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Tuesday, January 20, 2015


The journey continues...

I met Savannah Grace at Circle Craft craft fair when her first book came out.  In November last year she was back with part two of what looks like might become quite a long series.  I can only say 'yay'!

Part one begins with their family journey around the world starting in Hong Kong.  Part two continues their travels in remote and far flung parts of the world as they continue to take local transportation, explore different cultures and generally learn a lot about human nature as they backpack hither and thither.

I do like a good turn of phrase nd Savannah Grace knows her way around the English language.

Knowing this surgery was coming up, I 'saved' part two for the trip.  Seemed appropriate to read about exotic travel while travelling myself, even if it was a much more mundane trip. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Another Kind of Loom, Another Kind of Weaving

Well, I'm not sure I'll have the mental wherewithal to actually work on this any time soon but here it is.

I'm using a design from one of the books by Eeva-Liisa Kortelahti, a Finnish bobbin lace artist.  While I have done very very simple designs of my own, I can't come close to the artistry of Kortelahti.  I simply haven't done lace frequently enough to even think about trying to design something.  Not to mention my eyes aren't great and I'm having more and more difficulty seeing 'fine' threads.  So I enlarged this design and instead of using 50's thread (sewing thread) I'm using 2/20 mercerized cotton.  And still finding it hard to see.

However, I think I've got the kinks worked out - at least enough to be going on with.  Doug helped me set up a small table with a light and an old office chair, which appears to be just about the exact right height.

I've started piling clothes and personal items on the bed, including all of my pills (how did I ever come to need so many?) and a stack of books.  A friend dropped off a little gift bag with things like eye glass 'wipes', a book light, and various other small items that I'm sure will be much appreciated for the hospital stay.

Once the mail comes, hopefully bringing the rest of the bills for the month I will head to town for errands.  Then I suppose all that's left is to finalize the packing and wait for one more sleep.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Carrot #2

So now both looms have shawl warps on them.  This one is just two shawls long (about 9 meters), partly because the yarn is a highly textured silk that is very grabby, partly because I'm using up stash (yay!) and I have limited colours to work with.

The yarn is 10 epi and I'm trying to kiss it into place at 10 ppi.  Just a gentle squeeze is required and I'm hoping that weaving on this warp will be a gentle introduction back into weaving, build strength in the muscles, and encourage flexibility.  Not to mention, mental health!

I am also thinking that, seeing as how the roads hereabouts are going to be snow laden in Jan/Feb, my walking will be done in the studio, round and round and up and down the stairs as I gain strength.  Seeing the pretty warps on the looms will surely lift my spirits during the blah days of the dead of winter and give me incentive to keep going.

Katie asked about reading...yes I have a tall stack (several of them, in fact!) of books and I will list them here as I go through them.  I'm hoping to make a significant dent in my to-be-read pile and clear some of the clutter off the hearth and the guest room.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Once again the colour isn't 'true'.  The weft is actually somewhat deeper, a sort of grey blue with purplish hints.  It looks almost silver here.

Since mobility is going to be a bit compromised for the first while, I figured I'd better get this warp actually weaving with the auto cloth advance set and ready to go.  Starting with the 2/10 Tencel at 28 ppi.  Which is very likely a mistake because when I went through my stash of 2/10 Tencel, I really don't have much left.  This blue, some red, some black and a variety of variegated yarns that are more in the earth tones.  I ought to have begun with the Bambu 12, of which I have a plentiful supply.

However, that said, I started with this one.

I thought I'd made a sleying error.  My math tells me I ought to have had an even number of dents with four per dent and I had one dent on the left with just two ends.  So using a contrasting colour I wove the header, but could not find any dent with only 2 or 2 too many.  What's a girl to do?  Keep calm and carry on!

Now that the AVL is all set up ready to go, I am going to get the shawl warp on the Leclerc.  Today I wound that warp and tomorrow I ought to be able to beam it although I do have some errands to run in the afternoon.  Since the warp is only about 240 ends, though, it should not take too long to thread, sley and tie on.

With both looms dressed waiting for me, I'll have lots of incentive to get back to the looms as soon as I can.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Math Impaired

All set up ready to thread - I sit on a small stool, using the tall weaving stool as a desk for my threading draft and pencil to keep track of where I am in the sequence.

Unfortunately I'm a tad math impaired at the best of times, and right now?  Well, not exactly the best of times.  I've been very distracted and focus has been difficult.  Which is a long way of saying I made an essential math error when calculating this threading.

The good news is that I only have to take out 2 inches and re-thread the last 60 ends that I did just before lunch.  Well, that's what my math tells me right now.  We'll see if I'm any more accurate today than I was yesterday!

However, I can now say that I'm scheduled for surgery next Thursday, Jan. 22.  Travel arrangements have been made, hotel room booked.  I can still be 'bumped' by an emergency, but they will do me as quickly as they can if that happens.

I have been pretty open about my health issues, partly because I consider the wider weaving community to be a part of my 'family'.  When I need encouragement, you give it to me.  When I need comforting, I find it amongst you.  When I need to hear success stories, you provide them.

So I apologize if I share too much at times.  But please know that I value your being there more than I can possibly say.

We leave on Tuesday so my goal from now until then is to finish setting up the AVL with this shawl warp and wind another shawl warp to go onto the small loom.  That way both looms will be dressed for when I feel able to get some weaving done.

Mom made a really excellent recovery after her open heart surgery a couple of years ago so I'm hoping for the same for me.  With two pretty warps on the looms, there will be lots on incentive for me to get back to weaving.  :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Working the Stash

This photo isn't quite 'true' - it looks more green than it actually is.  This warp was a bit of a challenge as I was - I am - trying really hard to use up what I already own, not buy more yarn.  So I had to get a little bit creative.

This is 2/16 bamboo from Brassard (or Halcyon - there may be other US suppliers).  I had 16 spools of black - not enough for a shawl warp.  I also had some dark blue in the same yarn, but not quite enough.  So I thought, what the heck, and added four green.  This still wasn't enough so instead of beaming 32 ends, I wound 30  but several 'extra' sections.  When I go to sley, I'll do it as 32 epi.

I have quite a bit of 2/10 Tencel, 2/8 Tencel, the fine bamboo from Silk City and lots of 2/16 cotton in a limited number of colours.  I wound a 40 yard warp and hope to get maybe 14, 15 shawls?  Still not sure how long I'm going to weave them.  More than 72" because that isn't quite long enough - probably 84".  I need to do some more math.

I did a quick and dirty threading - a large fairly simple central motif, a simple border for each side and the space between those two will be simple point progression.  Weaving will be twill variations, to be determined.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Counting Down the Days

With an estimate of 'sometime in January' for my surgery to happen, I'm starting to count down the days.  As it is the 14th today, that means that I should hear from the surgeon's office any time now and I'm beginning to look at what else I'd like to accomplish before I'm on weaving hiatus.

Overcoming a serious dose of procrastination I managed to get the last (of the in-hand) interviews transcribed yesterday, got some parcels that ought to have been mailed on Monday packaged up today, and taken a long hard look at the calendar and how many more days I might have to finalize preparations - like packing.

I'm hoping to finish this rose place mat warp yet today before dinner, take the table toppers to guild tonight to hem them so Doug can give them their final press - either before or after we get back -, beam the shawl warp onto the AVL and thread it, if not sley and tie on.  I'd also like to weave a light blue mat warp but we'll see how that goes.

I have the yarns pulled for a 'gentle' shawl warp for the Leclerc Fanny and want that ready to go before I leave, too.

Packing should not take long as I'll mostly be in my jammies but will need some clothing for the one or two days in Vancouver before surgery (we're hoping to find a movie theatre with The Imitation Game showing) and perhaps a day when I get out and the flight home.  And then it will be back to jammies when I get home.  :)

In one way, I suppose it might be easier to wind up on the table as an emergency - not having had months of waiting around.  On the other, I've had plenty of time to get myself mentally prepared for the 2-3 month recovery.  And I remain hopeful that it will only be that long - I know some people who have taken longer than that.  :(  I know that I might not be able to weave much on the AVL right away so I'm hoping that a friend will be able to help me dress the Fanny with more of the 'gentle' shawl warps to help me with physio - weaving is very much going to be a big part of my recovery, just like when I broke my ankle.

Today the sun shone - it really helped lift my spirits.  Now to see how much patience I have to use up until the phone rings...