Flattened

Oct. 8th, 2011 08:43 pm
altivo: 'Tivo as a plush toy (Miktar's plushie)
Continuous 7 hours of fiber art demos and gallery duty (explaining things over and over, showing how a loom works, etc.) means most of it on my feet and moving. And tomorrow a new load of hay is coming in. Gonna be sore by Monday, I fear.

Gary's hand is improving, slowly but the evidence is clear now.

There's a street festival in nearby Marengo tonight, so we're getting drunks and fireworks all the way out here in the next township. I guess country roads are too much of a tempation, and wild driving (noisy too) follows. Hope no one kills deer or foxes. If they hit a skunk they get what they deserve.

We were going to do a fancy dinner but we're both too worn, so we pulled a container of homemade pasta sauce out of the freezer and had spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad. Dog approves, he likes garlic bread.

For tomorrow: unload hay, groceries, perhaps apple picking if there's time. No more gallery duty until October 30 when we break the show down. (Though I see a so far unfilled shift on the 29th and might pick that up if necessary.)
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
Gallery show in Woodstock is now hanging. (Old Courthouse Arts Center, 101 N. Johnson St. on the Square, October 6 – 30. Thu – Sat 11 am – 5 pm, Sun 1 &ndash 5 pm) Show opens on Thursday at 11 am. Free admission, if you're in the area come see us.

Challenge scarves


Above is a close-up view of the spinning guild challenge submissions. These scarves were all made entirely from yarn spun with hand spindles. My scarf, about which you've seen me complaining for some time, was completed in time and is the rainbow colored lacy one at center.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
As I mentioned before, there's still quite a bit of warp threaded on the loom, so I can experiment. Here's the first trial. In overshot weaving, there are traditionally four different threading blocks. Each of these is associated with a treadle on the loom and they are woven in a fixed sequence. The most common sequence is the "star" treadling, where blocks A, B, C, and D are associated with treadles 1, 2, 3, and 4 in that order. But it is also fairly common to use the "rose" treadling sequence, where blocks A, B, C, and D are associated with treadles 2, 1, 4, and 3 in that order. Here is what the "Single Chariot Wheel and Table" design looks like when treadled using the "rose" sequence.

Single Chariot Wheel as Rose


I rather like it. The need to imagine that those "wheels" are actually round rather than diamonds has gone away, as the wheels are gone. Instead we see perhaps garden plots, with some filled by plants and others vacant or grassy. I intend to try some other variations, but I'll complete a full square this way and use it as a top for a throw pillow.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
So the library show is up and getting compliments. The woven coverlet squares are finished and distributed to the intended recipients. Next up? Today was the deadline for entries for the spinners' portion of the Woodstock show in October. I was just going to let that pass this year, but it looks like everyone else was thinking the same. So I had to scrounge up some valid entries and submit my paperwork today. I came up with 13 items, which is sufficient. Unfortunately, two of them are not yet finished and must be completed in the next couple of weeks.

Up right after that, the weavers' portion of the show, which I could skip. But there's warp on two looms that could become something if I think and act quickly enough. Hmmm.

Work was quiet this morning but very busy by afternoon as if people finally woke up and realized that the holiday weekend had ended. It was a beautiful but coolish day. That nutty hibiscus plant that I posted a photo of some weeks ago had no less than 13 blossoms open this morning. I guess the cooler nights made it think it was going to freeze to death and had better produce seeds?
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
At last, this whole nagging project is done. It has taken about ten months, though admittedly I wasn't working at it steadily. I would become disgusted with results I considered inadequate, and stop work for weeks on end. It was a "learning" experience (sarcastic euphemism, but also true.) Anyway, here is the pile of twenty finished squares that will go to the appropriate ten people this week.

All done!


Half of the total squares were worked in some shade of purple, my least favorite color. Definitely had enough of that.

In other news, Gary found someone with a single female Khaki Campbell duck in need of a home with other ducks. We drove up to a farm near the state line this morning and brought her back. He was nervous that our elderly drake might not accept her, but within five minutes of introducing the two, she was following him around everywhere and both seemed quite pleased. She had been living with chickens, and the chickens kept picking on her. Reputedly, she lays up to six eggs a week. We shall see.
altivo: 'Tivo as a plush toy (Miktar's plushie)
Long day, for sure. I did eventually get OpenOffice to do what I needed to produce information placards for 53 items submitted to the hand spinning exhibit. We got it all set up today and were done by 3:30. Locked up, set the burglar alarms, and rushed home because we had dinner guests. Gary cooked, fortunately, so I didn't have to. Two glasses of wine with dinner, so I'm not good for much now, but that's OK, I need a rest.

Weather has cooled off and dried out nicely. Hope this holds for a while, it's really pleasant. We need more hay, and dry weather would be best for that.

I think I have a touch of RSI from weaving so much in the last week or ten days, plus excessive typing. I may even have to try a wrist brace. Boo.
altivo: Gingerbread horse cookie (gingerhorse)
In more ways than one.

The nineteenth square is completed, I've started the twentieth (my own) so this part of the project will soon be complete. No more purple yarn, yay! Number 19 was a nice deep shade of green-blue, very soothing, and number 20 is more or less cerulean blue, the color of clear skies and cornflowers. Then I get to experiment with several yards of extra warp, looks like. *rubs hooves together gleefully*

Only one essential is on the agenda for the weekend, and that's to get the spinners' exhibition set up in the library on Sunday, ready for Tuesday's opening. I have plenty of help, so that should be fun rather than real work. Couple of hours, piece of cake. <==Famous last words, I'm sure.

Hmm, oh, I see it's time for another spinners' newsletter, too, so that needs to get done. But there should be time to play with ponies and dogs and whatever else I feel like. Hooray. Now if the weather will just cool off so it's more comfortable to do such things.

Success!

Sep. 1st, 2011 09:37 pm
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
I'll meet the deadline. It is now September, but the weaving doesn't have to be delivered until the 7th. The 19th of my 20 required squares is now partly completed on the loom. It will be done by this time tomorrow I'm sure. The 20th is my own and doesn't need to be turned in to anyone, but it will be done before the weekend is over. I've got it down to where it takes me less than two hours to finish a square. There is extra warp on the loom, too, and I need to figure out something interesting to weave with it.

Today's weather was truly stifling. Since I was already into the 18th square, I took time off and we went out for lunch and did a little shopping. Came back and I finished square eighteen and started the next one while Gary was at choir practice. Thank goodness, no more purple. Number nineteen is in a nice deep greenish blue called "Loden" and of course my own final square is cornflower blue.

Back to work tomorrow, but I suspect it will be slow due to the holiday weekend coming up. Most people will have already flown the coop, so to speak.

Speaking of holidays, we noticed while we were out that many gas stations have jumped their prices up significantly as of today. I don't think there is any justification for this other than a desire to gouge as much as possible from holiday travelers. On Tuesday the prices will mysteriously drop again.

Progress

Aug. 31st, 2011 10:35 pm
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
It clearly helps to stay home and concentrate on one thing sometimes. Last night I had just under two full squares of weaving completed. Tonight I have six finished and am ready to start on the seventh in the morning.

I also had occasion to talk to the manager of the group project. Turns out I am not the last to finish after all. I should be done tomorrow. There are still two people out of the group of ten who haven't finished and she doesn't know how far along they are. Now I can feel better, though I'll feel much better when this is just plain finished.

Rita was (as always) extremely nice and helpful. I mentioned that I was concerned that I might run out of the natural colored cotton before reaching the end, and she actually brought a spool of it to me at the library while I was working tonight. She reassured me that my squares, however I interpreted them, will be just fine.

Even so, if I never see any more purple yarn I will NOT complain. I'm sure I've mentioned before the fact that of ten chosen colors (one for each participant) I had to weave with to finish this task, six were shades of purple. In fact, four of those were the same shade, about the color of grape soda (ugh.)

Anyway, I should sleep better tonight. Especially since I feel as if I'd been riding a bicycle all day. No hills, but a steady pace on the level. I think I've not woven this much in a single day before, and these being complex two-footed patterns, it became exercise of a sort.

Hrmph!

Aug. 30th, 2011 10:12 pm
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
I just got, out of the blue, an apparent spam e-mail containing a "casting call" for some sort of furry television thing. Since this doesn't particularly excite or interest me, and especially since it's television, I would normally just toss it. But I wondered where they got my e-mail so I read it. They claim to be making some sort of "documentary" about furry fandom. Except it's clear that they have no real grasp of the scope or basis of the fandom. They think being "furry" means 1) you wear a fursuit, 2) you think you are an animal trapped in a human body, and 3) you must "look like you are between the ages of 18 and 28." Now just how representative of the furry fandom or "community" can that possibly be? Talk about experimenter bias that shapes the outcome of the study! They don't want to talk to or interview anyone who doesn't meet those criteria? This is pretty offensive, actually. We really shouldn't allow the word "furry" to be defined by these people any more than we let CSI or Vanity Fair define it.

In other news, it's raining. We had just about gotten rid of most of the mosquitoes too, darn it. Weaving proceeds apace, I'm more than halfway through the third of ten squares. Tomorrow and Thursday taken off from work to allow me to work on that.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Warping done, weaving started. Fortunately, this design is easier and faster to weave than the previous one, and I expect to meet my deadline. It's called "Single Chariot Wheel and Table" though the wheels are more squarish than round. It is possible to create the illusion of an actual circle in this weave structure, but that's much easier if the design is larger. Still, if you squint a bit you can see the "wheels." There are nine wheels and four tables to each completed square.

Single Chariot Wheel and Table
altivo: (rocking horse)
I've discovered that any time I feel fat, all I need is a visit to Wal-Mart to cheer me up. It's rather a puzzling thing, but seems to be true of every Wal-Mart store in our vicinity. It starts in the parking lot, where the proportion of oversized gas-guzzling SUVs is very high. Especially since the recession really took hold and gas prices started to skyrocket. The number of Navigators, Expeditions, and Hummers on the road has really dropped, except in Wal-Mart's parking lot, where they are piled up in all the spaces nearest the entrance, including the handicapped parking (though none of them have handicapped plates.)

Then you go into the store and discover there are many people shopping in there who are so wide in the beam that they block entire aisles. Given the expansive width of Wal-Mart's grocery aisles, this alone is remarkable. What is not remarkable is the content of their shopping carts: piles of snack food, frozen pizzas, and often, cases of beer. Never anything you actually have to cook, and certainly no fresh fruit or veggies, not even what passes for same at a Wal-Mart (so unfresh and overpriced that I refuse to buy that stuff there.)

I guess Wal-Mart customers still drive SUVs because they can't wedge themselves behind the steering wheel of a Mini-Cooper or, for that matter, even a Jeep Cherokee. And of course, Wal-Mart gives them what they want: acres of convenience food and booze. Who needs fresh stuff? Who needs things you have to actually cook before you can eat them? What's a "kitchen" anyway?

On another topic entirely, the sleying is now complete, the rethreaded warp tied onto the cloth bar, and the weaving started again. Alas, I need to unweave about a dozen picks in order to change some proportions (my "chariot wheels" were coming out "flat".) Not a big deal at this point, but I decided to go to bed instead of doing it right now. Here's a photo taken while the sleying was still in process:

Sleying


I'm planning to take Wednesday and Thursday this week off work to get some traction on the weaving part of this job.

Rethreaded

Aug. 27th, 2011 09:38 pm
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Here's the loom with all 354 warp threads rearranged in the heddles to create the second overshot pattern of the project, "Single Chariot Wheel."

Rethreaded


Each thread must still be drawn through a slot in the reed, a process known as "sleying." The reed is not visible in this photo because I removed it to make threading easier. You can just see some reeds (they come in various sizes and densities) leaning against the wall behind the loom. I'll do that tomorrow morning when daylight returns, as these fine threads are difficult to see and I don't want to have to redo it to correct an error.

Then the weaving begins again with a new design. I'll post as soon as I have a sample of what it looks like. I expect to take a couple of days off work this week to catch up on the weaving, as I need to finish ten squares by Sept. 7.
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
Spent the afternoon with another friend who has a big prairie restoration project on her land. She has just build a stand, rather like a deerhunters' stand, for viewing the prairie and watching for birds, butterflies, and animals. It's a small platform about seven feet above ground level, with stairs leading up to it and two seats with rails around them. She kept referring to it as her "bleachers" and I didn't understand why until I saw it. The two seats are folding stadium seats. A few years ago, Soldier Field in Chicago was remodeled and the old folding seats that were removed were sold to raise money. Someone presented her (or her husband actually) with two of those seats. A much better use for them than watching football, I must say. I think they'll also be excellent for watching meteor showers and eclipses. There's a great view of open sky for almost 360 degrees.

Her prairie is full of goldenrod, black-eyed susan, and heliotrope just now, as well as some stray native thistles and creamy lobelia (I think she said it was.) I did take some smaps, but they aren't out of the camera yet. Perhaps tomorrow.

We had peach pie and coffee, and talked about weaving, spinning, cooking, and the difference between schools today and what they were when we were students. It was a lovely afternoon.

Also got through four more inches of threading on the loom, only four more to go and it will be ready to sley.

Grr!

Aug. 23rd, 2011 10:39 pm
altivo: The Clydesdale Librarian (Default)
We got distracted on changing water in the aquariums so I didn't get started on my threading until pretty late. I did another inch then discovered an error back in yesterday's work that will make me undo it all the way back to there to correct. Oh, well, at least I found it now and not when I had the whole warp threaded and came up short of warp threads at the end.

More thunderboomers and water today, but at least it stayed nice and cool. Damper than I'd like, but only up to around 71F.

Farrier coming tomorrow, but I won't see him. Due to Gary's class schedule, I'll be going to work in the morning, coming home in the afternoon, and going back in for the evening. That way the critters get fed on time and someone is here to put them in if the weather goes bad.

Happened to go look at my [dormant for now] DA page and found it has acquired a thousand views while I was neglecting it. There are only nine pictures and a few journal entries on it. Weird.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
This project must be finished by Sept. 7. Past the halfway point, but more to go. I recaptured the cross and cut the first set of squares loose from the loom tonight. "Squares" is a stretch, alas. They are supposed to be nearly square, but for all my measurement and effort, they are still distorted more than I like. Too late to do anything about it. May be able to correct more in the second set.

Now I have to rethread the warp for a new pattern. The old one was "Catalpa Flower," the new one is to be "Single Chariot Wheel" — cursed circles, or at least, optical illusion of circles. Got to make them look round, not ovoid. Here we go...

Nice weather today, but too humid tonight and more thunderstorms tomorrow and Wednesday I guess.

Off to work out treadling. The exact "tromp as writ" just isn't going to make this look right.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Too much weaving in one day and I'm going to regret it I fear, but... I got almost two whole squares woven. And I figured out some changes to my technique that seem to be speeding it up a bit without sacrificing accuracy. The hard part about weaving overshot is keeping everything square that's supposed to be square. The motifs tend to want to elongate so I was doing a lot of double checking and retreadling. Turns out I'm getting the same results by changing the shed I beat on up to the next one. That saves several moves.

Now a dog story. Squeamish stomachs can stop reading here...

A couple of mornings back, big Red woke us up by barfing his entire supper onto the bedroom floor. We thought it looked oddly fibrous but wakened at 3:30 am, neither of us was willing to do any close examination of the mess. We cleaned it up and went back to sleep. Next day he was fine, still had his usual appetite and all that. We figured he'd eaten a bunch of grass or maybe licked himself and swallowed too much fur. Everything was normal until This morning at 4:30 when he repeated the same routine. This time we picked the smelly mass apart.

He had swallowed one of my socks. Whole. Unchewed. Now I admit my feet get sweaty and smelly when I have to wear shoes all day, as on work days. I much prefer sandals, even in winter. Previous dog (Sarah) used to chew on my dirty socks if they were left where she could get them, so I was cured of leaving them around anywhere. They go right into a closed hamper the minute I take them off. The chance of him getting dirty socks from me is non-existent. The only explanation we can come up with is that he got clean ones from the pile when laundry was removed from the dryer. Gary often tosses those on the bed for me to sort. Sometimes even when I'm not home, in which case they may sit there for several hours. Since I have many pairs of identical socks in about four different styles and colors, I don't always count. If one gets a hole or something, I toss it and keep the other as it still matches additional pairs. Consequently, Red may have taken socks (twice?) from the clean laundry.

Or just possibly, one slipped off the bed and was hidden under the edge of a quilt where it hangs to the floor, and he got it there. I suspect that even though the newly washed socks smell clean to me, Red can detect plenty of scent on them.

I can do without those two socks, but I'll be taking extra care to make sure he doesn't swallow any more. Mostly because no one likes being awakened by a sick dog at 3:30 am and then having to clean up the mess.
altivo: Horsie cupcakes (cupcake)
...over the bouncing warp. Actually back at it finally. None too soon as I have to get this warp finished in the next couple of weeks. Or else.

What I did to kick myself off both computers was start downloading updates. I have two VirtualBox Windows partitions that I almost never use, and they were months behind on updates.

Fox was barking outside about this time last night and again tonight. We smell him/her also. Or maybe it's a distant skunk.

Over the weekend I heard a screech owl. We used to get them regularly around here ten years ago, but I think the increased noise and road traffic has pushed them away. Certainly there's still plenty of prey for them, and the fox. Mice, chipmunks, voles aplenty. Chow down birdies, I just don't want to watch. (Eewww.)

Weaving

May. 23rd, 2011 07:56 pm
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
No, not referring to my driving abilities. Must get this weaving project finished, once and for all.

See y'all later.

At last

Mar. 2nd, 2011 09:04 pm
altivo: Plush horsey (plushie)
Finally slept through a whole night, and did not wake up congested or in pain. Much better day as a result of that.

Well, other than the usual work nonsense, that is.

Received some of the woven squares from others involved in the weaving exchange. They had a meeting this afternoon to swap squares, but I couldn't attend due to work. The group organizer called the library to see if I was there (she lives just up the street) and told Pat she didn't need to talk to me but would be right over to see me. Pat came back to my desk and said "Rita just called and she's coming for you. Just thought I should warn you in case you want to hide or something." She came by to bring me a stack of finished squares, so now I have more than half of the 20 squares I'll be receiving. I had been feeling guilty about not having finished all of mine for distribution yet, but I'm halfway through and found out that at least one person is just starting now.

Another machine at work died of the dreaded Symantec antivirus lockup. At least now I recognize it and know what's needed to get rid of it. As usual, I can't uninstall the product because it won't uninstall in safe mode and the machine won't boot in normal mode. But it can be removed by editing the registry in safe mode, and that's what will be required. We still have six or seven machines running with the product on them, but I'm going to start uninstalling it as a preventive measure. Three of them really don't need antivirus. The others do, but I can put Microsoft's Security Essentials on them. I will never buy anything from Symantec again.

Staff meeting tomorrow morning where we will divide up the stash of PEEPSTM so everyone can get started on the peep diorama project samples.

Gary and Red are at his agility class, and I'm waiting for them to get back so we can have our very late supper. Then bedtime, thank goodness.

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