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When it snows…

In a push to finish UFO’s, I completed a knitted scarf that I started sometime last year.  It was about 2/3 done but falling farther and farther towards the bottom of the knitting bag.  The pattern is Noro Knots by the Irish designer Kieran Foley.  I knit one of these about 3 years ago using Noro Kureyon Sock and have found it to be very wearable, so I decided to make another one using Noro Silk Garden Sock in a colorway I really liked (#272).  For both of these I did 6 repeats of the charts, not 5 (well actually, on this one I worked only through chart C on the 6th repeat).  Very happy with it!

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In January I bought a WooLee Winder for my Jensen Tina II spinning wheel.  I like the wheel but was having trouble getting used to having to move the spun singles from hook to hook on the flyer.  I haven’t had a wheel with hooks for a long time.  The Majacraft Little Gem has a sliding eyelet, much like a Lendrum, and for the Hansencraft Minispinner the standard flyers have a sliding eyelet (you don’t even need to pinch and slide, just give it a little nudge with your finger).  I also have the WooLee Winder for the Hansencraft spinner and love it, especially for plying.

I was kind of on the fence about ordering this for the Jensen wheel, as it had gotten mixed reviews on the Jensen Ravelry group.  Some people love it and others have had trouble getting it to work right.  The flyer has a level-wind mechanism in one arm, much like a fishing reel, and it moves up and down evenly feeding singles onto the bobbin as you spin.

Anyway, mine works great in both double-drive and Scotch tension modes and it is making the eternal spinning project go much faster and more enjoyably!  I only bought 2 bobbins as I always wind the singles off onto plastic storage bobbins anyway, for later plying.

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We got a lot of snow the last couple of days, at least 10 inches I would say.

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Cats roasting by the (not so) open fire….

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I decided to put a short warp on my 32″ Macomber and do our weaving guild annual “challenge” project just to put it behind me and be ready when we share our efforts at the April meeting.  The theme this year is Lace and everyone signed up for a different kind of woven lace, breaking into study groups.  Three of us chose to do a project based on an article by Jane Evans in the May/June 2000 Handwoven magazine.  It allows you to weave motifs in Bronson lace using a “split shed” technique on 3 shafts, instead of pickup sticks.  You can either weave a lace motif against a plain weave background, or a plain weave motif embedded in a lace background.

It sounds intriguing and definitely a challenge!  But after reading through the method again I realized I will never in a million years actually choose to use this for a project, so have decided to do just a small sample to try it out and fulfill my obligation for this year’s challenge.  That meant putting on only a 1-yard warp in 20/2 pearl cotton.

These days I almost always warp my looms using my AVL Warping Wheel, which allows me to put a warp on the sectional beam with even tension, and without needing a tension box and multiple spools, then thread and sley from back to front.  But I can’t do that for a warp shorter than a couple of yards.  So I decided to try out Laura Fry’s method for putting a warp (wound on a conventional warping board or reel) onto the back beam under even tension, then threading and sleying from the front as I am used to.  This is shown in her DVD The Efficient Weaver.

Quickly realized that this warp is too short even for that, as it will not be wound onto the back beam at all.  So there seemed no point in trying out her way of rough-sleying a reed to act as a raddle and warp spreader at the front of the loom as you wind on.  I wound up just tieing the cross end onto the back apron rod so I could pull on it as I thread.  The lease sticks are suspended from two string cradles – actually the stick closest to the back rod is suspended, then the two are fastened together so as not to fall out.  Got this idea from Nadine Sanders’ “Warping on a Shoestring” DVD.

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This One’s For You, D.

We had friends over for dinner recently and D. gave me a bad time about the blog, pointing out that my most recent post was from the end of October.  Well OK, I guess you have a point.  It was a busy time up until the end of December, and I guess I have fallen out of the habit!

20 rugs and counting

Since my last post, I have woven 20 rugs.  Mostly these were in a push to have more things for sale at the 2 galleries over the holiday period, for our annual weaving guild sale in November, and also Rick and I were invited to have work up at The Gallery at Sun Mountain Lodge by our friends who curate that space.  Rick had a live-edge walnut mirror up there which subsequently sold, and I have 3 rugs hanging on the walls.  They will be there through sometime in April when the lodge closes for the shoulder season.

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Did 4-5 in these blue & gray colors:

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Got into some black & white and bright colors (more than one rug):

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These 3 are from just last week and are now at Confluence Gallery:r305

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8 More shawls… and some placemats

I finished the 4 purple shawls towards the end of October, then put on one more warp to weave another four of the blue/black shawls that had proven to be very popular….

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After I finished the shawls, I put on a warp for more placemats using the “thick ‘n’ thin” method with cotton fabric strips and a slub yarn.  During December and early January I wove 12 placemats and a runner on that warp, but haven’t gotten any pictures yet.

Knitting

Once the weaving push was over, I realized I had only a couple of my Mosaic Mojo Hats up at Winthrop Gallery for the holiday sales.  I hadn’t knit any of these for a year and it was fun to rummage through the yarn boxes and come up with a few new ones.  Well, six to be exact.  I worked on these in December and when in Seattle for Christmas week.

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I also knit something for myself!  Brush Creek Cowlette by Carina Spencer using hand-dyed yarns from Marianated Yarns that I bought at knitting retreat the first weekend of November.  The yarn base is Scrumptious HT (80% merino, 20% cashmere) – she had yarn kits that had been broken up and I was able to choose 1/3 skeins (33 gm) of 3 colors, which was just comfortably enough.  I also modified the pattern by adding 2 more pattern repeats to make the neck opening bigger before joining in the round for the second and third colors.  I love this thing and wear it all the time!

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Annual guild sale

Methow Valley Spinners & Weavers Guild annual show and sale was the weekend before Thanksgiving.  As usual, Sara Ashford did a wonderful job of organizing and decorating and the room looked so colorful.  It was a big success and is one of my best opportunities to sell directly to the public each year.

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Snow!!

It has been a dry winter but very cold (like getting up in the morning to -17F).  But a few weeks ago we finally got a decent amount of snow.  Then it warmed up and melted off the roofs in great thundering WHUMPS!! but we still have at least 2 ft on the ground.

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Squirrel Cowl Published

I finally took the time to publish my cowl pattern for sale on Ravelry a couple of weeks ago.  Last fall I wrote up the pattern, and taught a class down at Twisted Knitters in Twisp.  Just hadn’t gotten around to the final step on Ravelry.  It is a “sequence knitting” project and is called Squirrel Cowl.  Somehow the phrase “sequence spiral” morphed into “squirrel” in my brain!  Now I think of it as watching 2 squirrels chase each other up a pine tree, around and around and upward they go.

and on into 2017…

Still have rug warp on the big loom.  The small loom at home sits empty but I am contemplating a new scarf project.  The loom at the guild room also sits empty but I think I will put a towel warp on that one – just not sure what yet.   I “frogged” (rip-it, rip-it) 2 sweaters that just weren’t going anywhere, re-skeined and soaked the yarn to get the kinks out, and now one of them is in the process of its new incarnation.

Trying to take time for TLC on the old body and its lower back issues!  Enjoy our home in the Methow, cope with family issues that have been ongoing since September and keep looking forward and upward.

Take care, all.

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October already?

I knew I hadn’t posted for a while. but it looks like it has been over a month – good grief!  Some family stuff has come up, but I have been weaving too so here is an update:

Rugs for the “Hearth” exhibit at Confluence Gallery, which ran for about 5 weeks and ended on October 8.  Some of these pictures go back to the last half of August, as I was getting inventory together for the show.  They sold 11 rugs and 2 shawls for me, which was wonderful!  Rick also sold his coffee table with the antique grate in the top.

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Rugs for the “Ponderosa Pine” show at Winthrop Gallery, which just came down this week.  Sold two of these, plus a shawl.

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Custom order rugs, wider at 36″ instead of my usual 32″ wide:

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Another set of mohair & boucle shawls, in a warp colorway I am calling “Blue Parrot”:

Blue Parrot warp on the loom

Blue Parrot warp on the loom

Blue Parrot shawl being woven

Blue Parrot shawl being woven

Woven in Ebony & Mahogany

Woven in Ebony & Mahogany

Woven in Lagoon and Peacock

Woven in Lagoon and Peacock

Here are the yarns I will start putting on today for some more shawls in a purple colorway:

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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.

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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”:

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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”:

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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pomegranate 2 started