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July, August & Beyond

A friend rather pointedly told me that Twisp of Fate seems to have gone dark.  I am so far behind that it seemed pointless to try to catch up, in a way.  But to summarize….

Most of July was spent on a road trip to Oregon in our 1973 Airstream with the 2 cats, Juno & Stormy.  We visited family and friends in Medford & Ashland.

Rick’s birthday at La Pine State Park

Rick with daughter and newest great-grandchild

then headed east to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and Steens Mountain, where we were too late for much bird life at the refuge, but at a perfect time for a drive up Steens Mtn to see wildflowers, views and a couple of herds of wild horses.

near the top of Steens Mountain

wild horses

then farther east to the Owyhee country where we did a lot of driving but did visit an interesting “ghost town”, Silver City Idaho, and saw some fantastic geologic features.

then worked our way north via Baker City to the Wallowa Mountains and towns of Joseph and Enterprise (which we first visited last year) – where among other things we took the tram ride to the top of Mt Howard above Wallowa Lake, continued to eat well in camp, and did some light hiking.

The cats did well despite some long days in the truck, and the heat!

Our last night was at Potholes State Park in southeast Washington, a beautiful park at the Columbia Basin wildlife refuge, to which we will return.

“Airial” at Potholes SP

Early August brought a gathering of my side of the family from California, Colorado and Maryland to visit our dad and the rest of us.  We took the Airstream over to Anacortes for 5 days to join in.

four generations

Along the way, I’ve woven some new rugs:

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entered 4 handwoven items and 3 skeins of handspun yarn into the Okanogan County Fair

Been to the wonderful new Barnyard Cinema in Winthrop a couple of times… a brand new building with a beautiful space meant for screening movies and other events, and only 2 miles from our house!

Fall is in the air and it finally got cool enough at night to warrant an extra blanket on the bed, which is this fabulous quilt my sister made and gave to us back in August:

High Country quilt

That’s it for now!  I will try to be a better blogger going in to the fall.

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Ready for Road Trip

We are leaving tomorrow on a road trip to Oregon in the Airstream, with our 2 cats – Juno & Stormy.  This will be their third trailer trip!  We are so looking forward to having a vacation.  Everyone asks if we are going down the Oregon coast.  I am sure that would be lovely, and cooler, but we chose instead to visit family in the Medford/Ashland area, and then head east into central and northeastern Oregon to visit various wildlife and mountainous areas.  I am not sure how much blogging I will do when away from the home computer, but we will see.

I started the Windfeather pattern from the prolific and talented Carol Sunday, of Sunday Knits.  It is the High Country colorway and I am knitting the medium (stole) size.  Lots of colors and stitch pattern interest – I think it will be a good road trip project.

I recently found out that Sheila of Material Thoughts blog is also knitting this, but in a different colorway.  So we have a friendly competition going to see who finishes first!

I finished 3 rugs and took them to the Winthrop Gallery last evening.

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Rick finished up two projects and is delivering the last one, a work table for a local quilt shop, as I write.  The one delivered yesterday was a concession case for The Barnyard Cinema that is nearing completion in Winthrop – it’s going to be cool!  So today will be devoted to getting the trailer ready to go tomorrow morning.

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We stopped by Confluence Gallery in Twisp this morning to see how the new show looks.  They did a great job, as usual!  Here is the poster for the show, which runs July 1 – August 5.  That’s my dearly beloved in the center picture.

Basically they paired Mary Lou Harris’s photos (taken in our studios) with examples of our work.  There are 10 artists involved.  Here are a few general shots:

Jeremy Newman & Allison Ciancibelli, blown glass;  Hannah Viano, prints and paper cutouts

Robin Nelson Wicks, clay figures

Nicole Ringold, jewelry and Perri Howard, mixed media

Barry Stromberger, metal work

Rick Swanson, woodworker, and Ken LIbby, photography on metal

Katie Swanson, weaver

Rick’s special piece for this show is the coffee table made from Oregon walnut that he has had in his wood stash for 25 or more years.  He is calling it the Hologram Table, because as you walk around it various sections change from light to dark, depending on how the fabulous grain is picking up the light.

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I finished the first set of woven lace scarves using my hand-dyed wool warp and Jaggerspun Zephyr for the weft (18/2 wool silk blend).  I used the first 2 skeins that were dyed purple going into dark red, and dark red going into medium red, and got 3 scarves.  Left: woven with Deep Purple Zephyr, Right: woven with Iris Zephyr.

I have one more in Deep Purple to twist the fringes on, and then wash.  Yesterday I wound the other 2 skeins (medium red and kind of a salmon orange/brown) onto the warp beam and will hopefully get it tied on and ready to weave sometime this week.

Also finished up 2 more rugs:

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Yesterday a doe with her 2 new fawns came though the yard.  Adorable!

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I finished up the 2 lace scarves and they shrank about 12% in length and 17% in width after washing.  But that is because they really bloom and soften so it is a good thing.

Woven with “Curry” Jaggerspun Zephyr:

Woven with “Peacock” Jaggerspun Zephyr:

They are incredibly lightweight and soft.  I am going to move along to tieing on with my hand-dyed wool and just stick with scarf versions.  They will be a LOT more colorful!

I also finished the point twill scarf that I wanted to do with some of my handspun (all the others were done with the merino/tencel in a color gradation).  I am very pleased with this, and it is for the upcoming show at Confluence Gallery in Twisp.  The handpainted merino & tencel spinning fiber was from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks and I had 3 braids in the Autumn colorway.  One wasn’t split lengthwise before spinning, so had very gradual color changes in the singles.  One was split in half and spun back to back, so changed colors twice as often as the first one.  The other was split in quarters, and therefore had the most frequent color changes in the singles.  So when all 3 singles were made into a 3-ply I got a lot of interplaying color changes.

New Scarves

I finished the second set of 4 merino/tencel scarves using the ombré color transition theme.

Here’s the blue one photographed with the table runner – I am submitting both of these for the show at Confluence Gallery in a couple of weeks:

I have also started a new experiment on my loom at the weaving guild room.  Last February at spinning camp I dyed 4 skeins of fine wool in a color gradient.

And at the weaving workshop in Seattle at the end of February, someone gave me a draft for a woven lace pattern that I thought might work for a shawl with these yarns.  But I didn’t want to experiment with my precious hand-dyed yarn, so I “conditioned” (soaked/washed) some of the undyed skeins and put a scarf warp on that is 2 motifs wide.  Here is the washed sample.  It shrank and bloomed a lot with washing!

It is woven with Jaggerspun Zephyr (50/50 wool silk in a finer weight than the wool warp).  I was experimenting with color and beat (picks per inch).  The gray one at the top was the most successful on both counts.  I like the gold one too, but it was beaten (just pressed with the beater, actually) too firmly.  I am just finishing the second of 2 scarves and will post pictures once they are finished (fringed and washed).

I am pretty sure I will proceed with this pattern for the hand-dyed shawls, using black Zephyr for the weft.  I’ll decide after the sample scarves are finished.  It’s a 66-row treadling repeat and I thought it was going to be a bear, but actually it’s not bad at all once broken down into 4-row sequences.

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We took the 1973 Airstream over to the dealership in Spokane about 6 weeks ago to have a ZipDee awning installed.   This is something I have wanted for a while and we finally decided to go for it.  Up until now we have used the Kelty Carport shelter that we used with the Aliner, to provide some sun shade at least.  But it was a hassle to put up – Rick had to get up on a stepladder and bungee-cord it to whatever he could find to hook it onto.

So now we have a lovely 16′ long roll-out awning for both sun and rain protection.  It is manual operation, because on our old trailer we are not wired for the electric automatic option.  That would have been a lot more expensive.  But it is very easy to put up and down, so I don’t see why we would have really even wanted that.

Might not seem like a big deal, but it is to us!  We will put it to use on our first long trip in July.

When I told Rick my idea for the title of this post, he immediately went off into riffs on it.  This is a guy who has never heard a pun he doesn’t like!  He really thought I was awn-to something.