Entries in life (351)


more nine squares

Life is very good and I am very grateful.  It has been mentioned that I need to rest.  Which is hard because I feel like I am standing in place and exploding with ideas at the same time!  I actually got pictures from teaching my friend how to ecoprint.  I will share them and share what I do in my next post.

But because it has been mentioned that I should rest, I sat on the floor and laid out a quilt.  Which is really, really hard for me.  Even when I am sitting I usually have work in my hands.  I am both crocheting and hand stitching two different dresses for myself.  Let alone I am making Koda Bear a sweater and I am making myself a sweater. 

And my best friend just sent me tempting links to more yarn today.  Rustic lovely wools.  Especially lovely for a pullover for a long dress to tramp in the woods in.  I find when I am collecting plants for dye or foraging, long skirts or pants work really well.  And in some ways, long skirts work better because I can use the skirts as huge pockets to carry my bounty. 

Totally off topic, I just read a bit from India Flint that she believes every dress should have five pockets.  Aprons should have five as well.  My carpenter dress is a fine example of that.  I am trying to figure out where I would want more pockets in a long skirt because there is so much truth in that.  There is a vest pattern in Taproot magazine Issue 28 that has that feel.  Pockets big enough for a ball of yarn or cord.  Add a crochet hook, scissors, a notebook.  I could think of a few more things.  India Flint makes sure that there is one for a poem.  That is not so much me but maybe something similar someday.

I am really babbling!  My head has been exploding with ideas recently.  I keep picking one or two and moving forward.  I hope to write others done so I do not forget.  But any project I make at my sewing machine, I make nine squares for quilts with left over bits and pieces.  A bit of rest was sitting and laying this out.  

Too soon I will have two quilts to baste!  My autumn quilt and this one.  I told my Beloved that he fell asleep before me last night I was going to make things.  I just got laughed at.


a touch of fall and waiting for weather

I got to go to my quiet happy place!  The mountain.  It was a bit of a wild week.  Koda Bear came to the mountain for a day.  Maybe a little more.  Then, we went and took him back to the Tall Short Person's for school to start.  Then back to the mountain we went!

It was mostly summer there still.  But the nights were cooling way down.  There was a touch of autumn in the air.  I did take a few minutes to sit by a small fire and work on a dress.  A very small fire.

Up until the very last, the nights were gorgeous.  It is so funny when needing a blanket brings such joy!

I learned a lot this trip.  I drove the tractor for the first time.  I used a chainsaw taking out trees.  I have so many more trees to take out.

My Dad listened when I said I wanted a scythe.  He found me one at a garage sale.  It is too big for me.  It is probably the wrong blade for what I really need it to do.  But it is one of my favorite tools.  It is the best tool I know for cutting down salmon berries and cutting blackberries.  I found it was more work to use the chainsaw!

The night before we were to leave it started to rain.  The mountain is the first mountain or hill in the Cascade range out of the Frasier Valley from Canada.  There is interesting weather there.  This rain was part of it.

The broadleaf maple on the road was green when we got there.  It had changed color by the end of the week.  Autumn was definitely coming there.  I miss it.  

Waiting for weather in my title is that there is a depression that may bring a lot of rain in the Gulf.  The funny thing is, the local news stations are saying we may get weather from Florence.  Specifically rain.  I am a little concerned on Issac.  I am not sure that I am ready to sit out another storm.  Especially a large storm.  I will just keep watching and waiting.

Maybe I will just pretend I am here.



end of summer

It is time to take Koda Bear back to the Tall Short Person this week.  It makes me sad.  Especially since I did not get to spend as much time with him as I thought I would.  I am going to try to steal him away for some weekends this autumn.  I am scoping out fiber fairs in the Pacific Northwest.  There is even one that my father has been interested in going to.  That one I know I would be talking sheep and goats.  That is the who my father is.

When we brought Koda Bear here, my parents sent projects home with me.  I just laughed.  But I cut off the sleeves on my Dad's shirts and hemmed them.  He will get more wear out of them now.

My Mother does not see herself as creative.  And in recent years, I would have to say she has narrowed her creative endeavors down.  She has always been very good at following directions.  She used to make all of our Christmas cards, silk screen and linoleum cut printing.  She learned cake decorating for birthdays.  She learned how to do calligraphy so she could write in a fashion she was pleased with on those cards.  

She choses not to do any of that anymore.  And that is very okay.  She follows directions for projects others find for the craft sale at her church.  One of those friends is a knitter, but does not enjoy crochet.  That friend fell in love with this cradle purse.  My mother knew I crocheted and asked if I would make it for her friend.  I said I would.

The cradle purse, by kit, is now finished.  Did I follow the pattern exactly?  No.  But it is close.  And it is done.  It really did not take that long but I did find it hard on my hands.  That could be the rock climbing too.  It is kind of scary to me but I think that is the plastic doll.  I would have done something different but I am not the one who fell in love with it.

I will not be in this space for a bit.  There will be parts of the next two weeks I will not have phone service!  This is exciting too me.  I may post on Instagram if I do.  I may not.


A not exciting Saturday night

I had such a not exciting Saturday night but so much me!  I have been drooling over a crochet artist on Instagram, Isa Catepillan.  I think her work is lovely and she makes me wish to up my crochet game.  I have some yarns of a lace weight that I thought:  shawl.  I am now playing with granny squares and am going to learn cables so I up my game.  Maybe make a dress?  

I am doing this by not going by any pattern.  I am going to use my favorite dress pattern as a go by and work within those constraints.  I like Isa's cable accents and I can see where they add a lot of structure.  Again, something new to learn.  Cables in crochet.  Something I have wished to learn for awhile but this is letting me take the jump.  I may have a wedding to go to next summer and if this dress is wearable I might just wear it.  It is truly about learning skills though.

Koda Bear learned a new skill this weekend.  He has been helping me sew since he was interested.  That was before he was a year old.  But on my treadle sewing machine, you have to be tall enough and strong enough to work the treadle.  When we moved the stool closer to the machine, he was big enough.  

We started off simply with him guiding fabric through the machine.  Can he make the stitching go where he wishes it to?  Can he control his hands and feet at the same time?  He did a very good job.  Then my Beloved said he needed a sleeve for his paint ball marker hoses.  The two of them found fabric, measured, and cut.  I pinned the sleeve together and Koda Bear sewed.  Koda Bear still has problems with the initial pinning.  It is a dexterity thing.

Then the sleeve was done.  Koda Bear did not realize that it was actually going to be used on the paint ball marker.  He was so excited and proud that something he made on my sewing machine was actually going to be used!

I am still threading the machine.  And filling the bobbins.  But the filling of the bobbins will happen soon.  Threading will get there.  So proud of Koda Bear.


slow life

I was going to post about making beer vinegar today.  I am not because I had an interesting conversation with a pastry chef/baker this weekend.  It ties right into making vinegar.

She believes in slow food.  The using of yeastie beasties to make bread.  The putting the pork shoulder on for hours to braise.  The fermentation of mustard to make tastiness and to make other tastiness.  But she does not feel she gets appreciated.  Especially when a whole loaf of bread or a tray of rolls that took two days to bake are gone in 30 minutes.  

I do understand where she is coming from and I understand her perspective.  I also know what has helped to create that perspective because I know some of the chefs she has worked with and what kitchens she has worked in.  She was not appreciated.  Bread was reviewed by diners and food critics and not thought well off.  I have boyos who thank me for every cup of tea I bring them.  I am also told things like my hummus is as good as the best in town.  Koda Bear tells people we do not have a menu but we have good food here.  We can just bake something out of dough.  Or I bake something out of dough with the help of his hands.

We live such a fast life.  A life that if we send the words out we expect to get a response immediately.  This type of life makes it hard to understand that mustard should ferment for three days minimum.  That it takes a month to make beer vinegar.  That it takes six months to make bitter or orange extract.  That you may eat the cabbages right away but they can sit and ferment on the counter months at a time and they are still good to east.

I know I have been talking about food but there is such a thing as slow fashion.  Mend something.  Remake.  Make from scratch and do not even go to a store.  But it is not instant.  There is no instant reaction to what is hanging.  "Oh, I want that.  Now."  It all takes time.  And thought.  Is it really what you want.

My Father loves to point out when I am crocheting that the fastest part of the process is actually making the sweater, hat, mitts, or shawl.  I have not raised the sheep.  I have not shorn the sheep.  Yes, many times I do wash the fleece, card it, and spin it.  It adds so much more time until the garment is finished.  It is why I understand that if a sweater is out grown it should be made in away that it can be taken apart and made into another garment.  Even if a stripe of a different color needs to be added.  This is all slow.  It all takes time.

It adds up to a slow life.  A slow life is always what I wanted.  Where I made or grew most of what was in my life.  I am much closer to that now then I have ever been before.  I still feel like I move to fast some days.  But I keep working on moving slower.  I have people who appreciate slower in my life. 

I just wish more did appreciate the slow.  A slow life is a very good life.