Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Navigating New Equipment

I don't know about anyone else, but I am slow, clumsy and rather inept when I have to learn or change a way of doing something. It applies to learning a new technique to improve my riding, sewing a different way and yes, learning a new loom. Big Sal is a big challenge for me, not that I'm not up to challenges, but with new steps come new things you have to look at in the process. I completely ignored the fact that she has most of her heddles on shafts one through eight, leaving nine through twelve with a decent amount for what I planned and woefully lacking on shafts thirteen through sixteen.

 So before I thread, I am going to learn to put heddles on shafts. Oh joy! Let's learn everything right away!

I would also like to point out that there is something new on her. Big Sal and I received an early birthday gift. A plain beam and the appropriate tension arm.

The apron that goes with this beam is hanging above it.

 Now it won't make one whit of difference on this warp, but it will mean next warp I can at least wind on as I usually do. It also opens the door for supplemental warps. How cool! I'm also getting a helping hand sometime next month from a long time weaver who uses an AVL and does nothing but warp sectionally, so there is hope for some proficiency in the future no matter what method is chosen. I am so excited and you can count on some more information about it as we get to it.

Besides spending most of the weekend in bed napping with 7 of my closest friends, some sewing was eeked out. I used a wonderful springy green Brussels Washer fabric (cotton/linen blend) for another of the pleated front tunics.

 I raised the front seam a bit more, accentuated the curve up to the side seam and lengthened the hem to just below the knee. This fabric has the drape of linen and hangs beautifully. Some pick stitched grosgrain ribbon adds just a little whimsy.

The pockets almost always seem to take as long as the garment itself. Lining and correct placement both on the tunic and to each other, but at least for me, I got to have pockets. Tops feel incomplete without at least one and with a weighty fabric, just one will make the garment feel lopsided when wearing.

Just had to share the logo on this sweatshirt that was waiting for me when I arrived in MA. It has become my favorite around the house shirt BTW. I don't know where my Dad got it, but Gene offered me good money for it. No way!

My cold is almost gone and I really can't complain. It never truly moved to become a chest cold but it certainly stuffed me up for a few days. Peter did get a round trip to the vet Saturday morning, some special canned food, a blend of liquid stuff that he hates and a thorough blood panel done all indicate that this is just a tummy thing and nothing worse. But watchful we remain. He is improving slowly. With age this seems to be the case, human or canine!

Parting shot: Alert! Alert! Contraband (nylabone) on the bed. Stella knows it is not supposed to be there.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Pet Piranha

No, not a new addition to the family. "Pet Piranha" is the name of some totally fun fabric I bought Tuesday and just had to work into a top of some sort. I took my faithful Grainline Scout Tee pattern and did some modifications traced onto pattern paper.

 Longer wider sleeves, an above the waist seam front (gently curved) and back (straight), a front center pleat

 and some deep pockets and I had a completely different tunic. I liked the modifications so much I'm sure I will be using it again. And I love this fun print.

I also promised some pics of the other new fabrics that hopped into my bag. There is a lovely embroidered linen.

The stitched and scalloped border will grace the top of a linen sheet I am making. Should be a beautiful fold over detail. It was wide fabric and the plain white section left will become a couple of linen pillow cases. Even without a scalloped border linen cases are a treat to sleep on.

Some nautical print paired with a red oxford cloth.

 I just love that mermaid!

A plain grey/brown cross weave oxford cloth also found a home in my stash. A great neutral for me in this darker tone. There was some beautiful beige tones but it does nothing for me when I wear it, so the darker was the clear choice.

 In Salem MA I picked up a few yards each of a wonderful pick stitched grosgrain ribbon at a fun little yarn store named "Seed Stitch".

 I spent a few hours one day getting out of the house and doing some shopping in Salem. It gets a little touristy with all the witch stuff ( an understatement), but there are some gems there. A lovely bead store and a custom perfumer top my list of neat places. I spent quite a bit of time at Aroma Sanctum finding just the right scents. Her creations are all natural oils with no alcohol or chemicals. A boon for someone like me who reduces everything down to just an alcohol scent. I walked out with 3 different fragrances, all which can work with each other or stand alone. Beautiful web site so worth a peek.

Peter and I are both a bit under the weather. He has a bit of an upset digestive tract and is on rice and chicken bits for the time being and I have a head cold and am on Kleenex and chicken soup. Today I need to remove the beater and breast beam from Big Sal and get her ready to thread. There is also a special addition to her which arrived Wednesday as an early birthday gift from my Dad. I need to unbox and make some room. Pictures coming on that for sure.

No doubt while I sew and work in the loom room I'll be listening to the Olympics. The USA/Canadian Men's hockey game is today and no matter what I'm doing I'll stop and watch that. Go USA!

Parting shot: Smoochie, happy to be hanging out with Mom again.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Weather Delays

Cripes, with the storms marching over the Northeast it seemed like I would never get back to Oregon, but I did Monday afternoon. My original flight had been scheduled for Friday, Valentines Day, but storm Pax left the eastern part of the country in quite a mess, as I'm sure some of you know! My flight was so delayed connecting flights out of San Francisco were almost impossible. Believe me it was no hardship to have to spend another few days with my folks. I felt sorry for all those people waiting in airports and hotel rooms that's for sure. I even saw some of them in line on Monday, finally getting out of Boston to where they needed to go.

Yesterday I did a quick clean sweep of the house, putting things in order and headed to town for some much needed supplies, which included fabric of course! Lots of fun new fabrics came in while I was away
and next post I'll include some pics. Who knows, I might have even transformed a few into something. :)

While in New England I helped my Dad put on a 12 yard warp for some fine cottolin towels and of course, Mom and I did a little shopping here and there. As always, I was treated to many seafood delights  but the Ipswich clams were the standout this trip. And of course, a brace of lobsters. Some mink fur yarn came home with me and a few yards of pretty grosgrain ribbon. Pictures coming.

Since this is a picture less post I'll keep it short, and use the time getting some pics taken!
Horses, goats, cats and dogs all weathered my absence just fine, and everyone had a special greeting for me when I got back.

Parting shot: Okay, maybe someone was a bit miffed I had been gone so long.