I’ve been away but I have a very good excuse, I’ve been moving. Not moving far, just moving upstairs. One thing we’ve learned having a small house and living in it for over 20 years now is that we keep re-purposing rooms. It is how we avoid outgrowing the house I guess. This move started when Nathan’s mom, Eileen, asked if I would like to have her loom. She and her husband are selling their house and downsizing. I’ve turned down loom-offers before but this time as soon as Scott texted me her offer I had the feeling this was a loom I wanted. Now squeezing another loom, especially another, bigger floor loom into the studio downstairs means getting rid of the desk, the couch or possibly the bathroom…
I’ve thought about changing the living room around for a long time and almost bought a couch the other month but I just couldn’t do it and I finally figured out it was because I was trying to figure out a way to fit a loom upstairs. I haven’t been weaving much recently and that keeps me from being as happy as I could be and it’s because I don’t have much time to spend downstairs in the studio during the day and not enough light in the evening. However I do have time to weave a little every day if I had a loom more conveniently located upstairs where I work all day. Meanwhile Scott is insulating the den with stacks of cigar boxes and has two friends coming to kick me out of the studio over the Summer so when I suggested moving my stuff out and giving him the studio he jumped at the opportunity.
We drove the truck over to Port Gamble on Saturday to meet the loom. We disassembled it and I took the small pictures to be able to put it together again when we got home. The big side pieces just fit into the Tacoma with blankets between them and the center jack or shed-lifting mechanism is one piece that actually lifts out of the frame. It is elegantly designed with sliding wood slats in dowel frames that require minimal hardware. The larger picture is reassembled that evening in the living room. Isn’t the light great? It went back together easily. I still have a lot to do moving the rest of my yarn and jewelry-making supplies out of the studio and moving the rest of Scott’s cigar boxes downstairs but I could not be more grateful!
I have had a terrible time with my hands this winter. If you’ve ever had skin cracks you’ll know what I mean. If you don’t, it is where your fingertips get dry, frayed and split where the nail meets the pad. They feel tender like you are covered in paper cuts and it makes folding underwear, wire wrapping and spinning impossible. Continue reading Yay, I can spin again!→
Finished Object, that is! I decided to finish it as a scarf. I usually think of a scarf as a large swatch, a good way to try out yarns, gauge, etc. and to test finishing. Well this is one is a keeper. Once I got it off of Scott long enough to wash and dry it, I could see that it didn’t need any other finishing. It is squishy and soft and has a nice hand. I think this fabric would make a very comfortable vest or jacket.
I love the raddle for warping.
I need real lease-sticks. The wood I am using worked fine for the cotton warp but is not smooth enough for sock yarn.
Be careful with your tension as you wind warp onto the warping reel. Sock yarn is stretchy and I’ll bet you could end up short if you would it tightly.
Beat gently and with an open shed. I had a lot of trouble with my selvedges in the beginning until I figured that out. The boucle acts like velcro and won’t slide in the shed at all.
I just started the new weaving project and it is beautiful, Robin picked a twill pattern for me and showed me how to tie up the treadles. You can’t really see the twill pattern unless you get really close (see pic) but it makes the fabric feel different than plain weave. I love the color and how supple the material is even before finishing. I had planned on a stole but maybe I’ll just get some more sock yarn and make the jacket out of Small Loom and Freeform Weaving since my width is just right.
The warp is exhausted but I am ready for more! I made two scarves, a table mat and got a bunch of nice “ties” from the loom waste. Since Robin had me tie up the treadles 4, 3, 2, 1, I was able to discover two techniques, weft floats and inlay on my own. I later found a blog describing the same treadling pattern and calling it Moorman Technique. What is cool about it is that it leaves the sari silk on the top layer and the cotton makes a smooth backing, see pix of table mat below. Next up I will try a stole. The warp will be dark grey cotton with dark red boucle as weft.
I had a great time at the NwRSA dye-in this weekend hosted by The Pines Farm in Maple Valley. Betty Crotchitt and I went together. The farm is beautiful and the outdoor dyeing studio that Lin has set up is something I’d love to copy for my own backyard. Those of us who weren’t dyeing gathered under the big trees to stay out of the sun. It was quiet, pastoral and every once in a while a sheep would come up to the fence and baa at us. Too cute! Betty dyed some yarn in a dark grayish-green and roving in a bright sapphire blue while I visited, spun some baby camel and tussah silk fiber on my drop spindle, and ate too many cookies.
I brought the raffle basket that I won at the last spin-in filled with a mix of exotics to spin. I didn’t get a picture but I included hand-dyed bamboo roving, hand-painted sock yarn and baggies of tussah silk sliver, cotton, angora from Rosie, and mulberry silk. I also slipped in a packet of stitch markers I made, lavender tea light candles and some fancy French chocolates. I hope the winner enjoys it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
I was looking for a way to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Meán Geimhridh and Kwanzaa in July and I finally decided to stick with tradition and have a holiday sale! Not very imaginative, I know, but I am offering free shipping on everything in my store. I don’t have any stitch marker sets listed yet, but I will be making some for sale soon. Click here to visit Dunthor Design on Etsy.