Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A bit of this and that..........

I spent some time weaving and finishing up weaving recently. First are the tencel scarves based on Iranian Tilework. I had the hardest time capturing the color and sheen in photos - did my best - which is not always very good........actually sometimes pretty bad..........

Teal with Red/Purple - love the iridescence in this color combo
Teal with Navy - when weaving I thought this might be boring - I love the color combo, love, love, love it
Teal with Seafoam - love this one too - much more subtle
Teal with Ruby - this is the one I originally wove to fit in with the theme of Iran for my guild challenge for the year - these colors make me think of the middle east - the photo doesn't do it justice - it's lovely.

I had woven these merino/tussah silk scarves a early last month, finally got them washed and fringes twisted.

These were both woven with my handspun, warp and weft - I wove 2 of the second one but now wished I had woven 2 of the first design as I like it better.
Next up are the white chenille shawls - they just came off the loom yesterday awaiting washing and fringe twisting. I picture these as wedding shawls........sure hope someone else does and buys them. I put on enough warp for 3 shawls in white rayon chenille, of course I didn't have enough of the white chenille left for weft - above I used a 6 ply rayon for weft - it should turn out lovely after washing.

Here I used a slubby/nubby rayon/cotton yarn for weft - it looks like tiny fresh water pearls all over the shawl - it's really pretty.

This shawl I used a ecru/natural weft - this will look lovely with those off white wedding gowns. Of course these aren't limited to wedding shawls - was just the thought behind doing them in white - they'd be nice anytime to keep the chill off the shoulders.
All of these will eventually end up in my etsy shop........once completely finished and photographed.
My heart goes out to all those affected by the tornadoes and floods this week - so very scary.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Finally off the loom.........

The Iranian Tilework inspired scarves are finally off the loom waiting to be washed. I will say that AVL bench is a butt killer and I've got 2 sheepskins stacked on top of one another on it plus my own ample padding - not sure why it's so uncomfortable compared to the bench I use with my Macomber. Will have to work on making it more comfortable.

This is scarf #3 - I used a navy tencel weft. The white grosgrain ribbon pinned on the edge of the scarf is my measuring ribbon for scarves - I have it marked at 65", 68" and 70" and then the midway point of 35" (for a 70" scarf) in case I'm reversing the treadling at the mid-scarf point.

And here is scarf #4 using a seafoam green tencel weft
Next up on the Macomber are white and variations of white chenille shawls. No time tomorrow to get that warp wound and on the loom but soon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Re-entry is always tough........

Re-entry into the world here in the valley from the world on the coast is always tough. I won't go into the mundane details but it's a killer sometimes.....but we had a nice 5 days on the coast even with the torrential rains for 2 of those days. Bailey didn't have such a good time - the front steps 'bit' him - we're still not sure what happened but we think he dove off those 2 steps to rush over to the fence to see the neighbor dog and had a tumble. He's been pretty hurty but today is starting to feel a bit better, he either wrenched his back, pulled a muscle or sprained something.......and I have to say he's quite the weinie when he's hurting.

I brought my little cardweaving loom along and did get one warp on it and woven off on Monday. I chose a very simple pattern as I wanted the change in color to be the highlight rather than the patterning - I used 6 colors plus black. This is destined to become a strap for my camera which only has a wrist strap on it.

What I love about this pattern is that it looks like knit stitches - not sure if it's that noticeable in the photos or not - it's created by alternating Z twist and S twist threaded cards.

Shells from the first day's walk on the beach. This was a good haul of snail/hermit crab shells. We ran into Loren, my favorite old beach guy, he gave me some yellow agates and tidbits of info on all sorts of things beach related - I really enjoy him. We were to stop by his house at some point to see all his 'stuff' but after Bailey fell we decided we'd do it next time.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Finally weaving........

Finally weaving today in-between other household chores and running orders to the post office - I ignored the phone when it rang which felt great - no one left a message so my only assumption is that it was telemarketers. I was even in one place long enough to listen to a book on CD.
I'm back to that tencel warp I put on the AVL a couple weeks ago but had only gotten as far as to audition wefts.  Here's the first scarf - I love this color combination.

And here is the second scarf. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that this design is based on Iranian tilework - I pulled the country of Iran in our guild challenge so I'm to create something inspired by Iran. This is the resulting warp. And I think this color combination is the one that will best represent the country.  I still have 2 more scarves to weave, I thought I had picked out weft colors but have since changed my mind.......will get back to that warp next week.

In the pink........

Isn't this a beautiful dogwood?  It was up the street from where our spinning group met on Tuesday, I just had to capture a picture of it. I love the older neighborhoods in town with the established trees and plantings - so colorful this time of year.

Not much happening here fiber wise - life gets in the way - why does that keep happening??? It never used to. I did get 17 sheep towels embroidered for a June wedding - I had already done 20 of them for the same wedding and the gal said the guest list is growing and she needed more - they're being used as bread basket cloths.  Today I'm hoping to get to the loom to weave on that scarf warp. Guess I better take Bailey for a walk and get moving.........

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Let's try again.......

Here's a box of discount coupons for my etsy shops along with a roving sample all to go in the NWRSA (spinning) conference goodie bags.  I gave discount coupons to be put in the bags a couple years ago and didn't get one sale from it - don't know if they were just tossed or what, those didn't have a sample in them.  I'm hoping it works this year - luckily I've got very little money or time into preparing them.  I sell tons of roving through and out of my etsy shop - other discount coupons get used - not sure why the coupons 2 years ago weren't effective. I think it's worth trying again..........need to get these in the mail soon. 
Not much else happening here - I did get 12 towels hemmed and up in the etsy shop for sale, also took time for some photography work to get another 5 scarves listed for sale.  Saturday was my guild presentation on name drafting - I think it went over well.  Everyone (except for one tapestry weaver) was busy at work designing their name drafts and I've heard from several since Saturday that are already planning projects and one actually got her loom warped already.  I always figure if at least one guild member goes home and does something t's a success - it's so exciting seeing how many got inspired by the program. I think everyone always enjoys a hands-on program rather than always a lecture. I'm hoping to get back to the scarf warp hanging out on the AVL tomorrow and possibly get a white chenille shawl warp on the Macomber for wedding season. But not today - today is my twice monthly spinning get together - always fun to hang out with my fiber peeps.
I feel like I'm teasing my blog readers with talk of a discount coupon so I've just gone and created one just for you  - use this coupon code  BLOG2014 at the time of check-out in either of my etsy shops and you'll get 10% off - this coupon is good thru the end of the year. My shop with handwovens, felted items and embroidered towels is HERE - my fiber/roving shop is HERE.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Yum - this is what was for breakfast this morning - not the usual fare in this house where it is a choice between oatmeal, cold cereal, yogurt/fruit or bagels which are the special breakfast we have when on the coast.  There are no eggs made in this house, no french toast, no frittatas, no quiche - I have an egg allergy. I can handle a bit of egg in baked goods but too much and my throat will close up. I had this mix in the pantry from when I bought a few things from a Tastefully Simple party.....I didn't attend the party but my cousin in Michigan was hosting one so I ordered to help boost her party sales. All that's needed is a cup of water to make the muffins themselves - good thing no eggs needed as I rarely have them in the house.  The topping did require melted butter, box called for 1 stick, way too much, have lots left, if I had another box of this I'd use a half stick. Sugar high at the moment......hoping I don't crash in an hour or so.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Handwoven towels......

I actually got to spend quite a bit of time at the loom yesterday afternoon - 6 towels woven. Maybe this afternoon I'll get to finish up this warp and move back to the scarf warp.

Two towels using blue for the pattern - I like it with the grey & white stripes..... up purple...... up yellow weft.......ok, so this is not my favorite but has anyone noticed how there is so much yellow and gray being used together in house d├ęcor these days?  Thought I'd make some with the hopes that someone out there with those colors in their kitchen or bathroom will love these towels.  Today will go back to weaving more with black pattern weft, and possibly red ones or more blue..........

It was so nice to get a number of hours in the studio, life this past year has interfered with that way too much, felt good to be weaving away and listening to a book on cd.....hoping to get back to weaving as much as I have over years in the past........definitely need it for my sanity!

Monday, April 7, 2014

It all comes out in the wash.........

Yesterday afternoon I got a couple hours at the loom, got the towel warp tied on and some towels woven. This is an overshot pattern, Royal Crown, one repeat of the pattern in the center and then a small border on either side. On the other end of the towel I put one row of the small border. I used a black pattern weft for the beginning towels - I think they'll look great in a gray kitchen especially those with stainless appliances. I won't be using black on all of them, maybe blue on a couple, maybe purple or red.  For the non-weavers out there what I mean by it all comes out in the wash is that handwovens aren't finished until they're washed - once these towels are washed they'll shrink and the pattern will show up even more, not to mention that washing gets rid of all the spinning oils from the commercial spinning process.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A romp on the beach.........

We spent the past 4 days on the coast - relatives came to visit from Montana, they used to live here in SW Oregon.....they were the first of the family to move here from the east coast back in 1980, if I remember the year correctly.......many of us followed over the years and then they had to escape us all. Montana is beautiful but we won't be following them there, too cold and snowy for us.

Sandra & Monte have had several mini-dachshunds over the years, this is the new addition to their family, Gia, a long haired mini.  They've done a good job socializing her as doxies can sometimes have snippy personalities - she's a real cutie and loves everyone, humans and dogs.  We weren't sure how Bailey would react to a dog the size of a squirrel (he hates the dreaded squirrels who taunt him) but he did great and really enjoyed having her around. He even let her pounce on him, paw at his face and give him kisses - I think he loves her and I know she's in love with him.  I'm not sure how much Gia weighs but Bailey has to weigh at least 10-15 times more than her. I tried to capture some fun shots of her loving him up but she's so darned fast I'd just get her tail in the shot so pix from the beach are as good as I could get.  Tonight is a family dinner back here in the valley so they'll be loving each other up again before Gia heads back to Montana.

It was Gia's first time on the beach - she loved it
She pretty much stuck by Bailey learning the ropes
I think she was a bit puzzled by the rolling in the sand and kicking legs in the air
In the end - two pals heading back to the house after a day of frolicking on the beach

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Going to the dogs......

This morning, now afternoon, I'm embroidering 2 very plush thick towels for a friend who wants to gift them next week at a puppy shower - for an Airedale puppy. These will be dog body/foot wiping towels - nice big towels. This is the first towel, second towel is stitching as I type.  Many lessons learned on these towels. I've stitched on plush towels before but never this thick - too thick for my machine, almost too thick to get it in the hoop, brought some tears and hurt thumbs but I did it. Lesson learned - don't let friends pick out on their own item to stitch without approval. This is also an embroidery pattern with tons, I mean tons, of stitching so that brings many other issues up being on the plush towel so that's lesson two. This would be much more fun to stitch on a nice cotton handtowel. The stitching makes for a very thick embroidery, as in very stiff so that's the only bad thing. Another lesson - look at how many colors changes first - this embroidery had 36 color changes, meaning I had to sit here the entire time changing the thread on the machine 36 times - I would have still stitched it because it's for a friend but it's something to think about in pricing embroidered items in the future - all those thread changes take time plus I can't be working on something else while the machine is working, I've got to babysit it. I do base pricing on time and number of stitches but never on color changes as I haven't done a pattern for sale before with this many color changes. Many lessons learned today.  Whoo Hoo - stitching just finished - second towel done - cute as the first.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Etsy treasury

I took a little time this morning to put together an etsy treasury showcasing handwoven towels and pottery - perfect pairing.  Click HERE to visit it on etsy - favorite it, favorite the items, visit the shops, share the love if you choose..........