summer flowers

summer flowers

Thursday, May 29, 2014

All I have been doing is starting projects!

I feel like I have just been starting projects and not finishing anything.  Some of these have been started for classes, (a demonstration of warping the loom, samples for examples in class) but most just get started and stay there, like I don't have the energy to finish.  

I know my fatigue has been part of the problem, I feel like I want to sleep all day long,  (I'm working on that health problem on several fronts.)  and I had several weeks of overbooked classes, and stuff; but I need to think about finishing...or at least making some headway!!

I have several looms at the weaving studio...mostly class projects to finish.
Gilmore Standard
I put on a warp for the crackle class and we all wove a sample on it, now I need to weave it off!

After I finish repairing a loom, I put a test warp on.  I replaced the brake, brake pedal, sectional beam and repaired the shafts on the 60" Leclerc loom.  I started putting on a blanket to test the width.  I ran out of yarn (miscalculation) and the 8 dent reed is too tall to fit in the beater...can I have that fixed?

The Gilmore X has the last of a rep sample on it...I need to cut fabric strips and get that one woven off, too.  

Yeah, lots of finishing to do, but the looms look better with a warp on, right?

At home I have some long standing warps that need work.  My Big Mac is the saddest of the lot.

Big Mac

Yes, it has become a "catch-all", one of the worst things I can do to a warp, but I go into the studio so seldom now that I don't see it.  (I go into the studio to put away the last night's class stuff and get out tonight's class stuff.)  Such a sad sight.

Baby Mac
This is another class sample...actually I should bee weaving on it...I have these samples due next week.

Baby Wolf
This linen warp has been a challenge to weave.  The yarn is singles and frays on the selvedges, keeping the warp wet has helped, but the fun of weaving is not there.  So I have to really talk myself into weaving.  This is supposed to be some gifts and the due date is long past!

As an aside, I was stricken with OLAD (obsessive loom acquisition disorder) early this year.  Yes, in addition to the lack of finishing pieces, I have been buying more looms to put more unfinished projects on.  I found out about a Schacht 20" table loom, old and in bad shape, I bought it for a song and then cleaned it up for my students at the studio to use.  
I had been teaching Rigid Heddle weaving on the sweet little Cricket looms, I have a fine 20" old Schacht RH loom and decided I did not need a Cricket.  Then a student contacted me..."I bought a Cricket Loom and decided I do not want it, do you know anyone that would like to buy it?"  I fell into her cunning trap...Here it is with the sample warp from the finger manipulated lace class.
New Cricket loom
I have actually been working on this one...I can move it into the study by the computer while I watch Netflix.  I need to get it emptied for a new RH class starting in June.   (Wow, June is close.)

Here is my newest loom.  I have always wanted an eight shaft Woolhouse table loom.  It had been on my wishlist for the perfect workshop loom.  When I was given the Dorothy 15 years ago, I decided to use that one and not get a Woolhouse.  Then a last month I was told Woolhouse is not making them any more, I contacted the company and bought the last one.  I love her!
I used it to demonstrate direct warping on a shaft loom in a class.  Now I have an eight shaft, plaited twill, handspun warp and no weft that will look good.  That means weaving with an ok weft or ordering a great weft...right now it is just sitting unfinished like so many things.

Even the spinning has been planned and not done.  I tried a blended version of a painted warp, I liked it and could work with it as a weft with the colors, but now I need to card four ounces of roving and that means getting out the drum carder and spending time, so just the sample is done.
Cupcake roving

 The roving is beautiful pale colors, very spring, but not in colors that I wear.  I could have used socks in this color, but the roving is not machine wash.  I figured if I have a ply of the color and a ply of blended then it will tone down the color and I could use it.  Is there enough for a short kimono style of jacket?  I could use the color for the warp and the blended for the weft, or ply a color with the blended and use it for both warp and weft...So the sample just sits on the spinning wheel and I look at it.
Sample on the bobbin

And with this on the spinning wheel, I am not able to start spinning any of the other ideas and rovings that I have purchased.

I have three beautiful rovings I want to spin and then weave.  I even split one of the rovings and pulled one to start spinning, but with the sample on the spinning wheel, I am not able to start spinning it.  I guess I could see if there are any empty bobbins around.  I keep finding spinning bobbins with half projects on them!

My biggest problem with finishing right now is some warp-weighted looms that I need to set up. These are for a film that starts in 2 weeks and I have nine seven looms to get set up.  (The film guy just showed up and we don't need to do the two big background looms.)  Some are for the background so do not need to be real perfect, but just show weaving in various stages of finish. (that should be perfect for me as I am not able to get anything finished right now).

I have three BIG ones in my garage that need to look like working looms.  I have the pottery teacher at the craft house making the weights for the bottom.  Now I just need to wait for the yarn that I ordered to get here and weave the pieces that I am going to put on the looms.  
Warp-weighted looms in my garage
These three are monster big looms.  They had to tip them sideways to just get them in the garage door!  I am not going to set them up in the true ancient method, I am going to weave a piece on a floor loom and then attach it to the looms and hang weights on them.  I think that will be much faster, and get them ready on time.

I also have six at the weaving studio, but I only need to set up four.   
Poor attempt at an "Artsy" shot of the looms
 The three medium looms will have just warps hanging on one, a partial weaving on one and maybe some finished weaving attached to the last one.  
Small loom with possible weaving
 The small loom is a little light weight, but after they bound the intersections, it seemed to be strong enough for the rag rug to be applied on.  For a loom in the background this should look good.  They will need to dull down the colors for the look that they want, but I think it will work.
Finished piece
After a couple of hours, I have a finished piece...(one out of seven done!).  I think it will work well.  I wonder if I can get a second one done today.  Is there a finished piece that I can attach to it?

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Last year I bought two lilacs for my yard.  I love lilacs, as a young girl I made up a picture and embroidered lilacs on a towel.  I have never had them in my yard, except when I lived at home...Mom has one.

I wanted a light one and a dark one.  When we got to the garden shop to pick out a couple,  I thought (from the pictures) these would look good together, but all winter in my mind I had a purple lilac and a white lilac.  Finally this spring I was pleasantly surprised to see two beautiful plants, not what I expected, but wonderful to look at and to smell. 

This is what the xeriscape looked like last year, will it look as good this year?  We have been dividing the plants and moving them to new areas along the front of the property.

Bruce planted pansy plants and primrose in the planters by the front door, they look so pretty and greet me every time I leave the house.