Monday, April 5, 2010

My vacation snapshots

I am having a lovely vacation, here at home.  Yesterday, I waited until 9 a.m. before bringing out the power tools and waking the frat boys next door.  I worked on the hedge between my house and the one next door, bringing it down to the level it's cut on their side.  I got all the way from the street to the back corner of my house before my body said it had had enough.  The first 20 feet or so was pretty easy, but once the hedge is in the shade of the two houses, it becomes filled with poison ivy.  Two summers ago, when I was new to the house, I got into the poison ivy, not knowing what it looked like.  There is no poison ivy in Tucson, where I last owned a house and tended a yard.  The rash I had was so large and unrelenting, I had to have steroid shots, and was so unnerved by the experience, I let the hedge have its way.  Well, it looked horrible, and I felt guilty about it, so I was determined to tackle it this vacation.  After I'm done writing, I will go out and finish it, except for one small problem:
This picture may not show it very clearly, but there is a vine of poison ivy shooting straight up out of the hedge, about 20 feet into the air.  I have no idea how to get it out of there without causing a great deal of bodily harm to myself.  My plan is to start from the opposite end of the hedge this morning and hope the landlord for the neighboring house shows up in time to help me figure it out.  He has in the past pointed out to me that the hedge lies entirely on MY side of the property, but it does protect his tenants' privacy as well as mine.  I'm hoping we'll be able to help each other, since he hates poison ivy as much as I do.

And, as embarrassing as it is to admit it, this is the state of my mower-less back yard.  I can almost hear the grass growing.  Please Mr. Lawn Mower Repair Man!  Hurry up!
I hope to post some beautiful AFTER photos later this spring, but if the mower isn't fixed soon, I might have to move!

And lest anyone think all my bread experiments with sourdough are beautiful, I offer yesterday's loaf, a very flat, sad representation.  I don't know what happened, because the first rising was fine.  But when I shaped it into loaves, it spread out rather than up.  We enjoyed it on our picnic, a lovely cold dinner of citrus-garlic roasted chicken, bread with Tuscan olive oil, fresh mozzerella, hot house tomatoes, Italian olives and the cutest little individual cartons of ice cream, with Florida strawberries.  The sunset was beautiful, the company charming, the gnats insatiable.  The bread was a bit too chewy, but a good sponge for the yummy olive oil.  Back to the drawing board with the sourdough.  I might not have fed it enough prior to using it.

There is progress on the turned overshot.  I have finished threading through the heddles, and have almost finished tying onto the back apron.  Mom came over for Mexican food on Saturday, but the warp wasn't ready.  She has promised to come over without bribes to help wind it on; I'm hoping today's the day!  It took me a while to figure out how it would make it through the heddles at the patterned area.  I had to sleep on it before it made sense.  I've woven maybe 6 overshot projects, and kept trying to understand this project from reflecting on them.  I've only found two articles on the subject, one from Jean Scorgie, in Weaver's Craft, and one from Sharon Alderman in an issue of Handwoven from 1998.  Neither explained the process in a way I could fully grasp, and have kept waiting for the light to turn on completely.  Then, yesterday as I lay waking up, it came to me.  Each patterned thread has it's own heddle, and I was right to double up on the number of patterned threads I needed, even though as I did it, I was sure I was wrong.  But the white threads that go in 5 and 6 go concurrently with the pattern threads that go in 1, 2, 3 and 4, just the same way that they would be thrown in shuttles in traditional overshot.  The light came on fully, and I believe that once I start throwing that one shuttle, the pattern will be clear.  I hope!  Fingers crossed!


LA said...

Honeysuckle is the bane of my existence...and Virginia creeper! It's a constant battle around here. I just keep the nippers with me as I walk around.

Tina said...

Here it is bermuda grass and creeping charlie, or ground ivy, even the chickens don't like it. I didn't think they had taste buds!

Maggie said...

Well, Tina, maybe it's a textural thing, like me with okra!

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