Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Plague Diary Season 3 Week 15

Day 14+7+78, November 24. 215 in Auckland, Waikato, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, and Midcentral; none on the South Island. 71% of population and 84% over 12 double-jabbed. Rule changes pertaining to the national border, to commence next year, were announced. The daily "live" updates on Covid matters on Radio NZ stopped yesterday. If all goes to plan, this week will be the last full week under Covid Alert Levels, as we are scheduled to move onto the Traffic Light system on December 3. 
 
I had a bad reaction to white flour in the frozen croissant from the supermarket. This happens about a quarter of the time we eat them. I kept getting up, doing something, and going back to bed, until I gave up and stayed in bed and read about my current conundrum of turned Summer & Winter weave. There isn't much on the subject. And I forgot to put in "I stayed home" on the Covid App.
Day 14+7+79, November 25. 178 in Auckland, Waikato, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, and Midcentral; none on the South Island. Another death at Auckland hospital. 71% of population and 84% over 12 double-jabbed; no changes here %wise.
 
I rang the 0800 Covid Vax pass number again. They installed one of those, "Press x if..." messages which was not there on Tuesday, or maybe it was too busy I didn't even reach that stage. I had to go through two levels of answers, so they knew I was calling to get the pass to prove I've had two jabs, but for ten+ minutes I had to listen to some stupid vax Q&As, ones intended to persuade you to get vaxed. The music in between Qs were definitely for young people, but I would rather have listened to that.
 
When I finally got a nice young human, she asked the obligatory ID questions, and because I had my NHI number on hand, the whole transaction took all of 90 seconds. That included: her explaining the International Travel Certificate, (valid for 12 months, and considering I have a 91-year-old mom, I'll have that, too, thank you;) "No, instructions we're given is you don't need a new certificate when you get your booster;" her emailing me a six-digit number for each certificate, my reading them to her, and her emailing me each certificate in PDFs. I'd say the phone conversation was easy, but I do wonder how the elderly or less-connected cope. (Although "elderly" aren't necessarily less able than me by any means.) I didn't even know I couldn't do this myself without a NZ passport or a driver's license until Ben told me. And the lovely human said I could print if I have a printer, but download on phone if I prefer. Say what??   

I'm still looking up what the traffic light system means, but short of getting two jabs and walking around with my newly obtained (domestic) pass that says so, rules I'm meant to follow are murky. I did find instructions to follow in the event Ben or I test positive and must isolate at home, and at least these were clearer, so I printed them out just in case.

Day 14+7+80, November 26. 173 in Auckland, Waikato, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Lakes; none on the South Island. 71% of population and 85% over 12 double-jabbed. From the Ministry: "From today, you now also have the option to receive your pass through the post and you will also be able to go to pharmacies to request your pass. Almost 400 pharmacies around the country that are currently providing COVID-19 vaccinations will now also be able to help people get their vaccine pass." Phew, on behalf of oldies who may or may not be more tech savvy than me. 
 
If all goes to plan, we'll be out of Levels and into Traffic Light color in a week. 
 
For nearly a week, I had a metaphorical pebble in my weaving shoe; it wasn't big enough to stop me, but annoying enough I couldn't ignore it. Reading, sampling in the software, and even writing about it to see to which point I understood, I reached the logical answer that was, ummm, counterintuitive. But an old friend and a far learned weaver Cally convinced me the logical answer I reached was indeed the answer. So there is even more scope of study and experimentation in the future, as usual. As for the pebble, it's still there, wedged somewhere between the hallux and the index toe, in the pocket under the neck, but I can keep walking this road with just an occasional reminder it's there.  
Day 14+7+81, November 27. 145 in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and one in Christchurch, South Island. One death in hospital. The Christchurch case is a household contact of a previous case and is already self-isolating, although a couple of locations of interest were added. Still 71% of population and 85% over 12 double-jabbed.
 
I've been rereading about the Traffic Light system over and over. I've understood the words from the first sheet I printed out a while back; it told me to get jabbed twice, carry a Vax pass, and maybe wear a mask. Rules/practices around masks here have been murky from the start, so although Ben and I always have them when we leave home, in town it's a hit-or-more-likely-miss affair regarding humans around us. The new system relies on even more individual responsibility, i.e. government has washed its hands of us, almost, more or less, in a manner of speaking. Some are predicting upwards of 1600 cases/week, and when it happens Jacinda et al. will say we're on the projected path. I feel a huge gray something descending on us that, to tell the truth, I never really felt immediately around us in these two Plague years. 
 
And then, Omicron. Besides it's potential danger, Oh-My-Cron? To Japanese ears, it sounds diminutive, mangaesque.
Day 14+7+82, November 28. 144 in Auckland, Waikato, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay; none on the South Island. Another death in the hospital. 72% of population and 85% over 12 double-jabbed. Last night, Aotearoa NZ joined the travel ban of non-Kiwis from nine African countries starting midnight tonight. Overnight the world is given a rewritten scenario. But anything helps to reduce the numbers having to go into our managed quarantine facilities or hospitals.
 
It was rainy and cold and miserable at Chez B&M, and we spent the morning reading descriptions, comparing, and online-shopping five-layer mask inserts that goes inside pockets in homemade cotton masks. Didn't know such things existed before today, and Ben was suggesting we use coffee filters, which, as you can imagine, we have in all sizes, shapes, and two colors. We also printed our vax passes. Ben uses the phone in the main, but he surprised me by printing one just in case the phone failed; that's so my MO. We wasted a lot of paper and ink, and halfway through, since it's only the QR code that matters, it occurred to me we could have printed them grayscale. Also, I wonder if I'll get in trouble because I cut mine 2mm shorter, so folded in half it's the size of a credit card.
 Day 14+7+83, November 29. 182 in Auckland, Waikato, and Northland. We learned in the morning there is a case in Nelson, to be included tomorrow, but not much details yet; locations of interest came out at 6PM. 72% of population and 85% over 12 double-jabbed. Boosters started today, but there have been comparatively little media coverage. There have been, though, more attention to jabbed people who can't get the passes by themselves.
 
Last night I read a border case was in Canterbury. Neither the government's Unite Against Covid-19 Facebook page nor public-funded Radio NZ covered this, but I found it on stuff.co.nz, a website aggregating articles from newspapers from around the country, (as well as Radio NZ?). A child, presumably with adults, flew from London to Doha to Auckland, arriving on the 18th; they did their seven days managed isolation and went home to Canterbury (Christchurch?) to continue home quarantine, but their ninth day test came out positive. Today there were two new border cases in Christchurch. 
 
With the Traffic Light system coming in on Friday, red/orange designation was announced this afternoon. There will be no border restrictions between regions. These designations will be reviewed fortnightly. 
 
Omicron is causing havoc with what the government night have thought a relatively smooth transition to the new system. I watched the 4PM announcement, a first in what feels like many weeks, but my eyes and ears glazed over because a whole lot of it sounded like disingenuous spin, praising their past achievements. According to Bloomfield, home-isolation is working well; two folks dying in their own homes positive test results were just a glitch in the system. 
 
A few days ago I started thinking about my current project a little more seriously, as they must be finished by early/mid-February. My source has a distinct lack of really red cottons in 20/2 as well as blues/navies and, oh, grays. I ordered seven colors, 20/2 and 60/2, roughly in the that neighborhood on the color wheel. They are a little more varied than appears in the pic, but gee, I need to rethink reds to proceed.
Day 14+7+84, November 30. 134 in Auckland, Waikato, Northland, Bay of Plenty. Two more in Nelson, which makes three, all close contacts; because of a "technical glitch" these two will be counted tomorrow. All cases in Aotearoa NZ are still Delta. 72% of population and 86% over 12 double-jabbed.
 
I had it all figured out. "We're going into a new system and we're learning to live with Covid..." How uneasy I feel; how we expect a bunch of cases to visit Nelson this summer; how I'll continue to have plenty to complain about, blah, blah. Except we are suddenly really living with it. Everybody knew it was a matter of time, but after having lived completely normally, (other than scanning and no overseas travel,) from August to August, it's still a shock. I honestly didn't expect Nelson to have cases until mid/late December when travel started.
 
First thing this morning, we discovered we know someone, who was a close contact of a person, who was at a location of interest at exactly the same time as the first case. We haven't seen them since August, but this was as close to Covid as we'd gotten. Then while we were at the supermarket, there were more locations of interest added, including that very supermarket. 
 
Ben plans to work from home until the end of the year. But I feel we need to rethink how to organize our life in a fundamental way. For now I don't know where to start, so I read so much about the Traffic Lift system, "What to Do When..." kind of info, about Omicron, the latest on how to protect oneself; and while these allow me to concentrate and not rush towards despair, I'm not even sure whether to read so much, or ignore and do only "normal" things. 
 
One of the normal things is eating, of course, and we thought we'd try to live a little healthier, and we know what we should do in that department. So this was today.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Turned Summer & Winter - a Segway

Realizing I know nothing about turning Summer & Winter drafts, but having flippantly mentioned it, I descended into a wee rabbit hole for a few days. So far, I understand the logic, but not to my satisfaction, (more on that,) and decided for now I don't want to waste any more time on this as it doesn't directly impact the current project. But for the record... 
These are examples of an almost standard Summer & Winter draft; almost because the usual instruction is to use the same size threads for warp and tabby weft, and a thicker thread for pattern, but I use the same size for warp and pattern, and one-third the size for tabby. Warp is white, tabby is red, and pattern is black.
My software, Fiberworks, turned the draft for me automagically. 
 
If you remember way, way back, my first entry into Summer & Winter was to make maximum use of the number of shafts in creating larger designs, and yet weave cloths with structural integrity. Looking at the turned draft, my reaction was, "It's straight forward, but must we waste two pattern shafts for every block, while in the original draft, one P shaft takes care of one block?" I thought I wasn't seeing something obvious and missing the point of turning, so I asked for advice on Facebook. And Cally Booker came to my rescue. 
 
"Yes, sadly, we do. If you think about what the pattern weft looks like in the cloth, when it is woven 'normally' you get that brickwork effect because the pattern weft is tied down in one place on one row and offset from that on the alternate row. When the structure is turned, the tie-down happens in the weft on the alternating pattern picks. So one pattern pick has to tie down half the pattern warp and the next pattern pick has to tie down the other half - and that only works if the pattern warp is threaded on two different shafts. We can't economise on the ground warp, either, because we still need to make the plain weave base. Like most descriptions of weaving, that sounds like complete gibberish when spelt out in detail... I hope it isn't as bad as that."
 
Right, makes sense, but for me, unsatisfactory in that it's... wasteful. Although there is scope for experimenting with one tie-weaves. 
 
"... Maybe someone will pop up and tell us we're both wrong! If you just used the one shaft per block, so that all the ties were in sync with the same weft pick, what would that mean for the rest of the structure? I feel the urge to go and doodle in Fiberworks..."

Cally also recommended "Supplementary Warp Patterning: Turned Drafts, Embellishments & Motifs" by Barbafa J Walker. I found it on Lulu.com, but I haven't heard back from Lulu whether books ordered from aud-store.lulu.com is shipped from Australia or the US, (aud=Australian Dollars,) because the US postal system stopped sending stuff to NZ or Australia a while back, and it's still effective as of November 19. Never mind, not vital for the current project, just a very interesting subject. 
 
And it's great to reconnect with old friends. 

Back to sampling.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Plague Diary Season 3 Week 14

Day 14+7+71, November 17. 194 new in Auckland, Waikato, Northland, and Lakes District. And to be included in tomorrow's number, one in Christchurch; someone attended a tangi/funeral in Auckland and showed symptom after returning. Another person passed away in hospital in Auckland. 69% of population and 82% over 12 double-jabbed. 
 
The whole country is moving to the traffic light system on or after November 29 together, but red or orange depends on the district's vax rate, and the system is not finalized yet. Vax pass became available today, but everybody tried to access the system and  not many seemed to have been successful. I couldn't even get to the Sing Up screen. Auckland will be "freed" on December 15; Aucklanders can conditionally travel out of the region and the rest of us can get in. 
 
It must be summer. I was a little tired and unmotivated after finishing housework, but with just a little bit left to do on the patio, I went out at 4PM and finished the job. Among other things, I moved one of these guys into another pot of the same size/style. And... I can get back to wilderness of my choice tomorrow. Oh joy.  
Day 14+7+72, November 18. 167 new in Auckland, Waikato, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, and Christchurch as mentioned yesterday; another in Christchurch who will be counted tomorrow is a household contact. We are now really "living with" Covid in Aotearoa, and over the summer it's expected to spread all around the country, but you knew that. Many cases have been found in wastewater first, so at least that's working. Two more deaths in hospitals. 69% of population and 82% over 12 double-jabbed. 
 
Ben got to see his vaccination passport last night. We'll work on mine at a ridiculous hour on the weekend when it's easier to access the website, but I'm going to carry a printed version because I already know I'm going to fumble at some crucial moment.  
 
A friend was asked at a job interview to list three words to describe her; I've always hated these gimmicky questions because I'm the kind of person who don't think before blurting out whatever comes to mind, and just like that, I thought to myself, "Short, fat, angry." So, my reaction time was excellent, but what a sad state of mind!
 
I've been angry/despondent/frustrated/going-out-of-my-mind about the weeds. Now, I'll be the last to tell you I'm a keen gardener, but over the years we tried, let's see, plastic weed mats, newspaper, cardboard, wool carpets, bought and homemade bark/tree mulching, organic solutions of every description, and cancer juice, but nothing has given us much reprieve, and it's gotten progressively worse as I get older and slower. I work carefully and diligently when I'm out there, digging to about 30cm to get the weed roots out, but the convovs have been thinking, too, and now their roots are even deeper. I'm an indoors person, and while I feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of a couple of hours, or five of work outside, it's the same sense of accomplishment I get from cleaning the house; I just don't want to spend every waking minute just to keep our place looking... normal... OK... acceptable... not horrible... just a little horrible... OK, horrible but cute.
 
So, yeah, today I'm weaving/sampling. I also ordered some yearns for the project proper for which I've been sampling. And I'm trying not to feel too bad about it... Yikes...     
Day 14+7+73, November 19. 198 new in Auckland, Waikato, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Wairarapa, Midcentral, (those are all over the North Island,) and Canterbury/Christchurch for which links are yet unknown. And a suspected case in Wellington. 69% of population and 82% over 12 double-jabbed. Many districts are nearing or have achieved 90% of qualified folks being double jabbed. Nelson Marlborough had a spectacular start, staying at the top of the list for a while, but slowed down this side of 70%-ish and is now at 81% of qualified folks. We need 677 arms to get the second jab to reach 90%.  (Not sure how current these numbers are.) 

Yesterday we discovered a local ice cream maker could not export their product, (due to Auckland lockdown?) and announced a sale on their Facebook page. I thought their coffee ice cream is among our top three favorites, but looking at the umber of containers we are reusing all over the house, it must be our top choice. So my morning started with cleaning out our tiny freezer, throwing out a couple of things, downloading some others to the fridge, and thawing a few ingredients for dinner. And kneading sourdough.   
 
During Ben's "lunch" break, we exited our Nelson/Tahunanui cocoon for the first time since the January Wellington trip, (or the second time after a lovely picnic by the river with friends?) Bravely we made our way to Stoke, which is actually closer to our house than the center of Nelson. The ladies at the factory shop greeted us, apologizing, "Sorry, we only have two flavors left, coffee and..." "Say no more," I interrupted, "We're here for coffee."
 
On our way home, Ben asked, "Since these are not the usual size but smaller tubs, does it mean we get one tub each?" Ahahahahaha. Dream on, Mate. They're 470ml tubs; label says there's 4.7 servings per tub; so, no! 
 
I also got in touch with two of my favorite humans, both of who (whom??) had big things happen in their lives. I feel comforted sharing stories about aging parents with folks around my age. I treasure learning things from young people so I can live in this century.          
Day 14+7+74, November 20. 178 new; 0 South Island, but in Auckland, Waikato, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, and Wellington. 70% of population and 83% over 12 double-jabbed.
 
This morning I was so tired I half wondered if the moon changed earth's gravity last night. I couldn't stay standing long enough to wash the dishes, so I ended up doing not a whole heck of a lot. I didn't even nap. But I can forgive myself because I took care of a lot of little things around the house last week. 
 
Later in the afternoon I wanted to check a few things related to weaving terminology and technique, which always lead to new possibilities and trying things in the software and making notes not directly related to immediate question. 
 
I'll have to look for answers tomorrow, but the dishes have been washed. And the ribs I marinated yesterday were tasty. 
Day 14+7+75, November 21. 149 new in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, again from travels to the North Island but no other detail; also one in Hawkes Bay to be included tomorrow. 70% of population and 83% over 12 double-jabbed.   
 
I had been thinking for a couple of weeks hey fever is not bad this year, easing up early. Until, wham, came yesterday. Although it's raining today, it takes my system a whole day to respond to the weather so... A-chooooo!! Excuse me. With the cycle of rain followed by sun/wind, our place needed this rain, and cold use a couple of more days of it, but it's a one-day only deal this time.
 
We went to Mega hardware store for the first time in months; Ben went to drive-by pick-up on the last day of Level 3, so that's 9 weeks ago, but me, I can't remember. Regardless, it's a big gap because this time of year we're usually there every weekend late in the afternoon. But with elaborate routes marked inside the store, yet shoppers not keeping distance, we didn't feel relaxed and didn't linger. We also went to the supermarket afterwards, but I saw a teenager, and Ben saw a young couple, sans masks. They may have valid reasons, but then they may not. I started singing "Covid Nineteen's Coming to Town" inside my head and now I can't switch it off. 
 
Edmonds provides us with anything baking-related, but more importantly their cookbook, (or cookery book) is the NZ standard. I don't cook from it because there are no pictures, :-D, but I can't count the times I read it when Kiwis mention a dish or a method unfamiliar to us. When we were new here, some confectionery shops and bakeries even told us "It's in the book," with details on their variations. 
 
A staff or customer did a nice job of display yesterday; I prefer to think it was intentional.
Day 14+7+76, November 22. 205 new in Auckland, Waikato, Northland, Lakes/Taupo, Midcentral, and Bay of Plenty; 0 South Island. One death in hospital; this brings total Covid-related death in Aotearoa NZ to 40. 70% of population and 83% over 12 double-jabbed. The country will switch to the traffic light system starting December 3, (i.e. everybody has to organize their vax passes by then,) but whether a region starts at red or orange depends on, I think, vax rate. Barbers and hair dressers can operate by traffic light rules a week earlier.
 
As of today we've been NZ permanent residents for 25 years. But because we are not citizens, (Japan does not allow dual citizenship,) we are on Japanese passports, (which is linked to our residency states,) and because I don't drive and do not have a driver's license, I will be carrying a paper vax passport. While I don't mind, I wonder why my NHI# isn't sufficient. Ben thinks District Health Board is in charge of NHI# while Vax passport is issued by the government, but vax process used NHI, from memory, and now the government needs a person to answer my 0800 call, check my records, and post me that piece of paper.
 
My current project has been... well, yikes. Experiments are not going the way I expect, options that makes no sense are turning out "pretty", there are just so darned many varied aesthetic/editorial decisions I didn't expect to have to make, and I can't find technical information in books. Usually this is the best part and once all is set and I'm actually waving, I've emotionally moved on to the next project, but this one, this one has been disorienting. And that's an unfamiliar place after all these years.   
Day 14+7+77, November 23. 215 in Auckland, Waikato, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, and Midcentral; none on the South Island. A weak positive case appeared in Nelson yesterday, but repeat test was negative, so they suspect it was historical. This never made Radio NZ; there must be many more similar instances in other regions as well. One person passed away in hospital in Auckland. 70% of population and 84% over 12 double-jabbed.
 
I saw my pelagoniums through the patterned glass on our front door this morning. I didn't get much sleep last night and didn't want to weed, but I sowed a bunch of thyme seeds, and moved rose "sticks" into individual containers; I'm also going to see if capsicum and tomato seeds I collected from veg we ate will germinate. 

I also tried calling the 0800 number for a couple of hours to get my vax pass, but no luck; maybe tomorrow.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Yet-Unnamed: Part 3 - Sample 1

This is not a big sample and I didn't try too many techniques, so a short post. First, overall pictures. 
Top, the side I saw as I wove: 
Reverse, the side I think should be the A-side in the finished piece: 

If I may reiterate my main goals for this sample from my last post, they are: 
* Recreating the look and texture of the "old wallpaper". 
* Determining how much hue/value mixing is permissible before this began to distract from the "overall/all-over" look. 
* Determining whether "disinformation" is best expressed in alarming, or in duller/cloudier colors.
 
While I wove, I worried about the massive reed marks, convinced that I needed to cram more, but look! 
I sleyed at seven pairs of ends per dent in a 6-dent reed, and thought of it as more or less 42EPI, but in fact it's closer to 7*1 1/3*6=56EPI. No wonder it's not even close, the warp threads didn't have room to full. To get somewhere between 39EPI, (another sett I use with 20/2s,) and 42EPI, but to thread easily and quickly, I came up with five pairs; 5*1 1/3*6=40EPI. I started resleying this afternoon. 
 
If you look at the two top pictures, paler values, be they in 20/2 or 60/2, are too stark, and in the first instance, detract from the strong statement about disinformation I want the piece to express. However, if I want to express "murky", they can be valuable. Other ways of experimenting are hue variations, (either to intensify the overall color, or really distract and introduce "disarray",)  or mixing/swapping colors frequently and not in stripes. But first I must see how they appear in the looser sett.
Using two pattern wefts hide the tabby weft more effectively and can intensify the overall color. Or by mixing different hue/value, I could create more discord. Again, I have to see how they appear in a looser sett.
On the "Top" side, however the weft areas look flat and the warp areas pop up, which is interesting in a different way. (Orange part has two pattern wefts; the red part has one pattern weft.) The saturation is yummy, and I feel a little foolish not focusing on this side, but I'll stay on course. For now.
I have never woven anything where disrupting color harmony was an aim, but in the current project, disruption work to convey the main idea. I like the green tabby weft, it looked good with orange warp and red pattern wefts, but I had to try the opposite, so from the bottom, black, charcoal gray, and a dark gray purple. (I don't have a navy blue, but that would have been the complementary to orange.) The more I moved away from black, the more harmonious. 

In summary, to create the look/texture of the original sample, my next step is to loosen the sett. Hue/value mixture depends on what kind of harmony/disruption I want to create. As to whether disinformation is best expressed by a clear and strong display of danger, or its hidden/unclear nature, is an editorial decision I have to make at some point. 

Postscript: 
1) I have been unable to learn clearly what a turned Summer & Winter looks like. A few books mention turning, but I can't get my head around it yet.
2) While reviewing various tied weaves, I was reminded I can have more than one pattern warps to every tabby warp. This is particularly useful in a piece where the integrity of the cloth is not as important as the appearance. Oh, boy, the possibilities! 
3) In comparing this warp to the previous, Sunflower II warp, sometimes I find the reds and oranges alarming, but at other times I see nice clarity in comparison to the yellow warp. Colors, even to the same person, have different effects at different times.
4) I think I was expecting technical aspects to dictate aesthetic decisions. Because there are so many options in all directions, I am loosing focus. But... onward.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Yet-Unnamed: Part 2

EDIT: A tied weave using four shafts to tie down is called Quigley. However, I am leaving the name "Summer & Winter" in this post because I intended to weave with two shafts to tie down, and resorted to using four only due to the number of heddles available in the shafts. I believe it makes no difference structurally as I threaded 1-p-2-p-3-p-4-p and tied down 1-2-3-4. Re. comparison to turned Summer & Winter, I realize now I never looked into it in any depth, so as to how I wove vs. a true turned Summer & Winter, I must investigate in another post. 
 
I just cut off my first sample and it's drying on the clothes rack, so before I address that in detail, I'd like to record how I set it up, and thoughts while I wove it. 
 
The sample warp took a while to thread because I repeatedly misunderstood the number of ends in this sample warp and number of heddles required. When I make a warp, I usually count the threads where they turn and change directions, i.e. the last peg at the bottom of the warping board. This number *2 is the number of ends, except with this current warp, every "end" is a pair of 20/2 and 60/2, so I should have *4. 
 
On Klick, I have heddles split in the middle, so roughly the same number of leftovers sit on either side of the warp coming through. (Which, considering Klick's structure, is completely unnecessary.) Thinking I had only half the number of ends, I began threading, twice I ran out of heddles, unthreaded, and finally shoved all the heddles to the left, and restarted. I had a gut feeling something was wrong the whole time, but couldn't figure it out, so I persisted in a dark, wintery, south-facing room.
 
When I finally figured out my mistake, I also brought the loom into the living room which has much better afternoon light; this made a world of difference and threading was finished in three sittings.
 
Setup:  
* The warp is mercerized cotton, alternately 60/2 in tabby and 20/2 in pattern; all up there are 792 ends.
* Tabby 60/2 ends are in Shafts 1-4 in straight draw because of the number of heddles already on those shafts.
* Pattern 20/2 ends are in Shafts 5-16 in random numbers but roughly in V/U pattern. 
* Warp color schemes are one orange 20/2 and a different orange 60/2 on the left one-third as I wove; the same orange 20/2 and two very similar-to-each-other orange 60/2 in the middle third; two 20/2 oranges and two same 60/2 on the right third; plus a narrow strip of red 20/2 with an orange 60/2. 
* Sett is 84 EPI, which is visually close to 42EPI I usually use for 20/2. This may change depending on how the sample/s full and if this achieves the "old wallpaper" look.
* Lifting is basic Summer & Winter with four shafts to tie down. (Or another name if tying down with four shafts has a special name. I'm too tired to check tonight but will edit if that's the case.)
     1&2&3&4
     1 + selected P
     5&6&7&8&9&10&11&12&13&14&15&16 
     2 + selected P
     1&2&3&4
     3 + selected P
     5&6&7&8&9&10&11&12&13&14&15&16 
     4 + selected P
* The structure is not turned Summer & Winter. The sizes of threads are identical to what I use in my usual Summer & Winter, i.e. all warp and pattern threads are 20/2 while tabby is 60/2. However, whereas I usually alternate these sizes in the weft, here they alternate in the warp. All weft is in 20/2, in two colors, one for T and the other for P. As mentioned above, lifting is in regular (un-turned) Summer & Winter order. (EDIT: Please see the top of this post re, lifting.)

Goals for this sample, from "most important" to "can wait until later": 
* Recreating the look and texture of the "old wallpaper".
* Determining how much hue/value mixing is permissible before this began to distract from the "overall/all-over" look.
* Determining whether "disinformation" is best expressed in alarming, or in duller/cloudier colors.
 
Issues:
* Reed marks were annoyingly noticeable. If they do not wash out, 90 and 96EPI must be sampled. 
* 60/2 ends were hard to see, and difficult to mend. This must be taken into consideration when deciding the project proper's color/s and width. On the other hand, even if broken ends were not promptly discovered and mended, it will not be easily noticeable, although this is just among friends, you understand. "Big" may not be a prerequisite for this project; e.g. a few "pages" in A4/newspaper?/magazine?, approximate size of a laptop screen or facsimile of a smart phone screen are worth considering.  
* Earlier on, there was quite a difference in 20/2's and 60/2's tension, but this seemed to have been solved after about 10cm in. The big loom has a much greater distance between the back beam and the fell, so it may not matter as much, but if it does, again, the size of the project may require review. 
* On Klick, Shafts 12-16 have tiny sheds; this won't be a problem on the big loom but it was super annoying. 
* Tie-down pattern was invisible while weaving.
 
More to follow.   

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Plague Diary Season 3 Week 13

Day 14+7+64, November 10. 147 new; 0 South Island. 79% over 12 double-jabbed. 
 
Yesterday I got a call from the national(?) Mammogram people asking if I could come in. Usually they write letters saying, "come on this day or ring us," weeks and months ahead of time, but with Covid, they are texting or ringing. I said I could "tomorrow". And this was my first real-life experience of "living with Covid" - I rang the radiology place and asked if everybody is vaccinated, because for folks who have never had mammogram done, the radiologist has to get pretty close, face to face. The receptionist was not fussed, just replied matter-of-factly, "Oh, yes, we have to be," and that was that. So I went, and I was seen in record quick time, and the radiologist was lovely. 
 
But after yesterday, I was feeling not exactly chipper, and I was very tempted by a diary I perhaps needed all my life. :-D
I love to go to the cinema with friends, with Ben, or solo, but it's been bothering me for quite a while whether now is a good time to go. There are so many interesting films rushing to our medium-sized theater, they tend to have shorter runs, so if I miss it, I miss it. And I've missed a whole bunch last year. (Although some come back to their smaller "Art House" rooms later, and sometimes, I'm the only audience.) One in particular I've eagerly awaited is Wes Anderson's "The French Dispatch," opening on December 9. 
 
Even at the best of times I don't think cinemas are particularly hygienic, but with Delta, I'm not sure if they are remotely ventilated enough, OR, if now is the time to go before Delta reaches Nelson with the summer traffic. 

Today, walking by the cinema, I found these film-related drawings done by one person in the window, (sorry about the eeek pic,) but I didn't even go inside to see if there were details.  
I don't know if I noticed before, but today I (re-)noticed the Nelson City Council building had three flags in front. From left: Aotearoa NZ, Tino Rangatiratanga, Nelson City. And never forget, we could have had a Laser Kiwi.
Day 14+7+65, November 11. 185 new; 0 South Island. 67% of population and 80% (rounded up) over 12 double-jabbed. 
 
I was exhausted thinking about what to post from the demonstration day, and how long to continue this diary. Early on, I expected Delta to be as insidious as it has been elsewhere, but I expected far fewer non-compliance; anti-vaxers to be rare exceptions; consequences for these; the government to stick to earlier direction; media to follow up on issues rather than saturating with new and, especially pertaining to Covid, speculative or opinion stuff. On the other hand, I thought the South Island would be given some kind of a dispensation for keeping it "low", if not returning to previous level 1. As it is, we seem to be stuck on Level 2 until the entire South Island gets 90 or 95% jabbed, (population/eligible?). But here we are, in the famous words of Fiona Hill. 
 
Anti-vax instigators remain unpunished, so events keep growing, while our terror threats increase; folks are isolating in cars, garages and garden sheds because they don't all live in gazillion-bedroom homes opposing publicly funded quarantine facilities; I haven't been able to find updates on the Christchurch cases; there is increase in violence in the public isolation facilities; somewhere a woman was denied entry into a supermarket without a mask - she returned with some men and intimidated(?) supermarket security; Health Minister finally came out and said our hospital system is having trouble coping with over 120 cases per day, while Director General of Health keeps insisting, (at least a few days back,) we're fine; Jacinda says our numbers are as expected, and by the way, another person passed away while home-isolating. All this without my going to look for news.
 
I am tired. And it's not just from walking around town in the glittering sun and sweltering heat, (probably low 20s,) yesterday. I kept returning to bed after doing a little housework, and watched four documentaries on TVNZ On Demand. 
 
Fun fact: the first doco was on US's right-wing media and how they change people's minds, while the second was about conspiracy theories and how they work, and the commercials, (TVNZ inserts made-for-tv commercials on their On Demand programs,) were 100% for retirement homes. The third was about father/son relationship surrounding television and how viewing habits changed, and the last was Caroll Spinney the first Big Bird puppeteer, and the commercials were more diverse with no retirement homes.  
Day 14+7+66, November 12. 201 new; 0 South Island. 68% of population and 80% rounded up over 12 double-jabbed. Northland still has new but linked cases but they'll rejoin Level 2 tomorrow; Waikato cluster is not looking good; Taupo's wastewater testing show positive case/s on Nov 8, and they are checking results from Nov 10 to see if case/s was/were historical. 
 
This morning when I was struggling to finish the entry from the Demonstration day, Ben suggested I quit the Covid stuff and stick to what I did, "although the numbers are interesting." Something to think about. Numbers are easy, but I often get angry looking up Covid stuff. When I'm typing, I imagine the extremely abbreviated, (believe it or not,) commentary will be useful to me some day, but I also can't imagine my revisiting them again.   
 
It's nearing the middle of November, meaning I must sweep the patio and rearrange all flower pots; move all the firewood closer to the front door; then order the next lot; stack them before Christmas; and then, hopefully, order a skip during Ben's holiday to, you know, encourage us to clean up some more. 
 
Sorry, bad pic, again, but the tall Elena roses started flowering about a week ago, and although more numerous, they are much smaller than usual. And although much fewer, we're going to have a few of those so-fun red chard trees again.    
Day 14+7+67, November 13. 175 new; 0 South Island, but Auckland, Northland and Waikato; there is also a case in Taupo to be included tomorrow. Hospitalization is climbing, but 60% not vaccinated, lower than I imagined, though. 68% of population and 80% over 12 double-jabbed.  
 
Sometime between 9 and 10 this morning, we heard loud honking/tooting of multiple cars down on the main road. I thought wedding, but Ben suspected protests. On hour on, the same cars were still at it, so Ben looked it up. There were more anti folks "demonstrating" around the country, including in Nelson, where cars drove from town to slightly west in our neck of the shrubs and back.This went on until 1.30 and I heard police car/s only once, and more sporadically until at least 2.30. These were organized by loosely the same groups, including, I found out, a Nelson lawyer. 
 
All the while the "demonstration" was going on, I was trying to recreate a magnificent pumpkin soup Ben made a few weeks ago. Sadly the end result was... 6/10; I might have tried too hard and put in too many flavors, but just as likely, the pumpkin this time may not have been as flavorful as it is well passed winter. The soup lacked umph. But as a cold, rainy day turned into a brilliantly sunny, hot, humid afternoon, the lack of umph and relative blandness actually worked in our favor. In the end, with a lot of sour cream, maybe 8/10.    
Day 14+7+68, November 14. 207 new; 0 South Island, but cases in Waikato, Northland, Taupo, Rotorua, and Tararua. 68% of population and 81% over 12 double-jabbed. 

I've been reading about Covid resurgence in Europe. Reasons I saw most often were: lack of mitigation in schools, masks in particular, but also in workplace; ventilation!!; over-reliance on vaccination; not using available tools like vaccination passports; confused or inconsistent messaging from governments, and; easing/eliminating rules. (I was particularly interested in the seemingly low level of disinformation and anti-vax activities in Spain and Portugal. I wonder what they do right.) 
 
We seem to be following in everybody's footsteps in all the wrong directions except two: vaccine passport is yet to come and maybe businesses, festivals and other organizations will take it up; also we are heading into summer, so schools will close, ventilation will be easier if/where air conditioning is used wisely, but also folks are going to travel. I foresee another staycation for us this summer.

Meet Ben's newest science project. This is a coffee cheery, the size of a really small cherry, and in it are two coffee plant seeds, courtesy of our friend Kate. She sad it takes forever to show signs of life, but that's OK, so do hellebores. We are so looking forward to this new pet.
Day 14+7+69, November 15. 173 new; 0 South Island, but cases in Auckland, Waikato, Northland and Lakes/Taupo. 68% of population and 81% over 12 double-jabbed. Auckland remains in Level 3.2; parts of Waikato will return to Level 2 with the rest of the country tomorrow. "Case numbers are as expected." We may move to traffic signal system even before vaccination target is achieved. But also, there is good news: booster shots will be available in a fortnight to everyone over 18 who had the second jab at least six months ago. For us, that'll be mid-March, autumn; good great timing unless, you know, something catastrophic happens again. Also appreciate government ditching the priority system of border workers, elderly, etc. 
 
It's the start of the season when plastic containers I save come out from under the sink. I had to deadhead pink and orange osteospurmums so I saved them, although I'm not sure how successful I'll be with this lot. 
 
A couple of years ago bought a pot or three of white-petal-purple-center osteospurmums, and it/they lived on the patio until it/they got out of control in spite of frequent trimming. I cut the stems to 20-25cm and stuck them in potting soil, and was successful in growing quite a few second generation, which went into top of the retaining wall by the driveway. (They are doing well now.) Then we bought a darker one, (I can't remember the color,) and put it near the house on the same retaining wall, and it died too soon. 
 
The pink-orange-petal-purple-center and hot-pink-petal-purple-center ones we got more recently and survived two iterations in smallish pots before they found a permanent home in the ground recently. I don't know if these are "the same" as the whites as these are more upright, while the white ones are floppy and spread around from the start. But hey, the first round of flowers were finished a while ago and I had to deadhead them, so why not a nice haircut. Except I didn't get long or mature stems, because of the awkward position I had to stand in in order to trim them; these babies are 10-15cm, and still young, and stuck in water. I'll prepare pots-with-soil next time. 
 
The two black containers are cardboard ice cream containers; I haven't had the heart to throw them out because of the colors and the artwork. This space will be taken over by other young ones soon, though.    
Day 14+7+70, November 16. 222 new; 0 South Island, but in Waikato, Northland and Lakes/Taupo. There was one death in an Auckland hospital. 69% of population and 81% over 12 double-jabbed. Anti-vax teachers and health workers are fired or put on  unpaid leave starting today. 

I hung around the kitchen cleaning and cooking until 3PM, but I went out to re-stack the firewood. For a very warm winter, we certainly went through a lot of wood this winter, but there is enough for a week or two. (The kettle is boiling to kill small weeds on the patio.) I kept going cleaning the patio and weeding the pots, and to my amazement, I finished almost the whole lot. A couple of hours and I should be done for the next little while, but I must remember to water the pots; all but a few pots were completely parched. Shame on me; I think I killed a couple of things including the long-anticipated propagated lemon verbenas. Tulip pots moved to the far side, too; thanks and see you next year.  

Friday, November 12, 2021

Plague Diary Season 3 Week 12

Day 14+7+57, November 3. 100 new; 0 South Island. 62% of population and 74% over 12 double-jabbed.  
 
I anticipated regretting not taking a "before" picture, but it was so messy you wouldn't have been able to see what's what. I've been clearing the path to this baby the last couple of days, in another pebbled patch I worked on in the winter. Still, I should have recorded how magnificent it was. 
 
A few years ago, I stuck a few rosemary twigs in sand in a small planter. They did so well, I thought I'd like to plant one somewhere we can see from the kitchen, and plonked the whole planter under a camellia near it's prospective home. They did so well I pictured cute little roots coming out of the holes at the bottom of the planter, but no big, deal, I'll put one in the ground and move the planter back to the patio. 

One morning not long after, as we sat down to breakfast, we were greeted by a beautiful rosemary bush in full flower, coming straight at us. Did I mention it was magnificent? But it needed to move because it was growing at a 90 degree angle, away from the camellia, and the weight of the bush will topple it, I thought.
 
It wasn't for lack of trying because a few times I pruned it hard and watered the surrounds intensively to pull it out, but it proved harder than I anticipated. I tried digging, too, as recently as this winter, but it proved difficult. I thought I'd give it another go, wondering if the current dry condition in this spot might help. 
The soil around it was like sand, easy to dig, but it was far more complicated than I pictured. I wanted to save the early cheer bulbs, which I thought were between the planter and the camellia, but were in fact underneath. I knew there would be plenty of convolvulus roots and bulbs, but I never imagined that much that deep, (I dug down to 50cm almost to the level of the pebbles,) although I should have known from weeding/digging around here. After a couple of hours, I saw that there were two bushes coming out of the planter, and finally being able to wriggle the planter, the next issue came not from this end. Rosemary branches were not only touching the pebbled ground but growing roots, and in fact two of these seemed to have fed the two bush; these were easy to pull out. While at the planter end, the convoluted convolvulus root system might have been holding the planter and rosemary in place, because the rosemary roots were so shallow compared to the bush and so small. 
 
Anyhoo, this is what came out, and you can see part of the hole behind. They are taller than me. I wanted to hose down the whole thing on the patio so I can cut off the good bits, but it was too heavy I left it there. As for a rosemary outside my kitchen window, we have three or four of the next generation waiting in the wings. I can now access the camellia to trim and at least cut the convolvulus stems growing towards the sun if not remove them, but I'm not sure if it's doable in one afternoon.
Day 14+7+58, November 4. 139 new; 0 South Island. 64% of population and 77% over 12 double-jabbed. (The fancy RNZ site, I discovered today, can get a few days behind in some categories including vaccination rate, so I've switched to numbers published by the Health Ministry.)  A man in Auckland died in his apartment while in isolation. 
 
We had a cool night, followed by an overcast, blustery, and Ben thought a chilly, morning. What a relief; I had experimental bickies redux on the list. But before that I had yesterday's diary entry to write. I wasn't sure how to explain how the rosemary bush grew, and about four or five paragraphs in, I lost the lot. Redux. It was midday by the time I finished.
 
On to bickies. You know how following a recipe/measurement is important in baking? I do at the start, but butter and sugar come out; flour and sugar are substituted; different flavors go in; and liquid, oil, flour or sugar go in to fine-tune texture and taste. And I'm still not used to my cool new oven, either. And by cool, I mean, not hot. I've been baking at slightly hotter temps, or longer, and/or letting the baking dry in the oven after it's switched off. I also use almond meal, which makes baking moister and less coherent. That last was a problem because gift bickies must travel to the North Island. So instead of half-and-half, today's was one-third almond and two-thirds wheat flour. Also, I opened a new jar of peanut butter, so oilier. So today I baked a minutes longer and left them in the switched off oven to dry.  
 
Top left: old lime and honey; tasty and flavorful; our favorite; a little floury for Ben.
Top right: redux lime and honey; not enough honey nor lime juice, but dough easier to handle, especially when using two silicone spoons to shape them. Still a little moist.
Bottom left: old peanut butter, no sugar; shaped nicely, looks great, but tastes 6/10. 
Bottom right: redux peanut butter, chocolate bits, and sugar. Tasty! Definitely giftable, and well-worth the do-over. But still not "dry" in the normal way.
Day 14+7+59, November 5. 163 new; 0 South Island. I hear this i s a record high for New Zealand. There were four new cases in four different towns in Waikato; wastewater testing also indicates there may be more in the neighbouring Taranaki. Wastewater testing also revealed there are cases in Napier/Gisborne, the latter just having had the second most rain on record. Another man in Auckland died in isolating at home; crickets about the first man in the media. I haven't been able to find stories on genomic link of the orphan north-of-Northland case, either, but I haven't looked too hard. 65% of population and 77% over 12 double-jabbed.
 
Low-risk Auckland locations of interest will be taken off the list, (including drive-throughs and supermarkets;) however, "low-risks sites would still be published for areas outside of Auckland, as there were fewer of them." Still Director of Public Health "McElnay...stressed the importance of people checking the Locations of Interest regularly." Did she mean "impotence"? NZ's is a relatively small government, surely they can talk, and maybe listen, to each other. Wait until the traffic light mumbo jumbo comes into effect, or worse, the interim while some regions move on to traffic lights while others remain in levels waiting for 90% jabs.
 
We had more "my kind of weather" to respond to the call of the wild, but I answered to another kind. The sun was out so sleying, (84EPI, or close to the usual 42EPI I use for 20/2,) went smoothly, but she went behind clouds by the time I checked for mistakes. I found one 60/2 end threaded under the texolv eye, while three 20/2 ends were... what's the correct term... crossed and/or sleyed in the neighbouring slots. But it's hard to see 60/2s, I even crawled under the loom to see the B side, but not 100% sure. 
 
Lifting Pattern Shafts 5-16 for tabby is a bit of a bother on Klik, but it's a good rehearsal for what's possible on the big loom. I am ready to sample.
Day 14+7+60, November 6. 206 new; 0 South Island. 65% of population and 78% over 12 double-jabbed. I didn't do much today, not even cooking. I gazed at the screen, but did enjoy reading about and writings by UK embroidery artist Sue Stone. Her portraits of unknown people are exquisite. I started on the blog post draft about the upcoming sample, and picked up colors for the sample, but couldn't be bothered to sample. (Before proceeding with any step of an exciting project, I sometimes dive right in and stay there for days, weeks, and months, or I hesitate and dither to avoid jumping in. Is there a psychologist in the house?) 
Day 14+7+61, November 7. 113 new; 0 South Island. 66% of population and 78% over 12 double-jabbed.  
 
We went to our fortnightly supermarket trip. We now regularly go to two supermarkets in search of veg/fruits not wrapped in plastic bags, among other reasons. Sad, also, because wrapped, we have to buy whatever quantity someone decides we need, rather than one of this, and 24 of that.
 
The silly season has started, and there are... interesting gift/party items, as well as chockies, bickies and lollies in attractive tins. Ben and I have a hard time resisting attractive tins, though we try to limit to three or four a year. Some we reuse, but others, we stack on bookshelves and feel happy just looking at them.
Also, I think it was today, 27 years ago, that we came to Aotearoa NZ to live. One of the best decisions in my life.
Day 14+7+62, November 8. 190 new; 0 South Island. 66% of population and 78% over 12 double-jabbed. (I get my vac numbers from the Ministry as of midnight the previous night, so it's slightly lower than the evening news figures.) Auckland is moving to Level 3 something-something Wednesday and north of Northland is returning to Level 2 on Friday. One Covid positive person passed away in hospital, and though I don't talk about border cases, one positive returnee passed away in managed isolation. Hospitalization is increasing; at-home isolation is sky-rocketing. There are calls to stop public managed isolation facilities at the borders. Cost-wise, it sounds ideal, but when you see the houses of folks isolating at home, well, it's going to be another class/wealth advantage. Although... I suppose it's the wealthier folks who travel. 
 
But Auckland has achieved 90% at-least-one-jab; if all goes to plan, in three weeks those 90% will have gotten their second, which is a condition for Auckland moving to the traffic light system. We were flabbergasted when modelers projected 200 and 300 daily community cases, but now 1000 is being thrown around. Jacinda repeats Aucklanders are sick of lockdowns; "Look at Australia's decline of compliance after x days," "our numbers are as expected," or projected, or... you get the picture. There is talk if Auckland reaches 90% double-vaxed, they can move on to traffic lights regardless of daily case numbers.
 
Meanwhile, sampling has been happening at a 63-year-old myopic snail's pace.  
Day 14+7+63, November 9. 125 new; 0 South Island. 66% of population and 79% over 12 double-jabbed. I'm revising this entry three days later because this has been one monster of a write/delete post. Long story short, it's been hard to find updates on old stories, like deaths in home isolation, while the media prefers to cover newer, shinier items, like several high profile homocides and a gang shooting up the wrong house, (from memory, no bodily injury, but there were kids in the house;) Aucklanders lining up overnight in the parking lot awaiting retail reopening; reopening of schools and the country; and when/where Jacinda is going to visit Auckland. 

Long story short, there were demonstrations in many cities today, the biggest in Wellington marching up to the Parliament, including a whole lot of motorcycles, Trump flags, and at least one Trump mask, although sans the cartoon cosplay costumes. I also read the media heard leaders telling demonstrators to stick to their bubbles and not to break the law. 
 
Demonstrators shouted abuse at the media, sang the national anthem, played other music, pushed on the fences dividing them and the police in front of Parliament, (some said and this was the largest police operation around parliament building,) but the worst tennis balls with messages written on them, and... ummm... choc chip cookies thrown over the barrier. Someone pushed down a fence, but other demonstrators put it back up. 
 
Though this was originally anti-vax, anti-lockdown, anti-vax-mandate anti-kids-vacx demonstration, some brought their pet issue, like Anti 1080, (we kill possums by dropping them from the sky,) while others expressed misogyny, white supremacy, anti-Moslem or antisemitic sentiments. No arrests were made. There have been a lot of these demonstrations of late, but though the main culprit/s have been questioned, there have been no consequences. 
 
Oh, and a demonstrator in north of Auckland bit a policeman. 
 
Meanwhile, I sampled some more. Because of the structure of the cloth and to make my job easier, I effectively look at the B-side while I weave, and from time to time I crawl under the loom to see if I am achieving the look I'm after, but I can't really see it. In real life it's even harder to see patterns than in the photo with the sun coming from above. So I am trying to keep notes, but I'll have to wait to cut it off and wash it to see if this is working.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Plague Diary Season 3 Week 11

Day 14+7+50, October 27. 74 new. Cases are popping up in Auckland suburbs where hitherto there were none. The bigger news was 59% of population and 69% of eligible NZers have had two jabs.   

I wanted to keep threading, but instead I made myself useful moving around the house doing housework, and repeating that one stretching exercise several times an hour, so my body feels lighter, (figuratively... metaphorically... ummm... you know what I mean...) No cream, no painkiller. Now I'm getting annoyed I can't think of anything that brought it on suddenly. Pebble sifting and washing??

I've been looking at this orchid for several days because the last, smallest stem with buds weren't doing anything. Even on Monday the buds weren't even plumping up. Then suddenly this morning I found these guys. I bet they thought I was paying too much attention to the tulips and ignoring orchids. Very late for orchids at our place, though; they usually bloom in Sept/early Oct.
Day 14+7+51, October 28. 89 new, including two in Christchurch, reminding the government there is a South Island. 1PM update by Hipkins and Bloomfield: A woman, 50s, travelled to Auckland for five days for legit reasons; tested negative before returning; came home on Oct 15; she and a male, 40s, in the household, a truckie, developped symptoms, and tested positive last night. Both unvaccinated; didn't scan, but apparently cooperative; truckie has been around Christchurch and north of. They felt sick and stayed home, so Christchurch stays in Level 2. Nine new locations of interests, supermarkets, dairies and takeaways; one close contact in Otago. Meanwhile, all concerned in Blenheim tested negative; no locations of interest. 

The government is between a rock and a hard place. Not only opposition, not only athletes, (very powerful in this country,) but now the very wealthy are now getting a lot of air time. But I agree with the government on one important point: we need to up the vaccination rate some more first.

I got up slightly sore, but was able to move right away. Phew, back pain lasted only two days; three if I count Sunday. Now I'm perplexed why, trying to remember if I always had ideas about the causes. I'm also still taking loads of tulip pics, and they really are lovely at all stages. Petals look like soft fabric blowing in the wind. Most flowers are now in stages similar to myself.  
 
Day 14+7+52, October 29. 125 new, including two in Christchurch/Canterbury linked to yesterday's two. We had quite heavy rain overnight so this morning, everybody looked like they'd just come inside, out the rain. No more hair blowing in the wind.
Day 14+7+53, October 30. 160 new community cases, including one in Canterbury. When the current lockdown started in August, something like 32% of New Zealanders over 18 had had two jabs; today, 61% of all New Zealanders, and 71% of above 12, are twice jabbed. I know this is the number the government would like me to focus on, not that I heard from them. :-D I'm also trying to learn the difference between the geneologically unlinked in the third graph here, (358) and mystery at the very bottom, (335), because doesn't one of these, or both, tell us there are more sleeper cases, or at least that we haven't got the whole picture?
 
Yesterday I was weird-tired and managed very little, but today, without rushing, I got quite a few little stuff done, and managed to watch a beautiful film, "Night Train to Lisbon" as well. A few days ago we also watched "Tortilla Soup", predictable but another beautiful film. We found both on Kanopy; sometime during or after the last lockdown, our monthly allowance was reduced from 10 to five, but before this lockdown Ben managed to reinstate his library sub, so we now have 10 between us, and though he watches a lot of weird SciFi, it's been much appreciated. 
 
OK, I'll go back to threading. 
Day 14+7+54, October 31. 143 new; no new cases in Canterbury or anywhere on the South Island; the one case yesterday was historical. 61% of population and 72% over 12 double-jabbed. 

Even though the black forest brownie was, oh, 8/10 in goodness, even though the dinner salad was ho-hum, I've managed to soak Borlotti beans successfully for cooking tomorrow, :-D, and the kitchen is clean, and so much laundry done I'll have to look around if good-drying weather continues, and one more short spurt and the threading will be done. 

Every time this year I contemplate a goal for the following year of reading x number of printed books in y days, but that's futile because some books are long, many require extensive looking-up of images on the computer, while for others I have to write/amend list of names, info, and how they are related, fiction and non-fiction. But I do have oh-so-many interesting books, all of which I start the minute they come home, or even before in the car as I wait for Ben to finish work, but often don't finish because there is often a newer, shiner book arriving. Banning more books in the past years never worked in the past. I need a cunning plan.   
Day 14+7+55, November 1. 162 new, none on the South Island. 62% of population and 73% over 12 double-jabbed. Waikato is moving to Level 3 Step 2 (Level 3 with picnic, and some retail, but not eating out, not even outdoors,) this Wednesday; Auckland expected to move to said Step 2 next Wednesday; the rest of us remain in Level 2. While the government expects daily positive cases to hike up to 200/day this month, they are also cutting back the updates to three a week; one from Jacinda, another from Covid Response Hipkins,  and another from Finance Robertson. They are openly talking about living with Covid now. 
 
Whateva.
 
I finished threading today, and now sleying, (easy,) but afterwords will pull out the warp forward a little to improve the tension difference. I forgot how tricky 60/2 get when in combination with 20/2. Also, check it out, no heddles left on Shaft 3 and 4; after this sampling, I might rethink heddle distribution on this loom if I'm going to keep working with tied weaves.
Day 14+7+56, November 2. 126 new; none South Island. While that part of Waikato held back move onto Level 3 (picnic/retail) tomorrow, northern part of Northland had two unlinked cases and will move back to Level 3 (no extras,) pending review next Monday. Vaccination rate remains the same; 62% of population and 73% over 12 double-jabbed, so not enough increase to make a difference. Also, last night there was a fire on the roof of Christchurch waste water treatment plant; the footage was pretty dramatic but it was contained quickly. 
 
There are convolvulus vines on one good-size camellia tree needing removal ASAP and I can see it every time I sit at the kitchen table. Today I decided even if cutting the bottom of the vines is the only thing I do, I'd do it. But the sun had taken on the glittery summery look; overnight "low" temp was "high"; and the day was warm from early on, so I dithered and baked bread, (because sourdough waits for no one, and the oven is never as hot as the sun.) But in the end, bless me, I did go outside. 
 
It was so hot, I started to feel woozy in half an hour. The said vine work was under/inside the camellia, i.e. shady, but the seasoned ditherer that I am, I kept doing "one more thing" with pots and seeds in the sun. I took a few hydration breaks, and one long tulip photo session, but finally, finally, moved on. 

I'm a methodology nerd; I tend to plan and revise plans before I get on with it. An art teacher once said it's a weaver thing. The problem with this camellia tree is it's a third of the way from the left, or two-thirds from the right, in a large weedy patch usually considered the Big Hellebore Patch. Routinely I weed from the right, (which is why I sifted and washed the pebbles the other day, because those steps lead to the right edge, in the hopes I'll reach the camellia in time.) Today I did the unthinkable and took out weeds here and there, cut away some hellebore leaves and spent flower stalks, in the let's just say non-shade. Gradually the temperatures dropped, cloud came out, gentle wind picked up, and my head cleared and I approached the camellia. 
 
There are purple sage bushes in front of said camellia so I untangled them. Where I thought there were half a dozen early cheer bulbs I found half-a-gazillion, so I started to dig them out, (unfinished,) to get to the convolvulus roots. I also had to remove forget-me-nots, which will come back anyway. So, long story short, I did reach the camellia, but I have to clear the surrounds before I can get to heart of the problem. 
 
Then unforecast rain came. Because I had my head under the camellia, I ignored the gentle drops for a while, but they got bigger and noisier, and it was approaching 7PM, so I called it the day. By the time I came out of the shower, the rain had stopped, of course. The way I'm distracted all the time, I anticipate two more afternoons on this task. 

I have to clean the patio at some point and rearrange the pots because all the spring flowers, in pots and elsewhere, are finished. I have to put all bulb pots, including tulips, to dry for a while before I put them away. At the same time I should put in more summer seeds in the ground, but because our shady garden does everything about a month later than anyone else's, if I can get this done by the end of the month, I'll consider us on-schedule. Not that we ever are, but, planning, you know.