Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Oh, yeah. Tidbits.

FYI.......you know that google reader is gone as of July 1st, right?
I am guilty of using it shamelessly, to keep the blogs I read at my fingertips.  But soon it will be history.
So last night, I started going through my list.  Of course, some of the blogs on my list have gone IDLE for a couple of years, and I deleted those.  But I am working at putting my faves on my sidebar, which is actually better anyway, because it is even more convenient.

Thanks to my cyber twin, HILARY, over at The Smitten Image for the POTW.   That's very sweet, and I am pleased to be mentioned.

For those of you who questioned where the shawl pattern came from, it's here:
Jane Austen Knits, Fall 2012.   You can probably also find it at janeaustenknits.com




I go on reading binges.  Though I love to knit, and I have been busy knitting for my new grandbaby arriving in September, occasionally I get to the library.   When I do, I binge.
Here is what I have been reading.

The Orchardist.....I highly recommend this one.  I felt transported to this place and time, and nothing is more appealing when I get immersed in a story.



Last Child in the Woods........I think every parent should have to be made aware of the major points in this book.  I liked it, although it is a tad dry.  But sometimes, dry is good.




And the Mountains Echoed...........I love Khaled Hosseini......he is an incredible writer, who tells sensitive stories that pull you in.  I couldn't put this one down, almost stayed up all night.  And whenever I read his books, I am grateful to live where I do, and not halfway around the world.



I have been weaving rugs on the Cranbrook, not as fast and furious as I would have PRE BRAIN SURGERY, but weaving them just the same.

I think I'm doing ok.
What do you think??
These are 42" x 72", hemmed edges.


I am doing more every day, but I am also remembering what I've learned from the past year and a half.
Eight years ago, when I bought the run down house that has now been transformed into my weaving studio, all I wanted was to make enough money to maintain the house, keep the bills paid there,  and have a place to weave and create.  A haven.  A place to play with fabric and thread.  Uninterrupted quiet and serenity.
I kind of forgot that when the money started coming in faster than I expected.
Today, the money doesn't move me.

This does.
Live and learn.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Little of this, little of that, lots of work

I guess I've mentioned before that the "inside porch" is our shipping department. It is also the place where stuff gets dropped off.  You know.......those things you are going to find a place for.......soon.
I am embarrassed to say that there have been TWO bales of selvedge out there, weighing 200 lbs each, for 5 or 6 years.  OK, maybe 7.
Anway, they were stacked high with boxes and other things, so it was easy to forget them.
But honestly,  knowing they were there was pretty annoying.

Taking care of them has been on our list of things to do, and yesterday we tackled it. 

They come out of a compactor, and as soon as you cut the wires holding them together, the bale literally grows before your eyes.
We sorted and bagged one bale before lunch.  Then we did the second one after lunch.
What a job.
For those of you who aren't familiar, this the material I use to make the Adirondack Lodge Rugs.

 I have to say that our helper was not that much help.



So today, we cleaned the porch.  We had moved everything to get the bales out.  And it was a huge mess.  
There has not been this much floor visible in a long time.
It's a good feeling to get jobs like this done.  But I think I can speak for L when I say, we're beat.



We're still cleaning, and organizing, and moving stuff around.
I feel like I am rewriting the story.  Like I've been unavailable for a long time.
I guess in a lot of ways, I have been.

 It's raining now. Thundering.  Warnings of tornado just south of here.


Now before I go back to my knitting......I just wanted to show you this.  It is a silk, knitted necklace that I saw at Yarns for Your Soul the other day.
It is lovely.  It comes in a kit, but my budget said "not happening".
Do you see how it is knitted the full length that would go on the back of your neck???
I want to make it.  Bad.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

How do you blog?

I love to sit in the quiet with a cuppa tea, before anyone else is awake.  It is one of my favorite times of day.  Before I take on the day, I allow myself time to reflect, plan, question, mull things over.
It's a good thing.


This morning I pondered on my decision to give up eating meat, and wondered how long it had been.
Enter the blog search.
I typed in Skinny Bitch, the book I read that started my dietary change, and sure enough, it popped right up.  It was in April, 2009.  I challenged myself to not eat meat for a month, to see how I was affected by it.  When the 30 days was up, I couldn't eat meat anymore.   Yes, I said "couldn't". 
I tried several times.  I wanted to actually.  I didn't want the inconvenience of separate meals, and having to think so hard about what to eat.  But the feel of meat in my mouth was not acceptable. 
In fact, it was so foreign and repulsive, I would have eaten peanut butter sandwiches daily if that was all that was available.
But my point is, whenever I want to identify a time frame in my life, I go to my blog.  It's here, on my blog, my life.

That's how I blog.  I talk about it all, mostly.   I talk about what I do, where I go, how I feel.  I have shared with you the hardest times in my life, my triumphs, my passion.
I guess if you categorized my blog, you would put it under the "all out there" column.
I am careful not to upset family or friends with information about their lives that would cross the line.
But otherwise, if you stopped by the studio one day, you would pretty much find the same person there, that you find here.
From the princess and the pea Miss Puss................


 to the yummy French carrot soup I had for lunch.


To the shawl I have on my "to knit list".

Yup, it's all here.

Now everyone has a style in the blogosphere.  Some blogs are specific about a particular element in the blogger's life, like cooking, or photography, or poetry, or travel.  But I bet that everyone's blog is a unique reflection of the author.  Which is why, when we regularly visit a blog, we feel like we know that person.
There are some bloggers that I follow religiously, that I am positive I could sit down over a cuppa tea, or a cold beer, and feel completely comfortable with.
So how do you blog?

Do you plan what you're going to talk about before you sit down to do it?
Do you write first, and then add photos?  Or do you do like I do, put the photos you want on the page, and then write around them?
Do you just let the words and ideas flow, off the cuff so to speak? You start with the first sentence, and wait.  And sometimes find that you had NO IDEA what you were going to say until you see it on the page?
When you hit "publish", what do you think?  That you've just sent out another batch of drivel to bore the masses?  Or do you feel a sense of calm, like you just had a great conversation with a good friend, and said what you wanted to?
I have become very fond of blogging.  Oh, yeah, there are days when I wonder how long should I be doing this?  Is it still worthwhile?  Does anybody read it, or care?  And I think that my blogging "schedule" has morphed into my own  rhythm.
But overall, I find that it has made me a better person.  You know that phrase "does this enlarge or diminish me?"  Well, blogging has broadened who I am as a person.  It has made me many, many friends.   It has buoyed me up in tough times, and made me laugh at myself.  Sometimes, it has made me kinder to myself, picking myself up off the ground, like a kid with a scraped knee.
I think with getting older, it is so easy to turn in to yourself, and shut the world out, and go to a place that is sad and dark and lonely.
I am pretty sure that is not in my future, as long as you are all out there.
Thank you, for sharing this journey with me. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

There I did it again.

I spent the day alone at the studio, just me and the cats.

 I could tell you how I screwed up the "rethreading" of the Cranbrook, but it's a sad tale, and not that interesting. 
It only points out to me that I need to sometimes stop and think these things through before I plunge headlong into them.  Maybe I would have been saved from threading all these heddles AND the reed not once, but twice.
I could blame old age, or I could claim that people rumbling around in my head with drills and hammers might be the reason.
Either way, I learned something valuable.  And isn't that what it's all about anyway???


I always have company.  Miss Puss is never far away.  It rained intermittently and the breeze coming through the window was fresh and cool.
It was a lovely day.
I've told you how I love the rain, right?  Always have.





 And I finally got it done, using only half the threads I had on this loom from my double binding spree, to thread through an 8 dent reed for a plain weave rug.

 And I did the salad again, too.
I couldn't resist.  It was so good.
I don't scrimp on the salad dressing either.  Since that's all I had.  And it's so good.  Why screw with success, I say.


I totally enjoyed myself today.  Once I got through the hassle of the second rethreading, I was ready to weave.  It was quiet, no radio, just the sound of the rain outside, and Sydney purring on the bench next to me.
The fabric was all sewn into balls, so it was smooth sailing.


The rugs off this warp will be 42" x 68", and when I get this half of the warp woven off, I will tie on the other half of the warp and go again.  The double binding warp was dense at 16 epi, through a 12 dent reed, so to do what I wanted, I had to do it this way.
Do not ask what my first plan was. 
It sucked.

 To think I was once going to sell this loom because I couldn't get it tied up right.

And now it is a sweet, rainy day alone, savoring what I treasure about the studio, once again loving what I had almost forgotten in the months of a monster in my head.




Sydney says:
A little less weaving, and a little more scratching.....yup....there....down a little, over.........yup you got it.

Desiderata popped into my head today. The words have always resonated with me, and I have always found them comforting.
What a gift.

 Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
© Max Ehrmann 1927

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Solo

This morning I walked Roy early, to beat the humidity.  On the way home, I saw some people in their garage apparently preparing for a garage sale.
I stopped to ask them when the sale was going to start, and I saw this right inside the door.


 It is a sewing/craft table, a higher end kind than they sell in Joann's Fabric Stores.
It has a drawer, and a bottom shelf, and even an ironing board that you can attach to the side of it, or to the wall.

 And it is HUGE,  giving me plenty of space to cut rolls of fabric.
For $25.  Originally priced at $250.
Heart be still.   I ran home, and went right back with the money.  It fit in the back of my car, and off to the studio I went.
I love a find like this.



I am alone at the studio all week.  L took a vacay.  I bet she misses us.

So I had my lunch with Next on the porch, he liked the company.

My new fave salad dressing.

And a lot of romaine, to make me think I am having a BIG lunch.
It doesn't really work, by the way.

But I got a lot done today, shipped out some orders, worked on a couple of projects.
Played with monkeys.
 
 

Then I went home and made some mushroom soup.
 
 The good news is that I feel better every day, more like my old self.  Or maybe my 'new' self.
Either way, it's all good.

Monday, May 20, 2013

O.U.C.H.

Can I just say, "OUCH"?
I think I just did the impossible.  I was sewing a dress for my granddaughter, and somehow, I sewed right through my finger.  I am not sure if the needle broke when it sewed into my fingernail, or if it broke when I pulled my finger back.
But I was quick to yell to DH, "Get the pliers."   He answered, "I'm on the phone."
And I replied, "I don't care, get the blankety blank pliers."

When he finally found them, and saw the needle sticking straight up out of my nail, he hestitated.
I thought, oh great, I'm gonna have to go to the ER.
Then he rallied, and yanked it out.  And I immediately soaked it in peroxide.
But damn, that hurts.
And I didn't think to get a photo.  Honest, it never crossed my mind.  You might not have enjoyed it anyway.

I have not had a good time with sewing machines today.

 You may remember I bought this sewing machine a couple of years ago.....about a month after I cracked my head on a rock.   Ultimately, I didn't spend much time with it.
Today, I tried to get it up and running, and the top thread broke about 100 times.
I finally quit, and said enough.

 I didn't think my little Bernina would give me any grief when I got home.

The beach in Maine is always a favorite of mine.

And Roy's.
See him smile?

One place we like to go is on the rustic side.
Paper towels hanging over the tables, condiments in a bucket.
Fisherman's Catch.   Wells Beach, Me
Definitely not fancy.

We go for the food, which is excellent, and required a Corona.Just sayin.

 This was hands down the BEST clam chowder I have had anywhere.

And I LOVE my clam chowda.

These were the fish (haddock) tacos at Fisherman's Catch, and I could have them once a week.
They were that good.


When Roy wasn't walking on the beach, or sniffing out the nature trail, he liked this position.
It's one of his favorites.
I wish I had a Corona right now, this finger is thumping.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hello again.

Sorry for my absence.  Sometimes the days just fly right by, and I lose track of them.

 And I got away for a couple of days, went on a little jaunt.
The weather was beautiful.


I like this next photo, which I took of a shop window.  Everything reflected from across the street, and it just looked cool to me.





We went to a landmark in Wiscasset, Maine. 



 In the summer, the line is way down the street.  This time of year it wasn't so bad.
 



I've always wanted to try the lobster roll, but tell me.........is this a bit over the top???  You can get it with mayo or butter on the side.
I tried it, but I have to admit, I'm just not a lobsta girl.
 



It might surprise you to know that I strike up conversations with perfect strangers???

There were these guys, and they had TWO cats on leashes.....here is one, check out his polydactyl toes.......the other cat was black, and was being carried at this point, cause he was afraid of Roy.
Truth is, Roy was petrified.
Ack.
Two cats on leashes?


I love to explore back roads in new places.
It's amazing what you find.
 As we came up over this hill, we got a glimpse of this beauty.



When it came into full view, it did not disappoint.
 
I would love to go inside and check it out.  I think I could live here.
 
 There is nothing like barns attached to the house.  It's one of the many things I love about Maine.

There are so many more.
Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts