Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fun Vacation Times in Idaho

My family and I just got back from a camping vacation in the Sawtooth National Forest where we fished, hiked, rode dual sport motorcycles, and then collapsed into camp chairs after having so much fun over the fourth of July weekend. Our son, Seb, stopped long enough for me to get a good photo of him.

As we drove along, we noticed that our favorite fishing spots were quite busy, in fact in some areas it was combat fishing with four or five people standing close together. I guess the word is out about how nice the fishing is on the Salmon River!

Early in the morning, my husband and I enjoyed listening to the birds while hearing the water flowing in the background, and watching the sun come up while sipping our French pressed coffee. Bliss.

I took along a backpack filled with fiber to spin and my favorite hand spindles, so I had plenty to play with.

 I was spinning Cormo wool and kid mohair that I had dyed using bright blue and turquoise dyes which was then blended on hand cards into rolags.

 I was also working with Corriedale blended with alpaca on my hand cards that I had dyed using spring green, cheery yellow, and a soft plum. The Corriedale is soft and springy to work with-

We rode our dual sport motorcycles for hours down a forest service road that followed a small stream.

 As we rode along the road got progressively narrower and rougher as we climbed altitude. I did my first water crossing which was a hoot.

The views were outstanding from the mountains around us to the wildflowers that covered the surrounding hills.

It was a great vacation that we look forward to every summer. I think these photos sum up our feelings quite well :-)

Here's hoping that you have time for fiber/fabric today,

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weaving Again

I was reading a post by Francoise the other day who is a talented quilter, artist, and weaver. She mentioned that she was going to make time to weave again so that she could finish up her project on her loom. Zing! That was the motivation that I needed to realize that I've missed weaving and I need to just make time to weave again. Thanks for the nudge, Francoise! The other day when the weather was fine, I carried my vintage Harrisville Model A loom

out on our back porch, where I could weave while listening to the birds and looking at our garden. I have a warp on this loom to weave mug rugs so I thought that I'd just play with the rug wool, and let myself try whatever came to mind.

I wove the first mug rug using handspun Lincoln yarn that I dyed in a bright blue, spring green and a sunny yellow, alternating that yarn with a sunny yellow rug wool.

While I was out weaving, I noticed that our blackberries are covered with flowers, which makes my husband and son very happy as they love the homemade blackberry jam that my husband makes. Sweet anticipation!

Our raspberry plants are just covered with fruit, so sometime soon, we'll be picking ripe raspberries! Yum, those are my favorite berries to eat.

Yesterday my son and I decided to put on our hiking boots and drive up Bogus Basin Road to the ski resort to do some hiking. We passed so many avid cyclists pedaling up the mountain, which would be an incredible workout at it's quite a climb to the top, and as we were driving up the mountain, we noticed that it was getting cloudier and colder. The temperature dropped from the 60's (16 C) in Boise to 42 (6 C) at the parking lot up at the ski lodge. Brrr. I was wishing that I had a wool sweater or a fleece with me, that's for sure, but five minutes into the hike on trail number 91 my heart was beating like a drum, my sunglasses were fogging up, and I was no longer cold. We were passed on the trail by runners, other hikers, and many mountain bikers. I love Idaho! It's such an awesome place to live if you like being active outdoors. There were wildflowers all over the place which are so lovely to see and I've tried to identify them by name.

Western Virgin's Bower, Clematis occidentalis

Idaho Bluebells, Mertensia campanulata
Sandberg's Biscuitroot, Lomatium sandbergii
Sam and Max had a blast running the trail together-don't you love those happy faces?

And I think that Seb had a great time too-

Seb noticed something in the bushes close by-
 The views were outstanding-

And you could see the low clouds rolling in-

What an awesome day for a hike! This morning I feel a wee bit sore,okay, a lot sore, so I think today is a good day to spend some quality time on the back porch ensconced in a comfy chair so that I can knit a shawl. And not move. Anywhere.

Here's hoping that you have time for fiber/fabric today,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Neat Surprise in the Mail

My son brought in the mail and to my surprise there was a letter from Brigitte in Switzerland! How cool is that? I opened up the envelope to find a lovely textile card with patchwork and special stitching :-) Thank you so much, Brigitte, for brightening my day!

Hello to the new followers to my blog! Thanks for joining and I hope to get to know you better.

I haven't had as much time to be creative lately, as I've been camping and motorcycle riding with my family. But when I have a moment, I've been knitting a pair of boot socks from handspun wool/mohair.

In the evenings I've been spinning Cormo wool in lovely shades of lilac, plum, spring green, and a bit of yellow on one of the spindles that Marshall made for me with the goal of spinning enough yarn for a new wool hat for camping.

And work is progressing on my lady of the lake quilt. I now have enough blocks to sew them together and then put the borders on. Woohoo!! I'm going with wool batting for this quilt as I want it to be warm for camping. I know that some people don't care for wool, but you just have to respect the qualities of wool while treating it gently. That means washing it on a gentle or wool cycle and then air drying it. I haven't had a problem with shrinkage when I do that and it reduces the chance of pills forming. I've seen so many tiny wool sweaters at the thrift store that were once lovely cashmere or merino sweaters, but were washed too hard or thrown in the dryer which turned them into perfect doll sweaters. I think wool is worth the extra effort, but I have closets full of it, so I know that I'm a bit biased!

How's your garden growing? Here in Idaho we've had a cool, wet spring and my roses are happy, happy, HAPPY! They are all flowering and putting on such a lovely show. I'll share a few with you. These are Cl. Blaze roses, climbing up a wooden tower that my husband made and it's the first year to see them flower.

This rose is a Queen Elizabeth grandiflora rose and I have to admit it's my favorite rose in our backyard. It's rather majestic looking and the soft pink is an awesome color.

I've started a new blog, Judy & Max's Motorcycle Adventures , so if you want to read about our camping and motorcycle trips you can find posts there. It's been wonderful exploring new parts of Idaho. And it's been fun rediscovering how fun a dual sport motorcycle can be.

Happy stitching,

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day-Remembering Those Who Have Served

To those who have served our great country-thank you for your service!

Memorial Day
C.W. Johnson

We walked among the crosses
Where our fallen soldiers lay.
And listened to the bugle
As TAPS began to play.
The Chaplin led a prayer
We stood with heads bowed low.
And I thought of fallen comrades
I had known so long ago.
They came from every city
Across this fertile land.
That we might live in freedom.
They lie here 'neath the sand.
I felt a little guilty
My sacrifice was small.
I only lost a little time
But these men lost their all.
Now the services are over
For this Memorial Day.
To the names upon these crosses
I just want to say,
Thanks for what you've given
No one could ask for more.
May you rest with God in heaven
From now through evermore.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Exploring Idaho Back Roads on Vintage Motorcycles

I haven't had as much creative time lately, although when I can grab a minute, I piece another lady of the lake block for my king sized quilt. Most of my time has been spent organizing camping gear to get ready for summer camping. Who put the camping stove away dirty?? Hmm, it was me, darn it.

For years my husband and I have talked about getting dual sport motorcycles to ride together. One thing my knee injury taught me is to not wait on fulfilling dreams as you never know when life will throw you a curve ball, changing what you can do. Lately, we've been exploring parts of Idaho that I've never seen, seeing it from the seat of a vintage Honda CT110 with my corgi, Max, sitting behind me in a custom wooden box that Marshall created. Max barks if I get too far behind, and pokes me with his nose, I guess, in an effort to get me to go faster-it's rather hilarious! Yesterday we trailered our motorcycles to just past Idaho City, where we parked at the Granite Creek recreational area to eat some lunch and then unload the bikes.

As we drove through Idaho City we noticed an interesting building that is quite eclectic.

Our goal was to explore the area, finding a couple of new campgrounds to try, and to enjoy the sights along the way driving down some of the forest service roads. The views were incredible as we headed to Bald Mountain Campground.

We rode up to the campground which looks like a great place to camp, and I did a happy dance as there was a BATHROOM! After hours of riding, that was a joyous sight ;-) Right past the campground we ran into deep snow covering the road. Some intrepid soul had driven their truck through it, but that was the end of the road for us and we turned around to head back to the truck. My son, Seb, and I stood by the snow for a photo op-

 And Max ran through the snow, just enjoying eating some of it.

I think my husband's smile sums it up nicely about the day (don't look at my helmet hair). It's nice when you can fulfill a loved one's dream by being willing to ride a motorcycle on trails and back country roads. And you know what? I had a blast, too.

After six hours of riding I couldn't feel my backside any longer, so it was time to call the end of a very fun day. One of the things I love about Idaho is the ability to get outdoors and just soak up the breathtaking vistas. We're already planning our next ride....

Have a great weekend,