Crazy as a Loom

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What? Winter?


February 29th, and it's snowing???  The weatherman says we are going to get about a foot of it.   I'll believe it when I see it.


But it was a good day to weave, and it was a joy not to have to go anywhere.

The first thing we have to do when we get there, is give Jinksie a drink.  From the faucet, cause that's what she likes.
Who's the boss here??
I think there are four of them.




Since there isn't any room inside, I put this 24 yard warping board on the porch.


Right next to the bird seed can, and cat food station.
What did I ever do without this porch, I wonder.


I worked on placemats on the Hammett, hoping to free it up for a custom warp.


Doable days are priceless, I might add.


In the other room, L was working on her first  "clasped weft".  Say that five times fast.

By the way, in case you think I run around with the camera in my hand all day long, news flash:  L helps herself.   This makes me think she's been hanging around me too long, taking shots UNDER the loom.


Clasped weft is time consuming,  as it takes a lot of patience to keep your selvedges from drawing in, and fiddling to keep your joins flat.
L is actually perfect at this, as she is good at paying attention to detail.


I like to try out different fabrics, to see what they will look like with whatever warp I'm using.
I love this one.


I came home and made some French onion soup, since I had my eye on some stale bakery bread in the bread box, and then whipped up some very easy  Chicken and Biscuits.

Now I'm beat, watching the evening news.
 It seems sometimes, watching tornados and school shootings and insane rioting come together in one short half hour, that the world has gone crazy.
Sometimes I think the studio is just heaven, in disguise.



Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cats and wool.

Here is Next.  He has decided that the studio is his.  He stays in the barn loft at night, on his heated blanket, in his box insulated by about a ton of selvedge.  He is fed well on the porch every day, and drinks from his heated water bowl.  He also defends his territory.
Do you blame him?

He rolls over on his back whenever we go outside, and purrs immediately.   Yes, we have been adopted.


He really is a good boy.

You know that yesterday was a bad day, right?
Sometimes, I just can't get myself together to blog.
Today was better.

I am planning a warp for my mew 8 harness Macomber.
A wool blanket in waffle weave.


Working on getting the colors together.  I may add a couple more.  Any suggestions???


While finishing my fabric yardage on the 4 harness Macomber, I had company.



When Smokey was living upstairs, with my friend, for 5 months, my Kizzy was stressed out.
Apparently.
At first we didn't know what was up,  but we noticed that his belly was getting bare.


It seems that he was 'overgrooming', something that I never heard of.  But he eventually licked his whole belly, and down the inside of his back legs........totally BARE.


When Smokey left, I got him a pheromone collar, supposed to relax him, and help him to chill out.
Then we started putting some lotion on him, that would help him heal, and didn't taste so good.
And we opened this room up, so he could see that the house was HIS again.  All his.



Slowly, but surely, his hair is growing back........
Silly boy.
Handsone boy.


I love all four of my cats, but Kizzy is probably the sweetest and most lovable.  He was the first one at the studio,  he knows he is the prince.  
He and Next have it covered.

We're surrounded by tigers.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ah, Sunday

aToday was a quiet day in the studio, just me and four needy cats.  Five, if you count Next.
And of course, we have to count Next.


I spent most of it upstairs, in the big bedroom, weaving on the Macomber.
Finished this turquoise shawl.


I love those days when I take Roy for a walk BEFORE I do anything else.  It feels good.


I usually drink tea with a little milk, except that there wasn't any, so  I went with it straight up.


Then I decided to finish off the warp with a little fabric.
I haven't figured out what I am going to make out of it yet.


Now here is a little video I took with my Iphone, and I admit it is a blatant promo for double ended bobbin winders.   This is a Leclerc, which I can order for you.  It is fantastic.


Just watch.  I can't tell you how much time I have saved using this, and how much I LOVE it.
Sometimes the simplest of things make me happy.



                                                                                         Ignore this one.....it doesn't work, and I have
                                                                                                    been unable to remove it.


Hope your Sunday made you happy, in lots of little ways.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Warping to weave.











“From time to time, people tell me, “lighten up, it’s just a dog”, or, “that’s a lot of money for just a dog”. They don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for “just a dog”. Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog”. Many hours have passed and my only company was “just a dog”, but I did not once feel slighted. Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by “just a dog” and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a dog” gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day. If you, too, think it’s “just a dog”, then you will probably understand phrases like “just a friend”, “just a sunrise”, or “just a promise”. “Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. “Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person. Because of “just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it’s not “just a dog” but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment. “Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day. I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a dog” but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “just a human.” So the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog”, just smile, because they “just don’t understand”.” 







(by Janace Moss, sent to me by my daughter, on Facebook.)



Just wanted to share it with you, it seemed to say it all for me.  
Because Roy is not 'just a dog'.  Trust me.


Today I took a drive, (permission granted from said head) to put on another warp.
I feel like the itinerant warper.
But my good friend, Sheila, was jonesing.  Loom bare.  No warp.  No weaving.



We got a dusting of snow last night, and today it was chilly, and the wind was whipping.



I took my spool rack and tension box with me.
She has a sweet little studio in her side yard.




I wanted to get the warp on, but also I wanted to teach her how to do it herself.


We got the warp on in time to go to Steininger's in Salem, for lunch.
I had curried butternut squash soup, and an asparagus, bleu cheese salad.......it was so, so good.


After lunch, we went back to the studio, tied on the new warp to the old one, and pulled it through the heddles and the reed, tied on, and her loom is ready to go. Whew.  We put 50 yards on this time, so she should be OK for a while.

Time to go home.
I love driving through the country side.



Someone says:
Have a nice ride.



Friday, February 24, 2012

Still learning.

Some days I am reminded of my frailties.
Damn.
Woke up about 2 a.m. with a vise on my temples, by 7 a.m., it was no better.   I stayed home.  Roy and I rested on the couch all morning.

L held down the fort studio.

I knew I was in no shape to work.

My mother made tea, and came in and sat on the end of the couch.  She said, "Maybe if you cry you'll feel better."
Ha.
Been there and done that already.  And crying too hard just makes the vise get tighter, so that's not really an option I want to explore.
She made me lunch, suddenly I am her little girl again.


She brought her sandwich in to the living room, and talked constantly.

What have I said many times??  that there is always a lesson?  in everything?

Well, today I learned how lonely my mother is, how in our busy-ness, we don't spend enough time in a day, just talking to her.
While my head was  screaming, I filed that information under 'things to do'.

Eventually, I decided that I was not getting any better on the couch.  It took a supreme effort to get moving, but move I did, and Roy and I went for a walk down by the river.  It doesn't help the headache, but it clears my head, and gives me a different perspective.




"we are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens" (Epictetus)

So many of you have commented on how strong I am.  Is that another word for 'pig-headed'????
I am not a super woman.  Really.
But what are the choices???    Plod on.......or give in.  Not much of a choice.

When I am trying to keep it together,  I remember that as bad as this is, there are so many others who have it so much worse.
Like my dearest friend, in Georgia, whose husband is now on Hospice.  He is losing his battle, and she is facing life without him.  I bet she would trade me for this vice, in a New York minute.
I just have a headache.  I'll live.  I think.

Another friend said this to me in an email today:

 "Maybe if you promise the universe that you will stop and smell the roses once in a while , you do not need the headache to make you do that...... "

There's a lesson here, I know there is.  There always is.

I wanted to share a video with you.  The link is HERE.   It is 25 minutes long, and well worth it, a story about twin priests in a northern NY town, one of whom is diagnosed with Alzheimers at age 57.  The last few minutes made me cry again, and said it all.   I think that's when I got my butt off the couch, and took Roy's leash off the hook.
I cried.
Roy smiled.
Enjoy the video, and let me know what you think.







Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chasing the loom.

Hey, c'mon in.  This is Teddy.   He met us at the door.
Can we just say that he is friendly, and very verbal???



He belongs to my friend, Michelle, and today was the day to get her loom put together, so L and I went to her house.
I say 'chasing the loom', because it was one of those days.  You know the kind.....when everything that can go wrong, does.
First, let me say that I LOVE her kitchen.  It is SO RETRO, and SO COOL.    The cabinets are metal, the appliances work, and I am mad for it.  

I know a lot of people would rip it out, but I am glad she isn't doing that.
Just because something is new, doesn't mean it is better.


I love keeping some of the originality of a house.  I think this has a lot of personality.
Like my friend, Michelle.


Of course, I am totally gaga about her huge living room, which she said I could show you.
I could put MY living room in here about 3 times.  No kidding.


We started putting her loom together.....it used to be mine, so I know it well.  And there were two parts missing.
Good grief.
So I called another friend, who had been using the loom for a year or so, and sure enough the parts were over an hour away.
But my friend's husband INSISTED on bringing them to us, so I met him at the studio just before lunch, and L and I went BACK to the loom.
We finally got it all together, and ready to put the warp on.
Except for ONE small item.
I had a special piece made to sit down over the round back beam, so I could clamp the tension box to it.
Michelle, however, thought that it was broken, since it appeared to be a box with only three sides.  So she sent it off to her son's, to be fixed.
ACK~~!!!!!


 Luckily her husband was kind enough to fetch it for us, and we plowed on.


What I thought would get done in a couple of hours, max, ended up taking all day long.


I got to do a lot of supervising, and they did the cranking.  Whew.


Is this where they say two heads are better than one.........???


Oh, and we mustn't forget that Norman was helping.  Thank you, Norman.

Finally.
The Reed Cambridge Loom all warped and ready to go.


A little black and white, 40 yards, this should keep her occupied for a while.



And you know what's worth spending a whole day on this?????


Well, this, of course.

And spending the day with two good friends, just one more thing on the list of things I am grateful for.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts