summer flowers

summer flowers

Thursday, November 8, 2012

And So It Begins...Finally

It took me a while, but I got the towels on the loom.  I am quite pleased with the look of the colors.  The blue is a fraction too intense for a great balance between them, but they will look great.  Yarn comes in only so many colors and we need to live with those colors or start our own dye house for what we want to weave.  
The yarns wound on very easily
When I got to the end of the winding I noticed a little problem.
I think I may have bent my warp board
I wound the warp in two sections.  Either I was bad in how I wound the warp on the loom (we will find the answer to that about half way through the weaving) or I was very tense when I was winding the blue threads on the warping board or I have bent the pegs on my warping board.  I will need to look into that board...I do not want to replace it so I need to see if I have to fix it.

The weaving started out well, it took a little while to get the tension on the shuttle adjusted, but after I got weaving the pattern, it worked and the fabric looks good.
I am very pleased with the pattern.
The pattern is giving me just what I wanted, a basket weave interlacement with sufficient structure to use for a towel.  I do have some questions about the structure though.  Can you see that the blocks line up in pairs?

Maybe you can see it better in the close up. There is a little space in the horizontal line between each of the blocks,  but on the vertical line the space is every other block.  I doubt if this will show up after the washing, but it is interesting to note.  I will probably do a full draw-down on this structure to see why this happened.  Does it have a clean cut on all four sides?  Is it because each block is three shafts?  How does this threading compare to the one Sharon did?  All these questions will be answered in the future.  For now I need to weave some towels for my sister!

On the family front, the four of us went to Southern Utah to hike to "The Wave."  My DD wanted to hike to this feature when we were down here last May, but we found out only 20 people are allowed in per day and you need to be drawn from the lottery to get in.  We tried for tickets while we were down there, but didn't make the draw.  When we got home she started on the internet drawing.  (10 people on the day of - at the tourist office, and 10 people a day - on the internet lottery.)  In August she was thrilled to get an October date.  I was worried about the weather, but it turned out to be wonderful.  (The dirt road to get to the trail-head is impassable in rainy weather.)

The hike is 3 miles in and unmarked.  They give you a page of pictures with little white lines and instructions "hike to the back of the twin buttes as seen in this picture".  My son brought a compass and a topographic map...he felt that was safer.  The paper also said that in the summer the temperature WILL get up to 110 degrees F and with the reflection of the slick-rock it will be even hotter!  Our temperature was about 70 degrees and the clear blue skies were beautiful.  I am so glad we got a time in the Autumn, it was much better that in the heat of the Summer.
Scenery on the hike
We started hiking late morning, so we got to the wave after noon.  It turns out that the formation is quite small and that the only great time for pictures is high noon.  We were too my pictures show some "burn out" where the sun was bright against the shadows we were standing in.  We had fun and hiked about the area.  The colors of the sandstone were fantastic.  I took close-ups of several areas for some color studies later.
Checking out the pond
We found a pond, since this is October the pond must be there all year.  DD and DS found some small water life and took pictures and chased them around with fingers.

They were little "horseshoe crab" looking things about an inch long.  There were also white worm like forms swimming that must have been the larval stage.  It was unexpected to find this kind of life in the middle of the desert.  

Here is my DS setting up for a picture looking down the formation, I am looking up and got the burn out from the sunlight.  I hope he has some good pictures, he is better at Photoshot than I am. 

Me and my DH on the rim at Bryce Canyon
The next day we went to Bryce Canyon and Kodachrome Basin.  Both beautiful places and we wished we had more time to explore.  It has been several years since we hiked down into Bryce and we all wanted to do some hiking, but only had time for pictures from the rim.  

Kodachrome is a place I had never been.  It is smaller than Bryce and a state park instead of a national monument.  We spent some time hiking around, but will have to go back.  There is a nice arch in the back country and up a dirt road.  We didn't have time and felt bad that we couldn't see it.  That is the way we feel every time we spend a couple of days in Southern Utah. We come away wanting to go back to see the things we didn't have time for.

On the road with the tent trailer
My DH rented a tent trailer (a bit of a luxury for us "sleep on the ground in a tent" people), but I was afraid of getting cold like I did camping last year in September.  So we had a heater (yeah) and a working fridge to keep food cold and a nice stove.  We planned the food and took all of it down, but each morning the suggestion came out "Let's go out for breakfast" and away we went.  Then each night when we got back from the exploring and hiking "It's late, let's just go to that great restaurant for dinner."  Since we had been down here last spring (Kanab), we had eaten at a couple a good places and on this trip tried several more.  I was so relaxed on this trip and did not have to cook or clean up after one meal!  It was a luxury trip...

We also had to stop at Mom's in Salina.   The kids had never eaten there.  It is a traditional "greasy spoon" diner and we enjoyed the experience.  But I don't think my foodie kids want to repeat it!

Well, that is why it took me longer to get the warp on I have been playing.  But now I need weaving my towels, put on a warp for Sharon's class next weekend and I found my yarn for the napkins, I just need to double check the waffle weave pattern (16 shaft from a linen towel I was given) and get them on the Macomber. 

 Wow,  the UPS truck just dropped a box of yarn at my house.  I now have the turquoise to weave the yardage I sampled in August and the yarn to do the scarf from the colors of the rock and lichen on the Pont du Gard I took pictures of last June.