Archive for April, 2008

I’m Warped!

Southwest Napkins

Originally uploaded by hjaponi

I know, no news there!

My loom is finally warped again. I am weaving a bunch of napkins (I refuse to use paper napkins). One morning I was thinking that I needed to go shopping for cloth napkins, when I realized that I could certainly weave my own! So I grabbed some cones of 5/2 Webs cotton and started designing. The colors look awful in the photo, but they are actually a nice southwest mix – brown, a teal-ish color, dark peach, turquoise, and a little white. Each napkin will be about 16″x16″ with a short fringe, because I don’t hem! The 5 yard warp should give me 8 napkins plus some extra fabric. I am using each warp stripe color as the weft for two napkins, and I will use white as the weft for the extra fabric.


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Well… World Debut may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it was our Farmers’ Market Debut! My wonderful Friday marimba class played for an audience today, for the first time! We played just one song but we had a blast. We managed to draw a good sized audience that clapped and danced and really enjoyed our performance!

For some reason the WordPress photo uploader doesn’t seem to want to work right now, so if you’d like to see photos, click here for my Flickr album.

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This is a first- two trips to the mainland in one week! The Seattle Weaver’s Guild was having its biannual Plaid Llama sale, so I just had to go! Think giant fiber flea market! I showed remarkable sales resistance when tempted by all sorts of cones of weaving yarn, balls of knitting yarn, fleeces, rovings, and tools-of-the trade. But one item just had to come home with me.

It is a large, very heavy floor spindle. I think it is a “kick spindle” (as opposed to a Navajo spindle) because of its weight, and because of the hand carved hook at the top. As far as I know, the Navajo spindles are straight at the top, rather than having a hook. The hook is so cool – it is very precisely carved, and I can just about feel the care that was put into forming it.

As for my resistance on the yarns, I have decided that, for me, it doesn’t make sense to buy yarn on spec. I have way too many cones that I bought because they were a “bargain” – and there they sit in the stash, waiting for me to decide what the heck to make with them. A $10 cone of yarn is no longer a bargain if it doesn’t get used! So my mode of operation, for now, is to buy what I need for what I want to make. We’ll see how that works for me!

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On Earth Day I officially committed to a life change that I’ve attempted before – I am eating vegan. I feel that I can’t say “I am a vegan” because by definition, vegans use no animal products. I am still going to wear leather shoes and I am still going to spin animal fibers and wear clothing made from animal fibers. I would like to say that I am no longer going to eat anything “with a face or a mother”, as it was put in one of the cookbooks I just read, but I am not quite sure where I stand on eating fish. My main reason for eating a plant based diet is based on health, and eating fish supposedly has many health benefits. So I may still be eating fish from time to time. That will also make it a bit easier to eat while on the road. To be completely honest, I am only part way there right now because I am still eating some cheese. I have absolutely no problem giving up poultry, and I stopped eating red meat ages ago. I’ve never been able to stomach cow’s milk, and I’ve never been a big ice cream fan, so no problems there. But cheese……..that’s a different story. Wow.

A few years ago I was eating vegetarian at virtually every meal. So what happened? I’m not sure exactly, but I think DH & I went on vacation (eating veggie can be tough when you are away from home), and then life tossed some difficulties our way, and it suddenly became easier to just buy some chicken and toss it in the frying pan.

So what’s different this time? Two things. First, my dear uncle, who is in his late 70s, adopted vegan eating last September. He has seen wonderful results on his health stats and his general feeling of good health. Because of his good results I have made a commitment to him about eating vegan, and that commitment, along with his support and good example, will support me in this journey. He is so thrilled with my decision, and I would not disappoint him for the world!

Second, the actual reason I made this decision was because of a book my uncle sent me entitled The China Study. This book outlines a very definite connection between nutrition and disease. Some information is available on the author’s website. I highly recommend looking at the website and then checking the book out of your local library – but beware, once you read the evidence, you may find yourself traveling the vegan path along with me!

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Yesterday afternoon I ventured to the Wild Side (as I call the mainland) to go to the Yarn Harlot’s talk at Third Place Books. There was a good size crowd there, with almost everyone knitting or spinning.

The guy sitting behind me had the coolest project bag I’ve ever seen!

Part of the fun is the people watching. This lady wanted to see if she could sell her loom.

Stephanie gave a great presentation. It was funny and educational. She has been reading some studies regarding repetitive motion and brain development. I won’t get the details right, but it turns out that our brains are constantly growing and evolving, and repetitive motion tasks like knitting put our brains into a happy state where they can do good things! She told of a fascinating study done on Buddhist monks. Turns out that when they meditate, their brains enter the same state that ours do when we knit or spin. And it was found that the monks, who spend a lot of time in that meditative state, are generally happier than the norm all of the time, not just when meditating. Sounds to me like we should be able to get our medical insurance to pay for fiber as preventive medicine!

My camera likes to fight with me over taking flash shots (if I insist on using the flash so that the picture doesn’t come out black, it refuses to let the shutter button depress!), but I did manage to get a fairly decent shot of the Harlot at the book signing part. The line was way too long for someone like me, dependent on the ferry schedule to get back home!

And last but not least, here is incarnation #4 of the sock.

I ripped out the Goldilock version on the ferry on the way over and cast on for a plain ol’ vanilla 2×2 ribbed sock. I knit all during the talk, so hopefully the evil yarn spirits have been replaced by the happy yarn spirits! If this doesn’t work, I will be thoroughly convinced that the yarn is jinxed!

As usual, a trip to the Wild Side both wore me out and reinforced how grateful I am for my island home!

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Goldilocks is Jinxed!

Originally uploaded by hjaponi

Take a good look at the Goldilocks sock, because after tonight it will be no more! Something about the rib pattern is making it start to spiral around, which I strongly suspect will cause problems with the way it fits. So I’m going to rip the darn thing out for the third time (I’m really starting to think the darn yarn is cursed!)….but this time will be different!! I am going to cast on the new sock tonight at Third Place Books while I am at the Yarn Harlot’s talk. The yarn will suck in all of that Harloty goodness and the evil spirits will leave it!

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Next Up!

Next Up!

Originally uploaded by hjaponi

Meet Trout, a lovely blend purchased at Rhinebeck several years ago (no receipt available to help carbon-date this one). I could walk right to the vendor’s booth, but I sure can’t remember their name! I will be spinning this on my Golding spindle.

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