Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Last spring when I received my Schacht Wolf Pup for my birthday, I had contacted a local craftsman, (and that is an understatement!), about making a castle tray for Fiona. We bartered a deal of which I am certain I got the better end.

  There is a tipping point when craft becomes art. I can't say the criteria, but you know it when you see it. I am a serviceable weaver, Ray is an artisan.

 This is the awesomel tray he came up with. All in perfectly "matched to the loom" maple. Beautiful basket WEAVE in wood! Swoon worthy. And make no mistake, the work he went through to make a graceful and sturdy attachment system is appreciated. It all seemed so easy until you had to work around the mechanics of the shafts.

 I spent last night just looking at my pretty little naked loom.

 Today I'll gather all the bits and bobs I like to keep in the tray, a needle, a big pin, sley hook, and little scissors not to mention getting a warp wound.

When I painted the studio my strawberry curtains came down. I haven't decided what to do with that window but I knew it wasn't those curtains, which were no more than two well preserved panels. I love that fabric and thought about a garment. Couldn't come up with something really suited to the graphic print that I would wear. Inspiration came in the form of a little light throw for the bed.

 I had some linen leftovers that would work. Nothing fussy, machine tied and no batting.

The perfect weight for a quick afternoon nap on a warm day too!

I attacked a pattern I had cut out way back in early spring.

 This is an Inygo Junction pattern, the Urban Tunic and it looked strangely familiar. When I unearthed it again, I also dragged out a second pattern (the Chic Cowl Neck Shift) for a comparison. And they were EXACTLY the same two front and back pieces,

 in fact the Urban Tunic doesn't have sleeves but on the supplied pattern there are of course, notches for sleeves which can be used for evil facings. On one the collar is done in two pieces sewn together, on the other, a single wider piece folded over.

So if you like the pattern buy the Chic Shift pattern, it gives you the sleeves, and you can always raise the neckline to give the boat neck option the Urban offers.

A little tank top came out of the sewing room. The linen is very lightweight, very smooth, cool and dry to the hand.

 In winter this will feel just as nice next to the skin under heavier clothes as it does in our very hot August.  I cut two more in solids at the same time which are in process.

Speaking of hot, we had a little fire up here last weekend. Just when I thought we were going to sneak quietly through fire season this year, two erupted within a day of each other. The Redwood Fire near Cave Junction burned 2 homes, and 3 outbuildings and was held at 50 acres. Our
fire named the Twentymile Springs Fire (right past milepost 20 on Highway 66, for reference in how close this was, we are right past mile post 19), was held at about 5-6 acres. ODF crews and Greensprings Fire and Rescue worked tirelessly Saturday to keep the fire contained. You can read about it here on the Greensprings Rural Fire District page.  If you scroll down you can also see this has been the year of the rollover crash. There have been 3 of them on Highway 66 this year, one fatal, the other two pretty bad. Slow down folks, it's far too pretty an area to speed through!

On the weaving front, the play warp has come off Nora the 32" Macomber. Here is one of the two nice runners from that warp.

 The other one went to Ray and his wife Gail, who just happens to be our equine vet. Such a talented couple and we are so lucky to have them as part of our community.

Parting shot: The power of threes or a tribe of terriers!


  1. Wow, that is a beautiful and unique castle tray! I'm ashamed to admit I've been contemplating a diy effort for the Hollandia using angle steel to span the horizontal. Perhaps I'll hold off and see if I can find a craftsman!

  2. I am NOT showing the picture of your castle tray to my Pups...we don't need that kind of envy around here!!!! And, the 3 JRs are just too precious!

  3. Theresa, the castle tray is fantastic and so attractive. Definitely a work of art.

    That's scary about the fire, but I'm glad it didn't get any closer than that.

  4. What a great tray!
    Will you get one for the new BW when it comes in?

  5. Your woodworking friend is an artist indeed. So impressive! Balancing color, size, weight, and then making it a thing of beauty and fitting in with all the loom the commercial says, priceless!

  6. Love the picture of the trio of trouble ;-)

    Your new castle tray is indeed a thing of beauty, what a skilled woodworker you know.

    What new BW?

  7. Martha, sigh...yes, the Gem and the Pup are just about the same weaving width but the pup is MUCH more portable. If the Gem had been 24" I would have kept it for pillowcases. The BW will serve and folds smaller. The trio is indeed a bunch of adorable little rogues.

    Peg, He did an amazing job. He's custom building another local's new kitchen cabinets and in his house each room is trimmed out in a different wood. Very pretty.

    Cindie, I will just get the tray offered from Schacht. At the time we made our deal, Schacht didn't make a Pup tray. They do now, but it's not anything like mine of course.

    Leigh, There is more to the fire story, might have been deliberately set. What makes people do these sorts of things. Stay tuned, I hopefully will have the rest of the story at some point.

    LA, Best not but heck, I have Ray's number and I'm betting it would quicker now that he has the kinks worked out! ;-)

    Diane, Check with local small cabinet makers. Perfect project and quite often they have some beautiful scrap wood from a larger project. Ray had just done a big project in that beautiful light clear maple.....

  8. What an awesome castle tray! I love that he matched the wood and it adds not only storage, but style. Lovely weaving and sewing projects-so many neat ways of being creative.

  9. I had never thought to have a castle tray added and sure could use one on my 40" Gilmore. I'll follow up on that. And I know what you mean about artists. I know I'm not one but I call my self an artisan.