Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shake, Raddle & Roll

Aren't we having a musical week so far? Just when one ear worm might have given up, another one comes along!

The homemade raddle has been completed and if I do say so myself ( read pat on back), it works very well.

My old raddle was a loop raddle and I liked it very much, more so than nails hammered into a board, that's for sure. I always get nervous using something with nails in it sticking out around the animals. Something dropped or knocked by accident and you know, I have watchful eyes and bodies all around me when I work, always. Often times under foot so the likelihood of a slip up is enhanced. Using eye screws for the dividers was an idea I jumped on and ran with. I can't take credit for it either. Nadine, my steadfast weaving teacher and mentor, e-mailed me the idea in passing and before that it was from a Peggy Osterkamp book, so it's been around. Eye screws are a lot easier to use than trying to find and bend wire for a loop and certainly safer than nails and not much more expensive. There was a lot of hole drilling and some swearing and I might not have every one quite perfect in line, but the inch sections are accurate.

With the addition of a metal rod I can lock in the warp threads easily. Julia's third prayer flag warp is on and being woven. This one will be all small single thought flags. I also have found that threading Julia is a dream. The shafts are held in a sling of sorts to lock them in, but you can tilt that sling allowing your shafts to be at different levels, making picking out correct shafts for threading quite easy.

You can also loop that sling closer to the breast beam making the reach less. All quite nice to work with.

The mixed green and blue scarf is off the loom and finished.

I love it. I've made notations that this combination at a slightly tighter and more even set would make lovely fabric for a jacket. I think if I do a little searching and maybe splurge on one more large skein of Nature's Palette I would have enough to do a two to three yard warp at about 36". I'm going to have to do some more formal calculations to be sure though. It plumped nicely after wet finishing and although quite a mix of fibers nothing puckered or stretched. It played nice.
The scarf itself is the first one of a bunch for the humane society's annual auction and ball.

The prayer flags from the last warp have been completed. They have their bells, the fringe has been knotted and thread ends clipped.

The silk itself does like to shed, but this is just part of the character of the flags themselves. I am still very happy with the all white warp and think I will keep that and the present threading for the time being.

On farm news, we've had two glorious days. Notice the "had" in that sentence. We'll be paying for those nice days with the rest of the week calling for a rain and snow. I did get out and do some planting. Lily of the Valley, which is my very favorite flower and some sort of thing with the name Lucifer in it. If it comes up it will be bright red.
Sadly the farrier is due out today. Pity he didn't come yesterday. We'll be slopping around in mud and pouring rain. Oh joy. Morgan is pretty easy to work with. Instead of taking each of the horses out of the paddock through the field of mud and muck, we'll bring the trim tools into the high and dry (it's all relative you know) part of the paddock and just trim them up there, under the trees or in the shelter. The hardest part will be keeping Imp and Nick from making off with a rasp or nippers no doubt.
The hay arrived Saturday and instead of unstacking we just backed the horse trailer into the barn and I'm feeding out of that. If we need it, we can always throw the hay out. 50 pound bales feel light as a feather compared to the ones I've tussled with all winter. A full one fits right into the front end loader like a charm. Life is good!


  1. What a great raddle! I've never seen one with eyes like that, good change from the nails.

    I haven't told you yet but each time I look at your blog I get tickled with the new header picture - it's wonderful.

  2. Great raddle...and you did it yourself! I'm impressed! And your prayer flags turned out great. What a wonderful project! Here's to hoping the snow is done for awhile and you'll have lots of sunny days ahead.

  3. Love the raddle, the scarf, the prayer flags and the dogs. Where do you get the bells for the flags? Sorry if I'm asking something that you've already mentioned. I haven't been through your archives yet.

  4. C. I get the bells locally, in a new age sort of store called Sound Peace.They are sold on a rope to hang on a door or? I just cut them off. They are called claw bells and you can do an internet search for brass claw bells should you want to find some! :-)
    LA, the snow falls on and on and on....
    Cindie, Glad you like the new banner photo, Jack is such a photogenic dog and lots of fun.

  5. And look at that thing on those Julia shafts that appears to be a giant stitch holder...

    Beautiful scarf!

  6. Okay, so maybe I'm a little slow, but I've had a raddle like that since I got my first big-girl loom, Jennie, and I have to say it never occurred to me to put a rod through the eyelets! WOW!!! Enlightenment! Thank you so much!

  7. LOTL, I never thought of it, but yes, the shaft holders would make great and large stitch holders. Actually they keep the heddles from falling off while you monkey around threading and adjusting.

    Maggie, Glad I could facilitate an enlightenment! If you have a true loop raddle you might even be able to just put a thin stick through it. I use to use one of my warp sticks. The eye screws aren't large enough but even a straightened coat hanger would work. Your big girl loom is quite a beauty too!

  8. I don't know anything about prayer flags, other than yours, but I think I'd like to hear them and so am laying that thought next to my overfull plate. Smart on the hay - give that neck of yours a time out.

  9. I LOVE THE RADDLE! Thank you! Tommye uses her reed as the raddle for the upright tapestry. I'm going to try that next time, but if it doesn't feel right - I'm replacing my raddle with one of these!