Monday, August 29, 2011

Christmas Table Runners & Home Canning Adventures

It has been a while since I have posted anything of note, sorry.   I have been weaving and of course canning up a storm around here.  Think I might have a few more tomatoes than I expected to actually have to deal with.  Yes, this is a good thing but it does cut into my weaving time.

Today I canned a nice thick tomato paste to use as the base for home made spaghetti sauce this winter, it turned out really well.  Learned a new trick to make thick sauce, let it cook in a 350 degree oven for a few hours this method gets rid of the excess water and leaves a nice thick paste - yummy stuff.  Also canned some lovely black sweet cherries, had to make brandied cherries for the holidays (this is my second batch, wonder if that is significant)?

Finished weaving some Christmas table runners in what I think of as Dala Horse red and snow white merc cotton.  On this particular warp I had three 70 inch runners and one shorter runner of 40 or so inches.  Much to my dismay one of the the long red and white runners had a treadling error on one end - why did I not see this error when weaving!  Needless to say that particular runner will not be going anywhere, thinking of using it as material to make a tea cozy.

This is the red and white runner that has no treadling errors, just love it!  Think my Dala horse looks splendid sitting on the runner.

Here you can see the snowflakes and the Christmas trees a little bit better.

In this version I choose to weave the pattern in gold thread and the body of the table runner in red plain weave.  It reminds me of traditional Swedish Christmas table runners, very simple and elegant.

Like the pattern in the gold thread, don't you?

Etsy has changed a few things on how people are able to search for hand made items on the site.  Hope this helps my little shop and sales start to pick back up.  Have any of you noticed a slow sale month this month?

Need to get busy and figure out what to weave next, back to the looms.

Happy weaving!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pot Holders or Hot Pads What do you call them???

Maybe it depends where you are from,  what do you call pads or pot holders?

These pot holders wove up fast and were a lot of fun to weave.  Of course I did not follow the directions, ----when do I EVER follow directions----.  What I did was to throw 30 pics of plain weave first (first diversion from the directions).  Next I then wove the pattern using yarns totally different than the pattern directions called for (are you surprised yet).  Next veering from the planned pathI threw 60 pics of plain weave and wove the pattern again.  Ended the pot holder with 30 pics of plain weave.

30 pics plain weave
60 pics plain weave
30 pics plain weave

4 shots of different color yarn wove in plain weave - used for a cutting line

start the process all over again

Why you may ask did I weave these pot holders in this manner....well, I am a process person and I wanted to weave double sided potholders so that they are hefty enough to keep a person's hands from being burned while they use them.  The other reason is speed of production, yes I could weave them in a double weave pattern, but that takes way more time than I wanted to spend on the project.

I sewed the potholders together by folding them in half, making sure that the they were square.  The unfinished edges on the top and bottom of each unit was turned to the inside.  Then I stitched down both sides very close to the edge in matching thread.  Ta da, they are done.  Easy project.

On another topic, have you read the new HW magazine?  I was very disappointed, fashions...really?  Guess I am not all that interested in making baggy and boxy clothing.  Much prefer Daryl Landcaster's jackets, they are better fitted and the handwoven material she weaves is up to date and not so "old lady" looking to me.  HW is starting to lose my interest and come to think of it - it has been for some time.  Wish I could afford a VAV subscription.   Also wish Jean Scorgie's magazine came out a few more times per year, now that is a talented lady.

Okay, off my soap box and back to the loom.  

Happy weaving.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Colorful Handwoven Pot Holders

Needed to come up with a fast project that had to be completed and ready for gift giving very soon.  Had left over 8/2 cotton from my bright multi colored huck towel project and an empty off to the races I went.

Wove a four foot warp off with 9 pot holders as the finished result.  The fronts are the pattern you see above which is from the Davidson book of patterns.  The back of the potholders were done in one inch plain weave boxes of the assorted colors I had on hand.  Used red commercial bias tape to finish the edges of each pot holder.

Taught myself how to miter the bias tape corners so that the resulting pot holder looks professionally finished.  The color is way off in this picture, way too yellow for some reason.  The real colors are better represented in the first picture.

The above picture is the current pot holder project I have going on the Gilmore.  Using a project pattern I found in HW issue May/June 2005 and making it a little more my own by changing the yarns, epi along with changing construction of the finished project.  So far they are weaving up quickly and I think will be great when they are completed.  Love overshot patterns so this is an enjoyable project to weave.

Wish the heat wave would end soon.  

Happy Weaving