Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Taking Time Out ....

Every time I see the 2 little cactus that my kids gave me over 20 years ago, flower, I say "I really need to take a photo of that", and yet never find the time to do it - and then the flowers are gone. For the last week I've been saying the same thing that I've been saying repeatedly over the years - so finally as I was hustling past them doing another chore - I dropped everything - grabbed the camera and took a few shots.
Why do we put the important things off - just to get another job on the to-do list checked off? Take time to do the things that will make you smile.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mark this Complete!

Closeup of finished Fabric
A close up of the finished fabric. It was really fun and fast when weaving 5 rows (beating firm) and then weaving 9 rows - in 2 inches - and then repeating this thru out the length of the scarf. This is what gives it the wonderful drape and added fabric design. I will not hesitate in the future to grab odds and ends of yarn to create a mixed warp project again.
And the finished scarf from the mystery warp that I started last week. I’m actually really happy with the final result considering I had no clue as to what it was supposed to be! It has a wonderful hand and drape. I’s very light weight and feels awesome against your skin (I’m pretty fussy about itchy yarns).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A update to the mixed warp project...

This it what it looks like while on the loom.

Off of the loom - not wet finished
And once it was cut off - this is what it looks like. I still need to wet finish it.

EPI: 10 - used an 10 dent reed Total Warp ends: 100 (plus 2 floating selvages) Warp Length - 3 yards Width in reed: 10” Straight twill threading: 1,2,3,4 - repeat
Warp: mixed yarns - wool, rayon, mohairs Weft: Lambada from Stahl Wolle

Beginning: Weave 9 picks - beat firmly
Body of Scarf: Weave 9 picks (2 inches) Weave 5 picks - beat firmly Repeat
End: Weave 9 picks - beat firmly

I ended up working closely to a pattern that can be found in:
Handwoven’s E Book - 4-Shaft Scarves. Magical Accent Scarf.
The pattern can also be found in: Handwoven Nov/Dec 1996 pg. 40, 76-77
Finishing: When the scarf comes off of the loom it looks like netting. The finishing will bring out the texture. Knot the fringe in groups of 5. Soak the scarf in warm water for 20 minutes - squeeze out the water and tumble dry.
Final photo in a day or two.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The soy silk scarf that I am weaving (just put a photo up today) is pretty predictable - and I needed to be challenged a bit today (perhaps to distract me from the high winds, and if the roof was going to blow away, or at the very least to distract me from if we are going to loose power again) so...... here's the story:
I've been weaving for about 30 years - geeze that makes me old doesn't it! Ok, and I've been buying looms most of those years also. Along with the looms, a lot of times - includes yarn. So, many years ago, with a purchase of a loom, came this pre wound warp with no instructions. There is even balls of yarn for weft. I neatly put it in a bag and every couple of years come across it. I pull it out of the bag - ohh and ahh over the pretty mixed warp - set it on a table for a couple of days to ponder what it was supposed to be and then wrap it back up and neatly put it away because I have no clue.
Well today I guess I'm up for the challenge - Well to be honest it has sat on the table in the studio for about a week with me going thru the whole process as described above. I just decided to go for it - what's the worst that could happen?

We'll see....... here's where I am so far....
Mystery Warp
This is what I have been looking at for years - 
Mystery Warp / Lease sticks

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

David - you're warped!

Once the warp is wound on the back beam - the beater is flipped over the castle - to make the heddles accessible to thread.
The breast beam easily lifts off and the heddles can be threaded easily by sitting right within the frame of the loom.
Bronson Lace Scarf / 16/2 Soysilk
The reed is threaded - a header woven - and I am good to go!

Bronson Lace 16/2 SoySilk

ETA:  Completed Scarfs!
The weaving has begun! The Soy Silk is just awesome to weave with. It's very fine compared to the cottolin and 8/2 cottons that I am used to. I've already ordered some more since I think scarves woven with this will make wonderful gifts. I can tell already, that the drape will be beautiful!

I'm only about 12 inches into this scarf since the weather has not been cooperating. We have been having terrible winds of 40-60mph for the last 2 days and have been without power a couple hours both days. I don't want to chance a treadling error only to find it when the lights come back on!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Winding a Warp for the new Louet David

16/2 Soysilk
Now it's the new Louet David's turn to be "tried".
I purchased the yarn and the pattern last January while in Kansas at the Yarn Barn. This will be 2 Bronson Lace scarves. It's really a different feeling for me to be using such fine weight yarn; almost like when you're in Kindergarden and use a really fat pencil and then they hand you the skinny one in first grade!

More photos to come.....

Infinity Soy Silk 16/2 Colors: #517 Bronze #515 Med. Teal #509 Purple

Sunday, October 17, 2010

They're Back...

When you hear a strange noise coming from your roof....
It seems to happen about the same time each year. First you notice that the turkeys begin to roost in the trees all around the house and other buildings. Where they are in the summer is anyones guess. It's like clockwork, 6:00pm. at night - they come in and begin flying into the trees. 7:00am. - they start flying out. A few weeks later they decide that prior to landing on the ground - that they ought to land on the roofs to get a good look around. Problem is - that there is a flock of at least 20 of them - and roof damage is not what I'm looking for! So when the weird roof noises begin - out the door I head. They are quite skiddish - so any noise sends them into flight mode.
Off they head down the driveway and into the woods. The majority are all behind the studio when this shot was taken.
And then the only thing left are feathers! This time of year the grandkids come over and have turkey feather collecting contests!

The end is in sight....

Assuming I do not get out of my pajamas or do any housework today, the 4th and final towel will be done!
Good thing Jim is working a double shift today...


Friday, October 15, 2010

A temple experiment....

I switched the weft color to a chocolate brown cottolin on this towel, due to the fact that I got bored with the rust on the first towel. I also decided to give a temple a try due to a current conversation on temples being held on Ravelry. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I own several temples and have never really used them.
temple towel

I grabbed a temple to see if it made any difference in my weaving. I have pretty good selvages with out the use of a temple but I did notice a bit better selvage, less draw in, and a bit faster weaving over all even with moving the temple every inch, because I had no need to ever adjust the weft on the selvage end. I did use an end feed shuttle on both towels to keep the experiment fair.

Disadvantages of using a temple: (which one would get used to after a bit of time)
  • Dang - those pins on the raddle are sharp when you forget that they are there!
  • Difficult to see the pattern as you weave (if you make a mistake) until the temple is moved up after an inch of weaving.
Advantages of using the temple:
  • Nice even selvages
  • A bit less draw in (3/8" for me on this towel compared to the first one woven).
  • If you tend to fiddle with the selvages - the temple will eliminate this.
I'll make the final decision as to if a temple will be a tool kept near my looms or not, after both towels come off the loom and a side by side comparison is done.
Choc close up

Next towel - Black and Natural

Same warp of cottolin on the Louet Spring. One more to go and they'll be off of the loom.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Louet Jane

Jane was one of the new loom arrivals last month also. I had a left over warp from a class that I taught - so I took the remaining 3 yards and decided to warp her up and see what she could do. I have been so used to warping the big floor looms that this was quite a breeze to wind the warp onto the beam with out any assistance. I really like the raddle that is positioned on the top of the castle, making the whole process of winding quite easy!

Once the warp has been wound on, it is then removed from the raddle and the beater is flipped to the back of the loom for easy heddle threading.
Sitting on an adjustable office chair - this warping process is just so easy. I also got the stand for it, which I'm very glad I did - this way no table space is taken up, but even better is: that you can remove the warp and cloth beams from the loom and add them to the stand - allowing more buildup of the woven cloth to occur! (this is really an awesome feature).
I do need to say - I have not been a fan of table looms in the past - but I am singing a different tune already. I really think Jane will serve her purpose for exactly why I got her, portability and sampling!
I've woven about 12" and love the mechanics of Jane. Her shed is 2 plus inches!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yard work and the creatures you could bump onto (or step on)

Trimming out the flower garden and this is who's watching!

Spraying for insects around the buildings and I almost stepped on this guy! We both looked at each other for a minute and went on with our agendas.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weaving on the new Louet Spring

The Spring arrived a few weeks ago. We built it within a day and it was warped a few days later. But then the dreaded "yard work before winter" beckoned to us. We've spent a better part of a week just getting everything done outside before Jim leaves for Pennsylvania, the first week of November - to return home on December 25th. If you have been following this blog long enough, you already know why he's heading out there - if not - here's a clue ......
Santa Jim
Yep - you guessed it - he is a mall Santa in North Wales Pennsylvania! So, in addition to yard work - we are transforming (beaching) Jim's hair from blonde to white. This is not a one time process. We'll do it at least 5 times before he leaves to get it totally white - but then he must do the upkeep while away.

The Spring is an awesome loom to weave on. Warping was easy. I really like the built in raddle located at the top of the castle. It's difficult to see in this photo. Treadling is effortless and weaving is quiet (other than me talking to myself!) The floating breast beam is great because your tension remains the same throughout your weaving.
The pattern is from the Yarn Barn - "Yellow Brick Road" - only I switched up the colors - so the name makes no sense what so ever! I put on enough warp to weave a total of 4 towels. Two will be in the Natural / Rust combination - the other two will be in Natural / and yet to be determined!
Here's a close up of the pattern. This is quite a bit busier than I am used to - but fun and easy to weave. This is a 8-shaft pattern with a 42 treadle repeat. I do have to concentrate while doing this one - and refuse to answer the phone - no matter what!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The loom gathering...

Well it happened again - although this time it was a well planned out idea! I ordered 3 more of the Louet Looms for the Studio - giving customers the ability to see and touch 5 out of the 6 looms in the Louet family. The only one missing is the Octado, which in my mind is a less souped up version (only 8 shafts) of the Megado - so why duplicate.

We sold the second AVL to make room for the new arrivals and of course every loom had to be moved to a different spot (we even moved the huge Harrisville - only to move it back to it's original spot the next day). Can you say "sore back and aching muscles"?

So this is what the weaving side of the Studio is looking like these days...
Believe it or not - I never move the furniture around in the house, but I sure make up for it in here!
Overlooking the studio from the library area.

Louet: Spring, Delta and Megado (left to right)

Louet: Delta and Megado (from left to right)

Kessenich and AVL

AVL, Harrisville Rug Loom and Louet David

Louet: Jane and David (left to right)

From the Sewing side of the Studio - still plenty of open area within the studio to work!

The 2 Baby Wolfs are folded up and put into another area of the studio. So doing a head count of looms - the total would be 10! More than there ever has been in the Studio at any other time.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Yarn, Mice and a few needed Drinks!

Last week Monday - we decided that on Tuesday and Wednesday (Jim's off days) we would take a ride over to Great Northern Weaving in Kalamazoo MI (about an 8 hour ride). Since we hate Chicago traffic, we left Monday night when Jim got off of work at 10:00pm, putting us smack dab in the windy city about 2:00am. in the morning. If you must travel through Chicago - this would be the time I would recommend, due to nearly no traffic! Once through Chicago we made it up into Michigan and pulled over into a wayside and slept a few hours. By 9:00am - we were pulling into Great Northern Weaving's lot.
This is all they have for a sign to identify themselves to the public!
This is the building that they are located in.
When we entered I asked permission to take photos to post so that others could see what they are about. They said sure and that other have done the same thing.
When you enter - this is the left wall filled with carpet warp, books heddles and shuttles way down at the end.
This would be the right wall of carpet warp.
This is just a wide angle view of both walls looking towards the warehouse.
Certainly nothing fancy - but this warehouse is where the non carpet warp is located.
This is the fabric strip area.
And in another section - is where the selvages are located.
This is how the selvages arrive to them - then they separate them by colors.
These are the carpet warp winding machines.
We then headed a few hours east to meet a a Ravelry friend for the first time. It was so cool to meet Mary in person. She is also a weaver and she gave us the tour of her weaving work areas. It is so much fun to see how other weavers set up their studio. Mary has some pretty cool weaving equipment to say the least - and she shared some of her fiber tips of the trade. She served us a yummy lunch and then we ditched Jim for an hour or so while we headed over to Heritage Spinning and Weaving in Lake Orion MI. I had been there a couple of times but it has been a few years so that was also really nice.
At this point - Jim and I were running on 3 hours sleep for 2 days so we said our goodbyes and started heading towards home. We stayed in a Comfort Inn and slept very well! We took the longer but scenic way - heading north to go up and around taking the Mackinac Bridge route over to Wisconsin - avoiding the Chicago area! We got home late Wednesday night - due to a few stops along the way (at this point my butt had enough car riding and I was a bit crabby - or so I was told!). We stopped at a casino, a few shops along with food and potty breaks. We instantly fell into bed for the night.
This past weekend is Dizzy's last big hurrah before the clowning begins to slow down. Friday I worked at a county fair twisting balloons for 6 hours straight. I got home - loaded up the car and was on the road at 5am Saturday morning, heading north to Eagle River Wi where Saturday and Sunday I twisted balloons 7 hours each day. Came home Sunday night and blew up and twisted 400 balloons for the parade in Redgranite today.
So what does 400 flying mice look like?
I walk the parade route for an hour handing these out to the kids along side the road. Once I make it to the park - I set up and twist balloon animals for another 3 hours.
So after the busy and exhausting week I've had, when I got home from the parade today - I decided that all I was going to do was sit at the computer and work on this blog and have a few of my new favorite drinks. Mango flavored Vodka and orange juice has been my stand by all summer. I'm finishing #2 as I type!
Thank goodness this week slows down a bit!