Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Taking a Break


Here I go again...threading.

At this point I'm 2/3s of the way through the current warp, and I should finish threading this afternoon.    I would *like* to sley as well, but we'll see how many spoons I have left when I'm done the threading.

I've started printing the draft in a larger size.  I had been printing out drafts of this size over 3 pages, had to change to 5 last year and with the previous draft went to 6.  What can I say?  Needs must.  I can see what I'm doing much more easily and frankly, I could take paper from my 'waste' box and print on the back side of other papers I've tossed.  Like the various iterations of the ms which are just 'scrap' now and could be used again for this job.

My editor is working on the ms again today.  It's slowly taking shape, but she is making steady progress and I remain hopeful it will be done before we leave for Vancouver.  I'm also hoping to get the warp going into the loom today woven before we leave.  This trip is a bit longer because we are rolling a couple other things into the same journey and therefore there will be several evenings in the hotel room for me to hem.  I don't seem to be able to force myself to do much of that in the evenings.  I really ought to delete a couple of my game apps.  I'm getting close to ditching a couple.

I have a couple other things that really need dealing with on my desk and the clock is ticking.  But today I'm tired and out of sorts and somehow focusing on just one thing at a time is making more sense to me than flitting back and forth between projects.  

The thing is, I remember multi-tasking.  I used to do it and do it very well indeed.  Now?  I just can't.  So I have to remain focused on what is necessary.  Tomorrow I will deal with one of the things that has been hanging over me, after considering and rejecting a number of 'fixes'.  I'm going to go with the simplest solution because the deadline for having it done is too close for me to do anything but the simplest solution.  Part of me is fighting that decision because in part it's a bit of a cop out - except I'm no longer in my 30s (or 40s, or even 50s) and just don't have the spoons.  I'm feeling 'bad' because I'm going to disappoint some folk, but I also know that the sooner you disappoint them, the sooner they can move on and make other decisions.  

In the meantime I'm keeping an eye on my inbox in case of further queries from my editor.  So far she seems to be managing.

When it comes down to it, that's about all any of us can do - keep moving forward, even if it is only a step.  Onwards...

Tuesday, June 6, 2023



Yesterday I declared the warp in the loom done and cut the towels off.  That was about all I got done given I'd also spent time doing the bibliography and dealing with some emails and other things that needed attention.  

This morning I need to run to town and do a few errands, and then the rest of the day will be spent getting the next warp into the loom.

As the last warp neared the end I did a quick look at what was left.  Too much!  Still!  You get a lot of play time with fine yarns.  OTOH, there are now fewer boxes/bins and they are not full.  I'm keeping the yarn sorted by colour and have used up some of the colours while others are getting closer.

The next warp will be this one:

I have about 3/4s of a pound of a warm reddish chocolate brown so those will get used first.  Probably 3 towels, maybe 4.  Then the rest of the warp will be woven off in a 'burgundy' red - a brownish red.  And that colour should mostly get used up although there might be a little left for...something.

The design continues with the theme of 'drawing' with lines.  It reminds me - vaguely - of some styles of textiles seen in other cultures, but I'm not 'copying' those, just following the flow of the lines as they develop in the cloth.  Seeing the connection, I feel it as well.  How human beings have been doing much the same things for, well, ever.

Similar drawings have been found on cave walls, usually rendered in ochre, thus my decision to use the burgundy red and brown on this design.  The cloth will be woven 'back side up' so the final textile will be natural white with the line 'drawing' in red.  An homage, if you will, to our ancestors.

I have two more warps designed.  One I like well enough; the other, not so much.  So I will be taking some time over the next couple of weeks to play with other ideas.  I have one roughed out in the back of my brain box but I need to put it into Fiberworks and see if it will look ok.  Or not.

It looks like western Canada is going to have a very hot summer, which does not bode well for the fire season.  Which is already causing havoc and mayhem in Alberta.  OTOH, so much of our forests have already burned over the past few years, is there really enough bush left to cause major havoc?  Unfortunately, the answer is yes.  

Meanwhile the politicians of the alt right continue to scream about the economy, not seeming to realize that when there is no more forest and no more petroleum to be extracted from the ground, the economy is going to have to look very different than it does now.  Seems to me it would be much better to begin to shift now.  Instead they keeping doing what they've been doing, expecting different results.  Oh well.

Nothing much I can do about that except vote my conscience, and keep making things, putting creativity out 'there'.  I have all this yarn that needs to be used up and it's best actually used, not left to deteriorate on the cone/tube.

So, today?  Today I beam the next warp.  Tomorrow I thread.  Then I can weave again.  

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to weave I go...

Monday, June 5, 2023



Was it only a few short weeks ago that the essays were like this?

Um, yeah.  It seems like ages ago, but really this project has come together quickly.  Almost like it was meant to happen.

Right now we are at version who-the-hell-knows-how-many-edits.

I wrote the essays.  My alpha reader went through them with edit suggestions, which I (mostly) implemented.  Once they were all done, I did another read through, caught more grammar and typo issues.  Let the files sit for a bit, then did it again before saving all the files on a thumb drive and handing that over to my editor the beginning of May.

She did another pass through, took a more thorough look for grammar issues, plus areas that needed clarification.  I went through those edit suggestions, punted the file back to the editor, who then incorporated the changes and bounced the files back to me.

Over the weekend I went through the files again.  Once again I 'caught' areas that needed some polishing.  By this point it was pretty minor stuff.  Mostly.  Having some time/distance from the words, I found more minor changes for clarification and by dint of steaming through the thing, am now passing the thumb drive back to the editor.

There is one essay that needs some major surgery but by the time I got to it, I did not have the mental wherewithal to deal with it so I've challenged the editor to see if she can pare it down and make it less repetitive.  I don't mind a certain level of redundancy, but I suspect that that particular essay needs some remediation.  Rather than hold up the process, I figured I'd give her the latest round and set her onto the tweaking of that essay.  Essentially the rest is just picking nits.  If she doesn't feel up to doing it, perhaps a few days away from it will let me do it, but I'm getting tired of the whole project and just want it *done*.

It's a watershed moment, and the perfect time for someone else to step in because right now?  The temptation is overwhelming to just leave it like it is.  Yes, even knowing it could be 'better'.

Magic in the Water and The Intentional Weaver went through pretty much the exact same processes.  With Magic, after I gave the files to the printer he worked his magic then handed the galley proofs back to me *seven* times.  Yes, even after I'd already been through the ms picking grammatical nits, he kept sending the proofs back to me until after the seventh time I said I hadn't found anything the needed to be done.  And then, of course, someone found a typo in the printed copy.  Oh well.

Another lesson in humbility from the universe.  It never does to get complacent.  Or be devastated when you discover you have made another mistake...

The launch date of July 9 is still looking do-able and since I'll be out of town the last week of June I really feel the pressure to get this done just as soon as possible.  Not to mention my editor has other projects on the go, so she wants to finalize it as well.

Today I will finish the bib.  As I did the read through yesterday I saw a couple more books that need to be added to the bibliography so I'll work on that today.  I also confirmed the Handwoven articles - I had no idea I'd had 16 articles published in that magazine.  (Two of the articles graced the cover of the magazine.)  I'm not going to bother with the other magazines, in part because at least one of them isn't indexed and isn't commonly available anyway.  But Handwoven IS well indexed and back issues can still be obtained in some instances.  Many guilds also have collections where people can find the individual magazines and I still see people referencing one or other of my articles now.  So, it seemed important that I list those.

How close are we?  I don't know, honestly.  It's a process.  But I *think* we could be very close indeed to tackling the actual 'publishing' step.  A learning curve for my editor and one that I can't help her with.  Therefore, I want to give her as much time as possible to deal with converting the files and uploading them to blurb.

The goal for today is to finish the bib and weave two towels.  That warp will then be declared 'done' and cut off the loom.  Tomorrow the goal is to beam the next warp.  

And onwards we go...


Saturday, June 3, 2023

Acceptance - it's a process


obligatory pretty picture...

Yesterday I went to my massage therapist after a hiatus, knowing that during the time away from therapy things had changed again in my body - and not always in a 'good' way.

At the end he told me to sit up, then when I felt steady, to walk back and forth so he could see my gait.

Normally (as in, if I were 10 years younger and less damaged) I would have simply sat up from my prone position but as I clenched my abs to do that I realized it wasn't going to happen that day.  Like most days, these days.  My body simply...refused.

I sighed, apologized and said that it was going to take me a minute while I log rolled (rolled over onto my side, then pushed my torso up until I was sitting).

Right away he hastened to assure me that with my disc problem I should NOT be doing a sit up and then proceeded to show me how just sitting up was causing all sorts of tension issues putting pressure on that damaged disc.  I mentioned I can rarely squat and stand up anymore either and again, he hastened to assure me that I should not be doing *that* anymore, either, again due to the pressures on the spine as you stand from a squat.  Instead he showed me how to use my upper body to lift myself up instead of, well, doing what I'd been doing for 60 plus years.

A further indication of a body rode hard, put away wet, far too many times.

As another layer of the onion of understanding was pulled off, I realized again that the act of acceptance is not a 'one and done' deal.  It is a constant process of becoming aware of how a small(ish) injury reverberates throughout the body.  An injury that will not, can not heal, can only be accommodated and that I need to *accept* that I cannot any longer - or should not - even attempt some things.  To be more gentle with myself.

The past two days were busy with meetings and such so I didn't get to the loom.  Thursday the pain was low and I wondered if weaving was causing more issues than I was thinking.  But I didn't weave yesterday either, and last night I had to take a pill after dinner as the pain ramped up.  And up.

So all I can do is assume that the weaving isn't actually much of a factor in the level of pain I deal with and so today I will go to the loom and weave two towels.  I think there are maybe 4 or 5 left on this warp and I had hoped to get it off by Monday, but maybe Tuesday?  Because I also have edits to do over the weekend.  I'm getting antsy about getting the ms done so I can clear that project off my desk  When too many projects are 'mid-way' I get anxious so it is time to finalize some things.  Give myself some breathing room.  A bit of peace.  Because I have to work on acceptance right now.  It's a process and will take some time.

Friday, June 2, 2023



Late last night my blog views rolled over 2.4 million.

I knew it was coming - I do monitor the numbers.  But still it happened and it feels...all sorts of things.

First of all, thank you to those who were early readers.  You helped me through a trying time.  Thank you to those who stuck with me.  You helped me through ups and downs, triumphs and trials.  Thank you to recent readers.  All y'all are why I keep writing.

Well, truth be told, I'd probably write even if there weren't as many of you as there are.  

I write for a number of reasons.  If you go back to the beginning (August 2008) I began the blog after coming through the sudden death of my brother, then being diagnosed with the same sneaky cardiac blockages, then found I enjoyed the near daily review of my days as a weaver/teacher, then author. 

Yes, I already had one book under my pen (so to speak) but that was mostly weaving with explanatory text.  It didn't feel so much like a 'real' book.  The Intentional Weaver *was*.  It even sported an ISBN and everything.  :D  I had a 'real' editor, too.

But writing is how I process things.  It was a coping mechanism I learned about in therapy - write it out and let it go.  The blog became my escape valve.  If things were bothering me, I would write it out and then I could let it go and continue with my day, just like they showed me in therapy.  Sometimes it was the writing it down that brought clarity to my thoughts and I could finally see a way through, see the path that would take me forward.

I used the blog as I went through more cardiac issues, broken ankle and surgery, cancer, more cardiac issues and now, an aging body breaking down.

While the blog only looks at my life since 2008, Weaving a Life is truly an accurate title for my blog.

Yesterday I got the next round of edits back and today I will begin wrangling commas.  I also have an unconventional idea for an index but my editor isn't 'sold'.  Yet.  :D  OTOH, I *am* self-publishing so I don't have to follow the 'conventions'.  Rebel to the end!

So the full title of the book of essays is:  Stories from the Matrix:  weaving a life

The sub-title was at the suggestion of my editor and since the essays aren't just about weaving, but some of my adventures AS a weaver, it made perfect sense to me.

I think we are very close to being done.  Which is good because we will be out of town the last week of June so I can get another jab.  But that is time where I won't have access to my desktop so can't do much about the ms while I'm away.  My goal is to have the last edit done over the weekend, then come to some decisions about the cover and index so the editor can do the final formatting.

We are also considering offering the book (perhaps just the pdf, it depends) in a dyslexic font.  I know a number of people who struggle to read so why not?   I used to offer some of my teaching handouts in a dyslexic font and several people thanked me for it.  

Why not make things easier for people who may be struggling?  I don't know if blurb supports such a font, so it may not happen in the on-demand print copies, but the pdf should be ok.  It's one of the things the editor will have to figure out and they need time to do that, so I feel pressure to finalize my 'polishing' asap.

Not to mention I really seriously need to clean up my desk.  It's no wonder I am having trouble finding things.  :(   It's really gotten out of control and I have too much brain fog these days - I need to simplify!

Anyway, today is busy with appointments and meetings - and while I'm going to be at the guild anyway, check the Handwoven magazines to see if those listed in their index are written by me or just mention me.  Picking nits.  And commas.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Spreading the Word


Writing a book is a lot like weaving a cloth.  There are tons of things that must happen long before anyone can see the vision you have in your mind.

For me, getting the cover made seems to bring the project slightly more into the realm of reality.  Finally something to really grab hold of, an indication that more is to come.  That behind that cover is...a book.  It is also the personal identity of that book, the face that the public sees.

It's like a door - a portal into a new reality.

Magic in the Water was my first experience in publishing a book and because it was going to have actual cloth samples I chose to have a 3-ring binder.  The binders were ordered with a custom cover:

The company I purchased the binders from dealt with printing the cover art.  I paid a lot more for the binders than I might have done but I wanted this collection of information/samples to last for a long time so it seemed a higher quality binder than what I could get from Staples was in order.  In the end I believe I made the correct decision as even now, 20+ years later, Magic continues to be valued such that weavers don't get rid of it unless they need to.  Most commonly you find it in estate sales or weavers unable to weave and they are downsizing to go into care.  

Once all of the original copies were sold, I converted the files into a pdf (close up photos of the cloth only) and began selling it that way.  

Then when I decided to publish The Intentional Weaver, we used that pdf to test the blurb website.  

From time to time I see a flurry of orders for Magic (like the past week) and I can only assume someone somewhere has got the word out about Magic.

I took a few days 'off' from working on the ms but I meet with my editor this afternoon.  She has been working on the file and it will be my turn to take one more sweep through to deal with the sprinkling of commas I couldn't face last week.  I mean, I love me some commas - just not that many!  :D   I've trained myself over the years to remove commas that aren't necessary.  Perhaps I've swung the other way?  

At any rate, I believe I've decided on a cover photo, so now to get the cover generated.  Out of my wheelhouse - my editor will work her magic on that.

I've also been mulling over the indexing and I may do something less...conventional.  Will discuss with my editor today.  The bibliography is coming along and should be ready Saturday.  I mention quite a few books in the various essays and it's always a good idea to provide information on them in case people want to search for them.  But a bib takes time to get the information collected and I just haven't much felt like doing that kind of nit-picking digging.

I did create a Zoom event for the official book launch.  This morning School of Sweet Georgia listed it on their calendar even though it isn't actually an SOS event.  That was very kind of them, and I'm very grateful.  And not a little nervous!  

It occurs to me that weaving and writing have a lot in common.  You have to have an idea.  You do a shit ton of preparation before you even begin.  You do the physical work of the task.  Then you spend ages doing the 'finishing'.  And you never really know until you present what you've done to the public if the public is even interested or willing to plunk their money down.

Given I'm self-publishing, the marketing is down to me.  And my closest friends who are willing to spread the word...(do feel free to share!)

Zoom link:  for book launch July 9 at noon Pacific time zone

School of Sweet Georgia (for signed copies of The Intentional Weaver after June 28)

Blurb website (for Magic and TIW - unsigned - and soon Stories from the Matrix)

My ko-fi shop (for tea towels and copies of Kerstin Fröberg's Weave a V)

Stay tuned.  I'm going to be 'noisy' about this for a while...just saying...

Wednesday, May 31, 2023



I took a few days 'off' to clear my head and start prioritizing what needs to happen.  The days are going to very quickly fly by until launch day and I need to be ready.

I've been testing images for the cover and I think I might go with this one.  I used it for the FB event listing for the launch and it's feeling 'right' to me.

This was a photo I did for the colour gamp kits I used to make and it appeals to me as a 'nice' photo for a book cover.

The bibliography is building and I'll start on the index key words soon.  My editor will get the next iteration to me, maybe tomorrow.  By then I will have had a few days of quiet and time to weave.  Always a good thing when I'm spinning my wheels.  Sitting at the loom treadling and throwing the shuttle brings me back to balance, my 'centre'.  Yesterday I got two more towels done - today I'll weave one more then cut the web off the loom, then tie the warp back on and weave one more.  I have appointments/meetings for the rest of the week but this warp should come off the loom by next Monday?  And then I will put the next one into the loom and continue with stash reduction.

One of the things I've been ignoring is my ko-fi shop, in part because nothing much has been selling.  And most of my brain power has been focused on getting the ms ready to publish.

I also looked at the drafts in my queue and decided I didn't like the last one I did.  It's too static, boring.  So I will work on another one and see if I can come up with something I like better.

The guild has several sales events this spring and I have inventory there.  Hopefully some things will sell.  My new iPad cost more than I had planned, but apparently buying the more expensive one means it should last longer.  One benefit is that the battery doesn't drain nearly as fast. 

As soon as the ms is done I will focus my attention on getting the workshop in the fall ready.  Right now I still have all the ms files on my desk as well as the SOS classes.  The lace class launches on July 6, I think.  So, a busy time coming up, including a trip to Vancouver the end of June.  We both have medical appointments and it will be good to have those things dealt with.  But that means a week away the end of June, so I really want the ms all ready to go before I leave.  Plus I'm getting files from SOS for the lace class to proof.  

When I said I was retiring, I didn't say I wouldn't be carrying on, in some fashion.  As usual I didn't plan on everything happening at once!  

Anyway, I'm mostly thinking about what needs to happen to finish the ms, then getting the files uploaded to blurb, then sharing the launch info.  

In the meantime, we march steadily on towards midsummer and the inevitable 'turning' of the earth back towards winter.  

Next warp:

this will be the 'right' side of the cloth although I will weave it with the 'back' side facing me in order to lift the fewest number of shafts

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Too Much


 Missing my trip through the mountains - just one more thing I have had to give up in a long list of things I have had to give up...yes, I'm feeling sorry for myself - give me a minute, I'll get beyond that...

The world has been too much with me and yesterday I needed a day.

The continuing political unrest and ongoing covid issues have left me feeling restless.  Yesterday Alberta re-elected a right wing (far right wing leader) government which means a big chunk of the population have voted against their own interests while believing the party cares one iota about them and instead will work to dismantle social safety nets leaving the very people who voted for them worse off than before.  OTOH, they have a handy scapegoat and will be blaming the federal Liberals, in particular PM Trudeau for anything and everything that goes 'wrong', most of which isn't in the federal purview but caused by previous right wing governance.  I find it distressing to watch the right wing in action.

On Sunday my bridesmaid died.  We hadn't been close in a long time, but any time we got together it was like we had never been apart.  She was my 'best' friend for some years and a very important part of my life for that time.  She was the same age as me, appeared to be healthy and then - suddenly - she was gone.  It hit me hard.

My appointment with my doctor went well, but it's still a balancing act - not actually wanting more surgery, knowing that at this point a repair is really my only hope.  Not knowing enough to even begin to anticipate what will happen or what recovery will look like.  

All these things left me feeling unsettled and at odds with myself.

I had planned on weaving my 'usual' two towels, but couldn't.  Instead I did a few other things.  I worked on the bib for Stories, decided to take the list of the indexed articles for Handwoven to the guild on Friday and check the rest of the list because I couldn't find all of the issues listed in my own library.  I suspect some of them are not articles I've written, but perhaps just mention me, like the one on the American snowflake draft.  Plus one that looks like a review of The Intentional Weaver.  Before I list those as being written *by* me, I want to double check.

Then I cleared off the work table, set up for pressing and tackled the 12 towels I'd wet finished.  Which shrank given I found two more with skips from that pesky shaft that kept raising when it wasn't supposed to, then one towel where there was something 'wrong' with one of the tubes of weft yarn.  The two red towels will go to a friend who adores red and white, the blue one will go to someone else.  OTOH, the new warp is weaving up very nicely and I'm please to say I'm happy with it and even happier to see another colour with a big dent in it.

Once I finished pressing I came up for a snack, then checked my email and found several that needed to be dealt with, all of them needing some time to collect the information needed.  By the time I'd finished with all that, a nap was in order.

This morning hasn't begun well.  I got a few hours of sleep then woke up at 4 am and now it's 9:30 and I'd like to get a towel woven before I go see the chiropractor to get my neck back in line.  And let her know I'm investigating the possibility of surgery.

While I wait I have to keep going, even if it is just a step at a time.  Giving in to anxiety over what may - or may not - happen won't help me.  Quite the contrary.  My best course of action at this point is to continue to do what I can, when I can, while I can.  And hope the next injection the end of June helps enough to get me through to the assessment at the spine clinic and then see what they have to say.

Monday, May 29, 2023

All In Good Time


public pathway near my house

When I used to walk for physical fitness one of my little pleasures was walking down this public pathway where one of the homeowners had planted white rose bushes.  During summer they would bloom continuously, and it was always a delight to see them.  Sadly someone cut them all down in 2018, so I didn't bother walking down that way anymore.  

Then my back started getting worse and walking for long distances (define 'long') became pain inducing and I stopped walking, choosing instead to preserve my body for weaving.  I still get some aerobic exercise in, but less stress on my back and feet.

Over the past few years I've tried a variety of things to - if not get better - keep going with my 'usual' activities.  I didn't want to have surgery for a bunch of reasons, but treating the symptoms isn't working all that well, and frankly?  My quality of life has been a slippery slope from which there seems to be no recovery.

My options were the epidural injections, painkillers with adverse effects, or surgery - if a surgeon will accept me as a patient.

When the doctor in Vancouver who does the injections suggested I consider surgery, my initial response was 'no'.  But him asking meant I had to think about it.  I had to weigh up how I was coping (not well) with the knowledge that if left to get worse (which it was) the end result was disability.  As in not able to do much of anything that I loved to do.  Up to and including weaving.

So far I've managed to keep weaving in part because it was never the actual weaving that was the problem.  If I look back on my life I can pinpoint areas that probably contributed - carrying heavy cartons, for one.  It was a matter of course that I would pick up and move 40+ pound boxes of yarn and cloth.  Pick up and carry heavy suitcases.  Up to 70 pounds when airlines still allowed suitcases to weigh that much.  Then 50 pounds.  Inevitably I would wind up staying with someone who put me in a lovely guest room up a flight of stairs and I would have to carry my suitcase up - and down - those stairs, lift it into the trunk of the car, lift it out again and drag it through huge airports.

Which I never gave a second thought to, because one just did it.

Then I fell.  I slipped on a patch of black ice and made a one point landing on my lumbar back, right on the SI joint.  I spent a week getting the pain from that calmed down and felt fragile for weeks afterwards.   Then I was diagnosed with *more* cardiac blockages and a specialist who insisted I begin taking statins again.  I didn't want to, said they caused all sorts of muscle and joint pain, but he said my heart was in danger of throwing a heart attack and I HAD to take the statins because I needed by-pass surgery.

So I took them, and within two weeks was having increasing lower back pain, then shooting pain down my right leg.  I stopped the statins and started taking anti-inflammatories in an effort to stop the pain, but nothing worked and over the course of six weeks, with multiple trips to physio, with no end to the pain, my doctor ordered a CT scan.  On the following Sunday I insisted on an ambulance ride to ER because I couldn't stand, walk, sit or even lay down.  The pain was off the charts.

Now, I have had any number of doctors tell me the statins had nothing whatsoever to do with any of this.  I'm just telling the timeline.

After being 'screened' for 'drug seeking' 3 times (twice by the paramedic, one by the nurse in ER) the doctor came in and started in on me again screening for drug seeking.  I was at the end of my patience and stopped partway through my response to him and finally said "I had a CT scan on Thursday.  Maybe you could check and see if that's been read yet?"   

Long pause.  "Why did you have a CT scan?"

"Because my back has been hurting so damn bad!"  (through tears I could not by then hold back any longer)

He was back in about 15 minutes to let me know my L5 disc is partially collapsed, pressing against the spinal nerve.

Since then I have managed the situation with exercises, physio, massage, tried Gabapentin (and gained 30+ pounds, because of course I did), and now epidural injections and stronger pain meds.

And it is doing nothing but getting worse.

There are nights I can't sleep for the pain, most days I block it out, best I can.

I have given up travelling (except to Vancouver for medical appointments).  I have given up teaching in person (one last workshop in October and then I'm done, hopefully with enough new weavers go seed the pool).  I gave up walking for exercise a couple of years ago.  I try very hard to NOT lift anything heavy (which has put all of the workload on Doug's shoulders) and try very hard to NOT bite his head off when the pain is awful and it doesn't take much for me to lose my composure.

Because every minute of every day is a struggle.  Mostly I win, but sometimes I don't.  And it doesn't take much extra stress for everything to spiral from managing to not managing.

Once I accepted the whole trajectory of what was happening and saw that this roller coaster was going nowhere but down, I had to accept I needed to see if surgery was an option.  In spite of my reluctance.  In spite of the risks (every surgery comes with risks).

I had to grapple with the fact that the pain clinic here is beyond coping with anything and not going to see me any time soon.

So I went to see my family doctor this morning with a suggestion of a clinic in Vancouver.  They specialize in spines and they do an intense assessment to determine what is the best course of treatment for a patient.  If nothing else, I would like that assessment, even if they say no to surgery.  

I need to know.  Because knowing is better than not knowing.

And I need to understand what quality of life is ahead for me.  

If my pain can't be effectively treated, then I need to know if a repair is possible.  If a repair can't be done, then I need to know what I CAN do to keep going.

The MRI booking has been sent and now I wait.  Hopefully I can get that done in a couple of weeks, and then see if the clinic will accept me as a patient.

I'm not a patient person, but I also know that I have been inordinately fortunate in my health care professionals.

The doctor who 'caught' me in er and believed I had heart issues and arranged for a stress test.
The doctor who 'caught' me at the cancer clinic and fought to get me on the Rituximab maintenance protocol.
The doctor who 'caught' me at the cardiac clinic when it was determined I needed by-pass surgery and he pioneered the technique of doing that without using the heart/lung machine, which he did on me.
The doctor who arranged for me to be on Praluent instead of statins.
The doctor who arranged for me to have Ibrutinib instead of another round of chemo, and which appears to have granted me an almost unheard of remission.

Now I have to have faith that the right doctor will see me in regards to this situation and allow me to have SOME quality of life for whatever time I have left.

It's just going to take some time.  And knowing how the universe has provided for me for the past 15 years, I can cope.  I may not be very gracious about it, but I CAN do this.

Because I still have way too much yarn I need to weave!!!!


Sunday, May 28, 2023

Sunny Sunday


Once again I was awake far too early, but that allowed me to see the refraction of the light coming through the fan light again.  A little reminder that we are only about 4 weeks away from midsummer and the daylight hours will begin to shrink again.

And so it goes.  The earth turns, the days grow longer, then shorter, carrying us along for the ride.

I am also about 6 weeks away from another anniversary of my first trip around the sun.  There has been much to think about and reflect on over the past few weeks.

I live in a neighbourhood where the population has been very 'stable'.  We have lived on this street since 1975.  There are others who pre-date us.  There are a few rental houses where the tenants change every few years, but mostly the same people who come to live here tend to stay here.  It's not far from downtown, and even though the highway isn't all that far away, it's pretty quiet.  It's 3 streets tucked into the foot of a large hill and most people have no idea our little pocket neighbourhood even exists.  For me that's just fine.

But one of our neighbours is putting his house up for sale.  He has reached an age where taking care of the snow and grass is becoming too much for him.  A reminder that he isn't all that much older than us.

And why I try to get to the loom every day that I can.  In spite of my steady picking away, I still have Way Too Much yarn.

Otoh, the heap of 2/20 mercerized cotton has gone down significantly, which makes me very happy.  There is still enough for a few more warps, so I will continue doing this approach to tea towels for a while longer.

This one will be next, I think:

It vaguely reminds me of several things - squiggles drawn in the sand, design elements from various different cultures, trailways found in sedimentary rock dating from millenia ago.  I didn't try to make this design actually look like anything, just played with lines until I had something that pleased me.

Again the design is symmetrical left to right and repeats along the length.  I fussed over the centre, then decided it would be fine.  Tea towels can get folded in half lengthwise, or in thirds.  Either way, the design would 'work'.

After thinking about this design and the colours I have left available, I think I'll weave it in dark brown weft on the natural white warp.  I have a pound or so of a chocolate brown from Robin and Russ (easily 20 or so years old - long past time to use it!) but I also have a dark reddish/brown, and lots of it.  I think it will look good.

The upper image is how it will look as it is being woven, the one below is how the 'right' side of the cloth will look.

I like the graphic nature of it and I think I'm going to be pleased with it when it is done.  And I weave it 'upside down' to lift the fewest number of shafts.  Because I am that 'lazy'.

But that's the thing - you never know until after it is woven and wet finished.  Until then it's uncertain.  A Schrodinger's towel?  

In the meantime, I still have over half of the current warp to weave, so best I get at it and keep on weaving down my yarn stash...

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Launch Plans


One of the challenges of being a self-employed introvert is the necessity to 'sell' yourself.  Because when you are working in a creative field, that is essentially what you are selling.  You.  Your designs.  Your ideas.  Your words.  Your knowledge.  It's

For so many years I felt I didn't really have anything worthwhile to sell, on the one hand, and on the other knowing that someone, somewhere, might be interested.

The breakthrough for me was taking a course on marketing and having the speaker explain that marketing is just sharing your 'story'.  Since I already knew I was, at heart a story-teller, that explanation resonated with me and I was able to begin 'selling' myself more effectively.

Not that it didn't continue to be a 'drain' on my energy.  Not that my inner critic shut up about being 'not worthy'.  Now I had an ally - my story teller self who managed to quiet the critics and allow me to keeping going toward my goal(s).

This latest Next Big Project was less something that *I* decided to do and more the insistence of my inner muse to write it all out.  Even after writing/publishing two previous books, there were still things that I hadn't yet written about in long form.  Although essays aren't necessarily 'long', they tend to be longer than a blog post, which I consider short form writing.  

The more health issues I was dealing with, the higher the pain, the less ability I had to shut my inner critic up, so then a tussle between my 'muse' and 'inner critic' ensued.  Knowing the lies my inner critic tends to tell, my inclination is to always put more weight on my muse than my critic.  Good angel/bad angel kind of thing.  But it can be exhausting.

After a couple of 'bad' days I woke up this morning feeling 'not too bad' and so I decided to go ahead and book a Zoom meeting to launch Stories.  

We have made significant progress and we have a time frame set out which indicates that all should be in place in time for the July 9 date.  And if not?  It can be a movable feast.  Or, I can still do the reading and answer questions and announce the date at which the book will join the other two on Blurb.

Sometimes you have to leap and have faith the net will appear.

So here I go:

If you are on Facebook I've created an 'event' with the link.  If you are not on Facebook, copy/paste the above link on July 9.  It begins at noon Pacific time and I've said two hours, but OTOH, my inner critic is wondering if this is going to be a case of throwing a 'party' and no one will show up...

But if that happens the only thing damaged will be my ego.  And that I can live with.  OTOH, since I am self-publishing and I have to sell myself, I must go ahead with this 'party'.  And, just in case people *are* interested but can't be there in person I will record and post to my You Tube channel for later viewing.

Funny/fancy hats welcome.  Just saying.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Still Waters


After several very busy weeks, this week is somewhat calmer.  And a welcome calm it is, to be honest.

Next week is going to be busy with appointments pretty much every day, so I've been trying to get a few things done this week and I've made progress so that feels good.

The edits are back with the editor and I should get them back next week for another pass through.  Today I'll be working on the bibliography.  I mention a number of books in my essays, and it is a good idea to include a bib with title, author, etc., in case people want to refer to them, themselves.  At least *I* always appreciate that information, so I assume some readers will, as well.  Once I've done that I will begin on the index key words.  Given the essays are in alphabetical order by their respective title, finding a particular topic will be a challenge if there is no index.  So, indexing I will go!

The next warp appears to be weaving up nicely and I'm pleased with how the web looks in the loom.  I've got 4 towels done (out of a potential 20) and plan on one more today which would make that warp about 1/4 woven.  

We have clear skies today, but the smoke is coming back after a day and a half of some nice steady rain.  My allergies are confirming that it's getting worse again.  

It looks like we continue to be on track for the July 9 launch.  Once I do the next read through, that should take care of the worst of the typos etc.  I *think* the words are ok, but still mulling over commas.  As a friend said, keep the necessary ones, get rid of the unnecessary ones.  But to decide which is which?  That's the 'work'!

At any rate, we are pretty sure, like 90% sure, July 9 can be the official launch.  Pardon me while I struggle with impostor syndrome.  Once I've wrestled that beast to the ground I will schedule the Zoom launch date...

While the title is firm, we still have to get the cover designed.  The editor is busy with other work so hopefully by next week.  Other decisions about formatting have been made, it's just going to take time to do it.  However, there is a clear month in which to finalize the files and get them uploaded to Blurb, so it's looking good.  Nothing in life is certain, however, so I'm on tenterhooks, waiting to see if my plans will go ahead, or...require a detour, or something.

Anyway, the swan seemed like a good metaphor for what's happening right now.  It may look serene and calm on the surface, but we are paddling like mad below the surface.


Wednesday, May 24, 2023



True to form, life continues along it's roller coaster like path.

Today we have no rain but the temps are more 'seasonal' instead of August level hot.  It's lovely to see the blue sky after the dark dreariness of yesterday, except I haven't checked the various websites to see how 'bad' the smoke is around here.  I know it's still bad in Alberta and will remain so for the coming months.

I'm taking a bit of a break after the marathon editing done yesterday and dealing with a few distractions, but I did just now finish towel #2 on the current warp.

Overall it seems to be weaving up nicely and - fingers crossed - I won't find a lot of skips on the 'back' of the cloth - which in reality is meant to be the front of the cloth.

As I wait to talk to my doctor, I've pretty much talked myself into having the back surgery - if I can get an appointment with a surgeon and *if* they think I'm a good candidate and *if* they can fit me in sometime soon.  No guarantees the way things are going with the health care system.  But I'm tired of the downward trajectory of my quality of life.  As the doctor in Vancouver said, I 'present' healthy.  I'd like to believe that I still have some productive living ahead of me given my mom lived to 90.  

In the meantime I have made a few decisions about the next book and am about to contact someone about co-hosting the book launch.  It's kind of like being a teenager all over again - if I throw a party, will anyone come?

Ah well.  I won't know until I try, right?  

Tuesday, May 23, 2023



The weekend was busy with the last day of class Saturday, then assisting the students on Sunday.  I had cut the warp off the loom Friday, then beamed the next one and threaded a few inches, but I didn't have much energy over the weekend.  Sunday morning I did get a bit of threading done, but didn't get it finished until Monday.  By the end of the day, it was tied up and ready to go.

However, on Monday I got the files back and it was my turn to tackle editing again.  

This morning dawned dark and dreary with a steady rain falling.  It mostly continued all day but it was a very dark day and staying glued to the desktop with a detour to the loom to get the first towel woven before heading back to the edits seemed like A Good Thing to be doing.

In the end I managed the edits, except for some clean up of commas, but I'd run out of steam and before I started wrangling more commas, I told my editor I was going to send the file back to her (after I make a copy, because copies are A Good Thing) and I'll deal with the comma situation once she's incorporated the word edits from today.

It's nit picking, checking each comma to see if it is necessary (imho) and if I want to keep it or get rid of it.  And every comma needs to be considered because I'm sure some of them are necessary and I want to aim for clarity.

While my editor does the next step, I will work on the bibliography and I can work from my copy of the ms to start recording key words for an Index.  I had intended to do that on the read through today but I needed all of my little grey cells to stay on track with getting the words corralled.   My ducks in a row.  My butterflies to fly in formation.  

The first towel seemed to go smoothly and I'm pleased with it.  I have a bazillion (not really, just feels like it) tubes of this mid-range value blue so I'm trying to empty the ones that only have some yarn on them, not the nearly full ones.  So far it looks like the dozen or so smallest tubes have enough yarn for one towel each.  So I should be able to empty all of those, then perhaps a few of the fuller ones.  And that should make a good dent in that colour.  I have three more drafts ready to go, so I've got lots of chances to use up more of the 2/20 mercerized cotton.  

Little by little, things are getting done.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

You Tube, etm

Weaving on a floor loom - video

holding the shuttle in preparation to throwing it again

The above video (click on link above) continues to be the most watched of all of the videos I've posted.  The one showing beaming a warp with the warping valet is 3rd, I think.

I did both of those videos before it was a 'thing' and there weren't a whole lot of weaving videos available.  And if there were, some of them were not (IMHO) very helpful.

My goal for decades has been to reduce the frustration and irritation involved in getting a warp into the loom and successfully off it again.  Or, at least, to increase the success rate.  And to decrease injuries.

There are times when things just go 'wrong'.  The warp that got cut off the loom Friday is a case in point.  It was me, pushing the boundaries of a new-to-me technique and I pushed too far.  The entire warp was an exercise in frustration and in the end very few of the tea towels I wove are salable.  A couple of locals will get the rejects.  They will still dry dishes, I just cannot in good conscience put my name on them and sell them.

Yes, it was frustrating and it wasn't much fun weaving.  I'm hoping that as I edge away from the precifice of 'too far' that things will go more smoothly.  

Yesterday was the last day of the beginning weaving class.  I explained to the students that everything I do is meant to reduce stress to the body, but that their body is different so they may have to do things differently.  I pointed out that they need to pay attention to the signals their body will send - does something feel awkward or even painful?  Then they must stop and analyse why that might be and work through how to make it more comfortable.  More ergonomic.  Less painful.

But I suggested that they try my way, especially if they like my results, then adjust from there.

This past month I had to make another difficult decision.  That class will be the last beginning to weave class I will teach in person.  As for learning from me?  There are resources on line.  My You Tube channel, of course, but Handwoven has two on-line 'workshops' and School of Sweet Georgia will have four by the end of this year.

When I began weaving I had no clue where this road would take me.  I certainly never expected it to turn me into a published author (magazine articles and actual books) or to the places I travelled to in order to teach.

Today I will spend the afternoon in the guild room to assist two of the students (the other will come here for some tutoring before I leave for guild).  Once the book of essays is published I will re-tool the beyond beginning workshop (thank goodness I kept the binder with samples and drafts!) and I have pencilled in a tentative date in October.  We are hoping to attract weavers from the region to come and join us.  Will post details when they become available, hopefully mid-June.

Can't take a workshop from me in person?  Here are links to the two on-line places:

School of Sweet Georgia   (you get access to the lectures I've been doing plus the workshops, two of them live, the next one arriving in July, the last one in November of this year)

Handwoven  (look for the wet finishing class as well, listed separately)

My books are available at Blurb   We are still working towards at July 9 official publication date, and a Zoom book launch.  Stay tuned for details on that.

For those of you who continue to read this blog - thank you for joining me on my journey.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Hello August - er May...


I had forgotten that the USA and Canada use a different numbering system for things like pollution.  Since most of my readers are USians, I'm using the US scale for these posts.

The smoke situation is somewhat better today, although it still isn't great.  More yellow, less red. The Weather Network has been giving out weather quality alerts for most of the province for about two weeks now, warning how dangerous prolonged exposure to wildfire smoke is for our lungs (and presumably animals, but they don't have access to masks, so...)

Since I've not stopped wearing a mask against covid, it was a no-brainer for me to wear one against the smoke.  

I had several trips to town this week, and I was consistently the only person I saw wearing a mask. While I heard lots of complaints about smoke, no one seemed aware of the fact that if they just grabbed one of their N95s they would be protected against both.  Even if it wasn't a good fit, less smoke (or covid) in your lungs is less smoke (or covid) in your lungs.

Andrew Kurjata gave some space in his Northern Newsletter to the UNBC prof about baseline assumptions this morning, and yeah, pretty soon this new 'normal' is going to be just that - accepted as 'normal' - and no mitigations or efforts to stop climate change will be taken because human beings are so incredibly adaptable we will just let the vulnerable go ahead and die already.  Darwinism at its finest?

Since I am one of those 'vulnerable' I can't say I'm best pleased to be tossed into the climate change soup of continuing plagues and climate change and told to sink or swim.  Knowing full well that for me, sink is the end game.  Literally.

Prof. Huber warns that if we accept that this 'new normal' is just the way it is, that it is inevitable, and we make no further effort to stop climate change we are in for a bumpy ride.  (I paraphrase.)

Thing is, I was told there would be hand baskets.

I see no hand baskets.  

Just more of (waves hands) this...↑

If it is like this in May, I shudder to think what it will be like come August.  So far *we* are in no direct danger of wildfires.  But we have 3 more months of summer.  Things could change, and not for the better.

Time to make choices.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023



I had booked all my appointments - or as many as I could - for one day so that only one day got 'ruined' for weaving.

Then the middle appointment cancelled due to illness.  I could be weaving now, but I just had part two of the Shingrix vax and the general advice is not to do anything physical afterwards.

This morning the smoke is worse than it has been - so far this year.  We've certainly had it 'worse' in the past, but right now?  It's bad.

Were any other people out and about wearing masks?  No.  I was the only one I saw.  In spite of more than a week of air quality advisories recommending people wear masks to protect against the smoke.  You'd think after covid more people would have masks to hand and pay attention, but apparently not.

I wear a mask rated to N95.  It's not a really tight fit, but it's pretty good.  But the smoke is everywhere, not just outside.

We are running the hepa filter on high for nearly all of the day.  If the smoke gets worse we may run it on high 24/7 and just turn the tv up louder in the evening.  :(  We also have the furnace fan running 24/7.  With the filters on the furnace, the hepa filter in the living room, we are doing everything we can to filter the air.

Because I am allergic to smoke.  Already I have been experiencing the 'usual' effects from that allergy - increased pain levels (oh joy, yet *more* pain), sore throat, sinus irritation and this morning the nose bleeds started.

And it's only MAY.  This could go on until September.

The fires are devastating Alberta, and now we have serious fires in the north eastern part of our province.  There are other smaller fires elsewhere as well, but so far most of them are being controlled (which does not mean out - they can continue to smoulder for a long time until they get a big enough dump of rain - preferably without lightning arriving with the rain.)

It all feels very overwhelming.  I feel stymied on every level.  Yes, I could go weave, but perhaps at the risk of a much bigger adverse reaction to the vax that will take longer to resolve.

So I am practicing staying in the moment.

In this moment I choose to NOT weave.  In this moment I choose to NOT be upset or anxious.  In this moment I CAN do something else - hem those tea towels, build a puzzle, who who knows, read some of my books.

Patience, Grasshopper.  I have a feeling it is going to be a very long summer...

Monday, May 15, 2023



I am feeling weary.  

I am tired.

I am concerned about what is going on in this world.

When I look around for someone who sees what I see, I find a few others and it's a relief.  I'm not batshit crazy like some who deny what is happening accuse me of being.

Yesterday I read an article about the imminent 'collapse' of our civilization, our 'world'.  The author suggests that we begin developing communities, groups of people who will help each other.  Beau of the Fifth Column has been saying the same thing for years.

It is a suggestion that I can identify with, given I have spent much of my life teaching others what is, essentially, a survival skill.

A few weeks ago I was standing in line at the post office, knowing that covid was at an all time high in my province and me the only person in there wearing a mask.  Until one other person came in and stood in line behind me, also wearing a mask.

Somehow, I don't remember how, we started chatting.  Turns out she is a gardener and we talked about climate change and all the things that appear to be crumbling, yearly.  She said that when it all fell apart she could at least feed herself and some others from her garden.

I smiled (behind my mask) and said I'm a weaver.  I can weave you cloth for clothing and you can feed me.

Her eyes got wide and she said "I never thought about that!  Yes!  We can trade!"

And last month the level of carbon in the air jumped up another X points bringing us so very close to the tipping point of no return.

The author of the article I read didn't say it would be a quick collapse, more of a 'crumbling'.  

I watch the news, see the gigantic issue with wildfire all around the globe, spewing yet more carbon into the airshed, the destruction of yet more forests, farmland, the animals in the path of the flames fanned by ever higher temperatures.  I see the sea levels rising and the weather events becoming ever more severe.  So much so that entire new categories have had to be created for hurricanes and now tornadoes.  "Once in a lifetime event!" the announcers cry - as if every climate scientist everywhere hasn't been ringing alarm bells for literally decades.

This morning someone posted a quote from Kurt Vonnegut - I paraphrase - Dear future generations, I'm sorry.  We were drunk on petroleum."

And again, yesterday, I read an article about the very specific circumstances that allowed oil and gas to develop and how there will never be more because those specific circumstances no longer exist on this planet.

Also yesterday, I saw a video clip by Dolly Parton singing about climate change - "Liar liar, the world's of fire!" she sings.


Maybe people who need to hear this will listen to Dolly.  They didn't listen to Midnight Oil (the beds are burning) or Joni Mitchell (pave paradise, put up a parking lot) or any of the other singer/songwriters who have tried to tell us.

In the meantime, I guess I keep trying to teach people how to weave.  Because when civilization goes this time, all those survival skills are in danger of being out of reach of far too many so having at least some people know how to weave (and spin) means we can at least clothe ourselves, maybe trade with gardeners for food?

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Wording is Hard


Wove this scarf a while ago - it says 'create joy'.  Yes, the letters are woven in.

This morning someone commented on a sentence they were reading that pertained to making yarn and wondered if the description they read was accurate or if there was a nuance the description was missing.

And I remembered again that wording is hard.

It was part of the struggle I went through trying to write my first two books, and what I am currently going through with this book of essays.  For every article I submitted for publication, the technical editors generally found grey areas that needed fixing.  And I thanked them for their service.

With so many it dependses and nuances in terms of bringing loose fibre into woven textile, have I been clear enough so that people can understand?  Or could I have done better?

Well, the short answer is, it depends.

It will depend on how much brain fog I had when I was trying to string the words together.  It will depend on the reader - if they can grasp the point I was trying to make.  If they are willing to accept that there are so many factors that the results hinge upon.  It will depend on how accurately I have observed what is happening and if I've chosen good metaphors or just plain descriptors to explain what I have seen happening in the weaving of the cloth.  It will depend if I've drawn correct conclusions.

Once the words have been published, they are there for anyone to see/read and comment on.  Agree with, or not.

Will I succeed or fail in getting across the complexity of the subject?

Personally I've struggled with knowing that not everyone will agree or even understand what I am trying to get across.  Because someone, somewhere is bound to take exception and will let me know in no uncertain terms that I'm *wrong*.  And I may well be!  Because it depends!

I have had to accept that this will happen and do what I feel needs to be done, anyway.

Most of all, I have to accept that I don't know everything, and sometimes I need to learn more my own self.  

But that was part of why I chose weaving to be my career - I wanted to do something with my life where I would continue to learn for the rest of my life.

Weaving has been all of that - and so much more.

I have had fantastic people come into my life because of weaving.  I was young, 25 when I made that choice, so most weavers of the day were older than me.  They took me under their wing(s), encouraged me, questioned me, pointed me in the direction of resources.  They celebrated with me when I had successes.  Some lent me equipment, gave me rides to conferences, gave gentle feedback, held me to account in terms of the decisions I was making.

On this Mother's Day, I can do no better than to remember all those people (most of them female, but not all) who 'mothered' me.

With grateful thanks to the weaving community which has become my 'family'.  Wording is hard, but I can say a heartfelt thank you to all who have encouraged, supported and cheered me and others on.

PS - I have decided I will order in a few of the new books and sign them for anyone interested.  I know this is a huge ask, but if you are interested in a signed copy of Stories from the Matrix, email me

laura at laurafry dot com

I will put your name on the list and you will get an email once I know the price and shipping.  No obligation.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

A Matter of Value


My plan C is a very simple point progression, in threading and treadling.  However, it is being done with a tie up that creates a type of value scale due to the 'block' nature of the weave structure.

The tie up is 1:3:1:3:2:2:3:1

Where one shaft is up in the block the block shows mostly weft.  Where the tie up is 2:2, the two colours are equally present on the face of the cloth.  Where the tie up is mostly 3 up and 1 down, that area shows mostly warp.

Since I routinely tie up my loom to lift the fewest number of shafts, then, this face of the cloth is mostly weft 'dominant'.  The other side will show more of the warp and will be mostly 'white'.

Even though the 'hem' area (at the very top of the cloth) won't be visible, I will sometimes include a different treadling as a cue that I am nearing the end of the item, in this case a towel.  It's a little 'trick' I play on myself.  Since I know that the cloth will tell me when it is nearing the 'end' I don't start fussing wondering when I'll be done.  I can usually tell from the time on the clock approximately when that will be and then when I see the hem area coming up, it's like that sprint to the end runners sometimes use on marathons.  They will keep back a little energy to see them across the finish line.

Even though this is a very simple motif, because it has 3 different values being woven there is a bit of a 3D effect happening.  Dark colours 'recede', light colours 'advance'.  Same with values.

So all in all, while this wasn't my first choice, or even my second, it's fine.  I'm happy enough with it that I'm not getting anxious to change it to see if I can do something else.  I know I will be doing something else on the next warp.

I'm now about halfway through this warp.  Unfortunately next week is busier than last (which was supposed to be a quiet week, and then wasn't) so I won't likely get this warp off the loom before next Saturday.  But that is the last day of the beginning weaving class and things should become less busy once it is done.

Several of the beginning weavers want a beyond beginning class and, while I don't really want to, I have agreed to do Mug Rugs and More.  This is a workshop where they can try out a variety of different weave structures and experience a larger variety of things all at once, so to speak, with a focus on textiles that are geared towards table textiles.

Bad news is that I tossed all my teaching notes earlier this year when I decided I was finally done with teaching.  However, I kept the binder with all the samples for this topic and the drafts.  I have to update them, but I always did every time I taught the class.  So I'm trying to get the ms published, and then drag the binder out and begin re-doing all the class handouts.

One of my students has requested an October date, so I will talk to the guild executive and see if they are ok with a workshop between (our) Thanksgiving and the first craft fair.  It means I would do it over a Sat/Sun but that means weavers in the region might join us?

Otherwise things are going well enough.  In this class one student is already winding her third warp, one student is threading her second and the third will decide what they want to do - there are several options they are considering.  They have the use of the looms until the end of the month and can then rent a loom.  There are 5 guild looms, one is already rented, but that means four more they can use.  

Our guild has a good number of spinners; I'm hoping that the two beginning weaving classes will produce some more weavers.  :)

Friday, May 12, 2023

Be Kind


"In a places where there are no good people, be a good person."

When I saw this piece of calligraphy at a show I was doing, I told my spouse that could be my Christmas present.  When we got home, it was hung on the brick wall in the kitchen, and I remind myself frequently that it is better to be kind.

The past few years have tested that desire to be kind in the face of so much unkindness.  During an airborne pandemic, when people were asked to wear masks and refused because their inconvenience was more important than other people's lives made me very sad.  

It felt...unkind.

So I tried to use logic.  I tried to reason with people.  I tried to just make them see that covid wasn't a nothing burger for me and others.  But nope, nope, nope, some people simply would not be swayed.

And yes, I know that a mask isn't foolproof.  Neither is a vaccination.  What a vaccination does is try to mitigate the seriousness of the disease if you should catch it.  

But then we found out about Long Covid.  Surely the naysayers would see the wisdom of reducing the viral load in the air then?

Apparently not.

Now we are being hit with a heat wave which makes wearing a mask even more uncomfortable, so I get it.  I am not exactly comfortable in the heat with my mask on, either.  But just like I wear my seatbelt when I get in the car, I put my mask on before I exit the car.

Because less smoke, or a virus in my body, is A Good Thing.

All mitigations against covid are being dropped even though covid hasn't gone away.  I, and other immune compromised people, are still at risk because covid is still, even now, raging through our town.  But, because fewer people are dying, we are told to suck it up, stop living in fear, masks aren't covid proof, so why even bother wearing one?

Because LESS viral load in the air is better than letting it rip.

People tell me to stop wearing my mask because it won't stop covid.  No, but it will reduce my odds of getting it.  And I'll take a lower risk of being sick for the discomfort of wearing a mask over no protection at all.

Now we have wildfire smoke 'season', starting early, in the midst of a heat wave.  Temperatures in the high 20s, low 30s in May is simply unheard of, at least for days at a time.  The coming 10 days is going to be temperatures more typical of August.  I shudder to think what August will bring.

But this mindset of not doing small things to reduce risk because they won't solve the larger problem?  Of not bothering to do anything because one person cannot fix a global issue?  I understand.  But if enough individuals each did their part, some 'small' thing, AND advocated to their governments to do the big things?  Maybe, just maybe we would have a chance.  A chance to at least slow the steady march towards a future that is looking a whole lot like hell in the making.

This week of temps in the high 20s, low 30s, in MAY is what the scientists have been warning about for literally decades.

Yesterday I found a clip on You Tube of Midnight Oil's 1987 song Beds are Burning.  We knew then.  We knew in the 1960s.  We turned a blind eye and now?  Here we are.

So.  I will continue to wear a mask.  I will wear it for me, yes, but I will wear it so that I don't catch it and share it with others.  I will wear a mask against the smoke pall.  I will continue to compost, recycle, watch my gas usage.  And our next vehicle will, in all likelihood, be a hybrid.  

No, a hybrid is not the best answer.  But it WILL reduce how much gasoline we need to get around.  

Small acts.  They may not 'save the world' but less of a problem is better than more of that problem.