After several days of hard work, I’m almost done debugging. It’s a dreadfully slow and frustrating process, that can take up to fifteen minutes per errant thread. I’ve fixed crossed heddles, stuck heddles, empty heddles, broken threads, crossed threads, etc. (LOTS of etc.). And then, after ten or fifteen minutes of concentrated troubleshooting, I get to move on to…the next problem. After an hour’s work, I might have fixed six threads – seven, if I’m lucky.
The pins in this photo show some of my pain:
This reminds me of something I’ve often said about my cats: they are the most amazing, wonderful, fabulous cats in the world, and I love them dearly – which is absolutely the only reason I put up with them. 🙂 Similarly, Amazing Grace is the most wonderful, fabulous, etc. loom in the world, which is the sole reason I haven’t chopped her into firewood while debugging. (Well, plus she’d make rotten firewood, given that she has a metal frame.)
Then yesterday, just as I was giving up in disgust for the day, the mailman arrived, with an intriguingly squishy package with a handwritten address. Since I hadn’t ordered anything recently, I was a bit puzzled by its arrival. What a delight to find a small package of black and white silk yarn and a note from Wanda (one of my Chocolates for Charity donors) gifting it to me! She said it was unlikely to use it, but she knew I would, so she was sending it to me. I will indeed use it, Wanda, and it was a delightful end to an otherwise frustrating day of struggling with the loom. So thank you.
The arrival of Wanda’s gift made me think, “Hey! Maybe I should give myself treats whenever I finish fixing a thread!” Bribery, of course, has a long and successful history, and since it works on the cats, I suspect it will work on me as well. (Because, of course, I am almost as smart as a cat, at least where treats are concerned. 😉 ) Since a friend gifted me with a box of delicious chocolate squares (from a chocolatier in Paris, no less!), I plan to munch my way through the next dozen broken threads.
And after I run out of chocolate? Well, the garden is bursting with tastiness. The aprium season has just started, and it promises to be an excellent harvest:
(If you’re wondering what an aprium is, it’s an apricot-plum hybrid – like a slightly tarter, but still luscious, apricot. They are one of my favorite fruits. Our tree is just a few years old, and is bearing quite nicely for its age.)
And the mulberry trees are still going:
I grew up with three big mulberry trees in our back yard – I have many fond memories of running around in the back yard under the trees, then coming in with purple feet, hands, and face. I’m very happy Mike planted mulberries for me.
Our raspberries are also burdened with ripe fruit – only a little this year, as the patch is tiny, but delicious nonetheless. In a few years, after the patch has expanded, we’ll have enough to make jam.
And did I mention the blueberries?
We have fragrant beauty:
And not-so-fragrant beauty:
And there is promise of more fruit to come. The grapevines are starting to set fruit:
And if you’ve ever wondered what a baby avocado looks like, wonder no more:
And there are passion fruit, persimmons, peaches, plums, and figs on the way, too. All that hard work Mike put in a few years ago is paying off in abundance now. I just hope we can keep up with the harvest!
And that is it for today…it’s time to get back to debugging! I’m down to three recalcitrant threads, so I hope to finish today.
Just to whet your appetite…here are some of the threads I will be using to weave my samples:
These are rayon embroidery threads designed for sewing machines…In the real piece, I will use hand-dyed silk threads, but rayon embroidery thread is available in a wide range of colors, making it useful for color sampling. With luck, I’ll be able to reproduce the colors in silk, using my large sample palette.
Stay tuned for some Actual Weaving!