Saturday, July 30, 2011

Little Scamp

Last summer my dad and I went to Texas to visit my sister (who now lives in Utah!) and on the way to Caddo Lake, I thought I saw a weaving shop.

Good thing the road construction slowed us down, because it really was a weaving shop called Rose Path Weaving .  This store was kind of fun and unique because they had all kinds of fun little rooms in the store set up for each fiber craft.  I think people could even rent little spaces to sell their things.  My brother-in-law said I had 5 minutes, so I quickly went shopping!  I found this bag of beautiful and soft fiber from a mystery animal named Little Scamp.  The color is gorgeous and the texture is so soft you almost can't feel it at all!  AND it made a great travel pillow that my sister and I passed back and forth throughout the trip home!

Here is the mysterious Little Scamp:

I'm not sure if it's an alpaca or a llama.... but it's a pretty animal!  Maybe someone else can help to identify...

Anyway, at the shop I was talking with a young inexperienced spinner and she said I should NOT card the wool.... thought that was weird but I've never done this kind before so I took her advice.  When I first tried spinning it, I did nothing with it but open it up a little bit.   It was pathetically awful... this stuff doesn't stick together easily like most sheep's wool.  It's very slick and disintegrates very quickly as soon as you stop spinning.  It wasn't very fun to spin at first... so I put it away for awhile.  Well, after playing with my looms for a whole year, now I've had this itch to spin so I took it out again and tried carding it with my drum carder. 

The drum carding made a HUGE difference!

It organized the wool nicely into rolags and now it's so easy to spin.  I do have to watch it when I stop because it can still disintegrate quickly, but now I don't have to keep stopping to open up new fiber clumps.  I'm glad I gave it another try!

And I plied a small piece and it holds together really well!  In fact, it's very strong once it's plied!

I have 2 lbs to spin!  When I'm done spinning, I think Little Scamp is going to be a beautiful and soft shawl with a great Bronson Lace texture weave!

 Thanks Little Scamp somewhere in Texas for your beautiful fiber!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brown and yellow

Summer and winter dishtowel set woven in yellow tabby thread and brown pattern thread!
The pattern shows up so well with the brown and the rust yarns.

It's so pretty when you see the whole picture!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

P2P2 plaid

I've decided to press forward with the plaid blanket idea because of the time constraints, but I want to keep the other ideas on the back burner to investigate at another time.  I might be able to get some of the other ideas down before the deadline, but I feel like I need to complete something by 8/31/11 so I'm proceeding with something that I feel like I can accomplish in a month.  After this plaid, I would like to try some double weave and turned summer and winter in other projects.

So this is the original picture:

A lot of people seem to be messing with their images and I tried it, but it just doesn't feel right.  It just feels like I'm rigging it to get the colors that I want to get from it.

So I went back to the original image and I started playing with the color temperature and made it look more blue.  But I decided that it was the overall non-blue tone that I liked about the original picture.

So I made the saturation a little bit stronger.  

Then I decided to just pull colors that I saw from the original image.

I definitely see a lot of water so I want blue to represent it and green for the shrubs...

But there is also a yellow overtone in the image as a whole... so I traded out the off-white for a light yellow.

But looking closer at the photo, the roof tops have a copper color to it, and they do sparkle throughout the picture.  So maybe just one strand of the copper color in the plaid would be a good representation...

But I'm not sure if I like the yellow with all those other colors.  The off-white almost works better in this plaid... But I think I could go either way on this one.

I like them all... maybe I'll have to flip some coins...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rust and yellow

This is the same summer and winter design but I used a dark rust color instead of the light orange.  It's crazy how much more the design stands out!

And a close up:

I think a black yarn would look neat with the yellow, but unfortunately I don't have a black.  But I'm going to try a dark brown on the next one.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Goodies waiting for me!

I have some summer goodies I put away for later when I go back to work next month and things slow down for me.

 Lately I haven't been spinning much on my wheel because I have something very challenging on it.  So the first goodie I am saving for later is this souvenir from our recent trip to Washington state. I really wanted a no-brainer spinning wool, so when we went to Paradise Fibers, I picked out this lovely dark roving to play with.  It should be a nice, easy spin!  I have 2 lbs, enough for a cozy winter shawl!

I got this beautiful blue spinning dream from my local yarn store.  I think the color is gorgeous and the different bits of texture are super interesting!  I can't wait to see it all spun up!  It's a small batt, so it might make a lovely little scarf.  I think I'll use it as a weft.

 This one is super exciting!  It's cotton, rayon, and flax!  I couldn't easily capture the bits of flax sticking out throughout, but it's there and it's both interesting looking and feeling!  I'm not sure what it wants to be yet, one person suggested napkins.  That might be fun!  But I'm always a sucker for dishtowels or placemats!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


At girls camp last week, we exchanged beads amongst people we met.  Everyone had to make 15-20 original beads to exchange along the way.  I made mine out of melted glass and they looked good enough to eat! 

The girls really liked them!  And I got some cool homemade beads in return!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

P2P2 ideas

I have put together some P2P2 ideas to work with.  It was hard, but I finally have it down to 2 photos, now I just have to get my ideas out there and pick one to work with.

The first picture is so relaxing just to look at.  It is a great scenic shot of boats from Australia.  I just keep imagining myself relaxing and watching the boats.  I feel inspired by this picture to design something made of plaid in a relaxing combination of colors.  I love the gray-ish blue in this picture, and the green from the trees.  I can imagine it with an off-white.

Here is the plaid design so far:

The second picture I have in mind to work with is this one from the gardens:

I already have the yarn picked out from my vacation to Utah.

 I originally designed this:

But I'm not sure how to weave something like this.  It would be easy if I were making a quilt!

So now I want to focus on the stripes in the leaves and the elongation of them.  I picked out this pattern from page 56 in the "Eight shafts: A Place to Begin" and really like it but it does have a few flaws:

The only thing I worry about is the length of some of those float threads in the purple color.  Some are WAY long.... like 12 threads long and what's strange is that the picture in the book doesn't seem to have these floats.... weird.

Anyway, I'm glad to have finally narrowed down the choices!  I have about a month to finish the project.  No problemo!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Zip's summer and winter reference

 Zip says,  "Here's a good online reference about summer and winter!"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Balanced weave

It feels SO good to be weaving again being at girls camp for 5 days!  And I'm happy to announce that we've achieved a balance weave!  I had to cheat a little bit and do a 1a2b pattern, which is half the size it should be.  But I think it will be just fine!  And it looks great.  Here is a big shot:

And a close up shot:

I am thinking of throwing in some other pattern colors just for fun, like a brown or rust.  Maybe even a white might be fun!  I am having fun making this pattern.  I'm might cut off the first two and washing them up to see how they look.

I'm glad I figured out this balance thing!  Next time, a looser epi like 20 would be better with this 12/2 cotton.  I'll just have to try another project and weave some more!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Garden update

We're not looking so well over here in our garden.  While we were on vacation, something happened.  Maybe it is getting too much water?  We're not sure, but we're kind of sad.

We dug up some of the potatoes and cooked them and they were small but tasted good.  Here is a closeup of the plant:

But in the other garden bed, the zucchini are thriving...

Every time I turn around, more zucchini are ready to pick!  It's totally amazing!  We have so many zucchini we don't know what to do with them all!


Here's a good recipe for zucchini bread and it made 12 muffins.  I had to double it because I wanted to use an entire zucchini.

1 cup minced zucchini
1 egg
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar (I reduced this and it was still good!)
1.5 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Add all contents to blender and secure lid.  Blend.  Cook in greased muffin tins for 25 minutes.

We also made the Moosewood Restaurant's Zuccanoes

 In other garden news, the corn is looking great!

 And the apple trees are getting so big!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The quilt is coming along!!!

With all the vacations that have gotten in the way, we are rapidly running out of summertime!  BUT...  my student's quilt is all quilted!!   The machine quilter chose a perfect pink to match the back!


Here's more detail:

It turned out really nice!!  I can't wait for her to get the binding on and put it to use!

And of course, quilts and cats always go together!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summer and Winter sample

So far, the summer and winter project designed from the profile draft is coming along, however I have come across a few challenges along the way, as usual!  I found just one threading error, and it was easy enough to fix.  The only concern now is that the design looks really stretched out when I weave it.  (I think this is where sampling would have been a good idea!)  Originally I planned for 27 epi, but I wouldn't have been able to squeeze in 3 repeats of this design without 30 epi.  So that is why I went with 30.  Also, I knew right away that I wanted to use the same size pattern thread as warp thread.  But I'm sure now that I miscalculated the epi.  Because it's summer and winter, I needed to use a tabby epi, and when I did 10/2 back in April in the weave-along, I used 20 epi.  12/2 cotton is not much different in size, so maybe the 10 dent reed with 2 threads per dent (20 epi) would have been a better choice here.  Now that I think about this, I wonder what was I thinking with 30 epi?!  In order to address this, I think I might try half the treadling just to see what happens, like 1a2b instead of 1a2b1a2b.  Otherwise, I might just have to improvise along the way.

Here is a sample so far.  It's pretty even though it's stretched out!

So far the weaving width is about 22.5".  I think for a dishtowel, 4 rows will be perfect!  It will be about 32" long, plus the fringe length.  Here is a close-up photo:

I am doing my usual hem-stitch edging.  I love the way it looks in the end!  It's so pretty.

And the back of the fabric is looking good also.  Because it's the summer and winter pattern, the back is a complete opposite of the front. What is dark is light, and what is light is dark on the opposite sides.

Even though it's stretched out, I do like the colors and the design!  I'll keep experimenting!  Good thing I have an 8 yard warp!