Sunday, July 16, 2017

Oh, what a tangled...

I have news!

1. The latest anthology from Five59 Publishing dropped this week, and I have a story in it. The book is called Free for All because there's no theme; some folks wrote short stories, some wrote poems, and some wrote creative nonfiction. My offering is a bit of my work-in-progress memoir -- a shaggy dog story about getting my mother to the eye doctor. I've already posted part of the story here, but the version in Free for All explains why I had to take Mom halfway across the country to get her eyes checked in the first place. Anyway, the ebook is only $2.99, or free to borrow if you have Kindle Unlimited.

2. Maggie on the Cusp is in the hands of my editors. And in a burst of inspiration, I began plotting the third and final book of the Transcendence trilogy this week. The next book is going to require more research, but I'm confident I can get going on it shortly. By the way, have any of you ever driven to Mexico City? Asking for a friend...

3. You'll recall that last week, my latest knitting project had stalled out because I was running out of yarn. Good news! The indie dyer who makes the yarn I'm using is going to make a skein for me. It won't be an exact match, but that's okay.

The bad news is that it'll be at least another couple of weeks before I get the new skein of yarn in the mail, since she has to spin it and all. So I've been casting about for something else to do in the meantime. I picked up an afghan project I started months and months ago -- but summer is not the best time to be working on an afghan, air conditioning or no. So I picked up on another project that's been on hiatus for a while: my first real attempt at weaving.

When I was a kid, my mother bought me an E-Z Weaver loom. Here's how Marx Toys advertised it on TV:

Looks like a piece of cake, right? Eh, not so much. I got two or three inches of my very first project done before Mom yelled at me for pulling the yarn too tight. Then some kid who came over took the loom out to play with and broke it. It sat in its box in my room for years before we finally threw it out.

A few months back, my local yarn shop sent out an email saying they had some very simple looms in stock, for people who wanted to try weaving. You can spend big money on a loom; the one Elsie uses in Seasons of the Fool probably cost a couple of thousand dollars. It sits on the floor and takes up a good-sized chunk of her living room. In contrast, the loom I bought cost $30. It's about the size of a piece of notebook paper -- and it came with how-to-weave directions!

I sketched out a design on notebook paper and started weaving. The fringe along the bottom -- they're called ryas in weaving -- turned out okay, so I pressed on. By the time I was four rows into my design, though, I realized it was way too complicated for a first project. (Diamonds? Really? What was I thinking?) I set the project on a corner of the dining room table -- and there it sat, silently rebuking me, for several months.

Yesterday, seized with determination, I pulled it out. Using my original sketch as a rough guide, I finished weaving my design -- yay! Unfortunately, the woven piece was very much compressed from the drawing. Six or seven inches of design-on-paper made about three inches worth of weaving. Rather than make myself completely crazy, I decided to fill in the top with stripes. Also, by the time I got that far, I was sick of weaving in ends and decided to just braid the tails from the stripes.

Here, then, is the finished product. Feel free to laugh. A third grader could have done a better job.

I have no earthly idea what I'm going to do with this thing. I'm thinking I should shorten the fringe, at least -- but why? I'm not going to put it up anywhere.

Maybe I should stick to knitting.

These moments of badly-woven blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.

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