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Rick is just finishing a sideboard for some clients who live up the road from us and have been doing a remodel to their log home.  They wanted something that would fit in with the style of the house, but using interesting wood.  It is cherry and with birdseye maple panels.

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The top was made from some beautiful quartersawn cherry that we picked up on a sojourn to Specialty Forest Products south of Kent, WA a couple of weeks ago.  Rick was hoping to find some 8/4 cherry (2″ thick rough) with nice figure, and was thrilled that they had a whole sling of the quartersawn, which is hard to find.

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Here it is with the interior lighting turned on.  The lighting is LED strips, individually dimmable, with all the wiring completely hidden.

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The birdseye panels are from the wood we picked up from Ken Richards in Maple Valley a couple of months ago.  I wrote about this in a former post.

P1000648The lower cabinet has pullout drawers for wine storage, and he is waiting to get the glass for the upper cabinet doors and shelves.  I will get some more pictures when we deliver and install it early next week.

On the home front, we are concerned about the weight of the snow load on our roof, especially in the valleys.  But there isn’t much we can do as it is frozen solid up there!

snowload Feb 2016

January 2016 Project Updates

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already January 31.  It has been a productive month in the studio for me, so here are the things I have been working on.  Warning, this is a weaving-centric post!

Weaving

I finished the first set of “mixed warp” scarves using a discontinued Missoni yarn called Bombay which I picked up in a stash reduction sale, who knows how long ago!  I only had enough for about half the warp so I alternated 2 strands of Bombay with 2 strands of coned rayon Rik-Rak in 2 colors.  Here is the warp as it shows in the fringe:

Bombay 1 fringeand the 9 scarves that were woven using a variety of DK weight handknitting yarns and rayon chenilles.  These are all out at the Confluence Gallery in Twisp and the Winthrop Gallery.  There was a 10th scarf at the end of the warp that came out shorter (about 54″ not including the fringe) and I am keeping that one.  It was woven with Elspeth Lavold Baby Llama, and is quite yummy feeling

Bombay 2 Bombay 3 Bombay 4I put a second warp on using 16 different yarns in reds, browns and some gold.  I am weaving these 8″ wide at 8 epi so I need 16 ends (threads) in each 2″ section on the warping beam.  I rotated through groups of 4 yarns in each section to mix up the colors and textures some.  The warp is 24 yards long and I can comfortably get 11 scarves woven to 70″ under tension from that.  They shrink about 10% in each direction once off the loom and washed and pressed.  There is a 4″ unwoven section at each end of each scarf for the fringe, and I am hemstitching the ends in groups of 3 or so threads to keep the edge wefts in place.

Red Brown warpI used a lot of Henry’s Attic natural color superfine alpaca as weft on these, as well as some rayon chenilles.  Here is the first one being woven, using black alpaca and beat gently (more of a press, really) to get about 8 ppi.  I also used a light gray, light camel, and chocolate brown in the alpaca.

Red Brown black alpaca Here they are drying on the rack yesterday.  Today I will trim and press and label and then they will be ready to go out to the galleries.

Red Brown scarvesNow I have put on a third warp using blues and greens and again a mix of 16 yarns in a variety of textures.  I am finding it is best to put a thinner smooth yarn in between the stickier and larger mohairs and boucles.

cobalt warp Jan 2016

Cobalt warp on loomI wove the first one yesterday afternoon using a teal Rowan DDK wool and it is really pretty!

Cobalt underway

Ah, almost forgot.  A couple of weeks ago I finished 4 more rugs using Pendleton selvages, to re-supply the galleries.

R245

R245

R246 & R247 (two alike)

R246 & R247 (two alike)

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R248

Knitting

Here are the most recent Mosaic Mojo hats.  I have knitted 22 of these since early November and am now ready to give it a rest!

These 2 were done using a solid Cascade 220 wool yarn paired with Noro “Haniwa”, which is 50% silk and makes for a nice, light-weight but warm hat.

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21 - 1541These two were done with some yarn I got in a door prize drawing at spinning camp on Orcas Island last year.  It is a handpainted Clun Forest (sheep breed) from Solitude Wool in Virginia.  They had a booth at the Madrona Fiberarts Winter Retreat in Tacoma last February, and will be there again this year.  The Clun Forest is a little scratchy but I paired it with Cascade 220 for the solid color, and using that for the rolled edge worked really well to keep it soft against your forehead.

19 - 1539

20 - 1540

This last one I made for myself!  I used 2 colors of Cascade 220 for the solid color, and Noro Silk Garden Sock held with a strand of Rowan Kidsilk Haze for the variegated yarn.  I picked through the Noro yarn to pull only colors I wanted in this hat.

22a - mine

22b - mine

So Far Behind…

I am so far behind in blogging it is hard to know where to start.  Part of it is laziness, part of it is lack of picture-taking.  I don’t know!  Anyway, since we last met in early December, we have been to Seattle for a week for the holidays, and then settled back in over here in early January.

I have a new spinning wheel!  It is a Jensen Tina II and belonged to a friend of mine in Seattle, who bought it in 2002 but hardly used it.  The finish was rather dry, so Rick put 2 coats of Profin on it and now it looks wonderful.  It spins like a dream.

 

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On January 7th, my friend Sara organized a “Roc Day” spinning day at Twispworks.  About 20 people came and we had a fabulous potluck lunch, in addition to the general cameraderie.  From Wikipedia:

Distaff Day, also called Roc Day, is 7 January, the day after the feast of the Epiphany. It is also known as Saint Distaff’s Day, one of the many unofficial holidays in Catholic nations.  Many St. Distaff’s Day gatherings are held, large and small, throughout local fiber communities. The distaff, or rock, used in spinning was the medieval symbol of women’s work.

In many European cultural traditions, women resumed their household work after the twelve days of Christmas. Women of all classes would spend their evenings spinning on the wheel. During the day, they would carry a drop spindle with them. Spinning was the only means of turning raw wool, cotton or flax into thread, which could then be woven into cloth.

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We have lots of snow this year.  It is going to be the best ski season, maybe ever!  The folks at Methow Trails are keeping it well-groomed as always.  We have one of the top Nordic ski trail systems (120 miles or 200+ kilometers) in the country right here in our little valley.  It is divided into four areas, all connected by the Methow Community Trail.

We had more fresh snow yesterday and last night, and here was the scene this morning from our back deck:

P1000590Piling up on the deck:

P1000595Curling off the roof of the shop building:

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I have been knitting more Mosaic Mojo hats.  Still haven’t gotten tired of these yet, as long as I have nice yarn to work with.

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And I finished a sequence knitting project, another cowl:

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A week or so ago I put a scarf warp on my 32″ Macomber loom, using some Missoni “Bombay” novelty yarn that I picked up at a stash reduction sale, and some rayon rik-rak on cones.  I put 21 yds on the sectional beam, enough for 10 scarves about 70″ long plus fringe.  Finished the last one yesterday, washed them and cut them apart, and they are hanging to dry.  Pictures to follow!

This past Saturday, we had our annual community association progressive dinner, which is always held on the ML King holiday weekend.  I was the organizer, and we hosted the main course at our house this year (appetizers at one house, main course at a second house, desserts at a third).  There were 41 of us and it was a challenge to fit it into our dining and living room!  We moved most of the living room furniture out to the shop or upstairs, set up 5 tables, and borrowed a bunch of folding chairs from the Winthrop Gallery.  Lots of fun!

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This seems to be a social time of year – we have had many get-togethers with friends and neighbors since returning home at the end of December.

Weaving Rugs Again

I was running low on rugs after the guild sale, and after placing some at the 2 galleries down in Twisp, had only one at the Winthrop Gallery (a member-run coop gallery).  Then they sold that one last Saturday (which is a good thing, but yikes!).  So this past week I finally got the 50-yd rug warp on the sectional beam of my 48″ Macomber and am back in the rug weaving business.  I have all those bags of Pendleton blanket selvages we brought back from Portland, OR as inspiration!

R236 - 32" x 52"

R236 – 32″ x 52″

R237 - 32" x 29"

R237 – 32″ x 29″

R238 - 32" x 64"

R238 – 32″ x 64″

R239 - 32" x 60"

R239 – 32″ x 60″

This will be it until the end of the week, as I am headed over the pass today to the Skagit Valley for 3 nights with my Dad.

Also got some more Mosaic Mojo hats done since the last post:

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10 - 1520

I really like the one shown below.  I have used Noro Silk Garden in the past – it is just the right weight and I love the feel of it with the silk and kid mohair in it, plus the way it changes color along the length of the ball of yarn is always a surprise and very effective in these hats.  But I can’t afford to buy Noro Silk Garden at full retail for hats I am selling in a gallery!  I have only used odd balls I picked up at stash reduction sales or sale bins in stores/online.  But I found some Noro “Silk Garden Lite” in my stash and although it is thinner, I found if I strand it with some Rowan Kidsilk Haze (or similar very thin kid mohair/silk yarn) it is just perfect!  So that is what I used for this hat:

11a - 1525

11b - 1525

Got My Mojo Back On

Just a quick post to show photos of the Mosaic Mojo Hats I have been knitting the last month or so from my own pattern that is on Ravelry.  I don’t think I knitted up any of these for sale last winter, as I had kind of burned out on doing that.  But this year I was in the mood, and after rummaging around in the yarn stash, came up with a number of suitable left-overs and stash reduction sale acquisitions that would work.  Also, the yarn shop down in Chelan, Twisted Fine Wool & Yarn, was closing out Cascade 220 at 60% off.  That is often my go-to yarn for the solid color in these hats, so I picked up some good colors there last week.

Here are pictures of ones done so far:

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6 - 1516 also

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8 - 1518It is snowing here today and the Winthrop forecast is for 6-10 inches during the day, tapering off tonight, and then turning to rain/snow mix and getting drier over the weekend.  So we will see how well it lasts, but this should be good for the ski trails, especially farther up-valley.

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A Beautiful Display

Last weekend was the Methow Valley Spinners & Weavers Guild annual show & sale.  As usual, our guild meeting room was transformed into a beautiful display of our work.  We often fret that “we won’t have enough stuff” – ha!

We did a good job on the advertising this year – newspaper ads, newspaper article coverage, radio ads, and many flyers put up around Twisp and Winthrop.  There was a good turnout and it was quite successful!

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2015 Show & Sale

Well, it’s been a race to the finish but I did get everything done for my weaving guild’s annual sale this weekend.  So here it is… I will post some pictures of the event in a couple of days.  We also have friends from Ashland, OR coming to visit for 2 nights so it should be a busy and fun weekend.

2015 annual sale poster

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