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Monthly Archives: August 2010

I mentioned to the fabulous Judy S at Shuttles that I was bored with weaving scarves. “So weave some dish towels,” she said. I haven’t made dish towels since one of the first weaving assignments over a year ago, but what is more useful than kitchen towels?

Completely logical. I have literally pounds of cotton that I’ve purchased from Shuttles over the past year. Among this bounty are three giant (the size of a human head mind you) cones of flake cotton in Steam, Smoke, and a third color I cannot remember. While I really like the look of white – white cushion covers, white sheets, white towels – I am realistic-enough to know that I will never keep those things looking pristine. I figure dish towels should be more of a useful (ie. stain-disguising) color.

Weave some dish towels

I had originally planned on weaving these up in a Bronson lace pattern, but do not have enough heddles on my loom to do so. I barely had enough heddles to do 300 ends in a basic 1-2-3-4 threading and twill treadling. Time to look at adding heddles if I’m going to use the rest of this flake cotton for a useful purpose.

I wove these at 20epi but the towels seem a little delicate after the initial hand-washing. Since I banged the heck out of the edges using this soft flake cotton, I’m going to hem both the bottoms and wonky edges of the towels. After that, I’ll put the towels to true test of washer/dryer and see if they 1) survive intact and 2) bulk up in the wash.

“The best time to plan a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” – Agatha Christie
(Note: Does this mean doing the dishes leads to homicidal thoughts? She was after all a brilliant murder mystery writer.)


On August 23, 1912 a genius was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His name was Eugene Curran Kelly and today would have been his 98th birthday.

In honor of Mr. Kelly, I watched Brigadoon this evening, the timeless love story of a Scottish village stuck out of time. This is probably the 30th time I’ve watched Brigadoon and each time the day-to-day pointlessness of office politics shown in the movie strikes a deeper chord. No wonder we all craft so much.

I also worked on my seemingly-endless black wool sweater; I thought the wool in Brigadoon might prove inspirational. I’m a year into knitting this top-down sweater and I’m now on the sleeves. It is from Knitting Pure and Simple, cardigan #241. Now that I’ve seen it, #104 looks really cute as well – and no sleeves which would make it faster to knit!

If you’ve never watched a Gene Kelly movie, rush right out or online and watch some. You’ll be glad you did. Here’s a little taste.

“I know one thing. For the rest of my life, whenever it rains . . . I will think of him and smile.” – Liza Minnelli

“Go on, prove me wrong. Destroy the fabric of the universe. See if I care.” – Terry Prachett

I ran over to JoAnn Fabrics to get 1 yard of rust fabric. Ended up with 2 yards of fabric, one of which was the required rust.  I put back 6 other bolts of fabric that I decided I did NOT need. I keep buying fabric, putting it in boxes, and never having time to sew things. Typing of which …

I also ended up with 5 new Simplicity patterns.  I wandered over to the pattern area and discovered that Simplicity patterns were on sale 5 for $5.  Really, who can’t find 5 sewing patterns they’ll think about sewing for $1 each? 

Simplicity Sale

Simplicity Sale

I’m guessing they were good choices because the 20-something sales clerk wrote two of the pattern numbers on the back of her hand – so she could buy the same patterns herself later.

I focused on very simple patterns with a few big pieces.  I’m going to attempt to weave fabric, cut it apart (horrors), and actually sew a piece of clothing out of fabric I’ve made.  I haven’t managed to take the class in how to sew your handwovens so will need to seek input.  I’ll keep you apprised as I have no idea whether or not this will work.

“We live in a web of ideas, a fabric of our own making.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce

In the past week, I’ve made two more blindingly-bright scarves. So much for black, apparently.  The brights are a result of 1) another coworker leaving (no it isn’t me, she’s retiring after 3 decades) 2) finding a skein of banana silk half-off

Bright Red

Bright Purple

The red scarf is a combination of variegated sock wool (since I cannot find much multicolor weaving wool) and bambu.  The purple-pink-aqua is the skein of banana silk wefted with purple tencel.

I love the hand and weight of the woven banana silk, so much so that I forgot what a nightmare it was to weave. It scrapes against the heddles in the loom, gets battered by the beater, and shreds.  I had to retie about a dozen warp threads during the process. Not sure if this is going to pass muster for the sale or if it’ll end up being donated to our local professional association to raise money for conference scholarships. It is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but definitely a rougher product than usual.

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” – George Bernard Shaw

One of my favorite co-workers is leaving to take a new position a few hours away.  It is her dream job and one in which she will do a great deal of good for people most of us choose to ignore. I’m very sad she’s leaving and cannot fault her choice in any way.

I thought I’d weave her something as a going away gift, even though I haven’t woven anything in over two months. Trouble is her favorite colors are anything bright – pink, blue, purple – and my favorite color is black.  I threw myself on the mercy of the ladies at Shuttles to help me pick out a couple of shades of Bambu 7 to use (Apache Blue and Pansy), but I was stumped as to what to weave.

I stared at the cones for a day then dug through my knitting stash for inspiration. Hidden in a corner I found a ball of Blippity yarn from Crystal Palace in the variegated  “blueberries and grapes” color.  Not my usual style but I bought it out of the bargain bin of a sweet little yarn shop in Denver that has since closed its doors.

When I put the Blippity with the Bambu 7, suddenly I had a workable palate.  Weft it with black Bambu (to satisfy my craving for black) and now I have a scarf that I hope she’ll like.

Blueberries and Grapes scarf

Blueberries and Grapes

“Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein