Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Two Down. One to Go.

Two looms are empty of their warps and that means the gift pile is growing. I wove the scarf warp
off the Gilmore Gem Saturday and the items went right from loom to sewing room for finishing. By early afternoon everything had been wet finished and was drying. By evening the days work was in the gift pile awaiting wrapping day.

Gene and I took a break from our respective tasks Saturday afternoon and worked on the graves sites of the dogs we've lost through the years.

 Charlotte had gotten a new memorial pole (foreground), when we buried her and all the other dogs sites needed updating.

 The tree that came down last year had disturbed the area near Bea and Peter's graves, so that was cleaned up. The huge stump still needs to be pulled out, but it was nice to renew everything and visit with, if not the spirits,

 certainly some treasured memories.

Sunday, I folded Nora up and did some weaving in the family room watching football.

 I didn't get as much done as I would have liked but I did enjoy the football games. Of course I had an audience beckoning from the comfy chair.

 Nora made her way easily back to the loom studio. Yesterday we divested her of her warp

 and the towels have been washed/dried and are awaiting cutting, serging, hemming and a good press. I will fit it in today between Thanksgiving Day prep and cleaning.

It was a fun Friday though. I had been stalking around Ravelry for a used blending board, barring that I was going to put one on my Christmas list. And then an ad came through our local spinners and weavers housecleaning group. A blending board used only two times and at a good savings. I pounced on it and met the gal in downtown Ashland for the hand off.

  Then it was onto Medford and the annual Clayfolk sale at the armory. My Dad and I browsed the booths. He showed great restraint but I succumbed to some wonderful and useful pieces.

Dogwoods always have a special place in my heart and this bowl is particularly beautiful.

Pottery sugar skull! The perfect adornment for my spinning wheel!

Deep dish pie plate. I have yet to find one with blackbirds on it. ;-)

 The last piece was a well priced yarn bowl and it can be seen in the pic of Robin and Stella on my side table. Afterwards we picked up Mom and all headed out for a nice dinner.

Sewing has been at a standstill while I finish gifts and that's all good. I needed a break and have been using some of the time for spinning and getting to know my blending board. Here is the first rolag.

Not very good, but it was fun and I can only improve. Santa may not have a blending board on his list, but I'm betting he'll have some specific fibers on it!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Go forth and eat lots of turkey, hug family and friends and count those blessings.

Parting shot: The tribe of two.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Roll in the Winter Scenes Please!

Sometimes it is truly like a movie set change here, the season moves in so quickly. We barely had a week of frost and a light dusting of snow before this on Sunday into Monday.

Ten inches or so total and gone by Thursday. I didn't bother with the Mud scenes. I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunity in the coming months. But we'll happily take the moisture in any form.

And on set one of my favorite little locals has arrived. A Chestnut Backed Chickadee.

They will stay at our feeder throughout the winter, outnumbered 2 to 1 by the more common Mountain Chickadee.

And yes, our resident grey foxes still come for their nightly eggs. They are quick moving but I got this shot last week.

The second egg disappeared about 10 minutes later.

It appears that I am not doing a whole heck of a lot but really, I am. Weaving stuff I can't show, same with knitting and sewing. I will give you a peek at one gift because I doubt the recipient will be reading this blog and even if they do, they won't realize it's for them.

My new favorite weave structure, Dimity. You can bet this will show up again in more scarves and also towels. This scarf is in hand dyed super wash merino mixed with solid colors of the same. The solids are Louet Gems Fingering and I used that for the weft also in a navy. It's everything a winter scarf should be, soft, warm and easy care. The leftovers might make an appearance as cowls. We'll see.

I started in on spinning some of the booty from the FiberMania haul. I was stunned to find out the lovely alpaca and silk roving made my hands break out and itch. I don't know if it was the way the fiber was dehaired (or not), or the fiber itself but I passed it along to someone who loves alpaca. I cleared my bobbin and went to work on this merino/bamboo/silk blend.  Ah, much better!

 This looks suspiciously like Seattle Seahawk colors,  but be assured, I am still and will always be a New England Patriot fan!

One fun make made it out of the sewing room. You can't beat The Sewing Workshop's Zigzag top for a snug winter wearable.

 I did the collar and front yoke (all one piece) in a scrap of light blue baby wale corduroy.

The blouse itself is a lightweight cotton canvas. I lengthened the pattern and added side seam pockets. The selvage edge was just too cute not to use it somewhere.

 The pattern name is after all "Animal Runway".

I may very well have found my holiday book already this year.

I snatched this one up when I saw it, wondering why anyone would have let it go to the used bookstore in the first place! Sweet and sentimental.

The story and illustrations are a perfect pairing.

Parting shot: In the lap of luxury! ;-)
Hazel Rose

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Loading Up on Fiber

Probably not the kind of fiber you think! Last Saturday morning I drove up to Grants Pass to do a little browsing at FiberMania. I hadn't been since the first year they launched it and it is fun, but I have to say I was a little disappointed. The first one, while smaller had a greater variety of goods. Granted, this is an Alpaca event, but I missed seeing the animals and I missed seeing a good variety of other fibers available. I'm kicking myself even more for not jumping on some beautiful local angora yarns and blended fibers I saw at the first show. There were much less interesting knitted items, lots of the commercially done Alpaca socks and gloves (every booth had them and they were all the same) and much less hand dyed roving and yarn. But there were bright spots! Eugene Textile Center sets up a pretty big booth with all sorts of fun stuff. I tried a few spinning wheels they had ready to go and bought a multicolored braid of 50/50 merino/silk. While I was there one lucky wife was getting a first spinning wheel as a gift from her husband. An Ashford Joy! Perfect.

 I did find some wonderful things along the way with a little digging. The three natural colored balls of roving are Alpaca and silk. The white ball is cashmere and silk, the blue and green braid is BFL/Bamboo/Silk. I will have some fun stuff to spin this coming winter that's for sure.

My weaving studio is looking quite perfect.

 Both looms are up and weaving. Here is a peek at one of the towels on Nora.

Hot pink and bright orange!

The Gilmore Gem has been cleared of it's overshot warp (gifts sorry), and warped up for a scarf. I have not done a scarf in years! Gosh it was fast and easy from measuring to warping and threading.
There are certainly more planned and some with my handspun.

We had our first snow.

It didn't last long but I'm hoping we will have a healthy snow pack this year. Fingers crossed. The boys enjoy the colder weather. Their coats are getting dense and the bugs are gone. I've even caught them running and playing. Here they are begging for the carrot pieces I have in my pocket.

Lots of turkeys this year, pecking and scratching in the gardens and under the bird feeders.

Precious little has gone on in the sewing salon. Two makes actually but only one I have pics of. The other got snagged off of Rhonda the mannequin and worn before I snapped pictures. Oops! This one though is a beautiful cotton Japanese double gauze,

 light and surprisingly warm.

One of my favorite fabrics this year although it can be a little difficult to sew. You need a fresh sharp needle to avoid snagging the under layer.

Parting shot: A Hazel Nut bun.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The New Camp Order

There are always adjustments after losing such a strong personality like Charlotte. Stella is jostling for alpha girl position and has been a little testy with the underlings. It happens every time a dog comes or goes. And of course no matter how crappy we feel, life rushes on. Sunday morning after putting Charlotte to sleep on Saturday, I woke up and Jack had an anal gland that had impacted and infected. That's gotta hurt too. Marigold had another vestibular episode. Good Grief!!! One got started on Clavimox and a light pain killer, the other got bed rest.

 Jack went to the vet that Monday and had it all taken care of. He was not a happy camper especially because he had to wear this on and off for a couple of days.

 But we managed some fun. I know I got a laugh realizing with his collars on (there is an inflatable collar under the soft blue one), it was a stretch to get through the dog door.

We took some long walks too. I ruminated and he sniffed and peed, in equal measures. ;-)
Marigolds troubles are not that easily fixed. Time may help but this is usually a sign of a deep seated brain tumor ( or other neurological issue), a not uncommon occurrence in  aged Golden Retrievers. We can support her but we can't fix this.

There has been time to work on the numerous fiber hobbies. I did a lot of spinning and some weaving.

I'm on the last pillowcase and it's a gift so no pics. But it is pretty and it is being woven in linen. I have also named the new loom. Since the bigger 40" Macomber is Nick, it only made sense to name the new 32" loom Nora. And Nora has her towel warp fully threaded and is awaiting to be sleyed. Maybe today, but then again, football starts awfully early this morning with these silly London games.

I did a little sewing. A Merchant & Mills top 64 in a light canvas and soft baby wale corduroy both in color and in feel.

And made use of the cute fabric selvage too.

The second item to make it out of the sewing room is a modified Folkwear Middy Blouse in linen.

 I drafted the sailor collar way down to a shawl collar.

I could go even smaller and I just might for the next one. And side seam pockets were added. A must have!

The deep purple color is not one I usually have in my wardrobe but I've been warming up to the pinks and purples lately.You will see more of those colors in future makes.

I had promised some pics of the horses. I delivered on Dandy, Mr. Photogenic, but dropped the ball on Cooper. You know, Cooper is a lovely horse, a gentle soul and quite handsome in person, but he takes a lousy picture. I have these to offer and you can see both the kind eye

 and the beautiful ripples of curls coming up.

 I need to do better with him.

Thank you everyone for your shared tears and the kind and thoughtful comments. You have no idea how much it helps, but it does. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Parting shot: My, what funny pillows you have my Dear!