Sledding the slopes

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We are lucky enough to live close enough to Mt. Hood for day trips to play in the snow.  Yesterday we headed up to the White River Sno-park for some sledding.

There were a LOT of people with the same idea, but plenty of hills so everyone had room.

My husband and older son were the intrepid speed demons.  My younger son and I have the heart, but lack a lot of the coordination.

We didn’t always manage to keep sledder and sled together.

And some of the hills were a little intimidating. My younger son and I were exceedingly doubtful once we got up to the top of this one and realized we now had to go back down:dscn1813

And it turned out we were right to doubt our skills!

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I preferred more sedate sledding when I could get away with it:

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It was a pretty fabulous day.

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Spinning our wheels

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More snow yesterday paralyzed the city – it only takes an inch or two to do that around here as we aren’t used to it and are never prepared.  We knew it was coming thanks to the weather reports, so I ducked out from school a little early.  It took “only” two hours to get home because I abandoned the freeway early on to take side roads.  It was a white knuckle drive – at one point I slid right through an intersection when I tried to stop at a red light.

Some people spent the night in their cars, and there were students from the Portland and Beaverton school districts who didn’t get home until midnight.  My kids got home pretty much on time, but my husband’s commute lasted three hours.

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They’ve already called off tomorrow in both our districts as the slush is refreezing into ice.  So the boys and I are officially on winter vacation!

While the boys went sledding and threw snow about, I spun yarn.

I had two different fibers in complementary colorways, one a merino/soy silk and the other a polwarth.

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I loved them as singles., but when I plied them together I was just, meh.  So I stopped and switched to chain plying each one on its own.

The result is three smallish skeins of finished yarn.

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From left to right, the chained merino/soy silk, chained polwarth, and the two ply.

They’ve since been soaked and thwacked and are now hanging to dry.

They’ll join my other spinning finish this week.  Years after I kettle dyed the red alpaca/wool fiber, it is all finally yarn as of a couple days ago.

I used the Andean plying method when I was down to the last bit on the last bobbin so I didn’t waste even an inch of the singles.

The finished yarn is a deep heathery red with touches of gray showing through.

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Time to dive back into the stash for the next spin.

Sidetracked on a snow day

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We knew about this snow day in advance – the predictions for first snow and then ice were so strong that the districts all around us called it the night before, despite the then dry and clear roads.

So I had it all planned.  Movies and games for the kids, and an all day marathon of sewing Christmas gifts for me.

Except when I went on Pinterest to look at the placemats that I’d saved so I could choose my next scrappy layout, I saw this:  Four Corners Quilt.  And the next thing I knew, I was madly sewing strips from a jelly roll.

My strips were actual a half jelly roll, with just 20 strips.  They were also really busy, so I added in some solids as well, to bring it up to 30 strips.  It meant adjustments to make the center square much bigger as I was still 10 short. (11 really – I found one under the sewing table after I finished.)

It was so fun and so fast zooming through the strips, jelly race style.  There were occasional oops moments: twice I’d apparently not gotten the right sides together, but those were quickly fixed in the first round of sewing.  I also learned at the end of that first go that I’d better start untwisting the lengths before I sewed the sides together.

When it was 16 strips wide, I cut it in half and then in half again. I didn’t have enough of any of the solids left to make the center square, so I tried a nine-patch.  img_7163

Not good.  So much busy did not need more added in the center.  So out came the seam ripper. I dug through my stash and found a fat quarter almost the same color chartreuse, and the second attempt was much more successful.

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There are actually three possible little ones this quilt could be given to.  Maybe I need more jelly rolls?

And we have our first snow ball of the season!img_7165