Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

For unto us a Child is born...

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Handwoven Gold Waterfall

Here's the first project on my new Saori loom, though I didn't weave it Saori-style. I've had this rayon/silk yarn for awhile - I got it from a Ravelry destash, and have been petting it for months, trying to decide how best to use it. I decided to use tencel as its weft, and wove a shawl as my Saori loom's first effort.  I love how the finished shawl turned out - after hemstitching, twisting the fringe, giving it a gentle wash, and a good pressing, it has fantastic drape and shine.

Handwoven Gold Shawl

Handwoven Gold Shawl

Handwoven Gold Shawl

The shawl/wrap is a generous 75" x 14", with 6" handtwisted fringe on each end. The rayon/silk was divine to weave. I think I need to get some more!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All Hemmed Up and Ready To Go!

There were 14 towels altogether in this last batch - from a 13 yard warp. Each towel is 16"x24" and handhemmed. My daughter insisted that we keep one for our kitchen. :) The other 13 are ready for their new homes. This was a fun project, and now I'm ready for the next one!

Handwoven Rainbow Towels

Handwoven Rainbow Towels

Handwoven Rainbow Towels

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fresh off the loom!

The latest batch of rainbow dishtowels is done! I've cut the whole batch off the loom, and now it's in the washing machine. Next it goes in the dryer, until only slightly damp, then I'll cut them apart, press, and hem. Yay!

Handwoven Rainbow towels - DONE!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Chouwa: my new loom!

Here's the latest addition to my loom family - just arrived today! She's a Saori loom, the 60 model (floor loom, , square frame, non-folding).

 Saori 60 2H loom

The wood is birch, and just lovely, with beautiful figuring. Tiny footprint, too - 24" deep by 26" wide, with a 23" weaving width. Only 2 harnesses - this loom comes in either 2 or 4 harness models, I opted for the 2. I wanted this loom for plainweave shawls and scarves and blankets, and didn't need more harnesses on it - I have the Macomber and the Baby Wolf for complex patterns.

Her name is "Chouwa" - it's Japanese (because she's from Japan) for "harmony, balance, tranquility". My spinning wheel has a similar name, from the Navajo - "Hozho"... the name of my blog, too. Spinning and weaving keep me grounded and centered - balanced.

The mechanics/ergonomics of the loom are wonderful. The brakes for both cloth and warp beams are hand-operated, it has an on-board bobbin winder, and the action of the loom is SO quiet.

I look forward to many years of making lovely peaceful loom music together!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

More Scarves - Picture Roundup

As you know, I'm not terribly fond of the photography side of weaving. I could skip it altogether if I didn't want to show them to you and to list them in my shop. Alas, it's a necessary evil. Maybe I could add "joy in photography" to my Christmas list!

Here's the Advancing Twill scarf I wove in an early November workshop. It's two colors of 8/2 bamboo, and I really like the feel/hand of the bamboo fabric. It's silky and soft with great shine, similar to tencel. This one is 64" x 9", with hemstitching and handtwisted 6" fringe on each end.

Next up is a pair of tencel scarves that I wove in October, woven on the same warp - variegated purple/blue/green tencel, with a navy tencel weft for one and a black tencel weft for the other. Both scarves are 64" x 9", with hemstitching and handtwisted 6" fringe on each end.

Black tencel weft

Black tencel weft

Navy tencel weft

Navy tencel weft
And finally, two chenille scarves that I wove for my sister-in-law. I'd hoped to see her at Thanksgiving, but she wasn't able to attend our family feast, so they're being mailed. I wove this in plainweave at 16 epi/ppi, and gave them the "tennis ball treatment" in the dryer after washing. They're buttery kitten soft.

I'm weaving on the rainbow dishtowels today - I've got 4 done (2 pink, 2 teal) and am working on #5. I'm hoping to have them all woven by Friday so I can start the hand-hemming. Fun!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fotography Friday

Forgive the spelling - I couldn't resist. :)

I've got such a backlog of weaving and spinning to photograph - I'm trying to play a little catch-up here!

I've got 2 scarves and a table runner to show you - they've all been finished for awhile, but haven't had their beauty shots until now...

Handwoven Purple Illusion - this is a shadow weave scarf, woven with 10/2 in two different shades of purple:

Handwoven Northern Lights Scarf, woven in a faux-faux-ikat style - the warp is "fairy dust" yarn from Enchanted Knoll Farm, with a lovely subtle sparkle, and the weft is tencel:

Handwoven Overshot Runner, in 10/2 cotton and 5/2 cotton:

And for reading this far, your reward is a sneak peak of the warp I'm winding for the NEXT batch of random rainbow towels:

This is 1/5 of the warp - with a 13 yard warp, I can only fit so many threads (110) on the warping mill before it cries "I'm full, I'm full!" So I chain it off, set it aside, and start a new bout. This warp will be 5 chains, since I need 550 threads for these towels.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Handwoven Huck Rainbow Towels, Finished!

I finally got them all hand-hemmed and photographed! I must confess, the picture-taking is my least favorite thing in the entire process... I'd much rather be weaving! I ended up with 14 towels altogether - 2 of them are reserved for my kitchen, the other 12 went right into the Etsy shop (and as of this afternoon, 8 are already gone - Edit: oh, my! All 12 towels are gone!!!). I wove pairs - 2 pink, 2 purple, 2 navy, 2 teal, 2 burgundy, and 2 black. They're 16" x 24" and nicely textured with the huck structure.

Fun to weave, fun to use! I only have handwoven towels in my kitchen now, in all sorts of colors and structures. They add whimsy and pleasure to the otherwise joyless job of doing the dishes. :)

I may have to wind another dishtowel warp soon... I miss throwing that shuttle! (Edit: since they're all gone so fast, I've started winding a new rainbow warp tonight!)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thought I'd pop in for a quick minute to say hello! I've been busy weaving these past few weeks! Since last I reported in, I've finished the Rainbow Towels (must photograph and then list in the Etsy shop - they'll make great Christmas gifts), attended a fun and creative Saori-Kai (Saori retreat), and woven two silky-soft chenille scarves for my SIL Lisa. Time is short today - there's cooking and then eating to be done - so no pictures... I'll get on that this weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends and family! I'm thankful for each and every one of you, and for the joy that weaving and spinning have brought into my life. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rainbow Towels in Progress...

I spent the weekend in the company of wonderful friends, the Weavin' Chicks - learning to weave Advancing Twill. We wove a scarf from bamboo, and learned that "Advancing Twill" means "a zillion picks per repeat"! We managed to get some lovely scarves woven - here's mine, before fringe-twisting and washing (I promise a better picture when it's done):

Happy to be able to report some progress on the Rainbow towel warp. Since I have 12 towels on this warp, I decided to weave 6 pairs of weft colors. The first two towels are PINK:

The second set of two towels is PURPLE:

And the third set is BURGUNDY:

I'll weave more tomorrow - I'm hoping to finish the whole warp tomorrow and Wednesday, so I can bring it to show off at the Saori retreat this weekend. A group of us are meeting at my friend Cheryl's Weavin' Place Saori-Style studio-in-the-woods for a Saori "Kai" ("sharing time") retreat, and as a special treat, my dearest friend Sherie is coming from Amarillo for the weekend! I can't wait to see her again.

I've also made great progress on my husband's sweater yarn - I've got two 4-ounce bobbins spun, and am working on the third (of four). This will be my first 4-ply yarn, and I can't wait to start plying, because the colors are gorgeous (pictures tomorrow, I hope!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Warped Rainbow

The warp is on the loom, and I love the look of it.

I've started weaving the first towel - pictures tomorrow when I've made some progress.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Never Enough Rainbows!

I enjoyed weaving those rainbow dishtowels a lot! So yesterday I wound another rainbow warp. I'll weave this on my Baby Wolf, in a huck lace, like the last set of towels. Like that last warp, this is a randomized rainbow, designed as I selected threads to wind on the mill. I'm spending today threading the heddles and tying on the warp:

I wound the warp in 5 bouts, because it's a 13 yard warp (for 12 towels) and I couldn't fit more than 110 threads at a time on my warping mill.

Editing to add the draft info: It's from the July/July 2000 issue of Weaver's Craft, #3 - I used the draft from the "Carribean Plaid Huck Towels", but converted it to use 10/2 cotton and a 19.75" weaving width. More details in my Ravelry project page.

It's cool here today - temps in the upper 50's F.  Such a lovely fresh breath of air - it finally feels like Fall!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Handwoven SAORI Blue

I have so much catching up to do - the fall sweater's body is done and I'm knitting the sleeves, I've finished the tencel twill scarves and the shadow weave scarf, and I've spun several skeins of yarn - but the only thing I've got photographed right now is the SAORI Blue shawl/wrap/scarf:

I used mixed cottons, bamboo, rayon, and fun novelty yarns in both the warp and weft. I love weaving Saori - it's "no rules, just fun!"

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Spin, Spin, Spin

I'm always spinning... spinning makes me happy! Here are a few yarns I finished in the past few weeks:

Silk (mulberry/bombyx), in blood red tones - laceweight, 3-ply, 320 yards:

Fun spectrum rainbow colors, superwash merino - n-ply, sportweight, 100 yards:

Multicolor mix, Fruit Salad - 2-ply worsted weight, 220 yards:

Submerge (Southern Cross Fibre Club), shetland sock yarn - 3-ply sockweight, 315 yards:

There's more silk on my wheel right now - spinning silk is like spinning liquid metal. I love it!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Slowly But Surely

The sweater grows:

I've knit 12" of the body so far. The fabric is so light yet warm - my husband has requested a handspun sweater of his own! WOW - he's Mr. Barefeet-And-Shorts-In-The-Wintertime - I'm excited to be able to knit wool for him. His only experience with wool sweaters has been with big bulky uncomfortably HOT sweaters - he was surprised that wool can be made light and airy. I love spinning fingering weight 3-ply, so that's no burden. I'll dig through the extensive stash and see what I can find - his only requirement was "darker tones". Can do!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Handwoven Tencel Twill Scarf

At the end of August, I warped the borrowed Megado loom for some tencel scarves in a fancy twill.

My friend Susan Harvey of "Thrums" shared the draft (which she used for some gorgeous bookmarks) in this blogpost. I really liked the pattern, but discovered that the 153 picks per repeat couldn't be programmed into the mechanical dobby on the loom - it has only 130 dobby bars. Hmmm. So I turned the draft (swapped the treadling with the threading) and tweaked it a bit, and then I only needed 119 bars.

I got it all warped up, and then... I got busy with other things (commission spinning, the rainbow towels, etc.) and the warp languished on the loom.

My friend Jenny (who allowed me to babysit her loom while she was in England for 6 months) has returned home, and would like her loom back, thank you. :) So I got busy weaving, and now the scarves are well in progress. I really like the way they're turning out.

The warp is a variegated tencel in blue/purple/green, and the weft is black. The little yellow flower pin is marking my progress - I measure, then record the progress and move the pin.

The Kitsune/Harvest sweater is progressing nicely as well - I'm halfway through the decrease section of the body:

 Of course, it won't be cold enough to wear it until late November, so I have plenty of time to knit!