Good and Bad being Relative

Yesterday, I wasted a lot of time playing computer games, loitering in the kitchen, but I managed to wind the new tied-weave warp at the end of the day. And that got me back on the figurative loom bench, encouraging me to tidy up the basement a little, assessing my downstairs stash, (I brought down a lot of my default merino and all cashmeres so I can think ahead, and also keep busting Mom's wools and some silks in combination with them,) and generally look forward to weaving in the next little while.
Today, I wasted more time gazing at an art supply store's 20% off everything sale, even though I have enough for now and honestly had no intention of buying anything, but I managed to go downstairs to either start threading the warp, or continue weaving a brown piece I abandoned in September. 
This is the brown piece; it's on the four-shaft. In real life it's less gray, true taupe; pretty but unremarkable, more like fabric; very fine I can't see the design well; slow at 25cm/sitting; and the wool warp is sticky. It was Number-something in the series I was weaving with the intention of sending the whole lot to Ukraine, until I stumbled upon the issue of whom/where to send, and postage. But this piece broke my inertia. I didn't even want to look at it for a while. 
I tried to get back to it today because I need the four-shaft loom for a possible leaving-work-thank-you present in March; I'm about 83cm into this piece, hooping for 150-180cm, and there is another piece planned for this  short warp. I had "good" notes, so I didn't think it would be a big deal getting back, other than the slowness.
Well, sometime before or during my for-Ukraine phase, I gave the loom some TLC, and for whatever reason, possibly because it suited the project I was about to weave, I changed the tie-up. Not a great idea, when I've had the same tie-up since I got the loom in the first few years of this century. 
Strangely, I can't remember how it used to be tied, but a) I changed the plain weave treadles either from the outside treadles 1 and 6, to inside 3 and 4, or the other way around; and b) I changed what I call my twill treadles, which was always 1&2, 2&3, 3&4, 1&4 from the left, but stupidly I changed it to 1&4, 1&2, 2&3, 3&4. On top of that, in my notes I always write only my twill treadles. So with the current piece, the order is 4-3-2-3-4-1-2-3-2-1, which would be Treadles 5-4-3-4-5-2-3-4-3-2 if the plain weave sits on the outside, or 6-5-2-5-6-1-2-5-2-1 if it sits in the middle. See what I mean? Of course you don't! I was confused, too. Whereas when I was younger, I would have laughed out loud at my stupidity, in my dottage, (I've been collecting information to apply for NZ pension this week as well,) I couldn't see right away what the difficulty was.
And I couldn't remember what I had changed; I vaguely remembered switching back the plain weave to where it should have been; and instead of lifting to see where the plain weave treadles were, which would have taken 10 seconds, I kept weaving to see if the cloth looked right. After some weaving and unweaving, I wove with orange and yellow cotton in the treadling I thought was the correct one, so I can see the design better, but by then I was so frustrated I had to walk away. I want to re-tie to the way it's always been, but my body isn't telling me how it was. 

I thought I'd thread the cotton instead, and I knew the scheme for this project by heart, 1-P-2-P-3-P-4-P-5-P-4-P-3-P-2-P and repeat. Except I started looking at some old tied-weave drafts, thinking about how I wanted the diamonds to appear, and I found an anomaly there, too. This is an easier hole to climb out of because the main thing is to choose the appearance of the diamonds from the drafts I created some years ago. Oh, goodness, what is she on about now?? Well, I'll talk about this more later, but here are some pictures where I hope you see some diamond shapes. 

So, all in all, I made no progress today. Nada.
* * * * *

You may have seen the weather has been wreaking havoc on many parts of our North Island. They had one of those once-a-century rain and flooding, and a few earthquakes, and then came Gabrielle. There have even been death this time. Terrible! Meanwhile, we've only had some intermittent rain in Nelson when North Island was flooding, plenty of warning for 100km+ Gabrielle wind, but got a few showers, otherwise eerie quiet. 
Now let me move on to the title of this post. Hay fever started early in August this season, and aside from four or five days in August we had the rain and flooding, and an afternoon or three since, we had dry weather with more than usual wind. 
Symptoms started mild, which is why I didn't go off caffeine or dairy as I do some years. I was uneasy it started much earlier than usual, but with default meds at the ready, this was going to be an easy year. Until it wasn't. I noticed sometime in October/November the meds stopped working; again this has happened before, but usually much later in the season. The symptoms were still relatively mild, but I couldn't get rid of them regardless of the weather. And then the itchiness of the face, especially around my eyes, started to feel like a dozen paper-cuts; my usual non-descript face cream stung a little; and at times one or both inferior lacrimal puctum (lower tear duct) was/were red, hot, and kind of bulbous and a little painful to touch. That was a first in my 50-year career as a hay fever patient. 

Long story short, the wind kept blowing, the face kept itching, I kept scratching, and the areas around the left eye looked and felt horrible almost all the time. But it's hay fever, right? Sooner or later it's bound to quiet down with the season, yes? Do I really need to go see a doctor? Well, I'll go talk to the nurse next door, but she said the next step may be steroids. Ummm... No! 
I got in the habit of washing my eyeballs in the shower, like I used to as a kid after a day in the swimming pool. I hate that, it hurts, but I did. I knew it had something to do with the tear duct, so several times I chopped onions and stuck my nose right into the mound on the cutting board, but be it the eyes or the onions, nothing happened. I swallowed a huge chunk of wasabi paste, too, a trusty emergency hay fever remedy in dire cases, but that only gave me a stomachache. Meanwhile, other I think we had a relatively mild spring and a pleasant start to the summer, weeds growing everywhere and fairly robustly. 

Sometime in December, when my left eye continued to look, at times but not always, dreadful. One morning the right eye decided to match the look, which is when I told myself I needn't feel bad about the weeds, but to stay inside until this thing cleared. That was after another morning I had a hard time opening my left eye in the morning. This decision was a little disheartening but plenty freeing because as bad as our garden always looks, it's been ever so slightly better since Covid with marginally more year-round TLC dispensed. Now it's back to pre-Covid badness. I did contemplate seeing the doctor, but decided against it, again, because after all, it's just hay fever, isn't it? (If it happens again, I might reconsider, though.)

Anyway, last week, we had some rain; this is when North Island had the once-in-a-century rain, before Gabrielle. The air was moist with intermittent showers, temperatures high-ish with little wind; I noticed my left eye had been OK for a couple of days for the first time in six months. The paper-cut like feeling was gone, my face wasn't so itchy. I even worked outside for half a day, though I decided to come in before I overdid it. And it was like that for nearly a week. 
Then wind came back, blowing all the moisture away, and with it, my usual symptoms of less concentrated itches, stuffy nose, and sneezes returned. But the eye drops work again! I've never been so appreciative of run-of-the-mill hay fever symptoms, but hurrah for small wins! 
And when I chopped onions yesterday morning, at least the right eye filled with tears. 
Still, not a bad life when I find serendipitous harmony: a piece of paper I decorated in January to try to use up some paint and a ceramic bowl Esther gave us for Christmas a few years ago both prove I like blue-and-orange together.  

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