Saturday, April 30, 2005


Life is not any simpler sometimes. I left the printout for the MA Archaeological Conference at my house. I asked Sarah if she would forward the information to an address here in Northampton, but the power plug into my computer has shorted out and made very bad noises and the computer doesn't seem to work. This will probably delay any updates until and unless I can get it fixed.

The meeting appears to be tomorrow. It was certainly not this morning. I was there, but no one else was. Almost no one on any part of the UMass campus. It was eerie. They were either on a soccer field or asleep. I envied the latter.

On the fiber side,I left my scarf (small portable project) at my parents' house. They have a large, immaculately shored-up hole in their backyard about 20 feet deep, down to the slightly lowered water table. Houses in the South End, the Fenway, the Back Bay, and the North End, in large numbers, are having troubles with a shift in the water table that will cause them to settle several inches rather quickly. No one has any idea what, if anything, the city can do about it. Kind of tough for people trying to sell and move to an apartment.
Since I need a small project, I am making a sock out of a lovely cabled merino called Beatrice (Classic Elite),color 3232. It is going to be very warm, at about 100 grams per sock. I should have checked the yardage. But it's very pretty.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Not much fiber lately, although I was intending to get Matt a nice spindle now that A Twist On Wood has refreshed the spindle supply at the Elegant Ewe. Unfortunately Caroline's prices have gone up and the spindle I bought (hickory, with an interesting light-dark grain) is much too nice to give Matt.

Varnishing in the form of touch-up sanding has taken place, but I will be on hiatus as I am going to see the Great Hole in my parents' backyard, get products from Elaine for Doug to sell at NH Sheep and Wool, and then go to Northampton to visit Ellie, bring back a load of her stuff for the summer, and attend the MA Archaeological Society Meeting (all Paleo talks) at UMassAmhert on Saturday. There's no link because their web presence is even weaker than that of the NHAS.

I worked on my pink sweater last night. Yum. Huge thing.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I am sitting here with Kleenex stuck to my face. Abbey will occasionally play with my nose and eyelids while I am asleep, and I am always gratified by how careful she is to use Soft Paws. Twilly has never had any undertanding of this and today, while sleeping (for the last time EVER)on my face, decided to stretch when she woke up. She got an artery. She got a trip across the room. She thinks I am mean. I think even though it's one of my favorite colors, I do not like RED dripping everywhere.

Doug went mad yesterday. We played obsessive vacuuming and then we put a coat of varnish on the floor. It looks very knotty-pine. Part of me would have like pickled white but no one I know would have spoken to me ever again, since I am the last American still fancying whitewash.

Then he and I and Sarah played "Teaching Doug to Speed Piece a Quilt." He says he is unlikely to make a quilt but who can say? The man has a new fancy sewing machine and an eye for bright colors and we know where that leads. He was too old to get sewing 101 in school, so he is now learning about trimming off selvages and the need to wash and iron before cutting.

Then we went outside and played with my new crowbar and took more of the doomed section of deck apart. Later there was arnica and dinner and a hot tub and stupefied exhaustion. Now the new room all has either one or two coats (of three or so) of varnish and ALL of it needs sanding.

My house may be fairly horrible for the NH Sheep and Wool. Sometime between now and May 7 are two trips to Northampton, MA, and one to Boston, at least two coats of varnish, a cleanup in the in-law apt, and some browbeating of the contractor. Although I think furnture can go into the new room as soon as the last coat on the floor is dry, even before the heating....

I do not obsess.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Rain, at last

It hadn't rained since Big Night. I have enjoyed the weather, even some of the unseasonably warm days (although not last Wednesday, when it was 88 outside and Really Unpleasant in the car); and I have sunburned feet. I have planted nearly everything from Home Depot, everything from the garden center in Amherst, MA (where there were toads in the stream singing right in front of me, in plain view), and the tree peony I bought yesterday at the local nursery. Since I am discussing major overhauling of the driveway (Paul-the-carpenter is gleeful when he discusses what kind of earth-moving machine he will rent) I am trying to hold off on getting a magnolia, though it isn't easy since I noticed star magnolias are hardy in NH and also have a nice spicy scent. I need Paul to finish messing around with the roof so I can play with the space outside the New Room.

Oh, you mean the one I'm varnishing...? well, I did get a first coat on nearly all the windows. Sanding and two more coats in the offing.

So rather than varnish the other day, I bought some fabric for Sarah and Doug and me to make a quilt for our friend who is getting married (in an effort to surprise her, I won't say that she is a fellow-digger who has failed to respond to any question about what colors she would like. She had a chance. I think royal purple and neon orange will be stylish in any bedroom. Or maybe neon green and orange. And it isn't going to be Double Wedding Ring, sadly).

I peeled Twilly off of my rug-hooking frame and have been playing with that for two evenings. I had a handful of very lovely jewel-toned thrums whose origin I cannot imagine, and I have been doing essentially hooked multi-colored doodling. Maybe it will be the back of a pillow or a bag; it's messy but bright. The doodling has given me many ideas for more disciplined designs (many more than anyone needs rugs or bags). I went to Northampton (via the garden center in Amherst and picking up Doug's wheel in Orange) and picked up my twined knitting, and I have two lacy scarves in progress, but I haven't touched them. I did start working again on the rather lovely raspberry sweater in cables and seed stitch (God help me. Lots of seed stitch)that Doug gave me half the yarn (via gift certificate) for Christmas of 2003. I have the back and most of the front done, and I am busy frogging the sleeve I had done because I had not done a good job. The directions were stupid, anyway. I will get the back and the front together and knit the sleeves down and get the decreases in better places.

Weaving class proceeds: I finished my sampler and it is not going to be one of the ones optioned by the Victoria and Albert. In an effort to start my Final Project on time, I decided not to dye my warp myself. I have wound a snazzy rayon hand-painted job the color of a stylish parrot. I am not sure whether a rayon shawl will keep me warm on anything but a slightly drafty summer night, but I will get a chance to get better at twill and appreciate the effect of a solid woof with a painted warp.

I hate teal blue-green. I OD'ed on teal in the 80's. I love this (teal-free) warp. I was going to weave it with a murky green that matched one of the colors, and it would have been fine. Then I held a teal up to it and all the colors said WOW!, so I guess a teal woof it is. A similar thing happened when I was trying to get a fourth color for the quilt fabrics-- I finally said to myself, "Go look for a wishywashy (neon black) you don't like much and see how it looks." I found a completely characterless whiny (neon black) and it made the other colors sit up and wave.

Meanwhile we have cowbirds, a species I detest for laying their eggs in the nests of much smaller birds (the cowbird nestlings kick their foster-siblings out of the nest, contributing to the hard life many species of warbler already have); and much more pleasantly, evening grosbeaks, and chipping sparrows. I append a shot of Sarah's new alarm clock, a truly gorgeous yellow-bellied sapsucker who has found a great way to advertise his territory. Note the dent in the ladder.

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Saturday, April 16, 2005


Last week I went to Home Depot to buy ceiling fans. They had perennials, and I behaved badly. Today I planted the lilac (Sarah's favorite shrub, I didn't buy it for myself. I am too mature to need lilacs, just because I have had one I think everywhere I have ever lived other than college or England), a sedum, four peonies (not all that cheap, but still named varieties, and as peonies go, cheap, particularly if they live), three clematis (one almost certainly dead, which will save time; I don't have that good luck with clematids), and one lily of the valley.

I still have to plant more lilies of the valley, a little quince (one of which was the first flowering bush I can remember, at the end of the driveway in Ann Arbor, about my height, in 1962) and a yellow-flowering deciduous azalea, and some other small perennials. Oh, and a red raspberry. I figure I will fight the deer for some things, but I'll have to see how much trouble the local wildlife are.

This house is stuck in the wilderness. I am tempted, slightly, by the all-native garden approach: the trees and the sumac are lovely. The bittersweet and the poison ivy, I could do without, and the floribunda roses aren't even native, just invasive. But my feelings for daffodils, crocus, and tulips have already put paid to that vision of botanical purity. The only things surviving being planted here before are a huge spruce (I am not that fond of it, but the birds are),some gaillardia, enough oregano for a hundred pizza-makers, and a superabundance of monocolor iris. I gave a greater amount of iris away last fall than I kept, enough being enough (I mean, I had to split the clumps in three or four pieces to get them out of the ground). I don't think the pink or the yellow iris I planted last fall have come up. I lost a sage and at least one lavender over the winter, and I have doubts about the caryopteris and the buddleia, but I still have two small lavenders,and the delphinium is doing very well with lot of leaves already and who could not love a delphinium? They burn blue holes in the air.

I plan to plant a bunch of annuals that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, since last summer we had both and I want them to be happy. I also plan a border of poppies, because I love them. Perhaps they will not mind the truly lousy soil: soil so bad I didn't have to cut the grass growing on it from July to frost last year. It never got beyond an inch or so and always looked harrassed. Sarah is going to try a vegetable garden. I am in favor (note to self: must dig an asparagus bed)and I will help.But I got out of the vegetable garden habit the last few years in Melrose (a suburb of Boston from whence I moved last July). The neighbor has horses. I think we need the byproducts. And after composting, the chicken poop will be good too, though I suppose one can't compost the chicken poop until the chickens have been hatched, arrived, grown, and settled in.

I also reset the front step, finally. Whether or not you believe in feng shui, it _can't_ be good to have the first step onto a property be badly set on eroding sand, rocking with every step, and I have the kind of ankles that don't need an excuse to dump me on the ground. I have reinforced the step with patio tiles and a landscape timber and it's better. Another bucket of kibble (lab-sifted, artifact-free gravel), and it should be stable. While trying to get things relatively level, I dropped a slab of limestone on my finger, not from very far up, fortunately. Why is it always the right index finger who suffers? But it isn't apparently swelling and I can type with it, so I guess it was just one more small unfairness in its difficult life.

Outside the Loom Room (Unvarnished)there used to be an above-ground pool. My daughter remarks that we are not Pool People. I am trying hard to become a Hot Tub Person, but the pool was too much and I persuaded someone to take it away. Now I have this lovely 12-foot circle of nice gravel outside the slider of the Loom Room, aching for me to buy some kind of cheap pavers and make a labyrinth.

And remove the portion of the deck blocking the view.

And move the utterly ill-placed, increasingly unsteady toolshed, also blocking the view, to somewhere you don't need to cache food and water for the camels on the way to when it's time to consider putting the tools away. The last thing I need after a nice afternoon with pick and shovel is to carry them down a precipitous slope (see ankles, above) to a small shed whose floor is rotting out, and then stagger back up the slope to the promise of tea or a Cold One (usually a seltzer, but choose the temperature and the varieties of Ones you prefer).

In fiber news -- I should have planted all this stuff yesterday and been VARNISHING today, but-- yesterday on my way to the garden, I decided that if I really want to dye my own yarn for the weaving class Final Project, I should get better at dyEing. I skeined up two balls of nice white yarn and proceeded to paint the daylights out of them. They are lovely, pink and purple. Only I was aiming for murky red and murky green. Still a few bugs in the system.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Varnish and corrigenda

The Greeks were a more relaxed and artistically refined sequel to the civilizations of Mesopotamia.  Yeah you're cool, but it wouldn't hurt to shut up once in a while.
The Greeks were a more relaxed and artistically
refined sequel to the civilizations of
Mesopotamia. Yeah you're cool, but it wouldn't
hurt to shut up once in a while.

What is your ancient civilization?
brought to you by Quizilla

I hate it when they're right.

Varnishing actually happens. I will be able to put storage in the storage place (rebuilt loft in rebuilt room; loft is now drying its second coat of polyurethane) for the first time since last October. Not that there's anything wrong with Christmas all year long. One hopes that one will make use of this opportunity to GET RID OF sorry, mustn't shout, some of the cr*p rather than just putting it back up there.

And I think the electrician is coming today. There is a great deal more to varnish in the lower part of the room, but Doug has offered to help. I want to have the room actually running by NH Sheep&Wool (about a month from now), and perhaps Kate will come and help me put Giganto-Loom together then.

Recent birds: the elusive grouse, the flicker, the lovely song sparrow, the small empidonax flycatcher. And the phoebe who nested last year (we found the nest)in the rafters of the back porch/woodstorage area seems to be back. At least, someone roughtly the right size flew out when I went there yesterday evening (needed stove fuel as we are having a cold snap).I hope I don't scare her away.

Note: we had YELLOW-spotted salamanders the other night, I was having a prematurely enior moment when I said (and hyperlinked) that they were blue. Losing it.

Note: I stole the peeper song link from Helen.

Note: My housemate wishes to be known henceforth as 'Sarahmander.' Her idea, not mine, but I like it.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Serious business

Your history, and that everyone who ever lived in the territory now known as the USA, is at risk. Please tell your rep that you do not conider changing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act to be in the best interests of the American people (or anyone else's, for that matter...).

The National Parks subcommittee of the Natural Resources Committee
of the U.S. Congress is considering a substantive change to Section 106
of the National Historic Preservation Act. The proposed change
will mean that only those historic properties already on the
National Register of Historic Places, and those already formally
determined as Eligible by the Secretary of the Interior, will be
considered by federal agencies when carrying out or licensing

This will remove thousands of unknown and uninventoried historic places
from protection under the National Historic Preservation Act. There
will no longer be any requirement to identify and evaluate properties
under the Section 106 provisions. Cultural resources of untold
significance will be impacted by this change if it is implemented.

The chair of the subcommittee is Rep Devin Nunes of California.

If this change goes through, the very time-consuming process of _full entry_ into the National Registry of Historic Landmark will be the only protection, and landowners will be able to veto the protective process if they would rather, say, build a laundromat than maintain a landmark or place of historic significance: a Paleoindian campsite, a Hopewell earthwork, a 19th century tavern, the chicken coop in Kentucky where one of the men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima was born.

Making something 'eligible' for the Registry and its protection is much faster and easier than the full registration, which many state historical resource departments don't have the resources to do. Those in favor of making it easier for business to develop national heritage into private gain think the outcry of archaeologists against these proposed changes is just an attempt to feather their own nests (something no developer would ever consider, of course). Please encourage people outside the digging community, as well as those inside, to protest this threat to our past and present.

Full text of draft changes

Section 1. short title.

This Act may be cited as the "National Historic Preservation Act Amendments
of 2005".

Sec. 2. owner participation in nomination process.

(a) Effect of Objection. Section 101(a)(6) of the National Historic
Preservation Act (16 U. S. C. 470a(a) (6)) is amended by striking ",such
property" in the second sentence and all that follows through the end of
the third sentence and inserting the following: ", no further processing of
the nomination, including making any determination regarding the eligibility
of the property or district for such inclusion or designation, shall be
undertaken until the objection is withdrawn.".

(b) Regulations.-The regulations required by section 101(a)(6) of the
National Historic Preservation Act (16 U. S. C. 470a(a)(6)), as amended by
subsection (a), shall be promulgated in final form not later than one year
after the date of the enactment of this Act.

sec.3. additional criteria for certification of local governments to carry
out national historic preservation act.

Section 101(c)(1) of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U. S. C.
470a(c)(1))is amended--

(1) by striking "and at the end of subparagraph (D);

(2) by redesignating subparagraph (E) as sub-paragraph (F);

(3) by inserting after subparagraph (D) the following new subparagraph:

"(E) agrees, if the local government in-tends to use an eligibility
determination regarding inclusion of property on the National Register to
trigger local regulatory requirements, to also provide full due process
protection to the owner of the property through a separate hearing process;
and"; and

(4) in the matter below the subparagraphs, by striking "through (E)"and
inserting "through (F)".

sec. 4. consideration of effect of federal undertakings

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U. S. C. 470f) is
amended by striking "or eligible for inclusion in" and inserting ", or
determined by the Secretary to be eligible for inclusion in,".

Sec. 5. historic preservation fund.

Section 108 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U. S. C. 470h) is
amended by striking "2006" and inserting "2012".

sec 6. advisory council on historic preservation.

(a) Membership.--section 201 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16
U. S. C. 470i) Is Amended.--

(1) in subsection (a)(4), by striking "four" and inserting "seven";

(2) in subsection (b), by striking "(5) and (6)" and inserting "paragraph
(6)"; and

(3) in subsection (f), by striking "Nine" and inserting "Eleven".

(b) Financial and Administrative services.- Section 205(f) of such Act ( 16
U.S.C 470m(f)) is amended to read as follows:

"(f) Financial and administrative services (including those related to
budgeting, accounting, financial reporting, personnel and procurement) shall
be provided the Council by the Department of the Interior or, at the
discretion of the Council, such other agency or private entity that reaches
and agreement with the Council, for which payments shall be made in advance
or by reimbursement from funds of the Council in such amounts as may be
agreed upon by the Chairman of the Council and head of the agency or, in the
case of a private entity, the authorized representative of the private
entity that will provide the services. When a Federal agency affords such
services, the regulations of that agency for the collection of indebtedness
of personnel resulting from erroneous payments, prescribed under section
5514(b) of title 5, United States Code, shall apply to the collection of
erroneous payments made to or on behalf of a Council employee, and
regulations of that agency for the administrative control of funds under
sections 1513(d) and 1514 of title 31, United States Code, shall apply to
appropriations of the Council. The Council shall not be required to
prescribe such regulations.".

(c) Donation Authority.-section 205(g) of Such Act (16 U.S.c. 470m(g)) Is

(1) by striking "obtain," and inserting "solicit and obtain,"; and

(2) by striking "may also receive" and inserting "may also solicit and

(d) Authorization of Appropriations.-Section 212(a) of such Act (16 U.S.C.
470t(a)) is amended by striking "in each fiscal year 1997 through 205" and
inserting "for fiscal year 2006, $5,000,000 for each of the fiscal years
2007 and 2008, and $6,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2009 through

sec. 7. effectiveness of federal grant and assistance programs in meeting
purposes and policies of the national historic preservation act.

The National Historic Preservation Act is amended by inserting after section
215 (16 U.S.C. 470v-1) the following new section:

"sec.216. effectiveness of federal grant and assistance programs.

"(a) Cooperative Agreements.--The Council may enter into a cooperative
agreement with any Federal agency that administers a grant or assistance
program for the purpose of improving the effectiveness of the administration
of such program in meeting the purposes and policies of this Act. Such
cooperative agreements may include provisions that modify the selection
criteria for a grant or assistance program to further the purposes of this
Act or that allow the Council to participate in the selection of recipients,
if such provisions are not inconsistent with the statutory authorization and
purpose of the grant assistance program.

"(b) Review of Grant and Assistance Pro-

grams.--the Council may.--

"(1) review the operation of any Federal grant or assistance program to
evaluate the effectiveness of such program in meeting the purposes and
policies of this Act;

"(2) make recommendations to the head of the Federal agency that administers
the grant or assistance program to further the consistence of the program
with the purposes and policies of this Act and to improve the effectiveness
of the grant or assistance program in carrying out those purposes and
policies; and

"(3) make recommendations to the President and the Congress regarding the
effectiveness of Federal grant and assistance programs in meeting the
purposes and policies of this Act, including recommendations with regard to
appropriate funding levels.".

Please feel free to cite or copy this entry.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Salamanders and their friends. Or actually, Biology is Destiny.

I do live in a wool house, with cats, and now really yellow goldfinches, but last night definitely belonged to Sarah and her amphibian pals. It was Big Night, when they come out and return to their vernal ponds and lay eggs and ... well, salamander sex seems to be less exciting even than frogs', but I hope they enjoy it.

My period was a few days late. No prequelae. No PMS. Just yesterday, knowing I was going on a day-long road trip, my body said "Hey! This should be inconvenient!" and I said, "Yeah well, I put supplies in the lab last year, so there," and I stole some ibuprofen and had a fine day trip to Jefferson, NH. Five of us went to say goodbye for the moment to a dear friend moving back to TX. We did a couple of errands and I patted a lonely cashmere goat-boy, torn from his mommy's side because he was starting to get randy with his twin sister. (Kids do grow up fast.)

I also lent Matt a Kundert spindle and a bunch of roving. God help him. I need some more good, less expensive spindles to lend.

In the early evening I knitted on the porch, and moved inside. Then I knitted some more on the Ritrata Flower Basket Shawl, and tore it out, and started one in Harrisburg Shetland FBS, and tore it out. Three times. My temper, having missed out on this month's PMS, turned evil. I lectured Sarah on the state of the papacy (dire) and her ethics (imperfect, like mine). She pointed out that it was raining and 49 degrees, and we should put on our raincoats and look for salamanders. I told her she could wear a raincoat if she pleased but I just might not, how about that? She went and found flashlights, because she is patient.

So we went for a two-hour very slow slow stroll down the driveway. I spent the entire time complaining loudly that I was possibly going to throw up. Fortunately the amphibians were not scared off by this. Despite presages of messy painful welcome death, I was mollified by some 13 unsquashed (Yellow)Spotted Salamanders
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a Gray Treefrog whom I should have recognized sooner (I thought it was a very smooth toad),
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a couple of green frogs, around 20 Wood Frogs
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(this is a male. Isn't he sexy?)

and several peepers.
I cannot think the way salamanders walk, sort of switching their entire body distal of the front shoulders back and forth, is energy-efficient, but I am not going to quarrel with some hundreds of millions of years of selection.

Since cars arrived on the scene rather more recently, we helped them across the road. They were all headed downhill, onto other people's property. I felt particularly for the gravid (egg-heavy) females.

I am feeling better today, too.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I heard peepers tonight in the amazingly rural part of Rt. 93 inside the Concord city limits. They were there last year, and they sounded great.

I washed no rocks and only catalogued about 3/4 of a bag tonight. Several of my friends, including the hard-working Dawn, had gone to check out an old site that has stayed open (dirt bike racing on Tatooine). Dawn, who works terribly hard and thinks ill of herself, had found THREE projectile points. It couldn't have happened to anyone nicer, except maybe me. I was happy. The vibes were great.

Matt, who is reading _Women's Work_, came out and asked to learn to spin so he can set up a warp-weighted loom and make a shirt for himself. Tee-hee.
"Knitting is, at its fundamentals, a binary code featuring top-down
design, standardized submodules, and recursive logic that relies on
ratios, mathematical principles, and an intuitive grasp of
three-dimensional geometry." -- Kim Salazar

I went to college with Kim. She was a freshman and I was a senior and she was doing blackwork embroidery in Anthro class while I was doing a nice pictorial embroidery from one of the Unicorn Tapestries. The teacher put up with a lot, I suppose.

I like loom weaving better than card weaving. Last night I made several inches of a couple different kind of twill. This involves putting your feet on different combinations of treadles in a specific order. That is really hard for me, for more than about four steps, with no discernible logic. I hope I will figure it out soon, but the results are very pleasing so far.

I have Sarah's kittens (now long skinny 8-month old catlings) sprawled over me, and Asterix is speaking to me again. He and Mena (who only sleeps with her person, who's in college) and Abbey went for a walk down the side of very long driveway yesterday. Abbey was so excited. She was racing around with her tail bottled, climbing trees and being freaked out by dead leaves and live horses (next door. They thought we were interesting, too). The older cats were clear that Abbey was just silly, but when Abbey got lost Asterix was quite unhappy and mewed. We thought that she, like Mena, had gone back to the house. I had to go back later (having searched the house, and by then Twilly was upset) and found her sitting sadly on a stone wall. We are all home and happy now.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I went to Western Mass. to pick up Doug's wheel, which he has bought from someone out there; to visit Helen; to see my friends Grace and Dahlia; to take a card-weaving course at WEBS; and to go to the Smith science fiction convention. I did most of these things. The wheel was not one of them, but Helen was fine and I am looking forward to her presence here over the NESheep&Wool Festival.

I managed to leave my twined knitting sock bag at Grace's, but here is a picture of their Easter decoration. Note receding glacier.

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It was a two-day course at the fabulous yarn-and fiber stuff store WEBS in Northampton on a deservedly obsolete form of weaving, also known as tablet weaving. You use cards (or thin pieces of wood or leather) with holes punched at each corner to sort out the threads you want to weave.

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These are nice things the teacher has made. Her selvages are even and she shows no evidence of mistakes in threading the cards.

With practice, I did get better at counting to four (sometimes higher!) and remembering if I was intending to rotate the cards away from me or toward me. An action shot would be helpful, here, but you tie the warp to yourself (belt) and an immovable thing (we used clamps on the tables) and manipulated the warps by turning the card. At the same time, you maintain your posture (so the warps stay tense) (you're already tense), and you clear the shed (the space between the warp strings you've made by moving the cards). Then you put the shuttle through and try to have neat edges and try to beat it in, evenly. It was five hours, each day. My shoulders did not quite turn into painful things made of cast-iron.

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Mine do not have neat margins. Ellie stole the tidiest one to wear in her hair. I did not choose the colors. (But having the warps pre-cut, and in some examples already put on the cards, helped us learn a lot faster. Pat was a good teacher.) We made two more warps to weave at home. I will do that. Sometime soon, for sure. It is never going to be my favorite craft, but I was given good enough instruction that I will be able to use the book, if I ever find it, if I ever unpack it, if I ever varnish the new room. Which would involve going off-line, so forget that.

During the non-course hours, I hung out at the Smith science fiction convention. My family have participated in these things all of the children's lives (and before, a couple a years), which may explain why my daughter has a strange affection for con administrivia. I think she likes keeping her head while many around her are losing theirs. I went to one and a half panels, on Sunday morning, and spent most of my time at the con sitting keeping the registration desk crew company, either knitting or spinning. I can't quite explain why that was fun, but it was. I spun some alpaca roving I had bought at WEBS for its lovely colors. It has many chunks of mulch in it, and I am not terribly pleased with the fiber prep. But it IS soft.

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And this is the scarf I did not need to start, only the alpaca Brush was sooooo soft and not too expensive. It is 80% alpaca[okay, I changed this, it did use to say 20%, and yes this means it is 20% acrylic], and the flack I have been getting from both my housemate and my daughter, you would hardly believe.

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Given the number of stitches I have put into it, it should be twice as long, but I have also pulled many, many of them out. It tinks and rips nicely and since this has not yet caused it to pill, I am impressed. 20% acKrylic or not.