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  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.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Spring is a'coming

Delaney was in Reno for three weeks so we took advantage of the free time and went to Yachats for a few days - pronounced Yah-hots.  We were blessed with really nice weather, a window in between rainy days.

The coast had been experiencing extremely high tides which brought in unusually large quantities of drift wood and it was everywhere.  We even brought some home.

We walked the 804 trail to the point it empties onto the beach and continues in the sand for an additional 7 miles.  We took that as our cue to turn around.

This is our third time to stay in this little Air B&B, a shotgun house built in 1904.  It's very small but it's big enough and cheap enough for our needs.
It's situated at the mouth of the Yachats River and this is the view you get in the front room.  A right turn at that stop sign takes you to the state park where I took the first photo, maybe a couple of football fields from the house.

The sunsets were spectacular.  We ate fresh seafood every night and left just as the weather started to turn.  
I bought this stroller from a store that sells used baby equipment, clothes and toys.  I've since learned that BOB strollers are the Cadillac of strollers and I got a steal at $100.  The weather is mostly chilly and windy but we've gotten in three walks.
We walked to a nearby park where they have the only infant swing I've seen here.  I thought she would absolutely love it but she did not.  Plus it takes a lot of arm strength to get her back out!

It's been so dry that we called our irrigation guy and had him come turn the system on early.  He got distracted by me and one valve didn't get closed so water ran all night.  This was a surprise to wake up to but he got here right away and got it fixed.
We have our local deer who hang out here from time to time.  They know us and Ian can walk right up to them.  These is a migratory herd on their way to the Cascades.  I cringe when I think of all the roads and traffic they will have to negotiate in their journey.  They're molting and a pretty scraggly lot.

Delaney turned two while she was in Reno so had a small party there with her aunts.  This past weekend they had a second party for her family here.  

Ian and I are fully vaccinated so I was really looking forward to her party.  This is my oldest son and this is maybe the 6th time I've seen him this year.  Delaney was happy to see him too!

Delaney doesn't have many play opportunities and always enjoyed a visit from Dillon.  Their mothers were best friends at Reno High School and now their children are friends.  I took tons of pictures, we all did, but this is one my favorites because they're so innocent and sweet.  I'm not sure where they're going as that door is the entry to the laundry room and then the garage.
And taped on the garage door is this reminder, after getting to our house on quite a few occasions without formula, diapers or baby wipes.  I think that's her daddy's writing :-). He has drop-off duty.


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Weaving Workshop

These cones are the eight colors I've chosen for my single shuttle Crackle towels.  They're here because I have stuff strewn all over the place as I frantically work on my Echo and Jim projects for the Linda Hartshorn workshop.  I don't think the workshop is any less intensive than her traditional 2 1/2 day taught in person.  The only thing missing is being able to handle the fabric but I've said that before.

I'm about at the end of my warp and have already selected eight colors in reds and oranges for another warp.  If I keep this up I might have enough inventory for a sale in the future, if that ever happens.

This is a sample from the Echo weave part that we did on the first day.  If you see purple, your eye is fooling you.  The warp and weft are both 8/2 Tencel which is a form of rayon.  The tie-up is a traditional 8-shaft twill.
These are the colors I chose.  The warp is wound at 40 ends per inch - wowzers!  That puts four threads in each dent, and while I thought it was over my head, I only made one warping error and was able to fix it with a string heddle.  I'm so impressed that I even know how to do that.  I can't tell you how much I've learned since moving here and being part of an active weaving guild.

This is a sample woven in Jin.  The only difference is changing one harness on each treadle and the use of a second yarn known as a tabby, which is one shot of a different thread woven as plain weave.  That thread's function is to tie down the weft and keep it in place.  It's slower to weave but it's certainly interesting.   The tabby is where I made the most mistakes, which just tells me that I need to do it more to teach my muscle memory.

Linda recommended that we use a finer thread for the weft and I only had three colors in a size 16/2 bamboo, nothing else finer.  I bought it a long time ago because I was going to weave Huck lace scarves until I wove a couple and realized how time intensive they were.  We were instructed to add enough warp to weave a scarf after we had finished all our samples.  The black is the finer thread and from this sample I decided to use it for my weft.
I chose three patterns and alternated them.
This is the finished scarf.  I'm pleased with everything except the length.  I ran out of warp because I had woven too many samples.  It's not even 60" but it's still wearable.  Tomorrow morning we wrap up the workshop and review our projects.  Ian and I are packing our suitcases and will leave as soon as that it done for a short stay at Yachats on the coast.  We'll resume our babysitting responsibilities next week.



Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

 The towels are finished.  I've been trying for a faux crackle look and have decided to just try crackle one more time.  I met a weaver who dresses her loom for crackle but only weaves with a single shuttle.  That's my plan anyway.

My favorite uses bright yellow for pattern.
I did some towels in muted colors, still in summer and winter, and the two blue ones are in our bathroom.  I wanted to be totally done with this draft before moving on because Gilmore tie-up is a bear.
I find myself liking my projects in stages, but by the time the warp was ready, I was thoroughly disenchanted with this one.  I'm committed now though since I don't want to change tie-up again for a while.
I stopped this afternoon after the warp was threaded and slayed.  The guild meeting is in the morning and it's a weaver from Dallas who was supposed to be our program last month but got frozen in place.  She's going to speak about the design process and I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday morning is our orientation with Linda Hartshorn for a workshop in parallel weaving.  This is my sample and I am anxious to get started.  It promises to be the boost my weaving has needed.  I feel like I've been going around in circles.
Delaney's book is almost as big as she is!  She's in Reno with her mommy until the first week in March.  Sadly, her grandpa had a heart attack last Thursday.  Matt and Julia picked Delaney up early Friday with a dog and a fully packed car.  They hadn't drive half way when she got the unexpected, a call that her dad had passed away before she had a chance to say goodbye.  Her Grandma Sue told me that Delaney has been a light in the darkness.  She certainly has that quality.