Sunday, October 17, 2010

Progress Report x 4

Saturday was an absolute treat for me. My best friend, Linda, came to visit. She lives 1 1/2 hrs. away, so we don't get to see each other very often. She brought her knitting (she makes adorable knitted sheep that she felts) and I worked on tying off the final bits of the Dogwood Placemats. We worked and talked for almost 6 hours. It was great and I've decided when we retire and sell this house, I want to move south so we can do this more often.

Progress 1:

On the Loom: Dogwood Placemats for Betty

I did manage to get the loom threaded for the Dogwood Placemats a week ago Sunday. There are 400 ends on these, so that is a lot of threading for me and it's not straight 1-8, so I really had to be careful.

To facilitate the threading, I "wrote out" the entire threading sequence instead of working from the pattern, which had multiple repeats. (Do this 2 times, do that 2 times, do the other thing 2 times and then do that whole block 3 times... then do this... and don't lose your place...) Thank goodness for Excel. It makes repeats as simple as ... copy / paste and translating these instructions into a format I could use, a quick and painless process.

To help ensure accuracy, I broke the diagram into units of 8. I used a post-it note to keep track of where I was and double checked each unit before proceeding to the next. I caught 2 errors using this process, so I think it is a good approach for someone who feels intimidated by what they preceive as a "complicated" threading. When I finished, I felt a genuine, unexpected SMILE.

With all the heddles theaded, then I could move on to tying on. This is what I worked on while Linda was visiting Saturday. It was obvious at that point that I had skipped 2 heddles. Actually, the empty heddle was there, and the thread that belonged to it was there, it just wasn't threaded. I credit the careful "8 per block" charting I did ahead for averting a nasty repair: verifying each block ensured I had 8 heddles and 8 threads, next time I'll add actually getting them threaded to the list:)

The treadling was represented in the same manner on the graph, so I wrote it out as well. It's a very long sequence, so I cut it into manageable chunks and taped it to tag board. This way, I can keep track of where I am with a paper clip. This is taped to the high castle.

I was all set up. I completed one entire placemat.
And then I refered to the picture. There was a border on the mat in the photo, but not one on mine. I checked the diagrams. I was threaded correctly. I checked the treadles, they were tied up per the diagram. So I went back to threading chart and realized that I could add shaft 8 to all of the tie-ups that didn't already create a tabby in the border area. After that adjustment ~ I had a border! I'll use the first mat for a bread cloth or something... Thank goodness I tied a long enough warp to compensate for this.

But mostly, I'm feeling pretty smug that I figured it out.
Smug me.

After working for a couple of hours yesterday, I have 1 mat without a border and 1-3/4 mats with borders. I've got enough bobbins wound to complete the set and I'm already dreaming about what I want to do next.

Progress 2:
DS turned 20 last week. He spent the afternoon and much of the evening with us, had fun playing with the RC helicopter the grandfolks gave him, then left to spend the rest of the evening with his GF. Today, he completes his pre-employment paperwork with his new employer. My employer :) His last day at his present employer is Wednesday. His first day on the new job is this Friday. This job won't take him to the rich house, but it's a 50% raise and has benefits. It's an opportunity for him to prove himself and work into a much better position. I am hopeful.

Progress 3:

DD appears to be on track to graduate a semester early. Or take the extra semester and graduate with 2 majors: Antropology and Comparative Ethnic Studies.

(Progress 2 + 3 = $$$ back into our personal "value stream" by the end of 2012. This is also when DH's retirement pension kicks in, so we will be rolling in dough :)

Progress 4:

The heat pump, air handler and thermostat are finally installed and wired to DH's satisfaction. The had to come back and swap out the thermostat today. My personal wish? This should END my apprenticeship in reading wiring diagrams and interpretation of actual field application of said wiring diagrams as well as field testing involving running from the switching mechanism to the heat pump, back to the air handler and reporting back to The Sarge. After 2 weeks of hearing and doing very little that didn't relate to this project, I am glad it's right and I am glad it's OVER.
Update on the Smug. Not so much... Just rechecked the treadling diagram and it was there all the time, I just missed it. And in photographing the mat with the border, I found 2 glaring weaving area about 12 inches in. I'll be spending this afternoon "unweaving". Similar to unsewing with all the requiste ladylike language. Refer to the picture above with the mat with a border. See the box of tissues next to loom on the table? That's for my TEARS!!!!
Update on the heating system. Not over. DH is in there right now cursing about a duct join that didn't join up in the floor joists. He's going to fix it. Oy vey.

But what's to complain about? Gotta do something, right? :)

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