Saturday, April 30, 2011

Weaving news!

I'm not really good at writing often, but the past few weeks have not been very inspiring, and has been very busy with end of contracts running late, new contracts being offered to me (I was not going to say no!), a supervisor in Italy and another one in Brazil. So, my expected 2½ days off a week have not started yet.

Spring was also supposed to arrive back in March, but our last snow storm happened last week. I love winter, but when it's over, it's over.So, as I was saying, a rather uninspiring month, until yesterday,

Yesterday was the day I FINALLY warped my loom. It had been there behind me, nagging me since I bought it a few months ago. Lately, all the threads I bought had joined in. Even my parents, who can see the loom each time we talk on Skype were asking me every week, when they saw it still empty: not yet?

Yesterday was the day. And it was a long day. My weaving teacher arrived before 10:00am, and didn't leave until 7:00pm. And we worked all day, without really taking breaks, except for a short lunch. And I was lucky most of the bobbins I needed were ready, because I think otherwise, I would still be at it. I'm also lucky I had finally decided last week what design I wanted for my first dishtowels, because my teacher arrived with a clear idea of what to do.

Warping a loom is a very long, tedious and precise job. We spent most day without talking much, both totally concentrated on what we had to do, but still managed to make a few mistakes that we hopefully all corrected before it was too late.

At the end of the day (and when I woke up this morning) my whole body was aching from spending so much time bent on the loom. Basically, we had to warp 24 threads per inch X 23 inches = 552 on the spool rack, then on the warp beam, then through the draft, through the beater and we finally attached them to the cloth beam.

But it was all worth it, we warped 15 yards of thread, so I should be able to get 14 dishtowels out this. Many more hours of fun ahead of me!

I love the fact that I can just spend a few minutes in front of the loom, and see beautiful patterns appearing.

But, today was too nice to stay in and weave. It was the perfect day to knit outside instead.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Awesome weekend

This weekend has been just perfect. The only thing that could have been more perfect would have been to be either in Hungary for the 30th Tanchaztalalkozo (annual Hungarian folklore festival where you get to meet EVERYBODY who has anything to do with Hungarian folklore). I usually go, but this year, with the move and acquisition of lots of new furniture and the new job, I decided to go in the summer instead (more details to come).

But still my weekend was awesome.

It started on Thursday - I went to Winners, and found 2 sets of sheets and duvet cover on sale. Hurray, what  a better time to change our linens than spring?(Or what a better way to celebrate spring than by changing our linens?)

Thursday was also my last day at work for Equitas in Montréal. Another change, but I got used to it and we already celebrated my departure, so I am ok with it. And anyway, I'm not completely done with my work because of my week off for the back pain, so I'm staying for a few more days, working from home. And my favourite colleagues are all on Facebook, so I will keep in touch. But I do miss our pot-lucks and the goodies that always awaited us on the kitchen table!

On a good note, my contract at the university is being renewed for a year, so that's a stress that is relieved. So far, it is only for a part time contract, but even that should allow me to live well. And there is potential for more days to be added, so all is good.

Friday was fabulous. It started with 2 of my farmers friends (including my weaving teacher) coming over for breakfast. I got the confirmation that the plum jam Elizabeth and I made in September was delicious, judging by the speed at which it disappeared. We then left to go shopping for weaving thread, but stopped on the way in a wonderful gardening and spa store. I had seen it, and never went in, because I do not have a big garden, and I'm not a spa person, but I was so happy to discover a place with so many useful, cute things that are different from the usual gardening supplies we can get at either Canadian Tire or Ikea. I loved it and I can't wait to eventually buy a house so I can go and shop for bigger things.

Then, the "piece the résistance", the goal of our trip: Brassard, the weaving store. I went there for the first time back in January, and spent about 3 hours touching every single thread, not being able to decide which one I would choose if I had to. (Thank God I was not there to shop for myself!).

This time, having an expert with me, we went straight to the cotton, she asked me to pick the colours, told me how many I needed in 16/2 and in 8/2 (not sure what it means yet...). I picked a book I had heard about from enough weavers to know I needed it and a shuttle, and 45 minutes later, we were out.

So what is this? Future dishtowels. Why dishtowels? It is easy to make, it is a good practice, and I can keep a bunch to give out a presents in the future. With the same warping, I'm also planing on making napkins for a table cloth I will make later (I was told I should use synthetic fiber for that, which means another trip to Plessisville).

Back home, I got to attend a party in Budapest! One of my dear friends always organises a big party at his place on the Friday night before the tanchaztalalkozo. There is always a lot of music, lots of good food, and lots of alcohol, of course! This year, since I could not be there with them, we organised that I would have a drink on Skype! So at 6pm my time (midnight their time) I went on skype, and they put their laptop in their kitchen, where I had the chance to have a drink with everybody who was there. Awesome, I know I am repeating myself, but it was AWESOME to see everybody and to be almost there! 

After that, my man took me to a Thai restaurant to celebrate the renewal of my contract. It was by far the best Asian food I've had in 3R so far, so that was also awesome.

Saturday morning, 9:00am, another farmer friend picked me up to go to our weaving teacher's place, where we spent the day working weaving projects, me spending most of my day on the bobbin winder. I also went for a tour of the region, looking at houses for sale, in case I would find my dream home...

My Sunday has been as great, although less crafty.
It started with a nice brunch not far from our place, and then continued with a little gardening.

This is an urban-garden. My man designed these containers using recycling bins, geo-textile, and a central vacuum pipe. We will put these on our balcony this summer, and should be able to eat fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini all summer long. If summer ever comes back.