Crazy as a Loom

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Like falling off a log.

This morning, I was sitting in the living room, on my favorite corner of the sofa. My buddy, Ed the pit bull, was in his usual spot on the chaise lounge close by, monitoring the street. Not that there was much going on out there, in this Arctic climate.
I was drinking my first cup of tea, and reading the paper, and I became aware of this 'knocking'.
I looked over at Ed, he is getting a tad deaf, and he didn't hear it. I went back to the paper.
But after a while, as the knocking continued, I became aware that was in fact not someone with a hammer, but a woodpecker up in the tree in front of the house. Then just as suddenly, I realized that with a knock that loud, it had to be a pileated woodpecker.
I jumped up and ran for my camera and my zoom lens. In my haste, I didn't stop to think that I probably would have had more chances for a good shot, if I had taken them out the window.
But I didn't, so I only got a couple of shots, before he flew away.
Pileated woodpeckers have incredible hearing, and they don't seem to like being watched too closely.
But here he is.
From Crazy as a Loom

Not the best shot, but I love the way the sun glints off that red head of his.
Maybe next time.

As you know, I have spent a couple of days putting a warp on the Baby Wolf for some dish towels. Totally recreational. I don't sell them. They would have to be $50 a towel....or some outrageous number. So I just make them to stretch my comfort zone, to learn more, to be a better weaver, and I give them away. My kids, my stepkids, friends.
The pattern was M's and O's, and I must be stupid, 'cause I can only see the O's.
It called for four colors of 8/2 cotton, and since these are for my step daughter in Virginia, and she wanted earth tones, I chose rust, chocolate, coffee, and gold. Those are my names for them.
I am doing each one in a different color weft. The two I have done turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself. The top one is with the chocolate weft, and the bottom one is the rust weft.
From Crazy as a Loom

When I was threading the loom, I knew that the likelihood of making NO mistakes was slim. And I was right. So I spent quite a bit of time fixing my errors. Then I had a lot of false starts. Broken threads. Various ailments.
When finally I actually started the treadling sequence, I thought I was pretty much gonna' screw it up. I would lose count, for sure.
But the amazing thing about doing a project like this is that, after awhile, what seemed impossible, and hard, and cumbersome, soon becomes second nature. Not only do your hands and feet figure out the rhythm, but the pattern becomes so evident, that Ed the pit bull could see it, and he's half blind.
I love that feeling, when you know you have it. It's yours. Easy Peasy from here on in.

Now why can't life be like that? Just tell me, would ya??? Wouldn't that just make so much sense???


Tuesday Weavers said...

I LOVE those towels! The colors really work together. Your step daughter will be so pleased!

KarenInTheWoods said...

Your towels are a hit! Wonderful!!! As for the pilated woodpecker, we have two coming in our front tree that is dyeing and bark falling off. Those stinkers are tearing off the bark with their beaks, looking for goodies! I looked them up in my bird book, and they are one of the shyest birds in North America. So be proud that you actually got a photo!

Anonymous said...

Long for the day I can photograph a pileated! Oh, I can't even tell you how jealous I am of your photo of him, Hilary. Totally pea green with envy...

The Blue Ridge Gal

Michael said...

Any blog that begins and ends with a line or two about "Ed the pit bull" is worth reading, IMHO.

And, for the record, I'm going to HAVE to hire you craft me something.

I'm quite serious.

Gail said...

What a wonderful photo! They are very shy, good job.

Also loving your towels!

Hilary said...

How incredibly wonderful that you were visited by a Pileated woodpecker. I've never seen one but understand that there's one in our area. I would love that opportunity. Just look at that shock of red! Beautiful

And the towels look great. Aren't those Ms which make up the outline of the Os?

ethelmaepotter! said...

I've never even heard of a pileated woodpecker; must go Google it and see if that's what mine is.
Love the dish towel!

Anonymous said...

hi Hilary; What good luck to have a visit from a Pileated woodpecker! Your dish towels are beautiful.
Still waiting for my loom!
Cheers from Ontario Rural Revival's Mom

kestrel said...

I like its hairstyle - punk and dyed a perfect red. God is sure a cool hair stylist

Benita said...

My FIL has a pileated woodpecker in the woods behind his house and I've gotten the chance to see him. But you are right - they are shy birdies!

Avalanche Looms / Susan Johnson said...

Falling off a log is easier for some than for others! I'd fall off a log if anything like this came off my loom

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Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts