Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Pressing Matter

This afternoon I went up to the annex for a binge of pressing. The wet finishing mountain avalanched on Mizz B last time she came over so it was past time to start dealing with it. Besides which I haven't been feeling well so hemming seems about the right speed these days. :(

I'm still weaving as much as I can, but it's going very slowly. The specialist did say it was important to exercise plus I still need to weave as physiotherapy for my ankle so I've been weaving at half speed and only winding one bobbin at a time so that I have to take a little rest while I wind the next bobbin. I'm hoping to get the date for my medical test when I see him again on June 9 and find out where we go from there.

One of the things that many weavers don't understand is the function of a hard press or compression in terms of adding stability to their fabric. When I'm pressing I press side A then side B then side A again as my minimum press. This helps the threads to lock into each other and hold the structure just a little more firmly.

Not that I compress everything. Blankets or other textiles where one wants trapped air in the cloth for insulation for example may not get compressed. But certainly any cloth that will be used for garments does.

In the photo you can see my industrial steam press and just visible in the background is the boiler that runs it. There's a box behind the drying rack full of place mats that have had their finishing press after hemming. Tomorrow Mizz B can label and price them.

The scarves will have their fringes trimmed. I don't like the look of the frayed tips so those get cut off. The fringe then looks like it has been finished with beads - without the weight. :)

Yes I press the fringe too which leads to interesting discussions at times. At a show a couple of years ago a man was looking extremely closely at my fringes while his wife waited patiently for him. Obviously not customers!

When I went to talk to him he asked me how I made my fringes so I explained about fringe twisting. He professed amazement - he was an engineer - and commented that he had been trying to figure out the construction of the fringe - it looked twisted but it was flat!!!!

I laughed and fessed up that I pressed the you know what out of them. Then we both laughed and he and his wife walked away, mystery solved.

Currently reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mizz B, Triumphant

Mizz B wants to make bookmarks so I suggested she weave them in Summer and Winter.

It just so happened that the Woolhouse Tools 24 shaft loom was set up with a 16 shaft point progression Summer and Winter warp so tonight she came over to test out the concept.

We'd done a theory lesson Tuesday night. She had done some research herself by reading an article on Summer and Winter at

Tonight she wove various Summer and Winter treadlings to see how they actually worked. Then she wove the word "Books" into the cloth. You can just see the S and part of the K. By 9 pm she'd done the whole word.

This was her first time using two shuttles, first time weaving with more than 4 shafts, first time weaving a weave structure other than twill or plain weave.

This is the 5th warp that she's woven on. Triumphant. Yes. Oh yes.

Currently reading Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Centenary - of sorts

one of these days I need to make a new apron...2/8 cotton warp, 22/2 cottolin weft for hand towels

Today this blog passed a milestone of sorts. There are now officially 100 'followers' - although I know there are people who read the blog regularly without signing up as a follower.

So, thank you.

When I started this blog in August 2008 I had just come through a very trying time and thought that I was now on the road to recovery. Starting the blog was a way of celebrating and looking forward to the future. Little did I know how many pot holes there would be on that road, but then - none of us truly knows what the future will bring......< /div>

When I decided to become a weaver, it was a career choice. I did not fully understand or appreciate that it would in time become a passion, an addiction, in fact. That weaving would become my identity, my life.

One of the things I hoped to do in this blog was share some of that passion with other like-minded people. To share my triumphs (all too few) and my mistakes (all too many). If we learn by making mistakes I must be an encyclopedia by now! :D

It is heartening when people email or message me that they are learning by reading the blog. It was one of the things that I hoped would happen - that I could share some of my knowledge, my areas of finesse, with others so that they could avoid some of the pitfalls that lie in the road of knowledge.

I called my blog Weaving a Life because weaving has truly been my life. It's been 35 years now and while I may regret some of the things I've done during my weaving career I've not regretted becoming a weaver.

This morning while sleying the next warp on the AVL I was listening to an ABBA cd. One of their songs in particular resonates with me and so I'd like to paraphrase the chorus....

So I say...

Thank you for the weaving, the cloth I'm making.
Thanks for all the joy it's bringing.
Who can live without it?
I ask in all honesty,
What would I be?
Without a loom to weave on,
What would I be?
So I say,
Thank you for the weaving,
For giving it to me.

And thank you for coming along on this journey with me

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Window Treatments

bedroom valance and panel

kitchen Roman shades

In an early blog post I mentioned that during LBW (Life Before Weaving) I worked for a custom drapery shop advising people about window treatments and helping them choose appropriate fabrics for their windows.

This was an amazing job for an unbeknownst (at the time) proto-weaver because I was surrounded every day with hundreds of fabric swatches and working with colour and design on a regular basis.

I learned a lot about how fabric functioned in terms of window coverings which really helped when I decided to turn my attention to making fabric myself instead of just selling someone else's designs. :)

It was my intention to weave the drape fabric for the living and dining room windows but I also knew how much fabric would be required (plenty of experience measuring yardage and crunching numbers) and how fine a thread I would need to use to keep the weight of the living room drapes down to a reasonable amount, so I started out by making window treatments for other rooms in the house.

In the end nearly all of the other windows in the house eventually wound up with handwoven fabrics at one time or another.

Right now the kitchen, guest room, master bedroom and the studio windows all have handwoven fabric window treatments.

These two were woven from 2/8 cotton. The Roman shade in the kitchen is double weave with 32 epi (16 per layer) and a very fine cotton slub for weft. I used one shuttle to make the weaving easier and to bind the two layers together at the selvedge. I had to weave the fabric exactly as wide as the shades needed to be and I succeeded pretty well. They could have been a smidge wider, but overall they are just about perfect. They were professionally sewn to make sure they were constructed properly.

The shades were woven in the mid 1980's and have been installed ever since. In the last few years I've noticed that they have developed more of a swag than they had originally but that's okay. I'm drooping a little more every year myself. :^)

The bedroom window got done shortly after the kitchen. I was diagnosed with multiple allergies in 1985 or so and one of the recommendations was to remove carpeting and drapes from the bedroom to reduce dust. Well, I didn't remove the carpet, but I did replace the curtains with a blind. I found that a very stark look and decided to weave a valance and panels to bracket the blind.

The valance was railroaded (the fabric was woven to width and turned sideways). The panels were woven on the same warp and gathered like the valance.

They are easy care - wash and wear, put them back onto the double casing rods - don't even require ironing. :D

The weave structure is a huck lace with counter-changed units for the valance and with stripes of plain weave and a huck unit for the panels. I repeated the white stripes in the warp in the weft to make a plaid for the valance but thought that would look too busy for the panels and I'm quite happy with the over all effect.

The 2/8 cotton has quite a lot of body (I used Canadian warp-twist yarn) so not necessarily the best choice for windows. It worked well in these two treatments as the Roman Shade can stand a little firmness and the valance and panels hold up well because the yarn holds its shape nicely.

For a window treatment for a larger window or one that needs more drape, or for pleated treatments, a much finer thread would be a better choice - e.g. 2/16 or 2/20 cotton.

Weave the fabric sturdy so that it will hold its shape. Nothing worse than drapes that continue to grow - and grow - and grow! Unless you want them drooping on the floor like a Greek goddess (which is also a window treatment in favour from time to time).

Currently re-reading Soul Music by Terry Pratchett (forgot I read it already but enjoying it all over again)

Monday, May 24, 2010


painted warp
This morning I finished transcribing WeaveCast 50 with James Koehler, tapestry artist.
One of the things he talked about was developing finesse.
How does one achieve finesse?
One must work purposefully, analytically, constantly assessing what one is doing and the results being achieved. And then asking yourself if you are happy with those results.
If yes, nothing needs to be changed.
If no, then begins a process of trying different things to see if results can be improved.
What sort of improvement? It could be an improvement in quality. Figuring out how to do some part of the process that gives a better quality textile. Better design, better wearability, etc.
It could be an improvement in ergonomics. How can this process be changed so that it proves less stressful to the body?
It could be an improvement in efficiency. How can this process be changed so that it takes less time to do it?
All of these things can be considered developing finesse. How one gets to that place will depend on where one is starting.
For example, I have very good manual dexterity. I also have a very keen awareness of how my body works and what feels comfortable - or uncomfortable. It is very easy for me to listen to my body when it protests.
If something in the process feels awkward, think how it can be changed. Learn to listen to your body.
I have watched people tie a slip knot using many more hand motions than I employ. Now this may seem like a silly thing but if you are threading a 60 inch wide warp and tieing off groups of threads in, for example 8 end groups, that's a lot of slip knots. If you can change how you tie a slip knot so that it takes less than a second instead of two seconds, that's a considerable savings in time. Not to mention fatigue in your hands/wrists.
In terms of developing finesse, improving ergonomics and efficiency, it may seem like an emphasis on saving a second here and half a second there is pointless. But all those seconds and half seconds add up. All those savings in motion mean less wear and tear on your body.
Like James Koehler says, there are many ways to do any portion of the process. Learning lots of different ways means that you have lots of tools in your toolbox. You can then choose the appropriate tool for the job.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hard At Work

Doug had a small glitch in his plans this morning when his finger got in the way of the hammer and we made a dash to emergency - after wiping up the blood. (blech)

Two hours later, the good news was that there was no damage to the bone, the cut wasn't bad enough to require stitches and he's back at work again. (Note yellow tape on finger holding finger cot on to protect the dressing) More Silver Linings?

The dining room is nearly done, the living room about 1/3 of the way.

I spent a couple hours at the press getting 3 dozen or so mats and table runners ready to be hemmed. Now I'm taking a break and will go try to finish weaving the last scarf on the Fanny loom. Tomorrow I think I'll dress the AVL with another towel warp. Got to use up some of that 2/8 cotton. :)

Currently reading Oolong Dead by Laura Childs

Friday, May 21, 2010

In Search of Silver Linings

low areas in front of fireplace and front entrance

Cloud - prep work taking much much longer than anticipated (doesn't it always?)

High spots were sanded down, low spots were leveled and primed. One bucket of leveling compound was 'bad' and didn't set properly meaning that area had to be re-done.

Silver lining - the planks of cork should go down tomorrow fairly quickly.

Cloud - am losing my student/studio elf at the end of June.

Silver lining - I had her when I most needed help laid up with a broken ankle.

Silver lining #2 - she's going to be a really good weaver if she keeps at it - it's been a joy to have her in the studio. And she's not moving too far away so hopefully we can stay in touch.

Cloud - had to cancel my trip to Complex Weavers/Convergence due to health issues.

Silver lining - finally got in to the specialist today and I'm in line for a test and medical procedure that I've been waiting for.

Silver lining #2 - I can keep weaving - as much as I am able - until the test is done.

So far the silver linings out number the clouds, so that's A Good Thing, right?

Currently reading Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

Monday, May 17, 2010

Working Hard!

no, I'm not supervising - just snapping a picture!

Doug asked me today if I'd gotten a 'before' picture of the lr/dr and since he's just about finished removing the carpet and expunging the underlay, thought I'd get a quick snap of him hard at work. :)

The underlay is, as we expected, not much more than a layer of kernals. Doug is removing the baseboard and tacking strip here in preparation to vacuuming up as much of the underlay as he can.

he gets to pull staples. And pull staples. And pull more staples. :} That carpet was not going to come up without a whole lot of effort!!!

He will go over the sub-floor to eliminate squeaks (we've noticed a few over the years) and will then screw the sub-floor down.

We didn't get all of the clutter removed but the rest I'll deal with later.

In the meantime the drapes are down and I'll wash and re-hang once the new floor is installed. When we moved in I chose the least expensive option I could find which was to have drapes made from cotton/poly lining fabric, decorated with some grosgrain ribbon. 35 years later they are a little faded, but good enough for now. I'll decide later if I want to spring for new drapes or not.

And yes, I had intended to weave my own drapery fabric, but - well, I've woven window coverings for my studio and several other rooms in the house. I think that perhaps I'll pass on the lr/dr drapes after all. :^)

The good news is that after a long talk with my doctor today I lucked into an appointment on this coming Friday for the procedure I've been waiting for. Finally - some answers - soon! :D

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Spring Green

The flash on the camera kind of washed this warp of colour. The light yarn in the warp is a bright spring green which I've also used in the weft bundle and in which it doesn't really show at all.

However, I think the colour combination will go quite nicely with the pottery glaze called celadon so even though once again this isn't really 'my' colour I think it will go with some green dishes. If there are such things these days. Oh well, cream dishes would look good on them, too.

And they'll look nice displayed with the peach place mats, so...........

Today I finished the towel warp on the AVL. I had thought there were only two towels left to do but lo and behold, there was sufficient warp for four. :} Anyway, I finished the last one after dinner, then dressed the small loom and tested my colours for the placemats. Now I think I'm going to call it a night as Doug will be home from work in about half an hour. It's his final shift before his 3 weeks 'off'. Hopefully the floors will come up and go down quickly and painlessly.

Tomorrow I've got a couple of events to go to so I expect that the only studio work I'll do is maybe weave a few place mats.

On the ankle front, I've been able to walk up stairs for about a week. Today I can almost sort of go down them. Only gingerly and with my left foot placed at a particular angle, but still. This feels like a big step forward.

The last exercises given by the physio therapist were strengthening ones and every day I feel my foot and ankle are a little stronger than before. Monday it will be 10 weeks since I fell and broke it. I'm hoping that at the end of 12 weeks I'll be able to walk with a cane instead of crutches although I'll take both to Alberta for the conference. Just in case. ;)

Currently reading Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay

Friday, May 14, 2010

Good Stress, Bad Stress

This is a photo taken from the dining room toward the living room.
It was a pretty stressful day all in all. It started with a trip to the surgeon to have two recalcitrant sutures removed because they were not dissolving properly and were impeding healing of the incision. In the end it was a much simpler procedure than the last two sutures. :)
Then we went for brunch and came home to tackle Clutter Mountain.
Since Doug is working one more shift tomorrow I did not expect that he was going to try to clear out the dining room and living room furniture today so I had a few bad moments visualizing my handwork basket and chair disappearing with nothing to do tomorrow. Well, it's not that I wouldn't have something to do - it's just that my handwork is my comfort zone and I wasn't prepared for it to go away today!
Doug was stressed because I hadn't cleared as much clutter away as he'd hoped (because I thought I had one more day to deal with it!) and he wound up doing a lot of that himself. Even so I was on my feet way too much. I did try to wind a warp but gave up half way through. I can finish it tomorrow, after all. That was the extent of studio work for the day. :(
Anyway, while it was stressful it was in a good cause. Because that orange shag carpet is 40 years old and It Must Go!
Sunday Doug will dismantle the 'entertainment centre' (so to speak) and call his friend to come back and help him move the last few pieces of furtniture out into the storage bin. I don't know how quickly that will happen - if he will start ripping the carpet out Sunday or wait until Monday. At least I think the plan is to do the lr/dr first. Sometimes he changes his mind and thinks he's told me what he's up to without actually saying the words - out loud. :^)
Mizz B isn't coming Monday and I have another trip to my family doctor in the afternoon - can we please just get me fixed so I don't have to keep trekking down to see my doctor? I mean, he's a lovely man and his receptionist is a dear, but really - please fix me? I know, I know, I gotta wait my turn......
I was really hoping I'd be out of town for this part of the renovations, but the best I can manage is an afternoon with my 'lace ladies' on Sunday. Since all my bobbin lace stuff is in the storage bin I'll take a bag of hand hemming to do.
One of the things I plan on doing during the construction is to work on my finishing pile, going to the annex and pressing as many of the towels and placemats I've woven as I can. Since I'm still useless as a carpenter's helper it's just better if I absent myself entirely. :)
And work on transcribing WeaveCast. In the office. With the door closed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Summer Camp?

peach placemats begun
So, one of the things I've been thinking about was offering classes here in Prince George - weaving summer camp, if you will.
Of course I would need to know if anyone at all would be interested in travelling here for 2-5 days of intensive weaving instruction. 'Here' is about 400 miles north of the US/Canada border in central BC (Canada).
It would mean holding the 'camp' between mid-June to the end of August so that I could rent the guild room for the classes.
Actually June is a great time to come here - our days are long, not usually terribly hot yet, the guild room could have 6 to 8 students comfortably, more if we squeezed, and the guild room is located fairly close to motels and restaurants. The guild also has looms that could be rented by students.
Obviously the idea is too late for this year, but anyone interested in next?
If you have family or friends who like the great outdoors there is plenty to do - hiking trails abound, fishing lakes are within easy driving distance, Jasper Park is about a five hour drive away. More info here:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Special Day

next pt placemat warp

May 9 has been a special day for us for a long time. Today marks our 40th anniversary (ruby according to my mother, which is also my birthstone).

It is also the second anniversary of my angioplasty and while the road to health still seems to have some bumps to overcome, I am grateful that I am still here, still weaving. :)

Mizz B will be finished her shawl warp tomorrow at the latest so I'll get her to dress the loom with the next placemat warp once she's done. My ankle is coming along, albeit more slowly than I'd like, and it will be good to get back to some pt weaving on the small loom.

I am hoping that by the time I'm finished weaving this lovely peachy warp that my ankle will be strong enough that I can dress the loom with one of the many painted warps still to be done. While I am using the crutches when I leave the house and on stairs I can mostly get around unsupported. Still not 100% but flexibility is noticably improved after the ultra-sound treatment on Friday. I'm hoping that the surgeon will be proved correct and that 12 weeks after the break/surgery I will be significantly improved. Improved enough that on the trip to the Alberta conference I can actually help Doug, not just sit around feeling useless. :}

Best wishes to everyone on this special day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


inducted into the Arts Gallery of Honour for Dimensional!

Making Choices

...and weaving commences

One of the things a beginning weaver needs to learn is how to make choices. Learning how to choose appropriate fibres for the job at hand, choosing the design (stripes or solids, weave structure, etc.) and how to wet and dry finish their textiles.

And so here is me, a lover of complex weave structures, once again weaving plain weave (on my 16 shaft AVL, yet!) because it's the best weave structure mechanically and esthetically for this texile. (And yes, I threaded the ends over all 16 shafts.)

A straight twill would have made the textile heavier and thicker than I wanted and a complex twill in addition to being heavier than I wanted would have visually fought with the very rigid stripes in the fabric.

There are other textured weave structures I might have used but in this instance I wanted the very clean lines of the stripes to dominate. Not to mention that the weft already has texture. If you click on the photo you may be able to see the boucle weft more clearly.

There is one other thing about twills. A straight twill can, during wet finishing, turn a rectangle into a parallelogram. In other words, the cloth can elongate in the direction of the twill line.

This skewed line can be corrected during wet finishing if you know it has the potential to happen.

After the cloth has been scoured, agitated and dried until damp, check to see if the fabric is still true. If it has skewed along the twill diagonal, gently pull it against the skew. Then during pressing, make sure that the grain stays straight.

As for making good fibre choices, learn as much as you can about fibre characteristics, how the preparation for and spinning of the fibres affects those inherent characteristics and how your choice of density and weave structure will also affect the cloth.

A quick guide is Judith Mackenzie McCuin's The Intentional Spinner. A more in-depth study is A Guide to Textiles for Interior Designers by Dixon and Jackman. I also teach a seminar called A Good Yarn.

Currently reading God of the Hive by Laurie R. King

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tiny Steps

threaded warp

close up of warp stripes - click for bigger image so you can see all the colours better - there are 9 of them in this warp

Yesterday I finished the 'spring' towels. This morning I beamed the next towel warp. This time I did 15 yards because I blew through the last warp pretty quickly. :} This one should go fairly fast, too, so I figured I'd put a little extra on the loom. Besides I was quite happy with the striped design even though these are, once again, not 'my' colours. The weft will be a rayon/linen boucle' woven in plain weave.

I am now able to stand and even walk a short distance unsupported but I spent too much time on my feet this morning so by the time I got to physio my ankle was rather swollen. :( Which may not have been a bad thing because they told me to come back next week. :} I'm actually kind of glad because I don't think I'm quite ready to be cut loose yet. While up and down movement is much improved, side to side is still pretty tight and winding the next placemat warp last night I could really feel how tight it was as I rocked slightly back and forth, winding. Was really glad that Mizz B had done 2/3's of the warp for me!

It's also clear that the wisdom of the universe was working when my teaching dates this month got cancelled. Obviously I would not have fared well travelling a long distance cramped in an airplane, then spending days on my feet.

My concerns about income have been somewhat allayed as the Studio Shoppe says I've had some sales (don't know if they mean more than the four scarves I already know about) and today a client came - construction chaos and all - and bought eight tea towels! She even refused the discount I was going to give her! :D Would that all customers were so generous!!!

Doug has been a trooper and made steady progress yesterday and today sorting drawers and packing up the living room contents. I'm still pretty useless other than to urge him to throw things away or give them to the railway museum garage sale. He delivered a bunch of stuff today and there may be more to go next weekend. There is only one week left before he has his time off to actually do the work of first removing the current flooring, then installing the cork.

Things are going to get stressful very soon now. :} I mean, what am I going to do without my handwork???

Currently reading Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Of Setbacks and Silver Linings

This the the view from my living room window for the next month. :) After living in this house since 1975, we are finally (finally!) replacing the orange shag carpet in the lr/dr!!!

The storage bin was delivered yesterday and I'm hoping Doug will start moving boxes out there soon so we can carry on with packing stuff up.

While I readily admit that I'm not looking forward to the house being torn apart, I am looking forward to the new cork flooring that we'll be putting down (did I say "we"? I meant "he") in the hall, bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining room.

I'm even considering buying a Roomba (sp?) to do the daily (ahem) vacuuming. It's our anniversary in the 9th - our 40th - so I figure something special is in order. :D

Silver lining #1 is that the railway museum is having their garage sale at the end of the month and I'm going to be brutal packing up some of our things which will head for the museum, never to darken my cupboards again.

As for setbacks - well, have you ever done something you know is totally stupid but you stubbornly go ahead and do it anyway?

Well I do. On a regular basis, sorry to say...

On Sunday I was determined to go and press a bunch of placemats. Unfortunately it's very difficult to carry a bucket of stuff when you're using crutches. But I put my boot on and drove up there, then knowing totally better, I propped the buckets (one at a time) on my left hip while I hippy-hopped with one crutch into the annex.

Yes, I put my lower back 'out'. Yes, it hurts. No, I couldn't really stand and I certainly didn't feel up to weaving yesterday, even after a chiropractic adjustment. :( It was a little improved this morning but still didn't feel great so I went back for another adjustment this morning. By 2 pm I was fed up with sitting with alternating ice and hot packs and decided that weaving might just be a good thing to do - it would gently work those lumbar muscles that had gone into spasm.

I managed to do my minimum pt weaving this afternoon and felt no worse for it, and perhaps even a little better, so I'm going to finish off that warp tomorrow so Mizz B can put her shawl onto the loom tomorrow night.

After beating myself up yesterday about being so silly I decided that putting my back out maybe wasn't such a bad thing after all. Why? Because I've been able to put pretty much my full weight onto my left foot since Saturday and if I hadn't hurt my back Sunday I probably would have set the walker and crutches aside and done too much too soon without them. :} As it is I'm walking but only with support and feeling my ankle getting stronger every day - without stressing it too much with my overly optimistic expectations.

Besides, I can weave, so........

Currently reading Nowhere to Run by C. J. Box

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Small Victories

Next placemat warp. This one is one end of yellow, one end of a pale orange for the warp. The weft is a bundle of 1 orange, 1 yellow, 1 ivory and 2 ivory slub. It looks much prettier in person. :)

One of the things I've learned the past 8 weeks is that recovery from trauma is not accomplished in a single bound, exclaiming ta-DAA!

It is, rather, a serious of small victories, some of them almost too tiny to notice.

Last Sunday I was able to stand with my weight equally distributed on both feet. On Monday I had my first physio therapy session and was given an exercise to help loosen my extremely stiff ankle. Gradually I was able to bend it a tiny bit further which made 'walking' and sitting much easier. One doesn't think about how much the ankle is flexed in order to sit and then stand up again, never mind walking. :}

Yesterday I had my second physio therapy session and was given two more exercises to build strength and yet more flexibility, this time side to side. By Friday I found I was able to hobble a few steps without support - no boot, no walker, no crutches.

But I am far from 'recovered'. It was only this morning that I was able to get into one of my own socks rather than Doug's 'sloppy' sock, and I still can't wear any of my shoes on my left foot except for a flip flop. I was able to force my ballet slipper on so that I could weave for a while this afternoon. Almost felt like a real weaver at that point! :D

I'll go back to physio therapy once more and then basically I'll be on my own to continue the stretches and strength exercises.

I will continue to wear the moon boot when I leave the house for a while. My ankle is still extremely sensitive to touch and an RN friend has cautioned me to be very careful not to twist my ankle. Wearing the boot and using a crutch (or crutches or eventually cane) lets the people around me know that I've got a problem and hopefully they will steer a wide berth around me. :}

On May 8th I have a 'fancy' function to attend. (I've been nominated for the local Art Gallery of Honour - extremely doubtful I'll make it in, given the competition!) I'll wear the boot because I don't know how much standing schmoozing we'll do or how crowded it will be. After that I think I'll see if I can leave the boot off when I leave the house.

Besides, if I still can't fit into one of my regular shoes, no one can fault me for wearing the boot. :^) It's basic black so it will go with the long black dress I'll be wearing. The aluminum crutches should make an 'interesting' accessory. :)

Currently reading The Truth by Terry Pratchett

Unmercerized Warp Twist Cotton

The above yarn comes in 2/16, 2/8, 4/8 and 8/8 sizes. It is unmercerized and warp twist format, so plenty strong enough for warp in all sizes.
The 2/16 size is the one I use most commonly for towels, set at 32 with a cottolin weft. This combination makes simply great towels. I've also used it for garments. If you have a copy of Magic in the Water, the three piece suit (honeycomb jacket, blouse and pants) was made with marine blue 2/16 cotton as warp and weft for the blouse, 2/8 cotton weft for the pants and the jacket was made with cotton chenille for the outlining threads and 2/20 merc. cotton for the cell wefts.
The 2/8 size is commonly used for table textiles - placemats, table runners and so on.
I've used the 4/8 size for placemats with more heft, e.g when someone wants a really thick mat to protect a wooden table from heat.
The 8/8 size I've used for rug warp or a thick weft for placemats.
Generally these yarns are dye fast, although I have had rare instances of dye running. I always assume that there will be fugitive dye and wet finish accordingly, but this brand of yarns has a pretty decent track record.
I can't guarantee that you will see the colours 'true'. If you are interested in this yarn and getting the absolutely correct colour is crucial, it's always best to check the actual yarn. Of course there is always dye lot differences, so even checking an actual colour card may not guarantee a perfect match, one dye lot to the next.
The finer weights (2/16, 2/8 and 4/8) come on 8 ounce tubes at $10/tube (Canadian). The thicker weight (8/8) comes on one pound tubes at $20/tube.
It is also possible to get any of these colours in a nice weight boucle. The tubes are 8 ounces and the price is $13.00 per tube.
I have a few colour cards - if you would like to have one, I'd be happy to mail one to you.