T minus 3


The countdown is on. T minus 3 days until I am no longer working.  I’m a little sad but also very happy. I’m going to miss making the software a better product and finding errors, but I’m going to have more time for doing the things I want to do.  Even if cleaning house is one of them.

I had lunch with a weaving friend last week. I always come away from our lunches so inspired by the work she’s done. Every time, I find myself wanting to do something like hers.  This time was no exception. She had some beautiful scarves and the iridescence in them was.. Oh My!  I’m planning my first projects, after the work thing is done, to be the same. I don’t have the same colors she used and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t copy them exactly.  I need those iridescent scarves though.  I hope mine turn out as pretty as hers.

I’m also planning to try my hand at woven wraps for babywearing.  This is going to take some time.  I’ll have to do some sampling to make sure I have the sett and structure right. I think I’ll be able to do them with no problems because I’ve done a bit of research on how they need to be, and also what babywearers expect and need.

I’m looking forward to having the time to make some things for our guild sale next year. Every year, I say I’m going to weave something to put in the sale, and every year, I fall short.  This year will be different. (Famous last words!) I don’t want to have a weaving business, but we only need so many towels and they’re my favorite thing to weave, so a few for the guild sale should let me scratch the towel itch and possibly make a few dollars as a perk.

 

Redfish


The first time I saw Redfish Dyeworks at a sale, my heart fluttered.  Fluttered I tell you! I bought a couple of skeins of 60/2 and wove a scarf, terrified the whole time that I was going to be throwing a bunch of money down the drain. Those threads are thin! What if I had a lot of breakage? To my surprise, I didn’t have a single broken thread. This stuff is stronger than I thought it would be.  I vowed I would buy a skein or two at each show to build up a stash. This is what I’m up to

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At our guild sale a couple of weeks ago, I was immediately drawn to some 20/2 silk. Because I sold all the things that I put on the sale table, I celebrated by getting a whole set of colors. They weren’t in a set, they were just simply next to each other. Redfish does such an excellent job with their displays. I didn’t have to dig around trying to figure out which colors would work together, they were just there.

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I’m planning a gradation of some sort with these, though those plans may change. With the help of a guildmate and Redfish, I chose a color for weft. She didn’t have that color in 20/2 so will be dyeing it and sending it to me.

 

More weaving time coming up


In the summer of 2009, my old boss contacted me and asked if I would be willing to do some work for them for a couple of months. At the end of those couple of months, he asked if I’d be willing to stay a little longer, and I did.  That couple of months has turned in to 4 1/2 years.  On Wednesday, he told me that we would have to part ways at the end of the year due to potential issues with the IRS.  If the laws were to be interpreted a certain way, it could cost them a lot of money to have a contract employee in another state, even though I’m not an employee. Hard to explain without a lot of boring details.  I decided to rip off the band aid and just go ahead and give my two weeks notice this morning. I kind of hated doing that to my boss because I know it leaves him in a little bit of a bind, but I also know I’m not going to be worth 2 cents for the rest of the year knowing that it’s coming to an end, and that’s not fair either.  Yay, more time for weaving! I’m okay with that. And I’m really okay with not working there anymore, though I’ll miss the money.  Glad I have a little bit (ha!) of a stash built up.

I don’t know if my throwing fits over the phone had any influence on the mattress situation or if they could tell from the pictures that they wouldn’t have a fighting chance, but whatever it was, they’re supposedly going to be replacing the mattress. I called on Monday to see if I could get a copy of my original receipt. The girl told me they had created a PO to replace the mattress, and someone would be contacting me in 7-10 days.  We’ll see.

 

Worry No More and Macy’s


I think I mentioned that the Magic Dobby stand had been thrown out by the previous owners. I inquired about the price of the stand and this thrifty gal ain’t payin’ over $400 for a few pieces of wood.  Bought another jig at another hardware store, which works much better than the Harbor Freight piece of junk, but then I began having other issues. At that point I did the adult thing and threw the wood in the box and cursed. I bought a card table to set the loom on, which is not working out well either.  It’s rickety, it’s too big, it’s annoying.  My shoulders are starting to hurt from continually flipping the lever. I’m either going to have to suck it up and try building the stand again, hire someone to build it for me, or fork over the big bucks. Option 2 is what I’m leaning towards. Only problem is I don’t know where to find a wood worker. I’m going to try placing an ad on Craigslist.

I’m removing my rant about Worry No More guarantee from Macy’s. After filing my appeal, they did decide to make things right.  Squeaky wheel and all that, and at least I don’t have to file my first ever lawsuit

Yum


It’s that time of the year

ricekrisp

Rice Krispies treats with some Fruity Pebbles thrown in for fun. Yum!

I got the extra threads removed, the reed re-sleyed for 24 epi instead of 28, and the live weight tension put on.  (I also got the leaves raked, trimmed a few bushes, had lunch with The Man, and got the dog medicine in case you were curious.) I’m not sure the live weight is going to work.  I really need tension on this loom to keep that bottom layer of the shed from sticking to the top. I’ve tried different cords and different amounts of weight and so far the threads are still sticking to their upstairs neighbors.  I haven’t totally given up yet though.

Hems


Doubleweave hems. Oh. My. What a wonderful thing.  I learned about this on Alice Schlein’s blog a long while back but never tried it. I either forgot it when I had an actual project on the loom, or remembered it when the looms were naked.  Finally the planets aligned and I remembered it while I had a warp on the loom.  I will never do another rolled hem again, as long as it’s possible.  So much easier to hem, and much easier for me to see to hem. I did a really bad job on this project, because the project was already a disaster anyway and I just didn’t care if it looked perfect, but I can still tell this will be my favorite way to hem towels in the future.

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I used the sewing machine on the other end to see if I like that better. I don’t, and didn’t take a picture of it.  I’m considering taking out the sewing machine hem and using that end to see just how well I can make it look.  You should look at Alice’s though, hers look so nice. The instructions are here.

Why was this project a disaster?  Because of those loose threads I mentioned before. I got to the point that I didn’t care there were mistakes, stopped unweaving to fix them, and vowed the towel to be a troubleshooter sampler. To add to the misery of loose threads, I set my software to do a certain amount of picks so I didn’t have to fuss with a measuring string of any sort. Windows decided that my weaving software should stop responding. Since I was depending on the software to take care of the number of picks for me, I hadn’t been paying close attention to what pick I was on. So I guessed. And now I have a towel that is 5 inches longer than I planned on.

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Hopefully tomorrow I can tie the warp back to the tie rod and start a new towel. After I rake the leaves, trim the bushes, go to the vet’s office for dog meds, grocery store run….

Boo!


Wow, it’s been almost 2 years!  Let’s play some catch up

I sold the loom in the last post. I bought and sold a Leclerc Minerva. I bought and kept a 22″ Harrisville 8s floor loom, and a Louet Magic Dobby. The Louet.. there’s a story with that one.

The guy was supposedly friends with the children of the deceased owner. They were going to throw it in the trash but he convinced them to let him try to sell it. The stand and cloth beam were missing. It came with dobby bars but the mechanical head and all pegs for the bars are gone. He had it in the back of his truck (for a week) and it had bird shit on it. The computer box passed the self test but that was no guarantee it would actually work. There are all kinds of cosmetic issues and some spots that definitely needed some sanding to smooth out.  I made an offer based on the knowledge that I may have to send the dobby box for repairs.  He accepted the offer then tried to guilt me by pretending to make remarks under his breath that “I guess they’ll just have to come with money for insurance somewhere else”.  Really? Because 20 minutes ago you told me they were going to throw it away and I’m pretty sure the trash man doesn’t pay.

We lost our remaining kitty, almost a year after losing the other one.  We got a kitten and named her Kalea (kah -LEE-ah). This one is Trouble with a capital T.  This one likes yarn.  She likes to bat the fishing weights I’m using for the mock weaving temple. When we got her, she was 8 weeks old. She would sleep by my head and try to lick my eyeballs.  Now she waits for us to go to bed and that’s when the fun begins.  She’s full of sassy energy and gives us plenty of laughs.  Even when she’s helping me wind a warp.

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Bella (the dog) tore her ACL and had to have surgery. I didn’t think she would ever walk normal again. Of course, she did recover and now you’d never know that she had surgery. 

My daughter got married in September. The wedding was beautiful. There was some wedding dress drama before the wedding but it got solved. She came to visit in July and we found a new dress while she was here.  Her husband is a great guy and we’re glad to have him as part of our family.

I agreed to be the workshops/programs person for the guild for another year.  This is my 3rd year, and I will pass the torch to someone else next year.  We had our annual sale/fiber festival this past weekend.  It was time to let go of some knitting stash that I’ve been holding onto for 5-8 years, along with some shuttles I wasn’t using, etc. Everything I put on the Weftovers table sold. Yay! I celebrated by buying silk from Redfish Dyeworks (which I’d just bought a week before at another guild sale). I also bid on a spinning wheel on the silent auction and won that. (Is it really a “silent” auction when you can see what the last person on the list bid? I mean, I know there’s no auctioneer doing his fancy selling but silent seems to indicate, at least to me, that the bid isn’t known.) So now I own a Louet S10 with Woolee Winder, that I don’t need because I DON’T SPIN!  There was a package of fiber on the weftovers table for 50 cents. I bought it. It’s corn fiber. It’s pretty. I have no clue what I’m doing with it but I spun some of it up anyway. I need to find it’s happy place. I either have too much twist or not enough. If those areas would all smoosh together and even out magically, it would be great.  AND! I won a $50 gift card to Webs at the raffle table.

Back to the Magic Dobby loom, I bought a cloth beam. I thought “how hard can it be to build that stand?”. Well let me tell you, it’s pretty freaking hard when you aren’t a woodworker.  FYI, do not buy a dowel jig at Harbor Freight. It’s a piece of junk and you will end up with holes that are NOT centered and wood that is now ruined. I sanded out the rough spots on the loom. After quite a bit of work, the solenoids are now behaving (for the most part).  Pretty disappointed with Louet customer service, though. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to spend the next hour reading about THAT alone. I have a warp on the loom now and found that the lower part of the shed is pretty loose=y goose=y.  This is a problem since those loose threads like to stick to the top shed’s threads and I end up with errors. After much cursing and wanting to set the loom on fire, I remembered that, just because I can’t adjust the shafts so they sit lower, I can raise the height of the warp on the back beam.  Large dowel rod on top of the back beam to the rescue.

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We are getting along much better now. Not one to leave well enough alone though, I decided I wanted to try live weight tensioning so I don’t have to get up every time I want to advance the warp.  I haven’t gotten it to work. Yet. Damn I can be stubborn.

So I think that’s enough catching up for one post.  It’s past my bedtime.