Sunday, July 29, 2018

Kitchen Wreckage

It's official, my house is a mess and my kitchen is now non-functioning.

The stove top has been disconnected, the island moved completely out of the kitchen and into the open area between family room and dining room.

The new look for the dining room. HA!

This is were the OCD comes to roost. This chaos bothers Gene not a bit.

Back hallway
Tools strewn here and there, demo debris on the countertops, splintered boards stacked in inconvenient places. In other words, a nightmare for someone who feels the need to bring order and organization. Sigh, I think I will just go weave. And that's what I did.

Mongo rides again and beautifully I might add. This is a very wide warp at 48". I stretch out each throw and honestly, it feels good to do so.

 I made a choice to go less shafts and wider rather do double wide at a narrower width but lift more shafts. I'm happy with that decision. Look how beautiful the pattern is coming out!

 Banket #1 will get 5 different colored stripes at each end. Shown are just the first two.

Selection of 4/2 cotton for stripes.

 Remember I have to replicate this for the second length since they will be sewn together. These will be big blankets. I'm hoping for square 85"x85" or so. Big enough to really use on a bed of size. Go big or go home eh? It's the terrier in me peeping out. Grrrrrrrr!

And another satisfying make came out of the sewing room. The Jalie Rose blouse is SUCH a nice pattern to make.

 When I saw this little calico type print with a fox (Dear Stella For Fox's Sake Collection, Fox Trot pattern) I knew exactly what to make with it and for once, it met my vision.

I wore it out to town with a pair of jeans and sneakers and feeling quite smitten with the whole outfit. Stylin! Actually it reminded me of summers when I was about 10. Light sleeveless summer tops (Grandma made with love) and soft denim jeans and a pair of not so white anymore Keds. I shed years in that shirt yesterday. ;-) Made me want to find a pond and catch frogs.

I swear, I can't bear to listen to the news these days and I can't bear not too. The poor folks in Redding California with the Carr Fire. OMG, is there no good news anywhere these days? And here I complain about a simple quick remodel. My shame.

This is what I got for today. If you're like me you'll still want to tap a toe at least.

Parting shots: Masked Crusaders Dandy and his sidekick Cooper.
Ringleader Dandy

Sidekick Cooper

Monday, July 23, 2018

A Sewing Holy Grail

For me that would be the perfect button down shirt. Now my perfect BD shirt might be different from yours, but these are the things that I want in a classic blouse:

1. Collar and stand, must be easy to apply and be petite. I dislike large clunky collars and floppy collar stands.

2. Back yoke, nicely lined with a second yoke. My favorite method for that yoke is the "burrito" method. I use it all sorts of places. I like a pleat too. Easy enough to add if he pattern doesn't have one.

3. Perfect fitting shoulders and a well fitting sleeve head. This is one type of garment that I simply must have a near perfect fit in this area.

4. A full sleeve. I like a nice bit of gather into my cuff. I think it's just prettier and more feminine to have that fullness and softness.

5. A folded button placket. I'm not a fan of the sew on variety. It's easy enough though to just add for a fold over. Having a hidden placket just means you add another folds span or so for the right front.

6. Shaped at the waist area and full enough at the hip area. A straight man's cut shirt usually feels and looks a bit tight below the waist for many women, myself especially.

7. Shallow shirt tail hem. I'm not a fan of the deep swoopy hems. They are hard for me to get nice. I am not adverse to a straight hem either and have been known to cut that shirt tail off all together.

So, the Hey June Cheyenne shirt and tunic pattern hit a few of those most important items and those it didn't were easy enough to add/adjust. The most important things; #'s 2,3, 4 and 6 were pretty spot on.  I added a back pleat, changed up the cuffs just cuz I could and did hidden plackets on both my makes. The white one was the first one and I didn't make any changes other than to make a longer sleeve on the second one. I really like this pattern. I have one more button down shirt pattern coming from Liesl & Co and when I make it up I'll do a little comparison of all three.

Other than sewing and threading Mongo very slowly, I've been making jam. This weekend I made up good sized batches of Nectarine and Lime Jam (last year's favorite) and Nectarine and Raspberry Jam.

 I also made a scrumptious Blueberry Coffee Bundt cake with lemon glaze for Gene's birthday today. It's amazing what you can accomplish at 4:00a.m.!

In other things, I have to ask is anyone surprised that the Orange Asshat is an Orange Russian Asset? That there are more Kremlin assists in congress? What a disservice the GOP has done to this county and our democracy. I think every single one of them should be put on trial for treason.
Yep, Hilary had it right, Putin's Puppet. Oh lord, November can't come fast enough.
Green Day, you had it right all along!

Parting shots: A twofer, dogs and demo. It's going to be a messy end to July!
Jack & Spike 

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.