Friday, December 26, 2014


Do you ever feel like you're a novice swimmer jumping into the deep end when it comes to color?  Me too!  I'm on a new color journey (swim?). Here's where things stand:

The beginning.
I went shopping at my friend Robin Edmundson's etsy shop.  I love her colors for cotton roving and finally decided to buy a color I've been eyeing for months!  While looking around, I discovered she had yarn grab bags for sale as well and you chose them by color family:  "bright cool", "bright warm", "earthy cool", "earthy warm".  I don't know about you, but there are times when I want to choose every last color in a piece and other times when I just want someone to fill my bag with pretty crayons and let me play (without having to think about which crayons got put in the bag!).  So, I purchased a "bright warm" grab bag.

This is what I have left after winding a warp.  There are two fine cotton boucle yarns (~24wpi), one cotton with a binder (~24 wpi), a rayon boucle (~22 wpi), and a nylon ribbon.  They are lovely yarns!  I have woven with the fine cotton boucle before when I won one of Robin's give-aways a year ago.  The trick with this group of yarns was how to use them in my color-limited way and have them look fun, nice, and well, awesome ('cause the colors are beautiful!).

So here's what I found:  Celeste Pryde has an article in the March/April 2000 issue of Handwoven magazine where she discusses weaving a Bronson Lace "log cabin" with multiple colors.  She uses silks instead of cottons, but the color use is fascinating!  She winds mini-warp bundles--enough ends for one of her two lace blocks (24 ends in this case)--and each mini-warp has two contrasting yarns.  The contrast can be color, texture, value...or even no contrast!  For a 28" wide piece she wound ~17 of these mini-warps.

So, I'm going to try it.  I had already played around with some of my 10/2 cotton yarns, looking to find similar color combinations as this grab bag from Robin.  I pulled out all the yarns.  I made yarn pairs--most of them were contrasts of color and texture--and I wound 9 mini-warp bundles and hung them over a cupboard door.

Here they are.  I've been moving them around and taking photos of them.  I knew I wouldn't be able to remember which order I liked if I didn't document them somehow!  I pulled my husband into the project and he suggested one of these orders and I really like it.

 But, check out what happens when I grey scale these photos to look at the color values:
The color order in the top left is a gradual shift from a dark value to a light and back to dark.  None of the other value shifts are as smooth.  The middle two have a shift, but there is a more abrupt dark to light shift from the left moving to the right.  The upper left color order is currently hanging on the cupboard door.  I'll look at it again tomorrow and hopefully warp a loom!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ends Per Inch, Errors and Summer & Winter Surprise

Ever have a 'great idea' only to watch it fail at every turn?  After weaving the placemats for my friend I thought that I could use my cotton chenille to make wonderful baby blankets.  I included a bit of plain weave sampling at the end of the placemat warp, did some calculations and went to work.

There were, of course, limiting factors in my work.  To weave a wide blanket (I like 40" square baby blankets) I would need to use my AVL Production Dobby loom.  That was ok.  I'm not very fast at warping it, mostly due to lack of practice, so I figured this would be a good opportunity to practice!  Unfortunately, I only have one reed that reaches the width of the AVL.  It's a 10-dent reed and my test piece had been woven at 24 ends per inch (epi).  I could thread the 10-dent reed 2-2-3 for 23 epi or 2-3 for 25 epi.  I opted for the "easier" 2-3 threading.

Here's where things got sticky.  I made some denting errors. Some of them I was able to fix right away, but some would have required re-threading the entire reed. (Can you see where this is going?)  I wasn't willing to do that.  I had 1150 ends.  I didn't want to re-thread the reed.  So I didn't.  
Not good. Not good at all.  So I ended up with warp stripes randomly placed throughout my baby blankets.  They aren't even.  They weren't planned.  They aren't even the same type of error!  There are multiple spots where there are too many threads per dent and one spot where there are too few.  :(
Two blankets showing denting errors.

The other part of my trouble is my choice of ends per inch for the warp.  The placemat warp had been sett at 24 epi and was a relatively narrow warp.  The washed sample is lovely--soft and fuzzy  and the colors show up well.  My baby blanket warp was sett at 25 epi and was a wide warp --44".  Wide warps don't pack as tightly as narrow warps, neither do warps with extra ends per inch.  I was doomed!

Ok.  So it's not that bad.  Sure the cloth doesn't look like my sample and I really liked my sample.  Sure the cloth has irregularities in it, so I won't put it in the art gallery for sale.  But, if I hem them, I'll have two baby blankets or lap blankets to give to friends.  If I never show them my sample, they'll never know what they're missing.  Right?

While the baby blanket warp was on the avl I got to looking through some of my back issues of Handwoven Magazine.  I was looking for articles on using color, but came across a familiar graph and paused to look it over.  

 This wall hanging is a Mary Atwater piece and I remember seeing it in her book "Recipe Book: Patterns for Handweavers".  It is designed to be woven as Summer & Winter pickup.  The interesting thing is that the instructions provide two threadings and tie-ups.  One is the typical S&W threading with tie-downs on shafts 1 and 2.  The other is a straight twill threading !!!  Wow!  I didn't know that you could do Summer & Winter on a straight twill threading!  It turns out that you can!!!

I wove this little fish at the end of my baby blanket warp which was threaded straight twill on 12 shafts. I keep hoping that I'll like weaving pick-up, but I don't yet!  Still, the ability to do various weaves on a single threading is exciting!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

24 Hour Scarf Project

I had a little bit of yarn left over from the Alaska (Kenai) hat I knit.  I added an old skein of handspun--it was spun from the same fiber that I used for the color base for the top and bottom of the hat (dark brown & green sections) and it worked well as a fill-in yarn.

The piece was about 6.5" wide on the loom and sett at 8 ends per inch.  I tried a couple different wefts--first a tan, commercially spun alpaca, then a dark green with specks of red and gold handspun merino.  The dark green merino was a very fine lace weight yarn.  I ended up using it doubled--it was closer in size to the warp yarns that way--and wove away.  The project was on and off the loom in less than 24 hours!  After washing it, there was an extra 24 hours wait for it to dry.
Now the hat and scarf are a set and get worn regularly. :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dragon Skin (aka textured yarn and knitting)

It all started with a stop at my local yarn store.  Really, that's all it was--a stop to see what was new and what was pretty!  I came home with something only a bit unusual.  It was a length of wool roving dyed in beautiful fall colors.  There was no makers mark on the label, just the type of wool and the weight.   I thought I would look at it for a while and then put it it my stash.

But I didn't. My oldest came down with a bug that kept her home from school for two or three days.  What did I do while taking care of my sick one?  I began to spin.

This lovely merino roving was irregularly dyed.  There was no true repeat of colors.  The colors did not extend across the width of the roving.  It was very random!  I finally decided that the best way to show off these beautiful colors would be to spin the roving into a thick and thin yarn.  (This decision was heavily influenced by Sarah Anderson's book The Spinner's Book of Yarn Design, where she starts her students off by spinning thick and thin as an exercise for learning control over drafting....It's a cool trick!)  I split the roving lengthwise into strips and spun my colorful singles.  It was so much fun!  It was just spinning for the love of it! 

To keep the colors separate, I plied the thick and thin single with a thin single of black Polwarth yarn.  My friend Wendy Feller gave me this fleece and I am slowly combing through the wool.  It spins beautifully!
Here's the yarn in it's thick and thin glory!  The thick parts aren't 100% evenly spaced, but they are regular and I was pleased!

Deciding what to do with a thick and thin yarn came next.  I ended up using a Ravelry pattern "Baktus" as my starting point.  To make the piece more textured, I used stockinette stitch for the bulk of the work, but for the thick sections I purled making a pronounced bump in the fabric.  :)

Here's the scarf and a skein of yarn:

The headband is knit as a moebius strip.  I followed Cat Bordhi's cast on technique (see ) on a circular needle (us#5).  The piece grows from the center width-wise towards the edges.  It was a fun knit.  I had to shift from mostly knitting to mostly purling at the half-way point around the loop in order to keep the fabric all (mostly) stockinette.  The transition is just visible in the band.  My finger marks the transition point--to the right are purl stitches (the back of the stockinette fabric) to the left are knit stitches.
 By twisting the headband at the transition, the band appears to be all stockinette stitch.

Lastly, I made a pair of fingerless mitts to complete the set.  I didn't follow any one pattern to knit these.  They start with  k1 p1 ribbing at the wrists, then shift to stockinette stitch with an increase for the thumb.  After I knit enough to get to the base of the thumb, I bound off the stitches I had added in to make the hole for the thumb.  Then it was more stockinette stitch and a little bit more of k1p1 ribbing around the fingers and Ta-Da! they were done!

This seems like a lot to get from one bit of roving!  The dyed merino roving was 6 oz.  I didn't weigh how much Polwarth I used, but I'm guessing it was 3-4 oz, maybe even 5oz. For 9-12 oz of yarn, it seems more reasonable to have been able to make so much.  The best part is how much I enjoyed the making of each part!

PS.  My oldest daughter really likes dragons.  She has a few figurines, she draws them in her spare time...When I gave her the scarf and made the headband she was trying to come up with a name for them.  After a few false starts (including "sparkles"--blech!), she said "Dragon skin" and the name has stuck.  The pieces are bumpy, yet smooth and mottled, but coordinated.  And, because they are 100% wool and wool is self-extinguishing, they are partially fire proof-- definitely Dragon Skin!  :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014


A friend of mine has finally moved into her new home after months of living in the "little house" at her mother-in-law's property.  These placemats are a housewarming gift for the new place.

The warp is 10/2 cotton with  chenille accent stripes (probably a rayon chenille) threaded as crackle.  My original plan was to use two colors of cotton chenille as warp with a 10/2 colored cotton as tabby.  Like all plans, this one had flaws.  The worst issue was that the polychrome (many-color) samples looked just awful!  I didn't care for them at all!  I shifted to a single color pattern (a grey-brown chenille) and a green 10/2 cotton for the tabby weft and was able to weave the mats.  

I made six placemats.  Four mats have "horizontal ladders" and two have something of a "goose-eye" pattern.  They are thick and rest well on the table (and they match my plates nicely...maybe I need to make another set! :).

Monday, November 24, 2014

PVC Weaving Tool and Plain Weave Stripes

I had a student at the studio this week.  She is a new weaver and ran into some trouble warping her rigid heddle loom with a pre-wound warp chain.  I wanted her to see how a warp chain was made on a warping board, but I use a warping reel.  This pvc warping "board" was put together from pieces of my pvc niddy noddy/yarn skeiner.   It's one yard long.  Aside from the straight pipe, it uses some T's and one X connector.  PVC is flexible enough that I'm not confident using is as a real warping board, but it worked great to show how a cross is made and how weavers tend to tie the cross in a warp.

The next pretty little piece is on my 8", 4-harness Structo loom.  It's plain weave with a cotton warp of stripes from commercial 8/2 and handspun yarns.  I planned this warp and had to re-do my calculations about three times.  The first issue was one of sett.  My handspun cotton was 18 WPI.  I usually sett plain weave at 1/2 the WPI.  Sara Lamb in her book Spin to Weave describes using a closer sett with a weft that is finer than the warp.  She says that this helps create good drape in a plain weave fabric.  I decided to try it, and recalculated the warp stripes at a closer sett (I ended up using 20 epi, threaded 1-1-2 in a 15-dent reed.)  The next re-calculation was due to concerns with the accent stripes at the edges of the plain weave stripes.  
Theoretically, when plain weave is being woven, a warp thread becomes a dashed line as the weft covers it every other pick.  I didn't want one side of my stripes to have a dash-dot-dash pattern and the other side to have a dot-dash-dot pattern!  I hate to tell you how much I worried about this!  Finally I realized that if my blue stripes were all odd numbers of threads, the purple accent warps would be on the same shed and would always lift together.  Whew!  There was one more related recalculation when I realized that I needed to have the white background in odd numbers of threads as well, otherwise one group would have a pair of dash-dot-dash accents and the next stripe would have a pair of dot-dash-dot accents.  Woo boy!  Well and good, I finally got it all worked out and am happily weaving at the loom.

Guess what I discovered today?!  I made an error winding the warp.  There is one group of white background threads that is an EVEN number of threads.  But check out the woven fabric: it doesn't make a difference in the way the stripes look!  I guess I got all worked up about nothing.  I wonder if it would make a difference in a different piece....maybe if the weft were thicker??

Friday, November 14, 2014


This olive green scarf was woven on my 8" Structo loom as an introduction to weaving for my daaughter's third grade class.  The kids all got to work the loom and weave a bit and then I brought the loom home and finished weaving.  The yarns are a combination of handspun and Cascade 220 that I dyed.  In the warp the two yarns alternate irregularly, but in the weft each yarn was used for about 2" before switching to the other yarn.  The scarf was wet finished following suggestions from Laura Fry's video "Wet-Finishing for Weavers".  The scarf was washed with a bit of detergent and rinsed.  The water was squeezed out and the scarf rolled up in a towel to remove any excess water.  Then, the fun began!  The scarf was repeatedly thrown onto a table multiple times to felt it slightly.  The felting didn't take long and the scarf drapes well!

This little piece is the end of a sample warp.  I took a double weave class from Jennifer Moore and used these 5/2 cottons for the class.  Unfortunately, after I finished my sampler, I didn't want to do more double weave on this warp.  So, I re-threaded the loom with this little flower pattern (I don't remember the name of the pattern. It was a 6-harness design with plain weave and floats to make the flower petals).  I wove with the bobbins filled from the workshop and just changed colors as the yarns ran out.  Then I had to decide what to do with this small piece of handwoven fabric.  My friends at the Conner Prairie weaving studio suggested a mobius scarf....and so, here it is:

The scarf is too short to wrap a second time, but it is a nice accent (my oldest tried it on for me this week and may be keeping it!).  If I were to make this again, I would aim to make it a little longer and maybe even make it out of something silky--either tencel or silk.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Quilt Top #2 and Knit Socks

A few years ago, I started a major Christmas Quilt project.  For years my family has snuggled under a Christmas Quilt and read advent stories during the month of December.  At some point I noticed that we were outgrowing our quilt.  We didn't all fit under it, or on the couch!  So, I dug out the instructions for the family Christmas Quilt and began making squares for three more quilts. I finished one last year and gave it to my oldest daughter.  As of today, quilt #2 is on the frame and is being quilted.  Whew!  I have one more top to finish piecing and then I'll quilt that one and call the project done.  This year's top is for my son's quilt and I invited him to decide how to place the blocks.  He was thrilled about the assignment and talked to himself as he made decisions about where should this block go and what about these two...  It was fun to watch!

It turns out that this pair of socks are also for my son.  His favorite color is yellow.  Check out how well the stripes matched on the cuffs!  I was impressed!  Unfortunately, the yarn had four or five knots (yikes!) after I hit the heel on the second sock.  But, as my son says, "that's ok, Mom".

The socks are a simple knit 2, purl 2 rib from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks.  They are knit from the top down on double pointed needles.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Introduction to Immersion Dyeing

Linda Adamson at Tabby Tree Weaver hosted a class on Immersion Dyeing of Protein Fibers and I was the instructor!  Three students took the class and we were able to get lots of samples dyed--the first set showed depth of shade, or the range of color (light, medium, and dark), from a single dye color.  The second set of samples were color blends.  We started with yellow, magenta, and blue dye solutions and blended them to make new colors.  Jean Marie added drops of magenta and yellow to the blue to make a "smokey" blue.  Ellen added yellow to the blue in search of the perfect teal for her rugs.  Cindi mixed different amounts of the blue and magenta to make some lovely violets!  We ran out of time and didn't get to dye any of the fibers the students brought--it's amazing how fast time flies when you are busy! Thank you to all who came and dyed!  It's a wonderful, addictive fiber art!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Color Work--Photo as Inspiration

The new hat in use with the brim turned up.
 This past spring I taught a color blending class at "The Fiber Event" in Greencastle, IN.  The first part of the class was mixing a 12-color color wheel from three primary colored wools (red, blue, & yellow).  The second part was blending colors taken from a printed/photo source.

My inspiration was a postcard from Kenai Fjords, Alaska.    After identifying the various colors in the photo (I ignored the text colors), I discovered that there were too many colors and narrowed my focus on the seals and the rock where they are sunbathing.

At this point, my notes become extremely sketchy!  The basic process is that I used the colors I saw in the photo to choose my rovings, blended the rovings into rolags and spun them into the yarns I used.  My choice of knitting patterns (this is based on the "Golden Pear" baby hat from ravelry) adds some extra blending as two colors are used to knit a transition area between the single color segments.

Going mostly by memory and what I see in the yarn, the rocks at the bottom of the photo are represented by the dark brown at the band of the hat. They are a combination of a natural brown wool, Romney wool dyed black, and maybe some grey wool. The mossy rocks above the seals were interpreted by blending the same natural brown wool used for the previous rocks, but blended with some green dyed wools (and maybe other colors...I really don't remember the details as well as I would like!).  The seals in the sun are represented by the copper and cream band of the hat.  I blended copper colored mohair top with cream colored fibers, probably undyed Romney.  I intentionally limited the amount of blending so that the resulting yarn has lots of color variation, mimicking the dappled effects of the light on the seals

For me, letting go of the literal imagery of the photo was a challenge.  I wanted to create seals and rocks!  It was hard to let go of that and I know that no one else will see the seals on the rock in this hat, but when I look at it, I remember the source for the color combination and I can see the seals. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Polymer Clay, Reenactment Costumes, and Weaving

Here's a hodge-podge of photos from this month:

My friend at Needles and Knots here in town hosted an Altoid Tin Decoration Contest.  It was lots of fun trying to come up with a way to use the tin and then to decorate it.  The end result is basketweave in polymer clay baked on the tin.

 I started and finished a corded petticoat.  I've found that they did a great job of keeping long skirts from winding around my legs when I wore them at Conner Prairie.  This one is for the 1700's costume I'll wear at the Feast of the Hunters' Moon in October.  I'm not sure if it is period, but I don't intend to show it to anyone while I'm wearing it!
This is my latest set of handwoven towels.  They are woven on a 20/2 cotton warp, use a 20/2 cotton tabby weft and a very fine, handspun cotton weft.  The purple/blue towel uses three strands of the handspun together to create a thicker yarn.  The multicolored wefts are all single strands.  There are three towels missing from this photograph.  They were woven on the same warp, with the same tabby weft, but used a brilliant blue, handspun cotton.  Much to my dismay, the blue cotton bled and discolored the towels.  It was so disappointing!

Working with the fine (to me--I usually use 10/2 cotton) cotton was, well...fine.  The biggest challenge was that I put on a longer warp than usual and tied on to the previous warp, making for more weaving to be done.  I was very happy when these knots came back up over the back beam!  Whew!

And lastly, a very sad farewell to an old pair of potholders.  I got these through an exchange at the Wabash Weavers' Guild---years ago!  They were well used and well loved.  I've replaced them with some wool ones I made, also quite some time ago, but these old ones that I think were made by Helen will have a special place in my memories!

Monday, August 25, 2014

18th Century Bed-Jacket

The Feast of the Hunters' Moon is going to be here soon (Oct. 4th) and I needed a bedjacket as part of my costume.  So, I made one!

The pattern is available for free (here's the link) and is straight forward to follow.  The fabric is handwoven.  It's a bit of yardage that I wove with a network drafting design I made.  The warp is 10/2 cotton and the weft is a dark blue bamboo. I had just enough yardage to make this short bedjacket.  If I had more yardage, I would have extended the length another 4-6 inches.

The arm construction includes gussets.  Look at the mess of threads unravelling on this gusset.  It was awful!

I used one of Daryl Lancaster's finishing techniques from her monograph "Seams and Edge Finishes", and the edges covered in tricot binding not only look better, but feel more sturdy too!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sheep-to-Shawl Contest

This year's Sheep-to-Shawl contest took place on Aug. 17th in the sheep barn at the State Fair.  The teams of spinners and weavers have four hours to transform washed wool into a woven scarf or shawl.  This year there were four youth teams making scarves and two adult teams making shawls.

As judges, we look at the drape of the piece and how it looks on a person.  That meant that we got to try everything on!  This shawl was from the "Serendipity" team and won first place for the adult teams.  The warp (pre-spun and warped prior to the contest) and weft are both Shetland wool.  The shawl was lovely and wonderful!

 Here is the entry from the "Dream Team".  This is a group of younger adults who had previously been on some of the Conner Prairie youth teams.  The undulating twill and warp colors were lovely!  They won second place.  Someone commented that the amount of work required for the shawls is soooo much more than for the scarves the youth teams make.  It's true.  The shawls are twice the width and about ten inches longer than the scarves. That takes a lot more yarn!

 the "Dream Team" (and a "Pirate" head off to the right)

 "Serendipity" with many of the youth teams visible in the back

 This spinner from "Serendipity" has a flick carder in her lap.  The "Serendipity" team all used the flick carders; the other teams used hand cards.

 This is the moment where the scarf is off the loom.  Any errors in the weaving need to be found and fixed.  The fringe finishing needs to be done and then it is turned in for judging.

The finished scarves from the youth teams.  From the left is the "Lady Bugs" (2nd), then "Silent Spinners" (1st), "Pirates of the Treadle" (4th), and "Wonder Wheels" (3rd).

One of the amazing things to me about this contest was the amount of process engineering that is required to know how to make this woven piece in a short amount of time.  As a spinner and weaver, I often fill a bobbin or two one week, ply them on another and weave with the yarns a few weeks (or years) later.  This contest requires all that to be done in just four hours!  The spinners never filled their bobbins.  They spun enough to fill a one inch section on their bobbin, and then changed bobbins so the plier could use the little bit they had just spun.  With four spinners, a plier, and a weaver it didn't take long before everyone was busy, busy, busy!  And, everyone was busy until the end!  Whew!  What an amazing process!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Indiana State Fair

 I entered four items in this years' Home and Family Arts "Open Class" in the Indiana State Fair.  This is the first time I've ever entered items in the fair.  In fact, it's only the second time I've ever been to this fair!  Today I finally had the opportunity to go and see how I did in the judging:

My handwoven towel in crackle weave earned second place. My friend Donna's towel got first place!  

The hat I felted for my daughter won first place and Sweepstakes!  Wow!! (The snow in the photo is just the reflection of dust on the glass of the display case.  It looks pretty though!)

My handspun, handwoven blanket with handspun knit trim won first place in its category.  I love this blanket!  It went with me to the pioneer day demonstrations and kept one or two children warm when the weather turned unexpectedly cold!  The grey yarns are wool/mohair blends and the greens are 100% wool that I dyed.

And, item #4, the sweater I knit for my youngest.  It's done in a top-down technique called "contiguous knitting".  I was really pleased with the style of knitting.  I must admit that I had to ask permission from my daughter to be sure she was ok with me borrowing her things to show at the fair.  Luckily, she granted that permission!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Butterflys and Other Things

It is officially butterfly season around my house.  The zinnias are in bloom and the butterflies love them.  This amazing butterfly has beautiful yellow and black tiger stripes on the other side of its wings and this amazing black and yellow pattern on this side.  I wasn't fast enough to catch a photo of the wings closed!

I follow Laura Fry's weaving blog. She is an experienced weaver and has lots of wonderful insights about weaving and the life of a weaver.  This week she had a post which included a phrase or two that sent me on a mission.  She said, "Now that I've twigged how to easily convert overshot patterns into twill block designs, I may explore that a bit more.  I like the large graphic nature of the the overshot translated into twill blocks."

So, I've started looking at using twill blocks to weave overshot patterns.  I think I understand the basic idea.  I've used twill blocks on 8-shafts before and like way  4-thread 1/3 twill vs. 3/1 twill shows up in a woven piece.  But, as I've been looking at this, I've wandered into an interesting bit of twill weaving knowledge.  

Crackle weave is just one of many advancing twills.

How's that for a random connection? I've done two presentations this year on crackle weave.   Thinking about twill blocks lead me to my copy of "The Best of Weaver's Twill Thrills" where I found articles by Bonnie Inouye (Fancy Twill Extravaganza on Four Shafts, p.102) and Ingrid Boesel (Advancing Twills, p. 38).  Bonnie presented the idea of non-independent twill blocks where "two blocks must always weave pattern together".  Ingrid's article included the line "twills can be straight or point or other twill orders..."  And she discussed the use of incidentals to allow for weaving plain weave.  My notes include the comment (in capital letters, no less!) Why is crackle not an advancing twill?"

What do you think?  
Why do we handle crackle weave separate from advancing twill?

I love how there is so much to learn in the weaving world! 

Monday, August 04, 2014

Current Projects

These towels just came off the loom today.  10/2 unmercerized cotton for the warp and weft.  Warp sett is 30 epi.  The weave structure is M's and W's with tie-ups and treadlings from Strickler's 8-Shaft Patterns (I think it's #158).
Finding the right weft color for this warp was challenging.  The reddish-burgandy weft shows up well as did some pink wefts--as long as they were not identical to the warp colors!

Three little monkeys.  These are drier balls that have been needle felted, but not wet felted yet.  I did one of these monkeys in all grey and it was cute, but I like them so much better with more colors!

Special "Twin" project:
Marching band camp had "twin day" for their spirit theme today.  Last night my daughter and I made an outfit for her doll (that I made for her years ago!).  It was fun to draft a pattern and make the clothes together.  The doll's t-shirt is from the same program (but a previous year) as the one my daughter is wearing!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Felted Drier Balls

 I have a group of drier balls ready for the upcoming Farmers' Market.  I thought you'd like to see them before and after final felting.

Here they are ready (or almost ready...note the color of the bird's beak) for final felting:

Then they get stuffed into an old stocking or two.  I use twisty ties between drier balls to keep them separate.

The balls get soaked in a bucket of water, squeezed to get some water out, and then they go through a cycle in the clothes washer and the drier.  After that, I do a little bit of touch-up needle felting and they are ready to pair together and use.