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........

Friday, February 6, 2015

A shawl goes to a night at the opera

This cotton and rayon summer shawl was purchased from my etsy shop yesterday. As usual I wrote a personal note to the buyer and then was pleasantly surprised to get a note back.  He said he was the costume designer for the Lyric Opera of Chicago and my shawl would be worn by a lead in an upcoming production.  How exciting.  I hope he gets back to me with which production as there's a big long list of them on the website scheduled for 2015. I always like to send a personal note to a buyer instead of them just getting the automated thank-you - sometimes it pays in me getting to know where my wovens are going........

**Opera Update**  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.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


In April I'm presenting a guild program over on the coast to a small fiber guild. It's a program I've given in years past for my local guilds - beaded embellishments for weaving - a focus on fringes. Today I decided I must sit down and update my handout and make sure the beading kits were all together as it's a hands-on program. I don't like to leave things like this until the last minute and I do have to start pulling together all the tax stuff, personal and business, and struggle through doing our taxes (argh) so I thought it best to get this done and out of the way. I have a number of scarf examples to share but needed something that wasn't woven as only half the small guild are weavers. I decided to put a sweet little fringe on one of my ice-dyed silk scarves.

Here I'm attaching the beads to the scarf using a size 12 beading needle, size 11 seed beads and green nymo beading thread.

And here's the first end finished, other end of the scarf didn't take terribly long to do. I love the little bit of bling the beads add. This scarf is one I put aside for myself when I did the ice-dying - it's going to be fun and cheery to wear this spring.  I can't wait to do more ice dyeing.

Check out this video of winter on the Oregon Coast - this is why we love it so much.  Of course we know better than to stand that close to the edge with huge waves - the ocean is very unpredictable and can sweep one into the water in a second.

Monday, February 2, 2015

More blending board fun

This afternoon I spent a little more time with the blending board. I added some Ashland Bay Peacock color roving to the mix I was working on the other day and am happy with it now.  Before I made more than one board's worth of rolags I spun a quick and dirty sample.  It's really colorful but I like it. So now I've got lots of rolags to make and start spinning.......very fun activity and it's something I can sneak in here and there in-between other projects.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Towels finished......

I love these towels - they look retro, kind of 30's/40's to me and I'm drawn to those textiles more and more these days. They coordinate with the tulip table runners I recently wove. These are in bright spring/easter colors that make me smile in our chill to the bone foggy weather..........I'm contemplating putting another warp on the loom in the not too distant future with a totally different color combo.  These are now up for sale in my etsy shop........well, minus the one I'm keeping for myself..........

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A test........

I decided to test out the blending board today, just one fill of it to see what else needs to be added to these colors. Our spinning group has a challenge this year for our fair display - we're all use the Ashland Bay merino colors of Berry, Hyacinth and Kiwi in a project - we can blend (with other colors/fibers too) spin, felt, knit, weave, whatever as long as the 3 colors are in the finished project. I put some of those 3 colors on the blending board along with a little white tencel and some Tangerine merino see how they look together.

Here are my very first rolags ever - they all came off that one loading of the board. And you might be able to spot some 'hairy' stuff in there - the brush I just bought to use with the board was losing it's bristles.......obviously it's not going to work for this or probably any other project, certainly not painting like it was intended for.

I spun a 'quick and dirty' sample on the spindle - please excuse my handspun as I did it super fast and didn't care about how even it was - I just wanted to see how the colors worked together. I think it needs a bit more orange but also feel like it needs something else......I'm just not sure what......will have to ponder on this for a while before I start production on rolags. I'm thinking of making a summer shawl, either knit or woven, for my project.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New toy

I got a new toy on Tuesday - a blending board to play with blending wool/other fibers to make rolags for spinning. Four in my spinning group already had them (2 bought, 2 homemade), friend Pat placed an order with Howard Brush Co for four of us which saved on shipping and we got a little discount too, since then another in the group has ordered one. I'd been thinking about one for a year or so but hadn't committed until I saw rolags coming off one. If you're a spinner and not familiar with a blending board you should check out you tube for demo's of them in action - very fun. I can't wait to start playing with mine, ah, but where to find more hours in my day.......hmm, maybe while we're watching the Super Bowl.........

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cheery tulip table runners

This past weekend I got the table runners hand hemmed. There are now two of each up for sale in my etsy shop. There eventually will be some coordinating striped towels but they're still on the loom in process.........

Yellow with lavender tulips
Peach/coral with coral tulips
White with yellow tulips
Pink with pink tulips

SW Oregon = Winter Fog

We spent the past 4 days on the coast, 60-80 (guess) miles to the west as the crow flies. It was beautiful, sunny, blue sky in the 60's, walk on the beach in short sleeve t-shirt kind of weather. Back in our valley the damp chilly fog has been a daily companion since the holidays. I'd love some rain, love some snow but the fog wears on me. And we do need rain and snow or we'll be embarking on our third year of drought heading into another bad fire season.

Here we are coming over Mount Sexton to our valley.  Looks like a lake out there surrounded by mountains doesn't it?  Nope, it's a layer of fog hanging over the valley, we're up above it, looking down on it at the moment.

Our house is down under that mass of white - we can see this spot on Mount Sexton from our deck......on a sunny day.  The temperature fell 20 degrees from the top of the pass to when we hit the fog bank a few seconds later.

I quickly clicked off these 3 pictures before we hit the fog bank, here we're just starting into it, a second later we could see nothing. I guess the only positive thing I can say is that it's not freezing fog turning the roads into ice............

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Adding beads to a fringe

After weaving for a while today on the towel warp I decided I really needed to stop so I could watch this past Sunday's episode of Downton Abbey but I can't just sit and watch tv so decided to work on twisting the fringe on a couple scarves while it was on. I added some beads to the fringes and want to share an easy way to get seed beads onto the warp threads - I use a big eye beading needle, this particular one from Beadalon and I buy them from Shipwreck Beads although I'm sure any good bead store would have them.

The very long, very thin needle is like 2 needles connected at the top and bottom so the center of it can be opened up and the warp thread slid in. I then pick up beads with the needle and slide them right up onto the warp end. I'm using size 8 seed beads. (Sorry the pix aren't real great - didn't feel like running upstairs to get the camera and used my phone, color is off and pix a bit blurry)

Then I twist the fringe like normal - love the little bit of sparkle it adds to the fringe without being overwhelming for those who might be shy about wearing too much bling...........although I can't quite relate to that......

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New towels on the loom......

I got a new towel warp on the loom - plain weave and 3/1 twill. The colors are to coordinate with the recently woven table runners (still waiting to be hand-hemmed).  Above is actually the backside of the towels - less harnesses to raise if I weave it upside down.

Here's what the front side will look like - this 12 yard warp will weave quickly if I get the time at the loom. These are very springy/eastery looking.

I also pinned up the hems on the tulip table runners today - they're now set aside waiting to be hand-hemmed when I'm sitting watching tv in the evenings.......except right now I'm in the spinning mood in the evenings.

This technique for getting a sharp hem is one I learned from Marcy Tilton. She lives south of me by around 45 minutes - until we moved closer to town she was only 5 minutes away. She uses manila folders cut into different widths to use as a pressing tool when turning up a hem - I adopted this practice well over 10 years ago and love the results.

For these table runners I used the 1 1/4" wide manila guide. Here's the first pressing with the iron. (yes, I should have been more careful taking photos, it's looks cockeyed but the hem really isn't)

Here's the second turning of the hem.  Ignore my ironing board cover - I could replace it every week the way it stains.

And here's the table runner turned over, you can see where I pinned it from the other side. I have a stack of 8 of them now ready to hem.

Here are all my manila folder guides - I made them from 1/2" up to 3". I punched holes in the ends and hang them on a ring up on my bulletin board in my sewing room. Maybe in another year or so I'll make new ones, in over 10 years this is only my second set.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Playing with wool..........

I've spent the better part of 2 days playing with wool.......well, in my case it's actually working with wool.  I had a big order I had been ignoring so decided it was time to weigh, bag, label, put into inventory and relist sold out colors in the etsy shop. It's a time sucker and one of my roadblocks in getting as much time at the loom as I used to..........good income but takes much time.  I also did some inventory work and bookkeeping work........not the end of the year bookkeeping work that I should be doing and will wait way too late to work on but regular daily stuff........

I put together new felting/spinning kits. This merino kit used to have 12 colors and was around 6oz, now it has 16 colors and is around 8oz. I used some of the colors of the original kit, some new. Great sampling of colors for needlefelters, wet felters and those who are blending roving on blending boards.  It was tough to fit it in the containers I use for the 6oz kits.....kind of like sitting on a suitcase and quickly closing it. These kits along with some others can be found in the Felting/Spinning Kit section of my shop.

This is a limited offering from Ashland Bay Fibers of 80% Ecru Merino blended with 20% Black Tussah Silk. I haven't had a chance to spin a sample yet but it feels lovely. It can be found in the Silk Blends section of my shop.

It's a rainy weekend - good for weaving - heading to the loom now..........and hoping for no interruptions...........

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Looks like spring

Yesterday I didn't get as much time at the loom as I would have liked (phone rang off the hook) but I did get the two coral tulip table runners woven (after unweaving back to my mistake) and two yellow/lavender ones.  Doesn't this one make you think Easter?!  Working with these spring colors makes me smile while sitting in all this bone-chilling fog.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fun DIY earring holder

Recently I decided I needed a place to hang my earrings other than in my wonderful jewelry box that does have great fold out earring holders...........but if something is in the jewelry box it's out of sight, out of mind and I keep the 2 pair of diamond studs in my ears never changing them. So on the wall adjacent to the mirror and where my jewelry box sits in the bathroom I put up this. First I had this fun little shelf I bought at a thrift store where I can hang bracelets.....I can put other 'jewels' like pendants and pins in the little drawers.  I picked up a white frame at Michaels using one of their 50% coupons. I bought some wire at Lowe's, Sam cut it and stapled it in the back of the frame.  Now I can hang (certain types) of earrings on it in full view - I love it. I've bought some cup hooks I'm thinking of putting on the sides of the frame for a few necklaces. This is all the earrings that have made it up there yet, will get some more on it soon.........when I open that jewelry box.......

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Well shoot.........

Well shoot..........this afternoon I got this warp on the loom for 8 table runners, I'll be weaving two of each colorway. Do you see what I did?  The first row of the flower stems at the bottom of the border motif has some little dots of green where they shouldn't be - argh.  A mistake in tie-up for that treadle. I didn't notice it while weaving, just saw it looking at this photo on the monitor so quickly ran downstairs to the studio to check it out - yep, it's wrong. This is all I got woven so not a big a deal - tomorrow I'll be unweaving this few inches and starting the tulips over.

I wove these table runners back in 2003 and they sold very quickly. I don't know if that will happen again but I'm willing to see if anyone is interested this time around. There will be coral tulips (above), yellow, lavender and pink. It's hard to see but I am using a very pale peach for the weft on the white warp.

This is all a part of me trying to think ahead this year with seasonal/holiday weaving - I'm thinking spring/Easter right now.