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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.

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!

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!

 

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!

Whopee!

The new Little Looms magazine just came out and I’m in it! They wanted my little Onsie, woven on the 4″ square Multi loom. This is only my 2nd time being Published. A few years ago Handwoven had one of my doll dresses in it. I  think I’ve caught the Bug! lol I’ve got a list of subjects and dates for projects and am busy planning!

But here’s the Onsie.

If you have a new baby coming, child, grandchild, friend, you might like this one. It’d make a great shower gift, too! (Link above to magazine, or check your local book store-if you can do so safely.) I used the 4″ triangle, too, but I think you could use the square and just fold it. However, we would be happy to sell you a 4″ triangle, they are very handy! The theme was Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. Mine is named after a flower so in the Veg category. This magazine only comes out once a year but I’ve already submitted & had accepted my project for next year.

Hey! Remember… You knew me when!

 

 

Looks like we’re staying home for Easter.

I was thinking about that and remembered I had woven some bunnies in days of yore so headed out to Le Shed to see what I could find. The lavender bunny was the first one I made and that back in the first year we were making looms. Back when I was doing a newsletter. I’m not sure where that went, just kind of faded, I guess. But this 20 year old bunny is still hanging in, looking a bit worn but still identifiable! He’s pretty simple so I think you  can probably figure out how I did it by this little sketch.

This sad little guy came sometime later. He does have real rabbit ears tho drooping like they are here they look more like bear ears in this photo. The back view shows them and how I gave him a tail. It’s just a cotton ball sewn on. He’s also made with two triangles but I just tied off his ears and gathered his neck a bit. The rest was playing with some needle sculpting. Wasn’t very good at it but he does sit up and shows a bit of legs and arms. His nose is a big French knot, and I gave him glued on goggle eyes.

The third bunny is the newest one, only a few years old. I used some fuzzy yarn for him and a square and a triangle. As it happens, I did write this one up! It’s a downloadable pdf file. Hope you enjoy this one!

Bunnies

 

Happy New Year!

I do hope you all have a safe and comfortable start to a prosperous and reasonably happy 2020! A little verse we should keep in mind.

 

But now is the time for Resolutions! Right? Like maybe changing a few, well, shall we lay less desirable habits? Like being a little more Organized. I know that it is not literally a 4 letter word, but has been pretty much in that category for me for most of my life.  Looking for a loom this morning, I found this stuff in the basket by my chair. All but the jar of Ricolas, the new Territorial seed catalog & His shoes and newspapers. Needless to say, the loom was not in there! Not in my loom case, either. So I guess I’ll start this morning putting all this in it’s proper place. If I can find that place. Trouble is they are not projects., just experiments. I think he gave me a new shoe box, I suppose I can label that Weaving Experiments. Then that leaves me to find a place to store the box. Hopefully where I can find it again when I need it. Like I apparently did not do with the missing loom!

Ah well, I guess the other fun thing I get to do on new years Day, is bills. Oh well, it’s my 1st of the month job. He does the taxes and is a great wood worker but he really sucks at financial matters beyond that.  We all have out strong points and he is Very Organized. It’s rare that he can’t find something no matter how long ago he had it. I, on the other hand, have to rely on luck when hunting something.

But there you go. I think the weather wizards are using the same system for forecasting the weather. And Mother Nature is using a roulette wheel to decide! We go from a huge surprise snowstorm right before thanksgiving, I mean nearly 4 foot, to rain ever since! Temperatures have run from 14 degrees F to nearly 70! And it’s raining this morning and 38 degrees on Jan 1. I don’t even want to think about Australia while I am whining about our weather. I would happily send them our rain and the foot of snow that’s left if I could.

Well, on the brighter side, trying to heed the advice picture I posted above, we are looking forward to adding a new loom to our line up this year. It is our 20th year in the loom business! It’s has been an interesting 20 years! We’ve met some wonderful people and done more traveling that we ever thought we’d do. It’s been fun for the most part and we’ve both learned a lot! Our only disappointment is not being able to interest the kids in the business. Well, they have their own lives, our parents were not delighted with our choices, either, but we all manage to make it work to our best comfort. Anyway, keep an eye out for our anniversary announcement sometime later this year!

And I hope your year is starting off the way you wanted it to! Best Wishes!

Hazel & Himself

Just the two of us!

December.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with 3 foot of light powdery snow. But as we were not going anywhere or expecting company we were able to sit back and enjoy it. Lost power for 13 hours, not bad. It’s failed a couple times since but just for a short time, 3-5 hours.

Not going anywhere for Christmas, either. first time in years we’ve spent that holiday at home. It’s rained since the snow so melted about half off. Still enough white out there to light up the house all night with the full moon! I think we are assured of a White Christmas, even tho it’s not quite as pretty as it was! He’s been shoveling and putting away all the stuff we got caught short of with that big early snowfall. And he’s done shop work, of course. We’ve been working on a couple experimental looms, looking at the future. We’ve been to a few social events, school plays and Lion’s Club dinner. Went to see Sound Of Music by the Trinity Players. Very professional job. They always put on a good show.

Have a few gifts to get in the mail tomorrow. Yes, I’ve done some weaving & some knitting. Weaving squares with the WAL on Looms to go, Ravelry. Not doing a project, just using imagination to weave a 4″ square to a theme. Relaxing, really.  Not too much imagination probably. My snow angel ended up just being what i call a set of wings. maybe you can see them? I gave the gingerbread some red gumdrops in case it was what was left of a gingerbread man! There are a lot more themes for this and I’ll get a few more made, maybe.

Mostly its the time of year to sit back and relax, enjoy the fire, read, and let it all flow over you. New year coming on, plenty of time to get back to Real Life then.

Have a wonderful end of this year!

Indian Summer?

No, I don’t think so. Thermometer says it’s 71, that’s a nice temperature, I guess. The day started out at 35 and a fire in the wood stove. Nothing summery about that. Lovely, tho. I canned 9 more pints of apple sauce. I think that’s about 18 so far. Many more apples to deal with. I need to put some in the freezer for pies. More applesauce. He wants to try his hand a cider. I’m thinking of drying a few, maybe chopped bit for adding to oatmeal or snack mixes. Below are from Noel’s tree, not sure what they are but good. Crispy, sweet tart. Good for cooking or eating. There’s 3 lugs of these, two of the Romes and a half bucket of Hyde Kings. Plus the pears are still hard tho turning yellow.

Sarah and Rachael came by the other day to visit. It was good to see them . She’s bought a house in Weaverville so will be almost a local! Rachael is 13 now, hard to believe. Karen’s been gone 7 months. We’re getting old. My mom told me it would happen, tho I didn’t believe her, of course. On the brighter side, they brought me a pumpkin! A decorative one this time, prettier than my wagon load. Not going to carve it, we get no trick- or-treaters up here. The school in Trinity Center has posted a map showing houses and groups  who will have treats to pass out. So the kids all go down there where the houses are closer together. Can’t blame them I guess, but I used to enjoy seeing them in their costumes.

Himself just brought home another load of fir fire wood.  And some oak. A neighbor took out a bunch of fallen and broken firs this summer after the storm last winter and offered it to us. Can’t say no to free firewood, but I think we’re working on next year. He doesn’t leave this winter’s wood supply until fall like he used to. The wood shed is almost full plus this.

Well, That’s pretty much all I have to say. I’ve done a little weaving on my winter pants project but have been spending most of my time in the shop or the kitchen! But it’s a quiet time of year. Summer folk and hunters all gone home. Our closest neighbor has moved down south, San Diego or someplace at that end of the state. Well, Noel’s here but he comes and goes. Here now, asking for apple pie! lol I gave him apple cake. I can do that in one bowl without counter space that pie crust’s take. The kitchen is full of canning stuff now. Pies later.

So anyway, I hope you are all enjoying a lovely fall. It’s been the prettiest one we’ve had in a few years. And, of course, I never remember to take my camera when I go out. But I guess Autumn leaf pictures are like sunset pictures, it’s the immediate impact that counts and it never translates into photographs.

Happy Halloween!