July 30, 2008
Today was perfect for picking blueberries. The scent of rain lingered in the air from a light rain that moved through during the night, everything appeared clean and fresh. All the rain we had during June has produced an abundance of fruit.
A beautiful drive across a ridge and back down into the Willamette valley brought us to a family farm staffed by pleasant, helpful teens. After weighing our buckets my friend JH and I set forth down the rows in search for the perfect spot. JH’s daughter is getting married this Saturday and she’s planning to serve fresh berries along with the cake. Lots of fresh berries. I believe the time spent picking 25 pounds provided a pleasant pastime for both of us.
The summer of my eighteenth year I spent several weeks with a family, daily riding my bike to a blueberry field where I picked berries for the fresh market, berries that were bound overnight for NYC. I never was as fast as the farmer’s granddaughters but the work was gratifying. Fresh air, sun, working at your own pace always trying to beat the previous day’s pickings. Until that summer I wasn’t fond of blueberries. Now cereal would be sorely lacking without blueberries.
This little girl loves them too. She put more in her mouth than in her mama’s bucket. They were in the next row over happily chatting up a storm.
View on the way back over the ridge.
The Corriedale/Camel Yarn is finally finished, skeined and set. Details to come.
July 27, 2008
Two finished projects!
Finally the Brigid Socks where kitchenered, finished and given to the recipient. They had been tossed in both the washer, cold water, and in the dryer before modeling for the picture.
Yarn: Ball and Skein sock yarn, Mountain Spring Colorway. Handdyed, 80% Merino, 20% Nylon 4 ply – 400 yds.This was great sock yarn with nary a knot and plenty of yarn left over. A person adept with cabling could easily add a couple more pattern repeats without fear of running out of yarn. This was my first attempt at cabling and proved a good pattern to get my toes wet.
During last week’s morning business sessions a scarf was born. It came off the needles this afternoon.
This scarf was knit straight from silk hankies using US10/6mm Jenkins needles. A woman had demo’d this technique at the spinning conference in June.
It was the perfect project for business sessions where I needed to pay attention yet wanted to accomplish some knitting. Each hankie is carefully peeled away from the stack then pulled into a long thin roving and knit. The trickiest part was pulling each hankie to a consistent thickness. Then again, that’s part of the scarf’s charm. When the packet of silk hankies was gone, the scarf was done.
I also did some color spinning on my Turkish spindle last week.
80%Merino, 20%Mohair a combination for long lasting socks. The spindle currently have two split lengths of a yard. I’ll spin one more onto the spindle with the same color sequence, then try to spin three matching splits on another spindle and ply them together with the goal of the colors matching. This is harder for me than I’d first thought it’d be. Some sections get drafted just a bit thinner than others and over the long haul the colors don’t neatly match up.
Plying the corriedale/camel should be finished by tomorrow evening. I’m in a bit of a quandary: the bobbin is almost stuffed and I don’t think that all the singles will fit, yet the singles are getting to the surface of their individual bobbins. I’ve never spun this much yardage in one batch and I’m very reluctant to break the singles and start another bobbin. Any advice is welcome. I’m grateful to Freestyle Jo (you must take a look at the cute booties she’s made!) for letting me know that spinning around 8oz would most likely take me over 10 hours. It helped to know that I could expect to spin for that many hours and that I wasn’t plying excruciatingly slow.
July 22, 2008
Getting ready to celebrate the friend’s 50th birthday I spun a bit of fiber. (Remember the Tour de Fleece? Yep, still spinning along.)
7 Yards at 22wpi, a size 6 crochet hook, and a couple beads did the trick. A Page minder:
Making page minders from fiber to finish is a quick, satisfying project. Just what I needed during the long slog of plying the corriedale/camel yarn. No, it isn’t finished yet! Other things have demanded attention.
After returning from the beach it was hard to change gears from very relaxed to almost total engagement in high. Our Jenkins Turkish Delight Spindles are a big hit among spinners and orders have been flying in. Ed completed a number of orders which were packed and shipped by Friday, for I am away from home most of this week.
The annual Yearly Meeting of Northwest Quakers is taking place at George Fox University, so the other representative from our small Scotts Mills Friends Meeting and I are staying in one of the dorms and attending sessions and workshops. It’s been a great week so far, with wonderful meetings with Tony Campolo as the main speaker. Of course there’s the usual business sessions occupying the entire mornings. Excellent knitting and spinning time. I completed spinning one color sample on a Turkish Delight, wet set, and measured out 26 yards. Who needs a niddy-noddy with a handy 18″ towel rack? And I’ve been knitting a small silk scarf. Pictures later in the week. I’ll be escaping for an hour or so tomorrow to take an order of shuttles up the valley and over a ridge to Carlton, home of Woodland Woolworks.
A couple weeks ago Faith was entranced by a baby bird that poked its head out of the bird house.
I owe emails to several of you which I hope to be able to attend to before this week is over. Please know that I love and appreciate all of you!
July 16, 2008
Posted by Wanda J under Friends
, Nature  Comments
This past week has drifted by with the ocean currents.
We were invited to join a friend in celebrating his 50th birthday at a house by the ocean.
About 24 years ago, in Portland, Steve and his wife, Martha moved in across the street from us. An easy going friendship was established as solid as a lighthouse.
A piercing cold wind blew most of the time. Only heavy rains and cold will keep me out of the ocean. There’s nothing quite like splashing through freezing water so cold the legs become numb then running barefoot along warm, firm sand.
Ann, Martha and I got in our beach walk early before the thick fog rolled in blowing tatters around the houses.
Steve, Martha and their good friend, Ann are planning a trek in the Himalayans this fall. Ann may be pushing the years but she’s full of spunk and energy.
The only hitch came while watching _Casablanca_ Sunday evening. Interrupted by the doorbell shortly after darkness fell (around 9:30), Martha went down to the first floor to answer it. A fuming neighbor ranted at her for leaving the porch light on. No outside lights were to be left on after dark. All the neighbors were very angry. They’d been ticked off since the young (well behaved) nephews had ridden their bikes on the street the day before. Not allowed on that street full of new big homes. Apparently the owner, who’d built the house last fall, is ignoring the fact that this area is supposed to be residential only – totally unknown to Martha who had innocently rented the huge house for her husband’s quiet, low-key party.
Before we left, Martha and I joined her brother-in-law for a kayak expedition. Driving south and inland a bit, we left the fog behind and found the eastern end of Newport Bay was sheltered from the cold wind. Perfect morning for a wonderful paddle in the kayaks.
“Here’s looking at you, kid.”
The spinning wheel was left at home but my spindle saw a lot of action.
July 9, 2008
Ascend the hill and drift through the dip
Round the curve, just a mile away
Bright colors march across the field.
A violet banner among the greens and gold
Catches the breath of those who wander.
Only a brief walk today to snap the flowers.
Day five of Tour de Fleece: plying for an hour first thing this morning, and another hour this evening as we watched a short dvd.
Total Plying time so far: 4hours, 10minutes. The first couple hours (slow learner!) I struggled with consistent tension, speed and feed-in. While I may be rounding out a second year of spinning, most of it has been done on the spindle. Sitting at the wheel and plying endlessly feels like a new experience. Spinning has been something I do more for the joy, rhythm and contemplation rather than for actual production.
It’s sobering to find out I’ve actually only spun enough yarn for a couple different projects in the past year. (Not counting yards and yards of silk for bookmarks and bracelets.) Confession time: I have yet to knit with my handspun; the two batches of sock yarn I span were given to friends. Discouraging. This Tour de Fleece is giving me excellent focus on a couple goals.
First, ply all the corriedale, camel. Second, spin a spindling for color skein for socks that I will knit.
July 7, 2008
(Edited July 7 Apparently this post, written on the 5th, didn’t get “published”. It wasn’t until I was stats that I realized the oversight. Meanwhile, I’ve put in 1 hour, 10 minutes of plying over the past couple days.)
Tour de Fleece
For the second year I’m attempting the steep hills and sharp curves of the Tour de Fleece. Though the wheels (and spindles) are set in motion today, anyone can join at any time.
My challenge this year is to first ply the chocolate corriedale single with the corriedale/baby camel single.
I’ll get into gear with this easy spin, then it’s on to spinning up some of the woefully neglected stash. My goal this Tour de Fleece is to spin all the variegated merino roving that’s been worked on in spurts and bits for the hairpin lace ruana started too long ago.