Monday, April 27, 2015

Vintage finds.....

It's was a busy two weeks, every day out of the house and studio, makes for a grumpy me except that Saturday & Sunday I did get weaving in at the Robyn Spady workshop, which was great, much new knowledge gained. This was my second workshop with Robyn and I knew I wouldn't be disappointed with this one. She is the most well prepared workshop teacher ever, has the best handouts (small books) of any workshop I've ever taken and she's very fun to boot.

Last week I found some treasures (in my mind) at a estate quilting/craft sale. I really didn't need a single thing but I found some vintage linens and did get some rayon embroidery thread for my embroidery machine.  The fabric pieces above are actually intended to be sewn together into pillow cases. I don't know if I'll make pillow cases or perhaps pillow covers, or who knows what. I'll get them washed and put on the shelf until I decide.

And then I found a Ziploc bag filled with embroidered pieces - I love these types of linens. I'm not sure exactly what the blue set was made for - there are several small embroidered rectangular pieces. not square like a hankerchief and too small anyhow, way too small for napkins, even cocktail napkins. Any clues?  I love the toaster cover (red trim) - hard to believe they ever made toasters that small. I'm going to have to find something very fun to cover with that. These also need some washing which I'll do sometime this week. If I had a window needing café curtains some of these pieces would be perfect......but I don't.

Now off to the table loom - I still have some warp from the workshop on it so I thought I'd do some more sampling before cutting them off and washing them to put in my notebook for future reference.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Mohair roving

Just got some new Young Adult Mohair listed in my etsy shop (in the natural color fibers section of my shop). I don't usually carry it, not sure why but someone here locally requested it so I bought a bit to test it out, if it sells ok I'll order a larger quantity and stock it on a regular basis. It's lovely, very silky and shiny, long 5" staple length. I'll get a sample spun up soon.

I got this weighed, bagged and labeled this morning but the rest of the huge roving order will be sitting there until some time next week when I have time, or make time to deal with it. There are 14 new colors of Superfine Merino Roving that I can't wait to unearth and spin samples of - those will be listed in the shop as soon as I take photos and get it weighed out.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hitting the beach.......

We hit the beach last weekend, it was lovely. We walked the beach, found treasures, and I finished painting the kitchen cabinets - whoo hoo.  Of course, there is more painting to come, window & door trim and doors through the cottage - ack.  Not much fibery happening here the past 2 weeks other than some little crocheted gifts for a few of my fiber peeps, there have been too many appointments and commitments away from the studio........going through fiber withdrawals......

Bailey is all smiles at the beach......

....tons of seagulls visiting on the rocks.....

.....I call these little condo's, sometimes they're on rocks, sometimes on mussel shells......

.....and he's still smiling......

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cottolin galore

Today I had Sam pull down all the cottolin I had that was way up high on a shelf. My goal was to get some other cones of yarn off the floor and up on shelves - a number of them found homes but there are still some cones on the floor.  So, now that the cottolin, stacked 4 layers high, is sitting in a mesh bag on the floor my goal is to weave it up into towels and hopefully get them sold. In addition to all this I've also got two 4 pound cones in an oatmeal color.  First warp on the loom will be the oatmeal in a twill pattern, I'll use different colors for the weft woven in pairs of two. Ok, so I don't think that will really make a dent in all these spools so I'll have to start thinking about the following warp where I'll use color and hopefully empty many spools. I may tire of weaving towels before it's used up, if that happens I'll just have to take a break and weave something else in-between.

I put a couple new items for sale up on my 'Other Stuff for Sale' page - check them out if you're interested. As I go through my stash I'm sure I'll find more........

New scarves........

I finally finished twisting fringe on newly woven taken of 4 of them and they're now listed in my etsy shop for sale.

Sand Castles Buttercream
Sand Castles Taupe
Raspberry Cream - Lavender

Raspberry Cream - Fuchsia

Monday, April 13, 2015

This and that.........

We had a little different program at our weaving guild meeting on Saturday - we made bead bracelets. Fellow guild member Thalia was our teacher - she had decided since the nylon thread was woven around the leather cord and beads that it was technically weaving. This is my finished bracelet in my favorite color - unfortunately the camera didn't capture the sparkle.

 Here's a view showing the button used for the closure.  Of course the gal at the bead shop steered me wrong on the side beads to use - everyone else had beads twice this size (most buying kits from Thalia). So I put 2 beads side by side.  Was a little tough getting it started but then it was a breeze.  I'll be making a few more of these.

 An order of tencel arrived last week, it was on sale at Webs.  I was running out of some colors and then bought a few new that I haven't bought before - love the seafoam color, not sure about that baby blue but someone else will like it. Webs was out of black, which I use a lot of, so that's back-ordered. If you could see the shelves that house tencel in my studio you'd wonder why I bought more.......I have every color Webs carries now that I filled in a few.  I buy most of my yarns wholesale but I haven't found a good source for tencel and I go through a lot of tencel. If any other weavers out there know of a good wholesale source for tencel I'd love to know - the Webs sales are pretty good so I haven't put anymore energy into looking for several years.

Yesterday I warped up my table loom for an upcoming Robyn  Spady workshop. She's always well prepared and full of knowledge to share.  Yesterday I also wove the final scarf on the AVL warp and got those scarves washed.  Now I have a pile of scarves that need the fringes twisted - pictures to follow once that's done. But today I need to sew a tote bag for a birthday gift so my Bernina can go in for it's cleaning/maintenance tomorrow.  It's been really nice to get a few fiber days in my way too busy schedule..........

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Incredible bamboo

Yesterday after coming home from my spinning group I got around finishing weighing, bagging, labeling a big fiber order - it's been sitting for weeks waiting for me to get around to it. It's not one of my favorite jobs so I chose to ignore it but the roving won't sell if it's not listed in my shop. Out of this order there are 5 colors of bamboo roving/top (in addition to the natural and black) - it is incredible. It's a special offering by Ashland Bay which means it won't be around forever - I'm not quite sure why I hadn't already ordered it. I've set aside some for myself to blend in with other fibers on my blending board or on the drum carder. The colors are so intense and beautiful.

Today, after I put away all the roving weighed out yesterday that is covering the floor of the studio, is my day to be at home to weave. So far this morning I've spent time packing up orders and relisting roving in my shop. As soon as Bailey and I go for our walk I'll be heading to the loom - whoo hoo.

Monday, April 6, 2015

I got nuttin'

Hard to believe I haven't posted in a while but I got nuttin'. My time has been lost going in directions I'm not always happy with but can't do anything about at the moment........and the April calendar looks to be a killer. I can remember the years that I used to weave at least 5 days a week, pretty much all day, now I'm lucky if I get one day - it's very depressing, so depressing several times last week I was teary eyed over it.

In the evenings, here and there, I am still working on my shawl knit out of my handspun - I'm getting close to the border, which means I'm almost done, then comes blocking. I way overestimated how much handspun I might need from my blending board rolags so I may be knitting a matching hat, fingerless mitts or socks with the leftovers. Here's the rolags I spun - and here's the start of the shawl. I still have those 2 scarf warps on the looms - hoping to at least get one day of weaving in this week.

This past Wednesday I presented a guild program to the Webfoot Weavers over on the coast in Brookings (near the CA border). It was a program I had given my own guild around 6 years ago on beaded embellishments.  What a fun group they are - I always have fun when I go over there. Friend Pat went over with me, we stopped at a few thrift stores on the way home, the liquor store (cheaper in CA) and Taylor's Sausage in my former town of 11 years. I stocked the freezer with some yummies.  So, yes, there was some fun this past week even though not much weaving.

As a side note on Taylor's Sausage, not to be confused with Taylor's Pork Roll from the NJ area. Most of the products there are from home grown pigs (sounds nicer than hogs) that were raised a few miles from our previous house. Around 18 years ago (that's a guess) the barn burned along with all those cute little pigs - we could smell bbq'd pork at our house. Ok, so you probably didn't need to know that but it just came to mind when thinking of Taylor's. Anyhow, they make the best pork products around - when they expanded they added many other products to the big country store they built - it used to be that we went to where they actually do the butchering to shop (a few blocks away from the store) but that's all changed now - progress.

We spent this past weekend on the coast - more kitchen cabinet painting - I've only got 4 drawer fronts and the front of the lazy susan to go - whoo hoo........of course then it's on to painting windows, window & door trim - it's never ending.  But we did pick out flooring (above) - a waterproof laminate with a cork backing - it's going to be so nice to get those stinky dog pee carpets (previous owner's dogs) and ripped up linoleum out of there......probably a summer project. I did take time out from my painting to go visit the spinning group in Bandon at The Wool Co. - always a fun group to see.

So, yes, some fun here and there in-between the other not so fun duties on the calendar.........but not much weaving.........

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Another casting call........

 Another casting call for weft auditions, this time on the rayon warp on the AVL. Still thinking on which 3 I want to use for the 3 scarves but am leaning toward the taupe, the goldy yellow and the buttercream yellow.

 I got back to working on a tote bag - isn't it cute?  A couple weeks ago I met Theresa over in Ashland for a day of walking through shops and lunch. We went to 'her' fabric store, Fabric of Vision, and I was looking at the tote bag kits. Well, there were only a few left and I wasn't thrilled with the fabric but then I saw this fabric - I had to buy it and I was given the pattern to go with it. I got most of it sewn on Sunday but didn't like the black webbing I had for the straps that I found in my stash, it was too black so I waited until I could get to JoAnn's yesterday to pick up an oatmeal colored webbing - I love it.

Here's the inside lining. On the outside there are 3 pockets on the front and on the back. I'm going to make myself a few more of these to use for shopping bags but first is another tote bag pattern that I got as a gift - hoping to get to it soon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Just too cute......

Ok, so I've seen this commercial what must be 100 times so far..........and probably the rest of you have too but I'm sharing anyhow just in case someone out there hasn't seen it. I'm a sucker for cute animals.......

A novelty.....2 looms warped.......

 Yesterday I got a couple of warps wound.  This one is a 9 ply rayon, hand-dyed by someone else, it's lovely. It's the same type of rayon I've used in the white wedding shawls recently. For non-weavers this view is from the back of the loom after I've wound the warp on, awaiting threading the heddles and sleying the reed.

 Here's the same warp, view from the front of the loom all threaded and tied on. I'm auditioning wefts for 3 scarves. I love the coral/peach color. Am torn on the pale lavender, fuchsia and light pink........leaning toward the fuchsia but not sure about the others so I'll start weaving the first scarf using the coral/peach and think on the other 2 scarf wefts. It's looking like I'll end up with tencel wefts, one bamboo is too thin, the other too thick. This draft is from the Strickler book - I've used it many times, just love this undulating twill.

 I also got a warp on the AVL - it's all rayon, a random mix of 2 colors of yellow and two of peachy/tan.

This draft is using 32 of my 40 harnesses. After some lunch I'll either start weaving on the pink warp or I'll audition wefts for this 3 scarf warp.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Woven Assomption Sash

I have a friend who is a part of the mountain man experience, sorry Gary, I don't know what it's officially called.  Anyhow he's looking to weave an assomption sash, his wife Diane is a weaver, and he weaves on an inkle loom. Traditionally these sashes are finger woven but this reproduction (above) that he bought was machine woven and that's what he would like to replicate, he would like to weave his own. This machine woven one was part of a wider piece of cloth because if I look closely at the one selvedge it is not a selvedge at all, it was cut and serged with black thread that barely shows up - I can't imagine it will last very long before falling apart along that edge.  It's slightly under 5" wide and very long. I hate to admit this but for some reason I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around analyzing this to come up with the draft........maybe it's the Tylenol PM I took last night that's left me with a brain fog hangover today (I rarely take it). I'm fairly sure it's a 3/1 twill, definitely warp faced. I do think I can get the color order easier by unknotting the fringed end and looking at it thread by thread, color by color. So, before I do that and tax my brain too much I thought I'd ask the other weavers if they know of draft somewhere out there for an assomption sash. I have found tons of information and book references to finger weaving them but I'm looking for a draft for a 4 harness loom as Gary doesn't want to spend years finger weaving one. I've found Carol James's website, she's written books and teaches but it looks like it's the traditional finger weaving technique (wow - incredible weaving) So, if anyone has come across this it the past and has a draft or knows where I can find information on one it would help me out and save my brain cells..........

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

One of those days........or maybe weeks......

It's been one of those days, actually week or couple of weeks......I'd just love to hibernate in the studio and do what I want but life doesn't have that in store for me........ 

I did get some weaving done today but between the loom bench almost dumping me backward onto the floor (it happened once before when it fell apart) and the dedicated laptop for the AVL and embroidery machine going wack-a-do I was slow at weaving and I made a treadling error that wasn't found until the shawls came off the loom - ACK. So, one of the shawls has a bit of a zig zag at one end rather than a diamond. I don't often make mistakes like that but since it was white on white it I didn't catch it while weaving.....and I was terribly distracted trying to deal with a wack-a-do laptop at the same time. What a shame. So I guess I now have a white rayon/cotton shawl in my wardrobe unless I decide to sell it for very little as a second.

Sam will be doing a repair job on my Macomber loom bench, in addition to gluing this time he'll be adding screws. I had to weave using my AVL loom bench today - not comfortable at all - how can one wooden bench feel so hard???  And it has 2 pelts on it in comparison to the way more comfortable 'broken' bench that has only 1 pelt.

Hoping the laptop is now working as the next warp I want to weave will be on the AVL. Sam said it's time to think about a new laptop as this one has the Vista operating system. I turned it on and off a few times later in the day to make sure it booted up ok.  It has never been an issue but the laptop is getting older so it's probably best to buy a new one before it crashes - I only use this laptop for weaving programs, the AVL and embroidery machine......and to check emails while in the studio.

One good thing did happen this past weekend - the taxes are done and filed - phew, so glad to have that horrendous job done. For some reason Turbo Tax Home & Business seemed more user friendly this year than in the past.

Spring has sprung here.......we actually had no winter - no snow in the valleys, very little snow at higher elevations - it's going to be another very scary fire season this year. I'm already having bad dreams about fires.......

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I finally got around to working on taking photos of a couple scarves and a shawl for my etsy shop. I really dread this part of the job....I struggle with it.....if I ever find more hours in my day taking a photography class would be a good thing for me but I'm already short on time for the things I really want and need to do so it won't be anytime soon.

This scarf is tencel, an 8 harness twill, a few beads to add some bling along each end. I used an olive weft in this one, the warp is hand-dyed.

This scarf came off the same warp, I used a taupe weft for this one, it also has a little bling on each end. I also wove one using a rust weft but haven't taken pictures of that one yet.

And here is one of the cotton/rayon lace shawls. It's hard to see in this photo but I did add beads as I was hemstitching.  I like it although I'm not sure I like it quite as much as other methods of adding beading. This shawl feels so yummy........

I'm not sure where the past 2 weeks have gone but I've spent very little of it at the loom and am starting to get grumpy...........what has happened to life, when did it get so busy where I don't feel like there's time to enjoy..........with that said I'm hoping to pick up the knitting needles tonight to get back to working on that shawl that I've made so little progress on, I might get an hour of knitting in........

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shawl on the needles....

I've just started knitting a shawl using the handspun from the blending board rolags I created.  I found this free pattern, Prism Shawl by Tanis Lavallee, on Ravelry. I want to knit something I could do while talking and visiting, something pretty mindless.  This fit the bill and it's pretty.  Random stripes of stockinette stitch, purl stitch rows and then a lace row thrown in every once in a while.  I'll decide what goes where as I'm knitting - love it. The only time I'll need to read a graph is for the border at the very end of the shawl.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


 I decided to do a little beaded embellishments. Above I used some green and gold glass beads. I'm using Nymo beading thread as it's very strong and the beads won't cut it, I have several colors of it.

 Here I've used some gold and clear/gold glass beads. On the final scarf off this warp that had a rust weft I added some seed beads to the twisted fringes but forgot to take a picture.

 I got a warp on the loom for 3 cotton/rayon shawls in a lace weave structure. I decided to try out adding beads while hemstitching. Worked just fine although it's tougher to get the thread (5/2 size) through the beads, many reject beads but I'll have enough for this shawl. (For non-weavers - ignore the turquoise woven part, was just quickly spreading out the warp and making sure all the heddles were threaded correctly)

Here's the start of the shawl with the beads hemstitched on. I'm considering cutting this first shawl off the loom (when finished) to wash it and see how I like the beading before I weave the other shawls. I may or may not want to use this beading technique on the others. I don't usually do this as to not waste warp but since the warp ends to tie on and spread out will be used as fringe I won't actually have any loss.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beach decor

In 4 days of painting kitchen cabinet doors at the beach cottage we found a little time to go to second hand stores. I found some wonderful silver trays for $2.00, $1.50 and another small one (not pictured) for 25 cents!  Above is a work in progress on the dining table. I have a little silver bowl to add to the mix next time over. I love the mercury glass pieces I found for less than $10 for the two of them. I have fabric set aside to sew some quilted placemats for the table - just need to find some time for it.

This tray is on the coffee table, will look for some old silver candlesticks I've had for eons to add to this.

As I was painting cabinet doors I was dreaming about getting back home so I could get back to my current spinning, get a shawl warp on the loom, twist fringe on scarves, design and sew quilted placemats...........then reality set in - way too much administrivia to deal with including pulling together all tax 'stuff', personally and business, so I can sit in front of the computer for even more hours with Turbo Tax.  Ah, the downside to having a business..........

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


 I've been spinning those colorful rolags I made on my blending board. I'm thinking the handspun is looking very tropical. I'm making rolags as I'm spinning until I get enough yarn.

 Here's the first monster skein.  I haven't counted up the yards yet to know how much more I need to spin......guess I better do that soon. I'm thinking of knitting or weaving a summer tropical shawl - wearing it will make me think I'm in the Caribbean with a fruity drink in hand.......instead of on the cool Oregon coast.

I recently finished spinning a spiral yarn from a couple batts I bought at OFFF last year that were black baby alpaca with a rainbow of colors of silk. I plied it with a thread to get the spiral effect.  This will eventually become some sort of shawl. The picture really doesn't do this yarn justice - it's a really dark intense black and the shiny silk is beautiful.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

Three scarves.........

 Some weaving today - scarf #1 using a deep rust I found hiding on the shelf, it's  a bit darker than the rust I auditioned yesterday.......

 ........scarf #2 using the sage green weft........

.......scarf #3 using taupe for the weft.  I really had wanted to go with a medium brown but I just don't have any in suitable fiber......which is hard to believe.  This one really doesn't look this washed out in person.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The 8 yard warp that felt like 80.......

I'm not sure why it happens but occasionally on these painted warps when I go to wind the warp on the back beam I find a host of 'haloing'. As the warp is sliding through the lease sticks it stops in a tangled mess where there are halos around the threads catching them on their neighbors. I haven't figured out why this happens because it doesn't happen with every warp dyed using the same tencel, same dyes, same dye day. 

Anyhow, it was a challenge to say the least, getting it on the back beam.........very slow going.  But it's on now, heddles threaded, reed sleyed and weft auditions in the works. The first weft, purple, is not being auditioned, it was just what was left on a bobbin that I used to spread out the warp.  The next weft color is a sage green, I like it. The rust is looking pretty overpowering, the gold a bit too gold in the picture - not quite as gold in person. Next up is taupe, very pale but I like it. Finally the tan which I don't like at all. I couldn't find a medium brown tencel in my stash - tomorrow I'll look through my rayon stash to see if I've got some. I might try a darker green too. I've got 3 scarves to weave on this warp and would like to use 3 different wefts so there are no two alike........I'll see what I can come up with.........

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


I finally got around to taking pictures of some scarves and shawls (both hand-dyed silk and woven) for the etsy shop - one of my dreaded chores as I'm not very good at it.  These two scarves are off the same hand-dyed warp - the top scarf I used a teal weft, the one below a fuchsia weft.

Update on my other etsy shop with fibers - I'm having a sale on all hand-dyed roving and yarn until it's gone. As I've said recently here I'm no longer going to be dyeing roving for sale, it's taking away from my weaving time. But I will continue to sell the Ashland Bay rovings. I'm anxious to empty the bins with the hand-dyed rovings so I can reorganize the others and hopefully have room to set up the treadmill again. There are a lot of bins - the biggest bins that can be bought........

And an update on the shawl that has been mailed off to the Lyric Opera in Chicago.  It's going to be worn by a lead in the new production of the Mariachi Opera called El Pasado Nunca Se Termina which plays on March 28th.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

New countertops

Thursday we had to rush over to the beach cottage, in a big rain/wind storm as new formica countertops were being installed on Friday..........we've been trying to get someone out to do them for 6 months so we couldn't postpone a sure thing.

First we had to pull off the old countertops which was easier said than done - here they are ready for the new. The old had been glued and screwed with the formica installed on top of that. We had to chip off the old formica to get to the screws and then try to pop the glue to get them off........many places they had to be sawed off.  What a job - we were worried we wouldn't be ready the next morning for the installer.

Here they are - formica with the look of marble. Where the old backsplash was removed is a mess - drywall work up next to repair before we put up a new backsplash.

This morning before heading home I taped brown kraft paper on the wall to audition how we want to install a glass backsplash. Now we have to go shopping to look for something in a glass tile maybe with a green seaglass look......we'll see what strikes us........that's affordable.

Now I need to get back to painting cabinets - I didn't want to start on the lowers until the countertops were installed. I still have doors to paint the second side of for over the fridge and the pantry cabinet that can't be seen in this pix. There was no painting this weekend in this storm, just too damp for it.

The kitchen looks so much bigger now - but you get more than one person in there and it still feels just as small as always........