Merrily We Roll Along…

Typically this time of year, I am knee deep in dye pots. Well not really, I don’t dye myself, just yarn, but truth be told, there isn’t anymore room to put dyed yarn, even though I’ve amassed an embarrassing amount of yarn that needs to be dyed. Even last year, with a broken shoulder in a sling, I figured out how to lift heavy dyepots and rinse yarn.

But this year, it didn’t seem like the thing to do, since I have to use what I’ve already dyed, which is in the works…(at least in my head). Meanwhile, I have a large basket of the leftover mohair that didn’t get used for the blanket extravaganza last year. Many of the colors weren’t appealing, a white, bright pink, and a purple that just didn’t appeal to me.

In addition, I had a few undyed skeins of soy Chenille a friend gave me way too many years ago. These are skeins I had already dyed. Too many years ago…

Both mohair and Soy are protein fibers, so need acid dyes, I decided to make use of my crock pot (the one in the studio, not the one in the kitchen) and toss in some of the not exciting colors of mohair and a skein or two of soy chenille with some random acid dyes I have in my small stash. Mostly I use fiber reactive dyes, since I dye mostly cellulosic yarns, but I spent a few mornings winding skeins, mixing dyes into some pleasing color, and having fun.

I calculated really carefully, (well almost, I did make one stupid mistake, but nobody died!) and came up with a warp based on the yarns I had dyed, and some black mohair in the basket.

I wound multiple chains and tied them onto the front beam to get ready to sley the reed.

I threaded the mohair…

And I beamed the mohair, easiest warp I ever put on. I decided because the mohair was so sticky, that I would place the tensioning rods above and below instead of in a shed, which worked swimmingly well, and I beamed onto the lower warp beam which was a sectional. I had the six yards on in about 20 minutes.

This warp is a bit narrower than the blankets, 38″ in the reed, I had thought shawls, but I may just end up weaving the whole thing as yardage. Because that is what I do!

Meanwhile, I’ve mentioned before that I have 49 shaft looms in the studio. 15 are small Structos reserved for an Annual Learn to Weave class through my guild, and anybody local who wants to come hang for the day and try their hand. Another 15 are being restored and prepared with various structures, partly for self exploration, partly because I can take them outside in the summer to weave (which I never seem to do) and partly because it would be cool to do a round robin with my guild where participants rotate through various structures. I’m learning a lot from this exercise, and am prepping another 8 shaft Structo for a Summer Winter study, exploring different surface textures by adjusting the tie-down sequence, something that makes Summer Winter pretty cool. It is a variation on a draft I got when I studied with Madelyn van der Hoogt, but I cut it down and adapted it to an 8″ wide Structo with 20/2 cotton.

Meanwhile, I had a few cones of a painted looking chenille in three colorways, one of my monthly purchases from Peter Patchis Yarns. That place is addictive. Or rather the once a month email. I typically just get one of everything.

And I have about 6 oversized cones of a black tweed chenille from Silk City Fibers bought from their outlet back in the day. Discontinued color? I have a lot of it. It is in the upper left in the photo above.

So I decided to figure out something to do with the chenille, I don’t typically weave chenille yardage, just was never my thing, considering the history of rayon chenille way back into the early 1980’s. It just wasn’t my look. But hey, there were these cones calling to me, that didn’t fit on the shelf, so off they went into calculation land.

I wound the warp…

…sleyed the reed…

…threaded the chenille…

…and then beamed the chenille. I think another 6 yards? Sounds like a nice round number. I calculated carefully to use up the Peter Patchis chenille, using the Black Tweed from Silk City as the dark in a light/dark alternating patterning.

And I started to weave. I wish I could see more of the pretty painted colors of the chenille, but chenille has to be sett dense so it doesn’t work its way out of the fabric, and so the subtleties of the colors are lost. But still, this fabric is gorgeous.

I mentioned that 30 of my 49 shaft looms are spoken for, but that leaves 19 others. My goal this winter, or what’s left of it, was to get what was naked warped up with something fun. 5 of the looms have warps that my daughter is working on, and one of the naked 12 shaft looms is also hers. Now that I have the looms with the mohair yardage and the chenille log cabin set up, I have plans for my 8 shaft Macomber, (some of those dyed yarns perhaps), and one of the naked table looms. (A Zanshi fabric from my tied together thrums.) That will leave only three more looms for me to figure out what to do with, since the rest are all warped up with interesting projects. Then I can just weave… and weave… and weave. (I failed to mention the half dozen or so inkle looms with projects on them, mostly set up for teaching, but I can definitely clear them as well…)

Perhaps I shall clear a loom a week…

Stay tuned for more winter adventures…

All on account of…

My friend came to visit this afternoon. She said, “You haven’t posted in a while, I keep checking… I miss your posts…” My friend isn’t a weaver, has no sewing skills. We are musicians together, and raised our kids together, but she loves reading my posts. Who knew?… So, I promised her I’d sit down tonight and post one. And I was shocked at how behind I was on all the interesting goings on in my neck of the woods.

I made it through the holidays. They were quiet and somewhat challenging, but this is January, and a fresh start, and unlike this time last year, my shoulder is mostly healed and I’m carrying on. But January, after a couple of years break for Covid, means it is time to buckle down and do the final preparation for the Learn To Weave Class that I teach for my weaving guild, the Jockey Hollow Weavers. I spent the last few months rehabbing a number of additional small Structo looms I had acquired, and though the looms were ready to go, I had to wind 16 warps (I wind two at a time, cross at both ends and cut in half), and print all the handouts, and of course packing and loading the car. All on account of I had agreed to do this. I always ask myself why, until I’m actually doing it and I realize why I agreed to it and how much I love it.

We ended up with 14 students after a number of last minute cancellations, mostly from people not feeling well and terrified of spreading something nasty to fellow weavers. In the past no one would have thought twice about coming with a little cold or cough. But I appreciated the caution, and to my knowledge everyone from the class was and still is healthy.

So I give them each a small 4 shaft loom for the day. Most have no previous weaving experience, though a few are rigid heddle weavers, wondering what the shaft experience is all about. I prewind a warp from 8/4 cotton, in two colors, with a striped section in between, and they sley the reed, thread the loom according to the draft I give them, which has a point threading and straight draw, learn to read a draft, and weave off a small sampler of all the cool structures you can do on that point threading and straight draw. In one day. They work hard, and learn a lot.

Usually they either kindly thank me for opening their eyes to the work involved in weaving, or they want to jump right down that rabbit hole and immediately join the guild and borrow loaner equipment and become our newest weavers. I already have three who have since joined the guild. And one discovered a two shaft structo loom hiding in her basement purchased from some consignment shop years ago. It is only 2 shaft but she is on her way. These were her samples.

All on account of I did something really really dumb, something I’ve never done in 35 years of teaching, I double booked the day. Apparently back in May, I agreed to pencil in a date to give a lecture for a guild in Oregon. The same day as the Learn to Weave class. Which wasn’t officially in my calendar at the time. I didn’t hear back from the guild until the end of December with final plans. That’s not unusual, but what was highly unusual was there was no record of the lecture in my calendar. I never ever make that mistake. They couldn’t switch speakers from another month, and I’m too professional to just say, “sorry…”, so my daughter and I decided to actually film a video on the topic of What to Do with Leftovers, which was what the guild had asked me to lecture on. I scripted it, used the slides from the original presentation, and we created a YouTube video, about 48 minutes long, which I offered to the guild for free as compensation. I admitted to them they were basically doing a beta trial for me, so I didn’t feel like I wasn’t benefiting from the experience myself.

There were some technical challenges streaming the video, my daughter worked with them to try to iron out any issues. This was a guild who was not only showing the video to the in person meeting, but to those out in Zoom Land who were tuning in. That in itself presented challenges. I was on pins and needles all afternoon during the Learn to Weave class, hoping we wouldn’t get a call that they couldn’t get it to work, or something technical went wrong and they didn’t have a program. In the end, it all worked well. I heard they loved it, there was laughter all through the video, something about my deadpan comedic expressions (all my daughter’s clever editing, I can assure you) and applause at the end. They told me it was one of their best meetings. The palpable relief at the end of a successful Learn to Weave class and a successful guild lecture happening at the same time, was incredible. All on account of I screwed up.

Last year I saw this lovely project download on Webs (www.yarn.com) that had kitchen and dining room textiles, in three color ways. The structure for the striking mats and runner was Summer and Winter on 6 shafts. I bought the download and printed it. It called for 8/2 cotton, which I had a tonnage of…

It was all on account of I couldn’t see what I actually had because the cones were all stacked to the ceiling on top of the wall units four deep. So I had my daughter climb up and pass me down all the cones, which I lined up on the dye sink counter so I could start keeping a log of what I had, where it was from and how much of each color I had.

We eventually got all the yarn labeled, catalogued on little cards, and stacked back up, but I held back yarn I thought would work for the mats. I didn’t have a key color for each of the colorway choices, but I wasn’t about to order more yarn for a missing color, so I got creative with what I had. I substituted out the green for a more celadon color, I didn’t really like the green anyway (I did have that green, just not enough).

And I spent the day Wednesday, winding the 8 yard warp, sleying the reed, threading the loom, and beaming the yardage. I was weaving by Wednesday night. It is nice to know what’s on your shelf!

Meanwhile, on account of I was giving a remote lecture to another guild, also on the west coast, late last night, on the topic of Doup Leno, I decided to try to see if I could actually do that technique on one of my four shaft Structos. And so, I spent the early part of the week figuring that out, and was really pleased that not only did it work, but I really liked the fine lacey cloth from the 10/2 cotton, and I could use it as a second live demo during the lecture last night. I’m still experimenting with the cell height, but that’s expected.

And earlier in the month, or maybe it was during Christmas week when nothing happens, and there is always fun to be had in my studio, I set up an eight shaft Structo with a honeycomb structure, from Malin Selander’s book, Weave a Weave. I am having a blast with this one. All on account of I have these 30 Structo looms…

I’m sorry January is nearly over. I like this month, it is cold and nothing happens in the garden and I can hunker down and really play. Once the Learn to Weave class is over.

Stay tuned for more adventures on account of I have a bunch of looms that are naked and not happy with me, and of course, I have to update the prospectus now, for the What to Do with Leftovers lecture that has a viewing option of watching my video instead of me live on Zoom, for a lot less money! Seems like each time I do anything digital, there are 57 things that then have to be updated…

Happy New Year!

Loom Karma

This has been a couple of weeks of tying up loose ends. Always a good thing at the end of the year, but finishing up projects, and crossing things off the list makes me feel, in this crazy world, like I saw something through to completion and that’s a good feeling.

Last post I showed a 1/4″ inkle band I wove, from Sulky 12wt cotton, for a guild project during the December meeting. One of the members showed how to make the famous Anni Albers necklace, a weaver from the Bauhaus, who believed that simple everyday items would make lovely jewelry and embellishments. Kits are available, and I posted that link in the last blog post, but I chose to get my own washers and weave my 84″ ribbon.

So during the December meeting I wove this lovely necklace, which is not heavy at all, trust me, I have a lot of 80’s craft fair jewelry and some of that is pretty weighty. I wore it proudly the next day to an event, and love the simplicity and subtlety of it.

A couple of guild meetings ago, we had a Zoom hands on workshop with Deborah Jarchow, on clasped weft, using Rigid Heddle looms, which I don’t have, so I warped up my small 4 shaft floor loom and carried on. I blogged about that here. A few days ago, wanting the loom cleared, and wanting to tie up loose ends, I finished it off. It is a lovely sampler, though not one I would gift or sell, but it works as a warm winter scarf for me. I’m not a fan of clasped weft with more than two wefts. Maybe with different yarn weights and yarn types…

For many years, in January, which always turns out busier than it should be, I’ve held a beginning weaving class for my guild, to attract new weavers, and give curious participants a taste of the weaving rabbit hole! We suspended the class in the couple of years of Covid, but the class has returned, and is already filled with a waiting list, but I needed 15 Structos (or little 10″ Leclerc Sample looms) to be able to give each participant a loom and a warp for the day. My daughter will assist, and though it is a pain to haul 15 looms, and all the accompanying paraphernalia, it is a gift to my guild, and we all do whatever we can to promote weaving.

I wrote in a blog post a couple months ago about purchasing a half dozen Structos and Leclerc sample looms from a school in southern California, along with all sorts of parts. The looms were reassembled, and put on the shelf, but they really needed tender loving care, new aprons, 15 dent reeds, (not all of them had the correct size reed), and heddles. Those are the wire things in the shafts that make the threads move the way you want them. I wrote an extensive blog post about Heddle Etiquette, and how the direction of the heddles is important as the eyes are canted in a specific direction. This makes threading so much more efficient.

Here is a pile I took off one of the Leclerc looms. No order whatsoever…

The shafts pop out from the Leclerc loom easily, but reordering the heddles, so they cant in the same direction takes patience and time. And I had to add additional heddles, which fortunately I had extra of, the heddles for a Leclerc loom are different than heddles for my Tools of the Trade looms, which are different than the heddles for a Structo, and even more different than my Macomber.

The looms seemed so happy when they were restored, and usable for a beginner class, and though each of my looms (49 now I think) are mostly named after Star Trek characters, I added an additional label that shows it is set up for the Learn To Weave class. (LTW) So grabbing them from the 30 Structos I have will make sense come January.

There is something satisfying about restoring a loom, and getting a warp on it. Looms don’t like to hang about idle, and I have a lot of idle looms at the moment. I cleared a lot of them this past year, broken shoulder and all, and they are all calling me to put something on them, which I will in the new year. I promised them.

And my favorite loom, which I’ve had since the late 70’s, is a 25″ Tools of the Trade, 8 shaft, with a double warp beam. It has seen a lot of warps over the years, and continues to do the job for me, whatever I ask of it. Sometimes with reluctance, but if I had to just keep one loom, this one is my trusted friend. I will say it was highly incensed when I brought in a stray Macomber, also 25″ and 8 shafts with a double warp beam, seriously in need of refurbishment, (I wrote about that in a blog as well), but they sit next to each other and have become studio mates. I had promised the Tools of the Trade loom that once I got the Macomber restored, I had plans for a very complex warp, that would test its soul, and it rose to the occasion.

That warp was the drunken squares towels I put on quite awhile ago, at least more than a year, maybe fall of 2021? (I’ll have to check my blog…) I periodically would sit down and weave more drunken squares, but there was 8 yards of 10/2 warp on it, and it was slow going. My 33 year old son, who loves my towels, wanted one, and with the broken shoulder, it wasn’t happening last year for his birthday in February, but I was determined to weave this baby off, and clear this loom, and my little Tools of the Trade and I spent a lot of hours in the last couple weeks just plodding along.

There was joy and celebration when the knots came over the end of the back beam.

And though after initial sampling, and washing and drying, the 8 yard warp yielded 7 generous towels, I only have 7, so regularly recipients of my towels probably won’t get one, and I also have the ones I did earlier in the year for my article in Heddlecraft magazine, so I have a decent amount towels in general for gifting.

My loom looks at me quizzically every time I walk by… They all do…

I hope for the upcoming holiday celebrations that all of you dear readers find joy in the mundane, good karma in the restoration of something that needed help, and the satisfaction of creating something from your hands from whatever is around you. It is the simplicity of life that keeps us centered and moving in a forward direction.

Stay tuned…

Above all, be flexible…

These last couple of weeks nearly killed me. So much so that today, I went back to bed after taking care of all the animals, and I curled up with a very trashy novel and had a real day off… I haven’t done that in years. The trashy novel was book four of the Bridgerton series, got it cheap on my Kindle, and it was the perfect thing to curl up with, and actually catch my breath..

This all started the weekend before Thanksgiving. I promised my 91 year old mom a long overdue visit. She lives about 3 1/2 hours from me in Maryland. I arrived on a Friday for lunch, she had chicken soup waiting for me. It was the best. From a completely weary and overworked daughter, coming home to mom and having chicken soup put in front of me, well I’ve never been so grateful for anything in my life.

We had lots of fun over the next couple days, picking up puzzles at the barn sale at her complex, she gave me half, and she kept half and we will eventually swap. I took her around for her errands, and Sunday afternoon, we had a lovely lunch of Crab Imperial. I carried the lunch dishes to the sink, and I heard an oof and then a thud, and I turned, and just like that, mom tripped over her rug, and landed flat on her face, taking out a dining chair in the process.

I can’t begin to tell you the myriad of things that went through my mind. And of course, the first thing was, damn, this happened on my watch, and my sisters are going to kill me. The ambulance came, she was transported to the hospital, x-rays, CT scans, lots of blood work, and because no one is available for rehab on a Sunday night, I sat with my mom in the ER, who broke her right shoulder in two places, same as me almost a year ago, in the hospital, for 30 hours. I’d like to say it was the longest day of my life, but I’ve had worse. I adore her, and she was really trying to keep her spirits up.

Above all, be flexible…

I stayed an extra day in Maryland, making sure mom was safe in the rehab in her complex. My Maryland sister will take over. And my heart bled for my mom. My broken shoulder was my non dominant side, and I’m only 67. She broke her dominant side. Though when she said to the medical staff, actually anyone who would listen, that this is the 14th broken bone she has had since she was 14, I did break a smile. I come from a strong stock of women who always find a way. But this will be a painful year to come. Ask me how I know this.

Above all, be flexible…

So I made my way home on Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, not what I planned. But I did my best to prep the house, buy the food, and though my guest list was small, just my kids and my NY sister and her husband, I was hosting Thanksgiving.

I set the table, with my favorite dishes, a wedding present back in the 70’s, with my new handwoven napkins, and my lovely daughter did all the cooking. My son made his infamous charcuterie boards. We had a 2 pound slab of fresh organic salmon with crab meat stuffing. The house was presentable, though I didn’t invite anyone upstairs.

Above all, be flexible…

Friday after Thanksgiving I promised I’d work a day at the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, where I volunteer as a stitcher in the costume shop. They are in the final prep for costumes for Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, which opens next week. They save all the really hard stuff nobody wants to do, for me! Which challenges me and makes me think!

My private student Kyrie, whom I’ve rescheduled three times, once because I broke my shoulder, then a conflict with her schedule, and the last time, two days before she was to come, I got Covid, was due in Sunday night. I had two days to grocery shop, and clean the house again, including upstairs. I have multiple animals, I’m always cleaning the house…

Above all, be flexible…

Sunday morning, I was about to head to the grocery store, and I got an email, Kyrie was sick. Covid negative. But she wasn’t well enough to travel until Tuesday.

I thought I’d have a couple days to breathe. Hahahahah!

Above all, be flexible…

Monday night I got the first draft of my long awaited Heddlecraft article, all 36 pages, to start my editing. I suppose the timing was perfect, since Kyrie was delayed, but dear Lord, is there no rest for the weary?

Anyway, I furiously edited, checked links, checked .wif files, compared my original manuscript. We got through five versions as Kyrie was walking in the door Tuesday afternoon. The issue was released shortly after, and I’ve never been so proud of anything in my life. Here is the link if you don’t have a subscription (if you are a weaver you should) or you can get a single issue.

My student was an absolute delight. She was still getting over the remnants of some respiratory crud, but I’m beyond caring anymore. We wore masks and carried on. we worked hard and she proved to be a wonderfully adept student.

She brought a gorgeous handwoven fabric, using hand dyed warps from Blazing Shuttles.

She finished the jacket, all but the handwork, late Friday night, and was out of here Saturday morning, making a five day class work in three.

Above all, be flexible…

And that gave me the opportunity to frantically do multiple final rehearsals for the Montclair Early Music holiday concert, last night, Christmas in King Arthur’s Court. Beautiful music from the English Renaissance. I played bass recorder. It was so very much fun, I remembered why I love playing recorders with a group, and we even got a standing ovation.

Meanwhile…. There is a difference between what I need to do, what I have to do, and what I want to do. And sometimes there is a very grey area between those things.

Mostly what I need to do, is to constantly create, and life is certainly interfering. Silk City Fibers, whom I’ve had a long relationship with, periodically sends me yarn they are thinking of bringing in, or have brought in, or are just curious about. I’m always happy to make a test run, because that’s something I adore doing, I need to do, and I excel at; throw something at me and I’ll see what I can invent.

This yarn is a lovely silky rayon, two four ply yarns loosely wrapped together, in an exquisite purple. I had about 9 ounces, and so I immediately thought of a Spot Bronson structure, and did some fast calculations, and wound a warp.

I started weaving and my sett was spot on, pun intended. I ultimately made three samples and washed them in different ways, and then wove a lovely scarf. Took about a day, which was just before the Heddlecraft proofs arrived…

Meanwhile… My guild meeting is Wednesday night. We usually have some make it-take it project for the December meeting, and since we are still meeting via zoom, it was decided that we would all make an Anni Albers Bauhaus necklace.

You can buy them as a kit from the Philadelphia Art Museum. The kit is simple enough, a 1/4″ ribbon, with a bunch of washers. I’ve always been curious how this necklace works, but I really didn’t have the time or thought to plan ahead and order the kit. I was sort of busy… And besides, I’m a handweaver… Duh…

I bought a sample pack of some 60 different Sulky 12 wt. thread colors many years ago at a sewing conference. It remained untouched. Until now.

This was something I really needed to do, to keep my hands busy, and I knew that once my student started sewing her jacket, I would just be hanging out at the ready for a number of days, to make sure questions got answered, and that any mistakes were rapidly fixed, and she could keep going.

So I designed a 1/4″ ribbon, full length on my Bekka inkle loom, which is longer than the 84″ necessary to make the necklace.

Easy weaving…

And ultimately, I have long ribbon for my necklace project for Wednesday night’s meeting.

I keep trying to figure out how my life has become so out of control, and I’m hoping that things will quiet down soon. I needed today, to curl up with a trashy novel, but this afternoon, I tackled the last of the major projects on my overdue to-do list. I finished the Index for my YouTube channel, The Weaver Sews. You can find it here. Alphabetical by video, and alphabetical by topic. There were many labors of love I completed this past week, the Heddlecraft article finally got published, the Shakespeare Show will open next week but my work there is done. The concert was last night, my student finished and made it home safe, and the Index is finished. And I have a 1/4″ inkle woven ribbon for the meeting Wednesday night.

I’m tired. But above all, I’m flexible…

Stay tuned…

Checking it twice…

Have I ever mentioned that I hate checking my work? Always did. Even back in Middle School, I’d work on complex math equations, and then get the answer wrong in the last step because I made some stupid addition error. Still, it would make me nuts to go back and check my work.

And of course, I became a weaver. And in weaving, you HAVE TO CHECK YOUR WORK! There are just so many times you find a threading error in the middle of 750 ends and start to say, yeah, I need to check my work.

I’m in addition to other things, a writer. I’ve written more than 100 articles, both print and digital, and I know this sounds weird, but I’m a writer, not an editor. I love to write. I don’t have to edit. They have people for that. I’ve been offered editor jobs, and flatly turned them down, because, I’m a writer, NOT an editor. Editors are like God. I just provide content. And I’m pretty good at it. But someone else always does the final check of my work. (Actually I check the final copy right before it goes to print, but I can count on one hand the amount of times I ever found errors, and then it was a fluke. Usually a photo in the wrong place.)

That said, I offer a lot of digital content on my own site. I’ve recently upgraded all the digital monographs, especially the ones that have to do with garment construction for handweavers, to include links to techniques illustrated by my YouTube channel The Weaver Sews.

And of course, I sell patterns. The year we took to develop them was mind blowing days of constant checking and editing and checking again. All of those patterns needed directions, and needed measurements in both imperial and metric. More mind numbing days of editing my own work. I actually decided that in everyone’s best interest, I would pay someone else, a real tech editor, to do the final edits on the extensive directions for each of the patterns. All 12 of them. The directions, often more than 30 pages, would be kept separate from the patterns, so I could edit without too much complication.

It became quite clear to me, after I was asked to teach a two day remote workshop in Canada, making my 500 vest pattern, that as I updated the prospectus, and looked over the directions, that I really needed to include all the YouTube Channel video links for each of the steps where I recorded content that explained them in further detail. It took the better part of a week, and I was terrified that I’d have mistakes, yet I knew there would be because I am so bad at checking my work. Still, I carried on, and knew it was inevitable that I do the other 11 patterns, updating those directions to include video links. But my calendar was too full and I didn’t see getting to this until winter.

Then this happened…

As best I figured, since I never go anywhere, I caught Covid at a fabulous packed house production of On Your Feet at the Papermill Playhouse. Everyone had to wear a mask. And 48 hours later, I was coughing with a fever. My first instinct was to test for Covid. And it was negative. So I went to bed, felt lousy for a couple of days, and then started to feel better. The night before the guild sale, my daughter had already dropped off our work, she encouraged me to test again, just to be sure I really didn’t have Covid.

Yeah…

By the time I knew it was Covid, I was feeling better, and there didn’t seem to be a need to go racing off to the doctor. I knew my sense of smell was gone, but I assume I’ll eventually get that back. Problem was, not only was I going to miss working the sale, my daughter couldn’t go either, because, we assumed it was just a matter of time before she showed symptoms. (She lives with me and was also at the theatre. Fortunately she never got it, and continued to test negative). I had to cancel my week long private student that was due in last Sunday night.

Which was really really unfortunate. She worked hard to get her fabric finished, and set aside the week. And this was already rescheduled from last spring since I was still undergoing treatment for my fractured shoulder. Which left me with a free week, absolutely nothing on the calendar, because I assumed I’d have a student all week.

Since I was fine by the weekend, this was an unusual dilemma for me, to have a “snow” day turn into a “snow” week, no snow, but unexpected change of plans.

I decided, as much as I really really didn’t want to, that it was time I redid all the directions for my 11 remaining patterns, and added the links. Problem is/was that I needed to rewatch some of the videos to remember what was actually in them. There are 80 of them. I’m working on, and have been for the last year, an index of the YouTube channel, both by video in chronological order and alphabetical by topic. It is a huge huge job. I’m actually paying someone else to do this. But she is struggling to find time as well. We got to 68%, which is currently posted on my website, but it is taking forever to complete it. You can find what we have completed here.

So I started last weekend, determined to use this week to update all the directions for my sewing patterns, which are free to download from my website. And while I was at it, watch as many videos as my brain could stand, and mark topics and time codes, and then enter them into a very large Excel spread sheet.

So I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. I’ve spent a miserable week, staring at a computer screen, checking my work, rechecking my work, converting to a PDF, and checking my work once again. And I know there are errors. There always are…

And I’m within 10 videos of completing the index. Ann Marie is working on four of the last ones, and I have five more to view.

And so dear readers, this is my gift to all of you, updated directions with live links in the PDF to appropriate videos for many of the steps, and soon a completed index of what to find where. In return, please let me know whenever you find an error, missing link, whatever. I say this of course with fear, because I know you’ll find them. Many of you are actual editors, and though I bow down to you, I also know you will find the mistakes! Email me at theweaver@weaversew.com

There are no cool pictures to share. All I did was work all week on the computer until I couldn’t see anymore. I’m well beyond Covid at this point, and my work sold well at the guild sale, I’m writing checks tonight to the participants, since I’m the treasurer. I’m checking each check twice to make sure I got the amount right, and didn’t do something stupid like leave out my signature.

Some of the work that didn’t sell at the sale will be donated to the Shakespeare Theatre’s annual holiday bazaar, check that out if you live in the north Jersey area. Work will start soon on the costumes for their December production of Shakespeare’s 12th Night.

And I rescheduled my student for the end of November. So now I have to clean my house all over again. Fortunately housework doesn’t require checking your work…

Stay tuned…