Sunday, October 17, 2010

ain't doing no Twist

To follow up on that last post--I can't say that I've been doing the Twist here. (nor the Mashed Potato....) No dancing at all, really. I've been feeling a little under the weather and also accompanied by bad allergies. As a result, I've been spending time staring out the window. I tried to catch a photo of the daily construction taking place across the street. It's hard to tell in this photo, but on the left of the picture, there's an enormous truck on the street. Then you can see an elm tree (bisected by the sun) and a straight up and down thing. That was a bright orange thing, easily several stories high, that I think they were using to shoot concrete into the structure. The building itself now has a basement, and a floor on top of that, and it grows more by the day.

It is pretty dusty in our house as a result of this construction. That said, I've been amazed by the quick progress. Also, the workers have been pretty respectful. They come early, they stay late, they work hard. They don't make unnecessary noise and they seem to avoid the usual trash and other mess that I have seen around other construction sites. So, if you have to feel off your game and staring at something, this isn't a bad thing to watch.

Last weekend, I warped my loom with some cream color, 60% silk, 40% wool yarn. The silk is filled with "nups" which means that it is shorter staple and likely from cocoons where the bug emerged from it, leaving a hole rather than being stifled by heat or steam. The shiny silk that comes from the stifled cocoons is very strong; this yarn wasn't.

I envisioned yards and yards of easy to weave scarves in my near future. About 6" into my weaving, I went to advance the warp and the worst possible thing happened. The tension was too much for the yarn and about two-thirds of my warp just broke off where it was tied to the front of the loom.

I acted fast and retied the ends as best as I could. I can't lie--I did pause briefly to mutter a few choice bad words! It isn't easy weaving right now, and I'm not thrilled with how the first scarf is coming out--the weft is all uneven because of the uneven tension of the retied warp. I will likely cut this off the loom when I am done with it, and try to retie the warp ends again to hope for better results. I am still new at choosing good warp yarns, and maybe this wasn't the best choice.

Some weeks are like this...maybe not memorable, a little yucky, and yet, there to be gotten through anyhow. The good part is that I've been doing a lot of reading! I've loaded up on library books, including Margery Allingham's mysteries. I find it amazing how entertaining and compelling they feel, despite the fact that many of them are 50 or 60 years old. Definitely still worth reading.

Had any warp end disasters? Reading anything good? Do tell.

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Blogger Cathy said...

I was fortunate to be invited to try spinning yarn with a pair of knitterly friends yesterday. After several tries I actually made some quality yarn! Now I have to decide if I want to take some classes. However, before i do, I want to try weaving. Don't have any tips for you there. I have just started reading "Widow of the South" by Robert Hicks; historical fiction, Civil War, Battle of Franklin (TN). Check out for the actual setting on which this novel is based. Our son will be getting married there next spring. Feel better soon!

October 17, 2010 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger PghCathy said...

Not a spinner or weaver, so I have nothing to contribute on that end.

But I am a reader. My list is long but what I'm finding lately is 1 thing leads to another. I read/saw Eat Pray Love (just OK) & that lead me to Sue Monk Kidd's later nonfiction. Her Dance of the Dissedent Daughter lead me to the dvd Shirley Valentine. I was interested in Pauline Collins who played Shirley & discovered she wrote a memoir about giving up her baby in I'm reading that now.

Next on the stack is something totally different, Even Silence Has an End by Ingrid Betancourt. She's a Columbian politician that was kidnapped by the FARC and held captive for 6 years.

Some of the better fiction I've recently read are The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson, Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman & Every Last One by Anna Quinlan.

Winter's coming...if you need a break from yarn, even for a short while, find a good book!

October 19, 2010 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger abeautifullife said...

Hope that your allergies alleviate soon!
It seems it's the time of year for construction. My apartment building is receiving a new roof currently, which I suppose is a good thing. I just wish that the roofers had consulted me (being on the top floor) about what time they wanted to start in the mornings!
I'm not a weaver, but appreciate the info you share about weaving. Sorry to hear that the recent batch is hard going. Hopefully it, like the allergies will get better soon!

October 19, 2010 at 10:55 PM  

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