Tuesday, July 24, 2012


At Retreat in June, I had a conversation with my friend Martha, a fellow guild member, about introversion. We have a lot in common, Martha and I - we crave alone-time, we dislike crowds, we are disturbed by loud sounds, we prefer a good book to a movie, we need to retreat after socializing. Martha recommended the book "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain. I just got around to it, and only a few pages in, the book already resonates well with me.

Laura Fry (another fellow introvert) is reading the book as well, and brought it up on her excellent weaving blog, "Weaving A Life". In her comments, someone linked this TED talk video with Susan Cain, and I'd like to share it with you here. If you're an introvert (or you love someone who is introverted) I think you'll find it interesting.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rainbow Towels In Progress

I got the Rainbow Towel warp on the loom, and started weaving yesterday. This huck lace pattern is an easy-to-remember repeat (12 picks) and goes quickly. I've done the first with a medium blue weft and the second in burgundy:

Next I think I'll use the silvery-grey color (called 'birch')...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tour de Fleece Roundup

Here's my haul for the Tour. I had lofty plans that were totally derailed by my unexpected love affair with the charkha. :) Still, I did spin quite a bit of yarn, and I'm in love with all of it.

Left to right:

Enchanted Knoll Farm "Pass The Pie, Please" - 6 oz, chain-ply, 310 yards worsted weight
Enchanted Knoll Farm "Treasure Chest" - 4 oz, 2-ply, 220 yards, worsted weight
Southern Cross Fibre "Deep Thoughts" and "Irises" combo, 8 oz, 2-ply, worsted weight
Cotton - 2.5 oz, 2-ply, 800 yards, 10/2 cotton weight (laceweight)
Southern Cross Fibre "Rocky Coast" - 3.9 oz, 2-ply, 150 yards, worsted weight
Hello Yarn "Red Velvet" - 4 oz, chain-ply, 390 yards, sockweight
Hello Yarn "Throwing Stones" on bobbin - 4 oz, yardage unknown

Total: 2370+ yards, 2 pounds.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I switched gears on my Tour de Fleece bike and decided to spin cotton on the charkha. I've wanted to gain more charkha proficiency, so my friend David (of Southern Cross Fibre) and I challenged ourselves to spin enough cotton 2-ply weft for a set of 4 handwoven napkins. We'll need 650-700 yards of 2-ply yarn, ~4800ypp, and we'll use commercial cottolin (that David has dyed in yummy colors for us) as the warp.

Here's my progress so far - 500 yards of 2-ply:

I love charkha-spinning. I'm going to spin another 200 yards of cotton, and then I'll explore spinning some animal fibers like cashmere and yak, along with some recycled denim fibers. FUN!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rainbow Towel Warp

I wound a new warp for dishtowels today - I wanted color, color, color! This warp used 11 colors of 10/2 mercerized cotton, wound in color sections with lots of random blending. 532 ends plus 2 floating selvages. I'm using a draft from Weaver's Craft magazine, a huck lace. It'll give a lot of texture to go with the color.  The warp is 8.5 yards long, enough for 9 towels. I wound the warp in two bouts - it wouldn't all fit on my warping mill at the same time.

Tomorrow I'll sley the reed and start threading the heddles. I'm eager to get this warp on the loom!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Handwoven Huckleberry Dishtowels

You know, I really thought I blogged these. Apparently not. I wove them last year, but they've sat in my hemming basket awaiting needle and thread. Finally I've done the hand-hemming (I prefer that over machine-hemming, mainly because I'm all thumbs with the sewing machine) and taken some pictures. I've listed them in my Etsy shop - I have 6 available. I also had a short one (end of the warp) that I'm keeping for ME. They remind me of my beloved Montana, and of my friend Sandi who lives there (and bakes huckleberry muffins each time I visit - so the first towel I hemmed was gifted to her!)

The details: I used 6/2 unmercerized cotton (with 20/2 cotton in plum for hems and hemming), in mulberry and purple. The structure is log cabin. The finished towels are 26" x 18". They're soft and absorbent, and will be more so over time and laundering.

I'm transitioning us to using cloth towels in the kitchen and cloth napkins at the table. Not just environmentally friendly, but more pleasing to the hand and the eye!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

SAORI Red Shawl - Finished!

The finished shawl is 70" x 13.5", with a 7" handknotted fringe on each end. It washed up so nicely - very soft, with lovely drape. The main body of the shawl is cottons, with rayon and bamboo and novelty accents. I'm really happy with this piece!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Saori RED - Workshop Piece

I'm at a Saori workshop, assisting my friend Cheryl, who is a certified Saori instructor. Eight wonderful ladies have driven here from Florida to learn how to weave Saori-style. They are all traditional weavers who are eager to add Saori weaving to their 'toolboxes'.

Here's my warp on the loom:

And the weaving in progress:

I think it's going to be a shawl when it grows up. :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tour de Fleece progress

So far so good - I've spun 3 braids of fiber, 4 oz each.

I spun up two different Southern Cross Fibre braids (Irises shetland and Deep Thoughts oatmeal BFL) and plied them together. I really like the result. I got 500 yards of sportweight squishy 2-ply yarn.

And I've spun up a braid of Hello Yarn 'Red Velvet' shetland:

I'll chain-ply it tomorrow.

Having great fun spinning away!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Handwoven: Rep Weave runner

I love my New Orleans Weavers/Spinners Guild. Creative women encouraging one another in the fiber arts - I'm so very glad to have found them! A smaller group of us meets once every two months to weave a different structure together - many are new weavers who need more experience warping their looms and have never tried some of the warp structures we're experimenting with, so this is great for them. I have fun too, and get to do some mentoring (and I learn a lot too - there are lots of things I haven't yet tried!) We call ourselves "Weavin' Chicks" and have a great time together.

Our focus this weekend was Rep Weave, and we used a draft from Weaver's Craft magazine (highly recommended - really good info) for rep weave placemats. I chose to weave a runner instead, and had some interesting moments when trying to make sure it was mirrored on each end. I like this structure - had fun weaving it, and will definitely do it again. I used 5/2 cotton in red and blue for the warp and the binder weft, and 8/8 white cotton for the heavy weft.

Here's my runner - I'll cut the ends off and turn under the hems and then wash it, and I'd better do it tomorrow, because I used red/white/blue so I could have it for the 4th of July, and that's Wednesday!