Saturday, January 1, 2022

Fresh Starts πŸ₯‚ 🍾

 New Years Day, and we have more snow falling.  Our back yard looks like a clean white slate.

Today its being blown in by gusty winds, so a stormy start to the year.   It's calm and warm in the house. Perfect day for reading by the fire or work on a weaving project.   Yes, I'm still weaving but really have just made a start again.   Why is that?

Well, not trying to sound whiney or anything but it was my left big toe.  It started last May and became infected.  I'd do a ten day course of antibiotics and it would be fine.... then after a week to ten days of being okay, it would start all over again.  With no in person Doctor visits, it became  a cycle of phone calls, prescriptions and repeat.  Not good but with covid, there are many people dealing with far worse on their own and more in need of care than my big toe.  Canadians are like that and wait their turn.  It never gave any painful indication of being a hang nail and I have been cutting my nails 'properly' for years.  It meant I wasn't able to treadle with my left foot and so I wove using my right leg on the Megado and completed the set of towels you saw in my last post in October.   

I also pulled a muscle in my back that interfered with me throwing a shuttle so ice packs and anti-inflammatories became my new best friends.   Needless to say I got rather discouraged about it all and basically lost my weaving 'mojo'.  πŸ₯Ί  I just needed time and a more definite medical  fix.    So I booked a small medical procedure for December 7th and a doctor froze my toe and cut down the side of the nail to the base and took that section out.  Then they cauterized it and wrapped it up and sent me home.  I wore sandals to navigate home with snow on the ground. I haven't been able to wear shoes, and it does get me out of snow shovelling and other activities.    We also don't heal as well at a more (ahem) advanced age so its been a slow recovery.   I'm happy to report that I have recently resumed weaving on the Spring loom and some runners  are under way again.  The toe feels good, even if it looks awful still. (My apologies for the nasty picture. This is the least icky one and current. Oh for a pedicure!)    By the way.... there was NO hangnail. The doctor said it was just bad luck.

So weaving has resumed on the Spring:

10/2 cotton, 28 epi and draft from Strickler's 8 shaft pattern book #246 for table runners.  There are two blocks woven and one is all left foot and one all right.  I haven't been pushing it but it feels good to be able to use the Spring again.

I normally do a weaving year in review for January 1st but I will have to forgo it this time.   I had a computer 'issue' and lost 6,000 pictures  which included all my weaving photos, family pictures, along with all my weaving drafts on Fiberworks.   That was quite the loss and took me a few days to adjust to.  I do have a back up drive and the plan is to get the drive and my elderly Mac to the computer geeks soon and have them work their magic.  *fingers crossed*    So I have been hanging around again and anything I really need has been accessible as I print up a copy of all my drafts and store them with a sample.  The ultimate back up!

This computer loss also caused issues for my Megado as the new operating system would not run the loom so I had to bribe my husband with a newer 2020 Mac to get hold of his old 2013 Mac that still had a suitable operating system on it to run the loom.  Naturally, he's a happy man!  

I got it all set up and immediately turned off wifi and all updates to ensure the old Mac stays isolated and happy.  Its a dedicated computer just for that loom.    My other Mac (2015) is the one that lost all the pictures etc.  First world problems eh?     You might be beginning to understand why I lost my weaving mojo.....

I have two 16 shaft scarves that came off the Megado and completed and waiting for better days ahead to photograph for you.  I also put on a warp for two shawls:

 I'm half way through the first shawl and mulling over colour choices for the second!   I'm having issues with a continually fraying right floating selvedge which seems related to the hanging thread unwinding and then making it more prone to fraying with the reed abrasion.  Its annoying as heck but I do plan to cut off the first and re-lace back on again.  I'm not happy with the tension in some areas.    To that end, I have a set of soft weights and large S hooks coming to assist with even tension while winding on.

Fresh starts and new beginnings ......   I wish you all much happiness and good health in the coming year.  Smooth warps and fast shuttles.   

I'll close for now with more new beginnings.... our granddaughter Madison showing us her new teeth  over FaceTime.  The Tooth Faerie has been hit hard in the last month and she's a happy little girl.   πŸ’°

Friday, October 22, 2021

The Ever Popular # 728

 I belong to a weaving group on Facebook called Strickler in Color. Its where weavers share a draft they have woven based on the book and their interpretation and colour choices : The Weaver's Book of 8 Shaft Patterns by Carol Strickler.   

All drafts in this book are shown in black and white, or light, medium, and dark grey tones.   The focus is on the pattern. The focus of the group is show off colour!   How they have interpreted the draft.     By far and away the most popular draft is #728.    The draft just ends its self to so much variety and is just plain fun to weave.

It was actually submitted by Joan McCullough (of Campbellford, Ontario): Rosepath in multiple tabby weave, page 48, from The Rosepath Motif : An Approach to Weaving Design by Margaret Windeknecht. Published in 1987.

I have woven this before and  it seems the right time to do it again..... and in my favourite  colours and weft choice     So six towels all roughly 20" x 30".   8/2 cottons from Brassards, 24 epi, and hems are hand sewn to void the "stitch ditch" line.  

The hem is flipped so you can see the reverse.... its just as pretty on the other side!

The rather satisfying cloth roll before it was taken off the loom. Shown here with black weft for samples

I had a small bit of warp left and I thought I would weave some using the same red as in the warp. The idea was to embellish card inserts and make some Christmas cards.  Add some beads and sparkly bits.   I hand washed this red section and the red bled like a murder scene!   The white is a permanent pink and I have no idea of what to do with it now.   I washed the towels with no less than 8 colour catchers and rinsed until the water was clear.   I'm happy I did the red cloth first and saw the issue ahead of time.     So if you buy Brassards cottons, test them out first to make sure they are dye-fast!

We are enjoying a moment in the sunshine here. Its all about to come to an end and by the weekend we'll be into a large storm coming in off the Pacific with very serious winds and rain. We have done extra tie downs on the patio furniture covers and feel extra snug after our house painting this summer. Hub even made room in the garage for the car! ☔️ πŸ’¦ πŸ’¨ πŸ‚

The budgies are doing just fine and all settled in. I call them the Happy Gang after an old time radio show from the CBC and ran from 1937-1959 and enjoyed two million listeners.  

"The show was known for its "spontaneous humor, music, and corny jokes." 

Well, that describes these four birds completely. You just never know what is coming next as they play.  We have jazzed up the cage with perches,  2 swings, and treats.   Two swings?   well, they all tried to get on the triangle swing and so we got a second one to keep the noise down as they fought over who got the prime seating.

So here's the entire cage set up: 24" x 21" x 54" and on wheels. They are used to going for a ride and the vacuum doesn't phase them anymore.  Below, is Teal and you can see all the toys and swings. Yes, they are spoilt.   😁    

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Oops, We Did It Again.... 😁 🦜

 A big cage.... and only two little budgies?    So we brought home two more..... ( and that's it..... for now). Blue and Jay were squabbling. Well, Blue was being a persistent 'romeo' and Jay was not having any of it. We decided that there needed to be more to balance things out.  It was a gamble that so far has paid off. They are not fighting and Blue seems to be basically ignored by his harem.  In the wilds of Australia they fly in flocks of thousands! (Their natural wild colouring is green.)

So Blue and Jay now have roomies:  Kiwi and Teal.  So far, so good!  See if you can spot who is who.

The ride home with them was fabulous. Warm Fall day,  that gold sunshine of this time of year and we took the oceanside route.   Then we spotted a rainbow and pulled over to take this short video.  Excuse the road noise.... maybe watch with sound muted.   There's even some driftwood art. 

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!    πŸ πŸ‚ πŸŽƒ πŸ— 🍽

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Feeling Blue ? ~ Meet Blue & Jay

 Yes, I'm still here.....   Its been a while hasn't it?

I don't have any weaving to show you.  πŸ˜³  Oops, I just heard half of you leave..... 

Dahlias from a friend, photographed by Bruce.

Its a few things really....   

I seem to have lost my weaving mojo.  A friend said after  me weaving non stop for 25 years it was bound to happen and not to beat myself  up over it.  Our doctor said everyone ( and she means everyone) is dealing with low grade depression thanks to the never ending pandemic and the Fourth Wave.   

I also pulled a muscle in my right shoulder blade area and its not settling down.  Its past the worse phase now but as the day progresses, it aches something fierce. I'm on familiar terms with icepacks and Tylenol. It also keeps me up at night.    This makes throwing a shuttle difficult. I want it to heal properly  and I also want to weave again soon.   I can't wind warps  due to the up and down motions to the warping mill either.  So I have been using my Hansen e-spinner and enjoying that for short periods.

Then there is also the mystery of the reoccurring toe infection that prevents me from treadling.    Gee, aren't you glad you stopped by for all this whine  πŸ· to go with the cheese πŸ§€ ? 

We have two new members of our family!  Meet Blue and Jay.   Yes, after the baseball team (Hub is a huge fan)

Blue, who loves the mirror and has a favourite spot to perch that he defends.

Jay, who likes to do loop-de-loops around the perches.

The cage is quite large so we are considering getting a couple more before its too cold to transport them home.     The house has happy chirpy sounds and it really lifts the spirits.  That's what we were aiming for!

I aim to slowly get back into weave mode and bring you something soon.    Notice I didn't say 'promise'..... I'll do my best.

πŸ‚  πŸ πŸ„ 🍁  πŸ‚

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Trials and Tribulations ~ Copper Glow and Magenta Mist

About a week ago I uploaded these pictures getting ready to write a blog post. I was blissfully ignorant of the trials and tribulations ahead.  These have become the last pictures I can access on my computer until I find out if my back up drive has them or not.  

Let me back up here.... (pun intended)  πŸ˜Š

I set up my computer that night to do a back up to an external hard drive and woke the next morning to a back up (great!) and a whole new operating system on my Mac "Big Sur" (really not great).  

That's when I discovered a few things.

  • all my Fiberworks drafts have vanished. (over 500 of them)
  • Big Sur won't run a computer dobby and the weaving program developers have no work around and no time line of when they will. Apple isn't helping them either.
  • All my 6000+ pictures of family and my weaving were in iPhoto and Big Sur won't support it and so they appear to be all gone too.
So, any good news?   some....
  • I have a fresh back up on my external hard drive!
  • it may have all my photos and a tech *might* be able to locate and shift them to Photo.
  • failing that, I have saved emails with all my scanned old family photos.
  • Between this blog and ravelry, I can get a lot of my pictures resaved again.
  • Its all going to take LOTS of time if the tech can't find and save them first.
So after some chats (okay, many phone calls) with Bob Keates of Fiberworks, I have worked out the following:
  • updated the latest version of Fiberworks that will 'shake hands' with Big Sur so I can at least do some design work. It won't however run my Megado....
  • to get some thing to run my loom, I needed a Mac with an older operating system on it like High Sierra or Mojave on it.   Every OS after that got difficult as Apple made subsequent changes.
  • it just so happens my Hubby has an older 2013 Mac with High Sierra on it...... and subsequently was traded my shiny brand new MacBook Pro (2020) with Big Sur for it.
 πŸ’» 😳 πŸ–₯ ⌨️

So I have a newly updated version of Fiberworks Silver Plus on the old clunker Mac and (after many calls with Bob) it works and runs my Megado again!  A big thank you to Bob at Fiberworks! 

 Meanwhile, my hubby can't believe his good luck and scooted with his new shiny computer and didn't look back!

Okay, enough of my woes and wailing.     Let's get to some weaving...    This is the scarf project on the Spring loom and just getting started. A rather large size diamond pattern that was approx 7 inches in length for a full repeat.  Its 8/2 tencel in amethyst for warp and Pompeii for weft.  I really wanted to see this colour combination together and it seems to work nicely.   The draft is from  #74014.   There is a partial draft at the very end.

So it took 10 repeats to get a full scarf, plus some runs for a border at the either end.  There are quite a few pictures here, which normally I would not post them all but just the better ones.  Since they are all I have for now, I'm going to leave them in.

For the second scarf I used magenta as weft and while I like it, it doesn't have the zing of the first.   What comes to mind is 'safe choice' and sometimes you have to take a chance and go for something out of your comfort zone.   

This last picture below was taken as I was stepping back inside and the lighting hit it just right and showed the rich glow.  It might be a safe colour choice but its very elegant nonetheless !