Monday, April 30, 2012

Upcycled, recycled scrabble tiles

Look at what was waiting in the mail for me in the mail from over the weekend. A fun scrabble bracelet that spells out 'ewenique'  It came in a cute little handmade pouch. My cousin Claudia sent this. She has an etsy shop where she sells upcycled handmade creations and also a blog. Check them out!

The Washed Ashore Project

This past weekend was a girls coast getaway, me and my good friend Pat, one of my fiber peeps.....well Bailey went too so not a total girls getaway. We walked the Bandon beaches, relaxed, went through some shops, drank a little wine, had great food and just had a nice leisurely 3 days relaxing at the cottage. One of the fun, most inspiring places we visited was The Washed Ashore Project and Art 101 just south of  Bandon on the Oregon Coast. This is an incredible project lead by artist and director Angela Haseltine with the help of many volunteers in the community. Unfortunately we didn't get to meet Angela as she was out of town promoting the project but we had a great visit with a wonderful couple working there on Saturday. Incredible giant sealife sculptures are created with all the trash, marine and plastic, collected off the beaches. The idea behind it is to bring awareness to the problem out there and the consequences of this trash to our marine life. I apologize for the pictures, my phone's camera isn't the greatest but it's all I had with me at the time. Please take the time to visit the websites by clicking on the links to their names above. And be sure to click on the movie tab and watch the video on The Washed Ashore Project site, it's very moving. And there are great photographs on the site....unlike my poor ones. I couldn't leave there without leaving a donation and plan on bringing some items to donate to the resale project to help raise funds. Remember as you look at these pictures that everything was created from trash.

The Sea Cave - they turned out the lights on us and it also glowed in the dark - wow!


Sea cave close-up

Fish tank

Fish tank close-up





Jellyfish made of plastic bottles destined to go with turtles & fish as a part of a larger piece

Part of a tiger shark in progress

Friday, April 27, 2012

Nothing creative happening here.....

Yes, I'm here, got home from the coast Sunday evening and nothing creative has gone on in this house since....administrivia took up the entire week. Paperwork, computer work, weaving guild newsletter, etc. Well, there was one day of play when Yvonne and I went to Medford and browsed the antique/craft mercantiles over there, lunch out, stop at Old Navy.....but adminstrivia before we went and when I got home. And I still haven't taken pictures of scarves so I can list them in the etsy shop. I am happy to say that I have only one more issue of the weaving guild newsletter to put together and then I'm done with that monthly chore. I really shouldn't call it a chore - I did the job for 7 years, took a few years off and have been back at it for 5 years now. It's really a fun guild job, it's just time for me to move on, I'm getting stale.

Here's hoping for a fiber filled weekend to all of my fiber loving followers, my weekend is going to be much more fun than the administrivia of the week.....

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Another beautiful day in paradise.....

It's another picture perfect beautiful day here on the coast - we'd really love to live here full time even when the weather is not picture perfect...maybe one day but today we've got to head back home, Sam has to work tomorrow and I've got fiber orders to mail.
This is one of the many wood sculptures down in the harbor area down the hill from our house. It's a spectacular octopus.
Some plants in my little flower bed in front of the cottage. I don't have a plant book over here so I can't tell you want these are called but they're huge, so beautiful and covered in snails....this yard is snail haven.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What fun!

Just had to share - I won a book - Nicholas Spark's book The Lucky One. It's going to be a great beach read. Many thanks to Rachel of Always a Project blog. Check out her blog to see the wonderfully creative things she does and read about the fun house party she had to promote the movie. I can't remember how I found Rachel's blog months ago but I've so enjoyed reading it since then. Thank you Rachel

Life's a beach.....

 Morning marine layer along the coast - absolutely beautiful walk this morning......
.....here's looking the other direction......
.....and here's Bailey all tuckered out from a very long walk, at this point he's not remembering we walked so far down that we have a long climb up the scary stairs.....we both think they're scary, those metal stairs that you can see through, gives us the willies climbing them, and it must be 4 flights worth with landings in-between.....didn't find the usual handful of cockle shells on this walk but found what I'd call a 'real' shell, I was so excited....found another treasure - a knotted bag which probably holds bait on a boat over the side to attract fish complete with metal hook....the things that excite us me.

After that great beach walk we stopped at the library on the way home to see the exhibit by the local weaving guild, Humbug Weavers & Spinners, very nice and always wonderful to see the fiber arts being promoted to the general public. After that I picked up my drop spindle and roving and went over to The Wool Co to visit the local spinning group, No Lazy Kates....what a nice welcoming group....I'll go back when I'm here on the day they meet, it's always nice to meet other fiber fanatics.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Shadow weave

Here's the shadow weave warp on the table loom for the upcoming workshop. I wove a little sample to check my threading - no errors, I'm good to go. For the sample I used the same black and golden green for weft - it will be fun to try some variations on those colors in my samples. After this was done I twisted the fringes on the scarves posted yesterday. Now those need photographs taken plus I've got some other scarves that need to be photographed....not sure if I'll feel like doing that tomorrow or not.....not my favorite job.

I did get yesterday's post in under the wire - internet was lost shortly after I finished it until 11:30 this morning, it's been off and on although the past couple of hours all has been well. I'd like to think that after 6 days my provider finally got it fixed but I'm not getting my hopes up yet.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sneaking this in......

I'm trying to sneak in this post before internet goes down again, it's been a problem now going on 5 days (actually many months off and on). Calling my provider and talking to someone in India doesn't provide anything other than frustration since they are instructed to follow a script that provides no solution on my end. During one of the rare times I had internet I finally found a place to send an email, I must have hit a nerve because I had a phone call from someone here in the states this morning. I got an apology - new equipment is being installed here to correct the problem they've been jury rigging for a long time. No solution for slowest dsl on the planet though. He conferenced me through to the 'loyalty' department and because of my on-going problems I'm getting the next 12 months at half-price......would rather have internet I can count on but at least this is something. No internet is tough, we all depend on it so much these days.
Here are those scarves that recently came off the loom, washed yesterday. The pictures don't do them justice, the gold color looks like real gold, it just shimmers. It turns out my favorite one is the one I didn't like on the loom - the red with the busy crepe weave background. Next step is to twist the fringes.
This warp going on my table loom looks similar in color to the scarves above in this picture but it really isn't. This picture is taken from the back of the loom, the warp still on the lease sticks, it's threaded through the heddles & reed at this point. It's for an upcoming shadow weave workshop with Linda Hartshorn. I decided to use 2 light colors with my dark instead of just one light and one dark. My dark is black - my lights are chartreuse and golden green. This workshop is a couple weeks off but I want my loom warped and set aside ready to go, will tie on tomorrow and weave a little sample to make sure there are no errors. In addition to these colors I'll probably bring a few more to experiment with for the weft. This is a round robin workshop, depending on what fiber and length warp put on we'll either weave off a scarf or table runner after sampling. I didn't want a table runner so this is an 8/2 tencel scarf warp, wider than I'd normally like but that's the width she suggested, it's perfectly fine. This should be a fun workshop, I'm looking forward to it. I'm hoping to gain more knowledge to enable me to design shadow weave drafts to weave on my AVL using many harnesses. Also have been thinking about echo weave lately and want to start learning more about it - first glance makes me think it's similar to shadow weave in warp but then only one color in the weft......will find time to read up on it at some point in the near future. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Birch leaves revamped....

Last night I decided to sit down with the laptop and rework the birch leaves draft I had downloaded from handweaving.net. I took out the crepe weave background and replaced it with a 1/3 twill. It probably took me longer than it should have since I don't know the shortcuts but that's ok, it's all a learning process. I think it looks much better, what do you think?
After I wove a scarf using the new draft I then reworked it again taking out some of the rows of 1/3 twill in-between the leaves. I'm now starting to think about the gingko leaf and dragonfly drafts I'd like to design, I want to do some more playing in the software first though.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

...national grilled cheese day....yum.....

This morning I heard that today is national grilled cheese day - my favorite sandwich! So I quickly went to the fridge to see what I had in the way of cheese......one lonely piece of provolone and a tiny chunk of cheddar left, between the two of them I could make a sandwich for lunch. It always brings back memories of growing up when my friend/neighbor Vicki and I would have grilled cheese sandwiches all summer long while on school vacation and we put pickles in them, sometimes dill, sometimes sweet. In honor of that memory I put sweet & hot pickles and pepperocini in mine - I don't know when I've enjoyed my lunch at home so much.
This is the underside of that first scarf on the warp from yesterday - I like the backside better. I've decided what bothers me about this pattern is that the background is so busy, the crepe weave. As I learn more of the in's & out's of the software I'm going to alter this pattern to be a 1/3 twill. Now off to weave another scarf using a deep red for the weft...now that I've finished my yummy lunch....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hmm, not quite what I thought

I wound a warp today but it's not turning out how I envisioned. I was graduating 3 colors in the warp but am not totally happy with the color on the right, it's too light....too late now!  Then I started auditioning wefts, see the start of that above. I have never auditioned so many weft colors ever before with only one acceptable - the green, the color in this picture is very misleading, it's actually very attractive. This pattern (gleaned from handweaving.net) is a 32 harness twill and crepe weave. It's called Birch Leaves and has a leaf pattern that changes directions 4 times. Luckily it's a straight twill so I can ditch the birch leaves and find another draft. I'm going to have to give this warp some thought. I think this pattern is better suited to a solid color warp, maybe a black.

On this Birch Leaves pattern, I have found in downloading wif files from online or CD's that I better study them carefully before starting to weave. There are sometimes errors, most often I've found them in the weft picks as in this one. If I had continued to repeat this pattern it would not have matched up. I did some editing and fixed that. This is actually not a bad thing because it's making me spend more time learning WeavePoint.

So today wasn't a total success but I enjoyed myself winding the warp and dressing the loom.....just another learning experience.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Waves scarf....

....I'm terrible at the photography of my handwovens but I do my best. I thought I'd share this picture because it's one that actually shows the sheen and drape in this scarf. I have to admit it's beautiful. I'm considering keeping one of the others, it's very similar to this one, just a bit lighter weft in a seafoam green. This one will go up in my etsy shop tomorrow....too tired tonight to do any more sitting in front of the computer screen.

....back to administrivia...

....back to dealing with administrivia this week, I'd much rather be winding a warp but what can I do..... Yesterday I spent the better part of the day weighing, bagging and labeling 40 pounds of wool roving, colors I've been out of and a few new ones. Had to take pictures of the new rovings, edit and get them up in the etsy shop. Then put everything into inventory. There's a beautiful mixed blue face leicester/tussah silk blend, it's a lovely silver taupe color. Today has been spent gathering and filling my rolling cart and plastic bins with everything I need to teach the guild program on the wire coiled bead jewelry this coming Saturday including printing the handouts. Then more picture taking of scarves so they can be listed for sale in the other etsy shop, still need to edit those pix.
I did get this handspun washed and blocked, 2 pounds/968 yards of Ashland Bay merino/tussah in the Del Mar colorway. I was trying to spin thicker (my default spinning is very thin) than I usually do for a knit vest pattern, well, it's a tiny bit too thick for this pattern....so it will sit on the shelf until I come up with another project. And there's another couple skeins of handspun, merino/shetland, that I washed this morning, they're on the blocker now.

I started a fun and very cute project but I can't show them for another 2 months. I always make a fun little goodie for my spinning circle buddies to hang on their wheels at the NWRSA conference. All I can say is that it's making me giggle. I'll be sure to get a picture of all of them once done and post it after the conference.

Think I'll go open that box the UPS fella delivered today, it's got new colors of 8/2 tencel in it and some Cascade 220 for a granny square afghan for the beach. Hmm, new tencel colors....might need to start winding a warp.....

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy chomp the ears off that chocolate bunny day

To celebrate spring, well it finally felt like spring was arriving here in the northwest but who knows, I'm putting a free gift in with every order from either of my etsy shops for the month of April or until they're gone. With fiber orders it will be a small lamb/llama/goat knick-knack. I'm culling the herd, I have hundreds of them and it's time for some to find new homes with loving fiber folks. I'm keeping those that were gifts or that are special to me but the rest will be moving on to greener pastures.....and they sure are cute! For orders of handwovens there will be an appropriate gift since that buyer may not be a fiber fanatic and appreciate a fiber critter.

eweniquely ewe - hand-dyed roving, yarn, handwovens, felted items
eweniquely ewe fibers - huge selection of ashland bay roving

Friday, April 6, 2012

...waves.....

....love these waves....scarves washed, dry and ironed are awaiting fringe twisting, wasn't sure I'd be thrilled with the rayon flake slubs throughout but I love these scarves......

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy Camper

Remember in my last post complaining venting about tension issues using the AVL warping wheel? Well after fighting with the last 10 inches of the first scarf I decided I couldn't weave the entire warp like that. I cut off that first scarf and set it aside for washing with the others once all are woven. I then pulled the warp forward, chaining as I went, pulled the metal dividers on the sectional beam off, and then wound the warp back on using corrugated cardboard as I always do when not warping sectionally. Perfect tension like I'm used to. I'm thrilled that I can warp this V-Series sectionally or non-sectionally which allowed me to do this quickly.

I've been weaving since 1986 and tension has never been an issue until the warping wheel. I have gotten it down pat how to use the wheel but when I'm winding the warp onto the back beam I can see that the threads want to move/catch/go in-between other threads. The tension on the wheel seems to be good. Next time I'll put more sectional metal dividers in and only wind 1" sections rather than 2" sections, maybe that will be the trick to solve the problem, less area for these thin threads to migrate. Would it help to put my tension box (from my other loom) on? It's not supposed to be needed but maybe it would help. Can anyone else out there with a warping wheel give me more words of wisdom?

Monday, April 2, 2012

On the loom revisited

Kathy asked if I could point her in the direction of the current draft I'm weaving. It's on the website handweaving.net and is a 32 shaft pattern called Ivy DeHart, #61265. I didn't want a horizontal design so I turned the draft which made it 20 shafts so she'll be able to weave it on her new to her 24 H AVL.
(whoops update - wrong Kathy....was assuming it was a Kathy I knew that recently got an AVL - but now everyone has the draft info)

On the loom......

Finally got back to the loom today to thread heddles & reed and start weaving. I really like this pattern, I think it will look fantastic using a painted warp...can't wait for the weather to warm so I can spend a few days outside painting a bushel of warps. This color isn't quite true, the light peach is close but what looks blue is a seaglass blue and really looks nice in person. Been auditioning other wefts for the rest of the scarves. What looks like bumps in the weaving are - those are from the peach rayon which is a flake, hence the thick & thin. Once again I'm being quite tame in my color choices, maybe I'm just looking for more subtle scarves right now - will have to remedy that on the next warp!