Thursday, June 30, 2011


The "two faced" project is finished:
The warp is 20/2 space dyed tencel.  The pattern weft is 8/2 tencel in burgundy and medium blue.  And the tabby weft is 60/2's silk in black-navy.  I cannot get the camera to give the true colors, the reds seem to push the blue toward purple in the photo's. 
 The sett is 37.5 EPI in a 15 dent reed.  The summer & winter pattern is woven at about 45 PPI, includes pattern and tabby.  The finished scarf is 69" long, not including fringe and the width is 9". 
The purpose of the study was to create a reversible fabric with two distinct faces.  This fabric does that by giving a positive and negative image as seen above.

I chose to use Summer and Winter because it's a very traditional weave structure that brings to mind coverlets and such, much in the way weavers view Overshot patterns.  I like to take these very old fashioned "traditional" structures and play with the blocks and color ways to make them look more contemporary.  Lisa commented on an earlier post that the sample from this project looks like old 8 bit video game graphics.  So I guess this project is a continuation of a theme.

I'm in the process of assembling the swatch pages for the rest of the study group, then I will consider this project done.  The exhibit is in August at MLH conference, then in September we begin a new two year study of tied weaves. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011


We had a guest musician from the  Detroit Handbell Ensemble do a handbell solo during the offertory this morning.  Personally, I think she was better than the artist in this video, but this one is still pretty good.  Take a deep breath, adjust the volume, sit back and enjoy:

Ennui has lifted.  The woven piece is off the loom and being made ready for wet finishing.  And I finished The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zeut.  I will definitely be reading more David Mitchell.

Friday, June 24, 2011


def.: a feeling of listlessness and general dissatisfaction resulting from lack of activity or excitement

That's where I am right nowJust floating along in a state of ennui.  We've had humid rainy weather for several days.  Despite 4-5 days in the 90's and the passing of the solstice this month, it seems we've never truly found summer.

I have things to do:
Just this much more to weave on my project for the exhibit at MLH conference in August.  For whatever reason, I cannot get my butt to sit down on the loom bench and stay there to finish it.  It's like my butt and the bench have the same magnetic pole and when I try to put them together, my butt ends up somewhere else altogether.

This has happened to me before, and I'm sure I've whined  blogged about it before, but am too lazy to search the archives for evidence.  One of the symptoms that ennui is about to set in is this:

I start queuing up reading material.  Anything and everything that strikes my fancy lands on the "too read" pile.  I buy it (as though I am personally trying to save Borders from going under), I check it out of the library, I put it on hold if it's not in the library, I request it on inter-library loan if it's not in the library's collection, and then I go to the Midwest Collaborative and go through the whole process with electronic media.  It's obsessive, compulsive, and more than a little crazy.  What is it with me and books?  I've had this "thing" my whole life and have passed it on to my son.  And judging by the stacks of books over, under, around, and through dh's night stand (see below) he has caught this contagion as well:
I'm not sure why his books all come with their own little ribbons in them.  At least one of them has been swallowed by the vacuum cleaner...but that's a story for another post.

But the real evidence of ennui is this:
See that bookmark on the top book?  I am that close to finishing One Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and I'm sitting here blogging instead of reading.  I love the book, the writing is delicious, and the story is interesting, but I just don't it want to end....yet.

And now I find myself with a few more pictures to post and a bunch of other things I thought I might say...but I just don't feel like it.  I'm done with this post for now.  Guess I'll go wallow....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What to do....

I've been working on Devonshire, the first sweater I've knitted for myself in a long time.

See the "lines of demarcation" in the fabric?  The first one at the lower part of the garment occurred mid-ball of yarn where there was a knot in the skein.  There's another, less drastic color change up at the beginning of the lace change which was a change in skein.  Everything is from the same dyelot and the same bag of yarn. 

The yarn is Cathay by Debbie Bliss.  Just checked her website and it appears this yarn is discontinued.  Not cheap yarn, but I bought it about a year ago.  I'm disappointed.  Any suggestions on what to do about the color variations?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Random is what you get when life gets busy and blog time is at a premium.  Last week was a blur, so I'll try to do a quick re-cap.

  • Was called for jury duty and served.  First time I've ever been called.  Much to my dismay, my name was first out of the jury selection lottery box making me "Juror Number 1" for the day.  It was an interesting experience and closer to current tv courtroom scenes than I expected.  The case involved "the malicious use of a telecommunications device".  The device was a phone.  My generational naivete kicked in as I flashed back to junior high and the "Do you have Prince Albert in a can" prank phone calls.  Much more malicious and explicit than that...and done repeatedly.  The calls were recorded and played for the jury....twice.  The unanimous verdict was guilty with less than 20 minutes of deliberation.
  • Saturday I moved 2 wheelbarrows of compost out of the compost bins, dug them into the flower beds, then planted 5 flats of flowers.  All the while I couldn't believe how taxing the activity was, considering that I have a pretty good work out schedule.  At the end, I needed 12 more impatiens plants to fill in the last area.  So I cleaned up, made and served lunch, then decided to run a couple errands and get those last 12 plants.  When I got in the car I noticed that the outside temperature on the dashboard was 93 degrees. wonder I was feeling so wiped out.  I had no idea that it was that hot, thought it was just me getting decrepit.
  • My very first loom (LeClerc Artistat) was sold and went on to it's new home.  I was surprised at the volume of local inquiries from the online listings.  It was a good loom for beginners and most of the local inquiries were new or soon to be weavers.  The new owner picked it up on Saturday and was so thrilled to be taking "my baby" home with her.  What a pleasure it was to contribute to the creation of a new weaver! 
  • Put a warp on the new Macomber loom:  20/2 tencel from Just Our Yarns sett at 38 EPI:
Here's a quick look, though the red is much more burgundy.
Sharon asked me to post more about the Macomber loom, so I took some photo's during the warping process.  
One of the neat things about a Macomber is that it's possible to just lay down the front beam and beater to pull your chair right up to the heddles for threading.  This is a boon for back to front warping, which is my usual technique.  If you "click for big", you'll notice that I took off the cloth beam and laid it over to the can see it on the other side of my chair. 

The loom is also higher than most jack looms so the heddles are at eye level without the need to raise the shafts during threading.
To sley the reed, I just put the cloth beam back in place, put the reed in the cap that goes on the beater, then propped the reed on the cloth beam and the loom frame to sley the reed.  Easy peasy!  Here's another shot of the same thing:
It also gives you a nice view of all 14 treadles.....yikes...kind of looks like an organ doesn't it?  Actually, with the back hinged treadles, it's a breeze to weave on this loom.  I love it.

So after the reed was sleyed, I changed the beater cap around, flipped up the reed, brought up the beater and put the reed in place.  Then I put the front beam back in place and was ready to tie on.

There has also been some project knitting which will be blog fodder another time.  And I've been drooling over reading through The Fleece and Fiber Source Book..  I still can't believe they are able to offer this book for such a low price.  Deb Robson blogged about the gestation and incubation of this book, creating a lot of anticipation among us fiber folk.  The end result does not disappoint.  Put this one on your list.

Okay...must go weave and do some other random stuff.  Whatever can be done in today's 95 degree temps.