Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nothing but blue skies ahead

Summer doesn't officially start until next week, but it is definitely in full swing here in the mountains.  The wildflowers are blooming, the days are warm, the humidity is very low and the evenings remain in the mid-forties...good sleeping weather, as it has been said.

You may have seen news of the two largest fires in NM.  They're down in the southern part of the state; so far, we have stayed safe up here.  The afternoon thunderheads are starting to build and we hope our summer monsoons will start in a few weeks, both because we need the moisture and because we don't want dry lightning to start more fires.

Things have been busy here.  The former shop space will be empty in another week and as some of it leaves in a rental truck for California, I will fly ahead to meet it at the other end.  I'm looking forward to a summer with my family, my quilting, and my friends.

I've decided to give myself a break and not worry about posting here this summer.  I'll still be following your blogs, and I'm not saying I won't come back...I just want to focus on lots of other things for a while.

So, my friends...have a wonderful summer, and if you wish to be in touch privately, please feel free to e-mail me...I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rug hooking: yarn or fabric?

A few weeks ago, I posted about starting a hit or miss kind of rug with odds and ends of hand spun wool yarns I deemed tough enough to be rug-worthy.  I had some questions about using wool yarn instead of wool fabric, but turned up little in my brief search on the I purchased Judy Taylor's updated edition of Joy of Hooking with Yarn.

While I'm waiting for a lightning bolt of design inspiration to hit me, I've been plying skeins of singles into two and four ply yarns to use in whatever this next rug will be.  One day, while peddling my little heart out at the wheel, I had a minor epiphany:  why the heck am I buying wool yardage to cut into strips when I am about buried in wool and wool yarns?  Hmmmm...well...maybe because my first and only attempt at hooking with yarn left me feeling a bit unsatisfied.  Maybe because I feel like it will take longer (not a valid excuse in my book)?  Maybe because I've not been particularly inspired by the pieces I've seen, so far, hooked with yarns?  Maybe I like the look of rugs hooked with wool strips better than those hooked with yarns?  Or, as my new hooking friend Andy mentioned, am I a wool snob of some sort???

So that's what's been on my mind, while I've been busy packing up the last of the mess that's moving home from the former yarn shop, or pulling some weeds here and there, which is somehow therapeutic.

What do you think???

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New roving

Among my many bad habits, buying more roving to spin is high on the list.  Regardless of the fact that I already own what might well add up to a hundred or more pounds of wool to dye and spin, somehow I have little control when Ani has her freshly dyed rovings hanging up to dry.  It's the magpie effect, I think she calls it.  I start pawing through the many color combinations and feel compelled to pick a favorite.  You know how it is...someone else's toys always look to be more fun than our own.

This past week, it was some Rambouillet roving that caught my attention.  Also known as French Merino, this is an old breed that was begun around 1786, when Louis XVI bought some Merino sheep from his cousin, King Charles III of Spain, and bred them with his own selection of English long wool sheep.  I've never been wild about spinning Merino wool but am loving this stuff.  It is light and soft and draws like magic.  I'm spinning it for some two ply lace weight yarn, with no specific project in mind...just that I like to spin finer yarns when I have time. 

Sorry, Robyn.  I thought of you when I did it, really I did.

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's baaaaccccckkkkkkk....

This morning at 4:15 a.m. MST, Ani heard the sound of glass somewhere near her room.  Wisely waiting until daylight, here is what she discovered.  Please note the incredible forensic and tracking skills from years of watching CSI.  Who says it's not good to watch TV?

Easy to pop screen

Dye experiment
Footprints:  Honey Yellow


Leaving the scene of the crime
Forensic evidence

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Election day

Yesterday was NM's primary election, so after dinner, I rolled down the road to perform my civic duty and vote.  Voting in this neck of the woods is very casual compared to my long ago experiences with voting in California.  Our polling place is an ancient one room school house at the end of my road, staffed by neighbors I don't know because, well, I just don't.  I got down there yesterday and realized I had forgotten my purse, but that's OK, all you have to do is go in and tell them your name and they hand you a ballot.  No ID required...although I suppose the worse case is that someone else purporting to me votes and I don't get to.  Tres casual, n'est pas?

And just because I thought it was sweet, I took a photo of the village church to share with you.  It's just next door to the schoolhouse, built in 1823, it appears.  Once in a while, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, you can hear the bells ringing up here at our house.  I love when that happens, it makes me feel connected to another point in history.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I saw a posting on May 31 by Tammy at Skip to My Ewe.  She is selling a lot of her hooked rugs and by way of explanation, said something that really hit home:

  "...I form a vision in my mind of what I want it (her rug hooking room) to look like, and then I have to start getting rid of everything that is not in that vision."

Riley:  she has no clutter concerns
I have had this rolling around in my head for days since.  It's how I've been feeling about my home, my stash, my overload of equipment.  I've decided to keep marinating on this until I can get my vision to be more clear and then take more actions.  I feel like the clutter is smothering me.  In fact, I just Googled on "signs about clutter", thinking I'd have some cute graphic to post here, and came up with this page instead.  Very interesting, and worth consideration.

Just thought I'd share that with you in case it's something that's on your mind as well...something along the lines of spring cleaning for your head. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Long silence

Baby soybeans
My mom always told me that if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.  While I probably haven't done a great job of that in my lifetime, I try hard not to bore you with the everyday things in my world when things aren't going so well.  Hence, my silence.  Not that I don't think about you (with some guilt, and daily), but it's just been a bit trying around here.  Our Ani got really sick, was in the hospital, and is home now...but it gave us all quite a scare for this past week or so.

Handsome nephew, Tim
We had a great week in Illinois.  We visited our family, had lots of great conversation, laughs, and OMG, the food.  Those folks sure now how to lay down a feast (to which I submit very willingly).  I didn't realize it had been four and a half years since I'd been back, so that won't happen again.

While we were there, we got to visit our baby soybeans.  I've never been there in spring before and I swear, I could see how much the corn grew just in the few days we were at the farm.  I'm always blown away that generations of folks have survived by planting seeds and then hoping that the sky blesses them with enough water to raise healthy crops.  Strong people, they are; the core of this country.
Detail: subtle colors

Trip project
I always like to use a trip to start a new project, so at the last minute, I grabbed two balls of my own hand spun yarn, a lace weight of hand painted wool and silk blend.  It was just right for this trip, light to carry and mindless to knit on.  I finally finished it a couple of days ago and blocked it last night.  I had so much fun, I've started another, out of commercial yarn (Noro sock yarn).  I always have to have my hands busy or I go cuckoo...or maybe I'm just a cuckoo who likes to knit.