Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Then Winter Found Us

I have been watching the rest of North America and Europe suffering through a terrible winter. Endless snow, ice storms, floods, wind storms and power outages.  Polar Vortexes (formerly known as a blast of Canadian Arctic air) and Snowmageddon and other colourful descriptions of what some call " formerly, a normal winter".

I have very much appreciated the more moderating influence of the Pacific Ocean and the occassional warm air flow up from southern regions, usually California or the "Pineapple Express" from Hawaii.
We have buds forming on trees, the hellebore was sprouting and the snowdrops are up.

Or, they were.... they had better live up to their name as they are well and truly buried now! In fact we have had snow falling for over three days and nights. Its not the light airy stuff but heavy and wet. Its collapsing hedges, trees and plants. Bruce has been out three times using a rake to get the poor things unnburdened and no doubt will have to go out again tomorrow.  We haven't been out anywhere and so no tire tracks in the drive way. We had a young friend call today to see if we are okay! That's comforting that someone thought of us senior  "shut-in's". 

There were wind storms last week and we dutifully prepared with candles, extra water and provisions. Nothing happened.  But with silent and never ending snow, the power outages sneak up on you and we sat in the dark and chilly house at 8 pm on a Saturday night and decided we might as well go to bed. The power came back on at 4 am and all the lights you had on, came back on. Bruce stayed up to watch the Canadians win the gold medal for men's hockey.  I reckoned the hilights on the news would be enough for me and went back to bed.

The only family member really excited about the snow is Calli...

These were taken the first day and the snow is now up to the top of her long legs and she's pushing through it with her chest.   She throws the ball into the air and then shoves her face into the snow drift and tunnels to find it again.  There is much running to and fro and general goofiness that Airedales are know for.

When she's done, she packs her ball to the back door and waits.  Then the snow ball removal begins!
Snow days means prime weaving weather so I have been working on getting the big loom all set up with a 8/2 cotton short towel warp.  Its a multi striped coloured warp that changes every eight ends, with a black every third stripe for continuity and contrast. The colours are chosen from many cones that are down to their last third or less and I was able to recycle several tube centres into the recycle bag. 
It was a spontaneous selection of colours. Pick a pair that go together nicely and the third stripe was black.  The only organisation was I placed the pair of colours on the far right and when the top of the table was full, then I went back to the original pair and then split them up or,  at least, reversed the colour order.  (the cones waiting south of the bobbin winder are wall flowers waiting to dance .... they may or may not).
I would wind on each one inch bout as I went. Twenty four in all; seven yards long. I hung the lease sticks from the upper castle and threading started.
It made for a bright collection!  It was a straight draw of one through to eight and the sett is 24 epi.
So this warp will take time to weave off as its for a half dozen towels, plus the last towel will be left for the possible new owner of the loom to try their hand at throwing a shuttle.  I did promise you a peak at the pattern as it will be a long time before you see the finished towels!

The pattern is Breaks and Recesses from Carol Strickler's 8 Shaft Pattern Book. I have done this pattern before   here   and here and here. I love the way it produces tidy little boxes of twill that will make a nice thirsty and colourful towel. No long floats and an easy threading and treadling. I'll post update pictures of the progress from time to time. First towel is an all black weft for now.
Now to see if we can get out of our driveway and get to town for groceries and a post office visit. We are getting cabin fever after four or five days of togetherness!
Parting shot:   our back deck late last night.... and yes, it was still snowing.



Cindie said...

I love the 'riot' of color on the loom - can't wait to see the finished towels.

Sure wish you could send a little of that snow our way - we had rain for a week or so and now it's back to dry weather. The Ski Resort nearby has not opened for the season - very sad for them and will lead to a very scary fire season.

Flyin Bobbin said...

What an amazing warp! It is hard for me to envsion the final towels. I love the colors. I hope the snow doesn't wreck too much havoc-- you probably don't get too much. It looks pretty tame to me!

Susan said...

We ended up with a *lot* more snow than these pictures show! Even still it pales in comparsion to what others further east have received.

You have realize that this was not forecast to fall, and then more fell than they hastily predicted. It came down as heavy wet, wet snow! Neither of us are in a position to shovel due to injuries. Kinda funny really... Vancouver Island usually enjoys low to no snow falls and mostly rain.

Flyin Bobbin: did you click on the pictures? They enlarge so you can see more detail. I also provided three links to past older project projects where you can see the pattern and also listed the source book for the draft. Its a nifty little pattern!