Crazy as a Loom

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A little warping, a little thinking.

Before I forget it brain is at that place where senility threatens.
For all you fiber people, you probably are already familiar with the Spinners, Weavers, & Knitters Housecleaning Pages, which you can find here at

It is a great site, a place to sell or trade, or find anything to do with spinning, knitting, or weaving. "A free place to find and sell wool stuff.....and do good deeds, too." Kathleen Bruce has given tons of her own time to keep this site up and running. She had to come up with $200 to keep the site going for another two years. Many subscribers have donated via Paypal, but there are still some expenses left outstanding. I know lots of you enjoy the site, and like me, you would probably miss it if it were gone. So if you can, check it out, her email address is there for anyone to send a couple of dollars to Paypal. If all of us just gave a few, it would be a done deal.

Today was a work day. L and I attacked the Reed Ideal, which has a production wheel on the back. The warp on it has been on it for two holds a lot.
It is quite a performance, if I must say.
First, I have to use two spool racks, side by side.
From december

Then I run the threads through an old wooden clothes rack, to put some tension on them.
From december

Do not look for this in a book. You won't find it.
From december

This is what my husband calls 'nicky hokey'. Read more about that term here.
L insisted on doing the winding. Yeah, like she had to twist my arm. Her reasoning was that she didn't want to be responsible for the threads. Well, I get that, but I just hope her shoulder isn't frozen up solid by morning. We're only half done.
From december

For you weavers who want to know, or for anyone who just wonders if there is any sense to this at all......
From december

we will put new spools on for each of the six sections. There were 48 threads per sections, so 48 spools, x6, total cost, almost $1000.

Whoever put this contraption on the back of this loom sure did a good job. I've never seen another loom like it.

From december

We ended up putting left over spools on the rods with the new ones, just to keep them from sliding around.
From december

So we got three of the six sections done, and set it all up for the fourth. L had to leave, but I said "just give it a couple of turns", and she did, and we realized that we had inadvertently turned the big spool rack around, and half the spools ended up on the floor.
So before I left, I figured that I would try to take them off, turn the rack around, and get them on right, without unthreading all we had done.
My friend Alice came along, and after watching me struggling for awhile,picked up my camera.
Yup, I'm a happy camper, folks!
From december

I will put pictures of the completed job on when we get it finished. It might not be tomorrow.
I got plans.

From december

When I listen to my grown daughters kvetch about the stresses of working and bringing up children, it takes me back.
I don't minimize their complaints, or their concerns. I know too well how real it is. You run from the job to the school to the store to the sports event to the play to the gym to ...........well, you get the idea.
Sometimes you do it alone, for one reason or another.
I pretty much always did it alone.
I worked two jobs, one full time, and one part time, for 18 of my 30 year nursing career. I was a little like a squirrel, running, scrambling, packing in nuts for the winter.
There were times when I was consumed.
I was always broke beyond belief, in debt beyond belief. At one point, I had $20,000 in credit card debt.
There didn't seem to be any light on the horizon.
I remember one time, being so desolate, I sat down with a notebook, and wrote down short term goals, and long term goals.
I had many short term, and two long term.
The long term were simple. Get my three daughters through college, no matter what it took. Pay for my house, so the bank would never say that it was theirs.
While I struggled with the short term day to day, I kept the candle burning for those long term goals.
It wasn't that long ago, but here I am. Some years have passed. All three of my daughters have degrees and good jobs, and families. The credit cards are gone, the house I worried about losing was paid off, sold, and the money used to buy the studio that now nourishes my soul.
My only regret is this.
I should have ditched the second job. I should have told my kids, you can't have those $100 sneakers, you have to get a used bike, not a new one. I should have learned to live with less, and taught them to do it. I should not have tried to keep up with the families who had two paychecks. I could have spent less money on my kids, and spent more time with them. We could have been happy without new carpet, or a new couch, or any of the list of things we purchased over those tough years. We could have had Christmases that didn't leave me sick over credit card debt for months afterwards. We could have.
I could have.
They would have been just as happy, maybe happier, having me home more, and less on the run.
I would have been happier, being home, with them, not jumping through hoops making money.
There is nothing now that I can do to change that picture. It is what it is.
All I can really do is tell them how I feel.
Do with less. Have less. Let enough be enough.
Soak this time up with your children while you can.
So soon, they will be chasing their own dreams, while you wonder why you made the choices that you did.
And you can't go back.
That's just the way it is.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the sage advice. I come here often to listen to you - you have been a big inspiration to me! I quit my job three years ago to stay home for my boys, we have learned to live with less. It was a big change, but we are now happy we did it.... I am now renovating my own weaving "studio" and I just have a little tiling work left and it is done! This winter I am cutting apart several dozen pair of jeans - come spring I hope to turn out a few rugs on my new, but very old Union. Thanks for your silent, unknowing support! You are wonderful.

Jabberwarpy said...

I second that! Again, when you gonna write a book????

Sharon said...

I am always astonished at how much space you have to work in. You are blessed.

re'New said...

I'm at the limit of living with less - wish I could drop the part time paycheck job...tonite i was crunching numbers to see if there was any way I could. Bad idea because now here I sit at 3:30 am worrying. I've cut and cut and the only thing left to cut is phone/internet and my high deductible health insurance. Or I can give up tp, gasoline, basic food and skip the dentist/eye doctor and not get sick - ever. I wear hand me down and rummage sale clothing, go without tv, magazines and vacations... but there is a limit to living without.

Darlene said...

What a good idea to use the clothes rack to tension the warp threads! I just bought an old Union loom that has a warp comb on the back and the spool rack on the bottom. Think I may try this idea to tension the threads when I wind my first warp onto it, since I no longer have a tension box. (BTW, that's quite a loom you have there!)

I struggled financially for years as a single mom. It was tough. I was always chronically underemployed, but somehow my daughter and I managed to get through and enjoy life, too. Now my daughter and her hubby have four little boys, and she's made the decision to stay home with them. It's a challenge, but they're doing pretty well with it.

I was there at Thanksgiving, and she said she could always find a good reason not to do housework. I told her those boys will remember that she always read to them and did all kinds of things with them, not that the house was messy, or that the laundry didn't get folded up.

One thing this old granny has learned is that there are different seasons in life. For the young mamas out there, enjoy your kids, cuz I'm here to tell you they do grow up, a lot faster than you'll ever realize.

re'New, things are tight right now, and I know how hard it is for you. Been there and done that. Try to get through one day at a time, and take it as it comes. Try to make some goals like Hiliary did, so you have something to hang onto. I couldn't see a way out either, when I was there. But someday things will get better for you. I'll be praying for you.


Amen to that, do without, learn to have enough and feel blessed that you do. Good advice, I wish my mom had given that gem to me also. Although know I can give it to my kids, and then the next generation and hopefully their lives won't be as stressful, cluttered and they can enjoy actually living.

Vicki in CT said...

Hillary, sage words of wisdom, we also have been simplifying our life, each season gets a little easier, buying less, shoping at Goodwill for recycled clothing. Amazing to see how little we really need. Food is now more soups and beans by choice! A dinner can be homemade soup over rice or quinoa as a gravy that is delicious. It is a lesson that I am passing onto my adult kids and grandkids. BREATHE DEEPLY and enjoy the holidays.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts