I’ll never…

I said I’d update more often. Famous last words. Still weaving, though this summer has been more gardening than anything. Due to the death of my parents, I was raised by my grandparents. On a farm. My grandmother planted a large garden, or what I considered large from the eyes of a child who would rather be doing anything than garden chores, and canned the harvest. I had to help break beans for the jars. Oh the horror of doing that stupid crap. I would never garden. And wouldn’t you know, at the ripe age of 51, I began wanting some fresh produce. Last year, I planted a few things, mostly tomato and zucchini. The squirrels, mice, and rabbits were very happy about this. I, not knowing how much zucchini you can get, was giving it away constantly. This year, I vowed that the critters would not get my tomatoes and such, and had an enclosure built around the garden area, which contains three 22-24 ft long beds. The problem was that, let’s be honest here, sorry honey, someone said they’d build it for me and procrastinated. I had to get the seedlings I’d started outside before the enclosure was built. I came out one morning to find all my plants down to short stems. I told the hubby I was having someone come build the enclosure, and that was that. But my plants suffered. They did eventually come back, but I think (I hope it was that) that really gave it a bad start, so I didn’t get near as much produce as I wanted. Also having a problem with bugs, damn rolly pollies. This year has really been a learning experience, and I hope all I’ve learned this year will make me more successful next year.

Husband bought a grapevine a couple of years ago, only he didn’t realize until we got grapes that they weren’t seedless. He says he doesn’t mind the seeds, but he wasn’t eating a whole lot of them. He hasn’t trimmed the vine at all so it’s getting quite large and producing a lot of grapes. Last year, the birds were happy. This year, I decided that I wouldn’t let them go to waste, that I would make grape jelly out of them. (I will never can or preserve foods. Ha!)
grape jelly

And since we have a small fig tree, and my husband loves fig jam, I did that too.
I’ve made 3 batches of fig jam, with figs from our tree and my husband’s uncle’s huge tree. First batch was perfect, though I substituted dry pectin for the liquid that the recipe called for. Second batch I used liquid pectin as instructed, and that didn’t turn out so good. I have part gelled, part liquid. Third batch, since I was told I didn’t cook the second batch long enough, I cooked it longer, and added more pectin when I didn’t think it was getting thick, and now I think I may have over done it. The little bit that I stuck in the fridge is like a thick sugary mess. Think of those gummy sugar covered orange slice candies being melty. I’ll open one that I actually canned and see how it is.

I’ll never weave rugs. Sure, I’ll twine rugs, or braid rugs, and I’ll collect fabric for that, but I’ll never weave one on my loom. I gave away or sold all my rug shuttles, and almost sold a temple that I didn’t think I’d ever use.  *sigh* You know what happened, right? The rug bug bit me. I think it was because I had accumulated a bunch of fabric for twining or braiding, which I haven’t done near enough of, and I wanted to whittle that stash down quicker than twining/braiding would accomplish. Or maybe I saw something online and that fueled the fire. Regardless, a rug making I will go. I looked at different rugs, and one particular design caught my eye. Diamond rag rugs, how cool! I searched online for instructions and other info, downloaded the software, and picked fabric that I had enough of each color to weave.  Unfortunately, in all my playing with the software, when I opened it back up to print my design, I hadn’t saved it, and I had to re-enter all the info. When I put in all the measurements, I missed a couple. I realized this when I ran out of fabric halfway through the rug, and the design wasn’t quite right. I still have a small bathroom rug or something, haven’t decided yet. Three solid colors.
While it is cool looking, it’s not exactly what I was expecting. Since I still had a bunch of warp left on the loom, and a bunch of strips that I had already cut for twining or ones I’d gotten from weaver’s sales, I made another rug.
rug 2
Not bad for having never woven a rug before.

Determined to get my diamond rug, I went back through the stash and found some more fabric. This time I would use four colors. The two I had were prints, and I thought it would be interesting to see how they worked. I did have to buy two more prints at the store to have enough. This one hasn’t been hemmed yet, but since no one knows when I will post again, I’ll go ahead and put it out there now.
rug 3
This is more of what I was expecting, yet again it isn’t right. This time I didn’t run out of fabric, I used the strip widths and all the measurements as the software had, and I still don’t have consistent diamonds. The prints didn’t work out too bad but I do think solid colors would be more to my liking.  I don’t know if I’ll attempt another. There’s a lot of work in the set up of measuring, sewing, and cutting and to do all that work to not get what you wanted is disheartening. I’m glad I tried and I’m fairly happy with my actual weaving, so I’ll do more rag rugs in hit and miss. If I get good enough at it, I’m considering making memory rugs.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura
    Oct 17, 2019 @ 21:34:07

    I hear that! I swore I’d never weave (slow and “stupid”, I said), garden, live past 30… I said a lot of dumb things. Probably still do. If I’m lucky I’ll live long enough to look back and shake my head some more someday.

    I just bought a 24 shaft Weavebird (my umpteenth loom, never say never), and I’d be interested to hear how you go about warping the thing. It is very deep and I’m not sure how I can get close enough to the shafts to thread them comfortably. I knew it would be big, but it’s BIG and I’m not sure it really needed to be this roomy, and yet have no room inside for a chair. (I had a Swedish-style loom once that actually did).


    • Restless
      Oct 18, 2019 @ 09:01:44

      Mine is only 16 shafts so it’s not as deep as yours. I have a sectional beam so I warp back to front. At the front, I take off the breast beam to get closer to the heddles. The problem is the treadles and that front floor beam don’t fit most stools. I keep saying one of these days I’m going to build a custom stool but I haven’t done it yet. Maybe I should say I will Never build a stool haha. Unfortunately, I’ve not found a comfortable way to thread any of the looms I’ve had have. I’m a sloucher so that probably explains a lot of that. Enjoy your loom. I wish I had bought a 24s but if I had, I’m sure I’d be wishing I’d bought 32 🙂


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