Erik’s Bug Jar

Erik's bug jar

working hard to get the jars finished during May. I also plan to cut all the backing and batting for individual quilting. That way I’ll be ready to quilt as you go next month!

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Migraines suck

Went to the gym today. Apparently I overdid it, cause I got one of the worst migraines I’ve had in years.  Sparkling, shimmering colours that were crystallized and and glowing!  If I could bottle them, without the ensuring pain and inevitable nausea and full body exhaustion I’d be a millionaire.   They are spectacularly beautiful and remind me of my own personal aurora borealis,  putting on a show, just for me. 

The problem is, they bring fear all by themselves, for they foreshadow extreme pain the like that causes the wish for your own death, for it would mean the end of the pain.  Harbingers of doom are not dark shadowy figures, hooded from sight.  They are shimmering lights only you can see. 

I am home

My family went camping this past weekend with our medieval group.  It was the Investiture for our new Prince and Princess, and it was lovely as usual.  What was different was the rainstorm – it had gale force wind, the rain was coming in sideways and there was hail.  There was lightening, thunder and you could barely see thru the rain, it was coming down so hard – monsoon like, really.

What was also different was we got flooded out of our tent.  Now this has happened to friends in the past, and we have always been the ones to help them in their times of need.  That’s what we have gotten to be known for.  This time it was us.  In 20+ years, we have never been flooded out – this was our turn.  And our friends came thru for us in SPADES!!!!

They helped move us out of the flood,  move our tents to higher ground,  move us back into our tent (one was too wet, and they took our kids in for the night!!),  and then made sure we stayed warm all night.  We didn’t have wet bedding like others did, so we were lucky that way, but our clothes didn’t fare as well, so they lent us garb for the night.  (garb is our slang for medieval clothing).

It really felt wonderful that we were so loved.  I am so glad we have the friends we do.

Minor Ranting-read or ignore

Ok, to start, I have been doing some type of secretarial work since I was 18 year old.  That makes me very experienced at what I do – not going to tell you HOW experienced, but trust me, I know what I’m doing.

Now, with all that experience comes speed.  Specifically at filing.  I hate filing, but I’m good at it.  It’s kinda like a multiple choice test – either you know the answer immediately, or you don’t.  If you don’t, you go back thru the answers later, if/when you have more time.  Same when you are filing – you have a file to put stuff into or you don’t – if you don’t you go back thru later to find it.  It could be misfiled after all.  You don’t focus on one file – it’s the whole that you have to focus on.

It is end of year for my school.  That means that ALL the filing that I *YAY* get to do is being done.  It’s a big job, and I knew I’d need help, so I asked 3 of my co-workers for help.  One of them is very competent, and we finished our part in about 15 minutes.  The other two – well one is competent and the other…. well, her strengths lie elsewhere.  Far far far away elsewhere.  She focuses on the miniscule, the one, not the many. 

So, to end this rant, I had to leave the back filing area.  I was getting irritated and frustrated, because she is so SLOOOOOOWWWW at filing.  I realize I’m really good at it, and she is doing me a major favour by helping me, even at her speed of *TURTLE!!!*, so I have to just say “Thank you” and step away.  But now, because of her “help”, I’ll be finishing this tomorrow.  GAHHHHHH!!

And unfortunately, these print-outs can’t be done earlier in the year when I have more time, or have nothing better to do.  They MUST be printed out at the end of the year.  I only wish – I’d print them and file them when I have lots of time!  The last two days are always crazy cause we all want to go to the end-of-year party ASAP. 

<sigh>  End of rant – thanks for listening.  Now, back to your regular programmed Happy Happy Joy Joy writingness.

Weaving Winingas

Getting ready to thread the heddles

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86 threads, 12 yards long
Jagger Spun Maine Line thread in colour “Shale” for the warp
Jagger Spun Maine Line thread in colour “French Blue” will be the weft

I’m going to do a leaf pattern on them – a twill from “A Handweaver’s Pattern Book” by Marguerite Davison’s book – page 9, pattern #35.  Well, I’ll try it out, see how it looks, and if I don’t like it, I’ll pick something else.  I’ll post the final pics when I’m done.

Puttered around putting it on the loom – would have been done yesterday afternoon, but for being online, messing around.  Also, my kids were running a garage sale today, and I was transplanting more cherry tomatoes and some more strawberries (the local grocery store has a “greenhouse” every spring, and sells the last few plants at huge discounts, so if they survive, bonus!).

But it’s partially on the loom, and I’ll get the heddles threaded tonight, and then I’ll start weaving them.  Since it’s only going to be 4″ wide, it’s going to go FAST!!  But it is 12 yards – I figure with the width I’ll be weaving about 2 yards or more an hour (barring thread breakage) – so I’ll be done in 4-6 hours.  Then I’ll full them (wash in hot water to shrink them), and then cut the two apart and finish the ends.  I should have them done for the weekend to give to Grimm.

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Tying up the treadles is always a pain in my rear shoulders.

Wow, my craft room looks filthy from this angle.  Gonna have to pull out the vacuum when I’m done this project.

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The start of the weaving.  I decided I didn’t like the original pattern I chose, so I decided to go with Pebble Weave from the same book, page 5, design 8.  I know it looks kinda crummy right now, but that always happens at the start of a weave.  Once I get my groove on, it’ll go much smoother, my tension will equalize, and the selvages will look AWESOME!!

Dog on The Loom

For those who don’t know me (which is pretty much everyone), I am a weaver.  I’m also a quilter, as you’ve seen on this blog in the past.  

I am currently working on a Tolkien Quilt – this will incorporate Lord of the Rings blocks as well as blocks from The Hobbit, and should I ever read any of Tolkien’s other works, probably stuff from them as well.

But to the title of this post…I am a weaver.  I also spin my own wool.  No, it’s not really that incredible.  It’s therapeutic, if you ask me.  I can sit and spin, and it calms me.  I can sit and weave, and things that seem troublesome disappear and/or become manageable.

Sometimes tho, a Dog on The Loom appears and it doesn’t matter how much you struggle with it, chastise it, yell at it, shed tears over it, plead with it, or whatever else you do with something/someone you are frustrated with, a Dog on The Loom just sits there like a lump and refuses to listen.

Once you have spent that much time (a year) spinning the thread to weave into something beautiful, you really want it to work.  But this shawl I was making (did I mention I spent a year spinning the thread – on and off, admittedly) became a Dog on The Loom.  It started almost immediately, and I thought it was just the way I had threaded the heddles, perhaps it was too tightly woven, perhaps the tension was too much/too little.  Nope.  It didn’t matter what I did, it was not working.  The handspun thread that I was using for the warp literally shredded on the loom.  I should have used it as the weft, I know that now, but at the time I was determined it was going to be the warp.

Oh well, live and learn.  I now know many more things about this self designed project, and after a year of avoiding weaving completely, I have decided to get back into it, with a simple little project for a friend.  He needs a pair of winingas (aka wikelbanders, puttees).  You see, I also belong to a medieval re-enactment group, and my friend is portraying an Anglo-Saxon, and he needs these leg wraps.  I’ve made them before, and I like weaving them.  They are simple to set the loom up for, are fast to weave, and relaxing.  So a good “back at it” project for me to come back to weaving.

Wish me luck.