Prelim draft

If I wove near as much as I played with weaving software planning what to possibly weave, we’d have handwovens overflowing out the rooftop.  Hearts. Some people hate ’em, I’m one of those that doesn’t.  This design is my own, I started from scratch.  To really see this, you’ll have to click to make bigger as it represents over 30″ of width.

hearts wrap fixed

Top half, or 1/3 as the case may be – the hearts are close together, all going the same direction for each half.  Where they would change direction would be the middle.

Botton half, or 2/3 – More space between the hearts.  They change direction every other heart. Up down up down. I like this one best as of right now.

Both drafts have the lines of hearts spaced 2 lines a little close, 1 farther out, 2 lines close, 1 farther out, etc. I’m not sure if I like that better than evenly spaced or not.

I may have to do a little more playing with this. I like the line that goes from heart to heart, especially in the bottom section. The hearts are connected. Others may not feel the same way. Opinions welcome, what do you think?

The draft above isn’t bad, but look at the fun that happens when you change the colors

hearts wrap diff blue

I just randomly plugged in some colors for the stripes. I don’t have those exact colors, though I imagine that I have close, especially considering UPS just dropped off a nice 12lb box from Webs. Yay yarn!

Overdue Convergence post

Convergence was only a little over a month ago, yet it seems like it’s been much longer.  It was so inspiring to be there and there was a part of me that couldn’t wait to get home to try new things.  Would it surprise you to hear that I haven’t touched a loom since I got home?  Well, I’ve touched a loom but I haven’t warped or woven anything.  More on that in a few.

So what did I buy? Not much, compared to some of my past sprees.  And while a lot of vendors carried the same things, I tried to spread out my purchases among them.


Starting at the top, a Colorwood shuttle from Yarn Barn of KS, a Schacht End Feed Shuttle from Espanola Valley Fiber Arts, 3 skeins of Graceful Lace yarn from Yarn Place, 8/2 Tencel in Almond Blossom (pink) from Lone Star Loom Room, 20/2 mercerized cotton in Slate from Lunatic Fringe, a Hazel Rose loom in Cherry from Carolina Homespun.

A closer look at the shuttle


A few books


Best of Weaver’s Summer & Winter from Village Spinning & Weaving, I preordered The Weaving Book from Flower Valley Press, Fit 2 Be Tied from Marg Coe at the AVL booth, and the CoE book from HGA.  (I don’t plan to do the CoE to get the certificate but I thought it might be a good guideline to do a study. The reason is I have no interest in tapestry weaving, and that’s required to complete the study.)

I got my copy of The Weaving Book a couple of weeks ago and to my delight, it was signed


I said I hadn’t touched a loom since I got home but that’s not entirely true.  I’ve touched 3.  1) I finally got the Mac’s apron bar re-stringed, 2) I made new shaft cables for the 4 shaft Harrisville, and 3) also made new shaft cables for the 8 shaft Harrisville.  (I put tutorials on how to do this on Ravelry.) Both Harrisvilles have found new homes. Eventually, the Mac will too, once I weave on it and make sure that the re-stringing is even.  The Gilmore will possibly find a new home too, depending on if someone will pay what I want for it.  I’ll keep it before I give it away.

Why am I selling all my looms?  No, I’m not giving up weaving.  I’m buying a new loom.  Ever since I took a workshop at the guild, where the teacher brought an AVL workshop dobby loom, I’ve been kind of lusting for a dobby.   I did a bit of research online and became very interested in the Leclerc Weavebird.  I’m sure all dobby looms have their problems, whether it is user error or manufacturer error, but Leclerc seems to have the best reputation for customer service.  At Convergence, I talked to Leclerc and wove on a Weavebird and that pretty much did it.  I’ve done plenty of thinking about it the last several weeks, making sure this is what I want and.. I think I do.  I’m going to order it on the 17th, which will make it my official birthday present.  For this year, and the next, and the next…

CNCH loot

The two-legged creatures weren’t the only ones weaving or spinning yarns

I didn’t get close enough to actually look (it was cold, I’m a pansy, I had The Man take the pic for me) but when I look at the picture in the bigger size (clicky clicky), it looks like little fairies are in the web, repairing any broken threads that might have occurred.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were little fairies to fix our broken threads?

Also not loot, though the ladies tried hard to convince me to take one home. but I have to show it because they are so cute. Did you know you can litter box train alpacas?  I didn’t!

I caught the one on the left in mid chew.  See their litter box in the top left corner? I was also amazed that the hotel let them come into the convention center. Apparently one of them loved riding the elevator.  When it would stop, the alpaca would stick it’s head out then back into the elevator to go for another ride.

Now for the actual loots.  Outside the doors to the vendor hall, there was a table of free things from the sponsoring guilds.  Along with magazines were large binders with samples that people had woven in the past.  Over the course of 2 days, I picked up a nice little stack.  Can I just say that if someone is looking through a binder of samples, it’s kind of rude to start grabbing at the sample the other person is looking at.  Just sayin’.  I also picked up some past issues of Spin Off from the table.  Inside was a booth that had free magazines also.  I picked up a couple of Handwoven magazines that I was missing and a few more Spin Off mags.  You’ve all seen magazines before right?  I don’t think we need a picture of those.

Yarn, glorius yarn.

Solid blue and black are rayon, the pastels to the right is a cotton rayon boucle. From Newton’s Yarns and at 60% off, woohoo!

Heaven 3200 yds of 45% Tencel 55% Merino softness, from Yarn Place

Graceful Lace, also from Yarn Place. 1800 yds 100% wool

That’s all the yarns I bought, if you can believe that.  I also bought a McMorran Yarn Balance and these little doo-dads.

These are called Flexi-8 Hair Clips and can be used as shawl pins.  I’ll be using mine as hair clips.  The one on the left has a turtle, the one on the right has a dragonfly.  You can see them much better if you click for bigger.  (All pictures in this post can be clicked for bigger.) I have very fine hair and these hold the hair well without breaking it off.

A square

I’ve never really been a fan of crochet.  It always brought to mind stiff plastic feeling things, usually made with some shade of orange.  Once I found the world of yarns that don’t come from a dime store (raise your hand if you know what a dime store is :p) and people who crochet with that yarn, I admitted that there are some pretty things you can do.  Though it’s not something I want to do to the extent of knitting or weaving, I’m willing to play around with it once in awhile.  Usually with acrylic yarn 🙂

I’ve tried making one of these several times before and usually gave up.  Now that I have it figured out, I need to make one to send to the designer for charity.  I can’t send this one because:  it should have either white or black where the blue is, it’s bigger than it’s supposed to be, and the green petals are wool.  It’s also kind of ugly.

I joined another weaving guild this weekend.  First up, a little rant.  Two people in the back, which is where I was surprise surprise, talked non-stop between each other while people in the front were speaking.  I later learned one of them was the guest speaker.  I thought it was extremely rude and I have a hard time respecting someone that does that.  She did show some spindles she had made that I’d like to make.  They had a table of things for sale and I picked up a set of Purrington Angel Wings (if you click the link, they’re about halfway down the page) that look brand new. I also bought tickets for a chance at some fiber but didn’t win.

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!

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?

Has anyone seen my mind

On the loom, rayon chenille:

I’ll get a better picture once it’s off the loom.  I hope.  Once again, I’m reminded how much I don’t like alternating 2 shuttles.  It takes so much longer to pick up a shuttle, throw it, put it down, pick up the other shuttle, throw it, put it down, than it does to pick up a shuttle, throw it throw it throw it.  I stopped weaving 3 inches short because I was just plain tired of it.   I still have enough warp on for another scarf, where I’ll only be using 1 color for the weft, and it will go much faster.

Yesterday was the Ventura County Handweavers & Spinners Open House.  (Scroll down if you want to skip my blathering and see the yarn I bought.) This is the 3rd one I’ve gone to.  One would think that you could go, spend a half hour or so browsing, then be on your way home.  Not me.  First thing I did was see Elisa and spent a few minutes resisting her trying to talk me into a spinning wheel.  Evil spinners, always trying to lure us poor unsuspecting souls into their evil spinning lairs.  I walked around the vendor booths.  Then walked around the booths again.  Oh my gosh, you guys, I could stand in the RedFish DyeWorks booth for hours.  I practically did.  I stared at the 60/2 silk in all it’s beauty.  I stood on one foot, then the other, and drove the poor vendor crazy asking questions.  How many ends per inch?  How many skeins for a scarf?  And I didn’t do this just once.  I stopped at that booth 3 times while I was there.  I wrote down some colors that I liked, then told them I would see what kind of plan I could come up with, and order online.  After I left the open house, not a mile down the road, I realized I should have taken a picture of that booth.  I thought about going back.  A little farther down the road, still thinking of all those lovely yarns, I realized that hey, I had just bought a book at Village Spinning & Weaving’s booth, and it likely had something in it that would give me some ideas for the silk.  So I took the next exit, pulled into a parking lot, and looked through the book (Twill Thrills).  I found something I liked, and headed back to the open house, where I proceeded to buy 60/2 silk.  60/2!  The draft I’m going to use says to use it at 48 ends per inch.  48!  Has anyone seen my mind, because I seem to have lost it. At least I stayed away from the 120/2 silk.  And I still forgot to take a picture of the booth.

Yarns added to the stash.  I have actual plans for some of it, but not all:

Not-a-contest Contest

In order to win, you have to read a few words first.  Then we’ll get to exactly what you can get for free!   I’ll make this as short as possible because I know you want to get to the good stuff as quick as possible.

I have a friend (shocking, I know!) that’s a woodworker.  We were discussing his wooden toy business and, selfish person that I am, I asked him about making some stick shuttles and pick-up sticks for me.  I wasn’t talking about cheap mass produced stick shuttles, I wanted the good stuff.  Pretty woods.  Things that I would love looking at as much as I would enjoy using.  I knew he would take pride in them, using the same care as he does with his wooden toys, and that I would get nicely sanded, smooth, splinter-free woods.  He did not disappoint.  I now have a gorgeous purpleheart stick shuttle that I will cherish.  I loved it so much that John has opened a new shop on 1000 Markets and will now be selling them in a selection of woods.  And, to quote from his shop page, “And just like my toys, for every 5 weaving tools sold, a tree will be planted through a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation .”  How awesome is that!

To celebrate the opening of John’s shop and to help get the word out, I’m giving one** away for free!   What’s even better is you get to choose the wood, the size, and whether you want a stick shuttle or pick-up stick.  First you have to go to his shop, Tools of the Loom, and take a look at the items.  There’s a list on the left side of the page that has the different woods grouped together.  After you’ve decided which would be the perfect stick or shuttle for you, leave a comment on this here blog.  You don’t have to type anything specific.  You can just say Hi!,  you can say which one is your favorite wood, you can say Boo, or you can just type a number.  Anything works.  (I’ll be using the random number generator to pick the winner.)  The only thing required is you need to leave a valid email address where I can reach you if you’re the lucky winner. The winner’s item will be shipped directly from the shop.  Contest ends at midnight PST on October 15.

**I’ve been doing some thinking about this and have come to this decision – it almost seems unfair to have to choose between a $5 item and a $28 item so the winner can choose however many items they want up to a $28  limit.  You could get a combination of  pick-up sticks in different woods, combo of pick-up sticks and shuttles, a 24″ shuttle, etc.

I would love it if you would help spread the word, whether it be by blog post, Twitter, Facebook, whatever you choose.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to decide which one I want next.

Sept 26

At 2:30 a.m. on Sept 23, the fire department knocked on our door.  We weren’t being evacuated just yet, just being made aware that it was possible.  We went outside and looked in the direction of the fire and this is what we saw beyond the fence that lines a neighbor’s property

Everything is under control now, and the smoke smell is practically gone.  Thank you to all the firefighters who worked so hard to keep everyone safe.

On to loom news.  It took a little over 3 hours to get there (damn you LA traffic) and 4 hours to get back home (double damn you LA traffic).  I found out that the loom does NOT fit in my trunk.  Okay, it does, but only if I don’t want to completely shut the trunk lid.  Another 2 inches and I would have been golden.  We tried it every which way and it just wouldn’t work.  I was almost resigned to tying down the lid when I decided to try the backseat.  It fit without a problem.  Go figure.  Here’s the worst of the damage, which has already been cleaned up to the best of my ability.

I can handle the spots.  Otherwise, it seems to be okay.  There aren’t any cracks in the wood, the heddles are in great shape, there’s minimal rust on the heddle bars, and there was only a slight bit of rust on the ends of the 10 dent reed.  It is missing the harness cables.  I went to the store and bought 25 feet of vinyl coated metal cable and some cable clamps.  It’s practically the same stuff I’d get from the loom maker, only it’s green (yuck).  It might be a little thicker too.  If it doesn’t work, I’ll order new ones.  If it does, then I’ve saved $20.

When I went to look at the loom, she had a garage full of weaving things.  Shuttles, reeds, 2 table looms, 2 swifts, 2 other floor looms, raddles, and so on.  I asked if the other things were for sale too, which they were.  Only not the warping board.  Nor that awesome table loom, it was hers for workshops.  Now I’m thinking maybe I should get a table loom for workshops instead.  I started looking at table looms and found what I think would be a nice one to have.  It’s a Woolhouse Tools Carolyn.  It folds for travel, has 8 shafts, and the levers are in the front.  It’s lighter than the floor loom.   So now I’m lusting for one of those and keeping an eye out for a used one.  Good grief, will I ever be happy?  Is it just the thrill of the hunt?  I need an intervention!

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