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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fingerless Gloves for Lulu-Bells

Over the last twelve years I have had the pleasure of being involved with a lovely family of two daughters, a mom and a dad. The girls were six and a couple months when I met them and they are growing up fast. The younger one is very quick with her hands and has learned many fine motor skills over the years.

Early scissors user, model builder, inventor of all kinds of games and hobbies. Last week she asked me to teach her to knit. I am a better crocheter so after a couple of knitting mishaps, I brought out my trusty hooks and taught her to crochet.

As a tangible example of how quickly crochet works up, I made her a pair of fingerless gloves last night and this afternoon. I used DMC Ecru Laine Colbert Pour Tapisserie for the main color and an Anchor Tapisserie in a darker beige for the trim. Took less than four hours total.

They came out two different sizes--as is always the case when I have to make two of anything !~! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Depression Wins Again, the Bastard

The phone rang at about 9:30 tonight; the caller id said Florida calling. But it's past midnight there and Sharv works so she's not usually initiating calls this late...

"It's Nige. He lost to the depression today" in a hotel on the beach in Queensland Australia where he'd traveled just over a month ago to find his new love and life.

Pain grips and grabs and flays. Breath catches; tears fall hot and furious. This was to be his new beginning.

Words won't come. Sorrow pushes them out of reach.

Good night, my friend, I love you and will miss you more than you will ever know.

Robot Love

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Roosevelts

This past week public television ran a seven-part series by Ken Burns chronicling the lives of three of the Roosevelts: Teddy, Eleanor and Franklin. I have learned more about American history in a week than I was ever taught in what passes for public school in this country. My sincere hope is that most everyone watched it and engaged with the programming. Ken Burns is a master at film-making. We are so lucky to have him in our generation.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wearing Weaving, Why Not ?~!

My First Attempts at Floor Loom Weaving

The Richmond Art Center offers floor loom weaving classes at a fairly reasonable rate. I wanted to learn how these amazing machines operate and so took their Tuesday night class for two consecutive terms.

The first term I learned how different treadling patterns look and what happens when you use cloth strips and driftwood. OK, that's cool.

The first steps in getting the warp threads onto the loom.

Driftwood from Yosemite and fabric strips add interest.

The treadles raise and lower the warp threads.

Second Term and Another Idea

Last Autumn (2013) I took my second term of loom weaving.
By then I wanted to use more tactile portion of my senses, and so purchased bamboo and silk yarn in a 70% bamboo, 30% silk mixture. Unbelievably satiny; I'm sure there are softer yarns in the world, I just haven't met them yet. The silken feel is as yet unmatched in my limited experience. I made a wall hanging ten inches wide and about five feet long with a very loose weave.

The loosely woven piece before I squashed it down.

The two pieces I made at Richmond Art Center during 2013.

The yarn wanted me to wear it, not just look at it !~! Or so it seemed to say as it hung on the wall next to the first term's piece beside the head of my bed. So, I began to tighten up the weft by sliding the threads down toward the bottom of the hanging. It took a couple weeks to get it all down to a close weave with a great long fringe on the one end. I have worn it numerous times; right now it's so hot and muggy that I am wearing a sleeveless shirt-nearly unheard of here, but the scarf feels so good. It is heavier than any other scarf I have bought or made over the years and I am finding that as I get older I like the feel of weightiness in my blankets and my clothes.

It worked out better than I could have anticipated.
I am so pleased with the colors and the feel of the yarn I may have to do something similar
with the larger of my two lap looms; it could be the loom's maiden project.

Thursday, September 11, 2014