Airiel at the Beach

Here we are just north of Bandon, OR at Bullards Beach State Park. What a lovely park! We had a somewhat sketchy site at Rogue River (it’s hard to pick these online from a map), but we weren’t there a lot and it was fine, really. We brought our folding bikes and there is a great bike path up to the town of Rogue River, about 5-6 miles round trip, so we rode every day for 4 days. We also rode around all the other camping loops and made notes as to which sites to try to reserve for the next visit.

Here at Bullards Beach SP, all the sites are much more private with hedges and trees between you and your neighbors. It was still a sunny day yesterday and we rode our bikes out to the lighthouse at the entrance to the Coquille River, about 6 miles round trip from the campground. By evening a heavy mist was blowing in, but we were able to cook and eat outside and sit by the campfire.

This morning we awoke to rain on the roof, and it has been raining all day. Apparently this is the first real rain they have had in a month. We ditched plans to walk the beach, and headed out in the truck to explore Coos Bay and towns to the north.

In Coos Bay we stopped at the first big antique mall where Rick found a lot of very cool and collectible, but definitely not affordable, old woodworking tools. Next door was a yarn shop. What do you know.

So I go into the yarn shop and start poking around, turn the corner, and there is an old friend of mine from the early days of the Seattle Knitters’ Guild in the mid-80′s! She used to work at Weaving Works in Seattle, but has been a yarn rep for the last 14 years – her territory is Washington and Oregon, and she represents about a half dozen yarn companies. So she is on the road a lot, visiting yarn stores and taking wholesale orders. I haven’t seen her in years, so it was really amazing to just run into her in Coos Bay, OR!

And then there is the yarn shop – called “My Yarn Shop”. My friend told me it may be the biggest yarn shop on the west coast, and she had an amazing inventory, all in rather a jumble, but what a selection! My credit card did not escape without some damage.



We met up with my friend down in Bandon for a very nice dinner at Alorro Wine Bar – highly recommended.

Tomorrow we are off north to the Willamette Valley, with a fridge well stocked with shucked oysters, Kumamoto oysters in the shell. fresh king salmon that had just come off the boat 2 hours before we bought it, and some perch. We are having guests for dinner tomorrow night (longtime friends from Vancouver WA/Portland OR) and we will be having our own little seafood fest for a couple of days.

A Wedding Day

One of our main reasons for this trip was to be at the wedding of our granddaughter April. It was held at a lovely little county park out beyond Jacksonville, OR on a perfect, warm day with cooling breezes. Grandson Brandon, who is executive chef at a restaurant in Ashland, catered the lunch that followed the ceremony. We got to meet even more members of the extended family, and had a great time.





We are staying on for a few days for more time with the family, and to see our longtime friends who live in Ashland. Then on to the Oregon coast!

Airiel on the Road

Last week we were sitting at the table eating dinner and talking about the upcoming trip, and a name for “the trailer” just came to Rick – “Airiel”. We both knew immediately it was right. Maybe now that she is all cleaned up and feeling like home, it was time.

Anyway, we are settled in at Valley of the Rogue State Park north of Medford, OR, and saw some beautiful scenery on the way down here the last couple of days.

I am trying out some blogging apps for my iPad so I can include pictures. A new challenge!

The Final Wrap-Up

I finished the “Handspun Wrap” project last week, and have taken that set-up off the loom.  I’ll be moving on to rug weaving when we get back from our trip to Oregon.

Below is the 7th one, spun from a roving from Taylored Fibers in Quilcene again – a wool and alpaca blend that was white, brown and black.  I knew I didn’t have enough of it so I once again had to spin up some more yarn!  Last year I combined a fine, very crimpy black wool fleece (that I had gotten from Island Fibers on Lopez Island at a spinning camp on Orcas several years back) with some beautiful cinnamon colored alpaca fleece I bought at the ANWG conference in Bellingham last June.  The black wool was from a sheep named “Burt” who I think was a bit of a mongrel.  The alpaca’s name was Potsdam – I just love knowing the names of the animals whose fleece I am spinning.

I sent them off to Morro Fleece Works, a custom carding business that I have been using on occasion.  I knew they would do a good job with these finer fibers, and it came back as a lovely roving, about 30% alpaca and 70% fine wool.  Overall it is a dark cinnamon bark color and I have a lot of it – spun up some for this shawl, and have plenty more for a sweater and maybe something else as well.

Suede warp with tweed and cinnamon alpaca/wool

Suede warp with tweed and cinnamon alpaca/wool

For the 8th and supposedly final one I used some yarn I spun years ago – 30% qiviut (musk ox down), the rest unspecified wool – a light warm gray color, and very soft and springy.  It was not as heavy/thick as the other yarns I have been using for these shawls, so once again I wasn’t sure I had enough, and I thought it would be nice to have a slightly contrasting border.  So I spun up some baby camel & silk roving to use for that.  I am pretty happy with this shawl, which I am hoping to keep, except the camel/silk yarn had a lot less elasticity than the qiviut yarn, so the borders are somewhat wider than the body of the shawl.

Black warp with 30% quiviut and baby camel/silf

Black warp with 30% qiviut and baby camel/silk yarns

Then just as I was getting ready to take the last warp off the loom, I realized this was the perfect time to do something with a warp I have had for a couple of years.  Our guild does a fiber exchange each April, by drawing numbers and opening “mystery packages” (you can also take something away from someone else).  One year I got a prepared hand-spun wool warp in my package from one of our members who spins most of the yarn she uses for blankets.  I mean it was all wound, with a cross and everything!  It had slightly fewer ends than the warps I have been using, but I only had to take off 8 on each side and the pattern was still balanced.  So I tied it on in front and pulled it back onto the sectional beam through the reed and heddles.  Then I pulled out some handpaint mohair boucle from New Zealand that I used to get from Fiber Trends, to use for the weft.

And here is the result!  Shawl/wrap #9 and now I am truly done with these.

Lucy's hand-spun warp with handpaint mohair boucle

Lucy’s hand-spun warp with handpaint mohair boucle

Fawn Season

We have seen these 2 brand new ones in the yard the last couple of days.  There’s not much else to say – just wanted to share!

fawns 1

fawns 2

fawns 3

We are leaving next week on the “maiden voyage” to southern Oregon for a family wedding and camping along the way.  I thought I would show our progress to date on the Airstream upgrades and refurbishments.  The windows are mostly cleaned up, the screens are back in with new “fuzzy bug seal” around the slots where the window opening arms penetrate.  The new Marmoleum floor is beautiful, as are the new drapes and re-upholstered cushions.

This picture pretty much shows all the new furnishings.  The drapes were a bit of a chore to install, as she makes them a tight fit top to bottom in anticipation of some future stretching.  That’s the old arm of the sofa on the left – Rick had in it there to take measurements.  He is going to re-do them with cherry ply and solid cherry arms.  The top lifts off to reveal some plastic storage trays underneath.

front lounge/bed

front lounge/bed

I spent several hours out there a couple of days ago, cleaning up the kitchen.  The stovetop was rusty and dirty.  You know there has been a problem when you find D-Con and seed pods under the burners.  Now it as cleaned up as I could get it, and sanitary!  Rick will need to pull out this cabinet to re-do the tambour doors next year.  For now we will just have to use it as it is.  That’s one of my handwoven rag rugs on the floor – corduroy and gray denim from jeans.

kitchen - clean but not re-done

kitchen – clean but not re-done

The twin bunks:

bed 1

bed 2

The bathroom:


Looking back towards the kitchen and front lounge from the bathroom door:

twin beds

We also got the water hook-up and gray water drain figured out, and the hot water heater going, so I could use the kitchen sink for my cleaning – instead of hauling buckets from the house.  We are so new at all of these modern conveniences in a trailer that we have to figure every thing out.  Yesterday I turned on the 40-year-old refrigerator (on electricity. still have to test out the propane mode).  By golly, it works great!  Holds a steady temperature in the correct range, and makes ice cubes that stay frozen.  It came with 3 cute little ice cube trays, the aluminum kind with a lever you pull to pop out the ice.

But, we managed to SHUT OURSELVES OUT of the trailer last night.  The screen door had been missing its slide bolt, and Rick got one that worked from Builders’ Hardware last week.  So the last couple of days we have left the main door open but the screen door closed and secured shut during the day.  Last night he closed the main door before coming in from the shop for the night.  Well it turns out that the 2 doors clicked together but the screen door was still bolted from the inside.  So we couldn’t get the door open!  He tried taking the hinges off, but there is one screw that won’t come out, probably for security reasons.  Fortunately we had left the window beside the door open – but you can only remove the screen from the inside of the trailer.  So we had to cut a large enough opening around the edge of the screen so he could reach in and un-bolt the screen door.  Sheesh.

It’s a Wrap

As mentioned in a previous post, I have been working on a series of warm shawls using my handspun yarn.  The warps and fringes are Jaggerspun Zephyr 4/8 (50% silk and 50%wool, but the DK weight version) – I ordered 8 cones last fall and pretty much use one full cone for each shawl.  I debated about what to call these weavings, as they are shawl shaped but come out more of a lap robe weight.  So I am calling them “wraps”!

The first three were for the show at the Winthrop Gallery and are there now.

Black warp & fringe with handspun lambswool & alpaca blend from Taylored Fibers in Quilcene:

1 Black warp lambswool alpacal

Mushroom warp & fringe with gold handspun merino/bamboo/silk from Taylored Fibers:

2 Mushroom warp merino bamboo silk

Plum warp & fringe with handspun merino/alpaca/BFL/silk noil from Taylored Fibers (BFL = blue faced leicester wool)

3 Plum warp merino alpaca BFL silk noil

The next three were finished more recently, and I took them down to the Confluence Gallery in Twisp yesterday.  They are setting up a new show this week:  Our River – ” A Natural and Cultural Perspective on Our River through Art”.  So the pieces needed titles and to be “river-ish”.

Indigo warp & fringe; handspun 3-ply from different fiber sources (1) 100% black alpaca from Ashland Bay, (2) 50% alpaca 50% BFL in a tan color, (3) a variety of dyed merino tops spun in color sequence.  The result was roughly half alpaca and wool with subtle color changes running through it.

Side Channel

Side Channel – shimmering stones under a slow moving current

Peacock warp & fringe; handspun from a beautiful handpaint BFL top I bought at the first Sock Summit in Portland, OR a number of years ago.  Very soft and subtly colored.

Like a Trout Moves Through a Pool

Like a Trout Moves Through a Pool

Sable warp & fringe; the yarn left from the first shawl above, plus some charcoal lambswool/alpaca from Taylored Fibers:

Log Jams - providing habitat for the river creatures

Log Jams – providing habitat for the river creatures

The opening reception for the “Our River” show at Confluence Gallery is this coming Saturday June 7th, from 4-8 pm, along with the Twisp Art Walk.

I have 2 more of these wraps in the pipeline.  One is warped and ready to weave, but I had to spin some more yarn to augment what I had!   Fortunately I had some nice roving of the right color and quality and should finish it today.


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