RIP My Dear Pupper

It's a Good Thing I Love Him

Yesterday we had to put our dear sweet Louie down. It was time -- he was old and had a catalog of health problems that had finally caught up with him. When he refused even cheese puffs and didn't seem to even know who we were, we knew we had to let him go.

King of the World

When we adopted him, almost exactly 5 years ago, no one thought he would live a year. He'd had a rough time of it alone on the streets, and the catalog of problems led our vet at the time to remind us, "the tail still works". And that become our barometer for the dog: if his tail was still working the rest of it was not so important, but once the tail stopped working we knew it was time.

Pupper at Picacho

A 60-lb dog leaves a really big hole in your heart and in your house. I hadn't realized until he was gone just how much of a Louie-sense I had developed. During my working day, part of me was always listening to know where he was in the house and whether he needed anything. Now it's like an open phone line with no one on the other end.


We will miss you, dear friend.

Folding, More Folding, and a Lot of Triangles

I blame my college friend Lisa for this. A casual comment she made on my Facebook page lead to an idea that wouldn't go away: what if I DID commit to doing something creative every day? Of course, I do something creative most days, but it is all in service to larger projects -- it's a rare day when I actually COMPLETE something, and I almost never do something entirely in one day. What if I did? And what if it had nothing to do with yarn? What if it was something that challenged me? What if it was something I'd never done that would be like learning to ride a bike as an adult?

Enter origami. Aside from the occasional fortune teller or paper airplane as a kid, I had never done it, never really even been interested in it, but somehow it became my Make Something Every Day challenge. Could I make an origami something, start to finish every day? And, perhaps more difficult, could I commit to blog it every day?

Ahem, so far so good. And it's been fun. Taking a bit of time every day during my lunch break (working from home and setting my own schedule helps here) to do something completely different has been freeing and interesting and challenging and just plain fun.

And when a madman opened fire at a meeting my Congressperson was having with constituents, the simple, meditative act of folding seven lilies gave me a bit of peace.

Of course, not one to stick with basics, I found origami tessellations and spent part of yesterday evening making these:

Star Puff Tessellation

They're called star puffs, and you can read about them and where I found the patterns on the Flickr page.

And now, it seems, I'm folding my weaving, too.

Handwoven Bag(s)

The path from the long strip of woven fabric on the right to the in-need-of-lining purse on the left is detailed at Doni's Delis, and it is surprisingly simple: a couple of folds, a couple of seams, and voila! a bag which only awaits a day off warm enough to play in water outside so I can dye the lining fabric and finish it off.

Warp: 6 yards #10 black crochet cotton
Weft: a collection of yarns (mostly cotton, rayon and blends) about the grist of 3/2 cotton
Sett: 18 epi (8" wide in the reed)

Each strip was woven from half of the warp (allowing 20" for loom waste on the Voyageur), and each has a short hem in the warp thread which is folded under to create a clean edge at the top of the bag.

This all started because Mom wanted to weave while my parents were here at Christmas, so I set up the Voyageur with a 3 yard warp of the crochet cotton and set her loose. The bag she created (alas, I have no pictures) was beautiful, and I wanted one (or two) for myself.

And the equilateral triangles which form the base for the origami pieces above have crept into my knitting.

Pyramid Vest - fronts and start of back

This is the Pyramid Vest from Dazzling Knits. I had so much fun with the Dream Coat and my sock yarn blankie that I wanted to do something else modular. Vests (even wool ones) are fairly practical for the winter here in Tucson, so I figured this black Stacy Charles Baci M had bought to make a sweater would be perfect. The contrasting yarns are mostly Berroco Pure Merino, though there are odds and ends of other stuff in there, too. This picture was a while ago -- I have only three more pyramids left to do on the back before I do the pyramids that join the front and back. Then I will block the whole thing to determine how big I need to make the underarm pieces.

Lots of other knitting and weaving happening (and happened for the holidays), including a stealth test knit project that has felt doomed from the beginning but which may actually see completion this month. Hope to be able to share some of it in the coming days.

Looms at New Years

I'm a bit behind on this, but I swear the pictures were current on January 1. Meg encourages weavers to document the state of their looms as the new year dawns.

"Kit" My 4-shaft Purrington

"Kit" is a 4-shaft, 6-treadle 32" Purrington workshop loom, and an old one. She had at least a few owners before she came to me (not sure which one is responsible for the green stains (from a marker, I believe) on the aprons and the castle, but they only add character. She spent the holiday season folded up in a corner of the studio because it had to be converted into a guest bedroom while my parents were here. This is probably a good thing, because (while I would love to just throw another towel warp on her, or a baby blanket -- shhhh -- or some yardage I'm imagining) what I really need to do is clean her and give her some TLC. She's full of dust; lams are in need of some lubrication; frames could stand some cleaning and sanding; two of her treadles were damaged when we moved (a friend kindly made me some new treadles, but I need to do some adjusting before I can install them); heddle bars are in need of cleaning and oiling. It's just time for a tune-up. I hope to get to it before the end of the month.

Fall-Winter Bag

"Sammy", on the other hand, is newer and fairly clean and rarely naked these days. She's a 12-shaft 15 3/4" Voyageur table loom. This is a great loom for just about anything I weave ("treadling" on a table loom is a bit slower than a loom with treadles, but I find I can get into a pretty good rhythm and move right along, even on fairly complex patterns). She spent the holidays in the living room because Mom wanted to weave. I put on a warp of #10 black crochet cotton (18epi sett, 3 yards, 8" wide) and gave her a collection of cotton, rayon and blend yarns about the grist of 3/2 cotton to play with for weft. Most of her weaving was clasped weft -- changing colors as the spirit moved. Before they left, I sewed the strip she wove (she did weave the whole warp) into a Don's Delis bag for her. She'll line and finish it when she gets back to her fabric stash in Florida.

I really liked the fabric she made and the simplicity of the bag, so after they left and I got the room cleaned up and the looms back where they "belong" I put on a 6 yard warp of #10 black crochet cotton to make two for myself. Here is the first one started.