Monday, April 30, 2012

I checked it twice!

I swear I checked my tie-ups twice, or maybe even 3 times!  But the other day I found one error and it made a world of a difference!  Personally, I think that the pattern is so much clearer now that I fixed it!  I probably should have completed the one dishtowel all the way before I made the change...
Here are the errors pointed out.

 Here is a section of "good" cloth.  Notice how much easier it is to see the pattern!  That one error made quite a difference...

Here is the original draft, in case you missed it!

 I'm glad I caught this before I went on and wove them all!!

In yard news...

We have 6 bags of yard debris going out tomorrow!

The peach tree has been cut mostly down.  It's in far back in the center.  The rose bush on the left was tamed down.  Now we have two really big piles of debris to slowly dispose of!  The city is doing a dump day next week so perhaps we can get rid of it then.  I need to take care of the bushes in the very back, too.  They are soooo bushy!

I'm really sad we lost our peach tree.  It gave us half a tree of peaches our first fall here, but then no more.  They were the best peaches I've ever tasted!  The bugs pretty much bled the tree of all its sap.
RIP peach tree!  We will definitely be replanting as soon as we debug the ground.

 This tree went really quickly.  It all happened in a matter of less than 6 months!

At least we have somewhat revived the peach tree in the back yard.  It's only half a tree, but it does have little tiny peaches on it!!!  Hang in there half tree!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Celebration Towel #1

Because the yarn is only 16/2, the weaving is almost too small to enjoy the original design I saw in the pattern.  However, I still like what I am seeing and there is some great texture forming where some of the floats are happening!  These towels will be a super exciting addition to anyone's kitchen, especially mine!

And in other news, I got through the weeds in the front yard and filled 3 garbage sized trash bags!  We don't even have enough room for all these picked weeds for one trash day!  I might have to throw them out in sections for the next month.  And I'm not even done!  I still have one last section in the back yard to work on and all the weeds at the easement between the property.  I'm so glad our yard isn't bigger than it is!  We also have a peach tree that died and needs to come out so we can plant  new tree in its place.  Lots of work to do... but the weather has been so nice it's hard to focus on just the yard.  Word got out about my huge bike ride last weekend and a few friends wanted me to join them in a ride this weekend so we took about a 30 mile loop.  My legs were already exhausted from all the weeding, especially since I got up an extra hour earlier to pick some more, but it was a very nice ride and I got to know three other people really well.  I'm so glad summer is coming soon!  We are down to 16 more school days and then it will be beloved summertime.  Horay!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

First peek!

We've gotten started on the celebration towels!  And I love them!

In other news, I have decided not to hoard the weeds anymore.  It was time I gave it up anyway and share with the rest of the city! Haha... just kidding!  My hubby is just working too many hours to take care of the weeds on his own, so I decided to pitch in and help him out.  I didn't take any before pictures because frankly, I was too ashamed at all the weeds in both the back and front yards!  But I'll tell you what, I did fill two dumpsters full of weeds...

Here is the back yard:

 And this is from the front garden:

Wow, this looks so much better.  I even vacuumed off the front porch to add to the niceness of it.  Tomorrow, it's more weeding for the rest of the yard and a few I didn't catch today in those areas.  I also might mow behind the house on the property line.  It's so shaggy!  

Friday, April 27, 2012

This saved my arm!!!

Using the warping paddle saved so much time and arm muscle!  I could thread 6 strands of 16/2 cotton onto it and go 55 times around the warp board instead of 330!  This saved my arm!!!  And it really took no time at all!

I warped 660 threads of natural colored 16/2 yarn for 6 yards. I'm planning a tabby sett of 30 epi on a #15 reed.  I hope to get about 6 towels when I'm done!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I always think of my beginnings for floor looms as happening at the end of April.  Two years ago, I was going to buy a floor loom and then the very next day my husband lost his really great job.  It was a product of the times that were happening and a foreshadow of more hard times ahead.  Then, after an agonizing wait, I finally got my first 4-shaft floor loom on the 4th of July in 2010, however, I quickly wanted an 8-shaft loom!  I think it frustrated my husband just a little bit because the timing was so wrong, especially since he had a few more job losses/changes in that same year.  But I finally got my 8-shaft loom at the end of April 2011 and it was a huge lifesaver for me.  My looms have been huge lifesavers in general!  They gave me hope in hopeless times.  They distracted me from the world that was quickly crumbling around me.  I will forever be grateful for my looms, the people who helped me get them or sold them to me, and for my husband for being so supportive of my needs!

My very first floor loom picture EVER:

My two looms meeting for the very first time:

Two years later, I feel like things are going so much better for us!  We are in a very good place.  But I still like to reminisce about these harder times and I'm not sure why... maybe it's because I feel like I've grown so much from them and appreciate the simple things more.  But in celebration of the past, I wanted to do a project that reminded me of my first projects.  I used to do a lot of dishtowels when I started on my floor loom, so I am going to do another set as a celebration!  So, here are my celebration towels, the draft is from handweaving . net!  

I feel like this draft shows a lot of lines like the paths that Brian and I have taken in our time together.  Ironically, it's a 6-shaft pattern and we've been married for 6 years!  But you can also see circles, and I feel like we have come full circle in a way because Brian has gone back to his roots for work, so to speak.  When we first met in 2004, Brian was flying airplanes and amazingly, after all we've been through, he is back to flying airplanes!  Also in this draft I notice that the lines flow back into the centers of the circles.  Symbolically, this draft is perfect for my celebration towels.  I can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Of Coverlets

I know I've told you this before in a previous post, but I love this weaving book called "Of Coverlets"!  I think it's one of the best historical books out there.  It's pretty rare and expensive, but I found a good deal on one.  I have been checking this book out at the library about six times a year for the last 3 years.  I am so happy that I finally have my own copy to look at whenever I want to!

This book contains a lot of Tennessee weaving history.  My favorite story (on page 389) is about a funny old couple named Isaac and Josie, who had been married for 50 years.  Isaac was a loom and wheel maker.  One day in 1970, he decided his wife, Josie was too old to weave anymore.  So he told her he found someone who would buy her loom and he could make her a new one.  So poor unsuspecting Josie sold her loom, and Isaac never made her a new one because he said he "could" not "would" make her a new one.  And worse yet, he said there will never be another loom in the house. EVER.  He was probably just really tired of the noise it was making, or maybe she was guilty of neglecting her house chores in order to get some weaving done like I do sometimes!  Poor Josie... I can't even imagine that one.

Here's poor Josie and mean old Isaac:

"Of Coverlets" is full of all kinds of good stories and patterns of the old coverlets.  I can't wait to really dig in and plan some replica projects to weave!  I love how they have taken the time to figure out all the patterns.  For example, this is how it looks in the book on page 373:

Take a look at the pattern provided at the top of this section.  Each of the numbers in it are the shafts.  So, when it says "41x6" it is saying shafts 4 & 1 repeated 6 times.  The second numbers are "43x4" so shafts 4 & 3 repeated 4 times.  Here's a close up:

 After sorting through the whole pattern, this is what it looks like:

And this book is full of this!!!  I am really excited by the potential this book has to offer.  I'm so glad I finally have my own copy!  This really opens up a huge new world!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More "to do" projects

When things start to calm down some here I can start focusing on some of my other projects I've been wanting to make.  Besides the rainbow wool I finished and have plans for, here are a few more projects I thought I would share:

This sheep pattern has been one of my favorites ever since I saw it here:  This is Georgean Curran's Sheep Towels originally from March/April 1990 Handwoven Magazine, page 93, 85-86. 

I definitely want to make some little hand towels using this sheep pattern, but I'm almost considering doing this pattern for my 2012 Christmas cards!  Wouldn't that be cute?!  It's never too early to get started, right?

I would like to share this pattern from the website:  Scroll down to February 1965, and you will find this novelty checks pattern.  I have always liked this draft, and I thought it would make excellent dishtowels!  I would love to feel this texture:

Another project I have on my to do list is this:

And it just looks like so much fun because I would get to take my whole blues collection of yarn and mix it all together with my warping paddle.  I think it would look REALLY neat!  It looks a lot like the plans for the rainbow scarves, except I would use my favorite 12/2 cotton instead of perle cotton.  I still really haven't settled on a twill design yet.  I'm still working out the kinks on that one!  The main focus is using lots and lots of blues!

Another interest right now is shadow weave.  While weaving the lion skins, I became very interested in shadow weaves.  I also would love to weave some dishtowels!  I am thinking something from the Powell book called 1000+ patterns in 4,6, and 8 Harness Shadow Weaves.  I am really loving some of those 8-shaft patterns that she has in her book. 

This is 8-1-1, page 206:

Here's a few more repeats so you can enjoy the design that happens! I love the 3D look to it, the way it just pops out at you.  It's almost like you could reach out, touch it, and feel it!

Speaking of a to-do list, I saw this dot-dot tea towel pattern from last week and I really want to make one because the texture looks incredible!

After taking a minute to study the photo, this is what I've come up with for the pattern.

I also would like to copy Sharon's tea towels for a summertime project!  They are so beautiful!  She was kind enough to share the pattern with me and I can't wait to dig in!  Here is a picture of her finished towels:

The colors are AMAZING and it's all from 1 warp!!!

And there's always my rainbow yarn that I spun up last week.
And then there's always more zoo critters that call for my attention.  I'm not sure what will come after the lions!  There's so many to choose from...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Candy Land

With the rainbow scarves on my mind, I couldn't stop thinking about my rainbow wool.
Remember my kool-aide dyed wool from October? 

Here's another reminder picture:

 I finally found the inspiration I was looking for to spin this stuff up! 

I decided to make a self-striping yarn with large striping areas.  I want to weave a scarf with it, and I want the rainbow to go 1 way starting with red to purple and then from purple repeat the opposite direction and end with red again.

  I also decided to use Navajo plying it in order to keep the colors segments together.
I love Navajo plying!  I use it ALL the time!

This looks good enough to eat! 

This yarn reminds me of those huge swirled lolly pops.

Yum, yum!

Now to spin the 2nd skein:

I love all the different shades of blues in this skein! 
So pretty!
Can't wait to use it!!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

50 miles

I think I really AM crazy!  I do strange things sometimes and even though I know they're strange, I still want to do them!

Take yesterday for example.  I was going on my usual bike ride around the neighborhood.  But the weather was so nice.  And there wasn't any wind!  It was so perfect!  So as I was biking, I got this random idea to bike a local trail that used to be a railroad.  It leads to the next city over.  I didn't have my camera with me this time, but here is a file photo of one of my favorite points on this trail:

 Here is an aerial view of the lake area.  The trail would be in the back somewhere!

Then, as I was on the trail, I thought about how much fun it would be to go past our first apartment... so I did.  We lived here in this one bedroom (400 sq ft) apartment back in 2005.  There's no way we would fit in there now!!!

THEN... I thought about the many times I biked up to this local place called Thumb Butte and wham!  The idea stuck and I just couldn't change my mind!!  2 hours after I started, I made it to Thumb Butte and my odometer was at 25 miles!  Wow, how did THAT happen?! 

I was having a great time and not feeling half bad until mile number 40 on the way home and I knew I had 10 miles remaining.  Then, all of a sudden my body was complaining.  It's probably because I didn't have any food and really needed something sugary!  I also had no money to buy anything... I really came unprepared.  It was sheer will-power that brought me back home.

But you know what?  I can now check this goal off my list of things I wanted to do this year.  It was so random, and that is what made it so wonderful!  I have had it on my list for about a year and just kept thinking about the logistics so much that the whole idea seemed impossible.  But I did it!  I really, really did it!!!  I biked 50 miles in 4 hours!!!  With energy leftover to weave!!!! 

And I think I'm going out for a regular 10-12 miles on my bike, so that makes about 60 in 24 hours.  That is definitely the furthest I've been in 24 hours!!  And 50 is the furthest I've been at one time.  My last record was only 30.