Thursday, May 31, 2018

Lurching into Summer

I'm glad I spent the past several weeks on yard work because the weather has turned cold and drizzly, perfect weather to get back to the loom.  These are the same turned taquete towels that I always weave, just in another set of colors.  That tall stack in the window sill are empty plastic cones.  I keep thinking they'd make a great craft project, maybe Christmas trees?
We babysat our "granddog" last weekend.  He's allowed on furniture at home so rather than try to keep him off, Ian covered everything with quilts.  We really enjoyed having him here, the only exception was the cat.  There were no altercations but there were a few uneasy moments.
Rusty was over the moon with free access to our back yard.  He just has a dog run at home so asked to go out quite often.  He'd circle the yard sniffing and making peeing gestures throughout though I can't see how he could have that much pee!  I was out with him on Sunday when much to my delight, here's the Butterfly Weed that I thought wasn't going to come back.
I checked on it again today and am astonished to see this much growth in just four days.  There is a ton of work that goes with this yard but I've wanted something  like this all my life and am very gratified when my "babies" do well.
I've finally finished another two Campbell tartan scarves and hope to get Arthur warped on Monday for a couple more, but in different nontraditional colors.  Now I just need to get the sold scarf in the mail.
This is my current knitting project, all from handspun yarn.  I spun it so many years ago that I can't remember much about it, other than it's a hoggit fleece that I sent to MorroFleeceworks for processing.  The yoke is knit on a provisional cast-on, working upward to the finished neck.  Then for the body I picked up the live stitches from the provisional crochet chain, knit a couple of rows, put the sleeve stitches on holders and knit down and finished with 3" of ribbing.  I've done all of that and then I tried it on.  It'a a body suit!  Oh my goodness, how I wish I counted the stitches before I started knitting.  I tore back to a couple inches below the armhole and am adding increases every inch. I pretty sure it's going to be okay.
I'm far more concerned about my yarn situation.  I found a pound of spun skeins in two separate locations.  One bag had a note that the yarn wasn't fulled - good to know.  I was well into the body when I had the dreadful realization that half of the yarn is two-ply and half is three-ply.  Again, it's been to long ago for me to remember even spinning it! I spun and triple-plied the six ounces but didn't check it against the old yarn and it's a little thicker.  Again, I think it'll be okay, but it's where to join the two-ply where the change will be the least obvious.  I did the 3" of ribbing in two-ply and think if I knit the top of the sleeves in three-ply, I can switch at about the elbows.  The color is the same of course, it's just that light is refracted differently on a three-ply compared to a two-ply yarn.  I'm pretty sure this has to be a unique blooper, a brand new mistake, not that I'm proud of it.  For now, I'm going to just keep knitting.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Finally Enjoying the Outdoors

We had our first visitor in the RV pad for this year.  Our friend Amy is a life/science librarian at the university in Reno and was on her way to two conferences in the PNW.  She look some annual leave in order to pull her trailer to take a little vacation on the side, which included us.
Her time with us was brief but I knew exactly the perfect place for her to see, the High Desert Museum.  She loved it and wanted to see every inch, the wildlife, the otters, the snakes, the birds of pray, the whole enchilada. 
We stopped in at the Miller Ranch and Sawmill where I was glad to see that they had put protective covers on the hens to prevent further hen pecking!
And of course, she appreciated the newly opened exhibit on mountaineering and camping.
This is the only guide I have for my interpretive role but Linda, the director of Living History, is leaving for a two-week conference and told me yesterday that when she returns we're going to revamp our approach so that the Living History is an integrative story.  We're all creating backstory on the fly when we're role playing so I think what she means is that we're going to get our stories straight - good news!  You can see why Linda says she "lies for a living."
I've been spending a lot of time working in the yard.  Two years ago our friend Chris Smith was our first RV visitor and took this picture of Ian's garden boxes.

I took a picture this morning of my progress.  It may not look like much but first I have to pull all the wild grasses that filled the area and prevented the sprinklers from doing their job.

This is another picture that Chris took.  I had made some headway on the grasses by then and had planted the perennials in the foreground.
I took a picture of the same area this morning.  On the left next to the ornamental rooster you can see that the Butterfly Weed has just started to come back.  It will be magnificent and the butterflies love it!

I finally finished the "twin" sweater to the one I made for my granddaughter last Christmas.  I have another sweater in progress, finished enough that I could try it on last night.  It's from handspun and not the gauge I thought it was. I have a lot of reknitting to do - sigh.

Sunday, May 20, 2018


It's that time of year again and I'm back at the High Desert Museum for the summer months on Fridays, well most Fridays.  We do have a couple of trips planned.
This is the "settlers cabin" which is based on information from Western homesteads.  I decided against a spinning wheel this year and have a basket of knitting, some wool and a drop spindle.  I used the spindle a lot this week as we were swarmed with 2nd graders.  There was a communication breakdown and we were unaware they were coming, but after a couple of visitors commented on all the school buses out front, I knew it was going to be an interesting day.  I like the mobility of a drop spindle.
My walking partner Cinda and I are enjoying morning walks along the irrigation canal near here, and we're especially getting a kick out of the waterfowl.  These geese have doubled in size since last week.  Mama bobs her head up and down, warning us to stay away.
I got an email from a couple you have a home nursery about a mile from here.  I followed signs to their sale last year and bought six plants that proved to be vigorous growers.  I signed up for their email notice, and good thing - they didn't put out signs this year.  Cinda wanted to go with me so we took her car which is bigger - good thing! - and got there a few minutes before the opening at 10:00 and found their place was already a beehive of activity.  They charge $6 per plant whereas nurseries run about $12 each so it's hard to resist the temptation.  I planned to buy six but barely reined myself in at 14 and I planted every last one of them yesterday.  Once the plants grow and fill out, this bed will be finished.  I'll only need to weed.
There are 14 pots there if you can count them!!
These two coreopsis were the two plants I had worried about.  They were nearly laying down when I finished planting them, but we had a nice quiet soaking rain during the night and they have perked right up.
The couple have a well organized event and good thing.  There had to be upwards of 70 people when we were there and we were early!  Each plant has an informational sign which I take a picture of.
When I get home I put all the information in my plant care map.  I shot this with my phone yesterday before leaving so I'd know what I already bought but you can see how I have organized it.  I got tired of looking up each plant and now know the zone, height, spread, sun, and season for everything I've planted in our yard.
A new sales event was announced at the Guild meeting on Wednesday.  We've been invited by the raku potters to share their venue in August and of course I'd like to participate.  I have been slow to clear this project from my loom as I was anticipating taking June and July off from weaving like I did last year.  It's difficult to stay indoors during our beautiful summer months but I need to weave at least 30 towels, but first I needed to finish this.  Oh how I am loving tartan.  The fringe is cut at 2" and thus the obnoxious twisting is eliminated.  And all the ends will be snipped off after this takes a trip through the washer and dryer.  There are two scarves, one is for Ian and one is sold.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Spring is springing

The seasons are slowly changing.  We still have more cloudy days then sunny but the tender grass shoots are attracting the deer who aren't atall that afraid of us.  I took this picture in our driveway from my car window.
We're trying something a little different for tomatoes this year.  We're hoping that growing them in tubs and starting them early with Walls of Water will give us seasonable produce.  These are Early Girls which have just about the shortest growing season of all the varieties.
My walking partner Cinda and I have been seeing waterfowl since the irrigation canals were filled April 9th and now we're seeing the babies.  So far the protective parents haven't menaced us but I'm sure that's coming.  They can be mean!
And speaking of Cinda, we came across the signs for an estate sale last week so after our walk we drove to the sale in case we bought something - which we did.  I got this handwoven wool runner from Mexico for $20 and a couple other things including a lamp.  Cinda is the one we needed the car for!  I've never gone to an estate sale before because it seems kinda sad to pick through someone's things, but I came away understanding that the money raised from the sale benefits the family and in this care, the widower himself who was cutting ties here and moving to SoCal.  He left behind a closet full of flannel shirts that he will no doubt not need down there.
And it's time for yard work.  I'm holding off on adding more perennials until the danger of killer frosts has passed.  I bought a flat of marigolds last week from Costco and planted them the same day since the sprinkling system was coming on that evening.  I was reassured by NOAA that it wasn't too cold to plant, only it was.  So no annuals and no perennials but pansies always work, plus I love their happy faces.  I removed the dead marigolds and replaced them with these.
The farmers market downtown has opened fully one month early.  This produce is from a farm in Junction City which is a little NW of Eugene.  It's nice to buy lettuce and not be afraid.
I finally worked up the nerve to wear my Where's Waldo sweater for the first time yesterday.  It was a busy afternoon: book club at noon, followed by the final session of Smart (Start Making a Reader Today), the Oregonwide program to engender the love of reading in kindergartners.  I've read weeky to the same two kinders since October and was sad to say goodbye to them. 

My knitting was on the backseat of the car so I went to Fancywork, the new LYS to knit with friends afterwards.  My sweater passed muster.  I have two more in process right now, hope to have at least one finished soon, while I can still wear it!