Crazy as a Loom

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Weather or not.

The weather persists.  Today it's raining.  Unfortunately, low pressure to my head is low pressure.

First thing on my to do list was a trip to the printer.  They have all my printing stuff on their computer, so a phone call or an email is all they need.  
What and how many.  And then I pick my order up.  They are Kingsbury Printing and they are awesome.

In my present state of  blahdom, I set myself small goals every day.  Otherwise, I feel that I would fade away.
One of them this week has been two towels a day on my point twill warp.
Which involves winding some spools.
If I've learned one thing at CAAL, it's that the right equipment is mandatory.

I discovered that instead of my previous treadling sequence, 87654321, 8765678765678, 12345678.....which requires some thought.......I can do a simple 123456787654321.
And this is what I get.
And I like it.
And it requires very little thought, in fact almost none at all, as my feet have quite the memory, it seems.

 With any luck, the loom will be empty so that next week, we can play with the AVL wheel winder.

My next small job/goal was fabric prep.  In the attic/loft, there are many containers of fabric.  Most of them are ready to weave with, but there are a bunch few that are NOT ready for anything.  They are small pieces, large pieces, that need cutting into strips, so they can be sewn.

 Every day this week, I have done a little sorting and cutting.
Here's a bag.

And here's what it looks like all cut up, and ready to be sewn. Thank goodness for my electric Eastman Chickadee cutter.

Eventually they will hopefully look like this...........

And then I came home early.
Even I have my limits.   I know, right?

And besides, I was anxious to get back to my knitting anyway.

I just finished this sweater last night. I've been working on it too long.  It was time.
Do you love it??  OMG.  I do.
And my BFF gave me a book and some yarn for my birthday.  BFFs sure do buy the best presents.
Roy is counting stitches.
Roy.   ROY.

The yarn is Sirdar Snuggly Crofter, Baby Fair Isle effect DK.   It only LOOKS like you are brilliant.
Beautiful yarn.

 So let it rain, I say. 
But please, weather gods, send a high pressure system, with lots of sun.
Thank you.

Monday, February 25, 2013


I had a tough weekend.....Sunday afternoon found me hiding out at the studio.  It was quiet, and I really needed that.

I am still enthralled with point twill.  Here it is in rose pink.
I should have about twenty towels when I'm through with this warp.

My head wouldn't let me weave as long as I wanted to, but Kizzy was happy to have me just sit.
 He's my little manx scaredy cat.
He's afraid of everything.
But he's a lover.
I caught him out behind the barn when he was just 4 months old.

 I had lots of company.  Sydney in the window wasn't too concerned with all the attention I was giving Kismet, but Jinksie was watching me, and Miss Puss looked fairly disgusted.

Today my headache slipped back a notch, but still rules.
I made an appointment for some cranio sacral therapy, while hoping that the MRI results aren't terrifying.

This morning, when I woke up, it occurred to me that I am lucky.
Somehow, through all this long year and a half of headache, I have been able to sleep.  It amazes me.  It has probably been my saving grace.
Another bonus in my life is that I still love what I do.  Despite how difficult this entire experience has been for me, I still find incredible joy in weaving.  I love every aspect of it, the planning, the preparation,  the music of creating something unique every time I sit at the loom.
The studio still moves me in mysterious ways.

It keeps me moving forward.

Soon, we'll be playing with a new toy, an AVL wheel winder.
Stay tuned.   
It'll be a brand new experience.
Or another headache. :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The storm or the calm.

I didn't blog yesterday because I don't believe that old saying about "misery loves company".
I don't think it always does, and I'm sure the "company" could do without the misery.
Anyway, the weather (I think) is doing me in.  It's a headache reminiscent of my pre-surgical monsters.
Will this ever end?  
That's what I ask myself.  I don't know the answer.
I just plod through each day and do the best I can.  I savor the days that are manageable, and on those blissful days of a 2-3 or even a 4, I try to forget entirely that it is ever different.  I try to act normal, and I try to imagine that it is never going to change.
But then it does.
Last night, I was sitting in the hot tub, wishing to beam myself up to a warm, dry climate, with lots of sun.  I fleetingly posed the hard question.
What if this is my forever reality?
Can I take it?  Can I persevere?  Can I maintain a good attitude, and hopefulness, in the face of pain for the rest of my life?  Can I still be happy?
Can anyone be happy around me?
Tough stuff.
I don't stay there long.  I can't.  I just throw it out there to myself.
Keeping it real.  That's me.
I can't help but think, too, that when my head feels like it is about to explode, dark thoughts hover over me.  I am mostly resistant.  But not always.

I am blessed that I can sleep through it.  And sometimes, like last night, that's all I want to do.  Escape.  Even though it wakes me up, I go back to sleep.  It's a welcome break.
Sometimes you just have to snuggle in your blankie, and let the world move on without you.
Right Roy?

And while I'm there, I dream of weaving, this time in red.  And I dream of looms.  So many looms, so little time.

And I dream of a day, without a headache.  Such a simple thing, isn't it?
Or maybe not.
"To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub."

Friday, February 22, 2013

To stress or not to.

Well, I finally did it........I had the MRI.  It's done, and over with.
Let me just say that there isn't much I hate as intensely as I hate that.
But I got through it, and I am happy to have it behind me.
When my doctor reviews it, we're going to have a SKYPE appointment, which is a lot better than driving to Great Neck, NY.
Waiting to hear the results may prove to be a little nerve wracking.

Well, not for everyone, it seems.

Yup, there are those near and dear to me, who will not stress one MINUTE about my MRI results, or anything else, for that matter.
Guess there are lessons to be learned here.

L and I did get quite a bit done this week.    
We emptied this old cupboard.

And we put half of the 8/2 unmercerized cotton stash in it.
The rest is in another cupboard.
Wow, I have a lot of 8/2.  More than I realized.
 Organizing is a good thing.

I wound another warp for the Baby Wolf, to do MORE point twill towels on, since I am addicted to them right now.

And then I wound it on over the loom.
Why you ask?
Well, I didn't want to have to thread it I cut the threads on either side of the harnesses, tied them in big knots, and let them hang........when I get the warp wound onto the back beam, I will tie it on to the old warp, which is hanging right in front of the brown paper roll if you look closely.
Then I will jiggle the knots through the heddles, and resley the reed.
It sounds hard, but it is easier than rethreading all those heddles.

These are my birthday flowers.....they make the whole studio smell like spring.

And even though I have days that are less than stellar, I am still hopeful.
I'm not always even sure where it comes from,  this crazy hope, this wild dream that things will once again feel normal.
But it gets me through the day, so I'll take it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Today it was time for a little road trip.

As you can clearly see, it is still winter in northeast NY.

Scenic, yes, but I would rather see it on a post card, if you know what I mean.

And today was bitterly cold.  The wind was cutting.

DH doesn't ask anymore when I say I need him to go with me on a trek, oh and btw, bring your 4 WD TRUCK.   He knows the drill.
Here's the driveway we had to go down....this is half way was long and steep and icy.

And on the way home, it started to snow again.

Good grief.

But I persevered, and put up with more WINTER, for the prize at the end.

L said, it wasn't any surprise.  She said she knew what I was up to.
Apparently, I am quite transparent.
Who knew?

Isn't she beautiful??
I guess it is no wonder I am not rich here, even though I have worked hard enough to be rich.  I spend too much money on LOOMS, CATS, donations to dog rescues, grandkids, kids, THREADS to weave, and whatever else I am passionate about.
So who needs to be rich anyway??

The studio pays for itself, and allows me to do what I love.
That, my friends, is RICH ENOUGH FOR ME.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Take heed.

Life is full of lessons.  It doesn't matter how old you are, or how smart you think you are.
Be prepared to keep on learning life's little lessons.
So ..... first lesson for today:

Do NOT leave a bran muffin, even in a ZIP LOCK bag, on the counter in a house with FOUR cats.
Someone is going to have NO problem with the litter box soon.  Just sayin.

 Lesson #2 for today:
Do not suppose that the cat will RESPECT your hard work.  Ever.

As I was batching my sizable Handwoven collection into years, using the stairs to put them in order, Jinksie sat quietly watching me.  I figured that as long as I was there, and didn't walk away, she would not DARE to gallop down over them.
Real wrong.

Lesson #3 for today:

When someone orders something out of the box, something new, something that you have not thought to make before........beware.  They may have just come up with a NEW product, and something else to keep stocked on the shelves.
Introducing:   Bench Pads.

Although I must admit, I kind of like it.

 Lesson #4 for today:

 All those things you used to think were desperately important............they weren't.

Only THIS VERY MOMENT matters at all.

( A Weaver's Book of 8 Shaft Patterns, Carol Strickler. #149.  Page 34)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Be still my heart.

I am so in love with this pattern.
When I am weaving it, I enter the "zone".  Have you been there??
It's a marvelous place.  There is no headache, there is no worry.
It is heaven here on earth.
Everyone should go there from time to time.

While I am throwing the shuttle, my feet are dancing across the treadles.
8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, then 8,7,6,5,6,7,8,7,6,5,6,7,8, then 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8...............and repeat.
And magically, this design appears before me, and angels sing.
I kid you not.

Weaving centers me, and brings me serenity like nothing else I know.
Or have ever known.

I am only saddened that I only have a short warp on this loom, but I am not done with point I will tie another warp on as soon as it's done.
I am so into it, and it feels so good. 

Can you tell???

And I love that I can change the whole look with another color weft.
Here it is with brown.

 I like this treasuring every day gig.  It makes the "zone" more reachable.
 And that  has the potential to be life changing.
And Amen.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts