Thursday, November 24, 2016

So Thankful

Each year there's so much to be thankful for.
Family, good health, fun hobbies.

We were driving through the mountains the other day,
taking in the views and viewing the fresh snow.
Dreaming of the upcoming ski season.

Because my husband was in the military,
we've lived all over the world.

We've chosen to live in Idaho,
which has so much to offer if you love the outdoors.

I'm so thankful to be able to still hike in the mountains,
to be able to stand on a high peak 
and absorb the stillness
and the raw beauty of Idaho.

I'm thankful for skiing, 
(for my knee holding together another year)

dual sport motorcycling on quiet mountain roads, 

and camping.

Thankful for clear rivers to stand in to fish
while trying to catch a trout. 

For my life not being defined by what I own,
but about the experiences/adventures that I've had.

And most of all,
so, so, so thankful not to read/hear about
the presidential/political stuff anymore.
Hurrah to that!!!

Here's hoping, 
wherever you are, 
that you have
an awesome day spent with family or friends,

Monday, November 14, 2016

Scarf Play

I've been playing with weaving scarves lately.
I looked in my weaving notes and realized that
it's been six years since I last wove a scarf!
Now I'm making up for lost time.

I finished my bamboo/cashmere/silk plain weave scarf
and I love the hand/drape to it.
I wore it for the first time the other day
(even if it wasn't really cold enough)
and it felt deliciously awesome!
This is going to be a favorite scarf, 
I just know it.

I finished weaving the next series of scarves 
that had a fall feel to it with colors of burnt orange, soft yellow, and various greens.
I wove three scarves off of the Tencel warp:
starting on the left the weft is hand carded Cormo alternating
with a slubby handspun silk yarn; the black scarf has a
Merino/Tencel weft alternating with the handspun silk yarn; 
and the scarf on the right has a weft of upcycled cashmere yarn 
unraveled from a beige thrift store sweater that I 
dyed a soft green, burnt orange, and soft yellow.

The black Merino/Tencel/silk scarf has an interesting pebbly texture to it.

The Cormo wool started out being dyed in small bundles

then I hand carded it to make small rolags to spin.

Have you ever worked with Cormo wool?
It's super soft and lovely to spin/weave with.
I had the serendipitous opportunity to buy bags of 
Cormo wool a few years back from a local farmer.
Happy days :-)

The Cormo/silk/Tencel scarf:

I'm having a blast weaving scarves,
just in case you haven't noticed.

Weave on,

Monday, November 7, 2016

Inspired by Lynne and Sara

Do you find inspiration in other people's work/art?
I was thinking about this the other day,
about what inspires me to create.

Years ago I came across the book,
written by Lynne Vogel.
I'd never seen anything like what she was creating
with her hand dyed, 
one of a kind socks.
I was amazed, 
and thought I want to dye like that.
Improvisational dyeing!
Her work/book inspired me to collect dyeing supplies,
mix acid dyes,
and start dyeing my own wool.
Thanks, Lynne, for the inspiration!!

A couple of weeks ago I was perusing another favorite book,
by Sara Lamb. 
Reading that book,
and ghosting Ravelry,
has given me a strong desire to weave with my handspun yarn.
(That, and the worry that I may become buried
under the mountainous pile of wool skeins
that are gathering in my house....)
I am not a wool hoarder,
I'm not.
Sara weaves luscious scarves and shawls using
her finely spun wool/silk yarns that she
creates herself.
Just seeing the photos of her shawls in her book made me want to start weaving....
Simply lovely!!

So this next scarf was inspired by these two fiber artists.

I measured out an 8/2 Tencel warp 
of cream, medium spring green, sunny yellow, and burnt orange.

I put that Tencel warp on my Baby Wolf loom to 
weave a plain weave scarf.

Someone asked me in a comment how I dye my yarn/roving.
Sometimes I put the yarn/wool in a little bit of water
and then pour the dye over the top.
The dye strikes fast as I have a higher acid concentration for that method.
I have an old camp stove that I use to heat set the dyes 
along with an old canning pot.
Most of the time though, I use sponge brushes to paint the yarn/roving,
so that I can put the dye exactly where I want it.
On Saturday, I set up a dyeing table in my driveway,
and painted on a soft green, sunny yellow, and
tobacco brown with a couple of drops of bright orange
to a skein of upcycled cashmere yarn from a thrift store sweater.
The tobacco brown washes out to a nice tan, 
so what I wanted was a tan with a hint of orange.
So with this method,
I wrapped the yarn with plastic wrap,
placed this above water in a shallow pan,
(not in the water, but above)
and steamed it for 30 minutes.
The cashmere yarn is in the top shuttle,
and a handspun, slubby silk yarn is in the bottom.

I started painting our family room on Saturday,
which had been painted by the previous owner 
who put a very shiny beige paint on the ceiling.
Not my cup of tea,
for sure,
so I'm really glad to not see that anymore!
You're probably wondering, what's with all of the house painting?
Our youngest son moved out in August,
so now we've started tackling some of the DIY
projects that have been on our list for some time.

Fresh paint in our family room!
So while I was rolling the paint on the ceiling,
I was thinking of colors.
Wondering how it would look to have a random warp
crossed with a multicolored weft with two different yarns.
This is the result of that pondering,
scarf number one.

I'm spinning the Merino/silk roving for scarf number two
and thinking about how I want to dye this.
Maybe a sunny yellow dripped on the yarn for splotches of color?

On the quilting side of things,
I've been sewing donation baby quilts.
Which is fun!

On Saturday, my husband and I bicycled downtown to view the Veteran's Parade.
I was impressed by how many families with small kids were there 
to support the veterans.
It was so neat to see the little kids waving flags
and clapping for an older generation
who sacrificed so much for our freedom.

To any veteran who may be reading this,
thanks so much for all that you did to make our country free.
This Veteran's Day, 
if you see a vet,
please stop them and tell them thanks.