Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Once A Daisey Snack, Now a Scarf

About 5 years ago, I bought a lovely skein of cashmere while traveling up in British Columbia.  Once I arrived home, I placed the yarn in a basket in the family room so I could look at it and admire its lovely blue, pink and purple colors.  Not long have after that, I heard DH say "Should Daisey be eating that yarn?"  And that's how Daisey, the Psycho Crocker, began her love affair with cashmere yarn snacks.  (Yes, I mean that wasn't the last time she has rooted out some cashmere to snack on -- she loves living on the edge. A skein, a sweater, she's not picky.)

I saved all the bits of cashmere and luckily I snatched the yarn away from her before chewed through the whole skein.  I ended up with lots of little pieces about 3-4 feet long and then a small ball and I've been thinking about what to do with it for the past 5 years.  Not enough for knitting, but maybe something else.

In September, I put a long warp of different variegated tencel yarns on the loom and have been weaving away -- first was a mobius.  As I finished the mobius I started wondering how that cashmere would look (the structure is satin) with the warp - lots of blues, green, and some reds.  It's awesome!  You will have to wait until the weather gets better here for photos -- my natural light is just "grey" today.  The satin warp side is smooth and soft with lots of flicks of color.  The weft side feels like your oldest, softest flannel PJs.  Yum.  However, this doesn't let Daisey off the hook. :-)

So I'll leave you with another photo from Santa Fe.

Don't forget, the Seattle Weavers Guild Sale starts Thursday, if you are in the Seattle Area.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Seattle Weavers Guild Annual Show and Sale

If you are in the Seattle area, I'd like to invite you to Seattle Weavers Guild Annual Show and Sale.

Hours vary by Day:
Thursday, October 28, 2010 5pm - 8pm
Friday, October 29, 2010 10am - 8pm
Saturday, October 30 , 2010 10am - 5pm
Bloedel Hall (lower level) at St. Marks Cathedral, Seattle
1245 10th Ave E Seattle, WA 98102-4323

The sale will showcase one-of-a-kind hand-crafted items, including towels, rugs, blankets, tapestries, exquisite jewelry, accessories for pets, children’s items, handmade cards, woven paper art, household goods, hats, bags, wall art, jackets, scarves, wraps, batik and shibori decorative items, sculptural basketry, handspun hand-dyed yarns along with weaving and spinning tools.

There will be daily demonstrations of weaving and spinning. Proceeds from the sale are used to fund the guild’s volunteer outreach program and to bring talented practicing artists to Seattle Weavers Guild to educate both its members and the public in their art. Parking is free.

For more info visit http://www.swg-sale.com/. Please share this information with your friends.

I just got back from a trip to Northern New Mexico...you can see my weaving related photos here.

Here's my favorite two photos from the trip.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

2 Sunset Satin Mobius

First experiment with weaving 5-shaft satin (and using tencel) nearly done.  I love the results! Oh, so soft!

What did I learn?
  1. The curling selvedges do come out with a hard press.
  2. When your feet are trained to treadle four shafts in a row, switching to five shafts takes some re-training (and un-weaving).
  3. Much harder to see treadling errors in satin than in twill.
  4. Using a mirror to watch the warp side helps catch errors.
  5. Got a nicer drape and fabric feel with 8/2 tencel warp, combined with 10/2 tencel than with 8/2 tencel as both the warp and weft -- but both are really nice.
  6. The take-up and shrinkage of tencel -- not much.
Both have the same 8/2 tencel warp. The mobius on the left has an 10/2 tencel weft with tencel in pinks and reds from Just Our Yarn.  The one on the left has an 8/2 tencel weft in reds, pinks and black.  The undertones in the left mobius warp are more muted and pinky while the other one leans more toward reds and orange.  Both seem to be inspired by the sunset photo below, however, the blacks and grays stand out more in the one with the red/black weft.  I had hoped the pink weft would have a stronger pink cast on the warp.
I still have to twist the ends together to create each mobius.  The red/black weft one is 39" so I may sew it together with a flat fell seam.  The pink weft one is 36" -- exactly the length I like, so I will twist it together with the fringe. Both are 6 5/8" wide -- I little wider than I usually like.

Right now my next satin experiment will be with a 7-shaft satin.  I'm going to use JOY 10/2 tencel in blues and greens as the warp and maybe some Red Fish 20/2 silk in the weft.  And the width will be less.  But right now I'm going to hang out in the yard with Daisey the Dog so she can bark at the sunshine -- something we haven't seen much of lately in the Pacific Northwest.

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Pics 2 Picks Project

The Pics 2 Picks Project is the brainchild of Meg in Nelson, NZ.  Here were the basic rules:
1) Collect 3-6 photographs/clipping/drawing to inspire a weaver.
2) Put all three in an envelope, and a personal message and send it to your weaver recipient.
3) Plan a project based on one of the images.
4) Photograph it, sketch it, write about it, or blog about it. And weave it.
5) Share your progress the first week of June.  Completed project not required.

I recieved a little packet from Desiree with a photo, a clipping and some postcards illustrating the wrok of a famous Swedish weaver.  I picked the photo -- it is of a lovely leather jacket by a Swedish clothing designer.  To me it has many of the wonderful colors we see in the American Southwest.

In my stash I had strips of Pendleton Wool fabric and turoquise worms from Pendleton Blankets.  The fabric picks up the colors of the leather and the worms pick up the color in the center (maybe part of the lining).  I also had some hand painted cotton yarn from Lisa Souza that has all the colors.

So I started weaving.  I wasn't sure what the end product would be, but in the back of my mind of was thinking it would be a bag.  You can see in the photo on the left what it looked like on the loom.  I alternated randomly between the worms and the fabric, using a pick of Lisa's cotton in between each.  I have seen garments made using the worms and the worms had been beat hard and made to curl.  I didn't want that -- I wanted flat worms so I beat very lightly -- just kinda sliding them into place.
When I was done I had a piece of fabric that didn't have a lot of stability since the worms were flat.  So my next step was to get a friend (Hi JoAn) to machine quilt it for me.

If you look closely you have see the machine quilting.  That made a huge difference in the stability of the fabric.  Next I washed and dryed it.  There was very little fulling since the worms are the edges of felted blankets.  Then I gave it a hard press and applied fusible interfacing to one side.  From there it is was just sewing -- have I mentioned my sewing skills haven't progressed much since the 7th grade? And my poor sewing machine was not always happy with me or the thickness of the fabric. I had the perfect lining fabic in my stash (photo below on right) and thankfully I had a lot of the fabric since I had to do the lining twice -- the first was a 1/2" too small and I had already trimmed the seam when I discovered that fact. 

I experimented and fussed a lot over the handles.  I tried knitting the worms into an I-Cord handle -- nope.  I tried various plastic and bamboo handles in my stash -- nope.  Finally I went to JoAnns Fabric and found two drapery trims that worked and I sewed them together....

And here's the bag!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Satin/Sateen Reading List

Here is the reading list I put together for my study of Satin and Sateen:

More Than Four, by Mary Elizabeth Laughlin, Chapter 13, “Satin…or Sateen”
Mastering Weave Structures, by Sharon Alderman, Chapter 3, “Satin”
The Weaver’s Book of Fabric Design, by Janet Phillips, Chapter 9, “Satin and Sateen Weaves”
A Handbook of Weaves by G.H. Oelsner, Chapter “The Satin Weave”

Handwoven Mar/April 2004, “Satin and Tencel for a shimmering scarf,” Patricia Townsend, pg 52
Weaver’s #15 “Step up to Satins” by Donna Sullivan, pg 15 and “Satin and Silk on four or five shafts” by Donna Sullivan, pg 21
Weaver’s #28, “Vibrato” pg 38
Weaver’s #30, “For 8-Shaft Weavers,” by Alice Schlein, pg 47, describes drafting a satin weave.
Weavers #40, “Get Sett for Satin Simulation,” by Doramay Keasbey, pg 6

Online references:
Satin Weave and Damask, Swatch Page http://www.handweaving.net/DAItemDetail.aspx?ItemID=7709
Handweavers Net http://www.handweaving.net/Home.aspx search on “satin” lots of articles come up plus many, many drafts

Future Reads:
The Structure of Weaving, by Ann Sutter, pgs 120-128
The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers, by Marilyn van der Hoogt
Contemporary Satins - Shuttle Craft Monograph Seven by Harriet Tidball

Satin/Sateen Experiments

I've started my own one-weaver study group of satin/sateen weave structure.  I like the fact that the fabric is reversible and very different on both side; the satin side is warp-faced and the sateen side is weft faced.  I've been digging through all the books and magazine in my library and found about a 1/2 dozen chapters and articles on satin.

I put on a warp of 8/2 Tencel in multiple colors -- think sunset on a rainy day colors on the warp side and a sunset at Monument Valley, NM on the weft side. The warp side is a little brighter with more colors but color is good!

Here's the warp:

And here's how it looks so far -- first photo is from the right side and the second photo is from the left.  You can see that I am having problems with the edges curling.  I read ahead of time that this could happen with a satin weave and the suggestion was to packed the dents at the edge (before the floating selvedge) with extra threads.  So I did that, but apparently not enough. Hopefully the edges with flatten out when I wet finish and hard press it. I also read that the sett should a little closer to get good coverage on the warp side so I used a sett of 30 EPI, but next time I think will try a set of 32 or 34 with 8/2 tencel.  I started this as a scarf but now I'm considering making a mobius so that both sides will show.  And I put on a long warp and will have enough two do a second mobius with a different weft thread and to do some sampling.

And now, it back to the loom!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Rain, Rain and More Rain...

At the end of April we went off to the sunny East Coast to visit family, friends and the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  The festival was first on the list of stops.  This was our third time at the festival and each year it just gets bigger and bigger.  The first time we went was in the late 90s, then again 2006 (I think). 

We left the hotel early and arrived just 2 miles for the fairgrounds at 9am -- that's when we hit the traffic backup.  The next 2 miles took 40 minutes and the regular parking lot (huge, huge grassy field) was nearly full when we pulled in.  The crowds were massive.  I headed to the big barn first, hoping the crowds would be slow in getting there...oh, how wrong I was.  There was just no getting away from the crowds.  Lots and lots of wonderful vendors but many of the booths were too crowded to get into and had long check out lines.  And that pretty much describes my whole experience at the festival.

I did have an awesome lamb burger and I bought one book and two skeins of yarn from Dancing Leaf Farm...didn't need that extra bag I had packed. I talked to vendors that I know from other shows and nobody drove their baby stroller of my feet. Did I mention it was hot?  By 2 I was ready to quite and my pack pony (Ralph) was ready to.  The traffic back up to get into the parking lot was even longer...I heard that it was 6 miles long out on the Interstate and I believe it. 

My advice if you are thinking about going -- plan to get to the fairgrounds by 8:30.  Even though it isn't suppose to start until 10, the vendors were already selling.  One vendor told me he sold the most between 8 and 10am on Saturday morning (actually almost sold out).  Take your own water.  We picked up a cheap cooler at Costco the day before and had plenty of cold water at the car (which required a hike back to the car).  Take a pack pony, errr...husband, who can stand in line to pay while you shop on.  Be prepared for massive crowds, print the vendor list off ahead of time and map out your shopping plan.  Be patient!

From there we headed east to Ohio to visit dear friends and see a new baby.  We spent lots of time admiring the baby, visiting the Clevelanad Art Museum (nice) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Went to a flea market and found a big box of double pointed knitting needles for $4. Oh, did I mention the chocolate facotry?  Yum!

After 4 days in Ohio, we went south to Southwest Virginia to visit Ralph family.  I arrived with strep throat...got meds and spent most of the VA stay eating ice cream, hanging out in the motel room and knitting three baby hats.  Ralph had a great visit with his brothers and old friends, unencumbered by a wife.  We stayed in Abingdon, which is a nice small town, lots and lots of antique shops and a good yarn shop (I had to drag myself over there every few days for more baby hat yarn).

Back home, it's been raining.  In fact I think it has rained just about everyday since we got home! Right now its coming down in buckets.  I know we live in the PNW -- but enough already!  Even this morning Daisey had second thought about leaving the covered part of the patio -- she just sat there looking at the wet grass. I know she was thinking "Really -- you want me to go out in this?"

I have gotten some weaving done -- two scarves and have new warps on both Fanny and Zooey. Ripped off a warp on Zooey that just wasn't working out.  I finish my Pics to Picks project and will posted the photos and process later this week.  The scarves I finished both used knitting yarns from my stash.  The warp on Fanny now is random yarns from knitting projects in the '90s.  The warp on Zooey is an experiment with Satin weaves -- more on that later.

And now some photos.  In the wee stack are three car seat/stroller blankets for that new baby in Ohio and the other photos are the two scarves.  The little blankets have a cotton warp and washable wool wefts. They are about 20-18" wide and 28" long.

In April I took a really great class on weaving back to front, so I will have to blog about that later.  It was taught by Sue Willingham, a Vashon Island, WA weaver/teacher.  She is an amazing instructor.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Book: Textile Arts from Southern Appalachia

A few weeks ago I ordered "Textile Arts from Southern Appalachia," by Kathleen Curtis Wilson from InterLibrary loan.  It's a wonderful book about women who wove overshot coverlets and lived in the Southwest Virgina, East Tennessee and North Carolina area in the 1800s. 

Today I picked the book up at the library and was flipping through it when I discovered a coverlet woven by one of any ancestors!  Plus there was a little history about the weaving tradition in my family -- news to me.   The coverlet from my family was woven by Eliza Kimball Greever, around 1830, near Tazewell, VA.  You can see a closeup photo of her coverlet here.  Each coverlet in the book has a brief history about the person who wove it and even some genealogy information. The book is a wonderful addition to any weaver's library.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Got Tree Photos...

I like trees.  I always say the two main reasons we moved to the Pacific Northwest are 1) Nordstroms and 2) trees.  I took my first tree photo when I was about 12 and won a blue ribbon for the photo at the county fair.  I've been hooked on tree photos ever since. 

I don't have any weaving photos to share even tho I have finished a few things.  Next time.  Meanwhile here are some tree photos from the Grand Canyon.  If you want to see more you can find my collection of tree photos from Northern Arizona here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How to decide....

that a scarf is long enough.  That's always a question I struggle with.  It has nothing to do with the actual length of the scarf, but rather with my boredom.  When I hit 60 inches I am really ready to be done.  Today I was at  65+ inches and ready to stop.  But I thought, I'll take a short break and come back and do a few more inches.  And off to check email I went...moments later I heard that all so familar sound that all cat owners know -- the hair ball coming out sound.  So I zip back to the dining room, where I park my table loom, to find Alice depositing her hair ball on the back beam of the table loom.  Okay, that scarf is done!

No damage to the loom, her deposit was held in place by the warp and I have covered the table with heavy plastic.  And no damage to Alice, who gave me "well, get busy and clean it up" look and then went on her way.  She's only yawning here but I thought it was an appropriate photo of the little devil.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Messing With Worms

I'm back at my Pics to Picks project -- messing with my Pendleton Wool worms and millend pieces of their fabric. The turquoise wool is the Pendleton worms you saw in my last post. I had some lovely cotton hand dyed by Lisa Souza, back in the day when she dyed cotton that has some of the same colors so I am using that as an anchor between each pick of worms and fabric.

It's actually going slowly because the worms are uneven and I'm not about to try to trim them, so I've been using a Navajo beating fork after each beat to get every pick in as tight as I can. The fabric strips are about 20 inches long so I just lay them into the shed by taping them to a stick. The worms are about 66 inches long and I have discovered that I can roll them around a bobbin and send them through the shed with a boat shuttle. 

The selvedges are a total mess, but I'm not worrying about it because going to use the resulting fabric for some type of handbag.

Here's my inspiration from the Pics to Picks photo and a close-up of the fabric I'm weaving.  I'm focusing on the little bit of turquoise in the middle -- that must be the lining of the jacket. I plan to finish this project in the next few days.  I'm all recovered from my drive-by day surgery (with no negative news!) so I'll be back at the loom.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wide Awake! Ready for a Challenge

Woke at 4am and couldn't go back to sleep. What better time to blog about Meg's Pics to Picks challenge. With this challenge, photos are exchanged and we use them as inspiration.

Mine came from Desiree, a wonderful weaver in Sweden, -- a photo, postcard and article about Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom, a master Swedish weaver. The article was in Swedish, however, there was a recent article about her in VAV and lots of information on the web. The photo Desiree sent, shown here, is an amazing coat by a Swedish designer. The coat really popped out at me because, Swedish design or not, it says to me "American Southwest" and reminds me of two recent springtime trips we have taken to Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

That sent me right down to the stash and I burrowed into my box of worms from the Pantaloon Woolen Mills. Last spring we made a trip down to their outlet store in Portland and I, with help from my friend Susan, spent some time sorting through a giant box of their worms while our husbands napped in their comfy chairs. (Worms are long felted strips cut from the edges of their blankets.) We sorted out lots of long strips of turquoise and then some small pieces of fabric. Take a look at the photo on the left and see what you think. I've already got a small warp on my counterbalance loom, picking up on the turquoise and rust colors. Just enough to experiment with. Most people use worms for rugs but I'm not really wanting to do that. Maybe some type of accessory?

Also in my stash is a huge skein of yarn from Lisa Souza in her Bird of Paradise colorway that also picks up some of the colors in the coat. There is more than enough in the skein for the weft of a laprug or shawl. Here's what the skein looks like.

So tomorrow morning we are off at the crack of dawn for a little drive by day surgery and I won't be able to weave for a few days following the procedure. But I will be able to knit and have lots of knitting projects going on, especially baby sweaters for a little boy that arrived yesterday in Ohio.

Thanks Meg for the great challenge and thanks Desiree for the photos (and the stamps on your envelope were awesome too!).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Leafpile Scarf and March Plum Blossoms

Blogging two days running! What am I thinking!

Here's how the warp looks and how the first 7-8 inches look. You can't really see the pattern right now unless you stand off at the side. I've included the draft so that you can see where I'm heading. The red wine colors aren't coming out as much as I had hoped but the texture of the handspun is adding lots of dimension to it. Its looking more like the trees along the VA/NC border than the ones in our yard.

I also photographed the most recent scarf I finished on my table loom. The warp is left over knitting yarns as is the weft...a cashmere merino blend from one of the big name yarn distributors. It is lovely and soft. The photo looks more blue than purple but the weft is a deep purple. I still have quite lot of the purple weft yarn left so I may knit a hat to go along with it.

And finally for everyone who wants to see a little springtime...a photo of our plum tree in bloom and a close up. The temperatures did get into the upper 20s last night so who knows what kind of crop we will have. But if the blossoms weren't harmed lasted night and the Mason bees did their job, we will be having a bumper crop of plums this year. All the neighbors will be happy! I've never seen trees so loaded with blossoms.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Leafpile Scarf

Seems a rather odd time of year to be working on a project with fall colors but that’s what I’m doing. I got this most fabulous skein of handspun hand dyed yarn from Lisa Souza last fall. She calls it “Leafpile” and it’s perfect for a couple of fall color studies I have been thinking about. The first fall color study is a photo from our front yard…our Japanese Maple tree and a white snowball type shrub with it’s dried flowers. The second color study is a photo I took in November of 2008 – we were driving across the North Carolina border into Southwest Virginia when I made DH pull over so I could take photos.

I've been slowly collecting yarns over the winter to use as the warp and two are in the photo with the Leafpile skein. I've also added a dark brown and a gold. Over these I have added a random threading of a deep wine red kid silk/mohair yarn -- to give it a Japanese Maple tree cast...we will see how it turns out. The handspun skein is also part of my "secret stash" so I'll be working on that stash reduction with this project (never mind how much yarn I bought to create the warp).

I'll be doing these color studies on my little table loom. I finished the scarf that's been on my table loom for most of the winter...photos to follow as it is currently drying.

I feel I must apologize to our Mason bees. I've been going out to their little houses and telling them to wake up and get busy in our plum trees. So this weekend they came out in force...but today the weather turned on them. So far today we have had rain, sleet, snow, sun, and sun with snow at the same time. So where ever you little bees are - I'm sorry that you woke up too soon! And I hope you are somewhere warm (just not under our house).

Thank you Donatella! She awarded me a Kreative Blogger Award, and you find her lovely blog here. If you don't follow her blog, you should. She has the most wonderful photos on her blog and her weaving is truely as inspiration.

Here are the rules of the Kreative Blogger Award -- but don't as if you have to comply:
1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it in your blog.
3. Link the person who nominated you.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that no one would really know.
5. Nominate seven 'Kreativ Bloggers'
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

There are only about 20 people that read my blog. Most of them know me well and know just about everything there is to know about me...so I won't bore you with more details about me.

Here are my nominees -- they were selected mostly because I love the photos on their blogs so some of them are weavers and some aren't.

Twist of Fate
Victoria Souza
Buy A Thread
Shinning Egg
David Lebovitz

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Busy Here…

I've been silent on the blog but busy all the same. I've used up all the boucle yarn in my stash and I'm trying to resist buying more. Right now I'm putting a warp for a crib blanket on my Fireside loom and facing some challenges with the tension on the front beam. I tried lashing the warp to the front beam but that just didn't work out. I had about 4-5 smiley faces across the warp even after repeatedly making adjustments. So I unwove and went back to my regular shoe string method. The warp is about 36 inches wide, and for some reason I have more problems with the tension on a wide warp than say 25 inches. So not much weaving has been getting done here.

Here are the boucle scarves…already gone out the door and a better photo of the boucle laprug.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Boucle Shawls - Done

I'm making progress working through my secret and not so secret stash. Using lots of different odds and ends of knitting yarns for the warps, I finished two shawls/laprugs this month. The wefts were handpainted Kid Mohair boucle yarns from Claudia Hand Painted Yarns. I wanted to get rid of the various small balls of knitting yarns and use the boucle as it was taking up a lot of space. Each shawl took exactly one skein of boucle for the weft (I wove until it was gone). After I did the first shawl (red), I just tied a new warp on the the old. I wet finished each of them by washing (in my front loader) on the pre wash cycle, warm/cold water, for the 12 minute then I dried them on "delicate" for about 15 minutes and hung them over a heat vent to finish drying. They are very soft and fuzzy. They are about 21 inches wide and 72 inches long.

I like the interplay of the colors especially in the teal/green/brown one but you can't see much of that in the photo. The fuzzy boucle makes the photo look slightly out of focus. Plus this very gray sky day isn't the best for a photo shoot. The red boucle had a lot of purples it in (kinda of "Red Hat-ish") so I used red, blacks and purples in the warp, including some red ribbon yarn. The other boucle was teals, browns, greens and grays so I used those colors in the warp.

This morning I put on a warp of Lisa Souza's Timaru -- a merino/bamboo blend -- and am using the last two skeins of (that I remember) boucle that are in my stash for the weft. The warp is in Lisa's Pacific colorway. I really liked how this knitting yarn is working as warp. It has enough bamboo (35%) to reduce the stretching problems I usually have when I use knitting yarns as warp on my Fireside loom. The plan is for two scarves as I have about 140 yards in each of the two Colinette boucle skeins. If I can resist beating hard, I should have enough for two scarves about 60-65 inches long.

Almost every time I warp my Fireside loom using knitting yarns I tell myself I'm going to put up a big sign by the loom that says "don't use knitting yarns on this loom or you'll be sorry" -- that's why it was such a relief today to find a knitting yarn that didn't stretch and stretch when tension was applied.

Tonight I plan to wind a warp for a baby crib blanket. Lisa Souza has a new colorway called Breath of Spring and I think it will make a lovely crib blanket. I'm using that colorway in her washable merino sock yarn as the weft and cotton as warp. I've got to get busy and get it on my other loom as I want to finish it before my friend's baby arrives. Here's a color swatch of Breath of Spring.
How's everyone else coming along on using their secret stash instead of saving it for the estate sale?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Use it Now! Project and Weaving

Here's my "Use it Now" for the day...a very old hand woven dish towel as a small cloth for the tool table beside my Fireside loom. This towel is one of several given to me by a dear, but now departed to join the great majority, friend who grew up and lived her life in a small German village. She was born in 1914, just at the beginning of the First World War. The date with initials on the towel is 1912. I'm guessing this was made by her mother. I believe it was handwoven as the edges are a little uneven in places. When she gave me the towels, she also gave me a scrap of her Mother's wedding dressing. We have it in a frame with photos of our friend and her family. Our friend truly enjoyed life. Her favorite phase was "make it empty" -- the plate of potato pancakes, the bottle of wine -- she was always wanting us to "make it empty." Our visits to her home were always quite an adventure and usually resulted in me gaining a pound a day for everyday we spent with them.

In my efforts to reduce the stash (ie - make it empty), I wove 80 inches of yardage over the past two days...not sure if it will be a lap rug/shaw or if it will turn into yardage for some future sewing project. I have a little warp left so I will probably weave something with a different weft as I completely ran out of the weft yarn. Meg at Unravelling did a New Year's Day "Day in the Life of a Loom" and asked for photos of our looms. I couldn't send her a photo of a half naked loom so I finally finish warping my Fireside and the weaving was quick. The warp is a just a mix of left over knitting yarns and the weft is Claudia Hand Painted Yarn Baby Boucle in shades of red and purple. It's in plain weave. Everytime I use knitting yarn as warp on the Fireside I am reminded that knitting yarn as warp on this loom is not a good idea. I need to post a note about it by my warping board so that I don't forget.

The little pink and yellow stripe scarf is something I finished weaving last week on my LeClerc Fanny loom. I've spent more time trying to determine the best fringe than weaving the thing. A twisted the fringe was too skinny and other versions of a twisted fringe weren't right either. So now I've decided just to knot the fringe and that means I have to un-tie all the tiny knots from the earlier fringe versions. This scarf is short as I had originally planned a mobius, but decided after weaving a few inches that the self striping effect would be better in a scarf than a mobius. Since I had tied on to an old warp I was able to eek out about 55 inches and hopefully when washed it won't shrink a bunch. The warp is tencel and silk and the weft is baby alpaca and silk.

I'm trying to decide what to weave next on my Fireside. I could tie on to the existing warp and weave another yarbage/laprug/shaw piece or I could start with a fresh warp and weave a baby blanket that needs to be done soon. And I need to find something else to use that I have been saving!

Remember -- Use It Now! Don't save it for your estate sale!