Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Departure #1: A new technique

Each year my guild hosts a summer meeting. Topics vary but it is always a chance to gather with friends and learn something new, perhaps a bit tangential to weaving. At last summer’s program I learned Locker Hooking, an easy and satisfying technique in which fabric loops are pulled up through a canvas and locked into place by way of a cord running through the loops. After the program I was inspired to hook a larger piece.

When I finally managed to find a large piece of canvas I eagerly began hooking a piano-key border in black and blue strips cut from tee shirts. The single knit fabric makes a nice cushy structure and I was pleased. But once the border was in place I could not decide how to proceed with the center/main design area of the rug. I wanted to hook detailed images but was afraid because this was my first stab at Locker Hooking a big project on my own.

Locker Hooked Pond Rug

Please permit here a slight departure. Over the past summer my husband and I have been working to redesign our back yard. We increased the size of our little Goldfish Pond from 150 gallons to 300 gallons. It is only a stock tank sunk into the ground but we like it. With twice the space our fish are flourishing and we have employed new technologies for fighting algae. In the past Raccoons and Great Blue Herons have decimated our fish population but we decided not to add a protective cover mesh on the new pond. Instead we built a camouflaged hidey cave on the pond floor. Five months later the water is still clear, our fish are survivors and we can see and enjoy them better. Knock on wood!

Chart on page 141 inspired
my Pond Rug design
Anyway, ponds and fish had been on my mind when I finally came back around to Locker Hooking. Searching for inspiration I scoured my library for charted needlework designs. In “The Filet Crochet Book” by Chris Rankin I found a design of fish and flowers breaking through borders. Adjusting the figures to fit my canvas, I added the water lily leaves and bud and then filled the background to look like water. There was a bright orange tee shirt in my rag stash – perfect for either Goldfish or Koi. It all came together nicely and I spent many hours over Christmas and into January happily hooking.

Departure #2: Time Away

The entire second half of January I was away from home. Somewhere in my travels I caught this year’s dreadful cold/flu. Four weeks later I am still coughing and wheezing but feeling grateful to be improving every day. I finished my pond rug the night before I left on the trip but haven’t had time or energy to post about it until now.

Return: Home Again and Back to Weaving

The Pond Rug works well in front of our refrigerator where it catches errant ice cubes from the (ridiculous and messy) in-door dispenser. It makes me smile every time I step in the pond!

While I was away my husband bought me another package of the hard-to-find hooking canvas. Further pond ideas are dancing in my head. Maybe they are “swimming” in my head? But those will have to percolate in my mind for a bit because these days I am back at my loom and Waffle Weaving away. It is all fun!

May you stay well.

Warp On/Weave Off,


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Meant to be Together

Three yarns for my 2017 Christmas towels came from three different sources. The 16/2 cotton in Natural came as a WEBS mill end several years ago. The 16/2 Bockens cotton in "Dusty Purple" came my way via the free shelf at my weaver's guild. An unidentified person brought several boxes of yarns that had belonged to her grandmother. Apparently none of the family chose to take up weaving and grandmother's stash was of no use to her heirs. The third, variegated yarn came from the estate sale of a former friend and fellow guild member. Although the rather large cone of this yarn is unmarked, I think it is 20/2 cotton. These yarns came to me at different times from different sources. I did not have a use in mind for them when they arrived. But with these towels it seemed clear that they were meant to come together in one cloth.

Large cone of variegated from an estate sale
Bockens 16/2 Cotton in "Dusty Purple" from someone's grandmother's stash
Mill end 16/2 cotton in Natural from WEBS

The time spots of color inside each waffle cell are a little too subtle, probably because that variegated yarn is a bit finer than the other two. The changing colors show far better on the reverse side where they form a surface grid. Even so I find the colors and the arrangement pleasing.

Waffle Weave Christmas Towel, detail

Waffle Weave Christmas Towel, reverse side detail

Using yarns from my stash, especially those that once belonged to other weavers, makes me happy. Perhaps these yarns waited a very long time specifically in order to become part of this very project. It's impossible to know the reason why the original owners had these yarns or what they had in mind for them. In my imagination it is nice to think they would be happy that yarns they held have become useful and beautiful hand towels.

Here's wishing you a very Happy New Year, a year filled with exciting and satisfying new weaving adventures.

Warp On/Weave Off,

Sunday, December 24, 2017

2017 Christmas Towels

Merry Christmas, everyone!

This year's Christmas towels are a wrap. Perhaps they have been opened already or are still waiting beneath a Christmas tree. By now there isn't much chance of spoiling any surprises.

Waffle Weave Christmas Towels

Using my own 7H version of draft #388 from Carol Strickler's 8 Harness book, these are woven in 16/2 cotton sett at 36 e.p.i. If you think you are seeing a bit of yellow, you are right. Next time I will post a photo of the yarns I used as well as some detail shots so you can better see the structure.

We had a very rare dusting of Christmas Eve snow during the evening so it looks like a White Christmas is in store for tomorrow. Mostly I wanted to write a quick post before I go to bed to send my best wishes. Merry Christmas!

Warp On/Weave Off,