Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Creating a book isn’t much different from creating a textile.  

There are stages to go through.  

The first seed of the idea.  Contemplating the potential of that seed.  Outlining what the completed book might look like, in broad terms.  Then refining that broad scope into greater detail.  Ultimately doing the work of interpreting the concept into words that you hope will make sense.  

Once you have mostly written the words there is the search for intent being made comprehensible.  There is the polishing for clarity.  Then the search for typos and mistakes of grammar.  

With each examination of the manuscript, you reach a stage of done-ness.  Of being 95% ‘done’.  Done that bit.  Each pass through you feel a little more confident it is readable.  Becoming more ready for the light of day.  And public opinion.  

Then photos are taken, edited, slotted into the text.  Diagrams are drawn and also inserted.  Doing this changes the formatting, so again you sift through the pages.  95% done.  Again. 

One last sweep through to sieve out any obvious errors.  95% done.  Again. 

Now it is time to apply for the ISBN, create the cover.  Contact the website to find out how to submit a file double the size they specify.  Root around the website to work out retail pricing, shipping, estimated delivery.  

Now...98% done?

The last step will be to upload the file, one for the print version, one for the PDF.  

And then, and then, marketing.  Because the job isn’t done until it is sold.  But closer?  98%?

As soon as the file is loaded to I will be announcing a special introductory offer.  

Stay tuned.  Because I think we are at 98% completion as of 1530 today.  Just a few more details to sort out.  98%.  

Monday, November 26, 2018


Over the past couple of days I have been going through my inbox, deleting some of the +7000 emails that have been living in there.  I would watch the number count grow and think to myself that I really needed to deal with it because a lot of them are 'spam' or lists I'm subscribed to.  Some of them I want to stay subscribed to, many I need to unsub from.  But with all the stress of the past two + years, I just hadn't been able to work up the energy.  Reviewing these emails reminds me of what I was dealing with two years ago and puts things into perspective.

I leave tomorrow for San Jose and one final meeting with my editor, after which it will - hopefully - be all steam ahead.  The week between getting home from Calgary and leaving on this trip was mostly playing catch up - on my bills, on my emails, on my sleep and energy. 

Once again I was reminded that my energy levels are not what they were even two years ago and I have to ration my activities in order to accomplish my goals.

This one, dear reader?   Has been a long time in coming.  I think I worked harder (physically - because 20 projects with before and after samples) on Magic in the Water.  But I was younger then by two decades and had not yet run into the physical ailments my body now deals with.

I have been having a bit of a struggle coming to grips with the new reality.  I keep remembering how much energy I used to have, and no longer can dredge up.  And I mourn.  And I wonder if this - this struggle to remain where I was 20 years ago - is what growing 'old' really means.  Or is it the acceptance of the new reality?  I really hope that wisdom makes the transition easier.

It took me two days to pretty much recover from doing Calgary and I honestly thought I would sail through getting the AVL set up and even have a chunk of that tea towel warp woven before I left.  Um, nope.

However it is threaded and sleyed and ready to tie on and weave as soon as I get home.  (She says, optimistically).

Why didn't I get further along?  Part of it was stress.  Anxiety.  Hope.  Battling impostor syndrome. 

Feeling like I was caught in limbo until this project - this latest Big Project - is completely done and launched into the world.  To sink.  Or swim. 

When I was younger and more driven by critical deadlines and had a lot more adrenaline to draw on, I would have set this project aside until my editor was done her part of the job and roared into the next critical deadline.

But there isn't a 'hard' deadline I need to deal with right now.  And I find myself with a decided lack of energy.  Or panic.

In some ways, I don't even mind.  I don't mind the lack of panic.  I don't mind the lack of frenzy, working on getting workshop handouts ready, yarn into the mail, magazine article deadline to meet.

I do mind not wanting to do much of anything.  But I also know that this is temporary.  That as soon as this project is launched there will be things that need doing.  And I will do them.

In the meantime I'm kind of enjoying (in a perverse way, given my lifetime of adrenaline induced panic) the quiet.

But I also see the light at the end of this particular tunnel.  And I am looking forward to stepping out of this tunnel and into the light.

And see what is next on this amazing, incredible journey.

Stay tuned for my Special Introductory Offer on The Intentional Weaver - as soon as I get home on Dec. 5.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Use it or Lose it

It has been literally months since I dressed the AVL.  Long enough that when I went to do it, I had to really stop and think about what I was doing.  It no longer came naturally to me because when you don't use a tend to lose that skill.

I had left the warp beamed, ready to thread and only felt able to do the threading over the past two days.  Everything seemed to go smoothly enough with the threading but I tear the loom apart to thread.  In order to get close enough to the heddles, I take out the sandpaper beam, which means taking the auto-cloth advance apart.  Then I remove the beater top and the reed, pull a small stool close (the sort of rust coloured one just visible to the right - the red stool is the one I sit on to weave).

Yesterday I finished threading and decided to leave the rest until this morning.  At which point I completely forgot what I did next.  So I re-installed the sandpaper beam and auto-cloth advance, then put the reed into the beater.

And realized that the sandpaper beam was now more or less in my way. 


Well, I'm not going to take it all out again, especially for what is a relatively narrow warp (24" in the reed).

I will just be careful of my clothing so that I don't rub up against the sandpaper and then carry on.

But once again the lesson of 'use it or lose it' has been learned.  Let's see if I remember it or forget it again.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Peter Collingwood's No Math Centering method

Edited to remove bad ASCII art and hopefully be clearer...

As a brand new weaver I had the good fortune to take a workshop with Peter Collingwood.  He showed us how to centre a warp in the reed without using any math.  I have never forgotten it and use it every time I dress the loom.

Say you want a warp 10" wide and your reed is X length.

Lay a measuring tape along the length of the reed (in this case the reed is laying flat because I'm about to rough sley the warp).  So lay the measuring tape with zero at the left end of the reed.  Pinch the measuring tape at where ever the reed ends.  Let's say 36" just as an example.

With your right hand pinching at the 36" mark (the end of the reed) move your left hand to the 10" mark.  

Now still holding both points of the tape - 10 and 36 - bring your hands together and align the 10" mark and the 36" mark, effectively folding the tape together.

By moving your left hand to the 10" mark, you have subtracted 10" from the length of the tape, and then folding 10" and 36" together, you have divided the remainder of the length of the reed in half.  

Lay this 'half' down onto the reed again and where the tape ends is where you begin to sley the warp.

0-----10-----------------------------36-----------  one hand pinching 10, the other pinching 36

When 10 and 36 are pinched together to the bend in the tape is what you use to measure from the end of the reed to where you begin sleying.

In the photo above, the 10/36 is at the left hand side of the photo (my right side) and the loop is in the 'middle' of the reed.  This is where I will begin sleying.

No math.  Centred.  

Thank you, Peter Collingwood.  A technique I use every time I dress the loom.

No Warp, No Weaving

It is very true - no warp, no weaving.  If you don't have someone to dress your loom for you (and some people actually do have someone to do that for them) then you have to just get on with it and get it done.

Today I felt able to tackle threading the AVL.  Unfortunately my body has gifted me with a new challenge - threading the AVL I kind of drape myself over the beater and that position now causes my right hand to go numb.  Yay for body issues? 

However, my knee is lovely, thank you.  Quite happy to lower myself down onto the low stool I sit on, bend sharply so I can fit into the small space at the front of the loom.  Win one, lose one?

A few people say they don't find threading a loom uncomfortable. not one of those.  I have never found the position to thread any loom comfortable.  At all.  There is only 'as comfortable as possible'.  Therefore it seemed to me that if I couldn't find a comfortable position, I needed to get really efficient at doing it in order to minimize the time spent doing it.

So, in spite of the hand going numb, I'm half way through this warp.  Not my usual speed, but quickly enough that I did reach the halfway mark before dinner.

Tomorrow I can finish threading, sley and tie on, and then I might actually manage to weave a towel.  Not sure I'll get much farther than that, but at least the loom will be left ready for when I get home from my trip.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Marking Time

"Oh you're a weaver!  You must be sooooo patient!"

Um, no.  No, I'm not.

So when I run into times like these where I'm waiting for the clock to tick, the calendar to turn, I have to remind myself to keep going.  This too shall pass. 

Doesn't mean I'm liking it or taking it with particular good grace, but if I remember to just keep going, that does seem to help.

I found the above fridge magnet at about the year anniversary of my brother's sudden death, when I was dealing with adverse drug effects.  It has stood me in good stead when I broke my ankle (it's temporary, it will heal, you will walk again, weave again, it's temporary, just let your body do what it needs to do, it's temporary).

Then again through chemo, through more adverse drug effects, through by-pass surgery.

I leave in less than a week to go through the final edits of the manuscript.  The foreword has now been written and is being incorporated into the ms.  Three reviewers have received a pdf of the last edit of the ms, knowing that there are still some final tweaks to be made.

The introductory offer is more or less worked out and that should go live early in December.  Unfortunately Canada Post is dealing with rotating strikes, so I'm hoping that they will have a settlement when the books are ready to ship, likely sometime early in February.

This wait is temporary.  It too shall pass...

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Another Show, Another Year

some of my stash that needs using up

We are home from Calgary and the last 'big' show of this year.  The guild will be having a sale in the guild room and I have a small number of 'orphans' and end-of-the-line textiles that I will put on deep discount, but that weekend is more a time to sit and knit or spin as traditionally not very many people come.  It's a quiet weekend when I can contemplate what is to come.

As mentioned previously (probably way too frequently!) I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the next few years - what they will hold, what I will be able to do.

Long car rides are also a time for some contemplation and the 13 or so hour trip yesterday provided time for us to discuss what the coming year holds.

First of all...(ta-DAH) the book.  I leave in a week for San Jose (bringing filter masks because they are still under the same kind of smoke pall we dealt with over the summer and masks are getting hard to find down there).

I have to follow up with the website about their quote on a print version for my introductory special, which will be announced on Dec. 2 when we hit 'publish'.

Then the guild sale.

I have some weaving to do for Tien for her on-line class.  Her launch date is in December so stay tuned for further updates.  She posted one yesterday while I was on the road and there should be news on her blog.

Before I left for Calgary I beamed 30 yards of 2/16 cotton on the AVL for tea towels.  This will be done in Snail's Trails and Cat's Paws block twill for tea towels.  This warp should finish off the last of the cottolin in 2/16 and I will weave a sample of the singles 12 linen and see if I can finish off whatever is left using that.  If not, there is plenty of 2/16 cotton that can be used (up).

These towels (plus many others) are intended for sale at my booth at the ANWG conference (where I will have print copies of The Intentional Weaver and probably Magic in the Water as well as Weave a V.)

In the new year I have agreed to weave more samples for Tien's on-line course.

There are 8 scarf warps waiting to go into the Fanny, plus a couple of scarf warps for Tien.

The print copies from blurb for the introductory offer should arrive sometime the end of January, so time then will be spent signing them, packaging them up and mailing them out.  As long as Canada Post has settled their strike/negotiations.  Waiting on tenterhooks for that settlement.

We brought home the first box of Olds homework and I hear through the rumour mill that several more are imminent.  If all send, that's about 40 boxes to be marked.  Again dependent upon Canada Post getting their settlement done.  Canadians could (if they choose) send by courier, but Americans, please note that I will have to pay brokerage and possibly duty if sent by courier.  You might want to wait until Canada Post is working properly again.

I'm hoping to hear any day about teaching again at Cape Breton - just level two and three.  Dianne is working on getting a level one instructor.  (Dianne is also working on developing the Master Spinner program at Gaelic College, in August, in case anyone in the east is interested.)  Plus there is Fibre Week at Olds College, next year in July.

We have more or less decided to return to Calgary one more time next year, so in between working on some research and doing the above, I will carry on with stash reduction.  This year I was able to move six boxes of yarn out of the annex and into the studio storage here.  AND I still have a little space on the shelves, so the stash is going down!!!!

And of course, the conference registration is slated to open in January.  Right now my input is minimal, but come February I will have conference duties to tackle again.

Hmm.  This semi-retirement thing.  How's that working for me???

Currently reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

Friday, November 16, 2018

Closing the Door

Change can be difficult.  Letting go of the known and familiar, making different choices, not knowing if they are the best, right or correct things to be doing.  Not knowing what the future holds, how the changes will affect ones life, ones income.   

The decision to semi-retire has been about two years in the making.  Between the house renovations and all the upheaval that entailed, mom getting sick and dying, the return of my cancer...there has been much to contemplate.  Each time I analyzed what was happening, the conclusion was the same:  something had to give.  

Giving up guild workshops was a push/pull question.  Without the income, could I still keep going, financially?   Without the stress of all the administrivia, would I have more energy?   Would I have more time for the more intellectual approach to weaving that drew me into the craft in the first place?  If so, what would that direction look like?  Would there be a chance for some income?

Eventually I had to make up my mind and quit waffling about it.   There is no point closing a door if you keep opening it a crack to take a peek.  

So I did.  Announced it on my more guild workshops.  Three days later a guild contacted me...pretty please would I teach for them?   I took a couple of days to think about it then emailed back and said no.  The world did not stop spinning or blow up.  I found myself perfectly comfortable with that door shut, locked and barred. 

And then focused on the upcoming deadlines.   

Last week someone approached me with an offer.  Would I do research for her Big Project?

It was as though once I firmly closed one door, there was room for another one to open.  It didn’t take me long to think about it.  I know how to do simple searches, I’m pretty conversant with writing, I could work from home, with lenient enough deadlines that I can fit my other work in as appropriate.  

It also gives me a chance to help with a project I feel is needed and useful in the weaving world.  I won’t say more just yet as we will meet in person to discuss details, but I think our particular talents mesh well.  

For now, I need to get through this craft fair, spend a week at home working on the conference, then head to San Jose (and hope the wildfire situation is better resolved, otherwise I will bring a mask), do the last read through to sweep up any typos, hit publish, launch the introductory offer and begin thinking about my background involvement in a Big Project that I hope will be helpful to weavers.  

And let me work from home in my pjs.   Sounds like a win-win....

Sunday, November 11, 2018

My Father

November 11, 2018.

My father has been dead for 43 years.  He died the month I started my weaving career.

For some reason, this year I have been thinking about him - a lot.

He served - reluctantly - in the Canadian Armed Forces.  He was first generation Canadian, born in a little village about 20 miles south of the town I was born, raised, and still live in.  The smaller photo is him, around 14 or 15, the larger at 21 in his uniform.

The fabric is his medal patch.  See the empty spaces?  Family myth has it that upon being demobilized, he took all the 'medals' and handed them back, keeping only the insignia of his service.

He served in the Aluetians (first born German extraction citizen meant keeping him away from the European front, I suppose) and then was sent to England in preparation for D-Day.

For many years the CBC aired a series on World War II - my father would sit in his recliner, focused intently on the screen.  My brother and I had to be quiet because dad was watching the war.  When they showed footage of the Canadian forces landing on D-Day, dad would point at the screen and say "I was there."

Family myth also says that when he returned home, dad gave his hunting rifle to his nephew and never hunted again.  He could not stand the sight of bloody meat which meant I didn't know that anyone ate meat 'rare' until I was 16.  Kind of grossed me out the first time I saw it.

Dad never talked about the war unless something triggered him.  Yes, he had what we now call PTSD.  I learned early not to ask dad about the war.  When my brother got a cap gun dad nearly had a fit when my brother aimed it at mom and yelled 'bang, bang!'.  Dad made it very clear he was not ever, ever, ever, to point a gun at another human being in his sight.  Didn't matter it was a toy - it was the concept.

On the other hand, when I was 12 a friend was given a .22 rifle for his birthday and when I mentioned that I could go shoot it, dad told mom that I needed to know how to handle and respect a gun so I could.  She wasn't happy about it, but Dad Had Spoken.  He rarely did, so when he did, his word was the 'law'.

So on this day when we remember those who did not make it home again, we watch leaders of various countries stand, in the rain to show respect, I think about my father.  And give thanks that he did come home again.  To provide an example of doing one's duty, even when one didn't really want to.  To respect others rights, but not put up with disrespect.  To help others, not put them down.

Thank you for your service dad, and all the others who also served including my father-in-law and family friends.,..

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Longest Journey...

...begins with a single step...

one of the projects included in The Intentional Weaver

Step by step.  Writing the words.  Polishing the words.  Polishing some more.  And yet more.  Designing samples to illustrate the words.  Weaving the samples.  Photos, photos, photos, diagrams.  More editing, more polishing.

Yesterday?  ISBNs.  This stands for International Standard for Book Number.  It is a way for publishers, libraries and bookstores to identify a very specific book.  Titles are not copyright-able so there are frequently books with the same or very similar titles.  But they will have unique ISBNs.

I am waiting on the publisher/printing company to get back to me with a quote on price and delivery of actual printed books.  This is one of the services they provide.  They will do individual print-on-demand and pdf versions, but they will also print multiple copies.

I had hoped to get this information before we left for Calgary, but nothing so far.  I'm assuming that other people who got their manuscripts together sooner than I did are getting their books printed in time for Christmas.  And therefore they are busy and haven't been able to get to my inquiry.  Yet.

However, I am working on an introductory offer which I hope will allow people to order before Christmas with post new year delivery.

Things are getting a bit crunchy in the deadline department, but hopefully the last edits will be done in the next day or two so that review copies can be sent out and the reviewers will be able to take a look and give their feedback.

In the meantime the sun is shining here, I have packing to do for the trip next week, plus a library book that is overdue but which I really want to finish before we leave.

I think I will take some time to sit in the window, enjoy the sun, and read for a wee while.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Life, Re-Imagined

I have always been someone who had a plan.  Who then set that plan into motion.  When I ran into roadblocks, there was usually some way around them, under them, sometimes even...through them.

I was talking to a friend recently and I started working out when the last time was that I felt functional.  When I had drive and energy to implement the plan I was currently working on.

That isn't to say that over the years I haven't had issues, just that, given enough chemicals, I could keep going.  My last major setback prior to the time I last felt functional was 1994 when I was rear-ended. which meant a double whiplash injury to my neck.  The first one happened when I was 18 and was a side-to-side injury.  The one in 1994 was a front to back whiplash which meant my neck was really in bad shape.  But again, I did the therapy, took the chemicals and eventually (mostly) recovered from that even though it took several years.  Whiplash - the gift that keeps on giving...

So.  Last time I felt like a functioning human being?   2006.  Summer.

It had been a dream of mine to participate in large professional level craft fairs and I'd done all the big ones in western Canada.  I finally felt like I had enough experience and enough energy to go for the gusto and try the big one in Toronto.  If we were going to fly all the way out there, it would have to be for the whole thing, not just four or five days.  Given the cost - air fare, hotel, food, booth fee, I needed X dollars worth of inventory.  So I set to with a will and in the space of 7 weeks over the summer, wove nearly 200 scarves.  No that's not a typo.  Four scarves a day, every day for 7 weeks.  On top of what I already had in inventory, plus what I wove after that. 

By the end of the year, however, I wasn't feeling great.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing - 20/20 - and I now realize that by the end of 2006 I was beginning to have symptoms of cardiac blockages.  Fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion - written off to allergies/asthma.

By the end of 2007 the fatigue was extreme.  I'd stopped buying clothing because I felt sure I wouldn't be able to wear them out.  I joked with a friend that one day Doug would come home and find me propped up in the loom, dead. 

I tend to gallows humour, what can I say.

Thing was, I really actually felt that I wasn't going to be around for much longer, but without having much in the way of symptoms specific enough to indicate what I was dealing with.

The end of February 2008 my younger brother died, quite suddenly, at work.  The coroner phoned me after the post mortem to say that his heart had been so filled with cholesterol that even if he'd been in hospital when he collapsed, they could have done nothing for him.  Then she asked if this was common in the family and I said yes.  "Then" she said "you need to go get checked out."

On May 9 (our anniversary) I was on the table in Vancouver having three stents installed - 80, 70 and 60% blockages (with lots more little ones). 

Since then I have had 10 years of various and sundry health issues.  Each time I felt I was back on the road to recovery, something else would go 'wrong' and I would have to deal with that issue - do the tests, take the drugs, go to therapy.  And after each one, my life was more constrained.  I had less energy, less drive, less incentive to pick up the pieces.

It has been 10 years of watching the horizons of my ability to do things shift, closer and closer, smaller and smaller.  It has been 10 years of accepting the new 'normal' and trying to adjust my expectations of what I can and cannot do.  What I am willing to fight to get back - if I even could.

The older I get, the more my body is breaking down, sometimes in quite unexpected ways.  Healing takes longer.  Pain lingers longer.  Energy is not to be found, some days.

Inside I still feel like I'm 34 but outside?  I am all of my 68 and counting years.

On the other hand, I'm still here to do the counting.  My brother, and many others, aren't.

When I started the cancer drug it was a long adjustment period and in the end the dose kept being reduced until there was no more reduction to be had.  Then I hoped that my body would get used to it and that the adverse effects would become less annoying.  Less of a hindrance.

Well, I've been on the lowest possible dose since spring, so about six months.  This, it appears, is as good as it is going to get.

Acceptance means that I no longer chide myself when I simply cannot do something.  Or at least, not as much.  Acceptance means that I adjust my expectations of what I can and cannot do and begin to say no to things, no matter how interesting they might be.  Right now I am working through a series of deadlines that I set up about two years ago (or more).  Long ago enough that I was a lot more functional than I am right now.  They all seemed imminently do-able at the time.  Not so much now.

So instead of ramping up plans for the coming year or two, I am not seeking any more events to add to my schedule.  I have officially 'retired' from teaching for guilds.  I no longer have the energy to scramble to find a guild or group of guilds to bring me into an area, then deal with workshop handouts, sending out yarns/instructions, booking flights and making travel arrangements, never mind the on-the-ground transportation and the long days, strange beds, shifting time zones and jet lag.

As I re-imagine my life, I am looking for ways to keep weaving down my stash but also cutting back the travel involved in doing large sales.  We are doing Calgary instead of Vancouver this year so that we would have a week of rest between the one last weekend and leaving for Calgary.  I may - or may not - do an out-of-town show next year.

While Ms Editor puts the final touches on the ms, I am working on my marketing plans.  Thank goodness for the internet!

Once the Calgary show, the trip to San Jose and pushing the button to publish is over, I have a weaving job lined up for December, and then in January the registration for the conference will go live.  I have also heard from some of the Olds students that they hope to ship their homework over the winter.  So I will be plenty busy with conference, marking and stash reduction through the spring.  And hopefully shipping books.

Today I have been number crunching and working on an introductory offer.  I have heard the requests and will work towards filling those requests, as best I can.

But as for adding more to my plate beyond the conference?  Semi-retirement is beginning to look really, really attractive...

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Two yarns.  Both cotton.  Both weighing in at 3360 yards per pound.  Are they the same?  Are they?

This is the sort of thing I am hoping to spotlight in The Intentional Weaver, for those people who want to really understand what they are doing, perhaps design their own textiles, and are looking for answers to the question, why?  Why does this yarn behave differently than that yarn.  Why does this weave structure have a different epi/ppi than that one?  How is it possible to take one yarn, use different densities and wind up with a range of different qualities of cloth?  Why is this loom (rising or jack action) different from that loom (sinking or counter balanced loom) - and why does it matter?

How come my selvedges are never as good as I would want them to be?  Why is my beat so inconsistent?  How can I weave longer without having pain? 

So many questions.

Many of them I have addressed in this blog, but blog posts are not A Book.  Writing a blog post is not the same as trying to write what is essentially a textbook.  Technical writing is difficult and clarity of text is essential.

With a blog, people can ask questions and I can answer (if I see their questions, which I may not do right away).  With a book?  Perhaps not so easy to get questions answered.

While I have been on the internet for a while (1994 - remember dial up handshakes?  I do!) and my email address is pretty easy, not everyone is comfortable emailing a stranger.  So questions may go unanswered - unless I provide as much information as I possibly can within the covers of the book.

One of the things that has changed since 1994 is that there are now digital versions of books plus there are print-on-demand options.

A number of people have commented here and on other social media, expressing their preferences and I have listened.  Ms Editor and I have been messaging back and forth and we are coming up with A Plan that I hope will satisfy most peoples requests.  More on that Dec. 2.

Several people have wondered why I haven't gone the 'established publisher' route.  There are a number of reasons.  Today I was talking with someone who wondered the same thing.  I explained that the book is geared towards a narrow slice of what is already a niche market.  When I published Magic in the Water, I had 1000 copies of the text pages printed.  I very much doubt that I will sell anywhere close to that many of The Intentional Weaver.  I cannot, in any case, afford to go to a printer and (vanity press fashion) have 1000 copies printed.  And then assemble them.  Store them.  Ship them.  It took about 10 years to sell 1000 copies of Magic.  I don't want to have boxes and boxes of TIW hanging around. 

However, with print-on-demand options, I can buy in a smaller number of professionally printed and bound books and offer them to a select audience.  And so today I gathered courage in hand and sent an email to the website where Magic is available, and asked for a quote on printing a 'small' run of The Intentional Weaver. 

Stay tuned...

Currently reading The Witch Elm by Tana French

Friday, November 2, 2018


This morning I commented on Facebook that one of the things I was bringing to the craft fair was my knitting.

Someone objected that craftspeople who want to sell their things must not do such things because they must engage with their customers.

Happens that I agree completely with that observation.

I always take a corner position (when ever possible) and set up so that there is good flow through traffic.  My textiles need to be hung up as much as possible.  I always have a mirror so that potential customers can see how a scarf/shawl will look, worn.

I try very hard to say 'good morning' or 'hello' at the very least, pointing out the mirror for try-ons or volunteering the information that the place mats and tea towels are machine wash and dry.

But I am an introvert.  Engaging with so many people all day long, in noisy, sometimes crowded venues?  Is very wearing on me.  It sucks the energy right out of me.  And then the times when it's so quiet that people are not even coming into the booth I get very anxious.

Over the years I have found that if I just bring my knitting bag with me - even though I may never actually touch the knitting - my anxiety is much less.  I might only knit while I am on a break.  I might pull it out and knit during the first or last hour of the show because I'm usually buried in the back of the hall and it takes about an hour for people to walk through the show and get to me.

Even if I do succumb to the knitting, I never bring anything complicated, nothing that I can't put down mid-row, nothing that I have to count for decreases or yarn overs.  The kind of knitting I bring to a show is straight knitting aka garter stitch.  If I can keep my hands busy fidgeting with needles and yarn, I can focus on the task at hand instead of wishing I were anywhere but there.  And I can easily lift my eyes and say hello - and keep on knitting.

I also do not sit in an 'ordinary' chair.  We keep a tall stool that we perch on.  This allows us to take the weight off our feet but still remain close to eye level.

So while I agree wholeheartedly with the admonition to engage with the customers?  I also know how to sooth my nerves while I do so.

Ultimately, until my textiles are sold, the job isn't done.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


Standard 2:2 twill - enter shuttle from right hand side and the threads will all weave into the cloth.

Twill with basket weave selvedge.  

I routinely thread twill from the rear most shaft coming forward to the front.  The tie up is as shown (for either counter balanced or jack/rising shed looms) and I treadle beginning on the right side of the treadles, entering the shuttle from the right to the left.

Some people don't like a twill selvedge for some reason, so it is possible to do a half basket weave selvedge.  But it still means a two thread 'float' at the selvedge.

The only time you need to use a floating selvedge for twill is if the direction of the diagonal changes -  in other words, you change the direction of the twill line.  In this instance I use a herringbone or dornick threading and treadling.

By skipping an end in the sequence you wind up with a slight line at the reverse in both threading and treadling, but you don't need the floating selvedges because the ends on the selvedge will not drop out when the twill direction is changed.