Saturday, July 28, 2012

I'm one of those math nerds.

The number 2000 is huge, and I don't think I really thought about how huge it was until now when I have to produce 2000 of something!  It's a small bookmark, yes, BUT... 2000 is a lot!

So, I started thinking about how huge this project really is.  I have 21 yards between the two warps, 20 bookmarks across, and 30 strands per bookmark.  So, when you multiply all those numbers together, it comes to 12,600 yards, or 37,800 feet, which is about 7 miles, if you stretched one warp thread end to end in each bookmark.  Now, that's just the warp.  It possibly might be doubled with the weft... 14 miles??  Gee whiz!

Ok, now think about the perimeter of each bookmark, or the outside edge I sew to keep them from unraveling.  That's 6+6+1+1=14 inches of sewing all the way around.  14x2000=28,000 inches, or 2,333 feet, which is about 1/2 mile of sewing!!

Wow.... WOW.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My warp board is made from broom handles. What is yours made from?

I decided to do 11 yards this time around so I will have some extra bookmarks.  I want to send a few extras to the school that ordered these, for just in case I miscounted.  I also want a few extras for myself, and I know my mom wants some for her Christmas cards this year.

Did I ever tell you my dad helped me make this warp board?  And did I ever tell you that he used broom handles for some of the pieces?  He had collected about a dozen broom handles from dumpsters throughout the last 10 or 15 years.  At first, I was skeptical.  But, the wood was beautiful, once we started working with it. 

It's hard to imagine them as brooms!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The half-way hump: 980!!

I don't think I ever realized just how big 2000 really is... until now!  Technically, I need 920 more to go, so in all technicality, I am over half-way!!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


 Still sewing...

I'm really starting to miss weaving.  A lot.

I think I'm addicted to weaving.

Because I'm having withdrawals.

Like I feel irritated.

I just want to weave again!  
Only a few more hundred to sew.  
I can do this!

I'm afraid if I get the loom all set up, I'll throw all the sewing aside!  So... that is why I don't tempt myself.  One step at a time!!!

So... after seeing all these bookmarks, which one do I think is the best?  Well, there are so many favorites... but this one above is one of my favorites because of both the design AND colors!  I would have thought my most favorite would have been an 8-shaft pattern, but this is just a simple 2/2 twill!  But there are so many cool ones.  I wish I could keep them all!  But if I kept all the cool ones, I wouldn't have any to send out!  :)

And then what was the point of all this sewing?!

I have plans of making a dishtowel set with different patterns and colors, like the bookmarks.  It's currently brewing in my head!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I fit an even 500 bookmarks into this bag!!!
I just need 3 more bags like this one and the bookmarks will be ready to go!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

330 and counting

330 and counting... By the way, there are 2 layers of bookmarks in this bag so far.  We're progressing!  This is probably one of the not quite as fun tasks, but it's so necessary.  This is the part that turns those sheets of cloth into actual bookmarks!  I am estimating being able to fit at least 400 bookmarks in every bag, maybe even more.  I think I'm going to just bag them like this and send the bags in a big box.

They almost look like goodies from my kitchen in a food bag like this!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Something to do with all that mint growing in the garden.

I've been harvesting mint from the garden!  We have so much, and so I'm trying to dry it with our dehydrator so I can make this mint salad later this winter.  Or... mint tea!  mmm...

LornaSass Wheat Berry Salad with Apples and Mint

1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3/4 cup tightly packed mint leaves
2 cups cooked Basic Wheat Berries
2 teaspoons grated orange zest (from 2 juice oranges)
1 small green apple
1 small red apple
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

First prepare the dressing: Blend the orange juice, oil, vinegar, salt, and 1/2 cup of the mint in a food processor or blender.
Set the wheat berries in a medium bowl. Pour the dressing over them and toss to coat. Stir in the orange zest. Set aside for at least 15 minutes. Toss occasionally.
Meanwhile, core the apples and cut them into 1/4-inch dice. Stack the remaining mint leaves and roll them into a log. Slice them as thinly as you can. Toss them into the salad along with the apple, and hazelnuts. Add more salt, if needed.

After blending the dressing, stir in 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger.

PS.  After being skipped by many monoons this week, we finally got some rain!  It was wonderful!

Friday, July 13, 2012

10 shades of blue, in stripes

So when I first thought of making some bookmarks with 10 different shades of blues, I was very excited because I thought it would look so cool!  Then, as I started weaving, it became my least favorite section.  The design didn't show up very well (except the 4/4 twill section) and I wasn't so sure about the "denim" look it had.

But now that I am cutting the bookmarks apart and seeing how the designs and colors interact individually, I really like these blue bookmarks! 

In fact, I might even do another multicolored section on the next warp... 

Some more changes I like on this set of bookmarks was the "garbage" yarn between the bookmarks.  Sometimes a few little pieces it stuck in the sewn sections, but that's ok.  It really saved the panic and anxiety I felt on the first set!  I don't feel like it's a time-bomb ticking away and at any minute all the threads will collapse and I will lose my channels.  No, not this time!  I can leisurely sew in-between each channel and leisurely cut them apart.  I have WAY more threads to pick off, but I would rather pick than panic!  I also feel like the edges are much cleaner looking with more even lines because of the yarn in-between each one.

By the way, I don't now if I mentioned this before, but every bookmark has a teal section in it.  Did you notice it yet??  Besides being twill and made of yarn by me, that is the one thing they all have in common!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm a self-employed sweat shop with my $20 sewing machine

It was a great feeling cutting this from the loom... until I realized I now have 4000 edges to sew.  That good feeling was short lived. 


The first 100 of 1000 are now... DONE!

Speaking of sewing the edges, it's time to highlight my sewing machine.  I have noticed that my old sewing machine is a real trooper.  She's quite old... here's a picture:

She's a Singer 301A and I bought her 10+ yrs ago at a thrift store that helps animals, for $20.  I clutched that machine the whole way up to the check stand, nobody was going to take her from me!  She's an amazing machine.  In fact, she's an unstoppable sewing train!  It was either last summer or the one before that I sewed right through my finger on this very machine!  It went through the nail and out the other end.  I have never sewn on anything else quite like it.  Even the other old Singers aren't like this one.  The poor thing was very used when I got her, lots of scratches and stuff... but they just barely broke her in for me!  The thing about this machine is if you sew for a very long time with teeny tiny stitches like I do with these bookmarks, the pedal gets so hot, but it works out well because when it gets to that point, I stop and cut and pull threads off the bookmarks and by the time I'm done with that tedious activity, the foot pedal has cooled off.  She's been with me many years and many miles with many more to go!  Thanks for the hard work, ol' gal!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

More tie-ups, 6 & 7

These first 2 pictures are simply a basket weave using the 2/2 tie-ups I already had.  I just used 2 treadles for this weave, 1 & 3.  I did 2 shots of weft with each treadle.


These are playing with 4/4 twill.  While using the 4/4 twill tie-ups, I realized I could do a 1/3 & 3/1 tie up that might look pretty neat.  I will experiment with that later!

I just love this color combination:

I think this 10 shades of blues section looks a lot better with the boldness of the 4/4 twill than anything else I've seen so far!

Friday, July 6, 2012

2/2 Twill: The Classic Choice

 I'm starting to knock my knees on these woven bookmarks because the roll is getting so big!  Two sections of butcher paper have fallen off, so I'm down to my last section.

This is tie-up #5, and it's a 2/2 twill.  I like this tie-up a lot because the designs are so small and there are a lot that can fit in this tiny amount of space.  It's also very classic looking.

Here are some 2/2 twill bookmark pictures: 


I have a few more 2/2 tie-ups I want to explore on this warp, like hopsack, for example.  Sometimes it's nice going back to the simple weaves and exploring how neat they really are!  It's so classic looking... reminds me of some of my very first weaves!  I'm feeling a little nostalgic!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tie-up #4

Another butcher paper roll fell off this week!  That means I have about 6 yards left on this warp.  If my prediction is correct, I should have about 480 or so bookmarks all woven by now.  This warp will hopefully provide about 1000 bookmarks, or half of the total I need.

I'm already onto tie-up #4, and it's quite similar to tie-up #2, except it has sections of 2/2 twill mixed with plain weave and tie-up #2 has 1/3 twill with plain weave.  Here is tie-up #4:


And a few close up pictures!

This section of 10 shades of blues is so hard to see, especially with the darker colors.

 I went through all my weaving books and made notes of all the twill tie-ups I could find.  Then I went through each one and if it was a repeat or the opposite of something else, I scratched it off the list.  As you can see, my list is still pretty long!  There's still many more to try!

And in case you were wondering, these are my notes about the original threading plan and also the treadling plans that I am following throughout. I repeated these 8 designs throughout the 20 bookmarks.  Some of them I used only once and some were several times, like 3 or 4 bookmarks worth because that's how much I like some of them!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I could get used to this!

I'm really getting spoiled by my summer schedule!  I love it so much, but I know that at the end of this month I will have to return to work.  I could certainly get used to a relaxed summer schedule everyday!

Here is a new 16 second weaving clip I made to add to my original weaving movie.  I took a picture with my camera after every shot of weft.  It is 150 images consolidated into 15 seconds.  Pretty neat!


I worked through my rotations for tie-up #2, and I'm already onto tie-up #3!  I am just working my way through the twill section of the book A Weaver's Book of 8-shaft Patterns edited by Carol Strickler.  It's one of my favorite weaving books! Here is tie-up #3:

There are a few more tie-ups in this book to work though, then I have a few in my head, and maybe I'll also look around in some other books.  I really like tie-up 3 a lot!  I like how some of the threads group themselves together in the design.  Take a closer look!

It's almost like an really big outline and a small dash running through the center.  Fun, fun!  I'll keep weaving through my rotations and then try another one!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A new kind of bookmark

I've decided to switch things up a bit with a new tie-up for the treadles.  I liked the design before, but after weaving a few hundred, I decided variety is probably key here, so I tied it up like this:

This new tie-up produces even flatter bookmarks than before!  I like the new designs and how they are surrounded by plain weave.  I have a few more tie-ups I hope to try before this 10 yard warp runs out... I don't think there's any rush!

Here are the two tie-ups I've tried so far, placed side by side for comparison:

And their corresponding weaves:

I like both weaves a lot, even though they are so different.  In my honest opinion though, I think I like tie-up 1 just a little bit better.  The 3-1 twill mixed with the 2-1 twill is really neat.  In tie-up 2, it's a little more blocky, but still neat in its own way.
I don't know if you noticed this in the first few pictures above, but I put some yarn between each bookmark.  There is yarn on each side of the four sides.  I plan on sewing right next to the "good yarn" and then after I cut them apart, I will pick out the "garbage yarn" and just throw it away.  I hope this will help keep the spacing a little bit longer while I sew up the edges.  It's always such a scary moment for me to have nothing between them!

Another new thing I tried this time around was having 4 bookmarks side by side with 10 different shades of blues.  It's kind of neat, but you can't really see the designs very well.  The neat thing about it is that it looks like denim, but that's about the only neat thing.  Otherwise, in the next set, I will skip this section because it's just too hard to see the pattern. It's almost too much going on in those 4 bookmarks and everything is not working together!


I'm not sure how far I've woven, but one section of butcher paper has fallen off... only 2 more to go on this round!  We're making progress!