Crazy as a Loom

Friday, August 30, 2013

A little rant, and a sale.

Ok, at the very bottom of this post I have copied my recent newsletter, because I realized that some of my bloggers may not get my newsletter, and I want to offer these great sale savings on to you.  If that's blatant retail, then so be it.

I have good days and bad.  But L and I did get those two big sock rugs done.  It amazes me what a well oiled machine we are making TWO 7'x10' rugs in four mornings.  We don't even have to talk, I know what she's doing, she knows what I'm doing, and before long this rug begins to appear, tightly woven, straight edges and all.
It's very rewarding.

I have decided that we all have some inherent qualities for dealing with pain.
It's kind of like having a baby.  You forget it.   What's that old joke, about if you didn't forget it, you wouldn't ever do it again.   Well, you do.  You talk about it, but it loses its punch. Pain just isn't the same in retrospect.
Which is why, I've decided, that one day I can be wiped out, on the couch, thinking about how far away is the nearest bridge...............and the next day I'm back weaving and dreaming about things I want to do.
Pain knocks me down, but it doesn't own me.  The minute pain backs off, I am on my feet again, like a worn out, punch drunk, old fighter, not ready to leave the ring.

Every day is a new one.  I roll with it.  If it starts off tough, I take it easy.  I wait until I think I can get moving, then I do.  I get busy, it gets better.  Or if it doesn't get better, at least it doesn't dominate my thoughts.
I am adamant.
It doesn't own me.
It is HH, the headache, the monster, but it is not me.
It is NOT who I am.

Every day, I set a goal for myself.   To do something, however small.   Then if I feel like it, I do more.
Like yesterday, I made a zucchini chocolate die for, I might add.  I went to the library.
I rode through the countryside at dusk, and breathed in the smell of fresh cut fields.
Some days, it's SAE, my friend's advice, Scrap All Expectations.

But still, this headache does not own me.

Every day, I count my blessings.  My family, my friends, Sweet Boy Roy.  The people I love, the people who love me.
My stamina.  My determination.  My overall health.  My studio.   The incredible life I have lived.
The life I intend to live.  My dreams.

No, headache, you DO NOT OWN ME.
Not now.  Not ever.
You can stalk me daily, you can nag at me, beat on me, knock me down occasionally.
But you do not own me.  I am more than YOU. 
Get over it.

The Sale ..........

 Hello everyone.......
It's time for a VERY SERIOUS SALE......end of summer, Labor Day, fall is here, time to shake things up SALE.



LOOPER REFILLS REGULAR $18.95, are $12.95
ALL SOCK MONKEYS are $24.95......we have a lot of them, they are not on my web site, just specify felt eyes or button eyes, and color preference, we will do the best we can.

When you make a purchase, it will show the regular price.  I will refund you the discount via Paypal ASAP.

Schacht Wolf Pup LT, brand new, still in wrapper.  Retails for $1250, only one available, $950 plus shipping or you pick up. 
Four harness, 6 treadles, this is the only loom I would think of taking anywhere, as it is so easily transportable.
It is a great little loom.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Looking up

Is it just me, or do all bloggers get somewhat flustered, when a commenter asks a question, but doesn't leave you any way to answer???

Anyhow.....the rug is a sock rug made from Solmate Socks, and it is 7' wide, and it is being woven by TWO of us, on a Toika countermarche loom.  It will be 10 ft long, plus a little.  It is ONE of TWO.

One of my commenters sent me this, and it has been on my mind all day long. Wow.

Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.
Joan Chittister
Uncommone Gratitude  

It is perfect for me TODAY.  Right now, at this point in my life.  Maybe my alleluia point will take place in the Operating Room.  Or waking up with all limbs moving on command.  Or finally finding myself drugged up, but safely on my way home up the Interstate.
Maybe it will be a gradual alleluia, with gratitude just piling up along the way.

Today, L and I did the first half of the second rug.  Tomorrow we will finish it, and the TWO 7'x10' sock rugs will be on their way via UPS.

Good thing we had help.

 And it will be a great relief to me, that we managed to get them done, in spite of present circumstances.

Then I can get back to my towels.  :)
My not so secret little addiction.

This afternoon, I played with this.......which I made for Ava from a pair of old jeans.  I have a feeling that both my grandgirls are going to want more like this.
I have a few ideas.

Can ya' believe it??



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's time.

I know that many of you are out there waiting, and wondering what happened with my MRI.
I got the news last Friday, but to be honest, I wasn't much in the mood to talk about it.
I have been trying to "act as if" as if I didn't hear that.

My neurosurgeon was surprised, and not happy, at what he saw.  Once again, the bone is growing where it shouldn't be, between the two rods in my cervical spine, pressing on my brain, making my face feel like it met up with a baseball bat when I wasn't looking.

I had about 24 hours of spontaneous tears, just dripping off my face throughout the day.
I have had a couple of sleepless nights since.  I have been angry, sad, incredibly disappointed.  Even a little worried. But in the end, all the fears, anxieties, resentments, and insecurities have to lay down their ugly selves, so that you can keep living your life.

My headache has ramped up, like "oh well, now she knows what is going on, no sense putting any shade on this".  But I can't lie on the couch with a warm, wet wash cloth on my forehead.
That's just not going to cut it for me.

I find that if I just keep keeping on, doing as much of what I normally do as possible, I don't think about it as much.
I took my grandgirls to the county fair.

 We ogled the pigs.

 They wanted to bring a baby pig home.

We held baby chicks.

We looked at cow butts.

They rode the swings, giving me the head rush.  There they go............

When I was all alone, I sat at the end of the day with a Corona, and beautiful, golden light.

 I held my boy, Next.

I wove with L on a freaking HUGE SOCK RUG.

 I ate greens out of the little garden that COULD.

I found incredible pleasure in sharing my friend Michelle's woven shawl, that she just finished.
It was extra special since I taught her to weave, and she has become a talented weaver all on her own.
Heart be still.


I even helped her pick out some threads for it.  It really, really turned out well.  Honestly, it's just STUNNING.

I spent time with friends,  and reveled in the knowledge that I have sent many new weavers off on new adventures  with their looms.

Here is another past student, Sue, talking about her accomplishments and sharing pictures.
I am happy that they feel so comfortable coming back to the studio.
They've become good friends.
In fact, weaving has made me a lot of friends.

So yes, I am unhappy about the MRI results, and what they mean.  I don't look forward to another surgery.  And it's a little nerve wracking, waiting for the doctor to research and find ways to stop the bone from growing, once he removes it AGAIN.

But on the other hand, I ain't done yet.    Nope.
And I don't want to waste any of my precious time on earth, worrying about what will happen next.
When I get there, I'll do the best I can.
Until then, well, there's life to be lived.  It's a no brainer.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lois at the Fair

She may kill me, but I think what Lois has accomplished deserves her own post.

Three years ago, "L" came to the studio with no weaving experience, newly retired, and with a lot of free time. You may remember that she said she didn't want to weave, she just came to help.

It wasn't long before I had a big rug to weave, and I needed her help on the other end of the loom.
She cringed, but she stepped up to the challenge, and it was just the first of many, many huge rugs that she has helped me make.  She was pretty much a natural at it, and we are now a smoothly oiled machine working together on 7' wide rugs.

 This week, she has been doing a weaving demonstration at the Washington County Fair.
She is very outgoing, and sociable, and there is NO ONE she can't carry on a conversation with.
Just sayin'.

After her first "big rug" with me on the Toika, she started weaving sock rugs.  She caught on quickly, and since then has woven just about everything there is to weave in the array of rugs from Crazy as a Loom.
She has two looms at home, and she has made some dish towels, some scarves, and some awesome framed studies in black and white.   Her own creation, I might add.

She has mastered this antique barn loom as well.

 This loom is circa 1700's.  Here is the braking system.  There are little "knots" in the stick, that catch in those holes.

On the other end, the stick is holding the beam still in bigger holes.  When it is time to advance the warp, she has to go back there and turn that beam by hand.

She has worked hard for three years, and she is definitely a bona fide weaver.  I am proud of what she has done, and she should be.

Not to mention that she hates cats still, LUCKY THEM.

 And she has single handedly made it possible for me to play hookey while having my head rearranged, taking care of everything at the studio, including 5 pesky cats.

And the best part is that she has become one of my best friends, someone I can always count on, no matter what.
She may blush, but she has a heart as big as they come.

 She even advertises the studio while she is at the fair, check out her shirt!!!!

The infamous "L" is really apprentice extraordinaire, Lois, a very special person.
I think you've graduated, girl.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Here they are .....couple of updates to things you wanted to know, or things I thought you wanted to know.

1. MRI.  

No results yet.
Don't you just love waiting for things like this????   I refuse to get wound up about it.  It'll shine when it shines.

2. Not having to tie on to the AVL.

The AVL has this "sticky beam" which I had never seen before.  I'd heard of it, but couldn't really
wrap my brain around it.
Well, it works.  It really does.  It is similar to sandpaper, kind of.   So when I got the 8/2 cotton threaded through the reed, I just pulled the threads over the sticky beam, pressed them down to make sure all the threads were touching it, and cranked it tight.  Then I just started weaving.
O.M.G.    You bet!!!!
 What a treat to not have to tie on.
I'm sold.

The other thing about the AVL is that there is no brake release.  The tension is terrific, and you just advance when you need to.  The tension stays the same.  It's really unbelievable.

 Now I have to admit, that this towel made me wonder if I still have all my marbles.  Red and orange?

Not sure about it, not sure at all.  It was so intense, it was over the top.  It tired me out.

 I only did ONE of them, and started weaving with bright white. Ah, sweet relief.
This felt like a cool breeze.

The BEST news is my hot tub got fixed today, and my neck is sccccrrreaming for it.
I will sleep well tonight.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Winner is.....

For the weavers out there ( the rest of you can skip this paragraph in red)...........I wound my warp in red, it was supposed to be 480 threads, 12 sections at 40 threads each.  But I put too much on each spool, and only wound up with 38 spools.
So I wound the 12, but that left me 24 threads short. 
I looked at the spools, and they looked like they had enough on them, so in a moment of "brain fog", I took 12 threads off, and wound 24 threads onto one section.
WRONG.  If you look at the picture in the previous post, you can see that those 24 threads spread out, and that section is NOT LEVEL with the others.  This means that that will cause big tension problems throughout the warp, and I knew I'd screwed up as SOON as I did it.  I called my friend Chris and she concurred. WRONG.
So I'll just SKIP that section entirely, and my towels will be 24 threads narrower.
Weavers can laugh at my's ok.  I'm learning all the time.

I don't blame you all for lusting after my AVL.  I love it more every time I use it.  Today I finished threading it, and decided to try something I have read about  another AVL owner doing.  I brought the threads right over the sticky beam, did NOT tie on, and started!!!!!  heart be STILL.  
This is pale yellow on a red warp.  I am presently pegging a new pattern, but I don't know.....I am still loving this one.

  Oh, yeah, a GIVEAWAY......well, the selected #4, so that means Denise at Autumn Sky is our winner............pick a color, girl.  And happy dish toweling!  Congratulations!!!

We had a combo birthday/pesto making  party at my house.

Can I just say our kitchen was a freaking mess.

 We made 24 small bags, each big enough for a pesto pasta dinner.
All the basil came from my little garden at the studio.

 The smell of garlic was lovely, if you like garlic, and I do.

Pesto, anyone??

My youngest soon to be a first time Momma herself, was busy making puff pastry with 
chocolate filling.

My girls and their children make my heart sing.
I am a lucky woman.

I better get back to pegging my dobby bars for my next pattern.
These pictures are making me hungry. 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Having a talk with your brain.

As crazy as it sounds, it's what I had to do.
I had to talk turkey to  this head of mine.
 (it went something like this)

OK,like knock it off.  Enough already.  What the hell??
Life is too short, and here you are, spending every waking minute pounding and being miserable.
Wasting my time, and YOURS.
Look, it's been two years already.  Two surgeries.   A wicked  long list of days that  were barely manageable.
Aren't you tired of it???
How about this???
You settle down, and take a breath.
Maybe just have a melt down or two a day, NOT ALL DAY.
We can do this, me and you.  I just know it.
I really think you should consider the alternative.
Remember the trip to Great Neck? The hospital?  The operating room?  Oh, those harsh lights, and then nothing, only to awaken to even more pain?
C'mon HEAD, work with me here.  I'll try to be better to you.  You try to be better to me.  That's how great relationships work.
And to be honest, I can't do this without you.

Towels are done.  Drawing is tomorrow evening.  Maybe I will even get the results of my MRI tomorrow?  Maybe it will be good news.
Good grief, sometimes I annoy myself with such optimism, but hey, what's the alternative?

Here are the colors I have for you to peruse, so if you WIN, you will be ready.

These are lavender and turquoise.

 Royal blue.

 Country RED.

Black anyone??


 Another purple, a little darker.

And the next warp is on the AVL, ready to rip.

I made a mistake on this.  All you weavers probably know what it is.  I knew it the minute I did it.
And I am going to work around it. See if you can tell what it is.

And yes, I've cleaned my desk, thank you.

Yesterday and today have been a little easier.  Maybe my head is listening?  Or not.  But I'm grateful for the break, whatever the reason.  I'll take it.  Who knows what tomorrow might bring.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts