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Sea Change

Sea change – a radical change or transformation.

After three+ years of living alone, a change is coming in just a few hours.  My 26 year old daughter and her partner are moving in with me. After visits and a lot of discussion, we came to the conclusion that this change would be of benefit to all of us, in a variety of ways.

As you know, I am a weaver, spinner, felter, and CSM sock-cranker. Sarah wants to develop her interest in making jewelry, and Char loves working with and making things from wood.   We are now the “Northwoods Artisan Women,” and our experiences living and working together will be found at

“Heirloom Custom Wood Design” at is Char’s new website and blog.  We are looking forward to an occasional collaborative project of wood and weaving!

“Celtic Wolf Studio” at is Sarah’s website and blog.  She is excited about working on her jewelry designs!

Having decided I need to separate my weaving and fiber arts posts from family, home, critters and so on, I set up “My Northwoods Home” blog at  I expect there will be a bit of overlap but for the most part I plan to keep topics separate.

I have a lot of weaving to do, and have received several sock orders which I need to do right away as many are Christmas gifts.  And, I now have a small area in my garage for dyeing, which I am very happy about.  Photos will be posted here soon.

Blog Continues at Word Press

Woven shibori on the loom.
Woven shibori on the loom.

I’ve moved!  I had been considering moving Shuttle Works Studio from Blogger to Word Press for a year or more and was encouraged to do so by a few weavers already on W.P.  There never seemed to be a good time to change the domain name and move the blog over.

Back in mid-October, I had applied to be on the 2014 Northwoods Art Tour, and was accepted.  They will begin work on the brochure (50,000 copies printed) and the web site on Dec. 1st, and I needed to provide them with text, photos, and information by the end of November.  Suddenly, it seemed clear that NOW was the time to make the change, so the new domain name and blog site would be in the  brochures and web site for 2014.

I had registered a couple domain names at a hosting web site, and DIL Char, being more computer literate than I am, transferred the content from the old site to the new. Thank you, Char!  It has been quite the learning curve the past few days, setting up a splash page, other pages including where the blog is found, experimenting with themes, colors, fonts, and many other decisions needed.  I also had to find out how to get the new domain name to work with Word Press.  That has been successful, and it is up and running.

From now on the content of this blog will be focused on weaving and fiber arts.  A separate blog will be set up for other parts of my northwoods life, family, and of course, my volunteer work with Wild Instincts.

Now I am back working on woven shibori (photo at top) for a little project I have in mind, then likely more scarves.  I am looking forward to working on a bit wider warp in the near future.  My notes of ideas to experiment with are sitting on a nearby table.  I should have a couple pieces indigo dyed in a couple days, then a bit of sewing.   Cutting up handwoven cloth, even this narrow piece, will be a new experience.  It’s time I learn.  After days at the computer, it feels good to be weaving again!

A Tech-y Step Forward

I’ll be back soon with fibers and photos.  First, though, I’ve had a bit of a new learning curve, by choice, to deal with.  

It started with a phone call from the Raptor Education Group (REGI) in Antigo, asking if I could check on an eagle that was down.  In that phone conversation came the request that if I would be driving down with the eagle, could I call as they could probably meet me part-way.  Call???  I no longer had a working cell phone.
A couple days after the call from REGI, I stopped in to look at Verizon cell phones, wanting one that would be good for a couple years.  That day, after years of very basic cell phones, I bought a new Verizon Thunderbolt HTC.  I’ve picked up the basics of my new phone, and am also sure there is a lot to learn yet.  I also signed up for wireless internet, and though there is a limit on the amount of data I am allowed per month on my computer, I am enjoying something faster than dial-up!  

I also decided to purchase a new laptop computer as my desktop computer is seven years old.  I’d asked for Microsoft Office (home edition), and am finding the new Microsoft Word more challenging than the old version in my desktop computer.  I haven’t yet peeked at Excel, Power Point, and anything else that might be there.  One step at a time.

I’ve had a landline since moving up here, and dial-up internet for 16 years or so. Homes less than five minutes from where I live have had high speed internet for years, and for years, I’ve begged Frontier (and before them, Verizon) to make high speed internet available here. Each time, they declined.  In one week, I’ll be calling Frontier to end my relationship with them.
The outcome of all this?  I have a cell phone again, about to be my only phone.  The phone has unlmited data internet access so I can use it to check Facebook, Twitter, news, etc.  This allows me to save the computer internet data limit for things I need to do or research on a computer.  Camera and video capabilities are also nice to have on-the-go. 

Bonuses of the new phone, laptop, and faster internet speed?  I am spending far less time on the computer (no waiting long periods or going off to do other tasks while waiting for pages to load in), which will give me more time for weaving, making socks, and working on the house.  The new software opens up all kinds of possibilities.

I’m starting to think about weaving software, and considering WeavePoint.  Any opinions?

P.S.  What happened to the eagle?  When I arrived, despite a slightly injured wing, likely due to collision with a car, it flew up to a tree.  I observed it from 10 AM to nearly 1 PM that day.  Checking in on it again the next day at 1:10 PM, it was still sitting on the same branch.  At 3 PM, it was gone.  I searched nearby trees and the ground, but did not see it again.  I wish it well.  As a result of that call, the Raptor Education Group has a new volunteer driver.

The Best Laid Plans…

I finished the eyelet cowl (photo soon), “in the snood,” learned to knit I-cord, and have begun another in a different yarn and pattern, this time a pattern found on Ravelry as I needed to fit the yarn and circular needle size to a pattern.  The new cowl is brown tweed, but not the same exact yarn as the previously knitted hat.  

I am so looking forward to life getting back to “normal” again, but I’m not quite there yet.  Work was continuing on the outside of my home, weather/rain permitting, then several days ago, while in town, walking to my car, something in my left knee went “pop” and I nearly fell to the ground.  Walking was quite painful, but I managed to get into my car and drive home.    

You’ve heard the expression “when it rains, it pours?”  In this case, it was 35 mph wind with 35-50 mph gusts.  The midwest had a big WIND storm starting that night.  We were fortunate, with limbs and some trees blown down, but it was worse further downstate.  

At 4:15 AM the next morning, my power went out which means no phone (that’s the downside to the new ones that plug into electricity as well as phone jack).  Midway through the day a neighbor came over to bring wood in for me so Jim and I (now with three Ibuprophin in me so I could get around) brought wood into my kitchen so I could get a fire going and warm the house up.  My five cats were very pleased with that development!  That evening, with no power yet, I read a book by oil lamplight.  Finally, after approximately sixteen hours, the power came back on.  Most of my newly purchased groceries had to be tossed.

The next morning I was able to call for an appointment with an orthopoedic doctor, scheduled for early this week.  It turns out I have a “Meniscus Tear” and may need arthroscopic surgery, not something I want to do now with the holidays approaching.  Meanwhile, I have exercises to do, the knee pain is slowly lessening and is now quite tolerable unless I’m walking or standing too long.

For now, I’m planning ahead what I’ll need to do to get ready if I need the surgery.  Stock up on very easy-to-fix food, wood on the porch, ask my neighbor to move a bed down to main floor, along with TV and computer, and so on.  In other words, arrange things so I can stay on the main floor and not need to go upstairs for anything for a week or two.  Using crutches on a wood circular stairway, with a dog and five cats underfoot, is not something I even want to contemplate! 

Meanwhile, tomorrow and Monday are supposed to be in low 50’s, and if I can manage it, I will very carefully try to stain the east side of the house and get it finished, as after that temps will drop again and likely stay that way until spring. 

I have cut and split wood to move into the woodshed to keep it dry and easier to access after we have snow.  Storm windows all need to be removed, one at a time, sanded, stained, finished, and put back on.  While that is being done, I’ll be working on the inside of the house, scrubbing and oiling the wood ceilings and walls.  This isn’t just log home maintenance, I’m getting the house ready to put it up for sale in the spring, and after 18+ years, move away from the WI Northwoods.

And while all this is going on, for my sanity, WEAVING and other fiber related activities MUST be going on, on a daily or near-daily basis.  I appreciate everyone’s patience.  I WILL be writing about weaving again very soon.

Making Lemonade

Today was to be devoted to family, and over half was, then someone else changed plans without letting us know so most of the afternoon was wasted waiting for someone who wasn’t coming. So, time to turn those lemons into lemonade.

After returning home, I rearranged the looms again as I’d decided I didn’t like the new setup. The room felt too crowded with the drawloom sticking out into it, so now the looms are in a variation of the old way, with the addition of the rug loom.

The warping mill is set up, I’m adding my guide string now, and took time out to order the two needed reeds. Yes, I know I wrote awhile back that they were being ordered, but right about then my son lost his retainers, and $300 later, the reeds had to wait. No longer! Two reeds were ordered late this afternoon, both 12 dent, stainless steel, 42″ long and 4″ high. They will be shipped on Monday.

My looms are Glimakra, with horizontal jacks, so there is Texsolv cord running down the center of the loom from the upper jacks, down past the shafts to the two sets of lamms. As a result, all of my warps are made in two halves, which is better for warping as there is less angle when winding the warp onto the back beam.

Other news today,… I stopped by the art gallery at Nicolet Area Technical College which was in-between exhibits. I had missed an exhibit which included woven rugs by just a few days, but did get to wander around the upcoming student art exhibit which is not yet hung. The director was busy framing everything. We did chat, and she said if I would like to bring work out for her to look at for a possible exhibit, that would be fine. I’m thinking perhaps in a couple years some pieces from the drawloom? Meanwhile, she is working on their new brochure, and if I would like to have my info in it I can send it along to her, there may be room yet.

Now, back to the warping mill. I’ll be back tomorrow with a photo or two and details.

Unexpected Challenges

My thanks to those of you who have visited Shuttle Works Studio blog, and/or left comments. Sometimes an unexpected challenge comes up in life, as one did this week, and creative work must be set aside temporarily. This week was one of those times for me while taking care of a family member. I will be back posting again very soon. Thinking of you all,…