Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last Day of September

Autumn Sunrise at LA

Dear Alice,
The last day of September is Scott's birthday, so this evening we went for dinner at Weber's. He had a seafood combo (very nice for someone who loves all seafood) and I chose the scallops with sautéed vegetables, which included dried tomatoes. Delicious!

Today I halved a half peck of tomatoes and put them in the dehydrator, so soon we will have our own stash again. 'Tis the Farmers' Market again tomorrow morning, so I will pick up another 1/2 bushel of tomatoes for canning. Did I ever show you my pressure canner? It is clearly an antique!Tomatoes, potatoes...we picked up our order of 110 pounds of spuds at the Traverse City Farmers' Market on Saturday. 30# of Yukon Golds, 20# of Adirondack Blues, 20# of Red-skinned Whites, and 40# of Russets. Mr Westmaas also handed us a few of his new variety Adirondack Reds, which have a pink flesh.
I have almost finished the last of the three scarves that I have been working on since the painted warp group (see Sept. 20). Here is the last one which will be finished early tomorrow morning.

I was really surprised to see the Hummingbird at the feeder again tonight. A new record? We haven't had any frost yet....


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Painted Women Oops! I Mean Painted Warps

I finally took a few photos of the painted warp scarf, the painted warp too-short-to-be-a-scarf, and the unpainted warp scarf for you. In fact, I wore the Mint Chocolate Chip scarf this morning to a meeting. (I promised myself just before Retreat that I cannot leave the house without sporting something that I have made/designed/created. Yes, I was inspired by Anita Luvera Mayer.) For this one I used UKI Boston Brown 20/2 as weft.

I think the Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake piece is destined to become a bag of some sort. The weft here is a polyester (where on earth did I get that???) I considered a table runner, but honestly, it doesn't go with anything we set at the table. Maybe I should be more open-minded.

The last scarf is one that I was particularly taken with when all was said and done. I still had warp that I didn't have time to paint (mostly because I was thinking too much and not playing enough), so there was enough un-painted warp to do one more scarf. I settled on a natural-colored silk noil weft.
When finished, the sheen from the rayon in the 20/2 cotton/rayon warp made it just lovely. I am ready to try more warps with that cotton/rayon thread. I do love white on white designs. You will see more soon...the cashwool/silk warp and weft is in process now. It is a little slower going than the plain wefts.

Canned another 7 quarts of tomatoes today. It is so good to see the pantry filling up again.

Enjoy this Indian Summer!

OH! P.S. I saw the hummingbird again this evening. Yesterday I thought maybe she realized that it was Equinox and headed south....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Scarves

I do wish that you could give your input on the latest warp, a set of three new scarves that I am readying for jurying to put in the Holiday Sale for the Guild. I thought I had a cashmere/wool blend yarn (which I used, along with some reeled silk in the warp), but after further investigative work discovered that Lane Borgosesia's "Cashwool" is really a lovely, fine yarn that is 100% extra fine Merino. Puh! as min vän Mari-Ann would say. Well, even though I was into the idea of cashmere and silk scarves (OK I will let it go), the resulting samples, when wet-finished were absolutely divine. Mary and Ellen agreed when I asked for their opinions. It would be nice if I had your 'OK', too.

We couldn't ask for more perfectly beautiful days and cool nights. It does make me wonder about global warming, though...the hummingbirds are still at the feeder every day. Did I tell you about the one that landed on me when DH and I were at the cottage in August? What an amazing experience!

For now I will stop. I want to finish weaving the 2nd scarf today. (I still need to go to the Farmers' Market, mow the lawn [which has finally turned green and grown after our 6 inches of rain last weekend], and make the turkey sausage for pizza tonight.) Still deciding about the weft pattern on #3; Marty really liked the 'plaid-effect' of the silk and Merino wool in my sample. I really do too.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Goals

Hi Alice,

We all delighted in visiting with you on the return trip from our Retreat! It was so great to see you (and it is so cool that you still worry about how you look!)

We had a wonderful time together, and even though it rained every day, it was still beautiful. The meals were grand! Weavers sure know how to cook, and Ellen has encouraged me to share more recipes of some of the things we had. Our first breakfast, though was at LA Cafè, a part of the tradition.

Even though we were weavers retreating, there were only two loom there. It really is rather difficult to pack looms with the coolers, people and nap-sacks. Ellen brought her little table loom with a crackle weave gamp from a workshop, and made a little progress.

Jean brought a tape loom, which was fun to see in operation (why have I never seen one before?)

Pat practiced making i-cord to that she can easily knit from the top down sweaters for the multitudes of nieces and nephews that keep showing up in her family!

Mary was so intent on (and I quote) "burning through the basket of wool" roving that she brought, that she literally did melt the little plastic part on the whorl of her Ashford Traveler. She was spinning fast and furious to have everything ready for the Spinners' Flock Sale on the 21st.

We all worked on our individual visualizations of who we are and what we have accomplished by 2013...it was very cool! And we have all come home and dug right in and started to make those goals and dreams a reality!

And moi? Oh, yeah, me. Well, I did make progress on starting a little sweater for dear Caiden.

Jean and I actually went swimming Sunday morning before it started to rain again (and fortunately, before all the boaters in the bass fishing tournament took off). We deserved a pat on the back...the water was 68°F! Brrrrr.

Ah, yes. And one of the other traditions is a reading before bedtime. This year it was Woolbur, a delightful children's story. OK, so we are a little crazy....

Alice, we missed having you there with us, but Mary brought along a lovely photo of you which we moved to wherever we were working. You were there in spirit!

Now, back to the loom,

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Painted Warp...Woven!

...but not yet finished, Alice. Early this morning I finished the painted portion of the warp, the Chocolate Mint Ice Cream piece was finished days ago and the Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake piece was finished off this morning. I think I still have enough warp for a scarf; this end of the warp is unpainted since I ran out of time in Sarah Saulson's workshop. So, I have planned for a fringe, hemstitched, and started a white on white scarf that has a raw silk weft. It could be particularly lovely, and certainly a lightweight scarf...something for a California or Florida gal maybe.

Now the rush is to try to cut everything off before Friday when we leave to retreat! I wish you could be there, too.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Starry, Starry Days

Dear Alice,
Clematis terniflora, Sweet Autumn Clematis, Old Man's Beard...one of my favorites that signals the end of Summer. Its little stars grace the fence screening our outdoor patio from the rest of the private drive. Its scent on a warm day draws my eye to find it. The honey bees, though decidedly few this year, are frequenting it.

We finally got an inch of rain yesterday and last night. It has been horribly dry, down 3.5 inches of rain for August alone. The leaves from the trees are giving up, snapping free, relieving stress, collecting in the gutters, littering the ground plane....

I always am saddened to see summer go. But I also welcome the fresh new start of Autumn, new goals, and the cooler nights.

So welcome, Sweet Autumn Clematis, welcome to your starry beauty!

Do you have one of these on your east fence, Alice?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

An Invitation

Dear Alice,

I know that this is a little intimidating to all of us...this year's retreat invitation calls for each of us to "Come as You Will Be in 2013". I also know that you will be there in spirit with us as you have every year. Mary said after her last visit that you are having difficulty seeing from one of your eyes. What does Dr. Sugar say about that?

Here are a few 'Invitation' photos for Hen and Chicks, something to remind us that it is to be a r-e-t-r-e-a-t and also a chance to stretch ourselves to try/do/be something new.

Kick back, take off your shoes, enjoy the Peace, the Beauty, the sunshine, and the comraderie!

Join us in spirit!