Tuesday, March 8, 2016

In Trade

The Greensprings is a small community between 300 and 400 spread out over a lot of acreage. I'm guessing somewhere about 40-50 square miles. In any case population is low and artistic talent is high. The new Schacht Wolf Pup needs a castle tray

Looks pretty silly with the raddle but it works!
 and we're lucky enough to know of a fine woodworker up here with an amazing workshop. His wife is my horse vet and I'm trading some hand wovens for a small removable castle tray. What's not to love? While Ray and Gail will get a sampling of towels off the looms already in progress I took advantage of the empty Gem and put on a warp wound specially for them.

 It will be a 70+ inch runner and I think I can eek out maybe a towel or two or maybe double a weft and do placemats. We'll see. It's all 8/2 mercerized cotton, and I did my designing on the warp board and as I was threading. I love these earthy colors.

 The deep blue green gives it such a nice pop. The weft is black.

I have other projects in the planning and working stage too. I want to do some weaving that looks like birch bark. I have always loved the contrast and texture of birch tree bark. For my birthday

A perfect ending to yummy dinner with a best friend!
instead of fabric, yarn was on the shopping menu.

 And I am still lucky to have such a beautiful and thriving fiber shop local to me. The Web-ster's yarn collection is second to none and I've frequented a lot of yarn stores in my day and that includes the big place in MA. Dona and staff have curated a beautiful, ever changing selection of truly fine and unusual yarns along with many popular standards. And they carry a full line of Habu yarns, a weavers candy store. So I went to work on my wish list to make fiber birch bark.  I had a high twist 8/2 warp cotton from my Dad's stash in natural. 8 yards are on the Fiona the pup at 15 epi at 16.5 inches.

 For the main weft I am using Classic Elite's Seedling, an organic light worsted weight softball type yarn, assorted Habu yarns in cotton and linen papers and such and a cotton melange of birch like colors and textures by Filatura Di Crosa called Fancy Tempo.

Some other things jumped into the bag too for future inspiration. But here is the sampling happening so far.

The other project I've had on my mind is European style bath towels, smoother than our typical terry cloth and often made from fine linen. Now I just can't afford fine linen in bath towel quantity, but I can spring for hemp, also a bast product that shares many of the same properties of linen.

 I bought these two beauties of 16/2 Romanian hemp from Lunatic Fringe.

 I'm thinking a simple waffle weave pattern on 4 shafts, not too deep on the waffles with a sett just a bit sleazy ( on 8/2 cotton) since I don't want these towels to become too stiff. I want them pliable, the waffles will provide the absorbency.  Pipe up if you've tried something like this please! This project will go on Nick the 40" Mac when the almost done hand towel warp comes off.

Last Saturday, the Murphy loom left for his new home down in Riverside California with a beginner weaver. I hope she loves and appreciates his weaving gifts as much as I did when I was learning my way around a loom. I had forgotten how dang heavy he is too.  Solid oak and maple, they simply don't make them like they use to. But having the room opened up is nice,

especially with spring on its way....I hope.

Parting shot: Two handsome and well behaved gentleman. Obviously not my dogs!


  1. I love the runner you are making for Gail and her husband. The colors are beautiful together. Stay warm as spring slowly makes its way to you...we had rain last night and I must rethink my outfit for today.

  2. The birch bark is perfect! I couldn't visualize (unusual for me) what you were thinking of, but your photo cleared my vision. Thanks for the peek into your creative work; right now my creative life is a virtual desert, crowded out by raising and homeschooling a teenaged boy.

  3. I LOVE the birch bark! Wonderful!
    You always amaze me with (a) how many projects you have going at once and (b) your productivity. I'm inspired!

  4. Good old fashioned trading is a great way for both parties to have something they desire, what a great trade you made. Love the runner and the birch bark warp - both are going to be stunning when you finish. The two gentlemen you featured are beautiful big guys - just the sort of gentlemen who I adore.

  5. oh, I love the piece you have on the Gem. The colors are gorgeous.

  6. Happy Birthday to you AND WOWZA on your yarn haul!!! I'm impressed!!!

  7. LA, Thank you! The yarn shopping did get a bit extravagant, but oh some of the yarns are just so interesting.

    Coco, I hope Gail and her hubby Ray like it as much as you. ;-)

    Martha, Thank you! Trading is nice and I am enjoying weaving for a purpose. I had lots of fun with that twill runner warp. I will let Brillig and Brewster know you think them handsome.

    Peg, Thank you! The birch bark is very labor intensive hand weaving those in, but I took the sample off and washed it. Can out nicely. I'm re-laying. Have some tracking issues and a few crowded threads.

    Michelle, Thank you. I wish you could escape down here for a few days, I'd put you in front of loom and let you bang away on that beater. Or maybe a spin around the block on the little red rocket? Goats in tow.....

    Hi Mary! The weather has been nasty. That fickle damp Oregon stuff that hopefully will drag out into April. We do the need the wet, as much as we can get as late as we can get.

  8. Hope you had a wonderful birthday! The birch bark is interesting and I am looking forward to seeing them finished. We are having false Spring - warm temps, sunny and things are starting to bloom but it is not past frost/freeze time.

  9. The only advice I can give about waffle weave is to make them far bigger than you want them. The shrinkage is enormous! Like, 50%! The birch is lovely!

  10. Louise, I did and thank you! Have you sold your place yet?

    Maggie, I'm re-thinking the waffle weave in such a big bit of weaving.