Thursday, April 22, 2021

Like riding a bicycle

 Monday I drove up to Sisters which is about a half hour north of Bend and met up with three other guild members in front of the public library.  From there we caravanned to Pine Meadow Ranch Center for Arts and Agriculture, which is a 260 acre working ranch.  Ana Varas, the arts projects coordinator of the Roundhouse Foundation gave us a tour with an eye on potential workshop locations.  We were recently a recipient of a grant from the foundation to promote the fiber arts.  The foundation takes its name from his round barn that was built to train and exercise horses.

Ana said that when they began restoration there was no central supporting pole and the structure was on the verge of collapse.  Because it's a working ranch, Oregon law limits groups inside this building to no more than ten.
The property is sprawling but interspersed are buildings in use for an artist-in-residence program.  Because of Covid-19 restrictions there are only two artists now, both potters, but they anticipate returning to their potential of eight after the pandemic.

This is one of the locations we looked at for a painted-warp workshop, but because of the lack of hot water for dissolving the eye powders, we determined it would be more appropriate for a spinning workshop.  it will be shaded by the canopy of cottonwoods this summer and ideal.

Whychus Creek runs through the property and will be the perfect environment for a spinning circle.
Ana really wanted us to take home a bag of fleece.  They're incorporating sheep into the ranch and she said they'd really like to see some of the wool spun and even better, woven.  So the three spinners among us obliged.  They have three Lincoln sheep and when we saw them bedded in straw, I cringed to think what was in the bag that I had accepted.  They're adding another 13 sheep to the flock soon which will also have to be shorn.  More wool!
I don't have a top loading washer any longer so have to wash clumps at a time in the sink.  I did a cursory skirting and am taking off more as I go.  It's one of the dirtiest fleeces I've ever washed, but it has almost none of the dreaded vegetative matter.  Glory be!
I'm flicking the locks and then spinning them which seems the easiest way to spin luster long wool, plus I'd like to preserve the variegations in the locks.  Boy is it hairy.  I can't imagine trying to weave this but I'll cross that bridge when I have a fulled two-ply yarn.  That might, just maybe get dyed with onion skins.  I've been away from spinning for a surprisingly long time and surprisingly my muscle memory can still make yarn.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Spring is a'coming

Delaney was in Reno for three weeks so we took advantage of the free time and went to Yachats for a few days - pronounced Yah-hots.  We were blessed with really nice weather, a window in between rainy days.

The coast had been experiencing extremely high tides which brought in unusually large quantities of drift wood and it was everywhere.  We even brought some home.

We walked the 804 trail to the point it empties onto the beach and continues in the sand for an additional 7 miles.  We took that as our cue to turn around.

This is our third time to stay in this little Air B&B, a shotgun house built in 1904.  It's very small but it's big enough and cheap enough for our needs.
It's situated at the mouth of the Yachats River and this is the view you get in the front room.  A right turn at that stop sign takes you to the state park where I took the first photo, maybe a couple of football fields from the house.

The sunsets were spectacular.  We ate fresh seafood every night and left just as the weather started to turn.  
I bought this stroller from a store that sells used baby equipment, clothes and toys.  I've since learned that BOB strollers are the Cadillac of strollers and I got a steal at $100.  The weather is mostly chilly and windy but we've gotten in three walks.
We walked to a nearby park where they have the only infant swing I've seen here.  I thought she would absolutely love it but she did not.  Plus it takes a lot of arm strength to get her back out!

It's been so dry that we called our irrigation guy and had him come turn the system on early.  He got distracted by me and one valve didn't get closed so water ran all night.  This was a surprise to wake up to but he got here right away and got it fixed.
We have our local deer who hang out here from time to time.  They know us and Ian can walk right up to them.  These is a migratory herd on their way to the Cascades.  I cringe when I think of all the roads and traffic they will have to negotiate in their journey.  They're molting and a pretty scraggly lot.

Delaney turned two while she was in Reno so had a small party there with her aunts.  This past weekend they had a second party for her family here.  

Ian and I are fully vaccinated so I was really looking forward to her party.  This is my oldest son and this is maybe the 6th time I've seen him this year.  Delaney was happy to see him too!

Delaney doesn't have many play opportunities and always enjoyed a visit from Dillon.  Their mothers were best friends at Reno High School and now their children are friends.  I took tons of pictures, we all did, but this is one my favorites because they're so innocent and sweet.  I'm not sure where they're going as that door is the entry to the laundry room and then the garage.
And taped on the garage door is this reminder, after getting to our house on quite a few occasions without formula, diapers or baby wipes.  I think that's her daddy's writing :-). He has drop-off duty.


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Weaving Workshop

These cones are the eight colors I've chosen for my single shuttle Crackle towels.  They're here because I have stuff strewn all over the place as I frantically work on my Echo and Jim projects for the Linda Hartshorn workshop.  I don't think the workshop is any less intensive than her traditional 2 1/2 day taught in person.  The only thing missing is being able to handle the fabric but I've said that before.

I'm about at the end of my warp and have already selected eight colors in reds and oranges for another warp.  If I keep this up I might have enough inventory for a sale in the future, if that ever happens.

This is a sample from the Echo weave part that we did on the first day.  If you see purple, your eye is fooling you.  The warp and weft are both 8/2 Tencel which is a form of rayon.  The tie-up is a traditional 8-shaft twill.
These are the colors I chose.  The warp is wound at 40 ends per inch - wowzers!  That puts four threads in each dent, and while I thought it was over my head, I only made one warping error and was able to fix it with a string heddle.  I'm so impressed that I even know how to do that.  I can't tell you how much I've learned since moving here and being part of an active weaving guild.

This is a sample woven in Jin.  The only difference is changing one harness on each treadle and the use of a second yarn known as a tabby, which is one shot of a different thread woven as plain weave.  That thread's function is to tie down the weft and keep it in place.  It's slower to weave but it's certainly interesting.   The tabby is where I made the most mistakes, which just tells me that I need to do it more to teach my muscle memory.

Linda recommended that we use a finer thread for the weft and I only had three colors in a size 16/2 bamboo, nothing else finer.  I bought it a long time ago because I was going to weave Huck lace scarves until I wove a couple and realized how time intensive they were.  We were instructed to add enough warp to weave a scarf after we had finished all our samples.  The black is the finer thread and from this sample I decided to use it for my weft.
I chose three patterns and alternated them.
This is the finished scarf.  I'm pleased with everything except the length.  I ran out of warp because I had woven too many samples.  It's not even 60" but it's still wearable.  Tomorrow morning we wrap up the workshop and review our projects.  Ian and I are packing our suitcases and will leave as soon as that it done for a short stay at Yachats on the coast.  We'll resume our babysitting responsibilities next week.



Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

 The towels are finished.  I've been trying for a faux crackle look and have decided to just try crackle one more time.  I met a weaver who dresses her loom for crackle but only weaves with a single shuttle.  That's my plan anyway.

My favorite uses bright yellow for pattern.
I did some towels in muted colors, still in summer and winter, and the two blue ones are in our bathroom.  I wanted to be totally done with this draft before moving on because Gilmore tie-up is a bear.
I find myself liking my projects in stages, but by the time the warp was ready, I was thoroughly disenchanted with this one.  I'm committed now though since I don't want to change tie-up again for a while.
I stopped this afternoon after the warp was threaded and slayed.  The guild meeting is in the morning and it's a weaver from Dallas who was supposed to be our program last month but got frozen in place.  She's going to speak about the design process and I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday morning is our orientation with Linda Hartshorn for a workshop in parallel weaving.  This is my sample and I am anxious to get started.  It promises to be the boost my weaving has needed.  I feel like I've been going around in circles.
Delaney's book is almost as big as she is!  She's in Reno with her mommy until the first week in March.  Sadly, her grandpa had a heart attack last Thursday.  Matt and Julia picked Delaney up early Friday with a dog and a fully packed car.  They hadn't drive half way when she got the unexpected, a call that her dad had passed away before she had a chance to say goodbye.  Her Grandma Sue told me that Delaney has been a light in the darkness.  She certainly has that quality.  

Sunday, March 07, 2021

Into every life some rain must fall


I got my first shot of the vaccine last Friday and while I was there they ran out of the Pfizer and I was given Moderna instead which has an additional week between shots so my next one won't be until March 28th.  It's a relief to just have the first one!

I've been knitting a lot and finished this Martha Green Aran knit-along.  I wish I had made the next size up which would have created a cowl but it's comfortable to wear as it is.
I am very pleased.

I also finished Alexia's sweater which is a couple of patterns cobbled together.
It couldn't be cuter on her.
It was very important to her that she could raise her arms without exposing her belly, and it passed the test.  I wonder what she does at school that requires this gesture.
I'm doing another zoom weaving workshop in a couple of weeks, and the only reason I can participate is because of zoom.  My eight-shaft loom is too heavy to take anywhere.  I'm really looking forward to what we'll do next.  This is just the tie-on and it's awesome.
Into every life some rain must fall.  This is the Subaru Crosstrek that we bought last May.  I had to drop something off for UPS pickup and just as I was leaving the parking lot, a guy in a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado with a massive trailer hitch backed into me.
Actually he pinned my car with his hitch so that I couldn't proceed.  Believe it or not, the damage is extensive and we won't have the car back until the 18th.  Just some rain.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Waiting it out, keeping busy

 I got the warp on, and in fact, both looms are dressed right now.  Arthur is my 40" loom and he's dressed for a parallel threading workshop next month.  I still have to check it for errors but have given all my attention to this summer and winter dish towel warp.

This is the first towel using magenta and bright yellow.
This is the second one using bright yellow and lavender
This is the third one using butter yellow and rose red.  I was suddenly struck by how the pattern is being swallowed up by the color so cut the warp from the shuttles and started to unweave.  With a little time away from the loom I am starting to realize that they are all going to look pretty much the same because of the super-saturated bright yellow.  Deb Menz has said that a little yellow goes a long way, boy and howdy!
It's been a while since Delaney has used her washable marking pens so last Friday I got them out.  She has outgrown the booster seat and for this she preferred to stand at the table.
She holds all of her pens while she's using them, like an artist, so I only give her six or seven at a time.
I think she's showing remarkable control with her mark making, but we'll wait a little while before we do this again.
By the time she was done with her picture she had colored herself as well, a little on her face and the palms of both hands. It washes off quickly but it's a bit of a rodeo.
I finished this sweater for Alexia.  It's so hard to fit someone when you can't measure and try on but I think this will work.  She told me her underarm measurement was 17" which can't be right since she's a skinny 16-year-old kid so she asked her mother to measure her again and said that it's 19".  Ape arms!!  I told her to measure the the arm of the sweater I made for her, from the body to the end of the cuff.  Surprise, surprise - it's 16". I ordered a replacement sweater dryer which will be here tomorrow and will wash it when it gets here.  I expect some size change when I do that.

I had a nice surprise on my walk this morning.  The irrigation district has opened the canal for ranchers to refill their stock ponds.  During the winter it only lasts a couple of days and it brings in all the water fowl, mostly ducks.  This morning a lone goose was crying his heart out, trying to locate his misplaced family.  Hope he finds them soon as he only has a couple more days before this waterway turns back into a dry bed.

Today is February 22, 2021 and I went into quarantine March 11, 2020.  Still no shot, still no vaccine.