Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day to any who celebrate it.  I’ll be truthful and admit that I don’t care for holidays in general, since stress is not on my list of Things That I Enjoy.  I’ll enjoy the food though so there’s that.  Then again, that leads to Struggling To Button The Pants, again not on the Things That I Enjoy list.

Anyone that is a regular reader want a Google Wave invite?  I have several that I can give out, just need an email address to send them to.

Two and a half of daughter K’s towels are woven.  I hope to finish them tomorrow since I don’t have to work.  Then I hope to get some scarf warps on the looms and have them finished by next weekend.  My back is doing better so I think a goal of  2 scarves by next weekend sounds reasonable.  That will get me almost caught up with Daughter Weaving and I can move on to the 60/2 silk.

First set

I realized that I didn’t show a picture of the first set of towels.  The ones that I’m keeping for us since I wasn’t happy with what I did.

The one on the left is with the oatmeal colored weft, the one on the right is the wine colored weft.  You can see how the front and back of the towels are different.

There hasn’t been much weaving, and there’s been little warping.  My back has been giving me trouble and I’ve been taking it easy on things that will make it hurt worse than it does.  After a couple of chiro visits, it’s feeling better and I hope to get back to the loom a little more.

I also bought a book, Under The Dome by Stephen King.  Books are normally dangerous territory.  Once I pick them up, I can’t seem to put them down.  This one has over 1000 pages though so there’s not much danger in me reading this one in one sitting.  I’m almost halfway through though 🙂

Nov 15

I declared yesterday Wind Warps day.  I was going to get one made for K’s towels, one for her scarf, and one for E’s scarf.

Ah, much better start on the warp.  You can almost see the groups of 12 for the raddle cross to the left.

I made a new cheat sheet.  This time I started “cheating” from the beginning, instead of trying to keep count in my head then creating a cheat sheet part of the way through

Uh oh…

I wondered if it wouldn’t be close but I didn’t think I’d run out before I was even done winding the warp.  The shop I bought this from is 98 miles away, a roughly 2 hour drive because part of the drive is not a major highway.  A twisty road, all uphill, in the snow, barefoot, with limited areas that have passing lanes.  It’s a gorgeous drive and I don’t blame people for going somewhat slow but it was Wind Warps day dangit and I wanted to get there and back home.  I also wanted to get home to walk the dog at her usual time, before it got cold.  A little over 4 hours gone that could have been spent winding.  After walking the dog, I finished the section of warp I was on but then went to Target and talked to The Man (who is out of town).  I didn’t even get the first warp completely wound. Oh well.

Speaking of the dog… Grrr!  Almost halfway through our walk circuit, we’re about to pass a house and the owner is standing outside.  Generally, that is when Bella chooses to take a poo (which is okay because we carry poo bags and always clean up after her) but today, she decided she would pick up some poo.  I’m telling her to DROP IT DROP IT and she’s hanging on to it for dear life.  I had to pry her mouth open and get it out.  All while this guy is watching.  And laughing.  After we got out of sight, I tried wiping my hand on some other persons lawn but it was too late.  That last half mile went too slow.  Yuck!

Nov 14

As you all know, because I know you’ve been reading since the beginning of time and remember every single thing I’ve said, I bought a dvd on warping back to front.  I tried her method of getting the warp on the back beam and I have to say, I like it.  The way she does it keeps you from having to go back and forth to the front of the loom.  It’s all done from behind the loom.  When I tied the threads to the front rod using a surgeons knot, it worked well.  I had even tension from the beginning and didn’t have to keep going back to tighten ones I’d already tied.  I did have a crossed thread in the reed and I think it was harder loosening that surgeons knot than it would have been if I’d used the same knot I’d used before.

Now the sucky part is that I make more mistakes when I warp b2f.  I can’t remember ever having a crossed thread before.  I know I’ve misthreaded before so can’t blame that on b2f but if you take ratio of misthreadings via f2b versus b2f, b2f wins the most errors.  Back to front takes longer for me, plain and simple.  Is that because I need more practice?  I don’t know.  It just seems like I can hold the cross in my hand, thread the reed, then the heddles twice as fast.  Taking time out of the picture, I do seem to get more even tension (at least with this latest method).  Tension is more important so I’ll keep at it for a little longer.  I can also see b2f being better for fine threads so I’ll definitely be using it for the silk.  You can be sure I will check that threading twice before I start weaving though.

As for the towels, I went ahead and finished them even with the errors.  I hemmed them on the sewing machine but when I do K’s, I’ll hem those by hand.  They took a trip through the washer and dryer last night.   I also made up a new cheat sheet for winding the next warp and it’s already taped to the wall above the warping board.


I’m almost embarrassed to post this.  Whatever, I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t screw up something.  Daughter K picked out some waffle weave towels she wanted from Handwoven, I think mostly because the colors match her kitchen.  Now the way I wound the warp on the warping board is probably wrong but it works.  Well, it would work if I knew how to count.  The order goes something like 25 red, 7 tan, 9 red, 7 tan, 23 red, blah blah blah.  At the same time, I was trying to make a raddle cross that had 12 ends per group.  I’d count 12 red, 12 red, 1 red (now 25 red) 7 tan 4 red (now 12 ends in the raddle cross), and so on.  Only somewhere along the line, I lost all ability to count.  And that somewhere was at the beginning.  To make matters worse, I didn’t even realize what I’d done until I had all the warp wound onto the back beam.  I’m missing a total of 48 threads.  I didn’t realize it until I came up a thread short at the end.  That’s when I found I’d made a threading error.  I’d threaded 2 on the same shaft, side by side.  Easy fix, I just needed to remove that extra one and add an extra to the end, because after that, it was threaded right.  (Or so I thought until I got into the 2nd towel.)  I decided that instead of hurting a brain cell trying to figure out the best way to fix it, I’d go ahead and make the towels for us using only one weft color instead of the two in the magazine.  After I get these done, I’ll do it all over again for K, only right this time.  I fracking hope.

So here they are on the loom

The right side should mirror the left side, there should be a wide red stripe on the edge, not a thin one.  There should also be 50 tan on the right, just like the left.  But noooo.  Adding insult to injury is that threading error going right up the middle.  Like I said, just for us but it still irritates the piss out of me that I didn’t catch it until I was into the 2nd towel, and that was only because I’d used the wine color for the weft in that one.  Now it looks and laughs at me constantly, no matter the tan weft.

When I grow up, I want to put a warp on the loom that doesn’t have any mistakes.  Dammit.

Still with the warping method

(I get a big fat Fail on that last post.  I said you could click the yarn display picture for bigger.  I’ve fixed that in case anyone does want to see the bigger pic.)

Still obsessed with the warping.  I watched Peggy Osterkamp’s dvd – Warping Back to Front.  It looks easy enough.  Then again, so did another video I watched online and that one didn’t work out well for me.  Regardless, I’m going to give it a try.  At this point, I don’t care whether it’s front-to-back or back-to-front or with my feet, I’m mostly concerned with getting the most even tension I can.  If it makes it go faster, that’s a bonus.  Getting even tension is the part of beaming the warp that causes me the most frustration.  Bad words fly, my face turns red, the pets scatter.

I’ve got several things on my ToDo List, enough to keep me busy for the next two months.  More waffle weave towels in 8/2 cotton, scarves in tencel, merino/tencel, & silk, and I want to do some mug rugs to try double weave pick up.  Is pick up spelled pickup, pick-up, or pick up?  I googled pickup sticks weaving and the first three were all different.  Until someone tells me otherwise, I’m going for pick up.  Pickup makes me think of what we called our trucks when I was growing up on the farm.  And speaking of pick up, I got my new pick up stick from Tools of the Loom.

Pictures don’t do it justice.  I just love the feel of these.  And I’d be saying that even if I didn’t know John.

Someone had a nifty little blogoversary button on their sidebar and I made one for myself.  I used the start date of this blog, even though this blog sat neglected for quite a while.  In truth, I’ve been blogging off and on since 2003.  Apparently I’m restless when it comes to blogs too, since mine has changed names and moved several times.

WeFF and CNCH signups

Saturday morning was our guild fiber festival.  Because E is not into the fiber type thing, she and hubby went to the beach and walked while I shopped and talked.  I was good.  I had called Village Spinning & Weaving and asked them to bring a few things for me.

On the left is 8/2 tencel in Natural.  The other 2 are 8/2 unmercerized cotton, in Wine and Polo Tan, for some waffle weave towels daughter K has requested.  I also bought Peggy Osterkamp’s dvd Warping Front to Back Back to Front.  While I’ve come to terms with the fact that warping front to back does not make me a bad weaver, I still feel like it has got the best of me and I want to show it who’s boss.

Remember the story I told about going back to Ventura’s show and buying the 60/2 silk and still not getting a picture of the RedFish Dyeworks booth?  I tried to make up for it.

Click for bigger.  You really have to see this in person.  Or maybe not, because when you do see it in person you want to buy each and every skein.   Then you see things like 120/2 silk and fear washes over you.

I saw Elisa and talked to her several times.  I felt like a stalker.  She tried to drag me over to a fiber booth, BeeMiceElf, which has some pretty fiber but I’m not a spinner!  Elisa offered to let me borrow a drop spindle, which I told hubby and he said NO, WE HAVE ENOUGH STUFF!  He was kidding but I will now get to use that excuse to not take up another hobby.

I saw Fickleknitter, and even got a blurry picture of her and her partners in crime.  Too bad I don’t knit much right now.  Wen makes some of the prettiest stitch markers, which she sells here.  Sadly, the shop seems to be closed at the moment.

After E and hubby picked me up, we went to the Santa Monica Pier and had lunch.  As we were leaving, that was when the CNCH registration opened.  Now that I have a new phone, I can get on the internet wherever I am.  It took a few minutes but I was able to get the classes I wanted.  Friday afternoon – Warp Fast (why am I so obsessed with warping!?).  Saturday afternoon – Overcoming Weaver’s Block with Blocks.  Sunday morning – Weaving TNT: Dynamite Tips ‘n Tricks.  I already know of one blogger that I’ll be sharing the Sunday class with.  Anyone else going to be there?

Another fix accomplished

When I wound the black and white warp on the loom, I had to wind the back beam opposite than what I’m used to.  It was holding, though, so I didn’t think much more about it.  When I started weaving, and the yarn was under tension, the back beam was slipping all the time.  I was really afraid the scarf was going to turn out like crap.  Today, I fixed the problem



Ahh, much better

I have no excuse for not realizing it was on wrong to begin with.  I’m going to blame it on being under a self-imposed deadline.   I’m hoping that’s the final fix that’s needed.  At the same time, it’s kind of fun exercise for the brain figuring out the problems.

E left this morning with only one scarf.  I used some olive colored tencel  for her next one but it was just not meant to be.  I tried to hurry to get it done before she left and made more of a mess than anything (broken threads, sloppy edges).  I took what I had done and wet finished it so she could get an idea of what it would look like when I make a new one.