Friday, October 22, 2021

The Ever Popular # 728

 I belong to a weaving group on Facebook called Strickler in Color. Its where weavers share a draft they have woven based on the book and their interpretation and colour choices : The Weaver's Book of 8 Shaft Patterns by Carol Strickler.   

All drafts in this book are shown in black and white, or light, medium, and dark grey tones.   The focus is on the pattern. The focus of the group is show off colour!   How they have interpreted the draft.     By far and away the most popular draft is #728.    The draft just ends its self to so much variety and is just plain fun to weave.

It was actually submitted by Joan McCullough (of Campbellford, Ontario): Rosepath in multiple tabby weave, page 48, from The Rosepath Motif : An Approach to Weaving Design by Margaret Windeknecht. Published in 1987.

I have woven this before and  it seems the right time to do it again..... and in my favourite  colours and weft choice     So six towels all roughly 20" x 30".   8/2 cottons from Brassards, 24 epi, and hems are hand sewn to void the "stitch ditch" line.  

The hem is flipped so you can see the reverse.... its just as pretty on the other side!

The rather satisfying cloth roll before it was taken off the loom. Shown here with black weft for samples

I had a small bit of warp left and I thought I would weave some using the same red as in the warp. The idea was to embellish card inserts and make some Christmas cards.  Add some beads and sparkly bits.   I hand washed this red section and the red bled like a murder scene!   The white is a permanent pink and I have no idea of what to do with it now.   I washed the towels with no less than 8 colour catchers and rinsed until the water was clear.   I'm happy I did the red cloth first and saw the issue ahead of time.     So if you buy Brassards cottons, test them out first to make sure they are dye-fast!

We are enjoying a moment in the sunshine here. Its all about to come to an end and by the weekend we'll be into a large storm coming in off the Pacific with very serious winds and rain. We have done extra tie downs on the patio furniture covers and feel extra snug after our house painting this summer. Hub even made room in the garage for the car! ☔️ πŸ’¦ πŸ’¨ πŸ‚

The budgies are doing just fine and all settled in. I call them the Happy Gang after an old time radio show from the CBC and ran from 1937-1959 and enjoyed two million listeners.  

"The show was known for its "spontaneous humor, music, and corny jokes." 

Well, that describes these four birds completely. You just never know what is coming next as they play.  We have jazzed up the cage with perches,  2 swings, and treats.   Two swings?   well, they all tried to get on the triangle swing and so we got a second one to keep the noise down as they fought over who got the prime seating.

So here's the entire cage set up: 24" x 21" x 54" and on wheels. They are used to going for a ride and the vacuum doesn't phase them anymore.  Below, is Teal and you can see all the toys and swings. Yes, they are spoilt.   😁    

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Oops, We Did It Again.... 😁 🦜

 A big cage.... and only two little budgies?    So we brought home two more..... ( and that's it..... for now). Blue and Jay were squabbling. Well, Blue was being a persistent 'romeo' and Jay was not having any of it. We decided that there needed to be more to balance things out.  It was a gamble that so far has paid off. They are not fighting and Blue seems to be basically ignored by his harem.  In the wilds of Australia they fly in flocks of thousands! (Their natural wild colouring is green.)

So Blue and Jay now have roomies:  Kiwi and Teal.  So far, so good!  See if you can spot who is who.

The ride home with them was fabulous. Warm Fall day,  that gold sunshine of this time of year and we took the oceanside route.   Then we spotted a rainbow and pulled over to take this short video.  Excuse the road noise.... maybe watch with sound muted.   There's even some driftwood art. 

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!    πŸ πŸ‚ πŸŽƒ πŸ— 🍽

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Feeling Blue ? ~ Meet Blue & Jay

 Yes, I'm still here.....   Its been a while hasn't it?

I don't have any weaving to show you.  πŸ˜³  Oops, I just heard half of you leave..... 

Dahlias from a friend, photographed by Bruce.

Its a few things really....   

I seem to have lost my weaving mojo.  A friend said after  me weaving non stop for 25 years it was bound to happen and not to beat myself  up over it.  Our doctor said everyone ( and she means everyone) is dealing with low grade depression thanks to the never ending pandemic and the Fourth Wave.   

I also pulled a muscle in my right shoulder blade area and its not settling down.  Its past the worse phase now but as the day progresses, it aches something fierce. I'm on familiar terms with icepacks and Tylenol. It also keeps me up at night.    This makes throwing a shuttle difficult. I want it to heal properly  and I also want to weave again soon.   I can't wind warps  due to the up and down motions to the warping mill either.  So I have been using my Hansen e-spinner and enjoying that for short periods.

Then there is also the mystery of the reoccurring toe infection that prevents me from treadling.    Gee, aren't you glad you stopped by for all this whine  πŸ· to go with the cheese πŸ§€ ? 

We have two new members of our family!  Meet Blue and Jay.   Yes, after the baseball team (Hub is a huge fan)

Blue, who loves the mirror and has a favourite spot to perch that he defends.

Jay, who likes to do loop-de-loops around the perches.

The cage is quite large so we are considering getting a couple more before its too cold to transport them home.     The house has happy chirpy sounds and it really lifts the spirits.  That's what we were aiming for!

I aim to slowly get back into weave mode and bring you something soon.    Notice I didn't say 'promise'..... I'll do my best.

πŸ‚  πŸ πŸ„ 🍁  πŸ‚

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Trials and Tribulations ~ Copper Glow and Magenta Mist

About a week ago I uploaded these pictures getting ready to write a blog post. I was blissfully ignorant of the trials and tribulations ahead.  These have become the last pictures I can access on my computer until I find out if my back up drive has them or not.  

Let me back up here.... (pun intended)  πŸ˜Š

I set up my computer that night to do a back up to an external hard drive and woke the next morning to a back up (great!) and a whole new operating system on my Mac "Big Sur" (really not great).  

That's when I discovered a few things.

  • all my Fiberworks drafts have vanished. (over 500 of them)
  • Big Sur won't run a computer dobby and the weaving program developers have no work around and no time line of when they will. Apple isn't helping them either.
  • All my 6000+ pictures of family and my weaving were in iPhoto and Big Sur won't support it and so they appear to be all gone too.
So, any good news?   some....
  • I have a fresh back up on my external hard drive!
  • it may have all my photos and a tech *might* be able to locate and shift them to Photo.
  • failing that, I have saved emails with all my scanned old family photos.
  • Between this blog and ravelry, I can get a lot of my pictures resaved again.
  • Its all going to take LOTS of time if the tech can't find and save them first.
So after some chats (okay, many phone calls) with Bob Keates of Fiberworks, I have worked out the following:
  • updated the latest version of Fiberworks that will 'shake hands' with Big Sur so I can at least do some design work. It won't however run my Megado....
  • to get some thing to run my loom, I needed a Mac with an older operating system on it like High Sierra or Mojave on it.   Every OS after that got difficult as Apple made subsequent changes.
  • it just so happens my Hubby has an older 2013 Mac with High Sierra on it...... and subsequently was traded my shiny brand new MacBook Pro (2020) with Big Sur for it.
 πŸ’» 😳 πŸ–₯ ⌨️

So I have a newly updated version of Fiberworks Silver Plus on the old clunker Mac and (after many calls with Bob) it works and runs my Megado again!  A big thank you to Bob at Fiberworks! 

 Meanwhile, my hubby can't believe his good luck and scooted with his new shiny computer and didn't look back!

Okay, enough of my woes and wailing.     Let's get to some weaving...    This is the scarf project on the Spring loom and just getting started. A rather large size diamond pattern that was approx 7 inches in length for a full repeat.  Its 8/2 tencel in amethyst for warp and Pompeii for weft.  I really wanted to see this colour combination together and it seems to work nicely.   The draft is from  #74014.   There is a partial draft at the very end.

So it took 10 repeats to get a full scarf, plus some runs for a border at the either end.  There are quite a few pictures here, which normally I would not post them all but just the better ones.  Since they are all I have for now, I'm going to leave them in.

For the second scarf I used magenta as weft and while I like it, it doesn't have the zing of the first.   What comes to mind is 'safe choice' and sometimes you have to take a chance and go for something out of your comfort zone.   

This last picture below was taken as I was stepping back inside and the lighting hit it just right and showed the rich glow.  It might be a safe colour choice but its very elegant nonetheless !

Saturday, July 24, 2021

And That's a Wrap... 🏑


So.... the big reveal!   

Our painter came by yesterday to finish off the final touch up's and double check the work.  We sat in the back patio and enjoyed a coffee together and also met his delightful daughter who is going to be his helper on the next job.  Poor guy must be careful of his back and pinched nerve but he swears he's ready to work again. 

Hub took these pictures yesterday afternoon, just after they left. We heard we had cloud cover coming in today, a chance of much needed rain and to be followed by forest fire smoke. So better to do it sooner than later!   The sun is higher and a bit harsher than we would like so we're going to take more pictures when the sun is a bit kinder.

We have a comforting  coat of  quality paint called "Stone Lion" now, with the blue grey trim and gutters (basically the existing colour, but refreshed).  Glen did some free lance stuff and did small things like electrical outlets, the ring around pot-lights, door handles, electrical boxes in jet black.  The front door was done in a rustic red.    All gutters and soffiting were cleaned, moss removed from the roof and all concrete work power washed and so much brighter.   That's a big job for one man and one week.

This is the back view: the windows on the far left is my studio. We like having a portion of the patio covered by the roof line as we can sit outside even if its lightly raining. 

A closer view: in the shade are two comfy wicker chairs and little table that we sit at and enjoy a cool drink together. 

Even the garden sheds were done to match so now we look like we have little "mini-me's".

The window on this shed has a metal mess over it as being next door to our neighbouring golf course, rogue golf balls happen! They have to be really bad golfers to hook one over here. 

So a final view from beyond the back fence which is as tired as it looks.  That is in fact next years project.... to replace all fence posts along the back run and the posts besides the gates. The pickets are metal.   At the current price of lumber, that's a major deal to prepare for all by itself! πŸ’°

So what we realize now is that we need a splash of COLOUR!  Some flower baskets and topiary planters out front, maybe a wooden bench by the front door.  They add so much life to a home and more pizzaz!   We also usually have hanging baskets in the back patio area as well. This year we thought the painting was going to happen in May, then it was pushed to June and then finally July, so we didn't shop at garden centres this season  and have put the funds towards the painting project instead.  As luck would have it, the heat dome would have pretty much killed anything we had as it is. We have hardy shrubs that have sun damage now and so I don't think hanging baskets would have survived unless we put them in the garage.

We're going to shop some 'end of season' garden shop sales and see if we can get some lovely big pots and then spend the winter planning what bedding plants to fill them with.   

🌻🌺   🌳  πŸŒΈπŸŒΌ

Monday, July 12, 2021

πŸ§—‍♀️ Many Ways to Climb a Point Twill Hill πŸ”

I recently saw this in an email from Long Thread Studio who publish Handwoven magazine for weavers:

 “Fun fact: There are 65,534 tie-up combinations on a 16-shaft loom.” To which I replied, “And I bet there is someone out there trying them all.” Although I didn’t know the validity of the number at the time, I was pretty sure I was right that somewhere in the world a weaver was trying every tie-up combination, “just to see.”     

Taken from : Handwoven article

They were talking about me I think..... 😊

I had bought a large 3 pound cone of natural 8/2 unmercerized cotton "ring spun" from Unicorn Weaving Yarns (Quebec) on Etsy.  I planned to do a long 11 yard warp and then weave 10 towels and each one a different tie up / treadling on my Megado.   The cotton showed me a hint of what was to come when I took the first bout wound off the warping mill as it all twisted up on itself!

Beaming the warp was tricky due to the curl or energy in the yarn. It looked like a nice even two ply to me but....     (Oh, I have two more 3 lb cones of this yarn so I hope they aren't all like this!)

I had to get help... lucky Hubby, and we fought all of it on.  Threading went okay.    16 shaft point twill with a straight draw on either side.    Sett 24 epi.

Weft was from 3 colours of Bockens Nialin cottolin in a green turquoise, mid blue and an oatmeal shade.  I'm trying to use up the last of this stash.   ⭐️   Gold star for me!

 This sweet little 5-6 inches became my samples for my records.

I wove four towels and was about to weave number five when I noticed something iffy.    I looked carefully under a pick glass and saw that I had ONE thread missing from the threading sequence.  It didn't show until I changed to the new treadling and then became obvious.    πŸ˜’

I cut off the four towels and rethreaded the left 4-5 inches of the warp, resleyed and tied back on again.  Once you know... it has to go!

So I have some samples and nine towels.   Only one towel has an obvious mistake and all four of the first towels are being gifted to relatives, who either won't notice (my brother) or if they do, know enough to keep quiet as they won't get anymore.  Towels work perfectly as seconds regardless.   

Eight towels here.... with one blue one off in someone's kitchen already!

The blues...

The oatmeal...

The green turquoise...    (the gifted towel has the same pattern as the large diamond in the centre of this grouping, but in blue)

One towel was gifted immediately to our house painter for his Dutch wife so I wasn't able to get a picture of it before it went.  The man had just single handedly painted the whole exterior of our home and 2 garden sheds in five days so they earned a gift of a blue and white towel. 

So in the future I will wind only a short warp with this cotton as its not worth fighting the curl.   Or use as weft?  It will be used up though...   the hand and softness of the cloth shows it was worth the battle. 

Some individual pictures showing both sides:

There will be more pictures to come of our newly painted house but a slight delay as our painter has hurt his back..... but soon!