Still lost

I’ve continued to get lost in process, spending hours on tasks, mostly enjoying them, also mostly needing to change from one to another and back again for a variety of reasons, generally related to my body. It can take just so much of things before I have to switch. Not sure what to show you first, so I’ll just jump in.

But before I start, I just have to say that one of the REALLY GOOD THINGS about my new MacBook Pro is the retina display. I can work outside! Never could happen on my old MacBook – things basically couldn’t be seen outdoors, unless it was seriously overcast or evening. I’m outside now at 3:30 pm on a mostly cloudy day. I’ll have to check out the capability on a mostly sunny day.

Ok, back to what I want to show you. I’ve woven off 8 of the towels with a cotton warp and linen singles weft. With roughly 36 picks per inch, this was most definitely not fast weaving, especially since I had to pay serious attention at each selvedge with every pick. The towels are now off the loom, hemmed, washed, and dried. Hard pressing remains to be done…but not today.

The first towel was solid weft, plain weave, the second solid weft, straight twill weave. Although I prefer the way the plain weave works with the colors, the twill is certainly more flexible, as you’d expect.
tabby and twill towels

After I washed and dried those first ‘sample’ towels, I decided that I’d weave another tabby, and all the rest of the warp twill – so much easier on the selvedges. So I wove one more with a solid weft, and then started putting colored borders on them. But I didn’t make that border decision till I’d already woven more than I should have for length; the border isn’t placed where it ‘should’ be on the towel. (Boy, you sure can see how much pressing this needs!) UPDATE: Hah! In bed last night I said to myself, “You know, Peg, you could have simply ‘wasted’ a few inches of weft at the beginning of that towel, then weave the second border closer to the end. Duh!” But I didn’t think of it till then, and if I hemmed closer to the borders now the towel would be too short. C’est la vie.

first linen border towel

For the other towels, I placed the border closer to the ends of the towel. Each one has a slightly little different color combo.

linen towels with borders

I really like this fabric. I like the Mojave variegation enough that I’m seriously considering weaving myself some yardage for cotton/linen pants. Heck, it took just over an ounce of linen per towel for that weft, and I have 12 POUNDS of the stuff!

So when I needed to move away from the loom, what did I do? Did I sit on the couch and read a book? Um, no. I went outside and worked in the garden. I did the early spring weeding of my already-planted beds. Easy peasy. I got someone to come and rototill up the area for my potatoes, carrots, and kale. A little more work because I had to remove the sod first, then work in the leaf mulch, then plant. You can’t see both of my potato trenches clearly here, but there are 2, each with 6 potatoes planted, and 2 short rows of carrots. And Jack photo bombing again.

potato trenches

Then the really hard part. The north side of my house had a bed that was almost completely full of masses of violets. A few daffodils and a bunch of wild asters, but mostly masses of violets. I wanted to dig out the violets and plant hostas, astilbe, lenten rose, lungwort, and other shade lovers.

Although violets form root mats, I didn’t think it’d be bad to dig them out. And it wasn’t too bad for the first 15 feet or so. Then I hit the roots from that tree I had taken down in the fall.

digging out roots

I moved from my hand tools to my shovel. Then I added my pickax and pruning saw to the needed tools. Although there were millions of little hair roots, there were plenty of roots that were roughly the diameter of my pinky finger, and some that were almost as big around as my wrist. Since I want to plant perennials, now is the time to get rid of those roots – digging that deep once the perennials are there will be too disruptive. To get down the 8-12″ that I needed to go to get out the majority of the tree roots required me to build mounds of soil next to the area where I was digging. Here’s how that looked. And how much Jack helped. FYI that bed was just below level with the pavers before, and will be again once I’m finally done.

mounds of dirt - and Jack

I can do about an hour of this really heavy work at a time. Usually twice a day. But in an hour sometimes I can only get 2′ of length dug. And I started with about 40′. Thankfully I only have about 5′ of length left. Because I’m now farther away from where the tree was, I believe there are less roots there, and I will hopefully get it finished tomorrow.

Once it’s all dug out I can mix in leaf mulch – and I’ll probably have to go load some more of that into buckets. Sigh. Then I can go to my daughter’s, dig up and divide some of her plants, replanting and making her beds look decent again, and then coming to my house and plant them. Sound like a bunch of work left? Yep. But the hard part will be over.

Hey, check this out! My peas have finally started to sprout!

pea shoots

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