hay is beautiful, it rivals anything I have ever gotten in the 8 something years I have been buying hay.

 And the price was pretty darn good too. It has come from cutting to my barn in less than two weeks and has been hoover approved. Yeah!

On a side note, the same day the hay came, Robin again ripped the toe of woe nail off.
Gene picked up antibiotics, I have painkillers on hand for canine emergencies and surprisingly, after the hanging toenail came off, (other than tenderness being handled), Robin is racing around here like his usual self. It's going to be a problem though. From the original damage to the area it doesn't grow a sound nail. The toe will be removed. We were going to do it this coming Monday, but since he is moving well, swelling is minimum and no sign of infection, we're going to delay until a little later in the summer.

Now I haven't been weaving this week much but another weaver ( my Dad) has finished up a beautiful piece of weaving and I'll share it with you.

 I think the eggplant and silver is such an elegant combination.

On the sewing front, I've had a lot of fun taking a pretty plain Jane type of pattern and turning into something special. Simplicity 2191 started out as this

and went through three incarnations.



Three: (apologies for the wrinkles, this had already hit the hamper when I realized I had no finished pics.)

The back stripe was a happy accident. I grabbed a piece of fabric for the front snapped stripe and then discovered I had grabbed my back piece. Head slap! But I managed to fix it all and even like it better as a design element.  I still have more I want to do with this pattern since it's turning into such a nice, well fitting base for all sorts of creative ideas.

Parting shot: Handsome Nick

Monday, June 18, 2012

One is Never Enough

Disclaimer: While it may appear there is only one available Timmy, let me assure you readers, that there are really multiple Timmy's available. Eight to be exact, although red Timmy has taken a powder somewhere.......

Friday, June 15, 2012

To Market, To Market

To buy a plum bun.
Home again, home again, market is done.

No plum buns, that I could see, but DH has a standing request for the fresh donuts that are a fixture at our local growers markets. While Ashland holds their big one on Tuesday and another smaller one on Saturday, I prefer the  South Medford one on Thursdays.

 The parking is easy, the crowds less domineering.

 It's just a nicer experience and the standing breakfast date with a friend make the little extra drive worth it.

 It's a smaller market (less crafty stuff), which just showcases the bounty available.

Afterwards it onto the other errand running, feed at the grange, doo-dads of one sort or another at the hardware store, a stop at the fabric store or some other down town destination and then to finish off the weekly grocery shopping. Gas up on the way out of town and we're good for another week. Going down on Thursday also helps to avoid some of the weekend tourist crowds.

We made it to just now on our hay. I'm down to my last 2 bales and around the valley hay is being cut and baled. Gene picked up 6 emergency bales to get us by, but my hay has already been secured for the year. I'm taking all first cutting, 10-12 tons now and I'll add a couple of tons of second cutting in the fall. It's meant some juggling of finances since we usually do the big buy in October, and of course, hay is cut just when property taxes are due. :) But it's a big load off our minds to know that we're pretty much all set for the year on this at least. The horses did very well on all first cutting last year.

Hannah Hollandia has seen some weaving action. I would take a pic but the towel on there right now ended up NOT being the greatest color wise. I need to get through that one fast and onto a better color palette for the next one.

For those who might be around the area this weekend into next, the U.S. National Paragliding Championships will be just outside of Jacksonville OR. Their landing zones are basically on winery properties and it should be quite a spectacle. Sip wine, nibble some great local cheeses and watch the races. My crazy husband will be there on and off during the week, but thankfully, won't be competing. More information is here.

Parting shot: Feline intimidation tactics are quite lost on Stella. She hasn't read the book I guess.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Moose & Squirrel

 Well, not quite, but how about Deer & Fox? Over the last week or so we have spied a lovely Grey Fox. His head is a beautiful bright red rust, fading out to an impossible mix of silver grey ending with a black tip to his, or hers, perfect tail. We've enjoyed our brief sightings as he travels through our property. We also have deer in hefty numbers this year so it was no surprise that I spied one from my bedroom deck. What was surprising was her behavior. She was stomping and snorting and acting not at all docile. Then I caught a glimpse of silver. I thought it might be Juno, but no, it was the fox and he too was  flabbergasted at the does behavior. He wanted to stand his ground, in fact I think he might have even been baiting her just a little, but then decided to continue on as if this encounter never happened. The minute he turned and trotted off, he suddenly had a pissed off doe on his tail and the two broke into a noisy chase through our woods. I imagine he made his escape and 5 minutes later the doe was back to her usual grazing self.

 We suspect a fawn or two near-by. It's about time up here for them to start hitting the ground.

In other news the riding has been grand. The rides themselves have been slow and steady to condition us both, but getting out and about has been a treat for all. Dogs needing baths have been bathed and those with pesky long winter coats have been clippered down to summer lengths. It always amazes me how much fur comes off of one small dog. Doubly amazed at how profusely Jack Russell's shed. I swear I have short white hairs embedded in just about everything.

The sewing room has been busy. Valerie had asked what I was sewing a week or so ago. Mostly summer tops and mostly new patterns. I was inspired by a book I picked up. Shape Shape.  Simple patterns with some very clever ideas. Of course these Japanese pattern books are no where near sized for American bodies and certainly not mine, ( their large equals our size 6-8) but there are some great ideas I can take and copy or easily size up. So, I took a free Colette Sorbetto pattern and added an attached scarf a la
Shape Shape.

 It uses about a yard of fabric and the scarf can be of favorite scraps if you choose.
 Then I tried the Folded Shrug right from the book.

 I didn't need to make it as wide as I did, nor as long, but it was a great way to use a final scrap of brown linen from my living room curtain project and it's fun to wear.

 A new Marcy Tilton/Vogue pattern (8813) was the next challenge. This is her take on a french house dress.

 I made it hard on myself by using two very different fabrics, one as an overlay, but the resulting tunic is cute and unique.

 Cool and loose so perfect for warm mornings spent shopping at the local farmer's market.

 After all that new I needed a comforting familiar pattern and dragged out Burda 7220. I think this really is my favorite shirt pattern and it was only fitting I use it on some favorite fabric.

 I did trick it out using the pretty selvage, printed with Japanese kanji and of course the color dots. Using an idea from Shape Shape, I made a detachable pocket too. Snaps on, snaps off. How cool is THAT!

 In fact so cool, I used the same idea on a new Kwik Sew pattern  I'm doing a test run on with my Mom in mind.

I don't like hoods so I modified mine to be a shawl collar. I suspect my Mother will want the hood but not the pocket.

We'll see. It is a wonderful pattern though, easy, quick and quite comfortable. I've got this one earmarked for riding wear, now I just need to find some dark inexpensive fabrics. So that's what's a happening in the sewing lounge!

Of course it's not ALL glamour. We pulled the horse trailer/donkey shelter out from the wee ones paddock and I have to clean it from top to bottom this weekend. Oh joy......

Parting shot: Toilet Paper rolls, one of Robin's guilty pleasures.