The term “stash’ refers to the accumulation of yarn and fiber a spinner, weaver, or knitter accrues in anticipation of a project as yet undetermined. You might get where this thought process is going. It is like a proverbial savings account… the bigger the better.
I idly spoke with Colleen… guilty! We have fiber related things in every room of the house including but not limited to – the bedroom (looms); the bathroom (spinning wheel); basement ( fiber, loom, etc); elevator (yes, an elevator, full of fiber); studio (looms, fiber); office (spinning wheels, fiber); living room (assorted everything); dining room (spinning wheels); kitchen … do I need to go on?
Oh gee! It all snuck up upon us with our realizing we are pretty much overrun by fiber related things. I did not label the rooms for you. Suffice to say we have an embarrassment of materials and equipment. It’s not my fault. I am simply the “getaway driver.” Yeah yeah, no one would believe that I do not aid and abet Colleen’s obsession. Ummm… did I mention (did you notice) the bathroom? The foyer?
There was the old saying: “He who has the most toys when he dies, wins.”
When I said to my wife – no names please – “We need another loom, like a hole in the head.” I meant it; and, I am, indeed capable (of drilling holes in your/mine head, as a retired neurosurgeon! Later that day a large heavy box arrived. A cat tower! It’s taller than my (same, present, nut) wife. What?! Wut?!! W#$hat#$!! The cats paid no attention. We had to put them on it. No, nope, never! Yup! Since then, they have been all over it! Darn! Another piece of furniture that I have no space for! (Would this be the proverbial “dangling preposition?”
No more!? Stuff!? No more stuff? No, more stuff! What a difference a comma makes. “,” one little punctuation point. No more cats?! Another loom? They were giving it away at the Thrift Store. Yeah, $550. Ok! Price reduced! We bargained down – way way down (under $100) – the provenance? It was made in Marblehead MA. It was a therapy loom – Devereaux, for insane people in recovery rehab. Oh! How appropriate! Bookstores?! No more! We just went through our bookcases…. A ton of books lie on the floor waiting to go to donation. Go!? No!? I don’t know. Magazines find us. And, books leap into Colleen’s arms. And magazines!! Still!? Yeah, it is a cute antique loom made centuries ago. A real antique. I have no room! It’ sitting in the hall landing. Help!?
Nowadays. Life is still disorganized. Sure, why would it be different? Come as you are. Discover adventure as you go. We don’t work with a plan. I take pictures. Random discoveries, scenes, locations, cats, weaving, and selfies dot my work. You never know what reflection will present itself or what sunset will come next. Though life can be unpredictable, it has and is certainly a lot of fun.
Women are smart
I was infatuated by Kristina. She was niece to a famous neurosurgeon. Cool. We had a brief travel encounter heading toward Oslo. I never saw her again. It was her decision. Better for me (much!!). Strange girl. I had back pain. She opened her handbag and took out a bottle of mixed assorted pills, found a couple and handed them to me. ??? Oh, she said, I know what they are by their looks. I took ‘em. Trust! It’s wise she did not hook up with me. After all, history says that if you wait, you will meet Colleen once more. Oh! Thank you! I laugh, though. We stopped along the way to Oslo, spontaneously knocking on a random door to a mansion, and getting a tour from the mistress of the house. That is definitely not my usual, or, maybe… You may smile (or not) to see the weaving, which Colleen can undoubtedly comment. Warp, weft, pattern, they are all discernible to the eye of a weaver. Me? I am very happy in the place I am in, right here, and, now. I am with a very smart woman, indeed!
Colleen wants to do one – river cruise. I’m spinning old slides today. Spontaneously, nuts, I was in Norway for a birthday party pretty much precipitated by a dare. Harald turned 65 and threw himself a party inviting an international cohort of neurosurgery colleagues as well as everyone in/from his valley home in Unset. Unset? The entering/leaving sign was two sides of the same board. Replete with belly dancer, the party was a success. I was placed in a farmhouse room with a bed and multiple looms. What did I know then?? Not a thing. Old? Barn loom? I have a different eye nowadays. Colleen has educated me.
And, who covers their haystacks? Green roof? Yup, they have the first real green roofs I have/had seen. It is a fond memory. And, never, ever, accept a birthday party invitation without finding out the location first. Ever! Harald is still chuckling about how he set me up.
I have cameras. They are smaller than spinning wheels. And, they (cameras) are smaller than looms and great wheels. This does not mean that I don’t have a lot (of cameras). It just means they are more discrete. I have a series (of cameras) that I rotate in use. Each has its own characteristics, and therefore, its use in certain situations. It would be boring to wax poetic over each (camera’s) special or general use. Suffice to say that Colleen’s picture illustrates one “signature” spinning wheel, one loom, and two great wheels, all of which take up (all) the available space in our (her) living room. Three cameras take up a portion of one table that does not have fiber upon it. Which is to say, that the missing camera (I took this photo with it) is my new spiffy Nikon Z5. Yes, one must always keep up with tech. It is the replacement to my trusty Nikon D610, that I purchased when Colleen and I first met. I will not be replacing Colleen anytime soon. I say this upon pain of death. Ha ha. (KIDDING!).
This new camera does take great shots. I’ve been waiting to get the red wing blackbird with its red chevron – only to find, it is orange – and shot with my Sony RX100 VI. The swallow? A crow decimated their nest last spring. I hope they have returned to nest once more. Mix and match, each instrument for its purpose. When you you need a hammer, a screw driver might do if nothing else is at hand. Macro? The right lens is definitely a plus – helpful! But you can do it with or without. I love to learn new tricks. A new camera? A new lens? Is it an excuse? Or, is it inspiration to explore new possibilities? Whatever! I rotate and I use whatever is at hand that will achieve what I imagine. Sometimes it works. Do we need all those spinning wheels? Ha ha. I would not presume to answer that question. But I do know, it’s a whole lot of fun to have the tools you need at hand. … now to talk Colleen into needing a Tesla.
Not my first time
We volunteered – rather I was Shanghaied – to help take apart and reassemble a computerized loom. Be careful what you agree to do. Be very careful!! There are a lot of moving parts. A lot! I took along blue tape and we numbered each section with matching numbers as they came apart. (The tape faced the same way and the numbers matched. Brilliant!) To be sure, the reassembly was hell. But my numbers matched despite disagreement on how it should be. READ: The numbered blue tape is immutably located! I prevailed and the job was done in mere hours. It did not rattle and there are only a couple extra bolts lying around. It could’a been worse. Yes, let me say once more, it could’a been worse. A lot! Computerized loom? I don’t know. They cost upwards the price of a small car. Me? I’ll take the car.
I have made few trips alone. This was one. Colleen has been curious and asks often about my travels before we were together. On this occasion I was set up by a fellow neurosurgeon who asked if I would attend his birthday party. Of course! And, then, he told me it would be in Norway. I had an unplanned stay – in a farmhouse room – with a loom! Two looms! Who knew how much that would impact later on in my life! Traveling alone is no particular fun. I learned early on that dining alone was an issue. I soon carried a book to read while eating. More importantly there was no joy in being unable to share something picturesque without someone in the moment. That has changed permanently for me now. I shall be traveling with the one I love.
Someone once said to me that the sign of genius is a messy desk. Ha ha! I wish. Nantucket basket weaving takes space and material. It’s controlled chaos. I know where everything is. The tools of the trade are organized so I lay my hand on whatever is required quickly. Piles of material await use. Right!? Really! There is absolute organization. Rims take time and so I let them accumulate. Hence, there are a lot of baskets awaiting the finishing touch. Note: the background is Colleen’s big wheel (spinning, not tricycle) and one of the smaller looms. What else is in the background? …two more regular spinning wheels, finished baskets on the mantle and on the TV cabinet…. Sometimes the lines between worhshop and home blur. It’s ours, we’re fine.
What to do on a rainy day and with no where you can go? Hey? Have you considered all the gas and money? We’re spending no money at home. And we’re not driving, so, no gas consumption. It’s good, right? Colleen set up her loom. This one was a trade-out. She swapped looms with a woman. Neither (woman) liked theirs (loom, not husband, silly). It’s been a while (months). It just takes time to set up. It would help if we could find the manual. But… at last, product! It’s placemats. Colleen likes table linen. We have a lot of placemats. So, alas, gifts – it seems I never get to keep the gorgeous product around to show off her skills. Someone is gonna be a very pleased recipient.
I guess it’s nice to keep looking back. There was a time when we were less cluttered. Ahem. Would that be: are we more or less organized now than once before? It’s interesting to see how things were and compare to now. No matter, that bare wall is not bare any longer.
As long as we are talking technique, let me mention background. Most folks forget to look at the clutter in the background. You know, the stuff behind your subject. … like the light pole sticking out of some loved one’s head. Clutter. Distraction. Ha! I often find myself looking at the background to see the clutter that got “snuck” into someone else’s photo. Oh well, no one likes a messy background. It’s distracting and shows that you were not paying attention when you tried to focus on your foreground subject.
No one likes a cluttered messy home. “Minimalist” is “in” these days. Me, us, we seem to have accumulated an assortment of weaving and spinning things that would do any shopkeeper proud. Nice stuff. Displayed. We do work with most of the stuff you can see. (There’s more!!) Since, we are not entertaining in the near future, anything goes. A lot of fiber equipment is out and in use. This is not a display so much as it is a workshop of “in progress” projects. It’s home. And, it feels like it, though I laugh because not even the cats can make a straight line across the room.
… two spinning wheels, two looms, winder, lazy kate, carder, great wheel, fiber, ball winder… we’re not showing off. We – mostly Colleen – have many projects simultaneously in progress. …and, nary a cat in sight. And, I daresay any picture (in this room) unless it’s a closeup will have distracting background to be considered.
Spice has the look of freshly pulling her own paw from an electric socket. No matter what, she has tangles. I realize that the background loom is not helping. Poor thing. We are working there. She’s resting. Possession is the word. We let her sit. Good kitty!
It’s a small world
So, my trip to Norway was great. I met a fellow surgeon at JFK airport who happened to be going as well. We would have driven together but he met a woman at the rental counter and departed with her. Ha! Smooth? It turns out that his “date” meant I had no bed. Harald scrambled to get me a room. I never knew till much later. Meanwhile I was placed at a local farm in what I would call, ‘the loom room.’ Yup, two barn style looms. Now I know. The past few years has made me conversant with weaving. And that’s a winder in the window. I had a bed in the corner. It was charming. It was unique. And now as I look back I can say that I know someone who’d give her eye teeth to have been there with me. Back then, I knew nothing about weaving. It was an adventure. I like adventures. The view? The cows would walk past going to and from the barn for milking. I admit I would have liked a date too. But, the looms and no roommate was more than fine!
It (she, the barn loom) was not happy in the basement. Barn loom? You might envision a loom so large it needed to be housed in a barn. Nope. It was made from substantial timber because the builders were used to building barns. This lumber was the material they were used to working with. Oh?! Yeah, me too. I was relieved that it was not a large loom. Big enough. And heavy! Yup, the SOB needed to disassembled and transported upstairs piece by piece. The back beam is a roughhewn tree trunk. Dry, but still one heavy SOB. We squeezed it into a room with four other looms. Why do we need so many (looms)? Ha! I got cameras (digital, don’t ask about film please) TNTC – too numerous to count. But why do we have such a bulky hobby? Well, short answer, you do a lot of different things. Yeah, right. Don’t we all. Bottom line: sunny and happy!