Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Spinning Our Wheels πŸš— πŸ”₯

First of all, let me state that this is NOT our car but it was someone's reality just yesterday.  I fully sympathize as it was on my mind on May 21st.  {although it is apparently a Hyundai car}

This is our new to us 2019 Hyundai Tucson which we bought recently and  it was done basically on the spot.   It was a lovely Saturday on a holiday weekend and I had an errand to do in Courtenay about a 35 minute drive south of us. Hub was going to stay home but I talked him into coming along and enjoying the drive along the ocean.   So we headed out and got about 10 kms south of town when we noticed smoke coming out of the steering column!  We immediately turned around and slowly headed back, through town and out to the Hyundai dealership. We had the windows rolled down, and I had tucked the insurance papers into my purse and we were prepared to bail in a hurry if need be.  πŸ˜³

Long story short, it would a spendy repair and a 2-3 week wait for the parts, for a 12 year old 2010 Santa Fe. It has been very good to us, very reliable.... until it scared us and we couldn't trust it anymore. So we went and kicked some tires and brought home the 2019 Tucson.   We're very happy, even if we do have a car loan again.  I'm also very grateful that Bruce came with me for the drive that day, otherwise I would have had to buy a car all by myself!  πŸ˜   Its fun to drive and I love the back up camera!    Smaller cargo space but then we don't have a large dog like Calli any longer or her big kennel....   still miss that girl!

After the long weekend, Bruce had to go back to the dealership to get help with some of the features and was stunned to see that a large portion of the building had burnt down! It would seem that a Santa Fe was up on the hoist and it caught fire.  Our hearts sank when we heard this news, but they quickly told us it was a 2015 Santa Fe and not ours.  Our old car is actually the white car to the left of this picture.  They were only down a weeks time and in that time they had cleared away debris and brought in building materials already....

So this Hansen e-spinner has been a wonderful distraction for the past weeks as my shoulder healed.   I have become quite at home with the machine now and using it for both singles and plying. There is a difference between an e-spinner and a conventional wheel but nothing difficult. Its more about a change in technique really. I know my feet appreciate the break and so I've decided to sell off my spinning wheel.    If you want to keep doing the things you enjoy, you must adapt.  The Woolee Winder has made using the e-spinner much easier.

So, yes I am weaving but not anything fast  or even every day.  The shoulder injury is simply something I don't care to repeat if I can avoid it.  I'm easing back into things and slowly building on time spent throwing a shuttle. The spring loom has 9.5 yards of cotton for towels, and I'm up to towel number 4 of  8 or 9.   Simple 6 shaft herringbone and cheerful colours which seem to make everyone happy who see them. 

This blue version was started yesterday......

I'm also planning a shawl warp with a beautiful painted warp I bought on line so that's next up for the Megado. It currently has two scarves underway but more on those next time. 

So that's may update on the goings on and interesting turn of events around here.  πŸŒΊ 🐝

Some of our gardens right now....

chest nut blossoms


snap dragons and white iris


Friday, May 20, 2022

Late in Coming

I would have to say that today was our first truly warm spring day. You know the kind of day where you can open the doors and windows and feel comfortable.   We have had a very late, rather cold, wet and blustery spring so far.  I'm not one for heat, but even I was saying "enough already".   Our gardens are about 2-3 weeks behind and the bees are only just making an appearance.   🌺 🐝 

Also making a late appearance is me....  I actually threw a shuttle today for the first time in  2 months and oh, my.... is my arm ever weak and the legs are downright pathetic.    Its going to take some time to build up my weaving muscles and tone up again.   Always at the back of my mind is the shoulder area that gave me grief and "will this go out on me again?"   Still don't know what caused it to begin with. 

I spent the time spinning on my Hansen e-spinner and plying up old full bobbins from my other Rose wheel.   I'm at ten skeins so far.   I've had time to think about my studio and situation and came to some decisions.   

  • I'm selling my large Leclerc Tissart tapestry loom.
  • I'm selling my Majacraft Rose spinning wheel.
  • I'm selling my Janome Pro 4DX serger
  • I'm selling my back issues of Complex Weavers magazines.
  • ......and basically downsizing to what I actually use and enjoy, and the rest is optional.
The big tapestry loom is upgraded but I never seem to find the time or motivation to make a start.  I'd rather have the real estate back and besides, I have my Mirrix Little Guy tapestry loom.

The Rose wheel was harder to part with  but after spending time with the Hansen and getting truly comfortable with it, the Rose can find a new home too.  My feet are very arthritic and so treadling is painful some days.   Circumstances change and you must adapt too.

The serger? well, my needs are simple and its a machine with more bells and whistles than I need. I have my old White serger and we are old frenemies that understand each other after all these years. 

I was also very busy with the Guild of Canadian Weavers testing program this April. I'm the test administrator and we had a number of tests submitted for marking by master weavers. I'm the go between markers and candidates.    Lots of emails, waiting for parcels to arrive,  and finally congratulating successful graduates and a bunch of record keeping to do.     Normally its a once a year busy job and occasional emails through the year but I have agreed to organize my records going back to 1947 and scan them for the GCW archives.  Its literally the whole of our 75 years and reason for being.    This will start in the fall and be done slowly as time permits. 

Other "better late than never" items are these two scarves. I was able to (slowly) twist fringes and eventually use the iron to smooth for presentation.

My personal favourite os this one.   Its 20/2 black silk warp, 28 epi and the weft is 8/2 bamboo in a neutral gold  beige.   One side is a tad bit darker... the other a bit lighter, but not by much. So nicely reversible.

Its a 9 shaft 9 treadle twill where there are three separate blocks of 3 shafts.  You can make any of them wide as you like when threading, or as big as you like when treadling. It creates an interwoven affect that is very reminiscent of pattern #246 in Strickler's  8 Shaft Book of Patterns.   I could see the possibilities for colour play and it would make great lap throws, baby blankets, runners....

I'm positive I found this draft at but several attempts at finding it there again have failed. I was trying to get the number.   So I say clearly, it not my draft, and if you get the number for it, please let me know. 

The second scarf is all silk. The weft is 20/2 bombyx silk in natural.   I found its a bit slippery on the weft turns and so would do some thread diving. I eventually used a large blunt needle to ease them into place.  So a weft with some 'tooth' to it is recommended if you want to avoid this issue.

It was a bright, but high cloud sort of day when I took these pictures. I had given up waiting for spring and just did my best with the day.

The over all block size were smaller with all silk and I was tempted to add repeats to build it up, but I decided to go with the same and have a tighter pattern affect and I like it.   Good to try things out and see how it goes.  Call it a full sized sample  πŸ˜‰

So here's the draft.... see what you can come up with!
Have  great May long weekend!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter! πŸ‡


Eggs by Shari Bailey

All around the World, I think we are all a bit Ukrainian this year.    Everyone wants and needs peace and stability in their lives, especially these poor proud people suffering, and fighting for their lives and country's right to exist. 


I will have some weaving to share  next post but have to share with you that I put my right shoulder and arm out again and so have been focusing on getting better and coping with pain. I did this last November as well, but this time it is worse.   I'm limited to what I can do with my right arm and have even been sleeping nightly semi reclined  on the couch as it hurts to lie down.  Its been a rough 2-3 weeks but it is slowly improving.   What did I do?   I have no idea!  I wish I did know so I can be sure not to repeat it again. 

I am able to spin on my Hansen so have been enjoying that for a change of pace.    I'm not able to throw a shuttle  or wind a warp but I have been project  planning, fringe twisting and I was able to beam a warp today with a lot of help from Hubby.    So the looms will be ready to go when I can..... but it will be a very slow start so not to set myself back again.    I guess I'm not a spring chicken anymore !  πŸ£πŸ₯

Saturday, March 26, 2022

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ Volodymyr Zelensky singing John Lennon's - Imagine

One can only imagine that John Lennon would have cried at this

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ 🌻🌻🌻 πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦

Monday, March 21, 2022

Running into Spring 🌷


Spring arrived yesterday but you wouldn't know it by looking outside. Stormy day with blustery winds blowing in a steady drizzle of rain.   It looks cold too.   There are valiant early spring flowers poking their heads up and birds are returning and looking for nesting spots.  The starlings that nested in our eaves last year will be in for a surprise as that was well barricaded to evict them!

So we have been super busy with many medical appointments.  The ones that were put off due to the omicron wave, and the heavy snowfall in December.   There seems to be something on the list for almost every day as we catch up so weaving has been hit and miss while we be 'good adults'.  Even the taxes were done....   😳

So I do have a project to show you but must say that these pictures are not their best and brightest. They were taken indoors and in order to show you the 'white on white' pattern blocks, I needed some awkward lighting.

Draft 246 from  Carol Strickler's classic " A Weavers Book of 8 Shaft Patterns" seems to be a favourite among weavers. The satin blocks, when using colour to best advantage seem to look woven over and under each other.   I love some of the colour combinations I have seen but it can look rather 'busy' visually.  I decided to try some table runners in a finer 10/2 mercerized cotton, sett 28 epi. A snowy white and softer muted colours as striped defining the borders.  Cameo Rose, Sponge (moss green), Frost grey (silver mauve),  and Autumn blonde. Without really trying, I was weaving something that said Spring.  πŸŒ·

After six inches of hem allowance, I did ladder hemstitching. The cotton has some bite to it so you are able to pull tightly and have it stay put as you work. The 'ladders' are nicely defined.

This picture above shows the changing blocks and how the stripe appears to do a side step.

A screen snap of my draft.  I was originally going to use a soft silver grey weft for the cross stripes, but my actual cone of silver grey was too dark for my liking and I preferred the white instead.  As you can see, the blocks can be of any size you like, depending on the yarn size used or the look.

I serged the runners apart and hand washed them. After drying on a rack overnight, they were steam pressed and then shifted to the ironing board to turn the hems.   Dividing it into thirds and pressing.

With the final third brought up to the bottom of the hemstitching, it was pressed again and pinned.  It all folded nicely and stayed put as I worked.   Then I hand sewed the hems using a running blind stitch and also closed the end open loops of the hem.    Pressed it firmly again.   Most women hate ironing, but its a valuable tool in the weaver's arsenal of finishing tricks!  (Don't skimp on price and buy a heavy one.  I get compliments on the appearance of my final woven projects, but the main secret is my iron ! )

Front and back of the hems.

I wove three runners:  17 inches by  46 inches and 17 inches by 55 inches featuring just lengthwise stripes.

The last runner I decided to try cross stripes and wove a runner 17 inches by 58 inches.  I think with a colourful table cloth underneath, such as mossy green, it would be a nice runner for Easter.

My big table is approx 94 inches long so even 58 inches looks short here! I have chairs for six but it can comfortably seat 8 people.

I'm trying different angles here to get the light!

This last darker shot is to show the changing blocks. Next time I use this pattern 246, I'll try the more colourful versions and weave up some happy kitchen towels. 

So what's up next?   Scarves and they are under way. After that?  I have a warp would for kitchen towels and a friend is having a baby so I'm looking for drafts and cones in the stash for that.