Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's been a good day.......

Today was a good day in spite of it feeling like winter once again - morning walk with Bailey found torrential rains and hail, snow dusting the hills just above us. After my shoulders recovered from morning yoga practice, phew instructors are working us harder lately, I put minestrone in the crockpot, got laundry started (never ending, isn't it?) and finally got to putting a painted warp on the loom.

This is one of the last two painted warps that's been sitting around waiting for me to weave. Just about time to start thinking about winding many new warps in different fibers to dye for future projects. My favorite fibers for painted warps are bamboo, tencel, rayon and silk. The fiber here is Bambu 7 (bamboo). The weave structure is basically a twill, a two tie unit based on a draft in the book '60 Scarves, 60 Years' published by the Baltimore Weaver's Guild recently. I took liberties with the draft - after putting it into my weaving computer program, WeaveIt Pro, I started manipulating it to make it my own. This is what I came up with. There's enough warp for 2 scarves, this first one I'm crossing with a bamboo weft in purple. At the beginning of the warp I also tried an inch using a silver grey bamboo - haven't decided yet if I'll use that for the second warp or not. Using a light color like that may wash out the scarf....will think on it.

So, when Bailey wasn't laying in the studio snoozing while I was weaving he was laying on 'his' bed in the guest room. He loves the big picture window where he can survey part of his property and keep watch on those turkeys, deer and the hated squirrels.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Upcycled bag............

My recyled guild challenge is finished - I think it turned out just fine and I ended up liking the lining fabric I bought although I was questioning my choice yesterday. It's a huge tote bag - perfect for it's intended job of toting things out to the RV for weekend trips.......longer trips I use a bigger duffel. I can see things I would have done differently colorwise now that I know the clear plastic bags add a lot of  'white' to the weaving. Before I did the sewing I had visions of making lots of these bags, although a more normal size tote, since I seem to have a large growing supply of the bags from my fiber orders...........but the sewing wasn't all that much fun so will have to think more on that idea.

The other guild challenge is due in June - that one we have to create something inspired by a scent we received - I have cinnamon. I do have my idea for that - just need to execute and hope it works - pictures to come when I get around to it. First it's back to weaving - scarf inventory is getting a bit low.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Recycled weaving revisted..........

So I finished weaving the fabric for my recycled weaving fabric a bit ago - it's 3/2 perle cotton warp crossed with a plastic bag strip weft - the plastic bags are what my Ashland Bay orders come in - each color in a bag by itself. So, I searched and searched for a fabric lining and decided on the cotton fabric on the right. Well, that searching was done with just pieces of the chartreuse & black perle cotton, I didn't take into account how much lighter the woven fabric looks with the plastic bags....guess I should have just schelped the woven fabric with me to the store. If I have something more suitable in my fabric stash I'll use it, otherwise I go with this. The hold up for starting to sew was weaving the matching inkle band for straps. I want the straps to go all the way down the sides of the bag to the bottom so it's stronger. I'd pretty much been ignoring the warped up inkle loom until this afternoon when I wove like crazy to get the almost 5 yards of band woven. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get to the sewing machine.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Twisting fringe the fast way......

I thought I'd share how I twist fringe the fast way. Since I do a lot of it I need for it to be quick and efficient. I was so thrilled a number of years ago when there was a new hair craze (I think for little girls) of twisting hair. Many stores/drugstores had the Conair Hair Twister.....and a few months later when the fad died out they were on clearance. All of us local weavers hit the stores buying them up.And you know, of course, I bought a second one just in case the first broke and I couldn't find anymore.  It's battery operated, batteries last a long time in it. Now, of course, they've disappeared but I did hear from someone that they found another brand on Amazon - search under hair twister or hair braider for it.  I do have one of the manual fringe twisters made by a weaver, it's really nice but not as fast and requires extra work on my part, not to mention need 2 hands.
I start out by laying the item on my rotary cutting board - it's great because of the marked off inch gridlines that make it easy to measure where to tie the knot so they're all the same length. I do put weight on the fabric end to keep it from moving....usually whatever is handy, like cones of yarn. I insert the 2 sections to be twisted into the ends of the fringe twister. I push the button forward and it twists the fringe.
Then I push the the button in the opposite direction and the entire head of the unit twists in the other direction to twist them together (see below). It is so fast! What a lifesaver. Usually my knots aren't tied that short but this is a throw and I didn't think having a long fringe was the best for it.
AFter all the twisting is finished I pull out my rotary cutter and trim the ends to a perfect length. Usually I use a longer ruler but I was too lazy to walk in the other room to get the longer one sitting next to the sewing machine. Below is a picture of the finished fringe along with the fringe twister (hair twister). I twisted lots of fringe yesterday working on two chenille throws.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Currently on the wheel............

This is my current spinning, since I usually only spin in my spinning group and when demo'ing it will take a while to get this spun. This is some of my hand-dyed merino roving. It's a dream to spin. Unfortunately for anyone interested in this colorway this is all there is. I do have others for sale in my etsy shop.

Hoping today to get the fringe twisted on the chenille throws.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A beautiful spring day.......finally......

I tried to get pictures of the hummingbirds as they landed on the feeder today, pictures are just so-so but I thought I'd share them anyhow. The picture of the one sitting on the oak tree branch is not very clear at all, it was very far away but it caught the beautiful color of his throat - Sam took that picture. For the pix at the feeder I was sitting just 4 feet away, both Bailey and I can be very still and quiet as to not bother the birds - they dive bomb us if we're too noisy.

So, today I got a bit done that I'd be waiting for the weather to warm up to do. I washed the two chenille throws and let them dry over towels hanging over the deck railing (no pix). I washed and blocked the crocheted shawl made from my garden party handspun. I also washed the handwoven recycled bag fabric (no pix) - still need to work on the inkle band though so not ready to sew it together yet. And I did do a tiny bit of weaving - a few more samples on the warp from the summer and winter workshop. The red/black/white is two color dukagang. And the asian symbol for happiness was done in dukagang pickup. Am hoping to find some time tomorrow to play with more sampling on that warp.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm back.........

I'm back, been absent this week attending a Summer & Winter weaving workshop taught by Linda Davis of Sisters, OR. I learned a tremendous amount about designing and some of the many different treadlings available to use with this weave structure. My samples are still on the table loom as I want to try out some other treadling variations. Hopefully I can get to that early next week since I need to get that warp off the loom and the next one on for a doubleweave workshop with Jannie Taylor (instructor for AVL) in 2 weeks. Maybe next year my two guilds will communicate better and not have workshops this close together.

So today I need to get the inkle loom warped up to weave the handles for my recycled bag project - will do the actual weaving in the evening. Then it's back to the chenille throw warp, need to finish weaving it off, wash the throws and twist the fringes so they get to the customer who ordered them.

I've still got a sale going in my etsy shop on hand-dyed roving - these are the last of these colorways. They're in the Sale Section of my shop and are marked at 25% off. These are pix of some of what's available. There is also lots of other roving in the shop that I have larger quantities of.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sample spinning............

The only spinning I've done lately is more samples of Ashland Bay Fibers. Most of these are merino, a couple colonial, merino/bamboo and merino/tussah. This spinning is very fun, spin a bit of a color, andean ply it and then move on to the next color. This is the last of the samples to be spun for a while so I'll have to pick out something from the stash for my next spinning.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Handwoven throws on the loom

Here's a pic of the chenille throws in progress on the loom. Would love to knock them out this week but am busy away from the loom every day except Friday until the following Friday - I would say I'd have weaving withdrawals except one day is a weaving guild meeting and 3 days are a weaving workshop.

Sale in my Etsy shop

It's spring cleaning time in my etsy shop. Just thought I'd mention in case anyone was interested - I'm having a sale in one of my etsy shops on hand-dyed roving. Each day this week I'm adding new roving to the Sale Section of the shop - these are colorways where there's only one braid (approx 7-8oz) left. I'm making room for new colorways to come soon.......and old colorways that have been very popular and sold out. So, if you're interested check it out - eweniquely ewe. Here are a few examples of what's on sale.  And as always my other etsy shop carries Ashland Bay Trading Co roving - it's eweniquely ewe fibers.

On another note I don't seem to have gotten much weaving done. I did get the recycled bag fabric off the loom - it's awaiting washing, sewing, lining and weaving inkle loom bands for the handles. Monday I did get a warp wound for a special order for 2 chenille throws - hope to get started weaving today, will post a picture when there's something to see.

This Saturday is my guild presentation on woven devore - still trying to figure out how to present it without sounding too negative about the process. And next week is a 3 day workshop on Summer & Winter - table loom is warped and ready to go.