Friday, March 27, 2009

t-shirt quilt

Finally got a photo of Albert's birthday present this year. Those are some of his favorite t-shirts , made into a snuggly and cozy quilt. The borders are olive green flannel, the back is blue flannel. Had to get the cat in, of course. She is currently bucking like a bronto (is that how you say it?) on that quilt as I type, spinning and leaping with her all-time favorite toy (one of Albert's old boot shoelaces).

Spring Warp

Pidge perches.
Wound a new warp the other day in soft yellow, cream and white with a few threads of celery green. I'm hoping to nab inspiration from the stretch of spring days ahead. This was the first time I've tied a new warp onto the leftover threads of the old warp. I tie each old warp thread (using a weaver's knot) to a new one (168 threads, I think) and wind it on slowly.

Here's the best part- in doing so, I'm simultaneously threading the pattern in the heddles and threading the reed while winding the warp onto the back beam. This saves me maybe 3 or 4 hours. In the picture above: I am standing at the front of the loom. The new warp is 11 yards long, but made more manageable by tying it into a crochet chain (braid looking thing). The old warp you may recognize in color- blues, greens and periwinkles from the last warp. Lease sticks (2 parallel pieces of wood mid-picture) are suspended from the loom with string and hold the "cross". Each thread stays in order and lines up neatly. The reed at the top of the photo is like a big metal comb or ladder. It swings back and forth, creating the woven fabric one weft thread at a time.

Our most perfect pizza

This past week has been a delicious cooking adventure. Above- our balsamic mushroom and caramelized onion pizza with Albert's no knead dough. Below- the beginnings of the best lentil soup batch yet! Nogeeshik's canned tomato juice from last summer, celeriac from our last winter csa share pickup and bean water from the cooked garbanzo beans I made last week (last yielded delicious hummus) were the base for the broth and, boy, it had so much flavor we didn't need the ton of romano cheese we usually grate onto our bowl every 5 minutes. The soup also had the last of our squirrel bulk baby yukon gold potatoes, yellow and orange carrots, a red onion and kale from our csa. MMM!

Pidge, laying on her claimed red chair, looking all chubba-like. Check out that pouchy eye smooch! (Sorry, I will never write for cute overload).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Move over winter!

What a beautiful weekend! We had the back porch door open and fresh air for the first time since October. It was glorious- Pidge spent all afternoon sitting by the screen, deep in thought.
I was in a cooking frenzy Saturday morning. I wish I'd taken more photos. Delicious grapefruit blackberry yogurt cake (a la smitten kitchen), lemon parmesan salad dressing atop homemade mung bean sprouts, the purest white mushrooms I've ever seen, chicks peas freshly cooked , and crunchy roasted garlic croutons made from leftover Italian bread. Oh and then I made grapefruit curd, roasted garlic hummus and noodles with peanut sauce and sugar snap peas. Not bad for 2 days work. (Check out that extra orangy egg yolk below).

Below, Pidge and her new chair which she truly has claimed. She runs into the dining room launching herself on- tipping it back on 2 legs- and uses the momentum to catapult herself onto the yellow chair in the living room.

She perches in the chair and chirps at the mourning dove on the roof next door. Here she is mid-chirp and mid-grip.

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Peacock Scarf

I love this peacock blue wool yarn so much.. I had knit myself felted mittens in the fall- but never felted them (isn't that always the case?). Couldn't finish the scarf without this shade, so I unraveled/sacrificed the mitten. Three different photos, countless different looks- one scarf!

Happy Friday the 13th! Speaking of- today is the last day for a 30% off sale at my friend Rachel's site . Enter the code before midnight - BIRTHDAY3 at the checkout to receive your discount. Happy 3rd birthday red prairie!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Red and Lime Scarf

I love the striped linens and towels that inspired this scarf. That lime green wool is my current favorite fiber.. I only have one skein left and will surely hoard it for the perfect color combo.

Tomorrow will be the last scarf posted for a few weeks. I'm already thinking about the next warp series. The next week or so will be dedicated to a princess and her royal jester pet portrait, winding the new warp and plowing ahead on Hungry Mother (Albert and my film project)- 5 shots animated in the last 2 days. Here's a still from my favorite shot today:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Purple Scarf

Here's today's purple scarf. I was finally able to weave with a skein of dark purple yarn I'd handspun (using a drop spindle) this fall while helping on a film shoot for Albert and Jon. Our friends Rachel and Phil were in town and it was a great weekend had by all.

It's a truly blustery day- all around the apartment I hear the rattling of windows and plastic insulation wrap popping off of the sticky tape. Soon we can tear it all down!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Orla Scarf

This is one of those scarves that started so differently in my head. The colors were inspired by this beautiful feminine petal-y Orla Kiely bag, but I could easily seen this one worn by a guy or gal. That pumpkin alpaca wool started as 90% of a knit cabled vest sweater that sat waiting to be assembled and blocked for almost a year. By then, I had grown tired of the pattern and decided to unravel and reset the yarn (a dip in cool water and hung to dry on a clothes hanger with water bottle weights). A good idea because the yarn has supplied me with rich pumpkin color for several scarves.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New Lilac Scarf

Happy Monday! I'm happy it's not snowing and that we get an extra hour of daylight! Here are a few pictures of today's scarf- inspired by a stack of mismatched plates.

More feminine and purple than I usually go for- but I love how lilac and vibrant lemongrass go together. I'm growing 2 muscari (my favorite-grape hyacinth) bulbs in the kitchen window and hope they'll bloom in this same shade.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Stack o' Scarves

Well, I'm happy to know that for once, I actually worked all weekend, got a lot accomplished- scarves, sketches, scanning- and still had time for fun- cooking, cleaning, cesar milan.. Technically cleaning wasn't fun, but I cooked tasty lentils and rice (cooked in the same pot with lots of homemade stock) with caramelized onions (45 min!) made in my trusty cast iron skillet at the same time. I watched loads of dog whisperer and vaguely remember trying to rehabilitate dogs in my dreams all night. I heard squirrels (I hope that's what it was) in our attic space- little squeaks and nuts rolling down the slanted ceiling above our couch the other night. I eavesdropped on their conversation- ear to the wall; Pidge tried to climb inside the bookshelf to get to them.

Anyways, eager to jump into picture taking, I forgot I have to finish the scarves first (tie the fringe). So that's it for now.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rigid Heddle Loom

Just finishing the last of 5 scarves I hope to photograph and put on etsy next week (stay tuned- I'll post one a day!)

It's been a productive week- finished Albert's birthday present (cozy t-shirt quilt), Rachel's birthday hat (I'll have to get a photo of her wearing it on here) and soft flannel handkerchiefs, and the scarves to boot! I think I'll keep working through the weekend- sketches for a commissioned portrait of 2 sweet kitties, woven fabric for a new project- clutches and this week's city crossword puzzle.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Check out this beautiful painting by the lovely Rachel Bone! (It's a gift for Albert and me, right?)

A square root day

Check out that tongue... and those fangs!

The purple scarf I'm working on- featuring purple striped yarn I spun a few months ago. It is 2 ply and I think I'm going to spin 1 ply for weaving from now on.. you can't really tell.

A bitter cold day today (but not a cloud in the sky) we spent bopping in two local libraries to browse and pick up season one of the Dog Whisperer (research for our new gig- pet sitting!). Have I mentioned my yen for the spin-off- the Cat Whisperer? I point my finger at Pidge and say, "sshhhhtt" but I don't think she gets it.