ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
The teal scarf came off the loom. A new lichen colored one got warped during the Winter Classic. It went onto the loom. I'm not sure I like it. Compositionally, it could use more contrast. Tomorrow if the sun comes out, I'll look at it objectively. I pulled yarn and weighed it for a pink Valentines' scarf. I will warp that next. More work got done on the black flatcap while watching Sherlock Holmes.

Next on the loom

Garden work got done today despite the rain. It was still warm. Mulch was added to the muddy areas of the yard ie pathways. The deer are eating the first elderberry but not the second one. I have no idea why. I put a small cage around it. Both have German hardneck garlic planted around them. The stones help hold the water from running off down the hill into the neighbor's yard. The ancient AC unit needs to be pulled. Besides being rusted solid, it doesn't work and it counts against me for property taxes. Those will be hiked next year. The county knows fracking won't last and is planning for it. Back to the AC, the controls were added later and have a thin wire that the weed wacker stripped. Currently the breaker for it is off. Wonder how much that will cost to get it yanked. I called the power company's rebate program. To get $50, I'd have to spend thousands on a new system. Guess I'll pass. I haven't used it in over fifteen years.

Elderberries

The neighbor's fence is falling down. It was old when we moved here 25 years ago. I figure on planting bushes to replace it. Currants would be nice. I'm leaving stepping stones for the mailman. Because of the horrible hills, we made him a path through the garden so he can cut across the lawn. I wonder what the neighbor thinks. Does she even know its her fence? Does she know how crooked it is with regard to the property line? She doesn't engage with her yard at all, except to mow it. More imponderables.

Winter bed building
ursulas_alcove: Robin of the hood woodcut (Rock On!)
while the snow comes down, I am sitting back and thinking of a verse we had to memorize in German class from Goethe:

Vom Eise befreit sind Strom und Bäche
durch des Frühlings holden belebenden Blick,
im Tale grünet Hoffnungsglück;
der alte Winter, in seiner Schwäche,
zog sich in rauhe Berge zurück.
Von dort her sendet er, fliehend, nur
ohnmächtige Schauer körnigen Eises
in Streifen über die grünende Flur.
Aber die Sonne duldet kein Weißes,
überall regt sich Bildung und Streben,
alles will sie mit Farben beleben;
doch an Blumen fehlt's im Revier,
sie nimmt geputzte Menschen dafür.
Kehre dich um, von diesen Höhen
nach der Stadt zurückzusehen!
Aus dem hohlen, finstern Tor
dringt ein buntes Gewimmel hervor.
Jeder sonnt sich heute so gern.
Sie feiern die Auferstehung des Herrn,
denn sie sind selber auferstanden:
aus niedriger Häuser dumpfen Gemächern,
aus Handwerks- und Gewerbesbanden,
aus dem Druck von Giebeln und Dächern,
aus den Straßen quetschender Enge,
aus der Kirchen ehrwürdiger Nacht
sind sie alle ans Licht gebracht.
Sieh nur, sieh! wie behend sich die Menge
durch die Gärten und Felder zerschlägt,
wie der Fluß in Breit und Länge
so manchen lustigen Nachen bewegt,
und, bis zum Sinken überladen,
entfernt sich dieser letzte Kahn.
Selbst von des Berges fernen Pfaden
blinken uns farbige Kleider an.
Ich höre schon des Dorfs Getümmel,
hier ist des Volkes wahrer Himmel,
zufrieden jauchzet groß und klein:
Hier bin ich Mensch, hier darf ich's sein!

From ice comes water and life and the hope of a lovely green spring made sweeter by the harshness of winter.

Snowglobe continued
ursulas_alcove: robin hood woodcut (boredom)
Jack Frost's artwork

Between the snow, single digit temps, and wind, well, its been a great excuse to ignore the outside world. There's been cooking, and cleaning. Warping the big loom with 13 yards of 20/2 wool. And with the temperature set to dip well below zero, sock repair! I have bunches of wool socks I bought from a sutlery years ago. I haven't seen anyone carrying these socks so I've been busy patching more holes. About half the loom is warped at this point. It really goes inch by inch. Chronographia has been helping me comb out the knots. I have been starching the warp as I go.

And We're Warping

I asked Mistress Meagan what would be best to sell at GW. Someone had suggested winningas but Mistress Elsbeth will have that covered. MM suggested the fabric because ME couldn't keep up both fabric production and winningas. So a warping we will go. I looked over the complex weaves for the middle ages. This is a really awesome newsletter: http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/webdocs/mnm_mt35.pdf
I'm going with the Goose Eye, Chevron, Pointed Herringbone threading by Marguerite Davidson with the number IV tie-up. It will give me the most useful warp and I won't have to change the threading for a while. I went with a sett of 24 epi, two threads per hole in a 12 dent reed. I measured out 13 yds and used Master Jose's method of warping with loops and a post. It works great since I need two strands per slot. I'm using my nifty oriface hook from Pin Money. In my stash, I have 2.5 lbs. of a light grey 2/20 wool. I also have a gull grey slightly thicker wool/alpaca blend. It's what I have in quantity and its mostly wool. Moreover, it's the right thickness, a 2/14. I like my weft slightly thicker than my warp.

And We're Warping

And We're Warping

And We're Warping

My mind is on Gulf Wars. The lure of Mississippi is strong in this weather. So I also started my volunteer's gift for GW. They collect "thank you" gifts from all the merchants for the volunteers. The cold weather has inspired me to make socks this year. I am taking all the leftover scraps from other socks I've made and putting them together. The knit night folks have also been giving me scraps. It's amazing how much yarn that adds up to. It's going to be colorful.

Many thanks to Turmeric Saffron for the wonderful recipe for Abgousht Bozbash!
http://turmericsaffron.blogspot.com/2014/01/abgousht-bozbash-persian-lamb-stew-with.html

Abgousht Bozbash
ursulas_alcove: Blakes 7 (kicking ass)
I had a plan, a clever plan. Inventory, load up the website, fix the schedule page, contact people about opportunities, maybe bake a little, clean the house. Very idyllic, even mundane, but enjoy my winter. Maybe even get the loom warped. Funny that, it always plays out better inside your head.

Last night I was up with my body until 3 am. I was born a barometer. My earliest memories are of the pain and my concerned parents rubbing my legs, thinking it was growing pains. It wasn't the muscles. It's just an ache. A storm came in with a pressure system and I hurt almost to tears. A doctor could look at me and say there is absolutely nothing wrong. Nothing is swollen. Nothing is lacking in any way. But the pain exists as long as the pressure gradients exist. The storm moved in today. I feel better. Nothing hurts at all. I probably should have been a sailor.

Today started very late indeed. Yesterday there were many problems. The van is having some issues. It has a leaky tire valve that gets worse in cold weather. The neighbor pumped it up. It's okay right now. The red battery light is a little more worrying. I charged the battery until the storm came in. It may need a new alternator. I am hoping its just a belt. It has to go through state inspection anyway. They can't see me until Wednesday. I need to get to the bank tomorrow because of the holiday on Monday. I have no trouble starting the vehicle even with the extreme cold. Maybe a bad sensor? Fingers crossed. Its a five mile hike to the bank if the van fails. I no longer have AAA.

Today started a knitting marathon. In November, it went like this,
" Mom, I missed the deadline for Arisia"
Apply anyway.
"I'm on a waiting list. I don't think I'll get in."
Why don't you try to get into Sugarloaf? They've a show at the end of January.
"Okay"

Nothing. Not a word. Then two tables open up at Arisia. Yay, a show and income for one of the hardest months of the year. Inventory finished, enough to start on hats for Arisia. I got four new ones done. Chronographia did many more. She heads off to sell at Arisia. She gets a message. Sugarloaf is next weekend. She'll get home from Boston on Tuesday very late. Thursday she must pack and do another big show. She got in! Only two other hat sellers at this one. Its a big show. She has one day to replace everything she sells at Arisia.

I have three of the patterns she designed. I get to be an apprentice this weekend and do as much knitting for her as I can so she can get hats finished in time for the show. Could be interesting. I wonder how many hat forms she has to shape all these on? Will there be enough time to adorn them all? Will they have time to dry even? Stay tuned. It's my bread and butter too. I have to make the car payment and the credit card payments. Well so much for my pipes dreams of watching snow fall gently down.
ursulas_alcove: Blakes 7 (intelligence)
solar oven

Solar cooker is set up. Sun came up early. Morning temp was 29 degrees, but by noon it was 43 degrees. I expect it to climb a little more. Had to adjust the angle of the cooker with a brick. So far, I've achieved 250 degrees inside. Seeing as I am cooking with a plastic bag, I'm okay with this. I am aiming for a long slow cook. Generally speaking, when I emersion dye, I look to keep the dyebath just under boiling. I didn't expect 250 but I'll take it. I won't need to do this more than one day. When it's colder outside, it is hard to achieve decent temperatures in the oven. We usually are overcast in winter which affects the temperature as well. Today is hazy but no clouds.

scarf-cooking

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