Crazy as a Loom

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Dyeing for spring.

Spent the day with my two littlest grands last week......I am still on pins and needles though.......my daughter and my grandson both got the flu the end of that week.
If I don't get it, it will be nothing short of a miracle.




My daughter bought me some garlic, at Trader Joe's.........she wanted me to try this "new thing".


It's already peeled, and I think she bought me 4 bags.

Then she whipped them up in her food processor.


She took the resulting mashed garlic and put it in a large, zip lock bag, and smashed it out flat.

I took it home, and when it was frozen solid, I peeled the bag off it.......chopped it up into squares, and put it all in another zip lock.  
Now, when I make soup, I only have to grab out however many squares I think I need.
I have to tell you, it's pretty awesome.  Cheating maybe, but awesome still.


Weaving on the David is really sweet.  I do love that little loom.
I have loved it even more after I put a little silicone spray on the rods that the beater bar slides on.
Now it really weaves like a dream.


This is the progression of the warp that is on it.



I think it's going to be a möbi shrug.......it's washed and dried and pressed, and waiting for me on the sewing table.



This piece is cotton hemp hand dyed warp, with a hunter green tencel weft.


This piece was a warp on the Wolf Pup that I was playing with, and it ended up being 240" long.



These are the last of the towels off the AVL.
Back to yardage.


Walking anywhere around here is treacherous........this snow is heavy, slushy, with ice underneath.
The side roads are muddy all along the shoulders.  Yesterday, we had to come in and head straight for bath time.  Naya wasn't happy.




I started doing some dyeing today.   I need a new batch of weft colors, and hand dyed warps, too.
Dyeing is  doable in the sewing room, in small batches,  but will be so much nicer when it warms up some.
I ordered supplies today, being hopeful, I guess.

I have struggled with wanting a second dog, and not knowing if it's the right thing to do.  Plus DH keeps looking at dogs that are way, way too young, annoying since I am the one who does ALL the dog walking.
My daughter was up over the weekend, with her dog who is not yet a year old.  They stayed over Saturday night, and by the time she left Sunday morning, I swear that if Naya could talk, she would have said, "Thank the Lord."
She was definitely a bit jealous, and it was obvious that her patience was being tried a lot of the time.



These two have a nice relationship.  They don't cuddle up together, but they are kind to each other, and they seem to respect the other's right to all sleeping places.
They even share food.
Go figure.


Sydney, however, is the boss.

And Naya is ok with that.





Saturday, March 9, 2019

Being clear


I guess I wasn't very good at explaining.
I loved the Louet Octado.....it was a beautiful loom to look at, and a beautiful loom to weave on.
There was a learning curve, after weaving on an AVL for a long time, but it was lovely overall.
So why did I get rid of it???

Well, to be honest, I thought Lois was going to weave on it most of the time.  I thought she would like not having to remember her treadle sequence.
But then, Lois still has a flip phone.  So WTH was I thinking?????

Nope, she's perfectly happy to weave on the loom with NO computer, no bells, no whistles.  And I respect that.  It's fine.

So that left me.
And I love my AVL....I would rather weave on it, than anything.
So after much thought, I decided to sell it......it did take up quite a bit of space, and irritated me because it sat there unused.
I thought that perhaps in the future sometime I would try to get a Louet David.......nice size, no computer, 8 harness, and I had heard lovely things about how lightly it treadled.   Plus, since I am a Louet dealer, having it in the studio might help me make some sales.
As it turned out, the lady from Maryland who bought the Octado, was thinking of selling her David.

So she bought the Octado.  And I bought the David, and she brought it with her when she came to pick up the Octado.  It was kind of meant to be.

I also like the idea of having a loom I can weave on if my compudobby has any issues.......or the power goes out!!!  
So far, I LOVE it.  I just wove off 18 yards of cotton in baby blankets, and I must say, it is a dream to weave on.

It is definitely a keeper.......I think I like it better than the Octado.


This is my Saturday morning view.  Naya likes her morning nap, resting up for our jaunt over the tundra.


Could I love her more?????
I doubt it.


I did a little retail therapy yesterday, not my usual thing, but like I said, winter is getting to me.

I shop with "purpose"....meaning I know what I want, I am in and out of the store in as short a time as possible.

I needed a new pocketbook.



I also bought myself four pairs of pajama bottoms........

And a $2 cup, which I did not need for one second.
But hey.
It spoke to me.

There is something about  a cuppa tea in a brand new cup.


Sometimes, I get sad about my two granddaughters who just turned 14 and 15.
They used to be at my house all the time.  They thought Mimi was the coolest person EVER.

We played, and baked, we went to the movies, picked flowers.   They exhausted me and I loved it all.
I felt like the paparazzi following them around.

Now of course, they are busy.....and I have apparently lost my coolness.
I barely see them, and when I do, they are halfway into their phones.


So thank you universe, because I get at least two more goes at this ...........and I am soaking up every minute I can.

Here is one of them.



Yep, spending time with this little beauty and her brother is the reason to hold on no matter what old age throws at you.
Sticking around to see as much of their lives as you can, loving how important you are in their eyes.

The other day, I arrived at my daughter's house, and my 2 year old grandson saw me, screamed "MIMI" and ran down the hall to me, threw himself in my arms, and kept his head on my shoulder for a good 10 minutes.  
Can hearts explode from pure joy??  

Sometimes people will say to me:  I don't know how you manage, how you go on, day to day, with that headache.
My answer is simply, that it's an equation.

You put the headache into the equation, with what you love about your life, what inspires you, what makes your heart full, brings tears to your eyes, and damn, if that headache doesn't get XXXXed/cancelled  right out.


Every time.

And I used to hate algebra.



Thursday, March 7, 2019

Slogging through.

I am done with winter, as I am sure many of us are.
I tried.  
I really did.
I got out and walked right through November, December, and January.
Then in February the ice came......and lots of snow.
Walking became treacherous, and I admit it....I'm terrified of breaking something......anything.

I know, without a doubt, that my neck/head would do poorly with a fall.

This was this morning's temp.
March is not showing any signs of a let up.


I may have lost it.......I'm doing a puzzle.
God help me.


The good news is, my headache is better since my last post.   Doable.   
It's interesting to me, that when it lets up, it takes me days to realize it.
I just slip into the goodness of it, like an old shoe.......until suddenly, I realize, and whisper, "omg, 
it's better, it's so much better."

I wish there were some rhyme, or reason.   I can't find it if there is.
I do know that my ostepathic manipulative treatments make the difference....,and sometimes once a month is too far apart.



This was one of our last walks........cleats and about 5 lbs of extra clothes.


Looking for moles and voles.


Looking at me through the window......I can almost hear her saying......"What????"

Still weaving towels on the AVL.....have quite a ways to go to get the stock up for the summer.


And there's a new loom in the studio.
The Octado is gone.....
And in its place is a Louet David.


It's smaller, lighter, not computerized.
36" wide, 8 harness.

It treadles like a dream....so lightly.
It's quiet.
I really like it alot.


It was easy to sley, easy to thread, and the warp went on quite smoothly.


So far I've got four baby blankets off it, and I think I might have enough warp for 3 more.



I am debating whether or not to keep chickens, or not.
They are a lot of work, and chicken feed is not cheap.

Then I end up giving most of the eggs away........DH and I can't eat that many.  I figure 
I go to a lot of trouble for a couple of dozen eggs a week.

But on the other hand, I do really like the girls.  I like watching them, listening to their conversations, and if you're going to have eggs, you want theirs, not some awful things from the grocery store.



Right now I'm dealing with rats in the hen house......they've chewed a hole right through the bottom of the automatic door.....luckily I have another door, for emergencies, that I can manually drop down, to keep them out while I take measures to evict them permanently.
Or until the next time.
I haven't had them for a few years.
The saying is, you have chickens, you have rats.
Terrific.


Not sure what happened here.


I'm trying to be patient, and not be impulsive.
Thinking maybe that the combination of rats and bitter winter cold may be
the reason I'm having second thoughts about being a chicken momma.

Oh, and getting skunked about 6 times out of the last two weeks has not improved my frame of mind.

That's another post.





Thursday, February 28, 2019

Follow up.


On Monday, I had an appointment for my OMT (osteopathic manipulative treatment).   I've been getting them monthly for the last 4 years, and I swear they are the only thing that keeps my headache from taking over my life.

It was a great session, and truly, I drove home with my headache just about totally gone.


You can imagine how thrilled I was, relieved, grateful, hopeful.


A cold, sunshine filled day without a slamming headache is a beautiful day indeed.

But then the next morning, I woke up to find it had returned.   I wasn't too upset, because often after OMT, it takes a few days for things to settle down.  So I tried not to let it get to me.
Mornings are my quiet time...........sitting on the couch in my bathrobe, with a cuppa coffee, the gas stove warming the room, a cat, a dog.    I usually put heat on my neck, sit back, and wait for my head to find some place that's good.   It usually takes an hour, or two, but thankfully, it does get better.

I have had this old quilt, and I don't even remember where it came from.  It's been in my sewing cupboard for years, waiting for me to be inspired. 
I was here alone all day, and decided it was time.   I had a batting set aside for it, and an old sheet for backing.  I had already spent several evenings mending it.
It needed to be washed, but it was so thin, I didn't really dare to put it in the machine.

So I pinned it all together and started quilting it on my Bernina 770.


I wanted it loosely quilted, so it still felt light and fluffy, if that makes any sense.

Then, as I was sewing, I got the jagged light in my eye, again.

A voice in my head said, WTF.......are you kidding me????

So I took some Advil, and retreated to the couch, and put heat on my neck, and closed my eyes.

Back in my 40's, when the migraines started, a doctor told me I had "classic migraines", haha.....like that was something special.  They were "classic"........it still makes me chuckle.

Over the years, I would have 2 or 3 or 4 a year.....that's all, and of course, I didn't have OTHER headaches, ever, so it was pretty doable.

Fast forward, I hit my head and started the headache marathon 8 years ago, never actually imagining that I would still have the migraines.....on TOP of the headache from hell.
Comical, if you think about it.

I have struggled to find whatever starts the migraine.....but really, there's not one thing.  I think it's a combination of things........and to tiptoe through life trying not to create that combination is a foolish waste of time.  It really doesn't work.

Anyhow, I sat on the couch, with my "aura", or jagged light....because I really can't see that well for about 20 minutes anyway.
I will admit it, I shed a few tears.
I felt a little sorry for myself.
I felt a tad victimized, picked on, hopeless.

It didn't last long.

That little voice in my head said, "Knock it off."
So I did.
I got up, kicked myself in the butt, and decided right then and there that this was not going to ruin my day, that I would not allow it.  I had a plan, I was sticking to it.

I sewed pretty much all day, taking breaks.......drinking tea, feeding the birds, doing chicken duty, having lunch.



In the end, I survived, and the quilt got done...........I washed it in the front loader, and all quilted, it did well.

It's like me..........a little frayed here and there, and old, and it's definitely seen better days,  but it's functional, and it's not done yet.


Not nearly.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

And on and on.

In all my 30 years of nursing, if anyone had ever told me that they had endured a headache almost daily for 8 years, I would have probably rolled my eyes.
I imagine that I would have immediately thought:  nutcase, drug seeker, drama queen, liar.

Who has a headache for that long?  Seriously.

So I guess that means that I was a lousy nurse (damn, I didn't think I was) OR a judgemental witch.  Didn't think I was that, either.

Or certainly a clueless, uninformed nitwit.

Because it is true, it happens.  I am the bearer of that good news.

Anyway, as my loyal followers know, it has been a roller coaster ride, and in recent years, it has truly been better......easier.......or I have just gotten used to it.

But sometimes, like on Saturday, I get the migraine super-imposed over the existing dull headache that I sometimes forget I have, unless someone asks.  (please don't ask)

And in this instance, it has hung on.  Google search says that a migraine can last for 72 hours......so about 3pm this afternoon should wrap it up.  Thank you very much.
Maybe the vice will come off my temples.  Maybe I can stop thinking about it.  Maybe I can breathe, and stop forcing myself through the day.

Over these last 8 years, the one thing that has sustained me is "staying in the day".....I know that there is not much that you can't get through for one day.  And so often, I ask myself....."can you do today?"

Always the answer comes back, "Hell, yes." 

And so I go on.

February has worn me down a bit, I must say....the cold, the snow, the ice, not enough sun, no place to walk.  Then the headache as frosting on that crappy cake.

Ok, I've vented.  Thanks for listening........onward and upward.
I can do today.
Oh, yes, I can.



Sunday, February 24, 2019

Windy,Stinky.Meditative.

Three times this week we have been "skunked".  I believe the little  *********  is living under the back porch.  Last night it was so bad it woke me up at 4:30 a.m.  
He/she has to go.

Tonight there are high wind warnings, and I am praying that we get through the night and still have power.  Never a dull moment.  It rained all day, and for most of the morning, my yard was like a skating rink.
Why, why, why, do we live in the north in the winter?????   What earthly reason could there be?


This is very frozen Lake George.......from the Ticonderoga Town beach.

I grew up there, and yesterday went there with my daughter.  Her best friend's brother had died, and she wanted to go to the funeral, but wanted me to ride up there with her. It's a little under an hour away.
I didn't know the deceased at all, so I took Naya and we walked.

The man coming off the lake had an ice fishing sled, with fish on it, and Naya was very interested.
I told him, she eats eggs coming from the hen house, so I know she'll like fish.  Better watch her.
He laughed.



Then we went to the other end of the lake, and walked some more.  That mountain in the background is where I spent most of my youth, climbing up and down and across it.  The lake is down there at the base of the mountain.


Over all though, I don't like to visit my home town.  It barely resembles the place that I grew up, and I like remembering it the way it was.

On the way home yesterday, I had the jagged light "aura" for a migraine, and for the rest of the day I was pretty useless.
Fast forward to today, and I had the dull, persistent headache that often follows that migraine.
I did accomplish a little, but not much.

I made broccoli soup for L and I to have for lunches this week.


I marinated some mushrooms that I baked for dinner.


I made a Coconut crustless pie.....DH is still searching for the crust. (ha!)


In between rain drops, Naya made a few forays into her yard, unimpressed.




I loved the suggestion from Joanne from Cup on the bus  that I should have stuck with prayer flags.  I am pretty sure she is mixing me up with someone else, I don't think that I ever mentioned them, but  nonetheless I started googling prayer flags, and got very interested. (Thank you Joanne)
 It kind of matched up with my fascination of late with "slow stitching".......so I got the scrap box out and started playing with it.
Now don't get excited, they are not amazing or anything, and I have no idea what the finished product will look like....although my idea is to have 4 or 5 of them on a rope......but let me just say this.....I am having so much fun doing it....it just doesn't matter if anyone likes them or not.




The idea is that the words on the flags will fly away on the breeze, and the good thoughts will be taken to others.   Passing good stuff along, you might say.



At any rate, it is a contemplative endeavor, and very relaxing to do of an evening.

While DH watches horrible (IMHO) TV, with his headphones on, I sew little scraps of stuff
to leftover handwovens.


Now really, what could make more sense???????



Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts