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Happy New Year, Sleet and What's on the looms


Happy New Year to everyone!  Let's hope it's happier, healthier, more prosperous and that we can all get along better.  Wouldn't that be great?  I have been thinking about new year's resolutions.  I steadfastly refuse to make any but I do think about what I want to do better and/or differently in the new year.  Yes, that sort of sounds like new year's resolutions but if I don't name them resolutions then I don't fail when they don't happen.

We have been working on revamping our website and along with that comes me doing a better job of getting things up there.  Most of our shawls are on the website but none of the fiber, yarn, tools, used looms, spinning wheels or new looms we carry.  I enjoy taking pictures of our stuff, I enjoy photo-shopping the images to get them to the correct size, shape and level of detail.  I'm less enthusiastic about writing up the descriptions but all in all it is not an onerous process to get things on the website - it just doesn't seem to happen as often as it should.  I would rather be spinning or weaving, I guess.  Then there are all the "normal" things I want to be better at - loose weight, get more exercise, eat better.  Yeah, well, we'll see about all of those.

I went out to the barn earlier today to feed the livestock and it started to rain.  We have had weeks of overcast skies and cold temperatures but we are still lacking in rain.  It's ugly to have rain at 40 degrees but we need it and the animals all have nice snug shelters.  But this time it didn't sound right on the barn's metal roof - more of a "tink" sound and less of a "sploosh" sound.  Sure enough there were little dots of ice on my mule.  We don't get much solid precipitation here.  We did go 7 straight years with snow each winter but the bar is set pretty low regarding snow.  If anyone can see one flurry of snow, one individual snowflake, that constitutes snow for this transplanted northerner.   I love snow, especially since we get so little of it this far south, but sleet is a different thing.  Sleet masquerades as rain until it hits the ground and then proceeds to make everything slick.  And it's the fact that everything balances on the knife edge of 32 degrees.  Will the sleet  stick and become ice?  Will the warmer ground melt all the sleet or will the temperature drop so that it makes the roads icy?  Well, in this case, I'm positive we won't have icy roads.  It's over 40 degrees and the temperature is not likely to drop far enough to keep the ground temperature low enough to support ice but it does accentuate the nastiness of the day.

I finished the run of curtain material on my big loom yesterday.  I think I started off with 15 yards of warp but took off several sections of curtain fabric to play with and sample.  I love the way it's turned out but it's really boring to weave.  It's an off-white or beige natural cottolin in the warp and an off-white or beige natural linen in the weft.  That's a lot of pretty boring yards particularly when it's woven on only four shafts with a really boring treadle repeat - 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4.  I'm ready to warp the loom up with something fun  and colorful and very different.  I will have to do another 15 yard run of the curtain fabric to finish off my windows in the house but not right now.  And right now the loom is empty.

The new Schacht Baby Wolf loom has kitchen towels on it.  They are natural and black in a new-to-me color and weave pattern.  The Baby Macomber loom has the same natural/black color and weave pattern but in linen.  I'll end up with matching kitchen towels and tea towels.  But while these are more colorful than my natural/natural curtain fabric, they aren't exactly a riot of color.  All the more reason to do something flamboyant on the big loom.

I had to put away my triangle loom last fall because it kept calling to me and I wasn't getting anything else woven.  It did 6 shawls in a row and finally decided to just needed to put the loom away if I was ever going to get any more kitchen towels or curtains woven.  I brought the 7' tri out to do a special shawl for my friend Nancy to give to her friend Paula.  That shawl turned out to be wonderful and now that the big tri is off the wall it wants to stay busy too.  I'm trying to use up bits and bobs of yarn I have left over but really love.  This one should turn out wonderfully soft and very warm along with being gorgeous.