Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Almost ready

For my big sale this weekend. I have had a lot of positive response from people about my weavings. The ones that I like best are the group that is stopped cold in their tracks on the way to pick up their bread. The colour on the table grabs them. It is always a pleasure to see. On that note , here are my latest two scarves.

And because I have been feeling a little overwhelmed by colour lately, I decided to weave a series of white shawls. I relied heavily on my stash to find white and only had to buy one skein of loop yarn. The first two are off and ready to get washed (which will happen tomorrow) and the third is about half finished. It has been a very problematic warp to weave with because of tension issues, the different stretch of the different yarns I used, and the fact that the mohair in the warp likes to grab everything!

I have an idea for another two scarves and I am now off to do some more yarn dyeing.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I missed my blogaversary

How silly of me! It was actually on the 17th. I guess that my only excuse is that I am a wee bit busy right now. In fact, I'm soon off to the college to do some more weaving. And I have one more scarf in mind before I'm done. But isn't it always that way? "Just one more, just one more".
And to calm Bill, I am going to tell you a short tale about how he did a MacGyver and fixed my washing machine.

A few weeks ago, I was doing laundry when the washer started making a nasty loud buzzing, humming, grinding sort of noise. Not good. I turned it on and off a few times in the simple hope that it would miracolusly start to work again. No such luck. I look for the owners manuel. I know that we have it. Somewhere. No luck.. So I do the next best thing. Google. I actually find a thread on a "fix it" site a about my type of washer filling with water and not draining, or not spinning. According to the site, all you have to do is take the front panel off the machine, which I managed, slip the clamps off, and remove the "bobby pins and coins" from the impeller motor. Or impeller drive. Or what ever. The impeller pump (if I am correct) is the part that removes the water from the washing machine. Very important. Especially on a front loading washer. In any case, I took one look at the clips that I was suppose to "slip" off and thought "not likely". These are huge spring type clips that were designed to hold back the waters of the Nile. I suppose that I COULD have gotten them off, but there would have been a lot of swearing, some skinned knuckles, and the potential to break something. Having decided a long time ago that there are somethings that I just won't do, even if I might be able to do them, I decided to wait for Bill. In the mean time, I emptied as much water out of the machine as I could and then started supper. When supper was out of the way, we got down on all fours and peered into the bottom of the machine. Bill got to work. He removed the clamps, flooded the kitchen with the water that I could not get out, I ran for towels and mopped up the excess. I had some errand to run at this point and left. I come back a bit later, to a proud Bill who had put the machine back together after having removing a few misceleanous things (including an underwire) from the pump. We gave it a test run. It filled with water (no surprise) and then started to make that horrible noise again. Bad. Very bad. Machine gets taken apart again. More water on the floor (it needed to be washed any way) and the impeller motor was removed again. After some careful tests we discover that the impeller pump still ran, but stopped spinning when it was called into service. Some small piece inside had worn so that the motor was shifting a bit on it's shaft. And the matter of a millimeter was the difference between it running and not running. Bill was thinking of attaching some metal clip to the mount and having it push on the end of the motor when I suggested a split washer (although, at the time, I didn't know what it was called) be put on the shaft and it would keep the part inside that had to spin, in the position that it was able to spin in (are we confused yet?) There was no split washer in the house, but Bill did have an old pen that he had in his "Useful Materials" box. Or pile. It was the right diamater and was a bit flexable. He cut it to the right size, slipped it on....and.... it worked! And it has kept on working for about 3 weeks now. I am sure that the little piece from the pen will wear out at some point and have to be replaced, but I have plans on going to the machine repair shop just down the street and picking up a few split washers to have on hand for when it does. Bill says that he has lots of pens to use, but the thought of having to take apart the machine every time the last piece wears out seems a little excessive. He also wants me to stop complaining about his "useful materials" that he keeps on hand. I'm not sure that I can until they are in a barn or shed or somewhere that I don't have to deal with them. In any case, thanks to Bill for his ability and knowledge. I'm glad to be living with someone who can pull a MacGyver every now and then.

Make sure you tell him how great he is

Monday, November 20, 2006

I have been remiss

in posting lately. Life is taking on that hectic buzz that happens around crafts people at the approach to Christmas and students at the end of term. I am working on homework and weaving and fringing like mad trying to get things done.

I would also like to thank Valerie for her donation to my fibre knowledge. She sent me some raw alpaca fleece after I mistakenly called wet alpaca "greasy". The fleece is far from greasy. It is soft and looks ready to spin, although I have been warned that it will need to be washed. I can't wait to give it a spin, but unfortunately, I will, because I am up to my ears in "to do's". In two weeks, I should be able to slow down and enjoy the coming holiday season and the anticipation that the kids have at this time of year. As well as having a bit of time to finish my Blue Faced Leicester that came from Margene's in my yarn aboard box.

And a few more things off the loom and a few more things still on the loom. I can call this picture "the great unwashed" and unfringed for the most part. Must finish some of them before Thursday so they can be dry for market on Saturday. I might be keeping the purple one that is tossed over the loom. I'm liking it very much and I have yet to keep one of these silk scarves for my self. I am also approaching the end of this particular stash of silk and will have to find a new place to get some more because the people that I bought this from went out of business. Sigh.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Can some one tell me why, if I am so sleep deprived, that I find myself awake at midnight? I was a good girl tonight and went to bed early. About 10. I slept for about an hour and then I was awake. Lying there. Just awake. But tired. But not tired enough to actually get to sleep. After an hour or so of non productive awakeness, I decide to get some work done. Work of choice? Warping my loom. Thankfully, I had a warp ready to go on. All of the thinking and dyeing was done. I don't think that I am much good for thinking right now.

And I have made some more progress on my handspun. At this rate,, I may be ready to start plying over Christmas vacation.

In any case, I'm off to bed. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

More yarn

I'm having fun with the mixing of the colours. I'm liking these ones better than my earlier skeins too.
Also, the first toned down scarf is off the loom as are the three green ones. With some fringing and washing left to do. Weft is dyed for the purple warp and a new white/cream warp of mixed yarns is made up and very lovely , if I do say so myself. I am about ready to fall down. But in the mean time, I'm going to spin a few yards more on my new drop spindle! Wahhhooooo!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Look! Yarn!

I took my new spindle for a little whirl today and look! Yarn! It is so pretty and spins well. The new spindle is very nice. It has a good weight and is well balanced. Bill was looking at the book last night and he said that he likes the way that it is written and he is going to learn how to spin too! I can't see him having any time until next summer, but he can have fun watching me spin away.

In the mean time, here is another new scarf. I am feeling a bit overloaded with all of the colours and have decided to weave a couple of toned down scarves. Here is the first. This is an 8 harness pattern that I am able to weave because of a vacant loom at school. I'm loving the 8 harness. I want.

Here is a couple of new green scarves that have just come off my home loom. They still need to be fringed and washed. There is one more to weave and then the purple warp goes on. I just have to dye some purple weft.

And in the morning, I say good bye to Ferdinand Magellan. We had a good time while he was in port at Freddy Beach. We visited a few of the sights and he even helped out at the weaving studio. He's shipping out tomorrow to his next port of call somewhere in the USA. Keep your eyes peeled and he may find his way to your door.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It's Here!

Yesterday, I opened the door to let the kids out to go to school, and found the long awaited for Yarn Aboard box!

I was really excited and automatically grabbed for it like a kid at Christmas. Then I paused. The babe still wasn't ready for play school, Bill needed to be driven to work or he would be late, I still had a few more things to do to get myself ready for work. I decided that I would enjoy opening The Box much more if I waited and was able to savour the things that came out. So I took a deep breath and stepped away to do the frantic morning thing and went to work. The Box was never far from my mind.
When I arrived home, there was supper to make and kids to talk to and Bill had the camera at work, so I had to wait for that too, but I did take a better look and what I thought was my pal's enthuastic wrapping job, was really a Canada Post plastic bag in which they wrap damaged parcels. On the out side of the bag, an appoligy. How Canadian.

Damage report, not to bad. No holes or rips, just some slight crushing. Magellan's vessel is still sea worthy.

And what did that wonderful explorer bring me? First to catch my eye is some beautiful Blue Faced Leicester in purples and blues dyed by Snake River Fiberworks, a friend of Margene's in Idaho. Next was a beautiful drop spindle from Greensleaves Spindles in Utah. And then, I have to admit, the chocolate bars. I had to beat the kids away from those babies! One was shared around, but the other is all mine! There is also a book called Spinning in the Old Way which looks full of tricks and tips. I have taken a quick glance inside and have already learned something! There is also some ginger tangerine tea which is wonderful! I'm on a ginger tea kick right now and this is a welcome addition. And something new to me! Cedar & Sage tea tree and mint cuticle bar. It is heaven on my hands! lastly a note pad and some post-it page markers for my new book. Thanks Margene for a wonderful package!

Let's get a close up of that spindle and roving. I might actually have a few moments to give it a whirl (pun intended) later on today.

I have to say that this is the hardest post that I have ever had to write! Not because of the content, but because of the technology! Our home internet connection keeps timing out at inappropriate moments. When it is on it is slowslowslow. Then Blogger wouldn't let me up load pictures. Then my browser quit on me and took my post that was 75% finished. But all is good now! And Ferdinand Magellan will set sail on Tuesday for his next port of call. He'd go out tomorrow, but the government takes a holiday for Remembrance Day and all of the post offices will be closed.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


New shawl
Next warp
New felted purse
Two chenille scarves
Another new shawl

And still no word on my fantastic fiber bundle that is coming my way. With my luck, some spinning customs officer is fondling my fibre, wondering if she will let it across the border or not.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

It's Been A Long Week

Why? you may ask? Because last Saturday, my Yarn Aboard Swap pal sent me notification that there was a package in the mail for me! How exciting! And every day I have been waiting for the postman to ring or drop one of those little cards in the mail box that says that I have a package waiting for me. And so far, nothing.
I have been weaving though. I cut off two more chenille scarves and another merino shawl. Today I am going to fringe them at market. This afternoon is my second dyeing workshop. Which reminds me that I still haven't gotten the pictures of the last workshop from Karen.
But I must scoot so that I can get to the Farmers Market before going to the Artist Market.
Happy Saturday.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Life in my house for the next week

I used to try and regulate the candy. The good old "only three treats a day" thing. Silly. Not to mention I quickly got tired of the nagging. And it went on FOREVER! So now, it's "eat 'em if you got 'em" and no nagging, and everything is gone in less than a week. Except for Mira. She will hoard, and nibble, and drive those boys crazy by having lots left after theirs are all gone. Last year she lasted until the Christmas treats started coming.
And speaking of Christmas, I know that those of you south of the border have your Thanksgiving yet to look forward to, but having already eaten that turkey, we Canadians have nothing between us and Christmas to buffer us from the advertising that is going to start assaulting us as of today. I just hope that some places can hold off on the Christmas music for a month at least.