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)  😊

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.
 💻 😳 🖥 ⌨️

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 !

Saturday, July 24, 2021

And That's a Wrap... 🏡


So.... the big reveal!   

Our painter came by yesterday to finish off the final touch up's and double check the work.  We sat in the back patio and enjoyed a coffee together and also met his delightful daughter who is going to be his helper on the next job.  Poor guy must be careful of his back and pinched nerve but he swears he's ready to work again. 

Hub took these pictures yesterday afternoon, just after they left. We heard we had cloud cover coming in today, a chance of much needed rain and to be followed by forest fire smoke. So better to do it sooner than later!   The sun is higher and a bit harsher than we would like so we're going to take more pictures when the sun is a bit kinder.

We have a comforting  coat of  quality paint called "Stone Lion" now, with the blue grey trim and gutters (basically the existing colour, but refreshed).  Glen did some free lance stuff and did small things like electrical outlets, the ring around pot-lights, door handles, electrical boxes in jet black.  The front door was done in a rustic red.    All gutters and soffiting were cleaned, moss removed from the roof and all concrete work power washed and so much brighter.   That's a big job for one man and one week.

This is the back view: the windows on the far left is my studio. We like having a portion of the patio covered by the roof line as we can sit outside even if its lightly raining. 

A closer view: in the shade are two comfy wicker chairs and little table that we sit at and enjoy a cool drink together. 

Even the garden sheds were done to match so now we look like we have little "mini-me's".

The window on this shed has a metal mess over it as being next door to our neighbouring golf course, rogue golf balls happen! They have to be really bad golfers to hook one over here. 

So a final view from beyond the back fence which is as tired as it looks.  That is in fact next years project.... to replace all fence posts along the back run and the posts besides the gates. The pickets are metal.   At the current price of lumber, that's a major deal to prepare for all by itself! 💰

So what we realize now is that we need a splash of COLOUR!  Some flower baskets and topiary planters out front, maybe a wooden bench by the front door.  They add so much life to a home and more pizzaz!   We also usually have hanging baskets in the back patio area as well. This year we thought the painting was going to happen in May, then it was pushed to June and then finally July, so we didn't shop at garden centres this season  and have put the funds towards the painting project instead.  As luck would have it, the heat dome would have pretty much killed anything we had as it is. We have hardy shrubs that have sun damage now and so I don't think hanging baskets would have survived unless we put them in the garage.

We're going to shop some 'end of season' garden shop sales and see if we can get some lovely big pots and then spend the winter planning what bedding plants to fill them with.   

🌻🌺   🌳  🌸🌼

Monday, July 12, 2021

🧗‍♀️ Many Ways to Climb a Point Twill Hill 🏔

I recently saw this in an email from Long Thread Studio who publish Handwoven magazine for weavers:

 “Fun fact: There are 65,534 tie-up combinations on a 16-shaft loom.” To which I replied, “And I bet there is someone out there trying them all.” Although I didn’t know the validity of the number at the time, I was pretty sure I was right that somewhere in the world a weaver was trying every tie-up combination, “just to see.”     

Taken from : Handwoven article

They were talking about me I think..... 😊

I had bought a large 3 pound cone of natural 8/2 unmercerized cotton "ring spun" from Unicorn Weaving Yarns (Quebec) on Etsy.  I planned to do a long 11 yard warp and then weave 10 towels and each one a different tie up / treadling on my Megado.   The cotton showed me a hint of what was to come when I took the first bout wound off the warping mill as it all twisted up on itself!

Beaming the warp was tricky due to the curl or energy in the yarn. It looked like a nice even two ply to me but....     (Oh, I have two more 3 lb cones of this yarn so I hope they aren't all like this!)

I had to get help... lucky Hubby, and we fought all of it on.  Threading went okay.    16 shaft point twill with a straight draw on either side.    Sett 24 epi.

Weft was from 3 colours of Bockens Nialin cottolin in a green turquoise, mid blue and an oatmeal shade.  I'm trying to use up the last of this stash.   ⭐️   Gold star for me!

 This sweet little 5-6 inches became my samples for my records.

I wove four towels and was about to weave number five when I noticed something iffy.    I looked carefully under a pick glass and saw that I had ONE thread missing from the threading sequence.  It didn't show until I changed to the new treadling and then became obvious.    😢

I cut off the four towels and rethreaded the left 4-5 inches of the warp, resleyed and tied back on again.  Once you know... it has to go!

So I have some samples and nine towels.   Only one towel has an obvious mistake and all four of the first towels are being gifted to relatives, who either won't notice (my brother) or if they do, know enough to keep quiet as they won't get anymore.  Towels work perfectly as seconds regardless.   

Eight towels here.... with one blue one off in someone's kitchen already!

The blues...

The oatmeal...

The green turquoise...    (the gifted towel has the same pattern as the large diamond in the centre of this grouping, but in blue)

One towel was gifted immediately to our house painter for his Dutch wife so I wasn't able to get a picture of it before it went.  The man had just single handedly painted the whole exterior of our home and 2 garden sheds in five days so they earned a gift of a blue and white towel. 

So in the future I will wind only a short warp with this cotton as its not worth fighting the curl.   Or use as weft?  It will be used up though...   the hand and softness of the cloth shows it was worth the battle. 

Some individual pictures showing both sides:

There will be more pictures to come of our newly painted house but a slight delay as our painter has hurt his back..... but soon!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

🏡 A Lick of Paint

 We started to explore painting the house last summer and had three quotes from various businesses.  There was quite a wide range of services and pricing and not everyone was willing to do extra if required.

Click on pictures to enlarge

Last October we met up with Glen and he was willing and able to do just about anything required. From minor repairs, to de-mossing the roof and of course painting.  We felt quite happy with his pricing too, as we had really researched various costs for the various jobs to be done.   Its taken some time for our place to come up in his roster for this year but he did manage to get all the concrete and house power washed just before the 'heat dome' hit us.  So after that heat wave hit, we knew that everything would be bone dry and ready for the rollers and spraying.

Glen started yesterday and is a going concern from 7:30 am to when he feels he's done for the day.  Our house and two garden sheds is a three day project (maybe four?). Not bad for a guy working on his own right now.

So he's busy on the south end of the house right now until it gets too warm there and he will shift back to finish the front entry way.   Bruce went and took some pictures to show areas of the house with before and after colour changes. We'll do more pictures tomorrow and again when its all done.

Glen taking a moment in the shade. Behind him the new colour and he's resting his hand on the old paint.

Left is the new colour and the front entry shows the old scheme. More West Coast, less Palm Springs.

Again... showing the transition. Bear in mind this is currently in the shade. It gets full morning sun. 

Patio furniture and shrubs are all covered against any overspray. Windows are covered with brown paper. 

🚧  🚧  🚧

More to come.....

Sunday, June 27, 2021

☀️🔥 Heat Wave

Sometime last week to ten days ago I recall seeing that the south western USA was experiencing a heat dome effect. Literally a cap of heat that sits over the land and doesn't move. It prevents sea breezes from moderating the temperatures and actually draws intense hot air from the interior.   There is no cool down at night and so it just builds day by day.

I thought " those poor people!" 

Well, a week later and it seems that western Canada has one and we're under it right now. The link is to a local new article on the heatwave:   Heat  Dome Article

So this is a current temperature map for BC  right now.  I live in Campbell River.  For my American readers:  double the temperature and add 30 to get Fahrenheit numbers.  The humidex scale adds in the effects of humidity levels.   Also please bear in mind that we don't normally get high heat like this so many homes do not have AC.  There is usually a nice ocean breeze to moderate things.   

Here you can see the dome effect over the province..... and with resulting increase in forest fires.

Posted today by former astronaut Chris Hadfield is a global map showing our early summer heat. We are suffering here but I would not like to be further over in parts of southern Europe.    Climate Change can not be denied any longer.   

I recommend viewing the documentary at Netflix:  Breaking Boundaries  The Science of our Planet.  Its by the people who gave us Our Planet and Blue Planet and narrated by Sir David Attenborough.  Its a stark look at the boundaries we have crossed at sustaining life on Earth and how the next decade is crucial to our future on this Planet. They also give  viable solutions.

EDIT: June 30th. The sun was so hot for so long that it actually burnt our bushes!  Our highest temperature during the four days was 39.3 Celsius or 108.6 F.   Fortunately the temperatures came down today as the heat dome moved further east. We even have sea breezes again but things are still rather warm. I have heard from friends that they all have sun damage in their gardens.   And summer is just starting....  the forest fires have started. 


Meanwhile: here at home we are keeping cool and still staying close to home for now.    I get my second covid vaccine on July 7th and two weeks later we should feel much more confident about interactions again.  The northern end of Vancouver Island has only one active covid case right now, but we are under no illusions that as summer visitors will bring a lot more with them as they travel than a mask free smile.


I'm still chipping away at weaving but also winding future warps and generally not pushing myself very hard.  Before the weather turned ugly hot, we were just enjoying sitting outside and enjoying the  garden and I would spin  on my Hansen mini spinner.

 💰 Our big home improvement for the year is to have the exterior of our home painted, along with two garden sheds.  We made arrangements with a painter last October, 2020 and it seems our time has come up in his schedule.  Last Thursday our place was power washed, all concrete power washed too..... and the roof soaked ahead of adding a de-mossing treatment.  

Weather permitting, first thing tomorrow.... and I mean *very* early in the day, painting will start  and take a week.   I will post before and after shots in a future post.   Yes, there will be a colour change....    🏠

❄️  Keep cool!  ❄️