Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
It all started Thursday, when a 36" floor loom, much like this, came into our lives as part of a visit to the beautiful northwest corner of Connecticut.
Then there was the sewing. The Goob has used the sewing machine off and on over the past few years, but is lately consumed with making clothes for herself and her dolls. So there have been small skirts and shirts, working up to her plan of making herself a dress very soon.
I have no idea what prompted them all, but Saturday morning there was a string of calls from old friends. Leah and I were on our way to Vermont, so we missed them, but Scott got to chat with everybody and passed along their news later in the day. Meanwhile, Leah and I spent the day at the Jamaica VT Fiber Festival and Webs for their tent sale, running into friends and acquaintances at both destinations. Hoo boy, did we come home with some fun goodies!
Scott and Jesse had an outstanding time at Armed Forces Day, Three Centuries of Soldiers and Their Weapons at the Springfield Armory in Mass. Jesse finds this place fascinating even when there's nothing special going on, so he was absolutely in his element for this big event and told me all about it, with such enthusiasm, when we were together again in the evening. If you know Jesse, read the itinerary at the link above and I'm sure you can imagine his delight. :-)
Leah was away for a sleepover on Saturday night. Scott and I bumbled our way through putting the new loom together on Sunday morning. Anybody with half a clue about weaving would've laughed at us -- the blind leading the blind -- but with the help of the internet and some library books, we think both looms are put together properly and ready to warp with the yarn from Webs.
In between all this was painting of a bathroom, installing some refinished doors, fixing basement stair treads, clearing out the fridge by making many lasagnas, that pesky work thing, getting new tires on the Jeep, and winning a $100 gift card! The second sleeve of my sweater has also been lengthened and I spent some time with an awesome weaver doing a demo on a 300-year-old loom (kids were busy with a geography puzzle/game, so they chose to stay home).
A forecast of thunderstorms and hail caused us to cancel a picnic and fishing jaunt with friends Sunday evening, so we instead fetched a triangle loom and figured out how to use it. Clever, clever, clever! At bedtime, Leah was weaving in her room and Jesse was working on a Lego safe and plans for something that involved plumbing valves and the shop vac as an air compressor, so I can't wait to see what they pop up with this morning.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
doesn't get any better than that
If you're the owner of a nearby yarn store and also happen to be newly preggers and ecstatic about it, DO NOT CLICK, but the rest of you can click the pic above to see one of the projects I'm working on lately.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
I realized this also gives me an opportunity to easily fix my first-2-handed-fair-isle-band boo-boos when I do the other sleeve! I didn't mind the mistakes enough to fix them before, but since I need to take the sleeve apart to lengthen it anyway, I'll pick up one row of stitches above the mistakes and one row below that band, then rip out that diamond band and knit in the lengthening band and re-do the diamond band. Easy peasy now that I'm more comfortable with 2-handed knitting. Will then graft it back onto the sleeve, repeat lengthening process for body and be ready to knit the button band. Psyched!
tales from the ark
Along the way, there have been celebrations of Leah's 8th birthday and Mother's Day. There have been visits to the Bushnell for Lion King and Higgins Armory for a Viking Warrior demonstration. There has been reading and Carmen Sandiego geography puzzles and chess and word games and old Time magazines and flight simulator with historic planes and Time Machine book-on-tape and sign language and Nova Scotia information. There has been spinning by Scott...
and spinning by Leah...
and building of multi-featured creations by Jesse.
And now there is a loom. It obviously still needs to be cleaned up (as do the walls of the room), but it's as put together as 4 non-weavers could manage without reference material or Claire. ;-) I stopped at the library last night and picked up some weaving books, so hopefully we can get it working soon. It's funny because all 4 of us seem equally excited about this contraption, for different reasons. For Scott, it's marveling at the complexity, yet simplicity, of this homemade project. For Leah, it's the allure of creating textiles and playing with fibers in a new way. For Jesse, it's all about the knobs and levers and clackety-clack mechanical aspects of weaving. For me, it's all of the above, plus the thrill of having stumbled into this for free and launching us all into an entirely new art/history/skill to explore.
But today there's a big yellow ball in the sky and there will undoubtedly be rollerblading and a picnic!
Saturday, May 13, 2006
me so steeky
You see those boo-boos in the diamond band at the bottom of the sleeve? When I first noticed them, I decided to leave them there because 2-handed knitting was new to me and I couldn't bear to tear out my work. And now I still don't mind the errors because I figure they're a reminder of how far my knitting has come during this project.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Hallmark is full of ka-ka
Need more proof? Read my blog entry from yesterday.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
The Sibling Spinnery
"Leah, here's a tip on a better way to do it."
"Jesse, I have been spinning longer than you have."
"Yeah, but I'm better at it already."
"Oh no you're not. You might spin in a different way, but not a better way."
"No. It's better."
"I don't want to know your tips."
Sibling rivalry played out on spinning wheels! They might not be making peace, but at least they're making yarn. ;-)
inventor boy spins
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Honey, can you pick up some laundry detergent?
Hey, it was either that or head back to Alaska to replenish the salmon stash, but Scott and Jesse are taking good care of us with many trout dinners lately and we're already going to Nova Scotia in June, so hopefully they'll get a good fishing fix in while we're there.
I just hope they sell Dixan in France or Belgium or Amsterdam, or else we might have a heckuva detour along the way. And that's how we ended up in Venice the first time. All those teensy little countries, so close, so tempting! :-)
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Welcome to the Spinlab
Here you see our Chief Spin Tech experimenting with assorted Ashford wheel components in an attempt to prove the hypothesis that the flyer of Audrey's Joy (center wheel above -- the very cool, very compact, foldable one) sustained an injury recently. We figured parts is parts, so we'd be able to take the flyers and bearing thingamabobs off our wheels to help figure out exactly what the problem is. It took a little finagling because each of these wheels has a different configuration with slightly different features. I reviewed the lab results for confirmation of the study's validity and concurred with Chief Spin Tech's conclusion that the bearing thingamabob is fine, but the flyer's a little wonky. (Yes, we employ official technical terminology here at Spinlab.) Chief Spin Tech ran some further tests on the Joy to assess effect of wonkiness on subject's activities of daily living. Preliminary results indicate that the subject has only a minimal loss of function and does not meet criteria for disability. In other words, the Joy still spins like a dream and draws onto the bobbin fine.
In other glassy and fibery news:
- Knit nite at Pixie Sticks on Friday was fun, as always.
- Scott had a great time at the Glass Bead Extravaganza on Saturday, sold much of his work (but came home with what I think are some of his best sets -- go figure), and came home jazzed about the compliments he received and many new techniques he'd like to try.
- An excellent visit to the Quadrangle on Saturday (complete with private tour of observatory and long discussion with astronomers) was capped off by a stop at Webs.
- The body of my Philosopher's Wool sweater is finished and ready for me to cut the steeks!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
clearing out, gathering up
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
barrels R us
I'm fairly happy with the way the pics are coming out. The last set shown here, Garnet, was the most difficult to photograph because the color changes are very rich and subtle. It's a little frustrating because these beads are really gorgeous, but it's difficult to capture the detail and depth.
never know where we'll show up
Monday, May 01, 2006
Since the burned fingertip made it difficult to hold a hammer, we spent the rest of our time exploring the many train cars, watching the blacksmiths in action, speaking with a guy who was demonstrating pewter casting, exploring the train museum, and taking a short ride through the train yard, including getting off the train and standing on the last working train turntable in Connecticut as it turned 360 degrees.
We stopped at Brookfield Craft Center on the way home, to browse the many works of art in the store and especially to see Passing the Torch, an exhibit of lampwork art. We took a break by the Still River and then headed home, listening to a powerful book on tape and marveling at what a great weekend it was.