Saturday, November 29, 2008

2008 Christmas Tree Hunt

Seventeen people, six vehicles and ten permits met the day after Thanks-
giving at Hallelujah Junction to embark on the 2008 Christmas tree hunt. Ian and I came in the smallest truck and scored the first tree.

Son Josh came with the biggest truck, cut the last tree, but oh my what a tree he did cut. You know that's not going to fit into a house without substantial reduction.
This is our sixth year to go as a group for trees and this is by far our largest group and it is certainly the mildest weather we have experienced. We were able to cut our trees and get back to Chilcoot for breakfast before the rest of the crowd. In fact, the only vehicles we saw were driving in as we were leaving.
Ian called for a hat shot. These are all hats that I have knitted. I am, in fact, wearing the first hat that I ever knitted. It's the only one I have or wear.

Our Redding kids.

Our Reno kids.

Josh lead the procession into the Sierras and drove through all the puddles available. As second in the parade, we kept our distance but were able to appreciate the care he took to get the most mud from every puddle. Ian says he takes it to an art form. Look at the size of that tree!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Pies

I love my ceramic pie plates. I have bought so many over the years but these are the only two that I have left. Each one has been a memory but the problem is that have I put a pie in one, taken it to a function, then forgot where I took it and then suddenly I don't have any nor do I know where they went.
Thanks to my grand-
mother, I can put a crust on anything. Tomorrow at Thanks-
giving, between friends and family, we'll be seating close to two dozen at the table. I so love this holiday - all family, no presents. My pie assignment this year is pecan and cherry. Son Josh has the giant house and has inherited the holiday. I could go on, but I won't.
This is my compro-
mise, plus it makes a stable way to transport the pies. They're pretty heavy actually. I still have Amy's pie plate that she brought for my birthday in October, case in point. Dan Wheeler from Mossy Creek Pottery, Oregon was the potter for the left plate and Joe Winter, my neighbor, was the potter for the right one. Why did it take me so long to figure this out. So what if I'm cheating.

Wishing a wonderful Thanksgiving to all. Did I mention that this is my most favorite of all holidays....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Silk Scarves

I finished another silk scarf, spun from some hand-dyed roving that I bought from Mim. The roving weighed 1.8 ounces. The scarf is drying here because I washed and ironed it. The picture doesn't show off the pattern well, but none of the other pictures were any better. I don't think I have any silk that amounts to more than 2 ounces so I'm cursed to knit small scarves.

This is from the silk hankie I spun up earlier this year and the yarn weighs 2 ounces. I spun it tighter and thinner and have already started to knit it. Though it feels like I'm knitting with string, the fabric is wonderfully soft and drapey. It's the same pattern on the same needles, but it's much more open and loose which makes no sense to me. Half the time I don't know what I'm doing and the half I wonder what I have done.
I know this won't sense to non-
weavers, but a floating selvedge is recom-
mended when weaving twill but since they don't tie on to the back beam, they have to be weighted separately. Beryl had recommended a brand of C-clamps which I was unable to find so I substituted these. They work like a charm. When you need more length, unscrew the clamp and release another length. I have learned so much from my friends by blog - thank you all!

If you've managed to read this far on a holiday weekend, I hope you'll have a moment to view the historic clip at Selvedge magazine of wool and the weaving industry in Australia. It's an abbreviated version of a longer one available at link provided in the text. It's an educational film from the "talkies" era and I ended up watching it twice. Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving on this, my favorite of all holidays.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cleaning Up

I finished up the four ounces of purple roving from Mim, which is in the fore-
ground. I think it will be nice with the other colors and will mostly likely end up in a hat. I can't seem to break the purple and green cycle. She has offered to trade me roving for soap. I wonder how much soap I can push on her.

The only dyed rovings that I have now are silk that I did myself, so I'm back to spinning black Corriedale. Since I'm driving us to the next guild meeting, I plan to be an early shopper.
This is the only towel survivor from my last weaving adventure. It drew in more than my last towel and I have to assume it has something to do with changing my tie-up back to standard while keeping the Ms and Os threading. I have come to the conclusion that I need to take a step back and do some standard student projects with twill. I think I've enough left on my 5/2 cones for another set of towels. This time I'll wind a three yard warp which should give me plenty of room to be stupid.

I asked both Beryl Moody and Leigh about their preferences for towels and both have expressed a liking for 8/2 cotton. Also both have used a wider warp. I was kind of nodding off at the end of this towel and was thinking I should try a more complex treadling next time, until I pulled the project off the loom and saw all my treadling errors, which mostly pointed to my nodding off. More learning needed.

There is no animal in this dust bin. This is the sweepings from our bedroom alone. Do you think our dogs shed????

Saturday, November 22, 2008


This is where I get onto the highway, but when I saw the bright colors of the train, I felt a picture was required. Of course my camera was in the back seat in my bag, so I jumped out, yanked open the back door, grabbed the camera and caught this shot.

The bright colors of the train cars against the high desert landscape - had to do it. Pulling onto the highway and accelerating to traffic speed, I realized that that the vehicle parked on the shoulder was actually a CHP. I do have out-of-state plates you know. I watched my mirror for a nervous couple of miles. I must be small potatoes. I like being small potatoes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Spinning - no - I don't mean bicycle

Now that I have the pound of grey Targhee/
Corriedale spun, I've begun to spin the black Corriedale, also from Black Sheep Gathering. It might be too optimistic, but I'm hoping that by weaving with handspun, I can finally make a dent in my out-of-control fiber stash.

The bobbin and the fiber in this basket are a pound. I figure two pounds, including the grey, is more than generous but I'd like my next lap robe to be a little longer and a little wider than the last one. Anything left over can become a hat. Leftovers are good, running out is bad.
I've decided to take a little break since I've been spinning to task for the last month. I bought this from Mim in September at our guild retreat. I get weak at the knees when I see her hand-dyed rovings and I plan to pair this with green. We're weeks away from our guild Christmas party. She always brings roving for sale, and I know for a fact that I'm going to buy more. This is my rationale. I must spin what I already bought so it will be okay for me to buy some more. Or something like that.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dewey, the Library Cat

My hold came into today at the library for "Dewey: the small-
town library cat who touched the world," by Vicki Myron. I had read the review in Bookpage a couple of months ago and placed it on hold right away. We get complimentary physical copies at our library and I absolutely love to read the interviews and suggestions. Since libraries get plenty of book tools, I don't know why this one clicks with me but I've found a number of surprises, including Reeve Lindburgh's, and it's still one of my favorites this year.

I honestly didn't register how much Dewey looks like Charlie until I picked up the book today, and incidently, I love it. Both boys are rescues but one is socialized all day long and the other has to wait long days for human companionship.

Sometimes he waits for his dog.

I realized as I was reading the book that I wished Charlie was well socialized like Dewey, but Charlie is. He's socialized to his companion - his dog.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another Disappointment

I was trying to stretch what's left on my 5/2 cotton cones so resorted to stripes. I'm warped and tied up for Ms and Os and on top of that I'm warped at 18 epi for twill when 20 epi is recommended. It's all wrong, and by this point I had also discovered a threading error. I had already found and fixed a couple, argh. What to do??

I cut it off so and retied up. My sleying error is identified in the maw of my scissors. I think I had been getting the appearance of Ms and Os, but the cotton is too course - not sure. As a newbie, it probably would be a good thing to stick to conventional weaves and solid colored warps for a while.
I crawled under my loom and changed the tie-up back to standard and that's what this towel will be - standard tie-up with Mos and Os threading. In the end, I will have another towel and more weaving experience. Since I don't have access to a classroom, I apparently am my own laboratory. I need to buy some good colors.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I was really pleased with how my Box Car Willie socks were looking. My shoulder ached from me patting my back on the cool corrugated ribbing on the rib and heel. Then I tried them on. It did not fit like a glove. It felt like an overcoat on my foot. I was stunned. Would these be my favorite socks? Would I even wear them? Ever??

The yarn was really expensive. This is now my socks looked when I left for work.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One Fleece Down

Ta-dah. This is the last of a seven-
pound Targhee/
Corriedale fleece that I bought at Black Sheep Gathering about ten years ago. So if it takes me ten years to spin a seven pound fleece and I have 20 more in the garage, how many years will it take me to spin the rest if I leave the station at the same time as the train, traveling at 70 miles per hour. I hate word math, doncha know.

This basket was stuffed with the roving that is now these skeins. Yarn is so much easier to store than the wool. I've begun spinning black Corriedale roving that I also bought at Black Sheep, but probably more like seven years ago. We haven't been in five years which is how long we have had the sheep. That's just silly - we have sheep so can't go to the sheep show.
I'm planning to make another lap robe like this one, but this time I'd like to use shades of red. This blue is the same wool as I just finished spinning. I can't knit fast enough to use up all my wool - gotta weave it.

Knitting - I've finished all my "gotta" projects and am now pondering on what I'll start for a "wanta" project.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Red Sky in Morning

Sailors take warning.

That's was one of my mother's many sayings.

In came the clouds, delivering rain, rain, rain, beautiful rain, beautiful soaking rain.

Beautiful rain - beautiful clouds.

The Sierras got a nice dusting of snow. Winter is right around the corner. I can feel it in my bones - no really.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Country Halloween

It's not Charles Schultz's Great Pumpkin, but it's the spirit of Halloween here. Squint - you see pumpkin, right? It's the face of a fun event for our children, trick-or-treating in the cold and dark.

I stood with about eight of my neighbors at a card table with the light from a generator in what would otherwise have been total darkness. Yup, we were or had been imbibing. - who else would stand out in the insane cold and hand out candy? We all had bags of candy and spread out so that the children could trick-or-treat us in a simulation of going house-to-house. One Suburban pulled up, opened up the back and spilled out a half dozen confused toddlers in costume. I think they were the least thrilled.

Children of all ages came down our line. I know it's not the same as going house to house in town, but they don't know it, and they got an awful lot of candy from us in a short amount of time. Halloween is always cold and I'm amazed at the kids who are willing to freeze for free candy.

Warm? Try to stay warm on an open trailer, but the kids were such good sports. We were lucky to have dry weather. This is not a good time of year for an outdoors activity like a Halloween hay ride. It has rained off and on all day today, so we were lucky to have window last night that was just cold but dry

I am amazed - these kids really had a good time and I am so glad to have been a part of it. I had to pass on the peppermint schnapps for the adult trick-or-treaters, but I went home feeling like my bag was full.

Between trick-or-treaters, we talked about the cost and benefits of remote living. Yeah, there's cost, but I only count of the benefit side. Last night fell into the benefit side.