Sunday, November 7, 2010

All ten place mats

Look at all that finished cloth! I wove 10 place mats, and it feels like a lot.
These place mats are from the book Rep Weave and Beyond, by Joanne Tallarovic. I love them.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Baby Blanket Love

I am completely flattered that my little niece has discovered the blanket I wove for her way back in June of last year.

My brother sent me this video yesterday, which I could watch all day long.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rep Weave Placemats

The placemats are warped on and the first one is finished. I hope I can get 9 more out of this warp, but 7 will make me happy. It seemed like an exceptionally long warp going on, 7 yards.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Winding On

The warp is currently being wound on. It makes me feel so accomplished to warp the loom in 2 days. I never have time to do it all at once.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Annual Loom Maintenance


I don't know if you've noticed, but I haven't been doing a lot of weaving lately. I finally finished off those tencel scarves, and am happy with the results. But I decided that I need a fresh start to get me rolling again.

The Mighty Wolf has been giving me a little trouble here and there. I've spent the last couple of evenings tending to it, hoping it will behave better in the future. I removed all the harnesses and strings from the frame, folded it up and cleaned under and around it. Then I cleaned and oiled all the wood. I took the harnesses outside and oiled them as well.
Now I plan to find some plastic washers to deal with those back harnesses that always want to stick in the raised position. I've decided that all of the harnesses push toward the back of the loom as I weave, meaning that the back harnesses are squeezed against the back, creating too much friction to move freely. I think with some plastic washers I can create enough space to keep that from happening. Maybe I'll try to get some pictures of what I'm talking about, once it is all assembled again.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pickles

Okay, apparently August is all about food.

Thanks to a friend with an overabundance of cucumbers in his garden, Gus and I pickled 11 jars of cucumbers this morning. Only one jar contains pickles from our garden.

Gus took some of the smaller cucumbers and made some salt brine pickles (in the big jar) for eating over the next couple of weeks, while I focused on the long-term dill vinegar pickles. That should keep us happy for a while.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Veggies

My first (almost) ripe tomato.
And beautiful cranberry beans.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Time

I have three bushes in front of my house that turned out to be blueberry bushes. What a lovely surprise! And it looks like our raspberries are giving it another try - the first batch was a tad disappointing.

I'm finished with Summer School! Which means that now I'll have evenings and weekends free to weave, and sew, and garden, and pickle, and bake ...

Except that right now we have in-laws in town and it is far too hot to do anything!

I did sew some little snack bags this week, and bake some bread, and pickle 4 jars of beets from the garden. So I guess I'm not slacking too badly.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Vibrant

It is a busy Summer again this year. I've started a full-time paid internship, I'm doing 10 credits of summer school, and we had a lovely visit from my mother-in-law (we made pies). The whole time I've been weaving away at this same old project bit by bit.

I finished one 60-inch-long scarf several weeks ago. I struggled with the loom weaving that first one. I think my epi was just too dense, so the friction of threads against threads caused more than the desired number of shafts to lift every time. So after that first scarf, I cut it off the warp and re-sleyed the reed. The first scarf was 30 epi (ends per inch) at about 10 inches wide and the second is 20 epi at about 15 inches wide. It's going much smoother now and I should be finished very soon.

I've also decided that when weaving satin, I should do it upside down, so that the solid-colored side is facing me and the stripes are facing the floor. Right now I am lifting all but one shaft each throw, whereas if I did it the other way around I would only lift one shaft each throw. That would make it lighter, quicker, and more apparent when accidental floats appeared. Right now I have to crane my neck and peer around the back every once in a while to check for mistakes. And I always find them! Darn it!



Friday, June 25, 2010

Oregon Coast Leg Warmers

I spent last week on the Oregon Coast with my extended family and I wanted to do something crafty while I was on vacation. And on the Oregon Coast, even though it is June, it tends to be chilly and rainy, which makes leg warmers appealing.

I am not a knitter. This is only my second ever knitting project. You might wonder why I would leap right into knitting in the round if I don't really know how to knit. The only reason I want to learn to knit is to knit in the round. I am not interested in knitting rectangles, because I can weave rectangles. I see knitting as a way to make hats, gloves, socks, and legwarmers.

In all honesty, this project started as fingerless mittens, but even a thumb hole was too much for me. So the project became just a tube. And originally they were intended to be worn the other way around, with the white part on top, but they didn't fit that way because one end is narrower than the other. I have a lot to learn. And luckily, I get to make the other one.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Featured in a Treasury!

Guys!
Even though I've had an Etsy Shop for 2 years, I've always believed that only my direct relations have seen it. But look, I was featured in someone's Treasury East treasury!

It is a very specific treasury: black and white handwovens. I think everything in it is amazing.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'll weave next week

6 days until I'm finished with this quarter at school. And I plan to spend them all in the windowless computer lab. And today seems like it might actually be sunny! Well, at least my garden will enjoy it. As you can see, my only current use for the loom bench is as a staging area for the next cup of coffee.
Oh! Look what finally came! Yarn for my next project! I had to order it from a different company to finally get it. My old supplier is officially fired, 4 months is far too long to wait for yarn. These guys got it to me in less than a week!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Anxiety Weaving

I've been feeling a little bit disjointed lately, which my current weaving project reflects perfectly. A large portion of my brain has been devoted to work and final projects at school, so I decided to weave without planning. I grabbed almost every cone of tencel on my shelf, threw together a striped warp, and started weaving a simple 7-shaft satin.
I kind of thought it would be ugly, because I gave very little thought to the colors. In fact, I started to plan out a striped pattern on paper, but the color combinations all turned out ugly. So I just started warping. As I warped I thought: wow, this will probably turn out worse than the stuff I drew! But now that it is on the loom, I'm actually pretty okay with it. I know that it won't be everyone's favorite. But wildly unplanned is sometimes fun.
Being a satin, the backside is one solid color (the weft color). Here I'm using gray. There is enough warp for two scarves, I haven't decided what I'll use as the weft for the second.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wedding Crafts

Here is the front of that pillow I showed in my last post. A couple of my dearest friends were wed over the weekend. Awesome time! And this was their wedding present from me.
Also, remember these scarves? The bridesmaids wore them, and I think it was lovely. The blue and orange accents throughout the wedding worked very nicely. It was such a cool wedding!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pillow

Check it out, I made a pillow.
Pretty bad week around here, but I made a pillow.
The other side is cuter, but you can't see it yet. It's a secret.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Picks and Pixels?

Uh oh, my last post was commented on by my dweeb older brother.
And this morning I am as excited about my discovery that Lidar data exists for Yamhill County as I am about my current embroidery project.

This blog might start to blend...
Weaving and GIS, is that okay?

By the way, have you seen the awesome maps that Rilla Marshall weaves over at Marshall Arts?
Pretty cool.

Maps? Woven? Talk about up my alley.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

It's Been a Year

Guys! I've had my blog for more that a year now. And even though I haven't posted much lately, I haven't missed a month since I've started.

I started a part time job a couple weeks ago, as well as found out that I've been accepted to the master's program with a graduate assistantship. I am very excited about both of those things, and very busy because of them. I've been getting more and more excited and involved in GIS (Geographic Information Systems), and unfortunately my school work, work work, and goofing around with GIS work has taken over my weaving time. But this summer I will force myself to have time for craftiness.

One of the things that I've been really excited about lately is Open Source software, especially Open Source GIS software. Usually GIS software is prohibitively expensive, so unless you work for someone who can pay for it, you really aren't going to get to use it. But Open Source GIS software is getting more impressive by the day, and I've been having fun playing with it - for free!

And now I just found out about the Open Source Loom project: www.osloom.org
It's a wonder to me how much my interests completely overlap sometimes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tapestry Time

The Mighty Wolf continues to sit empty. On a day like today, all I want to do is sit down and weave away with that beautiful pink tree in view. But my yarn has still not arrived. I am losing my patience with this company.
So instead I spent my morning back on the tapestry loom. This exploratory project was unfairly abandoned last quarter due to school work.

It has been frustrating trying to create the shapes that I want to create. I was aiming for a much more circular shape here, and as you can see the first attempt looks like a diamond. My second attempt is closer, but the edges are squared off, which makes it look like a bulgy rectangle.
This tapestry won't be very pretty, but it is a good exercise in creating a variety of shapes. The design process feels a lot like trying to draw a circle using very large pixels on a computer screen.
This is a view from the back taken from between the warp. This side will be the front of the finished project. It is perfectly smooth, hiding all the work that went into making it.

In the future I think I'll work with a more complicated design that I first draw out by hand and pin behind the warp so that I can "trace" it. That combined with a warp of more ends per inch should make the process feel "crisper."
This crane is the only other attempt at tapestry I've ever made. It was a final project for my weaving class in college, which was four years ago. I'm actually pretty proud of it. This is a variation on "kesi" or "slit" style weaving, which was the ancient Chinese way to weave tapestry.

In Kesi, the weaver leaves slits between color blocks, which makes clean breaks between colors. It also means that the final tapestry is essentially full of holes. I took this idea and created a tapestry in just one color and emphasized the slits to create a design.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tiny Accent Pillow

I've been teaching myself to embroider. My grandmother gave me a gift certificate to buy books for Christmas and I spent it on embroidery books: "The New Crewel" by Katherine Shaughnessy and "Colorful Stitchery" by Kristen Nicholas. Not until Spring Break did I take the time to try out a project.

The design on this little pillow came almost straight out of "The New Crewel." Instead of transferring the image, I drew it free-hand on my fabric with pencil. In the process I altered it a bit.

I decided to start small, but I didn't realize how small until I plopped the finished product on my couch. It is comically small:
But I'm glad I took a tiny little embroidery project from beginning to end. I learned a lot about satin stitch and I got to practice my slip stitch to make a neat little closure on the pillow:
Maybe I'll try a "life size" pillow next time. No more working in miniature.

note: the inspiration for this embroidery came from The New Crewel, by Katherine Shaughnessy

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Arm Covers

In the last post I claimed that Slinky the Cat is a good cat. But that was a bold faced lie. It is true that she is indoor only and therefore cannot torment the neighbors. But there is plenty of damage to be caused inside my lovely new house. The worst of which is destruction to my brand new beautiful couch! How dare she!

The latest defensive measure I've taken is the construction of arm covers for the couch:
Over Spring Break I went to SCRAP and purchased some extremely cheap scrap fabric that matches my curtains almost perfectly (I also bought some embroidery thread for 10 cents a skein - SCRAP is awesome!). I then asked the internet to teach me how to make arm covers for furniture - and this guy helped me out.
The picture above is of my second try - the first was okay, but far from perfect. So I tore it apart and reassembled it this morning.