Monthly Archives: November 2009

168 hours to Play!

When looking at grey November vistas, stunning in their simple beauty…



there’s only one question:  guess who’s coming…

look who's coming

… to dinner?


And a fine dinner they were, too.

Didn’t stop me from playing with the “Duck
a la Something or Other”
recipe — browning the cabbage and onion
before adding it to the duck in the slow cooker to braise for the last

duck redux

And this year’s sauce was orange and raspberry:

duck dinner

Wanting to play with something completely different, I came across a
recipe for smoked
cheddar, spinach and sundried tomato ravioli
.  But, I thought
it would be dull to use the wonton wrappers called for — made some
fresh pasta, instead.  And, I didn’t have a ravioli form — went
with a mini-muffin tin, instead:

raviol - i


Which made yummy, if oversized, ravioli!

And, there was pasta leftover.  I cut the leftover pasta into
fettucini.  Now I know why there are those nifty holes in the
backs of chairs:

leftover pasta

And, in more discoveries… The measuring cup lurking on the stovetop
in the duck adventure?  Well, gelatinous.  And, suspiciously
like “graisse
de canard

graisse de canard!

Haven’t quite found the gumption to try a slice of this on bread…
might just sort it into duck soup (still have the bones) and keep the
fat for confit.  Who can say what the next culinary adventure will
be?  If you could, it wouldn’t be play…

Not Crying… Wolf!

Baby wolf

So, what would make you, the day after a 12 hour flight home from Japan, turn this:


Into this?:


I’d like to say something clever, like “reverse jetlag”,  or “desperately delayed burst of house pride”, but that’s hardly the case.  Rather, it took a wolf’s influence… the arrival of the Schacht Baby Wolf I’d ordered in the middle of the night from a hotel room in London, on the last day of September…


It’s a folding loom, with 26″weaving width. 


Being the sort of person I am, I blew straight past the 4-shaft phase, and straight to an 8 shaft (10 treadle) loom.  My expectation is that this will be not only my first, but my only loom.  Not everyone in the house is quite so sanguine, as our basement slowly gets devoured by my fibre-consuming toys…

partly deployed

Of course, having 8 shafts, it also came with 800 heddles to install on those glaringly empty shafts.  It occurred to me that playing with 800 fiddly, loose metal bits was not something to attempt while jetlagged and/or tired.  From experience, I can say that was the right expectation.    Sigh.  They pick up easily.

800 pieces of joy

I still don’t have the final pieces in place, not even the cords to attach the treadles to the shafts — but here’s a quick view of what it looks like with one shaft raised (which will form a shed through which one shoots the shuttle with a bobbin, once it’s all warped up and set to go).  You can see — the shaft is pushed up by the “jacks” underneath.

one shaft up

Well, lots more to learn and fiddle with.  It’ll be fun.  And take a while.

And, why, yes, that is a complete Atari 1040st system in boxes in the background above.  Complete with black and white AND colour monitors!  And a 30Mbyte hard drive.  Any takers? 🙂