Sunday, August 18, 2013

Peace in the Northwoods


Camping in the Northwoods
Nothing quite beats a refreshing vacation.  The DH and I just spent a peaceful week camping on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) in Minnesota.  We found this FREE camping spot which was perched just above a lake that entered into the Boundary Waters. We were on the lake but the vegetation obscured it.  Not perfect, but free, private and for the first couple of days we were the only people in this tiny campground.

What you don't see are the kayaks we rented to tool around the lakes.  It was a lot of fun, but the words "canoe area" are a big clue to which is the preferred mode of transport in these parts. Though we enjoyed skimming over the water, and the kayaks were light enough to carry on a short portage, climbing out of the things to get onto shore was awful.  I know the people on YouTube make it look easy, but trust me, it's not.  I couldn't get out of the thing without getting soaked so we had to limit ourselves to one lake at a time and no portages.

Newly edged towels in need of wet finishing.
Thinking of portage, I brought along some towels to finish.  Not only did I do the edges of my towels but I came up with three new mistakes for my book One Hundred Weaving Mistakes to Make and How to Fix Them: Finding Inner Peace While Blundering Along the Weaver's Path.

I added the subtitle because I did a lot of reading at the campsite, in particular Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. I am very interested in spirituality and I find her books filled with things to think about.  I love to think, as it keeps me busy while I'm doing things like edging towels.  All this thinking and not paying attention helps me discover new mistakes!

What a yucky hem!
First, there is this really yucky hem I was sewing.  Now what was I thinking? Oh, yah, stuff about chakras instead of a hem stitch should pick up one stitch from above and one below and follow the line of the rolled edge. It should look more like the turquoise towel below, at which point I was paying attention AND thinking on weighty spiritual matters--yes, a New Age multitasker.


A nicer rolled edge.
Mistake #2:  My choice of thread wasn't the best.  I used some of the 8/2 cottolin (cotton linen blend) thread I wove the towels with. I think some high quality sewing thread would have been better--finer and less obvious.  I usually raid my embroidery thread stash for a close match but as I packed for this trip, I had the bright idea of using the thread I wove with to make the sewing as sturdy as the towel.  I  also did a blanket stitch to bind the edge so the towel won't unravel if the sewing comes out.  I will test these towels to see if using this heavier thread helps them wear longer.

The other problem I see is that my rolled edge is kind of heavy.  I wove five rows of plain weave on each side of the pattern to make this edge.  Next time, I will weave only three.  I think this will allow me to make a finer edge.  I won't be sure if the five row or three row edge is the mistake until I make and test my next set!  So stay tuned for future tips on weaving and the path of enlightenment.

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