Thursday, March 26, 2015

Another casting call........

 Another casting call for weft auditions, this time on the rayon warp on the AVL. Still thinking on which 3 I want to use for the 3 scarves but am leaning toward the taupe, the goldy yellow and the buttercream yellow.

 I got back to working on a tote bag - isn't it cute?  A couple weeks ago I met Theresa over in Ashland for a day of walking through shops and lunch. We went to 'her' fabric store, Fabric of Vision, and I was looking at the tote bag kits. Well, there were only a few left and I wasn't thrilled with the fabric but then I saw this fabric - I had to buy it and I was given the pattern to go with it. I got most of it sewn on Sunday but didn't like the black webbing I had for the straps that I found in my stash, it was too black so I waited until I could get to JoAnn's yesterday to pick up an oatmeal colored webbing - I love it.

Here's the inside lining. On the outside there are 3 pockets on the front and on the back. I'm going to make myself a few more of these to use for shopping bags but first is another tote bag pattern that I got as a gift - hoping to get to it soon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A novelty.....2 looms warped.......

 Yesterday I got a couple of warps wound.  This one is a 9 ply rayon, hand-dyed by someone else, it's lovely. It's the same type of rayon I've used in the white wedding shawls recently. For non-weavers this view is from the back of the loom after I've wound the warp on, awaiting threading the heddles and sleying the reed.

 Here's the same warp, view from the front of the loom all threaded and tied on. I'm auditioning wefts for 3 scarves. I love the coral/peach color. Am torn on the pale lavender, fuchsia and light pink........leaning toward the fuchsia but not sure about the others so I'll start weaving the first scarf using the coral/peach and think on the other 2 scarf wefts. It's looking like I'll end up with tencel wefts, one bamboo is too thin, the other too thick. This draft is from the Strickler book - I've used it many times, just love this undulating twill.

 I also got a warp on the AVL - it's all rayon, a random mix of 2 colors of yellow and two of peachy/tan.

This draft is using 32 of my 40 harnesses. After some lunch I'll either start weaving on the pink warp or I'll audition wefts for this 3 scarf warp.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Woven Assomption Sash

I have a friend who is a part of the mountain man experience, sorry Gary, I don't know what it's officially called.  Anyhow he's looking to weave an assomption sash, his wife Diane is a weaver, and he weaves on an inkle loom. Traditionally these sashes are finger woven but this reproduction (above) that he bought was machine woven and that's what he would like to replicate, he would like to weave his own. This machine woven one was part of a wider piece of cloth because if I look closely at the one selvedge it is not a selvedge at all, it was cut and serged with black thread that barely shows up - I can't imagine it will last very long before falling apart along that edge.  It's slightly under 5" wide and very long. I hate to admit this but for some reason I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around analyzing this to come up with the draft........maybe it's the Tylenol PM I took last night that's left me with a brain fog hangover today (I rarely take it). I'm fairly sure it's a 3/1 twill, definitely warp faced. I do think I can get the color order easier by unknotting the fringed end and looking at it thread by thread, color by color. So, before I do that and tax my brain too much I thought I'd ask the other weavers if they know of draft somewhere out there for an assomption sash. I have found tons of information and book references to finger weaving them but I'm looking for a draft for a 4 harness loom as Gary doesn't want to spend years finger weaving one. I've found Carol James's website, she's written books and teaches but it looks like it's the traditional finger weaving technique (wow - incredible weaving) So, if anyone has come across this it the past and has a draft or knows where I can find information on one it would help me out and save my brain cells..........

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

One of those days........or maybe weeks......

It's been one of those days, actually week or couple of weeks......I'd just love to hibernate in the studio and do what I want but life doesn't have that in store for me........ 

I did get some weaving done today but between the loom bench almost dumping me backward onto the floor (it happened once before when it fell apart) and the dedicated laptop for the AVL and embroidery machine going wack-a-do I was slow at weaving and I made a treadling error that wasn't found until the shawls came off the loom - ACK. So, one of the shawls has a bit of a zig zag at one end rather than a diamond. I don't often make mistakes like that but since it was white on white it I didn't catch it while weaving.....and I was terribly distracted trying to deal with a wack-a-do laptop at the same time. What a shame. So I guess I now have a white rayon/cotton shawl in my wardrobe unless I decide to sell it for very little as a second.

Sam will be doing a repair job on my Macomber loom bench, in addition to gluing this time he'll be adding screws. I had to weave using my AVL loom bench today - not comfortable at all - how can one wooden bench feel so hard???  And it has 2 pelts on it in comparison to the way more comfortable 'broken' bench that has only 1 pelt.

Hoping the laptop is now working as the next warp I want to weave will be on the AVL. Sam said it's time to think about a new laptop as this one has the Vista operating system. I turned it on and off a few times later in the day to make sure it booted up ok.  It has never been an issue but the laptop is getting older so it's probably best to buy a new one before it crashes - I only use this laptop for weaving programs, the AVL and embroidery machine......and to check emails while in the studio.

One good thing did happen this past weekend - the taxes are done and filed - phew, so glad to have that horrendous job done. For some reason Turbo Tax Home & Business seemed more user friendly this year than in the past.

Spring has sprung here.......we actually had no winter - no snow in the valleys, very little snow at higher elevations - it's going to be another very scary fire season this year. I'm already having bad dreams about fires.......

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I finally got around to working on taking photos of a couple scarves and a shawl for my etsy shop. I really dread this part of the job....I struggle with it.....if I ever find more hours in my day taking a photography class would be a good thing for me but I'm already short on time for the things I really want and need to do so it won't be anytime soon.

This scarf is tencel, an 8 harness twill, a few beads to add some bling along each end. I used an olive weft in this one, the warp is hand-dyed.

This scarf came off the same warp, I used a taupe weft for this one, it also has a little bling on each end. I also wove one using a rust weft but haven't taken pictures of that one yet.

And here is one of the cotton/rayon lace shawls. It's hard to see in this photo but I did add beads as I was hemstitching.  I like it although I'm not sure I like it quite as much as other methods of adding beading. This shawl feels so yummy........

I'm not sure where the past 2 weeks have gone but I've spent very little of it at the loom and am starting to get grumpy...........what has happened to life, when did it get so busy where I don't feel like there's time to enjoy..........with that said I'm hoping to pick up the knitting needles tonight to get back to working on that shawl that I've made so little progress on, I might get an hour of knitting in........

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shawl on the needles....

I've just started knitting a shawl using the handspun from the blending board rolags I created.  I found this free pattern, Prism Shawl by Tanis Lavallee, on Ravelry. I want to knit something I could do while talking and visiting, something pretty mindless.  This fit the bill and it's pretty.  Random stripes of stockinette stitch, purl stitch rows and then a lace row thrown in every once in a while.  I'll decide what goes where as I'm knitting - love it. The only time I'll need to read a graph is for the border at the very end of the shawl.