Friday, May 28, 2010

Long day..........

It sure makes for a long day when one wakes up at 3am and never goes back to sleep. I'm starting to crash now so I'm moving on to other activities. I started out weaving on the runner warp. Was getting restless since what I really want to do is play with spinning fiber. So, I took out some handpainted superwash colonial roving (Great Balls of Fiber) and started separating the colors like I did with some roving I spun in February/March. I haven't decided yet if I'll spin each pile as is or mix them up in the plying process. End result is several yarns that coordinate with each other. (just realized this picture isn't very good - those are piles of roving, each piece in the pile is around 6" long - I pulled the handpainted roving apart where the colors meet)
But this isn't the next fiber to be spun - decided I'm in a purple mood so I went and pulled out from the Ashland Bay stash (that I sell) some Merino/Tussah in the Concord colorway. I really wanted to spin the Yellow colorway but I sold the last of it and it's been discontinued - guess that will teach me for not setting some aside. I love yellow! But pack to the purple....I think this will eventually become a shawl, knit or woven, don't know yet. I've got a pound to spin....and I guess I'll have to add this to my next order since it's the last of what I have in stock.
But before I start that spinning I've got plying to do - some beautiful handpainted merino I recently started on. It was one of those colorways that as soon as it came out of the dyepot I put it aside for myself. Dusty grey blues and dusty purple. So, off to the wheel..............

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More celtic weaving

Second two runners in a tan with black for the celtic border design


Pure bliss weaving something I enjoy the entire process of. This is the start of the celtic knot runners. First two I'm using a very light teal for the ground weft with a darker teal for the pattern weft. As I'm weaving I'm thinking about the next color combo's for the rest of the warp.

Sacrifice to the Weaving Goddess

Yes, I did it yesterday, I cut off that painted warp and sacrificed it to the weaving goddess. The first scarf is ok, actually it feels yummy combining the bamboo and tencel, but colors are not great. What was I thinking when I dyed this??? Who can wear these colors? Even the first scarf crossed with a golden bamboo, which makes it appear more autumn like, will be hard for most folks to wear. I know, this probably kills some people that I wasted this warp but the fact is that it's less than $2 worth of warp, why spend my valuable time weaving something I'm not happy with - my time is worth so much more.
Yesterday afternoon  a 12 yard warp of natural 5/2 perle cotton sett at 15 epi for runners went on the loom. It's tied on the front beam, warp spread out and ready to start weaving today. I'll be weaving the same pattern as the guild towel exchange towels (see my March 28th post) celtic knots designed by Robyn Spady (as seen on Weavezine). I'll vary wefts and the celtic knot border in color so I don't get bored. Many will be for gifts or for sale but this was a selfish choice in patterns - I want one!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Not inspired at all today....or else very tired.......

No pictures today, I'm just not inspired. I finished the first scarf on the painted warp on the loom (see Saturday's post) and started on the second scarf. I wasn't happy with the weft I chose so I started sampling with all different colors - I liked nothing. Finally I decided on a natural bamboo, have woven 15" and stopped - don't like it. I almost cut the warp off (very unusual for me to give up) but decided to think on it another night. If I still feel the same in the morning it comes off and the one scarf will be washed, remainder of the warp sacrificed to the weaving goddess. I woke up at 1am and got a couple hours sleep after that this morning so I don't know if I don't like the weaving because I really don't like it or just because I'm tired (am thinking I really don't like those oranges & yellows). So, I've been working on planning new projects - runners go on the loom next.  Now off to do some spinning.........or take a nap.........

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Phil the Reeves Pheasant

Here's our new friend, Phil the Reeves Pheasant. Many thanks to Yvonne for finding out what kind of bird he was when we sent her this pic from Sam's cell, she's our resident birder. Phil's been hanging around recently - sometimes hanging with the turkeys, sometimes alone. He seems very lonely as he's not afraid of us and even chased us down the driveway yesterday evening as we drove out. He enjoys being talked to and talks back in a soft melodic song. We're hoping he's not lost from his home, perhaps someone nearby is raising them. Sure hope he roosts in the firs at night like the turkeys so the coyotes don't get him.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

On the loom today........

This is the last painted warp I had hanging in the studio - it's been hanging there for a reason, I haven't been thrilled with the colors. I almost hung it back out of sight but decided to put it on the loom. I've had a few warps like this in the past and once I wove them I loved the resulting scarves.......jury still out on this one. The warp is tencel, the weft is a golden bamboo. The second scarf on the warp I'll use a dusty rose bamboo, I sampled at the beginning of the warp with several colors and like the dusty rose. Since I hadn't tired of this undulating twill pattern from the last scarf I decided to use it for this one too.  Can't wait for it to warm up so I can get outside to dye more warps. I can do the dyeing in the garage in bad weather but I like the natural light much better so I dye enough during the summer to weave on all year. I don't have a plan as I wind warps - I wind enough for scarves but sometimes end up mixing them with solid colors on the loom to make shawls or yardage.

Sale - Hand-dyed Rovings

Thought I'd share the picture of  hand-dyed rovings on sale, 25% off, in my etsy shop. If anyone is interested go to my shop and click on the Sale Section to see them without having to wade through all the other roving. There is superwash merino, merino, falkland, colonial, corriedale cross, blue face leicester, black blue face leicester and wensleydale. These are the last of these colorways - need to make room for new colorways. I can't wait to get back to the dyepots - I keep thinking warm weather is coming but spring got lost somewhere on it's way to Oregon..............

Friday, May 21, 2010

A wintery day of play.........

Yes, I said wintery day of play......what happened to spring??? I remember having 3 or 4 days of it and then we went back to winter - today torrential rains, wind, big hail and tonight the snow level will fall to 2500 ft and freeze warnings in the valley. Guess I'll need to pull all those planters on the deck up against the house or lose all.

So, here's the finished scarf of my handspun merino/tencel warp crossed with a commercial bamboo weft. I had been undecided on the sett and ended up changing it from 15 epi to 18 epi. It turned out beautiful but in hindsight I wish I had left it at 15 epi. The feel of this is 'like butter'. I added some beading in-between the twisted fringes, it doesn't show much which is planned, I didn't want a lot of added color to pop out, I just wanted sparkle. I'm happy with this.
So here was the beginning of my play day.....surface design. I never shop at Penney's but the other night some cute women's t's with cap sleeves caught my eye in the sale ad (sale is still on for a few days). How could I resist? Only $5.99, regular $14.00, just calling out to be embellished. I did keep a couple plain but had to play with the rest. Although not pictured many have a little embellishment on the sleeve or on the back shoulder. I could have gone crazy with the stenciling and silk screening but in reality I don't like that much design, much prefer simple and understated. First was the chartruese t that I bought to wear under this great rayon piece. I used stencils and Shiva Paintstiks - love the way it turned out.
Next was the brown t where I used a ginko stencil sheet and gold, copper and yellow gold paintstiks. The second picture is of the back shoulder.
Then a cute little flower in white paintstik on purple
The lotus blossom is one of the silkscreens I made last year - I used chartruese Lumiere paint. This also has a cute little chinese knot on each sleeve and the back shoulder
And finally on the black t a neat little abstract design in white paintstik with dragonflies in lavendar, green and blue
paintstiks. The second picture is the back shoulder. Since I'm not an experienced photographer I'm not sure why the wavy lines turn up on the body of the t-shirts in these photos. Sometimes it happens when photographing handwovens on the loom too.
Ok, big decision - do I head back to Penney's for more little t's...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Today's weaving

This morning I woke up and decided to put some of my handspun merino/tencel on the loom to weave a scarf in an undulating twill. The handspun is beautiful, it has a sheen I will never be able to catch with the camera. I used black Bambu 7 (bamboo) for the weft. I went back and forth on what to sett the warp at, first thinking 12 epi because of the wool, but then knew that would be too open so I opted for 15 epi. I started weaving some waste yarn to check it out and found it was too loose so out of the reed it came and resleyed to 18 epi. I never have this indecision on sett but then I don't weave as often with wool, my fiber of choice is usually tencel, bamboo, rayon, silk and cotton. It came off the loom a bit ago and wow did the merino/tencel puff up once there was no tension on it - hope my decision to sett at 18epi was a good one. It's now soaking, will hang to dry. Not sure about the fringe until I see it dry but first thought is to twist it and add black sparkley glass beads as embellishment in-between.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ply me to the moon update

Thought I'd just mention that if anyone is interested in checking out the blog, Ply me to the moon, I put up for my spinning group I just updated it today after taking pix of the latest spinning done. It's just for fun. One member has written a song which we eventually hope to get up on the blog, just need to figure out how to get the video up.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Knitting stitch markers..........

This was my fun activity for part of today - making more knitting stitch markers for sale, 3 different sizes, all kinds of glass beads. New are the alphabet markers. Most are packaged on cards in clear bags ready for sale now (will keep some on hand if someone contacts me about buying them). Trying to get a pile of stuff ready for the shop, Llamas & Llambs, for delivery on Thursday - have the stitch markers, a few handwoven towels, handwoven scarves and inklewoven bookmarks. Boy, I better buckle down and get to weaving, am out of runners, towels and getting low on scarves.

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Friday afternoon............

This is what I sewed this afternoon - box bags that are the perfect size for sock knitting, but they have all sorts of uses. I really wanted to wind a warp and start weaving but needed to work on these for gifts, still have more to make, not sure if I'll keep going right now or wait a month or so to make more.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cinnamon the sheep.........

Ok, so here's what I worked on while the power was catching up reading several magazines while laying on the porch swing...........

This is my project for my guild challenge. We each got a scent, mine was cinnamon, that were were supposed to use as inspiration for a fiber related project - it could be handspun, woven, knit, felted, whatever. My first thought was woven coasters using the long cinnamon sticks but they would never go over the front beam of the loom without breaking the sticks and I wasn't about to cut off and re-tie on for each coaster. So, plan b was to use cinnamon sticks for a needlefelted sheep's legs. I could have cheated and used one of two warp painted scarves I already had done that happened to be called cinnamon but I didn't.........

So, before the power went out I quickly sewed up a wool felt sheep body and hot glued the cinnamon stick legs in. Now, this isn't my own idea of the felt body - my friend Karen makes sheep like this using rusted nails for legs and locks (washed sheep's fleece before carding) for the sheep's coat. I knew she wouldn't mind if I made the core of my sheep the same way since I'm not going to be selling any of these (this is my one and only!). Check out her etsy shop, Liongate, to see her adorable sheep for sale, not to mention santas, mice, felted gift tags, fiber, etc. etc.

The first picture is of my sewn and stuffed sheep body as I was just starting to needlefelt his coat on. I don't have locks but I do have hundreds of pounds of Ashland Bay Fiber to choose from, I used the Ecru Colonial Wool. So time consuming to give a slight twist to the roving and needlfelt it on. It took hours!!! (which is why this is my one and only). But I kept with it and my Cinnamon Sheep is adorable - check out the second picture! I still need to sew on a couple of bead eyes but I've played with him enough today.....and 3 of my fingers are smarting from running the felting needle through him. I did learn a valuable lesson - don't be too generous with the hot glue gun glueing in those legs because felting needles don't like them, broke a number of them.

Finished scarves.......

Here is the picture of the latest scarves to come off the loom - rayon, tencel and a novelty ribbon. I had originally planned to twist the fringes but seeing how pretty the ribbon is I'm not sure........will think on it.

I'm still planning my day - power company notified us last week that today the power will be shut off at 10am until at least 3pm - they've been replacing poles and wire for weeks, not sure what the activity is for today requiring no power. That means not enough light for winding a warp, threading heddles and starting to weave, no power for the sewing machine but most important no power for the well pump and for internet - yikes! I have filled the tubs with water to flush toilets and have filled numerous water bottles and pitchers. So, the question is what to do....other than going out shopping (not my favorite activity). So, I'm quickly sewing up a sheep body before power goes out that I can stuff and needlefelt it today as my other guild yearly challenge (will post pictures and explanation later.....if it turns out). Since it's already a beautiful day looks like I'll spend much of it out on the deck enjoying the flowers planted yesterday - will spin, knit, read. I can hook up little speakers to my mp3 player or CD player - all run on batteries. Should be a very nice day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Ok, so haven't had any weaving to share for a bit although I did finish up the scarf warp that I posted about last week. Scarves are in soaking now, will post pictures once dry. Took some time away from our valley - we left Friday for Bandon by the Sea over on the coast. Great weekend, beautiful weather. Played catch up and wove a bit on Monday, weaving guild meeting yesterday.....end of the year potluck luncheon and recycling challenge, and then today got more weaving time in and planted my deck flowers. I've got a total of 3 hanging baskets, 4 deck rail planters, 4 potted empty, ran out of flowers, and then the 3 pots of lettuces that were planted a while ago. Still need to get some basil to plant in with the lettuce so when that starts bolting and basil will take over. In a month or so they should be starting to look really full and loaded with blooms. It's looking like maybe (hope, hope) spring has returned and my flowers are safe from frost - not so sure I can say the same about the peach and italian plum hoping we have fruit this year. Think I'll go lay out on the deck swing and enjoy the blooms of my labor..............

Thursday, May 6, 2010

It's been a while but I haven't been idle.......

It's been a little while since I last posted but I've been busy. Last weekend I took a doubleweave workshop with Jannie Taylor (AVL teacher). It was great - a lot of information pouring into my head in a short period of time. Enjoyed it very much, learned much. Have a ton of warp left on my loom - my pattern was overshot doubleweave......will have to think on what I can do with that narrow warp in those colors - ice blue and fuschia - yikes!

This is the latest warp on the loom - tencel and rayon slub the main part of the warp with a supplemental warp of a space dyed ribbon. I like the way it's coming out. The first picture I used the mauve tencel as the weft. The second picture I'm using the gold rayon slub as weft. Am not thinking the rayon slub as weft is my favorite but once washed I may really like it. Not sure what the third scarf will be - am thinking a dusty lavendar or purple.....will play with colors when I get there. Since these aren't woven tightly I was a bit worried about weft shifting as it went over the front beam so I was prepared to put something over the beam to remedy it......ended up not being a problem at all.