Tuesday, January 23, 2018


I made the Merchant & Mills Landgate a long time ago and hated it. It went to Goodwill and the pattern got stuffed into the back of my "working" pattern box. That was like two years ago and then I rediscovered it when I sat and looked at the Folkwear pattern (that turned into a tent). I dragged it out, looked at my scant notes, cut it a size smaller and used all leftover linen from other projects along with a funky tan jeans zipper I had languishing in my zipper stash.It was the perfect color for this project.  I fully lined the hood, did kangaroo pockets instead of in seam or patch pockets and didn't bother with the elastic waist/inside casing etc. Verdict this time around, LOVE IT!

 The only change I'll make is on the zipper gusset inside the hood. I might do a thin zipper guard instead so I can pull the hood open completely. Small changes. This would be so cute for summer wear in a light linen or longer as a lounge robe in flannel. Lots of possibilities now that the pattern is nicely adjusted. Additionally I would love to do this in something like waxed cotton for true hard working barn wear.

The sewing salon hasn't been terribly busy. I had a lot of town trips last week. One of them was for a much overdue eye check. I wanted to make sure no damage had been done by the diabetes diagnosis. All is well on that front but each eye has a cataract luckily out of the field of vision...for now. I did pick out new glasses. I did something I have never done before in 40 years of wearing glasses. I couldn't make up my mind between two frames, so dang it, you only live once, I bought both. Here is one of them.

 I do so love the bling. The inside of the dark brown frame is bright turquoise. My present pair is quite worn at 3.5 years old since I wear glasses just about all the time.

I have been working on the little rose path warp on the horizontal mill and doing some more weaving on the bumblebee warp. This is towel 5.

The yellow weft is just a bit lighter than the one in the warp.

The dogs are adjusting to life without Smoochie.

I have obviously disturbed her in her time of reflection....

 We all are in our way.

Way back in September I put in a subscription for Vav magazine. It never came so I had to get on the horn to find out why. Fast forward to last week, the first two issues of my subscription arrived and this garment caught my eye. What an inspiring piece!

Here is the website.

In honor of the amazing Women's March, Dreamers and everyone else under assault by this presidency, I send you this song by Bob Marley.

Parting shot: Waiting for the old lady.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Let's Play a Little Catch Up

Oh my am I behind on my blogging! So let me get you all up to speed on what has been going on. My Mother has small cell carcinoma, metastatic stage 4, in other words, terminal. She has started chemo therapy and is tolerating it well. It hopefully will buy her some time. Obviously none of us knows how long but at present she is active and enjoying the social life at the manor although she does tire more easily. That's where we're at on that front. Right after the first of the year I had a routine physical, first one in like at least 7 years. High blood pressure ( no surprise there!), and high blood sugar. In other words Type 2 Diabetes. Finally, something I CAN control. With meds and diet changes weight is coming down, BP coming down and blood sugar all lowering. Good news but then again, my bar is low these days.

We have sent out feelers to some local Border Terrier breeders. I just can't bring myself to look for another Cairn and this time around I want a nicely bred pup of a fairly healthy terrier breed. Everyone needs some sunshine and lightness in their lives and this is mine. I've always admired them when Earth dogging with my Cairns many years ago. If you know of any BT breeders on the West Coast, send me their names, please!

I want to thank you ALL for the condolences on Smoochie. It's been a week, we still cry
but we also have shared some pretty funny things we remember about him. I think I sometimes hear him coming down the hallway. Each dog has their own cadence that I know by heart and then, of course, it's gone.

There has been some mental health sewing and weaving, not much but some! I am sorely frustrated with my hemp towel warp and need to resley the whole thing. I was at an angle once I put the reed upright. Bah Humbug!

And then there was the sewing wadder...... OH MY!

 The Folkwear Siberian Parka that grew and then I realized I had almost the same pattern in a better fit. Good grief, we like what we like don't we, and buy the same sorts of things over and over.... Enter the Merchant & Mills

number with a hood. I have this cut out in leftover linen scraps. The crap brown denim Folkwear one hit the trash. I just couldn't rally myself at the time to save cheap brown denim. Shame on me.

But there have been some nice successes. This cute badger print Patricia Rose I wore out New Year's Eve,

 a little plain cream raglan T type shirt in linen,

 an adult dinosaur print in Indigo Junctions Asymmetrical tunic,

 some too big pants in a strange not cotton (no matter what they said on the listing), fabric from Etsy and finally, this cute little linen and cotton dress/tunic with dogs on it.

 Biggify to see the print better.

The bumblebee towels move slowly but I so love weaving them when I finally set to it.

This one is getting black and white bands at either end. I have yet to get my act together to measure out a rose path warp for the Pup and a sheep towel warp for the Spring, but soon, maybe today I'll make a start on one of them.

Lastly on the fiber front, some spinning. This is lovely roving from Inglenook Fibers. So beautifully prepared it almost sings itself! Love the color.

Given the awful situation that racist asshat occupying the White House has caused, I'm leave you with an oldie of song, but sadly, still quite relevant don't you think?

Parting shot: The sewing salon bunker.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Natural Born Nanny

There wasn't a dog in this world (or any other either I'm sure), who was as sweet and loving as Smoochie. He was everyone's first friend when they arrived at our house (either as a foster when we use to do that or as a new member). He was the official greeter, and guardian of the scared, the young, the abused and the old and grumpy. It didn't matter what species you were either. Smoochie was an equal opportunity lover. He was the one I used to buddy up to the newbies to be their nanny, giving them cover for the less than welcoming pack members. And it worked every single time. Even with dogs that didn't think they wanted a friend. He took all slights in stride and never held a grudge. He surely wasn't the cleverest dog, but he was honest, steady, loving and most importantly, always happy.

When we put him to sleep Tuesday for cancer the last light to burn out was the tail wag. Broke my heart knowing that as uncomfortable as he must have been, he still walked into that clinic with a smile on his face, a heartfelt hello and that madly wagging tail. It also made me love him all that much more. What a dog, what a happy, sappy, licky, hairy, amazing dog! Suffice to say I felt the Judas, he loved going to the vet as much as he loved traveling anywhere...a lot.

 I got first Cairn Terrier in 1987 and we've always had at least one. So sad to look out over those remaining (much loved), faces and and not see my resident Ewok.

Last walk.
Rest in peace sweet boy. I know you're putting a smile on someone's face over the bridge.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Fiber Equipment Flash 2018 Edition

There were certainly some changes made in 2017!  Both weaving and spinning areas had significant ones but lets start with the looms. The two big 12 shaft looms didn't move. The Louet Spring and the Macomber are permanent residents. Nick, the Mac is getting the never ending hemp bath towel warp sleyed.


The Spring (Sheila) is getting some 8 shaft sheep towels.


I'm waiting for some Brassard 8/2 cotton to arrive. BTW, if you like this cotton, Eugene Textile Center has the best prices I've found short of Brassard themselves.

The upstairs looms did some shifting. Fiona the Schacht Wolf Pup is a keeper too.


 I can't begin to tell you how much I love weaving on this sweet little loom. She is getting a narrow rose path warp. I want to use some as decorative trim on some garments.

 Shrek the Schacht Baby Wolf left for a new home in California and was replaced by a Louet (Ziva) David.


 Quiet and easy to treadle with a fantastic shed and an easy to use sliding beater, this is the go to loom for towels. The bumblebee towels are moving along.

A LeClerc Cendrel floor inkle replaced the much disliked Glimakra Band loom.


 LeClerc makes a great product, good hard wood, well thought out and well finished. I would buy another one if I needed it. A totally new loom addition was a J.K. Seidel Scandinavian style tape loom. Here he is loaded with tape that will be used on the bumblebee towels.

Sven of course!
This is a sweet little loom and I enjoy the ease of weaving simple narrow bands.

The Harrisville Warping Reel was replaced with a Gilmore Horizontal Warping Reel.

In the spinning house, there were some pretty extreme changes. Both Schacht spinning wheels were replaced by an Ashford (Amelia) Joy 2.


I have spun more on this lovely little wheel in 2017 than all my other wheels combined through the years. I think it is the super light take up that I love and the ease of folding it all up for travel or maybe just how light it is to carry around the house. Gene gifted me with a companion to make plying easier and faster this holiday. An Ashford E3 electric spinner.

He's been dubbed Rene and his first outing was my first time spinning 3 ply.

We settled in quite well together. The package from Ashford is so complete really, a case, a Lazy Kate, 3 big bobbins, foot control and different plugs depending on where you live. The only thing I need add to it this year is a battery pack...or not. We'll see.

I think that about covers the fiber end of things. I'm betting there will be few changes in 2018. I  am pretty darn pleased with the current array. I've bought and sold a lot of looms so I am not terribly tempted any more and I have also honed in on my likes and dislikes. It's all good!

Thank you everyone for your kind comments on my previous post about my challenges come 2018! It truly helps to have such a sweet cheering squad. Hugs to all of you!

Here's hoping everyone has a better 2018 than their 2017! I'm leaving you with this oldie to reflect on.

Parting shot: Someone didn't much care for one of their Christmas gifts. Not one bit!