Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me! (a month ago - finally catching up)

So I had my (cough)30th(cough) birthday on May 5th and I had a GREAT day. Well actually I had a great couple of days. My mom came down for a visit and brought my big birthday present....a 4 harness Leclerc floor loom! I am giddy.
The only bummer was that I didn't get to warp it right that instant. That was on Monday night. Tuesday we went shopping and I only bought one thing - some cups and domed lids like you get when you have a smoothie - I am going to sell some fiber in them.
Wednesday morning bright and early we got up and got ourselves out the door to head to Orcas Island. On our way we stopped for breakfast and then the used bookstore (actually two used bookstores) I bought at least a half a dozen books on either dyeing or weaving. Next we headed to a yarn shop where I bought two skeins of sock yarn and 4oz of fiber to spin...wwwweeeeee!
While on Orcas I visited Maria at Warm Valley Orchard in the studio where we talked about the upcomiing sheep to shawl and I bought some more fiber and yarn with my birthday money. As I was leaving I told her about my newly aquired loom and she out of the blue just gave me a couple of cones to practice with. After I got home I realized that the fiber I had bought was identical to fiber I already had...I guess I was drawn to it for a reason. I may sell it I may spin it and sell it, who knows at this point. 
I got a couple of  wonderful Mother's Day cards from my kids and husband and all in all had a fabulous weekend.
On the way home we stopped at the Weaving Works in Seattle and OMG was I in HEAVEN! I'll be making the drive for that place again for sure! I have more stuff than I know what to do with at the moment but I know where to go if I need anything for spinning, weaving, knitting, basketmaking, etc. While there I bought some bamboo yarn to weave into a shawl/stole and some BFL fiber in a natural off white color for a scarf I have in mind. Mom bought me a boat shuttle as another birthday gift (like the loom wasn't enough....sheesh. I love my mom. She spoils me when she can).
Since then I have been doing a bunch of spinning and weaving. The first thing I put on my loom was some cotton carpet warp that I used to weave some mats for the kitchen, using scraps of fabric as the weft. I love how they came out but they slide all over and are more hazard than help for now. I will be getting some spray on rubber at some point to coat the backs in to hopefully solve the problem.
Currently on the loom I have some cotton that was intended to be 12 placemats that were to be 11 inches tall and 18 inches wide. That did not work out. I didn't know how to figure the 'sett' of a given yarn and it didn't really occur to me to do something with it. Live and learn. After a bunch of trial and error I have finally got it strung and tied on and have begun to weave. It will much to narrow to be any sort of placemat but since I have tons of yardage on the warp I will have more than enough for a table runner (and we have a nice long table). I was bummed at first that the pattern I had strung for a plaid was not coming out.
I realize it is because it is still set to wide to give me a balanced weave but as I stood up to stop weaving and decide to continue on, try something else, or use what I had as a sample a different pattern caught my eye. It shows up pretty well in the photo but in person you can only see it at the right angle. I am still unsure of what to do - to keep going as is, or to scrap it. I'll probably just keep going.
I planted some pot peas that will bush out instead of climb and I am very excited to see them growing. The peas only took about a week to germinate and almost all of them have come up. I think only 2 or 3 did not. Looking forward to making a fresh pea salad in a couple of months!
The same day I planted the peas, Brian was in the mood to cook so we headed out to Tacoma Boys and picked up some things for dinner...We ended up making some sirloin steaks in a red wine, shallot and currant reduction sauce and served that with some oven roasted potatos and steamed green beans. For some reason ALL of my photos are washed out and have this weird greyish tint to them so when you see the pic know that the sauce was a deep purple and the the beans a bright fresh green, not the sickly color that they are appearing (try to adjust the color in all of these photos to be brighter and less grey if you can do that on your imaginary color adjuster thingy). Needless to say dinner was superb, especially with the glass of wine and because we got to eat it out on the back patio.
This Thursday I plyed the yarn I have had on the wheel for about a month and I am very pleased with it. The colors are wonderful and they shift into eachother so wonderfully, I don't know if I will sell this one or keep it for myself but I am smitten with the colors and thier progression. Again try to imagine all of the colors brighter.
Well, that is all for now (yes I am finally done). Off to put the kiddies to bed...


Pretty Knitty said...

Photossssss! Yay. . .glad to see that you are having a wonderful spring/summer/birthday/mother's day/life-in-general-lately!

Lori Rede said...


Wow! What a Mom; what a birthday gift. I have been looking at your blog as your Mom noticed last week that I enjoyed hand-knit socks. Can I purchase some from you or commission you to do them?

Lori Rede

Rachael said...

I would absolutally LOVE to make you some socks! What is your email address so we can work out the details?

lori said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alexis AKA MOM said...

Oh girlie wow I'm loving all the photos and the awesome times you've been having!

The dinner looks and sounds delish!! And dinner outside rocks!

Rachael said...

Lori - I delete your comment with your email addy so it would not be viewable to the public - I have you in my email contacts now :)