Meet Sawyer

Hooray for writing a blog post and then not hitting publish. I wrote that last one Jan 7. Guess I really procrastinated on that too!

I got my loom warped in time for the workshop, and most of the dust bunnies cleared away.  I still have the warp on the loom or I’d take pictures. I want to do a little more designing myself before I cut it off.  I also finished the two tencel scarves that I copied from a friend. Pictures coming when I remember to take one during daylight. The next workshop is Crimp & Create with Dianne Totten.  Now that I’ve got the scarves off the loom I’ll be taking to the workshop, I can procrastinate winding the warp for that one.

One last trip for items donated to the guild. I brought back sewing supplies, a sewing machine, a rug loom or tapestry loom (I’m not quite sure which it is, or maybe it’s both), fabric, and more yarn. Our neighbor has a trailer so he was kind enough to take us there and haul the loom back so we didn’t have to take it apart.  Now to get everything cleaned up and out of our garage. Lizzie (my CRV) doesn’t like sitting outside all day and night *pout*

Last Saturday, our local animal shelter had an event.  Half price adoptions, vendors, a band, hot dog stand, and raffles. We have been talking about getting another dog for quite a while, always dithering back and forth about how the current pets would deal with another. Saturday, we met this guy


Bella, our GS mix, in the background, and a handwoven towel on the floor to the right haha. This is Sawyer, previously known as Milan, which sounded like Disney’s Mulan to us, which is not fitting for such a handsome man. The paper on his kennel said he is 1/2 Australian Shepherd and 1/2 German Shepherd, and he is 5 years old. We took him to his free vet checkup, especially since his first night here he started coughing, and the vet thinks he’s closer to 2 than 5. He got antibiotics for his kennel cough and is on the mend now.  We are dealing with some challenges but we believe he is a great dog.  We’ve been very spoiled with Bella from the moment we got her so these challenges are a learning experience for all of us.


T minus 3

The countdown is on. T minus 3 days until I am no longer working.  I’m a little sad but also very happy. I’m going to miss making the software a better product and finding errors, but I’m going to have more time for doing the things I want to do.  Even if cleaning house is one of them.

I had lunch with a weaving friend last week. I always come away from our lunches so inspired by the work she’s done. Every time, I find myself wanting to do something like hers.  This time was no exception. She had some beautiful scarves and the iridescence in them was.. Oh My!  I’m planning my first projects, after the work thing is done, to be the same. I don’t have the same colors she used and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t copy them exactly.  I need those iridescent scarves though.  I hope mine turn out as pretty as hers.

I’m also planning to try my hand at woven wraps for babywearing.  This is going to take some time.  I’ll have to do some sampling to make sure I have the sett and structure right. I think I’ll be able to do them with no problems because I’ve done a bit of research on how they need to be, and also what babywearers expect and need.

I’m looking forward to having the time to make some things for our guild sale next year. Every year, I say I’m going to weave something to put in the sale, and every year, I fall short.  This year will be different. (Famous last words!) I don’t want to have a weaving business, but we only need so many towels and they’re my favorite thing to weave, so a few for the guild sale should let me scratch the towel itch and possibly make a few dollars as a perk.


Worry No More and Macy’s

I think I mentioned that the Magic Dobby stand had been thrown out by the previous owners. I inquired about the price of the stand and this thrifty gal ain’t payin’ over $400 for a few pieces of wood.  Bought another jig at another hardware store, which works much better than the Harbor Freight piece of junk, but then I began having other issues. At that point I did the adult thing and threw the wood in the box and cursed. I bought a card table to set the loom on, which is not working out well either.  It’s rickety, it’s too big, it’s annoying.  My shoulders are starting to hurt from continually flipping the lever. I’m either going to have to suck it up and try building the stand again, hire someone to build it for me, or fork over the big bucks. Option 2 is what I’m leaning towards. Only problem is I don’t know where to find a wood worker. I’m going to try placing an ad on Craigslist.

I’m removing my rant about Worry No More guarantee from Macy’s. After filing my appeal, they did decide to make things right.  Squeaky wheel and all that, and at least I don’t have to file my first ever lawsuit

January 16

There I go again, just leaving you all on the edge of your seats wondering what I’m up to.  The last few months of the year, I wove quite a bit.  Four scarves (2 for each daughter), 6 (I think) false damask towels, and 4 or so waffle weave towels.  I didn’t get pictures of the scarves before I handed them off to the girls, I only have before-wet-finishing pictures of the waffle weave towels, and the false damask towel pictures are still in the camera. I’d show you pictures but they’re crap – washed out and don’t show the colors well.

I also tried my hand at tying on a new warp to an existing one, and figured out why my Gilmore and I didn’t see eye to eye (the issue was not me :p but I will fix it). I have not hemmed any of the towels yet.

I’ve kind of fallen into a weaving funk, if not just a general winter funk.  I want to weave, I just don’t know what I want to weave.  Everything sounds appealing, yet nothing sounds appealing.  I might be coming out of it though.  On the WeaveTech list, Susan Wilson posted about her new book on Crackle weave being available (click on See What’s Inside to see a couple of pages from the book).  After reading about it, I suggested to the guild librarian that it might be a good book to add to the library, which she did.  And since I suggested it, I got to borrow the book first.  I got it at the meeting on Saturday and after just a few pages in, I’m extremely interested in getting to know this weave better.  I’m anxious to read more and put a learning warp on the loom.  I have The Crackle Weave book by Mary Snyder* in my personal library and have had for quite awhile but I’ve never paid too much attention to it.  Susan’s book, Weave Classic Crackle & More, has detailed pictures – very pretty pictures – that The Crackle Weave book doesn’t and now I see what can actually be done with it. Not that I haven’t seen crackle woven before, I’ve just never taken the time to understand what makes crackle what it is.

Maybe picking a topic and learning about it will get me out of this ho hum blah.

I also took a week off work.  Right now I just hate it. Despite being able to roll out of bed and work in my pj’s, I dread getting up during the week and being chained to my computer.  It’s one thing to spend hours surfing and reading things that are interesting, and something totally different spending hours doing something that is boring the hell out of you. My brain needs a rest. Though I don’t know if studying crackle will be considered a rest or not.

*The Crackle Weave by Mary E. Snyder is no longer in print but you can find the book (I would call it more like a booklet) used pretty cheap.  It’s like a workshop in booklet form.

Two must-see’s

Weavers, if you haven’t read Dorothy’s blog post about her new upgrade, you should.  Her husband came up with an excellent way to label the treadles.   No sticky stuff on the wood, just clip-on pieces that can easily be moved.  If I decide to keep my Gilmore, I’m going to use his idea.

Pet people – If you have a love for animals, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is a must see movie.  Be warned, you WILL cry.  I rented it through Netflix.  Between the time I placed it in my queue and the time I got it, I forgot what the movie was actually about and I didn’t bother to look again, just popped it in the dvd player.  Not knowing what it was truly about probably made me cry more since I wasn’t expecting what happens. And let me tell you, I am not ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby.  I kept expecting one thing, and that totally wasn’t what happened.   It starts out with a young boy giving a report to his class on his hero, which is his grandfather’s dog Hachi. He tells how his grandfather and the dog came to be together, and then leads into the rest of the dog’s life.  The movie is based on the true story of a dog in Tokyo in the lates 20’s/early 30’s, though it’s filmed as if it were modern time.  Get your tissues ready.


Wheels, looms, and tools oh my

This weekend one of the weaving guilds I belong to had their holiday party.  I had thought I was going to be out of town and was going to miss it again this year.  Plans changed so I was able to go.  One of the ladies in the guild has a large collection of looms, wheels, tools, etc and the party was held at her home.  She has so many that they had to build a 3 story addition on to the back of their home.  I loved seeing all the items she has, and enjoyed even more hearing her talk about them. They’ve come from near and far, and some have interesting stories.  Like the box loom that has a compartment where gold was hidden. She told us how they would weave with it, then pick it out, because only royalty was allowed to have gold.  A spool rack has corn cobs for spools. Some of her items have been in movies.  One they (the movie people) felt that the loom didn’t look primitive enough so she told them they could modify the sides. She thought they would put something over the sides, instead they removed them and added rough boards.  And threw the original parts out.  So sad.

The rooms are stuffed full of stuff.  So full that it was hard to get positioned to take pictures. She’s trying to find a museum type place to take the whole collection and so far, none are willing.  They only want to take select pieces.  It’s all or nothing.  There are all sizes of wheels, from child size to the largest wheel I’ve ever saw, which might not be saying a whole lot.  But I’ve never seen one that had a pendulum on it. Until now.  Anyway, if you want to see the pictures I took, they’re in a Flickr album.   I by no means got pictures of everything.  And some things I didn’t even get to see because they were in closets.  It was just an amazing site to see.

The highlights

Highlights of the last couple of weeks

I wove 3 scarves.

The first one was shadow weave.  I didn’t want it to be too glaring but the design doesn’t even show up because the colors were too close.  Lesson learned

The second two were fine.  The solid pink was a birthday gift (and late, argh).  The other one I wanted to see what it would look like to have one color warp and another color weft when doing huck.

All the scarves were made with 8/2 Tencel, and I failed to measure any of them after wet finishing.  I measured before but damned if I can find that piece of paper anywhere.

The Man’s truck was about 2 weeks shy of being 4 years old.  Because it was starting to cost us some major money with electrical problems (wtf, it’s only 4 years old!), because he had a Mustang before he got the truck and missed the Mustang, and because a new Mustang gets way better gas mileage than his truck, he traded the truck in for the Mustang.

Now one might thing that would put an end to the loom purchases, and one would be wrong.  I bought another loom.  A Harrisville 22″ 8s/10t loom.  It went into the trunk of my car but hung out just a hair so we tied the trunk lid down and home it came.  I’m in the process of fixing it up.  Most of the leather cables had broken so the previous owner had used linen in it’s place.  I’m going to get new cable and make them all match. I’m also de-rusting, which seems to be the case with every used loom I’ve bought.  I was hoping I’d be able to use this as a workshop loom but that’s not going to happen.  I now have to sell a loom because there just isn’t room for 4.  I was already pushing it with 3.  I just have to decide which I want to sell.

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