Showing Support

The bumpy landscape of the chocolate cake didn’t put off the Wednesday dinner crew. The report was that they devoured it in record time.

Shortly before 8am the phone rang: the police contact for one of the families who considered themselves as Daniel’s parent had called to let them know he’d be canvasing the neighborhood today, passing out flyers, and talking to people. Could Daniel’s friends come help and be visible representatives that his life mattered.

Wednesday is normally a slower day. A day for contemplating, thinking, praying and being more than doing. I like to take an extra long walk with my neighbor before settling into any “must-do” work tasks followed by reading and preparing for Sunday, and taking time to be quiet all evening while Ed is away.  When the call came I immediately knew I needed to go. I called one of Daniel’s good friends and we headed up to Portland.

Arriving in the unfamiliar area of North Portland, there was already a number of people including the very kind, knowledgeable policeman who gave us an update on what they’ve determined so far, including that evidence showed the driver was traveling over 60 miles an hour when he swerved out of his lane, into the bike path hitting Daniel then continuing at high speed along the 35mph, 2-lane road.

Taking flyers to all the businesses of this mixed neighborhood full of mom-pop businesses and residential houses we encountered caring and kind people everywhere. One woman even rushed out of her house to ask for flyers to pass out too. She’d recognized Daniel’s girlfriend, Daria, from an interview she’d given on the news yesterday.

We were all thankful for a sunny day with no wind! Yesterday it poured a cold rain most of the day. Tomorrow another storm is moving in. Today was one of those jewels of an autumn day.

Thanks for reading these non-cheerful posts that I’ve been writing lately.
Tomorrow I plan to post some of the spinning I’ve been doing.

I had enough of the handspun yarn left to knit a headband/earwarmers to go with the fingerless mitts. I’m tempted to keep the set for morning walks. If the temps aren’t below 45F I like ear warmers rather than a hat which can get too hot.
Grateful for:
– a smooth trip to N Portland and back without any traffic delays
– warmth of the sun while walking the streets for almost 3 hours
– the cup of comforting cinnamon/vanilla tea beside me
– strangers who are kind and caring
-a time of serene spinning this evening

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New Website

The new Jenkins Woodworking website is up and running!!!

Just as I was salivating with anticipating of taking the site live, I hit one more hurdle – the shopping cart that came with the program didn’t have a way to limit sales on one-of-a-kind item. As in all of our spindles. Nor could I simply take out the software buy now button and substitute it with a PayPal button. No. I had to re-insert every. single. picture, go to PP, create a button for that one item, put it near the picture, and then do it all over again for the next spindle. I may now be one of the fastest button makers/ecommerce page builders around. :0
I’d love your feedback on the new site. There’s still some info to add (links to how-to videos) but essentially it’s finished. What a relief after long months of three steps forward, seven steps back.

The growing season continues apace:

 

Marigold Field on a back road to our daughter’s place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A field of onions with bee hives further along the same road, looking west across the Willamette Valley. Coastal Mountains in the background.
The seeds will be harvested for future onion crops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seed crop of Cosmos flowers. They were even fuller and more brilliant a couple days ago but I didn’t have the camera with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our first ear of corn will be ready to harvest in a few more days. Can hardly wait! First time planting corn in ages. When corn was 12 ears/$1 it was cheaper to buy from the local produce stand but the last two years they were 3 ears/$1. Time to grow corn. We planted seeds for 10 stalks and so far there are 22 ears on the stalks with more silk showing up every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gravenstein apple tree is loaded this year. Should be plenty for pies and putting up for the winter as well as for our daughter to make applesauce for Violet and send some home with our daughter-in-law who arrived today for a short visit / 10 year high school reunion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinning continues every evening as I’m attempting to spin a bunch of small samples. The two singles were spun on different evenings and I was in a major hurry feeling the pressure of getting on with the website. Very inconsistent!

App 1 ounce blue yarn, ca 84 yards.

 

 

 

 
One goal in spinning these small color samples is to increase my spinning speed on the wheel. I’m also trying to spin a more consistent, lofty worsted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re babysitting Violet every Thursday now that her mom is back to work.

We spent some time in the early afternoon outside under the catalpa tree, I with the laptop working on the website, Violet talking to the leaves and cooing at the shifting sunlight in the canopy.

 

 

 

 

 

I still haven’t tallied all the people who participated in the Jenkins Team TdF. I went to Ravelry last Saturday evening, saw the several hundred entries and felt too daunted to tackle wading through all the posts when the website was more pressing. I want to take my time and enjoy all the effort everyone put into their spinning, to give proper attention and justice to the work of their hands. I’ll begin going through all the posts tomorrow. Will be fun!

Woven Material


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.

Double Post Day

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!