Sunday, November 29, 2009

Auburn Houndstooth and Sarah's first weaving experience

Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is Coming!

I can't believe that it's almost Christmas and the end of yet another year. I have had such a successful year that I am basically starting over with my weaving inventory. I had a jewelry party last week and ended up buying weaving too! It's a good thing and a bad thing, because it takes so long to get things woven for Kentuck. One great thing though, as of February I will be cutting back on my transcription so I hopefully will be able to weave more (theoretically speaking). I'll be off Saturday through Tuesday on my main account. However I will still have my other two accounts that I usually end up working on during the weekend. Another announcement: as soon as my daughter gets pictures taken I will put some things on Etsy. Lately I have been weaving houndstooth in orange and blue thanks to Sarah. Those have sold very well and I'll be putting on a new warp soon. I also need to start some more alpaca black and white houndstooth. I'm glad it's fun to weave houndstooth. I have a brown alpaca on the Mighty Wolf which I am really not liking to weave. So far I've tried three different patterns and haven't liked any of them. It's what I call a "dog on the loom" (an alpaca dog this time). I've started winding a red warp for V-shawls as I have only four V's left, three pink and one gold. They are a staple and I haven't done any for a year. It's time. Red always sells, also need to do a mixed warp using up small cones of yarn using black or other dark colors as a warp. I always have more ideas than time and/or energy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kentuck is over

Well, Kentuck has come and gone and was great. It was cold, windy and muddy but it was well attended and I estimate that we sold two-thirds of our stock. We sold all but one of the black/white houndstooth scarves and two of the alpaca shawls (and I traded one for silver/dichroic jewelry). We didn't even need many bags because people wore what they bought.

I warped up the Wolf Pup last weekend with the first blue and orange Houndstooth scarves. They are made from Perle cotton and if I say so they look pretty good. I still have tencel shawls to weave and some brown alpaca scarves on the Mighty Wolf. Sarah worked on one of those at fiber group on Monday. The warp seems a little sticky. I hope to play with the Weavebird and weave off the rest of the warp on it and then put on white bamboo to make some baby blankets. So many ideas, not enough play time!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Kentuck is coming...

I've been busy weaving houndstooth scarves and haven't gotten very far on the tencel shawls. Not much time for weaving but like it or not Kentuck will soon be here. A funny on me, I wove one houndstooth scarf double the size needed. It hung to the floor and beyond on me. We'll have to cut it in half and hem both of them. I've been requested to weave some houndstooth in Blue and Orange WAR EAGLE! Those will be next on the Wolf Pup. I have another alpaca warp on the Mighty Wolf, camel with dark brown stripes, may throw in some white in some of them. Kind of a window pane pattern. I hope to get at least a couple done before Kentuck.

Good news, we finally got the Weavebird going. I haven't gotten to weave on it much but will play more after Kentuck. When I get the practice warp woven off, I'll have to learn how to warp it differently than I do the other looms. I do enjoy weaving on her though.

I entered a contest sponsored by Schacht Looms for the 40th Anniversary. My entries were one of the "Fire" tencel shawls. The other was a bamboo table runner. They had 400 entries (spinning, weaving, and videos). Out of those they chose 158 as finalists to send their articles in. I was in the finalist group with the shawl, but didn't make the final cut. I think about one-third was chosen altogether. I was happy to be a finalist. I hope they put the winning pieces on their website.

We are having a great time in our fiber group. I hope to meet the mothers of our two Auburn students. They both happen to be Home Ec teachers in different parts of the state. Hopefully they can come to our group while they are on a school break. I get more weaving done on Monday nights than the rest of the week.

Tomorrow is Saturday, have to start tagging, pricing and packing but hopefully will get some weaving done also.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fall is coming quick!

My goodness where did August go? I finished up the three tencel shawls from the last posting and I am very pleased with them. I have almost completed warping another set of tencel shawls, this time in black/purple/pink/turquoise. Can't wait to see how they weave up. I finished up the 8" wide Houndstooth alpaca scarves and now have narrow Houndstooth alpaca scarves on the Wolf Pup for Kentuck, and am winding a warp of camel/chocolate alpaca for scarves on the Mighty Wolf and I "think" we've got the Weavebird working, just have to resley the reed. Weaving on it will be a lot different from the other looms, sure hope I like it since Bob has put so much work into it. It should be great for intricate patterns. I love three day weekends. Kentuck will be here before I know it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Table Runners off the loom, Tencel Shawls on...

Instead of working on the Houndstooth scarves this week I decided to weave off the placemat warp making looooonnnggg table runners with a thicker yarn so I could have heavier runners and get finished quicker. I did one in yellow cotton that was 104" long on the loom. I'll have to measure it after it was washed, dried, ironed and hemmed. The next one was a varigated yarn in fall colors about the same length. The last one was shorter and I used a blue yarn that I have a lot of, in different colors so I could see how it works up. I'm not sure what the yarn is but it works well as a table runner though it had a lot of extra dye in it so I had to rinse it several times until the water was clear. Now I am hemming them by hand. Saturday I started winding an 8 yard warp for three tencel shawls. The main color is a varigated tencel named "Fire". It's a red/yellow/rust yarn and I can't wait to see what it looks like woven. I am almost finished warping after working on it Saturday and Sunday. It is 24 ends per inch, 20" wide so it takes a lot longer to prepare.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Houndstooth and more....

I got to weave most of Saturday and Sunday afternoon last weekend. In between while resting my shoulders and neck I worked on kumihimo. Choosing different fibers and colors to put together is fun and it's restful and soothing to work on. You don't have to think, your fingers just move and a beautiful braid is finished before you know it. I taught my 8 year old granddaughter when she spent the night Friday and she's doing an "Auburn" braid. I finished three Houndstooth scarves and a 104" yellow table runner and am working on a varigated tablerunner in fall colors. I'm trying to get that warp off so I can put tencel shawls on. October will be here before I know it. I'll put pictures of the blue shawls, houndstooth and runners soon.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blue is through!

I breezed through the blue scarves , listening to books on tape, weaving each one with a different weft. Monday I wound spools for a black and white alpaca warp, put it on the loom and threaded it Tuesday and Wednesday. I have been listening to a book on tape called "The Friday Night Knitting Club" which was a fun read. Last year after weaving two Houndstooth scarves of alpaca and the rest in stripes, I found out that Bear Bryant wore Houndstooth and everyone at the University of Alabama loves it! Why didn't someone tell me that years ago??? It also happened to be back in style again last fall. I started weaving houndstooth scarves this evening. They require 20 ends per inch which is 40 spools to be wound. The other scarves I have been doing have had around 10 ends per inch with larger threads and are done in plain weave. Houndstooth is a twill pattern, changing from black to white every four throws of the shuttles, using two shuttles instead of one, so it is a more complicated pattern. Alpaca is a wonderful yarn, soft, warm, waterproof and what I use is from Peru.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Goings On....

Wow, it's been over a month since I've posted anything. I have done "some" weaving and have managed to get the red scarf warp woven off. I took pictures last Saturday but someone cut our internet wires so I'm just now getting back to finishing this posting. I'm not too happy with the pictures but... I did every scarf a little bit different with a little bit of "bling" in the last one, a tiny thread of red lurex that gives a sparkle to the scarf. Blue is up next which was wound, warped and one scarf partially woven last weekend. That's as far as I've gotten. It's been so hot that it's been hard to weave so I've been working on some beading. I started a neckpiece probably three years ago that I hadn't worked on for at least two years but picked it up and started working on it yesterday. I also did a necklace with the St. Petersburg stitch which for some reason is my favorite beading stitch. Beading is really quite meditative and I can do it while listening to a book on tape while Bob is watching a ballgame or Nascar. I'm hoping Bob will work on the weave loom this Fourth of July weekend so we can get it up and running.

At the end of June we went to a Fiber Gathering in Cullman, AL. Weavers from all over Alabama were invited and I think we came from furthest away, three hours to get there, three hours there and three hours back. It was held in a farm museum with no airconditioning and was HOT, but a lot of fun. I think there were 30 of us plus quite a few husbands, from Cullman, B'ham, Huntsville, Boaz, Gadsden and Auburn. Three Guilds had different techniques for us to try, mud painting, needle felting and kumihimo. What fun we had, like kids painting with mud. It was too hot for me to needle felt so I brought that really neat kit home to do later. I almost didn't try the kumihimo and it turned out to be so addicting that I'm still doing it. Basically it's a Japanese braiding technique and all needed is a hexagon shaped piece of cardboard with a hole in the middle and cuts in each section with 7 pieces of yarn tied together and pulled up from underneath. One piece of yarn goes in each slot with one empty. The third thread from the right is put into the empty hole, you turn the hexagon to the right and take the third thread from the right down to the empty slot, and continue. It's so easy a child could do it, but so relaxing. Nanette came over last Sunday and learned in about 3 minutes. It will work nicely in her scrumbling. Since I have so many yarns I could try different combinations forever to get a totally different look. Want some handcrafted shoestrings anyone? They even had doorprizes and I won one and Bob did too. Now he has a tool holder for his knitting needles (not) and I got a bag to hold fleece. I'm collecting Samson's hair so Sarah Hall can spin it for me when she gets her spinning wheel. By the way, Samson got his summer hair cut and we don't recognize him. If we had gotten his hair we could have probably had enough to spin and weave a coat LOL! Well, back to my beading.....

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Purple Scarf Warp is History here comes RED!

The Purple Scarf Warp is finished. The warp is three different fine purple acrylic yarns twisted together on the yarn twister/ball machine and the lighter purple cotton flake yarn. The first weft was the same acrylic material as the warp. The other four scarf wefts were two different purple flake yarns from Mo Purl Company (Auburn, AL) and a varigated tencel from Webs (can't remember the name of it), that has rust/green/turquoise/purple in it. They all have a very nice “hand” and I’m pleased with the results. Now to wash, dry and trim the fringes not to mention photographing, name tags and pricing.

Now I'm getting ready to do a red/black warp. I have some very fine red/black acrylic that I'm mixing with a fine red rayon using the yarn twister/ballwinder (thanks to Nannette who inspired me to start using it again to ply fine yarns together to create a completely "new" yarn). This will be warped with some plain red warps in a heavier rayon. I'll do enough for five scarves which will all be a little bit different so I don't get bored.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Home Again!

I had a great time at the Folk School as usual. I got there about 4 pm on Friday, got settled in with my room mate from Illinois a great roommate, with a great sense of humor. We didn't get much sleep. We started our class Friday evening and our teacher was full of energy. She had lots of samples of her work, yarn to dye, yarns she had dyed, color everywhere. Saturday we found out as with other disciplines, the dyeing part took the least amount of time. Other steps including winding the skeins, scouring the yarn, mixing the mordant with water, mixing the dye, preparing the tables with plastic and newspapers, dampening the newspaper,applying the dye to the yarn, letting it set for as long as possible, then spinning, boiling, rinsing and spinning! Ten students dyed at least 40 skeins of yarn, tee shirts, socks, sheets and pillow cases. With that much to finish, one washing machine and one stove eye working, and a fish cooker that wouldn't boil, we stayed pretty late, even after commandering the quilters stove and another stove in the dairy barn. One student took command and had everything in order with yarn in bucketslined up in order of what needed to be done next. Otherwise we may have still been there! When we arrived Sunday morning we were greeted with clotheslines full of colorful yarns hanging outside, so beautiful. My room mate and a friend from B'ham were in the felting class. They liked the technique and the fact that it could be done anywhere, little equipment is needed and it is relatively inexpensive. There is such a creative spirit in those mountains. Since everyone is there to create something the atmosphere is just charged with creativity. Other classes included faux painting, wine making (one student told me they called it cooking for the Baptists LOL!), blacksmithing, metal clay jewelry, wood turning, quilting and bark baskets. There were also 48 men there from all over the United States from the Timber Framer's Guild to add a post and beam structure onto the blacksmith shop. They are taking two weeks out of their lives to work on this project. Some of them had to pay room and board to be there, to learn how to do the post and beam techniques. Others have their own companies building P&B homes and took time from their business to teach others and the Folk School. I can't wait to get back up there to see the results of their labor for the next two weeks. A weekend just isn't long enough to be in the mountains.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Going to the Folk School for a Weekend Class

I'm so excited to be going to the mountains and to the John C. Campbell Folk School outside Murphy, NC if only for the weekend. The class is on dyeing cotton, rayon or linen yarns, space-dyed, ikat style and solids with teacher Kathrin Weber Scott. She has been a full-time, self-employed dyer and weaver since 1980. I'm taking different size cottons and some bamboo since I have about 20 lbs of white bamboo. Maybe I'll look for some different colors to overdye. I'll take pictures to post!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Purple Scarves on the Loom

I had a few minutes to wind a warp one day, then wind onto the loom and thread the next day. For warp I used three fine threads twisted together in different purples. I wound some flake cotton with some tencel too but that just wouldn't wind on so I gave up and will use that for warp. I have a couple of pictures if I can figure out how to post those. I don't think I wove many scarves last year so I'm having to totally restock for this fall. So far I've done a series of five brown scarves 8" x 70" plus fringe and four tencel scarves 6" x 70", in blue/purple/mineral green/rust on a varigated warp with all of those colors. I really liked the green one and usually green wouldn't be my pick. We worked on the Weavebird this morning, re-doing some of the threading, then fired her up and "tried" to weave. I had get my trusty mechanic down here and he finally figured out that some of the cords were twisted in the mechanism and thinks He will have to tear it apart and re-do them. What time frame that will get done in is anyone's guess. It's a good thing I have other looms to work on. I have a placemat/tablerunner warp on the Schacht 46" and have woven 4 blue placemats and 4 purple ones for an order. Now I'm doing a black and white table runner. It's a pattern I've never done before, called "Upholstery from Finland" out of the Davidson book. I really like the pattern, it can either be done in blocks or stripes. I have done both and like the stripes best, especially since they are easier to do, I don't have to remember so many treadlings. Well I'll sign off for now, and see if I can put pictures up of the purple warp, first purple scarf on the loom and the black and white runner on the loom.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Beginnings of My Blog

To introduce myself, I am one of two weavers of Kindred Spirit Weavers. I am going to attempt to keep a record of my weaving life on this blog. I have been a fiberholic for as long as I can remember, back to the days of making potholders about age 8, taught myself to knit about age 10, then sewing which I am not fond of but had 8 years of in 4-H, embroidery,traditional rug hooking, then weaving, my passion since 1983. I am pretty much self taught which means I only know one way of doing some parts of the weaving process which isn't always the most efficient way so it's a good thing I don't have to depend on weaving to make a living. I recently acquired a Weavebird computerized loom which is going to require that I learn some new techniques in warping and threading but will give me a whole new world of pattern weaving. Up to this point I have used more color and texture than patterns so I am looking forward a whole new learning experience. Recently I took a 2 day class with Laura Fry, a wonderful Canadian weaver learning different weave structures, and am going to John C. Campbell Folk School for a weekend class by Kathrin Weber Scott on Dyeing cotton the end of this month. This year is one of new friends, new ideas, learning new techniques and now blogging. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?