Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Most Interesting Icicles in the World

I don't always take pictures of icicles, but when I do.......
We had a serious melt a number of days ago and then come Christmas the temps dropped and they have stayed pretty darn cold.

These beauties look like rows of sharks teeth.

I can finally show the things that were made this year for friends and family.


The dark blue one stayed here because it seemed I made every single treadling error in this high contrast case. Sheesh!


This was the fun huck run. Same threading and sleying, different treadling order yielded different results, all pretty.

Dimity Scarf and with the extra length, a lovely cowl!

  Gosh, I wanted to keep that! ;-) These were done in a merino, some of it super wash I think. In any event they hand washed beautifully,plumped up and became oh so soft and drapey. Terrible pics.

Placemats in overshot!

Finished with linen binding. There were two each color and went to an empty nester couple and a couple just starting out.

Linen Bread Bags!

 Yes, I made bags. Heavy natural linen lined with a finely woven handkerchief linen. These are great for keeping fresh bread crusty for quick use. After that, you are on your own. I slip a plastic bag over my bread and then slip it into the bag since it looks much prettier. One of the test bags is being used for a sweet little pillow in the guest room.

A hat went out done in handspun from Spinzilla and a beautiful knitted cowl in a deep heather purple.
Sadly, no pics.

Up in the sewing salon, things are pretty quiet although I did manage to get some items cut out. I need get that wool coat done and reorganize my space. Sounds like the perfect New Year's Day project to me. And I might just participate in a flash the stash or looms. We'll see.

The weaving studio has seen it's fair share of action. Both Nick and Nora have cotton warps beamed on and waiting for threading.

Nick has an all white warp of 10/2 cotton for some fancy schmancy towels. They are the Quilt Block towels from the Best of Handwoven-Top 10 Towels on Eight Shafts. These are a block weave with a profile draft so likely it will be a slow slog threading these.

The girls come just about every day.

 They stay, eat, quibble and then like feathered wraiths, they disappear into the cold gathering darkness to their roosting spots.

If we stay out to listen in 15 minutes time +/- we can hear them softly calling as they settle up in the trees.

Parting shot: Dog contemplates loom.
This loom is for sale if anyone is interested. The dog stays.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

He Rides Again!

We just had to get the plow Jeep fixed.  It took a new rebuilt carb ( the Jeep is a 1973 model) and about two hours work. Runs better than it has for years. So far it looks like it will be a "normal" year moisture wise and maybe a bit better. It remains to be seen how much effect on the building of a snow pack the El Nino might have in our area. The higher Cascades though, they are getting some pretty good amounts, those measured in feet, as these storms pass through.
While Gene was plowing on a day when it was heavy and wet and the temps where just above freezing, this picture was taken the day before.

We live for these days. Bright, cold and sunny with impossibly blue skies. Our trees still shingled in snow.

This is our road, finally well groomed by ODOT.

And of course, sunny skies meant the squirrels were out ! How dare those squirrels venture out into our back yard. The NERVE of them!

My Dad requested a tote, so I obliged with one that was a bit more manly than my usual diet of bright zebras, big flowers or geometric bees.

 This one is a heavy natural linen and printed linen. I did have some fun with the inside though. Cars!

The "girls" come every late afternoon. They hang in the driveway until I see them. That's pretty quick because I am usually alerted right away to their presence by the gang of 8. I call them and spread a bit of seed around.

 I know some will disagree but wild turkeys are simply not very pretty from the neck up. They look more like vultures without the attitude. I want to make them little hoods....

The dimity warp using 8/4 cotton rug warp is done. This was actually a mix of sizes but it all worked out and I divested myself of some unloved spools.

Actually, it was fun to weave and I might have to order some more 8/4. It's inexpensive, comes in lots of colors, sturdy and likely absorbent. These are all runners though. I gave each a fabric binding. The grey blue ( love the tracking on this one, heavier 8/4 weft maybe),

 is in the downstairs bathroom on the chest in there, the white one on my dresser and there is a green one, finished with a deep binding of dark green linen,  on the storage buffet in our upstairs bath.

Another warp is in process for Nora the 4S/6T Mac.

 This one will be a study warp. I want to practice rose path inlay, boutonne and try making paper flowers to weave into the warp. Susan Johnson at Avalanche Looms is my inspiration for some of this. Her work is amazing.  I set it up like a towel warp, so that if something actually turns out well, I can use it! It's 15" wide, 24 epi and will have a rose path threading.  With luck I'll get this on Nora before Christmas and start working on warps for Nick and the Gem.

Now if I don't get another post up, I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday, spent in whatever way pleases you and in abundance!  NORAD is tracking Santa again this year. Their 60th time doing it! You might catch him on the Marshall Islands before they disappear...

Parting shot: Don't worry Robin, Santa has you on his list even if you are a noisy little sot.
ass hat ears.....

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


It's been no secret the snow has been pretty much absent from our mountain for a good 3 years, so forgive us for reading those watches and warnings with a bit of skepticism. And the snow level predictions were all over the map. We sit at just about 4100 feet above sea level. None of us gets too excited when they put the snow level around 4000 or 4500, although, we do have to drive up over the summit to reach town. Needless to say, their prediction of 1-2 feet and higher totals locally (whatever that means....), came true in epic fashion.

 There's just about 3 feet out there. Gene's little Jeep plow isn't running. In fact it hasn't been running for quite a while and with snow-less winters there was no great push to plunk out the cash for a new carburetor to make it run. It doesn't matter, it couldn't have handled this heavy stuff anyway.

  Joe brought his big tractor rig over to clear the main driveway out. He did a swipe by the barn too but it is all too big to maneuver around the tighter turns and drives around the building.

 We are happy for the snow pack though and fingers crossed this is not going to be another one and done winter as far as snow is concerned. We did lose power for most of yesterday and internet. The power on Soda Mountain went out and that caused all computer stuff to stop. We survived. Having a 10K watt generator helps. The power company was fixing broken lines well into the night, one right by our driveway. It was eerie to see the trees lit by their yellow hazard lights late last night. But this morning, like magic, the power is on, the generator silent and the internet is working. There is a still a crap load of snow out there though....

The turkeys are having a hard time. I'm sure all the wildlife is. There are critters out there right now who haven't seen a big snow in their lifetime. But back to the wildlife I can see....

Being slightly soft of heart (and head), I decided the poor things needed more seed. I suspect I now have my own flock of wild turkeys. They cluck and and whistle when they see me and they keep their beady little eyes on me in hopes I'll pull some seed out of the can. Oh gobble gobble!

Parting shot: Snug and safe together.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Seasonal Whitewash

It's enough to make you hum holiday songs!  Do you think Gene is humming while he loads Rube the boiler up?

 I'm not sure. But I was humming for him! ;-) My contribution to the heating efforts.

Our plain Jane home cut Christmas tree looks a little sparse during the day,

 but after sunset, watch out. Nothing like some colored lights to make it all look so festive.

 Then, lets add some heavy natural flocking! This is what greets me as I head out for my morning feeding. It is comforting to see from the barn too. Yep, it IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

The weaving colors mimic the outside colors.

 Cool greys, greens, white and blues.

 This warp is already woven and in the laundry waiting to be washed. I am again left with three empty looms and lots of ideas!

LA had wanted pics of the yak/silk blend I mentioned last post. Here you go!

The stuff is heavenly to spin but requires a bit of concentration. The yak fibers are short, the silk ones longer.

 I am using an inch worm draw and a lot of spin without much uptake on the wheel. You don't have to do hardly any drafting of these fibers but I get finer singles if I really split it down to less than pencil roving strands to spin. Slower but prolonging the joy of handling this lovely stuff is fine by me. It is very shiny and lustrous. I'm smitten and I will be ordering more of this to both weave and knit. What better way to spend the early morning; catching up on news, having some coffee and spinning.

 And lets not forget the company of pillow pets........

There hasn't been much to show in the sewing room. The coat has sleeves and pockets.  In fact, the sleeves are a little long and I am at a stand still while I decide to leave them or cut and re-hem them. The double layered felted wool is thick and challenging to work with but it will be such a nice warm coat when done.

Most of the friend gifts have been distributed. Santa's Subaru should get some sleigh bells for the next holiday run I think.

Parting shots: Ready! Set! HOWL!

I assure you the 3 tenors they are not!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wildlife Working Together for a Better Future

This is on a small scale mind you but it is true! Raccoon comes to my deck, and opens the bird feeder, grabbing handfuls of black oil sunflower seed to eat and spilling half of it on the ground below. Fox is down there to make sure none of the midnight raid gold goes to waste. Any stray seeds are pecked up by sharp eyed turkeys later in the morning.  Me, I refill the feeder so my chickadees and nuthatches have their daily supply and make a mental note not to leave the feeder hanging overnight. It may be two weeks before I forget again, but the result is always the same. We are obviously on a forest watch list!

This picture would not have been possible 9 months ago. Now I'm not saying she is worlds friendliest cat, but she comes up to me in the morning for breakfast, purring while she eats. In the afternoon she waits in the tack room and gets some petting time before I head out on the tractor to feed horses and goats. Feral no more and what a relief. If I have to I can handle her should she become sick or hurt.

A little sewing going on. I have a Sewing Workshop pattern in process. The Soho Coat.

 I'm working with a very heavy felted double sided wool. It's lovely warm stuff, but not lending itself well to some of the finer details of this pattern, so I'll modify as I go along. When I bought this wool, I had no pattern in mind, I bought 3 yards, wish I had bought 4 but it was expensive and I was just able to eek out what I needed for this pattern. I put the plaid side in. There was no way I had enough to match and in all honesty, the grey is more versatile.

And there has been spinning and weaving. And napping!

I can say without hesitation and very thankfully, yak and silk fibers are no problem!

 What a relief because this stuff feels awesome. It is not that easy to spin. The yak is a short downy fiber, but the silk helps and the double drive on the spinning wheel aids greatly in the process. The color is called "Paper Roses".

 I also have a braid in the wings which is 50/50 merino silk. The color way "Catherine".

Both of these lovely rovings were purchased from Greenwood Fiberworks. I suspect more from this seller will find its way to my wheel in the future.

Nora got her new warp.

 This is half of it, the other half was mirrored. I made it up as I went along on the board. It is being woven but the pic was so washed out it wasn't worth posting. Better one next post. I'm still thinking about Nick's next warp. Macomber sent the replacement ties for the front apron rod and he's ready to go once I decide.

The elves ( who are we kidding here, the elves spend their time sniffing the boxes and making off with the bows...),  have been busy sorting and wrapping and picture taking for show and share after the holidays. And that about covers things here at our wet little part of the world. The rain is nice. The forest is soft and muted again. No crunch. Secretive. I like it that way. Misty and foggy and just a bit creepy.

Parting shot: DO NOT DISTURB!