Thursday, February 4, 2016

January is Behind Us.

I am finally able to access my photos I took with my phone in Oregon last month.  So here I am with my 2 sons, Ian and Sam/Zac/Satchmo in front of one of the waterfalls at Silver Falls State Park, which is where Ian and Michelle will get married in just 4 months.  

And here are the bride and groom to be.  The park is gorgeous and I hope I get to do the whole 10 falls hike, which is about 7 miles, when I return for the wedding.  I will be sure to take my camera and not depend on my phone as the resolution is not so great.  But I think the photos are nice anyway.


Ian took this photo the next day from a park on top of a mountain in Portland.  That is Mt Hood in the background.  It was a lovely day. 

All our snow melted this past week.  It was unseasonably warm for several days and on Sunday the sun was shining and it was 60 degrees.  Wow.  The dogs and I went up to the pond and I spent a couple hours with the chainsaw and the brushcutter clearing out the briars and undergrowth on one side of the pavilion.  We have one side done and it is parklike with just the big trees and no brush and Sam can get in with the tractor and mow it.  It is our goal to do this all around the pond.  Here is what it looks like prior to clearing it out.

And afterwards

Sam will go in here with the tractor and push those larger downed logs down to the burn pile next to the pond, which looked like this after my work on Sunday.  I added to it on Tuesday, but did not take a new photo.  It is easily twice that size now.

Most likely this pile will get burned while we are cooking down maple sap.  Still wondering how the weather will affect that....

I finished the dyeing for my big weaving project this week.  I still need to spin a skein of black alpaca because what I tried to dye just did not work out.  In hindsight, it was silly to try to dye black when I have some lovely black fleeces in the summer kitchen just waiting to be processed.....I think I will be skirting fiber this weekend to send to the mill for processing.  But I have already washed what I need to spin for this project and will start carding it this weekend.  I only need about 4 oz.  

I had a tiny bit of dye left in the pot when I decided my skeins were dark enough, so I took an extra skein and dyed it to exhaust the dye and I got this:

It came out gorgeous and I can hardly wait to knit a small project with it.  When I say exhaust the dye, what I mean is use up every bit of color in the pot.  The dye molecules "strike" the fiber, kind of like iron filings jumping onto a magnet (we all did that in science class, right?).  The heat and the acid in the dyebath are what make the color stick permanently to the fiber.  So if you exhaust your dyebath, there will be no color left in your pot, just clear water when you remove the fiber.  In this case, I did not let all the color in the pot grab onto my original skeins of yarn because I did not want them any darker, so I pulled them out while there was still just a little color in the pot.  Then I hung this skein over a big spoon handle and let just the ends down into the pot for a few minutes before dropping it in all the way,  So I have kind of a gradient skein.  Dyeing is fun.  I like to experiment sometimes like this.  The best part is if I do not like what I get, I can overdye the yarn with another color and get something completely different and possibly awesome.  Too bad we can't fix all our mistakes so easily! 

Last but not least, I finished the binding on the grey rug.  It is a couple inches longer than the white one, which I dropped off at the Arts Center last week.  I will probably take this one in there as well.  The Monroe Artists have their big annual show in April and if I have some rugs for sale during the show I may sell another one or two.  I think I sold 9 rugs through the Arts Center last year, which is pretty good.  It pays for more yarn to be processed which means my fiber shed will not be as full!


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