Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Day at the Demo

Yesterday I spent the day demonstrating spinning and weaving with the No Idle Hands group. Cleverly, I managed to forget to have someone take a picture of me! But here is the view from my loom. There were spinners, knitters, someone was making bobbin lace, another woman was grinding grain, a fellow was cutting and sewing a waistcoat and two ladies had their lucets in use. The gentle arts were well represented.

It was a very pretty day and I had a good time. I was a little overwhelmed with new people and was not the chattiest me, but I got out there and that is a start. I brought the table loom and worked on the little huck lace tea towels for a while and fielded lots of weaving questions. I often demonstrate spinning and know all the answers to the usual cadre of questions, but I do not have a weaving "patter" yet and was at a loss for words several times. It will get easier with practice, I am sure. My least favorite question is surely 'but it is so complicated, I will never understand'. I just want to shake them and say, but just look and listen and pay attention instead of saying I can't and you may surprise yourself!

Anne and I went on walkabout to see the rest of the fair and to visit with the other spinning group who was there. I got out the distaff, spindle and grey corriedale roving and we were quite a hit. I even knew one of the Riverside Spinners from a Riverspinners event several years ago. It is a small spinning world.

We were right next to the Gentlemen Adventurers (a sword-fighting group) and it was very interesting to see their gear and watch their demos and displays of weaponry and skills.

Set up was a little disorganized (I am not used to bringing a loom and had no idea how to lay out my space), but tear down was quick and worry free. We were home at a decent hour and barely sunburned at all.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Weaving a Life

Feeling better today. I walked the dogs for a couple blocks last night (the old one is so slow that any further is not possible) and promptly slept for twelve hours.

I spent some time weaving yesterday; I have run through all the samples in my sampler and began a small tea towel. So far, so good. If I stop for too long, the cats sleep on the castle and I am stuck, as it is a jack loom. I was also pleased with myself for fixing my threading error.

Walked Dozer to the store and got some staples; flour, sugar (for bread), spaghetti, yogurt, cereal, bananas. This is my life. Gas is down to $3.99 at the corner gas station - I will have to swing by there later. Luckily the parakeets have resigned themselves to eating pelleted food, as I am out of budgie seed.

I don't know why I am happier today, but being a 5 instead of an 8 or 9 on the depression scale is much more pleasant. Maybe I will take Beaker out to the porch today for some fresh air and I will read to him.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

8 on a Scale of 10

Finally had to get up (at 4:30)(am) after an hour in bed worrying & trying to think of things to sell. If ever there was a time I needed a tune up at the shrink, this is it. But there is no money for copays or meds or even vet visits for the pests. Er, pets.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I thought I had died and gone to nerd heaven last night when I watched "Sense & Sensibility" (1995) for the first time last night. All my acting pets were in it (Emma, Hugh, Imelda, Aunt Agatha, etc) and it was funny, touching and beautiful together. In fact, I may go watch it for the third time right now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


As you may have noticed, I am... mercurial. So far this week has been full of unnecessary and self-imposed stress over things that should have been better planned months ago. Bleh.

Walked the dogs last night and gave Sunny another grooming session (she is not a big fan). I found a very suspicious lump under one of her teats. This was not an old dog warty thing or a friendly fatty tumor. This feels... bad. Really bad. Going to have to put the dog to sleep bad. I will have to ply her with bits of banana and pieces of chicken more often. Food is love, as we all know.

It is month-end at work, and seems to be decently busy this month. Overtime = $$$ and I won't say no to that.

Time to stare at the loom for a while as if I am going to weave and then go to bed early. 5:30 wake up call is harder than it seems.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Warp Speed

I finally decided to warp up the loom for a sampler. I measured out the warp the other day, but finally had a good chunk of time today to get the warping done in one shot (little weaving joke there). I want to make some huck lace dishtowels and figured I should make a sampler first to better understand the construction of the different kinds of huck lace patterns.The loom with the warp chains wrapped around the front beam, the reed sleyed and the heddle threading in progress. My loom is an 8 harness. I am using harnesses 1-4 for the pattern threads and 5 -6 for the tabby borders / selvedge. The heddles are threaded (I only had to rethread half due to an error), the warp is attached to the back beam and the warp is beamed. Spacers in back courtesy of Trader Joe and his paper grocery sacks. Same stage, view from the back. Threads are going obediently over the back beam.

Front beam is tied on, warp threads have been adjsuted for tension and knots secured. Oddly, I had a vast difference from R to L with the length of the warp threads. I am not sure if this is due to bad tension while beaming, or if I used different pegs to wind the two warp chains. Note to self - mark your pegs next time.The pattern cloth has begun! The green yarn is just to space out the warp threads evenly. The cloth so far is one repeat each of the first two lace patterns in the sampler - weft floats in block A (tabby block B) and weft floats in block B (tabby block A).

I was cursing the textbook for putting the treadling in the center of the book, making it difficult to follow, but I just remembered I have a copy machine and I can fix that problem. Now to find a speedy way to wind bobbins and I will be zooming merrily along.

Total processing time? About three and a half hours steady work. It took about an hour longer than that, but I was not moving very fast and also watching a movie.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


This is why I hardly play WOW anymore.

Also, I have discovered that if I don't spend the night in the bird room on the computer, I don't have 30 minute coughing fits the next day. Definitely time for an air filter in here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Can't go to the gym until the clothes are clean. Unfortunately I forgot to put in some soap and have to send them through the cycle again. Grrr.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Busy Weekend

I made it out to the Renaissance Faire yesterday. I stocked up on incense, bought a new pair of scissors, saw the Moonie Show:and generally had a good time. I saw the (new) queen in her court and out on walkies, Spun some yarn in the guildyard, ate a potato and got amazingly dusty. However, I was cute as a button and sunburn-free. I took the walking stick that I use as a distaff and got lots of attention. Few re-enactors use a distaff nowadays, so it creates interest with participants as well as the public. I also managed to get some spinning done while "on the move".

Friday I visited with some faire friends and discovered that I love dachshunds. They are in the running for the next dog I get (if any) after mine kick their buckets. That night I saw "As You Like It" at the Redlands bowl. It is enacted with a Wild West theme, and was loooooong. It made "Titus Andronicus" look much better in comparison. Next week "Leading Ladies" opens at Redlands Footlighters and I think I will waddle by and check it out.

Today I wound some warp to make a huck lace sampler and had the cockatiels out for walkies. Mustardseed really is just the sweetest thing ever. She has the sweet temper of her granddam Dante (my first cockatiel). The newest babies (3 months old now) are very much still in the sassy-pants stage, although clipping their wings last week has begun to change their outlook. Back to the weaving - I want to make a set of huck lace distowels, but think I will do the smart thing and work up a sampler of the different patterns to get accustomed to the concept. I am using "The Best of Weaver's: Huck Lace" as my guide. It has been in the library for a year and needs to earn its keep at some point! The warp is wound and the loom is in the other room calling to me. Now, if only I remember how to warp!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Faire Day

I am off to the Renaissance Faire this morning with Anne and Celeste. I have my clothes, my spinning, a pass, money for parking and my tankard. Go team. It is a little overcast, but that should help keep the heat down. If it can keep the dust down too, more's the better, as I just had th car washed yesterday after its oil change.

This week has been full of friends & visiting - Thursday I went to yoga, then out to dinner & a play with friends. Yesterday was more friends visiting and another play. Today is faire all day and tomorrow is gardening. I am going to need a vacation to recover from my vacation!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Cinco de Birthday

I am a little surprised that I am still awake! But I am fading fast, so only a quick post tonight. It was a wonderful day to turn 36 - friends, well wishes, cake, presents, confetti, more cake, sitting in the car at lunch reading LOTR with my feet out the window, dinner, beer and cat fur. OK the car fur in the mouth from the cat walking on the compuer desk was not that great.

It was just as much fun as the party at the knitting store last year. How I long for the knitting store to return! Sigh.

Suddenly Soaping

I rose early today *cough4:30cough* and it is finally cool enough to start some soap. Between the hundred degree weather and the wave of depression earlier in the week, I have not been able to get much accomplished. But I am feeling better today and things are looking up. The birds are chirping, the dogs are dogging, the cats are being aloof. All is normal.

Not much new knitting progress but I am still reading voraciously; _The Fellowship of the Ring_ is right here next to me.

Today is Cinco de Birthday at the Pickyknitter household and I have been considering new goals for the upcoming year. More weaving? Preparing an item to go to the fair? Joining a gym? Committing to more soap and fiber festivals and moving back toward full time soap? Washing the dog? So many options. For today I will go to work and be cheerful, then come home and have a birthday beer with friends (and soap delivery, if the weather holds).

Monday, May 02, 2011


Sorry I missed posting on Beltane! It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed it thoroughly. There was gardening time in the morning, returning the bird time & stuffing myself with loquats in the afternoon and watching "LOtR" in the evening. The cat was rescued from the garage, I cooked some dinner, did some cat food / people food / bird food / gasoline shopping and washed up a bunch of laundry. I even cleaned out all the drawers of my bureau and freshened them with lavender and cleaned off grandma's dressing table. Now it looks lovely with just a lamp and a picture.

Today it was back to work and as usual the afternoon stressed me out. I feel particularly bad for one notary whose signing took up most of 3 days by the time it was over... so much that I cried on the way home. I think I needed more coffee. Or even some coffee, as the office is out and I forgot mine at home.

Tonight the cockatiels are all on walkabout / flapabout and the dogs are barking at everything that moves. Now Harlequin is on my shoulder begging for head scritches and nibbling my ear. How can such little birds be so sweet?