Blogger Help, Please

Hello, friends.

If you've been on Blogger long enough, you may be as flummoxed as I about the changes on the operations side. Or, you may be young or young-in-the-head enough to enlighten me on a few points, if you please.

Note: I use Firefox on a laptop.

1) Who can comment, being the top issue I would like to fix.
I would like to set up who can comment like this:
But in "settings", these are the only options I have:
If I set it to Anyone, it defaults to Anonymous, which is what I want to avoid.
I monitor comments now because of spams. (I also have issues with legit comments without any name/moniker/identity, which is why I use Google Accounts, but that's a different issue.)

2) The ability to comment

Even when Blogger acknowledges I am logged in, (see the tiny profile pic?) sometimes I can't type on the Enter Comment line. This problem is sporadic, and neither can I tell what fixes it automagically, but it eventually does. Do you know why? Does it happen to you??
3) Blogger not acknowledging me as the author

As you can see at top right, Blogger knows I'm logged in, and presumably that I am the author. (Sometimes, even when I go from writing a post to View Blog, this doesn't happen.)  
But at the bottom, I don't get the pencil mark to allow me to go straight into the post to edit/amend. For a spelling mistake from 9 years ago, I must go search for the posts in the Posts/Published section.
Whereas on some of the other blogs, I get the pencil. I don't remember changing anything, although I may have in 18 years of Unravelling.
From Layout/Main/Blog Posts/Edit, I don't see a likely button for the pencil.
Any ideas? (I'm also curious about the Author Profile at the top of this last pic, as opposed to Show Author about the middle in the top pic.)

Since Google started begging for cookies on my own blog, posting photos is slower or the screen freezes. I'm sure Google is storing all of our photos somewhere for their use, even in private blogs. It makes me even more cautious about posting people pics, which is sad.

Thank you for any help, in advance.

[EDIT] I just realized I asked for your help but you may not be able to comment because of the various problems I described!! If this is the case, please email me at MegWeaves at gmail dot com. Thank you.



I've become energized about coming out of semi-retirement and weaving other than self-indulgence projects. It took a month to determine what I want to focus on in the near future, after months of not knowing what I want to weave for the Suter Store. (Interesting how retail outlets are called "shops" in New Zealand, while "stores" may refer to storage facilities, yet websites often have "store finders", and the Suter calls its own a "Store". It's a conspiracy to trip up implants like me, I tell ya.) 

I categorized the kind of weaving I've engaged in, and ordered them on a scale of difficulty/ease or time spent making a piece. In doing so, I realized I love designing, planning, and sampling, and don't mind loom-dressing, so I was comparing only the actual weaving part. 

The easiest/quickest is on the four-shaft Jack, with easy treadling. This can be a twill, basket weave, (two shuttles, but easy once you get used to it,) or something like this:  
Then the option slits three ways. One is clasped-wefts on the four-shaft with easy treadling, which can be time-consuming but not difficult; I just have to pay attention to the line two wefts create. And the good news is, a young jewelry maker called my attention to the fact two weft colors look more effective than three or more. Who doesn't love it when the simpler option works better.
The second option is to weave a slightly more complicated pattern on the Ashford eight-shaft table loom, (which I'm not using at the moment as I find it hard to monitor the pick since the breast-beam-to-heddle is too short for the purpose,) or even Klik, (super easy to dress, cumbersome to lift/drop shafts, which is why I tend to save this for learning new structures or abbreviated sampling.) But cashmere survives the shed in both looms.

The third option is fussy twills on the 16-shaft computer dobby. I usually use one shuttle at a time, but the shafts are lifted with an air-compressor-solenoid combo, so the rhythm of weaving is left to the mechanism rather than my body, and it's a bother weaving backwards when I make mistakes. But I like the look and hand of these. 
Cashmere, though, can't withstand the large shed of the 16-shaft, so in future, I'll be using more 30/2 merino in the warp and cashmere in the weft as I did in the piece below. Although I learned to weave on 16/2 merino and I miss them dearly, these thinner merino will allow even skinny silk in the weft, so I'm looking forward trying that.  
At the most time-consuming end is the tied-unit weave I indulge in. I'm also looking at different ways of including random shapes onto the woven cloth, but I haven't focused on a particular method yet, and I must do a lot of sampling to figure out whether it's worth the time required to weave a piece this way vs. the visual impact of the clasped wefts, for example, not to mention the hand of pieces with uneven wefts.

I guess categorizing isn't going to determine what I'll weave when; I'm going to keep weaving what I want to. But I hope thinking about this will help me use my time more efficiently so I don't get bogged down on only the pleasure projects.

There is a lot to look forward to. I'm currently weaving the last piece on the gray-ish cashmere warp on the Jack; I was so looking forward to weaving more in a similar pattern on a two-grays warp for a while, but now I can't stop thinking about clasped weft in saturated pules, greens, teal if I have some. (The burgundy warp is half-length, so two scarves, which makes it even more tempting.) I'll keep you posted.


How Times have Changed

I am back at the Suter; that is, I've had some scarves at the Suter Store since mid-April. That morning, I surveyed the shop focusing on woven textiles, and found quite a few things had changed in the five years I wasn't paying attention:

* There were blankets manufactured by a UK company using NZ wool; the manager said it's fine because of NZ wool and because nobody is weaving blankets.
* There is a local manufacturer machine-weaving scarves. I believe they are woven on a wide warp, and then cut vertically. The tags declare, "No two pieces are the same." 
* There are weavers who do not specify fiber contents.
* There are weavers who list phone/email/website on their tags; an absolute no-no when I started placing pieces in galleries, but Stella reckons that's normal (now), so I'm outdated.
* The price of woven items have gone up, to the point prices I had in mind for mine didn't not seem out of place.
* The gallery store still looks dignified and beautiful. It's worth/a pleasure having my pieces there again.

I made an appointment with the shop manager ahead of time, with the expectation of the usual discussion on review of pieces/trends/colors/fibers/prices/shop vision, etc, but that was not to be. I was faced with quite a lot of changes compared to earlier experiences, but a month on, I got over the feeling between shock and surprise, and have a clearer idea of where I want to go. 

Other weavers make finely crafted pieces in reliable styles and colors to suit a range of tastes. I feel freer to make wacky/shocking, less precisely woven pieces, taking advantage of the fact this is an art gallery shop. Of course not all pieces will be "out there," we are talking about me after all. But I feel lighter, and I'm thinking of some clasped wefts, popular among my friends, in the near future.


We Almost Cancelled a Holiday but are Glad We Didn't

A week before we went away, I almost cancelled our holiday. Thinking about Palestine, Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Belarus, Somalia, Georgia, "oh-my-gosh-who-else-am-I-forgetting?" I could not in good conscience have a holiday in the woods by the sea, just because we live in a safe, beautiful place.

But then I thought about the three weeks we spent preparing for the trip. And the six months we counted down the days since we booked the trip. And how life has become rougher in those six months: my mom's deterioration and how my sister shoulders all contacts with the care facility and most decisions; our destroy-everything government targeting, among many, many other things, the Treaty of Waitangi, for goodness sake; the environment, which should be everybody's top priority but appears on everybody's back burner... I conceded we need a time out, away from the Internet, to regain a sense of... I'm not sure what I expected. 

Here's a weird thing: the last time we went to Golden Bay, I couldn't stop contrasting the lifestyle of Kiwis and Japanese, (I'm oversimplifying both, but bear with me,) the space and privacy we can now enjoy vs. the constant crowd and noise, even when we are away in the mountains, for example. For some reason, I kept seeing flashbacks of the gazillion hours of train commute I suffered, (45 minutes until age 13, 90 minutes until I went to the US, between 100 and 130 minutes to work, each way; Dad did 130 min for 40 odd years;) strangers' bodies pressed against each other for hours in shaking, vibrating carriages, where at times you couldn't even scratch your itchy nose. Gross, eh. Ben used a line famous for passengers cracking ribs in the overcrowding. I felt sad that we, urban Japanese, had/have to live like that, and that most of my friends and family will never experience the kind of serenity we now get to enjoy. 
The weeks leading up to our holiday this time around, I replayed walking from one end of Yokohama Station to the other, because my two lines had platforms at the opposite ends. When I was a kid, it was a job just to keep up with everybody's pace; even as an adult, I tried not to stop, trip or push. Yokohama Station is the fifth busiest station in Japan according to one website; about 2.1 million passengers go through it daily. Back then, the station had only one concourse connecting the East and West exists, and it was famous for crowding. Nothing "bad" happened; no crimes, no accidents, no concert-like injuries; it was just a way of life, not even unique to Yokohama Station. With a few new concourses, it's still pretty much the same.

I don't know why my brain kept replaying this 24/7; in the days I lived there, it annoyed me, but not to this degree; it was just inescapable. We were so right to move here when we could. And I'm glad we went on this holiday; we've never experienced decompression like this, and we hadn't realized how much we needed it. 
Take care, everybody. I hope you do what you need to keep sane, too, if/when you can, if you need it.


On Spinning

Recently, Ben and I went north to Golden Bay for a week of R&R. Since I like a wee project on these holidays, I chose spinning. I'm a sorry carder and a laughable spinner, so I don't know what came over me, but every few years I like to spend time making bad yarn. I aspire to make bad-but-interesting yarns I can use in the weft, but alas, this time, that wasn't to be. Still, every day for a week, after I cleaned the kitchen and Ben took position at his jigsaw puzzle table, I went to the sun room and spun for several hours. (I am not showing you anything, oh, no! They are really bad. Perhaps if I knit or weave something interesting, I might change my mind. Or, I need a picture to make you fall off your chair laughing, I'll think about it.)
I think I spin in the eternal hope I can make OK yarns without going through the rigor of learning spinning properly. As it is, I concentrate hard I'm completely in the "here and how", and/or inside the world of whatever fiction/podcast I'm listening to. I can't even think about weaving as I spin, but I do watch colors mix/mingle/combine right in front of me, in my hands, even more urgently than on the loom. It is a private, self-indulgent activity. 

I'm not even sure why I felt compelled to share this with you, but we all have those things not directly connected, yet not unrelated, to the real thing we feel deeply about, don't we? And at times, we need to retreat into our cocoons to... chill? reset? reboot, don't we? 
Now that I told you about my bad (and some OK) pottery, and bad spinning, let's make it a trifecta; one of the things Ben and I enjoy is badminton. But we were so bad, the first day we played we were laughing so hard we couldn't stand straight; the best we managed was three hits (?) back and forth. Not each. The second time we got up to maybe seven or eight. But the third time, we managed around 30 a few times, in between laughing, and the walking over to pick up the birdy 30cm away, and doing weird dances to entertain each other. So, hooray to a place in the woods where we could play bad-badminton.


On Pottery - In Particular, the Shocking Thing Ben Did

We got our pottery stones/pebbles from my class. I might have spoken too quickly when I said pottery is out of my system after fifty years of longing in mere two sessions. In the second half of the four week course, you could say, overall, I had a blast, and now I'm addicted to the idea of making gazillion stones/pebbles. Though the required slab plates and such will remain unseen by the world forever; are you kidding me? They are seriously hideous, and you might have heard me scream, "UGLY UGLY UGLY" inside my head if you were paying attention, but they were useful in learning how to handle clay. Which is not easy. Anyway, here are my lovelies.
I love the color blue, but not this glaze. In future, I will combine it with the charcoal, or white, or something else. I shaped the smooth stones, Ben the uneven ones, (two with the complex pattern at the bottom and one with two cuts in the middle,) at home over Easter, and I did all the glazes in class. 
Now when I make stuff, it helps to have a mind-picture of how they look completed, and here I had beach rocks in mind. I then strive to make things as close to the mind-picture as I can, as an object separate from myself. Ben, on the other hand, has a completely different way of making things, which I didn't notice as he sat across the kitchen table, but showed me after these came home. 
Every piece, stones and small vessels, ten in all save possibly two or three, has his body imprint, and how he loves to hold them and use them. What a renegade! And it's just the way he is in life: uncomplicated, WYSIWYG, straight, honest, unpretentious, and unapologetic. And that's rare in a culture, Japanese, where appearance is important and one's maturity can be measured in tactical use of Honne vs Tatemae. His way of making is so foreign to me, but I envy his childlike joy. I can't even begin to contemplate if/how I can incorporate this into my weaving, or if I want to, but here we are.
What next? Well, Esther is having an Intro II course in June/July. I need to weigh my desire to make more rocks vs. hunkering down to get serious, once again, about my weaving now. Stay tuned.


Shrinking My Life (and No Weaving in This Post)

No weaving today, because I got distracted. I signed up to take a four-week introductory pottery (handbuild) class Esther was/is teaching. I've wanted to give pottery a go since 1974, (50 years!) and went to two half-day classes in that time. I thought this might be my last chance for a wholehearted effort. Before, I wanted to make nice things to use and be amateur-good; now, I want better understanding of the craft so I can properly appreciate good pottery as well as love something for its good look/feel. And I wanted to the experience of having had a go, if you know what I mean.
I really, really enjoyed looking up images online, filling tiny handmade scrapbooks, trying to figure out what I liked about the different images, and taking notes, noting techniques/tools if they were mentioned.
And then making more A6 books as I ran out. I enjoyed this.
But pottery itself, I soon realized, wasn't for me. I'm glad I took the class; now I got it out of my system. I'll certainly go until the end of the course to finish the pieces I started, but after that, for the time being, I'm done.
Ben and I had a jolly good time on Sunday using up my clay. Ben made a whole lot of small things, practical and not, in quick succession, (the practical bits are on a different tray,) putting some back in the clay bag and remaking into something else. I'm more deliberate; I made fake stones so I can play with glazes and one dish, but that was too thin it went back into the clay bag. I might make a couple of more stones, or a small something with that last bit of clay. (Something I learned Sunday night from Esther: I poked a bunch of holes where you can't see, maybe more than necessary, so they don't explode in the kiln!)
This is hardly the first time I got a craft out of my system. I was fascinated by bookbinding most of my life until I took a course, and realized the degree of exactitude required, and the difficulties being short and having short arms. I'm serious. I didn't want to invest the time to practice, and now I'm happy making and using my wonky notebooks/sketchbooks. And I still enjoy looking at bookbinding books and vids; it's a lovely hobby.

Picture framing was another; this was a hobby both Ben and I found attractive, and practical for his photography. We've been to several workshops, but, again, the exactitude and upper arm strength I found lacking, and, we don't have as much wall space as we would like. On a rare occasion, Ben still makes frames, and I may assist, while I'm happy designing and having Ben cut me some matts.
The reason why pottery is not for me, in the first instance, is my mouth feels gritty and horrible, though surgical masks, (I haven't tried N95 in class); wet clay is surprisingly delicate and just putting down a piece wrong, just brushing against it by mistake, warps/dents the clay; and most of all, there isn't the leeway wool/cashmere weaving affords.

More importantly, it's a craft; it requires years and years of practice and mistakes to improve, and I don't want to give it that. Here, we return to my usual refrain: I want to use the rest of my time weaving and getting better at it. This became clear when I remembered Esther saying in the first session, and I paraphrase, the first time she handled clay, she knew she was in her element, that pottery was her thing. I felt exactly the same when I wove my first sample on Hiroshima Day in 1995. (After letting the rigid heddle kit sit in the hallway of our Auckland rental house for ten weeks, because it was an incumbent gift from Mom. LOL.) I had nothing like that lizard brain reaction to pottery, only doubt and frustration shouting at me. 

And it doesn't mean I won't engage with pottery again. At tines I felt the same about drawing; it took me six months in figure drawing class until I found some quiet space in my head. It still doesn't come naturally, but from time to time I enjoy it, filling the pages of my wonky handmade sketchbooks with wonky drawings, and even coloring them in. So I might try potter again, especially Ben comes along, because his child-like ease with the material, (he starts making without knowing what he is going to make!) can keep me from getting too serious. If I don't, not a loss. 

In a way, I'm shrinking my life again. I think often of when I gave up writing, and I know I'm still on the same right-for-me course. I really want to weave decent pieces, unrushed, (but a bit more quickly,) on my own terms, the way I want to. I'm forever on my apprenticeship Randy suggested. I'm shrinking lengthwise; my muscles don't stretch like they used to and I can't reach the higher shelves. And since it takes me so much longer to do anything, and I require multiple checking and rechecking and another round for good measure, I feel good with this additional shedding and clarification. More time to weave!  
* * * * *
Yesterday I had my first old-lady fall; I lost my balance and fell backwards on my bottom while trying to kneel, forward, placing more wet pottery pieces on a tray. Gah!

I turn 66 tomorrow. The way I've been feeling, I wouldn't mind if it were 666.


Agriculture Report

The temperature has cooled down a little in the last fortnight, although it's bound to go back up again as we only entered autumn six days ago. Our last 20% of Roma tomatoes have not grown in size, nor turned red, nor even orange, and many seem to be just hanging in there for that last blast of heat. The minis did worse - they started falling off in their respective stages of growth, so we picked everything and pulled out the plants. I hope to put in some broad beans after cleaning up and feeding the soil.
It's only a momentary reprieve after the harried summer of veg, as there is so much, (more than I can ever hope,) to do in the coming wet season. I was feeling angry at being deprived of my best weaving season, (I weave more in the summer,) so I'm trying to make the most of now.
* * * * *

I wove a second, smaller sample with wefts I have enough of to weave proper pieces. My beat is better, although the fell must come a little further forward for best results, and the warp needs advancing more frequently. I have managed to come up with a more readable way to print the treadling, and marked some of the picks, so it should be easier but I still get confused. The treadling isn't all that complicated, so I persists, but this cognitive decline annoys the heck out of me.

Anyhoo, my thoughts about weft candidates: I'm going to compare colors which are near each other in the sample, bypassing a green in one pic with a yellow in another behaving similarly against the warp. I might sound as if I'm contradicting myself in that respect, but I'm good; I only wanted three or four good options.  
I still like the lighter colors that don't overwhelm the delicate variation in the warp, while Ben still prefers darker values. Above, I find the top pale blue somewhat overwhelming; the middle yellow green friendlier; and the bottom "lime sorbet" slightly subdued.
Here, the top yellow is slightly brash; the middle dirty yellow too dominant; while the bottom dirty yellow lovely. The interesting thing is, the two bottom dirty yellows are in fact very similar colors, so much so when they were in the same bag, I wasn't sure if I had two colors or just one.

This warp highlights very slight differences of hues and values of the wefts. Looking at the second sample made me return to the monochromatic part of my first. When I wove it, I liked the palest gray best, even though it muddled the hues of the warp, making it look dull. Today, I prefer the medium-light gray, (the bit sandwiched between pale gray stripes,) as it shows off the different hues better. 

I'm not sure which one I'll start with, but I have enough good options now. I also made a couple of new drafts with shorter treadling repeats; they look like simpler versions of the first draft. I am thinking of weaving three pieces with different treadling, or not; if I get used to the longest original treadling, I might stick with it.
Thinking further about solid colors which can show off these drafts, I came across some "natural" colors/browns in the bottom of one box. The two on the left are yak yarns from our usual cashmere source. I knew she had them, but I stick with what I know, whereas my mom bought anything. I don't think she's ever woven or knitted with yak, but I'm reading about them now and I might use them in combination with cashmere. Apparently yak yarns don't full at all, so I'm not thinking of using one in the warp and the other in the weft, but some testing will be forthcoming.
EDIT: I take back some of the vehemence I feel about the fragmented/eclectic nature of Mom's yarn stash. If she hadn't ventured into cashmeres, I never would have on my own, and I am glad she did. Still, it's a heck of a messy lot. :-D


So, That Took a While... Or, Yet Another Glutton for Punishment Project?

Goodness, this recent lack-of-idea phase was long and thorough. I wrote paragraphs after paragraphs, but they looked all the same: "Joy, blah, blah... Interesting, blah, blah... I don't want to... " Even I tired of hearing/reading me. 
I think one reason was I wanted more complexity than what I am used to weaving on four shafts, but also the speed and physicality of a foot loom. For whatever reason, I revisited old draft files, and found an "options" file. I make these when I'm brain-storming with myself, after setting the parameters like purpose, fiber, color, size, loom, "the look", etc.
This file is so big I can only show you a portion but you get the gist. This is also a very fun phase of any project. The original project was a commission for a solid red piece using 100% cashmere one way and 70% cashmere/30% silk the other. You know pattern was paramount. 
I manipulated a section, trying to create movement, and came up with this. Not bad. Except it's not the best answer for the current project, because I decided:
1) I would use one of the pre-made multi-colored warps, which will not show the pattern effectively. In fact, neither warp was wide enough for a threading repeat, so I used them both. The value variance in the right warps makes showing off the pattern even harder. 

2) I wanted to sley this at 16EPI rather than my recent standard 18, because it's cashmere, and 16, (or even 15) makes the feather-weight fabric I can't from any other fiber. The ultra-heavy underslung beater makes controlling the beat difficult, so the diamonds are bound to be flattened, but this is something, with practice and vigilance, I should be able to manage.

3) Though woven on four treadles, each treadling repeat is long with a succession of similar-but-not-same sequences.
(Not sure why this pic looks so blurry but trust me on this.) With my non-existent short-term memory, I tried two ways of printing out the treadling, but I still lost my place constantly. I can print it out with even fewer rows/columns on each sheet but having pages and pages on my flimsy music stand feels awkward. I also wonder if I can find a small magnetic board to go on the stand so I can use magnets to help: I had a desk-top version when I was a secretary.  
Alternatively I could simplify the treadling, which sounds saner, but I haven't given up just yet. 
4) After sampling, I didn't like the bitsy stripes made with dark purples on the right, so I moved one and removed nine. It looks tidier.  
Moving on to the first sample. It's a big one because I needed to practice gentle beating and gnarly treadling. All the wefts were cone-end bits or thrums so it looks bumpy, and I don't necessarily have all these colors for a proper piece. Never mind, this is only preliminary.  I sampled 100% 26/2, 100% 20/2 and cashmere/silk 18/2.  
Cashmere doesn't full much, but the cashmere/silk (in pale pink) doesn't full at all. On the other hand, you can see how the lustre shows off the pattern even against warp ends with similar values.
Because I had a lot of achromatics, I tried different values, and I liked the palest gray best, although it does wash out the hues in the warp. White or black work, but I'm not a fan of either as a solution to dealing with "difficult" color combinations, so if I'm going in that direction, I'll look for the palest of yellow or green, or dark blues and purples.  
Of the colors sampled, I liked the very- to medium-pale yellows and oranges the best, but Ben said, "Today, I like the dark ones because I can see the pattern." He's not wrong there.

Coming up next: practicing the beat and treadling, (not giving up yet,) while auditioning weft colors I have enough of to weave a piece. This is a 10m warp, so I hope to get two long pieces or three short.

Also, consider solid, or "very close" color warps for this or similar drafts to really show off the pattern. That is so my thing.


I Daresay I am a Better Weaver Than a Weeder

In the last days of January, I made four cotton warps in quick succession, still struggling with blues. Then I did nothing for 11 days weaving-related. Even though I've been fairly productive and healthy this summer, (take away a couple of days on a couple of occasions I was knocked out by vaccination side effect; I never ever used to be so "delicate", even as recently as my second Covid jab!) Normally I wouldn't worry about the 11 days since I'm now retired, but I did promise the new Suger Gallery Shop manager on December 19 I'd come around with a few things in the new year, (therefore becoming semi-retired,) and now it's February, heading towards mid-February. Not only have I not done that, I don't have anything I want to show her on hand, nor made plans.

OK, I lied. I thought about it quantitatively a lot, but qualitatively nada. I've been thinking of a "quick" cashmere warp or two on the 4-shaft jack, but I don't want to make "boring," so I'm stumped. We've arranged our furniture in the living room last October, so I can't set up an 8-shaft there, either. So the choice has been either an interesting piece on 4 downstairs, or on Klick in the stash room, which involves much tidying up and putting away, which I don't mind as long as I have a good project/idea/plan, but I don't. Yet. Plus, I had to put away my warp-making thinking cap because, seriously, I'm trying to reduce the number of pre-made warps, and did quite well last year, so I don't want more without weaving some first.
What I'm learning is, unlike flower gardening, (the way I grow them,) veg growing is such a high-maintenance, every day job, weeding, checking bugs and ripeness, and at our place, checking daily or even several times a day for wind damage. We've had 50- and 60kms winds on several occasions, and 30kms all the time. I untied the tomatoes from stakes at one point so they don't break where it's tied, and stuck and restuck stakes a few times a day so the plants lean on them instead. That I have them growing more densely probably doesn't help, (or does it?); some natural attrition has occurred, and I manage to weed as much as my arms reach, so they are doing OK, but in spite of their good looks, are far from ripe. Yesterday was a rare cool day I could stand to have the oven on, so I slow-roasted the reddest looking ones, but they were so not ready none of the dried pieces had the summer sweetness of acid-free toms.

This veg-growing is like having kids or pets, I tell you.

While I await my orange gems to ripen, there are other signs autumn is definitely approaching, and with that comes the exciting/dreadful prospect of the cold/wet-weather gardening. I'm mindful my arthritis has been oh-so-much better since I stopped pulling out the really difficult weeds and break clay. This summer I told myself it's OK just to pull the top of the weeds, when I do weed, because it's been so dry and getting the roots out is too difficult. But also, I've managed less and less every hour/day/week I work outside, so even on conscientious years, the sum of work I get done year have been curtailed, not to mention our weeds came through 60cm of mulching once. So what's the plan this season? Do we want to grow veg again next year? And if not, do we have a long-term "solution"?? 

Some days I get so angry having to balance gardening and weaving, when I have ideas or plans I'd like to work out, especially because if I weave, I get scarves, but if I weed, in two or three weeks the weeds come back, in some cases more robustly because I made nice gaps for them to grow into! In a way, this has been nagging me since last April-ish, particularly this summer since I tend to get more weaving time in the dry, hot season. While the thought of growing into a nice old lady pottering around a nice old garden is (somewhat) inviting, and I do genuinely dislike living amongst so much mess, "old" is the key; I have to take care of my body and apply due caution, not to mention, think of how many good weaving years this body got left.

* * * * *

An intriguing thought that requires further thinking: the lockdown internet activity as an equalizer of sorts.