Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Made Waffles!

First, the world's darkest picture of waffle weave. One weft portion is handspun cotton singles, the remainder is the 8/2 2-ply I used for warp. I just need to cut the washcloths apart and hem them. I remembered to leave an inch for hemming this time! I hope you can see that the squares, after washing, became much smaller and deeper. The fabric is very squashy.My new project - cotton / linen 2 ply for both the warp and the weft. Sett is 24 epi, threading is herringbone (style?) on 8 shafts. This is just a little 1 yard sample. I can see the twill reverse direction in this picture (it makes little waves), but it is nearly impossible to see in person. I will try some tabby weave later for comparison.I am learning about a sticky shed, about an in flexible yarn, and about working with flax in single-digit humidity. I think it will soften after washing. I will take it to my dressmaker friend and see if it will work for its intended purpose - a skirt. It is so nice and light though, she may approve a blouse.

Well, weaving is all I want to do today, but it is off to demo spinning and weaving at the fair. I will remember to bring my charkha this time and hopefully figure out something to pack as a lunch.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Autumn Preparations

Autumn will be here any minute, so it is time to start nesting, finish summer projects and insulate the house for the coming of autumn and then winter. Er... or something. I even picked up a golden-red chrystanthemum at the home store this morning for a spot of color in the garden. It is the season where I long to know how to can things. I want to be able to say 'oh yes, I put up some nectarines and apple butter this weekend'. In the meantime....The 9-Patch and White quilt has been dusted off and the top is pieced! I love the white sashing. If I had any more squares (or a queen bed), I would make it wider now that I have a queen bedframe, but twin size is nice too. No two patches are the same, but they are arranged randomly. A bit of organized chaos. A close up: My corners are getting much more square. The backing will be navy with little white stars, and I think I will use ties for this quilt instead of hand-quilting it. I can't think of a quilting pattern that would complement it and please me, and I have dozens of colors of DMC cotton floss that I think will work for ties that coordinate with each of the color families. Maybe a vine pattern along the white sashing if I get the urge to hand quilt it after all ... although the thread would show on the reverse. Uh oh. Apparently I took too long of a break from weaving to sew the quilt this afternoon... I have squatters. Gussie is in the upstairs apartment and Tubby - errr Tuppy - is downstairs. Want one?

Good Tidings

The handspun cotton is working out great (we will check in again after wet-finishing) and I rigged a bobbin winder out of my power drill, a bic pen and a hair tie.

But I may have to ask for one for Christmas.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Peer Pressure

Since the looms are apparently the best place to be, I thought I would get back to work. But I didn't want to disturb a sleeping Bingo, so I broke out the table loom and an audio book from the library (The Princes of Ireland by E. Rutherfurd) and got down to it.There was warp already on the loom, left over from the last batch of tea towels. I chose a basic waffle-weave as my next project and rethreaded the heddles and resleyed the reed. It only took about an hour for each - amazing how fast it goes when I sit and do it! I also thought and thought until I figured out a way to add more heddles to shafts that were already threaded. It worked out well, and the 2o minutes of thinking and the 20 minutes of fiddling were less than the hours it would have taken to put 12 string heddles on each of 4 shafts *shudder*. I am glad I ordered those extra heddles (way back when).I hope you can click to "embiggen" the pictures. Waffle weave makes little squares in the fabric just like, well, waffles. The treadling is a little more complicated than tabby or twill, but not terrible. I have to pay attention though, as I have threaded pattern repeats on shafts 1-4 and 5-8 so that I can use more ends.
I am also using the same yarn for warp and weft in this sample. I have quite a bit of handspun cotton set aside, so I may try sampling with some of that too. The handspun is thinner than the warp, however, and I wonder what it will do to the weave structure.
All right kitties, off the loom, it is time to get back to work!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Thank you for your kind words about my spinning! I also saw that Pat V, Diane, and Josephine won a passel of ribbons for their fine knitting - I will try to email the pictures to Linda at Knit N Stitch... or stop in and show you!
Sunday we were demonstrating spinning and weaving at the Millard Sheets Gallery at the LA County fair. I brought a bag of malamute brushings and went to town. The result was a couple of skeins of soft fluffy yarn with a nice halo. One skein went back to the dog-owner today for examination and the other is safely locked away from the cats. I am back on track in quilting class and did my homework this morning, then set the machine aside. Fritti lost no time in getting snuggled up in the corner. I have to iron the strips, attach them to the blocks, add the edging, find some stuffing, add the back and it will be done. 3 sessions, perhaps.

Tonight is weaving class - I should be able to cut off my fabric tonight or next week. I suppose I should start thinking about my next project. Maybe some scarves out of the angora I spun this spring? Or learning the 'overshot' technique and working on a blanket? I use my class time to experiment and learn new things, and my home weaving time to do things I already know how to do.

Monday, September 14, 2009

LA County Fair Results

After much impatience and fingernail-nibbling, we went to check out our entries at the LA County Fair Tapestry competition. I am pretty glad that Denise needled me, and that I made the deadline... by 4 minutes.
Best in Show: "Hyacinth" hand dyed silk from Chasing Rainbows, spun fine and chain plied. This was the remnant yarn from the black and rainbow shawl... and I remember a lovely afternoon plying up a passel of half filled bobbins. Me at the spinning wheel and Kip with a blowtorch and a transmission *sigh*. You can see Denise's lovely bamboo singles off to the right, with a ribbon of its own.

First: Hand dyed wool of my own, spun very fine. It is much, much more orange in person: The lighting in the hall and in the display cases was horrendous. Down with flourescence!First: 'MacKenzie' wool / silk blend from Ashland Bay. Spun and plied to a nice fluffy DK weight, I believe. It is a beautiful, vibrant navy blue, not the funny gray it appears. Second: Naturally green cotton singles, spun on a charkha. This is the yarn I use for weaving discloths. Hmmm, and I need to get moving on that order before Martha sets her last one on fire.

Third: Natural colored yak/ silk blend singes, also to be used for weaving.

It seems that the judges had an eye to color, now that I think about it. There were many lovely naturally colored wool skeins that were sadly ribbon-free. I will keep that in mind for next year. I knew I made good yarn, but I am grateful for the outside validation. Now if only there were prizes.... even $7 to cover my potato at lunch would be nice.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Just when you think they are your friends *bam* it's high school again and time to play ignore the one with glasses until she goes away. Fine. I am going. It will save me money on my subscription anyway. I just wanted to be accepted... and I got it... but only for a little while. It is never long enough.

Maybe if I stopped abandoning people it wouldn't happen to me.