I’d just hate to call it an addiction…

It’s just that I can’t resist those emails. The monthly ones from Peter Patchis Yarns. The frequent ones from Webs. The one to me personally from a yarn company that shall remain nameless, “Hi Daryl, we are going to discontinue a product line, one we know you like, let us know if you want to purchase what’s left…”

I had even avoided opening the monthly newsletter from Peter Patchis, until a friend on a Zoom call mentioned the great yarns for the month. It is only $6. a pound. Sigh… So after filling up on one of almost every color of Webs 8/2 cotton, on sale for an OK price, and a number of $6. a pound cones from Peter Patchis, and another box from the unnamed company… I sort of panicked. Where the heck was I going to put all this yarn when it came in? I swear there is no room in the inn… And no, as a friend suggested, I’m not renting a storage unit… Can you imagine wanting to know what colors I have in 8/2 and driving to a storage unit to retrieve a couple cones? Absolutely not…

So sitting in the studio, doing odd tasks like winding cakes from my dyed skeins, a boring and tedious task, I’ll get to that in a minute, I just sat looking at my wonderful, incredible, overfilled monstrous space of a studio and it occurred to me that I could move some of the Structo Looms out of Yarn Alley, the alley behind the bookcases, to another location in the studio, and the felting supplies I have for teaching, which I’m not doing, could store someplace else.

In case you are wondering, I have 18 Structo Looms, I believe five are 8 shaft, plus I have 2 of the 10″ wide Leclerc versions of the Structo’s. Those are the greenish ones on the top shelf.

That left the top of the bookcases in Yarn Alley empty.

Which I immediately filled up with all the yarn that came in the past few days. It really isn’t an addiction. Of course I’ll live long enough to actually use it all… Stop laughing dear readers, stop laughing…

In between all that, I took that pile of dyed skeins that I thought would be pretty together, refer to my previous blog, and I lined them up to plan out a scarf warp.

I thought of calling this run “Winter Sky”, because that’s what I saw out my window, January in NJ. But then the title A Winter’s Tale, with a nod to the Bard, popped into my head, and this has certainly been a winter to tell about, what with my fractured shoulder and all, and getting this warp on the loom, especially one I haven’t put 12 yards on two beams before, I earned the title.

So, skeins have to be wound into cakes.

Cakes have to be wound into warps.

Warps have to be sleyed, I work front to back, and had to use an 8 dent reed for my 27epi, because the 9 dent is tied up with the Drunken Squares Warp, which I can’t weave on yet because my arm won’t do a 25″ wide warp easily. Note to self, you need more 9 dent reeds…

Sleyed warps need to be threaded.

Threaded warps need to be tied onto the back apron. Tensioning devices are added…

And the warp is wound. All 12 yards. I did have my daughter help, it really does go easier with two people, though I rarely have that luxury.

And then I had to rig up a way of attaching my sectional box to wind the supplementals onto the lower warp beam. My Leclerc Sectional box does not fit on the second back beam of the Macomber. Weavers are so resourceful.

Everything is now in place, second back beam installed, and I’m ready to tie onto the front.

And the weaving has commenced. I’m loving this warp. Very understated. A true winter’s tale…

Meanwhile, I cleared the Harrisville Warp I put on my small four shaft loom. I was trying out an idea, and threw on five yards. I wove a couple narrow yards with the two skeins of sock yarn I have, sett way too dense for a scarf, which I did on purpose because I was testing for garment weight fabric, and the end result is pretty cool.

I must have screwed up the calculations because I thought one 50 gram skein of sock yarn would do a two yard scarf length, but it took both skeins. So I pulled some small leftovers of mohair I had laying around and wove the other couple of yards. Both are washed, and these will eventually become panels for some sort of garment. I’m mulling over possibilities…

I’m always thinking, always thinking. Nights are the hardest to shut off my head, and especially now because my shoulder constantly aches, and I just can’t get comfortable. So I spend many hours at night just thinking…

I’ve mentioned before that my daughter and I adore fixing puzzles. She purchased a series that she adores, from the Magic Puzzle Company. We were working on one called The Busy Bistro, and I just couldn’t stop thinking about the color relationships in this puzzle. They were gorgeous. I spent many hours at night just thinking… And I have all this dyed yarn.

So I took the poster from the puzzle box and started pulling color groups, lining them up in the apron of my 12 shaft loom, which I got, new to me, last Mother’s Day.

I’m determined to get a warp on this before this Mother’s Day, it cries every time I walk by it, “Warp me, please…” I’m basing this on a fabric I did before, except I want to expand some of the design areas, to include an additional 4 shafts. This is the fabric I wove years ago, probably 10, and made a tunic out of it. It was 8 shaft. Now I have 12 to play with.

I’ll move yarns around and eventually start snipping samples on a draft, and see what I get.

Meanwhile, I found fabric to use with my 3 1/2 yards of the Rainbow Double Weave sampler I painstakingly wove off right after my accident. Of course this fabric was on my shelf, and there is a story behind it, but that story is for another day. First I want to see if this will work… Everything is hanging up to dry, and I’m loving the palette.

And finally, I got a large envelop from the US Government earlier in the week. And this just made me smile. Back when I developed the YouTube channel, and came up with the name, The Weaver Sews, and had my daughter help me with a logo, I thought it would be beneficial to have it trademarked. What a process. After a couple of rejections for technical reasons, I failed to read the unreadable directions properly, I managed, after a year and a half, to procure a real trademark document. Perseverance, a typical trait of most handweavers, paid off and I’m official.

Spring is coming, and I got out for a walk today. It was near 50 degrees. I am still terrified of ice, but I got out, bought a couple things from the grocery store, and walked home. It felt so great. Stay tuned dear readers, there are more adventures to come, and lots of yarn to play with. and lots of looms just calling for warps…

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…