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.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Happy, happy good news

I asked Betty to bring her new hearing aids to breakfast and let me help her get them situated. That was a week ago, Thursday or Friday.  She presented the box with a tangled mass of cord and charger. Such a mess that my hope was low.

First I extracted the instruction book and gave it a read. Very like my own pair, except scaled back. Turn them on, put them on and you will hear more, better. Take them off at night, turn them off and park in the charger. Except I found no instructions to turn them off. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I forged on.

I pressed the on/off button. The miniscule button! It turns green to indicate "ON", but is completely covered by the thumb. I used my fingernail to see if the device was turned on. I wound up placing it on her ear, she pushed it into her ear. We used the same method for the other ear.

Someone suggested doing it again, for practice. I vetoed that at once, and Betty agreed completely. There was tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow at breakfast for that. I was more interested in watching Betty adjust to a new world.

Even a week later I cannot write about the event with dry eyes. It was a new Betty and I told her over and over how happy I was. She could hear and participate, and what an articulate, animated woman we had with us. She wanted to know what I found so different about her. I said I didn't have to face her to talk to her, I didn't have to raise my voice and repeat myself.

"And I thought I had you all fooled," she said.

And on to my project for the weekend and next week: scarves on the website.

There are two new scarves on the sewing table waiting for hems. That will come next, after this bit of writing.  Yesterday I tackled the web page. It came so easily, and after three or four hours I was mostly satisfied with the first page and ready to move on to the second.

Except, I could not find the second page! I tried all that I could "intuitively" bring to the project, including deleting some things I tried and had to get rid of. So, last resort, I will wait until Tuesday, when Blake is coming to help me.

I have so much else to do, the page can wait. I must photograph and describe the scarves I have finished. Then there is a little inventory problem I'm wrestling with. My towels were identified by color; past that they were identical. Each scarf is individual.

Personally I am offended by including an obvious inventory number with each scarf, but I have not come up yet with an alternative method. So for now they will be identified as The First Scarf, The Second Scarf, and so on.

One of my followers, Margaret Butterworth, in Australia, wonders if I could find a model, so people can see scarves modeled on someone. That is a great idea that has never worked so well for me. Back when I used a professional photographer, he used a professional model. I attempted the same with a friend, but it was less successful. Neither of us knew exactly what to do. So I'm still pondering this bit.