Safe at home

I’m an introvert by nature, so staying at home is easy for me. I have everything I need, and most things I want, here in my little house. The reality is that I ‘trained’ for this. For 14 years I lived all alone on a dirt road, with my nearest neighbor almost 1/2 mile away. So this is no biggie.

buds on a Cornelian Cherry

buds on my Cornus mas – Cornelian Cherry

I’ll need to get some more groceries by the end of the week, but that’ll be a whole month since I went last – a month with no public contact. And I’ll do all the things I should do when I go out, ordering what I can in advance for pickup to my trunk, wiping everything down with disinfectant when I get home, etc.

crocus blooms

I do feel badly for those people, from little kids to great-grands, who are having physical and/or emotional difficulties with the social distancing.

I have gotten my weaving mojo back, and decided now was the time to use a weave structure I’ve wanted to try for a while. I like weaving twill blocks, and this was a modification that really appealed to me. Towels seemed like the perfect ‘vessel’ for my first attempt.

I loaded the loom and wove 8 towels. Here they all are right after coming off the loom – they still need to be washed, dried, cut apart, and hemmed.

handwoven multicolored towels

I also spent a bit more time in front of my computer and loaded 3 more wearables onto my website. You can see them all here.

One of the newly listed items is wrap I finished from the multi-colored hand painted fine cotton warp. I like the fact that Jack is photo bombing this one. 🙂

handwoven Caribbean Dreams wrap

The rest of the warp is waiting to be cut and sewn into a garment. My lightweight iron-on interfacing tape should arrive in the mail in several days, and I’m not cutting anything until then.

Meanwhile here’s my advice to everyone: stay home, stay well, stay creative!

End of week 2

Like everyone else in NYS, I’m staying home. Walking solo, as I always do. Had to go to the grocery store once, and I’ll be good for at least another week, probably 2. Could actually eat out of my cupboards and freezer for much longer if I didn’t run out of produce & dairy.

Here’s the bad news map. Monroe County released it yesterday. I live in the darkest part of the map – the most confirmed cases of covid-19.

coronavirus map

Do I think it really matters, that my life or restrictions are any better or worse than anyone else in the County? No. It’s just not a image that’s pleasant to see.

So what do I like to see? This adorable little face.

my dog Jack

I’d finished the majority of his haircut when I snapped this. His front legs remain to be groomed. He hates that, so we both take a break before I do them.

Then yesterday I got this TERRIFIC note from a neighbor I haven’t met yet. Before you see the note, you need to see what prompted it. I may have shown this sign in my yard before. I hung it at least a few years ago.

sign in my yard

Ok. So the sign’s been there for many months. I’ve seen people read it, I’ve gotten a few nice comments on it. But then this card came in the mail.

terrific note from a neighbor

This woman actually took the time to find a card, write that great note, find a stamp, and mail it! I am returning a card to her today, and can’t wait till we can actually meet each other in person.

On the weaving front, I decided I had to bite the bullet and sit in front of my computer for hours to post some work on my website. If I get responses I’ll post more. If not, it may not be worth my time to do the less-than-stellar photography and web design work. (I don’t really like and am not good at either.) You can see what I’ve done here.

collage of weaving thumbnail images

Fear, love, and hope

sunrise, 2 doors from home


Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,

March 13th 2020
Fr. Richard Hendrick

On being safe and well

first daffodils, March 2020


May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God [ed: however you envision him/her/them/it/universal energy] to our neighbors.

~ Rev. Katherine A.

Calm, cool, and collected

Or maybe I’m not what the title of this post says, but at least I’m trying. And the colors I’m working with are reinforcing that.

I started knitting these socks months ago. Although I pretty much always have socks on my needles, this pair took much longer than usual due to my thumb tendonitis. I did absolutely no knitting for about 2 months, and since then have dramatically reduced the amount of time I knit in an evening. Sometimes not at all, sometimes 10-15 minutes, max of about 1/2 hour. So it took me a long time to finish these socks.

turquoise hand knit socks

They are YUMMY!! I bought this yarn from the Humble Bumble Fibers Co. It is hand dyed, was a pleasure to work with, and is VERY soft and comfy. Hopefully they wear as well as the commercial yarn I usually use.

In my last post I showed you some fiber I dyed in preparation for weaving. Much progress has happened since then.

Here are the skeins dried and shown together with the commercially-dyed cone of turquoise I’ll use with them.

hand dyed skeins with a commercial cone

After that I wound them into the appropriate length on my warping mill. Here they are chained and ready for the loom.

hand dyed warp, gems, chained

Looks pretty different than in the skeins, doesn’t it? And then here it is going on my back beam. Different yet again.

beaming gems multi-warp

Although I haven’t had as much time as I’d like – or that you’d think I’d have since I’m not going anywhere – to weave, the loom is threaded and I’ve woven about 25″. I’m weaving about 4 yards of fabric to be cut and sewn into an interesting vest. There’s also enough length for a shawl.

RD gems warp on loom

All yarn, both warp and weft, is 10/2 cotton. Since I’m planning to cut and sew with this, I wanted to do a simple weave structure. This is just an 8-shaft straight twill. Here’s a closeup so you can see how much the structure shows up in a relatively ‘busy’ color section and a relatively calm color section. (The color is much more accurate in the picture of the whole warp.)

closeup of RD gems warp on loom

My external commitments (yes, they’re all virtual, but have taken many hours of my time in the past few days) should be ending in the next 36-48 hours, so I’m hoping for more time at the loom. But you know, (wo)man plans and god laughs. So time will tell.

Meantime, stay home, stay creative, stay well, and WASH THOSE HANDS!