Crazy as a Loom

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Two days in a row.

What?   Two blog posts in two days.

Anyway, this is the last cloak I can possibly finish before the Hudson Mohawk Weaver's Guild Show that starts Thursday, and runs through Sunday.
(Pruyn House, Old Niskayuna Rd, Colonie, NY)

This one is wool and rayon.   I inadvertently threw it in the wash.......and the dryer.  I meant to hand wash it and hang it to dry, but there you have it.  Senior moment.  Brain freeze.   Call it happens too often.
But for some reason, it didn't felt much.....and didn't shrink much.   The weft is rayon, the warp is I am supposing that the rayon kept the wool from clutching and felting.

Several people have asked me about my pattern for this cloak.....and the simple truth is, like most things, I have none.
I often fly by the seat of my pants, as anyone who knows me well is quite aware of.

It's basically a rectangle, with holes for your arms.
I played with it for awhile, to get the size right, and to get the armholes in the right place.   I think it is open to interpretation, but I like the way they are turning out.
I especially like them turned upside down, and worn the shorter jacket way.

My big problem was weaving them in two pieces, and thus having a seam.  I debated about where to put the seam, and then worried that it would show.
It doesn't, unless you look for it.
I think the reason it doesn't is the good advice I got from a weaver friend.  I sew the seam on the machine, then I hand sew both sides of that seam down, then press it.

The armholes are basically a bound button hole, just bigger.   I have tried different types of fabric.
This is thin, soft corduroy, which I chose because I liked the colors.

Once I get them in, I again hand sew them down, then go back to the machine and do 1/4" around the opening, to reinforce.

I will admit that the first time I cut two holes into my just woven piece, I was terrified.  But now I
am used to it, I don't even hesitate.    It's really not hard at all.

I have 12 cloaks ready....and I have debated in my head for weeks about the price.   I fear pricing them too high, then again, if you go to a show and sell out, then you've priced too low.
So I've ended up going with my first instinct, because I know how much time I have in them, I know the quality of the fibers I've used, and I can always come down on the price and sell them at shows next year.

A voice in my head said, "Don't sell yourself short."  So, I'm not.

Woke up to the world covered in white, and a dreary, wet, cold day.

But eventually, I gave in, left the sewing machine, and we went for a walk.

It is much more strenuous to walk through up and down over uneven ground, than to walk on the level bike trail,but Naya didn't seem to notice at all.

This girl loves the snow, and I'm committing myself to getting out in the cold this winter to take her for walks.   It's good for her, and good for me, too.

There will be times I will have to kick myself out the door, I know, but she's worth it.
And so am I.

Monday, November 12, 2018

A day off lol

Not really......but a day off from weaving.
Youngest of my three daughters came with her five year old, and her 21 month old, for the day.
At her request, I made chicken fajita soup.

It was delish.
Someone has to be busy every single moment of the day.

After we made BREAD, plain white and cinnamon,  she decided to do some painting.

She loves digging through my button boxes and other stashes.  She loves the studio, and this old house.  There's always something to get into.

She found an interesting necklace that could be part of next year’s Halloween costume.

Morgan volunteered to do some modeling for me.
First wearing the cloak the short version.

Then wearing it the long way.

100% wool, this will be perfect over a sweater.

I love having them...but can I just say....I'm exhausted.

It was a long day, and a good day......but my head is talking to me now.

So I will leave you with this little face.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Dreary November

This was one sunny couple of hours....for the most part, it has rained all week.   I have always
loved the of my weird characteristics.
Unfortunately, my redesigned skull and neck do NOT like the change in pressure that goes with it, and I have had an unrelenting headache all week.
It makes me want to hunker down, stay home, close my eyes, and give up.

Luckily, I guess, that's not really in my nature.
So I continue on, with longer than usual breaks here and there.
A couple of nights, I have gone to bed by 9pm, just to get away from the headache.  I thank God that it works.

My new use of scraps.....hood with scarf, lined with soft fleece.  I will definitely make more of these, including one for myself.

Lois and I slapped this 22 yard warp on in 55 minutes.   That may be a record.  100% lace weight
Jaggerspun wool.

Collaboration is a wonderful thing.  I wound this warp, dyed it......Lois put it on the loom, and wove it.
I washed and pressed and sewed it into this lovely cloak.

We rock, I'm tellin' ya.

I also packed it up when it sold immediately.  Gotta love it.

The rain and lousy weather does not keep the birds away.....they are a constant presence at
the window of the sewing room.
Lately, because too much weaving just aggravates my already unhappy neck, I have found solace in sewing and designing and planning.

This gave me joy just looking at it......the colors move me.  100% wool..........

I am being asked if I can put sleeves on it.  I really don't want to.  You're supposed to wear it with a heavy sweater, peeps.  C'mon.

Sometimes a little Pandora, and a little weaving makes me feel better.
Everything in short bursts.

Then there's always soup.   I'll be making it all winter now.......I might have to come up with some new recipes.....I seem to stick to the same ones.......french onion being at the top of my list.

I am hoping, yes, praying, for some relief from this headache.   I don't think I can do this all winter.  I want my head to settle down.  I can get through winter in my studio....there is so much to do.  It is a space that I love and I never tire of it.
  But I can't deal with this constant pain.  Maybe my head just has to adjust to the season.   I hope so.
Before this week, I had a long stretch ......maybe two months, of not a bad headache at much so that I really didn't think about it.  I don't want to think about it.

Much to do this weekend.......
Getting ready for the big show of the year, the Hudson Mohawk Weaver's Guild Show.....Nov 15-18 at the Pruyn House in Colonie, NY.  We work all year to have lots of stock for it.  When it's done, we can kick back a bit, and rethink what we want to do in the next few wintry months.....maybe some new stuff entirely.
I have about 144 towels, and over 40 pieces of clothing, plus some rugs and napkins and miscellaneous stuff.  It also looks like the weather won't be bad, loading all this stuff up, and getting it to the show which is about an hour away.
I'm curious about what you all think about this time change thing.   I am not doing well with it so far.  Of course, it could be my headache that's making it more difficult, but I'm awake at 5am, and I'm DONE at 9pm.  And truthfully, by 8pm I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open.  WTH.
My kids would say that it's because I never stop all day long, and that's probably the truth, but before this time change I seemed more normal.  Ha!  At least to me.
Let's hope that November surprises us with some brilliant sunshine.  That would make me very happy.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Rain, rain

Yes, it’s been raining for three days.  

I finished this wool warp, and the last cloak from it.

Then Lois and I put another warp on the AVL.

And other than a 3 mile walk yesterday between rain showers, I spent all day threading and sleying.

I don’t mind it, but it’s time consuming. Someone asked me how long to make a cloak......the answer is hours. If I get three cloaks off this warp, I have to add a third of the time it took to set up the loom to each one.

The only way to decrease that amount of time for each one is to put mega yards on the loom.

The downside of that is that you are stuck with the same color, and the same threading, unless you are crazy enough to rethread, which would defeat the purpose.

October has been disappointing. Wet.  Cold.  Rainy. It’s always been my favorite month, and while I usually love the rain....... not in my fave month please.

Today, raining again, I will be weaving.  If there’s a break, we will walk.

There was a short piece at the end of my last warp, so I made this,

Kind of tempted to keep it.

Had this recipe for awhile, finally got around to making it.

Carrot, quinoa bread.

Interesting, healthy, BORING.

Probably won’t make it again, although DH loves it, he can eat it all.

Two and a half weeks to the Hudson Mohawk Weavers Guild Show, L and I are working to finish a few more items.  Then there’s marking, tagging, inventory. 

By Thanksgiving, it will be history, and we can start over for next year’s shows.

I keep thinking we are getting too old for this, but then what else would we do?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

October days

Sometimes I think I am a little too O. K. with my hermit like ways.

But a cuppa tea, Earl Grey this time, and my loom, make me happy.

Being happy is what it’s all about, right.?

One of my favorite drafts up on the screen.

Out in the coop, my 18 girls are working hard.

Well, most of them are.....there are 

A few who are probably out of the game, but they’ve earned retirement.

I got two oak tables from my cousin’s yard sale.  This one is a perfect fit for my warping mill, but needed to be higher for comfort.  A set of risers did the trick.

Downstairs, the other table became a new retail space.

And everyone that worried about me replacing my custom made dining room table, is breathing a sigh of relief.

So far, I have seven cloaks done, hoping to get three more finished before the

Hudson Mohawk Weavers’ Guild Show November 15-20th. It may or may not happen.

There are glitches.  Of course.

Pellet stove won’t light.  Technician coming in a couple of days.

New Octado loom is not working.  A new circuit board is on order, and coming from Holland......well, let’s just say I’m not holding my breath.

Headache has ramped up last few days...hoping it’s the abundant ragweed that has not yet seen a killing frost.

Dark clouds have a way of threatening.

But look closer......and see the rainbow between the barn and the house.

It’s there.

It’s the things we look forward to that keep us going.  Friends, family, the calling to do work that moves us.  Reasons to love life clouds and all.

Maybe it is a simple life I have, and maybe I am a bit of a hermit.  But every day is mine to make 

successful in my own eyes.

And that’s really what’s it about, isn’t it?

Some of my peeps..... happiness is.......

Sunday, October 14, 2018


I can't let today go by without acknowledging that the world has lost a special person, no doubt there
is another angel in the heavens.

Vicky Westra.......fought her battle with breast cancer for 7 years.
She so wanted to stick around for her two sons.  She did her best.

Image may contain: 3 people, including Vicky Held Westra, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

I got to know her through our blogs, and then we talked back and forth.  So many times, when I started to feel sorry for myself and fought not to give in to the headaches,  I watched her clawing her way back to a normal life, enduring so much pain, and misery, just to stay with her family.

I told her she was my inspiration, and she clearly inspired so many.  She had a pure and loving spirit, a strength that was amazing to see.   I told her that I would see her someday, and I would be certainly be able to find her, because she would be surrounded by light, beautiful, shining light.

Fly high, sweet girl.   You've earned a rest from it all.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts