Saturday, May 19, 2012

Warp, be not proud

Miles to weave before I sleep.
Patience, persistence, and a positive, anal-retentive, attitude, has brought the warp under control. Yes, I have dressed the almost perfect warp! Oh, those bitchy little warp threads tried to trick me. I found a tangle  just past the threaded heddles.  I don't know how they managed to tangle and twist like that, I suppose they did it while I was at work.  But I caught them and fixed it.  For once, there are no threading errors.

I have now developed my own warping method. And it is anal.  I described it to my long-time weaving friend Beth and she rolled her eyes at the number of times I ran the warp back and forth across the loom, a sign I have taken this one step too far.  But the warp is perfect. I am glad.

Goose eye variations.


Above is what I am weaving, a table runner in 5/2 mercerized cotton using the a variation of the goose eye threading I found in Marguerite Davison's classic book.  This is a gift for someone special.  I wove those towels I was working on and I'm finishing them.  I will display them in a later blog once they are truly done.

Spent most of the day putting the garden in.  Right now, I'm so tired, I can't stand.  I have more to plant though, and need to get out there to put in a few beans.  Ouch.  Craftsteading keeps my life pretty busy.  We put in two more raised beds giving us 32 more square feet in really strong sunshine.  I expect LOTS of tomatoes and peppers.  I will still need the farmers market, but gardening is fun. I bought a bunch of interesting shelling pole beans--some heritage varieties which I am looking forward to trying. A couple of them are that healthy red color we are supposed to eat plenty of.

That's all for now, folks!  Oh, and the poetic puns, my thanks to John Donne and Robert Frost for their pithy words.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stash Accumulation Syndrome

Slightly crooked picture of weaving stash.
Fiber enthusiasts call it "Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy" or S.A.B.L.E. and there is even a Ravelry group devoted to the phenomenon of fiber folk buying lots of yarn, fleece, roving, cloth or whatever and storing it for future use. I am not alone in being stricken with Stash Accumulation Syndrome (S.A.S.).  I've already reached well into my 70's with the amount of raw fleece and roving I have for spinning.  I might as well start filling my weaving yarn shelves.

This week I succumbed to the latest Yarn Barn mill end sample mailing and I was able to double my weaving stash. Yep, I have a bad case of S.A.S.

My hope to temper S.A.S. by creating fiber rewards for weight loss has, sadly, not gone well.  I need to be honest with myself.  I want a stash of monumental proportions! Like weight, stash comes on much easier than it gets used up.  Take this week for example: I added 15 pounds of coned yarn and lost one pound.  Stash 31 me -10?  Kind of confusing.

Being a realist, I will start diet #974 and work free of association with stash accumulation.  Dieting needs a focus that trumps clever gimmicks.  So off to do some spinning of the exercise bike variety.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blinking oven!

New bread machine's first decent loaf.
The oven in our range has been acting up lately.  The repairman has been over twice replacing the LCD clock thing and the new ones still don't work.  The oven, a twelve-year-old Maytag has an LCD display board that not only controls the oven but tells you what's wrong with it.  The problem is, only one of the five or six codes it is capable of showing ever shows up and that's the code to replace the thing that's already been replaced twice. It worked for a bit after the second time, until it started heating up to 400 degrees Farenheit in under one minute--fat chance for that.  It should be showing another code for needing a new temperature gage, but no, it keeps up with the same "F1" code. Personally, I think the "1" should be replaced with a certain vowel because that's pretty much what this pesky panel is telling me. Thanks a lot, Maytag.

I have yet to get around to having it fixed again because part of me doubts computerized LCD component will ever work properly again. I seriously wish I could find a range that is doesn't have these pesky computerized components. Just knobs to turn that don't beep, flash or burp. What do we need all these flashy gadgets for anyway?

What is with all these LCD's telling time anyhow?  Even the  coffeemaker wants to tell me the time.  I can remember when I absolutely needed a wristwatch and when I had to make sure I wound the living room clock. I no longer even own a wristwatch.  Between all the LCD's declaring the time around my house, we've virtually abandoned using any time piece at all.  Between the LCD clock in the car and my cell phone, I can know what time it is.  Night lights are no longer needed because all the LCD's just light the way.  Worse, it's hard to find an alarm clock that isn't filling the bedroom with lurid green light.

Living without an oven really isn't that hard, especially with summer coming on. On Ravelry's Living Simply group, I discovered quite a few people managing without working ovens, or using oven alternatives for the summer months.  I considered following the suggestion of getting a toaster oven, but the only thing I miss is bread making. Since my bread machine's electronics also went on the fritz so the settings no longer worked (it was also 12 years old) I went ahead and bought a new machine. Bread machines are finicky and getting recipes to work has not been easy--I've had a lot of fallen loaves.  Above, you can see the results of lots of experimentation, a nicely rounded whole wheat loaf.  I look forward to my next bread machine experience. 

I will probably revisit the oven situation in fall when the urge to bake returns and maybe I'll end out needing a new range.  Not very sustainable of me, but neither is pouring money into something that is questionable. But for now, I can live without it.

Flab to Fluff Challenge:  We went out for Cinco de Mayo with friends--and you, dear reader, probably know what that means.  I'm skipping the whole "weigh in" thing for this week.