Monday, May 13, 2013

High Fiber—Spring Comes to the Mountains!

Our daffodils bloomed just in time for Mother's Day!
The hummingbirds are back, too. The hiking trails are almost clear of snow. The mud is starting to dry on the trails, so we decided to take a hike in Toll Canyon, near our home, on Wednesday. It looked like a nice day when we started out, but it started to rain while we were out. The wildflowers are starting to bloom, though, and it wasn't too muddy yet, so it was a nice hike.

After we got to the car, it really started coming down, then it rained for the rest of the day and night. We had thunderstorms almost every day for the rest of the week. Saturday was sunny, but still cool and breezy at our elevation. However, Mother's Day was beautiful, warm and sunny. (Insert happy face here.)

The rain meant no spinning on the deck, but there was lots to do indoors. I got a good start on the rug for our new powder room. It's what's called "weft-faced," because the weft (horizontal threads made by the shuttle) completely covers the warp (the threads installed on the loom in the process of warping). I'm using Wool of the Andes bulky.

The colors I'm using are Chocolate, Suede, Masala, Bare and Hazelnut. I don't know the name of the blue, and I think the color has been discontinued, but it's sort of a peacock blue.
I used some of blue yarn to make a header, along with some crochet cotton. All of that will come out when I take it off the loom. I liked the blue with the other colors for the powder room, though, so I decided to throw in some at the end of the sequence of stripes. I divided the remaining blue yarn in half, so I would have enough of it to make a stripe of the same size at the other end. The middle will be a white (Bare) diamond shape on a background of Hazelnut (sort of a rusty brown). I'm finding the diamond a little challenging. I discovered the diamond shape was lopsided, so I had to unweave some. I either need a cartoon (pattern drawn on paper or Pellon used under the warp threads) or I need to do the two sides first and then the diamond, although that would require weaving without an open shed, and beating with a fork (not like making scrambled eggs, though). 
Three Wishes Fiber Arts, the only store that sells weaving and spinning supplies in this part of Utah, is closing, and they had a lot of things for 50% off. It's a long drive, so I ordered some 10/4 mercerized cotton for dish towels, sight unseen. I'm happy with what I got, though. I should be able to make a lot of dish towels out of two 2-lb. cones:

The weaver's guild meeting Thursday night was very interesting. We learned about how to use a 4-shaft loom to weave designs made for 8-shaft looms using a "split-shed" technique. I'm not ready for that yet, but I have all the information to get started if/when I do, and it's good to know it's possible. It's more time-consuming using this technique on a 4-shaft loom than using 8 shafts, but if 4 is all you have...
I'm very excited about a rug-weaving class coming up in November. Jason Collingwood is coming to teach. (He's a famous rug weaver!)
Deanna, who taught my private class when I first got my loom, gave me some tips on how to get the diamond in the middle of my current project to come out even.
In spinning news, Tour de Fleece is coming up, and Team KP will be joining in again. I'm sure we'll be getting more information when the time comes. I'm practicing my spinning to get ready. Here's my second bump of Full Circle "Pigeon," plied and ready to take off the bobbin:

I got 284 yds., 18 wpi, but it still needs washing.

Now I'm spinning the "Espresso" color. 
I finished the front to the sweater for Miss Daphne's Bunny Suit. Here it is blocking:

Just the sleeves to go, and then on to the pants.
I'm making progress on the hand appliqué for the Delectable Pathways quilt. I'll try to have a photo for you next week.
We haven't had a gratuitous baby photo for a couple of weeks, so here's one of 13-month-old Zachary:

His mother said he was stretching before his dance solo. (The dance solo involved some bouncing on the Dora couch, shown in the photo behind him.)
Tomorrow is Miss Daphne's third birthday. I hope to have some photos for you next week.

What's on my needles: Daphne's Bunny Suit, front and back done. Ready to start the sleeves.
What's on my loom: The rug shown above.
What's on my iPad: Listening to another Audible audiobook, Debbie Macomber's Hannah's List, and various podcasts, including Seyne Mitchell's Weavecast and Benjamin Levisay's Fiber Hooligan podcast, new episode available today.
What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving in "Espresso." Well into the first bobbin.
What's on my Featherweight: Delectable Pathways, blocks finished, now piecing the pieced blocks together with plain traingles in strips, and making progress on the appliqué.
What's in my wine glass: Woodbridge Zinfandel 2011. Excellent!

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook, using the iPad for photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

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