Saturday, July 28, 2007


This is Allie's sweater, knit from Schaeffer's Elaine yarn. It's a wonderful thick-and-thin yarn which I've found it at other other yarn shops but my LYS doesn't carry it and says they aren't interested in carrying it in the future. So when I buy it somewhere else, I don't feel guilty. One skein makes a baby sweater.

This is all the leftover yarn I had - that's the closest I've even been on a project and it kinda made me jittery.

Well, now, how cute was it. Let's take another look. Pretty darn cute, objectively speaking.

We were baby sitters this weekend. It was a terrible experience, as you can see.

Not only did we babysit grandkids, we were babysitters for our neighbor's dog, Sammi. Kiernan tried to sneak her into the car so he could take her home. We're babysitter's, not dognappers!

Friday, July 27, 2007


Hermi sent me this picture of herself to show that, indeed, you can hike and knit. I've never seen her without a piece of knitted attire, even though she lives in Las Vegas. We met at a Judith MacKenzie workshop in Virginia City a number of years ago. She also belongs to my local guild. She found my blog a while ago, and we have stayed in touch by email. She's in Reno for the board meeting of the Friends of Nevada Wilderness on the same day as our guild meeting so we haven't been able to get together.
The board meeting was finally on a different weekend and we were able to meet on campus for lunch today. Amy and a friend of Hermi's joined us to knit and talk furiously for an hour a half. Then we all had to get back to business. It was a wonderful interlude. Hermi's sweater is "hot off the needles" and knitted from Barbara Allbright's latest book. She learned to knit as a girl growing up Switzerland and is the only person I know who knits as fast and I do. But she knits prettier.
This vehicle has been abandoned alongside the highway for over a year now and has become a political bulletin board. It's a little sad when you think that in the past, this camper provided someone with good times and happy memories.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Harry VII

Hmmmm, what do we have here? Interesting.

My mom hasn't been paying any attention to me since this came into the house. She says she's only reading 50 (or 100, or whatever) pages a day to hang on to the suspense. But what the heck is it???

Oh wow. It's Harry VII and I'm next in line to read it. She promised.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I tried to show yarn the way that Leigh does on her blog, but I think I should have done it before I fulled these skeins. The penny - she uses a dime but I could only find this cent - wanted to fall through. I think it wanted top billing, hah. I know you're not supposed to full yarn that you intend to weave with, but I hadn't intended to weave in the beginning and had already fulled the yarn to knit.

Yet another spectacular show tonight- Arizona Highway's stuff.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I finished this last night though I hadn't intended to. About 9:00 I decided to read a couple of chapters before going to bed. The story takes place over a thirty-year period in volatile, turbulent Afghanistan, beginning with the Soviet invasion and ending with the downfall of the Taliban. It's told through the lives of two women who become unlikely allies and friends. Where I picked up last night, they had just gotten into a terrible pickle and I found myself reading the kind of frantic intensity I experience when I read something like John Grisham's The Firm. I realized I would have to finish it.

I had read both The Bookseller of Kabul and Reading Lolita in Tehran, but being drawn into an empathetic connection with these characters made me feel how harsh the struggle to survive had been under the punishing regime of the Taliban, most especially for women.

A list of forbidden activities was included in the text and here are a couple: You will not, under any circumstance, show your face. You will cover with burqa outside. If you do not, you will be severely beaten. You will not laugh in public. You will not speak unless spoken to. You will not make eye contact with men. You will not laugh in public. If you do, you will be beaten. You will not paint your nails. If you do, you will lose a finger. Girls are forbidden from attending school.

Khaled Hosseini's first book was The Kite Runner. I've read some reviewers who thought this might be an even better book. I wouldn't say that, as I liked them both. I identified with this one more because it's a story of women. I will say that this had a happier ending than Kite Runner, to my relief

This morning I started on Harry Potter VII and was immediately struck by how similar the stories felt. Lord Voldemort and the Taliban are selfish and tyrannical forces that know no reason, seemingly cannot be stopped, are cruel, without any compassion, and have no loyalties. I wonder if Afghanis would find Harry Potter's battle to survive against Lord Voldemort all that much of a fantasy. At least he has his friends in the Order of the Phoenix whereas the women had no support group at all.

I pulled off the road on my drive home tonight to catch this unusual sunset.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


The weaving has commenced. I haven't woven in a year and I haven't woven on this loom in at least two. This loom has some problems that I don't think I can do anything about. The front apron rods are shorter than the reed by at least an inch on each side. The warp was bunched up on the edges so I ended up having to unweave and remove 1 1/2" of warp from both sides. And because I no longer had a floating selvedge, I decided to switch to tabby, not stopping to think that I had warped for twill. This means that the plaid isn't beating square. I've gotten over my disappointment and am moving on. I looked at my old 24" loom and the front apron rod and reed are the same length. I guess I just need to focus on using this loom's eight harnesses.
I've left the spare warps dangling off the back until I weave a little more and can free it up for weft. Like my toes??

One dog bed.

The other dog bed.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


This is my niece and her best friend's father. She went through school and graduated with Anton, who then went on to graduate school, met a brilliant film student whom he introduced to Allison, and well, they're now wed. The brilliant film student is now our nephew-in-law.

This happy wedding-day picture of Anton and his father brings tears to my eyes because of what isn't here. Anton's mother did not win the battle against breast cancer.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Big Sky Kind of Day

Today was a Big Sky kinda day. This is the south end of our valley where Mim lives. Look for the trees about midway in the shade on the right. Evening comes much earlier at her house than at our's, but snow also stays on the ground a lot longer too. I shot this on my way to work this morning.

I always love the view when I start into Ross Creek Canyon - the home stretch. There are so many layers to this vista. I have promised myself that I'd stop for this picture and it's taken me nearly five years to actually do it. When I'm on the road home, I want to be home. Tonight I stopped.

One picture leads to another, especially when you're not paying to have film developed. I drove ahead to the pullout so I could include the pasture in a shot. I didn't expect horses and I'm sure they didn't expect me.

Okay, now they're done - nothing to eat and I'm frankly boring. If I read horse body language correctly, they're disgusted.

This evening I snuck carefully around the house to catch a picture of this rabbit dead center in my shot. He seems so happy to have the dropped bird seek all to himself. I was so smug at having caught him that I stood up, which startled the other three rabbits that I hadn't seen who then scurried to safety. Come on - I'm Elmer Fudd without the speech impediment.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The White Pelicans Are Back

The white pelicans are back. I had seen one the other day and tonight was surprised to see that there are a half dozen. I slammed on my brakes and slid to a stop on the shoulder to get a picture of these guys.

Can you believe that this is the Nevada high desert?

We had nice clouds all day and I took several pictures, but I liked this one the best - putting the day to rest.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I'm Spinning Weft!

This is where I am in the project. I should have been tied on by now, but- there always seems to be a but. This is a four-harness twill - I have no idea why I didn't use all eight harnesses - and because I'm weaving the full width, ran into the problem of what to do with the heddles on the last four sheds. There are enough that they pinched the weaving area. I had to decide if I was going to re-thread the warp onto all eight harnesses or remove those heddles, which is what I chose for the sake of time. Remember that I'm trying to get this done for the fair in August. However, and there's also always an however, it cost me every fingernail I have now and any that will try to grow for weeks to come. I had hoped to have the satisfaction of seeing the warp tied on, but since I have so much weft to spin yet, it's not so terrible that I can't do it until next weekend, just disappointing..

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Home, Home on the Range

We had a lot of traffic this morning, I think partly because folks thought they could take our rural road and avoid the single lane escort through the fire zone on Hwy 395.

This is the cattle guard and the cows are just doing what they're supposed to do, where they're supposed to do it. They're crossing the road.

This is the pile of sand that the county roads department has deposited for the super icy days of winter. We have always assumed that the sand has salt in it, because we see cows browsing at from time to time. You can see by the dust that my photography made them nervous.

And as you can see, even cows have teenagers.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I Am Rich

Today was our TransSierra spin-in at Anna Harvey's in Calpine, California. In spite of the smoke from the terrible Antelope Fire, we had such a good time for ourselves. I had looked forward to today for so long, and now tonight I'm sitting here, reflecting on how rich I am for my friends. This comfortable group - Allison, Sara, Sue, Birdsong and Amy- represents both of our guilds. Most of us drove more than an hour to get to the Harvey ranch. It was worth the drive.

Anna is a fourth generation sheep raiser. The 5,000 acres she calls home was her family's summer camp. She and her husband are the first to live here full-time. She and her brother-in-law run the commercial meat operation and her husband is a logger. She began her fiber production just recently and the first year she took a fleece to show at Monterey, got $22 a pound. Her dad had been skeptical about her whole spinning flock thing and was bragging to her after the Monterey show that he got just .67 a pound - what did she get? He wasn't impressed since that was for just one fleece. How I appreciate the passion of Anna and the spinning-flock shepherds. Where would we be without them?! I am thrilled that this year Anna was awarded second place for a small flock at the Black Sheep Gathering this year.

Such a great group come together today. The shape of the "spinning circle" changed with the movement of the sun - here are Linda, Mim and Carolyn. My neighbor Mim and I drove over together and visited all the time we were coming and going - I loved every minute of it. I wasn't diligent with my camera and suspect that a better representation will be on Amy's blog in the next few days. I have only a couple of ranch pictures hereafter because I lost focus on the spinning part. It all fell apart when Anna showed us her skirting room upstairs in the barn and Birdsong and I fell in love with the same fleece, which we bought and split - but that's another blog. I was saved from my indulgence when Nancy approached me and asked if she could buy the other half of the fleece that we had purchased together last month and then dug out the cash. Karma~ or fate.

This thing of beauty is the barn that Anna and her logger husband built this year. He cut the timber from trees on their property. Step back - process information. Not only did they build this lovely structure, but he put a chute and pens in so that she can vaccinate and worm her 200 sheep in one hour. Her studio is the top left area and has wonderful windows. Sue and I profess to extreme and profound barn envy. The animal in the foreground is a living creature, her docile doberman who completed the west end of our spinning circle.

Anna has an entire pen of rams, both commercial and her spinning flock. Her Rambouillet ram has a special tag to indicate that he doesn't go out to the commercial ewes. This boy is gorgeous. He's the daddy of the hoggit fleece that Birdsong and I could not say no to.

Because I had such a fear of chickens growing up - don't ask - I think I have become fascinated with them now. Our house is full of chicken things - you know how people latch onto giftie somethings. I didn't realize that this rooster (black and white boy) had rushed me when I was taking pictures of the rams. I heard my name being called and when I came back to hear what they were saying, realized that for once, I had not freaked at chickens. I was surprised, optimistic and thrilled - maybe I can grow them after all.

And this lovely is my "surprise" from Black Sheep Gathering. Amy asked Ian what he would like, since we couldn't go this year, and he wanted a T-shirt. His earlier ones are in rags - it's the truth. She asked me if I wanted a T-shirt or a surprise and I said surprise. Surprise! Silk from Chasing Rainbows!!!!!?? I am more like blown away. Still spinning frantically for my lap blanket, I look forward to tasting this lovely confection. It will be dessert.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Finished Objects

A friend at work is expecting her first baby next month and this is for him. It's a Lion Brand pattern and I wish I had knitted it from their yarn, not substitute. I'm sure she'll be happy with it, but I'm not as pleased as I wish I were.

Another gift from fun stuff I bought at Imagiknit in San Francisco. The yarn is Jawool from Lang Yarns. So many of the computer-dyed yarns are harsh on the feet. I still think Lorna's Laces is the nicest but her rainbow dyed colors tend to clump up in the socks. I like the hand of this yarn and am pleased with the results.

I am especially happy with this sweater knit from Elaine by Schaeffer. My LYS doesn't carry it so I didn't feel bad about my purchase. It's a thick and thin wool, and one skein makes the sweater. This is my second baby sweater from it. Chrissie would like some buttons, so I think I'll just put a couple at the top. Who's this for??
Granddaughter Alexia. Don't you think the boots complete the outfit?

The most recent New Yorker came today. The first entry in The Talk of the Town was very disturbing and decidedly unsettling.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Whadda day

The sun set yesterday on a record-breaking 108 degrees in Reno -but really a quite pretty sunset for us. This morning when I checked the NOAA site, I was troubled to read that, because of these record setting temps, we were in a weather fire watch. Sure enough, come afternoon, Eddie could feel the atmospheric activity, much before we were aware of it.

This dog is capable of striking terror in other dogs - horrible ranch dog, but come lightening activity and atmospheric change, he's a wus. His worry of lightening activity became real.

We could smell smoke outside after the storm passed and it was 0h-so-very real. I have no pictures of the fire below our house because I spent the energy being anxious, watching with field glasses. The VFD truck came, but was challenged by fences and gullies - I understate their cross-terrain challenge. They got to our fire and put it out, then withdrew to the other the fires. Yeah and phew~

Yesterday on my drive home from work I saw the bulletin for the Volunteer Fire Department's annual picnic later this month. I'm not going to that I thought, it's way too hot for an event - been there, done that. I can assure you that I will be at all of their picnics, forever and ever, amen.

This is the most beautiful site of a fire plane. I grew up East San Diego County. Five times my family was loaded to evacuate, and I can tell you that this is the lovely site that we used to call a Borate Bomber. Whatever you call it, fire help is saintly. We were lucky today to get good a rain after the storm since NOAA had forecasted dry lightening strikes. I am thankful in the most humble way that anyone should want to suit up in this weather and take on the fire demons.

It's looking better. It's spooky living in the unknown...
A friend from town called just now with evacuation information. I cannot tell you how rich it is that we don't have to apply that information - - today? We are very lucky.

And how benign it all looks after the storm has passed to the west. Many, many, many fire trucks have gone by and are still engaged in the fires to the east of us. Is it any wonder that America loves it's fire fighters? Who are these guys and why do they do this????