Ed’s back is in bad shape. It’s such that back surgeons don’t want to touch it. Back when I still worked at the Public Library and had health insurance he finally gotten to the point where he stopped resisting the idea of back surgery to bring relief to the sciatic pain and atrophied right leg. (It was truly alarming to watch the once strong muscles seem to melt away.) An MRI had three different specialists shaking their heads, each tellingd him the MRI and his atrophied leg just don’t match: the messed up nerves from the degenerative bones and slipped discs should have caused the sciatic pain and atrophying in his left leg. Appeared that his nerves were switched around. Too risky.
He picked himself up and pushes on, mind over matter, the best he can. It does work but there comes a time when matter gives way despite the strongest will power. He’s started carrying a cane when he knows there will be lots of walking involved. I’m usally the driver. Sometimes when he’s driving, he literally has to grab his jeans and lift his leg from the gas pedal to the brake. (The seat in his old Toyota pickup makes it easier for him to drive than my Focus both of which are manual transmission.) Occasionally he’ll have a day when his leg collapses several times while he’s working, after the third episode he quits for the day.
So it was while he was at the wood store in Portland looking to see what interesting woods might be available he spotted a Lathe. Not an ordinary lathe but one which can be operated from a wheelchair! We discussed the reasonableness of the investment. A few days later he went back up to Portland and bought it.
That evening after supper he went for his daily neighborhood stroll to see how everyone is doing. It wasn’t long before several followed him home to help him offload the new lathe and take away the old one which was going to the happy young neighbor standing to the right on the trailer below.
It’s a OneWay Lathe which for now Ed has it set up to use while standing.
But if the day comes when he needs to sit and turn it will accommodate a chair just dandy.
He’s thrilled with it. It’s a heavy duty machine that should be able to withstand full-time usage. He added a choke and our s-i-l will be making a tool rest to Ed’s liking.
Ed is a man who loves working with wood and hopes to be able to all of his life.
The PayPal buttons on the Aegean, Kuchulu and Lark pages at Jenkins Woodworking are in place and some sales have come through in good order. Except, I need to poke around more to figure out the Add to Cart/Shopping Cart features. Which means there will be more tweaking today.
Once that’s settled I will turn my attention to remaking the website using different software. Going through this has convinced me that the editing software should be easily accessed from any computer and not tied to software on one beast. So, I’ve been checking out lots of reviews and various options. A couple of very thoughtful readers have offered wonderful suggestions and advise concerning FrontPage – thank you! It is appreciated. I’m comfortable with FP, if it weren’t for the fact that it ties me down to one computer I’d stay with it. The old computer needs to be put out of its misery – it crashed a couple times last night at crucial moments, and again this morning. groan. I’m back on the laptop, which is where I update the blog. I’ll move back to the office as soon as this is finished to work from the main computer, which Ed likes to access in the evenings.
I’ve been spinning step-outs for remaking the Learn to Spin DVD! Amy (Boogie) of Spunky Eclectic (check out her recipe for spring rolls and cheesecake while you’re there!) sent some fiber a couple weeks ago. The colors popped at me begging to be played with so I striped off 9 grams and had a party.
Love watching the colors change! Spun yarn doesn’t need to be wound onto a spindle in any one fashion but it sure makes for pretty designs when wrapping over 2 and under 1.
Still haven’t finished updating the Jenkins Woodworking website but it’s getting closer. Added PayPal buttons to the Aegeans and Larks. Only the kuchulus to add. (I am not happy with the exposure on the spindle pictures but really hate to spend even more hours rephotographing all the spindles then editing and uploading…)
I’m at a lose to know whether the PayPal buttons work properly. Can’t figure out how to test them without taking the site live. Looks like I need to bite the bullet and upload the website and see if everything works. Meanwhile I keep having second thoughts that I should completely start all over and build a new website from scratch but with online software that I could access from the work computer or on the laptop as needed.
Evenings have been devoted to weaving, a bit of knitting, some hairpin lace, and reading. Sunday afternoon I sat in the shade of the catalpa tree and finished spinning 3 singles of Holiday Yarn’s Silver Roving which I got at Sock Summit.Haven’t taken in progress pictures. Spinning this fun pink fiber reminded me of spinning late May/early June. Looking back through June posts I see that I’d forgotten to post pictures of spinning Picperfic’s Twinkle. (There’s still much from June I’d like to blog about!)
A parcel arrived from England bearing Twinkle from Picperfic’s Etsy (you must see what she’s creating now over at her blog!) Raspberry/pink fluff-n-stuff spilled forth from the bag. I was so tempted to spin it right away but needed to finish a couple projects. During the Memorial Day weekend I was able to spin to my heart’s content. It spun sweetly through my fingers the sun glinting off the sparkly Trilobal Nylon aka Firestar aka Icicle, which is a shiny polyester material.
100 grams = 270 yards of 2 ply yarn. Still not quite sure what to make with it.
It seems best, for now, to keep announcements concerning the Jenkins Woodworking website confined to the actual site and this blog.
Wouldn’t you know it; years ago I threw away the box the Microsoft FrontPage CD (my website building software) came in, and kept only the CD. Without the Product Key, which was on the box, FP can’t be installed on our newer work computer. Called Tech Support this morning and talked with a helpful person at Microsoft who informed me that they no longer support FP. Spent a couple hours this morning reading website builder reviews. More decisions to be made…
For now I’ll muster on with FrontPage on the old computer. Deleted a bunch of old documents and pictures to free up space then uploaded pictures of a good portion of the spindles that are in stock, only Aegeans, Kuchulus and Larks at this time.
All but three Swans (Standards) sold out at Sock summit.
It took most of the afternoon and into the evening to format and edit pictures of the spindles. All that’s left to do is figure out uploading and embedding the PayPal buttons to facilitate buying the spindles without the need for time-consuming back and forth emails. Lark, Marblewood
A couple weeks ago Ed and I took a Thursday and went to visit friends who live at the coast. Our children were babies and preschoolers together during our Portland days, Vallie and I shared stay-at-home motherhood and aerobics, the men drank coffee and smoked a cigar most Saturday mornings and fished whenever they could. When we left Thursday morning we planned to spend a few hours with them then head down to the beach.
The sun was shining but a stiff cold wind was blowing down from the northwest. Their living room window had a splendid view of the ocean with an occasional boat passing along the horizon. We had such a lovely time visiting and sharing food together, the hours pleasantly passed and too soon it was time to leave. We walked past a couple houses to the end of their block to gaze at the ocean one last time before heading inland. It was disappointing not to spend time on the beach, to roll up my pants and do some serious splashing but I have a date with Michelle to look forward to: we’re planning to trailer her horses in September for a long ride on the beach – something I’ve always wanted to do.
Horses… My daughter’s step-daughter, Autumn culminated a week of horse camp at Canyonview with a show for parents to see their child and horse in action. Aurora and I spent a relaxing morning watching each camper individually put “her” horse through its paces. Each child worked on specific goals to achieve the next level in the Christian Camp Horsemanship International rankings. Watching the kids and horses brought a flood of memories from the two summers I spent as a wrangler at a camp teaching kids to ride and taking them on a multitude of trail rides.
One requirement was that Autumn had to halt at the far end of the arena before completing the last course of cones. This was her first year. See how nicely her heels are down and she’s looking ahead anticipating the next move after engaging her horse.
1) Jenkins Woodworking is now on Twitter! Seems like a good place to communicate updates, happenings.
2) I’m attempting to totally revamp the Jenkins Woodworking website. Moving it to the office computer from the ancient one which is used only for the website and keeps crashing, is taking far more time than I’d hoped. Meanwhile a raging, nauseating cluster headache has clamped down with a vise-grip. So, for now all is on hold whilst I have some tea then take a nap.
Question: Which would you prefer for Jenkins Woodworking to use for quick communication and updates:
a) Twitter b) Facebook c) Other – please explain in the comment section.
Leave a comment if you’d like to elaborate about your preference, or helpful suggestions. Thanks!
Walking through the warmth of a bright summer afternoon taking parcels to the PO I lamented the lack of time to slide into the cool waters of the creek. Last Friday I swam for the first (so far only) time this summer. It was glorious. Honeybees droned over tart/sweet ripening blackberries hanging near the creek, dragonflies swirled on a slight breeze, water skippers skated out of the water, climbing onto the warm rock while tiny trout darted around my arms and legs, and Mopley contently laid in the shade. Not another person in sight or hearing. To my surprise the water was still cool and higher than usual this far into August, the level more like that of early July. Languishing an hour soaking in peace and solace. Noting the shadow already across the creek by 3pm I decided to try to get in a daily swim sometime between noon and 2pm. Sadly it’s not working out.
Ed went on the annual camping/fishing trip with his buddies and our son-in-law, Hayman leaving me to decide between getting neglected chores done or spend that precious alone time weaving and playing. Compromise is good in these times! I didn’t get nearly as much weaving in as I’d hoped, the annual Summerfest put a kink in Saturday. It’s a small town festival with a small parade that varies slightly year to year, and a few intrepid vendors with handcrafts. A day to get out and mingle with the locals and people I know but seldom see. The garden needed watering, an apple pie made with the fallen gravensteins, and the living room a through cleaning. Then it was time to pack up to spend the night with daughter Aurora.
We laid out a ground sheet, cushioned it with a fleece blanket then spread our sleeping bags and settled in to watch the full moon and shooting stars sail through the sky. Except, tattered clouds scudded across the sky all night long. We laid awake, dozing off and on listening to farm traffic, dogs and a few distant voices. Aurora lives at the edge of a small farm community surrounded by many grain fields – all ripe for harvest and with a forecast of possible rain Sunday evening many were working the fields late into the night. We were thankful the field directly across the road is a blueberry field with no tractors humming along the rows! The good thing about a cloudy night – no waking up to heavy dew covering everything.
The office computer had been slowing down with odd things popping up, programs that are used daily suddenly not opening necessitating digging into program files to even find them. I arranged to take it to a computer maintenance friend early Friday morning. He found 6 viruses/worms/malware on it. One especially tenacious one that seemed to go back several years but had recently activated and was the main culprit behind messing with .exe files. We’re thankful to have it running much better though there are some new issues, the worst my postage software had to be reinstalled and all the history for the past 2 years was wiped out. I’ve relied a great deal on that history – it’s the quickest way to see when something’s been shipped and delivered, I use it to cross reference when something has been mailed to a specific person then I can go to the correct month to find the order. (I don’t know how to create a database, sad. Someday I hope to figure it out but so far the learning curve has been too steep and time-consuming.) Being without our work computer was sort of freeing for the four days it was gone but yesterday was filled with trying to answer emails and reconfiguring my layouts in the postage software. Our somewhat slower days are history. Work is almost back to full swing and although we’re not yet taking wholesale orders they’ve been coming in.
Ed’s birthday is next Thursday and the vest I’ve been sporadically weaving might not get finished in time. We have two young friends getting married in September, one on the 3rd the other on the 24th and I’d hoped to weave rugs for each of them. (We’ve known the young man getting married on the 3rd since he was born the year between our two kids, the other since he was 11 or 12.)
Sock Summit seems long ago but I promised to show what came home with me.
Gryphon, of Sanguine Gryphon traded the purple and a red skein for a spindle. When Ed showed me what she’d delivered my jaw dropped and I had to get another red in hopes of making a sweater from the red and purple skeins. (No idea what pattern.) I couldn’t resist getting the pink and blue for making sweaters for Wesley and Feather. Fiber also found it’s way back home with me; the lofty blue from Cheryl’s Newhuehandspun, the sparkly pink pencil roving aka Silver Roving (seriously it has silver in it!) gifted by Jennifer of Holiday Yarns, and the wonderful Pushka spindle straight from the Peruvian Andes – which Jocelyn thoughtfully purchased for me whilst on tour in Peru. It is a true Quechua drop-spindle, as used by the woman for all their spinning. I’m truly amazed and touched by this gift. I’m looking forward to spending more time getting acquainted with it.
Before opening time Thursday afternoon Ed came rushing into the booth and told me I needed to go across the way and snap up the red shoes before they were gone. He and I had eyed some similar 2 years ago but I’d waited too long. I dashed over and found a pair I fell in love with. It’s been fun strutting around in these babies. Saturday Ed returned to the booth after another cruise around visiting vendors. This time he encouraged me to make haste to the Dublin Bay booth and snap up the big red purse that was hanging on the wall. I did. Isn’t it a fun combo? Love reds, and I have just the Swallowtail red shawl to go with them! The spindle bag is a JustJuleeDesign gifted by the creator. (Sadly no website.) More about this another post.
After these some hundred words… a picture of the gifted goods!
I just had to take a spinning class with Judith MacKenzie, even if it meant abandoning Ed alone with the masses Saturday afternoon. Thankfully Jocelyn juggled her class schedule to free up the 3 hour block Saturday afternoon to help in the booth, leaving me to stretch my spinning skills.
Other than a Navajo spinning class and a colorwork one on spinning hand painted rovings I had not taken any other spinning class or workshop and felt the desperate need to expand my knowledge under someone of excellent repute.
Socks Exotica: Five fiber companions for socks! This site greeted us as we entered the workshop room. Fiber from the back left: big ball of BFL/Silk Top (didn’t get the percentage), middle back – Cashmere, right back – baby alpaca, ecru pile in front of BLF – unbleached Tussah silk, coils of colored fiber in front – 50/50 Cashmere Silk. All of which are great for plying together to make socks.
Judith explained that 3 or more plys are best for socks, spinning the singles from combed top in a true worsted manner make for the sturdiest, long wearing socks.
I had assumed that my favorite method of spinning was worsted having always preferred spinning from the tip of combed top with the fibers parallel. Turns out it was a modified worsted.
Side story: When I was first shown to spin I drafted by pulling the fibers forward with my spindle hand, my left hand basically stationary. Upon getting a wheel 2 years into my spinning journey I took it to the monthly spinning guild and proceeded to do what felt right; draw the fiber forward with my forward hand (my right hand, fiber in the left). One of the ladies told me that I needed to be drawing back with my fiber hand, thus I learned to work the wheel with my left hand and arm sweeping back to draft out then forward to feed the single onto the bobbin. The method became an entrenched method.
When Judith stopped to check my work she told me to brace my left elbow against the back of the chair and draft using only small forward movements with my right wrist, the thumb and fingers pulling out the fibers only a very short distance while the left hand is basically stationary. About half an inch to an inch! Oh my, shades of early violin lessons and practicing with my right shoulder to elbow braced against a wall so the bow arm does not swing back and forth in a sawing motion. The other action I needed working on for a true worsted was/is not lifting my right thumb and fingers to get the next bit of fiber but to slide them in order to keep the twist from advancing in front of the fingers and into the fiber. All the twist needs to stay between the wheel and the forward hand. (Right hand positioned palm up.)
We started out with the BFL/Silk, a lovely blend. Then the cashmere/silk blend was handed out and spun on a new bobbin. mmm, nice stuff! Then on to the grams of pure cashmere. The soft but short fibers were a real challenge, mostly wanting to be drafted too fine for plying with the 2 previous singles. We were also given baby alpaca and the Tussah Silk Top to spin but I was still concentrating on getting a feel for the small thumb/finger motion and a consistent thickness.
About then the class became even more informal with people asking questions and I seized the opportunity to ask her how she would handle cashmere that had been dehaired but not combed or carded.
With her large hand carders she placed fluffs of cashmere along the edge and showed how to gentle card, not meshing the teeth together at all, then she spun directly from the carder working her short forward draw across from side to side. I haven’t yet tried this with the cashmere I have but am hoping to do some this week. Judith also demonstrated how she controls the singles with her left hand, bobbins at an angle, and no tensioning. At all. She wants the bobbins to rotate freely without any unnecessary pulling with the left hand.
Judith is a wonderful teacher! So much spinning knowledge readily shared in her calm, quiet manner. I’d love to learn more from her in the future!
I still haven’t spun the alpaca nor the Tussah silk, instead I finished spinning the cashmere then plyed the three singles together. Having initially spent a good chunk of time spinning the BLF/Silk combo as Judith worked on our short draw there was more yardage of it than of the other two. When the cashmere (also white) and the red cashmere/silk singles ran out (they were pretty evenly matched) I wrapped the remainder of the BLF/silk onto a nostie then center-pulled plyed it back on itself making an additional 17 yards of 2-ply BLF/Silk at the end of 35 yards of the 3-ply. I plan to knit this into a sampler and see how it washes and dries. Judith claims that cashmere isn’t prone to shrinking and felting (that I must test, for sure!) which is one reason she likes to use it in socks, plus it’s gloriously soft and cushy.
Next time (and the last of SS) swag and a picture of Ed & I in our booth.