I’ll never…


I said I’d update more often. Famous last words. Still weaving, though this summer has been more gardening than anything. Due to the death of my parents, I was raised by my grandparents. On a farm. My grandmother planted a large garden, or what I considered large from the eyes of a child who would rather be doing anything than garden chores, and canned the harvest. I had to help break beans for the jars. Oh the horror of doing that stupid crap. I would never garden. And wouldn’t you know, at the ripe age of 51, I began wanting some fresh produce. Last year, I planted a few things, mostly tomato and zucchini. The squirrels, mice, and rabbits were very happy about this. I, not knowing how much zucchini you can get, was giving it away constantly. This year, I vowed that the critters would not get my tomatoes and such, and had an enclosure built around the garden area, which contains three 22-24 ft long beds. The problem was that, let’s be honest here, sorry honey, someone said they’d build it for me and procrastinated. I had to get the seedlings I’d started outside before the enclosure was built. I came out one morning to find all my plants down to short stems. I told the hubby I was having someone come build the enclosure, and that was that. But my plants suffered. They did eventually come back, but I think (I hope it was that) that really gave it a bad start, so I didn’t get near as much produce as I wanted. Also having a problem with bugs, damn rolly pollies. This year has really been a learning experience, and I hope all I’ve learned this year will make me more successful next year.

Husband bought a grapevine a couple of years ago, only he didn’t realize until we got grapes that they weren’t seedless. He says he doesn’t mind the seeds, but he wasn’t eating a whole lot of them. He hasn’t trimmed the vine at all so it’s getting quite large and producing a lot of grapes. Last year, the birds were happy. This year, I decided that I wouldn’t let them go to waste, that I would make grape jelly out of them. (I will never can or preserve foods. Ha!)
grape jelly
Success!

And since we have a small fig tree, and my husband loves fig jam, I did that too.
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I’ve made 3 batches of fig jam, with figs from our tree and my husband’s uncle’s huge tree. First batch was perfect, though I substituted dry pectin for the liquid that the recipe called for. Second batch I used liquid pectin as instructed, and that didn’t turn out so good. I have part gelled, part liquid. Third batch, since I was told I didn’t cook the second batch long enough, I cooked it longer, and added more pectin when I didn’t think it was getting thick, and now I think I may have over done it. The little bit that I stuck in the fridge is like a thick sugary mess. Think of those gummy sugar covered orange slice candies being melty. I’ll open one that I actually canned and see how it is.

I’ll never weave rugs. Sure, I’ll twine rugs, or braid rugs, and I’ll collect fabric for that, but I’ll never weave one on my loom. I gave away or sold all my rug shuttles, and almost sold a temple that I didn’t think I’d ever use.  *sigh* You know what happened, right? The rug bug bit me. I think it was because I had accumulated a bunch of fabric for twining or braiding, which I haven’t done near enough of, and I wanted to whittle that stash down quicker than twining/braiding would accomplish. Or maybe I saw something online and that fueled the fire. Regardless, a rug making I will go. I looked at different rugs, and one particular design caught my eye. Diamond rag rugs, how cool! I searched online for instructions and other info, downloaded the software, and picked fabric that I had enough of each color to weave.  Unfortunately, in all my playing with the software, when I opened it back up to print my design, I hadn’t saved it, and I had to re-enter all the info. When I put in all the measurements, I missed a couple. I realized this when I ran out of fabric halfway through the rug, and the design wasn’t quite right. I still have a small bathroom rug or something, haven’t decided yet. Three solid colors.
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While it is cool looking, it’s not exactly what I was expecting. Since I still had a bunch of warp left on the loom, and a bunch of strips that I had already cut for twining or ones I’d gotten from weaver’s sales, I made another rug.
rug 2
Not bad for having never woven a rug before.

Determined to get my diamond rug, I went back through the stash and found some more fabric. This time I would use four colors. The two I had were prints, and I thought it would be interesting to see how they worked. I did have to buy two more prints at the store to have enough. This one hasn’t been hemmed yet, but since no one knows when I will post again, I’ll go ahead and put it out there now.
rug 3
This is more of what I was expecting, yet again it isn’t right. This time I didn’t run out of fabric, I used the strip widths and all the measurements as the software had, and I still don’t have consistent diamonds. The prints didn’t work out too bad but I do think solid colors would be more to my liking.  I don’t know if I’ll attempt another. There’s a lot of work in the set up of measuring, sewing, and cutting and to do all that work to not get what you wanted is disheartening. I’m glad I tried and I’m fairly happy with my actual weaving, so I’ll do more rag rugs in hit and miss. If I get good enough at it, I’m considering making memory rugs.

A year goes by


Gosh it’s been awhile. I still weave, though not as often as I feel like I should. I got into a kind of funk with weaving.  I’ve done a few things here and there, but not what I’d say qualified as being an active weaver. After I made the hearts baby wrap, I let the dobby loom sit. I finally put a warp on it a couple of days ago, and should have a few towels done soon. I’m currently planning on making some rag rug type placemats too, using my twining loom. Which I will just add that I built myself. *pats self on back*

Pictures and more wordage to come. Soon. Sooner than a year later at least 🙂

Inkling on


Still having fun with the Mini Wave.

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I do think I need to remove some heddles. It’s hard to get my fingers in there to thread them. I tried tying on to the old warp, with mixed results. The blue/white one worked fine. The pink/grey one not so much, due to the fact that some of the old warp slipped out of the heddles while I was tying the new one on. I have no idea what I’m going to do with these bands yet, I’m just enjoying making them. They’re also serving a purpose, which is to help me find how many threads to use for specified widths. I’m sure you can see I like the little bars and the chains. I need to branch out and play with the designs more.

This thing is finished, for lack of a better word.

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I’m very disappointed with this. I feel like I failed in so many ways. The bright side is I learned a few things that shouldn’t be done, or things that could be done better.

In other news, my baby is going to have a baby. When my daughters were babies, I lived in a small town, and baby wraps/babywearing were unheard of.  My daughter will get a handwoven baby wrap, and I hope it makes her life easier. I made this last year, with the original intent to sell, but daughter said they were going to start trying so I held onto it. Here are two very poor pictures. the first one is before it was wet finished, but it does show that there are two sides.

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And this is me doing a very poor job of wrapping a not-so-life-like doll.

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CNCH 2016


CNCH, the Conference of Northern California Handweavers, is only a 4-5 hour drive from me so of course I went. On the day that registration went live, I had forgotten about it. By the time I registered, the 6 hour workshop that I really wanted was filled, so I chose another. I was so disappointed, but there was a condensed version of the 6 hour workshop that still had availability, so I could at least take that one. Since I didn’t get the 6 hour I wanted, I took a workshop called All Tied Up by Jette Vandermeiden. I thought I would maybe pick up a few tips or tricks, and hopefully learn the art of not dozing during an afternoon session. Boy was I wrong. I had no problem at all staying awake after lunch. Jette (pronounced Yetta) is a wonderful teacher. While I knew you could play with tie-ups to create new drafts from the same threading/treadling, I had a kind of tunnel vision too. I tend to create a threading, then a tie-up, then a treadling, then play with the tie-up to get rid of excessive floats or change the look. Jette showed us how to turn a simple 8 shaft threading into these different structures. For example, weave a double faced twill, then turn around and do a 4 shaft overshot, without re-threading the loom! There was definitely a light bulb went off effect. And after taking the condensed version of the workshop that I originally wanted, I was so glad I didn’t get the 6 hour version. It was a struggle to get through the condensed version, and I had some issues with how the class was taught and the things that were included.

Of course, I also did my fair share of supporting the vendors in the marketplace. I’m happy to say that there weren’t any impulse yarn purchases. I have finally realized that I do NOT need more yarn. (If you ever want to curb your yarn buying, become the person who takes donations for your guild. You will see how much of your yarn will not get used, and will not be wanted by someone else.) My purchases were things that I had been planning to buy at some point, and this way I didn’t have to pay shipping. I got a Gilmore Mini Wave and it’s case, and one of the new Dory shuttles. The Dory just came out but when I saw it advertised, I knew I was interested.  I also bought Texsolv heddles for the Baby Mac, and a Bluster Bay EFS with Honex tensioner. Since I didn’t bring any yarn with me, and I really wanted to try out the Mini Wave, I did buy 2 tiny balls of yarn. They look like the balls of crochet cotton that you buy at the craft stores, only much smaller. I have no idea how much yarn is on them. Guessing maybe 10 yards? I also didn’t bring a warping board, so had to improvise
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When improvising like this, it is important to remember that 1) you didn’t bring scissors and that 2) no matter how much you try to stretch cotton to go over the part of the knob that is wider than where you wound, it’s not gonna happen. Fortunately I had one of those knife screwdriver combo things in the car. Using a dull knife does not make for even ends, just putting that out there. Even though I didn’t get the warp on the loom evenly, I still got to try it out. So far, I love it. It fits on my lap, and it’s small enough I can weave in the car. I intentionally didn’t weave much in the room because I was saving it to use on the way home. Today, I’m going to put on a warp that’s longer than 2 feet long, and might be photo worthy.

Mr Restless also went, though he went so he could take pictures. It rained pretty much the whole time we were there. While this was disappointing for landscape shots, he went inside of the covered bridge to keep from getting him and his camera too wet, and I think it’s my favorite photo of his so far. He wouldn’t have gotten that shot if it hadn’t been raining. The light at the end of the tunnel, or in this case the end of the bridge 🙂

Fruit trees are all planted and water lines are all ran. As is normal, big winds came through, and blew off a ton of the little fruits. They were the size of Tic Tacs, and no doubt that some would have fallen off anyway, but to find the ground around the trees littered with little baby fruits was sad. I don’t think we’ll have any blood oranges unfortunately, the navel tree and meyer lemon might still give us a good number, and the clementine tree might not do too badly.


I’m not even a yard into the DDW project, and I’m already over it. I like how it looks, but I don’t really enjoy using two shuttles. My shuttle changes are good, it’s not that.  It’s just time consuming to switch them, to make sure they enter the weft correctly so there’s no thread running up the side where it shouldn’t be.  I’ll likely continue on until the warp is used up. I’m considering trying some different colors to see how they look, but still.. two shuttles.

Three holes are ready for fruit trees. Five more to go. We still need to dig the trench for the water lines too. Thank goodness those don’t need to be as deep.  It’s raining here, or what qualifies as rain for this area. Not enough for the ground to absorb anything to speak of, though we’re hopeful it will still help with the digging.


Busy day today. We’ve decided to plant several fruit and citrus trees in our backyard, and that means rerouting the pipes for the sprinkler system.  And that means a lot of digging.  Sounds easy but when your land is very dry and tightly packed, with some rocks thrown in for good measure, it takes a lot longer than you think. I would estimate that it took about an hour and a half to dig a 6 ft trench, 6-8 inches deep, and maybe 6 inches wide.  That’s just a drop in the bucket for what needs to be done.

I had all the zip ties on the Baby Mac, just needed to add the Texsolv tie-ups, and actually connect them to the treadles. Eventually I’ll have Texsolv in all the zip ties. I’ve left the Texsolv long enough that it can stay in the treadle slots. If a tie isn’t needed, I’ll put the peg in the bottom hole so it doesn’t slide completely out. I don’t think I have to worry about any of my lamms breaking now.

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This one looks like the draft.

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There’s a part of me that considers doing the rest of the piece in this pattern, and then it could be used for a scarf (after I cut out the first part that wasn’t working). I have other tie ups and treadlings that I want to try, though, so I’ll continue on and see how the different designs change in the wet finishing. I might even cut off and rethread.

 

What you see is not always what you get


Interleaved drafts have fascinated me for quite awhile. The problem I have, when I play with them in Fiberworks, is that I always end up with several threads on the same shaft side by side.  If I move one “warp” to separate those threads, I still end up with side by side threads somewhere in the draft. That meant I had to do some tweaking, moving threads to different shafts. I started moving the 2nd duplicate thread 2 shafts up, but then I ran into the same problem, threads side by side. I finally just moved them as I could. If the second one couldn’t move up, then the first one did, or the second one moved down. I’m sure it’s not a perfect solution, but it’s mine and that’s the best that I can do.

My second problem is color.  I can change the colors in Fiberworks and get something that looks like something I think I might like. Using colors that I have in my stash, not so easy.  Before I show you the draft, I should also explain something else. In Fiberworks, you can shift-click drag across an area to make a Selection, as long as you have your Selection tool turned on. I had my interleaved draft on my screen, and tried to select a part of the color bar. The problem was, I had my draft minimized a bit too much, I didn’t have the Selection tool turned on, and ended up drawing a line in my threading. I liked the effect it created, so I drew a couple more lines at random.  The draft is no longer a completely interleaved draft, and I wanted to see if it wove up the same as I saw on the screen.

Draft:

jjjaaa accident

And this is what it looks like on the loom, upside down of course:

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Okay, not at all what the color looks like on screen. Granted, the colors in this picture aren’t true but still.. yuck.  Since I won’t remember it later, I started with a sett of 28, using 10/2 cotton. I didn’t like it, changed it to 32 epi. I like the epi better, just need to find a different color to use for weft. I’ve come to terms that this isn’t going to be a usable item, though I’m sure it will be useful for learning.

The other thing I’m working on is a deflected double weave piece. There’s a story to go with that one. Last year, I drove 4 hours to buy a Baby Macomber. When I saw it in person, I was almost heartbroken. It was in much worse shape than the photo showed. Determined that I wasn’t going to drive 4 hours and come home empty handed, I bought the Baby anyway.  I’ve removed rust, sanded wood, and done a lot of cleaning.  The loom didn’t come with any hooks for the treadles. Doing some searching on Ravelry, I found many posts where others have changed to Texsolv heddles. The problems with Texsolv is 1) it doesn’t fit through the holes in the lamms very easily, and 2) the solution is to loop the Texsolv over the entire lamm, which leads to 3) the Texsolv can slide over and no longer be lined up with the treadle and can damage the loom. And then I came across a brilliant solution – put a zip tie through the hole, and use that as the hole to put your Texsolv through. This works great! Unless your loom is old and wasn’t properly taken care of, and the plastic/bakelite type stuff breaks off.

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I was expecting the break to be where the zip tie was, but nope, it was at the rivet, which was still pretty close to the zip tie.  Instead of waiting for the next one to break, and the next one, and so on, I sent all 8 back to Macomber and had them all upgraded to all metal.

So back to the DDW. The draft

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Woven.  Where are the little square dots??

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They’re there, but they’re hiding.

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In the bottom half of the picture, they are where the blue line is. In the top half, they are the red lines, which turn into the blue line when I weave the next few picks.  Got that? 🙂 I’ve been playing with the draft and I’m going to change the tie up, but not change the threading. What I have planned will look very different. Or will it?? What you see is not always what you get.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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