Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spring is here in Las Vegas

Today it is really warm, in the low 70s. The white and pink flowering trees are in bloom and some other tree is dropping its seed coats all over the roads. I love spring. Even so, I'm busy indoors working on my loom. I finished my first project, it is off the loom, it has been washed (called fulling because it fills in the spaces between threads and it is waiting for me to haul out the sewing machine so I can hem the weft edges and seperate the projects. I ended up with three sampler style table napkins. I'm a little thrilled.
I think you can tell where they start and stop, where I lost track of my stripe pattern when preparing the warp (I wanted blue/white/blue and 2/3rds has white/blue/white). I played with all sorts of weaving patterns on these and generally had fun.
My next project is going to be a table runner. I have to stick with a pattern and not play around and that's going to be hard to do! My mind tends to wander and before you know it I'm doing something completely different.
I dont' have a warping board yet. I spent my mad money on boat shuttles so I have to improvise. The rick/rack shelves didn't work too good so I graduated to the dining table chairs. It works. I measure the length I need, space the chairs and wrap the warp. I get my cross and count off sets of 10. I was so excited to be able to show off my make-shift warping set up that I forgot to tie off the cross. Thankfully, I doing 5 (or 6) sets of colors so I only have this one to fiddle with when it is time to find the cross.
Well I think I had better get outside for a while and see what I can do so I don't feel like I'm wasting this fabulous weather.
Love, Mummy

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winter Entertainment 101

WELCOME THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON! It's my kind of year.

What I do to entertain myself amazes even me. It's no big deal, people all over the world weave. But it is so exciting to learn, apply, admire and fondle. I could only wish to be able to sit on the ground and weave a tapestry warped on sticks and tied up by hand. It's never going to happen but Ashford makes it possible to for me to produce fabric. Yes, FABRIC.
The whole loom in a heavy but relatively tiny, small box.
Following directions . . . not too challanging.
Decisions decisions. Project (towels), colors and pattern (basic twill). Seriously, the choices are endless and for someone like me, it is daunting.
The holiday's are past, the visiting is basically over and Tim is back to work driving shuttle at UNLV for students. And I have my loom. It has taken several weeks to get this show on the road. I had to wait for my order of yarn, decide what to do for a first project and which colors to use and which patterns to explore. Shamefully, I do not know the terms yet, well, most of them. It is a language of to its own and so are the patterns. I'm waiting for a new magazine to arrive and I haven't bought any books yet but I'm perusing them too.
First order of business. Assemble the loom. Great learning experience. Although I already had one very similar to this one, I didn't have to assemble it because I picked it up from the shop. This time, since there are no decent fiber stores in Las Vegas, I had to assemble it and now some of the mystery is gone. I know how to insert new heddles and tie up the shafts. I also know how easy it is to ruin the heddles if you don't keep them tied together. Second I chose a color combo. I like the bright Mexican or "South American" colors so I got 8 of them and a white. The colors are basicall all the colors in the table cloth shown below. Final decision for project: kitchen towels, white, blue and yellow.
The whole 9 yards. Not too shabby for a first project. There are errors but they are few and the parts done right far outshine the errors. Granted, I had a loom in 2004 or thereabout and did several projects, all basics, but sold it to become a snowbird. Regret sat in this last Christmas season and I yearned for another. This one is one size narrower but has 8 shafts, not 4. I'm very satisifed with it. I need a stand however. This height is a hair too high for real comfort but it works for now.
Okay, let's weave (and kit and spin) and don't forget those resolutions! Drop pounds, drop pounds, drop pounds.
Love and prayers, Mummy

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Soooo behind on blogging

Dear Blogspot:
Retirement takes a major turn and life is just "normal" again. It confirmed . . . the second star on the right is in North Las Vegas. Our good intentions to travel during the winters, avoiding the cold and snow, have been replaced with a permanant address and one child living at home. We are pretty settled here in Vegas and life can be pretty busy at times yet Tim misses Wisconsin, fishing, the woods, etc. and is currently healing his back which wouldn't hold up too well in Wisconsin while fishing, hiking in the woods, etc. I like staying put. I don't have the wonderlust gene. Once I get somewhere, I enjoy it, but I don't dream about it. I dream about fiber and grandkids.
Tim's bad back has caused him to cancel a job he had last weekend. We was supposed to drive the Miss America contestants to Hoover Dam and back. Jobs like that make working fun. I actually felt bad for him not being able to drive for them. He won't be driving again until the semester starts up so hopefully his back heals fast.
Christmas 2011 was fun. Rachel came out the week before with her family and even though we celebrated early, it was so nice. The kids are growing faster than anything I could imagine and in another 4 to 5 years, the magic might be gone. However, being around them will never get old. Only Tim and I will get old.
Tim and I drove the RV to Laughlin for a night. The RV park at Don Laughlins is very pretty and set on levels terracing up and away from the river. We got in alot of walking, a fabulous dinner and some gambling fun before he pulled his back out. We made it through the night and he was able to drive home but it has been bedrest, hospital and doctor visits and a lot of medication.
Speaking of old . . . Tracy will turn 40 on January 15. Tina and Tracy, with two of their friends, are coming to celebrate here in Vegas. Jennifer is flying out and Rachel and the kids are driving in. Jackie has a good job right now and has to work while they are all here and that sucks but being in school, it is important to work. She has three semesters under her belt and has 5 As and 3Bs to show for it. This semester it's Physiology and Anatomy. I can't even spell that. Go Jackie!
Tim and Jackie decided they needed a parrot or maccaw last summer and got one. I hate it. Enough said.
I began missing the art of weaving. I tried to teach myself tablet weaving, a concept as old as fabric itself but I had never heard of it. The ancients, "those without fire", were smarter than I. So I bought a loom similar to the one I sold prior to snowbirding. It is put together (by moi) and after the big 4 0 party, I'll warp it and post a few pictures. I'm aiming for kitchen towels as my first project.
For now. Diane