Getting lost in the process

There have been several times lately when I’ve gotten lost in the process of making things. Spending hours doing things, mostly enjoying them.

First, I noted recently that Jack has been limping again. So I needed to take action. 1st was limiting the length of his walks even more. 2nd was calling the vet for a refill of his pain meds. 3rd was going to the recommendation from Jill to a recent post, and doing research on golden paste. I decided to make it, and to make it into blobs and freeze them.

golden paste blobs

I ended up with 1,068 blobs! (Think I got a little lost in this process?) Each blob was supposed to be roughly 1/4 teaspoon. After they dried and were frozen, it turns out my blobs were MUCH smaller than they should have been: 10-12 blobs per teaspoon. No wonder I got so many!

Jack is now getting 2-3 blobs with each meal. Plus a baby aspirin in the morning. The vet doesn’t want to renew the prescription (Deramaxx) without x-rays, and I don’t want to do x-rays, so that’s where we’re currently at. But it’s okay, since I did some research and the negative side effects of Deramaxx and baby aspirin (potential damage to liver and kidneys) are similar. So I need to continue with the golden paste, and if it doesn’t do the trick, proceed with other natural remedies.

Along those lines, on Saturday I took a full day of Reiki training with the plan of helping Jack. Did I learn a lot? Yes. Do I need to learn more? Yes. In the meantime I’m practicing with both Jack and myself. This practice, along with the Reiki support groups I’m going to attend for a while, will all enhance my learning and effectiveness. I also found a show, For the Love of Reiki, on the Voice America Health & Wellness channel radio, that I can get on my Sonos system. I’ve only listened to the first episode so far, but I think this is high quality and will also help.

On Sunday I took another full day of dyeing. I managed my expectations better, preparing 3 warps. (5, which I did last time, was WAY too many.) Each warp is 370 ends of 30/2 silk, around 9.5 yards each so I can weave 3 scarves each. I also knew more about how long to make my color sections, and how the colors would look when I was done. Here are the 3 warps I made, with Jack photo bombing.

new hand painted silk yarn

The red/orange/yellow warp is my fav. Then the blue/green warp. With the teacher’s encouragement I tried something different with the blue/purple/green warp – painting part of sections in 2 different colors. For example, there might be part of the warp that is 8″ long total, starting with solid purple, then a combination of purple and blue, then solid blue. There’s no way to know where the colors will fall in the warp, but I’m looking forward to seeing it. Got a bit lost in this process, too.

On Monday the man I hired to paint my bedroom was here all day, coming back to finish this and a few other little jobs on Tuesday. My bedroom was previously okay. Now I LOVE my bedroom, and the way my handwoven curtains look!

bedroom, painted with curtains

I’m working through the issues with the new computer. As always, the old programs and processes aren’t fully compatible when you get new hardware. Lots of things take a lot longer as we adapt to the changes.

I’ve made contact with a man who will come to my house and rototill the area I want to plant my potatoes, carrots, and maybe some other veggies and/or flowers. His tiller is getting a tune up so it’ll be another week or so, but I am SO looking forward to this. I’ll still have plenty of manual labor, but at least I won’t have to start at square one.

Next topic: weaving with linen. I mentioned this in my last post, but realized I started in the middle of the topic. The beginning is that I ‘won’ 12 POUNDS of linen singles at my guild’s silent auction in March. It is 1 strand of linen, not plied or twisted like most yarn I use. It was apparently not ‘wet spun,’ so it’s quite ‘hairy’. Here’s what it looks like up close.

linen strand

This yarn has about 5,300 yards per pound, so my 12 pounds contain more than 63,000 yards! Anyway, I know that weaving with linen can be tricky, so I went to Weavolution to get some advice from other weavers. They suggested I not try to use it for warp…at least not right away. So I warped the loom with 16/2 and 20/2 cotton – 668 ends – and set about weaving. AARRRGH!!! Not good!

very wonky linen

The selvedges, especially the right one, were TERRIBLE!  Bunching up, doing the ‘smile’ (usually a sign of warp tension problems), and generally being awful.  So I tried putting in wooden header sticks.  First attempt, no real improvement.  Second attempt, not much better.

Then I got the idea to try weaving some with the 16/2 cotton.  Figured this would tell me if it was an issue with the warp or the linen weft.  Determined quite quickly that the warp was fine…it was all a weft issue, likely caused by the hairiness of that linen catching on the warp threads. No matter how careful I was, that ‘smile’ came back really quickly.

linen-better but not good

So I tried a few ideas to make this work.  Eventually settled on a technique from my early weaving experiences, one which is not recommended for a variety of reasons, but in my early weaving I didn’t know that.  Basically I throw the shuttle, press the selvedge in with my finger, and then beat.  Every time.  With every pick.  This was effective in almost eliminating the smile, but I have some pretty wonky selvedges on my first sample (still on the loom). It’s okay with me for me to keep or give away, but certainly not to sell.

Then I got this other new-to-me phenomenon…rippling warp.

weird warp ripples

The only thing I can guess is that it’s the difference between the lovely desert variegation, which is 20/2, and the solids, which are 16/2. Except that the navy is also 20/2. But those stripes are much more narrow. I’m hoping this will be fine after the towels are wet finished.

In any case, I love the color interplay of these towels. The variegation is called Mojave, from Lunatic Fringe yarns. The solids are baby blue, soft green and navy marl, respectively from Maurice Brassard, Wabasso (old Quebec company), and Lunatic Fringe. And look at the beautiful texture.

linen texture

I wove enough for one towel in tabby, and started a second in twill. The selvedges are MUCH better in the twill section I’ve woven than they were in the tabby. I can only assume it’s a result of the fact that in the twill, the linen is going over 2 threads at the selvedge each time instead of just one – a bit ‘looser’ selvedge shed.

linen-tabby to twill

When I have this one woven I’ll cut both off the loom and wet finish to see what happens before I proceed with the remaining warp.

Can you tell I’ve also gotten lost in this process?

8 comments to Getting lost in the process

  • Alma

    Did you taste the golden paste, Peg. I’ve used turmeric in stuff without discerning any particular flavor, but I don’t know about it in this concentration. Sounds like a good deal for Jack, though. I do know that turmeric is widely touted as a powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory.

    Good job on finding this remedy!

    • Peg Cherre

      Alma – I do think turmeric has a fairly strong taste. Jack usually just eats whatever I put in his dish, but occasionally parts of 1 will be left behind. I’m hopeful that this will work once I get him up to his therapeutic dosage (.25 tsp/10# body weight) for a few weeks. Ooo…I better check…is that dosage per meal or per day????

  • Peg Cherre

    I don’t know if the quilt will fit in my top loading washer, Amanda, but I bet it’ll fit in your side loader. 🙂

    Thanks for the idea with the Tramadol, Theresa. I’m gradually increasing the golden paste to the therapeutic dosage of 1/4 tsp. per 10# of body weight. Just upped the dose to 4 blobs/meal to see if he tolerates it. Will hold at that level for a few days. I’ve woven easily with a cotton/hemp blend, but not with 100% hemp so I can’t comment on that…good luck!

  • Beautiful room Peg, the curtains give it a restful light. Fingers crossed the Golden Paste does the trick for Jack. If not, while not as effective for joint issues, Tramadol is much safer and might provide some pain relief without the risk to major organs. We had Charlotte on it for quite a while and it helped her with the bone cancer pain for a good while before we had to move into other more powerful opiate drugs at the end. It made quite a difference in Miss Bea’s later life also. Beware though, they HATE the bitterness so it really needs to be hidden in something they love or manually pilled down the throat.

    I hope my hemp doesn’t give such problems in the upcoming towel warp…..

  • Amanda

    Biz is a laundry powder that I use for various laundry issues. I’ve used it with success on yellowed fabrics. It’s not a green product, but I only use it once in awhile. Happy to give you enough for a load of two. Will the quilt fit in your washer?

  • Peg Cherre

    Alma – Golden paste is a combination of organic turmeric, coconut oil, and black pepper. And while Grandma did make tiny meatballs, they sure weren’t 1/10 of a teaspoon big! I use this quilt that you made me in the cold months, and Mom’s quilt in the warm months. I admit that your quilt is yellowing – after only 25 years – and I don’t know how to bring the whiteness back. Got any suggestions? This particular variegated yarn is called Mojave Desert.

    Thanks, Judy. I have to say it looks better in person; the colors work beautifully together. You can’t even tell in the photo that the walls are blue – quite blue, in fact.

  • Judy T

    Peg – I LOVE LOVE LOVE your new bedroom look, especially with your handwoven curtains. They look really beautiful! So light! So airy looking!

    Good luck with Jack.

  • Alma

    Golden paste? Did you think you were making meatballs for Italian wedding soup? I’m sure you don’t remember that Grandma used to make meatballs that size for her lasagna. Given the fact that she was not a supremely graceful lady, she sure took on a number of tiny little tasks – meatballs, doilies, etc.

    Your bedroom looks terrific! (I’m touched that you’re still using the quilt.)

    Weaving with linen looks like a BIG challenge. I do like what you’ve ended up with, though, with the variegated desert camo colors with the blue. I had some yearn like that at one time – I think maybe it was called Sedona?

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