Thursday, June 30, 2016

Play Time

On Sunday I had a delivery from the Eugene Textile Center
of a used Louet Hollandia loom.
OLAD strikes again.
(Obsessive Loom Acquisition Disorder)
I've read about OLAD on Ravelry,
and I'm convinced that it's contagious!!

I've never woven on a parallel countermarch loom before,
so I was curious how it would be.
I spent the afternoon cleaning the loom up,
and reading about how the loom works.
I then transferred my novelty yarn from
my little vintage Harrisville loom to the Hollandia.

I haven't woven with bumpy/fuzzy/slick yarns in a long time,
so beaming (winding) on the yarn took some time.
Ha. (Understatement.)
But, I made it, 
the yarn made it on the back beam,
and all was well.
The treadling on this loom is light and easy on my knee,
so I'm a very happy weaver indeed.
Thanks, Theresa, for your recommendation!!!!!

I've spent hours playing/weaving on the Hollandia,
 pulling various yarns from my stash,
and adding them to the free style or Saori inspired woven piece.
It's play and I don't want to plan this.
I want to weave it like I'm sewing improv quilt blocks.

I've added silk ribbon inlay,
and clasped weft weaving with various yarns.
The ribbon yarn makes little shiny bumps across the surface of the cloth,
like tiny silk caterpillars creeping across my fabric.
I like it!

Also added was embroidery floss and ribbon yarn inclusions
to contribute small bursts of color to the cloth.

Speaking of improv, 
I have strips sitting on my sewing machine waiting for me
to create some placemats for a request that has been made.
I'll probably start that this afternoon,
so it will be fun to play with the bright colors!

I thought that I'd share a photo of my bee balm
that is flowering in my backyard.
It looks like something out of an alien movie,
doesn't it?

Here's hoping that you have time for fiber/fabric today,

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Creative Fun

I finished weaving my tangerine rag rugs and 
cut them off the loom.
That's such a great feeling!
They are now adding a colorful zing
to my kitchen
and I smile every time I see them.
Did I mention how much I like rag rugs??
I love the idea of recycling old things
and giving them new life.

I was inspired to make an improv
toaster cover to complement the new tangerine rugs. 
My old cover, made from handwoven cotton overshot,
was looking rather faded and 
it needed to be replaced.

It was a fun project that adds some sunshine to my kitchen!

On the weaving side of things, I've been measuring out a warp
of novelty yarns in various blues in order to weave yardage for a vest.
I've been ghosting Ravelry, reading about other weaver's experiences
in weaving for clothing and I'm on the fence as far
as loom shaped clothing is concerned.
On the one hand, you do little cutting, so the garment
construction is easier 
but a good fit can be difficult to achieve.
And I know that if it's super baggy,
I probably won't wear it.
By weaving yardage, you can use traditional
I have to admit that I have woven three different
fabrics with the idea of cutting them up
for garments.
And years later, they still exist as yardage,
carefully stored in my weaving hutch.
The trepidation of cutting handwoven cloth proved
to be too big of a hurdle for me to overcome
with these projects.
Hmm, maybe that gives the loom shaped garment the edge....

 has sat empty for far too long,
but now it will be weaving a fun plain weave fabric.
I don't know how this is going to turn out
as I've never woven with yarns like this before,
but I'm viewing it as play,
so it's all good.

On my knitting needles, I have some cotton yarn 
that I'm using to knit dishcloths
(yikes, no socks!)
I dyed this boucle yarn a soft turquoise using Rit dye.

Here's hoping that you have time for fabric/fiber today,

Friday, June 10, 2016

Having Fun While Weaving A Rag Rug

I've always liked the idea of rag rugs
-taking vintage cotton sheets, old cotton shirts, or jeans-
and recycling them into a rug. 
And then years ago I wove my first one
and I was hooked,
 as it was just fun to weave!
Easy weaving with a plain weave set up,
and then it was all about throwing the shuttle
while watching the rug emerge. 
How cool is that?

I'm using my vintage Norwood loom to weave
these three rag rugs, but after that,
she's going to have to find another home.
I'm truly disappointed about that as she's a lovely
cherry loom, but after a knee injury/surgery,
I've realized that I can no longer treadle a large jack loom.
So I'll search for a countermarch loom
and one day one will turn up when the time is right.

Back to my cheery rug for my kitchen-
the warp is 8/4 cotton dyed
tangerine and sunny yellow with bursts of white thrown in.
The weft is vintage cotton sheets from the thrift store
dyed tangerine
and the weave structure is plain weave.

I'm adding inclusions of cotton scraps from my quilting bins to add bursts of color.
It's the first time I've tried that and I like the result!
Plus, it supports my goal this year of using up those cotton
scraps that seem to multiply while I sleep.
Theresa, whose blog I enjoy reading,
suggested adding a lime yarn to the mix,
which started me thinking about the possibilities.
I've been reading about Saori weaving or free style weaving,
which made me think of adding small bits of fabric
to my rug.

On my needles I have a pair of socks (I bet you couldn't have guessed that!) 
and the yarn is hand dyed, hand spun Merino/nylon.
I'm almost done with the second sock :-)

 On the quilting side of things, I've finished four more
baby quilts. 
I thought that since I'm on a roll here, 
I might as well do four more.

Wow, it's been hot here, 
which I'm not fond of,
so I'm quite thankful for a cool house 
and fun creative things to do. 
Where it's cool.

Max, my beloved corgi, just turned 10. 
How did the time go by so fast?
It seems like just the other day when I brought
home my first corgi puppy....
Those ears just made us laugh every time we looked at him.
What a goof!

Here's hoping that you have time for fiber/fabric today,

Friday, June 3, 2016

Creative News From My House

Can you believe that it's June already??

Life has been busy lately,
with gardening,
and helping my parents.

I've had a bit of creative time though,
so I started making baby quilts again
for the women's shelter in town.
I had a kind donation from Nancy
of yards and yards of cotton fabric.
Thanks so much!
I paired her fabric with a fun print that I found

and some vintage cotton sheets that I
discovered at a local thrift store.

This week I dropped off four baby quilts
at the local homeless shelter-
may they bring comfort to someone in need.
And you know, baby quilts are just fun to make!

I finished the first weaving project on my oldie Norwood loom.
The warp was 8/4 carpet warp yarn in neutral,
and the weft was a thick, soft cotton yarn
by Sugar 'N Cream in the chocolate milk colorway.
I used a variety of twills for the weaving pattern/draft.
One of the things that I love about weaving is
watching the interlacement of threads
as I throw a shuttle.
It's so cool.

Yesterday I spent most of the day setting up or 
in weaving parlance-dressing my loom-
to weave some bright rag rugs for my kitchen.
I decided to go with tangerine orange,
sunny yellow, and a bit of bright white
for the cotton warp,
and the placement across the loom was random.

Last week I dyed 8/4 carpet warp and cotton strips
 using Rit dyes,
dyeing one batch tangerine

and the other sunny yellow.

I have my strips dry and wound on rag shuttles, 
all ready to weave.

I finished hand quilting my bright turquoise improv quilt!

I'll be honest with you, I had been planning on giving this to someone.
-I loved it so much-
it's now in my living room
even though it doesn't really match.
It's so cheery, I couldn't let this one go.
And this week I talked with the person who I meant to
give the quilt to (I hadn't told them),
and I have to admit that my conscience twinged a bit.
So in the future, I'll make another quilt to give to her.

In the evenings I've been hand carding Cormo wool, 
blending that on my blending board along with silk
to make rolags for spinning.
I'd like to weave a special shawl woven with handspun wool, 
so this is for that project.

The weather here has been perfect for motorcycling,
so we've been exploring the back roads.
And it's a blast!
Last weekend we motorcycled up to Bogus Basin ski resort,
and then went on FS 374 on the backside
of Shafer Butte,
winding our way on dirt/gravel roads 
to Grimes Creek Road,
and then on to Idaho City
for ice cream cones at Donna's Place.

Helmet hair-you have to love it ;-)
Here's hoping that you have time for fiber/fabric,