Thursday, March 8, 2018

Oops, February Got Away From Me.

Apples is always happy to see me!
I guess that's what happens when one is busy.  All of a sudden I realize that February is over and I have done only one post.  I have excuses.

A week after my last post, I flew out to Oregon to visit my son and daughter-in-law and attend a baby shower being given for their baby boy who is expected in about 7 weeks.  It was a really nice shower and Ian and Michelle should be well set up for their little one when he arrives.

I had woven a baby blanket in Portland Timbers colors using a cotton and linen yarn, so it should be nice for a spring baby.  Easy care as well.  

I also gave them a little sleeper and some bibs I sewed.  I also got them a "co-sleeper" which is a bassinet that sits right alongside their bed and keeps baby within reach, but not in the bed with them.  

My visit was very nice and I even walked to the yarn shop in town, about 1.7 miles each way, on Friday while they were working and bought nothing if you can believe that.  Saturday was the shower in Portland and then we did some shopping and met some friends of theirs for dinner.  It was 10 pm by the time we got back to Corvallis.  

Ian took me to a wildlife refuge on Sunday morning where he had recently taken some great photos of a bald eagle harassing a huge flock of ducks.  We saw lots of ducks, but no eagles put in an appearance, sadly.  But it was nice anyway.  

Monday we headed back to Portland in the early afternoon for some shopping and to drop me at my airport hotel for my flight home Tuesday morning.  We had time to go to the one place I wanted to go, which was the Pendleton Wool Mill Outlet Store   
I had heard of weavers acquiring blanket selvedges there to weave rag rugs with and wanted to acquire some for myself because it just sounded really neat. Well they had huge bins of bags of these in all colors!  It was so hard to choose, but  Ian is a big fan of Pendleton wool products and I had promised him a rug, so I let him choose the colors.  These selvedges are the edges they cut off the woolen fabric before they full and bind the edges of the blankets.  So they are strips of fabric with raw edges up to 6' long in the colors of the blankets.  They sell them by the pound.  These selvedges Ian chose are from the National Parks series of blankets that Pendleton has done.  The National Parks are very close to Ian's heart.

 This bag contains some Crater Lake and also some Grand Canyon colors.  It weighs 14 pounds.  I had to be very creative in packaging it to check through for my flight home.  I prefer to fly on Southwest and one reason is because I can check up to 2 bags at no additional charge.  This was my second bag.  Thanks to a vacuum seal bag and a lot of duct tape my selvedges got home with no problem. I got a lot of remarks on my unusual package, however.

I look forward to weaving this, but first have to finish the current project on my loom.  I have 2 more trips to Oregon planned in the near future and I will likely be back at the Mill outlet.  It was amazing.  You can buy remnants of wool fabrics by the pound or you can purchase their various wool fabrics by the yard.  They have some yarns on cones and all kinds of things I never had a chance to really look at.  It was overwhelming.  And Ian and Michelle thought it was wonderful, too, so it's not just for crafters.  I recommend a visit if you are in Portland.

Before I left for Oregon, our weather really warmed up, effectively putting a halt on the maple syrup production.  It was still quite warm when I got home, but has since gotten quite a bit colder.  There was a little bit of a sap run yesterday, but not enough to warrant firing up the evaporator.  Sam will check again today and see if he can run one last batch tomorrow.  I hope so because this is the second year in a row we will have had an extremely poor season with little production.  I think we have about 2 gallons of finished syrup right now.  Another gallon would be nice.  But there are no guarantees when you are at the mercy of the weather.

Grover and I are off to Zanesville for a weekend of bar-hopping on Friday.  And then we are going to Youngstown Ohio for the next weekend.  We have not done agility 2 weekends in a row before.  They are both 2 day trials.  We are getting closer to that MACH goal, so we may enter a few more trials when time allows.  It's getting very exciting.
I bought a chair for my studio at Ikea last month.  I had been wanting a chair and as soon as I saw this I knew it was the perfect one.  I have a computer/desk type chair already, but this is much nicer to sit in and look through magazines and books.  Grover likes it too.  Rowdy remains happy with the rug.


I have been working on a sweater for the grandbaby.  I am making it in the 12 month size so  he can wear it next year.  It looks big to me.  It still needs some some assembly and I bought some really cute buttons for it.  It should be finished soon.

I am almost done warping my small loom for a couple of new linen bread bags.  I think I posted a year ago about the linen bread bag incident wherein Grover ate right through a handwoven linen bread bag to get at the loaf of homemade bread inside.  The bag was fairly fresh off the loom and I was devastated.  It was not repairable, but I still have the remnants and may make something small from them someday.  So I decided to try a different pattern and make a new one.  I resolve to keep this one out of reach of Grover!

I don't know if I shared photos of these scarves I finished in January.  They are both on the same warp but using different weft and the same pattern.  There was not enough color contrast in the first one I did for the pattern to show.  However, I love how the second one turned out.  These are both 6' long by about 8" wide.  I will be listing them in my etsy shop, just in time for spring.

I think that's it for now.  There are signs of spring everywhere, though there are snow flurries today.  Apples is shedding, the peepers have been peeping and there are leaf buds on the lilac bush.  It won't be long now.

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