Children are wonderful people. This is not sarcasm. I adore my girls, and often even prefer their company to their father’s. They are fun, and occasionally say and do the most hilarious things. I don’t get to spend nearly as much time with them as I would like, because there is homework, or housework, or errands, or any number of things that have to be done all the time. So when Aneira plaintively asks “Can I spend some time with you?”, if I’m in my studio, the answer is generally “yes”. I keep her coloring books and crayons, as well as her Kumihimo disk, in the studio now for that reason.
There is, however, a downside to having children, and that is the fact that they are germ magnets. They could wash their hands forever, cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, wash again, be wrapped in bubble wrap and touch no one, and still, like puppies, germs will follow them home. Usually, the child who brings home the germ doesn’t get sick herself, just passes it to everyone else, although there are occasions where she herself gets the bug. This is what happened here. Aneira came home with the beginnings of a cold last week. No surprises there; she’s in first grade, and I have yet to meet a first grader with perfect hygiene. After all, these are the children with whom you still have to specify the use of soap whenever they wash, and whose response is always a very long-suffering, “I know already!”, but if you don’t remind them, it goes clean out of their heads.
The normal pattern, when one of the kids gets a cold, is that Bryony gets it first (and a toddler with a cold is quite gross), then Aneira, then hubby, and I get missed entirely, which suits me just fine, as I am the one who has to nurse everyone back from death’s door.
Not this time.
This time, Aneira got it first, as mentioned, then Bryony, and then yours truly got an anvil over the head. Apparently all those times I got skipped was just the germs building up momentum to make sure when they got me, they got me good. And boy, oh boy, did they ever. You see, moms don’t recover from anything as quickly as the rest of the family does. Why? Because she doesn’t get to stay in bed, getting waited on hand and foot as she languishes away. She still has to get children to and from school, cook meals, and get the laundry done, regardless of how horrible she might feel. Hubby does not cook, and if he tried, we would all be dead of food poisoning not too long after sampling his cuisine. Boxed mac and cheese is his specialty, which I refuse to eat no matter how close I might be to death by starvation. He and the girls consider it food. I don’t. But I digress.
Every chance I got, I was in bed. I didn’t have the motivation or the energy to stay out of it. Between the coughing and the stuffiness, I couldn’t breathe, and coughing made my head hurt, and I had a fever. This is the sickest I’ve been in a loooong time. I was in bed by eight-thirty each night. I didn’t want to weave, didn’t want to watch TV, barely managed to read. Hubby has been complaining of neglect. Sorry, hon. You’ll live, trust me.
Yesterday afternoon, somehow feeling worse on day three than I had the first two days, I looked at Zoe and decided that I was going to distract myself by finally dressing her to do the placemats I had been wanting to do. I cleared my desk, laid in a supply of Hall’s, and got to it. This is not as simple as it sounds. I am terrified of Zoe. I managed to warp her last time because my teacher was here. I hadn’t touched her since. I’d looked at her and thought about trying to put on a warp by myself, but Moya was easier, so I did nothing. Yesterday, though, I was so sick I had no fear of anything, so getting together the guts to warp her wasn’t as difficult as it would have normally been.
I decided I wanted to make two placemats to start with. I tried to remember everything I’d been taught in the one lesson I could afford so far, and I did remember that my reed is a 12-dent reed, and the cotton I wanted to use was perfect for that. So, that meant I needed 144 ends, each roughly about three yeards long. Being muzzy-headed, I will forgive myself for the mistake I realized I made after it was far too late to correct, but I’ll get to that.
So: 144 ends. The pegs on my warping board are not that big, so I had to do two separate warps of 72 ends in order to get the required 144. That went beautifully, and I remembered everything I had been taught there. The problem came when it was time to put the warp on Zoe. This always seems to be my problem area. I had the lease sticks through the crosses on both warps, and stupidly took out the ties I also had through the crosses. This, of course, resulted in my losing the cross on the first warp very early on. I managed to retie the second one and save it, at least for awhile.
I did remember that I’d been taught to warp front-to-back, but naturally, could not find my notes from my lesson anywhere, so I made do…which probably means I didn’t do anything right!
Actually, I think losing the cross was the worst of it, really. I tied groups of twelve warp threads onto the apron bar of the cloth beam, sleyed the reed from the middle out to the end on both sides, threaded the heddles on all four shafts (properly, no less!), and tied twelve groups of twelve to the apron bar of the warp beam. It was beautiful, and took me five and a half hours to complete. Alone.
Remember that mistake I mentioned earlier? This is where it hit me. I have a yard marked out on my desk in one foot intervals. I meant for each end to be three yards long, only my muzzy brain translated each foot into a yard. See where I’m going with this? Yup…my warp is only about one yard long. I’ll get one placemat out of this, instead of the two I wanted, and will have to re-warp to do the other. I am not looking forward to that. On the other hand, this could be the goddess of weaving’s way of saying, “You need the practice, so deal!”
Trivia: did you know that in Egypt, the goddess of weaving is Neith? In Greece, it’s Athena or Arachne, and in Norse mythology, it’s Frigg. In North Africa, it is Tanit. For Native Americans, it is Grandmother Spider Woman, although no particular tribe is listed for that one. Now we’ve all learned something new!