Tuesday, April 28, 2020

🎁 Pandora's Boxes

The days here are running from one to another and weeks are going by.  What a strange year this is turning out to be.   I'm feeling calm and anxious all at the same time. Safe inside my home but anxious about how we go about resuming life again when history says that there are second and third waves of infection?   As someone over 60 and with underlying health conditions, I won't be venturing far from my door for some time to come.

So life has settled into a sort of routine of morning coffee, household tasks, figuring out our supper based on what's in the freezer and keeping ourselves busy, or not as the mood takes us.

Its a slower pace of life for sure and I'm okay with that.  There's no great push; there's time to smell the flowers.  I can't help but feel that this gift of time is what we all had hoped for, and perhaps is one of the blessings in disguise of this pandemic?

That, and seeing that Nature is responding to the lack of humans polluting  by healing itself  and surprisingly quickly too.   No more arguments about whether or not we have a detrimental impact on the Earth  anymore.....   One can only hope the scientists are gathering the data to present to us later as solid proof, just in case jellyfish and dolphins in the canals of Venice isn't enough for some.    🌎

Meanwhile, here at home.... I wove off the last of the warp on the Megado and have been working on the final finishing of 7 towels and one runner.  They need to be photographed when the sun shine returns as we are having a bout of rain and wind right now.

I had another warp already wound and ready to go on and Hubby and I worked on the beaming together. Lucky for me, he seems to enjoy helping and I'm very grateful. If I had to do it all by myself again, I'd be in trouble as I would have to work out how to do it all over again!

The new replacement dobby is working well and we have settled in together nicely.  I can get by the metal box now that I have come to understand its other charms.     

So what is going on now?  Glad you asked!  8/2 Egyptian cotton, which is soft and of very high quality from Lonestar Loom Room, and no they don't have any more sadly and most likely won't for some time to come as I have checked.   I threaded a 16 shaft point twill and this is # 34281 from and I'm calling it "Pandora's Boxes".     The Greek myth is there at the link to refresh your memory.

The 6th-century BC Greek elegiac poet Theognis of Megara states that 
Hope is the only good god remaining among mankind;
the others have left and gone to Olympus.
Trust, a mighty god has gone, Restraint has gone from men,
and the Graces, my friend, have abandoned the earth.
Men's judicial oaths are no longer to be trusted, nor does anyone
revere the immortal gods; the race of pious men has perished and
men no longer recognize the rules of conduct or acts of piety.
The poem seems to hint at a myth in which the jar (or box) contained blessings rather than evils.

So here are my little dancing boxes as viewed on Fiberworks as I started this new weave.  I decided to embrace the hope and have fun with them. I'm going to change weft colours every towel length and keep it bright and cheerful. 

Future weft colours below. This will take a while to weave as it is 10 yards!  So I will be keeping busy here as I also have scarves on the Spring loom to finish weaving up as well.   I hope to have another post ready for early May once my photographs of the towels are done. 

 I have nothing but time right now.  😊

Meanwhile, our ornamental cherry tree is simply loaded with lush double blossoms. Here's the tree in the front yard.

... and here are some small boughs we brought into the house to enjoy. 

Other delights of our spring garden

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Getting Things Sorted

Last Thursday, the Fedex guy arrived on our doorstep with a plain brown paper wrapped box and inside was this box.   Isn't it beautiful?   😁

It has my new baby... my new interface or brain for the Megado loom.  I watched it travel across Canada for a week and arrive a day late. Thankfully I didn't have to wait out the long weekend and quite honestly, my hat is off to the delivery guy as the address was wrong!  He decided to go with the postal code.    Smart man!

We got it open and wiped it down and found there was no manual or instruction sheet inside.    The manual I have on hand was for the old dobby technology.... and the online instructions are for the new wifi enabled dobby 2.0 but I managed to get it set up okay and running within 30 minutes.   Yes, we're back in business again!

Lets take a minute to say our good byes to the old dobby.   I gave it to Bruce and he took it out the garage and promptly took it apart.  I walked by the box and saw this sad sight:

It really does look like old technology compared to new computers today. (Not that I open them up or anything like that!)  The outer box was beautiful solid beech wood which he might reassemble and do something with.  A bird house?     The 'okay' sticker  in the photo is from 2013-2014 when it was sent out for some repairs and a tune up.   A $700.00 'tune -up'   😳.   Back in 2000-2002 when this was new and just starting its weaving career, this jumble of parts was worth $2500.00 to buy complete and running.   Looks rather sad now doesn't it?

Meanwhile, here are some pictures of the new dobby interface installed and working:

It has a black metal box which does the job..... but I do miss the wooden one. It blended in nicely and didn't look so 'borg' like.  (Trekkies will understand this reference)

The solenoids fire with some punch to them and are louder as a result. I might wear ear plugs; I'll have to see how I feel about that. I might just get used to it.....  or play my music louder!

The black seat cushion is something new I ordered on line and received just before our isolation period began. Its a gel cushion and quite comfy.   Its not shaped for the bench (not many would be!) but the over hang does help with the edge of the bench cutting into the back of my legs and my 'bum bones' don't hurt now.

So now that we're weaving again, I'm using an 8/2 bamboo in white and weaving a runner which will be as long as what ever warp is left on the back beam.  I'm going to fringe it.   I reckon there's at least one or two towels worth of warp so that's 68 inches +/-    It will be a surprise!

On a more personal note.....

My husband Bruce is having emergency surgery this afternoon. He has a large obstructing kidney stone and he is in danger of his kidney function being so reduced that the organ will fail.  He's in the hospital now and in good hands. He's in a hospital in another community so there's a long drive.  The hard part is not being able to be with him during this pandemic time.

I'm missing my best friend.

Edit:  as of April 19th:  Bruce spent 5 days in hospital and was released to come home on oral antibiotics. In 2 weeks time they will go in and get the big stone, and so we anticipate another hospital stay.  Even in strange times as these, life situations continue.

Please stay home and stay safe.... we had a first hand look at what is going on inside our hospitals and the staff need us all to hold the line.

 🌎  🌍  🌏

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Well.... that didn't go as planned....

Sorry about the missing pictures, but this is a problem that Blogger is looking to resolve. 

I have been merrily weaving away on the towels on the Megado every afternoon and there's not much warp left.     Mid towel my dobby just up and died!    I pushed cords and cables around and it started up again and so I did an extra push to get the towel completed "just in case'.

Today the loom started but when I enabled the solenoids to start the pattern, they all clicked very loudly ..... and died. This time more permanently.  😢

I took these pictures and sat and wrote support at Louet with my problem and got a speedy reply back which said that they had bad news for me.

This loom was built in 2001 and bought new in 2002 by my dear friend when she attended Convergence in Vancouver.    Dave at Louet North America tells me that the interior workings are all 1990's technology which is no longer repairable as they can't source any of the parts.  They will only fix dobbys from 2014 vintage onwards.    

See the pale cord in the photo? That's a serial port cable.  It was common on 9 pin printers.... in the  1990's!    I have an adapter so it takes it from serial to USB  for my computer.    Its either an antique... or a dinosaur. Take your pick!    

I told Bruce its more of a paperweight now and I have a loom that doesn't work until it gets a new brain. 

So I'm ordering a refurbished computer-dobby that is much more modern that what I have been using and is fully warranted  by Louet. They can ship it this week apparently.       So that warp will sit until it arrives.

Tomorrow, I'll work on the Spring....   that one uses my brain, so we're not out of the woods yet!  😳