Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Oh why don't I keep the patterns that I make!

Sam wants her jacket fashioned after the one I designed & wove for myself. Today I searched in my weaving records & notebook for it to no avail. sigh

I'd taken measurements of her before I started the project so with them in hand, fortified with a cup of coffee and my jacket, I painstakingly drew up a new pattern. I have all the paper pieces cut out. Tomorrow I'll use an old sheet to sew a mock up before I cut into the woven fabric.

Ed occasionally makes lovely portable music stands which break down into several pieces for easy carrying. I sew pouches for the individual parts and a large bag to put it all in, with enough room for music books. I've made three of these bags now. You'd think I'd remember save the kraft paper patterns that I've made. But no, I think it'll be quicker to just measure directly onto the fabric, cut and sew. Humph. I'll be making another one this coming week. This time I swear, I'll keep the pattern!

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Sam's cotton chenille jacket material is finished. :-)

The weather is lovely today so I hooked the dog leash to my belt -with Kobes attached to the other end- tucked some Autum roving in my pocket and spun my way out of town up to Maplewood Pioneer Cemetery. The east wind played tag with the pencil roving and yarn. Kobes wanted to bound across the fields until his heavy winter coat had him panting from the exhertion in the sun. It felt good to soak up some sunshine while walking and accomplishing some spinning. Autumn is being spun with one of my older walnut Turkish Spindles. No worry about it taking unexpected tail dives to the ground.

The smell of the apple pie I made earlier today is drifting in the air, it's time to devour some.

Friday, April 21, 2006


The rovings from Crown Mountain Farms want to be spun and made into items. Other obligations hinder much progress but almost an ounce each of the Mountain Sunrise and Autumn have been spun.

The mountain sunrise is begging to be woven into a summer shirt. Not sure yet what I'll do with the Autumn. Yesterday I took Autumn spinning during my quick walk up the hill for a short workout/spinning session. As the days grow warmer I look forward to more roaming while spinning.

Only one bobbin full left to weave on Sam's jacket material! Tomorrow I'll draw out the pattern on paper, cut it and make sure it works before cutting the weaving. Most people would do this first! I was so excited about warping and weaving that once I'd gotten Sam's measurements I couldn't wait to draw the pattern.

The socks are very slowly creeping to the heel. I'm trying not to think ahead to how in the world one does the heel when working on two circulars. The double-trouble pattern simply says to do it the same as when making the toe. Hello? The toes were each done on seperate needles, then joined once they were finished. Any hints/directions would be greatly appreciated.

The cotton chenille towel takes 20 minutes per row. I manage to work on it during odd moments. Crazy, I want to start crocheting lace curtain for the bathroom! I'm trying to restrain myself and wait until at least the socks are closer to being done.

Meanwhile this spring weather with it's variations of rain and sun has the grass growing too quickly for me to keep up with.
A view of our yard before tackling it with the lawn mower this past Wednesday:

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Oh death, where is thy sting?
Oh grave, thy victory?
Jesus Christ conquered death!

After a stormy day of branches hurling from trees, rain slashing new blossoms, and unseasonable snow during the night, dawn greeted us with a few tattered clouds scurrying from the sun rising in a sapphire sky.

A sunrise service was held up the Butte Creek basin at the Scout Ranch in the huge lodge with a roaring fire. It's hard to play a stringed instrument with freezing fingers and chattering teeth. We had a rousing celebrating with everyone joining in the singing followed by a hearty breakfast put on by some of the cowboys.

A package arrived in the mail from Crown Mountain Farms.
What soft, lucious colors! I'm especially delighted with the mountain sunrise roving, seen at the top. Perfect for the spring. The colors of sunrise on Mt Rainer was the inspiration for this colorway by Teyani. If I walk up to the top of the ridge on clear sunny days -- like today :-) Mt Rainer can be seen in all its magestic splendor. Sinking my hands into the soft masses of fibers, visions of spinning, weaving and knitting garments filled my head. Now for the talent to create some of those images! I can hardly wait to begin spinning these rovings. Since I use only a Turkish Spindle it will be awhile before I have enough spun to do much with but half the fun is the dreaming. I also want to try my hand at knitting directly from the roving. This whole world of working with unspun fibers is so new, with so much to learn!

I finished doing the taxes. Hurray, more time to devote to fibers and music. Hmm, sometime I must work on the yard!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Surprises & Memories

Behind my back the three of them schemed for months

"Mom, would you mind picking up Parker from the airport Friday? I have to be at an office meeting."
"No, I don't mind. What time?"

The airport is the perfect kaleidoscope for people watching.

On the hour drive to the Portland airport it occurred to me that I should have told my daughter Sam that I'd be wearing my magenta hand-felted hat. I hadn't seen Parker since Sam graduated from college last May. Would I recognize her? Would she remember me? Checking the arrival board I realized the flight was an hour late. Perfect for knitting rows on the double-trouble socks.

The plane finally arrived and people streamed off the plane. Watching faces closely, hoping to recognize Parker, I spotted a woman who looked uncannily like my dear friend from high school. A few days earlier we'd talked on the phone dreaming of when we might finally be able to arrange free time to get together. Seventeen years is simply too long of a time between visits with a soulmate! Scanning the faces for Parker, my eyes kept traveling back to the woman. Our eyes caught but she only smiled tentatively and kept walking as she too searched for someone in the waiting crowd. She slightly turned and our eyes met again. Another smile exchanged as she passed me, her head swinging around still searching for the right person. It's astonishing when one sees a person who looks strikingly like someone else. I couldn't stand it, I had to talk to her! Keeping a watch for Parker, I walked towards the woman who'd reached the back stragglers and had swung around coming back towards me. IT WAS HER! (It was the hat that had her baffled!) Husband, Sam and Tiny had schemed since December to surprise me with a week long visit!

It's hard to describe all the emotions that flooded my mind when faced with such a tremendous surprise. Along with the fleeting worry that the house wasn't prepared, and no food stocked ahead for such a special guest. Oh but the joy, the joy. Heart squeezing, jumping up and down, can't believe it, JOY.

The clues were there: Ed and Sam cleaning the yard and deck, Ed installing cedar in the bathroom. For weeks Sam came over every Thursday night while I was at Bible Study to hang out with Daddy. In reality they were talking with Tiny, and making elaborate plans.

Crooked Finger has two gigs coming up, one for a sunrise service and the other at the Oregon Garden. A practice was scheduled for Saturday evening at the church. Tiny didn't mind, she was excited about finally hearing us play. Ed went to visit our neighbor for their weekly Saturday routine of watching a favorite TV show, while we gathered music, stand and violin. We were late so I bounded up the steps leading to the meeting room, and opened the heavy wooden double doors. People everywhere! Pews pushed to the side, tables loaded with food, friends from when the kids were small. Friends from the library I'd worked at, all kinds of friends! Friends from a hundred miles were there! What in the world???

A conception party! This Ed had been planning three years! Having one's birthday near Christmas is the pits, no one wants to party, eat cake or buy more gifts. He devised the idea of celebrating my conception instead. Besides, there was no way I'd remotely guess what may be taking place. Sam had spent the week shopping and preparing the vast array of food. Astonished, overwhelmed, embarrassed and humbled. It was wonderful!

Ed gave Tiny & I the gift of three days at the coast. We went out on a boat to look for whales. No luck though we'd both seen a whale spout the evening before. The weather was perfect, a rarity at the Oregon coast! Three days of not worrying about schedules, business, tax bookwork (nagging at the back of my mind though!), or fixing meals! Walking the beach, looking for agates & shells, talking, watching the waves and a single female surfboarder, soaking up the sun. What luxury!

Weaving and socks were mostly neglected, the violin silent, but it was a wonderful time of relaxation and catching up on a terrific friendship and seventeen years of life! Hashing out old memories and adventures we'd had as teens with horses in canyonland country with no fences and boundless places to ride, hike and explore.

All too soon we were back at the airport, stepping into our normal lives. Orders and packing had piled up, Housework and chores demanded attention. The bookwork still lingers, and gets more demanding. But the oasis in time is worth it!

Today my mother would have been celebrating her 90th birthday. Even after ten years I still miss her.