Sunday, November 27, 2011

Travellin'

Been off traveling for months and months!  Because I was afraid I'd get down in the dumps when it was all over, I signed up for a rug weaving class starting the week we got home for good (or at least for now).  Whew~ Besides getting a good overview of many weft-faced rug techniques, I learned that you can't force a loom to do something it really wasn't designed to do. Even sandbags holding it down, metal strips weighting the beater, and my full weight leaning back to press that weft home just didn't make a light-weight loom into a rug loom!

Yesterday I started winding warp to get things going again.  I finished a 5.5 yard warp to do a 2 block, 3 colour set of towels on the Mac. Today I'll wind cotolin in 4 colours for some placemats to give the Harrisville a treat for trying so hard to be a rug loom, and this week I hope to re-thread a black and white warp on the Hammett (who is a rug loom!).  It's time the baskets of dismembered jeans became rugs.  Winter is here and I am really looking forward to some good weaving time.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The car did not come home empty~

I've just had a month away, visiting family and friends.  I had a new grandchild to get to know and my mother's 90th birthday to celebrate.  I drove and my DH flew out for the long Memorial Day weekend to join us for the surprise birthday party (poor working stiff doesn't have the luxury of long trips just yet).  My, was Mom ever surprised! It was so great to be able to celebrate this milestone with her.  She's a retired nurse (that includes a stint during WWII as an Army nurse in the Pacific) who has spent her life healing and caring for others.  She's loving, smart, funny, and has always been a staunch defender of women's rights.  She still takes me by surprise sometimes on that score - she can be very fierce when roused.

I managed to tick a couple of things off my bucket list this trip.  

I drove back roads from New Jersey to western Pennsylvania, admiring historic farms and beautiful woodlands.  I planned the route to take me to The Mannings, a wonderful shop with the largest selection of books on fiber arts one could imagine. (I got two:  Rural Pennsylvania German Weaving 1833 - 1857 and the Christian Frey and Henry Small, Jr Pattern Books by Tandy and Charles Hirsch, and The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers by Madelyn van der Hoogt.)  The setting was incredible~ Getting there was an adventure since I had programmed NEW Berlin into the GPS, instead of EAST Berlin!  The elderly gentleman who got me straightened out thought that was hilarious.

Whilst the DH and I were bimbling around the countryside Saturday evening of the holiday, hiding out from my mother until Sunday's party, we went past an antique/collectibles/junk shop.  Luckily Himself was driving because we'd had been off the road when I spotted a Great Wheel on the back stoep of the place!  Did I want to go back and have a look at it? Did I, even with the whiplash I had just given myself! It needs some attention to the wood (pretty dry), but was otherwise intact.  While wending our way to the back of the shop to pay for it, DH spotted a clock winder/reel.  It needs the indicator hand replacing and that's it.  It had some cloth hanging off it and I had walked right by. The price was astoundingly low on both items and DH managed to fit them into the rental Corolla!

And last, but far from least, on the drive back west, I did a side trip to Decorah, IA, to visit Vesterheim, the Norwegian-American museum.  The collections in the museum building are very good, especially if you are interested in Krokbragd, Scandinavian boundweave.  The museum's collection of historic buildings is superb and I was fortunate to be the only tourist there that day - I had a one-on-one guided tour!  The gentleman who gave me the tour was very knowledgeable and very accommodating.  Thanks again to him for a wonderful afternoon.  Now, of course Vesterheim has a museum shop and I left with another book Om fellen kunne fortelle... by Randi Breiset.  Beautiful woven coverlets, beautifully photographed.

So, today is the last day of 'vacation recovery' and tomorrow it's back to routine.  The looms await.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Orphaned~

The table loom has come back home~ It's intended new owner was a young mum with two very active young children that she is home-schooling.  Her mum thought it would be something for her to use to keep her creative juices flowing, but now was not the time.  Oh well, if she changes her mind, it will still be here.

I think if I can ever build my dream studio, it ought to be called "Room for a Loom?" ;^)

Off now adventuring for a month!

Friday, April 22, 2011

They're multiplying~

Looms, not Border Collies.  This month the table loom and a nice old JL Hammett floor loom traded homes.  The table loom is going adventuring, the lucky thing.  The friend who had the Hammett has a daughter in Nova Scotia who didn't have room for it, so it has come to live with us and the table loom is going to be crated for eventual transport 'out east'.

What have I been weaving lately?  Rag rugs on my Harrisville (they'll move to the Hammett), a rather lurid yellow yardage (#47 from A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns) on the Macomber.  The thread was some sort of acrylic and greenish yellow (my DH calls it "dog sick yellow").  It came with the Macomber and the yardage isn't intended to be anything.  Next up was the M&W pattern included with Madelyn van der Hoogt's Warping Your Loom DVD and I did about a 6-inch wide strip (yards long!) out of various green perle cottons, intending them to be potholders and hotpads.  The perle cotton also came with the Macomber.  Imagine getting a retiring weaver's stash thrown in for free with the loom!

What's next? The black and white color-and-weave Labyrinth pattern from Tina Ignell's Favorite Scandinavian Projects to Weave. The towel is one of the textiles shown on the front cover of the book and it is a toss-up whether it was it or the red and white cloth that made me buy the book.  I'm such a sucker for red and white.  That (the book) is a compilation of designs from V√§vmagasinet, the great Swedish weaving periodical.  As it happens, I've since acquired some back issues and, in particular, the one with the Labyrinth design in it.  That was good luck - I was having a little trouble understanding the draft in the book. It seemed to only show the black threads in the warping/threading.  I thought I knew what I should be doing but am not real confident yet, certainly not enough to trust my assumptions.  Hah!  The pattern in the magazine has the correct draft with both colors indicated and I had guessed right. (It shouldn't have been a hard guess, but this confidence thing~)  I have the warp wound and today hope to get it sleyed and threaded.   So, onwards!  Happy Easter, everyone.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Why 'Frigga's Loom'?

Well, Frigga is the Norse goddess of, among other things, weaving.  Seems appropriate, doesn't it?  

Now for the other reason.  As a 'plain' weaver who is learning new things, I make mistakes.  Lots and lots of mistakes!  And sometimes in an effort not to let what my dear hubby refers to as 'weaving language' get out of hand, I will invoke Frigga rather than a certain other word beginning with 'F'.  

We share our house with 3 border collies, 2 floor looms (that's Baird, my new-to-me Macomber in the photo, all decked out for the holidays), a table loom, and no sofa.  It went to make room for Baird!  Doesn't everybody think a loom is more important than a sofa?