Monday, November 26, 2007

Pithy details of the loom

There really isn't anything more boring in this world than sitting through 8 hours of WCB regulations. That was my day today. I think my brain melted and leaked out of my ears around 2pm. How I made it to 4:30pm without falling asleep and, thereby, falling off my chair and embarassing myself, I don't know.

Anyway, here's a couple pictures of my Minerva. I removed the really bad tape marks off with something called GOOP OFF! It smelled really toxic but it was my last resort. I used oil and got a little bit off. Next came vinegar and that took off a bit more. Murphy's oil soap got the loom nice and clean but didn't do much for tape marks. I tried Citrisolv and that worked for most of it. The hardcore stuff like GOOP OFF! removed the final really dried crusted tape.

It's not an 8 harness but 4 harness. It has slots for another 4 and it looks like it should be easy to install should I go that route. I emailed Leclerc and they said I can still get harnesses for it. The total width is 25.5" and 39" tall. Fully opened, it sits 34" long. It's a nice little loom.

I think I will get a new reed for it. It's going to take me a while to clean the rust off the other ones. I want to start weaving NOW!

Thankful for:
1. Having so much to be thankful for that it's hard to pick 3 things.
2. No snow yet.
3. Random kindness of strangers - Dunn's Tailor seamstress.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas countdown

1. 1 pair of red gloves.
2. 1 pair of grey gloves.
3. 1 pair of socks.
4. Weave 4 placemats (optional)

That's all I have left of my Christmas knitting. I have 30 days left. Piece of cake, right? If I don't finish the placemats in time, I'll just put everything away and pretend they don't exist.

Other things to do for fun (and me):
1. Block and sew grey cardigan.
2. Knit Misson Falls sweater.
3. Finish Kiri shawl.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Funny string pictures

This is where the cord is. It's nicely chained and out of the way. One diagram I came across had this attached to the friction brake wheel.

But there's another cord that's attached to the brake wheel on the botton. This is attached to the lever and it's working well.

The missing crank is for winding on the warp. I think I can find a socket that will do the job for now.

Thankful for:
1. Full moon - it's really beautiful out tonight.
2. Warm woolly mittens - it was really cold today!
3. Cheese nachos.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Minerva Loom!

The loom is in excellent shape. She bought it new years ago and other than dust, it's fine. Ok, there's tons of tape marks...she went wild binding everything up with masking tape. I'll have to find some kind of solvent that will take off 15 year old masking tape.

I think there's a crank missing that she can't find. There are two reeds but they're a bit rusty. Hubby thinks the rust can be cleaned off. It's missing the treadle hooks. I have thick wires that I can use.

It took me forever trying to figure out the brake thing. From what I can tell from the diagrams on the Leclerc website, I may have to take the whole thing off and start from scratch.

I got got a huge bag of bobbins and a bobbin winder but she couldn't find the boat shuttle. The warping board was in excellent condition but her husband had taken it apart and now it's missing a side. Not terribly useful, a three-sided warping board.

There are cords all over the place that I haven't worked out what they do. I think it's going to take me a while to figure everything out.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pay It Forward

I found this on someone's blog and had to do a bit of blog chasing to find the tail end to join up. I like this idea...kinda like a good deed, craft-style.

"I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog."

Football can be fun

The Kiri shawl is coming along very slowly. I've been sidetracked by the Halloween socks. I picked up the yarn a few days before Halloween and was going to save it for next year. Hah!! I tell myself that I'm in between commuting sock projects, I might as well start this one. It will only be for commuting. I LOVE the speckles in the yarn and I can't put it down!

The plan was that I was going to knit while the BC Lions played yesterday. If you're not much of a football fan and you have absolutely no understanding of the game and you're stuck there until the end of the game, what else can you do? It was going to be 3 hours of Kiri knitting. Then I had the brilliant idea of going to Three Bags Full. They were only 5 mins away.

Two skeins of Koigu in varigated red and 12 skeins of Misson Falls wool in dark green and light green. I was thinking of doing the Rowan Neaty in this. Three Bags Full even offered to wind my Koigu into balls in case I wanted to start them. As it happened, I had 2mm needles in my bag - doesn't everyone carry 2mm needles with them?

I also picked up another copy of Interweave Knit Gift issue. The pages seems to be a poorer quality paper what was used in the regular magazine. The pages were really flimsy and tore easily. I left my first copy on the floor and my dog laid down on it and ripped some of the pages. That was my fault but even before that, I was finding the pages would tear on the edge as you turn them. I hope Interweave is not planning switching to this type of paper for all their magazines.

I got back with enough time to start the toes of my next pair of socks. Best football game ever!

Thankful for:
1. Having today off.
2. Rain.
3. Fireplace.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Iris Chang - The Rape of Nanking

We went to see Iris Chang - the Rape of Nanking movie tonight. When I first heard about this movie, I thought it was about her book (of the same title) but it was more on the personal journey of the author - Iris Chang. Her parents were there at the end of the movie for question and answer.

I've been sitting here sorting out my thoughts on this movie and the subject matter. It's hard as this really does hit very close to home. I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to think about.

Thankful for:
1. A job that I can whine and complain about but still it's a job that I have.
2. My family is safe and with me.
3. My biggest decision today was what to have for breakfast.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Decisions! Decisions!

When I started my weaving classes, I knew I wanted a loom. I thought I wanted a small loom, maybe a table loom. I found a small floor loom...a 22" Minerva. I haven't seen it yet but it sounds nice. Good price.

Now, I have choices. There's a nice 36" loom 4 harness that sounds really nice too. A bit bigger than what I originally thought of getting. And there's a 45" 4 harness that's even better. I've been told that big is good because it means more possibilities. And then there's a 45" 8 harness for a bit more money but still good especially if I want to weave complicated patterns in the future.

The problem is that I do so many different things. How much time will I have for weaving? The reason I thought of getting a small loom is that it would fit nicely in a corner of the family room. I can weave and still be with the family. The larger looms will have to go upstairs. It's lonely up there and other than using the room as storage (or when I'm doing something messy) I don't do much up there. For me to weave up there would mean that I have to set aside a block of time to just weave. I'm used to leaving my projects all over the house for when I have a few minutes to spare. The 36" might fit in the space in the family room but the 45" definitely wouldn't fit.

All this might be a moot point as no one has returned my calls yet. All the looms might already be sold and I have to wait all over again.

Thankful for:
1. Coffee.
2. Roof is not leaking.
3. Family who puts up with my fibre addictions.

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's the end of a long weekend.

1. Didn't block or sew up the cardigan.
2. Finished the weaving sample.
3. Finished the background for the cards.
4. Skeins are in centre pull balls.
5. I have a couple of ideas but not sure what to make yet.
6. Didn't knit until my brains leaked out but I did play Diablo until my eyes fell out.

Thankful for:
1. Family dinners with lots of leftovers to bring home
2. The people who kept this country safe for me and my family.
3. Iris Chang.

Friday, November 09, 2007


It's Friday before a long weekend and I'm leaving at 1:30. It's perfect because I can stop off at the Circle Craft Fair before heading home.

So, it's for sure now...I'm going to get a loom. I've been waffling back and forth - should I get one now or should I wait? There's no reason to wait since I know I want one.

On our round-robin samplers, I made a mistake threading the pattern and had to re-do it. It wasn't hard to fix but I felt bad because now everyone has to re-weave their samples. I re-did mine and brought the loom back last night. It didn't seem as hard the second time around. I think I might actually like this pattern from hell. I shouldn't say that out loud until Irene checks it to see if it's right first.

Things to do this weekend:

1. Block and sew up cardigan.
2. Do the next weaving sample.
3. Work on the FATCs some more.
4. Wind the hemp skeins into balls.
5. Think of something to make for the Guild's Green display.
6. Knit until my brains leak out of my ears.

Thankful for:
1. Long weekend - that's a given.
2. Christmas music on the internet.
3. Quiet day at the office today.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Feeling sorry for myself

It's 9:30pm and I'm at work. There is a football game on tonight and I have to be here. I really don't understand football. Normally, I can go when I finish everything I needed to do...which should have been hours ago. But I'm waiting for the family. They're here at the game. So I'm sitting in my office knitting.

I'm knitting Kiri again. I made a Kiri shawl last year and gave it away to a friend who ran off to get married in Germany. It was hard to part with but the look on her face was worth it.

It was a toss up between the Flower Basket and the Kiri. I still have 2 Flower basket shawl waiting to be blocked. Do you see a trend here? Not much gets past the blocking stage of finishing.

I think at some point, I must have planned on making a few more Kiri shawl. Apparently, all in the same colour...Dewberry...because I found another bag of Kidsilk Haze in Dewberry. Good thing I like that colour.

Thankful for:

1. game is almost over.
2. 3 hours of quiet knitting time with no one to bother me.
3. Sushi.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I'm stuck!

I'm at a loss. I don't feel like blocking the grey cardie tonight. I want to knit something. I have old UFOs but nothing I want to work on (most of these I don't remember what they were supposed to be). There are always socks on the needles but they don't count. I'm thinking of a shawl, perhaps another Kiri or the Flower Basket shawl. Or another sweater but I can't make up my mind.

All day at work I've been mentally going through my stash, trying to decide what to knit next. It has to be something on 4.5mm needles because I'm dying to do a project on my Darn Pretty Needles. :D

I think I'll go spin some more of Ping for now.


1. It's Friday.
2. Daylight savings - we get an extra hour this Sunday.
3. Pumpkin seeds.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Meet Ping. Ping is a blend of 90% Pygora goat and 10% merino. And yes, it is as soft as it looks. I've felt pashmina shawls and they feel like sandpaper compared with my pygora cowl. A little of Ping goes a long way. Last summer (maybe?) I bought a small sample of Ping to try. I think it was an ounce. It was more than enough to knit a nice lacey cowl. I loved it so much, I bought more Ping. All that she had. The plan was to spin it fine and knit a shawl with it. It sat in the plastic bag (bad me) until now. Last month's guild meeting on down fibres scared me into bringing this out to spin. They had samples of what would happen if you hoard your fibre. Someone had brought a sample of supersoft angora fibre that felted in the plastic bag and it was scary!!

It may not look like much now but once it's plyed, washed and whacked, the yarn really blooms and it is yummy stuff!

I still have a bag of Ping's sister, Apple when I finished this. Ping and Apple came from Mountain Springs.

1. Willpower not to eat all the leftover Halloween chocolates.
2. The bus came on time today. Never did find out what happened to the missing bus.
3. Seeing someone do a good deed.