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A Month Went By

I guess I just haven’t been in a blogging mood lately, but am shocked to see it has been over a month since my last post!  Here is an attempt to catch up a little.

Our guild had a 2-day workshop with Robyn Spady, something we had booked back in the spring.  I was the chief organizer and it seemed like a lot of work at the time, but it went well.   Robyn stayed here with me and Rick, and she is very personable and easy to talk to.  The workshop was her “Extreme Warp Makeover” class, in which you choose one of three threadings (overshot, rosepath twill, or huck lace) and then learn how you can “make over” that threading by changing treadling sequences and wefts.  It includes a very comprehensive bound notebook that covers all three threadings.

We set up our looms ahead of time at the guild room.  It seems that the usual thing to do is put on a relatively narrow and  natural color warp, but many of us chose to use color or put in stripes of color to see what happened.  Also some of us put on a wide and long enough warp to weave some towels after the class sampler was done.  Robyn seemed surprised and excited to see the color choices!

Each day included two lecture sessions, and a lot of weaving:

MVSW room 5

MVSW room 1

Carolee warp

Cheryl warp

Janet warp

Katie warp

group photo1

In the evening of the second day, we had a potluck here at our house so everyone in the guild (not just those in the workshop) would have a chance to meet Robyn and have some good conversations.

On the home front, we are getting ready for winter – especially since Rick is having a total knee replacement on Nov 4th and he won’t be able to do much of anything around here for a while after that.  There was all the wood, cut into rounds,  from the pine trees we had taken down – fortunately a friend wants that, so he has been coming over to pick it up and haul it away.  We raked up copious quantities of pine needles and hauled them to the burn pile area.  Had a bit of a burn pile going last weekend (VERY CAREFULLY).  The 2 cords of fir firewood we had delivered in August, is now all split and stored in the wood shed.

And we have new front steps!  Still need a temporary handrail to get us through the winter.  These replace the 2 timbers that were just sort of stacked there on concrete blocks, when we bought the place 4 years ago.  They have a shorter rise (3 steps instead of 2) and a nice long deep tread.


And I have still been weaving away on rugs at home – finished the first warp with the below:



R193 & R194 (2 alike)

R193 & R194 (2 alike)

Then I put on a new warp in early September, and the first 5 rugs were at a 40″ width, as I had a special order for one that wide.

R195 (40" wide, special order)

R195 (40″ wide, special order)

R196 (40" wide)

R196 (40″ wide)

R197 & R198 (40", 2 alike)

R197 & R198 (40″, 2 alike)

R199 (40" wide)

R199 (40″ wide)

I had 12 yards on the sectional beam at the 40″ width, so when the extra 4″ on each side ran out, I was back to 32″ wide for the rest I have woven to date:

R200 & R201 (to go with R195 special order)

R200 & R201 (to go with R195 special order)

R202 & R203 (2 alike)

R202 & R203 (2 alike)



R205 & R206

R205 & R206

Still have a lot of rug warp left, so I will keep picking away at these.  But I am planning to put a scarf warp on my other loom at home and do something else for a change!

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We were over in Seattle earlier this week, as my husband was scheduled for some surgery on Monday at the UW Medical Center.  While there, we stayed (mostly, I stayed) with friends in Montlake near the hospital.  They have a sauna in the basement, which doubles as the guest shower, and in the sauna is a stained glass window that I did 30 or more years ago.  It was kind of cool to see it again, and remember my “stained glass” phase, which actually lasted for quite a while.

Here’s a picture:

“Marine Mammals” (for lack of a better title)

Now we are back at home in the beautiful Methow Valley, and I am taking care of my convalescent (who is doing quite well, thank you!) and getting back to some weaving today.

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This is an update from an email I sent to family and friends yesterday.  It has been almost a year since we lost our 18-year-old gray cat, Pushkin, and then last August our 12-year-old Bengal cat, Teasel.  We decided to try being “cat-free” since it does simplify life, at least as far as taking both long and short trips goes.  But after almost 40 years of being cat owners, we missed having them around and had started looking a bit at shelters and on the internet (Petfinder.com is a wonderful resource).

So we came home from the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society on Friday with 2 new kitties!  One we had seen last Monday on our way home from Seattle.  She is young (5 months) and they say she is a “dilute calico”.  She has a wonderful personality, very friendly, confident and playful, and very soft fur.  We are calling her Juno (“Matilda” wasn’t doing it for us).


We also adopted a 4-year-old neutered male who had just been surrendered by his owner (who was moving to somewhere that wouldn’t take pets, or so the surrender form said).  He looks a lot like Pushkin, but he is smaller and more vocal.  He had a rough week being dumped at the noisy humane society, but loves being held and petted. He has been getting more comfortable being out and about in the house as the days pass.  He started off growling at Juno who wants to play and follow him around, but I think this morning he seems a little more curious about her.  We think it is only a matter of time (after all, Teasel finally wore Pushkin down).  He came with the name Storm so we are calling him Stormy.


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It’s been an upsetting couple of days around here, but all is well now.  We went over to the coast for the weekend and as it turned out, our little Bengal cat, Teasel, got outside while we were packing the car etc.  We didn’t find out until Saturday night when we checked our voice mail messages.  Our neighbor had seen her in their yard and called to see if it was ours.  Yes, and she is an inside cat.  She doesn’t know the outside of this place and her new neighborhood.

But we couldn’t come home early due to business and personal obligations on Monday, so we didn’t get back here until 8:30 pm.  Called and walked around until it got dark.  Nothing.  She hadn’t been seen since around noon on Saturday.  There was a HUGE thunderstorm and downpour on Sunday evening, we were told.

Got up yesterday and walked around even farther away, calling and looking in empty sheds, etc.  Nothing.  Made up flyers and started handing them out to houses even farther away.  It was my birthday and not a happy one.  Pushkin also very upset with all the “kitty kitty” calling outside…

But this morning Rick had a new idea.  One of the houses out behind us had lights on at night, but he began to think no-one was actually there.  So we went on over and there she was.  It turned out they were here last weekend, and they put a plastic mesh up all around their porches when they leave – to keep the neighbor’s cats out!  She was inside the mesh and couldn’t get out.  When we found her, she had crawled alongside some construction lumber on their porch with the mesh fastened down next to it, and looked like a salami in a net bag.

But she is home, a few pounds lighter and hungry, but no harm done.

Teasel, as pictured on "LOST CAT" flyer

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Phase 1 Complete

Well, we have moved ourselves and the cats to the new house, and have spent 2 nights there now.  The cats were not amused but they seem to be doing better today.

Today we are moving the office furniture and computer, and they are supposed to transfer our internet service tomorrow, but I expect to be out of communication for a day or two, email and blog-wise.

Stay tuned!

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There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes activity around here the past month and a half.  In early January we looked at a house for sale about 16 miles up valley from our present location, after hearing about it from some friends who live on the same road.  To keep the story short, we immediately knew it was perfect for us in almost every way, and made an offer that was accepted after some negotiating back and forth.  The sale closed this last Monday, Feb 22, and now we are embarking on the transition of home and shop to our new home.

It was our long-range plan to build a modest sized, energy efficient house here at Benson Creek, starting about now (2010).  As the time approached, though, we felt daunted by the task and somewhat unpredictable expense involved.  Last summer we decided to start looking around for an alternative before committing to the process of building here, figuring “what’s the hurry” and that it might take a couple of years before we could make a final decision about moving rather than building.  So we are almost as surprised as everyone else!

The house is about 10 years old and was never completely finished (due to a divorce) – mainly interior finishes and things that we can easily handle.  It was constructed by the owner’s ex-husband using SIPs (structural insulated panels) and is extremely well-insulated.  I’ll post more as things move along, but now I have to get up there and do some painting!

I also have pictures from my spinning workshop and will work on getting those up over the course of the next week.  Stay tuned…

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My Wonderful Students

Last night was the fifth meeting of my top-down raglan class.  Everyone had made great progress and were still full of enthusiasm for the process of designing their own sweater.

Juliet is making a child-size pullover for her friend’s son:

Deb is making a cardigan version with contrasting seed stitch bands:

Laurelle is making a pullover for herself out of wonderful hand-dyed Malabrigo merino yarn:

Darlene is also making a pullover for herself, and she was our least-experienced knitter.  She knew how to knit and purl and had knit a couple of scarves, but that was about it.  Brave woman!  She has learned a lot:

They all like the way you can try the garment on for fit as you go along.  Here, Laurelle had just finished her first sleeve and she liked the length and the fit:

Judith was AWOL but we will catch up with her at the end of the month!


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