summer flowers

summer flowers

Friday, March 25, 2016

Towels are finished and ready to sale

I have been spending time with my sisters.  First, our big project this spring is planning a 90th Birthday party for my Mom and her twin sister.  Trying to make it a special time, but not going overboard is quite a job.  We are looking at lots of pictures of "the twins" and planning a time line for display.  It's fun to spend time laughing about all the pictures of ourselves that we find in Mom's boxes.

We, "the sisters", also spent several hours at the Vintage Whites Sale.  It was much more crowded than I expected and it took some time to explore the different booths.  We all bought things but I think I got the most, although I did not spend the most.
My haul
Here is my purchases.  I did not get the roses, but the frog in the bottom of the vase was my purchase.  I have wanted a smaller frog for a while and I was thrilled to find one.  It was the most expensive piece I got.  The lace worker picture is one from some magazine,  they mounted it on a board, I will probably cut down the board to frame it.  I love that it shows the water bulb and candle the lace makers used to light their work.  I need a brighter light and sometimes I need magnification when I do my lace.  The little bag is micro needlepoint and is lined with silk.  The clasp is missing something along the top edge (the price tag is there now) and I am deciding what to weave or bead to replace it.  I also need to restitch the join on the clasp on both sides.  Over the bag is a small linen hankie.  I have been limiting myself on these...I have so many and I have not made lace borders for many of them.  Under the bag is a fillet work runner.  I really love fillet work.  This runner may be able to go on the table under the window in the livingroom.  I have several fillet work pieces mounted on the window for my valance.

My lace valance

I finished the Bumberet towels...washed and ironed and ready for sales.  I was surprised about how the hems worked out.  I pulled out the old sample that I wove in Leslie Ruby's class several years ago and the hem was even worse on it.  This piece has been washed and dried several times.  

This towel is a left over bit from the samples I wove in the class.  The plain weave hem is on both sides and is hand hemmed.  It makes a beautiful ruffle at the end of the towel!

Back of towels

Here are three of the towels after I hemmed, washed and dried them.  I did not do any ironing on them, yet.  The bottom towel has a plain weave hem and was hand stitched, the middle towel has a plain weave hem and was machine stitched (I used a blind hem stitch), the top towel has a bumberet hem and is machine hemmed using the same stitch.  I was surprised how smooth the plain weave is with the machine stitching.  Does that line of stitching prevent some of the ruffling?

Front of towels
On the front of the towels, you can see some ruffling on the bottom one, but the other two look pretty good.

I learned that I need to think about the structure on the hems when I weave my towels.  I like the bumberet structure, it make a substantial towel, even out of the 8/2 cotton, and I like the chevron pattern better than the column pattern.
Chevron Pattern

Column Pattern

I took several "Beauty Shots" of the towels, but I need to get better at the layout.

Yellow and pink towels with Easter Bunny

Pink chevron and pink column towels with Desert Rose

Yellow and Rust towels with sheep

Beige column towel with tricycle

Friday, March 4, 2016

It's Spring

I was so excited when I saw my crocus blooming in the lawn, I ran back into the house to let by DH know that I had "five crocus blooming".  There has been more coming every day, and daffodils are showing buds. 

Many years ago, I had a couple of trees with crocus around them.  We took out the trees when they got too big, we dug up all the crocus and put in lawn.  Of course, the crocus still came up, but then they started coming up in the lawn down wind of the original plantings.  I look forward to these wild white crocus every year. 

As I said I only have daffodil buds so far, last year at this time I had full blossoms.  They looked great in the morning and were covered with snow in the afternoon.  Typical of Spring, this year I'm waiting longer for the daffodils.

I am excited about my DH also.  For the first time today, he dressed in regular clothes and went out himself to get the paper.  Since he had the fluid drained from his abdomen (almost 2.5 gallons), he has been able to breath better and move around better.  It is great to see him feeling better and I hope he continues to show improvement.

I lost my camera, in the mess of moving stuff around for my DH to be only on the main floor of the house.  (Really, I should say I found it in one of my bags of stuff I carry to class and the studio...not really his fault.  But it is easier to blame the sickness such.)  I was upset about not being able to take pictures of the few things that I have been doing, so no blog...sorry.

I finished the bumberet towel repair.  I had several treadling errors and spent too much time fixing them.  I decided that there was so much happening in my life that was out of my control (husband's illness and hospital stay), that having control over the correction of the towels helped me cope.  I corrected all of them...they look great.

I'm not sure how well you can see the error, it would really have looked bad after washing, but thanks to my jeweler's loupe, I was able to see the error well and this pattern is fairly easy to fix.

My new problem with these towels showed up after the wash.  (Yes, I found another error I needed to repair.)  But the new problem was the ruffled hems.

This looks so bad, after I hem, there will always be a ruffled/gathered look.  I just followed the pattern in "Handwoven" maybe I should have tested some stuff. I do have one towel that is only half size, so I will do some hem tests on that one with a plain weave hem on one end and a bumberet hem on the other to check out how it washes.  The towels feel good and should make a great kitchen towel...more colorful that I usually use, but I figured lots of people like a little color to brighten the day.

I finished the five yards of lace that I have been working on.  I really did get tired of that pattern, I guess because I have been working on it pretty steady.  I am now thinking of a very narrow lace to go on an apron that I have been thinking about.  And I need to pull down my other pillows from they shelves to see if I have any other half done lace.  I would like to spend some time doing some bookmarks.  I would like to have some available to give to friends.

I finished preparing the roving for my spinning.  I ended up splitting the roving in 16th's and I will spin it about the size of the 18/2 I am going to use for the ground.  I decided to two ply the yarn.  It will be two to four times the size of the ground thread when I finish and I think will look good in the threading pattern I have decided on.  
Little balls of roving and the ground thread

I decided to clean and oil the spinning wheel first, it has not been used for some time and needs a cleaning.  It is so much more fun to work on when it looks new and shiny!

I also pulled out some handspun yardage that I made.  I am hoping to make an additional length so that it can be a short kimono style jacket.  We'll have to see how much it fulls down to when I wash it.  
Plaited twill in handspun
This is the piece that I put on the Woolhouse loom to test the loom.  I loved working on the loom and the eight shaft pattern worked out great...except for one place I found when I took it off the loom.
Treadling error
I printed out the draw-down to see if I could correct the problem.  I spent several hours, but gave up.  The error is only about four inches from the end, so I will just cut it off for a sample in the records.  I have another skein of the dark yarn I used as the weft.  I will see if it is enough for a band and side panels to make the jacket.

My DD made the cutest bracelet.  She used that nasty tasting, heart shaped candy that you see for sale at Valentines Day.  

The hearts are dipped in resin so that you can still wash you hands when you wear it.