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Posts Tagged ‘weaving’

Keeping busy

I was right about the ice in my last, truncated,  post. There were more cold water rescues and deaths under the ice than I remember in the past. 

Weather has been all over the place- snow, lots of snow, 60 degrees, rain, lightning, ice melt and not quite raging rivers and temps below zero this weekend. There were some fabulous cross country ski days tucked in there, when Tim was able to lure me from my fiber den. 

  
  
My fingers have been nimble and warm at home. 

  
I finished weaving this christening outfit in time for the blessing. It was stunning if I do say so myself. 

  
  
And fit like a dream. It’s woven with 720 fine mercerized cotton threads as warp and cotton and silk weft. 

Tim likes his new sweater and under/over shirt made of alpaca and wool.  

  
  
A mandolin may already be hung from this strap.

  
And our fireplace matches are tidy in a bag I wove. 

  

My to do list has not shortened one bit though.  

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We’ve had a sustained deep freeze and lovely snow. Today I drove across Lake Champlain (on a bridge not ice) and saw lots of tents – the modern ice shanty. Some were alittle  close to open water for my comfort. 

  
  
My latest passion is tablet or card weaving. I may try to make 52 bands in 2017. I’ve already made a few. 

  
  
I’m working on hat bands, a mandolin strap, a bag for my tablets, a bag for fireplace stuff, and want to make a new backstrap before we head off the grid. The new backstrap will let ME be the loom tension. Very handy and portable.  I did it in Tasmania but was using someone’s discarded nylon  camera strap as my backstrap-perhaps a bit too high tech.

We have a cardinal in the ash tree and an unhinged peacock in the white house. Trying to find balance and stand for issues important to me. And playing with and hugging grandchildren! ( and watching youtube videos to figure out 
 

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What I felt

Basically everything.  I’ve been on a knitting and felting kick lately. I finished the slippers for my daughter AND HER 13 FRIENDS!  She wanted their crab logo on them and I tried all sorts of techniques to make crabs: cross stitch; felted appliqué; and knit. I used BigPhil, my bulky knitting machine to knit the clogs flat, sewed them together and felted them in the washer.  Then I embellished them with various crabs. 

 
  
  What fun!

Here’s the lot of them,

  
sized and matched with their mates and ready for the post office.

I tried a pair of mittens using a similar technique.

  
The thumb was a little wonky but they are nice and warm.

I finished the cat beds but sadly, my older cat, Loki, only used his briefly before he died just after Thanksgiving.  His first diagnosis was wrong but obviously something was brewing.  

  

Now we’re a one cat, one litter box, two cat bed household. Oh yes, there’s dear Tim too.  

I have a few more slippers up my sleeve but have moved on to weaving.  I finished twisting all the ends to my lovely overshot sampler shawl this morning.

 She’s a beauty and will get lots of use this winter.

 
I found a lovely used warping reel online and measured a warp for a card weaving project.  There were a couple of snags but it worked beautifully.

  

Then I got to real work. I am making my new grandson’s christening gown from a Handwoven pattern. 724 ends of fine 20/2 cotton.  I was able to warp 3 threads at a time (I used a rigid heddle clamped to the table as a warping paddle) and it was a breeze.  A few of those threads snapped while getting it on the loom but after a morning repairing broken threads I was off and weaving.  I’m using fine silk as the weft and it is stunning.

  
I’ll sew a sample pattern first before I cut this beautiful fabric.

The clutter of my workroom is an insight into my scrambled mind.  I’ve started a quilt; am in the process of weaving bands for more slippers; making more slippers; considering a few sewing projects…

I have almost made it 12 months without buying any clothes for me and it was a lot easier than I thought.  I made 5 camisoles from alpaca, merino, silk fibers and they fit, are comfortable and make a great first layer. I also made a pair of shorts, and  some socks.

  
  
My earth oven has been shelved until the spring.  I spent a day last weekend building the form with sand then covering it with mud.  It looked great but I made the cardinal mistake of not sampling the clay enough.  When I shoveled out the 3 wheelbarrowfulls of sand and lit a fire within, the roof collapsed as the too-wet clay mixture defrosted.

  
Lessons learned.  Now I have to decide if I will try to patch it or just start again in the spring.  I think the second time will be a charm. 

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I was very excited to attend an overshot weaving workshop at Red Stone Glen fiber art studio in western Pennsylvania – 7+ hours from home. 

First my car was declared unsafe to drive by my mechanic and had to be left behind for repair. We high tailed it up to Plattsburgh INTERNATIONAL Airport where I picked up a rental car.

I sorely missed my deer whistles en route while I saw live and not so live deer along the highways. And I missed my EZ Pass. Did you know it costs $15 to drive across PA. No bridges or tunnels, just highway with deer. I don’t appreciate how muc tolls cost when I breeze through in the 65 mph lane. 

And I spent 4 hours cautiously driving through this storm.   

But I arrived at my cabin on a lake at Gifford Pinchot State Park unscathed. And I never met the prey in my bedroom. 

  
I brought projects from home to work on in the evenings. 

  
I enjoyed mornings on the lake with coffee.   

And wove for 2 full days to make this beautiful overshot shawl. 

   
 Now I’m visiting my precious new grandson (and his parents) but may need to skedaddle in my rental car without deer whistles or snow tires because 10″ of snow is forecast at home!

These are a few fall shots from home. 

  
The mighty Boquet (that’s BO- kwet to you southerners) at sunset. 

  
Our local morning rainbow. 

  
Our cute little cabin in the woods. 

  
And at night.  

 Bet you can’t spot the deer in our yard. Get out the whistles!

 

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Seen on the street

I have a pet peeve with floss sticks. 

  
I believe in flossing, but in the privacy of your own home, preferably in the bathroom with the door closed. Why do these turn up on the street in some of the most beautiful places in the world. The first time I saw one was on the street in the island country, Dominica. Now they follow me whereever I run. I see one almost daily. Yesterday at least I found a beautiful turkey feather too. 

  
I meant to post about all graffiti I saw in southern France. But I didn’t. Here’s what I saw in Albany, NY this weekend instead. 

   
I too believe you should quit what you don’t love.   

Here is an impressive building in Albany, part of SUNY. 

  
And some great sky at my office on Lake Champlain. 

   
 I found these right in my backyard. The best crop I have ever seen. I didn’t even have to venture into the brambles. The blackberries became a delicious pie and french toast topper. 

  
And I’m still happily weaving. 

   
    
 

 

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Or thinking about weaving. Some time at home has let me do some loom work. I finished a pair of cotton chenille bath sheets that seemed to take forever. I had to order more yarn for the warp so it languished on the loom. But it was well worth the wait. They’re soft, absorbant and huge. I think I’ll need more. 

  Now I’ve got placemats in process. I’ve made several sets for friends. I noticed  that I always admire them when I see them again, so now it’s time for my own set. 

   

They are warped back to front and I made this nifty raddle and set it up in an ingenious way I learned at Red Stone Glen. 

Our outdoor shower mat became loose so I wove the boards together in a plain weave. 

  
This works much better except I am on my guard these days because there is a new milk snake near the shower! And bear scat near the garden! I tell you, it’s a jungle out there. 

  
I moved the wildlife camera but have only picked up deer munching AROUND the garden, not in it. I spray liquid fence (cayenne, sulphur) around the perimeter and it works. 

My last strawberry rhubarb pie had a 2 x 2 twill crust and was delicious. 

  
I needed some supports for my garden and sort of wove a twig tuteur. I decided two would dominate the raised bed so one sits between the tomato plants. 

   
  Summer has arrived, and with it, we have frequent afternoon thunderstorms – and dramtic skies. 

   
   
We need the rain for the flowers. 

   
  
  

Then I can spend more time weaving instead of watering the flowers. 

 

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The simple things

The simple things make life pleasant. I made this alpaca silk tank as the first addition to my wardrobe in 2016. I’m no Victoria’s secret model so here it is on a hanger. It feels way better than it looks in this picture. Warm, and well, silky! Alpaca silk tank

We are taking care of our adorable little grandson for a few days and yesterday, the library ladies referred to me as his mother. Yeah! I still have it, at least with the library ladies. I can’t really play with my big toys while he is here but can still knit and spin a little. At a friend’s suggestion, he’s “sewing”. I cut a piece of rug canvas, taped the ends of some yarn and let him sew away. He mainly drags it around as a way to lure the kitten but calls it his sewing. Perhaps we have a budding fiber enthusiast.

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I sent off my shadow weave scarf. The fact that the colors were too close in value was very forgiving. I had a problem with the warp at the end and had to cut it off the loom a little earlier than planned. C’est la vie.
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I used the down time to finish some projects. I made this little sweater and blanket for my stash.
Dogwood blanket

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Dogwood on bench

My life is so simple these days, my equilibrium was thrown off by a lost, hand made glove. Of course I may have to move to Canada in November.

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