Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Kitchen's Almost Done

Here's a follow up to my kitchen painting. I changed the color I used for the sponging, going with a green which was close to the cactus in the border. I still used Cotton Fluff as the base coat. I mixed five parts of the faux glaze to one part of Valley Mist, sponging with a sea sponge to get this subtle result. Putting on two coats of satin sealer really gives it a nice sheen and will make the area between the counters and the cabinets easy to wipe down. The trim will have to wait until this weekend.

I haven't done any more weaving, but I finally finished the edging for the Indigo Moon Brushstrokes vest. I ended up using a k1p1 ribbing instead of the crochet. After the third rip I realized I wasn't going to get the results I wanted. As soon as I can clear some space on the dining room table I'll block it and post a final picture.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


I lied. Here's one more. I resleyed at 30 epi and finished the first 10 bobbins on a 1/3 twill. I pulled out the first and last thread from the heddles and used them as a floating selvedge. It's the first time I've used one and I thought there would be a bit of a learning curve, but it's been very easy to remember and doesn't seem to slow me down.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Gamp Travels

Okay, this gamp has taken on a life of its own, but since it's dreary and raining here today I thought it should make one more appearance!

Above you see one of the baby gamps wrapping itself around a Portuguese Sweet Bread that was getting ready to be eaten for go to dinner. When I was talking about napkins I was really thinking of more decorative, given with a food gift, kind of napkins. Since Susan (one of my sisters) reads this blog, I didn't want her to know she was getting one. You should have seen the look on the other family members faces when I walked into Susan's kitchen with the bread wrapped in the napkin. "The gamp!" was heard several times through the shouting while everyone else sat there dumbstruck. We like to think that they felt really out of the loop, but I rather think they were thinking that we had just gone off the deep end.

Speaking of food, you can catch a glimpse of one of the desserts I made in the picture above. Claudia likes to berate her kitchen skills, but this was really quite a hit. I knew all about Claudia's (in)famous copulating bunny linzertorte, but finally got a taste in the parking lot of WEBS (I missed it at the potluck picnic on the grounds of the MA Sheep & Wool last May). I thought I had some bunny, or at least Easter egg, cookie cutters but this is all I could come up with.

Speaking of the gamp, this fabric has a beautiful hand sett at 24 epi and woven in plain weave. I think it would be wonderful for a summer top or a unconstructed jacket. I'm heading down now to finish up the sleying for twill. I completely forgot that I wanted to do an inch or two with black and white wefts, but I'll do that when start in on the twills.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Gamp Part I Off the Loom

Before I got back to my painting I ran downstairs and cut off the first three rounds of plain weave.

I don't think they're going to be napkins! It's 22.5" wide

and the 28 picks per color ended up 33.5" long. Can we say dishtowel?

The 22 picks per color is 24.5". Let's see what washing does to them.

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Gamp Continues

So what am I going to do with this colorful cloth? I planned on making napkins, but that could change. I put on 7 yds. I've gone through the color progression three times now. I left fringe for the first one and used sewing thread for a 1/4" turn under for hems on the other two. The first two have 28 picks of each color (the same as the warp) but I wasn't getting 28ppi. For the third napkin I used 22 picks per color hoping for 1" squares. Tomorrow I'll cut those off and rethread for twill.

The last 8 colors.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Gamp is Woven

At least the first ten color changes.

Did you hear? Claudia's got a new home for her blog. Stop by and visit. She's probably feeling a little lonely. (You know how long Bloglines takes to start showing updates for new feeds. Just ask June!)

Sunday, March 20, 2005

I Hate Painting Ceilings

Just in case you didn't hear me the first time - I hate painting ceilings! My neck and my lower back hurt, but my ceiling is painted. I have two different height ceilings in my kitchen, along with two beams and a ceiling fan in the dining area. That translates into too much cutting in.

Above left, what I'm starting with. It actually looks pretty good in the picture, but, trust me, it's not the sage green, like the cactus, that I was expecting. I lived with it for five years. It's time to move on. The paper and border are in great shape, so I'm just painting above the border. I picked the background color, Cotton Fluff, from the almost white of the vessel, above right. The Faux Glaze will be mixed with Caribbean Green. I know this a really dark teal green, but I'm making it very transparent using a very small paint:glaze ratio.

I did get the first ten colors of the gamp woven. I have to run out tomorrow and get 10 more bobbins. I've numbered on the side of the bobbin to help me keep the colors straight.

Pictures of that tomorrow.

Friday, March 18, 2005


"What is a gamp?" asks June. I knew that I was weaving a gamp to explore the interaction of color and structure, but I didn't know what it actually meant. Sample, swatch? Fist I go to Dictionary.Com. Okay, now I know a gamp is a baggy umbrella, after Mrs. Gamp's umbrella. For those of you who didn't know, Mrs. Gamp is a character in Dicken's Martin Chuzzlewit. Next I go to Google. It's an acronym for a number of businesses and organizations. You can find lots of references to color and structure gamps. According to this article a gamp is just another name for a sample.

Scrolling through Google I found some interesting baby blanket gamps and a gallery of color gamps done by New Weavers Study Group of the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston.

Then I saw a reference to the Jan/Feb 2004 Handwoven. Thud (sound of my slapping my head). The whole magazine is devoted to gamps and I know I read it. A quick search through this issue gives me none other than Harriet Tidball's definition of a gamp.
"A gamp is a systematic arrangement of warp threadings or warp color sequences in section of equal size, each section being a minimum of two inches and not more than six, and woven as drawn in."
Oops! I guess I'm not weaving a gamp, according to Mrs. Tidball. My color sections are only 28 ends, sett at 24 epi - but it's still a gamp to me.

For no other reason than they are bright and colorful.

I'm just under half way through threading. I'm hoping I can get it threaded and sleyed by tomorrow night, but I'm painting the kitchen ceiling tomorrow too. We'll see.

I'll leave you with this warping tutorial. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this site is priceless!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I Have Pictures

Positively glows, doesn't it?

560 ends of blazing colors.


I woke up at 4:00 this morning. I could have slept another hour but I was anxious to see if what I had in mind for my color progression would, in fact, work. It does! The bout I wound last night will be the last 6 colors on the right. I started the left most 6 colors this morning. I'll wind the center 7 tonight. This is how it will go: blue, blue green, green, yellow, orange, orange red, red, red purple, purple, and purple blue. Two shades (if that's the right color term) of each color. Since my camera seems to be having problems with the purples (and the sun hasn't risen yet!) - no pictures of my progress.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


I could blame it on the weather, my sinuses, my workload, but really I think it's just this time of year. I love winter, but around this time every year I get totally burned out. Spring is coming, but not quite yet.

I kept the cold and sinus headache at bay all last week. Nothing was going to keep me from our weekend at Minnewaska.

Nestled between the trees in front and the cliff to its back, the lodge was an absolute delight. We spent hours sitting, talking, and knitting in the commons room and in our suite. Carolyn wants to live there!

Kim and Kate relax while Carolyn diligently quilts.

Woodstock was really cool. After 35 years I finally got there! I was actually very restrained buying just a few quilting notions and beads, but the time spent at the Woodstock Quilt Supply did much to push me back into quilting. Time to put the quilt frame back up!

By Monday I was down for the count. For once I was thinking ahead and left plans and activities for the students. I slept until 11:30 Monday morning, scaring the whole family. So out of character.

Today I forayed into the warp-along. I started winding the warp for the color gamp. 10/2 mercerized cotton, 28 ends each of 20 colors, 6 yards long. I'll sett for plain weave first and do 4 napkins, then resley for twill and do 4 more.

I thought I had the colors arranged the way I wanted, but when the bright blue came up next to the soft violet I knew that wouldn't do. The old ROYGBIV didn't work either. You can't really tell from this picture but it starts with two shades each of red, red purple, purple, then blue purple. But the lighter blue purple looks more like a pale violet and just didn't look good next to the brighter blue. I had been winding for more than an hour, so I took the blue off and I'll reflect on this until tomorrow night.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Color Gamp

It's about time to put on a new warp. I've been saying that I want to have the next project ready to go on the loom as soon as I cut off the last, but I just haven't got there yet. I do have several warps for wool blankets ready to go, but I think I'd like to try a color gamp. I bought 20 cones of 10/2 cotton from Lunatic Fringe at Creative Strands 2003 - it should have aged sufficiently by now! I'm thinking twill.

I plied the shetland this weekend. It doesn't make a memorable picture, but it turned out so much softer than I was expecting. Too bad you can't feel it.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Shadow Knitting Bag

I took Shadow Knitting with Vivian Høxbro at SOAR last fall. I finally finished the little bag we used as a sample project. Click on the pictures to see the "shadow" view.

The front:


The back:


I'd really like to make the Bumblebee Jacket, but I think I'll start with Ocean Vest and see how that goes. We're talking about 26 sts and 50 rows = 4" with size 2 needles. shocked.gif

Note to Sylvia: No, my house is never that clean. You just saw a little corner of the room I just finished putting back together.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Unexpected Three Day Weekend

I got a call at 4:30 AM Friday. When's the last time you got good news at that time of night? Well, the power was out at the high school and we got the day off! I'm sure we'll be making it up in June, but once again, I'm only thinking in the present.

I got the room put back together:

I finished the cotton hooded baby sweater:

And I figured out where I was on the Sheep Shawl started so long ago:

How sad is it that this is my progress picture from 6/29/03!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Another Snow Day

After spending yesterday painting the new shelves I can really use this snow day. Hopefully I'll have more fiberly things to report.

We didn't get much snow, as witnessed below

but the majority of it came so late that the secondary roads were just a mess.

Off to play.