Ponderosa Pine

There is a new theme show opening at the Winthrop Gallery this week, with the title “Ponderosa Pine”.  I wanted to try weaving some mats with pine needle clusters as “weft” but just ran out of energy, time and loom availability to pull that off.  Maybe I will explore that over the winter.  The pine needles may be too brittle, especially the tips, but I saw something in a Swedish weaving book using bundles of rushes that gave me the idea.

Meanwhile, I finished off the current rug warp making a few more for the “Hearth” exhibit at Confluence Gallery, and two for the “Ponderosa Pine” exhibit in appropriate colors.  I am having fun using the new materials I got at the Pendleton Woolen Mill last June!

I also finished 4 shawls on a new mohair boucle warp, the third set so far.  One was woven with Jaggerspun 4/8 Zephyr  (50% wool/50% tussah silk) in the color “Sable” and I have put it in the Ponderosa Pine show.





They have sold 5 rugs (maybe more) down at Confluence Gallery since the show opened and now I am out of rug warp and need to re-warp the loom this week just to try to keep up!  Not a bad problem to have, but still…

Here are the other shawls just completed.

This one is woven with Jaggerspun Organic Wool in color “Lagoon”:


and this one and one other (which came out a little shorter, so I am keeping it for myself) were woven with Jaggerspun 4/8 Zephyr in color “Peacock”:





Happy Ending

About 3 weeks ago, we were coming home late from a Friday evening of listening to live music in Winthrop.  It was about 11:30 pm.  We started to turn onto the Wolf Creek Rd and saw a little animal out in the middle of the road – it was a small black & white terrier type dog!  We stopped and I opened my door and talked to him, and he came over and put his head in the door and looked up at us.  He looked to be in kind of bad shape and forlorn; no collar or tags.  So we picked him up and put him at my feet and brought him home.

So then it was midnight and we had a dog (we are cat owners).  He had canned chicken cat food to eat and was clearly starving, not to mention very dirty and smelly.  I put a notice on the Methownet electronic bulletin board before we went to bed, and also an SOS email to our neighbors who are dog people.  He had to spend the night in our cargo trailer (with water and a blanket) because he kept scratching on the door of the mud room and we couldn’t have him inside with the cats, or loose in the shop.

The next morning our neighbors more or less took over, bless their hearts.  They lost their own dog last year and are planning to get a new puppy this coming spring.  But they were dog-sitting a friend’s 2 dogs that weekend.  They got the lost dog to come into their garage and eat some actual dog food, and they had a collar and leash and a dog bed for him.  Then they contacted the two boarding kennels and Sherry at Aspen Kennels offered to take him in and shelter him.  She bathed and trimmed him and clipped his nails, and started to feed him up.  She said he must have been out there for a while, as his ribs were really showing, nails were long, etc.  The following Monday she took him to the vet to see if he was microchipped (not).  Then she made up flyers and took them around to vet offices, post office, etc.  I guess he was all over the local Facebook pages too.  But after several weeks of trying, no-one came forward to claim him.  Sherry said he was really a sweet little dog, very calm and just followed her around all day.

So a week or so ago my friend Sara and her husband Don adopted him and named him Ted.  We didn’t know about it beforehand because they arranged it with Sherry at the kennel.  But we are so happy for this turn of events, because now we will get to see him with his new family!

Ted & Sara

Speaking of family, we just had a nice visit with daughter Gretchen and son-in-law Duane.  They were here two consecutive weekends at each end of a camping week up in British Columbia and Alberta.  Just left this morning to drive home to Medford in their new (our old) Honda CR-V.

G&D Sept 2016 1

Last night we all went to the opening of the new show at Confluence Gallery in Twisp, titled “Hearth”.  Rick has two tables in the show (shown in previous post) and I have rugs, scarves and shawls.  Afterwards we went to dinner at Tappi with Gretchen and Duane, and it was a fine ending to the visit.

Shopcam: Small Tables

Here’s a quick look at what Rick has been working on in the shop.  We are both submitting work for the upcoming show at Confluence Gallery titled “Hearth”.  The work needs to be there this coming weekend and they will set up next week for the opening on Sept 3rd.

He had an order for a side table and made a second one for the show.  The one on the left is the custom order and has a cherry base with beech top and shelves.  The one on the right is for the Hearth show and has a shedua base with birds-eye maple top and shelves.  It is gorgeous!P1010154

He also finished up this coffee table – the top has been done for a while, but he hadn’t figured out what to do for the base until the last couple of days.  Talk about working under pressure!  The wood is afrormosia (sometimes spelled afromosia).  He set an antique floor grate into the top, with a piece of smoked plate glass over that.  It has ebony pegs in the top and the base where the cross-pieces come through.


He is taking them to a photographer today for studio shots.


A Little Weaving Progress

I finished another four shawls last week, this time using a combination of 5 colorways of Claudia Handpainted Yarns kid mohair boucle (long discontinued) plus one skein of Naturally of New Zealand kid mohair boucle (also discontinued).  The wefts were from Jaggerspun Yarns in Maine.  I have a wholesale account and buy it on 1-lb cones.  I also used doubled Rowan Kidsilk Haze or equivalent for the accent stripes every 3 inches or so.

4/8 Zephyr (50% fine merino, 50% silk) in Plum and Mahogany:

KS boucle set 2 zephyr

Green Line Organic Wool in Eggplant and Stone:

KS boucle set 2 green lineThese are unbelievably soft, lightweight and drapey.  Yum!

A couple of weeks ago I put the third and final warp for the plaited twill scarves onto my loom down at the weaving guild room.  The warp is 5/2 perle cotton and the wefts are 8/2 tencel used doubled.  The tencel is mostly from WEBS – their Valley Yarns 8/2 Tencel.  This week I started weaving on them; there will be seven scarves total.  So far I have finished two, in black and navy, and started the third one in grey blue.  I really like this color and may make two, one to sell and one for me!

pomegranate 2 warp

pomegranate 2 started

Green & Clean Perimeter

So as previously noted, last Saturday our home was included in this year’s Methow Valley Home Tour, which had the theme “Firewise Homes: Fire Adapted Building and Landscaping.”  We had gotten a good rating when we had the free Firewise evaluation done last fall, but still had some projects to complete outside, including setting up more of a green lawn perimeter around the house with a sprinkler system.  We worked with Eric Carlton of Carlton Landscape Construction in Twisp.  Rick had met him before on some jobs he worked on, and we know his wife’s parents.

Pavers leading into the house and down the side of the shop/studio building

Pavers leading into the house and down the side of the shop/studio building

Front plantings with dry streambed

Front plantings with dry stream bed – should fill in nicely in a year or two

The dry stream bed is more than decorative – it serves as a catchment basin for water that drains off both the house and the shop/studio building, and the pavers are set so that they drain into it as well.  Trust me, this came in handy the last couple of weeks when we had the heavy thunderstorm downpours with hail!

New green grass perimeter with automatic sprinkler system to keep it that way:



On the day of the home tour, we also had the house and our studios open (some of the homes on the tour only had their yards available for visitors to look at).  I am not sure how many people came, but at a guess 100-150 or so.  It was an opportunity to show the work Rick has done here so far, and I made a display board and had business cards out.  There were folks from the Confluence Gallery here to monitor the house, and someone from the Firewise program as well.  It was really pretty fun but we were exhausted by the end of the day.  That is more than partly because of all the cleaning and de-cluttering we did beforehand – yard, deck, house, studios.  Cleanest it may be for some time!

Yesterday we slept in and then took a day off – what a concept.  We went on a 4.5 mile hike to Blue Lake up in the North Cascades National Park just west of Washington Pass.  Someone was kind enough to offer to take our picture with my phone….




See Der Falls

This is the time for the annual Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival.  We usually get season tickets, and attend with my brother and sister-in-law from Camano Island (and up until recently, my Dad as well).  This year we only got tickets for the first 2 concerts, because of other obligations for all of us.  But it was still good, and I got to go to the third concert a few nights ago with a friend who had an extra ticket.

Thursday, July 28:chamber music 1Tuesday. August 2 – after another day of thunderstorms, heavy rain, wind, cold.  Maybe that’s mist not a crummy photo:

chamber music 2Last Friday my brother and I hiked up to Cedar Creek Falls – only 1.7 miles, but it was in the 90’s and thankfully, mostly in the shade.

cedar creek fallsWe found the geocache, one of the first ones from the 1980’s I have been told:

see der falls geocache

We are in the final stages of getting ready for the 15th annual  Methow Valley Home Tour.  It is this Saturday, August 6, and the theme this year is “Firewise Homes: Fire-adapted Building and Landscaping”.  The website says it will “look at valley homes from a more practical, rather than purely aesthetic, standpoint.  How can smart design, layout and construction choices make our homes more resilient in fire country?”

Ours will be one of 8 homes on the tour – all had good ratings from the Okanogan County Firewise program last fall, and 3 of them are on our loop road.  Of those 8, only 5 will also have their homes open (the usual model for the tour).  This is one reason Rick has been pushing to finish up projects in the house!  and we have also done more work in the yard.  I will take pictures on Saturday and post on the blog.


Built-ins and Boucle

This coming Saturday, July 23,  I will be at D*signs Gallery and Twisted Knitters in Twisp in the first of the “featured artist” events they are planning for Saturdays this summer.  I’ll be there from 10-2 (ish) so come on down if you are here!  109B Glover Street, across from Cinnamon Twisp Bakery and Glover Street Market.  D*signs carries my rugs, and Twisted Knitters has my patterns, handknit items and some of my handspun yarn.  I will be bringing some other things that aren’t usually there, like the new woven shawls I talk about below.

First the “shopcam” update – Rick finished the built-in chest of drawers and bookcases in our master bedroom.  The chest of drawers is deeper than it looks, as it extends back into the storage area behind, which is accessible from the walk-in closet.  The wood is cherry and he made his signature Macassar ebony handles for this one.

bedroom built-ins July 2016 1

I am currently weaving some shawls using lovely hand-painted kid mohair boucle yarn for the warp.  From deep stash!  The first set of 4 shawls was in tones of blue, with black alpaca as the weft on 2 of them, and blue organic wool as the weft on the other 2.  The yarn was a handpaint from Naturally of New Zealand that has long been discontinued.  I also put in stripes of Kidsilk Haze (or equivalent) every 3 inches.  I think it makes them more interesting.


Yesterday I put on a new shawl warp using mainly Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Boucle, which appears to be discontinued now.   This has been in my stash for a while and I think this is a good use for it.  I used 4 different colorways plus one of the old ones from Naturally of New Zealand.  I didn’t feel I had the best colors for the wefts so am waiting on an order from Jaggerspun to arrive next week before I start actually weaving these.


And here are some yarns set out for contemplation for a third set:


I haven’t done this type of shawl for about 3 years and it has been fun to get back to them again.  Once my stash of handpaint boucle and mohair yarns is used up, though, this will be the end of it.

I have also woven some rugs using my new selvage material that I got down at Pendleton, Oregon on our recent trailer trip.

Custom order runner - 11 feet long!

Custom order runner – 11 feet long!

Fun with bright colors

Fun with bright colors


Custom order for another friend

Custom order for another friend