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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Some loom manufacturers recommend that your loom be kept out of direct sunlight, to protect the wood from drying out and cracking. When not in use my loom rests directly in front of the window, and I want to be able to open the curtains and still protect the loom. At a recent round-robin workshop, a fellow weaver brought her Schacht loom complete with homemade loom cover. She used to be a home ec and sewing teacher, so for her crafting a loom cover was probably a couple of hours of work. My brain, not being so spatially-oriented, is taking a bit longer to figure this out.

My eco-friendly take is that I shouldn’t purchase brand new fabric just to cover the loom. I took a trip to my local ARC Thrift Shop and found two Martha Stewart cotton duck curtain panels ($8 total). The panels are 42″x77″, tab-tops not included.

Loom Cover I

Loom Cover Supplies from ARC

I’ve spent two days thinking, pinning, and cutting judiciously. By making use of the existing side and bottom hems, I won’t need to hem the cover when it is done. Tailoring around a loom would seem to be easy at first, but not for the spatially-disoriented. Two tricks:
1) One side of the loom has a handle that sticks out. The clever person in the weaving workshop put in a kick-pleat.
2) My loom is wider at the bottom than at the top because of the wheels, so I need rhombus shapes instead of strict rectangles for the side pieces.

Loom Cover 2

Attempting to Tailor the Loom Cover

Next steps will be to take it off the loom and get this onto the sewing machine. I’ll keep you posted.

“We share the earth not only with our fellow human beings, but with all the other creatures.” – The Dalai Lama


“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.” – Bernard Meltzer

Or, a friend is somebody who lets you keep borrowing their truck to do stuff like move other friends or pick up looms purchased off craigslist. In partial thanks for the truck lending, Elizabeth received this Doctor Who-length bamboo scarf.

Elizabeth's Doctor Who Length Scarf

I wove it extra long so she can wrap it around twice. I used three shades of green bamboo (mint, spruce, rosemary) alternating with “cloud” bamboo, all from Silk City Fibers by way of Shuttles.

The pattern is from the bottom of p. 71 of Handweavers Pattern Directory by Ann Dixon. Either there is something wrong with the pattern, or I’ve threaded or treadled it wrong, but the pattern doesn’t turn out like the photo in the book. No worries, I’ve woven 5 different things using this pattern, and whether I’m getting it wrong or the book is wrong I don’t care – because I like the resulting design.

“Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” – Tennessee Williams

“The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.” – e.e. cummings

The crocuses came up this week. I bought eco-friendly seeds on Wednesday. It was 68 degrees on Thursday.

It snowed 12 inches Friday. 12 inches. Okay, 12.3 inches. Heavy, wet, soppy spring snow. The kind where you can see the water streaming off of the shovel as you lift each shovelful and attempt to heave the snow aside. Took over an hour to shovel it and my face was freezer burned.

Of course, I shoveled the snow/slush after I took a borrowed dog to the dog park, because he loves messing around in blizzard conditions. Seriously. Snowing sideways like crazy and there we were (along with two other die-hard people and their dogs) stomping through 8 inches of snow by mid-afternoon. And he’s goofy happy, jumping around, and just thrilled to be alive and playing in the snow. Good lessons to learn there.

It is 36 degrees and brilliantly sunny today. I spent a few hours today helping to move a friend (Nekomade) into her new place and got sunburned.

Tomorrow it will be 55 degrees and sunny. Monday it’ll be 65. It is planning on snowing again on Tuesday. Gotta love spring in Colorado.

Maybe I’ll get some weaving in Monday or Tuesday night, because I have a name draft half-threaded on the loom. A name draft redesigned and fixed by the amazing Judy Steinkoenig because I designed it all wrong. Anybody want to tell me why my math-impaired self has decided to take up a math-heavy craft? I’m just starting to realize how lucky I am to have such an amazing resource as Shuttles at my fingertips.

“Weather forecast for tonight: dark.” – George Carlin

One of our local libraries has partnered with the USO to do a Knitting for the Troops project. We may not support everything they do, but we do believe in supporting our troops. I’ve spent the past few weeks knitting more hats for the troops which I’ll drop off at the library this week. 100% wool, washable, and hopefully warm. You can see Wally sporting one of the hats, with the rest of the collection in front.

Wally and the hats for the troops


And another round of bookmarks for Africa have been completed, so that brings my tally up to 22!

“It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do wrong.” – Abraham Lincoln

The scarf for the friend’s birthday didn’t work out quite right; she’s very tall and the scarf overall is a bit too short. Deciding to take a different approach, I started thinking about making something useful for this knitter friend of mine. After a bit of digging online I found this great tutorial:

Alexandra’s Knits: Alexandra’s Needle Case
http://alexandrasknits.blogspot.com/2006/01/tutorial-alexandras-needle-case.html

After several hours of work (because I’m not quick with the sewing machine), I’ve ended up with a fun pink and brown knitting needle case/roll as her birthday gift.

Knitting Needle Roll/Case Open

Knitting Needle Roll/Case Rolled Up

I think I’ll try making this again, for myself and another friend. My adaptations:
1) I made the upper guard double-sided, which gives it more heft and makes the project look more finished
2) Next time around, I’ll make the DPN’s pouch stripe about the same height as the Circulars pouch stripe. My double-pointed needles got lost in there (although I pulled them back up to showcase them in the photo, the pouch is actually too deep for the double-points I own).

Overall a great, medium-level project. And so great of Alexandra to post the instructions for all of us!


“Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Norman MacEwan

Interlacement

I was fortunate to take a two-day class recently from Susan Wilson, http://susanwilsonhandweaving.com/ , a weaver who has done studies in the interlacement motif. What might that be? Well, that’s why I took the class! It involves the design of the cloth itself being an interlacing or interlocking design. Think Escher but on a simple scale, woven directly as the fabric of the cloth. It was a round robin weaving workshop at Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins (http://www.shuttlesspindlesandskeins.com/) , where each student sets up a loom with a pre-assigned weaving pattern or draft. Then you get to weave on each of the other looms, making a sample of each weave structure to refer to later.

At the end of the workshop, each weaving was carefully removed from the individual loom. One cutter and one spotter worked together to carefully cut each of the fragile samples apart, making sure that no one’s sample was ruined in the process. Susan told horror stories of other round robin workshops, where weavers just hacked apart each others samples in order to get their sample off of the loom. Apparently, some people think they’re more important than others. Shocking but true, that is the way their mothers raised them I guess. In a national workshop where you might never see these folks again, some weavers think they can act in that appalling manner and get away with it.

I just really cannot understand that artists would do that to each other. You spend two days learning together, than sabotage it for what? So you can get your sample first and destroy the others so their learning and take-away is lessened? The other weavers in this local workshop were great, all very helpful and friendly towards each other.

Susan Wilson workshop on interlacement motif

I’ve included a picture of my samples from the workshop, along with more bookmarks for Africa. The bookmarks are due in a little over a week, and I’m hoping to get another set woven before then. I need to weave a scarf for a friend’s birthday this week, someone else needs a recommendation for Teach for America, and a third friend needs advice on graduate school. And oh yeah, I’ve got that full-time job to work in between. The next set of bookmarks for Africa might be just-off-the-loom and still damp when they’re delivered.

“I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.” – Eartha Kitt