Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Rolling Stone...



There is one thing all this recent medical stuff  has shown us, is that we need to shift ourselves to a place where all the main living is on one level.... and a much smaller yard.   Right now our home is a two storey place with main floor up and we have 2.25 acres.   Some is natural, and another section is meadow with an orchard and an organic garden area. Lots of mowing and yard work!  The plus side is that the house is fully private and we have a delightful stream running through the property with all kinds of fish and crayfish, otters and even a muskrat.  



We've been here seven years and its time to move and let another family enjoy the property and improvements we have put in.   So it looks like the house is going up for sale and downsizing our "STUFF" has begun.  We are going to go with a full pack by a moving company due to my recovery and joint issues. We'll unpack ourselves in our own sweet time. We have some interest in the house which is very encouraging!



So now that I'm more mobile and in the studio some afternoons again (with short periods of slow weaving!)  I'm culling books and such and will be listing them for sale on the Sale Page which you can find at the top of the blog. I change the date as things are listed or sold so you can see the turn over.   Perhaps book mark it and check often to see if there is something you might like to add to your library or stash? Vintage items (1996 and older) will be listed at my Etsy page too.

I also still have the big Woolhouse Tools CM loom for sale and I need for it to find a new home. There is a sale page at the top of the blog with full details.  I have dropped the price to $4,500.00 which is half the price of a new one.   Pick up is still here at Duncan as I'm not able to do the dismantle myself.  The buyer will benefit from the educational dismantle as it will help putting it back together again!  There is a full manual of course too.


I'm continuing to improve and have some days that are pain free.... and others not so much. I have to take it day by day.  I'm weaving but slowly and for short intervals so that's not too shabby to have started again at 6 weeks post op. ( I'm now 7 weeks post op) Last surgery in 2001, I only could start at 12 weeks post surgery.  The knee is a real issue though and while the 'cure' is in the works, it takes time.  We hope to use the window in between to line up our ducks and take the next logical step.



Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Small Big Thing

Just wanted to say hi .............and guess what I did today?


I sat down and wove about six and half inches, or seven repeats on my scarf!  It felt great to be holding shuttle again.   I haven't lost my technique thankfully . 


My progress today is shown here from the gold marker and up!   I went slow and was careful not to twist my leg or over reach the treadles.  Its a small, but big first start!

I'm six weeks post operative now and this time with my last hip replacement I was still hobbling around on crutches. Things have gone much better this time round.   I started weaving last time at about three months after surgery.  

I'll see how I feel tomorrow and not overdo  such things too much. I have been using my spinning wheel in the evenings so maybe that's helped?


I know someone else who is happy I'm back in the studio! Call grabbed a toy and waited patiently for the game of "you cover my eyes and throw it.... then I track it down, and bring it back ten seconds later."


Its a start!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Drum Roll Please! The Winner is......



So, I wrote down every name of people who wrote a comment on the December 21st post and very scientifically, shook them all up in a sealed container and drew one out.... and it was......


Here's Barbara's comment:


Blogger barbara said...
Hi Susan - Congratulations on reaching your 7th Anniversary of your blog - I have enjoyed every posting, and have learned lots from your writings. I am so pleased to hear that your recovery is coming along, and you are even thinking of go out to see a movie "The Hobbit", I too plan to see that as soon as Christmas is over. I have really tried to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, and am fortunate that I don't have to get all involved with the "commercial" end. This makes for a very relaxing time, spending time with whom I want to spend time with. Nice to see that you are starting to think about weaving again, and things will fall into place when your body is healed. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Bruce. Enjoy the holiday season! Weaverly yours ... Barbara



Barbara has won the 12 shaft kitchen towel!   Its a rather interesting twill. Its a twelve shaft draft, threaded like a turned twill.  White cottolin sett at 24 epi and the weft is 8/2 cotton in pink. There is two distinct blocks (treadles 1 to 6, and, treadles 7 to 12) What you see above is a simple treadling of 1 through to 12 and repeated. Optically its a brain teaser! 



Please email me with your mailing address Barbara  to weever at shaw dot ca .  Its all wrapped and ready to go!

I find it hard to believe that I have kept this blog up for seven years as of today. I also know that some of you have been reading it all that time too. Thanks for hanging in there for the weaving content and also for enduring home renovations, new well being drilled, trees being felled,  trips away and baby arrivals!   Many of you have come along in the years since and live in many diverse places all around the world.  Great to have you all come and visit.

I have heard from many of you via email and sometimes run into you at places like Ravelry (where I am weever) and Facebook (where I have a page called Thrums Textiles ) and enjoyed chatting with you.  I have handled questions on looms, sources for yarns and such. The one thing I have noticed is just how much we have in common regardless of where we live.

Besides busy lives with children and grandchildren, we all share a love of weaving and working with fibre, of challenging ourselves to do more and better.  How to fit more weaving into our lives and how to make beautiful, functional cloth.

On the home front right now, I am making my way slowly with a cane in the house and the walking is getting easier as 'things' adjust to the new reality. My physiotherapist is quite pleased with my progress.   I even sat in the studio yesterday and spun on my spinning wheel while I waited for laundry to run its course. It felt great and it exercises the lower legs nicely.  So the wheel has been promoted to the living room to keep me busy and I have some lovely fleece from New Zealand on the go right now.

I did get to the movie, "The Hobbit: The Five Armies" and loved it.  I sat on my four wheel walker with a cushion and kept shifting my legs to keep things happy.   The length of the film was the only challenge but I survived! The multi-plex theatre has eight individual theatres and our film was in number 8.... the farthest away (of course). So Bruce suggested I sit on the walker and lift my feet.....and he pushed me down the long hallway and saved me many, many steps!  What a guy huh?




Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014: A Weaving Year Remembered

Many weavers like to show what is actually on their looms for New Year's Day. That's a neat concept but I thought a review of what you have actually accomplished in the past year makes more sense to me.  So last year I wrote a studio review and its time again for another!  The Year  really flew by....

So here's my 2014  review and you have to know that I'm looking forward to getting back to my looms soon as the doctor says its okay!

January 2014

Just the one project and it was an eight shaft huck lace diamonds in natural coloured French 9/2 linen from Brassards.
Lovely to work with and a fun weave!  They sold quickly and two of the three went all the way to Louisiana!





February 2014

I wove a couple of twelve shaft lattice scarves from a draft that I modified from an old Weavers magazine.  I reduced it from sixteen down to twelve shafts. They had a beige tencel warp and eggplant weft for one, and a fine black silk weft for the second. Its visually very satisfying! It was a bit repetitive after a time. I like the complexity of twills to keep me focused.




I loaded up the big Woolhouse Tools loom with a random striped warp for towels and for a potential new owner of the loom to try out.  It's a great way to use up odd bits and pieces of cottons.  Its an eight shaft pattern called "breaks and recesses" and one of my stand by favourites. So, still on the loom and under way.  { This loom is still for sale by the way...contact me if you are interested}




March 2014

I had warped up the Louet Spring with a twelve shaft twill pattern that I received from my friend Gudrun. I played around with different versions in my Fiberworks and produced two shawls with a different look. Both have a golden tussah silk warp and one had natural coloured silk yak blend for weft. The second I used hand dyed (by me) silk cotton blend in a soft plum shade. This shawl was well under way at the month's end.




April 2014

We had a trip over to see family and our grandson, Ethan who was turning two.  There was a party to attend!  When we got back I completed the second shawl and worked on the beading embellishment using tiny cream coloured freshwater pearls.
 The cloth is light and airy, but warm. That's the beauty of silk! Perfect spring weather wraps.   It was about this time that I voluntarily stopped using all twelve shafts due to various joint strain and keeping myself to a lighter eight shaft drafts.



May 2014

I tried a twist on the classic drall pattern and wove up two scarves using a variegated yarn.  Then, using bright silks,  more colour play with turned twill blocks for two silks scarves, both of which sold quickly.






June 2014

With the higher humidity of late spring, I decided to weave more of the eight shaft huck lace diamond linen runners in black 9/2 linen, which proved to be a challenge! I had to be very precise with the treadling and hold my breath as I could not see the pattern. I sang out the treadling to make sure I got all five shots to a pattern block.  It worked fine and I got three runners off this warp..... one of which was sold and went all the way to Australia!




I also produced some turned twill yardage of soft 8/2 cotton and later after cutting it apart, I got eight large sized kitchen towels.  My second post showed the finishing of the towels  I just have one last towel left now at Etsy.  I will need to make some more kitchen towels once I'm able to weave again as towels (both large and small) make nice small gifts and lower price point from the scarves and shawls!



July 2014

I went from a black  linen warp to a lovely blue green linen warp and once again, more huck lace diamonds. It reminded me of Wedgwood blue.  I was attempting to get some stock into my shop and get ahead on some inventory before my coming surgery. I wove up three nice sized runners.




We also welcomed guests from far off Michigan for a few days stay and had a lovely visit!  They were on their honeymoon and we didn't know until they arrived!   After they left,  we packed up and  were off to Vancouver to see family and our grandson again for a week away.


August 2014

We seemed to acquire our grandson Ethan's cold or flu bug and so I spent all of August sick and half of September!  I have a compromised immune system and so couldn't fight it off.  (queue the sad music)    And so there was no weaving....    :(

September 2014

But I did manage to get the last red linen warp woven off and finished, albeit slowly. Most likely the last of the  eight shaft huck lace diamonds for some time! (you can get too much of a good thing). These three were with Christmas in mind.... and while they sold quickly last time, this year I still have all three in stock.  New to the studio was my new steam press which I love. It works beautifully with the linen that needs a harder press!




More ever popular snowflake twill scarves featuring variegated tencel  and some show and tell featuring my new Bluster Bay honex tensioned end delivery shuttle.  Shuttles and yarn are your basic tools next to the loom.



Knowing my surgery was coming soon and that we have a new grand baby due in early spring, I tossed a coin and decided to make the baby's blanket now while I knew my strengths and limitations. I just didn't want to be trying to make such a special gift while still recovering and either hurting myself, or producing a less then happy project.  So I went for neutral colours and even now, knowing that the baby will be a girl, it will still work with her mother's dragonfly theme for her room!

October 2014

Quieter month, with mainly the big reveal of the three blankets.  They were a slow weave! One was sold right away as a lap throw for a 'grown-up' who fell in love with the plain striped version.  One is reserved as a gift in the spring and the other is for sale.  By now it was becoming apparent that I have serious trouble with not only my left knee, but also my right hip.  So after a  consult, the Surgeon decided to go with the hip first.....and the knee will wait till mid 2015.

My other accomplishment for the month was a three hour root canal.  It simply had to be done and the gap is still there in our bank account to prove it!




November 2014

I placed a multi silk warp on the Louet Spring and hoped to have it done and woven off before the surgery!   With racing around doing our Christmas prep early and picking up all the necessary items and medical appointments before the surgery, it was not to be unfortunately.  So it sits and waits for my return. They are good at that!  :)



December 2014

My ongoing project is ..... ME.   I imagine my bone weaving together with my new parts and knitting together and healing.   While I'm starting to walk with just a cane now,  my body is still  holding me back right now.  I see my surgeon on January 9th for a post operative check up and get an idea of how things are going.  My imagination is getting excited about getting back to the looms. First to finish the silk scarves and then  ??? I'm flipping through Handwoven's and Vav's magazines and enjoying the eye candy!

So what have you planned for the start of the new year and what I like to call "prime weaving time" during winter months?     Everything and anything is possible.

So to tally finished things up:
2 shawls
3 baby blankets
8 kitchen towels
8 scarves ( and a partial!)
 and  12 runners

That's 33 in total. Not as good as last year but given my physical limitations and lengthy illness this past year, not too shabby!

So wishing you all a Happy New Year and may your shuttle all fly well and your warps be smooth!

If you haven't done so already, be sure to leave a comment on the  December 21st blog post to be eligible to win a handwoven tea towel in the January 7th draw.... one comment per person please and the winner will be announced on January 8th! Be sure to check back to see if you have won.  This will be the 7th anniversary of my starting this blog!



Enjoy the winter to come.....

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Celebrations!


Christmas is almost here! Are your plans all made, menus set ? .... gifts bought and wrapped?  Its become a crazy time of year and there are a lot of stresses on everyone. I have found that as you get older your feelings for Christmas undergo a change. Gifts are nice but not really necessary as we tend to buy what we need through out the year.   You may even start to scale back on the decorations.  Its a darker time of year and I find the sparkly lights are the best part for me.  With the Solstice today, the emphasis is on the return of the light!

Now that I have a grandson, and a grand daughter on the way, I can see where Christmas is truly all about the children.  For little Ethan this is a magical time of year as he learns the customs and experiences it all. For him, its real!  He also wants it all, and now..... (patience Grasshopper!)

So it comes down to what is really important.  Spending time with family and friends and if not in person, then make a call and hear their voice.  Face Time or Skype is another good option too.  (try not to have them looking up your nose and get the camera angle right!)

I had to get my cards done a fair bit early this year due to the operation. There were several letters needed for older family friends and relatives far away.  I sat and hand wrote them out as my attempt to keep something authentic about communication! No dispersions are being cast on the computer  generated family newsletter; its just not my style.



Our only festive plan this year is to go with a friend and see the third and sadly last instalment  of the Hobbit movie. That will be a big night out for me!  I already know their theatre seating is very low and soft so I will take my four wheel walker and my booster cushion and sit at the end of a row.   The movie is out now and I reckon another week and I can do it given my recovery and how I feel.



So how goes it here?  Well, Bruce has been doing a stellar job of keeping me fed and in clean clothes and taking me to medical appointments.  He's even starting to spend time in his hobby room again and work on his models.  I am moving better and feeling stronger with the two wheel walker and even taking a few steps (with a hand hold) on my own and I can see where using a cane alone is in my near future.  My dressing is off and things have healed well.  Its just all the internal healing and strengthening that must carry on in the coming months.  Its a slow process but there is measurable progress daily.   Its the slow part that had me bugged today.  You feel good enough to do more, but you can't ! (yet)

So I indulged in some retail therapy instead. I purchased a large ball winder with a tensioner (picture to come later) and I went bonkers shopping at Etsy! I shopped for the coming grand baby and grandson as you have to have something for him at the baby showers to come as well.  Ethan is now train crazy and so we are going to be feeding that fire very well!   My daughter in law wants a dragonfly theme for the new baby girl's room and Nana found some nice essentials with just that.




I also found yarn! I have a nice  cone of a luxury fibre coming.... to be revealed later!  Yes, my thoughts are returning to weaving even if the flesh is weak still!  And my willpower is too....

So from our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy Happy New Year! May your shuttles fly true and well.

January 8th, 2015 is this blog's  7th anniversary date and I will be having a  random draw of a kitchen towel based on comments left to this post. Draw will be made on January 7th  and the winner will be announced January 8th. I simply can't believe that I have been writing this blog for seven years. To those of you who have been here from the start, you have my grateful thanks!

pink and white only... spoon not included  :)

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