Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Last Vestiges of a Life Well Lived

Saturday morning Charlotte and I made one last eventful ride in the car, we went slowly, savoring our time together.

September 12th  Charlotte was diagnosed with bone cancer. It had literally eaten away the right side of her pelvic hip socket. We made the last month as joyful and pain free as possible but
it was inevitable that it wouldn't last. I knew this ride was coming. I suspect she did too in some mysterious dog way. Full circle, I can remember the joyful first ride we had coming home from picking her up in Long Beach CA on a Saturday in June.

Charlotte had been a rescue, turned into the California chapter of the Cairn Terrier Club of America Rescue at about a year old. She had been found wandering in the Joshua Tree area. They called me because their list only contained people wanting purebreds. Charlotte was a wonderful mix of terrier
and likely Schipperke. She was a no nonsense kind of dog.

 She didn't play, she didn't want to be every one's friend. I was her chosen one and it was enough. Even Gene often felt the snub. I loved her almost as much as she loved me. Charlotte was my best car buddy if the errands and weather was suitable.

We dubbed her the velcro puppy. Where I went, she went. For over 17 years I have had someone watching my back, literally, every moment! She was not a true cuddler but she loved to be touching me, and would look up into my eyes as I petted and stroked her.

She was the alpha girl of the house and even Dennett let her have her way. A fabulous watch dog, always on the alert. When she barked her front feet came off the ground. She truly put her heart in everything she did and that included holding a grudge. Nothing is perfect, neither dog nor man, but they do come closer....

As I cleaned yesterday, I cried. Puffs and tuffs of lighter than air undercoat hide along corners and
under chairs. The last physical presence of a dog very much loved. And I was ridding myself of them forever.

I'll find bits of her for a while yet and each time it will tug at my heart and the tears won't be far behind. The memories are really the most precious but this little last vestige will be cherished too.

Good bye my little Stubber Butt, go join your pack of friends over the bridge.

They have been waiting for you for a good long while. I will miss you so, so much.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Developing New Habits

I think it is easier to develop new habits than change old ones, at least in my experience. In any case Spinzilla helped me to set a new good habit and that was to pull out my lovely spinning wheel and use and enjoy it every single day.

I started practicing a week or two before Spinzilla and now have continued a little daily spin time afterwards. I'm certainly more comfortable with my wheel and my spinning has improved too. Win win! I didn't spin as much as most of my fellow Team Web-ster'ers but I certainly met a personal best goal and I had a lot of fun with the two art batts I tried. Team totals come out next Monday when they announce the winners.

Tuesday night I took a class with Kris at the Websters too learn the magic loop method of knitting small stuff in the round. Much easier than all those double points to do socks and mitts and hats.

In the sewing salon a couple of pretty and feminine makes are done. This is the second go at the Folkwear Middy Blouse pattern and it awaits closures and hemming.

The fabrics are all linen. The collar is a vintage linen bridge cloth I found at the huge Rogue Valley Manor annual flea market sale.

I think it was $2.00 and in pristine condition.

When I saw this white and gold linen fabric at Fabric of Vision, I knew I had to pair them together. The Middy blouse was the perfect choice.

Second up is a simple modified Mississippi Ave top.

 Both fabrics were leftovers saved from other projects and fine woven linen (blue) is such a perfect fabric for under garments.  It was a fast sew and almost too pretty to hide.

Lastly, I used this heavier rustic linen for a Sewing Workshop Liberty shirt.

This is a TNT pattern for me and I find I make at least one of them a year. I used up the last of some favorite ribbon on this too.

It will see a lot of wear; good color and good weight for colder weather.

A trio of books has made it up into the knitting/spinning book library.

It's been a while since I've added to it! And we couldn't leave the Web-sters without some Unicorn Tails!

I want to point EVERY dog owner who reads this blog to check out this article on Peanut Butter and xylitol. I use peanut butter every day as a vehicle for dog medications. This is showing up more and more in products so please, check your labels especially on human foods that might find their way into your best friends tummy!

Parting shot: Watching me watching you.
Hazel Rose and Charlotte

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. ;-)