Sunday, May 31, 2009

Yarn Sale in Lowell, MA

Remember when I visited the Hub Mills Store?

I just heard on their email list that they're having a sale at the end of the week. 20% off their prices on Classic Elite yarns - and their prices are already 20% off retail. That's starting to be serious savings!!!

Sorry for this blatantly commercial post, but I think you would only hear about the sale if you've visited the store and signed up in person for their email list. I wanted to spread the word to my knitting and weaving buddies!!

Hub Mills Store

20% off all yarns, books, and bags.

Thursday, June 4th
Saturday, June 6th

12:00 - 7:00

9:30 - 4:30

10:00 - 4:00

Will I see you there? (Actually, I'm not even positive that I'm going since I have a lot of knitting queued up......)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sometimes When You Least Expect It -

you find some cool weaving.

We were at the Rye Public Library the other day, and saw this wonderful woven piece by Sarah Haskell and the 5th graders from Rye Elementary School.

This project must have been a lot of fun!

Zoomed in a bit so you can see the weaving and figures.

If you're in Rye, NH, this weaving is downstairs in a meeting room in the library. Too cool!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Currier Museum of Art

Today we visited the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH.

It was our first visit since the Currier re-opened last spring after building a large addition to the building.

I love this bench outside. It's part of a special exhibition featuring Gary Haven Smith and Gerald Auten on display until mid-September.

The rear door of the Currier Museum was surrounded by a mosaic before the new gallery space was added. Now, with the addition, the mosaic is prominently featured in the Winter Garden Cafe in the middle of the museum.

I love mosaics, so I rushed in to see it.

Across the Winter Garden Cafe, a large painting and the new gallery space await.

We spent a few enjoyable hours wandering through the museum.

It's always great to see tapestry.

If you click to enlarge this picture, you can get details about the tapestry.

The collection of furniture includes this corner cabinet full of pewter.

The atrium of the old museum building is still beautiful - with its mosaic floor.

The medallion in the floor appears to be the zodiac.

Heading out, I did a tiny bit of shopping in the gift shop.

Another special exhibit, the work of David Macaulay is closing on June 14, 2009. He has written and illustrated a number of interesting books, including this book Mill about textile mills in New England. I loved it and purchased a copy of my own.

Any book that explains physics, history and even a bit about weaving to kids, belongs in my collection!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


3 stalks of rhubarb lurked in my kitchen after my visit to the farmer's market.

This morning I tried a new recipe: King Arthur Flour's Walnut-Rhubarb Muffins

It's a quick-bread recipe, but I baked muffins. I sprayed the muffin tins with oil, baked at 400° for 18 minutes.

The recipe called for cooked rhubarb to start, and suggested microwaving it....super easy and quick!

The muffins have a hint a lemon because they contain lemon zest.

Definitely yummy - even if you aren't inundated with rhubarb from your own garden just now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

10 pictures within 10 meters

I've been a slacker on Digital Photography School assignments lately.

This week a blog post challenged us to take 10 pictures within 10 meters of where we are right now. I took these shots:

Bailey's always a willing subject! Today we were photographing some wildflowers in the woods. Bailey is attuned to the camera click, and kept trying to get into the picture. That's our version of clicker training!

Chair side knitting in a tote from Chile. (Inside the tote: my half-finished multi-directional diagonal scarf.)

Pottery from Colorado Springs

Looking out the back door

Lilacs, NH's State Flower

First Clematis

My one and only stained glass creation (so far)

Rhododendrons out the kitchen window

Orchid in Kitchen (a Valentine's gift that's still alive!)

Gaudi-inspired clock from a rainy day in Barcelona

Lots of pink and purple flowers in my periphery right now. The palette in my photos would have been much paler a few months ago.

When I started blogging, I had trouble getting pictures of indoor subjects in focus and true to color. I've come a long way.....even though a few of my potential subjects today came out blurry.

Taking lots of pictures for all these months has definitely taught me a few things!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Details, Details

I should have known you'd want more details about the woven samples from Laurie Autio's class last week!!

Laurie graciously provided more information about each of the samples. I randomly grabbed 2 items that she'd woven from the giant stack of samples that she brought to class. I chose them because I liked them and I thought they'd look nice in blog photos.

Designed and Woven by Laurie Autio

The navy and white sample is a 32 shaft graded, plaited twill with canvas that Laurie designed and wove within the past year. The warp is 20/2 white linen (from a Weavers of Western MA guild exchange), the weft is navy 8/2 tencel, and the sett was 24 epi.

Laurie's draft for a similar fabric from the same warp is the background on the Weavers Guild of Boston website. You can also access the draft from that page.

It was designed as a sample for participation in one of the Complex Weavers study groups. The Complex Weavers galleries and study groups are always interesting!

Laurie wove this sample on her new 32 shaft LeClerc Weavebird, which is countermarche and computerized.

Designed by Angstadt
Woven by Laurie Autio

The 10 shaft Angstadt piece was woven as part of a study group run by Jeanetta Jones. Jeanetta was the master weaving teacher at Hill Institute in Florence, MA for over 40 years.

The piece was woven at least 10 years ago. Each person in the study group wove the same block profile in a different structure. They were assigned a structure but allowed to choose their own colors, and maybe yarn size and fiber.

The warp was 20/2 cotton and the weft was 20/2 cotton and 18/6 rayon, sett at 30 epi and woven on Laurie's 10 shaft Macomber. She was in her white-on-white stage, and not too good at weaving 2 of anything, let alone 20, without going bananas. (Her words, not mine!) She chose to go wild with color and weave each sample with different weft colors. It was a good learning exercise for color, working with a new structure, and seeing the same pattern interpreted in many structures.

Unfortunately Laurie loaned out a bag containing most of the samples from the group. If you have that bag of samples kicking around somewhere, and you're wondering who they really belong to, I'm totally sure that Laurie would be so happy to have them back!!

Related posts:
NHWG morning workshop with Laurie Autio

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hope Your Weekend

had just the right mixture of accomplishment, beauty, relaxation and fun!

Thanks to our next door neighbor's rented wood chipper, we worked hard to clean up downed trees and brush. (Plus, don't get me started on the endless outdoor painting project!)

From Life Looms Large

We removed this tree trunk that broke during the ice storm last winter.

Along a path in the woods, NH's state flower, the Pink Lady's Slipper (Latin: Cypripedium acaule) is in bloom.

Today we relaxed... I like this illustration for the blog - with boats, a beach, and a lobster!

Related Posts:
Ice Storm

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sometimes, If You Wait a Week

things really do look better.

Remember how last week, after we painted the sunroom, I was deeply uncertain about the color choice?

We decided to wait a week.

This week we like it much more. It's still not what I imagined, but I like how the walls came out. If we repaint with either of the yellow colors that are part of this wall treatment, it makes the terracotta layer look muddy and undefined. We're leaving it as is for the foreseeable future.

We did move a few things around so that I won't have to look at so much of the terracotta floor tile against the walls.

Plant in the corner hiding the floor/wall

In the summer, we put Super Solar Screen over the two skylights to keep the sunroom cooler. Jim goes up on the roof and ties the screen around the skylights with blue nylon rope. It really does keep the temperature cooler, and slightly darkens the room. We do this to the skylights in my studio also. We also have a few screens in sunny parts of the house that we've replaced with Super Solar Screen. Just as I got used to the new paint color, we put up the screens and darkened the room slightly.

On hot days, this room does feel like a cool refuge in a hacienda somewhere far from New Hampshire.

We moved this rug to the middle of the big section of tile (instead of at the door). Some day I'll weave a rug for this room.....that was actually part of the plan when I purchased my Toika Liisa loom!

In the winter, when the light changes again, we may change our minds and paint again. Or we might love this paint so much by then that we won't even think about it!!! For now, we're happy with it and are glad we painted the sunroom these colors!

I love, love, love the pottery and the birch bark vase against this wall color!

When I originally posted about painting, I included details of the specific paint colors so that in the future I'll know just where to find that information. Surprisingly, I've had blog visits from people searching for those exact colors of paint. I guess I'm not the only one who relies heavily on google!!

Thanks for all of your words of wisdom and encouragement with this project! All in all, it was a satisfying project to complete!!

Related posts:
Deeply uncertain after painting the room

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pink Gardeny Goodness

Two of my favorite flowers are blooming together in my garden right now.

Pink Lily of the Valley

When we first moved into the house, I'd go to local plant sales sponsored by various garden clubs. I still remember bringing home two little lily of the valley plants in a small cup.

My experience has been that if I can find a plant I want at a garden club sale, it is more likely to grow and thrive than a plant from a commercial nursery. I don't know if that's because garden clubs tend to sell whatever is prolific in their gardens, or if the plants are more acclimated to local conditions.

But I love these little pink flowers lining our walkway.

Daphne & Lily of the Valley

We have 3 Daphne shrubs. They smell wonderful. Even on the other side of the house on the porch, we catch a faint whiff of their flowery scent.

Local nurseries have stopped selling Daphne lately because we're right on the edge of climate where they survive, and nurseries were replacing too many plants to live up to their guarantees.

Luckily for us, our Daphnes seem to be happy - although every year they do get crushed by deep snow along our walkway. They were absolutely buried for months last winter.

But they've forgotten all about that, and are blooming happily and fragrantly!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Celebrating Bailey!

Today is our little puppy Bailey's sixth birthday!!!

It's a great day to bask on the patio, at least before it starts to heat up outside.

Bailey knows what to do with presents!

Success at last

This raccoon has 2 different-sounding squeakers - one in the body and one in the tail. Bailey will find this amusing for hours.....we might not!

It is super hot today (over 90° F), so we head to York, Maine hoping it will be cooler at the coast.

Not cooler in temperature

But how cool is this pedestrian bridge?

As soon as we enter the woods, Bailey is mesmerized by a very bold squirrel about 5 feet off the ground. The leash is shaking because he's so excited.

The forest trail leads out to a road, where we find Hancock Wharf. It was once owned by John Hancock, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Now it is part of the Museums of Old York.

Low tide

As we turn back toward the car, we pass this shelter in the forest.

Heading for home....

Happy Birthday Bailey!!! Thanks for six great years!