Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Dog Days of Summer

I took Matt, Julia and Delaney to the High Desert Museum just a week after I took Melissa.  I had just assumed they would have been there by now and so it was nice to be able to share some of my passes with them.  Delaney absolutely loved it.

I have taken a picture of all five of my grandkids on this bronze elk and this photo completes my collection.  There are many bronzes and pieces of art on the campus but this is the only one children are invited to sit on.
I lost track of the gauge on my latest sweater for Delaney and Alexia jokingly tried it on.  Pretty but wrong.

With the second ball I don't have to worry about running out of yarn so I've swatched and started over.
Meanwhile Alexia has become a knitting fiend.  And it's pretty easy to get the right size.  She's the smallest one offered in the instructions.

And in no time she was done!
We attended a stash sale of a friend where she got a bunch of free magazines and four skeins of Cascade 220 to make a scarf.  The pattern was in one of the magazines and was designed by Deborah Newton.
We cancelled our trip to Tacoma and Vashon Island because of the extreme heat and have more or less been hunkered down in the house.  This was our one foray - Todd Lake, from snow meltwater.  There were a lot of people and many had packed in portable kayaks.
There was even a sunbather.  Something for everyone.  The hike got cut short when I tipped myself into a small stream and was soused.  I wanted to cool off but not like that!
The yard is surviving the heat but Ian has to water everything by hand about midday, another reason we didn't feel like we could leave.  And the wildfires started about a week ago and are punishing for our firefighters.  God bless them, every one!!
I finished these three towels, thinking the blocks were random but they're not.  I'll enter one in the fair - that's all I've completed but I'm trying these again.  I'm hoping that this time I'll get a more random placement.


Monday, June 21, 2021

Pleasurable passtimes

 My friend Melissa flew up a couple of weeks ago for a quick visit, taking advantage of the promotional prices from Alero, a new airlines that has just begun serving Redmond and several other secondary markets, like Burbank which is her airport.  We only had two full days and made the most of them.  This photo is from our visit to the High Desert Museum.  Our favorite thing was the outdoor wild raptor show.  Highly recommended!

She's been painting every day and has started moving into mixed media and collage.  I showed her how relief printing with lino works and she loved it.  We ended up doing this on two of our afternoons.
We printed a couple dozen of these Christmas ornaments which she'll assemble when she gets home.  They wouldn't travel well otherwise.  She's coming up again the end of August and by then I will have completed a two-day woodblock class so will have more to show her.

I finished this sweater for Delaney which she loves.
The buttons are perfect, from Skacel.
I started another sweater for her using the variegated yarn that a friend gave me.  I bought the muted peach to go with it as the single ball wouldn't be enough.  My friend messaged me last night that she found a second ball of the variegated and though I don't need it, I have accept it for a different project.  I sampled for over an hour trying to find a pleasing way to blend the two yarns.
I realized when I turned the work over to purl that the wrong side is the answer.  The wrong is the right!! 
Our-soon-to-be-17-year-old granddaughter Alexia is with us again this summer.  She has stepped up her knitting game and enjoys knitting with the Knitterbugs when we get together in a park.  She knitted this shell from linen, not quite a beginner project, and she nailed it.
It fits her perfectly and she is going to wear it this Wednesday when we meet up to knit.
I've done very little weaving in the past few months, other than a workshop.  I decided to return to Turned Taquete again and experiment with squares of different combinations of the same hue.  I'd like to finish in time to have something to enter into the fair this year.

It's too hot to weave in the afternoons but instead of using the morning time, I've chosen to sit outside and enjoy the fresh cool air.  I've worked hard on the yard and like to sit out with my coffee and either knit or read.  The summers are short here and I'll have the rest of the year to weave.  That's what is going on here.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

And June rolls around again.

It's happened.  I'd rather do yard work that weave.  I've added six new hostas this year, bought bareroot in a bag from Costco.  They have to start from scratch every season.  You'd think I'd come up with something different since our growing season is so short.  Last week we had to put our hanging baskets in the garage so they wouldn't freeze and this week we're working overtime to keep everything watered in 90-degree days.  

I was given these iris about three years ago and they finally bloomed - worth the wait!
Ian moved the tomato pots from the back deck to the edge of the RV pad where they'll get full sun all day.  The blue things are Walls of Water, needed protection against late frost.  We've lost a plant or two every year but so far everything looks good.  That bright apple green area was barren dirt but about a month ago Ian spread some clover seed and covered it with mulch.  It looks great!

Our resident rabbit approves.  With his help we may not need to mow.
Every year we tackle some overgrown area and try to make it pretty.  This was a bear, pulling out everything including some raspberries that we regret planting.  They've encroached everywhere and I don't even like raspberries.  I bought some wildflower seed from Wilco that's specific to the PNW.  We covered it with a bag and a half of mulch and already we're seeing sprouts.  Supposedly the annuals will bloom this year and next year we're get flowers from the perennials.   
This is an AeroGarden that is a system for sprouting seeds in the house that we bought about 10 days ago.  Neither one of us has had any successful with sowing from seed.  Our friend Kathi bought two of these and said they ate from it all winter.  So far only the basil is growing.  It will be ready to set out just about the time the summer weather is in full swing.
The large field behind our house was brought inside the urban growth boundary the year after we moved in, a sure sign that development was coming.  The new high school where I'm standing is completed and will open this fall.  This area of the field is where development is starting.  The trees are coming down and excavators are rehabilitating the landscape.  This is volcanic country so the excavators have their hands full blasting and removing rock.  There are 43 acres in all, including a park and businesses.  I hope that includes a coffee shop!
Meanwhile, this is what's at the end of our street.  Its construction on the sewer extension for the new development.  We knew all of this was coming but that doesn't make me have to like it.
Our neighbor watches their grandson Jasper on Fridays.  He's three months younger than Delaney and the two have come to be friends.  Jasper goes to daycare a couple days a week so has other children to play with but this is it for Delaney.  I love watching them together.  Delaney's mommy knows to come next door when she picks Delaney up.  Next Friday we'll picking Alexia up in Lakeview and bring her home for the rest of the summer, so we'll have two granddaughters!!


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

I'm still here

We're still in the early days of spring and some days are too cold for much of anything but taking walks.  I'm knitting a lot and finished this sweater for granddaughter Alexia in Reno who will spend this July with us again.  The pattern is on Ravelry, Glass Ceiling, by Heidi Kirrmaier.

It fits her great and she loves it.
I also finished another sweater for Delaney.  It's gratifying that she likes to wear my sweaters so much.  As cute as this is, the twisted rib took forever and I wouldn't knit it a second time.

I am part of a group of knitters that call themselves The Knitterbugs.  One of our group was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer about two months ago so we put on our thinking caps and decided to knit an afghan for her; each of us would knit a 12" square block.  Her favorite color is blue so that was the only unifying factor.  Because Covid restrictions are still in place we met in a park to arrange the blocks and stitch them together. 
Adele ended up taking it home to crochet twice around the completed afghan to give it a finished look. We gave it to her on Mothers Day.
I've done very little weaving this past month, only completing this scarf.  I wanted to use a pattern that had a wif file and found this one on www.handweaving.net.  The files are part of your subscription.  My next goal is how to make my own wif files.
I'm weaving it a second time but I think I'm ready to return to block weaves after this.  I have mountains of 8/2 Tencel and after Linda Hartshorn quipped that scarves make great samples, I'm having no problem weaving them, along with a sample of 2-3 weft colors.
There's a shop downtown that sells used kids' stuff and that's where I bought this Bob stroller for $100 which anyone who is familiar with these will tell you s a steal.  Delaney loves it.  I'm working on getting her to wear her sunglasses properly to protect her light blue eyes.  She still hates hats.
The yard is beginning to wake up and the hostas are just now poking their noses up through the soil.  Our growing season is about 3-4 months long and it's a lot of work for such a short time but I always enjoy it.  As my friend Kathi said - this is fun, right?  I said, yes it's fun in May, not fun on August.  I suspect weaving will slow down even more.
And our little garden helper loves being outside.  This activity is moving dirt from one spot to another.
One of the weavers in our guild writes a column for our local newspaper.  This one tickled my funny bone.


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.