Friday, July 10, 2015

Hemming and Hawing

Friday, July 10th, 2015

A third of the way into July, - it seems only hours ago that I was saying White Rabbits!!

It has been a torturous time, heatwise, but we now have the prospects of a little rain and mid 20's temperatures (as opposed to high 30's).   This inspires me to put aside my reading and reminiscing and get on with life!!  And it is where the 'hemming' takes first priority.....

First of all I must find a place for the ironing board, where it can be comfortable for a few days and not in the way, and that of course raises the question of 'why do I have so much stuff around taking up space - and furthermore, when am I going to remedy this situation'.

Well, apparently it will not be an immediate task so I move the spinning wheel and squeeze the ironing board into a corner of my bedroom,  (all the while thinking of the one my mother had in the 1930's, built right ito the wall). and I plug in the iron.  It's a start!

My daughter is waiting for a pair of pants that required a little lengthening, but what appeals to me most is the linen towels that left the loom almost a week ago.  Washed and pressed, but not yet hemmed.

I remember the shortage of 'findable' straight pins to secure the hems before basting - this the result of having cleaned out the sewing machine drawers and moving the sheet of straight pins elsewhere -
some mysterious place elsewhere the location of which escapes me!!

Ah well, I will make do with what I have.  As I pin and press the mistakes that I made in my weaving immediately catch my eye.  I think this is where I start the HAWING, but there, I know they will be treasured, skipped dents and all.....

I find a fine needle with a decent sized eye, baste the hems, after some difficulty in making a little knot in the end of the thread.  Despite having passably mobile hands  I find it very hard to twirl the thread into a small knot between my thumb and forefinger - but persevere with patience....  Done!

I put on some music, settle myself into a comfortable chair and prepare to "get it done".

Hemming is so mindless, like plain knitting, but so comfortable as your mind wanders and your eye follows the length and depth of the stitches.  A nice way to spend an evening, and while I do it I think about the cotton that arrived in the mail yesterday for a new warp to dress the loom, and weave up all those bits and pieces and lengths of cotton that linger in drawers and plastc bins.  They will make colourful wefts for tea towels to distribute amongst family.

I have no picture of hemmed linen towels yet, but here are some of the garden which has been flourishing in the heat, mainly because I have been a slave to the need for water in the pots and beds;
night and day, night and day!!!

and the linen warp as it came off the loom

Tuesday, July 07, 2015


ABC Wednesday
July 8th, 2015

The letter is Z  for Zanzibar

Zanzibar is an archipelago made up of Zanzibar and Pemba Islands located in the Indian Ocean about twenty-five miles from the Tanzanian coast.  Sixty miles long and twenty miles wide it is known for its beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs, and the magic of historic Stone Town, said to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa.

There are no large wild aimals in Zanzibar, and forest areas are inhabited by monkeys, bush-pigs and small antelopes - and rumour has it the elusive Zanzibar leopard!  Various species of mongoose are also found on the island, and a wide variety of birds and butterflies..

The coral reefs surrounding the East Coast are rich in marine life and make them a great location for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Zanzibar's local people are an incredible mixture of ethnic backgrounds, indicative of her colourful history.  Islam is the dominant religion, and the 100,000 inhabitants speak Swahili.

People have lived in Zanzibar for 20,000 years.  History starts when the islands became a base for traders voyaging between the African Great Lakes, the Arabian peninsula and the Indian subcontient.  Although the archipelago had few products of value Stone City was a convenient point from which to trade with towns on the Swahili Coast.  Zanzibar has been inhabited, perhaps not continuously, since the Paleolithic.  A 2005 excavation at Kuumbi Cave foud heavy duty stone tools that showed occupation of the site at least 22,000 years ago.

A certain magic is attached to Zanzibar, with its aura of spices and ivory, blue waters and beaches,
and in recent years its great attraction as a tourist destination.

Cinnamon bark and nutmeg

In my own personal history I remember Saturday afternoon movies
and the "Road" series, starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour
and in particular "The Road to Zanzibar"

Don't ask me for any details, - it was a long, long time ago!

The last letter in the alphabet, and many thanks to Roger and Denise 
and all their zippy de-do-dah helpers!

For more Zzzzs zip over here to ABC Wednesday.