Assembling my Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom

After shopping, browsing, reading, and watching videos about tabletop looms, I finally decided on getting an Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom, and I found a great deal on Etsy.  The sellers I found on Etsy are from Mielke’s Fiber Arts:

https://www.etsy.com/search?q=mielke%20fiber%20arts&ref=auto1&as_prefix=mielke%20f

I think they do just about everything fiber related!!  Weaving, yarn, roving, wool, felting, naalbinding, braiding, dyeing, spinning, knitting, lacemaking, hackles, heddles, rugmaking,  and more!

https://www.facebook.com/MielkesFiberArts/

Amy is soooo nice and friendly, and very helpful. THANKS SO MUCH AMY!

My Ashford Rigid Heddle 32 inch tabletop loom arrived yesterday, unassembled, and, when I pulled the parts out of the box, here’s how it looked Everything nicely wrapped and secure:  

Next,I laid all the pieces and parts out, and went through the checklist, making sure my dear husband would have all he needed.  I gathered a couple of tools from the tool drawer:  a hammer, and Phillips head screwdriver.

Everything on the checklist was there, and as you might have noticed,  one of my dogs was keeping me company.

SO!  I bought the Ashford Heddle Loom from Mielke’s Fiber Arts store in Wisconsin:  https://www.mielkesfiberarts.com/

Now for your visual tutorial. Here’s how hubby so graciously put it together, taking time off from his day off.  (You can use these photos to help you get your loom together, along with their instructions, if you’d like)

Here’s where you may download instructions:assembly instructions for rigid heddle loom – ashford handicrafts

 Step one:  attach the reed support blocks to the sides: Step two:  Tap the clicker pins into the holes on the right loom side:

Step three: Attach the “pawls” so the clicker pin fits into it:

Next, attach the front and back rails to the left side with the screws they provide:

Step 5, place the cogs onto the ends of the rollers, and secure with washers and screws provided:

Step six, slap the handles HARD, onto the holes in the cogs.  I mean it, you really have to hit that hard, to get it

to fit snugly onto the pegs:

Next, connect the warp sticks to the roller with the warp stick ties.  I did one of these, and it was difficult, until I covered my fingers with cloth, to be able to push the arrow head through the small holes in the ties and the roller.

Put the rigid heddle reed into the rest position of the reed support blocks, and play around with changing it’s positions: Down at Rest

Finally, assemble the warping peg and clamps: Clamps and the warping peg.

Of course, see if it clamps onto your table: Yup!  It does.  🙂

Now, read the booklet that they also include in the shipping box, which is titled:

Learn to Weave on the Rigid Heddle:

Then, go here and watch Ashford’s excellent tutorials.  If you need to get the video to slow down, remember to click the “settings” button on the video’s lower right-hand screen, and click 0.5, or 0.75.  It helps to see what she’s doing in slow motion, if you’re a COMPLETE BEGINNER like I am!!

www.ashford.co.nz   Go to their website and watch other tutorials if you need to, just look under tutorials.

Here is a great video by Ashford about how to weave.  I’ve watched it 2x already.

Happy Weaving!  I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it either inspired you to try weaving, or it helped you assemble YOUR rigid heddle loom.  Please let me know!

Don’t forget to say hi to Amy at Mielke’s Fiber Arts!

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Pom Pom Blanket Crafting

Well, I’ve just about finished making my first pom pom blanket, and it has taken a lot of tying and cutting, but it’s turning out very cute.  My wonderful brother Chuck, founder and owner of GyreToys, Inc. http://www.gyretoys.com/

made the beautiful wooden loom with wood pegs, and I’ve really enjoyed working on it.  He’s a master woodworker, in my opinion, and he makes gorgeous projects.  He has a God-gifted talent to be able to look at an ugly old log or piece of discarded wood and “see” a bowl, or top, or anything in it.  I think he could be a sculptor of statues!  He says he looks at a piece of wood, and keeps chipping away until the object emerges.  Take a look at this amazing top:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KEg1ED7Qkk

Now, here are  photos of my pom pom blanket as it has progressed:

Top layer of yarn, then bottom layer of yarn, (got the sequence mixed up while uploading pix)  close-up of pegs on the loom, then the front of the blanket as I tied EACH cross-piece 4 times, and then the back of the blanket, still on the loom, as I checked to make sure every cross-piece had TWO ties on it.  If you don’t tie each section twice, the pompom won’t work out right.

The tying took me a while, and it was a good time for me to listen to audiobooks or sermons from some favorite internet pastors.

Today I’m cutting the pom pom strip areas, and I’ll post photos of the finished blanket when I’m finished.  If YOU want to learn to make one of these, go to You Tube and search for “how to make pom pom blankets”.

I’m also reading a fascinating book by Jane Kirkpatrick, called One Glorious Ambition!  It’s the story of Dorothea Dix, a teacher, nurse, and champion crusader and reformer for mental health facilities, and the humane treatment of the mentally ill.   Review later!!  Stay tuned!

 

Paperback Swap

Just a quick blog entry here, if you haven’t used Paperback Swap, you’re really missing out on some good deals.

http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php

Here’s how it works: http://www.paperbackswap.com/help/help_item.php?id=209

  • You have books in good condition that you do not want to keep.
  • After you have Posted the first 10 books to your bookshelf, you get 2 “startup” credits (and two swap fees so that you can use them) from PBS to get you started swapping.  After that, you earn credits by sending out books to others. Only the first account for a household receives startup credits/swap fees.
  • You may order any available (paperback/hardcover) book for 1 Book Credit each. audio books cost 2 credits each.
    • If you are enrolled as a Standard Member, you pay no Swap Fees – just Book Credits – to request books.
    • If you are unenrolled (“A la Carte”), you will pay a 49 cent Swap Fee for each book shipment you request.  Everyone starts as an A la Carte Member  – you can enroll in Limited or Standard Membership in our Kiosk.
    • If you are a Limited Member, you can make 30 requests per year using credits only and no Swap Fees. After the 30th request in a year, each request will need a 49-cent Swap Fee (or a “Free Swap” earned by sending a book with Printable Postage).
      Read about the different membership options here.
  • If you want a book that is not currently available, you can place it on your Wish List and we will notify you by email when it is available for you to order.  You can even have it sent to you automatically when it becomes available, with no email necessary.
  • When a book is requested from you, we notify you by email, provide the address for you to send it out, and even provide a wrapper!
  • wrap and mail your book. You can even print postage directly onto the wrapper!
  • When the requestor receives it, you earn 1 credit (2 if it is an audio book). Yes, you pay the postage to send out your books, but when you request a book, the sender pays the shipping!
  • The books you receive from the club are yours. We hope that you will repost them to share with other members when you have read them, but you can certainly keep them, or give them away. Similarly, the books you send out to others belong to their new owners.

PaperBackSwap is a great way to share books with people all over the country!

So, this is how I buy a lot of my books, and how I get rid of the ones I know I’m not going to keep.  Sometimes our local public library has really good book sales, and I’ll pick up some titles and then swap them on Paperback Swap to earn more credits.

They also run a site called Swap A DVD, but I don’t watch many movies, and the ones I watch I usually keep.

http://www.swapadvd.com/index.php

P.S.  I’d LOVE a chair like this, wouldn’t you?

Book Review of Letter Perfect by Cathy Marie Hake

Wow, Letter Perfect, what a great Christian fiction story! Cathy Marie Hake is truly a Godly author, and I hope she writes many more books.  I learned that she Hake was injured in a number of falls. She suffered broken bones and a concussion that interfered with her writing and book release of Serendipity, another book I’d like to read soon.

 

The story is set mostly in the 1860s while it was still a “wild west”, and California had joined the United States about 8 years earlier, so it was still kind of primitive in a lot of the USA. The main story is about Ruth Caldwell, a young Christian woman who has failed charm school, as they say, but this time literally. She goes home after being expelled from Pettigrew Academy, and spends the last few months of her mother’s life caring for her, and her mother preparing Ruth to live with her dad who lives on a ranch in Folsom, California, after Leticia’s death.
Ruth arrives at the ranch in a stagecoach, and the story goes from there, introducing several very interesting characters and story lines, involving Josh McCain Jr., Mr. McCain Sr., Laney, Hilda, Galen O’Sullivan, and a few others. The book was intriguing, and I had a hard time putting it down.

You also peek into the history of the Pony Express, the Civil War, and the beginnings of the cross-country railroads.

There’s also an expertly woven mystery in the book, which kept me curious and interested in finishing the book, and even reading down to the very last page, which I don’t always do.

I loved reading the descriptions of some of the fashions ladies wore back then, and several humorous references are made to Ruth’s struggles with hoop skirts! 
The MAIN reason I kept reading Letter Perfect was the lovely way Cathy Marie Hake kept bringing the bible,
God, Jesus, and PRAYER into the lives of each character, well, almost each person. Every chapter, I think,
had a reference to Jesus, His power, His provision, and His purposes for every person on planet earth, if they will only follow Him. Isaiah 30:21- [21] And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

I really enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it to any born again Christian who wants decent reading material in their home.   Here’s a list of her books:  https://www.fictiondb.com/author/cathy-marie-hake~9135.htm

 

NUT BUTTERS!!

Song of Solomon: Cant. 6: [11] I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded.

FUN WITH FOOD PROCESSORS!!  Oh my, I’ve discovered the most delicious recipes for homemade nut butters.  I can’t eat whole nuts due to a health condition, and for a couple of years I was sooo disappointed, being denied one of my favorite foods- nuts!

Well, recently I bought a Black and Decker food processor, and gathered a few simple, and I mean SIMPLE recipes for various nut butters, and then set to work.

My favorite of all is pecan butter.  My recipe for that is, about a pound of shelled pecans, I used a one pound bag sold by South Georgia Pecan Company:  Next, I spread them out on a cookie sheet, and toasted them for about 9 minutes, at 355 degrees.  (I’ve also made pecan butter with non-toasted nuts, but I like the toasted flavor better).  Then, I lightly salted them, and put them into the work bowl of the processor, put more iodized salt,twisted it shut, and turned it on.  Using a spatula, I scraped the sides of the bowl periodically, to make sure all the pecans got well ground.  Around the time the nuts were turning to butter, I added a teaspoon or so of Lou Ana coconut oil, and it really gave it a good, smooth texture!   Then I poured it into a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, and stored it in the refrigerator.  Of course, I ate about 4 tablespoons of it before I put it away, and it was still warm from being toasted, so, oh my oh my, what FLAVOR!

You don’t know what it’s like to be able to eat nuts again, after being told I could never do that.  Praise JESUS for food processors!

I’ve also made almond butter, with those Blue Diamond almonds, and that was pretty good.  I used half natural and half smokehouse flavor.  Also made a batch of walnut butter, but that wasn’t as tasty to me.  I tried adding macadamias, but that didn’t help the flavor  much.   Besides, macadamias are way, WAY too expensive!

Making my own nut butters, well, I love it, because I know exactly what’s in it! No preservatives! No sugar!

(I’ve also made hummus, with a can of chickpeas, lemon juice, raw garlic cloves, tahini, salt, and olive oil.  It’s delicious, too.)

FUN WITH FOOD PROCESSORS!! 

A New Craft!

I’ve decided to learn how to make pom-pom blankets.  I’ve looked at several youtube videos, and it looks like a practical way to use up yarn and rest my knitting muscles and joints at the same time.  I like pom-poms, they’re fun to make and add to knitted hats.

I also have shelves and shelves of yarn, some of it several years old.

I went to Lowe’s today, and a very nice employee helped me find all the things I need to make the loom.  Furring strips, nails, and corner brackets.  That’s all!  That took about an hour, driving time included, and then I came home and fooled around with the wood and the brackets.  Then I prayed and asked God if He would persuade my husband to put the brackets on the corners, because that looked pretty hard.  So I asked hubby, and he agreed, and he’s taking all the wood and hardware to his work to put it together.  Praise JESUS!!  Thank You, GOD!

Since I’m not real good at describing the loom and the blankets, I’m putting photos in this blog to show you my latest craft goal.  Here ya go:

The loom up there is being strung with yarn.  Now, the finished product:

  Aren’t they cute?  Well, more later!  Right now I’m listening to “Unshackled”.  Ever heard of that radio drama?  From the website:

Real people…real life stories…stirring, dramatic accounts of hopelessness, and the hope that changes everything. UNSHACKLED! the award-winning radio drama from Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, grips the heart with compelling and relevant stories of transformed lives.

Here’s the link to listen: https://unshackled.org/listen/browse-all-programs/

Without Jesus Christ, we are all shackled by sin — by our wrong choices, disobedience, and selfish motives. But God is at work, and the power of Christ sets us free of our bondage. We are…UNSHACKLED!

New Year New Happenings

New Year’s eve was noisy here, like usual.  One of my dogs was frightened, so I kept holding him, and talking to him.

We finally got to sleep around 1 am.

Not a lot new is happening, except I got a food processor, and have been happily making nut butters!  Oh my, pecan butter is the best, so far!  I’ve also made walnut butter with macadamias, it’s ok, not a lot of flavor.  Today I made almond butter, with one can of Blue Diamond natural almonds and one can of Blue Diamond smokehouse almonds, and the rest of the macadamias.  It’s very tasty!  I also added salt, which helps, and some coconut oil.  It takes a lot of nuts to make butters.

I’m resting my arm, shoulder, and wrist, from knitting.  It’s been almost 7 days where I’ve not knitted more than 20 or 35 minutes each day…..some days I haven’t knitted at all, and that’s when I spend time reading, which I enjoy doing!

I’m  reading a paperback I got at the library:  The Edge of Light, by Ann Shorey.  Information about the story,  from amazon:  It is the summer of 1838 in St. Lawrenceville, Missouri, and Molly McGarvie’s life is about to change forever. When her beloved Samuel succumbs to cholera, Molly is heartbroken but determined to take care of herself and her children. But when Samuel’s unscrupulous brother takes over the family business and leaves Molly to fend for herself, she knows she must head out on her own. It is a dangerous journey and Molly has to leave her old life behind. Somehow she must find a way to make a living, keep her family together, and fend off some over-eager suitors.

Now, so far, I like this book, but one thing irritates me about the author, and that is her use of words that very few people probably know what they mean, like swingling, iron hetchel, travois , flannel cake batter, shinnying, braking, retted.  So, I just sigh, and continue on, trying to figure it out within the context of the story.  Or use a dictionary, but one of the words wasn’t in the dictionary, and I didn’t feel like cranking up the computer to get Google to define it.

Here’s the cover of the book:

Now, also, we are in the midst of a big winter storm.  It’s been freezing or below for the past 2 or 3 days, and highs have been around 45 to 50.  That’s good for Florida, it will help decrease the insect population, especially mosquitoes and roaches.  ( God willing!) f

Tonight I made a pot of chili.  Here’s my recipe:  1 can kidney beans, 1 can pinto beans, 1 diced green bell pepper, and 1 diced onion.  1 large can of tomato puree, 1 small can of tomato paste, 1 pound ground beef, paprika, salt, pepper, mesquite salt, and chili powder.  It turned out really good!

So, that’s all for today.  Tune in again soon.  I’ve got to read a book I got from Bethany House, to review, so that is probably next.

December 25th 2017

Well, day is done, gone the sun, from the sky……Everyone enjoyed the 8 foot long fleece blankets I made for them, and I liked very much the box of books my Christian friend in Delaware sent me! If you’re interested in reading some nice, clean Christian fiction, here are the titles of the books she sent:

Grace Livingston Hill, Collection No. 2

By the way, if you like audiobooks, go to Librivox.org, and look up Grace Livingston Hill.  They’ve recorded several of her books and you can enjoy them while you knit or crochet.

Tracie Peterson, A Treasure Concealed, Sapphire Brides book one

Stronger Than Pain, by Arlene Kaufmann

A Fragile Design, Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller, Bells of Lowell book two

A Woman for God’s Glory, Anny Mary Byler

A Woman by God’s Grace, Anna Mary Byler

When Love Returns, by Kim Vogel Sawyer

A Daughter’s Inheritance, The Broadmoor Legacy book one by Peterson and Miller

Rebecca’s Rose, by Jennifer Beckstrand

When Mercy Rains, by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Love Everlasting, by Tracie Peterson, Brides of Seattle, book 3

Plus, and excellent old movie with Loretta Young and Tyrone Powers, called Suez!  Lovin’ it!

It’s black and white, the acting and costuming is superb, and it’s about the building of the Suez Canal.

Right now I’m reading a book about Anne Askew, the martyr burned alive for her Protestant faith.  It’s called Only Glory Awaits.   If you can get a copy of this book, do so, and read it!

It’s a real blessing, and a true story.

Hoping

Well, this is the first Christmas without dad or mom.  It’s different, but not unbearable.  I keep wanting to call dad and tell him something I saw or read, or talk about the bible to him, but well, he’s in Heaven now.  He’s in God’s care.

We aren’t really getting into the Christmas season this year, hubby and I.  It just seems like too much work, for one thing, putting up lights, and then taking them down after the New Year.  Blah.  I’m not listening much to Christmas music either, or driving around to look at lights on other people’s houses. Just seems pointless, and kind of materialistic.  I wondered yesterday, what if NO ONE got any presents at Christmas?  Would they still have that smile on their face, that cheerful attitude?  Would they still decorate their home, car, and themselves?  If Christmas was not a time of giving and GETTING,  but observed more as Veteran’s Day or President’s Day is,  would people be looking forward to it?  No.  I don’t believe they would.  Christmas has turned into a time of gimme, gimme, gimme, and if I don’t get what I want, I’m returning it.  How gauche, and selfish.  Number one reason for Christmas now is to satisfy the lusts of the flesh.

Have you seen the prices of children’s toys?  Who can afford that?  And then if you want your child to fit in with the rest of the kids, you go into debt, which is wrong and stupid.   50 dollars for a stuffed kitten,  60 dollars for a superhero toy,  50 dollars for a stinkin’ hatchimal, 40 to THREE HUNDRED dollars for ROLLER SKATES, Barbie and her dream camper for over 100 dollars, 80 dollars for a skateboard, 20 to 50 dollars for xbox games!  WhAAAAAT??

Jesus never told us to go out and buy, and spend, and go into debt.  He never told us to set up a Christmas tree, or to commemorate His birthday like this.  Never.  Christmas has gotten way out of hand, and it’s sinful now, the way people covet and idolize things just to get that “Christmas Spirit”.

Too bad more people aren’t like the Whos in Whoo-ville.  When they had nothing, but they were still happy.

Or like Charlie Brown and Linus:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s74pvLWoYzU

I feel sorry for parents today.  It’s too hard to give your children what they THINK would make them happy.  Too much brainwashing, with cell phones, advertisements, gaming, chat rooms, instagram, fast, fast, fast, instant gratification and if they don’t get what they think will make them happy, they sulk and pout.  Spoiled.

I know, not everyone is like that.  But, what IF no one got any presents for Christmas?  What if it was banned?

I don’t think any devoted born again Christian should involve themself in Christmas: