Crazy as a Loom

Sunday, August 30, 2009


(click to enlarge photos)

Yesterday, we went to Boston, DH and I. For his birthday, back in June, I bought him two tickets to a Red Sox game.
We had heard all week that the weather was going to be really bad due to the hurricane coming up the coast, but we went anyway.
We already had a hotel reservation for the night, and Red Sox tickets in hand.
Besides, we needed to get away, even for just 24 hours.

When we got there, the weather was

just as predicted. Wet. We had a huge umbrella, we wore shoes, and not sandals. We had plastic rain ponchos
We still got pretty wet. Not much you can do when it is raining sideways.

We went to the famous Quincy Market, and even though there were countless food vendors, and everything looked and smelled wonderful, there was no place to sit and eat whatever you decided to get. So we went in search of a place we had seen on the Food Channel months ago, the Union Oyster House.

It turned out that it wasn't that far away at all, and getting in out of the weather was, well, priceless.
It was pretty busy, but there were some empty tables, for which we were very grateful.

I had my heart set on New England Clam chowder, or chowda, as they say in Boston.
And I had a Caesar salad with crab cakes.
Bill went for the fish and chips, which looked awesome.

And they bring everyone fat chunks of delicious corn bread.
Mmmmmm, mmmmmm. I say, "let it rain."

The oldest restaurant in America???

We had a great lunch, and took our time. After all, the game wasn't until 7pm.
And there was no hint at all that the rain was going to stop any time soon.

We decided to go to the Boston Aquarium, which was within walking distance.
We waited 45 minutes in the rain, just to get in.
There was also an Imax movie there.

I must admit that the aquarium was a big disappointment. I think mostly it was because there were WAY too many people there. You couldn't hear yourself think, and you could barely get close enough to the exhibits to see what they were about. And it was brutally hot.
The one thing I saw that was totally captivating, was this little boy, strapped to his momma's back with a piece of fabric.

He wasn't a tiny baby, at all. But he was totally comfortable, and sleeping, well, like a baby.
When we got out of the aquarium, it was still raining, but it was an incredible relief to be out in the fresh air after being so cramped and overheated.

We took the greenline train, hoping to get to Fenway Park. But we soon realized that we had gotten on the wrong train.
As soon as that became apparent, we got off. Back up on the street, we started walking. It was raining still, and I think we walked in circles for awhile before we finally saw the lights of Fenway in the distance.
We anticipated all day that the game would be canceled.
But when we got there, they were just taking the cover off the field.
You can't see them, but there are scads of people behind this huge tarp, pulling it off the field.
It was still not looking all that hopeful.

My husband, a Red Sox fan for 40+ years, was not to be deterred.
And sure enough, they came out to play ball.
Go figure.

We put our rain ponchos on, so we would have something to sit on.......the seats were very wet.

It was 61 degrees, and still misting, but did it matter really?
We were already pretty wet. Our shoes were squishy. My jeans were wet to the knees, and my jacket was wet through, and I actually took it off.
Luckily I had a sweater under it.

As the game began, people were streaming in to find their seats. One young couple came up to us, animated, and acted like they were thrilled to see us. The girl grabbed my hand, and when I tried to pull away, she said, "Oh, please don't disappoint me".....I looked at Bill. He looked at me.
Neither of us knew them, but they acted like they were totally charmed to meet us.
After they walked away, we wondered......who did they think we were??
We don't look famous.
Just old.
Not even old and famous.
My daughter said they were high.

Here is Big Papi..........he may be my husband's favorite.
There is something that goes on at a Red Sox game that is pretty incredible. Red Sox fans are passionate. And they are wildly devoted.
They did the wave too many times to count.

The mist cleared, and a cool breeze began to blow. The stadium began to get really full. I was amazed at the young men hawking beer, and cokes, and hot dogs, peanuts, cotton candy.
There seemed to be no end to them.

For some reason, Red Sox fans sing Sweet Caroline, at the top of their lungs. They put the words up so you can see them, and it gets rowdy in a pleasant way.

We enjoyed the game, and especially enjoyed the fact that it didn't get rained out.

The tickets weren't cheap.

And Bill had been looking forward to it since June.

We had to take the train back to the hotel, but we managed to take the right one this time, even if it was packed, and most everyone was standing.

We were anxious to get some sleep, after our "Boston Marathon in the rain".

Baseball, hot dogs, and cold beer.

And one thing I will bet on right now................

Boston is the only place where you can buy "clam chowda" at a baseball game.

Go Red Sox!!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I did it, I did it, I did it!!!!

(click on these photos to see them closer)

Here is the rug, the one I was stumped by, a week or so ago.
A customer sent it to me, and wanted me to make one like it.
I had no idea how it was threaded, or how to go about it.
I asked everyone I knew, and got some ideas, but nothing really came together in my head.
So I went on Ravelry, and put the same question out there.
I got an answer of sorts, by someone who referred me to an article on Weavezine, about taking apart a woven item to see how it was made.
So that is what I did.

And although the colors are much brighter and the fabric newer, I think I figured it out.

Now I don't want you to think that I got this down in an evening, or even two.
No, I worked on this on and off for over a week.
I didn't want to actually take the rug apart, since it wasn't mine. But I pulled and poked and pried at it, and charted it all down on graph paper.

Then I warped the loom, threaded the heddles, sleyed the reed, and prayed that I was right. If not, I had wasted a lot of time.

Here is the new rug, on the loom, and the old rug hanging over the back of the loom.

Now I have to weave two runners like this, each 2' x 10'.

I just wrote down the treadling sequence, and tomorrow I will weave in earnest, now that I know what I am doing.

And Jinx watched me most of the afternoon, and I think she approves.
She has very good taste.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Are you afraid of spiders?

I took the day off......well, most of it.
Had some things to do early this morning, then my daughter picked me up, with my two grandsons, and one of my granddaughters.
We headed to Vermont, which isn't far from where we live.
Of course, the kids were hungry. Aren't they always.

This was a nice place, the food was great, but being in a tourist area, it was pricey. We could have eaten in a really nice restaurant somewhere else for what it cost.

Number 1 grandson showing me how someone he knows wears his pants up too high.
He kind of looks like he should be on the Waltons, doesn't he?

We went to Quechee, Vt, to the Vermont Institute of Nature Science, or VINS.
Here, they save 400-600 birds every year. They have a bunch of raptors that they have saved, who have been injured and who can't make it in the wild.

The kids enjoyed trying out wing spans.
Of course, they all picked out spans that they had to really stretch to

They had a dart frog exhibit, and a huge snapping turtle, and fish, and salamanders.
And they had some really disgusting bugs.

They had a place where you could see them doing rehab on some birds.

Then we went on the nature trail.

I always worry when I take them somewhere, that they won't like it, or they won't "get it".
I don't know why I do that, because they usually are happy doing whatever, and they DO "get it".

They had a ball running through the woods like little wood sprites.

I managed to get them to sit still for a minute.
They are used to Mimi with her camera, they know it is useless to fight it.

Ava was getting tired, and started to whinge a bit, so I asked her if I could see her whinge face.

So she showed me.

It was a beautiful walk, and very peaceful.
It is nice to spend time with them, and my daughter.

The path wound along a stream that turned into a pond, and we went back to watch the show.

Here is a red tailed hawk. Injured, she can only fly short distances, and couldn't fly long enough to live in the wild.

This snowy owl is minus a wing, but beautiful still.

And turkey vultures, well, they are just strange looking birds. This one is 28 years old.

Just as the show ended, it started to rain, and we headed home.
When we were pulling out of the sanctuary, Logan asked "When can we come again?"
Guess I shouldn't have worried at all.

By the time we got through Woodstock, the rain had stopped, and we stopped for ice cream, as promised.

When we saw the menu, and the prices, we realized we should have stopped here for lunch.
Oh, well. Next time.

We sat by this lovely stream, and watched the kids explore the path to the water's edge.

The Ottauquechee River is beautiful. I would love to live right on it, and wake up to it every day.

It was a good day. And I needed to take a break from working so hard.
I sometimes don't even realize it.
I just get caught up in one thing, then another, and forget that I need to nurture other parts of me.

I saved this lovely photo for last.
I never thought that spiders bothered me, until today..


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Needles and pins

Today I decided to just weave. I haven't just woven rugs for the shop in a while, so that was my intent today.
Orders can wait a day.
Here they are, do you like them???
I create them as I go along, and I use colors that I like. I just figure that someone out there will share my taste.
So far, that theory has worked for me.

I had Miles, a young man that does yard work for me, out in the barn sorting a bale of selvedge. I kept going out there, directing him, and checking his progress.
Finally, after lunch, I realized that if I didn't get my butt out there and help/supervise, that it was going to take a lot longer than I wanted it to.
After what seemed like forever, in a hot barn, sweating like I was in a sauna, we got the 4th bale done. I went in the house, glanced up at the clock, and was quite surprised to find that it was way after 4pm.
We will tackle the rest of it later this week.
There are two bales left, and I have decided that I am NOT going to sell any of the selvedge right now. I think after buying it, paying for shipping, paying for the dumpster, the clear plastic bags, paying Tammy and Miles to help, getting my daughter to help me on her day off, and spending my own precious time out there in the heat, I would have to charge $5/lb to make any money. Guess I jumped the gun.
Shut up, Bill.
So I am stashing it, keeping it for myself, and sitting back feeling smug because I have enough of it to weave rugs for several years, at least.
Yesterday I went for my first acupuncture session. Not the first in my life, but the first at this new place, The Acupuncture Studio and the first in a few years. I have only actually had a couple of treatments.
I went for my back and neck, and in particular my shoulder blades. I probably wouldn't have so much pain there if I didn't weave, and took it easy. But since that isn't about to happen, I thought I would give this a try.
I was not expecting what happened.
While I was lying there, dozing off occasionally, I became aware that my sinuses were suddenly draining in a disturbing way. At first I thought perhaps it was a fluke, but on the way home I got a screaming headache, that got worse and worse despite Advil, until I finally went to bed at 9pm just to get rid of it. It was the worst headache I have had in some time.
Nothing worked, I had the headache all night, and I kept waking up because of it. When I got up this morning, I still had it, though not as intense.
So when all else fails, I say google it. So I did, and found out that it could be because the treatment was too aggressive, or the needles were placed incorrectly, or it could just signify healing had started.
My sinuses are still draining, in spite of sorting selvedge all day, which would usually cause me to be extremely congested.
I have another acupuncture treatment scheduled for Thursday, and I am curious about how I will feel afterwards.
Anybody out there have any experience with acupuncture?
Now I am lounging on the couch talking to you all, while DH watches guessed it, the Red Sox.
Nothing new here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Crazy as a Loom?

The drama in this old house continues.
Tammy saw a squirrel disappear into the soffit, above the gutter on the big part of the house.
My fear was that he and his friends were partying, or taking up residence, in the attic. I feed the birds all year long, so I have some pretty fat, healthy squirrels.
So Cory, who does tons of work for me, came over and climbed up in there, through a trap door in the upstairs hall.
Do you see the wire going out through the wall, over the eyebrow window? There is a light outside, way up there in the peak of the roof. I asked the previous owner how you turned that light on........she said, oh, it came on when you turned the hall light on inside.
Guess I am glad the bulb burned.
This is what the attic looks like in a 200+ year old house.
And unbelievably, no squirrels. The hole is in the soffit, but not into the house.
He did find some questionable wiring up there though, which he spent a couple of hours doing over, and doing right.

Aren't these old wide boards incredible?

Two empty oil cans up there, and that is it. Nothing else up there. But it makes sense really, that no one would want to crawl up through there with stuff to put in storage. Especially when there is a barn. And back in the day, there were about 4 barns out back.
Now there is just one.

Now back to MY barn. The one that remains.

Number 1 daughter came to help me with the "sorting of the selvedge". It was hot, and it was incredibly difficult. We were at it for about 5 hours, finished the second bale (Tammy and I did the first one), and got half way through the third bale.
This is turning into a huge job, and somewhat of a monster. Don't tell my husband, OK?
He warned me.
Daughter is threatening to charge me by the bag. Ranting and raving about how she and her sisters are going to have to get rid of all this someday, which kind of reminds me of what I used to say to my father.
Except that he had furniture, and junk, with an antique or two thrown in every once in a while.

Anyway, here is the waste from this bale. It was incredible.
Tammy and I bagged the waste from the first bale, which took forever, and then we had to take it to the landfill.
But Brooke suggested we investigate the use of a dumpster. We did, and they brought it right over.
Here's Ava, who thought that she had the smartest Mimi in the world when I brought her a ladder, so she could see inside the dumpster.
Brooke said it was a wonder I didn't put her in there.
Imagine that.

Then once they were bagged, we had to drag them into the house, and find some place to put them.

And believe me, this is only a small part of what we ended up with.

Ava was a princess the whole time. She amused herself, and amused us.
She's a great kid.
Isn't is nice that she will have memories of spending time at her crazy Mimi's studio?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

going to the dogs/cats

I give up. I do. Whenever I put a new rug down on the floor, 'someone' has to plop down on it like it was put there specially for them.
I think Jinx is working on a modeling career, since Miss Puss is such a hit.
She does look nice on this one, doesn't she?
And yes, this beige/tan rug is not my usual. It is an order, and true to myself, I couldn't manage to use ONE PLAIN fabric in that color, so I put my own twist on it, by using a lot of different fabrics in that color range. I think it makes the rug more interesting.
The rug measures 5'x7', and it is going to South Carolina, where it is probably hotter than it is in NY.
My DH and I have an ongoing discussion about cats on my rugs. Well, actually he has it, and I just make a face.
He says that people won't buy them if they see cats on them.
And I say that cats ARE on them, if only for a moment here and there, so why hide that?
And furthermore, I would rather that people know it up front, rather than order a rug and have an allergy attack because my cats are not allowed in photographs.
Besides, once again, it has to do with age.
I am old enough to do what I want. That's it. I mean it is the kindest of ways, but there it is.
It is the reason I refuse to worry about family matters that I can't do ONE thing about. It is why I don't do bunches of craft shows, or rent the the upstairs of my studio just to make money.
It is why I keep hours at the studio that please me, and no one else, and it is why I weave rugs in colors that please me, and not rugs that I necessarily think will sell. Although somehow they do.
Besides, who in their right mind could tell this girl that she can't just be herself.
Well, that would be like telling me the same thing, and we both know how well that might work out.

So lie there sweetly for a moment more, and then we have to fold this rug up and pack it in a box.
Yes, I will make you a rug of your own.
Silly girl.

And speaking of silly, here is Ed, the vicious pit bull mix.
With his babies.
Watch out! He is very dangerous. Those babies are just a ploy, to get you closer. I wouldn't do it, if I were you.
So that was my day, and now I am playing scrabble at
I love it. It is somehow a combination of using part of my brain, while putting other parts of it on auto pilot.
If that makes any sense.
Tomorrow is Sunday. I am going to try to do something for myself that doesn't involve work.
Until then. Have a great one.
Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts