Crazy as a Loom

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday plan

I had a plan today, to get the AVL dobby running.  I have been full of anticipation about it.
I wouldn't know if I liked this loom, and if it was everything I was expecting it to be, until I tried it.  It was a leap of faith to buy it, and I hoped it was the right leap.

I did get a short warp on it yesterday, so I decided to go for it today.

I have to say that at first, this loom was really intimidating.  I was a little afraid that I wasn't going to be able to figure it out.
It is pretty terrific when you realize that you are beginning to understand it.

The dobby bars have pegs in them, and these pegs raise the harnesses, and it makes a pattern, if you have pegged it right.

This loom came with a LOT of extra bars and pegs.

 This is my pattern.
I'm only using 8 harnesses.  I'll work my way up to 16, since that is what the loom has.

 Now this isn't perfect, but it's my first try, and I'm happy with it.

If you look close you can see my mistakes.........but overall, I am LOVING this loom.  The dobby mechanism is intriguing.  There are two treadles, and I thought they might be hard to treadle, but they aren't.  I can foresee getting used to this loom pretty easily.

It isn't noisy, and you never have to remember where you are, because the dobby remembers.
There is no brake release, the tension remains perfect all the time.
What's up with that??

 I know I have some harebrained schemes sometimes.......can I just tell you that it is a huge relief that I was not wrong about this loom working for me.
It made me smile all day.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Free stuff.

Free is good.

 Like Nexxie and Nuff.........(previously known as Next and Enough)
But even though they were "free", their care was not.
Vet bills, flea medicine, food.
But look at that face.

Today L and I went on  a little road trip, to an old church that used to be the home of an interior decorator/upholsterer, who is in the process of moving.

Look at this beautiful window cornice that he made.

 I loved the chair, which he built from scratch.

 Here's another one, that he pulled from a burn pile, and brought back to life.

But the real reason we were there is because he was interested in getting rid of bolts of fabric that he didn't want to move.
So we loaded up my car.

And all this was FREE.

Free is GOOD.

Here are some of the fabrics.
I am kind of conflicted about cutting them up to make rugs.

I'll try to get over it though.

 They will make beautiful rugs.

My father had a theory, that if it was free you should take it.
But that didn't always work out so good.

 My father could have been on that HOARDER reality show.  I'll show you a picture sometime.

So I don't always take stuff just because it's free, because deep down inside I am a little afraid of that tendency.
And in that spirit I am giving away some rolls of fabric........mostly blues and black prints.   They run 20-40 lbs per roll.  If you are interested, email me.  You will only have to pay shipping.
For real.
Paying it forward, you might say.

 And now it's time for Roy's walk.  If he can tear himself away from his blankie.

 It's amazing how fast he wakes up when he hears me get his leash out of the closet.

Can you blame him?   Fresh air is free.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stopping by to say hi.

Why hello!
My name is Henry.
Everyone says I'm just the cutest thing.


I took yesterday off,  and I spent part of it with this little guy.
And he is just about the best baby I've ever seen.  He's just very laid back, and very happy.
And why not?  Everyone is in love with him.

It is the first time I actually drove myself any real distance, and it felt kind of liberating.  It was time.
Spring is coming, slowly, but it is.
And afternoons of beautiful sunshine go a long way in making me feel better about just about everything.
Sunshine is powerful.

The sun just makes everyone feel better, right Roy?


I'm just taking it one day at a time......because I know it works.  I have history with it.
It worked before, and it will work now.
So short days at the studio, doing a little puttering here and there, walking Roy, doing  a lot of knitting.
I just wanted to take a minute to say hello.

I am getting better, and good things sometimes just can't be rushed.  And really, why would I want to?  Sometimes the journey is how you learn what you really need, and what you really want.
And that's huge.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday thoughts

Warning: photos unrelated to text.

I apologize for being somewhat absent here.
I am struggling, it seems, with my reality.
Don't we all do that on occasion??
I hope it's not just me.

First off, there's the pain...blahblahblah....and I am working around that.  It's getting better.  But I try to be conscious of the trauma that my neck muscles have been through not once, but twice, in seven months.  It's gonna take some time.  The physical therapy is great, and I am using heat, and exercising, and doing as I am told.
I am also listening to my body, which can be quite verbal.  I walk Roy every day, because he needs it and so do I.  But I'm working my way up to really LONG walks....not there yet.  Neck says NO.

I know that most of you, and most everyone else, has no clue how hard their neck muscles work on a daily basis.
Holy mackerel.
I do.  Oh, yes, I do.
I am trying to be patient and obliging, as I see no other recourse.

I am hoping and dreaming of the day when I can do more and have less pain.   I believe.
And of course, I know that my affliction pales in comparison to so many others; people who have lost limbs, who have lost loved ones.

The new dobby loom is sitting there patiently.  I got the new weight for the cloth storage beam in the mail from AVL.  I want (desperately) a sectional beam for it, as I am a sectionally warped kind of girl.  But we are going to put a regular warp on it from the warping board, so I can TRY it out, and then do the sectional beam at a later date.  But definitely, it is on my radar.
I am starting to wind the warp.   A little at a time.  Neck says so.  A little today, more tomorrow.

It is sometimes a "Sydney says" kind of day, but now it is a "NECK says" kind of day.

How times change.

I am grateful though, to be strong enough to do this at all.  I know, that I am fortunate, and that it could be very different.
Part of me is proud, sometimes too much.
But I want my daughters to look back and say, "Mom gave it her best shot.  She didn't let circumstances get her down, she kept moving forward, and she kicked ass."
Is that wrong of me to want that?
I think partly I feel that way, because my own mother is so different.

My mother gets up in the morning, and defines herself and the rest of her day by how bad she feels.
She has arthritis everywhere, so of course, she wakes up stiff and with some pain.  And nothing I say about the need to get moving is considered relevant.
Of course, by noon, she is fine, walking around, no more groaning and whingeing. (yes, whinge is a word, it's an English thing)
To whinge:  Complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way.

But by then she has wasted a great deal of her day, and her energy, and her brain space.  And it's hard to turn it around mentally.
And while I know that this is my mother at 89, and that age has impaired her thinking and her personality a great deal, the truth of the matter is that she was the same way when I was growing up.
She was a bear in the morning.
Maybe not in pain, but even in her 30's, she woke up with an attitude.  So much, in fact, that when I was 10 or 11, I told her to stay in bed, I was fine to get up and get myself off to school without her.
She was elated, and sad to say, so was I.
It is just as distressing to be around her in the morning now, as it was then.

I wish I didn't have to see her until noon, and that makes me feel so bad.  But it's the truth, unvarnished.  I love her, and I know she won't live forever, but to be around her when she wakes up is painful to me on more levels than I can explain.
The other truth is that my mother has been depressed for 20 years.  And only took meds for a few months........they were lovely months, by the way.  She refused to take them after that.  It's been her downfall.

I want to always see the bright side of things, I want to always nurture hopefulness, and a positive outlook.  I don't ever want to give in to misery.
I want to stay interested in life until my last day of it, at whatever level I am capable of.
And I've already told my three daughters, if I get depressed, and all three of you tell me that I am, bring on the meds.  No problem.
Because I've seen the alternative.

I think this whole head and neck experience for me has been illuminating.  It has made me see the inevitable changes that take place as we get older, as we move through our lives.
I know I won't always be able to do the things that I have loved.  It's happening already.  But there are still so many things that I want to experience.  There is always something to see, something to read, something to do, family to love.
I want to be present, in my heart, for all of it.  ALL OF IT.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


 Oh, not a real big refocus.
Just me, not being able to weave, so entertaining myself other ways.

My afternoons are spent with a walk for Roy, and then resting my neck.  Heat on my neck.  Motrin.
You get the picture.

So I knit.  And I read.  I play Scrabble on Facebook, if any of my opponents have been on to play their turn.
And today, I looked through some old pictures, and they just brought back memories I thought I would share with you.

Here is Sydney, you know, the fat fluff that hangs out here all the time?
Four years ago, when she appeared in my barn, weighing in at 5.5 lbs, pregnant, and just as lovable as she is today, she was a scrawny little thing.  The vet said she was about 9 months old.

 Thin or not, it didn't take her long to settle in at Crazy as a Loom.
This girl knew a good thing when she saw it.

As I was perusing, I was reminded of things I wanted to be weaving soon.

Like some mug rugs.  I just love making these.  I have a ton of them, but they are not in sets of 4, so I think I will make some to put on my web site.

I also want to make more of these may remember I made this one for an order a few years back.  I have no idea what the pattern is called, but I figured it out from an old rug a customer sent to me, and then I wrote it down, so I could do it again.

I think my first project on the AVL dobby is going to be an 8 harness pinwheel towel, like these I made a while back.
They have always been a fave of mine.


But mostly, I want to feel better, and stronger.  I want to be able to spend time with my friends and family without my neck feeling like I just took a roller coaster ride.
And a little voice keeps saying.
One day at a time, dear girl.  One day at a time.

My mother, my three daughters, and moi.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Contain yourself

Sorry I don't have a lot of wonderful weaving photos.........
I am trying to keep up my "low profile", which includes me going to the studio for a few hours, not doing very much of anything, then coming home to take Roy for a walk, and rest my neck.

I started physical therapy yesterday, and it was GOOD.   I don't have to work on strength, but I do have to work on getting my trapezius muscles calmed down, after they were traumatized just 3 weeks ago.
I didn't realize, until it was pointed out, that I have been walking around in a permanent "shrug".
When I consciously 'drop' my shoulders, it feels SO MUCH BETTER.
And the headache is better.
But I am very aware that I have had two major surgeries in 7 months, and I want to give myself time to heal, and time to get better.
This recovery is WAY easier than the one last August, for sure.  But I can't weave, and I must rest.
It sucks. 
But it's true.
I am trying to embrace it.  For now.

But you know it's driving me a little crazy, right?

The new AVL dobby loom is just going to have to wait for me.
I'm not ready yet.
But I am studying the manual, and planning what I will do on it, when I can.
That's as exciting as it gets around here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Say it ain't so

I have great daughters.  I guess I've told you that before.
But they're not just wonderful when I'm down and out in the hospital and NEED them.
They are also there for me when I have harebrained  wonderful ideas that I need HELP implementing.


I have dragged DH all over the countryside to satisfy my loom addiction.    This time he was up for the trip as well, but it was a lot of least 8 hours.   I knew I couldn't do it, and worried about him driving that much all at once, so I called daughter #1. 

Now I know you are all saying........"WHAT??ANOTHER LOOM?DID I HEAR THAT RIGHT?"

I know, I know.
And yes, I did just have major surgery 3 weeks ago today. And yes, I have .....15, 16.......looms......I lose count.
But this time there really is a 'method to my madness'.
I have wanted a "dobby loom" forever.  I have coveted an AVL dobby loom in particular.  But every time I saw one for sale, it was either more money than I could spend, or more likely just too far away to even consider.
Then, just 10 days after my surgery, while googling around......I found it.  It was perfect.  Exactly the loom I wanted.  Price.......doable.   Distance.....ack.......EIGHT hours.
But after lots of emails, and a couple of phone calls, a deal was struck............and an agreement with the seller to "meet me in the middle".
And THAT'S how it happened.
Sunday was a long day......DH and I left home at 7am.........picked up my daughter............finally got the loom back to the studio at 5:15pm, where L and her sister were waiting to help unload it.
Luckily, the front door at the studio is 36" wide, so with not much trouble, it arrived unscathed in the center hallway.
Even though it was made in 1988, it is really in beautiful condition.

Yesterday morning, L and DH and I somehow.......(I am still in shock)....managed to wiggle it through the door into the living room.......without taking it apart. 

 This is going to be a learning experience for me and for L.

I was a little overwhelmed last night, reading the manual, which is HUGE.
I kind of wondered WTH did I just do??  Am I nuts??

 But then today, after my first PT session...........L and I took a look at it.  She put things together while I read instructions to her. 
And suddenly, it started to come together.
 I had some questions...........but I think I have the answers.
And I think I can do this.

 You might be asking why?
And the short answer is:  I think this loom is going to be easier on my body. 
And I actually SOLD two looms that I love, to buy this one. 
It's all part of my downsized, redesigned, "new to me" reality.

Sydney says:   You're making me tired, Mom.  For real.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts