Categotry Archives: journal

Journal posts for CaySwann

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TdF fibers are selected

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I’ve been preparing fibers to take to the dye retreat in July, which meant digging through all my stash all weekend. I have selected my fibers for the #TdF#TourDeFleece this year: Cashmere/Tussah silk that I bought as a birthday gift to myself, silk lap from Camaj, and the naturally dyed cellulose fibers from last year’s retreat. My goal: Spin every day of #TdF, and even after the run, finish these three sets of fiber. #TeamGDW #TeamGriffinDyeworks #TdF2018

Fibers picked out for TdF2018
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Tour de Fleece: 2018 Edition

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Looks like I’m going to do the Tour de Fleece again this year… I thought I’d done my “spin on a wheel every day” challenge last year, but turns out that was *two* years ago. And since the Fiber Retreat happens right near the beginning of this year’s TdF, I’m going to use that as an excuse to tag my things “Team Griffin Dyeworks.” Sounds good to me! 

Copied from the Ravelry Tour de Fleece group:

The concept is simple: Challenge Yourself. Spin. Have fun. This year, the Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday July 7 and runs until Sunday July 29th, 2018. Guidelines (NOT RULES):

Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 9 through Sunday July 29th. Days of rest: Monday, July 16th and Monday, July 23rd. (Just like the actual tour.)
Spin something challenging on the challenge days (usually the toughest high mountain stage, usually the toughest high mountain stage: this year, the first one is Stage 10, on Tuesday July 17, when the riders will take the first mountain stage of the race – includes a section of dirt road on the Plateau des Glières. It is 100km from the finish but comes after a 6km climb at 11 per cent. The second is stage 17, on Wednesday, July 25th, when they will ride to the summit of the Col de Portet is only 65km long but half of the stage is uphill. It is the shortest road stage of the 2018 Tour but could be one of the hardest. Wear yellow on Sunday July 29th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour – but here we are all ‘race leaders’) Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter – think FAST), Polka-dot (climber – as in uphill), and white (rookie).

And so I like to explain that the Tour can be ANYTHING you want. It could be “spin every day,” or “finish these damn UnFinished Objects (UFOs),” or “Ooooo excuses to spin new things!”

You decide your Tour.

I’m tempted to make my challenge “Go through your stash and SPIN MORE STUFF you weirdo”

In honesty, I have to do some stash organizing to prepare for the Fiber Retreat. So I might find TdF spinning while I’m prepping for the Retreat. I’m very VERY tempted to put *SILK* into my challenge pile for TdF.


And if you’d like to enjoy my photos from 2016,  you can check them out on Google Photos: Tour de Fleece – 2016

My results at the end of Tour de Fleece 2016
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Screaming versus Discussion

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(I jotted down this blog post immediately after waking from a dream this morning. Apparently my subconscious had a few things to say.)


Amazing how much when I am in a dream and I am screaming, that these are the words that will echo over and over in my head afterwards.

I dreamt I was camping at an SCA event. And people were shouting at each other, discourse and troubling arguments, including political, social, and philosophical arguments. But everything was about the shouting. Finally, I jumped up and interrupted somebody. And my shouting response went as this.

I am SICK and TIRED of all of the SCREAMING discourse in this place. If you had come to me and simply said, “my Lady, I understand that we have a disagreement on these matters but since I value your opinion, could you perhaps spare 10 minutes to spend speaking with me on these things?”

And I would reply to you, “Not only do I have 10 minutes for you, but I have 10 times the respect for you and I have *15* minutes for this matter. But for now, I am going to sit down and STOP SHOUTING because none of these people around us in this campground signed up to hear me screaming and shouting at them, except as a Herald upon the field!”

And there was suddenly applause all throughout the campground, and I went back to my seat and sat down.


This.

This is finally *my* solution to the things I have significant problems with about social media, or some of the various clubs or communities that I am a participant in.

Stop SHOUTING at me when I am trying to relax and enjoy myself. If you have a disagreement, offer me a limited time for us to have regular conversation. But stop the SHOUTING at me in public (literal or figurative).

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Trying to Remember Everything

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A couple of months ago, I spent some time reading part of the classic, “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. Now, I’m no stranger to organizing and planning and accomplishing things, and reading books about organization is not for the faint of heart. (I haven’t even finished the book yet, because I wanted to chew on some of the concepts, as well as attempt a few modifications, before reading further. Plus, fiction is more fun to read on my lunch hour.)

On of the themes that jumped off the page at me was the notion of having a way to stop “trying to remember” details and instead, have a trusted system where you record the information. 

I have several ways I record information. I use Evernote for “larger project” or events, especially if I’m collating information from different sources. I can easily copy/paste if I’m on a computer, or add things on the fly from my phone. I use Google Keep if it’s a short shopping list or maybe just one item I need to be able to quickly copy/paste somewhere else. 

A few weeks ago, I decided to make a “Daily Process Flow” list of “all the things I should be checking regularly online” whether that’s actually daily or weekly. Sometimes I get so caught up in whatever the shiny task of the moment is or the latest deadline, that I forget all the OTHER regular tasks I wanted to keep up on. Today was the first time I got past the “things I’ve been doing regularly” and started reading the bottom of the list with the “semi-regular” tasks.

It’s amazing how much easier it is to get to the semi-regular tasks, when I stay up on the daily and frequent tasks. It means when I think to write a blog post, it’s easy to fit that into my morning. Or when I want to schedule time to edit a photo album, I get it done.

The other trick is that I log small reminders on my Google calendar, so that a notification will pop-up on my phone. I hate to swipe away a reminder for a task that I want to complete, and I hate to leave a notification on my phone. Notifications really do make me want to mark them as “Done.” I used to casually say in email or messages, “I’ll do that when I get home.” And invariably, I would forget. Now, I log the reminder on my phone with a day and time for the notification or alarm to go off. And maybe 50-75% of the time I can actually accomplish the task at the time. The other 25-50% of the time, I just reschedule the reminder for a better time.

I’m loving feeling ahead for a change. What a relief.

I finally remembered to take photos of a project for someone else to make things for me–and now that project is happening!
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Relaxation Goal Achieved

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Potrero War is an event within the middle ages re-enactment group that I participate in. We go camping at a county park east of San Diego, practically near the international border. Weather in May can be variable — hot, humid, dry, cold, breezy, raining — different every year. This year, we had *marvelous* conditions. It was cool, even slightly cold, for the first couple of days. The last day was clear and warm without being too hot. And the nights were perfect for hanging out around the camp fires.

I had joked that this year, “I don’t plan to go do ANYTHING! I want to make coffee in the morning and tend the camp fire at night. I don’t want to have to walk any further than the bathrooms or the showers.” Now, while that turned out to be the case, I didn’t mean to fall down and get hurt on Sunday night to achieve that goal (more on that in a bit).

Most enjoyable was making my own artistic decisions all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I did not sign up to teach any classes. I did not sign up to take any classes. But I wanted to just “do whatever” when I felt like it. Two of our campers bring an RV every year and they usually set up a shaded pop-up at the end of their vehicle where we hang out to do weaving and other textiles crafts. I took advantage of our home “salon” and worked on a variety of projects.

I took some time to try and improve my fledgling skills at spinning from a distaff, which means tying the unspun wool to a stick and drawing from that source to make thread. I still find it awkward to control the distaff (stick) while trying to spin, so I set that aside after a couple of practice attempts. I had some “comfort spinning” with me when I felt like not thinking too hard anymore.

One friend came by each day to have her own relaxation time in our camp. Saturday she brought a few friends with her, and I held an impromptu “what is spinning?” demo. It wasn’t hands-on, but they seemed to really enjoy watching how spinning works, plus the nature of end-to-end plying (2-ply) as well as ply-on-the-fly three-ply technique on a spindle (the “black magic” of spinning and plying).

But the bulk of my time I spent working on my Andean Backstrap Weaving projects and skills. Last year at Ply Away 2, I measured out a warp “of four pairs” but never wove on it. Having finished my “three pairs” project in April this year, the “four pairs” project was the natural next one to learn to weave with. 

I’ve come up with a seating solution for modern conveniences plus proper weaving technique. The “handle” you see clamped on to this portable table is half of a “Better Loom” from The Loomy Bin. It’s designed to be the end closest to the weaver for a warp-weight card weaving setup. But it’s perfect to be the tie-down far end for my Andean weaving setup. The table is just right to keep my weaving sword beaters from dropping, or nearby when I set them down to change the shed while weaving. 

My view while I’m “tied” to my backstrap: I’m sitting in a folding chair, working on my folding table

I spent Friday speaking out loud, talking to my weaving, trying to ensure I knew what I was doing. I was still relying on the diagrams from my classes with Abby Franquemont (her website, her FB Page), but the intention was to understand what I was doing so that I could put the diagrams away and weave like “an intelligent teenager” raised in the weaving technique. We joked that I was an “audio book” that people just listened to in the background. By the end of the weekend, the most common phrase I would say was, “Is this what I want to weave? Yes, it is, so I will!” (I would check my pattern row by row, before committing the weft threads. This helped reduce the mistakes I had to unweave, and there were PLENTY of unwoven rows all weekend.)

Here are the key weaving designs I figured out over the three days.

this pattern is called “Mayo K’enko” – the start of one “cow eye” and a “meandering path”
my very first “kutij” pattern: the “double-ended hoe” farming implement
learning to reverse my “Kutij” pattern (the “double-ended hoe”) either left-facing or right-facing and in either color
this “Kutij” variation has a “double-column” in the handle of the hoe

By the end of the event, I finished my band and felt quite accomplished.

Sunday night, I was getting ready to head over to the enclosed structure we call the “closed ramada” to perform in the Bardic concerts. We’d sent a majority of the extra chairs from our camp down to the ramada, for the performers “backstage.” My friend was using his pickup truck to ferry equipment and performers so we didn’t all have to walk.

Here’s where the mishap happened.

I’m fairly short. Many trucks are not designed for people with short legs. They are most *definitely* not designed for short legs AND slippery-soled shoes.

As I was trying to climb into the cab, the foot I had on the running board slid out from under me. The leg that was in the air came crashing down on the shin and knee against the running board. Immediately, I returned to camp and sent everyone on ahead without me. My camp mates grabbed ice for my elevated leg. And when we needed a way to secure the ice against my leg, I was amused that I could grab my newly completed woven straps, which were hanging on my belt, and tie the ice to my leg.

This is why you weave “jákima” straps: Because you never know when you’ll need them!

My leg is merely bruised and technicolor, and I had a lovely night around the fire with friends as we made certain to ice 20-minutes-on, 20-minutes-off for a while.

The entire weekend was extremely relaxing, and it was nice to come home NOT so exhausted that I couldn’t function.

My Sweetie took many more photos, and I have a reminder on my calendar for tomorrow night to try and edit them into an album that can be shared. More images to come later.


You can see the full album of my Andean Backstrap weaving from Potrero 2018 here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/sYV7LP4UKPcLk8It2

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