Sunday, February 28, 2010

What do Squidlings do on a Snow Day?

They build snowpeople! Which, unfortunately, were knocked down just a few hours later by some anonymous jerks.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Snow Day Redux

Yup, for the second time in a month, we have a snow day. We'll ignore the fact that the last snow day was off by a day (we should have been off the day after and not the day of).

Plans for the day? Maybe to weave off this warp that has proved to be a challenge.
There have been broken warp thread galore, threading issues and the challenge of weaving off a 39 shot repeat. The challenge there is that I keep getting interrupted and lose my place in the pattern. Despite all these issues, however, I love how it is coming out.

The yarn is some that has been marinating in the stash for 10 years or so. The weft is a slubby, loosely spun yarn, the warp, a nice wool two-ply that keeps breaking.

Next up on the loom, some more blue and white cotton for, I think, baby blankets. I have some cotton of unknown provenance that has been marinating in the stash for even longer than the wool above. My only questions are: is it thick enough for baby blankets and ... what pattern?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Just Strolling Along ...

Schacht did not ship my stroller at the same time as the loom. Why? I have no idea but the good folks at The Woolery were on top of it even before I emailed them and the stroller arrived last night.

This morning, with no warp on the loom to worry about, I tackled the stroller installation.

Forewarned by Dave, I paid close attention to the pictures and gave up early on interpreting their badly written instructions. (I also kept Dave's post on the subject open on my laptop near at hand.)

After a minor misstep or two, I was finally on the right track. With the assistance of my fabulous husband, I managed to get everything together in about half an hour.

Just a note to the folks at Schacht ... wouldn't it make more sense if there were a notch at the bottom of each brace instead of a slot? This is something that we may attempt to "remedy" with the dremel tool. Just not now.
And this? Look closely at the "middle" bolt. It snapped off as Mike was putting the nut on. I'll hit home depot tomorrow and replace it. Can't blame the manufacturer for this one and not worth contacting them for something I can get easily right here.

And there you have it, a loom on wheels. Something to make my downstairs neighbor a little happier as I fold and unfold the loom. It also now makes it possible to easily bring the loom into the living room should I so desire. But not out on to the terrace. Navigating the narrow door is still a bit more effort then I think I want to tackle right now even though I LOVE weaving outside.

Back to threading my third warp!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm going to have to figure out ...

... what to do with all this fabric!

Just a taste of the latest to come off the loom. Better pictures after I wash both sets of yardage.

(Tho most of this is a scarf for Little Squid who chose the pattern, helped warp the loom and wove a fair amount of the yardage.)

Point Twill threading on 4 shafts -- I've ordered a book on 8 shaft weaving and it should arrive on Monday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

First Efforts

A 3 yard sampler of twills and tabby-twills.

I threaded the loom with straight twill draw on 4 shafts (let's pretend that I have the language down) and played with different tie-ups and patterns. We did about 3 inches or so of each pattern or until we got bored of it.

We? Yeah, the kids took turns too. Especially Little Squid. He's taken to weaving like a Squid to water. He's enjoying it so much that the next warp is a scarf for him. We will thread the loom in a point twill and he will either pick a single pattern or we will weave it as a scarf-sampler.

(For all those weaving mavens out there, please excuse our wonky weaving. It was our first effort and still needs to be washed, cut apart and hemmed into usable, if interesting, dish towels. Hey, I believe in everything being used, even one's first efforts if possible. The sett was probably too loose for the yarn that I used and there are other issues but hey, we had fun!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Loom Love

Yes, yes I have spent the entire day setting up my new loom.

Why do you ask?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Letters

I had absolutely no intention of writing a Valentine's Day post but then I started clearing out space for my loom. In the space where the loom will temporarily reside was a box of mementos taken from my mother-in-law's apartment after her passing several years ago. There are pieces of my father-in-law's stamp collection and a bulging envelope of cards and letters.

Poking through it, I grabbed a small handful of the correspondence and took them into the living room to peruse. On top was a letter from my father-in-law to my mother-in-law the summer before he began full time employment in 1956.

As I finished reading the first one aloud, Squidette commented "I've never seen a real love letter before, just read about them in books."

Pictured below is the original letter. Transcribed below are the contents for your enjoyment.


I received your wonderful letter today & am, of course, happy you miss me as I miss you.

Today I ordered a new pair of frames: charcoal gray shell for the upper half & silver rim for the lower half of the frame. Thus do you bend me to your will.

I visited H & R tonight for a hot dog supper & received an unsolicited opinion of you (I never solicit opinions about you). Quoth H: "Renee is a lovely girl." Quoth I: "I know it."

So you see my days have been uneventful, being composed of errands or visits. But I am glad for tasks to do to fill my time so that I have less time to think alone & long for you. I enjoy whenever the conversation turns to you & me because that is a topic I am very interested in. Yet I don't want to make a pest of myself & act like a lovesick youth who bores everyone with talk of his love. Personally I like to think about you, about things we've done & about our future.
I am so very happy that our relatives get along well together & we with them, because altho this is not a matter of paramount importance, harmonious relationships will make life less aggravating than it might be.

My eye doctor yesterday reminded me of how he had, 2 years ago, predictied how a trip away from home (at Columbia) would make a big change in my life and when I retrospect concerning this last semester & of the things accomplished in so short a time I feel amazed. I am thankful & happy & joyous & overwhelmed & satisfied & everything else that we're together & each other's. I can recall how I used to be afraid, at one time, that you would have another date & turn me down. Yet years ago I foresaw that when I would fall in love that everything would go smoothly, & it has.

I miss you, yet I don't mind missing you because whenever I feel sad I know that in a few days I'll be in N.Y. & seeing you.

I feel a bit nervous & uncertain about working. I suppose this is due to the novelty of the situation, just as I was nervous & uncertain when I was about to begin at Harvard & Columbia. I know that there are millions of persons who would love to change places with me because of my potential career & wonderful fiancee.
I wish I could tell you how much I love you but words are not counters of feeling but only express thought.


(If you look at the pictures at the bottom of the last page of the letter, the first one is a frowny face and the caption reads "me without Renee" and the second one is a smiley face and the caption reads "me with Renee")

Thursday, February 11, 2010

First Left to Brooklyn

I have noticed that my commute is somewhat quicker if I manage to stay out of Brooklyn ...

(I'll wait while you all come to the realization that I have a 5 mile intra-boro commute that involves no bridges or tunnels or even, most days, highways.)

And on to our tale ...

This morning I dragged myself out of bed a bit earlier than usual so that I would have extra time to clean the snow and ice off of the car and still arrive at work on time. No, biking was not in the plan.

I did the usual ... shower, dress, dry hair ... and skipped the make-up figuring I'd steal some time and do it at work. After dressing in flannel lined jeans -- mom-style jeans -- and my uber warm Sorel boots (work slacks and shoes in my tote), I carefully made my way out to the car. Carefully, I say, because as nicely as the walks around our Co-op are cleared, the parking lot is a mess of ice and snow.

Picking my way across the lot I was suddenly jerked from my snow induced stupor as I realized that my car was not covered in 5 inches of snow/ice/ick but was mostly cleaned off ... and my husband was putting the finishing touches on it.

(You can all go "awww" now.)

So I did what any self-respecting wife would do (and could legally do, in public, in a parking lot, in freezing weather), I offered him a lift to work (he was going to take the subway). Hey, he saved me 20 minutes of freezing labor.

I carefully navigated my way out of the parking lot, taking only 5 minutes to actually get moving after spinning the wheels a bit in the slush (thank you oh tub of 12 year old kitty litter that lives in my car for just such an emergency). Cautiously, because the streets, while not horrible, were still rather slushy and I had not yet had sufficient caffeine, I made my way to the hallowed edifice that is Stuyvesant High School and dropped off my fabulous spouse and, making a U turn, headed off to work.

On the rare occasions that I drop Mike at work, I then head south, down West Street and through the tunnel that loops around the bottom of Manhattan and leaves one heading North, up the FDR Drive. This was my intent this morning.

I quickly got into the left lane and looked carefully for the signs indicating the tunnel. And when I didn't see them, but did see altered traffic patterns due to the construction at Ground Zero, I took the first ramp to my left. I figured that I was already past the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel entrance.

I figured wrong.

Yes, I wound up in Brooklyn.


But I still got to work early.

And I still have a wonderful spouse.

*** And my loom is still delayed in a FedEx warehouse in Middletown, PA due to the weather.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow and Song

Today we had something totally unprecedented ... a snow day announced at 11:00 a.m. the day before the storm. No kidding. That said, here in Manhattan, the storm was rather unremarkable except for it's exceptional ability to get one wet. After standing for a mere hour in the snow while Little Squid sledded with friends, I was totally soaked. As in my parka was dripping and my double layered glove-mitten combo had soaked through to my skin. Good thing the kids threw in the towel when they did.

Meanwhile ... the squidlings performed last week, turning their annual violin recital into the Squid show. The highlight was this clarinet-oboe duet.

Yes, I did say it was a violin recital. There were 5 other kids who all played the violin -- as did my offspring. Want to see?

Little Squid Solo

Little Squid - Squidette Violin Duet

Squidette Solo ... Squidette Solo ... Squidette Solo ... Squidette Solo (it was an entire sonata and could not be uploaded to Youtube in one piece)

As for my loom (because I know it is as much at the top of your mind as it is on mine ... (yeah, right)) ... it is held up due to the weather and is currently paused somewhere in Pennsylvania. It was supposed to arrive in the area tomorrow but that just is not happening. Oh well, I couldn't arrange for delivery before Monday anyway ...