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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful, happy and safe holiday!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jingle Jingle Jingle . . .

Back to a short, routine-filled work week now that my husband is back to work from a four-day weekend.

I'm not done with Christmas gifts yet. Mostly done, but not yet. Above is a scarf I made for my husband for Christmas. He never visits my blog, so it's safe. Ironically, for all I weave, he doesn't own a handwoven scarf by me. Knitted, yes, but not handwoven. It's made with a merino/tencel black warp and wool/silk silver gray weft in "Six Thread Herringbone". I measured warp for two, rather short, 42", scarves, one for my husband and one, just because it's easier to measure for more than one if you're going to wind warp, thread heddles, and sley the reed.

Now, I used to think that I could just make a quick project, at least one scarf, in a couple of days. Just breeze right through. No big deal. Yes, that's generally true. For the most part. Most of the time. Sometimes.

Except, as I have learned, there's always SOMETHING. Always. I no longer believe in the breeze-through-no-big-deal-quick project.

A spring on one of my treadles broke. Thank God I have an eight-shaft loom and was only using four on this project. I couldn't find any extras yesterday, so I just borrowed from another treadle. No spring, can't use the treadle.

The floating selvedge on the left side broke at least five times. A floating selvedge is an extra thread on each side of the warp. It is not threaded through the heddle, so it doesn't go up and down with any of the shafts. It is sleyed through the reed and remains static. I wind the thread around a cork and put it in an old prescription bottle that is weighted with coins or screws, whatever. It only has to be heavy enought to be taut. You use a floating selvedge on any project other than plain weave. In plain weave, the weft will catch one edge or the other of the project and there won't be any loose, gaping threads on the sides. But other patterns, or drafts, may not catch the edges every time, leaving loose threads and a messy selvedge (edge of the fabric). The floating selvedge is the same yarn as the edge of the warp and blends right in.

I was pretty irritated about them breaking all the time. It's easy to repair and add another one on invisible but it sure slows you down.

One of the warp threads broke, too, not far into the scarf.

Oh, and this all happened while making one scarf. I never got to the other one. I'm going to cut my losses on this one. It's a good thing I didn't decide to do this, famously, a day before Christmas. ha.

But the first scarf came out well and will be under the tree later today.

I'm not sure what was up with that yarn. It's an 8/2 merino/tencel but it look a little thinner than the other cone I have. This type of yarn is usually very strong and I love working with is. I think I will make a note inside the cone to only use as weft.

Bah humbug to that.

That's over and I will probably start another project today. And practice my guitar - yay! Because I have the house until late afternoon.

Merry Christmas, all!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Line for Winter 2010 - 2011

The Cottage series is my new line of scarves for this winter. "Cottage" because they remind me a little of a cozy little house off the beaten path, away from the strip malls, box stores, traffic snarls, and the general energy-sucking atmosphere that is our daily grind (I am not a hermit or a Luddite, clearly, but we all need some quiet downtime occasionally). It's a place where there's always a warm fire, a pot of coffee or tea, some cookies or scones. A place where you may sit on a tattered, but most comfortable couch covered in faded, patched fabric. Some striped pillows, some floral, not always matching. You will find treasures you picked up from travels to Germany and ones you found at the local flea market. Read a book. Play your guitar. Watch the sunset. Wind down from the day.

Sometimes when I was weaving some of these scarves I felt like Van Gogh off the rails. It got a little wacky and I was reined in only because crazier materials and resources simply were not in reach. Yeah. It got a little manic. Thank goodness I only had yarn. But we'll see.

I'll pick up this project again after Christmas, as I have presents to make!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tis the Season . . .

For a whole bunch of things. I need to work on more Christmas cards tonight. But, in the meantime, I wanted to tell you that for the month of December, Coffee Break Designs can be found in the newest, hippest place in East Hampton, CT, 70 Main Coffee House and Art Gallery. You can check them out on Facebook. It's just opened up and I'm looking forward to hanging out there.

Made a sale on the scarf above! So now I am making more! I really love these new scarves. They keep me interested and endlessly entertained.

This is one on Etsy from my latest set, Cottage Water Lilies at Sunset

Another view.
Wish me luck there! I have more on the loom, as well.
I've decided to do something special for my birthday, which is next month. It really is just for me, as I'm not sure how well it will be received. Ahhh, my family and friends shall be at my mercy. More at a later date. (cue evil laugh)