Monday, February 26, 2024

Missing in action, again

 I haven't been around much lately. I've been much in the real world of chores and meals and dratted exercise classes, but also in some nether world of imagining up my new web site and the fun world of sitting at the loom, weaving.

Much of the business of photographing my new work is thought out.  We don't always consider how new things require new methods. I can put several photos up for each new scarf I weave, but the method must be thought through.

Over the weekend Beth helped me put up a rod for hanging a scarf. There is always the top view I used for towels. And today I saw a photo that I can adapt, with a little cooperation from Kitty. I saw a scarf rumpled up atop a drop leaf table, and its pattern end hanging against the vertical drop. Very effective. Kitty's window seat will be perfect.

Then there is all the verbiage to explain what is going on. Those are a lot of words, of which I am quite capable. They simply need time to percolate, to be written and rewritten. It's all coming together.

Here's a conundrum. Betty, one of our table mates, was in a severe decline a week ago. Close questioning by concerned friends revealed she was, in our collective opinion, giving up, tossing in the towel. The weekend she appeared, too confused to function and feet and legs painfully swollen, we asked management to notify her several children (seven of them, plus grands and great grands) and tell them Betty needed an intervention.

It happened. I understand four children were here. Betty is back on her water pills and other meds. She's eating more. And, one son appeared with hearing aids for her purchased on Amazon. However, she does not know how to use them.

I offered to help her, and told her to bring them to breakfast tomorrow. Tonight I also looked at Amazon hearing aids. Betty says he bought the highest rated. I did not find the brand I wear, Phonak. I did purchase them from an audiologist office, for several grand apiece.

On Amazon I found every auxiliary bit sold for Phonak, but no actual Phonak aids. There are many kinds of hearing aids similar to mine, but no Phonak. The most expensive pair I found were $899. Hmmmmm..... I'll look at hers and see what I can figure out. If they have to be BluToothed to her phone and programmed, I'm lost. However, her phone is an old flip phone in her drawer. We'll see.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Bits and pieces

I just published a post that disappeared! I have no idea what happened. I've done this going on fifteen years and two thousand posts and never lost a blog. Or a paragraph or a word.

I'll try it over again. I've slacked off this week. The scarf has been off the loom for a week. Fulled and finished last Sunday. I did have to put the row of single crochet down each edge to disguise the uneven selvedges.

I am a master of decent selvedges, as you can see by the rest of the scarf. The second half of this pattern is more consistent than the first. I wonder if Hosta leaves are perfect. Pattern weaving errors notwithstanding, it's not an unpleasant look.

The scarf is nine inches wide and eighty odd inches long. I'd hoped for a little more draw in when I fulled the scarf, but this will do until I thread a new pattern. In future I will put the hem even with the pattern end. The sewing machine stitch holding it is near to invisible. This scarf also is more dense than I want, so I'll weave fewer pics per inch next time.

I started a new scarf yesterday, with a blue leaf. The floating selvedges are working well for the even pattern selvedges. I wove a couple of inches for the hem and then wove exactly five rows of pattern. Three times I sent the shuttle straight through the warp, thread around parts of the loom, shuttle landing somewhere under the loom. I quit for the day.


I took this on the way to breakfast this morning. Coming back an hour later the falling snow had filled the waffle holes, caving in the edges. My only doctor appointment next week is Thursday, and the temps will be back into the fifties, with rain, by then. Well, this weather is good for maple syrup!

For breakfast today I had an egg Benedict. This has been on my mind for awhile; I love them. Yesterday I saw Matt for a bit and asked him about the possibility. "Not without more people to help," he replied. "And, we don't have Canadian bacon!"

I realized he was talking a poached egg extravaganza; him making and serving poached eggs out in the Bistro and other people filling short orders in the kitchen. I told him I'd have "real" bacon and would be at the counter toasting my English muffin while he did the rest in the kitchen.

Then I thought of the Hollandaise and was defeated. "Oh, I have that all the time"! So this morning I had one egg, poached, a slice of bacon and Hollandaise on the side. Matt brought it to the counter just as my English muffin popped up. I put it all together and had the best breakfast in about five years. It's still on my taste buds, and it's lunch time.

Well, time to wrestle some of the monster bag of cat food into the canister, then on to another weaving attempt. But first, this post better not disappear.


Friday, February 9, 2024

Back at it

Well, a week of sulking and I'm back, mostly, to my self. A long week of paying little attention to the world and relishing my own misery. It has been interesting. Yesterday I took Rose to have her hair cut, at her old salon! She was so pleased, and it's a very nice haircut. 

At supper she reported it had caused quite a kerfuffle. "Damn!" I thought. Her daughter found out. After we had gone off to the local CVS for Covid and RSV vaccinations, her daughter was appalled at Rose's description of using a stool to get into my van. "Never again!" from her daughter.

While we were out this time, a friend of Rose stopped to visit. Rose didn't answer her door, so the friend returned to the desk and instituted a fairly full fledged search for Rose. Housekeeping and food service searched. Even the bookkeeper was involved. She looked under the bed. Rose's daughter was notified. 

Our return went unnoticed because some rude person parked in my assigned place. So, my car went to some other place in the lot. But at least, when Rose saw her daughter, she could report she can get into my car by herself, and stow and retrieve her walker. Lovely spring days produce wonders.


As for the ambitious warp on my loom, here it is now! I cut and taped the sections I'm not using. That apparent mess to the left is the section that did not work out mathematically. A couple of its threads are in the last warp on its right, and impeding forward motion. So I am chaining off the bout. The great plan is to be able to run it through my tension box in future and reuse it. That may be a hair brained scheme.

The edges of the flower pattern are a little ragged; I'll single crochet along just those edges when the scarf is off the loom. For the next scarf, I'll use a floating selvedge to eliminate the problem. Old tricks of the trade can take time to remember!

When the scarf is off the loom, I'll weigh it to see how much thread I used. Then I'll know how much to charge for it. The weft this time is much finer; 10/2 in the dialect. I think the scarf will be fairly airy and floaty. If not, I'll change the pick's.

So that's it for this week of weaving. Now I need to get back into blog reading. No more sulking. 


Sunday, January 28, 2024

Adjustment, mid course

Of course I eventually got the mistakes sorted and the warp tied on. By Friday evening I was set to go, after a good night's sleep and all that. I did wind all the bobbins, in readiness for the next day. Saturday morning, after breakfast and emails, I started out.

Can I still throw a shuttle thirty inches, catch and turn it for a return throw? Yes. Is it easy? No! My shoulders ache, my hands hurt and my brain spins from attempting to keep my place in the pattern.


When supper came, I was half way down the first column. Each number represents the treadle to use, and there is also a shot of plain weave between every row.

I got up this morning, full of resolve! Went to breakfast, came back, put in a load of laundry and sat down to the loom. Tonight I am at the end of the second column. My shoulders and hands are shot.


It will be lovely, but not for me to do. Back to texture. It's what everyone loves, so let's do it. I'll mix that rose with a fine cotton slub I asked Ann to send back. She kept it, years ago, hoping to weave cuddly baby blankets. That was twenty years and a dog kennel ago. And she may still; I think she had a case of it.

Speaking of good news, I noticed the other day that the ladder to the roof has been removed from the construction site. Ladder:


There has been construction six and sometimes seven days a week. Young men went up and down that ladder as often a going through the door. But now, no ladder:


Siding is going up. Some ladder will have to come back for the second story and for the roof and the missing balconies. Lots of work left, but they may make a spring opening after all.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Where I stand

First, what a weekend, outside. We had snow for two days. Actually, it began snowing Friday afternoon and did not stop until Sunday evening. No possibility I would go out in it to take a picture, but from my second floor vantage into the atrium, a picture for you.


A bit confusing from overhead. Blink a couple of times and you can see the several inches on the chair seat, and then on the table.

Meantime, snug in my room, I am making progress on the loom. All thirty six inches of warp are on the back of the loom and through all the heddles.


On the whole the threads are simply hanging down toward the floor on the other side of the loom. They next must go through the reed, which spaces the threads evenly apart. Finally, the threads must be tied to the front beam. That part is a bit in the future. What I'm doing now is called sleying the reed.


Sleying the reed is not a fun job. I don't realize the muscle strain when I'm leaning forward, isolating the threads and drawing them through the reed. But when I go to bed, my chest aches, my arms ache. Probably my back, too, but it always aches. But by the end of the week, I should be able to weave.