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Archive for July, 2012

I must apologize again for my lack of posts. Life seems to specialize in getting crazy on me, and it has done exactly that for the last few weeks! First we had the Waldo Canyon Fire here in Colorado Springs. That incident had hubby and I absolutely terrified. He’s a Chicagoan, and I’m a New Yorker. Until living in Arizona, neither of us ever had a wildfire nearby. In Arizona, the closest we ever were to one was a good thirty-forty miles away over rural terrain, so while we could see it, we were never actually threatened by it. The Waldo Canyon fire got within five miles of us. Not exactly unthreatening and benign! So while that was going on, we pretty much lived in front of the tv watching the local news, and spent time packing up irreplaceable items such as photo albums and what-have-you. Plus we had to make arrangements for the extra dogs, as we were dog sitting a Great Dane puppy and a bulldog at the time. I barely have enough room in my truck for my own four dogs with two kids, never mind two more. But we had taken responsibility for them, so we had to find a way to get them out too, just in case we had to evacuate, and we weren’t sure that we were going to avoid that particular occurrence. We did, and my kids’ doctor informed me that I was overreacting while laughing at me. I didn’t think it was all that funny. All it takes to really fear fire is to be either involved in one, or watch a home burn down. Both have happened to me. When I was a teenager, my neighbor’s house burned down to the ground, and they lost everything. They lived right behind us, so we saw everything. And ten years later, my own apartment building went up, and was condemned once the fire was out. Yes, I have a healthy–and reasonable, to my mind–fear of fire. With kids and pets in the house, I’m even more fearful. One of the things I like best about our house is the proximity of the fire department, which is across the street from us.

The next thing that happened was my flight home to New York to finally take care of all the tickets I left behind there. Twenty years old, they were, and needed to be dealt with in order to keep a license. I won’t say what it cost. People might keel over from the shock. But while I was there, I went to see my best friend of twenty years, whose children are my godchildren. Her living situation was so far from ideal for a woman in her forties, and she was miserable, with serious health issues, and no help from her significant other, who conveniently forgot to take her for a needed surgery at one point, that I told her to pack, because she was coming back to Colorado with me. I bought the ticket once she agreed, and she has now been with us for nearly two weeks. We’re all still trying to adjust to the new family dynamics. It’s hard. We’re so used to it being just the four of us against the world.

While all this was going on, I did manage to add some more tools to my arsenal. The second Cricket has arrived, though it has not yet been named. This one is the 15″ Cricket, big sibling to the 10″ River. That being the case, if I follow the Firefly hierarchy, I should technically be naming it Simon for River’s older brother, but the name doesn’t feel right. I also purchased a Louet hand bobbin winder, a woollee winder and four more bobbins for Anansi,  some Knifty Knitter rectangular looms and some round ones,and finally gave in and bought my marudai, which also remains unnamed as yet, from Fiber Artist Supply. It was a nice set, with tamas and warping pegs included.

It’s rather funny, I have a growing collection of warping pegs. Two came with the marudai, two with each of the Crickets, two with the Flip, two with the Northwest Frieda…I should start a separate box just for the warping pegs!

I’m also still trying to get the room organized. Every time I think I’ve done it, I wind up with more yarn to stash away, or more tools. I can’t seem to help myself. I’ve got four Sterilite bins from Walmart holding all manner of yarn, from acrylic to cotton to merino to silk, and more in a bag that won’t fit in the bins I have. I’ve loaded up on every weaving or spinning book I find interesting. The room is filled to bursting, and still not neat enough or organized enough for me!

And I finally started a really big doubleweave project, which will be a cotton throw blanket for my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas. This is my first doubleweave project, other than a sample I’d done awhile ago, and the first one I’ll be doing on the Flip. Doubleweave is what I bought the Flip for, since it has the second heddle block. I know there are folks that do doubleweave on the Cricket, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out the how.

I counted up every slot and hole on the reed, took off ten, and doubled that number to come up with the count of warp threads I need, which is 500 on a 10 dent reed. That’s a rather daunting number. I’ve never done anything that big. Ever. Ever. I think my biggest piece to date is about 80 threads wide. So the number 500 scared me. I dreaded putting together a warp that big. Lengthwise, it’s only about two yards long, but I had to do ten separate warps of fifty threads each. It took me a couple of weeks to get up the courage to start it, and then a couple of days winding it all on the warping board. I started sleying the first reed this morning, so I’m about an eighth of the way through the entire job. Maybe a little less, since after the reeds are both sleyed, I’m going to have to tie the warp on.

My sister-in-law says they both don’t use any other fabric than cotton, because both of them have sensitive skin, and my brother is allergic to wool. First I’d heard that! I remember that I was allergic to wool as a child, but I don’t recall that he was! But cotton is fairly inexpensive, so I’m perfectly okay with that! Her favorite colors are blues and purples, so I got some Sugar n’ Cream in variegated blue at Walmart. I have a feeling it’s going to take me awhile to get the entire warp tied on!! But I’ve started, and getting started is half the battle…I hope!

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It has been weeks since I’ve posted, which I’m sure everyone but me was aware of, and I’m sorry! Life got in the way. I thought about posting, but something would always come up. Most recently we had the huge wildfire here in the Springs, which scared the living daylights out of me, that’s for sure. Hubby and I actually packed and unpacked twice, thinking we would have to evacuate. The first time, the fire passed us to the west and kept moving north, so we unpacked, but then it swung back south and got even closer, and we proceeded to freak out, because one of the other things that got in the way of blogging–and everything else–was the fact that my neighbors had gone to Bali for a month, and left their six-month-old Great Dane puppy with us. There is nothing quite like having a really big puppy in the house, and we have come to the conclusion that we are no longer cut out for puppies. Our own four, at almost nine, eight, and four, are long past the age of chewing everything up and peeing everywhere. Puppies are destructive. Really big puppies are really destructive! And you can’t take someone else’s dog and train them your way if the owner doesn’t train the way you do. Ours were all crate-trained. They don’t have crates anymore, now that they’re older, but the laundry room has taken the place of the crates.

So, between the fire and the pup, I have had no time for either blogging or fiber arts, which has made me crazy. The pup’s owners got home the other night, so she has finally gone home, and the fire is now 70% contained, so we are slowly getting back to normal. I am now trying to start my Yuletide woven gifts. I figure, not being an expert weaver, I need all the time I can get in case I need to correct mistakes, which I undoubtedly will!

I want to make gifts for my brother and sister-in-law, but we aren’t close, so I really have no idea what to make. Especially for my brother. My sister-in-law is easier. I could make her a bag; that’s easy enough. But my brother, I have no clue. Maybe someone here or on Ravelry will have an idea!

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