Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Painting of Looms Is A Difficult Matter

It isn't just one of your holiday games; You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter.

T.S. Eliot would understand I'm sure. For those that may have missed this poem from Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" here it is in full.

While naming cats is hard, painting looms might be harder.

 This weekend saw Buttercup transformed from a ho hum structure of pine lumber to a happy red and blue beauty of a loom.

 Those boards are providing a lot of space for decorative painting, something I've always enjoyed doing.

 It's slow work though, brushes dry, paint gets muddy, stencils need to be cleaned often and like everything, I design on the fly.

I have a rough idea of the elements I want and where I might want them but I'm always open to a whim or two or more. So here we are with some of the inside of the loom worked on.

It will be days before she is done but so far so good and lets face it, I can always paint a portion over and start again.

The sewing closet has been a hopping place to! The second pair of Nehelam Pants (Sew House Seven) has finally been finished and I've used an inkle band on the tie.

A couple more Cezembre blouses have been completed too. I love this pattern. The fuchsia number is a lightweight linen and feels sumptuous on.

The little Charley Harper mice a soft organic cotton, Looks nice with those yellow pants too!

My Mom has completed her first series of 3 chemo treatments. She is tolerating the chemo well, although she has had to have a couple of transfusions. Otherwise, no sickness at all but some fatigue.
The cancer which is in her lungs and a few other places has not spread nor grown. Hasn't shrunk either but we'll take this holding pattern for as long as we can. We're going out for Easter dinner this year, she said she was up for it. Yeah!

I'm going to leave you with this song from one of my all time favorite bands and certainly my idol as far as bass players go. RIP John!

Parting shot: BWBF! (Best walking buddy forever)
When did all that grey happen?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Big Beautiful Buttercup

So, another loom has been in the works over the last couple of weeks. Last year I coveted a little walking loom advertised in Northern California, but just couldn't pull it together while I was in the throes of doing estate stuff. Fast forward to earlier this month when someone on Ravelry procured a Rio Grande kit walking loom. It made me want one of these suckers all over again. The universe has  a way of providing even when sometimes it's a "want" instead of a "need". I was looking at the evil Craigslist for a cheap CB loom I could turn into a walking loom when low and behold, there was an ad for a Rio Grande Walking loom in just about pristine condition. I made an offer, the seller who got it in a storage unit auction accepted and last Saturday I sent the official loom fetcher to Crescent City to meet up and pass that pile of sticks over.

Now I was going to call the loom Moose, because truly, it is a  rather ungainly looking loom all done in plain dimensional pine lumbar. But you know, she's going to be a beauty once I finish with her. This weekend I am painting her frame a good deep true red enamel latex and then she will get stenciled and hand painted. I have always wanted to do this with a loom and often wondered why more are not beautifully painted. Hence she will be known as Buttercup or maybe in passing as the Triple B.

Plans for a warp are in my head but not on the board...yet, but I am making rag strips from fabric leftovers in prep for some fun rag placemats to do on her. No time like now to get started on the gifts.
And my bumblebee warp is just about done on the David. The dang new warping board is lost somewhere between Michigan and Oregon. I hope it arrives soon.

In the salon of wadders another one is going into the rag strip bin. The Sewing Workshop Bamboo Tunic was kind of a mess. It's big and ugly and just all kinds of funky. I'm not upset really because all the fabrics I used where leftovers anyway. There might be a reason it was discontinued back in the day. But there have also been some great successes! Another Isca tunic made it out in this fun Dog Day of the Dead fabric.

I love this print! I rather love the Marilla Walker pattern too. The last make is a pattern from a French designer Anne Kerdiles, the Cezembre Blouse and it is a very nicely drafted pattern.

No changes at all out of the envelope. The pattern instructions are both in French and English. It is a straightforward sew and has wonderful proportions.

This will certainly get a lot of use done up in summer weight linens.

I'm leaving you all with something a little different, one of my favorite traditional folk songs.
I have a number of Custer LaRue/Baltimore Consort CD's. What a voice! It's worth listening to a few others.

Parting shots: Bad hair day?

Monday, March 12, 2018

Weaving Minions

How I wish there were little yellow tittering beings doing all the grunt weaving work, sleying the reed, adjusting tension etc. Kind of like a small creepy equivalent of the pool boy....

What I am really referring to are all the small nameless weaving looms I seem to be adding into my collection. I am thoroughly enjoying the small weaving projects on them. So low stress, none requiring more than a bit of concentration and a short period of time. If I only have a small block of time I can keep my hands busy creating something.

On the small weaving front and a new addition is a custom made Kumihimo stand.

 This was made to be comfortable based on my height and chair and it is! I love it and makes trying out a new to me mode of weaving a success. It's so important to have good workable equipment for first attempts I've always found. The stand itself was made by Steve at Kumimojo as where the nifty bobbins. It came with all sorts of useful goodies. Well thought and well made. Thank you Steve!

I've also tried my hand out on card weaving. Hmm, that could be some sort of pun don't you think?

Anyway, the Leclerc Cendrel is doing duty as a card weaving loom and I'm really having fun with that too, although threading the cards was slow going for my first time out.

I purchased some really beautiful acrylic cards to try from HipStrings. For the sewists in the group they also make some beautiful acrylic french curves.

I really should be doing card weaving on this loom, made for it.

To be honest, the reach is too great for me to be comfortable. I am thinking about having a local craftsman cut that long extended arm down by about 10-12 inches and reset the dowel. I can't see keeping it around to look pretty. You know I have few qualms about putting tools out to greener pastures if I am not using them. I have also finally, after 9 years of weaving gotten someone to make me a warping board that allows my fist to pass through the dowel space without hitting my knuckles. It should be shipping this week. If anyone is interested there will be a pretty nice Leclerc Warping board available for PDC (pretty darn cheap).

And that brings me to the last little minion, a JK Seidel Scandinavian Style loom.

It is beautifully made but I don't love it. I find it awkward to use holding the tape instead of having it wrapped around a little cloth beam. It may just take more practice. I'll give it some additional time and see if we develop an affection for each other. If not, it too will go up for sale.

Earworm of the post. HA!

Parting shot: Who's comfy chair is it anyway?

commence with the ear worm cleaning!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Birthday Books

So, all I asked of Gene for my birthday was some new weaving library assets. I adore Swedish and Finnish weaving books and it makes no difference that I can't read a word of the language, the drafts are, for the most part, universal. So it was on birthday morning there was a big box of books of all my favorite titles! I may not use many of the drafts from any of them and many are similar, but the hours of inspiration they provide is priceless. I love the simplicity of many and the riot of color combinations of others. And then of course there was this confusing draft treading sequence.

 I got to ponder it while I walked about on birthday evening with sled dog wannabe Robin.


Highway 66 at driveway head

  It was quite a storm but nothing compared to what the east coast is getting or has gotten. Stay safe you guys!

Dear friend Cindie surprised me with a package of birthday goodies and the most beautiful dragonfly card, which is on the mantel, enjoyed every day. But look at the bag she sent. How perfect is that!

 It was stuffed with Jack Russell note pads and a cute dog pin, none of which was handy when I was snapping mug shots of the bag. Thank you Cindie, so, so much. That bag got a couple of compliments on it's first outing I might add.

I have long wanted to listen to books, I know most of you are WAY ahead of me on that front but I can't stand anything in my ears. So this nifty little speaker/phone set up was procured, I signed up to Audible and we're on our way.

 It's lovely for sewing and weaving where I need to keep my eyes on the work but want something other than background music to entertain me.

There has been a fair amount of weaving going on. The Saori loom got another band warp on, I had to come up with a raddle solution and this is what worked.

 Gene cut one of my long warping sticks into 5" pieces and the warp was wound on with them. I even managed an itty bitty set of lease sticks.

Saori gets a lot of things right and I appreciate their whole inclusive methodology, BUT geez, I don't really want to spend $400. plus on a set up to thread and wind on when really, lease sticks and raddle will do. I just don't do front to back threading and sleying. Did you guys notice the tablet/card weaving titles in the book booty?

Fiona is up and weaving and is the same threading as just about every Swedish Rosepath in my new books, so I've got 4 yards of play time ahead.

I wasn't going to make more Patricia Rose garments but the deer fabric cried out for it and there was just a small amount available. Plus the pink goes to orchid and this curated last summer mod flower fabric had just the right color.

The front bodice of this pattern provides for small interesting showcase fabrics. I had one waiting in the bucket too, this one sleeveless.

It makes a very nice summer top, shortened and with bias bound arm holes.

I had so little of this tomato fabric I couldn't even coax binding out of what was left.

My Mother who doesn't shop anymore ( but she still likes to lunch!), wanted me to buy something from her for my birthday, so I ordered a heap of sale linen in summer weights and colors from Fabrics-Store.com.

 You can hold your items at sale price for a few days and since different things are on sale veery day you can get a pretty good variety at good prices.

So, that brings us to this posts song. I'm in love all over again with this. How about you?

Parting shot: Oh dear! How does this happen? Makes bed head seem so much less catastrophic huh?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Disappearing Dog Deep

Please add about 17" depth to this pic now

Yep, snow, deep enough now to lose a few dogs excepting the bark, of course! The dogs all pretty much like the snow except Pogo and Mandy but even they have a bit of fun on a sunny afternoon when it's warm and melty. We've had one of those. The rest of the time it has been bitter cold and unsettled.
Highway 66 quite early one morning.

 This is where they prefer to spend the day. The rug of rotating sleepers.

Pogo & Hazel

 Leaves more room on the comfy chair bundled under the blanket. Gene has plowed three times and hey, March is coming in like a lion. I always notice since the first day of this month is my birthday. Today I turn 60. Frankly, I'm not thrilled. It is only a number, a pretty flipping big number. ;-)  I think I'll just stay 49 and some months thank you very much!

I've diddled around in the sewing salon, cutting out new to me patterns

 and sewing up one blouse that, for a couple of reasons, just didn't send me. The pockets made it wide, the shirt tail hem is rarely a favorite with me and the whole thing just felt too short. In other words "meh".  This was the Linnet pattern.

Then I started in on the Bolero Blouse, the Lois Ericson pattern.

I have just enough of that bug fabric to make a Webster top from instead.

The shell is unremarkable and honestly rather ill fitting. A better choice to pair with the cute bolero layer would be the Cashmerette Webster . Now the Bolero layer itself is saved by that amazing collar. I love the collar. The jacket itself is too short or maybe I just don't remember the days when those bunnies sat MUCH higher in their hutch without a mechanical engineering degree or a plastic surgeon...... It has been a goodly number of years since I could wear any old lacy thing and call it enough support. Two inches easy and maybe even three need to added to the overall length. The sleeves set in nice but they are too long and taper down to a tight cuff. I hate not being able to push up my sleeves. Easy fixes though and this will be made again.

A cute new fabric came in the mail from South Korea and a another new pattern from France.

 No, these are not a match, just thrown together for economy of picture taking. That blouse pattern is calling for some smooth fine linen. As to the hedgehogs, who knows where they will turn up.

The weaving front has been slightly more active. I received the 12lbs of natural 4/2 yarn from Earth Guild.

 I love the weight and the price was pretty nice too. Perfect for a run of 3 double wide blankets.
I bought myself PixieLoom as a weaving program ( I never could get into Proweave), and have had it take a simple Swedish Rosepath and use it for the double weave. It will take 8 shafts and 12 treadles. I've got it covered on either the Macomber or the Spring. Likely it will go on the Spring since I have a couple inches more width. If a 48 or 56 inch Macomber ever comes up for sale in this area I would snag it and sell the 40. There is a 64" one locally but it is simply too big for my space and I doubt I want to lift those big shafts.

The yellow band is off the Saori loom. Matches the linen perfectly. I am enjoying these small weaving tools more than I ever thought I would.

The Leclerc inkle loom Has been seeing some action lately too. I have findings to make eyeglass leashes on hand! And lastly Fiona the wolf pup is almost threaded on her little warp.

The day I bought that old waterfall cedar chest I had no idea it would be the perfect height for weaving and such for the looms, but it is and I am grateful I came across it so many years ago.

Regardless of the weather I'm still getting at least two after meal walks in. Especially in the winter you can hear the wind moving through the trees heading for you or passing you by 50 yards or so away. Watch the trees wagging their tops to and fro, imagining birds holding on for dear life or maybe enjoying the wild ride? Walking in these conifer forests is so different from most Northeastern deciduous ones. Fuller, closer, prettier and more alive. Where wind whistles like far off shrieks from the grave, our forest whispers and rustles, alive and protective. With that, here is a classic from Paint Your Wagon. Enjoy!

Parting shot: Finally, my turn.