Mike and I went for a short ride today (taking it easy in preparation for the Tour de Max tomorrow), about 36 miles. Somewhere around mile 20, I heard an explosion of air, followed by a rapid metallic pinging, and my back tire went dangerously unstable. I braked rapidly to a halt, thinking I’d broken a spoke, but on closer inspection it turned out that my rear tire’s sidewall had blown out. In two places. (I still haven’t figured out how it blew out in two places simultaneously, unless the first blowout triggered the second.)
Thanking all the myriad gods that it had NOT blown out on the somewhat tricky descent we had just finished, I took the tire off and had a hurried consultation with Mike. With 16 miles left to go, we couldn’t just limp in; we had to get a fix that would last for awhile. Finally we decided to patch the tire with an empty energy-gel packet (to cover the blowouts). We inflated the tire gingerly to 90 PSI (normally it’s 110 PSI) and continued on. Fortunately, nothing untoward happened and I managed to finish out the ride. Equally fortunately, I have a spare (if somewhat worn) tire, which means I can still do the Tour de Max tomorrow. I’ll have to buy new tires, but I was planning on doing that in any case.
Anyway, that unfortunately delayed us enough that I didn’t have a chance to do any dyeing tonight, nor did I have time to go to the hardware store for a new bolt for the warping wheel. So that’s on the slate for tomorrow. Also on the slate for tomorrow is figuring out what to do with an entire 20-lb box of dry-farmed tomatoes – okay, I admit I went a little overboard, but because of the (substantial) box discount it turned out to be cheaper to buy an entire box than to buy the two largish bags I had intended to purchase. So tomorrow I think I will be making a BIG batch of tomato soup, some for dinner and some for the freezer. I love cream of tomato soup, I think it’s the best thing to do with tomatoes. (Except eating them fresh, that is.)
Dyeing-wise, I have wound off 16 50-gram skeins of 10/2 cotton yarn and am going to dye it up as follows:
Black at 4%, 3%, 2%, 1%, .5%, .25%, and undyed (i.e. white)
Brown at 4%, 2%, 1%, .5%, .25% (have yet to pick the specific brown mix, but I’ll do that tomorrow)
Navy blue at 4%, 2%, 1%
Red at 2%
I think that plus the fuchsia, orange, blue, and purple should be quite enough colors to play with in the doubleweave warp.
I have also woven off another foot of the yak-silk warp, leaving 30 inches to go until I finish it. I haven’t quite decided what to do with it, but I think I will probably hem it and donate it to Impact, a women’s empowerment/self-defense organization that I worked with 15 years ago in LA (gad! has it really been that long??).
Anyway, the Bay Area chapter is having a fundraising dinner, and I think a handwoven, black-and-gray scarf in luxury fibers (cashmere, silk, yak) would appeal to both men and women. So I may donate it to them for their raffle – if I finish it in time. Hopefully it can raise a substantial sum for them.
Tomorrow after getting back from the Tour de Max (which is only 40 miles, so shouldn’t take longer than 4 hours even including time at rest stops) I plan to dye the yarns, weave off more of the scarf, make the tomato soup, start candying some ginger, finish assembling the warping wheel, and (possibly) convert the brake on my AVL workshop dobby loom to a live-weight brake. The only thing I don’t like about this loom is that the advance is a bit ragged; I’ve read about live-weight brakes and want to see if that will work better at providing even tension during the advance.
That sounds like a lot, even to me, but figure I’ll have about seven or eight working hours tomorrow, if we get back from the Tour de Max by 2pm. And many of the items can be done in parallel, which should help. We’ll see how it goes.