Thursday, June 22, 2006

Summer Fun

I just realized I never finished this post, so there won't be much text, just some captions. I'm working on replies about my weaving plans and will post them tomorrow.

I like to start out the summer with some new stuff. Believe it or not it helps me come up with ways to use what I already have stashed away. Here's some beautiful alpaca from Caroline's alpacas.

Hagrid is a pale caramel (I mixed up their names when I uploaded the pictures)

and Feldspar washed up to a soft white.

Just in time for summer fun is new weaving software. I decided to go with Fiberworks PCW. I being able to take a draft and then convert it to doubleweave. I'm using this draft for a couple of blankets using some of the wool I bought at WEBS this spring. I bought four big cones of Donegal in a rust, green, brown, and gold tweed.

Two books for summer reading....

and inspiration for a bunch of projects. I've already started on the PVC loom. I couldn't find all of the connectors around here. Okay, I looked at one store, then ordered online!

Finally, some yarn just waiting to be dyed. For that matter, my blanks from Machine Knitting to Dye For are getting a little impatient.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Party's Over

Now that school is done and Laura's party is over it's time to move on to summer projects. I had been thinking about using my table loom, still warped from my class with Tom Knisely at Creative Strands two years ago, and some generic roving to make a pad for my loom bench. The roving wasn't doing anything for me but I remembered that I had several skeins of fat, chunky yarn made from Brown Sheep Beast.

The loom was warped 6 (doubled) epi. I wove an inch or so with the carpet warp, then about an inch of tabby, 1-3, 2-4. The rest will be woven 1-2, 3-4. If I were making a rug I would weave the last 4 threads with carpet warp to protect the sides of the warp.

I still have the roving, which is not anything I want to spin, so I brought up my Louet and spun it putting in as little twist as possible. Basically what I was doing was a long draw but not holding it to allow the twist to even out. This is definitely speed spinning - I was able to spin two gigantic Louet bobbins in about an hour. I'll weave with the singles and wind the shuttle right off the bobbins. I have enough for two more white and two gray which will give me enough to sample for some Navajo style rugs.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Working with Handwovens

It's taken me a long time to get the nerve to cut into my handwoven fabric and make a garment. Finally I took the plunge began to cut.

The fabric didn't fall apart when I cut and it held up well as I serged the raw edges. The flat band didn't lay correctly around the neck and I started to take it off. Unfortunately, I attacked with my usual vengance and found that I pulled the fabric apart.

Oops! It wasn't really a problem because the fabric was wider than it should have been. So I just serged off the old band and applied a new piece.

That looks much better, but the jacket is still too big. There's too much fabric under the sleeves and the raw silk doesn't have much drape. I'll probably only wear it around the house, but I still consider it a success. It was the first thing I made from handwoven fabric and I've overcome my fear of slicing into it.

After looking at Carolyn's pattern suggestions, I started thinking about patterns that would work with handwoven fabric. I think the Cathay vest would be appropriate. View C of another Lois Erickson pattern is a possibility. Linda Kubik's Elements Jacket 001 certainly fits the bill. As do two patterns from Cutting Line Designs: Butterflies and Bees and Less is More. Loes Hinse's new pattern, The Garbo Jacket that might be good too.

Sounds like a good time for a Weave-along to me!

Monday, June 05, 2006


I painted this warp at a dye day hosted by Claudia in 2003. After I realized how short and narrow the warp was I knew I wouldn't be able to use it. So I dyed some more raw silk and made this fabric to coordinate.

Now almost three years later I finally cut into the fabric and started making the kimono featured in Sara Lamb and Molly Freeman's Warp Painting video. The rather plain fabric was a good choice for the test drive. No stripes to worry about getting straight. I got the sleeves attached and after three tries got the neckline the way I want. I cut a band from the violet/scarlet/golden yellow painted warp. Tomorrow I'll interface and attach it. I didn't put any pleats over the shoulders but it's apparent that I need to.

I was able to wrangle some spinning time too. My new Lendrum Saxony can really spin up a storm. In just a little time I was on my second (big) bobbin of lovely grey corrie. This is from the stash c. 2004. I decided to spin it before dyeing as I'm waiting for Claudia's new design - a Norwegian sweater done in natural yarns.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Beginning of the End

I only have eight more days of school and since this summer I only have a couple of fairly easy online classes and one week long AP Psych class I'm looking forward to a real summer vacation. Yes, folks, I'll be weaving, sewing, spinning, dyeing, knitting, gardening, kitchen organizing, hell - I'll even throw in some attic and garage cleaning.

Despite writing exams (for my students) and papers (for my instructors) I still had some time to work on my Northcott Rib.

The other big news since I posted last was my mother's 90th birthday.

She thought only my one sister was taking her out for lunch but the rest of us took off work and met them there. Later all the grandkids and spouses stopped by for pizza and cake. Not the grandest party, but it's what she wanted.

Our present to her was to put a new roof on her house. She lives alone and would feel uncomfortable with lots of people she didn't know working on the roof. My brother has rehabbed several homes, including the one he lives in now, and thought this would be a good solution. Of course we had to pick Memorial Day weekend when the temperature was in the 90s.

The old man is in front, one of my nephews to the right, and my brother (the job foreman) on the ridge.

My oldest son, Dan, and my brother-in-law scrape the old layers of the kitchen my father added to the little ranch I grew up in.

I tried to go on the roof but punked out. My job, along with food prep, was to cut these sets so the pieces were staggered. Reminded me of strip quilting.

The supervisor watched over everthing. Yes, it was 90° but some of her meds make her feel cold. Funny, when I was growing up I never saw her wear a sweater unless she was using it as a coat.

Just in case it wasn't crazy enough, we had two little ankle biters running around the house. My daughter and niece thought it would be cute if their new dogs got to know each other. Looks like they did! (Don't worry, no damage done! My daughter's partner protected their little Bella from big, bad Marley!)