Thursday, June 28, 2012

The "Eyes" Have It

Currently working on a brand-new warp on my Gilmore loom it is a ruby and black 8/2 tencel pirate sash.

I was a bit startled to realize when I used white cotton yarn to spread the warp it looked some what like human eyes staring back at me.  The fact that I am weaving a pirate sash to be worn by a dear friend who does reenactment as a pirate captain made me think of Cap'n Jack Sparrow and the eyes he had painted on his face in one of the Disney pirate movies.  The whole thing is kind of weird don't you think?

Update on our tomato garden, with all the humidity, heat and sunshine around here the tomatoes are leaping skyward.  Mind you, the tomato cages are almost 4 feet tall and the plants are already 2 feet tall, that my dear friends is very fast growth for this time of year.  We have a ton of little green tomatoes on every plant which I have to tell you makes me a happy lady.  Canning season is fast approaching, ketchup, salsa, tomato paste, tomato sauce, pizza sauce, spagetti sauce, chili sauce... pretty sure I am forgetting some type of sauce.

My beloved SamWise Gamgee trying to stay as cool as possible on this hellish hot day.  Air conditioning and cool tile in the basement make for one happy boy.  We are supposed to top out at 100 degrees today.  Heat waves, I detest them and as you can see so does Sammy boy.

Hope everyone is staying cool.  Happy Weaving!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Saddle Blankets & Wool Rug

Stash busting has been a theme in many weaver's blogs lately and of course it occurred to me that I have a stash of Harrisville Shetland wool that has been hanging around the studio for a while now.

Two of my dear friends are taking horse back riding lessons right now and I thought it might be nice for them to have saddle blankets of their very own.  Off to my stash I went in search of materials to weave up some surprise saddle blankets.

The color of the blankets are a very light silvery grey with a bit of lavender highlighting the wool. Shetland wool is lovely to weave with and will hold up well to the stress of horse sweat, leather friction and heat.

Using all wool in the construction of these saddle blankets will ensure a long useful life.  I used Navajo blanket warp in this project.  Navajo warp is made with churro wool which is coarse and kind of prickly to the touch and has great longevity.

Each saddle blanket was woven with a 3/1 twill pattern using doubled weft threads in each pick.  It was important to me that the saddle blankets were thick and comfortable for the horse.

Plan on putting the blankets in the mail this afternoon.  Hope my friends will be pleasantly surprised with their gift saddle blankets.  I always enjoy giving presents that are not expected.

Next up is an all wool rug I wove with the same Navajo warp and more of the Harrisville Shetland wool.

The Overshot pattern was done with a dark teal grey shetland wool.  Think the rug turned out great.  It is functional, lays flat and is sort of fun to look at.

Here is a shot of the front and back together.  I can never decide which side I like the best.

Happy Weaving!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Running Monks

Disaster was averted but only narrowly...after spending several days weaving up some Monk's Belt towels with some lovely dark red and green 5/2 yarn as the band colors.   I tossed the towels into the wash only to come back and find the red yarn had bled all over the white towel bodies.  What a mess!

As you can imagine this turn of events upset me greatly.  Not wanting to waste these towels I decided to try some dye remover and hope for the best.  Thought it a bit strange that this yarn ran so badly.  I have used it many times with no problems.  Why the red dye ran so badly this time is one for the books, I used the same procedures and detergents I always use.

Well, as you can see....  the red is now a lovely dark shade of gold (never expected the red to turn in to gold, strange how dyes can react).  The dark green yarn remained the same with no change to the original color.  Thankfully I now have towels I can sell in my shop.  Whew, mischief managed...

Not sure why the camera makes the small bands look almost black, they are really green.

Although I really did love the original dark red bands the gold color I ended up with is just fine.  Nice to know that at least these towels did not end up in the rag bag.  

On the homestead front, the chicks are growing fast!  We have not lost any of our original number.  The girls are already starting to get wing feathers and stubby little tails.

Sorry for the blurry picture, but the little girls are fast on their feet.

The tiny little almost white chick in the center of the shot is half the size of her sisters.  We have named her Weenut.  Weenut has the most adorable curly feathered feet.  We are curious to see how big she will be when she is full grown which I am happy to say I am pretty sure will happen because she is by far the most bossy of the group.

Back to the grind stone for me.  Happy Weaving!