Archive for the ‘Methow Valley’ Category

How We Work

The Winthrop Gallery put up a new show this week, with the official opening on Saturday.  Open to all members, it is titled “How We Work:  Winthrop Gallery artists & the creative process.”  Those of us who submitted a piece or two were asked to provide a statement to be mounted on the wall, which could include photographs.  It was left very open so it will be fun and interesting to see what people came up with.  We can’t make the opening on Saturday because we are headed over to La Conner and Bellingham for the weekend, but I will stop by there today to see how it looks.  Here’s the poster:

How We Work poster

I finished off a rug warp last week and have wound a new warp onto the sectional beam, although it isn’t threaded yet.   Here are some of the recent rugs:



R252 & R253

This is the one I was weaving when we took the picture for the poster – and one of these is in the show




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This is shaping up to be a spectacular year for wildflowers, one factor being all the snow we had last winter.  It has warmed up quickly and melted off fast – the Methow River is a raging brown torrent this week.

Our signature wildlflower, the arrowleaf balsamroot (called “sunflowers” by the locals) have come out strong on the hillsides this past week.  We knew we had to get out to see them before they started to fade, so this morning we did the Lewis Butte hike not too far north out of Winthrop, off the Gunn Ranch Rd.  In addition to the balsamroot, the lupine were well along.  I’ll let the pictures say the rest…

Lewis Butte 4-20-16 a

Lewis Butte 4-20-16 b

Mt. Gardiner in the background

Mt. Gardiner in the background

We did it as a loop, with the steepest part (an old jeep track) at the beginning.  We aren’t in the best of shape but we made it!  Maybe next week we will try Patterson Mtn, as we were told it is a little farther behind Lewis Butte in flower development.

Weaving update

I took 7 plaited twill scarves off the loom at the guild room over a week ago, and have been doing the finishing work at home.



Then over Sunday and Monday I wound a new warp onto the sectional beam, tied it onto the old warp (the blue/green colorway) and started the first scarf.  I haven’t done these particular colors for about 4 years and I am excited to see it again – I call it “Sea Scallop”.

sea scallop warp

sea scallop started


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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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Workshop Weekend

This past weekend our weaving guild brought in Mary Berent from Eagle, ID (near Boise) to teach a 2-day workshop on “Combining Common Cottons”.  It was set up as a round-robin format, where each loom had a different setup and then we took turns weaving a sample on each one.  We had 10 people and 11 looms setup, so it was busy and kind of intense, but we got through it all.


The idea is to combine commonly available and relatively inexpensive plain cotton weaving yarns with other types of yarn (novelty knitting yarns, more textured or heavy cotton yarns, linen, and other fibers – including mohair!) for a variety of reasons.  These could include:  making a more interesting fabric, making a fabric better suited to its purpose, saving money when using expensive yarns, not having enough of something you really want to use, etc.

Mary brought lots of examples:




At the end of the second day, we took the entire length woven off each loom and discussed what we were seeing, before cutting them apart so everyone could take their sample home to be wet-finished and stored in our notebooks.



We also asked Mary to give a 2-hour lecture Sunday evening that was open to all, not just our guild.  The topic was “Inspiration, Color & Design” and we had about 22 people in attendance down at TwispWorks.  This was the community outreach part of the grant we got from ANWG last year (Association of Northwest Weavers’ Guilds).  Again, she brought lots of samples for people to pore over.  I think everyone, including the non-weavers, found it interesting.




I took her to the airport in Wenatchee this morning and am now home – tired, inspired, and ready for a vacation.  We head off for Seattle and Vancouver BC for the rest of the week, so that should fit the bill!

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The Okanogan County Fair was postponed this year because of the fires over in the Okanogan Valley to the east of our Methow Valley.  It is usually the weekend after Labor Day but there was a big fire camp set up there, and so the fair committee decided to postpone by 2 weeks rather than cancel.  It was last weekend (Sept 24-27).

This was a problem for kids back in school, and especially those raising livestock, as they aim to have optimal weight and condition by the usual projected date.  But it’s still better than cancellation!

Our guild (Methow Valley Spinners & Weavers Guild) put together our usual display, which features items woven for our current year’s challenge project.  This year the challenge theme was “Twill” and we had a wide variety of items, which made it kind of hard to display – but the women who put it together did a great job.  We got a “Special Award” for the display.  I am sorry I do not have a picture – I didn’t make it over to the Fair and seem to have deleted the picture that was sent to me by email.

I submitted 4 items for the spinning and weaving departments.  I got blue ribbons on all and some other ribbons on 3 of them.  The purple ones are Grand Champion and the yellow and green one is what they call a Special Award.

“Handknit from handspun cowl” and one of the crackle weave towels I just finished:


Extended manifold twill shawl in fine cotton and tencel:


I wrote a blog post back in April which shows and explains the shawl and the cowl.  You can find it here.

Down at the weaving guild room, I put on a third and final warp for the crackle weave towels and have been weaving away.  Took it off the loom today.




This may be my favorite of the 3 colorways.  I will post pictures once they are finished!

I had to clear off my loom there because we have a workshop coming up in about a week and half and I will need my loom for one of the projects.  This has been my other major activity – I am the chief organizer and it has been a lot of work.  We are having Mary Berent from Eagle, Idaho (just outside Boise) come to do her “Combining Common Cottons” workshop and also give a slide talk for our guild and the general public down at TwispWorks.  It is a round-robin style workshop and we have 10 people signed up.  Each person has to set up one of the projects, so I had to make sure we had the right number of looms with the right attributes in the room – some of them are there now, some have to be brought in.  Also needed to make sure we have the right materials, and order what we didn’t have, etc.  This has been going on for a month and I am so ready to have it finally happen and be over with!

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A Fine Weekend

Well, the studio tour has come and gone.  It was a lot of work getting ready but we had a good time and enough, but not too many, visitors.  We had a mix of neighbors and friends, people visiting the Methow for the weekend, and “part-timers” here for the weekend.  It was kind of quiet both mornings, but picked up in the afternoon, and never so busy that we didn’t have time to really show people around Rick’s shop and my weaving studio, and get into some interesting conversations.

studio tour 2015a

I set up a display of my work under a canopy out in front of the woodworking shop.  Sales were actually pretty good, so I was pleased!

I did finish hemming the second set of towels on Friday night.

set 2b

set 2a

It was really quiet on Sunday morning, so I set up my big electric dyepot on the front deck of the house and started pre-dyeing the silk scarf blanks for another round of my “tie dye” scarves, which I hope to get to work on pretty soon.

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