Friday, May 31, 2013

Another week has passed,

since my last post. I've been doing the normal knitting, weaving, etc. My mugrug count is now up to 295. I figure another six 8-yard warps will do it. We've had mainly nice weather, so I've spent time on the front porch cutting up t-shirts friends have donated to the cause. I cut the body of the shirts (hem to underarm) in one long strip about an inch wide. I plan to use those pieces in December. I'll tell people that a customer brought worn-out garments and asked me to cut them up and weave a rug for her. How does that sound?

The sleeves and top parts, I cut about half an inch wide. I'm using those pieces for the mugrugs, sometimes mixing them with the thread stuff I showed earlier. Some of them are solid color, some striped. Most look petty good.

On Wednesday, I spent the afternoon and evening playing with Brady. He had surgery on Tuesday to repair his birth defect. Hypospadias and chordee. The first word means that his urethra did not come out to the end of his penis; the second that the penis was curved (don't know how they can tell that something that small is curved). He came home with a catheter in place for a week. On Wednesday, he was quite rambunctious, climbing all over me, biting my nose, trying to pull the embroidered Eeyore off my shirt, trying to get a jelly bean out of the covered candy dish. He didn't like taking his medicine (antibiotic and Tylenol); he, Alyssa and I all had a few dots of it on our clothing, but most of it went into him. Changing his diaper is definitely a two-person operation. We accomplished it with no complications until about 9 pm. Then as I was gently but firmly holding his arms and one foot and Alyssa was cleaning him and putting salve on, there was a strong stream of urine and Alyssa said, "Oh my God, it came out; the whole thing came out!" The catheter was lying there, attached with two tiny stitches to his penis. She called the local emergency room, but they said she needed to call the hospital in St Louis where the surgery was done. After about 45 minutes, someone there was finally able to confirm that they must return him there, even though it is three hours away. The woman also said to cut the stitches so the tube was not hanging off him. He was probably more comfortable without the catheter, but it needs to be there to keep things in place while the healing gets underway. When Stephen got home from work, they headed back to St Louis for the second time in 36 hours. Stephen's parents came and took Devin home with them, and Lexi was still with her father's family, so they didn't need to worry about either of the older kids. It was about noon on Thursday that they got home. I just hope and pray that there are no more problems.

Friday, May 24, 2013

All in one day?

This morning I wound an 8-yard, 40-thread warp on the warping board, tied it onto the remains of the last warp, wound it onto the warp beam (I've discovered the best thing for separating the layers of these 4-inch wide warps is 'wide craft sticks', often called tongue depressors.), tied it onto the cloth beam, and wove 38 mugrugs. They're off the loom now; I need to cut them apart and zig-zag across the ends with the sewing machine. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow. The 43 that I took off the loom yesterday also need to be zig-zagged. These bring me slightly over halfway to my goal. I think I need a knitting break now.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The crazy lady's at it again!

Working on ways to use up some of the stuff I've accumulated. About 15 years ago, at an 'antique mall' in Paducah, I bought a few dozen cones of sewing thread. The man in the shop said they had come from one of the sewing factories that used to be in Mayfield. I don't remember exactly what I was planning to do with them at the time. They have sat on the shelf, and been moved from an apartment in Mayfield to a house in Mayfield, and finally to this house in Milburn. Yesterday, I gathered about a dozen reds and blues and used a large crochet hook to make a loooong chain. I rolled that into a ball and will use it as weft/filler in some of the mugrugs. During the night, it struck me that I could combine them much faster by plying them with the spinning wheel. So this morning, I turned this
(there are 19 cones there - I wonder how many miles of thread are on each one)
into this.

I did three bobbins full, put them on the lazy-kate, and plied them together.
This gave me a nice size thread/yarn to weave mugrugs with. And there's plenty more on each of those cones.

I think I'll do this with the reds, the blues and the oranges, as well. Maybe some day I'll get rid of all of it and my kids and grandkids won't need to worry about it when I'm gone.

I also have a lot of stuff that came from a pajama factory - the jersey-knit material used for cuffs and neck bands. Some of it is a nice width and I've been using it for years to weave rugs. However, some is rather wide for that. It's in 'wheels' up to a foot across. There was one wheel in a nice lavender, that was only about five inches across, but the width was twice what I wanted to work with. So I put it on the lazy-kate, and cut it down the middle as I pulled it off the roll. I didn't bother to roll it back up - just stuffed it in a canvas totebag.

Now I need to put another warp on the loom - What color?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Weaving & sewing

I've been weaving mugrugs recently. These are for the Walk through Bethlehem that I will probably participate in again this December. The kids are given 'shekels' when they enter the village, and can spend them at the various stalls. The mugrugs will be available at the carpet stall, where I will be weaving.
First I put on an 11- or 12-yard, pink warp, and got 44 pieces from it. Then I put on an 8-yard dark green warp and got 31 pieces. Finally I put on another 8-yard, beige warp and got 35 pieces. I've decided that 8 yards is about the easiest length to wind on my warping board. In addition to the colors I've already used, I have medium green, pastel green, medium blue and black available for warp. I'm using a variety of things for the weft. I had zig-zagged across the ends of 20 of them with the sewing machine a few days ago, but did the other 90 today.  I hope to have about 500 pieces done by December. There are several dozen 2-inch squares left from last year.

I also hemmed the dozen small rugs I wove during the Walk last December. They are in the washer now, because some of them got pretty dirty in moving the loom on the wagon each night. I don't bother to wash the mugrugs.
For some reason, I didn't put enough on the ends of the red ones to turn under, so they are just zig-zagged across the ends, but the blue and gray ones have turned-under hems. The warp on all of them is blue and beige.

I have some tote-bags I need to complete, as well, but I only have so much patience for sewing. I don't know why that is, since I learned to sew much earlier than to weave or knit.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Art Show Receptions

Two in two days!

Thursday was the opening of 'The Art of Grace - Vintage Views' an exhibit of art created by Grace Church members 60 years and older. There was work by 35 of us, in a number of mediums: ceramics, photography, metalwork, drawing, jewelry making, writing, sculpture, fiberarts, woodworking, etc.

Friday was the reception at the Ice House art gallery in Mayfield for the work of Fred Merida, all made from gourds. To see some of his work, go to

Friday, May 10, 2013

I Hate Steroids!

I've probably said that here before, when I was taking Dexamethezone regularly as part of the treatment for Multiple Myeloma. I had a shot of Cortizone on Wednesday because I have hives, probably caused by some fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries) that I ate. The shot stopped the itching, for which I'm grateful, but it caused my left foot to swell. When I took the Dexamethezone, both feet would swell (the left one was always worse), my face would get puffy and my hands would feel stiff and swollen, although they didn't look like they were. And this, too, shall pass. The doctor also prescribed two anti-histamines. I should be back to normal before long.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

There's a body in my trunk!

And two on the back seat.
They're the mannequins I've borrowed from the Mayfield/Graves County Art Guild to be used at Grace Church for the Vintage Views exhibit of artwork by the church members over 60. One of them is child size - we can use that for the top/sweater I knit for Alyssa when she was six or seven. (She's now 28.)
I call it Alyssa's Garden.

The other item I've put in is my Hearts and Flowers shawl I won some ribbons on at the county fair in 2010. It also won a merit award sponsored by Mayfield Tourism at the juried show at the Mayfield Art Guild that year. The exhibit at the church is not one with prizes - the idea is just to let people see the talent there is in the parish.