Sunday, November 27, 2016

A day in the city

I finished the weaving project on my loom at home a few days ago. Took it off the loom, knotted the fringe and cleaned up the loose ends. The loom is empty and ready for a new project. I'm thinking another rug, wider but maybe not as long, not sure yet. I can use at least two more rugs in the house, one for the bathroom and one for the hallway. This one I think will go on the floor of the loom room. And if there is still yarn left, then maybe another one for the bedside in the basement (true confessions: I sleep in the basement because it is dark and cool and it is my dog's preferred sleeping room).

Yesterday I went to the Big City to do some weaving. I realized that I was not going to complete my project by the end of the last class (next Wednesday) and was going to have to come in another day to do that, but parking is only free weekends and evenings and all my weekends in December are spoken for, so that meant I either had to come in the evening or this weekend. I hate driving home late at night, it is the one thing I loathe about going to the city for this class. And Sunday (today) the weather was supposed to be bad, so by process of elimination I had to go yesterday, on Saturday.

I took Hapi with me. She had to stay in the car while I did my weaving, which took about three hours, by the time that I got a snack at the Farmers' Market next door and waited for the centre's doors to open at 11.00 am (the website said 10.00 am so I arrived at 10.30). I got enough weaving done that I think I will be able to finish my project on Wednesday. If not, then I don't know whether I will find time to finish before 2017.

After I completed the weaving I took Hapi for a walk through the city downtown to the NSCAD art supply store to see if they had yarn I could use for weaving at a good price. Specifically, I was looking for 2/8 cotton thread. They did indeed have it but in a limited range of colours. I bought seven half-pound spools.

Hapi pranced regally the whole way, garnering lots of stares. She is a large proud dog, beautiful and she knows it. We returned to the car via the waterfront walkway. Then I drove to Point Pleasant Park, a very large park on a peninsula with views of the harbour and out to sea. The interior of the park is wooded with lots of off-leash trails. In fact, the only place dogs are required to be on leash is the trail along the shore of the park, the rest is pretty much an off leash area. It is wonderful, in my opinion as a dog owner. Dogs run around free and there are many of them of all shapes and sizes. Hapi had never been there and was I think quite amazed. So many dogs, so little time! They all have to check each other out and Hapi was zigzagging from one dog to the next. Lots of garbage bins for disposing of doggie-do, which makes the walk so civilized for owners. Dogs off leash are happy and the whole space has such a joyful air. I can appreciate that non-dog-lovers might not appreciate this but I do.

Finally, to complete the Big City trip, I stopped at the Lebanese Bakery to pick up some food items available only there. The aroma of spices that greets you when you first open the door is wonderful, I browse the shelves slowly to enjoy the scent as long as possible. Since it was late in the day some of the items I wanted were sold out but I expected that. Will have to go back another time, not a hardship. Across the street from the bakery is a Latin cafe that sells Mexican food in a tiny grocery attached to the restaurant. I picked up two packages of frozen corn tortillas, one for me and one for a friend (if she doesn't want the package then I will have to eat them myself, also not a hardship).

I got everything done that I wanted, and I think I made it up to Hapi for having to sit in the car for three hours with a prance through downtown and a social outing in the park. I went home and had pizza and beer to cap off a perfect day.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Oh my aching back, it must be Thursday.

Thursday morning, tired and sore. Got home late, went to bed late with back pain from three hours of driving and three hours of weaving, didn't sleep that well and woke up early hardly able to move. So I'm in no rush to get out the door and walk the dog, even though I have run out of milk and coffee (!!!). Good news is that this past summer I managed to wean myself off of milk in my coffee so running out of milk is not so bad, and there was just enough coffee grounds for this morning and maybe tomorrow. Which means I can postpone the milk (and dog) run until this afternoon :-).

I did remember to take a picture of the weaving project:

Now you can see the plaid. Already I can see "room for improvement", if I do this again I would arrange the colour blocks a little differently. And definitely change the sett to something a little looser. But I guess the day I stop seeing room-for-improvement I'll be dead.

Here are some duck pictures from yesterday's walk:

There were a whole bunch of ducks perched in this tree, but by the time I got the picture set up there were only these there left, The Fearless Three.

My dog is out of the picture frame but that is what these ducks are interested in. They could care less about me, it's all about the dog.

I was watching some of them playing, they like to skip along the surface, as if about to take off flying but they don't. One duck had a variation on the theme, she swam under the surface like a loon between skips. Looked like she was doing the Australian crawl, impressive.

I used to watch duck families in a lagoon on the waterfront of New Westminster, the baby ducks could swim under water but the adults couldn't, all they could do was bob around with their tails in the air. I think as ducklings grow up they become more buoyant and can't swim underwater anymore, so instead they do that bobbing thing, trying to reach down with their bills. So that duck swimming underwater yesterday was very talented, very unusual. Or just not that buoyant.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Weaving at home and away

I am trying to get back into blogging. Have spent way too much time on Facebook and getting a little frustrated at how much of my time I'm pouring into a black hole there. An FB friend recently deactivated his account due to obnoxious comments on his posts, which got me thinking about deactivating too. Not that I get obnoxious comments, but too much time spent following links.

Anyway, the blog. Still here after all these years. I tried to fill in some of the gap with pictures, so if you want you can scroll back to see them. I got out of blogging because basically I didn't think I had anything to say anymore. But apparently I do.

I am taking a weaving course in the big city. There's nothing available locally so I am going once a week into Halifax for this course. It's in the evening and the class itself is three hours plus three hours driving time. At this time of year that driving is mostly in the dark and I am sufficiently old now that driving after dark is not my favourite pastime. Didn't use to bother me but now it does.

So here are some pictures:

This is the warp, on a 45" counterbalance loom. It is just shy of 500 warp ends of 2/8 cotton (tiny) and it was a huge amount of work getting it all threaded on the loom. The warp is long enough to do 3 tea towels. The plan is a plaid pattern in 2/2 twill. Because I went with 28 ends per inch (epi), it may be a bit stiff to function as tea towels, I probably should have gone with 24 epi which would have meant significantly less threading to do. Oh well.

The main reason I am taking this course is to (re)learn warping the loom. The hardest part of weaving is getting the warp onto the loom, and there are multiple methods practiced by different weavers in different places. I have a loom at home and I've taken courses before but I'm a slow learner (plus I think I've learned a different warping method each time, which doesn't help).

While I am taking the course in the city I am also setting up my loom at home, so here are some pictures of that effort. It's a much simpler project so it takes less time and effort but hopefully it reinforces what I am learning in class.

The project at home is going to be a rug, about 2' x 6'. It's also a 2/2 twill, but in wool at 8 epi. Much more manageable. The loom is a 30" counterbalance, I don't have room for anything bigger.

I forgot to take pictures of my weaving in last week's class, hopefully I'll remember this week. I think I bit off way more than I can chew in 10 weeks, I will probably have to go to the city in December or January to finish it. In any case I have woven as much in class as I have at home but that's not nearly enough. As I said, bit off more than I could chew.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November walk with Hapi

It started out a foggy day, but the fog cleared and it became sunny and warm.