Friday, November 15, 2013

Rye Crumbs and Hip Pockets

My Hip Pocket #10
By now that rye bread has been more than sampled. In fact only one slice, the last heel, remains. Baking is on my mind.

But first as promised here are a few additional Hip Pocket photos. There are more photos to share later. And yes, all colors of jeans work well.


My Hip Pocket #8 made for my friend, Marjy, using pockets and the zipper from her own pair of jeans.

These are some of the Inkle bands I wove to use as the sides, bottom tassels and shoulder straps for "My Hip Pockets"

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Hip Pocket

One side of "My Hip Pocket" #4
Remember all those jeans pockets I've been saving? Recently it occurred to me that even though two pockets from a single pair of pants may not be symmetrical, they are mirror images of one another. I suddenly saw that they would make the front and back of a bag. So I combined the pockets with the zipper from a pair of jeans, added an inkle band, some tatting and beads. Voila! Here you see one of my creations, a tiny shoulder bag. I am having a load of fun with these and will post more photos later, perhaps when the rye bread I'm baking comes out of the oven. Or after I have sampled said rye bread.

The reverse side of "My Hip Pocket" #4

Friday, September 13, 2013

Class Prep

RepWeaver designed table runner

RepWeaver Design - Table Runner DetailThe rep class I'm teaching begins soon so I have been knee-deep in preparation. Weaving the sample projects has been fun if time consuming. This little table runner made me happy. The bright spots on the rag weft worked really well. Amazingly, I found the rag after my loom was dressed. That chartreuse colored rug warp is one of my favorites -- truly a must-have in my inventory.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Entry Rug

It must be at least 13 years ago that I first wove a Rep rug for our home's front entry. Since then the rug has been through it all, including teenagers and pets. The design was adapted from Laila Lundell's book, "Rep Weaves". The rug is still in rather good shape except for the permanent dirty look along certain pathways. Here you see old faithful in the background.
New Rep Rug on the floor near the old Rep Rug.

Recently we moved my mother into a retirement home and I wound up with several sets of light blue bed sheets. These were the perfect rags for my new rugs. They will remind me that the struggles my family and I have been experiencing over the past couple of years are over. We have been caring for my father who suffered from dementia. For the past year neither he nor my mother could drive and I was often called upon to chauffeur. It was difficult but my precious mother took loving care of Dad at home until the final two weeks of his life. He is now at peace in heaven and she can finally rest.

I wouldn't be telling you all of this except that since January my loom has been naked. Naked! It has not been idle for this long since it came to me back in 1989. All the work and angst dealing with a dementia patient took a huge toll on me. I just didn't have the heart or energy to do anything creative during the last few months.

After such a long break, getting back into weaving was sort of intimidating. I fussed around in my studio for some time before plucking up the courage to dive in again. Dive in I did and managed to design the widest rug I have ever woven. The profile draft is #203 from "The Shuttle-Craft Book of American Hand-Weaving" by Mary Meigs Atwater, a book chock full of great ideas. I could weave for a lifetime out of this one little book. It holds just the kind of inspiration I love.

That old rug was a work horse and was so beautiful I wanted to replace it with a similar one. My goals for the new one included:
  • Using darker colors in order to better hide traffic dirt
  • Using a busier block design to help hide traffic patterns
  • Maintaining the yellow/blue pallet
  • Adding a touch of red
  • Weaving a slightly wider/longer rug
It turned out well. I cut this first rug off my loom to check the design before going all-out and weaving the longer replacement rug. For the longer rug I chose a slightly different block arrangement. That one still needs hemming but I'll post a photo once it is finished and in place.

Dot was kind enough to help me weave the new Rep Rug.
This, by the way, is the type of help I get around here. Jenny and Dot appreciate every stage of the weaving process. Can you see how I put socks over unused treadles? When setting up I simply leave unneeded treadles tied up as they had been previously. Binding them together in pairs with a sock helps keep me from mistreadling while weaving. I'm always looking for ways to speed up my weaving and keep myself from having to look down at the treadles. Socks work for me.

It is wonderful to be weaving again. Until I returned to my loom it didn't occur to me how much I missed weaving. There are a couple of things more to post including my super-secret jeans pocket project. Watch for them.

Weave on. Weave Off!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Top Secret Project Underway

My collection of jeans pockets is growing.

Rag rugs woven with old jeans as weft are fabulous. I don't regularly choose to use denim in my rugs. Weaving with old denim poses respiratory risk and wearing a mask does not suit me. So it's only when my husband and I have worn through several pair of jeans on our own that I weave with denim.

As a rag rug weaver I hate to waste any useful fabric so when weaving with denim cut from discarded jeans I always remove and save the back pockets and the zippers. Not that I ever had a plan for the pockets and zippers. They just seemed to need saving. And over the years my collection slowly grew.

Well . . . at last an idea occurred to me and these salvaged orphans are finally finding a use. Hooray! Sorry, though. I'm not yet ready to spill the beans. Here is a hint: I am combining several of my favorite needle pursuits to make something just a bit unique to me and my interests. And I am having the most fun!

I showed my secret project to a small group of my weaver friends and now they are donating their jeans pockets and zippers to the cause. One friend even did the seam ripping for me and gave me several matched sets of pockets and zippers. She is one dedicated friend for sure. Have you ever tried removing intact pockets and zippers from jeans? It requires determination.

Don't know how long I will keep this under wraps but if I can finish several of them in time I intend to put them in the Seattle Weavers' Guild annual show and sale.

Weave off,

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I'm Back

Yes, it has been a long time. I've been away helping with my brand new grandson who lives across the country from me. He and his big sister are loads of fun and so very cute! I have also been busy helping my aging parents move into a retirement home. Life just keeps happening with or without my help.
I'm looking forward to getting back to weaving and my many interests. Watch for updates soon.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Granite Friendly Hand Towels

Handwoven Hand Towels by RepWeaver, Warp #91

These hand towels are from a warp tied on to my previous two warps. This means they are of the same threading but a different color-way than the other two. This time I decided to place the variegated ends in regular spots within the warp. For instance, I decided the thin middle stripe in the first five towels should be variegated. There are a total of four variegated ends within each threading repeat.

The drafts are #443, #444, and #446 from Carol Strickler's "A Weaver's Book of 8 Shaft Patterns", my favorite drafts from one of my favorite books.

While weaving these I was thinking how well they would go with granite countertops. My house does not have granite, maybe some day . . .

RepWeaver #91-4, Hand Towel detail

As a general rule I aim to chose a solid color from one of the middle hues of a chosen variegated yarn. That way there are both lighter and darker highlights sprinkled in with the solid colored main warp color. And if I match the main warp color to a mid hue, the variegated ends will sometimes seem to disappear into the background.

An issue on my mind while weaving these is how so often handwoven towels are referred to as "dish towels." I beg to differ. Handwoven towels, at least my handwoven towels, are meant to be used to dry your hands. I call them "Hand Towels". A dish towel is a thin flour-sack sort of cloth, preferably embroidered with a cute design to brighten up a sometimes tedious task. Something like this:

Embroidered Dish Towels
Two of my favorite "dish towels" and their embroidery patterns
from Bird Brain Designs ( #325) and Aunt Martha's (#4009)

Another thought is that towels such as these would work equally well in the powder room as in the kitchen. No longer will I label my towels as "Kitchen Towels" which is the way I have been doing it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Helpers in the Weaving Studio

Dot and Crinkle
Scottish Folds, Dot (left) and Crinkle (right) enjoy helping out in the studio.
This is the kind of help I have in my weaving studio. Crinkle and Dot are both Scottish Folds. Crinkle belongs to our son and daughter-in-law. We love having him visit when his owners are away. The one on the left is our little Dot. She is Crinkle's half sister and is quite an accomplished weaver for one so young. Tatting and sewing also come naturally to her. Scottish Folds are sweet, vocal and simply amazing, lovable cats.

RepWeaver Detail, Towel #90-5
Towel from Warp #90
Weaving and weaving right up until Christmas Eve I finally finished the second color version of my towels just in time for gift giving. This blue one was a particular favorite. Wish I'd done more like it. The third iteration of this design is now on my loom. On this warp I took care to place the variegated ends at regular intervals instead of going random. We'll see how it goes. Five of the nine towels are woven. Can't wait to see them off the loom and finished.

In the meantime, I am tatting up a storm. Just ordered a bunch of Lizbeth tatting thread. The variegated colors are tough to resist, especially when they go on special. Variegated is the equivalent of having a new box of 64 Crayola Crayons. As much as I longed for them, I wasn't ever allowed to have that sized box of crayons as a child because my mother did not like the built-in sharpener on the back. She was sure her carpeting would be stained by errant crayon bits. Color was extremely important to me then as it is now. Only now I tend to look for "the 64 pack" in threads!

Tatting by RepWeaver
Tatting by RepWeaver