Friday, May 31, 2013

Odd Project

Before I can finish my 2nd doubleweave blanket, I have a small/large VERY ODD project to complete!

My principal at school asked me to make a project for some students that are going to Washington DC for National History Day finals.  I wish them the best of luck of course, but I am now stressing out over a giant car that can squeeze into a suitcase!  Yikes... it took several versions but we finally have a final pattern to work with.  I used an overhead projector to get it to the right size, put it onto butcher paper that was taped together, and the final size is approx. 6ftx10ft!  In order to accommodate the size for the suitcase, I'm basically making a kite that can be disassembled and then re-assembled on location.  I think Zip agrees that this will be the most wacky, wild, extreme, and creative project for 2013!!  I'm actually very excited, but also a little nervous because there is already a lot of money involved in all the supplies!

Oh yeah, and did I mention that I've never made a kite before???  :-)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

One is done!

This blanket washed up beautifully and perfectly square!!  The ends are all sewn in now, too!  It's so soft and pretty!  I really like the non-planned plaid... but Brian admitted to me yesterday that plaids like that drive him nuts!  If he were a weaver, things would be very precise and predictable.... not that there's anything wrong with that.  I like my patterns unpredictable, but always hope for predictable weaving.

 The gaps all filled in perfectly on this weave.

You can't even tell there is a center seam...

 ... except in some places, if you know what to look for.  Sometimes things got a little squished, but this is why I cut off one blanket early.  The second blanket should have less of this throughout than leaving it as one piece.

Otherwise, it's so much fun to be able to weave something twice the size of my weaving area! 

I can't believe I can do this!  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The mystery of the unseen side

It's a terrible picture, but here is what the other "unseen" side of this blanket will look like!

I always love that moment when the doubleweave blanket gets cut off the loom, unfolded, and then  both sides can be seen next to each other for the very first time!  It's awesome!!

The above picture only makes me semi-nervous.  See the experimental IKEA tape measure and how bubbly it has become without tension on it?  Well, as long as I keep in mind the weaving is just a bit shorter than the tape measure, then I think all will be well... I think I still might cut off the first blanket just to make a better 2nd blanket when the time comes.  I think it keeps everything more square and the center seam ends up more invisible.  It's worth the chance of cutting one too short.  I'll be glad when this one does come off and it's square, because I'm very sure the other one will be square also due to the extra length from the tie-on spots.  But it's still a risky procedure!

And now for the tree update!  I am glad to say that this little tree is thriving!  
Here is one year of photos:

And a side by side comparison of May 2012 and May 2013.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Yay for weaving again!

I feel like I was dragging my feet in getting the loom set up again. I'm not sure why... maybe it was the 1300+ knots that had to be tied... maybe it really wasn't such a good idea to do it that way, but now it's done and this blanket is weaving up so very fast!!   It's always such a long process to set the loom up and the weaving always goes way too fast.

Here are all the colors together on the bobbins... they are so pretty!  Maybe it's just me, but I've liked this combination from the very beginning and I don't know why!

Here's the plaid starting to weave up just perfect!

It's so chipper and pretty!

I'm trying something new this time.  I grabbed a whole stack of these tape measures last time we went to IKEA and I put some in the warp that was wound onto the back of the loom.  I'm also pinning it as I go, but I've never done that with a tape measure before, so I have no idea what to expect.  I'm pinning it under tension and maybe that is a bad thing, unless I take it into consideration...

Here's to another weaving experiment!

I am also thinking of cutting this blanket off half way through, since I know I'm making 2 blankets anyway.  The first blanket ALWAYS weaves up super great and the 2nd one never weaves as nice, so if I weave through half my materials and cut it off, the 2nd blanket has a better chance of looking just as super as the first one!  This is why the tape measures are really important this time around.  Plus, I can keep track of the size by the amount of repeats of bobbim colors.  Each bobbin color can be used 4 times total, and then I estimate this blanket will be long enough... maybe a few extra rows just to be on the safe side.

It's another experiment... hopefully it's one I won't regret!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Don't panic!

The picture from the other day was pretty scary with all those threads all tangled up like that.  It was a mess, but I was able to get it all sorted out in only a few hours.  Now it seems like tying all those knots might have saved some time and effort, but the only real thing it did provide was an assurance that the loom is already set up correctly.  Otherwise, it really did take a whole lot of time!  I'm still having trouble deciding whether I saved any by doing it this way or not... I'll tell you one thing is for sure, 1300 of something is an awful lot!!

Brian helped me out a lot when it came to untangling the 1300 threads.  We just kind of split the whole thing in half and I showed him a few things that I knew and he invented a few things, also!  It was fun to work together on this blanket.  I'm trying to talk him into weaving something on my other loom, but he's not showing too much enthusiasm for that!  While we were untangling and talking, I also decided that threading from back to front would be worth a try this summer.  I have never tried that method before and after working through all this mess, I am finally ready to try it.

Anyway, we found that raising the first 4-shafts made winding so easy.  We separated the two colors and could wind long segments at a time.  Also, getting the 1300 knots through the eyes of the heddles wasn't too bad either.  I just pulled a very small handful through at a time and worked with them very carefully.  We had no threads break during the winding of this warp!  Yay!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

1300 knots

I don't even know if I need to say this, but 1300+ knots IS A LOT!!!

I think my fingers are very fatigued... 
in took several sittings...
I think I would have rather threaded the heddles... 

But the knots are in, and now I just need to ease them through the eyes of the heddles.  I'll be glad when that part is over!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I love the two blankets I just pulled off my loom, but I keep eyeing the sample from before so I have decided to put another doubleweave blanket on the 8-shaft loom.  I am going to tie all the ends onto the old warp so that I don't have to spend all that time threading it.  I'm not sure which is worse though, threading it again and working out all the kinks, or tying 1300+ knots!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mint Brownies

These mint brownies are the best!!!


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cup white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 12 oz. chocolate icing (Use your own icing recipe or purchase some chocolate frosting.)
    Mint Icing
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • dash of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1-2 drops green food coloring

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and mix in cocoa. Allow to cool. Add honey, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add nuts. Pour batter into a greased 9-by-13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool.
  2. Prepare mint icing: Soften butter. Add salt, corn syrup, and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add mint extract and food coloring. Mix. Add milk gradually until the consistency is a little thinner than cake frosting.
  3. Spread mint icing over brownies. Place brownies in the freezer for a short time to stiffen the icing. Remove from the freezer and carefully add a layer of chocolate icing.  Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2 warm & soft blankies!

 I didn't get just one baby blankie...

 This warp gave me 2!!  They are both 40"x40" square. 

Believe it or not, you are looking at the center seam!!!!  This was the place where the blanket was folded in half!  Wow, it's hardly noticeable! 

I loved this 12/2 unmercerized cotton.  It washes up to be so very soft and nice! 
Notice how all the reed marks went away?!  Looks awesome!

The squares ended up a little taller than expected, but I would rather have them tall than squatty!

I love these colors!
And I love this twill design!!

I did my favorite finish on the edges.  This is the serged edge that is pinned and sewn down with the ends tucked in.  I have used it on my last few sets of towels and after several cycles through the washing machine, I have decided that it's nice and sturdy. 

Not only is it sturdy, but this edge is also very soft and flexible.  Furthermore, it is also very clean.  Sometimes when I leave fringe, the fringe just gets all puffy and tangled.

Here are my 2 little blankies for 2 very lucky babies!!

Scout says, "Oh yeah!"

Sunday, May 19, 2013


I pulled 2 threads out of the center to give it room to move around when I wash it.  I hope it works out ok!  The center doesn't look too bad.  I think I have enough yardage for 2 blankets!!  And I left the loom threaded so I can run another set if I want to by tying on to the old set.  That would save a lot of time!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Inside Outside

 This is what it looks like inside my doubleweave blanket!

I love how I can weave a twill blanket on my 8-shaft loom!  

I'm hoping that when it comes off, I can wash out the seam in the center.  It's better than having two panels sewn together though!  It's almost done... Maybe another hour or two of weaving and I can call it good!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


 I've really been enjoying this weave a lot!
As you can see in this picture, there are some pins helping to keep the layers together better.  Last time  I did a blanket, it became mis-shapen a little bit because as you roll it on, the layers are stretching at different rates.  With some pins, the layers will be more of the same size.  So far, it's helping a lot.

 It's amazing how easy this doubleweave ended up being, too!

I'm hoping that the grouping of threads will relax once it's off the loom and washed.

 I love all the shades of blues and greens!

I keep seeing only one side of it, but this is the other side.  It also looks very pretty!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ready, set, go!

I had about a dozen little errors to fix... none were really big, just two threads flipped or threads that were crossed in the reed.  It took awhile though to get through all of them!  It seemed as though I would find 2 and think I was done, and then find 2 more and think I was done... etc.

This is a picture from the back.  When the other layer shows through, it almost looks painted!  

So pretty... 

 Ignore the very bottom stuff, that will be cut off.  It was my practice stuff.  I was going to do a sample piece, but I think now I know what I'm doing and have it all in order so I'm going to just go for it!  So exciting!

I'm putting a few straight pins throughout the layers just to hold them together better.  Last time they slipped around a little bit as I wound it back onto the loom.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


75% threaded, 25% more to go... 

This really is HUGE!

Even though I have been extremely careful with my threading, I know mistakes must exist already in this and I don't really look forward to discovering and fixing them!  I already know of one, and I marked it.  I am ready to fix it when the time comes.  I know there must be a few others though... it's inevitable!  

Saturday, May 11, 2013


The reed is sleyed!

Now it's time for threading!  And this is going to take forever!  I'm going to try doing it in sections and then take a break.  1300 is a lot!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Double the heddles = double the fun!

The warp is finally all measured out!  And it looks so nice together!  Some of these colors are just great side by side!

I pretty much had to double the number of heddles on this loom!  We went from 800 to 1600!  It took quite a while.  I just put a good movie on from Netflix and just sat back and counted!  Hopefully I got them all straight enough and in the right places!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Green, blue, and purple

 I've decided to pull all of my green, blue, and purple yarn to make this blanket.  

 They look really good together!  And here is a black and white check to see the values of darks vs. lights:

 It looks like a good ratio of lights, mediums, and darks!

I think this will look really good!

 Can't wait to get this blankie warped!

Here are my estimates and calculations for this project:

At the warp board: 2 strands at a time, around the board 24 times total for 3.5 yards (that leaves 1/2 yard for a sample piece to make sure everything is threaded correctly.)  This means that there are 48 threads per color change, and with 6 threads per dent that means that each square of weaving will need 8 dents in the reed.

26"x10 dents per inch = 260 dents available, and since the number needs to be divisible by 8, that means I will use 224 dents, leaving 3.6 inches total to be free, which is 1.8" on each side.  One extra dent on the right will be filled with the extra center threads to help space out the center better.  I might do the same on the other end, add a few extra to make it space out better on the edges.

224/8 dents total per color change  = 28 squares total across when unfolded

224 dents x 6 strands in each dent = 1,344 threads total in the warp

I am warping the reed to weave at 30 epi, but after washing, it comes out to be more like 34 epi.  Therefore, with 1344 threads, it will be approximately 40" across (approx 43-44" before washing)  I am calculating a 12-14% shrinkage rate.  It should be weaving up at 22.5" at the reed.

I have checked and rechecked my calculations, and I think I'm finally ready to warp!