Thursday, February 19, 2015

More Than a Snowstorm, More Than a Cold Snap

The most snow since 1998, at least. The coldest since 1936, at least. Mardi Gras almost forgotten, Ash Wednesday celebrated at home, except for the bravest souls. School out all week, just about everything closed or on shorter hours, with a couple of exceptions...women's UK Basketball must go on!

Right now we have about a foot of snow on the ground, and it's heading towards -11 tonight. Cold creeping in any gap, the exterior walls cold. Muffin extending full length in front of heating vents or finding warm laundry to sit and purr in. Ladybug napping on a bed the entire day. Our hallway upstairs cleared of much of its furniture so the boys can run and play a sort of soccer. The boys studying a bit during the day, and us all getting out for air when we the boys and Curte going with brother and niece to the basketball game.

Even growing up in Ithaca I didn't experience cold like this very often, although plenty of snow like we have, which is just delicious and brings such light and joy into the house. Dead grass has no poetry and doesn't reflect.

We've never had this much snow to play in!


Stuck in the dimmed light, a driver places cardboard under his wheels to gain traction. Our street remained
unplowed for four days. We did not mind. The beauty, the silence.

"Slow down"? No fear this morning. A sign posted down the street, to deter drivers
speeding on warmer days.

Extra pair of gloves a must.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Handwoven Alpaca and Wool Scarf: Spreading the Warp

Spreading the warp together.
While the boys sort small change, looking for the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. quarter to put in their coin collection, I grab the tail of this moment for a little post about the everlasting scarf.

Everlasting in that it's everlastingly under construction :}

Christopher and I are learning harness weaving together, the same way that we spin alpaca and wool together. He's just about as interested as I am. Unexpected and fascinating, since he's 7 years old and otherwise spends his days whenever possible with a basketball, football, soccer ball, baseball, or bouncy ball in his hands. He's a pragmatic, careful learner and enjoys process and practice. To say that I'm happy to have such a sweet companion on the fiber journey is an understatement...

Spreading the Warp

In Swedish methods of setting up a loom the reed is used not only to beat back the yarn into place as new cloth, but is also an aid to spreading out the warp threads to the right width when setting up the warp threads on the loom.

The chained warp threads are temporarily set on top of the loom and each pair of threads is sleyed (pulled) through the reed at a predetermined distance apart so that it can be threaded onto the apron rod at the back of the loom.

Our sleying hook? A bent metal paper clip. More homemade tools :}

Christopher sleys the warp through the reed as part of spreading it.

Detail man.

Warp spread and ready to thread onto the apron rod.

Worried about the warp slipping back through the reed? Thread a string through it :}
That's all for this time. This afternoon we may get a chance to work on it some more, but the boys are each designing a board game for school, and we need to run around some, and I have June's Vacation Bible School work to do...already!

Next up, I hope: the Vernet project -- Bernhardt stays!