Thursday, July 30, 2015

Stash-Buster Towels.

I saw on Iowa Weaver's blog that she was weaving stash-buster towels, trying to use up partial cones in anticipation of a move closer to grandchildren.  I thought - that's what we're doing, moving closer to grandkids!  I need to weave some of these too.  I used five pairs of colors, simply alternating dark threads on heddles 1 and 3 and light threads on 2 and 4 for an inch, and then the next inch I threaded light threads on 1 and 3 and dark threads on 2 and 4 and repeat.  My sett is 20 threads. Note to self:  pairs one and five will be next to each when repeated.
I really should have given more thought to the colors I paired and the position I placed them in.  I don't expect much from this set of towels but that's what samples are for.  I have a much better idea what I'll do on the next set.
I am much more comfortable with my warping reel and can quickly prepare a warp.  I've got this one ready to weave tomorrow and already have an idea for my next sample of four towels. After all, the towels that won the Handwoven contest were nothing more than samples.

And speaking of Handwoven, my check arrived this week.  The only thing still to come is their complementary copy of the magazine issue.

I had forgotten the early mention of prizes so was completely taken by surprise by an email I received yesterday from Kilbourne Woolens:

Hello Sharon,

We are writing to congratulate you on winning the Best Use of Color award in the Handwoven for the Home Challenge! We are happy to supply you with an array of Fibre Company Meadow yarn for your future weaving projects. You may choose 10 skeins of our Meadow yarn, our most popular yarn for handweavers, in your choice of colors. Please visit our website, here, to view your color choices, or if you prefer I can send you a color card in the mail. 

Congratulations again, and thank you for supporting Handwoven!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Moving On

After all the craziness surrounding the wedding and our frenzied house hunting, Ian and I decided we really needed a dose of the coast and left Thursday morning for Bandon, which is where Cindie and her husband have been working on a beach house.  We almost connected but when she arrived I was melting into bed.  There is great therapeutic value in beach air and the sound of gulls and waves.  This is the view from out window at the Bandon Beach Motel, a wonderfully maintained property from the 50s.  We slept with the windows open and were lulled to sleep by the natural soundtrack.  
 We took advantage of being right on the harbor and had fresh fish for dinner both evenings.
I walked from our motel down the beach to the South Jetty and the mechanical lighthouse which replaces the classic one, now maintained and managed by volunteers.
We drove down to the South Jetty the next morning and I couldn't resist this sign.
We were graced with beautiful weather but the signs make you know that you need to be on your toes.  If you click for big you'll see the traditional lighthouse on the North Jetty, between the signs.
I couldn't resist this photo.
I finished up these towels after I got home so I could take them to the farmers market.
Sales were modest but I always enjoy these events.  It is becoming more and more a place where people come to visit, and I'm fine with that.  It's only four hours and I enjoy it as much as anybody.  Stephanie, the egg lady, brings her pet goat, a three-month old LaMancha. 
He keeps us all entertained by his inquisitiveness.
His well-earned name is Nibbles/
For reasons known only to a goat, after he had exhausted all areas of interest and nibbled on just about everything, he chose the fire pit to curl up in and was soon asleep.  It's a fun diversion twice a month and any sales are a bonus.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Celebration of Family Wedding

Matt's wedding was wonderful and I am so happy to finally get to call Julia my daughter-in-law.  This beautiful setting is his brother's yard. Josh and Missy have worked all year to make the setting perfect.  Josh and Matt brewed for months to have kegs of beer ready.  Matt is wearing the beer holster he gave to his groomsmen, a symbolic gesture since beer was in kegs.
My photos are all stolen from Facebook.  I took DSLR photos of the rehearsal but left photography to others on this day.  This is of the newlyweds with Matt's sister's family, and yes my granddaughter Alexia is the girl in the blue hair.
And here we are with my son's family - the wedding was in their yard.  It was a wedding with a giant family reunion attached.  Three of Ian's kids made it along with many many long time friends.  Ian and I can't have a Gathering this year because we're moving but this was a credible substitute.   We ate out a lot - party of 17 or party of 23.  And our family just got bigger.

We met our realtor before the wedding, and since he's their personal friend, visited with him after the ceremony.  We've worked with him through an online tool for the past month and so visited two houses we had narrowed our choices down to.  One photographed well and left us bewildered.  The other was close but not quite. Bend has a restriction on development so newer houses are built on .1 acre parcels.  There are a lot of attractive houses on the market but we're not ready to downsize from 11 acres to .1 acre.

We were getting ready to leave when we decided to take a look at an "odd" property and that's the one we ended up placing an offer on.  So here we are, an offer on our house pending the sale of our buyer's house and an offer on a Bend house pending the sale of ours.  We built this house.  I'm new to the sell and buy thing and I'm stressed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Maybe the Third Time Is a Charm

 The tide pool towels turned out great and have been sold.  I'll bring back yarn when we return from Bend so I can make these again.  Having my yarn order shipped to my son's house wasn't as smart as I thought.
I rearranged the order of the colors for desert sunset which wasn't easy but worth it.

This is what it was originally.  I wound the color order in three bouts and while the swath of bright orange and pink running up in the middle is what a sunset looks like, it wasn't going to translate well into towels.
Given the giant mess I had I was pleased when I slid the slats in to check the color order and saved the weaving for the next day.
The hot pink and orange wefts are interesting.
I wove this morning until there's only half a towel left and now I'm taking a break before I move on to packing my suitcase.  Our buyer still doesn't have a buyer for her house and here's my theory.  Our house in town sold when we were in Eugene, my son's house in Reno sold while they were in Medford so I'm thinking our buyer's house should sell next week when we're in Bend.  And that's why I wanted to weave most of this warp off.  

We'll leave tomorrow morning early, then we have an appointment with our realtor on Friday, my son Matt's wedding is Saturday and then we'll check out neighborhoods and generally get acquainted with the area for a few days after that.  Let's see if the third time is a charm!! 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Fun Day!

Today was the second of our guild's new once-a-month informal meetings to sit in a circle and chat about projects and successes, so I took the galley proofs from my Handwoven article along with all the documentation they required and some towels from my two latest color incarnations.  I was worried that I would come off as a show-off and I was truly touched by the positive responses I received.  And it's really wonderful to see what the new weavers are working on.  Some of the old members who haven't been weaving in a while admit to feeling a desire to get back to their looms.

I had planned to leave the meeting and since I was in town, would just go to 4:00 Mass.  However the meeting ended at 2:00 and that's a lot of time to kill, but Lorene told us that Art in the Garden was today and our member Kate Hanlon had a booth.  She passed around a postcard with the address so off I went to find it.  I've heard about it for years but this is my first time to attend.  It's put on by the Friends of Washoe County Library to benefit the public library system.

Within minutes I was chatting with Charlotte Voitoff and Shiree Wallace who have been "friends" of the library for over 20 years.  I met them when we used to set up the library auction benefit at the main library (where I worked) called Tisket-a-Tasket, a Literary Basket.  They were both tireless workers and today's event is in Shiree's garden.  BTW, Shiree is my boss as a school library sub.  Small world!!  And I could not believe how many old friends I ran into.  I was glad I had so much time to kill.

Within moments I had spotted this chair and knew it was going home with me, which makes no sense since I've been getting rid of things.  I knew Charlotte had painted it.  I have a highchair that I bought 15 years ago at a Tisket-a-Tasket auction.  Plus I also knew instantly that this was one of the University classroom chairs that were sold out of storage a number of years ago.  I sent the picture to Ian and he said - Purchase it!

I love it and have made it the charging station for my laptop.  I can just sit down and flip it open.  I had a few minutes left before Mass so drove by Amy's house and had her confirm that indeed this is one of the University chairs.  She would know because she and Allison had decorated one for a University contest years ago when they were removed from storage.  I am thrilled.
And when I got home, I had another treat - before and after pictures from Toni.  This is Zephie just out of the trailer.
And here she is in the chute, waiting to be sheared.

Here they are, looking really pretty after their new hair-dos.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

The End of an Era

In the string of odd weather we've been having lately, we woke up socked in by fog, an auspicious beginning for our llamas last day here.
Toni showed up a little before 9:00 and by then the fog was gone.  She has lost about 100 pounds over the past couple of years.  She looks great and her health is much improved.
We call her the llama whisperer.

The smaller darker llama on the left is Zaria, who was five when we bought her 12 years ago, and her daughter Zephie on the right was just a year old.  Zaria has been halter trained; Zephie has not.
 Toni was pleasantly surprised that Zephie let her easily slip on the halter.
And she had absolutely no problem leading her to the trailer.
And that's when it got complicated.  Toni expected to have trouble haltering her.  The trouble was that Zephie was not going into that dark trailer.  We took turns pushing and pulling to no avail.  We got so winded we had to take breaks, but even with the enticement of alfalfa hay and COB (corn, oats, barley) which she ordinarily loves, it was a no go.  Finally Toni decided to get mama instead and left her tied up to the back of the trailer.
Zaria stuck her head in the trailer, and as soon she smelled the alfalfa, she was in.  Toni closed that stall and we went back to work on Zephie.  I got the bucket of COB and stood in front of her with a hand full right under her mouth.  She was happy to eat it - llama candy - so I inched it a little towards me while Ian and Toni pushed.  I could see her legs were shaking from exhaustion so we gave a big push and pull and she was in - finally!  She instantly kushed (knelt) and we had a hard time getting her butt all the way in to close the stall door.
One in and kushed, Zephie wasn't going to budge so when her mama llama was turning around to watch what we were doing, Zephie reared her head back and that's all the accommodation she was willing to make.  Poor scared girl.
And yes, Toni has pack llamas.
And this is how they ended up turned around as it was time to go.  Notice Zephie hasn't budged one bit.  They're really beautiful girls.
And then it was over, both kushed for the ride - the end of an era.  I talked to Toni later today to verify her PO address.  I was putting some paperwork away and found the llama registration that I couldn't locate when she was here.  She said they transported and unloaded just fine.  She took that opportunity to shear them both and now they're turned out with her llamas in a smaller pen, getting a sense of their home.  Another piece of moving puzzle falls into place.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Keeping Busy

 I'm really pleased with the "tide pool" towels.

 So I pulled together some colors for "desert sunset" since I did "desert sunrise" a couple months ago.  I'm starting to wish I had had my yarn order sent here instead of to Oregon.
 Every so often people comment on my "great sense of color" but I've had my share of clinkers, especially in my earlier projects.  I've tried to do something with these but they're Tencel and aren't suitable for purses.  The something I did was put them in the trash.
 I really struggled to find information on how to use a warping mill.  There is nothing in any of my books and there were few videos on YouTube.  I don't know how to measure the yarn since there are  no pegs.  In one video the woman commented that every weaver knows that the distance between two opposite of these posts is a yard.  This weaver didn't know that!  She also demonstrated how to count the threads.  I clumped the yarn up on my first bout but by the time I finished my third one, I was starting to get the hang on laying the threads side by side.
 The arrangement of the colors isn't working as I had planned but since I'm warping from the front, I can change the order in the reed.  I was done for today, but tomorrow I'll figure out how I'll move them.  Ian bought me an external disk drive for my laptop today so I think I'll watch Tom Knisely's DVD about designing in the reed.  I've been wanting to try it anyway.
Meanwhile, the "tide pool" towels are ready to hem.
Amy drove out on Friday, the 4th of July holiday, to spend some time with us.  We used to do a lot together.  When Ian and I were both working downtown, we had lunch together fairly regularly, but we go to town as infrequently as possible since retirement six years ago. Ian made his special burritos for lunch, and she gave us this lino-print as a going-away present.  She has a number of really cool ones and is still developing her style she said, but this is still my favorite - the naughty cat.
We had an added treat that day.  The phone rang shortly after Amy arrived.  Our friends John and Celia were in Susanville, on their way home from a trip to Oregon.  They had picked up this magazine for us in Bend and wanted to stop to say goodbye since they were going to drive right by here.  They stayed for a couple of hours and we all had a rollicking good visit, sitting on the front porch, accompanied by the fountain and bird songs.  What a nice day.