Friday, August 31, 2012

Rainbows & Roses

Shetland wool color gamp throw - itchy but colorful

Outside, direct sunlight

After all these years I finally got around to weaving a color gamp.  Decided to weave the Harrisville wool color gamp kit that is available from Yarn Barn.   It will probably be no surprise to anyone that I did not follow the kit directions.  

The directions stated you were to weave the throw using plain weave --  me being me decided that I liked a broken twill pattern much better.   I knew that if I used plain weave the boredom factor would set in quickly and a dog on the loom was waiting to happen.  

The kit wove up quickly which is a good thing as I was getting impatient to see how the throw would look after wet finishing.   Wow, the wool yarn really blooms and does become somewhat softer after a trip through water-- well as soft as shetland wool is ever going to be.  Itchy!  Scratchy!

It surprises me how different the colors of the wool look when they are photographed in the direct sunlight as compared to the interior shot taken in my home. Glad I wove the gamp but it was not really my cup of tea - not enough patterning to keep me occupied.

Shetland wool color gamp throw - 

Inside, indirect light

In the studio I have been busy preparing warps for the upcoming holiday season.
A Christmas project on the big loom with 8 yards of green, white and a cheerful red to keeps me busy.

These lovely roses were delivered to the house 2 days ago and I have to admit they stole my breath away for a moment.  We are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary -- both of us are wondering how the years flew by so fast!    Wondering what the next 25 years will bring us.    

With summer coming to a close and fall fast approaching I am looking forward to cooler temps and more time inside the house so I can weave.   I have been doing a bit of contemplation and have come to the conclusion that I should give the local weaving guild another try - coming out of my introvert shell will be good for me and I am sure I will meet some interesting weavers.

Until next time -- Happy Weaving!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Canning Season & Homestead Lessons Learned

Canning season is finally here and I might add it arrived even without a lot of rain this summer.  These jars are the result of two full days of hard work.  Sitting on my Hoosier cabinet waiting to be put into the pantry are italian sausage spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce with herbs, spicy BBQ sauce and a few jars of salsa.  What you don't see are a few more jars of salsa and the 15 jars of homemade raspberry jam that are already stored in our pantry.  Round 2 of canning should begin sometime around Monday morning I need to wait until the next round of tomatoes ripen.

On the weaving front I finally got enough time to actually sit down and weave these Swedish drall towels.  Above is the blue and white version and below you can see the red and white version.

Wove a total of 10 different colors of this pattern and all of them are woven with cotlin.  These towels were fun to weave and went fairly quickly considering all the time I have been spending away from my looms.

Earlier this spring we adopted our very first chicks, originally we had a flock of 10 little ones.   At this point of the summer we have 4 chicks living in our small coop.  Gave 4 girls to a good friend of ours, 2 have died and the rest are pecking along nicely.

My how they have grown!

Above is our Buckeye chick, her name is Red Beak.  

In front is Cinnamon not sure what breed she is.  Behind is our Jersey Giant her name is Peck, originally I thought Peck was a boy thus the name Gregory Peck...but mother nature had the last laugh.

Last but certainly not least is my personal favorite Weenut.  Weenut is the smallest bird of our little flock and she is Miss Bossy Pants.  We really enjoy her Ziggy Stardust hairdo and her feathered feet.  It is a riot to watch her run and try not to trip herself on her own feathers.

We had a learning experience around here last weekend, not one we will repeat anytime soon I assure you.  

Lesson the first.... 

It is always better to keep the chickens in the coop while doing yard work.  Seems the John Deere lawn tractor is too loud for the ladies and they decided it was time to hightail it out of here and hide in the soybeans (at least that is where we think they hid for the entire day).  After calling for them over the course of several hours we pretty much decided the chicks were gone for good.  Very late in the afternoon low and behold 4 thirsty and hungry little ladies showed up in their coop for dinner much to our delight.  Lesson learned....shut the girls up in the coop before mowing lawn.  

Learning lesson, the second...

Field mice will find a way into your house no matter what.  Field mice are smart little buggers.  Field mice ate my Swedish cookie decoration hanging on the Hoosier Kitchen, this same cookie has survived 3 count them 3 moves without breaking and the damn field mice ate most of it, the bastages!!!  

2 electronic mice traps set with peanut butter and cheese later - field mice still winning, Witcher's becoming more determined to eradicate the damn mice.  

4 regular snap traps set with what is left of Swedish cookie and peanut butter - Witcher's hear the snap go off in the middle of night, we turn over to get back to sleep with smiles on our faces.  Morning dawns, hurry out to see evidence of dead mouse...nothing, no damn mouse, no peanut butter/cookie either....war is declared.  

2 electronic mice traps, 4 snap traps and one dog proof poison bait trap...4 days have gone mice evidence (you know the kind I am referring to).  Witcher's happy, mouse dead!!  War won.  Hah! Eat my cookie will you!!!  I think not!

On the weaving news front, went to a local guild meeting this week and I have come to the conclusion that I am just not cut out for the weaving guild circuit.  The weavers in this guild are a talented bunch but I am just not interested in the social aspects of guild life.  Being an introvert works very nicely with weaving, wouldn't you agree?

Until next time...Happy Weaving