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lessons to learn

December 7, 2019

still working on the new camera technology

 just when I think one problem is solved a new one appears

anyone/anything is fair game as I struggle, camera in hand

the macro lens seems to be good

James and Carrie came for tea and cookies

think the automatic flash is finally turned off – but you never know

my challenge for 2019 is finished

oh, thank all the gods that be

not a great photo but the best I can do at this time

it’s raining – can’t hang it on the clothesline or the fence

and the light isn’t good at this time of year

it measures 44″ x 68″ – only 2 warps are commercial yarn the rest is handspun wool and some alpaca

 a patchwork of samples and learning experiences

by the second month I was ready to quit

until the idea of making it into a blanket – at least something useful – dawned in the night

very little planning went into the overall pattern, not exactly a thing of beauty

more about learning and perseverience

and it is warm on winter evenings

the piece upper left is the final December weaving

I haven’t crocheted in years – 2 ply handspun wool doesn’t slip through the fingers easily

but it did make a satisfactory edging

will I be doing more backstrap weaving?

not prepared to answer that until time dulls my memories of the struggle

the challenge for next year is in the planning stages

ultimate frustration

December 2, 2019

I’m not an enthusiastic shopper

 I went shopping on Black Friday – it was a traumatic experience

my old camera has major problems and I NEED a good camera

so a new one was on the wish list

this is the same camera, just a newer model of my past 3 cameras

they have all served me well but like all new electronics sadly they are not made to last forever

it was a great price – last year’s model – but I’m not a fashionista

it is suppose to be a simple “point and shoot” with an excellent macro lens

for textiles and weave structures and flowers and butterflies

but it has the technology of a NASA computer

it took me 6 hours to figure how to download the pictures from the camera to the computer

my neck ached, I felt dizzy and completely stupid

but I thought I had it figured out!

NO – just pointing and shooting has major challenges

it has way too many settings and choices – some of them I’ll never use!

next morning and a walk around the neighborhood for some test shootsthere were no butterflies, everything is brown and grey

lichen likes the rain

and I may not figure all the settings before Spring is here

happy with the macro lens 🙂

the only other purchase on Black Friday was a comfy – but expensive – pair of walking shoes

think I’ll stay home next year

turkey tails and avocado

November 27, 2019

remember the turkey tail mushroom?

I chopped it into 1/2 inch bits and left it to soak for 2 weeks

it remained tough, like leather and started to smell nasty

alum mordanted wool simmered for 2 hours – and it really smelled BAD

gave a pale yellow/green

avocado are expensive here and the ones in the store now are not very good

still, they will be used for dyeing

I chop the pit before it hardens, as it dries you can see the dye potential

the samples are from last year

stitching in the evenings

I love the ripple patterns the kantha stitch makes

December will be busy so I got a jump start on the backstrap weaving

it will be the final piece for the year’s challenge

handspun wool in both warp and weft

indigo dyed, natural grey and brown

the grey is thicker so I will see how the different weights weave

planning to weave the weft like a tartan

now it is time to wind a warp for the floor loom

November abundance

November 20, 2019

the trick to gathering mushrooms is to correctly identify them

of course this is critical if you plan to eat them – which I definitely do not!

I rely on “All That the Rain Promises, and More”  by David Arora

inside front cover – his method of identification is simple and direct

the rains have arrived so now is the time to go gathering

I am undecided on the identity of those on the left and bottom

top center are several bug eaten Bolete – no dye

top right are Turkey Tail (trametes versicolor)

they are leathery with interesting circular rings of colour – soaking in a dyepot

lower right, a single specimen  gives a beautiful brown spore print

may be Poison Pie (hebeloma crustuliniforme)

spore prints are beautiful works of art

all the other mushrooms had white spore prints

on my street the Amanita muscaria are splendid

they are larger than in past years

beautiful but definitely not eatable and no dye

after a few days rain, when the sun reappeared I returned to Ross Bay cemetery

a beautiful place to wander – and collect fallen lichen

a good assortment – to dye with later

I’ve never seen this small mushroom before

it doesn’t appear to be in any of my books and didn’t give a spore print

too small to try dyeing with

I wasn’t the only one enjoying the sun

at least 10 deer were browsing

they weren’t bothered with me but I stayed behind a tree or headstone while taking pictures

just in case

and those antlers look dangerous

I’m happy they are eating here and not in my garden

this large buck seems rather pleased with himself

and there has been some work done

November’s backstrap weaving is finished

stitched to the blanket  – there is only one more panel before the weaving is done

with plans to finish it with a crochet edging

as I haven’t crocheted in years I need some practice

now to warp that final piece

Scrap Happy November

November 15, 2019

tea towels – hot off the loom

they’re not finished – waiting to be hemmed, washed and trimmed

warp threads were all small cones of leftover cotton yarns

it was difficult to arrange a colour sequence that was pleasing

the yarn ran out in the pink stripe and there are a few threads of a different shade

the weft threads – (used for the weaving) are cotton and linen

they are a different pastel in each towel

using up whatever weights and colours from the stash that were compatible

there are still leftover colours – scraps

and a pile of thrums

for non-weavers these are the warp yarns left on the loom which are impossible to weave

every weaver has thrums – I use them for stitching and sometimes weaving

but they seem to multiply over night – more scraps!

oops! I forgot to include Kate’s link to other Scrap Happy folks;

Kate Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.


November 11, 2019

we will remember

Ross Bay Cemetery  – 11-11-19

spinning my wheels

November 10, 2019

light rain for 24 hours broke a 65 year record for a dry spell at this time of year

but today was dry and not too cold so I worked another 2 hours raking leaves and pruning

I think it’s done for now – after all it is November these seed pods are so cheerful I brought some in

they are the seeds from Iris foetidissima – one would assume from the name that they smell bad

but mine don’t smell at all

and this large polypore – possibly Ganoderma applanatum or “Artist’s conk”

is growing at the base of the Japanese plum

 there is a very small one just starting, on the right

the white underside will turn brown when scratched or drawn on

there is an abundance of cinnamon coloured  spore dust on it and the tree, it is as hard as concrete

I want to try dyeing with it but had no luck even trying to sawing it off

with the month drifting along November’s backstrap weaving is finally started

handspun, 2 ply wool in both warp and weft

the pink is a blend of several natural dyed colours from a few years ago

50 grams of Bombyx silk  spun on the IST Crafts Turkish spindle and plied on the wheel

can’t wait to dye it!