Saturday, December 5, 2009


We've had a few days with a hard frost...not really the norm for us. This morning while walking Daisey out in our frosty yard while she looked for rabbit do-do (don't ask) I came across one of Ralph's Spirea shrubs with its leaves edged in frost. I love the play of colors and light.
Here it is.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Knitters Needed...

The folks at Knot Just Yarn in Burlington, WA came up with an idea of knitting an afghan to raise funds for the families of the 4 slain Lakewood, WA police officers. They have spoken to the Lakewood Police Department and gotten their blessing. Apparently sometime in the near future there will be auction to raise funds. If you wish to participate in creating squares for the afghan, here's the info...

The yarn needs to be Cascade 220 Superwash ecro #817, dye lot #8249.4.5 stitches per inch on #7 0r #8 needles.Cast on 54 stitches. Knit 8 rows (4 garter ridges), then with RS facing Row 1 - Knit Row 2 - K4, purl to last 4 stitches, K4
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 11” from cast on edge, then K 8 rows (4 garter ridges) and bind off loosely. Square should measure 12”

Mail or bring to
Knot Just Yarn 113
East Fairhaven Avenue
Burlington WA 98233

They have the yarn available for pick up in the shop (if you traveling near Burlington) at no charge. They would like to get these squares back right away so they can block and put afghan together and present to Lakewood PD next week. If they get lots of squares they will also put them together for additional afghans to be auctioned. For more information contact Becky at Knot Just Yarn.

Please help spread the word to anyone you think would be interested in knitting a square.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm Glad...

  • That I finished my Thanksgiving Costco Pumpkin Pie before I checked to see how many calories it has (Costco Nutrition Factor -- look only if you dare!)
  • That I have finished my Christmas shopping (if only the wrapping was done!)

  • That I have 10 inches of another scarf completed on my table loom

  • That I have warps ready for my counterbalance loom

  • and that I can play Christmas music anytime I want.
I have no photos of finished scarves to show you today because it's just been to gray to take good photos without a flash and I hate the way my flash washes out the colors. So instead I'm going to share some fibery/textile photos I took in Paris (FYI -- DH took me to Paris for my birthday. Whadda Guy! Little did he know that there were many, many, many fabric stores within 5 minutes of our apartment.) You can see more of my Paris Textile Photos here. The first two are from the fabric stores...blocks and blocks of stores. All of them have a sampling of their fabrics on the sidewalk for shoppers to admire. Many of the stores are multi-stories. I went three times (maybe more) and the shops were always busy. I only bought some buttons and three pieces of was sensory overload for sure! I went to the famous yarn shop, La Droguerie, and did not buy anything. They had lots of yarn in lovely colors but I didn't see anything that I would not find at home. However, had I been looking for feathers this shop and several in the fabric district would have been the place to shop! And if you look at the whole photo gallery you will see photos from a shop with rows and rows of shelves with ribbons. Amazing!

Now its off to the treadmill for a short walk to nowhere so that I can leave those pumpkin pie calories behind (no pun intended!).

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Stash...

My stash busting weaving projects are progressing nicely, however, it hasn't stopped me from adding to the stash. The fall colors here have been extraordinary this year so when Lisa Souza spun up some of her fabulous LeafPile colorway I snagged a skein. Yesterday I made a trip to Weaving Works in Seattle and found some warp to go with it. I have enough of the handspun for at least 2 scarves plus a mobius.

I have another mobius on my table loom -- the colors were inspired by the Maple trees in our yard. The warp is some mystery alpaca in greens, browns and blues and the weft is Lisa Souza Big Wool in Mars Quake. Right now I'm calling it a mobius, but since I tied on to an old warp there may be enough for a shorter scarf. I'm just going to weave until I reach 43 inches and see how much I have left of the warp and weft and maybe keep going.

Now for some finished projects...Last spring I put a warp for a scarf on my table loom...a really lovely soft turquiosey blue and paired it with Lisa Souza Baby Alpaca Silk in South Pacific. But for some reason I just wasn't motivated to work on it so it just sat there until I hauled the loom to my annual knitting retreat. I nearly finished it there and finished shortly after I got home. The colors are wonderful, the yarn is wonderful and it feels so good. So today it's going into the mail, heading to its new home in Kansas with a very deserving person. It will be a great barrier against that nasty Kansas wind. I wish you could feel how soft and warm it is.

The past year I've been haunting local thrift shops and snatching up cheap cashmere sweaters. Then I pick them apart and reclaim the yarn. The next Mobius here is using some of the reclaimed cashmere for the weft. The yarn was really fine so I paired it with a strand of kid silk and a strand of merino. I actually S-plied them on my spinning wheel before weaving with them. For the warp I used some Merino wool in black and burgundy colors. I've been wearing it alot this fall as I try it get my 10,000 steps a day in. Instead of tying the fringe together I got brave, hauled out the sewing machine and joined the ends with a flat fell seam and it turned out great. I wet finished it by hand but it still came out more fulled than I thought it would -- it's toasty warm. I did this mobius on my Fireside. I had actually intended it to be a scarf, but I had lots and lots and lots of problems with one of the warp threads breaking. It wasn't along the edge so I think there may have been a rough spot on the heddle. I know the threads weren't twisted because I had to rethread to heddle and reed some many times.

On my Fanny loom I put on a cotton warp and used a Cashmere and silk blend for the weft to make yet another Mobius. (I really like to make them because I have a short attention span, and after weaving a while I'm ready to move on.) I just love this Mobius, the colors dance and its lovely to wear. I also joined it with a flat fell seam.

Just one more Mobius for you to see -- this is a stash buster. The warp is a called Little Devil (yep, its from Lisa Souza but the yarn discontinued) and the weft was something I picked up in my travels.

I joined it with by tying the fringe together, but I'm thinking about taking the fringe off and joining it with a flat fell seam. What do you think?
Wishing you a totally terrific Thanksgiving holiday!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Weaving From Stash

Every year I and a bunch of my friends go on a five day knitting retreat at an undisclosed location -- we shop, hike, eat, shop, hike, eat and do a little knitting -- some of which will have to be ripped out when we get home because we were laughing and not paying attention. The last couple of years I have taken my table loom along and since last year actually converted a knitter to a weaver (I think she has 3 looms now).

Some of my friends are also weavers and one was telling me that she has been weaving a lot using her knitting yarn stash. I've done some of that in the past and I have a lot of knitting yarns, err, maybe even more than that. My friend has inspired me to do more weaving from stash and maybe I will be able to empty a few bins and actually find one wall of my studio again.

So yesterday and today I have been pulling warps using my knitting yarns and I finished the scarf on my table loom. I have quite a large stash of yarns from Lisa Souza, so I pulled a warp with some of Lisa's Merino sport weight yarn (not available anymore) in Little Devil and two other warps in mystery yarns. I've been really inspired by the fall colors and spent some time this morning going through the stash to pull out fall colors. I want to get all three of my looms warped this week. Hopefully I will soon have some weaving eye candy to post here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

SWG Annual Sale PR or How I Spent My Summer

So how did I spend my summer?
I went to the ANWG weaving conference in Spokane. Fabulous classes, awesome and inspiring weaving and crunchy beds
We went to Hawaii with dear friends, walked on the beach every morning and relaxed.
We had family visit and it did the rainforest and Forks thing.
We celebrated my birthday with three weeks in Paris. That was totally terrific!
However, I spent much of my free time working on the publicity/marketing campaign for the Seattle Weavers Guild annual show and sale.

When you look at this list - what's missing? Weaving. The same warp that was on my Louet W-30 in April is on it now, my Fireside has the reed sleyed but the heddles are bare and Fanny has about 1/2 scarve finished on it.

Soon the Seattle Weavers Guild Sale will be in the past and I will be back at my looms. Meanwhile, if you live in the Seattle area (or not, any excuse to travel!) come to the sale. And if you have friends in the Seattle area, please email them about the sale. I've sent so many emails out about it this week, I'm afraid I may get classified as a spammer! So help me out and I'll be back at my loom soon and blogging about my tour of Les Gobelins in Paris.

Seattle Weavers Guild Annual Show and Sale
St. Mark’s Cathedral, Lower Level Bloedel Hall
1245 – 10th Ave., E., Seattle
Thursday, October 22nd 5 pm – 8 pm
Friday, October 23rd 10 am – 8 pm
Saturday, October 24th 10 am – 5 pm

Friday, May 15, 2009


I've been weaving but I've also been:
  1. on long weekend knitting retreat -- took my table loom,
  2. down to Portland to visit friends (and hits some sales and outlet stores),
  3. entertained said friends here at home,
  4. blown my nose a million times due to a cold,
  5. worked on a volunteer marketing project and other volunteer projects
  6. waiting for Spring to arrive (not here yet! well, maybe today!)
  7. and spent time preparing 45+ scarves for a booth at ANWG.

The scarves are amazing -- all woven by the expert weavers of the Seattle Weaver's Guild. Just getting them photographed and labeled was a learning experience because I got closely examine them. There are all types of weave structures and fibers and all beautiful! It was like going to my own personal structures school.

The ANWG conference is in two weeks in Spokane -- if you are going, be sure check out the Seattle Weaver's Guild booth and pet our lovely scarves.

So I finished another double weave scarf -- it turned out great except for a little problem when I had too much Sangria at the retreat. But the little problem hardly shows!

I have two looms warped with 10 inches woven on one and 23 inches on the other...and I'm tying on a warp on my 8-shaft loom. I found a whole bunch of cheap cashmere sweaters in the various Portland thrift stores so I have been picking them apart.

That's what I've been doing...what have you been doing?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bad Weather = Weaving Time!

Lots of weaving related stuff going on this past month.

First, I created a website to help advertise the weaving and fiber guilds in my local area. If you are in the Pac NW and want to add a link on your blog or website -- go for it. All of these guilds have great program and activities -- and they welcome new members. Or if you know of a PNW guild that would like its own page on the site, just let me know.

Then I went to a free workshop, sponsored by the Seattle Weavers' Guild, on using a warping paddle. It was a great class. The excellent instructor first demostrated her technique and then paired us up to try it out. I pretty much got the hang of it and have done it a couple times since -- with the help of my husband! So far, it works best for me with two people!

Shortly after that I took a 2 day workshop at Weaving Works in Seattle on making chenille scarves. The main take away was (for me) whack the beater like the dickens to really pack in the chenille weft. There were 6 of us in the class. Mostly on the first day we spent time winding warps and warping three looms. Late on Saturday I started my scarf and didn't beat hard enough in the beginning. I went back on Sunday, started visualizing those folks that have made such an economic mess and whacked the heck out of the weft...packing it quite nicely. The women in the class were a great group and we were quickly able to decide on the colors for our warps. Great class!

In between the workshop and the class, I spent a great day visiting with JoAn and helping her get a scarf warp on her JMade loom so that she could get some practice warping prior to the chenille class. JoAn also wove a red scarf at the chenille class and was able to get back to Weaving Works later in the week to do another one.

Winter weather has been loath to depart the PNW, providing lots of weaving time. I've finished a couple of scarves, a mobius (all shown here) and some yardage on my Fireside loom. I don't know what the yardage will be...I had a warping mess on the loom and finally got it sorted out. By then I just wanted the warp off the loom and just wove yardage without a plan in mind. The scarves and mobius were done on Fanny. The green-yellow scarf incorporates some Fizz yarn -- I'm calling it "Dandelions Gone to Seed."

I've also found time to knit a hat, some slippers for felting and unravel a thrift store cashmere sweater so that I could use the yarn as weft in a scarf.

The garden and trees are starting to flower, adding lots of color outside my studio windows. Our Mason bees finally woke up and started hanging out with the plum trees so hopefully we will have lots of plums this year. They were very slow to wake up -- I was afraid I would look out the backdoor and see DH trying to warm and wake them up with the blow dryer!

Right now on my looms I have another double weave going on my table loom -- slowly as I am using a heavier, sticky yarn. Lesson learned -- don't use sticky yarns in double weave! I have a scarf almost warped on Fanny and a few more inches of yardage to weave on the Fireside (aka Zooey). I want to do another chenille scarf soon -- a great way to work through crankiness!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Snow in the Forecast!

The wind is howling and there is snow in the forecast! That certainly isn’t the usual March weather forecast in the Pacific Northwest – at least not down here in the lowlands. We have some spring flowers blooming and I’m sure they are not happy campers tonight. But a snow forecast provides plenty time for weaving and knitting.

I’ve finished 4 woven scarves and a mobius since I posted last but only have two of them wet finished. So you will have to check back to see the others. And I still haven’t taken photos of my stash enrichment purchases at the recent Madrona market.

I started the red scarf while I was deep into my February funk. I had been in my weaving studio and getting ready to leave when, I just as I turned, a ball of variegated red ribbon yarn caught my eye and beside it, in another clear plastic box. was some of Lisa Souza’s yarn in her Joseph Coat colorway. I pulled them out of their boxes and realized I could combine them with some red yarn I got a few years ago at the Madrona market. I usually ponder these things for awhile, but in this case, I had the warp on my table loom before lunch. I tied on the previous warp so I used my word draft for “heal” for the scarf. I just love it. The colors really cheered me up. It’s about 60 inches long and 6 inches wide. It’s soft and drapes nicely. You can find a swatch close up in the slideshow on the right.

The other scarf, shown here, was the scarf that I was weaving on Fanny and wrote about in my last post. The warp is a lovely cotton yarn, dyed by Lisa Souza a few years ago and she recently gifted it to me (whadda pal!). The weft is yarn that is part of my odd ball reduction plan. I have lots of onesy-twosey balls of yarn – mostly impulse buys with plans to “mix it with something else”. Since my fingers rebel at a lot of knitting, I need to find other uses for these odd balls and they usually make great weft yarns.

My inspiration for the scarf was a painting by Van Gogh -- Café Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night. It has lots of the gold and blue colors found in Lisa’s colorway.

I’ve had two recent weaving guild meetings. First I went to the Seattle Weavers Guild to hear Patsy Zawistoski. She gave a interesting and in-depth presentation of high-tech fibers. She passed around lots of man-made fiber samples so we could all touch them. I don’t think I want to spin any of them…I’ll stick to wool.

This past Thursday was the Arachne Guild meeting and Robyn Spady was our guest speaker. She showed us lots of ways to turn our thrums into jewelry.
Happy Weaving and I hope it isn't snowing where you are!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Got Shed!

Wove my first scarf on Fanny and it was a dream to weave. I had a nice, lovely shed opening. I think I need to replace the brake coil but it still holds the tension pretty well. Any of you LeClerc loom experts -- please let me know what you think.

Tension is my question of day -- how much is right? On my Fireside loom I've always assumed that I needed a really tight tension (like you could bounce a coin on the warp). But Fanny's tension in tight -- but not that tight. So have I been putting too much tension on the Fireside (which could be one of the reasons the shed on the Fireside is less than lovely)?

Here are some photos of Fanny, all cleaned up and my re-arranged weaving studio.

I'm not sure how much more I can get in here! I really like the new arrangement. I can get to the back of both loom without tripping! Have have two finished scarves -- I'll post more photos soon. Happy Weaving!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February Funk!

I’ve been in a February funk for various reasons and when I’m in a funk I mostly whine, knit and rearrange my yarn! So I’ve been knitting hats and slippers. But I have done some weaving.

The laprug on my Fireside is going nowhere fast. I started with ulta alpaca yarn for the warp and when I was tying it on, it stretched and stretched. With some encouragement from DH and my weaving mentor, I opted to switch to cotton. So I tied on 480 threads and in the process I got my warp ends in a tangle. I'm using multiple colors of cotton and as I was tying on to the old warp, I decided to change the order that I had the thread in -- in retrospect -- not a smart idea. I’m slowly getting the mess under control -- one thread at a time.

I did completely re-arrange my weaving studio, complete with moving nearly all the furniture, giving away furniture and consolidating my yarn and roving. Now I have more room in front and back of my looms and can get to the back of my Fireside without trying to break a leg. DH finished the cleanup/refurbishing of my Fanny loom and I have started to sley the reed. All the rust is gone. She had quite a severe addiction to rust and various parts of her had to spend considerable time in rehab.

I finished this scarf on my table loom. I created another word draft. The warp is Cascade 220 from my stash and the weft is a multi-color(orange, yellow and pink) mystery single also from the stash. Not at all my colors but I needed to do something in these colors for a guild project. I like how it turned out and as DH said “did you ever expect it to turn out this good?” He's not an orange person either. I have another skein of the multi-single so I'm going to get some yellow/color Cascade 220 and make another one. Eventually these scarves will end up at a local hospital, so the word draft I created was "heal".

I got involved in a knitting bet with a 10-year-old -- we were both knitting hats at our weekly knitting group get-together. The bet was that the first one to complete their hat had to bake cookies for the other person. I thought this was a sure thing because she was averaging a row a week and had been working on it for months with little progress. I had visions of oatmeal cookies in my future! The cookie bet fired that girl up and within a week the hat was complete. (Mine still had inches to go on No. 2 needles.) She had definite ideas about the cookies -- decorated cut out cookies and did I have any bear cookie cutters and oh, by the way, could she come over and bake them. So that's what we did. I felt a little like Tom Sawyer and his fence as she did all the work! However, she did get to wear my brand new (got it for xmas -- thanks Sandy) apron from Paris.

This past weekend was the Madrona Fiber event in Tacoma, lots of classes and a great market. My buddy JoAn came down and we made it a day at the market. I was thrilled that Just Our Yarns was there and I added to my stash :-). I'll post stash enrichment photos when this funk passes! My other favorite vendors were: Toots LeBlanc -- their angora blend is awesome -- and Sheila Ernst buttons.

I have a bright, bright red scarf on my table loom now -- hoping the bright colors help pop me out of my February funk (but I think a trip to someplace sunny would work better!).
Happy Weaving!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fibonacci Sequence Scarf

The past couple of weeks I have been playing with message drafts and Fibonacci sequences. The scarf here is the result. If you aren’t familiar with the Fibonacci Sequence there is an excellent description on Leigh’s Fiber Journal.

I wanted to used different shades of the same yarn and happened to have a bag of yarn that I picked up our annual knitting retreat garage sale (thanks Katie). The bag had several greens, yellows and burgundies yarns. These colors were perfect for this project as I was also looking for a project that would remind me of the fabulous fall colors we saw in North Carolina last fall. The texture of the yarn wasn’t as soft as I usually use for my scarves so I washed a sample to see if it would bleed and soften. It didn’t bleed and it did get softer. I’m mostly happy with how it turned out. I did have a boo-boo in the home stretch, but as my DH points out – only I know it’s a boo-boo and not a design feature.

I’ve always been interested in name and message drafts but found getting a good sequence with the word or message I wanted was a little challenging. I tend to want to use just short 4-letter words (no, not that kind of 4-letter word!) which could be my problem. I did get a workable pattern using some of Ralph Griswold’s sequences and used one of those in the scarf shown here. This is the one I used for Fibonacci scarf.

But for the next scarf that I want to do, using Mr. Griswold’s sequences just didn’t work very well. So I decided to strike out on my own using an online sequence generator. I had the generator give me a list of numbers between 1 and 26 in a random order and with no repeats. In Excel, with the alphabet in column one, I pasted the numbers from the sequence generator in the next column and then in the third column I assigned shafts. The results were:
# 1 x l k u d r c
# 2 y o w e s q
#3 m h b a z i
#4 j v p f t n g

I added a point twill threading (I think) in between the word as I repeated it across. The draft I ended up with is very similar to other drafts that I have seen but I didn’t expect anything no one else had ever thought. I just wanted something to reflect the word I had in mind and for me to be the only one who knows :-).

Right now I am slowly putting the warp for a laprug on my floor loom, have the warp for the above scarf ready to slap on my 8 harness table loom, am winding the warp for a summer and winter project to go on my 4 harness table loom and am patiently waiting for DH to finished getting the rust of the reeds for my other floor loom. And it has lots of other work that needs to be done on it!

Happy Weaving!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fore and Aft Scarf -- Off the Loom

My double weave scarf (Fore and Aft Scarf, Handwoven, J/F 1998, page 59) is off the loom and finished. The weaving went along without any problems so I really regret not using yarns that have more personality and zing.

The only tricky part is cutting the warp and using it as the weft. The bottom warp becomes the top weft and the top warp becomes the bottom weft and that connects the two layers along one side.

The tension on the warp gets a little wonky the closer you get to the end as you can see from the photo. You just have to trust that it works. I was actually fretting about it a lot ahead of time and had a dream about it -- in the dream it worked and I saw how it worked. So my subconscious was way ahead of me on this project.
Here are some photos of it finished and hanging on Headless Harriet. I did overdye it with some blue dye in my stash of dyes and I like the colors a lot better now. The back does lay flat, it's just the two different colors on each side that makes it seem like it isn't flat. If I do it again, I would like to nuke the fringe along the back.

I used my Louet W30 table loom for this project so that I raised the harnesses independently and could really get an understanding of how double weave works. The beater in my little Louet can be very wobbly and I've heard others have this same problem. I fixed it, mostly, by jamming long knitting needles on both sides of the reed housing. The photos are below.

My looms are naked again but I have some warp really to slap on them; I just have to decide on a pattern. I'm also doing an online summer and winter weave along on Ravelry so I will be experimenting with that.

Happy New Year and Happy Weaving!