Crazy as a Loom

Friday, October 12, 2007

Kitty update

When I caught Kismet's mother in the Havaheart trap, I thought it was a good thing. It would be company for him, who at 4 months old thereabouts, would be lonely in my big old house. But it didn't turn out that way. Karma, which is what I called the momma cat, was a true feral cat. She stayed under the bed most of the time, and when I rousted her out, she was wild. I went in the room and sat there, talking to her, trying to get her used to me. But to no avail. She threw herself at the windows, and I have honestly never seen a cat jump that high. I read that manx cats had powerful back haunches, and now I believe it. But the worst of it was that Kismet changed. He had been coming to me when I called, and letting me hold him, and obviously enjoyed my company. But with his feral mother there, he began to return to those wild ways. I couldn't get close to him anymore, and when I did corner him, and tried to pick him up, he scratched me. Eventually, I saw that it was going downhill at an incredible rate of speed.
One morning I went to the studio, went upstairs to feed Karma, and she flipped out, jumping at the windows again. Then she looked at me, and the look in her eyes was terrible. I realized that she was miserable, and that even though it seemed to me that "taming" her was in her best interest, it was obvious that she did not agree.
So I shut Kismet in the dining room. I opened the door where she was, I opened the back door in the kitchen, and I made some noise. She ran out, down the stairs, and right out the back door. I haven't seen her since. But I feed her on the porch every day, and the food is gone every day. And she is fixed so she can't have more babies. I did what I could for her. And I will continue to feed her, and make a place for her in the barn.
And Kismet, the very next day, came to me and let me hold him. That was 6 days ago. Now, he is all over me, playing, looking for affection, and giving it back. He appears happy and he is growing in leaps and bounds.
Hard as it was, I think that my decision was the right one......for Karma, and for Kismet, too. And once again in this world, I accept my limitations.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

kitties

I have long been concerned about homeless animals. It bothers me a great deal that there are so many dogs and cats in the shelters, and not enough people who will open their hearts and their homes to take an animal in. So, as luck would have it, a feral cat decided to have kittens in my barn. Of course, they are very clever, and I didn't know about them til the kittens, two of them, managed to get big enough to dart here and there in the yard. Because they were manx kittens, with no tails, and I had seen this white female with no tail, I realized that they were a family of three. I fed them on the back porch for awhile, but I knew that this was hardly enough to do. My studio is on a main highway, and the momma kitty was going to get pregnant again, and it would be neverending.
So I put out the Havaheart trap, baited with a can of cat food. The very first night I caught the little tiger kitten that I had seen first. He was terrified, of course. I covered the cage with fabric, and took him to the vet, where he was neutered, dewormed, treated for fleas, tested for leukemia, given rabies shots, and given back to me. I was totally surprised to find, that at 4 months thereabouts, he was scared, but not mean. He didn't scratch, or bite. Within a week, he was coming to me when I mewed to him, and at two weeks, he is playing under the loom, following me from room to room, and generally taking over the house. What a cutie he is! I named him Kismet, which means fate, or destiny, because it certainly does seem that he was meant to be where he is now.
So three days ago, I caught his mother. She is another story altogether. Once again, she went to the vets, was spayed, and received all the rest of the treatment. And yes, it was expensive, but the veterinarian gave me a 30% "good citizen" discount. And I figure this to be my contribution to the plight of homeless animals, at least it is what I can do in my own community.
So I brought her home, and she has not come out from under the bed, except when I leave the room, then she eats and uses the litter box. I have kept them separated until today. When I left the studio today, I left the bedroom door open, and gave her access to the hall and two rooms downstairs, with Kismet. Of course, he was immediately investigating. Maybe he will get her to come out. I resisted the urge to go check on them, I think they will figure it out.
I have done a lot of googling about feral cats, and I guess this could go either way. She may calm down, and she may come around, and then again she may be miserable as a house cat, and she may need to be released. I am going to give it awhile, and see what happens. I am going to let her decide, after she has had a chance to scope it out. I know she is terrified right now, but I also know that her life outside is not an easy one.
The trap is still set, trying for the sibling, a little grey kitten with no tail.
But so far, no luck. I have trapped the neighbor's cat, a woodchuck, and chased away a German Shepherd who thought he could fit in there.
I told Kismet today that eventually he would be in charge of mice patrol. He didn't seem all that interested.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Finally, I am back.....really back. I had a total knee replacement on March 5th. I won't go into the details......and I won't us this forum to express my very strong feelings about it, but if anyone out there wants to hear more about my not so nice experience with it, I would be happy to answer any emails....especially if it is to help someone make the decision to have or not have the surgery....or to encourage someone who has already had it........
The recovery was much longer and harder than I thought. I was exhausted, in a lot of pain, and I hardly could bring myself to go to the studio, much less weave. Then, because I couldn't bend my knee, I had to go back to the hospital and have my knee manipulated under general anesthesia. l
Then, as luck would have it, my gallbladder decided to finally take a dive.....and I had my gallbladder out. Actually, it was a walk in the park compared to the knee surgery. But it was surgery, nonetheless.
So here I am, almost 4 months later, and I am feeling like my old self, at last. I am back at the studio, and weaving like crazy.
One thing that happened because of all this is that I had a lot of time to think. And it occurred to me, that I had let myself wander away from what I had originally planned would be my focus in the studio. I started out wanting to weave rag rugs. That was it. Nothing else. But somewhere along the way, I found myself stocking the studio with spinning fibers, and some yarn, and some gift items. Then I did different classes in fiber arts other than weaving. And I dedicated part of the house to retail. None of this, unfortunately, made me very happy.
When I started feeling better a few weeks ago, I knew that the first thing I wanted to do was change all that. I wanted to get rid of everything that wasn't weaving related. I don't want retail to run my life. I want to have a working studio, and I want to weave custom rugs, and rugs to sell on my web site, and at occasional shows. When I am there, I put the flag out, and if people want to come in and look around, and maybe buy rag rugs, that is fine. But all the rest of it, well, it just isn't for me.
It is incredible what a relief it is to finally realize that. Some of the roving and a spinning wheel left today......and hopefully in no time, it will all be gone, and I will have rearranged the entire studio to reflect what I want to do, and what I am about. My friend, Sheila, says that the universe is speaking to me, and you know what......I am listening.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Time to clean

One of the things that I have discovered is that weaving can be very messy. I have fabric all over the studio, as I search for the right color combination, and have piles of stuff all over. And then there is the dust. So occasionally, I have to stop. Can't weave today. Have to CLEAN today. Because my mind is as cluttered as my surroundings at times like these, and there is no fix but to interrupt my weaving marathon, and take matters into hand.
So today, I started.....I would not let myself even go near a loom. I swept, I organized, I picked up, and I even mopped. I got TWO rooms in ship shape. There are more rooms, and more to do, but at least I have started.
On the Toika right now: 4 x 6 Adirondack lodge rugs. Two, maybe three, more to go, then a lavender rug for a custom order.
And all the while I am weaving on the Toika, I am looking around at the other looms, standing there quiet. It is just not right, why CAN'T I weave on more than one loom at a time.

The shop is full .........rug hooking wool, monk's cloth, frames, supplies; needle felting kits and supplies, lots of books, yarn and knitting kits, roving in merino, tussah, ingeo, alpaca.........knitting needles, Denise knitting needle kits, some beautiful wool kits from Fleece Artist. And of course, rugs! Lots of rugs.......cotton blends, and Adirondack lodge rugs, North Creek bath mats, and placemats, anywhere mats, mug mats, rag bags, beach bags, table runners. And some scarves, shawls, and HATS, lots of hats.
It is looking good, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

We are in the middle of a blizzard. And I went to the studio today to weave. It was marvelous.....listened to music, worked all day on the Toika, made 2 big rugs.........then I looked outside and realized how much it had snowed. So I packed up my stuff, and tried to leave. Unfortunately, it wasn't happening. My car is stuck in the drive way. My husband said, "didn't you look out the window while you were weaving???"
Hmm.....don't think he understands. I don't need to look out the window when I am weaving.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Toika

People are always asking me how long I have been weaving. The answer always surprised them, they think I have been weaving since I was a toddler. Actually, I came to weaving pretty late, several years ago, after I had raised my children.
Once I learned to weave though, I was committed to it. I couldn't get enough of it. I bought looms and material and equipment, and finally, the house! Now I have a 2600 square foot house, with 13 looms set up, tons of fabric, and my biggest problem is which loom to weave on.
Well, not really. I still have to work as an RN 2, 3 4 shifts a week. Have to pay the bills. That is my biggest problem, because it takes me away from the studio, which is where I really want to be.
Right now, I am attached to this Toika. It weaves, actually I weave on it, a rug 7 ft wide. I have had the loom a year, and I have wanted to sell it several times. It annoyed me, and confounded me. I didn't like it, and it didn't like me. But I kept getting orders for bigger rugs, so I found myself weaving on it anyway. With help from my daughter, Morgan, I became acquainted with this loom. I had a sectional beam put on it. I put all new Texsolv heddles on it to replace the saggy string heddles that came on it. I made a list of all the things I had done wrong on the first big rug that came off it. I studied the sheds, and finally got decent ones. And I got more orders, and realized that this Toika was paying the heat bill, and the taxes, and was actually doing more for me than all my other looms combined. Somehow, we got to know each other, and I can honestly say that now, I love the Toika. She is my friend, and I wouldn't part with her. My neighbor came in and said.....you are ALWAYS weaving on that loom!!! And she was right.
I have finally decided to start a blog.....yay....I have entered the present day...I am no longer computer illiterate.....well, at least in my opinion. So this is where I will enter my daily ramblings about the life of a weaver......me. Here at Crazy as a Loom Weaving Studio in Kingsbury, N.Y. My dream come true. Stay tuned.
Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts