Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What has been happening around here

We sure have been busy around here. While I was trying to recover from surgery we were renovating our kitchen.  Actually the cabinets and appliances were ordered in June but the demolition of the kitchen finally was under way in October. I won't bore you with the details but if you have ever renovated a kitchen you may already understand.  Back ordered cabinets, appliances that don't work or have been dented in transit, etc. Lots of things delayed the start of it all but I am so happy to say that it is done! Bye bye 1970's kitchen. Hello new beautiful kitchen.

Last month we took a vacation. We went to Chippokes State Park in Virginia. It is a beautiful park. There is a mansion there and a really nice museum. Lots of hiking trails too. It is very close to other historic places of interest. We have been there before and looked forward to getting back there. My husband found that they had a weaving loom that needed a bit of help. When I saw it I just had to fix it! They were very nice to let us have a go at it. It is a Union loom made in Booneville, N.Y. After a bit of a clean up and two trips to a hardware store it is now presentable for display.

Having had back surgery had made me rethink my studio and all I have in it. I decided that I own too much. Now really, did I need all these looms and spinning wheels? After carefully considering each wheel and loom I chose the ones that should go. I sold two looms and one spinning wheel.  I had half a room that was now empty. I was thinking........this is nice! Then it happened.  A friend told me about a Swedish countermarche loom for sale. It was made by the Berga Savonia company. I thought hmmm that might be nice to weave on. I had been wanting to try out that kind of loom but this one had a five foot weaving width! It is really big! The price was good so I decided to contact the seller. It was still available!  It was a bit of a puzzle to put it together but I love puzzles. I still have a few treadles to tie up but then it will be ready for a warp. If I like this loom I once again will rethink what I own. I may have a couple of other looms for sale.

I like tape looms.  They are portable, interesting to look at and perfect for living history. I recently saw one in person that is a copy of one at the Landis Valley Museum. What makes this one different is that it is a floor loom with two treadles. I had seen pictures of some but never saw one in person. I am hoping my husband will make me one to use at Wilderness Road State Park where I volunteer. I like to give the public something different to see when they visit. I don't want what I do to be the same from year to year.

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Going home!

Tomorrow is my last day in the rehab center after back surgery. I have been here 28 days. Long enough, don't you think? Looking back I have come a long way. I have gone from having to have a person on either side of me to help me walk to being able to walk by myself using a hiking stick. I feel pretty good about that! I still have a long way to go but I believe I will get there.

Next I will be waiting to see what I won't be able to do ever again. I am pretty sure I won't be picking up bales of hay with one hand anymore and maybe no more picking up goats. I always considered myself strong. Guess we all have to face, sometime, that our bodies are getting older and someday we have to stop doing things that our bodies just can't do anymore. It is hard to think about giving up things. I just hope weaving isn't one of those things! So for now I will concentrate on getting better. As for the future? That remains to be seen.

So, to my weaving friends, keep posting pictures. I enjoy seeing the projects you are working on! Hoping that soon I will be able to see those projects in person!

Until next time,

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I escaped!

Well only for a little while. My occupational therapist was teaching me how to get in and out of the car without twisting and only using one hand. Evidently I did well because she mentioned to my husband that we should go for a drive! After signing me out we went out for ice cream. I didn't want to go too far so we went to a place not far from here. Driving on bumpy roads after back surgery is awful! I found that out when I had a doctor's appointment a few days ago. It was pretty warm out today and I have to say it sure felt good to be out in the fresh air for a while. Something I haven't done in a few weeks now.

Having shoulder surgery then back surgery a few weeks later really has given me some insight to people who are handicapped. These days people can be distracted with their phones or whatever is on their minds that they don't take the time to notice their surroundings. I have been in stores and other places where handicapped people are treated like they are invisible.  I am not just talking about me. I have seen things in stores that made me want to go talk to people who will come up behind someone in a walker and zip around them startling the handicapped person.  I have seen many other things too that I won't go into here. My point is this. Please think about the handicapped and how your actions might affect them. Okay getting off my soap box now.

The temperatures here were in the mid 60's today! What happened to winter? 

Until next time,

Monday, January 9, 2017

what is new around here

I have been thinking about what to write here for weeks. Okay, more like months. The truth is I haven't woven in a long time. It all started with a pain in my shoulder.
Two cortisone shots, exercises done at home and an MRI later I find out I need surgery. Among other things I was told my bicep needed to be reattached! It wouldn't have been so bad had it been my left shoulder but you see, I am right handed! My arm needed to be in a sling post surgery for a month. then I was told I can't use it for four months. That will be the end of March!

Then about five weeks post op I find I have a herniated disk. If you have ever experienced this then you know how awful the pain can be especially when it travels down a leg! More surgery. How can one person fall apart so quickly? Suddenly I feel old. Very very old! 

I am now at a rehab center trying to get some strength in my left leg and to learn to get by with my restrictions. On the good side I have one good arm and one good leg, right? The hard part is feeling so helpless at times. Have you ever gotten into a recliner ( just have to get out of the wheel chair for a while) and then realize the lever is on the wrong side? Then to top it off I have to ask someone to make it recline and then to come back to help me sit back up! Now I know how a beached whale feels!

I am not telling you this so that you will feel sorry for me. Not at all! I just wanted you all to know where I have disappeared to and that I won't have any weaving to show for a while. 

So until you hear from me again I will be here in rehab exercising and progressing every day, reading, doing crossword puzzles and keeping up with other weavers either through their blogs or on facebook. If I can't weave at least I can see the beautiful work of other weavers! Right? I may be down for a while but all this is temporary! So I will focus on the good and try to keep a good sense of humor. ( I am trying to picture myself with one Popeye arm. :)

Until next time.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Around the studio

I wish you could smell these flowers! We have them growing in a couple of places. This time of year they smell wonderful! They are a fall blooming clematis.

Another thing I tried growing again this year is cotton. I don't have a lot of plants and these are growing in a large pot on our deck. This is what I found this week.

The Lervad #2 has been empty for a couple of years and long past due for a warp.  It is the prettiest loom I have ever seen! I decided to put on a warp for a couple of walker bags. I have since woven it off but I didn't take a picture of the finished product. Here are pictures of the loom.

Isn't it pretty? It has ties to the Hull House in Chicago. I am not sure how old it is but it is old. It was made by Anders Lervad. When I first saw the ad for this loom many years ago I thought it was too narrow but that night I couldn't stop thinking about it. I wonder how many are still around. There are some that are black with beautiful carving on it but this one does not have carving. I wish it did.

Well that is all I have for now. Until next time.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Finnian goes on a field trip!

Several of the Tuesday Weavers { loomy tunes blog} have asked me about my two new cashmere goats so yesterday I decided they needed to see one in person. Finnian was acting shy even though he is very friendly and likes people. When people first came up to him he turned his head around and lied it on my chest! Silly goat!

When we got back home my husband met me on the porch and asked me if Finnian would like to visit and elderly woman we know. Sure! So we got back in the van and headed there. They both enjoyed the visit. Hmmm, maybe Finnian has a future in visiting places like nursing homes etc.

I have been weaving several scarves. I used the book The Weaver's Idea Book by Jane Patrick. I have been wanting to try out some of her patterns. This one is on page 25, #8 It has a different look on each side. I really like how this one turned out!

Another thing I tried was a sample using a variegated singles wool yarn as warp and weft on the rigid heddle loom. I thought if I used it on this loom that it would be gentler on the warp. Even though this yarn is very nice I would never use it as warp again. It was loosely spun and was almost like very thin roving. I found on the outside warp threads that it shreaded. I spent more time trying to fix the problem than I was weaving it. The unexpected thing was that it puckered when taken off the loom making a very interesting pattern in the sample. I think it would make a very nice scarf if it wasn't so difficult to weave with. The next sample I used lesser tension but I still didn't like weaving with it. The puckers were not as noticable on that one.

What do you think of it? Can you see the puckers? It is a nice effect!

Until next time.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Drama on the farm

For one week my herd queen Ginger harrassed Finnian. He was one miserable goat. I made the decision to buy another cashmere goat from Mountain Hollow Farm. Meet Seamus,

It almost looks like he is smiling! He was chewing his cud. He is only one year old. Even though they were from the same farm he and Finnian had never met. The minute Finnian saw Seamus he cried sounds of joy. He was so happy to see another goat that looked like him! It didn't take long for them to be best friends. Every time Finnian lost sight of Seamus he would cry. Seamus would go up to him and put his head on Finnian's head. It was so cute to watch!

These were handled when young and are the sweetest goats! They like to come up to me for some petting and head scratching. I am really enjoying having them on the farm and I am really looking forward to seeing what wool they give me in the spring.

Until next time,