Monday, November 03, 2008


Yes, it’s about time that I got around to posting again, huh? Weekends are a tough one because often we’re busy doing stuff and this weekend was no exception. Saturday we went shopping. No, really. Actually shopping, as opposed to walking to the magazine shop and then picking up a few groceries on the way home. We took the car even. And drove almost completely across town from one end to the other. Our house is pretty much in the geographic centre too.

For once I had fun buying some new clothes because most of the things I tried on actually fit me. Mark’s Work Wearhouse doesn’t sound like a stylin’ shop but I don’t care. I like simple casual things that last through many washings and wearings. And yes, at least half of the store’s items are meant for the female of the species. I’m somewhat sad to say that most of the garments are made overseas but we don’t have much of a garment industry in Canada so unless I make it myself, it’ll likely have been made elsewhere. But politics aside, the quality is good and the prices are very reasonable especially when most of the things I wanted were on sale. I got two zip-front cotton rib sweaters (black and red), a lovely black “touch of cashmere” hoodie, a waffle-knit Henley-style t-shirt in a natural oatmeal colour, black microfibre long-johns, 2 pairs of black heavy cotton & stretch yoga pants (with a cute little zip pocket in the left pant leg) and a pair of black sweatpants. T-Man even got into the act and got a few t-shirts, a cotton casual long-sleeved shirt for work and a pair of plaid pajama bottoms for lounging. We are doing our little bit to keep the economy moving. OK, I just like buying my own birthday presents!

Yes, yesterday was my birthday and I got a bunch of lovely birthday wishes from family and friends. We were invited out to Milady Daughter and her Lord’s for dinner but first we had to meet them at a weaver’s house to pick up a free loom. The weaver had bought herself a new Louet Spring loom and wanted to find a home for this honking older Swedish-made Glimakra. Really it’s not that big since it’s the same size as my loom, being the model that John Low used for the original Woolhouse countermarch. However, this one came with all the trimmings – if we can only find out how to put them together and make them work. Apparently included in the large pile of lumber and string there is not only an 8-shaft 10-treadle countermarch but the counterbalance conversion, a second warp beam and, most amazingly of all, a drawloom attachment! No idea what kind or whether all the parts are there though. That will take some future research. (Hint: it might possibly fit my loom.) Meanwhile we got the big beast about 2/3 assembled in regular countermarch mode before dinner. Our immediate goal is for her to be able to weave some cloth on it and leave the complications for later. If that’s as far as we get it was still free! The previous owner was not happy with her ability to get a good shed but I’m hoping that my experience with my own loom will be helpful in solving whatever problems she might have had. The Weaver’s loss is Milady’s gain.

Today I babysat the Cutie-Pie Monsters while their parents went to see “Paschendale” at the movie theatre. They are more fun the older they become! This time there was a distinctly better level of cooperation and barely any fighting over the toys. Just about the time I was wearing out, their grandpa got home from work and took over from me for a rousing game of hide-and-seek. I so appreciate the fact that the kids live close enough for us to be a real presence in the grandkids’ lives. But I’m also grateful that I don’t get them more often than once every week or two. Whew!

Before I end, I want to correct my error about the paper yarn. The one I was using to knit the sample swatch is actually a strip about 15mm wide that’s folded in 3 to create a thicker and stronger 4-5mm tape. I didn’t even realize that while I was working with it. Here’s the swatch after washing and blocking:

I think it has some interesting possibilities.

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