Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Mandy relents to heavy costume pressure, but no hot dog buns please, unless of course they are edible.

This one is for you Martha

All Hallow's Eve

Even though I no longer participate in Halloween (oh woe),  I do love a good pagan holiday! It appeals to my spiritual nature. Halloween has a pretty interesting history that stretches out long before it was co-opted by the early Christian Church ( and likely ruined). You can grab a quick read here on Wikipedia.

While I didn't make any costumes this year, refraining even from putting Mandy in a pre-made bun with mustard, (although I really, really wanted too), I did get some sewing salon energy working.
The new Stye Arc Patricia Rose dress was a joy to sew.

No alterations needed out of the envelope for a good wearable muslin. In fact I took a fabric I disliked and turned it into something that I'm rather smitten with.

There is but one adjustment I will make and that is to lengthen the bodice just a touch, maybe an inch. Some beautiful dark grey wool challis is aging in the stash that would work up into a beautiful dress using this pattern. Everyone needs at least one nice any occasion dress and this might be a perfect match.

This tunic got done right after the Fefe coat.

I love this linen cotton fabric and I love the tunic pattern too. It is so pretty on, either with or without sleeves and comfortable.

This second asymmetrical tunic has a secret.

 I have wanted to gussy up that crossover top flap for ages and when I saw this panel, while shopping the last time with friend Cindie, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

I bought a second, different critter panel and you'll just have to wait and see how that one gets used. The challenge was the raccoon faced the wrong direction so everything on this tunic is reversed and thank god it was fabric that was the same on both sides because I had it cut out before I cut the panel. Whew, good save!

After these two got finished I had all empty buckets. A sad state of affairs which needed to be set right. At least once a year I make a Sewing Workshop Liberty Shirt.

It's a nice pattern and you can sort of see the fun canvas print I've chosen this year in place of the usual linen. I've also cut into some screaming orange linen for a tiered tunic. I'm making that one up using the Grainline Scout tee sloper. We'll see how that goes.....

While for the song of the post I was tempted to use Voodoo Child,

I decided instead on this, because who doesn't need a fun earworm. I have no clue who ya gonna call to get rid of it.

Parting shot: Sunday Patriot's fans on dropped snack watch.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


I just couldn't resist! It is such an awesome coat, it needs its own fefe at the end. It also took me forever in sewing terms. Part was Spinzilla, part was getting holiday weaving done (it is!), and part was just plain old butt dragging. That leather collar had to be detachable, how best to do it? I agonized over leather flaps on the pockets, what kind of details to put on the coat and basically arrived at the less is more approach. I hate buttons, so I went with snaps for detaching the collar, no leather on the pockets and just a bit of almost sashiko done with some of the same cream to dark grey variegated yarn I had used on my birchbark runners. I credit Martha with the bits of primitive embroidery. Not a strong suit of mine.
So, showing off here are pics of the new jacket. Upline Jacket pattern by Sewn Square One.

Once I got past my sewist block I was excited to order some new patterns for winter sewing.

The Folkwear pattern has so many fun possibilities, the Style Arc dress gives a few new details to a cut I already love and the Named dress has that interesting almost saddle sleeves. That one may be a wadder as written but I want to give it a go anyway.

Did I mention I finished up some weaving?

I did didn't I. The snowflake/star towels are off Ziva David. I got 5 long towels from a a 6.5 yard and some warp. I'm happy.

And I also finished up on the pillowcase warp. Three nice cases. There wasn't enough warp left for a fourth but I would have woven about 3/4 of one to find that our. I suspected I had shorted myself on this warp and I did. No pics yet, but those will be coming. I have A LOT of hemming to do.

My weekly reading included some pretty fun little books. At one of my vet visits we had all discussed the merits of the Skippyjon Jones books and Dr. Beth had asked if I had ever seen Hairy Maclary books. Why no I hadn't. At my next appointment a few had been filched from her daughters library.

They are dog eared and much loved and if you have kids you are reading too, I highly recommend both series. Silly as it sounds, I am adding a few to my library. Teagan, (sp) now onto middle school would like her copies back. :-)

I picked up a cute little journal this week.

 It is a used book, spiral bound and with blank pages added. The story is retained throughout the book.

Mine appropriately was titled "Ball".

I think these would make great gifts so I have included the info on who does them. There are all sorts of books they use BTW.

Last thing I want to say is that I am so disgusted at our government right now, I could spit nails. It does no one any good. Participation does, awareness does and education does. There is no benefit to ignorance or the dumbing down of society. It is not elitist to be educated or believe in science. Stop vilifying it. There are three things I believe that must happen in our democracy. Everyone should participate in it, be it a year's service in the Peace Corps, the National Guard or some other branch of government (EPA,BLM, Parks Service?), or nationwide organization such as Humane Society, Unicef, Red Cross. (As an aside we have been having a discussion about the draft. Really, is it fair for just 1% of our country to be responsible to protect it. Maybe the reinstating of the draft would wake people up to just how far this war on terrorism has branched out), I am sure that there is something for almost everyone  Higher education should be free to anyone who wants to go and lastly healthcare for all. So instead of "did that just happen", I'm going to offer up a song each post because good music is universal and a pretty good tool for change too. :-) Click here for the song of the post!

Parting shot: In my own little corner on my own little bed....

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Autumn is Just Another Word for Overload

Simply put, fall snuck up on us. It was so hot for so long we were lulled into laziness. Then poof! frost is on the pumpkin (and everything else), and high gear kicks in. Time to winterize, oh and then there is wood and fences and shelters to attend to. Plows to think of, hay to get in. Any of you living on a farm or ranch or with a garden can understand the urgency with which one welcomes in the most wonderful two seasons of the year. Pretty leaves and fresh pressed cider followed by the reverence of the world (mine at least) shrouded in white and pale grey, muffled and quiet as we have a time to reflect. And there is certainly a lot happening in the world to reflect upon.

And then of course there was the week of Spinzilla, I managed 1830 yards, which for me is a happy total. As much as I love Amelia Joy 2 the wheel, I am still not a fast spinner and will never be, but my yarn did improve and I got some very nice fingering yarn. Here are my humble skeins,

 which have gone to The Web-ster's to give away to those who are inclined to do charity knitting. The shop sponsors hats for Dunn House a local emergency shelter for women and children escaping abuse be it domestic, sexual or date etc.

This was the skein I finished up before Spinzilla started, one of the few I'm keeping for myself.

Once that ended there was just a whole lot of catch up on mundane chores. Last Friday was the year anniversary of my Dad's death.  Can a Friday the 13th get much worse I ask you? We muddled through, maybe it should be puddled through.

All those give-aways minus two mailed out Monday. The two held back I was waiting on addresses, which I have but they missed the big batch. They will leave here this week too.

 I am just about to take this warp off the loom. Five holiday towels for gifts.

I really love this pattern and will do it again, and again. It doesn't have to be in Christmas colors. Oh and looky loo, who wants to learn to weave! ;-)

Another warp is starting on the reel, I'm calling this my bumblebee warp.

Yellow, white and black. I've wanted to do one of these for years and dagnabbit, now is the time. The first bout of 170 ends is just about done. I sold the Harrisville reel to a weaver in Klamath Falls. Hope she loves it.

The ever rotating road crew has been out all the days I didn't have to go to town. This is the usual group. Jack, Hazel and Mandy.

Speaking of Mandy she has found a toy to call her own,

these Nylabone fake rawhide bones. I bought one and when she called dibs on it, I bought 3 more. She seems to feel all of them are hers. Don't mess with the Little Red Queen's bones, just ask Jack!

 Dogs must be the original hoarders.

Speaking of walks, some of my most loved birds are back now that the seasonal interlopers are gone. Mountain Chickadees, beautiful Chestnut Backed Chickadees, Red Breasted Nuthatches and a first this year a White Breasted Nuthatch. The little Pine Siskin's have taken over the thistle feeder. Our Junco's are back and the Stellar Jays and Ravens make themselves known throughout the day with the calls and caws. We spied bear scat, in our back yard and across the road on one path. The foxes have returned to pillage dropped seed and raw egg handouts. There is a pair. It is too early for mating so I suspect they are siblings just sprung from their mothers protection to make or break it this first winter. The raccoons are here but not as often seen as when Momma had the 3 terrors with her. They may have a different denning place for winter. The deer are gone, the stupid hunters are back. Sigh.

There have been a few little treats these past couple of weeks, some fun fabrics.

You do know I like mushroom and hedgehog fabrics right? And this little treat came home with me when I dropped my yarn off at the Web-ster's.

 I have the hat kit too and am going to try to knit both of them up this winter. HA!

Four hours later I'm sneaking in a "Did That Just Happen" because this opinion piece is so well written and finally tells us something about the four soldiers that lost their lives in Niger. My heart goes out to the families, not only for their heavy loss but that it now must be part of the political circus of the so called President.

Parting shots: Weenie in the wild. We had to cross a pretty wide stream to get to this spot!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Spinzilla Week

Yep, it's that time again, spinning on Team Web-ster's. Sewing and weaving are taking a back seat this week while I try to spin as much as I can. This is what I had to pick from.

My starting fiber was a hand dyed superwash merino/tencel blend. Looks like it ended up between lace and fingering weight once plied.

It was a lovely heap of fiber to work with, fast and smooth. Next up I'm starting in on some Ashland Bay Merino Silk blend, one of my favorites and it is a pity they have discontinued this line of fiber.

I'm hoping to get both bags of these lovely fibers spun and plied over the next few days. The only thing I have to do on the immediate horizon is can some pear conserves. Probably later this morning.The house will smell heavenly!

Before Spinzilla started I did manage to get the 10 yard hemp bath towel warp beamed on.

I didn't need DH at all and while my "warping valet" is pretty primitive, it does a good job.

 I need to remember to make my warp bouts a bit smaller though in general.

I also got Spike to the vet for a check up.

He is having some problems with Pancreatitis and is on a special diet right now to help. His appetite and energy level have improved and he'll be going back next week for a recheck. Fingers crossed we see the physical improvement mirrored in his blood work.

My little road warriors have gotten out for a walk every morning.

The group changes but Mandy is always there.  That long back benefits from good muscle tone and the vet tells me daily walks are the best way to go. She loves it and there is always a great discussion as to who the other one or two "warriors" will be. It was Hazel and Robin on Monday.

While there is no sewing going on this week, a new pattern did arrive. This is a vintage pattern that has been copied and updated. Pretty cute I think although I'll have to size it way down for mini Mandy.

The stash has some very nice wool scraps I've saved over the years and will have a go at this in the coming weeks. Oh and I did start in on the linen jacket. Not much done but next week I'll finish it up along with the holiday towel warp on Ziva the Louet David loom.

I think that about covers what's happening (or not happening!), this week. The news, of course, is depressing as hell and I'm just watching it, imagine living some of what's going on.

It all calls for multiple parting shots!
Hot dog with a jack Russell bun.
Baby Scarface

Monday, October 2, 2017

And Yet Again

Another shooting, this time in Las Vegas and while I have a lot of thoughts on this, why I'm really posting is to say that there are over 400 people injured and many of them are going to need blood.
If you can give please, please, now would be a great time.

Even though you may be far away from this latest madness, your blood will allow banks everywhere to send in what they can to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. It takes hardly any time at all, heck even my 80 year old Mother has regularly given blood all her life and with her O negative universal blood she has been called upon to give in cases of emergency around the Boston area.

You get to lie down and meditate for 20 minutes, and then you are rewarded with cookies, good karma and orange juice afterwards. How easy is that to save a life?

Parting shot: Perspective