Monday, June 27, 2011

and one, actually two more things... don't know how i left them out.  the light green is loosely carded mohair, wool and alpaca blend.. so soft!  and spins like a dream.  from Schildt Ranch.  it looks great plied with the Debouilet that's lying on top of it.

and eri silk i bought from Carolina Homespun.  Morgaine said this is a new product she's carrying, from India.  and i think she said it's the first preparation from the cocoon.  but whatever... it's incredibly soft and fluffy and dreamy.

ok, dear diary... that's really all of the BSG adventure for this year.  i haven't accurately figured it out, but this is somewhere around the 25th time i've gone to BSG.  the first 2 or 3 events were at a sweet little park/camp ground in Cottage Grove.  yep... that long ago!

more BSG

another enjoyable thing about being in eugene for BSG is the Saturday Market in downtown... it is   h-u-g-e!  lots of vendors of fresh produce, fruit, flowers, handmade soaps and arts and crafts, plus food booths.... oh, my..

and then there's my purchases at BSG... not big stash enhancement at all.
i bought some beautiful mohair from Sharon Chestnutt (Cloudspun Angoras)

from Lisa at Dicentra a small bundle of blue faced leicester... because i love her dyeing and i love BFL.
and decided (with a bit of enabling from Terri at Rainbow Farms Pygora) to try Debouillet top since i'd never spun any before.  i'm definitely not disappointed with this fiber!  it's very soft and easy to spin... and the colors are lovely!

and then, i found the Jenkins turkish spindle!  he has several different sizes and a new style called the Aegean series, inspired by a woman who showed him the turkish spindle she'd found in a junk shop in Greece.  so, i tried it, loved it and bought it.  now that i've spun on it, i love it even more!  it's not more than 5 inches high and spins forever.  oh, yeah... and it's made of Olive wood imported from Israel.  beautiful pattern in the wood burl he used.

the under side of the Jenkins turkish spindle

Black Sheep Gathering - June 2011

i really enjoy roaming around the animal barns and getting my sheep fix.  i think all of them had plenty of hay in their pens... but 2 of these seemed to believe the hay was greener in the next pen.

i love the angora goats... especially the kids!  they have the sweetest little faces ever.  don't know how i ever got thru raising animals without bringing one of these home with me.

the wonderful Lisa Milliman of Dicentra Fibers!  (her fibers are lovely, too)
i wonder how many pounds of fleece is on this sheep......

Rachael came to the BSG on Sat.... looking beautifully 8 months pregnant, healthy and happy... and ready for some fibery fun.

Sharon Chestnut  has been raising angora goats for many years and has always sold some of the best mohair fleeces i've ever bought.  this year she let me pick out which fleece of all the goats in her pens i liked best, then she sheared the goat and i bought almost 2 pounds of the softest, shiniest kid mohair ever!

traditional feast

 one of our traditions at Black Sheep Gathering is to go to Ocean Sky Rest. (in eugene) for a massive Chinese feast on sat. night.  unbelievably delicious and abundant... you can probably tell by the happy faces around the table.  i forgot to get photos of the food before it was devoured... and all that was left was a little bit of the garlic eggplant.  that dish is another part of the tradition.  good food and a great evening... capped off of course by a gathering in a motel room for spinning and knitting... etc.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

eau de rotten egg

in the book i found on deer-proofing your yard/garden/flowers, there is a recipe called eau de rotten egg, and i mixed up a batch today!

in blender, ~ 4 cloves garlic, 2 cups H2O, run on high till garlic is pureed.
                 ~add 2 eggs and (optional) 2T tabasco sauce, red chili pepper
                ~whir it all till well-mixed, put in covered container and wait 2 or 3 days till it's thoroughly vile smelling.   apply by sprinkling  or pouring on plants the deer love.

i put the covered jar in my studio where it gets hotter than the hinges at high noon in hell... really... so it should be pretty rotten in a couple of days.  stay tuned for results.

fiber and fabric therapy

to make the celebration weekend in duvall even better,  i had some uninterrupted time in the quilt shop and really truly enhanced my fabric stash.  i do have a quilt in the planning stage for which i needed to buy some extra special fabric... which i did, um, and over-did.  also stopped in at one of the antique/junk shops and found a really cool old book ... for $1... published in 1949.  it has detailed instructions for embroidery stitches, which will be very useful in quilt embellishing.

and... Kate and i took her new and wonderful motorized Duncan carder for its maiden voyage and what a treat that was!  she pulled out piles of all different kinds and colors of fibers and we both had at it.  

the frustrating thing is, tho, that the carded batts are fluffy and look like there's a lot of fiber there... but the HUGE batt that i carded only weighed 2.7 oz.  i spun it tonight and didn't even fill a bobbin.  humph. but i did love the spinning of it... very easy to spin and it's got sparkly  in it which makes me love it even more!

Monday, June 20, 2011

celebration weekend

 J and i amtraked north on thursday for celebration of Chris and Alex's birthdays and father's day.

 Friday was Chris' 40th (yep, fortieth!!) birthday and the kids were so excited about it that they had his gifts arranged on the table before they went to bed thursday night... and got the opening session started almost before Chris had had his coffee in the morning.   their gift to their dad was a new golfing outfit... stunning to be sure!
and here he is... ready for his golf game.  he said his friends were quite impressed with his new look, but none seemed anxious to join him in this look.  i think he looks fabulous!

for birthday dinner we went to the local Mexican restaurant in beautiful downtown Duvall.  good dinner and verra good margaritas!
sunday was Alex's 11th birthday and his choice was to go to Salty's for their magnificent brunch which really defies description in their abundant array of lusciousness... oh, my!  even at 8:15 a.m. i was able to over-indulge and enjoy.  (normally i can't even look at food before noon... give me strong coffee only)

Kate and Zylie, lookin' quite happy after the brunch.  Z was mighty proud of that cute flower in her hair.  while we waited for our table, she wandered a bit and came back with a satisfied smile and told me she was so happy she'd worn that flower because so many people told her they thought it was beautiful!  

Kate wears her new Montana cowboy hat with
pride!  lookin' fine!!

needs no explanation

we rode amtrak back to portland after the brunch.  it was a wonderful weekend.  it had been several years since i'd been with Chris and Alex on their birthdays. .. and i loved it!!   the brunch was also father's day celebration.  i miss my dad.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

deer not dear to me

things i know:
~deer also like fuchsia (sp?), which spells doom for 3 hanging baskets
~they are not bothered by stinky dog hair strewed upon plants and flowers
~they have no timidity about cruising around the patio and enjoying plants and flowers close to the house
~of course, they enjoy roses (flowers and leaves and buds)... but i already knew that
~they haven't seemed to take an interest in pansies, but i'm not about to put pansies in place of fuchsia
~they have acres of grass, weeds and wild growing stuff around here that they could eat and it pisses me      off that they're eating MY plants and flowers
~so now i need to research ways to keep deer away from what i don't want them to eat

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

almost summery

 in my queendom i can almost kind of say that we are into a state of almost summery.  one important sign is on the dashboard of my car where the MPG reached 50 today, which i love to see! (am i gloating? nah... )  in the colder months it sits at around 47 or 48 MPG, and in warmer months goes up to 50--> 52.

and i got my first spider bite... just below my ear.  i have thru bad experiences learned to wear socks and long pants when i'm out in the garden, and usually long sleeves, too... but this little bugger was probably hanging down from a tree and i walked right into her.  happily, i still have a tube of magical medicine - called Fenistil - that i got in Greece and haven't been able to find around here.  it's better than benadryl or any other bug bite stuff i've ever used.  takes away the itch and some of the swelling.  i have no earthly idea what's in it... but it works.
i've almost got the garden planted.  still left to put in is this big lovely pot of basil ... bargain of the last Trader Joe's visit.  there's at least 6 or 7 hardy looking plants in this pot for $2.99.  i love TJs for a lot of reasons and this is a big one!!
and the sugar pea plants....  lots of lovely blossoms but no sign of anything else.  yeah... patience is needed.  actually the weather has been perfect, with the cloudy cool weather they love... so what's the problem here???

another spring/summery kind of thing is the deer showing up with their babies.  i've seen a couple of fawns and Jim has seen twins.... or at least 2 small ones together with 1 big one.  i do love to see them.  do not love them munching on plants and flowers.. which is why most of my roses and all of the veggies are behind an 8ft. fence.  didn't know they like geraniums.  they do.  so had to put something else in the huge planter of flowers that i've got going.  it seemed logical to me that the smell of dogs would deter them, so i relieved Meika of a few huge handfuls of stinky doghair and placed it strategically on and around flowers.  stay tuned for how helpful that is.

the volunteer poppies are spectacular this year... really brilliant almost neon colors.  and i love 'em so much that even tho they appear in less than convenient places around the garden, i just can't stand to pull them up.

and the yellow crook-neck squash have blossoms... always reliable, they are.

i don't know the name of this salad green that Jim planted in the greenhouse.  i don't really like the taste and texture of it... but sure do love watching it grow!  it sprouts tiny babies on the tops of the leaves.  looks so strange... and makes me think of Dr. Seuss' characters.

so... it does seem almost kind of like a summery kind of thing around here.  or maybe i'm delusional.  maybe tomorrow will be warm and sunny... but i doubt it.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

spinning away the day...

ahhhh - a good friend, spinning wheels, lots of fibers!  an excellent way to spend a day.....Laurie came out today so we could dye some wool for a class she'll teach at Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, June 24, 25, 26.  can't believe i'm saying this, but it was too hot in my studio today for dyeing.... i know, that 's unusual for what we've been having.  so, we set up our wheels in the living room and spent the next few hours spinning yarn and talking.   deeeelightful, it was!   and i'll do the dyeing when the clouds come back in a few days.

above is superwash BFL i'm spinning for next project.  the lighter color fiber is some that Kate dyed, and the darker is some i dyed.  the dark skein

i plied a single from each batch and i think it will be perfect.

 then i got into a bag from really old stash... back in the day when i had the cottage industry BIG carder (sigh... sometimes i really wish i still had it).  this is probably merino wool, maybe superwash, with bits of brightly colored silk fiber carded in.  i especially love how this yarn knits up.

Laurie brought the new Knit Noro book for me to look at.  ends up, i got to keep it, and we called Linda and asked her to hold 1 of the remaining books for Laurie.  love this kind of negotiating.  the  other is a quilt book i just bought, by Laura Wasilowski, whose quilts and books i totally adore.  would love to take one of her classes.... if she ever comes out this way from Chicago.  i'm planning a hanging quilt using some of her fusing techniques and if it goes the way of what's burbling over in my mind, it will be very colorful, whimsical and kind of a story of my life.  stay tuned... we'll see if i can stay focused long enough for that kind of undertaking.  i'll really really need the close attention of my muses!

i'm starting to ramble.  it was a lovely day with a twisted sister!