Crazy as a Loom

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Think spring?

I always love to share things I've found that work well, or just improve my life in some way.

My Le Creuset  NONSTICK frying pan, that was very expensive, only lasted a couple of years, before the nonstick surface was no more, and I do not own any metal spatulas, so I know that I am not responsible.

So I asked a friend, who is an avid chef, in my opinion, and she suggested this Swiss brand, Carote.  It is a nonstick graniteware frying pan, $35, and so far I love it.

I have been obsessed  busy with dyeing warps to sell, and so far they have been 
flying out of here.

I had to decide how many threads, how long to make the warp, but for now I've settled on
300 threads, 8 yards long, until someone tells me that they want something

I admit to amusing myself with this.  I love it.

This, of course, has prompted me to try to refine my process, make it smooth and as trouble free as possible. I've been working out the steps of my dyeing process so that it is as easy as I can make it.
 I think I'm getting it.

Before this awful cold snap we've been having, the weather was just lovely, and walking
the dogs was not painful, like it has been this week.

But weather will not keep these two out of the hot tub.   To say that they love it is an understatement.

I have discovered that life goes on, no matter how much you expect that grief should stop it cold in its tracks.

Doing what is right in front of me seems to be the best medicine.  Also, a routine, albeit a new routine.

I try very hard to keep busy all day, and in the evening it's time to chill on the sofa with Naya and Willie.

That's Sydney soaking up the heat in front of it.

The cold front that has swept in makes me more of a hermit than ever, I'm afraid.
I'm not entirely sure that's a bad thing.

Dyeing with all these luscious colors makes me happy and lightens my mood every time.

There's also a great feeling of satisfaction in turning No color into something like this.

These three are also a dose of sunshine and happiness.
Every time.

Two more weeks of January, and it seems like spring is just around the corner.  I know, 
I am inappropriately hopeful.

In other news, my bathroom ceiling looked like it was beginning to show signs of deteriorating, and believe me, you do not want lathe and plaster to start coming down.
So my handy neighbor and his helper have been replacing the ceiling, painting and making the upstairs bath look pretty brand new.

Walking the yard the other day, I realized that there are branches down there's a job for spring.

That's ok.   I still want spring to come soon.  It can't come soon enough.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Moving on.

This is the view I see while drinking my morning cuppa tea.  I always start my day the same way.......after the dogs have been out, they snuggle with me on the couch, while I do the NY Times crossword.

I know I have been AWOL for a while.  I apologize. 
 It seems that I have been busier than I expected.

The Hudson Mohawk Weavers guild show took place on Black Friday weekend, and I was very pleasantly surprised at how much product I sold.

Then I came home, and decided to have a half price sale........and that too was wildly successful.

A couple of friends were concerned that I was getting rid of too much stuff........but honestly it felt good.....freeing in fact.   It was time for some hand woven items to move on out , to make room for new things, and to inspire me to get creative and change things up.

I'm totally loving that.  I am feeling unencumbered by the need to produce, and that allows me to be spontaneous with what I dream up.

The other event in my life, that kept me pretty occupied, was a yarn venture.

A weaving friend of mine, who lives in Maine, was liquidating her yarn business, and she made me an offer that I couldn't refuse.   
I pondered it for several days, and in the end, I just couldn't find enough reasons NOT to do it.

So I called my daughter, and frequent partner in these kind of off the wall trips, and we met my friend in NH one Saturday afternoon.

Here we are, after picking up the yarn, transferring a loom, and generally heading home.  We were starved, and found this great Mexican restaurant, where they make the guacamole right at the table.

And the beer was yummy.  We figured we deserved it.

Just to give you an idea what 500 lbs of cones of weaving thread looks like............

There's more, but you get the idea...........

My goal is to sell a lot of this yarn,  make enough to keep a lot of it, with the end result that I don't actually pay for any of it.
If that makes sense.  
So I decided to wind warps, and sell hand dyed warps to other weavers.

This was my inspiration picture.

Probably the last time I will be dyeing on the inside porch, it is much too cold.

I think I nailed it, don't you??????

I love to dye, and I figure that this will be a great winter project.  

This is my first winter here without DH.  I don't have to tell you how incredibly different it is.

Keeping focused really helps.  

This is my new weaving corner.  The AVL used to be here, with all its electronics, and wires and cables.
This Louet, that I call Big Lou, is just what I need right now.  It's simple, but a joy to weave on, 

I just put 18 yards of hand dyed mulberry silk on it.

I think this will occupy me for a good while.

Only another weaver can appreciate the feeling,  when you get up in the morning, and you can't wait to get to the loom, to get weaving on whatever your project is.
That's how this makes me feel.

A lot of people have asked me "how are you doing?"   The implication is that the holiday season is going to level me, and that being alone is the worst possible scenario.
Those suggestions have prompted me to do a lot of thinking on it.

The upshot is simply this:    yes, I have lost my husband.   It's been a tough, tough year.

But I am pretty much a positive person.  If you follow my blog, you know that I have weathered some difficult times.  I'm still here.  I still love to weave.  I am happy in my little corner of the world, with my dogs and my looms.   I have a beautiful extended family.  I have AMAZING friends.  I am still on my feet, and I still get excited about life.
In the words of Thoreau,
"If one advances confidently in the directions of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."

That's where I am, here today, with a success unexpected.   I may grieve, but I will be ok.

I get up every day, watch the sun rise, and do what's right in front of me, and with the simplest of chores and routines, and projects,  I live my life.  And I'm grateful for it, every day.

And with that I wish all my blogger friends a wonderful Christmas, full of love.


Sunday, November 6, 2022

Change and gratitude.


I do not like this time change thing.  It's 5:30, and pitch black already.

Adapt.  Accept.  Let it go.

Every now and then, I find a product worth recommending.  This is one of them.  Instead of using Flonase, or one of those other daily nasal sprays for allergies etc, this is all natural, and works very well, IMHO.
Amazon sells a 3 pack.

Even though the woodchucks ate most of my zinnias.....I did get to enjoy one red one, one pink one and one white/green one.  So in the spirit of saving instead of throwing away, here are the zinnia seeds for next's good sometimes to have an empty bedroom.

I am blessed to live here.....this is the view from my bedroom window.

I've been weaving on my new Louet David III, 44" wide...and I have to say, it's an amazing loom.  I am loving it.  
I don't miss the AVL at all.   Shocker.
This feels more natural, organic, closer to what I had planned for my retirement.

Here is the first piece off the loom......a bit of a rainbow ruana.

So the cardioversion happened, and I am so far in normal sinus rhythm.  It was not a pleasant day, but it's in the rear view mirror, and that's always a plus.

The medication I was on, an anti-arrythmic, that was meant to "keep" me in a normal rhythm, was making me sicker by the day.  After much research, and much thought, I decided that I would not take it anymore.
I saw the cardiologist on Thursday, and told him my decision.  He agreed that it was aggressive, and not worth being so sick.  
He also said that if I return to my rapid heartbeat, it is something that I can live with.

And to be honest, I would rather live with that, than the side effects of this awful 
medication.  Sometimes, you are between a rock and a hard place, and you just have to choose.

My second project on the Louet consisted of me gathering up all my like colored wool skeins of yarn.

I think they actually came together very well.

I am trying to be positive about my health.  I have always been of the opinion that we older folks are OFTEN over medicated, and I don't intend to be one of them.

I have been off the medication for a week, and I already feel better.

The bad news is that this medication has a LONG half life, which means that it will probably be several weeks before it is truly out of my body.

The seeds are all dry, and ready to be stored.  Google says that there are 20,000 seeds per ounce.   I have 5 ounces, so  about 100,000 seeds........

Good grief.
From THREE plants.

So. ....moving on to the third project on the loom......I decided to tie on a totally different fringe..........from hand dyed thrums that I've been saving for quite a while.

I knew they'd find a home.

It's been a tough year.   
I have no idea what I would do without my family, the amazing friends that I have, my dogs,  and my love of weaving.  

Once again, trying to hang on to gratitude. I think that's really the only choice I have that makes any sense.

Look at this beautiful moon.

Monday, October 24, 2022


Ah, life.   Even if we live to be quite old, will we ever really understand it?

Here for a moment, or more. A lifetime, whatever that might be, different for everyone.

I swear it's the luck of the draw, and I am fond of saying that I just play the hand that I am dealt.
For some time now, the cards have sucked.

It's easy to think, sometimes, when life is cruising along without any bumps in the road, that it will always be like that.
And it is.   Until it isn't.

"I always expected to get old, I am just surprised at how quickly it happened".

My A-fib experience started in January 2021, an isolated event.  Then a month later, another, and then another, and eventually it became status quo.   Lots of meds, two ablations, neither of which worked, 

In the middle of this, unexpected death, that stopped me in my tracks.

Now, tomorrow, I am having a cardioversion.  On a new med, the hope is that the cardioversion will put me in a normal sinus rhythm, and that I will stay there.

I have not been able to do anything very physical in so long.  I can't even really walk my dogs.   It has been life changing.

It really puts into perspective all the things that I thought I knew.

Yesterday, I realized that loneliness after losing my husband is not my problem.  I have always been comfortable with solitude, and to be quite honest, in the last few years, my husband pretty much lived in his own head, and didn't have much to say about anything.  So it's not being lonely that confronts me now.  It's living alone.  Not anticipating anyone else's movements in my life.  
I noticed it while sitting on the porch reading a book.  I heard something, stopped, and realized that I was subconsciously expecting him to return at his usual time.   I had not given that up.
And of course, he was not returning at all.
Then I understood it quite clearly.   
I have not ever lived alone, in my whole life..........even divorced, I always had children living with me, and for a long time, my mother.  There was always someone else in the house, another presence, another voice, someone else to consider.
Now, there's no one but me, and two dogs and a cat.

It not loneliness that afflicts me.  It's change.  Major change.  

Then there are those times, when I just miss him.  Someone said once, when speaking of her recently deceased partner.   "He was a pain in the ass, but he was MY pain in the ass."
Ah, how true.

As you get older, you are gobsmacked by the losses.   Parents, friends, people that you had in your life, who made up the fabric of your life, they are gone. 
Sometimes I think that the simpler I keep my life, the more sense it makes.

Every day I save myself by making a list.  Things that I need to do today, this week, sometime.  And I cross them off, and sometimes, start a new list.  It keeps me focused on what's in front of me.  I'm a strong believer that in the worst of times, you do what is right in front of you.  One day at a time, one step at a time.  
I have a big house, and a huge yard, and there are things to be done before winter arrives.  
I have two new Louet looms, to be made operational, and warped.  
I have a weaving guild show coming up.

I make soup.  I bake and give half of it away.  I downsize, frequently.  I have gotten rid of so much stuff that I do not need.  Re-homed it.

I have to admit, I don't go out much.  The grocery store.  The pet store. Big day was a trip to Staples. Thankfully, friends stop in.  Sometimes, they get me out of the house.  

 I'm still not sure that I believe this really happened, but there it goes....the AVL, on its way to Pittsburgh.

And here is the studio, with the new Louet David III in its place, everything looking mighty clean and downsized.

I really changed things up and moved my older Louet loom into the living room.

This is where the dogs like to be when it's their nap time, and the stove is here, so in the winter it's the coziest place to be.   
I love this room, so it feels good to be in here with them.

I also find that if the loom is in here, I sometimes weave for awhile in the evening, when I normally wouldn't.

Can I say right here, that weaving is not only my passion, it has saved me many a time.  It is always a source of comfort.  It is truly my happy place.

Then there's always comfort food.   Even though my appetite has been somewhat wonky the last few months, I find myself leaning towards maybe not things I would normally eat.

This is Trader Joe's pumpkin bread, made into French Toast.

It was delicious.

I'm doing the best I can, and if this helps, who can argue??????

Praying I have good news after this "electrifying" event tomorrow!!!


Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts