January 25, 2012
The rain pounded down for a couple more days following my last post. Ed and I took up walking to the local county park before and after work each day to check out the creek level and see the water rushing over the Scotts Mills Falls. Thursday afternoon we dropped off parcels at the Post Office as we headed up to the falls stopping in route to look downstream from the bridge.
The water was the highest we’d seen it since the ’96 floods – when the park was completely flooded. The water didn’t get as high this year, only partially flooding the park.
It’s mesmerizing to watch rushing water roaring past, churning over what is normally a 12′ – 15′ waterfall in great swirls of chaotic motion.
We were chatting with the mayor who’d joined us, talking about water levels and flooding when he spotted a small row boat in the rapids upstream. We caught sight of it just as it snagged in tree limbs hanging over the water.See the blue boat tucked back under the black leaning tree? At first we were worried that someone might have been in it but zooming the camera at it I could see no one and we decided that most likely it’d come loose from some mooring upstream. It was caught in the branches for some time and we were just about to turn away to leave when the currents freed it and carried it towards the falls. I was snapping pictures when the mayor asked if my camera could record. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of recording it sooner. Fingers fumbled in my excitement and anxiety not catching it in time. Barely.
It’s uploaded here. Ed’s voice is the one that mentions “… could be worth five dollars!”
Most of my free time has been consumed with knitting. One is for a birthday present. I started the scarf on the 7th of January and was making decent headway when the niggling thought that there might not be enough yarn sent me to the scale to weigh the partial scarf and remaining alpaca then do some quick arithmetic. The original pattern, Irish Hiking Scarf by Hello Yarn (please take some time to check out her great patterns!), is three cables wide. My d-i-l loves wide, long scarves and so I had decided to throw in two extra cable repeats for a wider scarf. Without stopping to figure out if there was enough yarn for such a large increase. There wasn’t. At the rate of yarn being used the scarf would end up being about 42 inches long. Argh! Or rather, rippet. Deadline is now only two weeks away and I’m not yet to the half-way point. I have meetings to attend in Newberg this Friday evening and Saturday morning so have high hopes of making serious headway on the scarf. In the meantime…
I was sidetracked.
A wee alluring cap pattern has been calling my name and when I found just the right yarn for it I cast if on the needles last week.
Pattern: Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap / Djevellue by Gro
(The pattern which I printed a couple years ago, has a photo of a cap knit with alternating light and dark pink yarns.)
Yarn: Cascade Yarns – Cash Vera DK 55%Extra Fine Merino, 33% Microfiber acrylic, 12% Cashmere.
Needles 2.25mm & 2.75mm (each one size smaller than called for in the pattern since the pattern hat fits a 6 month old.)
What a fun knit! I immediately wanted to cast on for another one, this time subtracting a few stitches from each triangle for an even smaller hat. The pattern doesn’t call for a pom-pom but I couldn’t resist adding one.
Less than two months until Aurora’s due date, there are a couple more items I’d love to knit before the baby is born.
January 19, 2012
After two days of snow the storm winds have blown in a warm front from the Pacific Ocean bringing torrential rains. The sound of water penetrates every moment. I can hear the creek roaring 2 blocks away. Our front yard is flooded despite the sump pump with a drain hose extending across the property to the drain ditch. Ed walked around this end of town looking at the water levels and talking with neighbors. Our neighbors to the west have several inches of water in their basement so Ed took a length of pipe to extend their pump line towards the back of their property.
June was also a wet month, the month I set forth on a spinning and weaving path with the end goal of a light vest for Ed. The yarn on the big bobbins above was spun from Sweet Grass Wool Top comprised of 50% Targee, 25% Bamboo, 25% Silk, colorway: Black n Blue. A real joy to spin. (A quick glance through Patty’s website didn’t bring up this particular combo, sadly it seems no longer available.)
The small bobbins contain the two shades of blue linen, and the grey cottolin which were used for the 15″ wide warp, sett at 18epi. The Linen was also alternated with the 497 yards of handspun in the weft. I started out throwing the four shuttles alternating between wool and linen: one pick aqua blue linen, pick wool, pick grey, pick wool, pick med blue, pick wool, and so forth. Three inches of woven web proved the grey cottolin too dominant. Unweaving those inches I commenced using three shuttles with the two blue linens and the handspun.
Linsey-woolsey (known as wincey in Scotland, and used several times in the Anne of Green Gable books) is a material that dates back through the ages. The warp is made with linen with wool used as the weft, thus Linsey-woolsey. In the American colonial days this was a very common material, with cotton often substituted for the linen in the South. Many considered it an inferior, cheap, ugly material and despised wearing it. How perceptions change. I’m not forced to wear a dress or two made from this material day in and day out for lack of any other choice, thus Lindsey-woolsey is appealing.
Since July, bouts of weaving interspersed with longer bouts of the loom sitting idle. With must-do-now projects completed and a new year beginning I resolved to weave every day until it the warp was all used complete. When planning material for a specific purpose I tend to only warp enough for that one project rather than putting on lots of yardage. Many weavers will put on as much as a loom can handle and thus weave a dozen or more yards from one warp, occasionally changing the weft, tie-up and treadling thus ending up with materials for a variety of uses. Someday I should do that and see what I end up with. I put 160 inches of warp on the loom and wove until there was little space left for the shuttle to pass: 137″ inches of woven web, 13.5″ wide.
(Close-up before washing)
After taking it off the loom Saturday it was soaked in hot sudsy water then pummeled by hand for about five minutes followed by two warm rinses and thrown in the dryer for about 15 minutes then hung to finish drying. Going over the material and snipping the little bits of ends sticking up here and there I wasn’t completely happy with the somewhat stiff hand so I tossed it in the washer with a couple of towels and gave it a proper washing to help soften the linen. Not a fan of hand washing, I prefer to weave items that can handle the abuse of a washer. Taking the cloth out of the dryer before it was completely dry I then ironed it on the hottest setting while pressing down hard to bring out the best in the linen.
I’m pleased at how well the handspun blends with the linen and yet shows of the variations within the Black n Blue colorway. Now to track down a simple-to-sew dress vest pattern.
January 11, 2012
Absent for months on end I was determined to attend the monthly spinning group a week ago, Wednesday. A relaxing day with other spinners was just what I needed after being down with a cold. I felt slightly guilty turning my back on work that had piled up but it would still be there the next day.
During our visit to the kids in Idaho last September I had watched the grandchildren one evening while everyone else went to Swan Falls to fish. After tucking the kiddos in bed I unpacked my spinning wheel and the 8 ounces of Crown Mountain Farms BFL roving. Those few hours were only spinning I got in while there. When we returned home hairpin lace, knitting and occasional weaving occupied my crafting time but once Mirth’s prayer shawl, Feather’s sweater and Aurora’s hand-warmers were finished I turned back to the wheel…
Brief sidetrack; I forgot to post a picture of her wearing them, not a great picture but she didn’t want to hold still, blame it on wee one’s hiccups!
The cold bug depleted my energy level and fuzzed my thinking but spinning felt relaxing and productive. It’s remarkable how much fiber a person can go through when most everything else is ignored. Almost 8 ounces of singles spun within a four day period. Three bobbins full ready to be plyed during the spinning group.
Spinning was at a home about 30 miles to the west, across the Willamette and up into Eola Hills. Just before the turn to Jere’s house I pulled over to gaze at this view of the Willamette River past the hills southwest of Salem.
With several of the regulars not able to attend we were a group of six enjoying the slower pace after a busy holiday season when others had also dealt with a virus.
Jerene well captures the mood of the day: quiet and serene.
My bobbin (foreground) was as stuffed as possible. I remembered looking at a spare bobbin thinking to grab it and put it in with the wheel but alas, I must have been interrupted mid-thought. What else does one do when out of bobbins but seriously wanting to be finished with the job at hand? Wind the three singles together into a plying ball to empty the bobbins! The last of the singles were being wound onto the ball when Jerene looked across at me and asked what I was doing. I explained the purposed and Jere exclaimed about having ball winders, niddy-noddies and skein winders that I could have used. Of course, I should have thought to ask. Jere, spinner and weaver extraodinaire, naturally has the necessary equipment for any such need.
I’m very pleased with this 3-ply yarn meeting my goal for a lofty, bulkier yarn which was spun for a specific project. After washing and hanging to dry it weighs 7.5oz / 214 grams and is approximately 250 yards.
With so many rain-free days this winter our almost daily walks are very enjoyable, even when frosty. We stopped walking during the worst of our illness but by Tuesday we were at it again (missed a few days). I grabbed some of the white wool that was in the birthday fibers and my 1.6oz yew Swan (our name for our standard sized Turkish spindles) with one goal in mind; spin all that fiber only when walking. I’m even spinning walking to and fro the Post Office, and last night I spun my way up the high to Bible Study. Coming home was the best. The moon was bright, the air biting cold, silence spread over this small valley. Bundled up with a shawl wrapped around my head and shoulders, a felted hat down over my ears, a small headlamp perched on my head with the light directly slightly down, the scant half mile was covered all too soon.
January 8, 2012
A customer-friend who lives in Alaska is visiting her folks in Portland came to see us a week ago bringing along some lilac from bushes that had been subjected to much harsh weather in their long lives. Ed and I were still dealing with the hard hitting colds and no where near our best but we enjoyed talking with them greatly. Such an interesting couple, Bea and Deac!
Bea called Friday afternoon just as I was heading out the door to strings ensemble practice: the lot next to her parents was being bull-dozed for a new house and there were some good sized lilac bushes, including purple flowered ones. Did we want them? Yes!
For the most part Ed prefers scouting down wood on his own. He’s been handed a few too many pieces that were good for the woodstove, and some good only for composting. Heartwood decay, cracks and splits, mold… but Bea had shown that she understood wood with good spindle potential so he arranged for us to drive up there to collect it on Sunday.
Yesterday was Ed dad’s 80 th birthday. We picked up Aurora and drove the 153 miles to his house to help him celebrate. Just before leaving the house Ed phoned him to wish him a happy birthday. About 2 miles from his place Aurora phoned him on her cell and also wished him happy birthday, all in a ruse to completely surprise him when we pulled into his driveway a few minutes late. He was so shocked he scarcely knew what to do or say.His wife, Lin, had made three soups that morning and whipped up some southern corn bread right before lunch. She’d invited a houseful of friends and relatives so he knew that was happening but we were the big surprise. Ed bought some lobster tails which he loves but rarely gets to eat. I made a big batch of dinner rolls. The day was balmy and blue. If I hadn’t been the driver for the entire trip this post would be littered with all the beautiful scenes. Low white clouds against dark blue, sharp etched mountains. Green pastures dotted with sheep drowsing in the warm sun. Though the atmosphere seemed crisp and clear the blue sky seemed to be glazed with a slight milky film.
Knitting on a scarf was mindless and easy in that throng of people. Lunchtime came and the tables filled quickly, Aurora and I grabbed the chance to slip out onto the back deck and soak up the sun while eating in peace and quiet.
Back along the freeway racing the setting sun. The colors!!! We’ve been having some splendid blazing apricot, rose and purple sunsets – a rarity in Oregon. This time of the year anything other than grey rain is a welcome change but the rains haven’t set it, yet.
I finally convinced Aurora to take some pictures but by the time she took up the camera the vivid glories were fading. Here’s the best of her takes, not exactly what I was after but a fun picture with the slashing head and tail lights in the opposite lanes.
This morning also dawned breath-taking beautiful. This time Ed drove since we were taking his old Toyota pickup. More knitting time! I’m working on a cabled scarf, the 8 row pattern quickly memorized, with #7 / 4.5mm needles. The pattern called for #8 but I ripped back after doing 8 rows and moved down to a 7 for better stitch distinction. Three cables didn’t seem like enough so I added 24 more stitches for five cables. Much better!
Out from this little valley and we hit fog. Not terribly dense but enough to slow the drive a bit. Outside of Portland Ed negotiated the Terwilliger Curves and we were back into bright sunlight with Mt Hood shining in the distance. So warm and sunny. We had Googled the route to the house, which was in an area of Portland I have been to only a handful of times. I know I shouldn’t trust Google maps, it doesn’t have us in the right place, why assume it has anything else correct. But, I was in a hurry. Then the computer didn’t want to communicate with the printer so I studied the online map, jotting down the main off-ramp leading to the crossroad that was closest to the house. Past the Convention Center and its twin spires, carefully watching the signs. Rosa Parks Ave? What’s that, I don’t recall that name and suddenly I felt a bit disoriented. Portland has renamed a number of main streets: MLK for Union Ave, Cesear Chavez for 39th and now Rosa Parks for what? Next thing we saw were the exits for the Expo Center and Marine Dr. We’d missed the exit. During our wandering around (why no, we don’t own a cell phone) we saw a large sign:
FAR WEST FIBER
with the address and a phone number. Excited Ed pulled over so I could write it down and we could look it up and go for a visit after picking up the lilac.
Hurray, a road name that matched the one I’d jotted down. A few minutes more and we pulled up in front of the house. Such pleasant, interesting people! We could easily have spent more than the hour we were there. But finally, wood in truck, Ed asked about finding Far West Fiber. Bea grabbed her laptop and pulled up the address all the while her folks were looking dubious and muttering about it sounding familiar. Hahaha, the joke was on us. It’s a recycling center!!!
We still wanted to check out a new-to-us yarn store so Bea directed us to the closest neighborhood one: The Naked Sheep. Finding convenient parking we strolled in to the pleasant shop where the owner greeted us cheerfully and went back to assisting the other customers. I found just the yarns for a couple of baby projects in the line-up: Debbie Bliss Riva and an Elesbeth Lavold SensuAl skein. So soft. 98% baby alpaca. swoon. A ball of Cascade Yarns Cash Vero DK also jumped into my basket. Ed snapped up a reading light to attach to his book when reading in bed.
And, since we were close to NE Portland, we headed over to Twisted. Ed and I selected some notions, buttons, and a skein of yarn Dream in Color sock yarn for another pattern in mind and took them to the counter where we started chatting with Star Athena, yes the woman who single-handedly started Tour de Fleece. We had been to Twisted 3 years ago and had talked with her then. Bless her heart, she remembered our conversation about the TdF. I tend to get numb-brained when talking with people with a name. I’ve been meaning to tell her that a number of years ago (7? 9?) I heard her with her band on stage at a blue grass festival and loved her singing! But I didn’t pick up a CD (not sure they had one) and the years sort of blurred the memory. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to ask her about her singing, if she still works with a band or? But drats, the thought flew right out of my brain as soon as we started talking.
Driving home we encountered fog again shortly past Oregon City and it accompanied us home. Where it hung out all day. Dreary, and disappointing. I was all jazzed to go for a long walk in the bright sunshine once we got home. I should have shrugged on a jacket and hat but laziness took over with fondling new yarn, knitting and some reading.
Wednesday afternoon I washed a freshly plied skein of handspun then cast around to find a suitable drying spot. Ah-ha, hanging from the pot rack above the wood stove!
January 8, 2012
Posted by Wanda J under Family
| Tags: wedding
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Six days isn’t much time to plan a wedding.
We can attest that it is possible. Just keep it simple!
Ed’s dad decided they couldn’t possibly make it. I asked Jack Smith, the Navajo pastor that we’d had at Shonto but he had never been ordained, so then I call Mr Herman at Navajo Mountain – he had full services Sunday morning and evening, plus with some 45 miles of rugged dirt and snow covered roads from N.Mt to the main road he apologized for not being able to conduct the service. We ended up asking the minister at my parent’s church. Another friend of our parents offered to take the pictures. Dear June Smith, Jack’s wife, offered to serve at the punch and cake table for the reception.
Genevieve, the pianist, and her mom drove the 200 miles from Kayenta, in Northern Arizona, right after church on New Years Day. She, Terri and I had played on the HS volleyball team, endured chemistry (I would have flunked in the section where we had to calculate long convoluted math sequences but for Genevieve’s patient help – pre hand-held calculator days), enjoyed biology and math, and hung out together. Gen was a whiz at both math and music! The evening passed too swiftly with a quick rehearsal and catching up on each others lives for the past 3.5 years.
Mom fixed a large breakfast for all of us. My hair still in socks, Ed already dressed in his suit. (I should have realized then and there that he is a man who is always ready as early as possible!) My brother, who was to be best man, also ate breakfast with us.
My sister, Polly, camped at PDX from about noon on Sunday hoping for a stand-by seat headed for Phoenix were she needed to be before 7am in order to catch the commuter plane to Flagstaff in time for our 10 am wedding. Dad got the call at 9am to come pick her up at the small local airport. Yes! She’d arrived in time to be our soloist!
The pews look empty but there were 24 people who witnessed our wedding ceremony.
Terri borrowed the dress I’d worn for my friend’s wedding on the 23rd. With daisies our only flower option we used yellow, peach and brown as our wedding colors, colors which unfortunately didn’t match the formal dress Terri had packed. Ed had worn his suit for that wedding and thus had it with us in Arizona, otherwise he’d have never packed it. Those were the days of the ugly polyester leisure suits. My dad wore one of his good quality wool dress suit.
June served punch, Genevieve, her mom, and Lydia’s mom (Lydia drove to Flag with us to visit her folks.) waiting for the cutting of the cake. The picture in the background? That’s my older brother Dan and I. (Dan also missed the wedding, he wasn’t able to leave a new job in Colorado.)
Dad loaned us his LTD Ford and away Ed and I drove to spend a night at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and do a bit of hiking.
We spent less than $100 dollars on the wedding! The flowers, cake and pictures took the largest portions. In hindsight we regretted not hiring a professional photographer. Or at least someone who had a photographed a few weddings. Otherwise, we loved our small cozy wedding! We loved not having all the hassles and expense of putting on a production. The heart of the wedding is two people committing themselves, before God and witnesses, to each other for the rest of their lives. Simplicity. No anguishing over whether things are turning out: is there enough parking, punch, food… ? Saving hundreds of dollars on dresses and clothes that most likely will never be worn again. With only a small gathering it was easy and comfortable for us to mingle and enjoy talking with friends. We were disappointed no one from Ed’s family were able to make it but we understood. When a couple has a small, almost impromptu wedding they don’t receive many gifts, but we lived in a extremely small house, it’s not like we needed much, or had a smidgeon of room for extras!
As for a proper wedding dress? I would have loved to have worn my mothers beautiful dress with dozens of cloth-covered buttons down the back, puffed sleeves at the shoulder and wide, V cut neck but she was much broader shouldered with a wider rib cage, and stood 5’6′ to my 5’2″ making the dress hang like a glamorous sack. Nor did Polly wear mom’s wedding dress for her wedding. It seems a shame that she tenderly kept it safely packed away all those years, occasionally taking it out on their wedding anniversary, but neither of us wore it. My daughter considered wearing it but she’s 5’9″ tall and like me has narrow shoulders and chest. Perhaps a great-granddaughter down the years will carefully unpack it and proudly wear it.
January 3, 2012
How the years have flown. Can we really be this old?
Was it indeed that long ago that we were dreaming of marriage. Truth is, we didn’t take very long with the dreaming part.
Ed and I met while working at a local summer camp. He’d just finished four years as a Navy Seabee (Construction Battalion) when his mentor and fishing buddy, who happened to be the camp director, asked him to work as the summer maintenance crew leader. I was working my second summer there as assistant wrangler. First awareness came when he helped Lowell and I build a small blacksmith shop for Lowell, the head wrangler and certified blacksmith. We took to hanging out together and riding horses Sunday afternoons. Star Wars came out that summer. He went to watch it in the theaters three times. Each time taking a different camp worker. I was the last. (We’re still friends with the girl of his second date.)
By summer’s end we didn’t want to say goodbye. By the end of October we were talking marriage. November and plans were made to drive to my folk’s place in Flagstaff, AZ for Christmas. A good friend decided she should go too since her parents also lived in Flag. We would drive her car which was far more reliable than Ed’s old pickup truck held together with baling wire. Car-less, I depended on public transportation.
I was a bride’s maid in a friend’s 7pm wedding, Dec 23rd, which took place in a town about an hour west of Portland. Driving straight from the wedding back across to East Portland to pick up Lydia we arrived at the hospital just as she got off her swing shift. She’d stashed her suitcase in the car earlier that day and without delay we drove the night away. South, down the length of Oregon, up and over the snowy Siskiyou Mountains straddling the Oregon/California border. Swinging east heading for Nevada, we encountered the heaviest, thickest fog I hope to ever drive through. Scary! Fortunately at that early time of the morning on that straight back country road there was almost no traffic. Driving, my head hung out the window as I desperately peered for the dotted line to keep us centered on the road. Ed kept a sharp look out for car lights ahead while Lydia watched for cars through the back window. We crept along about 10 miles an hour for what felt like hours. Then finally we broke through into sunshine. On through Reno, Las Vegas, over Boulder Dam and into Arizona, stopping only to gas up and grab a bit to eat as Saturday crept to a close. (Car food the rest of the time.) Speeding along I-40, finally winding up into higher elevations leading to Flagstaff we arrived stiff, exhausted ,yet exhilarated at 5:30 Christmas morning. 30 hours of almost non-stop driving, an early Christmas surprise. (Normally it took us 36 hours for the journey.)
21st Birthday December 26 Looking at my parent’s wedding album
Ed managed to get my dad alone. My dad knew what was coming and teased him by asking Ed all sorts of evasive questions just to make Ed squirm. That night he slipped the engagement ring on my finger and we celebrated with my folks and talked about wedding plans. Mom was a teacher at a small college at the time so we weighed the merits of a Spring break vs a summer wedding.
Jokingly I turned to mom and said, “we should get married on your anniversary.” Without a beat of hesitation she replied, “Yes, you could!” Ed and I looked at each other in utter astonishment and mounting excitement. We turned to dad who nodded and said, “Why not?”
Why not? Their anniversary was January 1st, in six days. Could we pull it off? Why not? Ed’s dad was a preacher and we knew that it’d be difficult for him to call in a back-up for that Sunday, which like this January 1st also landed on a Sunday. But, they should be able to fly to Flagstaff right after church. We moved the date back one day to January 2nd. (We were amused by idea of marriage on a Monday, and a date that wasn’t so wildly popular for weddings.)
Engagement picture January 1, 1978
Phone calls were made and plans quickly fell into place. I borrowed a dress, my dear friend since 8th grade flew from Texas, together we stalked up the flank of the Mt Elden gathering wild grasses, greenery and some freeze-dried red berries still clinging to their bushes – anything that looked like a possibility for decorations. A small cake was ordered as well as a head-piece and bouquets of daisies. (There were very few options at that time in Flagstaff!) A dear friend, also from High School days, willingly agreed to play the piano for the wedding. A back-up minister in case Ed’s dad didn’t make it, which looking more likely with each passing day.
Stay tuned for next installment!