Mar 25, 2018

Mid-March 2018 Shine on, warm sun!

A snowy (three big snow storms) month, really not the thing. March snowstorms so suck. 

The sooner it melts and we can get off the roads and sidewalks and back out into the woods and fields the happier I will be. Gatsby too. The earth, which had begun to thaw and smell lovely is now covered again, the birds, so noisy and lively in February, are lying low now. Or so it seems.

It's persistently cold. Chill. Except for this one, taken in late February, I have no pictures; those I take showing any snow I delete almost instantly. Though I know it'll be gone soon, I won't miss it. Gatsby will, though, he tunnels and rolls as if he's a porpoise or a seal.

I finished knitting the Carbeth Pullover from Kate Davies Designs
here, and will start knitting the Carbeth cardigan as soon as the yarn arrives from WEBS. Plan to use Peruvian wool from Cascade Eco
in the Sycamore colorway for the cardigan. 

I used Alafoss Lopi for the pullover, yarn I bought at Mosfellsbaer for another lopapeysa on my first trip to Iceland in 2014. Raspberry with grey-blue and gold-green accents on the arms--there wasn't enough raspberry for the full sweater, as it was going to have a gold and blue yoke, but I love the color on the sleeves!
Carbeth on the rocks!

Partly done; incandescent light
New Carbeth--easy cropped sweater
I'm loving this for long beach walks this weekend in mid-March. It's light and warm and in the wind has a bright halo.

I sold the Norwood cherry loom I bought from Melodi Hackett several years ago to Doug Marlowe, an Anglican priest/bishop? from Watertown NY. Meeting him at MA Sheep and Wool to hand it over and can't wait to meet him. I'm thrilled it's going to someone who loves these looms and will appreciate it. 

It's cherry glows like satin now that it's dusted and oiled and ready to go. I won't miss weaving with my knees hitting the cloth beam though--

I worked in Cathleen's greenhouse a few days last week...planting itty bitty baby plants in the greenhouse prior to starting the outdoor season again. Susan worked with us too. 
Cathleen has offered to barter my hours this Spring for her Macomber Baby Mac loom, which she bought a few years ago. She likes her other looms more, and doesn't have room for it anymore in her studio. 

It has 8 shafts and I'm pretty sure is all the loom I'll ever be able to handle. Eight shafts and 24" in width, so a 45" doubleweave is possible. It also folds into a fairly small footprint, so when I get it, I may try to sell the TOTT loom, maybe at Fiber Frolic. At 75 hours, it makes it possible for me, after that, we'll go back to regular paychecks for the garden work after we plant her customer's gardens. 


Still eating well, no sugar, grains, legumes, processed foods, little dairy. Pretty easy to stick to fish, shellfish, meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Duh, all my favorite stuff.
eggs, avocado, figs, apricot, salmon

Feb 21, 2018

Mid-February 2018

60 degrees F today! Lovely to be comfortable and equally lovely to experience the sun gobbling up the snowbanks and the meadow grass reappear. Fleeting but enjoyable, like these flowers that will be back soon, right? Right?.

I realized I didn't post the lovely boro stitched pieces done by the woman who runs the online store Brooklyn General Store  here that were part of her display and lesson at the Knitting Pipeline retreat 2017 last Fall in Maine. I enjoyed these

My friend, one of my oldest friends, Ned, visited recently too. How we age, even with snow white hair he looks the same to me as he did driving a tractor in the orchard behind our house when he was 17.  My first boyfriend, I had to sneak around to see him because my father thought a two year age difference was too much. Little did he know...

My February news is that in late December I decided to take up a food protocol known as Whole30. It requires me to eliminate all sources of sugar (natural and artificial), plant grains (including whole grains of all kinds), legumes, and dairy except for clarified butter. 
I can eat meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, seeds, fruit in moderation, nuts in moderation, healthy fats, and vegetables. Lots of vegetables. It's a divine way to eat, really, all my favorite things. I bought an Instant Pot back at Black Friday for pennies on the dollar, and I've been using it a lot. I love to cook and this plan requires me to be inventive and pair foods I might not have chosen or thought about in the past

Eggs with pork, kale and carrots, celery, tomatoes

Sauerkraut, chicken sausage, eggs, mustard, slaw with oranges

Kumatoes, soft boiled eggs, grapefruit

Soup, crudite, homemade mayo with sriracha

Eggs, Tomatoes, Chicken bacon and avocado

Chicken, roasted peppers, mushrooms and spinach  soup

Beef, mushroom and baby Bok Choy soup

Egg, sauteed cauliflower rice, chicken sausage

Just a few examples of the yummy things I've been eating for some breakfasts and lunches. I've lost 18 lbs, the chronic swelling in my right knee has disappeared, I'm sleeping well and feeling good. No stomach aches, no sugar craving. In fact, I'm not hungry between meals and am able to stop the snacking after dinner. It takes vigilance and planning but it's do-able and I'm going to keep it up. It's designed to allow you to add back anything you feel you really miss eating. I'm surprised I have no urge to eat cheese. I miss bread but think it's a good item to cut out and leave out. No sugar blues.

Gatsby is my little pal, he's such a good, good boy.
Diggerdog hiding his ball

I'm lucky, lucky

.Weaving is going well. I'm finishing the warp on the Norwood preparatory to selling it. I'm going to do Jane Stafford's Online Guild workshop challenges this year; Susan just wound a warp for me. She has a warping mill. I need one. Soon it will be March and I'll start some work for Cathleen and start saving toward her Macomber loom. She's willing to barter with me for it, which is awesome. But I'll do the challenge on the Tools of the Trade loom.

Jan 31, 2018

2018 January

Almost at the end of the month of January 2018. Politics are still as bad, no , worse, but that's for another day, at least here. They lurk as the demon between the lines, coloring several parts of every single day with the sheer stupidity and malice of Trump and his Republican cadre--

Gatsby. He occupies more and more of my heart. He's so small, and seemingly vulnerable I suppose, but he's such a tuffy, so game for anything.

He has a new puffer coat, which he wears proudly, collar turned up like a hood--a hood like Tom Cleveland used to be, sort of a Fonzie look-alike--

I knit him a sweater in the beginning of January, or maybe it was December... have modified it slightly along the way. Until he got the puffer coat, he wore it all the time, so it's gotten a bit scruffy from chasing dogs latching on and so forth.
 We go to the beach and to the dog park sometime, just for the company. It was extra cold, bitterly cold, during the first few weeks of January, and Gatsby really couldn't stay out for more than five minutes without needing to be carried. Minus 22 deg F with a strong breeze--just too cold.

Enjoying taking photos... not so many, too cold to hold the phone. Ancient tree roots that wash up on Parson's beach from time to time, slow shutter speeds with movement for fun...

I love how big the sky looks at Parson's Beach. Wrap-around sky! Reminds me of a lithograph reproduction from one of my favorite childhood books, something like Missouri Sky, wide bowl studded with small puffy cloudlettes.

WEAVY - the Krokbragd mug rugs are done. I veered off a bit, as I do, once I realised what each pick can do with color. I saw a post by Robbie LaFleur on her Scandinavian Weavers Study Group here of some figurative Krokbragd and thought I'd give it a try:

These were fun to do and now I think I understand the weave structure. I did a chart for myself so I could tell what happens when each shaft is raised

but now my brain has moved along and I'm happy about getting a deeper understanding of it.
It's really the simplest of structures, the threading and treadling are fixed, so the only thing that can change is the colors used and their sequences, but there is a lot of scope!

I like doing a draft in the Bronze Fiberworks and then snagging it with Snagit and annotating it... the process of doing it really helps me understand what's happening.
I joined a Krokbragd Study group in Facebook and there are lots of files linked in there on the Krokbragd structure and history.
I had wound a short warp on the rigid heddle loom for a scarf for Barbara at Christmas but didn't start it--so I cut it off and re-beamed it on the Erica loom with spot huck threading - plain weave separating 1-4-1 blocks and 2-3-2 blocks. Using Jagger Zephyr, a bit of spindle spun, and Jagger Merino in the warp and weft. Trying to decide what the stripe sequence will be, probably a Fibonacci related thing using the spots as counters.

Last, but not least, food! I started off the month of January following "Paleo Secret30", a total rip-off of the Whole30 program IMHO. The program encourages the user to cut out food groups that may be problematic for them... with the assumption that a grain-free, sugar-free, legume-free diet is better for us. While I don't bother subscribing to all the Paleo gobble-de-gook about what our ancestors ate (who cares??) I thought I'd try it, if only to break the heavy sugar/bread cycle I'd gotten into. I can't blame the fact that the Boulangerie is right across the street!! but that has made the croissant-cookie-toast cycle easier in the past 6-8 months and contributed to a pretty steady weight gain. So I embraced the "rules", switching from the silly Paleo Secret30 with Chad and Brenda to the Whole30 regimen, mostly. I retained butter from the former, just because it seems fine. And I have had a small amount of plain whole milk yogurt and or kefir throughout the month, though restricted amounts.
It's working!! I feel terrific, much more energetic, sleeping soundly, chronic swelling in my knee is gone, and I've lost weight. Since I didn't take the pictures and weigh in at first, I don't know how much but I'd rather focus on what they call "non-scale victories, NSVs.

Dec 30, 2017

WEAVY 1 and New Dog

Weaving status as of end of 2017-- 
Looms: Medium size Hokett 8dpi; Large Hokett, 6dpi; Schacht Rigid Heddle 25"; Mirrix Little Brother 12"; Mirrix Big Sister 16"; Norwood Workshop Floor Loom, 4 shaft, direct tie-up; Tools of the Trade (TOTT) 26" 4 shaft, 6 treadle; and now a Louet Erica 4 shaft 30cm Table Loom. 
I love my looms, all of them. I've sold a few, a 20" Ashford Knitter's Loom, a Medium Hokett 6dpi. I plan to sell the Norwood, Schacht and possibly the smaller Mirrix soon. 
I also plan to acquire an 8 shaft 24" Baby Mac from a friend, and possibly will sell the TOTT though I'm on the fence about that. 

Pics below show the TOTT set up with a live weight tensioning system I saw in a blog post by  Tien Chiu . The mechanics of using small weights and an even smaller counterweight to tension the warp beam by simple friction work well.

I bought the small weights from Play It Again Sports, they're used and cost only twenty five cents a pound... 

The live weight system works so much better than the puny ratchet brake on the loom. I can advance the warp easily from the bench. The TOTT was originally a table loom, rebuilt by the builder to accommodate lamms and treadles. I bought it used from a seller in No. Haverhill, NH. I replaced the cords and chains with Texsolve, added a few hundred new inserted eye heddles. 
Huck Mug Rugs, carpet warp

My Christmas present shown below, bought with my Christmas bonus (thank you, Cathleen) was a brand new Louet Erica table loom kit, straight from Holland. It's a new model for them, and this was from their first North American shipment. I ordered it through the Lone Star Loom Room in Houston, TX (though Louet, NA shipped it direct to Kennebunk).
It took most of a day to finish with wax and then build. It's a sweet little loom, I ordered the two extra shafts, and am glad I did. It was super easy to warp back to front with the built in raddle.

I warped it with 8/4 carpet warp for Krokbragd mug rugs using a draft and instructions by Jane Patrick from Interweave, Pattern in Twill on Only Three Shafts, 2001.  

 My sweet Jackson went to sleep in June, 2017, after contracting cancer.  Summer was a blur, I wandered aimlessly, no reason to go home, no one to share walks, meals, mornings, evenings. Bad time. He was so special--

But at the end of August I met my new puppy, Gatsby. He was a recent arrival at the Animal Refuge of Greater Portland, a sato from Puerto Rico. He's a bit less than a year old, sweet, mischievous, smart and little. So flexible and agile. The second night, he crawled up onto my bed and right into my heart.

So lucky am I.

Gatsby At the River

Gatsby Bundled up 

Jan 30, 2017

End of January 2017

I just can't write about Trump, it's too much. He's so much worse in reality than anyone thought. This has been such a stressful week for millions of people. Millions. We are in deep, deep shit. Own it, trumpettes, you have fucked America. We aren't who we think we are. Donald Trump’s first week in office, he signed a number of executive orders that shifted policies on health care, immigration, oil, reproductive rights, federal hiring and trade. He effectively shut down immigration of Muslims in particular until stopped by the ACLU. He gagged the EPA scientists and the National Park Service. Not my President, never my president. SSSH.

Fellow Women's Marcher Diane Denk
What else? Well, knitting... 
The yellow is Classic Wool, Grey Marl, dyed (by me). LOVE acid yellow with grey.

Other stuff recently finished...
Pivot Cowl

Squad Mitts

Last Pussyhat

Last Pussyhat on the way

detail pivot garter st

Langfield Hat

 Adventuresinseeing class--#calltoadventure4
Lastly, a bit of the tablet band within a woven fabric for the guild study group Wednesday.