For the past week or so I have felt blah. I have the supplies to make the next step on my quilts, however I wanted to lay them out before I do that. To lay them out I picked up a panel that will act as a design board, however I found out that command strips will not work to hang it, now I have to wait for the quilt hangers to be delivered and then I’ll install them. The other option is to lay it out on the floor I just cleared of nails for flooring to be installed, but I’d rather wait for the new, clean, flooring….well I just found out that isn’t going to be installed for a while. Which would leave that room essentially unusable for a while.
Okay, I’m done waiting for things to get done. The person that is doing stuff around the house for me is great, and I am only one of his clients, I get that. I’m honestly sick of living on the first floor, so I’m going to take my quilting frame up to the almost empty room and assemble it. Since it’s going to be at least another week before they can get to the floor, I’ll use the room to set out my quilts until then. If they need stuff moved they can move it when they install the flooring. I’m still apprehensive about dropping my air conditioner out the second floor window, but I also need to sleep in my room sometime this summer.
I did take the first 2/3rds of a Folk Embroidery class and I look forward to the last session on Sunday so my creativity has not ground to a complete halt. Work is going well, I am taking a few days off. I know where my blahs are coming from, I’ve accidentally scheduled 3 things during my 5 days off. Two I cannot avoid (my washer and dryer are being delivered) but I’m seriously thinking about calling off the third.
Okay, enough for now. I’m going to let the full-moon energy give me an excuse to chill out, organize my space, and recharge for a spate of creativity as the moon wanes. Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract.
Today I am getting my first vaccination shot, then the second will be three weeks from today. By the beginning of May I should be considered fully vaccinated. I wanted to share this first step toward my personal normal. This has given me a bit of energy and I have started working on my journey to decluttering my house and organizing my craft supplies.
I have chosen to take this as an opportunity to use the breed study wool that I have not been spinning since I did not know what to do with them. It is a ton of fun to spin them into two ply and crepe yarns then crochet up granny squares (labelled with tags) that I hope to eventually crochet into a blanket. I’m not worrying about getting each square precisely the same size as the rest, I believe that if I have a few that are larger I can use some of the left over scraps, when there is not enough yarn to make another round, to fill in with tiny squares.
I fully expect that this is going to be something that I lose interest in after a while and come back to eventually. It is fascinating that as I progress I understand how I work so much better, this way I can set myself up for future success. By keeping careful notes now when I get back to the project I will be able to pick up where I left off. I know, some of you are thinking “Why not just try to change how you work, stick with it, persevere, see it through, etc.” However if I try to push my way through I begin resenting the project, it is better if I work with my natural flow. These are also the reasons why it is better for me to have three completely different projects going on at once. Right now in addition to the granny square project, I have a double knit shawl (that I am a bit intimidated by), and a woven belt…well I call it a belt.
This was supposed to be a 2 inch wide belt set at 12epi using a blue denim cotton lace yarn. As you can tell it is more grey than blue, the bright blue weft is a Noro Yarn that I decided to go with. At 12 epi this is closer to a weft facing weave which, unless I am completely mistaken, means I should have a narrower sett. I did put some fray check on the plain, or weft faced I guess, first couple of inches so when I take this off I can trim close and then sew the 2 D rings on right away before washing. The Fray Check is considered permanent so it should not wash out. I like the look of the Noro yarn as a straight twill, I am very happy about this since I was not sure what to do with the Noro yarn hating the texture as I do. This might make a nice decorative belt, I am not sure. However I am ‘Fat’ enough that until I am at the weight I wish to be and have my skin reduction surgery this size belt is just going to get lost in folds. To that end I already have plans to make a 5-10″ wide belt at about 18 epi in another yarn of a similar size. That should make a lovely statement piece.
So there we go. I’ve managed to get back in the groove of things, I need to keep in mind that it is better for me to have at least one project to work on at a time…of course when I abandon things here and there that does not help…will the second sock ever get crocheted? Stick around to find out!
Please skip to the line of *** if you are only interested in crafting content. This week has been a visceral reminder that I need to slow down in all of the things I am working on. That life is not a race. That I have time to find the house that will become my new home. That if I go 15mph over the speed limit I am going to get a speeding ticket. It has been an interesting week.
I had a viewing for a home that had just come onto the market and was at the lowest end of the price range I was looking for. Right now I am living in a 3 bedroom 2 bath home, and I would like to downsize to a 2 bedroom home. I did not realize just how big my home was until I entered this little shoe box of a house. I swear that the entire first floor would fit into my living room and dining room. This led me to send an e-mail to my realtor and reevaluate what I am looking for. I realized I do have time to figure these things out. I would like to be moved into a new place by next winter, however I do not have to be. On my way home, I was eager to order a fish fry and chill for the night, my lead foot had me speeding right past a state trooper. This ticket is probably going to cost me one of my side hustle paychecks, however I really deserve it. I have to start thinking about my commute as time to listen to an audiobook, think about what I am going to do for work, think about my crafting projects, plans for my new home, basically start taking this as a time to reflect rather than something to get through. I also need to be more careful driving around a busy city, I had a couple of close calls this past week. Life is full of lessons, some are just a little more like a fist to the face than a gentle nudge. No one was hurt, this was a relatively gentle set of life lessons. Time to start the week fresh.
Saturday was a ton of fun. I felt restless after a frustrating week so I wound up touching on a lot of different projects throughout the day. You are probably not interested in how much laundry I completed, nor about cleaning out my dishwasher drain and running to clean that up. However you might be interested in my crafting projects!
Earlier in the week I had decided to dig up my needle felting supplies and needle felt soles into the inside of my hand knit socks. The socks getting holes in them is entirely my fault, I used a yarn that was completely inappropriate for socks. I hope to use two fingering weight yarns held together for my next pair of socks, especially since I enjoy worsted weight socks in the winter and they work well with my shoes.
It will take me some time to complete this, especially since I am trying to find a way to have foam in the right place to felt these pieces together. This weekend I kept working on spinning up my art yarn.
I also started spinning my ply for the cowl along. I decided on a 3 yard warp and started winding up the warp with the sample yarn I already had. I managed to wind about 3 inches, 15 ends, before I ran out of yarn. I was going to wait until I had finished the art yarn before spinning the second ply, however I changed my mind and I am spinning the second ply on my Ladybug.
My Mirrix is all warped up with soumak at the top and bottom, I was told that since I cannot weave a 4 selvedge piece I did not need soumak at the top. I am going to leave it in since this gives me a very firm set of weaving parameters, I only need to fill in my rectangle.
In addition to messing with these projects, and some basic chores, I made progress on my knitted skirt. I finished the first panel, learned how to pick up wrap and turn stitches, and started on the second panel. Since this is almost the end of my first hank of yarn I caked up the second and have it ready to go when I run out. I love how easy the pattern is even as I hate how long this is going to take me to complete.
I have also picked up another project that was sitting to the side for a while, my hand sewn skirt. Saturday I double folded the hem, pinned it all the way across, waxed the cotton thread, threaded seven needles and started hand felling the hem. I do not have any photos of this for several reasons. My fabric is wrinkled and I do not need anyone yelling at me about not washing and pressing before I started…I did not press my seams either, I will live with the uneven seams. I am also sewing on a tv tray type table, so I don’t need yelled about that either. I’m having fun and I will stick with that being the entire purpose for this exercise. This also has me looking into medieval sewing patterns, I would love to make a lined medieval hood out of wool. The expense of 2 yards of wool fabric is a bit daunting as well as linen for a lining…ouch for my wallet.
Next Saturday I am getting my oil changed an attending 3 classes on Virtual Knitting Live. Learning Intarsia Knitting, Crochet Socks, and Kitchen Scrap Dyeing. I am so excited for these classes. I do realize that tonight is the Superbowl and that this sporting event is going to make a large difference in the lives of many people. All this has done for me is cause me to realize that 4 chicken wings or 1 slice of pizza are over 200 calories…so I’m not going to partake. If this is your thing I hope you have an absolute blast.
During COVID I have managed to learn new skills, watch quite a few webinars to learn new skills and information, as well as crafting for my own pleasure. I am knitting a worsted weight sock in a white superwash yarn that I plan on dyeing when I’m through knitting it, like a treat at the end. I’m also using some of my yarn samples to knit a hap-type shawl.
Through the events of COVID I am being given an unprecedented opportunity to learn, be encouraged to apply for a new job, as well as spending some time with my sibling when they visit to take me to my surgery. I have found some boxes of memories that we can go through together so that when I get a full-time job I do not have to worry about moving these memories to a new space, my sibling can take those that are important to them and I can keep those that are important to me. Those that are not important can move on through the world to bring joy to someone else.
I planted a victory garden with vegetables that I enjoy, it is a joy to see these little green things grow and meet each new day. Tomatoes, peppers, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, butter lettuce, and more. It is certainly a joy to eat a salad made with lettuce leaves from my own garden. My pleasure in using the rain barrel I set out to water my garden is unprecedented. I love knowing that this water collected is being used on days that it is not raining.
These days are frustrating and confusing however looking at each day as an opportunity to advance more on projects, personal, crafting, professional, I am able to find a joy in everything. A friend of mine has reminded me that I enjoy Gaming, StarDew Valley has become a new hobby, and that I am as enamored with technology as ever.
I’m going to finish this post with a photo of the spinning I have been working on. My surgery to repair the ligament in my left wrist is scheduled for 2 weeks hence, I hope that I can maintain the freedom of movement I have recently discovered so that I can continue crafting.
I received this book from my Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Kathleen for Christmas in 2019, Thank You. This post is going to go into a lot of biology, environmental concerns, and more serious topics. If this is not for you, my organization story will continue next week.
As a bit of my background relating to this book, my thesis to receive my bachelors degree in sociology surrounded the relationship between early menarche and hormones being fed to the animals that we, as Americans, derive our meat from. Essentially I looked at the research tying children getting their first period as early as 5 years old and the hormones being pumped into the cows and chickens from which we get milk, eggs, and meat. Hormones, and antibiotics really, that are not flushed out in any way before being fed to ourselves and our children. Though I do not have that paper, there was certainly a correlation. In the past decade or so I have all but forgotten that paper that managed to land me my bachelors degree, which I only needed so that I could get a my Masters in Library Studies. To be frank, it is not financially viable for me to live an organic life. This does not mean that these concerns should not be addressed, even if sweeping changes are not realistic. My reading of FiberShed is not replacing the knowledge I gained from my thesis, but building on it in ways that I had not considered. This is going to be a quick review designed to encourage you to read this book and others like it. This review in no way replaces the joy, and extensive knowledge gained, by reading this book.
Synthetic fibers are derived from petroleum products, or have gone through chemical laden processes to be created and turned into clothing. When these processes are occurring many safety precautions have to be taken to ensure the health of the workers, then the run-off has to be carefully disposed of so as to not contaminate the local drinking water. The fact that all too often both of these steps are not taken seriously causes great ecological problems. We are wearing these products on our skin, the largest, permeable organ on our body. How many of these chemicals are we absorbing? This book tackles these problems on both a local and global scale from a crafting point of view. We as crafters can take charge of the yarns we buy, the fiber we spin, and the clothing we create. This book goes from fiber, dyes, and encompasses all of the processes in between. Exploring every aspect of fabric creation from where the cotton is grown, and from what kind of seed, to the sheep, processing the materials, dyeing the materials (naturally, of course), weaving/knitting these materials, even recycling them. There is an amazing wealth of information, including how the methods of agriculture detailed will be profitable for not only the environment but the farmers and consumers also. All of this information is interspersed with personal tales from herself as well as her friends and companions along this journey.
For a fascinating, if terrifying, look at our fast fashion culture check out this book. Inside we are also taken through a journey of some steps that we might take to regain our chemical independence, as well as the steps that some conglomerates are taking to help our ecology, economy, and general sustainability. Since this book comes at this from a crafting perspective there is some lamenting, but there are many more solutions. Fantastic Read.
You know how there are those days when you start out good, you’re looking forward to something and then something else comes along to mess it all up? Well I had that kind of day a couple of weeks ago. I was looking forward to a magic crayon creation class, however while I was setting up a patron came in complaining that they were dizzy. The long and the short of it is that I managed to get them to the floor before they had what appeared to be a petite mal seizure that they recovered instantly from, and I have what is either a shifted bone in my wrist or a mild sprain. The doctors cannot agree which it is. It also turns out that it takes about 3-6 months to heal from a sprain. Yay, I’m in a brace until about March and we now have several new policies at the library.
I told you that to tell you this, I will not be doing much knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, or crafting in general until my wrist is out of the brace. Fortunately for me, writing in my bullet journal is a one handed activity, it was my left wrist ( I am right handed) and the fingers are free so I can do washi tapes and such. I am also going to use this time to consolidate my stash and get my house in something resembling order.
Frankly, I am a bit angry but I cannot be too sad about this. The outcome could have been so much worse, the person that fell into me is very solid, however I am solid enough that they did not knock me over like they may have some of my more petite colleagues. I could have been hurt much worse, there might have been bystander injuries, and so many other scenarios. I’m teaching a class on creating a metal tree of life, I have a colleague that has volunteered to help, and the entire experience should be fun.
I also believe that I have some serious chances at a full-time job in the new year. This is going to be a good opportunity for me to adjust my priorities and figure out what I want to be doing without the distraction of…well fun. Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!
So when I had Influenza this past spring it was three days, 2 of fever, one recovery, then I’m almost back to normal. This blasted cold however is still going quite strong 8 days in, I actually had the pleasure of waking up with a bloody nose since I must have blown a blood vessel trying to keep this cold from turning into an infection. So yesterday was my first day off in over 10 days, and I really just planned on sleeping. There are things I needed to do in my house, I really hate that my garbage has to be out Sunday night for Monday Morning Pickup, but since I got most of that sorted out yesterday I should be good. I simply have to put the garbage into the cans, it is already downstairs, and haul the cans to the end of the driveway. Then tomorrow morning before I leave for work, pick up what the crows and vermin have managed to scatter out of the can. Between running a few loads of laundry and getting the dishwasher loaded and run I managed to catch up on rest for the day, if not actual sleep. I had hoped to go through with the 30 books in 30 days challenge, however we are almost to the middle of the month and I have read/listened to about 2 books. There is the possibility that if I were to listen to audiobooks every free moment of the day I could finish the challenge strong, since that isn’t going to happen I will have to resign myself to not meeting that challenge.
I did manage to complete another row on the sleeves of my sweater, this means that I have 7 of the 14 rows I need to do before the 2 rows of single crochet. It looks like I am lucky I decided to just have 16 rows total on the sleeves, my yarn is getting a bit short.
I hope to get more knitting done on my poncho from Jimmy Beans Wool, really I just need to buckle down and work on it. I haven’t even gotten through the first month of the knit poncho or the crochet shawl and I received the third months kit in the mail yesterday. I do realize that a good deal of my problem revolves around my need to start new projects all the time, my lack of free time, and the simple fact that I come home tired, eat something, take my pills (vitamins, diabetes, etc.), read some fanfiction, then go to sleep.
Checking on my schedule I am working about 50.5 hours a week, with 2.5 hours unpaid travel time between places and, honestly, about 12 hours travel time to and from work with time added in to grab fast food. This means that for about 65 hours out of every week I am in pursuit of work related activities. Then take into account that I should be getting about 40 hours of sleep a week and there are 168 hours in a week that should mean that I have about 60 hours free per week. Of course, 2 hours each day to get ready eat breakfast, coffee, etc. 6 days a week takes this total down to about 50 hours free time. Well, this is unexpectedly eye opening. I know that I waste about an hour each day playing a few facebook games, however I think this total means that I am spending about 30-40 hours a week reading fanfiction. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with that, sometimes, however I might need to move out of my rut. Huh, with these revelations (and figuring out that it takes me about 5 minutes to knit a row on the poncho) I am going to start tracking where some of my time goes a bit better. I realize that I tend to get into obsessions, not always a bad thing, and that Glee Fanfiction is my current obsession. I also realized that the Glee Lads Singing “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” are much better than the original artist, especially since Chris Colfer is an actual Countertenor. Who knew that the music appreciation class Dad helped me with during my undergrad days would pay off even though I am effectively tone deaf. Okay, that is enough random ramblings:
GOALS THIS WEEK:
Figure out where my time Goes
Finish the Sleeves
Finish the first month of my poncho
Work on the first month of my crochet cowl
Decide on next project (not Jimmy Beans Wool)
Ladybug Cowl from Kelly’s Knit Club
Cover for Strickt Planner, Knit
New Sweater from Kit (You have about 3)
Finish Winding the warp for your first rug, 10 epi
Figure out how many inches each of the sections on the sectional warp beam are supposed to cover
Look up information about job for interview, figure out some questions like benefits package, outreach efforts, community demographics, etc.
Okay, it looks like my week is going to be busy. Remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract!
This will contain no crafting updates or lessons. It has been only five months since Mom joined Dad and I am still processing my grief. If you have any fresh grief or if you are particularly sensitive, you may want to skip this post. Crafting updates will resume with the next post.
My memories of my Grandmother, Mom’s Mother, are of her smoking at the kitchen table, cooking dinner, eating pretzels while watching Wheel of Fortune, sitting on metal lawn chairs (not those woven ones with metal frames but heavy metal chairs I wish I had today) while listening to the Cleveland Indians on the radio and watching fireflies, and her crocheting. She was always crocheting or sewing. I have more memories of my Mom, but still, crocheting, plastic canvas, (she learned loom knitting because it was mentioned in the Knitting Retreat series by Betty Hechtman, a good series that I read because it got Mom interested in Loom Knitting), and always encouraging my desire to learn new techniques. Mom never tired of telling me how proud her Mother would have been to see me learning all of the new (old/traditional) crafts. Of course, I never got mom to try spinning, though I did trick her into learning needle tatting so she could help me teach a class on it; that was so much fun. I came to realize just recently, how lucky I was to have crafting be a part of my memory as far back as I can remember, while I was working.
During a crafting triage session, where people can bring whatever they are working on for a bit more help, I had one patron show up. She is a lovely middle aged woman who wanted to know why she couldn’t get the same results twice when using her knitting loom. We determined that she needs to keep better records of what she is doing, and even out her tension. However, during this session, while she was working from a couple of tangled skeins of yarn I came to realize that she did not know how to hand wind her yarn into a ball. I’m not talking about using a notepinne to create a center pull ball, just a plain old ball of yarn. The kind that tends to go bouncing all over the house if you are not careful. By checking YouTube I see that they are all promoting how to wind a center pull ball as the only method, oh well. We spent some time working on this new skill, and at the end she had three balls of white yarn and two more tangled skeins of blue to practice on.
What this really caused me to realize is how very lucky I am to have been raised by a Mom that was crafty. Actually Dad used to make things with macrame and I remember him doing Rug Hooking for a time, so Dad was crafty as well. I have Aunts, Dad’s sisters, that Quilt, Sew, Knit, and Crochet so there is still a ton of Crafty influence and encouragement in my life. You know how it goes, intellectually you understand how lucky you are to have the support and influences that you do, but until you are faced with someone that hasn’t had those advantages it doesn’t occur to you, Not everyone knows how to make a ball of yarn. Those people that pull a length of yarn from the edge of a skein and cut it off really do not realize how much damage they are doing to the usability of the rest of the skein.
I miss mom, as spring begins to bloom and I realize that I do not need to traipse all over the back hills to pick every single daffodil that dares peek it’s head above ground, the ache becomes more apparent. I am glad that is is with her parents and Dad, happy that she is no longer trapped by the ever growing limitations of her body, and pleased that she and Dad are looking down on the family. Remembering the good times helps to ease the ache and deepen the sorrow all at the same time.
Okay, rant and reminiscing over. There are more crafts to do, the weather is warming up, I should work on cutting down the weeds so I can create pretty flower beds out front.
Until next post, be happy for your support, remember your loved ones, and Live a Life A Little More Abstract.
Today is when we set our clocks ahead an hour, thereby losing an hour of sleep but gaining an hour of daylight. For me this means that spring is ever closer, and a quarter of the year is almost gone. I know, that will not be true until closer to the end of March, but time is certainly marching on. Taxes are soon going to be filed, the cat is going to the vet tomorrow, gardens need to be prepared, and it really needs to stop snowing. Thinking about all of this is giving me time to remember what the name of this blog is really about. It is too easy to take life very seriously, and think of things in a very linear way. Sometimes you need to think in ways that are A Little More Abstract, about life as well as craft.
February is always a bad month for me. The end of January was my parents wedding anniversary, February 21st was the closing of the 10th year since we lost my father. This is my first full year without my mother. March begins a new month, a fresh month, working our way toward spring. Lent is upon us, if you are Christian, so we begin a march toward Easter. The word ‘March’ in the phrases, “March toward Easter”, and “Time is Marching on” tend to bring the unfortunate connotation of drudgery. You think of an army slogging its way toward a battle, instead I think of a steady progression. When soldiers March they tend to do so with their heads held high, marching proudly toward their destiny, whatever that may be.
This is where my shift in perspective is coming into play. I need to figure out where my destiny is going to lay. These past 10 years working several part-time jobs and taking care of mom has been a wonderful learning experience. I have had the time as well as freedom to learn a lot about myself and what I am capable of in addition to some of my limitations. Now it is time for me to face what the spring and summer will bring. I know, this entire entry is a bit maudlin, but that is what this time of year does to me.
Yesterday I managed to wrap all of the warps for the shoelace weaving project I will be teaching tomorrow, put together a shelving unit for my studio when it is completed, and set up pans for the 12 stepping stones I hope to make out of cement. I intended to begin pouring the stones yesterday, but since the weather is supposed to get up to almost 50 by the middle of the week I decided to hold off on actually mixing and pouring the cement. I have the sand poured and the glass set, so it is just a matter of adding the cement and leaving them to harden. Hopefully things will be in good shape by Wednesday, when they are coming to install my new garage door, and Thursday when I hope to mix the cement. The decorations on these stones are pieces of glass, but I believe I will change that out for mosaic tiles or decorative stone for the actual class. The glass shards are too much of a liability to consider as a good solution.
I have completed 2/3rds of the Jimmy Beans Knitted Cowl and have begun the final third. It is actually my goal to have that knitted by the end of this week so that I can block it out and take a final picture for a blog post next week, fingers crossed. I have not make much progress on the second installment of the Crochet Pouf but that is going to be my second goal, I believe. This may get sidetracked depending on how complex the first installment of the Sherlock Afghan is on Saturday. I also have socks and dishcloths I am fiddling with, hopefully things will get past the stage of stitching into nothingness and some progress will be made.
So that is the end of it for now. Shifting time, shifting perspective, and a shifting list of priorities. Learning more about myself and what I can do, playing with cement is new, and reminding myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. So until next installment.
Keep crafting and remember to keep your life a little more abstract.
The handyman that my colleague recommended to me is amazing, he has done so much work over the past week I can hardly believe it. He is getting the basement cleared out, going to set up traps, seal any holes, and generally make sure that more mice getting in is impossible. He has also managed to greatly disturb the existing nest and last night I heard what sounded like claws on the linoleum. So, I didn’t sleep last night at all. I dragged all of the cardboard out of the house, I had to put it by the external garage since pickup is not this week but next. I looked for detritus, mouse droppings, and found none. I called the handyman and he mentioned that since I have drop tiled ceilings in the basement the scratching could have been coming from below the floor, which means I might be able to sleep tonight.
This is sort of a relief, however I think I need to get a professional organizer in the house anyway. I had it in my head that I was going to take this one room at a time, blah, blah, blah. In reality I know what I want to do, but have no idea how to achieve it. Hopefully hiring a professional to accomplish this will help me to succeed and overcome this overwhelming sense of not enough space, not enough time.
On another note, I have received my Mirrix Little Guy Loom and I am enjoying myself a great deal. I have begun to understand where this shopping retail is coming from and it actually is not depression. My sibling’s (transgendered) driving force is travel. They have always wanted to go to Japan and see the world. I would like to see the world, but my driving force is Crafting. Part is the primal driving force to connect with my fore-mothers through the crafts that they used to spend hours, days, weeks, months, and years learning and perfecting. A portion is to try everything and find out what I am good at. Another portion is simply a love of creating something tangible, meant to be used, held, and worn out. If I gift you a bookmark, use it until the threads fall out, I’ll make you another. If I give you dishtowels, please use them, I would love to hear that you wore a hole in them. Art is pretty and it functions to decorate walls, Tapestries are prettier, decorate walls, and insulate your house. So while my sibling is going on a trip to Japan in 8-10 weeks I am stocking up my studio to see what I can create in a year. Right now I have a pair of tapestry cuffs on my Mirrix loom, I am enjoying testing out the different weights of wool and silk that I have to see what they will do on the loom.
It really is true, you can get by with inferior tools but working with the right tools makes all the difference. This loom warps up amazingly quickly, I am using the 8 dents per inch, and the shedding device allows me to add weft to the tapestries at an amazing rate. I can easily adjust them up and down so that I have more room to work, and the tension system allows me to get a much tighter weave. Looking at these it would take some imagination to think of what a worse beat is, I have to work hard on my selvedges. This loom is also good for bead weaving which is an art that I want to become involved in. I look forward to that exploration.
There are three more weeks before the end of the year. In the next post I hope to have an update on the mouse issue, the organizer issue, my current tapestries, as well as a review of my Spinolution Firefly wheel. To clarify, I purchased a 16 shaft Ashford loom which I will be discussing, the pin loom which was in the last blog post (I still love it), the Mirrix Loom which I will be exploring in depth this year, the Spinolution Firefly (electric) wheel package that includes a skein winder, lazy kate, 32oz and 16 oz heads, and more, as well as a variety of Jacquard dyes to color my weft threads. It turns out that four or five skeins of weft from Treenway Silks costs about the same as a big skein of undyed silk yarn from knitpicks and some Jacquard dyes. I had a pink dye already and found a good deal on Salmon (which is a brighter pink than I would have thought). All of these supplies should stand me in good stead for working on my breed spinning experiment this year, making bookmarks, finding the right diameter of yarn for my 7′ triangle loom, and working on my curtains for the kitchen.