Thursday, November 12, 2009


Nine hundred and thirty is the number of ends in the blanket warp. It does not include the fishing line I'll put in the two fold areas or the edges to protect the selvage ends. I decided to do just one blanket on this warp to mitigate high yarn losses should the project go south. Plus I don't think Gene would be particularly fond of his special blanket having pink stripes in the warp! Here is the beginning of the warp being measured.

I had to really think about where I wanted/needed stripes of color. I did 60 ends of pink for the beginning and will do 60 ends of the same at the end. This will give me ten top and ten bottom pink warp threads at each end and the same at each of the two fold lines. Basically that means that each stripe will be two inches wide at 10 epi. I almost had heart failure as I was scanning around on a couple of different web sites and saw Harrisville's Shetland listed for plain weave at 8-10 epi, different from my very nice sample book from them, that lists sett at 10-12-15 epi. A quick call to the very experienced weavers on the Harrisville staff and I was back on track using my original 10 epi. Here is the very small triple weave sample.

Tuesday was guild meeting day and true to form, I had to leave early to pick up my glasses. What is it about Tuesdays? They seem to be my busiest day of the week always. It was so when I worked too and had to run payroll for 140 shift employees, most with time and a half, some with double time and of course those evil weekly check garnishments to figure out. Anyway, I digress. I got all sorts of wonderful goodies in my short time at guild meeting and felt very spoiled indeed.
Nadine ( long suffering mentor) had a draft for me that she found which I have yet to really sit down with.
I got a whole heap of books from the library, including Bress's big book and a beefy coverlet book "Keep Me Warm One Night" along with a couple of others...I guess those should have gone on my reading list!
Cindie, over at Eweniquely Ewe had filled her car trunk with stuff just for me. More roving in pink, blue and mocha, a wonderful Icelandic sheep skin for my bench

and she passed along some of her winnings of doggy items to the crew here. The grandest was a big puffy dog bed! Needless to say, it was a hit and everyone has taken a turn sleeping there. It is becoming the coveted spot! This is Charlotte giving the evil eye to someone who is just *thinking* about checking out the new bed. It pays to be the alpha girl. The only one who can move in on her territory is Dennett. I think they all sense he's mostly blind and since he is the alpha male still, even Charlotte will acquiesce.

Smoochie also got a fabulous new collar complete with a flames graphic and new matching leash. Pictures of him will follow soon.
But that's not all! I had been lamenting that my 8 dent reed was going to be stuffed with those multiple ends per dent blanket. Cindie whipped out a 6 dent reed for me to borrow.
So, I know you are reading this Cindie, THANK YOU for your kindness and generosity. The dogs thank you too, especially Charlotte and Smoochie. The cat wants to know why you didn't win anything to pass on to him, but then again, he's a cat, what would you expect? :-)

On farm news, the weather has finally changed to winter. No hope of another little Indian summer at this point. Last night we had snow, today and through the weekend, snow and rain forecasted. The temps are not climbing into the 50's like even a week ago, mostly now staying in the high 30's and low 40's for that nanosecond at about 2:00 p.m. The horses have just about completed laying in their winter curly coats and are plump and happy the bugs are gone. Heated water buckets are in full service and
I am wishing for a hard sustained freeze now to make the paddock less muddy. Grain, molasses and apples are on hand for the weekly hot mash. The goat hay feeder has been moved away from their gate to a place under the trees for protection. The wood has been cut, split and stacked. Heat tape is on in the pump house and only the plow needs to be attended to with some welding. We're ready to say "Bring it on" to old man winter. No sign of Puck but I would bet he'll appear at some point. No skunks this year either so far. I hope Bond has found other more suitable places to visit. Fingers crossed that is so.


  1. Busy - but sounds like a great day! Tell me how you like the sheepskin. I'm still trying to get my mind around it and since we'll be in New Zealand next month I wonder about bringing me one back.

  2. 930....scary or awesome!!! (The creative risk of risking all that yarn at once should the project "go south" as you say.)

    Aren't the folks at Harrisville great on the phone?? I had a crisis of sweater confidence one day, and just phoned them and my peace of mind was restored.

    That blanket will be fabulous in Harrisville yarn. I borrowed some blanket samples from a friend, and the hand and softness of her Harrisville sample was just beautiful.

    Are you doing horizontal stripes, but not vertical?? If you do any vertical stripes, one doubleweave (or tripleweave) trick that you probably know about is to put the edge of a stripe at your fold. That way any fold weirdness will look a lot like just the transition from one warp color to another. (And I've never tried doubleweave and am totally intimidated by don't listen to me too much! I'm just passing along what I've heard.)

    That sheepskin is really cool. I thought it was a wolf in your studio!! (How do your dogs react to it? I have a dog who loves all animal fibers, and generally likes to munch on things in my studio. I had to make it a Bailey Free Zone when he was a puppy.)

    The new reed I have on my Toika is a 6 dent reed. I was surprised at the difference between 6 and 8. It doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is!

    Snow already. Thanks for sparing us the photo!! I'm not ready! (We're having some oddly warm weather this week - although I'm sure it won't hold on too much longer.)

    Cool about all the new dog goodies!! It's funny how the pack hierarchy hangs in there even as dogs age.

    Looking forward to your blanket success!!


  3. Jennifer, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a sheepskin or two while in New Zealand. The Icelandic isn't as thick and cushy as the merino skin you'll get but it softens the edge of the bench enough. It's final resting place will e at the Murphy loom and I WILL be getting another fleece for the Louet bench, I like it that much.
    Have you come to grips with leaving Shadow for the trip?

    The blanket will have four vertical stripes (warp) at either selvage edge and at the two folds. It will also get some color and striping in the weft. All told for warp alone I'm using over 3700 yards. 6 dents makes a big difference for sure.
    The dogs varied in interest with the fleece, Jack, Smoochie and Charlotte where the most interested. I'm sure if it was on the floor it would be twice dead and full of holes by now. ;-)
    Yes, you guys have been having wonderful weather. My Dad said it was lovely mowing the lawn! Just you wait until that Canadian Express starts gearing up!
    It is funny watching pack order. Dennett rarely if ever pushes any one around, but they all still defer. It will be interesting to see who steps into alpha once the old boy goes. I'm expecting a little trouble with Pogo and Jack but the boys usually have one or two good fights and that's it. The girls will carry a grudge forever. Males rarely fight more than they need to, but bitch fights are serious and can do a lot of damage. No one will cry Uncle.

    It's going to be a good chunk of time before I get everything ready to weave with this blanket but I would like it to be off the loom soon after Thanksgiving. One can dream! ;-)

  4. Okay - you've convinced me to definitely go shopping in that direction! Shadow goes to daycare once a week and it's made a huge difference in his energy level - making it managable at home for us. He gets so excited when he get there. So, he's going to stay there while we are gone. In fact he is going to stay there tonight as an experiment. I really feel best about it and think he'll be happiest there. Now how much stronger and bigger he'll become and what retraining he'll need when we get back, we'll see!

  5. I'm glad to know about Harrisville. I bought a big box of Harrisville odds and ends from a friend years ago and just don't know what to do with it. It's too scratchy for a scarf and I don't want to knit it. At least if I do weave with it, I know the sett.

    I feel more busy retired than I ever di when I worked. But the busiest day of the month is my guild day, which is the second Saturday of the month. There are five things scheduled for this Saturday and the winner is my grandson's 6th birthday.

  6. Sharon,
    Harrisville is wonderful to deal with either at the mill or the retail outlet. You might ant to check and see if it's Shetland or Highland wool you have, same wool but the highland is heavier than the Shetland and will need to be woven at a different sett.

    Jennifer, That's woderful ;-) about Shadow and his day care place. My folks left their two Goldens Marigold and Pilot at just such a place while they visited here for two weeks. The dogs had a great time!.