Dreary Day #37

Well it seems like it anyway.  The headlines of the newspapers talk about how much rain we have had for how many days straight.  It starts out promising in the morning, but by mid afternoon, thunderstorms, dreary rain, what else can one do but stay inside and play?  🙂

This was a great day for just laying low, and doing a mindless but necessary project.  My goal now is the conference next week, I leave for the New England Weavers Seminar in Massachusetts on Wednesday.  And I’m teaching an unusually large number of very different seminars, all needing specific prep.  There is the Inkle Weaving class, and though I will have students rent looms from WEBS , they may not have enough, and I need fifteen anyway for the following weekend when I teach a class down at the Jersey Shore for the Shore Guild.  So my daughter helped me out with that one.  She is quite the assembler…  Now they are all lined up across two of my looms, like little soldiers looms2waiting for active duty.

looms1Meanwhile, the crock pot is still going.  I gave up drying anything outside, and found two lovely pans that would keep my floor neat and avoid using all my bath towels.  So I’ve got a lovely green cooking in the pot, and the blue and a pinky taupe color are drying on the floor.  The burgundy from Monday is finally dry and in a bag.  I tried carding a little bit of the burgundy color and it is a really nice fleece.  I think it is a Corriedale cross.wool crock

While all that was happening, I worked on the Photographing your Work Seminar, and in this particular version, workshop participants are sending images of their work ahead so I can load them into PowerPoint and then critique the images after the main presentation.  I have a great group of images to work with, but they all had to be sized and popped into the PowerPoint slides.  So that’s finished.

I’m also giving another Color and Inspiration Seminar, like I did in Iowa last Saturday.  All those little quills of yarnmess I dumped on the table for the students to play with, are in a horrid jumble and really needed to be rewound onto the quills and refilled.  Students added to the pile, and those little reelings needed to be put onto quills as well.  I use to just carry a suitcase full of little balls of yarn, but those got just as unruly and it was a huge waste of space in my precious luggage allowance, so I got the idea a couple of years ago to wind off yarn onto bobbins.  There are too many to waste my plastic shuttle bobbins, though a fair windingamount of my plastic bobbins were in the bags.  I really needed to empty them.  I started by making paper quills from business card stock, but it was my daughter who came up with the idea of drinking straws.  They slipped perfectly on my small shank Swedish Bobbin Winder, and weigh almost nothing.  I’m all for weighing almost nothing…

So I sat today, for a number of hours, untangling, rewinding, tidyrefilling, and organizing a massive mess of yarn, carefully onto skinny plastic drinking straws, and turned the above disaster into this lovely organized bag of color.  I still have another bag to go, but tasks like this are what make my mind still and my creativity soar.  It’s like refolding fabrics neatly on a shelf, organizing fat quarters by color, or sorting buttons.  This is meditation for fiber enthusiasts.

In addition, I finally got to vacuum my poor house.  I seriously thought about bringing in the heavy artillary, a rake, but my old vacuum did the job, and I filled a vacuum bag with all the debris, tracked in crud from all the drenched blossoms and tree detritus, tracked yarns and threads from my studio, and general dust.  I’m a bit grateful we no longer have a dog, that would have really added to the mix.  Then I would have definitely voted for the rake…

Preparing for California

bindingI haven’t been on  the road for awhile, so I am sort of not in the traveling mind set.  I leave for the Southern California Handweaving Conference on March 3rd, so about 10 days before I pack and head out, I have to have a final head count of students for each class, and then print the handouts.  Then I have to print some of my monographs as well and of course, plenty of interfacings, and whatever other product I carry that would be appropriate for that particular class.  All of it has to be shipped ahead well enough in advance to ensure it will be waiting when I get there.  It is a two-three day job, depending on how many students, how many classes, and how much product I think I’ll need.  So yesterday I cranked up my beloved HP Laser Color printer with a duplexer for double sided printing, and went through about four reams of paper.  So today, I had the really fun task (she says with a slight degree of sarcasm) of binding all the handouts/monographs with my newest comb binding machine.  I wear them out every couple of years, and I recently had to replace mine, so I splurged and bought an electric. Even with the electric, it is still a tedious task.

interfacingOnce I bound the huge stack of handouts (I printed 18 books  each for the Inkle Weaving class and the Photographing your Work class) and a dozen books for the jacket class, I then started rolling out my industrial bolts of interfacings.  I use two different interfacings for the jackets, both in black and white, a lot depends on the type of fabric students bring, one is the fusible knit tricot, and the other is an inserted texturized weft fusible that I adore, that I had to scour the country to get when HTCW discontinued their Textured Weft Product, and I found it but had to buy 200 yard bolts.  So I lift these babies onto the cutting table and chop off two yards at a time and package them for resale. All of it has to be shipped tomorrow with the bolt of pattern paper, and the Inkle looms, since they don’t fit in the suitcase.

So that was my day.  Tedious, but part of the job.  The highlight was my sushi lunch with my Thursday Philosophy Club.  We have the best Sushi restaurant in NJ within walking distance of my house.  Kim Sushi.  Love it.

And my daughter had an asthma attack at school, I swear it is the air quality there, I brought her inhaler in, and eventually all was well.  And when I picked her up around dinner time from the HS musical rehearsal, I let her drive home.  She has her permit, and I will say, I didn’t have white knuckles this time when we arrived in the driveway.  She is improving…