The One Armed Bandit

It has been three weeks dear readers since I took my unfortunate fall that left me with a fractured shoulder right before Christmas.

Obviously it has been a painful few weeks, and challenging trying to get appointments, scans, etc. Between the holidays and Covid, I was not able to get what I needed in a timely manner, so I did miss the window of opportunity for surgery. I was on the borderline anyway, surgery might give me more complete range of motion for my shoulder, but the decision was made for me. I just couldn’t line things up fast enough.

Obviously things have been challenging, because I can’t just sit. I know I’ve been firmly told to just rest and heal by well meaning friends, but even after surgeries I’ve had in the past, resting and healing did more harm than good. I can’t sit for too long, because then my back gets out of whack. And my brain, which never stops, gets into lots of trouble if I can’t actually do things…

Once I got the pain under control, I kept thinking about what I could do with only one arm. Turns out a lot. Unfortunately the things I can do aren’t the kinds of things I love to do. Like paperwork, payroll filing, bookkeeping, tax prep. And cleaning. I can run around with a Swiffer duster on a wand with just my right arm. And I have a Dyson Cordless, which easily zooms around with one arm. Unfortunately. So there was no rest or vacation from cleaning, and that’s probably a good thing, because three animals make a mess.

I can also fix puzzles. We always have a puzzle going in a designated corner of the living room. I rotate through probably 100 puzzles that sit on the shelves. With Brianna’s company, we fix a 1000 piece puzzle about every three days.

And I can read, I’m about half way through the latest book in the Outlander series. It is like visiting old friends. And I can watch videos, I signed up for Jane Stafford’s School of Weaving back in October. I’m sure you are wondering why I would sign up for a series of videos on learning to weave. I get asked a lot where the best place is to get good information on how to weave. I’ve heard good things about Jane’s School of Weaving but I can’t recommend what I haven’t actually experienced. I can’t recommend her enough. She is thorough, and although I don’t completely agree with everything she is teaching, I absolutely think it is completely worth the $99 a year fee. Mostly where I work or think differently is because I weave for garments, which is a completely different set of parameters. And I’m also curious about how other teachers use a video medium. And I’m actually learning a few things.

Normally in January I’d be running daily dyepots. I had plenty of new Fiber Reactive Dyes, and lots of new yarn to play with. I thought long and hard about what I could do. I got my daughter to help me pull down all the yarn I had that could be dyed and organize and label it on the cabinets so I knew what I had.

I figured out a way to wind skeins with one arm using my AVL warping wheel.

I have a nice deep waist high stainless steel sink so I could mostly do the dyeing and rinsing with one arm.

I’ve already done two batches, a lovely Blue Grey and Eggplant. Though I could have picked an easier color to dye than Eggplant, lots of rinsing there. I can’t snap the skeins back in alignment, I get Brianna to help with that, and she can reach up to hang them easier than I can.

And I can weave on this warp from hell. I put on this 8/2 tencel warp for a Rainbow Double Weave Workshop last October. 48 ends per inch. Two layers simultaneously. So that would be 48 picks per inch. What was I thinking putting on 4 yards? This is the warp that never ends. The workshop was great, and I got to initially explore all the possibilities with the many skeleton tie-ups that the teacher suggested. But I can’t see myself crawling under the loom to try to tie up different combinations. Especially a Macomber. I think all looms need two hands to attach cords, chains or hooks.

So I went with whatever the last sample tie-up was, and I’m just weaving away, 6 inches a day, repeating the same motifs, working through all the bobbins I wound. I can do this with one arm because the shuttle is wider than the warp. I can push it in on one side, let it rest on the race, and pick it up with the same hand on the other side. 4 yards… 48 picks per inch. Sigh…

And I figured out how to sew. Sort of. I was working on a four part series for my YouTube Channel The Weaver Sews, on piecing, and the studio was a mess. There were pieces and partial works, and scraps everywhere. The piecing was basically finished, I was working on the binding strips when I fell, so I realized that if I removed the table from around my sewing machine, I could bring it up close and use the fingers from my left hand, peeking out of the sling, to help guide bias strips through the machine. Awkward but doable.

I couldn’t use a rotary cutter, but I could cut the bias by hand, with the scissors. The old fashioned way. Everything just takes longer.

And I can knit. Small things. With my fingers hanging out of the sling. I had purchased some 100% hemp yarn from Lunatic Fringe, Fibra Natura Java, in a few lovely colors. I had heard a lecture on the value of hemp, its antibacterial properties, and I decided to knit up some dishcloths, but I’m actually loving them as body washcloths, they have great exfoliating properties, and I can assure you, showering is challenging so I’m not doing it as often as I’d like and exfoliating is a welcome thing.

I am able to do most things for myself. Except for my hair. I can’t put my hair up in a ponytail or bun. I have to get my daughter to help. Silly I know, but I like wearing my hair up, and out of my face.

A huge thank you to all of you who reached out, privately, on social media, through phone calls and letters and cards. You all make every journey I take so much easier, knowing you walk with me in spirit. This arrived just the other day from the Southern California Handweaving Guild. It just brightened the whole room.

And my wonderful friend Misa came New Year’s Eve to celebrate the coming New Year with a real honest to goodness high tea. She ordered from a wonderful bakery in a nearby city, packed it all up with her favorite tea dishes, and the overshot runner she purchased from a fellow weaver at our guild show and sale last November. It is her favorite thing in the world and she desperately wants placemats to coordinate. I reached out to the weaver who made the runner. She isn’t interested in making placemats. But she pointed me to the Handwoven Magazine article from 2010 and said, “Help yourself!” 20/2 cotton. Really. Another warp from hell. I actually have the yarn on the shelf. And this is a really really good friend. And my shoulder will heal someday and I have plenty of available looms…

And so dear readers I carry on valiantly, resting when I need to and staying busy when I can. I have an article due for Handwoven Magazine at the end of the month, and more videos to shoot, we shot two last week believe it or not. I’ve starting exercises five times a day to get my arm and shoulder to work again. It is painful but a relief to open up and extend my arm. Let the healing begin…

Stay tuned…

In an instant…

Funny how life changes in an instant with such a few simple words… There have been a few times like that, most memorable was probable finding out i was pregnant after thinking we couldn’t have kids. That simple test changed my life irrevocably. and it happened twice! But that was 30+ years ago, and the resulting changes to my life were some of the hardest times and some of the best times my husband and had to navigate.

I’m sorry, its cancer… Those couple of words were said to me 20 years ago this February. I had to cancel many scheduled commitments, endure a year of painful surgery, chemotherapy, and disruption in our kids lives. But it was only a year, and there were some really positive things that came from it. Mostly about how I saw life…

I’m sorry… Those two words were said to my by the gastroenterologist who performed my husband’s endoscopy. That was six years ago… Those two simple words told me that in that instant, my life, future, everything we worked for would be changed irrevocably. My husband wasn’t goin to make it. He died 9 months later…

So I know how things can change in an instant… Monday morning I saw the physician for my annual. Everything is perfect. Blood numbers, Covid antibodies, I was in great shape. I had just written out my schedule for the week, other than planning to have my son visit Christmas Eve, (note to self… make up the guest room), I was finally free to play. My hairdryer died, and I wanted to pick up a couple Christmas cards for the kids, so I set out to walk to Walgreen’s, about a 6 minute walk, about 4:30pm. Still light, but I assumed it would be dark on my return. It is a walk I do most every day.

On the way home, I tripped over the asphalt curb at the end of my dead-end street. I tried to recover but ended up airborne, crashing down onto my left shoulder in the middle of the street. I heard the crack. At that moment, my neighbor came down the street in her car, saw me sprawled in the street, attempting to stand up, and not having an easy time of it, the pain was unbearable. She got me into her car, drove me three houses away, and took me home. I live with my daughter, so when I called for her, I knew it was broken. First break ever in 66 years. She loaded me into the car and took me to the ER. The rest is history. I have a CT scan scheduled Monday morning to see if I’ll need surgery. I broke the ball at the top of my humerus, that sits in the socket.

I’m so very lucky in so many ways. My daughter lives with and works for me. It could have been worse, involving an auto, etc. no one else was involved. The local community hospital we went to only had a two hour wait, instead of 12 for the nearest major medical center. The first 36 hours were mind numbingly painful but that seems to be subsiding and I’m mostly just uncomfortable. I can deal with that… There wasn’t anything of importance on my calendar, for the next couple of months, and I had just finished a run of Bronson Lace towels as gifts, washed, hemmed and ready to go, the previous Saturday.

I had just returned from a wonderful visit with my 90 year old mom in Maryland, where I discovered she still had and curled up under a mohair throw I wove for her in the early 1980’s. It is still lush and gorgeous and I snagged a photo.

i had spent the Friday before helping my weaving guild members sort through a large knitting yarn donation. We spent hours, but got it all into the small space we rent from the basement of the church where we meet, when we meet, because the last two years have been all on Zoom.

I brought home a couple of things that appealed to me, like this hand-painted wool. it was a one pound skein, with slight rodent damage, and took all Sunday morning to ball.

I spent all of Sunday planning a warp to go on the loom now empty from the towels. I wound, sleyed, threaded, and beamed a six yard warp, mixed wool and alpaca.

I found some llama I picked up years ago in a yarn crawl, for the weft. I have almost 1000 yards.

I picked a simple 4 shaft Swedish Rosepath draft from Davison and wove a repeat.

This made me smile…

And I’m lucky because we filmed three videos which haven’t launched yet, for the YouTube channel, The Weaver Sews, which if I’m really lucky will take me to when my arm comes out of the sling and I can hopefully and carefully prep for the last part of a three part series in my favorite piecing technique. Parts 1 and 2 were already shot. Right now my cutting table looks like this, layout for a summer dress, waiting for when I can use two arms again.

Don’t cry for me dear readers. From what I’ve read from my friends on social media, sharing their stories, this could have been far worse. I’m safe, and am very proud of myself when I manage to do something with one arm… it is the little things… like making bacon and eggs for myself yesterday morning. If you are reading this, it means I figured out how to write a post and process photos all with one arm, tedious but doable… I’m a weaver, I know what the definition of tedious is…

I cannot be more grateful for my daughter, who got up yesterday morning to the smell of bacon. She was stunned but not really surprised. Happy whatever you celebrate, stay safe in this time of never ending Covid. I switched to Tylenol, I’m not a Percocet kind of person. Which meant I could have a lovely glass of wine last night, and was proud of figuring out how to use the spigot on my box wine with one arm… There is always a way…

Stay tuned…

My arm gets twisted a lot…

I admit it. No matter how hard I try, it is hard to say no when people genuinely beg…

I’m not big on holiday gift giving. There isn’t a huge family to buy for, my kids are of the age where they need something specific that only they can pick out, and I write a check. I have two sisters. We decided long ago that gift giving was not necessary. My mom at 90 doesn’t need anything but company. I’m going to Maryland to visit her for a few days in the morning. My daughter will hold down the fort here at home and manage the animals.

A number of years ago I jumped on the handwoven dishtowel bandwagon. I’ll admit that I had never woven a dishtowel prior to that, and it all started when some generous hostess gave me one as a parting gift for teaching at their guild. I put it to use and have never looked back. My drawer is full of handwoven dishtowels, none woven by me, all from guild towel exchanges, my daughter, some purchased because they were really beautiful, etc. But each year I started a tradition that I would weave a run of cotton or cotton and linen dishtowels and give them to friends and family who I thought would love and use them. They also made great wedding and hostess gifts. The list included people who were really important in my life, especially after my husband died. My handyman and his wife. My tech guy and his wife, etc. And when my son moved out last year, his big request was for some handwoven dishtowels. Which I might mention he is afraid to use, they hang proudly from his oven door.

This was a busy fall. I had lots of private students come in, lots of remote teaching, and my life was generally too busy, after a lovely blissful year of quarantining. And more importantly, some of my lovely friends and family were very honest and told me that as much as they loved my dishtowels, they didn’t need anymore. Their drawers were full. And so I hadn’t planned to weave any dishtowels this year.

Word got out that I wasn’t going to have the annual towel and some of my other lovely friends and family threw a fit. I had to laugh. The drama that unfolded that I wouldn’t be giving them one of my prized towels was just too hilarious.

So I was arm twisted about a week and a half ago to see what kind of towel I could throw on the loom, with what I had in the studio, and whip out 8 or 9 towels for those who truly wanted them.

I had a cone of 5/2 and a cone of 6/2 cotton, in natural, that blended well. I wound a 10 yard warp. I looked at structures that would be beautiful in white on white. I found an 8 shaft Bronson Lace placemat from Clotilde Barrett in the Best of Weavers Huck Lace. I adapted it into a towel.

I just finished weaving towel number 7.

I’m enjoying these towels, easy to weave, and hopefully those that arm twisted me into this will enjoy this year’s very limited edition.

Meanwhile…

I’ve had a number of people write to me about how frustrating it is to know they saw a technique or tip on my YouTube channel, The Weaver Sews, and they can’t remember where it is. And some of these videos (there are 67 now) are a half hour long. That is a lot of screen time, and I get the frustration. The requests have been for some kind of index with time codes. Really. You cannot imagine what a time consuming task that is/will be…

I attempted to begin to update my pattern directions for all 12 of the pattern silhouettes I sell in my eShop. Honestly, I couldn’t remember what I covered in which video to try to link them to my directions. Was the alteration to the Y line covered in Sleeve Alterations part 1 or 2?

So a couple of months ago, I started watching my YouTube videos from the beginning. I found a number of typos in the Closed Captioning, which I immediately corrected. Those are easy edits. Creating an index is an enormous amount of time, watching and rewatching videos, noting time codes and figuring how what someone would look for when looking up a specific topic.

And would they want to look at the topics by video, or a complete listing alphabetically by topic, with the video and time code. The only way I saw this as realistic is to do an Excel spreadsheet. And though I can create a PowerPoint presentation with my eyes closed, and write anything and everything in Word, and I’m a pro at Adobe Photoshop, I’m pretty poor in my Excel skills. So this has been a labor of love. A gift I got arm twisted into…

I’ve indexed about 25% of my videos. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is. So today, I spent the day figuring out ways to actually generate the index. I have a couple of really trusted friends who weighed in and told me honestly how readable it was and how easy it was to navigate. Initially it wasn’t. The jury is still out, but this is as much as my skills allow at this point. And my daughter keeps yelling down the hall, “You owe your free fan base NOTHING!”

So as I hit my 2000 subscriber mark, this is my holiday gift to all of you, an incomplete index, for my YouTube channel, The Weaver Sews. Know I’m still working on it, in the perfect world I’ll update it weekly but don’t hold your breath. I just got in about 50 pounds of yarn from various sources, R&M, Peter Patchis, and Silk City Fibers, and a huge box of new Procion dye colors from Dharma, and a kit of acid dyes from Greener Shades. I bought the kit from the Woolery. There are a couple more Structo looms that have come in in the past couple of months. I have looms calling to me, videos to record, yarn to dye, and ways to be creative. So many ideas…

And so dear readers, I yielded to the pressure, and because I can’t even remember what I recorded and when, and my holiday gift to all of you is this index, a work in progress.

For a PDF of individual videos with their topics and time codes, please click here

For a PDF of topics in my YouTube channel, please click here.

These indexes will live on my website under EXTRAS, right next to the directions for all of my patterns. There is a date on the page with the links to let you know when the index was last updated.

I’ve been blogging now for 13 years. I’m fast approaching 900 posts. It has been my pleasure to have shared my life in such a way and I’m continually grateful for all those who subscribe and follow me regularly. You are and what will keep me going into the next phase of my life, more yarn, more dyes, more looms, more garments, more articles, more to explore.

I love you all! Stay tuned…

On account of I was dusting…

When I traveled on the road, I had a woman who would come to clean the house every couple of weeks, which was really important. The last thing I wanted to do when I’d get back from a long trip was to clean my house, mow the lawn, and take care of all the things houses need. Mostly I was just getting things unpacked and repacked for the next trip.

When Covid hit in March of 2020, and my entire teaching schedule was erased, of course my housekeeper was the first to go, since it wasn’t safe at the time to even come to my house, as we didn’t know how this dreaded pandemic was transmitted.

My yard crew kept coming, they were outside, and though I tried hard to get out there and weed and do general yard and pond maintenance, I found it impossible to do all that and have a life.

But my house…

I remember talking to my mom in the early days of the pandemic. I might even have written a blog post about it. She is 90, and at the time was dealing with a husband who was gently slipping away, in fact he passed in December a year ago. The facility where they lived could no longer safely send people to clean, make beds, etc. She said to me, “I’m a pro at keeping house. Did it my whole life. I can clean a room a day and keep on top of this place. Piece of cake…” Yay mom!

My house is a lot larger, and I have animals, lots of them, and I have those studios, with lots of looms and stuff. But still. Not being proactive would mean I’d drown quickly in animal hair, dust, yarn bits, clutter, and did I mention animal hair?

So I got a plan. I print out a weekly schedule of my life, and pencil in one room a day, to vacuum, dust and otherwise scrub depending on what the floor surface is, tile, carpet, wood, or a combination thereof.

I’m a tidy person. I have to be. Clutter not only messes with my brain and focus, but it also means I’m endlessly loosing stuff. Not a thing you want to happen when you are packing for a trip to teach. When I shut down the house and head off to bed each night, everything is back in its place.

And so, a couple weeks ago, it was the day where I planned to dust and vacuum the studio. I think it was a Sunday. Personally, as tedious as dusting and vacuuming are, there is a lot of creativity that tends to happen when I just stay in the moment, and concentrate on what I’m dusting. There is always WQXR, Classical public radio station from NYC playing on my Alexa, and I just take my Swiffer on an extension pole and dust every horizontal surface I can reach. It takes about an hour for the weaving studio, more or less depending on how lost in the moment I get. I’ll be dusting a loom and stop and think, gee, I really need to get that warp off… I’ll be dusting a shelf of yarn and think, gee, what would happen if I combine these two together… I’ll be dusting a shelf of mixed fiber tools and supplies, and think, wow, I haven’t done any needle felting, kumihimo, lace making, inkle weaving, wet felting, basketry, water color, etc, in just ages…

There is something zen like about dusting and staying in the moment.

And so as I rounded the perimeter of the studio, before working in the interior on the floor looms, I started dusting the top of the right hand cabinet over my dye sink area. On the top of the right most cabinet is a bag. In the bag are a bunch of 10 yard white warps, give or take, that my son wound for me years ago, for warp painting. I remember being mad at him for some errant teen stupidity, and as punishment, I made him spend the day in my studio winding white warps.

The warps were badly wound, on a mill, but there they were, just collecting proverbial dust.

I thought, gee, I need to dig those out and do something with them…

The next day one of my local guilds was having a presentation by batik artist and ice dyer extraordinaire, Jessica Kaufman of Waxon Studio. Jessica gave the absolutely best presentation on ice dyeing for the MAFA fiber conference last summer and I was immediately hooked. I wrote a post about all the cool things I ice dyed. She taught me to “trust the muck”.

Anyway, I listened to her lecture again, through my local guild, remote of course, and thought, you know, there are those white warps. Why can’t I try to ice dye one of those warps?

I picked a shiny rayon, 10 yards, 512 ends, and found the biggest container in the studio. It wasn’t that deep, but with my trusty turkey baster, I could syphon off any excess muck as the ice melted.

I used a lot of dye sprinkled over the ice. I presoaked the warp in soda ash solution as per her instructions.

I let it sit for 24 hours after the ice melted.

I dumped it in the sink, muck and all and rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and was pretty disappointed. There were a lot of white areas that never got the dye. The exposed part of the 10 yard warp was lovely, but the entire back side, the part soaking in the muck, was still white. Trust the muck.

Once it dried, I resoaked it in soda ash, and then did the whole process all over again. White side up. 24 hours after the ice melted I dumped the whole thing in the sink and there were still large amounts of white areas that just looked like mistakes. I know it was too much to dye at once, this whole process should have been on a warp a quarter of the size I was using, but I’m resourceful…

I didn’t take any photos of that second version because it was still in the stainless dye sink and I remember rinsing and rinsing and then just getting pissed, stopping up the sink, pouring the rest of the soda ash over it, pulling up any white areas I could find, draining the soda ash right out the bottom of the sink, and then just sprinkling dye directly over any white areas my gloved fingers could find. At this point I was figuring the warp as a failure, so whatever…

The next morning, everything looked like a complete grey/black disaster, but I opened the drain, and started rinsing. And rinsing. And rinsing and soaking and rinsing some more…

When I hung the warp to dry, I couldn’t believe what I had. I’m sorry the photo is blurry.

It took three days to dry, and even then, there were spots I just couldn’t get dry so I draped the whole mostly dry warp directly under the split ductless heating system.

I was so excited by this warp, that looked like a complete mess, but the dye chokes held, that I immediately dropped everything and started figuring out what to do with it. I settled on a simple Twill Crackle from Davison, which would use a black weft as pattern and tabby. With 10 yards, I wanted this to be a single shuttle warp.

I sleyed.

I threaded.

I started beaming.

I tied on

And I wove. Can I tell you that this thing, that I can’t reproduce is just smiling at me, no shimmering at me, and that this is a lovely happy accident that happened all on account of I was dusting…

As a matter of fact, once I post this blog, I’ll be heading back to the studio because today’s room to clean is once again the studio… I’m going to see what other trouble I can get into…

Stay tuned…

Drunken Looms…

I haven’t forgotten you dear readers, life is full of whirling crazy days, I’m busy, sometimes too much, but I have no complaints. I’m never bored…

My last blog post, I talked about a draft I’ve been mulling over for quite awhile. It seems to be the draft du jour, and all of my friends with multi-shaft computer assisted looms are just knocking it out in record time.

One of them sent me a picture of her version, a few yards, accomplished easily and quickly on her 32 shaft loom. She wove hers with a black weft. It was really cool. I only have 8 shafts, and spent months figuring out how to accomplish it with so few, and I was really proud of myself for making it work. But I really liked her black weft.

So I went back to the drawing board, so to speak, or in this case my computer weaving software, and realized that this had real possibilities. So I wove a block repeat with a black 20/2 cotton weft. The tie down thread is a dark brown linen.

I loved it and wove another block.

I called my daughter down to the studio and showed her how excited I was. She looked at it, now that there was a clear line between the black and white wefts, in relation to the breast beam and said, without missing a beat, “That’s cool, but it isn’t weaving square.” I looked carefully at the two sides of the cloth in relationship to the breast beam, and sure enough, the cloth was off by nearly half an inch. I just sat there in stunned amazement while she moved over to the left of the loom and said, without missing a beat, “Well there’s your problem, the ratchet on the cloth beam is on the opposite side of the brake, so when you tighten the warp, it throws the loom out of square. It is a torque physics thing mom…” She rolled her eyes and walked away.

I’ve been weaving on this loom since the very early 80’s. Mostly I make my colorful warp striped scarves, which are only 10″ wide, and the max width of this loom is 25″. I love this loom. How could I not have noticed that?

I turned around to the loom behind me, a recently acquired 32″ 4 shaft, also a Tools of the Trade, but one of the really early ones, because I’ve had problems with it weaving square since I bought the loom. Turns out, the ratchet and dog on the cloth beam are also on opposite sides of the brake.

Now what…

This haunted me for days. I had a student coming for a five day weaving class, and I just couldn’t get out of my head that my looms were drunk and though I had yards of warp on each one, I couldn’t see weaving it knowing the loom was off and why.

I laid awake as any good weaver will do trying to figure out how to trouble shoot this seemingly impossible situation…

The only solution was to cut off what I’d woven, flip the entire cloth beam mechanism, including the side supports that held it, and put the ratchet and dog on the same side as the brake.

With a glass of wine, and a huge sigh, I removed the yard of cloth I had already woven on each of the two drunk looms. I got out tools, and started to work. It was challenging getting to all the internal screws holding the side supports with a still intact warp, tied off at the reed, but surgery was the only option here.

I slowly reassembled the parts on each one, and realized that the ratchet also had to flip, so the teeth would face in the correct direction, but the metal ratchet was counter sunk on the wrong side, so I will eventually have to investigate different screws since I can’t really counter sink the metal from the opposite side and trust that the hole won’t break away. Meanwhile, I just wanted to weave again.

So both looms have “sobered up” and I’m happy to say that they are weaving square. Perfectly. I am pretty proud of myself.

And I had also corrected, before I put the Harvest warp on, a split warp beam on the 32″ loom, that happened when my strong as an ox daughter was trying to tighten a rug on it. And this loom did not have a friction brake which drove me nuts.

I pulled that beam, glued it and clamped it with a permanent pipe clamp, and taking a page out of the Macomber loom playlist, which has a mechanism with a cord and chain that creates a drag on the warp beam of a loom without a friction brake, I rigged up a couple of bungee cords which works perfectly!

Meanwhile, my student came, and spent five days in my weaving studio designing and weaving off four yards of pretty complicated fabric, with combination structures and supplemental warps. She brought all of the yarn with her, and was able to use most of it.

Because there was a lot of time just hanging while she sleyed, threaded and wove the four yards of fabric, I sat at neighboring looms and just wove, on the simple stuff so I could always be available for questions.

I cleared the Zanshi fabric, woven from tying all the thrum ends together of my leftover warps, which I did while watching endless Zoom presentations for the last couple years. There might be 6 yards. I haven’t cut it off and washed it yet.

And I cleared the other loom that I had performed surgery on, just the morning before I picked her up at the airport. Another 6-7 yards probably.

And I sat in the back corner of the studio, within earshot and wove a substantial amount of my doup leno structure on the table loom from hand dyed cashmere, while looking out the window at the beautiful lush November rain falling on the pond.

I was wishing I had more days where I could just sit in the studio and just weave. My days are full of stuff that doesn’t allow me to be in the weaving studio. I’m always at my desk in the 2nd floor office, like I am now, or in the basement sewing studio, prepping for another YouTube video, The Weaver Sews. Things are coming along there, as I build a tunic from a beautiful hand dyed and hand woven wool.

And the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ is finally having an in person live performance at their theater, first since their production of A Christmas Carol December of 2019. I volunteer as a stitcher in the costume shop, which is just gloriously fun for me, and they called and asked if I’d come again. With a mask, and my sewing kit, I head there once a week. I hem pants and sleeves, move buttons and add snaps, just easy stuff that gives them an extra set of hands, and I love seeing the behind the scenes look at a very professional costume shop.

To all of you who celebrate some kind of seasonal gathering with family, like Thanksgiving for my American friends, stay safe and wear a mask. We aren’t out of the woods yet. I’ve had my booster and my flu shot. I’m staying local and visiting my son, who will make his first Thanksgiving meal.

Stay tuned…