Saturday, April 13, 2024

My week in review

In reverse, yesterday I had a visit from Ann. She came for lunch yesterday and left just before supper. In four or five hours we discussed all the problems of the world, as well as our own. We solved none. We have not seen each other except for an on the fly visit immediately pre-pandemic. Yesterday was a wonderful time.

Toward the end of the week I visited the quilt show at Lake Farmpark. I took Jane, a quilting friend who lives a few doors down, and we met Ruth, who needs no introduction. Or, as I explained to Jane, "We are the world's most fortunate mothers-in-law."

Ruth and I have visited this annual show many times in the past, but the last time was also just before the Covid lock down. In fact, there may have been no show this past two or three years. Ruth arrived a few minutes before Jane and I, and met us at the door. "Joanne, we have never seen anything like this." Indeed, we hadn't.

The next is a vintage, hand appliqued and hand quilted entry. I can visualize it gracing a child's bed for many years. It certainly could have been on my childhood bed. Following it is a picture of the description given it by the person who entered it.

Ruth and I always have a little competition. We compare notes at the end of seeing the show and see which one we would pick "to take home." This year I picked the following, a small wall hanging. I could be very happy looking at these little birds all day.

There were close to two hundred quilts entered. I've missed one or two of the photos I took. I like clean looking quilts, and see I generally took pictures of very busy quilts. My sister quilted several quilts I took notice of, and one of the ones she quilted was so dark I wondered how she could see the work to quilt it. Can't find that picture.

And finally, because it probably was the last in my lifetime, The Eclipse!

We had an absolutely stunning day to view a total eclipse! It was warm, the breeze was light, and the chairs comfy. 

Saturday, April 6, 2024

True Confessions

Where have I been? Under a rock! What have I done? Laid on my back, stretched out my arms. Wiggled my toes and ankles. I actually had a dream about doing that; lying in something warm and encompassing, wiggling all of myself, settling in. Then I guess I woke up. 

In the midst of housekeeping last Tuesday, I rashly asked Diana to fold up the top quilt, put it in the basket and stow it on the shelf. And now spring has fled. It even snowed yesterday. Temps are in the forties, day and night. Blah. Plus chilly, but I can't reach the shelf, and spreading out the quilt is too much. 

The parking lot trees are blushing. This redbud hasn't long to go. I showed the picture to Rose, and her first comment was "No cars!" Right she is. That is busy state highway 43 out there, and I watched cars going left and right for some time before I tapped the shutter. There are cars out of frame, left and right.

Weaving has occurred possibly half an hour some days. I'm tired of Whig Rose, and ready to rethread for a maze type pattern. I have several in mind, but I think I'll select one that has an escape route. But there are so many others. And here is one other, not a maze, but enticing. I'll put it in the que.

It needs to visually sparkle, but how to make it do so. That is my conundrum. And in the meantime, I shuffle along.

Beth and Ruth came for my birthday last week, carrying a very heavy shopping bag. After some brief preliminaries, Ruth flung open my freezer door and began inserting pints of ice cream. Seven, to be exact. I've thrown away two empties, so far.

Last Wednesday, in the middle of yoga class, my phone rang. I grabbed my shoes and hurried out to talk to Ruth. She wanted me to know, with apologies, I would find one of the cartons half gone.

While we were at it, we arranged for next Thursday to go to Lake Farm Park for the quilt show. We've gone often in the last many years. In the beginning I walked, then a cane, then two. Now I use a walker, unabashedly. People often hold open a door for me. If they cut me off, well, their mother did a poor job of raising them!

Sunday, March 24, 2024

What beauty

How can such small steps take so long? Friday I had the entire day to myself. No appointments to keep. Yet it took me the entire day to wind on four bouts. Part of that was the error I made thinking I could salvage the thread I tediously chained off from the back of the loom. I think, had I been my mother or grandmother, it could have happened.

The tangles and tedium did not frustrate me. I patiently combed out the mess, a turn at a time. Then I came to two broken threads with no matching ends. That did it. I admitted there was no using the old thread. It went in the trash; I set up the spool rack and turned on three of the four bouts by dinner. After dinner I turned on the forth and last, cleaned up the area and fell into bed.

Saturday I threaded heddles and sleyed the reed. I could have worked faster, but to what end. I ached all over. I left the weaving to today, after the laundry. And look what I have!

The pattern is named Whig Rose, and it is a lot of shuttle throwing. Here is the completed block:

I wondered if I'd put an extra petal in the first rose, and when I came out at the other end, I see I did. Oh well. It's not a mistake in the draft, it's a case of overenthusiastic weaving. I won't do it again, but it's quite harmless here.

The pattern is a two hundred plus year old coverlet weaving pattern. The Whig Rose is linked to the American Whig party of Andrew Johnson, which was a precursor to Abraham Lincoln's Republican party. However, the pattern did not acquire the name Whig Rose until the twentieth century depression. We won't go into the name of the party of Lincoln.

The pattern originally was called the Democratic Rose, and goes back to the seventeenth century British Whigs opposing the power of the monarch and attempting to increase the power of Parliament. King Charles II lost his head in the short lived attempt.

This scarf will be a couple inches narrower than my blooming leaf scarf. I'm looking forward to that; I want a narrow scarf. I also believe I've found candidates to model this version. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

The new Instagram

I decided to get with the times and be back on Instagram. The last time I used it, three or four years ago, it was clumsy and inappropriate for me. It didn't go with my flow. As I remember, I had to post a picture from my phone and go back with my computer to leave any text. That is because I am not a phone typer. In fact, any type lettering on my phone occurs via my spoken voice.

First I asked the internet how to be rid of some of those old photos. That was a piece of cake. I did it via my PC no less. And all the new photos went up the same way. Somehow people are notified, or else just find new stuff they follow, the same as scrolling through Facebook every day, or whenever.

The biggest change I saw is that the whole platform now resembles Facebook. There is a menu down the side to select a way to look at Instagram. Not so great, in my opinion, are all the ads in the "Home" section. That's like FB, and worse. I'll have to read how to get rid of them. Well, for better or worse, I'm back on Instagram, for my weaving. 

And that is to the end of the line. I'm amusing myself, seeing how many inches I can get from one thread. You remember the mess I left myself to work with.

On the left are a couple of "full" bouts, taped down so they don't fly away. To the right are some of the central bouts I was weaving from. They are close to gone. Down to bare wood are the tail end of a bout I'm both chaining off and weaving from, and a bout that I cut away, except the one thread I am using. There seem to be four turns left, but a lot of that length is "loom waste"; the distance from the tie on cord, over the back beam, through the heddles, etc. I have an eighty inch long scarf woven so far, and I think there will be about ten more inches.

And just so you know I have a real life, here is Rose, as the two geriatric ladies embark on another outing.

Next time I'll have her take the picture, so you know we both went.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Snow, Snow

Welcome to March and Daylight Savings. After two lovely weeks of spring, we are back to winter and snow. The snow actually began early this morning and has been accumulating the last hour or two.

This was on my way to breakfast; not too bad. It's really snowing now.

I understand those arbor vitae used to be kept trimmed. They have grown to an impenetrable wall ahead of three exit doors for suites down there. They are a sparrow condominium now and sparrows are always flitting. I can see one because I know it is there.

On the way to supper last night, I saw a hawk on the concrete barrier, looking down on all the activity. I've seen him (or a close relative) keeping watch from one of the chair backs. I startled last night's hawk by reaching for my phone, and he left. Maybe next time.

I very cleverly got involved last night in beating my game of Mahjongg, and didn't get to the clocks and bed until eleven. I am still one wall clock behind. It will be awhile until it is changed.

Here is another thing I intended to mention at the time. My new model, Helyn. There have been several Helyn's over the years. The first was a wicker head, woven by my sister, for the purpose of displaying the caps she sewed from our handwoven fabric. The model was from the armpits up, and so resembled our sister-in-law Helyn that the name just fastened itself.

Then I had a real dressmakers model, and of course we named her Helyn. I left her at RiverLight when I began weaving towels rather than clothes. I wasn't about to invest in a new model, for no other reason than space, or lack of. I relieved the cafeteria of a plate and fastened it at 5'4" on my spool rack, exactly as tall as I used to be. Some day I'll ask Jan to give her a face. 

This week was not stellar for weaving. I am almost finished with a leaf green scarf, probably the length of the rose scarf pictured. Probably one more leaf green scarf of undetermined length and the warp will be finished. I'll thread up for Whig Rose.

Kitty fell asleep with her rainbow snake in her claws:

And I'm listening to a great book, "A Stone is Most Precious Where it Belongs", Gulchera Hoja. I linked her to the GoodReads review, last year. Ms. Hoja is a Uyghur, in what is currently East Turkestan. It is not a fun read, but compelling. I am crying and listening and weaving. I don't want to add writing to the list, so I'll just recommend it to you.