Trying again…

Not only am I not techy, I think I have the Anti-techy gene! But I’ll keep trying! I think I have figured out how to do this… maybe.

It’s springtime so we are doing all those springtime things, garden, cabin, jobs for Himself, garden, project writing for me, spring cleaning, garden… lol You know how it goes! I have several projects going on the looms and am trying to Organize, Wow! That’s a huge word for me. Always has been but even more so these days. I just find that I really don’t want to, I just want it to all go away and leave me alone! I guess most of you can understand these days. Mostly I’m okay as long as there is no deadlines. You’d think that at my age the only deadlines I’d have would be those I give myself but that hasn’t worked out for me for some reason. Probably goes back to that word- Organize. Should have taken care of that a couple decades ago. Ah well… Time to quit bitchin’ and get on with it.

Garden seems to have come up most in the above list. Climate and weather warming up early so naturally the gardening bug hits. Still too early tho for most things. Got peas growing- slowly it seems to me. If they don’t hurry they’ll get caught in the big heat before they’re ready. And the tomato plants are outgrowing their temp pots before it’s time for them to go in the ground. I think that’s going to be next week- ready or not!

The iris are blooming up a storm now. These were the first ones but there’s more colors now and the morels below were a bit of a surprise! I think I counted about 26 of them in the lawn. I don’t plan on cutting them. They’re welcomed to do their thing. Everything seems to be blooming  very abundantly this year even tho we are in a drought, the state tells us. I guess fire weather has already impacted some parts. It’ll be here soon, too. Meantime yard and woods are all blooming and lovely.

Weaving is making progress, too. Have several projects done or in the works for publishing and have started swatching for my cardigan.  I have a bunch of nice wool, I’ve knit and frogged a couple cardigans already and am now determined to weave another one like my raggedy orange one. I over fulled (felted!) my 2nd swatch. Too much time elapsed after the first one so didn’t remember what I’d done to get that one perfect. Got another square woven so will try again today. Once I get that right I can get an estimate of how many squares I’m going to need. I still have another knit sweater I can frog if I need more yarn.

Been playing with pattern stitches for the Quilt Weavers. It is more difficult to get them for that loom than for the Multi for a couple reasons. One- it is woven diagonally and it is a much larger/wider set. The diagonal edge needs special attention so that it stays woven to make a selvage edge.  That leaves less room in the center for the arty work.  And a lot of stitches are lacy which makes the sett even more important. Too loose and you have no definition, it just looks a jumble. Too tight and the opposite makes your lace disappear, makes it look solid. And the tightness is partly the yarn you use as well as your tension and stitch. Does that help make it plain? lol

Here’s a couple. Lacy but not very stable. Both using a heavy yarn. They’d very likely be more stable once stitched together, but both need some work.  My cardigan uses a  simpler pattern. More a texture stitch than a lace.

The right is the fulled one, the other woven of frogged knit yarn, unblocked. I’m going to try machine fulling it as I think that’s what I did to that first one. Should have taken notes, hummm?

Well, I think that’s enough for today I need to get some work done. Have a lovely day!

Happy St. Pat’s day!

Here we are in March again! St. Valentines day is gone and Easter is coming. It was spring yesterday and today started with winter white! St Pat’s day is right in the middle. I started weaving this little project awhile back but time got by me and now it’s nearly here, But this one is a quick one so go ahead and start!

Have a happy March!

Shamrocks 

© HazelRoseSpencer 2021

Small HazelRose SweetHeart Loom

100% wool worsted weight yarn, green.

Weaving needle

Notes:

You can weave this with man-made fibers but it will be bigger as it will not felt. You’ll need a washing machine to felt this. These are useful as well as decorative. They work as a doily under a tea cup or soup bowl or as a mug rug to protect your furniture from drips. They are quick to make and make nice little hostess gifts as well.

Felted they will measure about 5″ or 12.5cm across.

 Instructions:

Weave four hearts.

Weave in tails leaving about a half inch of yarn hanging out. Once these are felted you can clip these ends. This helps make sure nothing comes undone.

Sew two hearts together on one side. Twice.

 4.Sew the two sets together.

Crochet a double chain* to make a stem.  Connecting it just off the underside edge, weave in ends.

Felt. I put these in a small laundry bag and washed them in hot water with a couple bath towels. Smooth them out when washed and lay the flat to dry. I did not put them in the drier. When they were dry I steamed them flat and trimmed the ends. These are sort of felted to the back so you would not have to clip them but I think it helps them lay flat.

 

 Crocheted double chain:

Pull loop though to the back, chain 2.

   

Insert hook into stitch on the left and pull a loop up. Chain though both loops on hook. Repeat until your chain is as long as you want it. Fasten off and weave ends into chain to hide.

To use as mug rug, using a good fabric glue & glue the Shamrocks to a piece of non-skid backing. Cover the top with a bit of saran or foil and place a moderate weight, like a book, on it and let it set for at least several hours. Cut around the non-skid, making the backing just a little smaller than the wool so that it does not show from the front. Check your glue label for washing instructions. The saran is to keep any glue from accidently getting on your weight.

February again. 2021

We did have some winter, 30″ of snow almost two weeks ago and bits and inches later which mostly melted off as fast as they fell. We still have 10 or so inches of that first one left on the ground.

I send in my seed order early as the companies are advising us to. And plants which I had set the ship Date at the end of March. Got my onion plants the day after the snow storm. What the heck? Not shoveling out the garden so I can plant onions in February! Lady at the seed company apologized, said their shipper thought we lived in south California. Isn’t that was zip codes are for? But she ordered more to be shipped early April and promised to hold the rest until then also. Hope so. The garden this year will be almost as big but different. Cutting back on tomatoes for one thing.

We go to town today to get or virus vaccinations. We’re luck to live in an area where there is not much of this plague so are comparatively safe. We do wear our masks and maintain social distancing. We go to the Grocery and the gas station and the hardware store, that’s about it. If we need anything else, there’s Amazon. I can use stash yarn for the nest 20 years and not run out so am good there, too! lol

I have been weaving on the large SweetHeart loom. The plan is a cowl using Crochet to joining and fill out a bit tho I have yet to discover if this will work. Maybe this way.

  

 

 

Christmas Again…

Here it is nearly Christmas again and I am once more way behind on posting to this blog. If fact, the web page for making this post has been changed so radically since I was here last that I’m not sure even what’s happening! Another lesson in why it’s a good idea to stay current. Oh well, nothing this year is as it has been. I’m sure you will all agree with that!

Just wanted to say I hope you are all doing fine and let you know that Randy and I are also surviving, if not thriving. We are luckier than some, living out here in the boonies. We may have really lousey internet, when we have it at all, but at least we have a little space and are not locked in an apartment. We grew a pretty good garden this summer and canned veggies which we are still enjoying. I got my new knee in spite of being canceled and rescheduled on short notice. It seems to be working fine now. Randy has been working both in the shop and at his carpentering. I have gotten a couple projects published in the Little Looms magazines and have submitted a couple more & have more in the works for the future. So am keeping busy. I hope you are all keeping your looms polished, too! Check projects on the web page for some ideas if you need inspiration.

We had a bit of snow earlier this month which is mostly gone now and the weather people are suggesting we might get more Christmas day, tho they are being very cautious with this forecast! Just as well. I’ll believe it when I see it falling! But white or not, I hope you all have a lovely and comfortable holiday. Stay home, stay safe, and spend your social time via the telephone!

Summertime…

The livin’ may not be easy for everyone, but up here in the boonies it’s not too bad. The garden is thriving. I picked peas this morning. There is something so satisfying about shelling peas. The one chore I actually look forward to.

  Shelling peas.

Big bowl full

The zucchini are in full stride too, of course! Tomatoes growing, beans- bush, climbing, and lima- blooming. I’ll be sweating away in the kitchen with the canner soon. Not a chore I really look forward to, but the results are satisfactory.

I am weaving, too, a couple projects I intend to offer to magazines so won’t show those yet. But I was doing some stuff with Log cabin that turned out pretty well. They’ll make nice coasters or, well, about anything else you might want to make!

  Diagonal weaving on the weave-it loom. Plain and log cabin.

Same thing in Green. This one done of the Multi 4″ square.

Still hoping to make it up to Sis’s this year, but will be a couple months yet, it seems. I’m getting a new knee middle of this month and then there’ll be some visits to the Torturer to learn how to use it, but I hope to get though that part quickly. I go in the 13th to get my lecture from the surgeon on being too heavy, but I have actually been losing. We’ve been walking up the hill every morning. Made it to the top again with only one stop to pant , this morning!

So I hope you all have a sense-able 4th of July weekend. I want you to all stay safe! Both heath-wise and fire-wise. There’s been a lot of air traffic around here this morning that I am hoping is just precautionary. We can save our fireworks for New Years when there is snow on the ground. They look even prettier then anyway!

Meantime…Happy Birthday USA-I hope you are around for another one!

It’s already June!

Yes, I know it’s been 6 months coming but it sure seems to have gotten here quickly. I suppose some of you stuck at home don’t see it that way, but I hope you’ve been able to stay busy and moderately happy. All this has not changed our lives much here in the country. Both of us retired, more or less, and pretty much stay at home people anyway. We do miss going to the fiber fairs, all of which have been canceled this summer. But I hope we can get in one trip up to visit sis a little later.

Meantime, I just turned in my two projects for Handwoven Mag so am taking a bit of a break but getting out a knitting project I started a year or two ago! It’s tee for myself. Cotton, top down, all stockinette, what they call mindless knitting. I can sort of watch a movie or listen to Himself talk and still knit without getting lost. Hope that Vee is not too deep for an old lady! It’ll have elbow length sleeves.

Other than that it’s the garden. Himself is doing most of that this year, the physical labor anyway. I’ve started a lot of plants. We lost our first cukes and cantaloupes to a lot of rain and a late frost. We’ve been in the 90’s all week and now they tell us we may get more frost Sunday night! Yikes! What is Mother Nature up to?!

   Long shot of most of the garden.

Beans. Bush and the Limas just coming up. Pole bans are a couple inches up there 6′ trellis, too.

If we make it past this week end we’ll be okay, as what’s out there is looking pretty good. I potted up sweet potato starts yesterday but they’ll have to live in pots probably for another month. That should give them time to develop nice roots. And (knock knock!) he has managed to get carrots (so far) growing this year! Something for some reason we have not been successful at the last few years.

Carrots & Radishes

I guess that pretty much covers it for today. I walked this morning by myself as Tsuneko says the earliest she can go is 11 am, she usually goes at 1pm! That’s way too hot for me! It was over 80 the last time we walked and I just can’t deal with that. So I went about 7:30. It was not quite 60 by that time but I worked up a sweat!

So I guess I’ll knit a little more and maybe read. Himself says they are knocking off for about 4 hours mid day as it is too hot to work on that deck project during that time, too. They’ll start up again about 3 as he says it’s in the shade by then. Seems like we old folk just can’t deal with the heat.

Hope all you are doing fine with whatever temperatures you have!

 

May already

Not much to talk about. Been staying home. Gardening, a Weave Along with Gabi, Daughter sent me an Instapot for Mother’s Day so I’ve been learning how to use that appliance. So far all the summer shows have been canceled. Still  to be decided is OFFF and Lambtown in Sept & Oct. but they aren’t looking good, either.

DH complains he needs a hair cut but does not trust me to do it. I did Ex’s and son’s and Dad’s and a couple non family members. no one complained. Did my own for years but have a hard time reaching behind my head these days. I did manage to trip my bangs as I can’t stand it in my face. Looks like it’s back to the pony tail age! lol My Gramma used to wear her long thin grey hair in a bun, could be I’ll be following in the ancestral foot steps.

I finished the WAL. Not sure what its good for.  Am working on projects for magazines, they won’t be seen until next year, tho.

 

We have a robin’s nest just above the deck door. Does not seem a great place for it but I guess they settled on this spot while the weather was still cold and wet and that door was not getting much use. Busier now but they are sticking with it. We try not to be to riotous. You can see her here. I took this from inside , it’s a glass door.

The pea bed  a week and a half ago. They are double that now. The board is over germinating carrots. They all come up but as soon as i removed the board they were all but two eaten off by something. We did have two peas each for dinner last night from the volunteer eatable pods in the bulb bed! lol But these and the shelly peas in the garden are now blooming so it won’t be long.

Have a group of friends and relations  I’ve been sending jokes, puzzles and inspirational stuff to, trying to help keep people cheered up a bit. it gets difficult to keep chin up sometimes. But I am usually of a optimistic frame of mind. There are times, tho…

    My apologies for the bit of pessimism. Here’s a bit of Happy!

 

Looking though some old photos….

I found this top which is made with some really nice Blue Sky cotton. But it, as you see, was a fashion fail! I think I’m going to frog it and find a better use for this nice yarn. In fact,  any ideas?

It’s just as well that it’s a fuzzy photo! lol  But you have to admit it is not flattering. Maybe if it was sewn instead of crocheted together and the sleeves were smaller, not so baggy…

Or how about this one. That goes way back! In fact, I think this one was woven on my first triangle loom, and adjustable 7′ tri. It’s supposed to be a cowboy style jacket. Not even sure what happened to that or whether it’s still around.

Another bad idea. Saw a picture of a knitted “cocoon”. Seemed like a great idea so used some nice alpaca to weave a bunch of 12″ squares and put them together into the same shape. Knitted about 100,000 rows of ribbing around it. Nope- definitely not. So I frogged the ribbing and ended up with this. It looks better on my ‘dummy’ with a belt. And has since been washed and pressed, which also helps but it was a hit on her at the last show.

So, anyway, just  a few examples of how things don’t always work like the ideas in your head. So then you look for another idea and try again! Sometimes you just have to give up in the end, but I won’t show you those just now. I hope to be able to show you the new cotton project sometime this summer.  It’s going to take awhile to disassemble this one and figure out just what can be done to save this lovely cotton yarn.

Hope you’re all getting some nice weaving done! And starting your gardens, of course. It almost May!

 

The Essential Practice of Doing Nothing

We all have different words for doing nothing. Some of us putter, potter or tinker. And then there is the Italian, “Dolce Far Niente” – the sweetness of doing nothing.

I feel like doing nothing today
I recently became a proud member of the Do Nothing Club. Of course, this isn’t an actual club. I’m an introvert and don’t join or start clubs, but I do like the idea of doing nothing with you … together but alone.

Some people didn’t understand my desire to do nothing. They assumed do nothing meant do nothing all the time.

Doing nothing gives us the energy to do something.
The thought of doing nothing can be scary. It was for me.

When I was focused on doing it all, I rarely took time to do nothing. I ran at an unsustainable pace, multi-tasking my way through the day, and enjoying or being present for very little of it.

Because I measured my worth by what I accomplished, doing nothing was a luxury I could not afford.

I learned my lesson though, slowed down and began to embrace …

The Essential Practice of Doing Nothing
Now I do more nothing. Not all nothing, but more nothing. We have to stop assuming never, aways, none or all. There is so much in between.

Here’s how to implement the essential practice of doing nothing into your life.

1. Schedule it. Put (at least) a tiny block of “do nothing” on your calendar every single day. You don’t have to determine how you’ll spend your do nothing time in advance. This “do nothing” time will look different for everyone. Read a book, take a bath, stare at the stars, or simply rest. Do what helps you refuel and recover.

2. Say goodbye to guilt. You aren’t choosing to do nothing because you are lazy, but because it’s essential to your health and happiness. You are choosing to do nothing because you are not a robot and because you’ve done enough already.

If we want to have energy to show up for the things that matter to us, we need guilt-free common sense to rest in between.

3. Recognize the difference between nothing and numbing. Escaping your busy life with substances and activities that help you numb out does the opposite of intentionally doing nothing. It drags you down and continues to deplete you.

4. Do the math. If you are thinking, I don’t have time to do nothing, remind yourself that you’ll spend less time doing other things if you approach them with ease and clarity. You can’t do that when you are worn out. Good work doesn’t come from someone who is overworked.

By taking time to do nothing, you’ll be more present for the people you love and more engaged in work you care about.

5. Change your measuring system. Measure less by what’s on your calendar and more by what’s on your heart.

Do Nothing Club
Do you want to join my club? 😍

There are no fees, meetings or obligations.

All you have to do to join is schedule some glorious nothing on your calendar.

Who’s in?

xo,

by 

I think it’s springtime!

Did I say that before? Well, I think it really is this time. Our lows have been in the 40’s and the garden is already growing. the early guys anyway. Flowers, too. And the trees are leafing out. All but the oaks, but they are always last, not really trusting kind of plants. Kinda like my Pop, he said don’t plant out until the Oak leaves are as big as squirrels ears. Yes, for most things but the peas like it early! And the daffies have been blooming, they never want to miss the last snow!  But the tulips are now blooming on my new bulb bed, too.

    

And Grandmother’s favorite wild flower. She said they look so cheerful in the lawn, the first to bloom in her yard. They always make me think of her. She was Randy’s grandmother but we cared for her in her last 20 or so years and I was closer to her than to my own grandmother so I just leave the in-law part off. A great lady. Too bad the new owner does not like them and has killed them all off, along with the wind flowers and English daisies. Only hawkweed left out there now. I suppose it is pretty too but way too invasive.

And The PUD says the power will be out from 8am to 4pm on Tuesday so I am designating Tuesday as Weaving day! Got my bins ready!

 

The Mystery Weave Along using the 3.5″ Quilt Weaver Square and a couple projects for patterns I’m writing up. I think it’ll be enough to keep me busy all day!  But weaving today, too, working on some color designs for the big triangles. And I badly needed a haircut so I figured I may as well re-dye it, too, as I cut most of the pink off. Himself & dog have gone firewood cutting, you’ll see why I like to do this when everyone is gone! Now, while the Kool Aid is doing it’s thing, I’m going back to weaving!