Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Tale of Woe

I finally hired someone to plow me out yesterday. There was much more snow there than I realized. What I thought was the ground was actually another six inches of snow and ice layers. So yeehah, I was finally able to get out yesterday. I had to get to town to have my glasses adjusted. Pulling on the gate to open it, it gave way in a rush and smacked into my glasses, bending the heck out of them. They sat on my face all askew and gave me a horrific headache because I couldn't see right. Working yesterday was murder! Despite all my whining about my glasses, that isn't my tale of woe.

No, my tale of woe starts way back in high school art class. As I remember it, we were supposed to have a few weeks of lecture on theory/history/whatever, and then the rest of the semester was to be actual hands on doing art, including wheel thrown pottery. I looked forward to that with much enthusiasm!

It never happened. Due to some kids who were goofing off, the whole class was punished. Instead of pottery, we had lectures on the life of Vincent Van Gogh. The whole semester. We did a little drawing maybe (which I sucked at) but I never got to sink my hands into mud and create something. I've been kind of pissed off about that ever since. I was going to say resentful, but that isn't strong enough. Nope, the unfairness of the whole class being punished for the misactions of a few really chaps my hide! I blame the teacher. Mr. H, I'm looking at you!

I've had this yearning to learn, but never found the opportunity. My goal for the year, (I do not make resolutions) is to take a wheel thrown pottery class. One of the nearby towns offered it in their fall community ed classes, so I am hoping for a winter offering. There damn well had better not be any kids goofing off in my class when I do sign up!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mohawk...Faux hawk...Snowhawk?

This is the only photo I was able to snap before the battery died. Already there were water spots on the lens, which you can see above. Anyway, I wanted to share this unique drift. It is hard to tell from this photo, but those peaks are maybe 1/4 inch thick. If you click to enlarge, you can see that they are almost translucent at the top. I wanted to fashion a tiny skier and place her on the drift for a photo, but the sharp peaks didn't last long once it started raining. Shoot, I could have had an avalanche photo! Tiny skier head first in the snow, all you can see are legs and skis sticking out!

We've had rain, sleet, snow, strong winds or a mix of it all since about Tuesday. I was out shoveling the drift by the gate, wanting to be able to at least get the gate open. When I opened the gate, there was a perfect grid of ice rectangles standing there, one and sometimes two rectangles high. The ice had come off the gate when I opened it. You'll have to use your imagination, I didn't have my camera and it was raining, but believe me it was cool! I stopped shoveling when the wind picked up and pelted me with ice sticks/chunks dropping from the trees. No matter, the rest of the driveway is impassable anyway because of the drifts.

Guess how I've been spending the time between shoveling and taking care of the animals? Spinning, sewing, dyeing, weaving and knitting. Imagine that! I got some books from the library when I knew I was going to be snowbound, but haven't even looked at them.

Hey, go have a glass of eggnog and hug someone, including your dog or cat or bunny or iguana.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Loopy peg loomed collar

Here it is, the thing made with the beehive yarn shown in the last post.

I'm not really sure what to call it.

Loopy collar seems appropriate.

The back gives a little better look as to how I made it. I wove it over about 12 pegs on the peg loom, and then removed the bottom 8 weft threads.

The thing sort of appeals to my wild and wacky side, but I fear I don't have the panache or self-confidence to actually wear it. Sad, huh?

I think it would make a great valance strung at the top of a window. Or maybe just hung on the wall. It's art, you know.

I have a total of 2.6 oz of the yarns left over. I was thinking it would make great wrist cuffs if I did the same thing. Weave it over 5 or 6 pegs, then pull out the bottom two or three. The loops, 2-3 inches long, would peek out from under your shirt/coat, falling onto your hands. I have to come up with a way to make them easy to take on and off though. To tie the weft threads together each time would be way too cumbersome, plus you would need somebody else to do it. Must think on this.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What I've Been Doing

I'm very lucky to be working full time again. I'm even luckier that they are allowing me to do it all from home, not making the drive (about 80 miles one way) three times a week like I did before Mom came to live with me.

The blizzard we had a couple of weeks ago dropped about a foot of snow, and the high winds rearranged it into 2-4 foot drifts. It has been a struggle to get water to the animals. I am contemplating a move to California. (Only sort of kidding!)

In my spare time, I've been spinning, knitting and weaving on the peg loom. Spinning first.

The latest issue of Spin-Off described how to make beehive yarns, so I tried it. You take the thick-thin on the left, ply it with the overtwisted thin single in the middle, and with some plying manipulations end up with the beehive yarn on the right. Watch this space for a peg loomed scarf using all three, eventually.

Did someone mention a peg loom? Yep, here's another shawl woven on the peg loom. This is 100% wool.

A closer look at the weave. This one ended up about 14 inches wide by 5 feet long. It will go to a friend.

Rusty Nail is done! Everyone dance in the street. Joshua come home to the island, happiness be complete. Great, going to have to dig out that CD now. Oh yes, Rusty Nail! She ended up about 10 inches wide and about 10 feet long when I finished blocking her. My first attempt at lace. At least, the closest to lace I've gotten. I don't know if it even qualifies as lace. I would have liked to do another full repeat, but I ran out of yarn and not enough time to spin more up. This one is going to a friend's mom.

I don't really know how to wear a shawl that long, good thing I'm not keeping it!

I'll end with a pretty sunset. It was blowing tiny ice crystals around, I think that is what created the ray shooting up.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

There is a certain county road near my hometown that every year gets overrun with woolly bear caterpillars in the late summer/early fall. A few here and there is normal, but for some reason in that area, the road is full of woolly bears scurrying (as fast as a caterpillar can scurry) from one side of the road to the other. One of my earliest memories is of the whole family packed into the old woody station wagon, driving down these county roads to see if the woolly bears were out.

Fifteen or so years ago, this area/road happened to be the way to get from my sister's place to my brother's place. (Now it's my nephew's place.) My sister, Mom, and I were driving in this area to get to my brother's house, and the woolly bears were out in full force. My BIL and nephews were following in a separate vehicle. We were driving along this deserted county road, weaving in and out to avoid hitting the woolly bears. Every time one of us would spot one, we'd let out a little scream and yell watch out! We were laughing the whole way. When we got to my brother's, my BIL asked why the hell we were driving that way, and of course we all just laughed even harder.

A few weeks after that, I got this in the mail.

Mom drew this little cartoon and sent one to each of us. I promptly hung it on my refrigerator, and there it remained. It even survived the move down to the farm, and got put on my new refrigerator here. I took it down, along with some other photos, etc for safekeeping when Mom started messing with everything. I thought about it a couple of weeks ago, and couldn't find it among everything else I had taken down. I was heartsick, thinking I had put it in the recycling bin by mistake or something. Today, I was moving some stuff, and there it was! I was so happy I cried! This post is getting the Pre-Alzheimer's Art label.