Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rabid Nuns

So, Meredith (my daughter who has recently joined a convent to determine whether she is really really supposed to be a nun and whom I have not heard from for two weeks) telephones on Saturday to say she NEEDS the insurance number because she is on her way to the hospital with a bunch of the sisters to get RABIES shots because the convent beagle dragged in a half-dead raccoon that the health department confirmed was rabid---and could I hurry because she has to go, but don't worry--Love you--Good Bye.


Well she called back today and we had a looong (almost an hour long) talk. As it turns out there was a LOT more to tell, but most of that had to do with the hilarity of a busload of nuns and nun wanna-bees arriving at the Emergency Room at their small town hospital for rabies shots. I'll spare all the details but the police were called to determine that the whole mess was not the result of some wacky domestic abuse or dog fighting--more HUH???? At one point in the rabies conversation with the police, the young man who was sitting next to Meredith got up and found a seat as far away from them as he could.

As it turns out, no one was bitten by anything rabid. The beagle who has the propensity to present the sisters with dead things, will probably have a new home soon. That's a shame because the dog (whose name is NOT Patrick) has rid the basement of snakes--huh, again?? Anyway, the shots are precautionary, it is unlikely anyone was exposed, BUT . . . there is a chance of exposure if one has contact with the saliva of a rabid animal. And, the dog did chew on the raccoon, so the dog slobber may be considered a source of contact. NOT something to mess with, especially since rabies is (are?) ALWAYS fatal.

Meredith, astute as always, figured that I would be a bit miffed if she left home to join a convent and died of rabies before I even got to go visit her--so she opted for the vaccine. SMART GIRL.

US v El Salvador

I realize no one reading this cares, but later I may want to recall the match and this seems as good a place as any to take note. And, once in a while my inner sports nerd just takes over my consciousness and this is what happens.

WoW--El Salvador, big underdog in terms of fitness, skill, style, and field presence, has not been to a World Cup since the 80's ('82, I think). The stands in San Salvador are PACKED with a sea of El Salvador blue and screaming fans. AND, despite numerous US chances, El Salvador scores first--missed mark upfield started the run. Then the crowd gets even louder and El Salvador packs the middle of the field making attack difficult for the US---(they could have tried playing the ball outside and drawing the defense there, but apparently that didn't occur to them). Anyway at half it is 1-0 El Salvador--the US gave up about a million corner kicks. (maybe a few less than a million, but it was a lot).

After the half, El Salvador scores again. What the . . . . ? Then, the US takes over . . . the man of the match for my money was Frankie Hejduk--right outside back who is about as fit as Lance Armstrong (or Fabian Cancellara--another bike racer, world champion time trialist, Olympic time trial gold, he used to be lead out man for sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, he is Swiss, powerful, gorgeous, and on the cover of VeloNews this week). Frankie assisted on the first goal and came blazing out of nowhere to head a corner kick into the goal for the second goal.

So, it was a 2-2- tie. AND, US plays another World Cup Qualifier on Wednesday v. Trinidad and Tabago.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Winter's last gasp

Typical Oklahoma weather . . . March comes in like a lion and goes out like a . . . What is the saying??????

We have gotten inches and inches of , well probably 5, snow. Which, of course, has buried the pansies, daffodils, and tulips I lovingly planted last fall. (You know that, except for herbs, I don't really lovingly plant anything--I might lovingly buy the materials, but when it comes to the actually planting--I swear and moan a lot, and sometimes even leave them in the garage to die). In any case, the plants are all crumpled up under the snow. So, I had to take the cliche flowers in
the snow photos.

I'm not complaining about the snow--it should all be gone tomorrow as the temperature is supposed to get to the high 50s. And, it gave me a whole day of no errands or any other things to get in the way of my agenda.

AGENDA???? Well, yes. I have gotten a good way along knitting up this sweater
of some handspun I've been waiting to find just the right pattern for. The yardage is going to be very, very close, but hopefully I'll have enough.

I got the latest scarves off the loom. Naturally, the one I like the most is the one, that was really an afterthought. I spent the least amount of time planning it and just barely had enough yarn to make it, so it is a bit shorter than I would have liked. Isn't that always the way?

In sports news. . . the US men's national team--of COURSE I'm talking about soccer-- is playing El Salvador tonight in a World Cup qualifier match, so be sure to watch.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

HI Lynn and MOM!!!!!

x x o o

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

and NOW, I'm doing this . . .

I can't seem to figure out how many scarves I can get from a 7 yard warp (hint--more than two). So, I've commenced weaving this . . .

Of course, I will run out of yarn I'm using for weft before I run out of warp and that has the distinct possibility of making me somewhat (somewhat??) cranky.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

More weaving

I've completed weaving one scarf on the "suede" colored rayon boucle and have begun weaving the second scarf on that warp. Here are the colors I'm using and the resulting fabric.

I have almost completed the weaving on this scarf too. I should finish tomorrow. I'll have about 30 inches of warp left when I'm done, which is a good amount to have to play around with colors while I decide what to do next.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Flanked by **Stars**

There was no knitting, spinning or weaving yesterday, but the day was perfectly wonderful, none-the-less.

BOOK SIGNING: Knitting Rock Star, Sally Melville has a new book out. One of the two stops she's making in the United States is/was at Loops in Tulsa (the other stop is in New York). So, I went to the book signing. AND, here I am flanked by the knitting stars, Sally Melville and her daughter Caddy.

PRAIRIE DRESSES: I got up early and put the buttons on the prairie dress-up dresses I promised my nieces for their birthdays in . . . September, last year. No photos of the dresses, but they were enthusiastically received. AND, the bonus of delivering the dresses to their home was an invitation to dinner with my brother, his family and my parents.

FASHION: Finally, my here-to-fore plain ol' fingernails served as a palette for the artistic ministrations of my sister-in-law, brother, and niece who, as you can see, skillfully decorated my fingernails with smiley faces, bees, peace signs, flowers, and a dragonfly.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

MUCH better, thank you.

My warped angst of the previous post has now completely evaporated in favor of this rayon boucle warp in a rich gold color called suede and a weft of a bumpy multicolored knitting yarn.

I'm weaving the scarf in a hopsack pattern [ 1-2-3-4 threading, and 12-34 tie-up, with R-R-L-L-L treadling for you weavers]. The resulting fabric looks NOTHING like what I think of when someone says hopsack. I don't know what YOU think of, but I think of burlap. Anyway, I'm pleased.

The Cloth Merchants (the only people in town who sell decent garment fabric) are having their semi-annual showing at a local sewing machine store (Bee-Sew Inn at the Farm). I stopped in today after work and saw this pattern made up in a linen stripe:
I think the rendering above is uber-dorky looking and not even something I'd even consider, BUT the model garment was stunning. And, the pattern jacket lists handwoven among the suggested fabrics. That sounds like a challenge to me . . . only problem is (truthfully, probably more than one problem) the pattern calls for a minimum width of 50 inches (the longer vest is cut in one piece). My loom has a weaving width of 60 inches, but that is REALLY wide, and there is always shrinkage. But, the pattern only calls for 1 and 5/8 yards (almost 60 inches) which is a reasonable amount to weave. So. . . . I'm cogitating on the prospect of actually weaving garment fabric. More to follow, or not.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


If you know me, and I think you do, you’ll know this post is NOT about basketball. Although I am fond of baskets and balls too, I don’t particularly like them together (unless you view a soccer goal as a great BIG basket, that’s a whole ‘nother deal entirely).

No, what I’m talking about is my continuing attempt to warp my loom back to front—while getting the very complicated threading correct. And, by complicated I mean placing the threads in order in shafts 1-2-3-4 (yes, I’m being facetious—it doesn’t get much easier than that). I’ve thought about where I went wrong with my earlier disaster and have determined that it was all because I was listening to the book Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy on tape while I was working.

SPOILER--Maybe I missed something, but I gotta say I pretty much hated that book in the same way I just can't stand Jane Austen stuff—on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on about what one should think about this or that and what others think about this or that and no one really doing anything but worrying about "society" and more THINKING . . . blah, blah, blah until finally Anna throws herself under a train and Levin finds God, but decides not to tell his wife. I hope I didn’t ruin the book for anyone. It was awful in a Great Gatsby kind of way and that’s all I’m going to say. Digression terminated!

I did cut off the offending 356 thread warp featured in my previous post because wasting the $16 I paid for the thread was a good investment in my shaky sanity. Anna Karenina aside, I am pretty sure about where I goofed up, so I wound on 6 yards of some gorgeous gold-ish rayon that may grow up to be a scarf or two.

This time I precisely followed the directions in the book Warping Your Loom and Tying on New Warps by Peggy Osterkamp. Even though Kelly said the contraption (consisting of a broom handle and yarn) looked like some Rube Goldberg project, I soldiered on. However, in removing the warp from the warping board onto kite sticks ( a procedure that is supposed to avoid the nasty mess of the previous warp) I twisted the warp into a rope. It seemed to me that the book said some twisting is OK-- or maybe it didn’t. After I got everything threaded and wove a few inches it became obvious that although the threading was PERFECT, the rope thing was not perfect. So, I untied and unthreaded, re-hung my broomstick contraption, and untwisted the ropey warp.

Now I’ve got to re-thread the heddles and re-sley the reed and re-tie the whole mess to the front apron rod and THEN—ta da – madness (hopefully) abated , I’ll (hopefully) be ready to weave . . . please—PLEASE may I be ready to weave.

BUT tomorrow I’ll detour to a pub for a bit of blarney, beer, and a bagpipe band, ‘cause it seems like the right thing to do.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Don't EVEN ask . . .

Warping my loom back-to-front is an unmitigated failure.
First, I read/skimmed a book on the subject about 3 weeks ago and plowed ahead without re-reading the book--DUMB.
Second, instead of tackling a project of a reasonable size, I decided to do one which required 356 threads--also DUMB.
Third, well hell . . . see for yourself:
Does this look right to you?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

That’s How We Roll . . . .

As I’ve previously posted, since yesterday (March 10), daughter Meredith is off to perhaps become Sister Maria (fill in the blank) with the Servants of the Lord missionary order.

We had a party for her on Sunday, which involved 37 people and two 6 week-old lab puppies. (The puppies belong to my brother Matt, who did NOT think ahead to bring his baby goats or his pregnant llama along too. I don’t think he loves me at all).

I took a few photos at the party, but neglected to get any of my parents, nieces and nephews, or the puppies, and the photos I took were yucky because the light was bad. I don’t know why I even bothered to get the camera out.

As a last hurrah, Meredith decided to enter a bike race on Saturday. She did not decide to loose skin along the road by crashing, but that happened anyway. Most of the women in the field had not raced before and, in fact, had not ever even watched a bicycle race. Despite the fact she was wearing a Bert and Ernie jersey and had to remove a bell from her handlebars to pass muster before the race officials, having raced before (some) and having seen races before (lots), she was the one of the more experienced racers in the field of sketchy riders (being a sketchy rider is very insulting, much worse than having wonky seams in your knitting). So of course it was Meredith who wrecked.

warming up on a trainer but not really pulling off a tough look with the Bert & Ernie get-up

It’s all good though because, in spite of entering the convent looking like she had just been dragged behind a moving vehicle, the bike was not damaged.

At the end of the day Meredith was glad she raced, glad she wasn’t hurt worse, and glad to leave the bike racing to her brother whose advice to her was “don’t crash.”

Sorry to say I didn't get any photos of the gory wounds. Although I think bike wreck photos are arty and dramatic, my kids think they are just plain gross and won’t let me take any–Brats!

In fibery news, I cut the two cotton scarves I was weaving off the loom but was not very happy with them. I made a few threading errors that don’t look to me much like “design elements” and the color repeats in the yarn I used for weft in one of the scarves ended up being unattractively striped-y. So, the striped-y scarf now adorns my dresser where there is so much junk that it can’t really be seen, and Meredith took the scarf I made in blue tones with her to the ‘vent. Tonight I’m either going to measure off a warp of rayon for a scarf/wrap or do a warp in cotton/linen for tea towels in a Finnish weaving pattern. In either case, it will be my first attempt at dressing the loom from back-to-front, so I should have an entertaining evening.

My Tattoo

My Tattoo
A bike chain tattoo, that is It's chain lube ya know