Sunday, October 3, 2010

Between the cracks

It seems I have fallen between the cracks. Getting rid of "stuff", trying to get organized. Replacing a window in my bedroom also making half of it a yoga room.  Lots of plumbing to do before winter gets here.
I wind on more warp when I can sneak it in.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dish Towel Exchange

This weekend went zipping by.  Thursday I got out the yarn for the Dish Towels, it's not 8/2, some of it is labeled 20/2 and some 16/2 but it might mis-marked as the yarn looks to be 8/2. What ever it is, I'm using it. It's unmercerized, so it will work.

It wrapped 13 touching in a half inch so I will warp at 24 epi, using a 12 dent reed.  I decided to put on 8 yards which I would normally go front to back but I thought I would try the AVL warping reel on thicker yarn.        

The sections on this loom are 2 inches so I need 48 ends.  This is the first run and I'm not too pleased with it. The edges pook out into the next space, I will probably unreel it after I try again.
Second run going smoother than the first. There is a small comb between the highest bobbin and the next one to it's right, it acts like a rattle.  On the first run I put 2 ends in each section, on the second, I measured 2 inches and figured out how many ends should go in each section. I ended up putting 2 ends each in the two edge sections on each side and 3 ends in the balance. This helped to keep the yarn from pushing out into the next sections. I also put the reel up on bed risers, this made it easier on my back. Now I will have to build a little platform with wheels.  The bed risers make it hard to line the yarn with the sections. Casters will help. A job for another day.
The second run is much smoother and the tension much better. The first will have to be redone. 

This was all I had time for, looking for more time next Thursday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shifted Gears

The stripe material is taking more time than I thought so I have decided to wrap more cards in the evenings and warp my loom with dish towels.  Our guild has a once a year dish towel exchange and I decided not to wait until the last minute, again. I never make fancy towels for these exchanges as I like a nice thin towel that actually absorbs water. My last year's towels were wove with hemp, they looked terrible but worked great. After a few washings they didn't wrinkle as much.  This year I'm using 8/2 cotton.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just My Yarn and RedFish DyeWorks

Since I wanted stripes for this shirt instead of random color, I thought I should wrap some cards to see how my chosen colors would work with each other.  I very seldom do this but in this case I'm glad I did. The colors worked fine, however, the pink hand-spun silk was too fuzzy.  I traded it out for the same color in 20/2 silk and it looks much better. I have also decided to sley the 20/2 two to a dent and the 60/2 three to a dent, it will still be sheer but the difference in the stripes won't be so great.  I will work on wrapping new cards tomorrow. Maybe

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Sometimes life just gets in the way of fun. Tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just My Yarn and RedFish DyeWorks

I have all the yarns wound on spools and ready to start if I had a plan. I think I will make a shirt to go over a sweater.  Probably 6 yards will do it but I really should sit down and do some drawing and figuring.  I have to stay out of the studio tomorrow morning as the piano turner is coming and it drives me crazy to listen to him. I am beginning to look forward to Thursdays and Fridays, I will draw and figure in the morning and start in the afternoon.

This is Yellow Cat. He appeared when he was a kitten and stayed under the guest house for the longest time. I put food and water out for him and told him this wasn't going to be a permanent situation. Three years later he is still spending the winters with us, the summers he spends Tom-Catting, only coming back when he is wounded badly and expects to be fed while he recuperates. I keep feeding and doctoring but I still tell him this isn't going to be a permanent situation.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Just My Yarn and RedFish DyeWorks

New project this week.

Yesterday I laid out the 3 skeins of yarn I purchased from Just My Yarn and looked at them off and on all morning.  In the afternoon I started adding RedFish yarns to fill in the warp.  I decided I wanted a lot of color in stripes and a sheer fabric. 
 This is what I have come up with so far. The pink on the left is a hand-spun silk I had RedFish dye a light pink.  Because it is hand-spun the color is very streaky, which I love. The 6 little skeins are RedFish 60/2 100% silk in stock colors. The 2 skeins across the top are RedFish 20/2 silk in stock colors. The 3 skeins on the right are Just Our Yarn. The one to the left is tencel, the middle is 30/2 tencel and the right hand side is Rayon. I might add more colors later, I'll have to wait and see

I will be using my Schacht floor loom which has 2 inch sections. I will use the AVL Warping Reel as I think I will make each section different. 

May haps I best decide what this rectangle will turn into and figure how much warp I need. This is always a great idea! Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mummies & Silks

Today we took a field trip to see the Mummies of the World at the California Science Museum.  We made the trip to downtown Los Angeles in an hour and fifteen minutes, almost a record, and even got a parking place. The Mummies were, well Mummies.  Very interesting but the bog people are still my favorite.

My friends Debbie and Lisa and I are all on a cleaning spree.  Studios are being cleaned and of course we all get first pick of the others throw aways. Today Deb brought me a bag of silk when she picked us up to visit the Mummies.  I don't see how she could part with these, some of the pieces are over 5 yards. Now they are in my stash.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Stats for Pink and Yellow Sleeveless Jacket.

2 skeins Sea Silk, 70% Silk and 30% Seacell (r) from "Hand Maiden fine yarn". It's a hand dyed yarn from Canada. Color Melon.
2 skeins 60/2 Silk from RedFish DyeWorks. It's a hand dyed yarn from right here in my backyard. Color YO1b.

I used my 36" Schacht Floor Loom, threaded in a point twill. I used only 4 of the harnesses and tied 1 harness to 1 treadle.

Wove 25" wide at 15 epi. Warp was 2 1/2 yards long. This loom has a waste of 20 inches.

The whole project went very quickly. The Sea Silk is very soft spun so it needs to be handled gently. The yarn label says hand wash only.

I'm not in a sewing mood so I will start another warp.

Friday, August 27, 2010


No threading errors.  I always hemstitch, even if it's fabric, to make finishing easier.
Everything is going smoothly

Close-up - I'm weaving with a gold 60/2 silk.
Finished - This is a warp for a short jacket, only took a couple hours to weave it off.

Cut it off.

The is the "right" side of the fabric.  I wove the fabric facing down so I didn't have to lift as many sheds. This photo is closer to the real color, it's amazing how the color changes when it is away from my cherry loom.

I will wet finish the fabric and post the stats next week.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Little extra time today so I tied on. Ready to Rock and Roll.  My cherry loom makes this pink and golden warp look orange.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Trails - Camarillo, CA

Had a great show in Camarillo. In previous years this Guild show was held at Studio Channel Islands on the USC Campus. They had to move as the school need the space.  Camarillo invited all the artist to come to their old town area where there was a vacant elementary school. The city fixed it up and used another building across the street for a Gallery. The whole set up is great.
Today was the "Camarillo Shindig".  Farmer's Market, Art for Kids, a really big air show, the artist's open studio, live music, and for those who eat meat, a bar-b-q.  Plus the Ventura Spinners and Weavers Guild's annual sale - where we were.  There were many more people than ever for this show because of everything else going on.
I have a month off until the show in Tehachapi.

Friday, August 20, 2010


No weaving today.  My part is finished for the show tomorrow.  Just have to get up at 5:am and no walk. I don't like having to drive without my morning walk.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I'm glad it's Thursday again, but it has been so hot and humid that I don't think I had the energy to do anything except thread my loom. Slowly.
I'm threaded and knots are tied.  This is a very nice yarn but you cannot handle it too much as it is loosely spun and pills easily.
All wound on.  To me this is the most important part of dressing the loom.
  I'm ready to tie the front knots and lash on.

I might not get to weave tomorrow as RedFish will be in Camarillo Saturday for the Ventura Spinning and Weaving Guild's annual Harvest Festival and Sale.  Packing to do and lunch to make.                                                                                                                                                      

Friday, August 13, 2010


Stayed up way too late last night watching the meteor shower. It was the best one I have ever seen.

I didn't get to my studio until after 2:00, but I am sleyed and started going through the heddles.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


This was the first Thursday of my weaving Thursdays and Fridays for the next 5 months. I did do a few loads of wash as the machines are in the studio but on the whole I got a lot done.

Decided to used some of the yarns that I have picked up at Conventions to make some new selling clothes. I cannot resist beautiful hand-dyed yarns and don't feel guilty buying them if they are something we don't dye.  This one is from Hand Maiden out of Canada, it's 70% silk and 30% seacell.  Seacell is a yarn made from shells, mostly clam and shrimp.  Surprisingly it's very soft. They call the color melon, one skein is a soft pink and golden yellow, the other a darker pink and a deeper golden yellow.

I have done my math and measured the warp, I'm ready to slay the reed in the morning after my walk.  I'm going to alternate light and dark and weave with RedFish 60/2 in a golden yellow.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I have decided my house needs some order, that even made me laugh. I have attacked the kitchen, cleaning out cupboards, shelves and drawers.  I'm tossing everything with gluten and dairy, also things that the date has expired, those little circles do pop up. I'm going to keep going until the house is spotless. I will weave on Thursday and Friday.

It was so beautiful this morning on my walk.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Trail home from Convergence

After Convergence, which was totally exhausting, we were supposed to backpack into Bandalier for 3 days of R&R. This little trip was called off as it had rained daily the whole time we were in Albuquerque and it's too dangerous to be in the wilderness with lightening, rain, flash floods, etc.  Besides who wants R&R in wet camping gear.
We decided to play tourist and see a few things we have by-passed as we are always in a hurry.
Meteor Crater - I have been to see the crater many, many, many years ago. Gary and I took his boys to see it. We drove up to it, climbed down in it, spent the whole day there and had a great time. This time there was an enormous building, you buy a ticket - 15 bucks - climb up 3 flights of stairs, go on a quarter mile "tour" with a guide, warning you to stay together and on the path. You do get to stay a half hour for your 15 bucks.  Woo-Hoo!  It is amazing but 15 bucks?

The Painted Desert - This was my 13th visit to the Painted Desert. It rained right before we arrived and it was unbelievably beautiful.  I have yet to take a picture that does it justice. I just can't drive down 40 without popping in.
This was my first visit to the London Bridge. I know it's silly but walking over it and imagining the countless people in history to do the same made me wonder how England could let such a treasure go.

Having Convergence in a city I love was a great treat, can't wait to find out where the next one will be.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chinese Braid Embroidery/Goldwork Embroidery

The new weights were way too heavy, back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chinese Braid Embroidery/Goldwork Embroidery

Back from Convergence, slept several days, now I'm ready to start doing stuff.

When I first started doing Chinese Braiding, I used a pillow and some bolts, very unsatisfactory. Then a braiding stand was made out of a stool and a rag shuttle and used bobbin lace bobbins, better but still unsatisfactory.
These are the bobbin lace bobbins with washers for weights but the bobbins are made to have the thread slide. When braiding the thread is stationary until you move it.  Also the washers kept cutting the ties and they were noisy.

I purchased these from "The Lacemaker"  I just love her shop, it has everything for making every type of lace and she knows how to do them all.

Tonight I'm going to fill these new bobbins and start a braid so I can get on with the embroidery part.

Trails - Albuquerque

The trail has lead home again. Most of the time I had no internet, the rest of the time I was too tired to blog. I will post pictures in little bunches.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Trails - Albuquerque

Ready to hit the road, almost.  I just have to fill the cooler in the morning and we're gone.  I know a lot of weavers across the country and it's really fun to get phone calls and emails as everyone is "converging" on Albuquerque.  And, I get to see the painted desert again! Maybe in the rain.

Last night while packing the truck, we had a visitor. She was so beautiful and hung around long enough to let me take her picture.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Trails - Albuquerque

It's really hard to work when the humidity is 85 per cent. I thought I lived in the desert.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Trails - Albuquerque

Down to the last week before leaving for Convergence Albuquerque, things are getting manic around here.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I live in the high desert of Southern California. It's probably the only place in Los Angeles County where it snows on a regular basis.  I've lived here about 25 years and for some reason I keep track of the weather; the temperature when I get up, if it's cloudy, raining, foggy, etc.  It's almost the middle of July, Summer in the desert, this afternoon it was 70 and it sprinkled. The weather people say it's our normal monsoon season. We don't have a monsoon season, normal or otherwise, we have a fire season.  Our last rain is in February or so and it doesn't rain again until October or so, that's normal. I've checked my journals and it has rained (sprinkled) the last couple years in the summer but in my opinion, that doesn't make in normal, it makes it weird.  This is a picture off the front of my property, clouds - in July.

My little Palo Verde tree I received for my birthday is blooming. It must be happy.

I must get back to labeling silk.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I have been hornswagled by a project that the instructions claim a 9 year old boy made in 6 hours.  I will carry my old backpack and carry less stuff.  On to the next project, not enough time to worry about it.


I plan on backpacking to see the Twin Lion Rocks at Bandelier National Park after Convergence. It's an 8 mile hike in and I seriously doubt I can walk 16 miles and see everything in one day, so I plan on staying a couple days. I'm making a light weight backpack so I can carry more "stuff".

The Start of the Day
The directions state it's an easy project, completed by a 9 year old in 6 hours. HA! I almost got the straps finished in 8 hours yesterday.

Days End
The directions call for the ends of the padded portion of the straps to be glued closed. Glue and fabric in the same sentence puts shivers up my spine, so I will sew them shut today. Then I will start day 2 of the 6 hour project.  I don't think I will be trying out for Project Runway.

Monday, July 5, 2010


My first squash blossom, I think I will stuff it for breakfast in the morning.

Russian River Coyote Mint

Things are starting to come up in the garden along with the weeds.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4

Today is Gary Gunther's birthday. I made him chocolate cake with ice cream.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I have always embroidered. It is very relaxing to hear the sound of the thread pulling through the cloth and watch the little lines getting longer. Embroidery is my spare time hobby. Last year at Fiber Fiesta, I finished a project and didn't bring another so I looked around the booths and found "Bird Brain Designs" What a hoot. I have been working on this for almost a year, the embroidery is finished and I decided to make a pillow out of it.

The frame and back of the pillow is a batik of cats.

I was working on this project at the Reno Show last week and was told by some of the quilters there that I couldn't quilt without a frame and basting. I have always done this type of embroidery and quilting without a frame and since they were standing there watching me, I really had to keep my mouth shut.
I do really like the 1/4" masking tape.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trails - Reno

Lupines by the Walker River

After going through my pictures of the Reno trip, I find that I didn't take many photos. Must have been having too much fun.

Some owls we met in Bridgeport.

A nicely dressed silver longhorn.

Mono Lake from above. The island is an island again.

Had a hard time with the pictures not going where they were supposed to. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Trails - Reno

Wow, a whole week has gone by.  Between the Conference and sight seeing with Melissa and Lisa I barely had time to sleep, I will post some pictures later.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Trails - Reno

Tomorrow morning RedFish is heading to Reno for the Quilting, Stitching and Crafting Expo.  This is the first time for this venue, hopefully it will be a good show.  I decided to take 2 days to drive and most likely will camp tomorrow night around Bridgeport.

Enjoy the Summer Solstice.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sock Machine Knitting

Sometimes is really hard work to have a great time.  Lisa and I drove to Solvang last night and were up at the crack of dawn to have breakfast and get to the Sock Machine class.

Sometimes the first attempt of the day just doesn't turn out as planned.

I might have gotten carried away with this one.
All in all I had a great day and learned tons.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


 It has pretty well disappeared inside it's magic chamber. In the bottom picture, the tiny dark speck is it's head spitting out the silk. The cocoon is gold, but very, very pale. I'm amazed!


My silkworms are spinning.  The first to start is a Howard Gold, it's cocoon is a very beautiful gold. This worm did all the outside work while I was learning how to operate my sock knitting machine yesterday, so I missed it.  The second one is spinning white silk and started this morning. I will take a series of photos until it's encased.  Then I will give them back to Lisa to add to hers for reeling.
This is the gold one, it's still spinning inside. The gold cocoons don't yield as much silk as the white ones.

This one is setting up his frame work. It chose a corner with a paper towel to spin.  To the left of the paper towel, you can see two lines of silk that are heavier that go across to the other side of the box. This is it's hammock for support, then it start's a bubble like structure.

Better angle of the hammock. It's little feet were like suction cups when it was eating, now they come to little points, I guess so they don't grab onto the silk.

Still working away, silk is getting denser.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sock Machine Knitting

I met a lady who offered to help Lisa and me get our sock machines up and cranking. Lisa is more advanced than I, her machine was out of the packing crate. Mine has been nestled safely in it's crate for a couple years.  Today we traveled to Riverside to learn about these machines.

First thing I learned - my machine is very old and very dirty.  Spent the first part of the day cleaning the main cylinder which was fairly decent, I could have done better with some cleaning oil and an air compressor.
This is my basic machine with a 72 needle cylinder in it. It's clean and I put all new needles in it.

 The needles show better here.

My first cranking. I have a new vocabulary to learn and new tools to buy.

This is the machine with the ribber attachment on top. The needles wouldn't slide in, spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning the gunk from the needle slots.

Knitting has never been one of my favorite things to do, but I do like hand-knitted socks.  I know these aren't hand-knitted but they are the next best thing. They will fit perfectly with no seams. I'm happy.