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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wait For It...

A few days ago Katie asked about the Big Project.  Soon, my dears, soon will come the Big Reveal...

Monday, July 21, 2014


My mother used to ask the rhetorical question "How did you get to be so stubborn?!"  It took all my will power to not respond "Have you looked in the mirror?"

During my mother's long life (and my father's all too short one) Life Happened on a regular basis.  Time after time she weathered the storm and, now 87 soon to be 88, she picked up the pieces of her life and carried on.

I suppose I inherited this wide stubborn streak from her.  Or maybe there is just a level of pragmatism that allows me to see that everyone, everywhere, has Life Happen to them on a regular basis.  None of us gets out of here without having calamity happen to them at some point along their journey.  Sometimes frequently.

I suppose that what I learned from my mother was that we have two choices.  That's it.  Just the two.  We let the wave crash over us, pick ourselves up and carry on.  Or we sink into the quagmire that has been left behind.

When my brother died and my health issues were diagnosed I had a touch of survivor guilt.  Why was my younger brother taken away from this life and I left behind?  He who had given so much to so many, worked so hard to make his dreams come true, endeared himself to so many and, ultimately, would be so missed by literally hundreds of people?  The church was overflowing at his funeral - a church which easily holds 250 - and not everyone who held him dear was able to attend.

Why was I left behind?  Why, indeed, am I still here?

I have no answer to that question.  All I know is that I still am.  Therefore my time is not yet over.  The only thing I can do is to live my life as best I am able.  To wait til the waves wash over me then pick up the pieces and carry on.

Besides, I still have all this yarn to use up...

More tea towels:  Currently on the loom 2/16 bleached/natural cotton warp with singles 10 tow linen - should be finished in time to be included in the July Special Offering:

price $28 each (approx 24)  

2/16 cotton warp with cottolin weft  price $32 each (2 left)

2/16 cotton warp with cottolin weft price $32 each (4 left)  (Snail's Trails and Cat's Paws design in twill blocks instead of overshot

Remember - buy any two items and receive free shipping - until July 31, 2014.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Place Mat Progress

If you have been following along on my adventures, you might remember this post.

Well, that pile of yarn now looks like this:

Yes, this is all that is left as of today.  I've already wound the warp for the cream and will wind two more shorter warps for the rose and green because there is less than one pound of each of those and it was taking about l pound 3 ounces of yarn for the weft on my standard length mat warp.

In addition to this progress making place mats, I've also woven 32 tea towels, using up 6+ pounds of the singles 10 tow linen.  With 4 and a bit pounds left, I've beamed a 30 yard cream warp in hopes of seeing the end of that particular yarn very shortly, too.

One of the things cancelling my teaching contracts has done is open up the next year to not having to think about anyone else - no hand outs, no re-tooling class samples, no ironing out travel details.  It is kind of refreshing to be a little bit selfish, only having to think about what I want to do.  Getting stuck into my stash and using it up as quickly as I can.

In the meantime I'm in limbo waiting to hear what happens next - and finding out a possible time line for when it's going to happen.  So I'm trying to stay in the here and now, focus on weaving and picking my way through as much of my stash as I possibly can.

Friday, July 18, 2014


No special effects required.

This morning dawned - if I can use the term loosely - with a dark nasty grey/yellow/orange light from the cloud cover and thick smoke from the wildfires burning all around us.

The tourist bureau came up with this poster, which I thought was rather clever and took the surreal nature of the light and made fun of it.

We are fortunate in that none of the big fires are really close to us but we are surrounded and no matter which way the wind blows we seem to be in the smoke plume.  Thankfully we had a day of respite yesterday, which made today even more depressing.

If this continues much longer I may have to run away to the coast to get away from it.

In the meantime I'm trying to stay on track with the weaving, stash reduction, inventory build, etc.  Both looms have new warps and I'm going to start weaving on the small loom today.  The AVL will take about 3-4 hours (spread out over a day or two) to thread and then I should be able to use up the last of the tow linen in the singles 10 size.

Of course there are boxes of more fine linen still at the annex.  Unfortunately I can't get to the yarn because the other night one of the shelving units attached to the wall came loose (possibly due to the earthquake in the Yukon?) dumping all the stuff stored on the shelves onto the pile of boxes in the middle of the floor.  Doug will have to move everything out to the loading dock, replace the unit that came down, repair the one next to it that was partially torn down, then move everything back again.

He's got his work cut out for him.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lost Cross

In an ideal or perfect world, none of us would get distracted or sloppy.  But that isn't how life is.  We get tired, stressed, distracted and sloppy, sometimes all at once.  And so I lost the cross in this warp due to one or all of the above - mostly because I got sloppy with how I secured the lease sticks.

However, losing the cross isn't the end of the world or even the warp.  Since I use the reed to spread the warp, the threads stayed in their order in groups of four so it was an easy matter - like about 2 minutes - to pick the cross up again so that I could transfer it to the back of the heddles for threading.

While having a four by four cross isn't my usual manner of working, it's perfectly do-able.  With this yarn, a four by four cross isn't going to affect anything very much at all...

warp beamed but lacking cross - weight is out of sight but holding tension on the warp to make the threads behave

first lease stick inserted half way through the warp

first lease stick the entire width of the warp

second lease stick with four by four cross

Mistakes happen.  Don't cry over spilt milk.  Fix it.  Get on with it.  Focus on solutions, not assigning blame.  In the end it doesn't matter why it happened, but getting it fixed so you can move on to the next step.  And hopefully remember the next time you are distracted to set the world aside and focus on what you are doing.  Now if I can only remember that my own self...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Smoky sunset

July 15 about 6:30 pm taken with my phone.   The reddish ball is reflection, the sun is the smaller yellowish ball.   We should be having clear blue skies, not this murk.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

July Special Deal cont'd

A Good Yarn:  Cotton (2 copies),  A Good Yarn: Rayon (way too many copies left - 40?) are sample packets with explanations of the fibre characteristics of each yarn.  Cotton has 10 projects with before and after wet finished actual fabric samples.  Rayon has 7.

In addition to my own titles I published Kerstin Froberg's  Weave A V.  This booklet explains how to weave a V shaped shawl using double weave. It includes explanations for both rising and sinking shed looms, how to weave four shaft weaves in double weave/width and how to derive the tie up to make sure it works properly when you open the cloth up.

Magic on cd/flashdrive:  $25
A Good Yarn:  Cotton:  $50
A Good Yarn:  Rayon:  $40
Weave a V:  $20

Tea Towels (new)

This photo looks more yellow green than the towels actually are - the warp was a turquoise with natural linen for weft, so more beige than yellow.  $28 each  (16 towels)

The cloth turned out quite nice after wet finishing.  They have a nice feel with a little bit of 'scrub' to them.  Make good hand or kitchen utility towels.

I'm over the half way mark on the beige/peach/rust warp and there should be 12 or 14 towels off that warp, too. (Two of those towels are already spoken for)

Most of the towels listed on my previous post are still available although some of them are getting low in terms of numbers.  Contact me laura at laurafry dot com for details or photos.  I did not photograph all of the towels I have in inventory (like the turquoise/purple and turquoise/dk blue) ones woven with cottolin weft.

Buy two items, get free shipping continues until July 31.

Currently reading Broken Harbour by Tana French