Crazy as a Loom

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


It's time to walk again....every single day if weather permits.   January and February were brutally unkind as far as walking went.
So I'm trying to make up for it.

I walk the bike path here in town, and I walk some back roads.  The fields are way too wet right now.
I also drive to other trails if I can.

On one of my walks, there are these amazing stone walls.

Look at the size of those stones.

The canal runs through town, this is the path on part of it.

A couple of days ago, L and I drove down to Lock 5.    It was a lovely walk, and a beautiful day.

The Hudson River is high, and fast.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to go farther afield, or run the risk of getting bored with the same routes.
I don't think Naya minds the same walks, as long as there are tons of smells along the way.
But to keep me motivated, I need more.

 Tell me what it is about abandoned mobile homes/trailers???

They are everywhere.

This one will soon be hidden with vines.

On the weaving front.........4 m of yardage, in cotton bamboo and rose yarn.....soft as butter.
And a very pale pink.

4 m of cotton bamboo and hand dyed cotton crackle.

And L's project....a crazy mixed warp with a silk weft.


I had all day company ........and it was a BUSY day.


We colored eggs.

We made cupcakes.

We chased chickens, and made lots of pictures, we visited goats, we went for pizza, we got exhausted.
OK, mostly me.

The screen porch is clean, and the best place for  an iced tea and a good book.

Finally, winter is over.

I leave you with this:

2 chickens trying to lay eggs in ONE box, at the same time.  Neither wanting to give up.
I have no words.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Cut this.

Sometimes you just have one of those matter how hard you try, you know it's not going to turn out so well.

I finally gave up the battle to make this bamboo warp do what I wanted.  I did have a loom issue, with one solenoid not positioned properly to fire off like it's supposed to.  But even after fixing that, it was still a nightmare.
I didn't realize how stretchy bamboo could be.  A loose thread here, a loose thread there.  You weavers know how awful it is to UNWEAVE.

I went forwards and backwards so many times, I was getting dizzy.  I'd weave an inch or two, get out my mirror and flashlight so I could visualize the underside of the fabric, and find floats before they got too big.
I had multiple weights hanging off the back of the loom.

After four hours this morning, and very, very little forward progress, I had to stop and reconsider.
I've been working on this warp for days, and so far, I have only yardage with floats that may or may not be salvageable. 
So as much as it hurt me to do it, I cut the warp off the loom, cut my losses and tried to accept that I have wasted a week on it.

So to date, I have found that tencel warps, and bamboo warps, put on sectionally, so the warp is at least 20 yards long, can be a nightmare.

I need some reliable, dependable cotton.

At least lunch has been a good experience.   This week is leek, potato, cabbage soup, one of my faves.

My 5 year old grand daughter fell running through the house, landed on her chin, and ended up getting three stitches.

My daughter texted me, "OMG, does it ever end?"  (meaning the worry and anxiety over your children)

I said, "Yup, it will, when you die."

As they left Urgent Care, she had obviously bounced right back, and had to be cautioned about skipping down the hall way.

Note, the bandaid on her chin.

I have been dyeing for about three years, and true to form, I have not kept one bit of record of any of it.
Until now. 
I decided it was time.
So I started a dye notebook, and this week, every morning, before I start my weaving day, I dye one batch.
In my pajamas.

I usually use some picture to inspire me, so I've paired  my inspo pic with the end results, so you can see how I'm doing.

This red and gray is bamboo, for weft.

And this green is also bamboo, for weft.

This is mercerized cotton, also for weft.
This one is my favorite of the three.

There's another one on the drying rack. 

I think spring might actually be coming, but the downside is that everything looks so brown and dirty.
I need some serious lawn work done, leaves raked, branches picked up, but finding someone who will do it and do a good job is not an easy task.
My neck dictates that I NOT do it, even though I would really like to.

I love watching the sunset, and seeing the "girls" soaking up the very last rays of the day.
If you look close, you can see  them out behind the gate.   When the sun goes down, within minutes, they will be going clockwork.

Egg production has been high, all winter long.  That is not usual, and I've wondered why.  Someone suggested that it was their glass enclosed chicken run that was responsible.  I don't know that it's true, but it sure is interesting.

I do have a question for you all.
A chicken question.  A garden question.

My chickens have a huge fenced in area, and when the garden is not in use, they have that area as well.
I have decided to build a couple of raised beds outside the garden, for the few things we want to plant.  Keeping it manageable.

So the garden will be empty, unless I figure out something easy to throw in there.  I want to plant something in there that will be easy to manage, and something that at the end of summer, the chickens will enjoy.
Although, they pretty much enjoy everything,  I keep thinking that there is something that would be perfect, if I just knew what it was.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Cracked and found.

Well, this addresses the "cracked" fingers, and Lois' too........around my nails....oh, so painful.

This stuff is amazing, you just have to remember to use it.

"Found" are my car keys......that I lost several weeks ago.  Everyone has tried to find them.....recreating my steps that day, searching the house.  With no success.

In the end they were outside.  I must have dropped them when I got out of the car, and the snow plow guy moved and buried them.
But they reappeared, and the key fob even works.
Little rust on the ring, but that's an easy fix.

 Nothing quite as rejuvenating/exhausting as taking care of your 5 year old grand girl.

She brings the need to sleep, but she also brings joy....lots of it.

We went out for pizza....( homemade manhattan clam chowder first, it's a Friday tradition)

 Then we went to Naya's obedience class, which totally thrilled this little girl.

And a quick stop at Target for essentials.   You know the deal.

She was wired for sound until bedtime.......

but Saturday morning, she had to ease into the day a bit.   She ordered pancakes for breakfast.

What?  You didn't know we run a little diner here????

I love having her.

Even if she does remind me why young people are supposed to have children.

And older people like me are supposed to be grands.

It was a lovely time, and I treasure it.

This is what Lois is working 8 harness crackle, with a hand dyed giza cotton warp.

It's going to be a cloak, I think.

I am doing a custom yardage order.......
the warp is navy bamboo.....and the cotton hemp had to be dyed to match this photo.
I think I got pretty close.

And here it is, on the loom........circles, back again.

I have been pondering the complications of life we plan things one way, and they don't turn out nearly what we imagined; how impossible it really is to lay out a course that will actually resemble what we pictured.
It's one way in our head,
and quite another in real time.
Sometimes I think the joke is on us......even though sometimes it seems particularly cruel.

I do know one thing for absolutely sure.   There is TOO much winter in northeast NY.
I love my old house, I even love the little hamlet I live in.  The countryside is lovely, and it's home.

But the expanse from November to April or May is just too long.  I don't want to do it anymore.

So next winter we are making plans to get out of here for at least 2 months.....maybe 3, who knows.   I know that my psyche, my head/neck issues, my general age and the arthritic changes that come with it, are not happy with frigid temps anymore.  What really clinches it for me, is trying to walk Naya in snow and treacherous ice and worrying about falling and breaking something.

Nope, don't want to do it anymore.  I will try to look at it as a real break, from winter, from working every day, a chance to regroup and take a breath.

Tomorrow, I am going to start doing some spring cleaning.....get myself out of this winter funk.
I have a few areas that need dredging out.   I need to be sending things out of here to be repurposed or loved by someone else.  I think it will make me feel better, at least until I can get outside more.

(I like James Comey, just saying.   I know he's far from perfect, but he is a sensible sounding man, who I believe has a moral compass.
Something we don't see all that often.)

I have a new book, "Where the Crawdads Sing", which came highly recommended to me, so I will say good night.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Dyeing for spring.

Spent the day with my two littlest grands last week......I am still on pins and needles 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'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.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts