Friday, November 23, 2012

Some Thises Thats & The Others

I decided to check in even though I don’t have any photos to offer today. It’s dark and rainy and dismal. Black Friday indeed. Which brings me to the fact that I’m disappointed but not surprised that merchants here in Canada are starting to pick up on the US Black Friday/Cyber Monday thing. They want to keep the money on our side of the border. As if Boxing Day (now extended to Boxing Week) blowouts weren’t enough for them. Sheesh. Guess I can’t blame anyone for trying to make a living but I’m not going to bite. I don’t do Christmas gifts anymore. And I sure don’t need anything for myself either.

On a more positive note, I hope all my American readers had a Happy Thanksgiving yesterday! Personally I think we should be thankful every single day. I know I am. Though we could end up with an awful lot of leftover turkey and pumpkin pie. Heh. Yum.

I haven’t accomplished much crafty stuff this week. Instead I’ve been distracted by grandkids, a doctor’s appointment, a super-expensive prescription, blood tests and James Bond. My dear doc and I are trying a new tactic to discourage the Return of the Itchy Peelies. Oh yes, the dreaded scourge has reappeared after two lovely years of clear skin. So far it’s in a holding pattern, mostly on my feet. Wish me luck. I’m trying to stay positive. It’s not like it’s going to kill me or anything. This time at least I know what doesn’t work. And doc agrees that I don’t have psoriasis. I knew that all along.

Oh, and Skyfall is quite good. But I’m sure they don’t need my endorsement.

The biggest grandbeastie, the Art Princess (the handle she currently prefers), got to help me weave a few picks of the curtains on the loom. She enjoyed beating but isn’t quite up to throwing the big shuttle across the wide warp. I promised one day soon that I’ll put on a suitable warp for her to weave something herself. We may have to use my Carolyn table loom though. At 8 she’s not tall enough yet to reach the treadles on Gertrude unless she does it standing rather than sitting on the bench.

Art Princess is really interested in learning more about sewing too. Especially after our overnight session in August, she wants to make more stuffies like her moon, apple and fish. Unfortunately I don’t get many extended sessions with her. She has school and swimming and gymnastics and lives just far enough away that it takes serious effort for us to schedule time together. Doesn’t help that neither her mom nor I can drive. So learning only happens in tiny increments. But I’m happy that she is excited by some of the same things that I am and I’m sure we’ll find a way to pass it on. Eventually.

What else? I’ve started too many knitting projects so progress is slow. None of them are sweaters and I feel the need for another sweater. Guess I need to spin some yarn first. I’ve harvested some seeds from the Japanese indigo flowers residing in vases on my windowsill. Not a lot but there is more than enough for next year’s garden and I haven’t checked them all yet. The plants in the garden are toast so I was a little afraid for my new seeds but the windowsill method seems to work adequately. But you have to start with the most mature flower stems because the later ones are not producing anything. I think the light level is too low right now.

While I’m on the dye subject, I finally managed to get my madder harvest down to quite a fine powder. The secret was to put it in the dehydrator on the fruit rollup tray (otherwise it would fall through the mesh) and run it at 110 degrees F. I forgot it overnight (oops) but it came out bone dry. Then I whizzed it right away in the craft blender and it powdered really easily. That whole bucket full of fresh roots is now reduced to 160g and just over a cup’s worth of dry dye! Whew.

So I’m off to weave. I can see the end of the warp on the beam. I want to get this beast off and move on to other things.

1 comment:

pao said...

Hi Louisa, You certainly sound busy. Well, you know my opinion already about Black Friday, et. al. How wonderful though about your granddaughter's interest in weaving and sewing with your tutelage. And all you straight from the garden dye stuff is a complete mystery to me and seems amazing. Well, so does the making yarn, and weaving on looms. Now sewing I can understand, especially the bit about accidentally taking a nip out of the garment fabric (I hate that!). Nevertheless, happy creating.