Thursday, September 24, 2009

Life Lines

Sometimes I just get stuck on something. Yesterday was one of those times. I will admit here and now that when it comes to planning a warp, unless it is something terribly specific that has been requested I put pen to paper for not much more than warp calculations, making sure I have enough bouts for threading sequences and a rough guide of color changes should there be any. Most everything is either spontaneous or in my head as to what I want to do. So it was when I was warping
the current scarf now sitting on Hey Baby.

I know I wanted to do plain weave and point twill the whole length of the piece. In other words, as I treadled, both plain weave would happen in the white parts and point twill would be happening in the mocha parts. This seemed pretty easy, but when I went to look for an 8 shaft pattern that would allow that I was out of luck. Then I searched for a 4 shaft pattern and again, nothing. Magazines started flying, books starting coming off the shelves for review of patterns and still I was left with either treadling for the point twill and then treadling tabby. It drove home three very important things: 1. I am woefully bad at drafting by hand. 2. I really really need a computer program and 3. most important, I have very smart weaving friends. It was time to call in the dogs and piss on the fire. An e-mail went out to Nadine, my long suffering mentor. Think nice things for this wonderful lady, she taught me how to weave and I am sure it was a very trying time indeed!
And then a call went out to Cindie, since I was sure she had a computer program.
Cindie happily was home and after we both got ourselves kind of stumped on this problem of either 4 or 8 harnesses, got off the phone and went to work on my behalf for a draft. Nadine was also scanning her massive collections of stuff for something suitable. Gosh darn, it's so great to have resources and terribly nice ones too!

Cindie and her computer managed to come up with a draft ( and 3 variations) using 6 shafts and 4 treadles. I sent the drafts to Nadine, both so she wouldn't keep looking and also to have it on hand should some other confused soul have such a request.

I am so thrilled to have these drafts as I think plain weave and point twills just look great together. The warp itself was wound using two different setts. The white llama will be at 8 epi for the plain weave and the mocha at 10 epi for the twill. The weft will be all white. I honestly think this is one of the prettiest warps I've ever done, hence the overload of pictures of it! I just love the colors and textures together. I don't know if it will work, but regardless, these are two fibers I want to use again and again....

Thank you ladies, for being a life line and coming to this novice weavers rescue!

Now, on to farm news. We've been busy here, two fires on Monday, one in Ashland at 100 acres and one home lost and the second which broke out a couple hours later in Medford covering a little over 600 acres. Gene got the call from the State Fire Marshall to start setting up communications and the team on call was heading down from Eugene. I was in Ashland when the fire broke out there and got a first hand view. It was impressive indeed. Not to mention the multiple air tankers and helicopters working furiously overhead since about 400 homes where threatened. Of course, the day brought record temps and Santa Ana type winds, which are unusual for Southern Oregon. The fire fighters from all resources did a fantastic job and both fires were under containment by Tuesday morning.

Miss Bea continues to improve daily. She's walking quite well on that rear leg, incision is healing nicely and she's dropped off the pain meds. Her follow up appointment is next Tuesday. All in all she has been a very good patient and I remind her of that daily.

Bond did manage to skirt my fortifications, so more were in order. They have not been breached since Tuesday.

The guest room walls have their 3 coats of paint on and there is one coat of primer on the trim. Today or tomorrow I'll start painting it up and finally put this room in the done column and move on to the upstairs bathroom. It's been awfully hot, so I've tried to get started and done with that task in the morning.

Afternoons have been spent knitting, spinning and goofing with the horses and goats. Imp so enjoys getting hosed down, he now puts his face into the stream and drinks from it. The goats hate water and terrible shepherdess that I am sometimes I can't resist squirting one or two of them. They are sweet girls though most of the time and rarely hold a grudge.


  1. Thank goodness for weaving friends who will bail you out of a tight spot, eh? I don't know what I'd do without mine!!

    Those yarns do look great!! I've got two yarn shops on my agenda today...perhaps you'll inspire me. (Even though I'm not convinced I need more yarn....I think I might need to weave and knit more rather than shop more!)

    Scary, scary about the fires. That's something we don't really worry about in the same way in New England. Wildfires rarely happen, and I can't ever recall a time when a fire outside has actually threatened a house - let alone more than one house.

    Good news (mostly) on the animal front!!! Go Bea! We've seen porcupines in our yard lately, so we're going to have to do something about them soon too!

    Have fun!


  2. Lovely warp and I can't wait to see what you gals have come up with!

    The fires have been downright scary this year and I'm glad to hear you are still in house and home ( and no doubt Bond is happy too...the wrangle continues!)

    My best regards to Bea on her recovery. They are amazing little souls aren't they?


  3. It is good to have friends around to help in such things. It's also hard to find just anyone who "gets it"! The fires sound amazing and I'm sure I would be speechless. Glad to hear Bea is getting better and behaving! I'm amazed that Bond continues to try - that's certainly not looking for the pathh of least resistance!!!

  4. Sue,
    Cool! Two yarn shops...don't forget to share the loot!
    Porcupines, now that is neat. I have only seen a few in my time. They hang out under one or two trees usually, Spruce maybe? Anyway, they must be in search of some fall nutrition or this years babies kicked out of the nest so to speak. Tell Bailey they are far worse than skunks!

    Susan, yes, the wrangling does seem endless but I might miss the spy vs. spy aspect of it assuming I get the upper hand.

    It's the cat food smells that make it so appealing I'm sure. The cats only get enough to eat in one sitting now, but I'm sure a well tuned nose picks up that there was food. Surprisingly, he doesn't bother the grain bins at all except to use them for climbing.

    It is indeed good to have willing weaving friends.

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  6. How fantastic to have a friend like that! I love a good weaving challenge, though I always have to think it through myself, which is more successful sometimes than others.

    Sounds like you've been really busy and productive.

    By Gene setting up communications are you referring to amateur radio operations?

    Glad to hear Bea is doing well.

  7. Leigh,
    Gene is a HAM operator, but in emergency communications it's not needed. I use our frequency as dispatch locally for our fire department. Oregon State Fire Marshall dispatches "teams" once a conflagration is order, which means structures threatened. They send out a communications truck, a big red thing with all sorts of capabilities so that firefighters and rescue personnel can all talk to one another since resources both public and private are used in fighting our large fires. The OSFM gives everyone a common band to use. Gene is a communications leader due to his expertise in radio communications and how to set up links. He builds all sorts of stuff for communications in his private life.