Sunday, March 28, 2010

Messing With Worms

I'm back at my Pics to Picks project -- messing with my Pendleton Wool worms and millend pieces of their fabric. The turquoise wool is the Pendleton worms you saw in my last post. I had some lovely cotton hand dyed by Lisa Souza, back in the day when she dyed cotton that has some of the same colors so I am using that as an anchor between each pick of worms and fabric.

It's actually going slowly because the worms are uneven and I'm not about to try to trim them, so I've been using a Navajo beating fork after each beat to get every pick in as tight as I can. The fabric strips are about 20 inches long so I just lay them into the shed by taping them to a stick. The worms are about 66 inches long and I have discovered that I can roll them around a bobbin and send them through the shed with a boat shuttle. 

The selvedges are a total mess, but I'm not worrying about it because going to use the resulting fabric for some type of handbag.

Here's my inspiration from the Pics to Picks photo and a close-up of the fabric I'm weaving.  I'm focusing on the little bit of turquoise in the middle -- that must be the lining of the jacket. I plan to finish this project in the next few days.  I'm all recovered from my drive-by day surgery (with no negative news!) so I'll be back at the loom.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wide Awake! Ready for a Challenge

Woke at 4am and couldn't go back to sleep. What better time to blog about Meg's Pics to Picks challenge. With this challenge, photos are exchanged and we use them as inspiration.

Mine came from Desiree, a wonderful weaver in Sweden, -- a photo, postcard and article about Marta Maas-Fjetterstrom, a master Swedish weaver. The article was in Swedish, however, there was a recent article about her in VAV and lots of information on the web. The photo Desiree sent, shown here, is an amazing coat by a Swedish designer. The coat really popped out at me because, Swedish design or not, it says to me "American Southwest" and reminds me of two recent springtime trips we have taken to Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

That sent me right down to the stash and I burrowed into my box of worms from the Pantaloon Woolen Mills. Last spring we made a trip down to their outlet store in Portland and I, with help from my friend Susan, spent some time sorting through a giant box of their worms while our husbands napped in their comfy chairs. (Worms are long felted strips cut from the edges of their blankets.) We sorted out lots of long strips of turquoise and then some small pieces of fabric. Take a look at the photo on the left and see what you think. I've already got a small warp on my counterbalance loom, picking up on the turquoise and rust colors. Just enough to experiment with. Most people use worms for rugs but I'm not really wanting to do that. Maybe some type of accessory?

Also in my stash is a huge skein of yarn from Lisa Souza in her Bird of Paradise colorway that also picks up some of the colors in the coat. There is more than enough in the skein for the weft of a laprug or shawl. Here's what the skein looks like.

So tomorrow morning we are off at the crack of dawn for a little drive by day surgery and I won't be able to weave for a few days following the procedure. But I will be able to knit and have lots of knitting projects going on, especially baby sweaters for a little boy that arrived yesterday in Ohio.

Thanks Meg for the great challenge and thanks Desiree for the photos (and the stamps on your envelope were awesome too!).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Leafpile Scarf and March Plum Blossoms

Blogging two days running! What am I thinking!

Here's how the warp looks and how the first 7-8 inches look. You can't really see the pattern right now unless you stand off at the side. I've included the draft so that you can see where I'm heading. The red wine colors aren't coming out as much as I had hoped but the texture of the handspun is adding lots of dimension to it. Its looking more like the trees along the VA/NC border than the ones in our yard.

I also photographed the most recent scarf I finished on my table loom. The warp is left over knitting yarns as is the weft...a cashmere merino blend from one of the big name yarn distributors. It is lovely and soft. The photo looks more blue than purple but the weft is a deep purple. I still have quite lot of the purple weft yarn left so I may knit a hat to go along with it.

And finally for everyone who wants to see a little springtime...a photo of our plum tree in bloom and a close up. The temperatures did get into the upper 20s last night so who knows what kind of crop we will have. But if the blossoms weren't harmed lasted night and the Mason bees did their job, we will be having a bumper crop of plums this year. All the neighbors will be happy! I've never seen trees so loaded with blossoms.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Leafpile Scarf

Seems a rather odd time of year to be working on a project with fall colors but that’s what I’m doing. I got this most fabulous skein of handspun hand dyed yarn from Lisa Souza last fall. She calls it “Leafpile” and it’s perfect for a couple of fall color studies I have been thinking about. The first fall color study is a photo from our front yard…our Japanese Maple tree and a white snowball type shrub with it’s dried flowers. The second color study is a photo I took in November of 2008 – we were driving across the North Carolina border into Southwest Virginia when I made DH pull over so I could take photos.

I've been slowly collecting yarns over the winter to use as the warp and two are in the photo with the Leafpile skein. I've also added a dark brown and a gold. Over these I have added a random threading of a deep wine red kid silk/mohair yarn -- to give it a Japanese Maple tree cast...we will see how it turns out. The handspun skein is also part of my "secret stash" so I'll be working on that stash reduction with this project (never mind how much yarn I bought to create the warp).

I'll be doing these color studies on my little table loom. I finished the scarf that's been on my table loom for most of the to follow as it is currently drying.

I feel I must apologize to our Mason bees. I've been going out to their little houses and telling them to wake up and get busy in our plum trees. So this weekend they came out in force...but today the weather turned on them. So far today we have had rain, sleet, snow, sun, and sun with snow at the same time. So where ever you little bees are - I'm sorry that you woke up too soon! And I hope you are somewhere warm (just not under our house).

Thank you Donatella! She awarded me a Kreative Blogger Award, and you find her lovely blog here. If you don't follow her blog, you should. She has the most wonderful photos on her blog and her weaving is truely as inspiration.

Here are the rules of the Kreative Blogger Award -- but don't as if you have to comply:
1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it in your blog.
3. Link the person who nominated you.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that no one would really know.
5. Nominate seven 'Kreativ Bloggers'
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

There are only about 20 people that read my blog. Most of them know me well and know just about everything there is to know about I won't bore you with more details about me.

Here are my nominees -- they were selected mostly because I love the photos on their blogs so some of them are weavers and some aren't.

Twist of Fate
Victoria Souza
Buy A Thread
Shinning Egg
David Lebovitz

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Busy Here…

I've been silent on the blog but busy all the same. I've used up all the boucle yarn in my stash and I'm trying to resist buying more. Right now I'm putting a warp for a crib blanket on my Fireside loom and facing some challenges with the tension on the front beam. I tried lashing the warp to the front beam but that just didn't work out. I had about 4-5 smiley faces across the warp even after repeatedly making adjustments. So I unwove and went back to my regular shoe string method. The warp is about 36 inches wide, and for some reason I have more problems with the tension on a wide warp than say 25 inches. So not much weaving has been getting done here.

Here are the boucle scarves…already gone out the door and a better photo of the boucle laprug.