Saturday, February 20, 2021

🌷Spring Towels: Limping to the Finish Line

We have melting snow here after a large snowfall last week.  There is nothing like feeling trapped in your home, while you are 'stuck' in your home.  Is it just me or do the days whip by so fast while it also feels like the longest winter ever?  ❄️

Our phone has been even more quiet than our usual quiet.  A friend, who is a registered nurse, shared a story about how everyone are  basically head down and coping right now. Its been a very long year with a great deal to process.  The vaccines are here but for the average person out there, they are still months away. 

One side effect of this is inertia: Inertia comes from the Latin word, iners, meaning idle, sluggish. 

So we're all coping as best we can.


I decided to challenge myself to use up some cottons in my stash and to use some colours that I don't normally choose.  I chose a 16 shaft point twill, so easy threading, and a short treadling repeat of 8.    The warp was 8 yards long for 7 towels so not an overly long commitment, but long enough to get a decent stack of towels.   Here you can see the draft and my  edge threading  to perk things up.

I started with the charcoal grey  and woven to 36 inches on the loom, and then moved onto white,  salmon pink and green for the first 4 towels.  The simple treadling got me through listening to CNN as we had first an insurrection,  and then an inauguration, and  yet another impeachment trial. 

For the last 3 towels I decided to change up the treadling and weave my favourite colours. I also wove up some samples for my records.

So this warp took a while to weave not due solely to inertia,  or political distractions.  I could only weave using one leg as I have been coping with an infection in my left big toe that simply would not heal.  We have access to our doctors during covid but its usually over the phone after emailing pictures to them.  To my mind this is okay for a time, but over the long term, much can be missed or ignored by the patient.   So I'm on my third batch of antibiotics and crossing my fingers. 

So even a snail gets to the finish line eventually and I was able to serge / secure my towels and wet finish them.    A good steam pressing using my Singer press and I was able to hand sew the hems while we watched TV.

My favourite is the white, second is the green

They are thick and thirsty.    Brassards cottons, sett 24 epi.

Salmon weft, diamond treadling.

Lime weft, 2 treadlings

White weft, 2 treadlings.

Charcoal weft, 2 treadlings.

The loom is loaded and I'm underway with another project which looks very promising!    Spring is just around the corner and already the days are longer.  We have bulbs coming up under the snow, and there are birds back already. We're all a lot tougher than we think!


Sunday, January 17, 2021

In Search of..... and Found!

 Christmas arrived late here!

I saw an ISO or 'in search of' ad at Ravelry's group Warped Weavers Marketplace. Now I have to say that I usually stay away from that page because I don't need anything, but this ad had just gone up three days before.

The poster wanted to trade end delivery shuttles of one type for end delivery shuttles of another type.   She had Schacht end feed shuttles and didn't care for them and would like to trade for AVL's or Bluster Bay's.

I have been collecting different shuttles now for some years but the ones I prefer and use daily are the Schacht EDS. I just happened to have a bunch of AVL's that I don't use and they sit collecting dust.   So I snapped some pictures and we exchanged messages to and fro.   We agreed to trade straight across and so all this venture cost was postage.

So I mailed away these to Georgia, USA, along with some pirns that fit the smaller shuttles:

..... and today, I got these in the mail!

We are both very happy, both have what we like and prefer!   So maybe this is a good way to move equipment out and get something you need at a reasonable cost? 

Meanwhile I have been winding a gradient warp for a shawl using the four colours below and shifting  across the warp one or two ends at a time between teals to blues.   It seems to be a calming way to handle an insurrection.   😳   

Oh, and I'm doing a purge of yarns. The finer ones my eyes can't see anymore!  Frog hair yarn. 

8/2 tencel: dark teal, greyed teal, grey blue, blue purple

Friday, January 8, 2021

Meant to Be

 I want to share these pictures with you.....   it seems that Rhaea is actually where she is meant to be and happy.  Here she is with Sparkle, a Staffordshire terrier who is her best bud.   Out in the woods for a hike and loving every minute of it.

This made me so incredibly happy.... but I also had a tear or two.   💕

PS. My blog is 13 years old today!  😊

Friday, January 1, 2021

New Years Day 2021: Annual Review

I think there is a collective  sigh of relief that 2020 is over and we'll take 2021 one day at a time for now, thank you very much!  No fooling us huh?  

Now to hunker down and stay safe at home until Spring and the vaccines come our way.  Its great that we will have so many available.  Our job is to simply stay out of harms way, wear a mask, and socially distance.   Not like we have to dodge bombs or dig trenches!

Our Christmas was very quiet, just like many others out there. We are so lucky in these times to have email, texts and things like Zoom and FaceTime to connect with family and friends. I can't imagine what it would have been like in times past with plagues and pandemics running amok and only the  'fence post' gossip and local weekly newspaper that gave you news many weeks out of date. On Christmas day, we had a wonderful FaceTime session with family and the grandkids opened their gifts from us and what a treasure it was to see their reactions on their faces. 


So now its post holiday season and so its time to do more than watch Netflix et al, and news channels and actually do something creative. Making something is so satisfying and help you to take your mind off of Life and de-stress.   So knitters, quilters, spinners, and weavers (and everyone else in fibre pursuits) are  gearing up now for some quality time with their stashes!  One friend said that she had a 'low stash disorder' and so fixed it by buying an entire aisle of yarn and she feels so much better now. 😁  I think she was joking...

I have 8/2 cottons for towels on the Megado and another 8/2 off white warp for yet more towels all wound and standing by. It will be a 16 shaft point twill draft and the Megado's brain will change the pattern every so often so I can try out new patterns.  So the towels are like full sized samples.  There is also a colour gradient scarf waiting in the wings as well.

The Spring is currently being set up for some 10/2 cotton runners and I'm going to  use fine bamboos, or sea cell or peppermint yarns as weft. Still making up my mind....    The warp after that is a solid purple colour warp and I'm testing weft colours for some interesting colour play again. 

On the looms now

16 shaft point twill with (stash busting) stripes...

Here's the Spring loom, up on crates and a 12 shaft, 12 treadle tie up is in progress.  As you can see I mark the spot on the tie up sheet, the treadle being worked on and the position on the lamms. All these safe guards are from having made mistakes and goof up's in the past and now I'm trying to get things right the first time!   There's 144 cords to tie up so doing it once is tedious enough.  That's the 10/2 cotton for runners you can see waiting to be tied onto the front rod soon.

The past year would prove to be interesting in that there was no lack of time to weave, but there was a lack of will some days.  Talking to other weavers, they found it much the same.  Some went to their gardens instead or turned to other interests.  A friend who is a registered nurse said this is a common behaviour when dealing with stress factors such as the great unknowns of the past year.   Not every one goes into seclusion and creates a master piece, learns a new language or loses 40 pounds. 

So every year on this day I do a review of what I accomplished off my looms in the previous twelve months and tally it up.  I wove something for ten months of this year, with a two month break while we had our puppy experience.   That is still a very upsetting experience for us both and we still don't know if we'll try again with an adult dog or simply stay as we are. 

January 2020

Two scarves woven using a painted tencel warp by Carr Park Artisans called Pansy.  8 shaft twill, 24 epi. One sold quickly and now resides in Connecticut.

February 2020

Yet another painted tencel warp by Carr Park Artisans called Dazzle for two shawls with solid edges. 16 shaft twill with one being woven as an advancing twill and the other had a lovely feather pattern.   One shawl went to the UK.  There was a small table runner as well which went to Louisiana.

March 2020

Another two scarves in an old favourite pattern, snowflake twill. The warp was rose yarn and the weft was tencel for the first and a variegated silk weft for the second.  Sett 24 epi.   The rose yarn was nice to work with as warp. 

April 2020

Then the brain for my Megado up and died!   Ouch!  $$$ 😳  The old box had late 1990's technology and it was time to upgrade. Fortunately Louet had refurbished compu-dobbies from people to had recently bought new dobbies and then decided to upgrade to the latest model when it was released by Louet.   The loom doesn't move and is just a nice pile of lumber without one, so we are now back in action!

May 2020

I seem to be drawn to bright colours lately and this painted warp from Iridescent Fibers called "Across the Universe" was set up on the Spring and was a delight to weave up.  The pattern shifted through the warp colours and so weaving was fun.   8/2 tencel, sett 24 epi and an 8 shaft crackle weave.   One scarf went to Quadra Island and the other to the Vancouver area.  

June 2020

It looks like a very busy month, but it takes time to weave off ten yard warps and it seems a few projects were all completed at the same time.  First my old 20 year old serger up and quit on me.  So a new Janome arrived to serge and secure the raw edges of my new batch of towels.  Its an ivory 8/2 cotton warp that I wound at our last home just prior to our move in 2016 and the project notes got lost.  I had counted the ends and choose to weave up as many towels as I could and I got 7.  (There is one missing as I gifted it to our gardening lady before pictures were taken). I also got a nice long table runner as well!

and also in June 2020

I enjoyed simply weaving away on the long warp so I put another long one on again. Some lovely soft Egyptian cotton and I believe you can see the softness in the pictures!  A saucy little pattern of  16 shaft dancing boxes that I call Pandora's Boxes.  I got  9 towels, with one going to my daughter and the rest sold in record time.  People loved the bright colours!  🌈

July 2020

In July I combined a painted warp from Iridescent Fibers with a lovely 16 shaft draft by Ingrid Boesel and wove these two scarves.   Its simply a straight 16 shaft draw and then treadled as an advancing twill  and you get these lovely curves !   One looks like ripples on a shore line at sunset and the other the flames in a campfire.  The sunset ripples scarf now resides here in my home town, owned by another weaver 😊

August 2020

I needed some table runners for my Etsy shop, I wanted to use up some of my 10/2 cotton stash and I wanted to try this 12 shaft turned twill.  The sett was 28 epi. It resulted in two runners with black weft,  two runners woven with olive green and one runner woven with the deep purple weft.   Issues with loom tension meant I was cutting off after every one or two runners, so a neat two inch twisted fringe help to  recover warp lost to cutting off.  I had planned for turned hems but had to get creative.

September  - October 2020

So here we paused for a puppy break for two months.....

November & December 2020

I  threw myself back into colour and using four colours of solid tencel, my Fiberworks (Mac version) gave me this lovely gradient of blues and greens. I used delicate 16 shaft 'fans' or leaves pattern.    The blue version has five colours altogether and the sea green has four.   Such a delicate pattern and I know I'll weave it again.  Its very popular right now but I'm seen it being used for kitchen towels and baby wraps. I think I prefer the scarves.....

I wound on yet another painted warp from Carr Park Artisans called Thunderstorm.  I beamed this warp not really knowing what to do, not really feeling the love for it.... and came to like it in its own dark way.  They reminded me of storm clouds,  the pause after a deluge, and the silver of the clouds as they move away and they became a metaphor for all the crap of the 2020 year.  It became quite cathartic!   Now 2021 will no doubt start as  nasty as 2020 has been, but at least we have some encouraging signs of better times to come.... if we simply stay the course and hold on.  It, being the virus, will end one day.  The 1918 Pandemic had horrid numbers and nothing like the modern medicine we have now.... and they pushed beyond to better times with simply muslin masks.  There were anti maskers / anti quarantine folks even then so all the craziness is nothing new to this or  any crisis.

So be careful and make sure that you are there for all the good times and family gatherings to come in the near future.  Mask up! Socially distance.... and roll up your sleeve when your turn comes. 

The tally

Scarves: 12
Runners: 8
Shawls: 2
Towels: 16

Total of 38 items off my looms.

   🍾 🥂 Wishing you all a very Happy New Year from our home to yours....  🎉 🎈