Sunday, June 9, 2013

Moving Ahead Again

Well, look who's back.... this is year two of a three year cycle...

They are feasting on the bear berry flowers. Its like a drug to them!  They munch away and then seem to go into a catatonic state. You can pick them off and they don't wriggle or scrap with you!

There are a lot less of the little beggars this time round, but its still gross finding them on your house, decks and crawling on window screens and all through the grass as they make their way up hill.  It all lasts about two to three weeks and then they make cocoons and become moths. The wave of their infestation is moving northward towards Nanaimo. The bushes and trees were covered there last week! Next year they will be back again but less again and hopefully we can get back to normal around here again. { There is a small wasp that takes advantage of the increase of caterpillars and lays small egg on their backs. We look for ones with small white dots on their backs and leave those. Nature is going to do a better job then we ever could! Nothing else eats them.}

The weather has warmed up here finally. We've had a cool, wet spring. Poor Calli, our Airedale was gasping from the heat with her long coat so she went to a new dog spa and had a double bath, cut and mani /pedi.  They did a real nice job on her cut and she looks like an Airedale once again (don't ask about the last time!)

She turned three years old in April and is well settled in with us and has us firmly wrapped around her paw.  She was ten months old when she moved in. She even 'talks' to us by using grunty noises and she can throw a lot of attitude into a grunt!  Just forget a cookie at bedtime and see what you get! What else can I tell you? Well, she's very gentle and this afternoon, she backed away from a butterfly.  She checked over her shoulder to see where 'mum' was and slowly inched her way forward to check it out.... with back legs stretched way back in case she needed a fast getaway!

Calli spends most afternoons napping either on her bed in my studio near the patio door with a view of outside.... or the bed beside Bruce's desk. Toys and balls litter the hallway between the two rooms.

There is even a toy in my loom bench... you just never know when there might be a chance to throw a ball. This was my 'loom d' jour' today and just as I left it. The Louet Spring is a real little workhorse. I have a 10/2 mercerised cotton warp on to weave off a dozen guest towels. They make nice gifts and are a nice touch to place beside the hand basin for visitors to dry their hands on.  The hemstitching slows things down but its the one detail that makes them look well put together later on. I'm on towel number six now and using a softly twisted bamboo as weft: soft teal, cream, white and a bronze. I'm very low on weft yarn and so you know what that means! Yup, yarn store visit coming up quick on Monday. I've called ahead and they have lots to choose from (phew!)
Here are some views of the work under way:

There is also a cream on cream towel, plus another with a cream hem allowance and white weft on another towel on the cloth beam roll. The sett is 28 epi and its a 12 shaft twill that I have used before. Does it look familiar?   Think book marks and then runners  :)  I'll give you more details and data on the current project when they are off loom, hemmed and done okay?

Towels on the big loom are waiting for my knee to feel a bit better. That loom requires a deep leg push and its too difficult for my left knee right now. Its frustrating as I would really like to get them finished. {Surgeon appointment on Tuesday!}  That's a second warping board hanging on the side of the loom so I can have two warps being wound at one time. Bruce added extra dowels across the bottom so I can have fractions of a yard wound, over just whole yard increments. You can see a couple of warps already done and waiting their turn (eventually!)

My next design challenge is to use the existing tie up on the Louet and mix it with various drafts in Fiberworks and see how the tie up changes the draft. It will be fun to see what I can come up with!  It will become the next project on the Spring.

There's going to be a fair amount of running around town, appointments and such in the coming days ahead. Its a busy time of year for everyone as the great outdoors calls and there are herds of tourists and relatives on the move to greener pastures around the province and country! Hopefully you are all looking forward to some time with friends and enjoying  summer events. While I can't get my floor looms out the door to the deck, I'm going to take my spinning wheel out there and enjoy the breeze. When I don't have to throw a ball that is!

Girl needs her beauty sleep.


Linda said...

Your guest towels are so beautiful, Susan. I have several cones of linen which are waiting for both the Gertrude and the adjustment to that loom before I would love to weave fine linen towels. I also need the courage to work with linen, but I think the loom extension will make that an even better experience. It sounds like you're accomplishing a great many things despite your knee issues (.....and bug picking, too!). Lots of healing thoughts coming your way throughout your impending procedures! It's always a treat to see what's happening on Susan's looms!

Acorn to Oak said...

Awwww...she's SO cute! Looks like she has a very good stylist! ;-) She sure sounds like a sweetheart! Salsa leaves her toys all over too. We never know where we might find them either. lol Your weaving is beautiful! Have a wonderful day!

Dorothy Stewart said...

Just as Linda says, the towels are lovely and beautiful hem stitching ! You are right, that makes all the difference and such a professional finish.

barbara said...

Hi Susan - Calli's new hair cut is wonderful; I enjoy reading how she talks back to you - my little Suzie does the same thing; sad thing is, I think I know what she is saying! Hand towels are beautiful, they do make such wonderful gifts. I always enjoy reading your posts. Thanks again for keeping up up-to-date and good luck with your visit to the orthopedic surgeon. Weaverly yours ...

Hilary said...

She is a beauty, that girl.
And I love seeing your looms,and your projects.
How many looms do you have now? and what is your fave?

Joanna said...

Next but last time our border collies were to be bathed and given a perimeter trim, they came back clipped and looking like poodles! Oi! Your blog was was got me weaving something other than rag rugs, so at, I think. ;)

Susan Harvey said...

Thanks everyone for the great comments!

Linda: I did consider linen for these guest towels as weft but I wanted them to be soft right from the start. As lovely as linen is, it didn't call to me on this project.
Hey... maybe I could do a blog post on all things linen?

Dorothy: its the little things, the little details that make a piece go from okay to special isn't it? You always have impeccable finishing!

Barbara: oh, we understand what Calli says, much like your Suzie! They are *great* at getting their message across! :)

Hilary: I have three floor looms now (I don't have a whole house to fill...well, I could but there would be divorce :) The Louet Spring gets the most use right now due to being easier on my knee but its a real hard working loom. The big Woolhouse is wonderful too (great for rugs by the way) and is my sentimental favourite.
The Megado 16 shaft and I are still eyeing each other. The room is full and so that's my limit! There is an 8 shaft table loom but its folded up and tucked away. Floor looms rule here!

Acorn to Oak: Salsa and Calli would play nicely together... Now there's a grand sight! Airedales romping and playing...

Linda said...

I would love to see a blog post on all things linen! I'm mustering up the courage to use it. I'm quite sure your sharing of your experience with working with linen would be very helpful (and inspiring!) to a great many readers!

Sue Bye said...

I remember those caterpillars from our 24 years north of Seattle. Yuk! Our deck railing sometimes looked like a superhighway for caterpillars. My husband and mother-in-law swore they saw flashing blue lights on the caterpillar rear ends, but there were margaritas involved, so I'm still skeptical.

I have a Louet Megado that I love and an 8-shaft Baby Wolf. I would really like to trade the Baby Wolf for a Spring, but I can't justify it. Maybe if sales are really good at our guild's annual Fiber Fair...