Weaving between storms

I was very excited to attend an overshot weaving workshop at Red Stone Glen fiber art studio in western Pennsylvania – 7+ hours from home. 

First my car was declared unsafe to drive by my mechanic and had to be left behind for repair. We high tailed it up to Plattsburgh INTERNATIONAL Airport where I picked up a rental car.

I sorely missed my deer whistles en route while I saw live and not so live deer along the highways. And I missed my EZ Pass. Did you know it costs $15 to drive across PA. No bridges or tunnels, just highway with deer. I don’t appreciate how muc tolls cost when I breeze through in the 65 mph lane. 

And I spent 4 hours cautiously driving through this storm.   

But I arrived at my cabin on a lake at Gifford Pinchot State Park unscathed. And I never met the prey in my bedroom. 

I brought projects from home to work on in the evenings. 

I enjoyed mornings on the lake with coffee.   

And wove for 2 full days to make this beautiful overshot shawl. 

 Now I’m visiting my precious new grandson (and his parents) but may need to skedaddle in my rental car without deer whistles or snow tires because 10″ of snow is forecast at home!

These are a few fall shots from home. 

The mighty Boquet (that’s BO- kwet to you southerners) at sunset. 

Our local morning rainbow. 

Our cute little cabin in the woods. 

And at night.  

 Bet you can’t spot the deer in our yard. Get out the whistles!


Seen on the street

I have a pet peeve with floss sticks. 

I believe in flossing, but in the privacy of your own home, preferably in the bathroom with the door closed. Why do these turn up on the street in some of the most beautiful places in the world. The first time I saw one was on the street in the island country, Dominica. Now they follow me whereever I run. I see one almost daily. Yesterday at least I found a beautiful turkey feather too. 

I meant to post about all graffiti I saw in southern France. But I didn’t. Here’s what I saw in Albany, NY this weekend instead. 

I too believe you should quit what you don’t love.   

Here is an impressive building in Albany, part of SUNY. 

And some great sky at my office on Lake Champlain. 

 I found these right in my backyard. The best crop I have ever seen. I didn’t even have to venture into the brambles. The blackberries became a delicious pie and french toast topper. 

And I’m still happily weaving. 



Never not weaving

Or thinking about weaving. Some time at home has let me do some loom work. I finished a pair of cotton chenille bath sheets that seemed to take forever. I had to order more yarn for the warp so it languished on the loom. But it was well worth the wait. They’re soft, absorbant and huge. I think I’ll need more. 

  Now I’ve got placemats in process. I’ve made several sets for friends. I noticed  that I always admire them when I see them again, so now it’s time for my own set. 


They are warped back to front and I made this nifty raddle and set it up in an ingenious way I learned at Red Stone Glen. 

Our outdoor shower mat became loose so I wove the boards together in a plain weave. 

This works much better except I am on my guard these days because there is a new milk snake near the shower! And bear scat near the garden! I tell you, it’s a jungle out there. 

I moved the wildlife camera but have only picked up deer munching AROUND the garden, not in it. I spray liquid fence (cayenne, sulphur) around the perimeter and it works. 

My last strawberry rhubarb pie had a 2 x 2 twill crust and was delicious. 

I needed some supports for my garden and sort of wove a twig tuteur. I decided two would dominate the raised bed so one sits between the tomato plants. 

  Summer has arrived, and with it, we have frequent afternoon thunderstorms – and dramtic skies. 

We need the rain for the flowers. 


Then I can spend more time weaving instead of watering the flowers. 


The simple things

The simple things make life pleasant. I made this alpaca silk tank as the first addition to my wardrobe in 2016. I’m no Victoria’s secret model so here it is on a hanger. It feels way better than it looks in this picture. Warm, and well, silky! Alpaca silk tank

We are taking care of our adorable little grandson for a few days and yesterday, the library ladies referred to me as his mother. Yeah! I still have it, at least with the library ladies. I can’t really play with my big toys while he is here but can still knit and spin a little. At a friend’s suggestion, he’s “sewing”. I cut a piece of rug canvas, taped the ends of some yarn and let him sew away. He mainly drags it around as a way to lure the kitten but calls it his sewing. Perhaps we have a budding fiber enthusiast.


I sent off my shadow weave scarf. The fact that the colors were too close in value was very forgiving. I had a problem with the warp at the end and had to cut it off the loom a little earlier than planned. C’est la vie.

I used the down time to finish some projects. I made this little sweater and blanket for my stash.
Dogwood blanket



Dogwood on bench

My life is so simple these days, my equilibrium was thrown off by a lost, hand made glove. Of course I may have to move to Canada in November.

Fashion statement

My year of no purchased clothes is well underway but I haven’t really had to defer any purchases at this point.  I made my own piece of fabric for fabric’s sake though.  One Christmas, I made towels for everyone and Andre thought he might like the same fabric for a pair of pajama pants, which he has expertly sewn in the past.  Well a birthday came and I wove some fabric.  I wove it in a small rose path pattern with an easy to remember treadling sequence.  It’s been cut off the loom and sent to the tailor.

Then it gets complicated.  I made a scarf for a friend of a friend of my DD.  The wearer has been replaced by a new bare neck and a second, albeit slightly better, scarf has been requested.  I worked up a shadow weave.  I’m not sure if this is leaving my house yet though because it feels luscious.  The two colors, variegated tencel, and alpaca wool, are too close to really work with shadow weave, which can be a tricky weaving pattern because you use each color every other row.  My feet refused to cooperate.  Sometimes I would be muttering #1 to myself and look down and find my foot, which I thought was on the first treadle, actually on the fourth treadle.  Happily, these mistakes, like most of the pattern, can’t be seen.

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This got me thinking about weaving and sewing something for myself.  I think I’ll make a vest for a big event in DD’s life, for me.  Maybe I’ll look as handsome as this guy.

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Take a hike

Tim nearly dragged me out of the house today to take a hike. I’ve been down with a cold and my exercise plan has gone to pot – for now at least. 

All’s good though. I finished last minute Christmas gifts and shipped a wedding gift. It’s a tartan throw I wove. The plaid was from a wedding dress from 1766 in Scotland. 


 I’m pleased with it. I hope the bride to be is too. 

We snowshoed next door and saw evidence of a piliated woodpecker


Some little critters that live in a hole in the snow

And people who build rock cairns


Except for a small meltdown by me, a good time was had by all (Tim).

All tied up



I can spin cotton yarn on my charkha loom.

It’s a magical process as the thread draws out of the handful of cotton. That little oil can holds lanolin, sold in large cans as a lubricant. Now I am trying to gather enough for a weaving project. I ply (twist to yarns together) on my drop spindle.

Tablet weaving is progressing swimmingly. That’s where I use cards with 4 holes in them as my loom. I have been wearing my new belt for several weeks.

I found a zinc washer to work as a buckle and my pants haven’t fallen down yet. I tie my backstrap loom to the crank on the hoist clothes line. The spinning clothes line was invented in Australia and it’s a marvel. On windy days, it twirls with the wind and clothes dry in an hour!

I am working on a second strap – belt, camera strap – with the cards, in wool. Pretty.



I have also figured out how to inkle weave on a backstrap loom thanks to a fabulous website, published by an Australian woman who lives and weaves in Bolivia.

This ties me to the coffee table leg. I also turn the table on its side and use it as a warping board to measure and organize the warp threads.

Ravelry then put me in touch with another Australian woman who has lived and traveled in Asia to study weaving techniques. And, she’s teaching a course in October in the States, and I’m attending!

So much to do, so little time.

Tim corralled me for the road gang yesterday, gang of me and him, to clear the ditches and culverts on the lighthouse road. It brought back physical memories of the last time we did it. He’s been on his own there for a while so it’s time for me to chip in. I think I cleared 100 yards an hour. Hoo boy.

And my garden grows. Maybe, just maybe, we’re at the end of the tomatoes. I cooked up another batch of sauce a couple of days ago and had soup yesterday.

We are eating arugula, silverbeet, green beans, radishes, beets and carrots. Broccoli and cabbage is coming along but not quite ready to harvest. I seem to be winning my battle with the aphids and rats.


These are some of my hopefuls. I have planted cauliflower , broccoli, cabbage, spinach, carrots, green beans, peas, broad beans, beets, and lettuce. Oh yes, and…TOMATOES! I just hope the little seedlings take hold. Beans are doing well, just like Jack and the Beanstalk. The others are slower.



And here’s where I get to prepare our delicious meals. Nice view!


Loose ends


Instead of packing, I’ve been preparing yarn, weaving, finishing Loki’s cat collar and doing my daughter’s taxes. If that’s not enough, yesterday, I tried to add some of Tim’s music to my antiquated ipod classic with my old, dinosaur of a computer from 2005, an iBook, which has 3 gb of free space.

It crashed resoundingly. Itunes couldn’t find any music on my ipod and itunes couldn’t (wouldn’t) even connect to the internet to restore (wipe it completely and start from scratch) it. I was stuck. So instead of doing what I really needed to do, I spent 6 hours learning about hidden files and firmware. I found out what “generation” iPod I had, the great grandpappy, found and downloaded the operating system, got it onto the iPod and was back in business, albeit with an empty iPod. But…I had all my music backed up on an external hard drive that only my ancient computer could read. 80 GB iPod and 3 GB computer is not a match made in heaven. But I got the job done and listened to music on an adorable AYL speaker.

It’s a long flight to Australia. I need music and now I have it, and some of Tim’s as well. Now I’ve been a happy Apple stockholder for some time but don’t think I should be forced into updating and upgrading to go along with planned obsolescence.

Over the course of the week, I wound 2 balls of cobweb yarn totaling more than two miles! I plan to make a 2 mile long shawl over the next 3 months. 2 miles of yarn for a 2 yard shawl. Should keep me occupied.

I cut 6 towels off my loom today (I don’t have time or patience for the seventh (and I’ll return to a warped loom) and will finish them tonight to be distributed at my will.



At my daughter’s insistence, I added a breakaway feature to Loki’s collar. He’ll be so happy. Tim reminds me he’s never seen a cat hanging by its collar.



Sorry for the blurry photos, I may start using a real camera again. Iff to finish some towels, clean the refrigerator, all sorts if Friday night fun.

All the stockings were hung

On an old halyard line and tied to our loft railing. And it worked. The line was lowered to loot the stockings then raised again out of our way. I may store the stockings on the line so they are ready for next year.

We celebrated early, so everyone could be together, and had a blast. Early, meant I had to finish projects by mid-December, and as a true procrastinator, things were down to the wire. I spent some late nights at the loom.

I finished weaving 6 towels (one for me) and never took pictures of them finished. Mine was a sampler and has all the different weave patterns. It’s also a little dirty because it is in use.

I made pin cushions for my quilting buddies with woven fabric I had saved.


The cloth is stretched over a little embroidery hoop, stuffed then glued on a base.

I ended up making three pairs of (to be) felted clogs.

We have a variation on a white elephant exchange with my hand made goodies. I wrap 8 hand made items and then people open and either keep or exchange them. The sock loop rugs were a hit.

I crocheted a fox hat/cowl and made a little panda hat but never photographed it.

Somewhere along the way, I got a Passap single bed knitting machine and now all is lost. I can’t even knit a hat!


Pre-winter winter

It’s not officially Winter yet but we got almost two feet of snow so I’ll call that winter. I cut my trail in the woods next door. I love the first ski of the season when I have to knock the snow off the trees to get them to rise back to the sky and make room for me. Now I can just ski in my tracks in the trail I broke.



Yesterday we skied a part of the Jackrabbit trail, which is a 24 mile trail in the backcountry. I took two face plants but since it was in 2 feet of snow, it was like falling on a pillow. And I managed to get up. The we had lunch at a lovely lodge, Cascade Ski center. The fire was huge, the snow was high and the oatmeal stout was on tap.



Now it’s back to work. I have a warp for towels on the loom. 20141213-202942.jpg


Why not? There’s still time until Christmas.