Thursday, January 23, 2020

Oh that Delaney

This is what the field behind our house looks like on my morning walks.  We have had some rain so there's some melting but also freezing so YakTrax are absolutely necessary.  It's still better than going to a gym and walking on a treadmill.  Weather is uneven in Central Oregon.  The elevation is higher at the southern end and gets lower as it ends in the Columbia River.  Often we'll have snow but Matt and Julia in Redmond 30 minutes north of us will get none.
And indeed this is what it looked like in Redmond when I drove up last week to our guild meeting, and my first meeting as guild president. To say I found being president a bit daunting would be an understatement.  Yesterday was my first Board meeting which required me to collect agenda items and prepare an agenda.  It's a big board and several people congratulated me for reining in the meeting at two hours.  I was appalled that it went so long and they were thrilled that it didn't go longer.  I have a lot to learn.
I stopped into our LYS for some fiber therapy on my way home.  I had sold a shuttle for $50 which was burning a hole in my pocket.  This is Malabrigos Rios and it is $16 well spent.  It's already on needles to be another Honey Cowl.
This is my first Honey Cowl, also in Malabrigos Rios, and it's like wearing a hug around my neck.  I love it so much I knitted it in the Bergamo yarn I showed in my last post.
The instructions have a couple of different sizes.  My first one was knitted on 160 stitches and this one on 110 stitches.  The difference is this scrunches up like a turtleneck and the other one wraps twice.
I wore it all day yesterday.  My friend Herme just told me that she has converted a couple of scarves into cowls following Sarah Jackson's advice - simply sew the ends together but twist it once to make a mobius.  Hermi had a neck injury long before I did and she always wears something warm around her neck.  I've identified two scarves for starters so I can give my few cowls a needed break.
I know I'm doing a lot of knitting lately, but there's just not much natural light this time of year and knitting doesn't need it.  I have been meticulous about using my SAD light each morning, and after fits and starts in the beginning, I even get up early to allow that 30 minutes if I have to leave for a morning meeting.  I finished this hat for Delaney from leftover Cascade 220 that I've had for years.  I didn't realize how much damage the moths had done when we lived in Reno.  There are a lot of Russian joins in this hat - good practice!
 Delaney loves to watch the birds at the feeders.  I took this picture two weeks ago but she's starting to crawl now and I'm not sure she'll continue to be this content and quiet again.
She's napping now which is why I have a minute to write this post.  She played with this rug for 15-20 minutes this morning and I was thrilled because it's safe and I didn't have to worry about what she was getting into.  It's just beginning :-)

Monday, January 06, 2020


I belong to a group of people who have become friends over knitting.  They began knitting together at a yarn store that closed so moved to a restaurant called Jackson's Corner, JC for short, and were nicknamed Knitterbugs by the staff.  I had been invited to come by a mutual friend from Reno and kept dragging my feet.  How fun could that be, sitting around in a group knitting together?? 

I dragged my feet for a couple of years and finally went a couple of times about 18 months ago and I was hooked.  These people have become very dear to me.  They get together several times a week but I'm only free on Tuesday afternoons after Smart (Start making a reader today, volunteer reading to kinders). 

Yesterday was my second Holiday Yarn Exchange, and on top of the brown-bag pirate exchange, several members brought "deeply discounted" yarns to sell.  This is what I came home with, I who claim to have no stash now have the beginnings of one. 
This is my exchange booty, two fingering-weight skeins in a Fire colorway from Alexander's Crafts in Silverton, Oregon.  Debra suggested that I think about getting a Kid Haze mohair in a complimentary color and hold two strands together to tone down the "fire.".
These two skeins are hand-dyed here in Bend from Knitting Nomad.  I'll probably hold these together in a project.  My cost - $10.00.
This wildly dyed Little Knits Bergamo yarn is superwash Merino.  I've swatched it and already cast on for a Red Rasta Cowl, with adjustments for the difference in my yarn and the pattern's yarn - $5.00.
I don't know what I'll do with this skein but it was a gift from Debra.  It was the last of her skein's on the table and she said take it - I'm not taking it home.  I'll find a use for it.
Adele knows I knit prayer shawls so gave me these five skeins of superwash Merino. 
I've already cast on for the next one. I'm using the River Fog pattern again but it's really easy and good for mindless knitting or quiet morning knitting with prayers.  I'm still struggling with being tired so this was the perfect way to spend this day.  The rest of the week is really busy and sometimes I forget to act like the retired person that I am and sit a spell. I entered all the yarns in my Ravelry "stash" and now it's time to read.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Not Very Much

I have been weaving this month - honest.  But not very much, and in fact, I've been so exhausted that I'd have to say that "not very much" could be my tag line for this month.  Melissa called from SoCal about a week ago and when I mentioned being tired, she instantly asked if I was using my SAD light.  Doh!  What a thing to forget when the days are so gray.  Today was my sixth day to use it and unquestionably I'm feeling better.
We bought a smaller tree this year and we have both really enjoyed it because we can see all the ornaments.  The memories they bring are priceless.  Since we don't have presents under the tree we have put our Woof 'n Poof santas there instead.  Chrissie and Alexia found this Christmas llama online and it has joined the ranks.  I'm sure you can see Maddie in the cat-sized space we left just for her.
Apparently she didn't approve because the next morning we came out to this.  We've made a better space for him and have had no reoccurences.
We had Christmas Eve at our house again this year.   This is our fifth Christmas here in Bend and I'm glad we made the move to join the boys.  A baby changes everything!!
We're still watching Delaney on Thursdays and Fridays.  We've gotten complacent about childproofing the house since she has shown no interest in crawling or walking.  She is quite content to sit and play and, boy, is she a talker.  I'm looking forward to 2020 and all that is to come.  Happy New Year!

Friday, November 29, 2019

The Holidays are Here

Our first storm of this season came in late Tuesday afternoon.  I was across town with my knitting group, and in our town, that's just five miles.  A powdery snow had been falling gently as we knitted.  We remarked at how Dickensian it looked, but just as we broke up and gathered up our things, the storm rolled up its sleeves and went to work.  Our cars in a short time were coated and required about assertive snow removal.  It took nearly 40 minutes to drive home, and as they say at the roller rink, skate slowly and carefully please.
It was clear we were going to have a white Thanksgiving, and as I prepared the candied yams, I caught movement out of the kitchen window.  I found the company of these guys very cheering and again I am reminded at how much I have to be thankful for.
Deer can't get into our backyard and since we're currently without dogs, all of these tracks are from local critters whom shall remain anonymous.
I finished this set of towels from the recent issue of Handwoven.  I made a lot of mistakes trying to follow the treadling sequence as written so I wrote it out as narrative on a sticky note and put in the castle of my loom.  It still requires concentration but I've getting the hang of it:  1234, 1234, 1323,3414,1212, etc.
They're washed and cut apart, ready for hemming but I won't be able to do that until Monday.
I decided that I have enough time to make six more towels for Christmas presents.
Lighting is terrible when it's overcast but the warp is on and I've started on the first towel.  I promised to help decorate the church tomorrow, then have errands and Sunday we're going to a play after church, so these too are put off until Monday morning.  Monday afternoon I'm getting a crown prep and new crown - they do it all in one sitting now.
I discovered last week that Delaney is pretty phone savvy and in fact, likes the selfie view so she can see herself.  She wants to put the phone in her mouth, as with all things so somehow managed to press the "go" button and viola, her first selfie!

Friday, November 15, 2019

New things

I've decided to back off on weaving to sell and instead try new things, like this draft designed by Linda Gettman, a woman in our guild who periodically has her patterns appear in Handwoven.  And in fact, she was in the most recent issue, appearing on the cover.
These are the colors I said I want to weave next and this is how they're turning out.  It's pretty fiddley for me.  I don't have much experience in weaving with extended treadling sequences so have had to unweave more than I'd like.
Since Delaney still isn't traveling about I can get away with about an hour of weaving when she's here, and then she's done.
I'm involved in a project that I can do while I'm watching her and that's removing the photos from photo albums where they never get looked at and take up an entire shelf in the bookcase.  We need the shelf for books.
This is how many photos are in one album and a lot of them are the same thing taken several times, and then there are the pages and pages of the Great Reno Balloon Race. We used to live very close to the park they launched from and they often would land on our street, and one time put down in our front yard and for that we were gifted with a bottle of champagne.
This is the storage system that I bought on Amazon.  The outer case holds 16 smaller ones that hold 100 photos in each.  I'm noting the year on the upper right corner on the back and labeling each case with a sequence and with the time span contained.  I'm also shedding a lot of photos.  I'm really enjoying seeing them again and getting into a more interesting form.
Sunday evening the whole family went out to celebrate grandson Evan's 16th birthday.  And next to him is his little cousin, 15 years his junior.  Life is funny like that..
After dinner the wait staff brought him a whipped cream covered donut to make it official.  Wednesday he got his drivers license and now it really is official.
I've discovered that Delaney really likes me to ready my book out loud to her.
She vocalizes and looks intently at me as if she understood every word.  I don't get many pages read this way but I get all the pleasure in the world from her responsive engagement.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Make it work

I bought three of these Pottery Barn stools at a local upcycle store that sells exclusive names.  I thought I got them for a steal but forgot to measure the height.  No steal.  They're too tall to fit under the counter.  One has been hidden behind the easy chair in the great room with the digital antenna on it.  The other two have been put into service in random places.
My workroom isn't very big and three of the four walls are in use.  The other wall is two accordion closet doors.  I've taken to piling stuff on the stools.
One day recently I realized that the rungs could hold shelves and tested it with a picture that fit just right.  I appealed to my construction-knowledge son, asking him to cut four pieces of wood to fit.
The next day he dropped Delaney off and left rather abruptly.  I didn't realize how seriously he took me.  He had some alder plywood and came back about 30 minutes later with the four shelves, uniformly cut and sanded, made with equipment in the back of his truck.  This simple fix augments my storage space significantly.  Thank you construction-knowledge son!!
This past weekend was the third Holiday Show and Sale for Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers. The first year was a straight-up craft fair with individual booths.  Last year the board met and decided to run it as a boutique, all sales done through a central checkout system.
We expanded from one day to include the evening before and capitalize on the First Friday Art Walk.  Attendance was far better than anyone could have hoped for.
I took these three photos about 3:15 when the show was winding down and just a few people were trickling in.  We were well into break-down at 4:10 when I heard everyone asking if anyone knew of a yellow scarf.  A lady had thought about it and come back to buy it, but no one could remember seeing a yellow scarf.  It turned out to be a gold and bronze huck lace scarf of mine.  It's in this picture, in the back corner.  It was the only scarf I sold and it was ten minutes after closing.  As Yogi Berra said, it ain't over until it's over.
Both of my looms are nekid.  I've been eyeing this color combo for more than a month.  It's going to my next project.
And finally, a Big Happy Halloween from the Littlest Mummy :-)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Another Year

Another birthday has come and gone since my last post.  I find it hard to believe that I'm now 72 years old, not that I begrudge it.  I only have to remind myself that six years ago a catastrophic injury nearly cut my life short, so hooray - I am now 72!!  I noticed on my Blogger profile this morning that I started this blog in April 2006, over 13 years ago.  I was only 59 then, still working, still healthy with no thought at all of when I might retire.  In 2011 I took a class and became a weaver which truly changed the course of my life,  but that was still five years in the future.
I'm lucky to celebrate my birthday in my favorite month of the year.  It's absolutely gorgeous right now, though three freezing nights early this month caused our beautiful red maple to lose its leaves almost overnight.  But there are still plenty of beautiful trees to love.
I was invited to join a group of ladies in the newly formed Studio 6000 in Sisters.  I thought A6 was the most glorious studio of all but this one is brilliant in every way.
I have been invited to print here but have decided to whittle down my printmaking to relief only, which is carving images in linoleum and wood, and to find a balance between weaving and printing.  My weaving suffered from lack of time and attention and I'm ready for that to change.  Being a weaver however has opened doors to me like this event.  I guess they figure if you're an artist in one area, you're an artist period, just different.  I would never have been invited into their art world had I not had a medium I was fluent in.  When I say that weaving changed the course of my life, I really do mean that.
We were instructed in the invitation to find a word of phrase to use as our inspiration for our collage.  I've never done a collage before so was completely ignorant of the glue products, and there are many.  I just started cutting and gluing, follow the phrase which I adapted from the Book of Proverbs - she who refreshes others will herself be refreshed.  These will be an installation in a Sisters shop and are all priced the same, as a fund-raiser for Saving Grace, an organization that helps underserved women.  The title of my piece is "Within." 

I have just about assembled everything I need for a home printing studio.  I'm just waiting for an order from Dick Blick with inks and an inking plate.  My light table arrived two days ago.  I purchased the wooden spoon from a woodturner at Fall Fest earlier this month to use as a baren and it is perfect.  I finished a four-week workshop on relief printing last week, the days are getting short, and I am ready to get to work.
These are the last towels I will have time to finish before our guild Holiday Sale next weekend.  I'll start hemming them today and I have sold two already through Facebook.  This is our third year but the first as a two-day sale.  I haven't signed up to help and need to find out where they need people to work.  It will be at the Environmental Center again but since we open on Friday, we will be included in the First Friday Art Walk.  Break a leg!!

And I couldn't let you get away without a picture of Delaney who will be seven months old in another week.  She's what I'll be doing for the next two days and she makes both of us very happy.