Riddle Me This……

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AND I actually got approval/semi-encouragement from DH!  It was a spontaneous decision and it was local.  It is a little beaten up but has all the features I prefer in a PDL (aside from a plain warp beam). I also met another weaver who I look forward to getting together with in the future.

As you know, I really enjoy using the AVL’s and have owned many.  This one has the hanging weight for the cloth storage as opposed to the sliding weight and drum with the metal coil that will take your eye out for sure!  It also has a hanging beater – I can’t remember how fluid the double fly box is when using for single shuttle but happy to have the option.  The newer pick advance is nice as opposed to the old style with the gears.  Not picky about the dobby I vs II, as long as it works.

So my goal for next week is to get it up and running and dye some cotton and linen singles and warp it up!  Just ordered two containers of Howards Restore a Finish which will not only make this look better but will protect the finish.

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Review – AVL Home Loom

AVL makes a great product, across the board from their larger production looms to their smaller looms, the tension and shed are always great, the shafts lift and return with ease and they are quiet.

The plain beams have a groove for a stick that can hold the end of the warp chain and is then inserted into the groove for flat even beaming.

Above you can see weaving in place.  The warp is 100% linen with a linen single weft.  I did not use a temple!  The selvedges are quite nice and warp tension has been consistent throughout.

The back beam folds up making this a great loom for smaller spaces.

 

 

All Good here….

Aside from the usual crazy…

I’ll get to the weaving bit in a minute.  I decided to try Stitch Fix, the stylist did a bang up job on the first, the second was awesome also. I had an issue with the cut of a jacket and the blouse was not something I would have chosen but that is why I did Stitch Fix, to expand my horizons.

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I am great with interiors, clothing? not so much.

Anyway, shout out to whoever the stylist is!

Back to weaving.

I moved the “studio” upstairs, I was missing my AVL and KaBoom, there it is, 60 inch production loom 2 hours away!  Karma much? I am so excited to get a PDL back!  So I am down to 2 looms, the AVL PDL and the Oxaback.

Still adjusting to the new schedule with Mr. Mike working in another state.  Hurricane Florence is wreaking havoc through the state and to be honest, I am looking forward to a weekend just hanging out and getting caught up!

 

 

At Last….

Sorry, no eye candy here!  However, I ran 11 miles today and felt FANTASTIC (after barely being capable of 3 miles at a time).  I got all my looms together in the bonus room, whilst listening to music and taking my time.  After an hour or so I realized my hands didn’t hurt too much.

My co-workers have been really supportive – I’ve tried not to complain too much, but this spike really took it’s toll on me! I am finally getting back to normal.

It was nice to have two of the three kids home for a couple of days. It will be nice to have a couple of days just home getting organized.

It took a while to get the draw loom back together and another couple of hours setting up the lams on the Berga.  I used a system on this loom where a tie goes through both lams, I set the tie up by adjusting from the upper and lower lams. It looks incredibly confusing initially, but really is fairly simple.  I will post pictures when I set the loom up for the next project. So enjoy your Labor Day weekend.  Looking forward to the fall.

Venting

Warning, non weaving related!

I have Hashimotos, ask my hubby – he has no idea either.  In fact very few people understand the devastation this autoimmune disease can lay down on you unsuspecting.

It took me well into my 30’s to get diagnosed and I suspect I had it in my teens.  I rarely have an issue.  If I over exert myself (I am a marathon runner, coach and trainer) and add any slight stress and it is a powder keg for an attack.

I am lucky, I rarely get flares, until recently.  A lot of changes, a ton of stress, heading to menopause, no sleep, an irregular schedule, running 40 plus miles a week, long mountain trail runs, early & late clients, more stress and bingo.  Every joint feels like glass, it hurts to hold the steering wheel, everyone is asking something of you, but heart palpitations, exhaustion, cold, headaches, flaring between hyper and hypo thyroid make you want to just shut yourself in.  When you usually are a force of nature, suddenly you want to lay down on the sidewalk and sleep, and still, because you look fine, everyone wants more of your attention and energy.

Sure enough, I went to the doc and said I couldn’t figure which way this was going – I am suddenly hyperthyroid to the point of possible thyroid storm (think heart failure, major system failure). Sometimes it is the opposite – Hypo – fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, joint pain etc.

It hurts to type, it hurts to do laundry, it def hurts to workout.  This is a rarity for me and I am going to assume the additional stress and irregular schedule along with female issues is making this the perfect storm.  My Kryptonite.

Like I said, this is a rarity for me, but I wanted to share because there is so little info out there on people who are athletic and have this.  It is more frustrating when those close to you think they are helping by giving advice “you forgot your meds, you are depressed, you are getting old” – please – if you have a loved one with this autoimmune disorder – be respectful and read up on it and do not give unsolicited advice!

This illness doesn’t follow rules, it is right up there with Lupus, RA and a host of other issues.  I will get better and I will be back running marathons and kicking butt! But in the meantime, do not lecture, do not make assumptions and do not underestimate the illness or the ability of the person afflicted!

 

 

 

 

 

What Goes Up…..

We have lived in this house 2 years and the only person who has used the bonus room is a college friend of my son who slept on the couch.  To make things short, a lot has happened.  My DH is working in another state.  My children are getting older and I still have not been weaving (much).

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I made my old weaving space my hubby’s office.  I returned the spare room/study to its previous state so that when my daughter or other family members visit, they have their own space and bathroom.  The looms went into the bonus room….. Although it takes some effort, what goes up can just as easily be put back elsewhere.

There is still room for the couch – for the occasional college stray!

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It is still very messy, it has taken me many days to get this far as I have been in and out between work etc.

The drawloom was disassembled and still needs several hours of attention.  In a prior post I discussed the issue of the coupers interfering with the drawcords. Also, in order to use as a regular countermarch, numerous cords had to be changed and the coupers changed back to long on top.

I discussed the option of shorter coupers with Hans and Sara of Woolbearers.  The shorter coupers change the physics slightly (as does a change in breast beam height or size of heddles).

The shorter coupers make treadling a little harder.  I personally do not expect it to be a big issue.  The added benefit is that it is easy to remove the weights that hold the shafts in neutral in order to weave as regular countermarch.

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Now there should also be clearance for the shaft drawcords to travel to the back of the loom.

All three looms are waiting to be dressed.  I have remnants of linen rug warp to go on the Berga (can I say what a great loom that is!) and linen towel remnant for the AVL and I think I should sample using the new coupers on the Oxaback prior to dressing a long warp.

All I need now are 30 hours in a day.

 

Bad Bites & Bad Hair

So, I digress, in my prior post I mentioned feeling blah, tired and just plain uninspired.  Then I realized, the last 2 months have been pretty hairy (no pun intended).

I had been having lots of fun hiking and biking. After one cycling ride I was stung/bit by something.  Assuming a wasp sting or spider bite, I let it go, for 10 days!

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It got MUCH worse!  I finally went to the doctor who told me I had cellulitis (a staph or strep infection of the deeper skin).  It hurt, it was swollen and looked awful.  At the same time I spent bazunga $$ on a Bayalage.  It looked horrendous and fried my hair!

I had to get that fixed (more $$$).  A month later Mr. Mike got a new job out of state and ergo, here I am, pooped, cranky, out of shape, not feeling as fabulous as the $ I have spent on myself.  Not a single project is going well and not only is my hubby gone, but my kid is leaving for college and the other headed to Jr. year of HS.  I still haven’t been able to see my kid in Oregon yet.

I have figured out that often-times the downs mean a brand new uptick is to follow.  Yep, these are all first world problems!  So, I plan to get some extra sleep, get organized and get back at it!

 

Feeling Blah

I am starting to drop my balls.  I have been trying to juggle too many things at one time, on top of all this I have been forgetting my meds (Hashimotos) and all I want to do is sleep with a side of sleep.  I haven’t even had the desire to run.  Just too tired.

Mr. Mike is traveling a LOT and even though my kiddos are older I am running into scheduling issues.

I moved my equipment to the bonus room with the exception of the draw loom as I still have a warp on it.  It seems like every idea/design just isn’t working.  Nothing is appealing to me which adds to the frustration.

I have several clients and Cross Country resumes soon.  I used to be able to juggle this with aplomb, but this time around I have to say, it’s a struggle.  I am focussing on note keeping, taking one day at a time and getting comfortable with the fact that I may need to forget about a fall marathon.

For years I have been juggling too many things and watching my peers move ahead.  It may be time to focus on what I am most passionate about and redirect my focus.

 

Where Have I been?

Well, once again I have been remiss in posting or weaving for that matter.  Why? My part time job is as a coach and trainer. I have great clients and work in a really supportive gym, therefore, I have not had time to design. I also am running approximately 40 miles a week in between working and trying my hand at cycling.  The great outdoors along with some amazing friends has taken me out on hikes and trails.

My hubby is taking a new job which requires him traveling a good amount and our family is trying to re-align ourselves with this new normal.

I am beginning to wish there were 10 more hours in the day.  Life is good.  Running trails, hiking, designing things for my home and garden, teaching clients, coaching kids and weaving are all passions for me.

I did finally decide that things can change and change back.  So I decided to utilize the bonus room as a studio space for the time being.  It is light and bright and roomy.  It makes me want to weave more.

I also had a collision while cycling, with either a spider or wasp that resulted in a nasty case of cellulitis.  Pain, swelling, welts etc, this coincided with a really bad hair dye job (professional and $$$).  So for the last month I have not felt my best.

The month of August is a new start for all of my family, kid to new college, kid to Jr. year of HS, daughter with new job and home, hubby with new job and second residence. Me with my clients, training and trying to design.  Hopefully I will remember the two dogs and cat also.  I think I may be a poster child for trying to maximize productivity in a tiny amount of time.

Keeping It Simple & Where There Is A Will

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I did finish my throw blanket and it is wonderful!  I would post pictures but it is being held hostage by my hubby who is in a comfy chair with said throw, watching the Yankees.

I have no idea where the time has gone, although I have had a few fun adventures as well as working a lot.  We visited Charleston which was great, it seemed like all we did was eat and walk.

I went hiking with some girlfriends overnight on the Appalachian trail.  Amazing views and great company.

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The following weekend I took my boys hiking to a different section of the Appalachian Trail. I love that my boys indulged me!

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So, back to this weaving thing.  After 4 months of procrastinating, I finally got the draw loom warped with the shaft device.  Due to the coupers being long, the cordage for the draw shafts interfered with the movement of the coupers.  After a couple of “MacGyvering” efforts I found the slotted board to work the best.  Looks like I may be getting some weaving done this week.  I have a 16/2 linen warped and hope to get some funky, crisp linen towels finished.  I cannot believe it is already mid June, I hope I can slow time down a little and get back to producing again.