Thursday, September 28, 2017

Weaving and more weaving...

My counterbalance floor loom has been sitting half-warped since last Christmas or so.  This week I finished warping the loom, and got started on the project.

The reason I procrastinated so long was that the warp was a mess.  I lost the cross, I ended up threading at least one part incorrectly and had to make up for it down the line (the colors are in a very specific order to create the pattern).  These are Roller Bird Towels, and it was a kit from Cotton Clouds.

I straightened and corrected the warp as I went.  First I tied on to the back beam.

Then I wound the warp onto the back beam, untangling and fixing the threads in the front as I went.  I use paper lawn & leaf bags as warp separators.  This keeps the threads from tangling, because the warp wraps around the back beam multiple times.

After it was wound on to the back, I had to tie on to the front.  I had to add and replace a few threads along the way, correct threading errors, correct tension errors, and weave a header (the first inch or two, to make sure the pattern is showing up the way it should).

I started weaving a few inches of the first towel, but I was having problems with my shuttle.  The thread was catching on a crack and a couple of rough spots on the shuttle.

I have two shuttles, so I took the bobbin out of the more worn shuttle and took some time to glue it and clamp it to minimize problems.  At this point I will use the newer-looking shuttle when I resume, and use the more worn shuttle for the thread between the towels, which will mean it is used much less.  I may also try to pick up a new shuttle when I get the chance.

After gluing up the shuttle, I retrieved my inkle loom project from the basement.  This is intended to end up as a guitar strap (I have guitar strap hardware for it.)

I am also looking into some card weaving.  I think I'd like to start a card weaving project, but I will need the inkle loom available to do that!  Another good reason to finish the guitar strap.  I'm hoping to order a Gilmore Wave Loom (the small size) in the future.  That one would work for inkle and card weaving projects, but it holds a longer warp than the inkle loom can.

And last but not least, yesterday I spent some time working on the Peeking Beads Scarf!  I'm getting close to the pink section of the sock blank yarn!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

2017 Seacoast Century

Yesterday was the 2017 Seacoast Century (today as well, but I'm only attending one day!).  The weather was fabulous, and the course was amazing.  It was my first "metric century" (100 kilometers) and I had a great time!  It took me a while (6 hours 44 min) but I got it done!

Here are some photos of my day.

The ride starts at Hampton Beach State Park in Hampton, NH and traveled as far north (I believe) as York, Maine.

This one was taken from the walkway of a bridge.  We were required to walk our bikes over, using the walkway, rather than riding over the metal grid surface.

Taken from another bridge.  I love the look of this house, with all the boats and fishing paraphernalia.

I love VW busses, and couldn't resist getting a photo of this one in Portsmouth, NH.

This is the Memorial Bridge separating New Hampshire & Maine.  We had our own bike lane, on both sides.

This was a beautiful pond, at the entrance to Ft. McKinley in Maine, our first (and third) rest stop.

First rest stop.  (I didn't stop here on the way back.)

Photo of my bike at the second rest stop.

The Memorial Bridge on the way back.  I had to stop because the drawbridge was going up!  This was at about 42 miles, and it was a nice (short) break.

Photo from the bridge while I was waiting.

Friday, September 15, 2017

New knitting project!

It has been quite a while since I started a new knitting project, but something made me pick up this one last night.  This is a kit I purchased 2 or 3 years ago at NH Sheep & Wool Festival.  It was from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm and called "Peeking Beads Scarf".  It came with beads and a hand-painted sock blank.  I found the pattern a little frustrating at first, and tried a few variations last night.  This morning I decided I wasn't happy with it, and pulled out what I had done to try again.

I finally figured out the instructions after a more thorough read-through (and some sleep).  I also adjusted my needle size upward for a more open knit, and stringing the beads required digging through my crochet hook collection to find one that would fit through the beads.  

On my way now!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Two-wheeled adventure, and a new toy!

Yesterday I participated in a charity ride for Angel Flight NE.  There were four route options; I took the 40 mile route (which finished at 44.5 miles).  It took me a little over 4-1/2 hours (counting two rest stops) and the weather was fabulous!  I had such a good time!

I am quite a slow rider.  Right now I average just a hair over 10 mph, but I am slowly improving.  I am also getting better at standing up to pedal, up short hills anyway.

I am signed up for two more large group rides this fall.  The next one is the Seacoast Century on September 23 & 24.  I'm planning to do the "metric century" - somewhere between 62 & 65 miles, and I'll wait until it gets a little closer before I decide which day I'm riding.  The one after that is on October 1 - the Cranberry Harvest Century, and I'm planning to do the 50 mile ride.  I'm hoping to eventually (maybe next year!) work up to century rides.  My biggest issue with 100 mile rides is that most of them have a time limit, and I'm a little too slow to be certain I would meet the time cut-off at this point.

I did order a bike jersey to make my turtle-like speed clear to others around me.
It ships from China, so I hope that it a) arrives in time for my next ride, and b) fits, as I have no way to tell from here.  We'll find out!

I re-joined Weight Watchers a week and a half ago.  At my first weigh-in after joining I had lost 6.2 lbs.  I started a set of jars to keep track of this visually, based on some similar jars on a Facebook WW support group.

I picked up the blue stones and the jars at WalMart, and ordered the vinyl decals from an Etsy vendor.  So far, so good.  I went a little over my daily points yesterday (who knew Gatorade had so many points!)  I also found out that I'm not crazy about the Honey Stinger energy chews.  I do have some electrolyte "sport beans"; they have fewer points too.  I'll try those next time.  I did count all the points I ate yesterday, however, including the energy chews, the two burgers (on one bun) at the end, and the banana, watermelon, pickle, and 3 Hershey miniatures I had at the rest stops.

As for the new toy - a new spindle!  Spotted this on one of the Facebook spinning groups, and hustled to order one!  Very unique idea, and the spindle is beautiful!  I will be spin-testing it later today.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Bike rides

I had a marvelous 24 mile bike ride today.  Temps were in the low 70s, and the weather was perfect.  The ride was fabulous!  I almost wished I had mapped a longer route!

It's supposed to rain for several days.  I'll be hitting the gym for those days, as much as possible.  I am planning a 30-mile-plus ride for this weekend, when the weather clears.

I also signed up for another ride, just a week after the Seacoast Century.  This one is the Cranberry Harvest Century, on Sunday, October 1, and I signed up for the 50 mile route (but might consider the 60+ mile route, depending on how I recover from the Seacoast Century).  Hope they are both as much fun as today's ride was!

2017 Seacoast Century

is less than 3 weeks away!  It is the weekend of Sept 23 & 24.  I'm already registered.  I'll pick the day with the better weather; I am planning to do the 50 mile ride, but seriously considering the 65 mile ride, as I have not yet done a "metric century" (which, technically, would be 62 miles - 100 kilometers).  I am ramping up my exercise levels for the next few weeks in anticipation.

Also getting used to using this Thule trunk rack.  I went for a ride with youngest son on Saturday.  I knew the bike directions were supposed to alternate (handlebars to the right for one, to the left for the next).  I have found that it's easier to get both bikes on if I remove my trunk bag and pannier.  Also need to go through my pannier and removed some stuff - that sucker is heavy!