Knitted Sanity

Wow first blog post in quite awhile. This has been quite the year. Surgery in May and surgery in October. The first sure helped to a point with the last. Had the spinal cord stimulator extended to cover the C spine since my neck and back has arthritis has worsened. It Has helped a lot but didn’t faze my shoulder. I asked the dr’s over a year about my shoulder and the PA at the pain clinic finally recommended an orthopedic dr and it turned out he was at Carolina hand and sport medicine. My hand dr is/was? with that group. Surgery for a possible torn tendon & spur. Sure enough that was what was wrong, Recovery from this one has been long and painful. PT for ever it seems.. I showed one of the photo to a PT with 30 years experience and his comment was “wow that is a big spur”

So the only thing that I can do is knit, hey it helps my sanity! A few weeks b4 the surgery I joined a group knitting an assigned pooling shawl it has sure kept my interest. Very hard to photograph, I love this yarn instead of two color, as most are this has the dark clusters with a slightly variegated yarn. Did also find out due to an order for a bracelet that I can bead. All of it I must do with limits. Also made with gigantic needles, gnome hats for the twins and the PT secretary. LOL She love gnomes and blurted out “Oh I want one!” They are really fast to knit. Both patterns can be found on Ravelry,” Assigned Pooling by Dawn Barker” and ” Scrappy gnome hat” by Melody Lisa I would get the photos of the gnome hats on the twins but the twins and family I haven’t seen since their return from Mexico. One of the boys brought back a flu bug from the plane. Photo below also of bracelet and new earring design for Super Duo’s.

Some of the beading. Especially enjoyed the spiral with super duos.

Updates and Interests

Well the before mentioned AVL was sold to Berea college for their weaving department. Glad it is going to a good home and will be used, probably for the first time in it’s life. Finally found out that it one of the sensors for the treadle that had become loose. With AVLs help I installed a new one but it didn’t work. So I re attached the loose sensor in the old one and it Worked! Hopefully will get back to weaving, well after the towels get sewn anyway. I nick named them the forever towels not realizing I had put on such a long warp 7 years ago. Four actually go together!

I’ve joined a machine knitting group so that should be fun. I sort of demonstrated the Knit leader for the group on Sunday. I brought it along as it is so hard to describe without it in front of me and glad one of the members remebered how to thread the transparency sheet. Yes it is so old it uses a transparency sheet! Last time Lorri Helms brought in her light weight LK 150 machine. Very portable and should I want to do workshops it would be perfect to bring instead of one of the ones that weighs a ton. So some of my AVL money went to buy one of those. Since I just moved my machines downstairs in the AVL’s spot I know how heavy they weigh. It uses Russel levers that I have never used before so another learning curve to conquer.

These posts seem to get harder as my health changes, one of the medication side effects cause forgetfulness and I was already most of the way there already! Sometimes I feel almost aphasic especially where finding words comes in. Damn Neuroplathy and Arthritis. Just now wanted to type conquer and couldn’t remember how to spell it, guess I went into auto type mode because it is correct! LOL

Finally saw a part of my ribber on the sock machine that was stuck and unmoveable. It was the cause of many frustrating sock making days. My son loosened it up for me and I am finally making socks! Taught myself with basically You Tube. Must be a visual learner. Yes What I learned during the last of the pandemic.

When I was growing up I wasn’t allowed on dates, or to dances. I joke that due to my Baptist upbringing we were only allowed to go bowling. Going through some of it now, dating, at my age and health it is a real bitch. I question motives daily. My two grown kids and I inherited my mothers ability? gene? to look much younger than our ages. My daughter was carded at the casino well into her thirties, My son can pass for 20 or 30. Men have asked me on the dating app if I was really that age and didn’t believe me. Last serious boyfreind at times treated me like arm candy? Huh? Yes single in your sixties wow.

Pretty bummed at not being able to go to concerts, just isn’t anything nearby that interests me. I’m not quite ready to jump into that anyway. Will have to wait and see what summer brings.

Ok darn quess things are gearing up. Heard two helicopters go over the house today. They use these mountains for training, usually for the afghan war. I don’t know what base they come from? They usually don’t fly over here as much as they did at my old house. They came so low I told Dave I was going put a sign on the roof that said ” If you can read this you are flying too low ” Waved at one and they waved back. Yup mountain training range, great.

Further Loom and Textile fun. Um yeah

So several hundred dollars later and my AVL is still lifting inappropriate shafts. So I thought it was fixed the other day after the installation of something in the compu dobby. The magnets weren’t working properly so I put in a new Magnet assembly. My son found an elusive dot to plug it into the computer board. Still isn’t picking the right shafts. Frustration level at the max at this point. If I could lift any part of it, my what a nice bonfire it would be.

I had planned to do one last warp on the loom and then possibly sell it. Now probably at a discount, Darn. Bothers my right shoulder too much to use and the loom sure hasn’t gotten much use the last years it has taken up space more or less. Funny my Megado was up and running right away but it used to cause all sorts of aggravation. My late husband finally figured out that the steel cord that went from the treadle to the dobby box was stretching with humidity, rigged it up for me and no more problem years later.

Also I had been getting into knitting and all the fancy stitches. I love to knit lace. Unfortunately my left thumb hates it. Severe arthritis, one surgery down and it I move it a certain way, ouch. Until it pains me night and day no more surgery, the surgeon says it is like a total knee of the thumb. So to combat this lack I bought a Dean and Bean Sock knitting machine. Anxiously Waiting for a ribber attachment for it. It has been called a gateway drug and I can certainly attest to that!! So basically the spirit is willing but my old body isn’t. So much crap since I hit 40 and now at 66, much more crap to deal with. Golden years my ass.

The bug has firmly bit and I bought an antique off of eBay through a reputable seller. It works very well but the learning curve continues. Making a set up bonnet now on it, my other is just a bit too small. I will be excited to post a ribbed sock whether it is from the Legare of the Dean and Bean. Funny the machine from Quebec came here faster than the Dean and Bean

Legare 400

Weaving and CSM Knitting

The AVL is finally as of yesterday up and weaving. Over a month later… Sheesh thanks to Bob Kruger @AVL’s help. Tried everything I could think of and more. Basically all that AVL suggested until the magnet check. First it would lift the first two shafts of my draft then five or six random ones. Turned out it was a magnet sensor that was bad, actually it was loose but I installed a new one. Was hung up on how to plug it into the computer board my son saw some elusive dot on it and it is working fine now. Blew some canned air into various areas, who knew people were huffing it. So now I’ve changed a battery in a laptop, a fan and now this, more than I ever wanted to learn!

I’m weaving a overshot draft on that loom that only requires four shafts. Seems silly on a 24 shaft loom but I wanted the width as it is 60 inches wide. Finished another long, long term project started just before Dave’s dementia got so bad. That whole studio of the house was put aside because I couldn’t leave his side. Now the finishing starts hemming etc.

Rolled these down the hallway thinking is would be shorter than this! LOL

As to CSM knitting I’ve gone off the deep end. My ribber attachment is on it’s way, eventually from Dean and Bean long wait list. I’ve lost count of the number of socks I have already made on the 1.0. Their photo below shows the 2.0 and ribber, Mine will be purple. These are reasonably priced machines are definitely a gateway drug. I just ordered a Legare CSM off eBay by a respected seller of them in Quebec Canada. Then ordered a book as the one that comes with it is ancient and hard to follow, downloaded the PDF. also a buckle that holds the weight. LOL now to find yarn money. Have one sock order already that should be fun as it is two sizes down from mine.

My finished ones minus a pair in the washing machine. Most proud of the black trimmed pair. That pair has been on tiny knitting needles for years but because of my arthritic thumb were never finished. Will post more on my adventures in Ribbing and Legare that might arrive first!

Weaving set up, Murphy’s law

Keep in mind this loom has been naked for over 6 years, with my late husbands illness and all. Using my warping mill, I got all my threads measured out, several days. Wound my warp on, several more days as it was full width. On the photo is head kitten, her trainee is further under the loom. Then threaded it with further cat assist, She’s on the sandpaper beam? needy or what? Did rig up a good way to hold my draft. On this loom to thread you take the reed etc. out and lean all the way over that towel Ms. Needy is laying on. I use the longest threading hook I could find at a fiberfest eons ago b4 covid, or it feels like eons ago. You can see it’s reed behind Ms. Needy.

With my health problems, fibromyalgia and arthritis in back, neck, hand etc. this process took many days. I know from experience that any one of these activities if overdone for me can cause pain and more days to finish.

While all this is going on I am having cable issues. The Loom is run by a computer system called a compu dobby. You can see the edge of one (different brand) to the right of the two cat supurrrviser’s picture. That loom worked as soon as I hooked it up! With it’s old cable. It is plugged in to an outlet and a cable runs to your laptop. After you put the draft in a computer program, I use Fiberworks, then this compu dobby selects the shafts for you. ( that company, Fiberworks is excellent by the way) I can get it to do everything except raise the right shafts. I am sure it is a cable issue so I order one off eBay, wrong one for Vista? ( turns out it is the right one and you need to download a correct driver, RadioShack, out of business so have fun finding that one) So I order a pricey one from AVL over four times the price of RadioShack’s that I have used for years. Got it finally and it is about a foot long, you need another (female male serial cord) cable to attach it to so that it can go to the computer. So luckily that additional cable is arriving from Amazon today. Granted this is an old system I use Windows 7 to drive both of my computerized looms, the warped Louet Megado one is under the two cat team.

I have another gizmo that I love. It is a autodenter or patent denter, reed hook. It hops to the next dent in the reed. It is kind of a pain to learn to use but once you figure out it’s idiosyncrasies it is wonderful. Especially with my aging eyes. This is one of the places one can be bought, even has a video showing how it is used

So then it dawns on me that I have made a major warping mistake. The center was warped correctly but the outer edges were not. So from a 60″ wide project to a 38″ or so project. Resleyed again, the photo is before I realized what was wrong. I knew there was something wrong as it was the third time, in the photo.

I have prolonged my PT final visit for a month, all in the hopes of getting this loom running. Last time I used it I either got Bursitis or? I have a torn rotators cuff ( urgent care Dr said bursitis, PT with a doctorate said rotators cuff. ) If I have the problem again the loom goes up for sale. Anyone looking for a wide AVL loom that runs on Windows 7? Lol that should be fun. Another reason I need a working cable!

I should know by the end of the day if the new cable works and if I can finally weave on the thing for awhile. Dang did not realize I was so rusty. Other two looms I warped without much of a problem. Well the one had a 7 year old wound warp that I couldn’t remember what the plan was for it. Working well now with the middle stretchy threads on a swimming noodle, LOL. If anyone is interested I can post a photo of that.

I was a nurse

Yes I actually wore one of these for many years.

I heard this piece on the news about the burnout that is occurring (still occurring) at the hospitals right now. I know this well as I burnt out at one time. This is a profession known for eating their young and I can now add their disabled as well. After my injuries I wanted to keep working as a nurse but the hospital where I was employed had the amount of lifting in every job description. RN with decades of experience and I was offered either with monitor technician or Clerk in the psych ward. I worked as a tech until my back could no longer tolerate the job. Then down to 4 hour shifts entering data, there was no data collected for me to enter (busy job). Sued them due to them stopping workers comp and settled out of court as advised by our attorney.

Most should look at me as “There but for the grace of God go I” Highly doubt anything has changed there or at any other hospital. Health care has become a money making business. ICU’s that usually have a 2 to one nurse ratio is now (Due to Covid 19) up to a 4 or higher patient to nurse ratio. Not a safe situation. They are filling out a form each time they work that it is unsafe. I left an ICU job due to the unsafe conditions, main thing was the lack of help when needed. I decided that I wasn’t going to risk my license and I wanted some autonomy. I found it for a time in homecare nursing at a true cost as that is where I was injured.

They and we are unsung and un-recognized heroes, not just because we are in a pandemic. I think the nurses, doctors and anyone working in health care during this pandemic should have their loans paid for by our government. Plus some treatment for the emotional aftermath of this whole thing. Since it is a primarily a female profession a lot of this was shoved on us, the overstaffing, dissatisfaction. Many people you talk to are former nurses. Since more men are joining the workforce in hospitals maybe things will change. They also need to be unionized. I know that is a very controversial statement but from a unionized hospital to non unionized place I sure saw a huge difference. They stuck up for you when you needed help. I truly think that at a unionized hospital, a job could have been found for me without the weight lifting BS. In the unionized hospital I worked with a nurse who was a paraplegic in a wheelchair!

Guess when all this is said and done, we shall see if anything changes or if it just stagnates and stays the same. What would our Nations do right now with out the medical field?

Weaving, Life..

“Forever Towels”

Nice to get back to the loom and that my feet didn’t complain too much about weaving today. Since the weather is clear today I took advantage. Started a color series of them possible 3 or 4, depending on how much warp is left. I don’t remember how much warp I put on this loom but they have been nicknamed Forever Towels for a reason. First photo is from Months and Months ago, primarily blue ones are from today.

Something about weaving says “OK you are home again.” Same thing with spinning but with that there is a definite Zen like feeling with it, very relaxing, centering. Sure need to do more of both.

Returning to music after a very long time has sure helped with this pandemic. Finding new and old performers, music I didn’t have any contact with in the semi country western mode during my marriage. I had started listening to Jonny Lange and Keb’ Mo the last few years up in MI. Now from Gary Clark Jr to new music from Boz Skaggs, I’m enjoying it all.

Pandemic fun, well not so much. My sister told me about shelf milk which sure has come in handy and pick up shopping from Walmart. Tried the last one just this past week and it worked really well. I fly in so quickly that I end up picking up the wrong things, like cherry Pepsi. My app failed and am back to paper lists which with rushing has worked out better. Last time out almost everyone had masks on. Several had them under their noses but it is an improvement from even a month ago. My county hasn’t been hit as bad as some in the areas but there are sure some nonbeliever jerks out there. Made a joke that the pickups with the US flag and trump stuff would need to go half mast after the election. Saw a pick up truck with it at half mast! LOL

Boy, relationship status, Either heavy drinkers or reformed alcoholics. Seriously dated three men this year and am calling a truce, cease fire whatever, I am done. Two out of three former Alcoholics. Online dating is not an option during this pandemic, If I hadn’t texted with this last gentleman for a long, long time almost from when I started with this.. (not sure what to call it.) Would never gone to meet him. Not for the faint of heart.

Weaving Tips 001

Been thinking about things to pass on to future weavers so I have some photos to show some of mine.  Absorbed the easy way since learning to weave in 1973. Those  classes were good but complicated.  Looked down and it reminded me again. This pattern has no plain weave and divided in four groups of  1234 and 5678 that repeat or mix. So the first and last treadles were lowered not in use.  For a jack loom the treadles are in the center so it is balanced  better. As you can see the hair tie in the center of the pattern. Can feel it with my feet. Feet are almost always bare on this and on my spinning wheels,Plus shoes are sometimes too big to fit.



The next  are stations for winding that I put in my studio. One station is for a  winder for end feed shuttles, with a sign to remind me on how to wind them. That is an  old microwave cart. Above the cart  is an old antique that I hang my rag shuttles on when not in use. Plus extra light to wind by. Storage below actually for things I rarely use. Mainly because I would Lots of paper goods in the drawer. I have a storage box that has my threading tools etc etc. that sits on top. Below is a cone holder for yarns that I’m using for my end feed shuttles that blocks the cupboard,

Winding areaE

This Station is for wooden prins that I use with a crossley shuttle, the wood chips on the other one above. I use this winder for cones as well The second photo shows the wooden shuttle and the wooden discs to wind cones on the bobbin winder.  I found mine on Etsy, there is a new seller that has them and photos of how they are used:

Wood that it whir


conestationclose2 E

tips E

This is storage for my Inkle loom with a rack below that is handy for hanging my lanyard with scissors and tiny hex tool for tightening end feed shuttles. To the left is a double weave pin cushion. If it were lower possibly ink pens. Was a double weave project in school.   I have a second one near my Louet. I hang it on my seldom used spool rack. Also clipped on there is an extra light for threading. Many of these items move from loom to loom, When needed.

tip1 E

I’ve used easels, propped on a chair, used a chart holder stand, you name it to put threading charts so I can easily see  it.   The Norwood has almost a built in one if you sley from the back and fold the loom partially.  I have both the photos at the beginning of the page for the Norwood booklet. Had been wondering if I ever pass away what would happen to that little booklet. Very popular and question solved it was put in the files of the Norwood group on Facebook. Knew it was mine from the coffee stains the previous owner spilled on it.  The photo on the right is how I put a warp on the back of the loom without the use of the spool rack and tensioner. Winding those spools was a real drag…

threadNor norwood

The next is something I asked my late husband to make, one of many. He made my bobbin winders, Angel wings, Warping reel and the picture below my Jig. I use it to make heddles for making repairs for threading errors mainly. On the first photo a) Take a piece of string as long as the board, fold it in half, b)put that loop on the peg to the right, c) make a knot before the tall peg in the center, d) Another after the small peg in the center. That makes the eye of the heddle. Now cut the first loop and put it on the loom.


I’ll do more of these as the ideas come to me hope they help a new weaver out there.

Staying Sane… Always a Goal.


From the Spin2Weave group on fb

Below  is my current machine knitting project, a “wavy” scarf.  The instruction  video that I followed is at the bottom of the post. I first made armrest covers on the bulky but this project is on the standard. A Standard machine uses #1 yarns  vs the bulky that has the ability to use worsted weight yarn. Actually once you get a rhythm going it is quite easy. More than 1/2 completed. Love the way the colors have turned out using this yarn. On the label it says to use size #1 needles.

Wavy Scarf wavy2 E


I’ve also spun some variegated yarn,  2 plys of it and the third a solid color. It was spun using the Deadalus  Starling XL. Knitting a hat with that yarn.It is the first completed  spun yarn done in ages and ages. Did use the big wheel for a bit as well. Part of the reason I got an electric one was to see if it would get me involved with using the regular spinning wheels again.  Knitting the Copy.Cat C.C (Colorado Chick) Beanie a free pattern on Ravelry.

CC hat


My weaving is slowly progressing, putting a warp on the Louet, cat mats on the glimakra, and the towels that have been on the loom forever. Thinking of the next project for the Norwood. Have a draft for the AVL but want to get the Louet Megado warped first. Today I found the ideas that I had for that warp, 5 or 6 years ago? Wound the warp before Dave got sick. Will probably increase as the weather warms up, kinda cold down there.

New weaving cat: Jaspurr. He wanted to swat the shafts going up and down.


The Corona virus or Covid 19 is stirring up grief, mood up and down. Just before all this stuff hit I contacted the man I started dating first, who is local and we have rekindled our relationship so that is the bright spot. Also managing it by limiting TV and FB time. Lots of Hulu, music and more music. I think I am done making masks for awhile. My sewing skills are pretty poor but I managed to get 14 made. LOL none are the same. So strange at the grocery store to see no faces just masks, except the workers aren’t wearing any? Ah well, another thing coming back in full force are my nursing memories. Worked so many places where supplies weren’t available. LOL appropriately  my “retirement” pay started on April fools day.



Since the coronavirus my mind has run in many channels. Since I am in that “at risk” group, Mortality has been on my mind. None of us are immortal although we wish we were! Probably why we have had such a rise in movies about superheroes. We have some superheroes right now, they are our scientists, nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists. Ha notice no politicians on the list? They are on the front lines not some trumped up orange man. He wants people back to work for the almighty dollar, puts little value on human life.

I have too many projects (4 cats)and a life I want to live but if my number is up, my number is up. Remember my mother  in her 80s saying to me frequently that she still feels in her head like she is still in her 20s.  Know exactly what she was saying now.

So many things when your mind runs this way that you would have done differently. When a “relative” says stay out of their lives, should I have abided by that? Realized it more so this past summer. Dealing with health issues and my late husband’s dementia and death definitely got in the way. 5 years is a long time in a child’s life.

Did make some recent changes. A person in my life was not making me happy, far from it. So I ended that  relationship  and I’ve pursued the one that did make me happy.  May  not be long term… all up to that numbers game. How much longer do any of us have? No idea.

After Dave passed I was reading anything I could find to figure out my view of things. In my line of work, Nursing,  Death was an always a presence,  an elephant in the room. Worked  in many areas critical care, home care, hospital, and nursing homes. Saw death fought to the bitter end and more peaceful passings like some of my loved ones.  I read “Journey of the Souls” by Michael Newton. It clicked with what I have experienced. My Father in law experienced that white light.

We all go through births and deaths the circle of life. I guess how you react and deal with it is the key.