Blankie #7 of 2016

I combined these colors from the Crochet Corner yarn stash

754 sunny-yarns

with some of the Red Heart Shimmer that Karen of VA sent me last September.

754 sunny-sparkle yarn

Crocheting just ten sparkly rows,

754 sun-close

leaves enough Shimmer for me to use as an accent in some future blankie.

This blankie,

Sunshine on a COLD Spring Day

754 sun-full

will be returning to the nursing home as a prize for next month’s Bingo Party.

Maybe I should have named it, “Bingo!”

Posted in Ripple Afghans of 2016 | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

It’s Official – I’m a Weaving Teacher!

I taught my first weaving class Saturday, one-on-one with Linda, a nursing home employee, who recently received a vintage Peacock table loom for her birthday. – You can take a look through a Peacock instruction booklet, here. – The timing was perfect as I’m in the process of reviving my own little Peacock, a tag sale find, which we’ve carefully stored in our attic for the past 30 years.


A little elbow grease and Howard’s Feed-N-Wax – or, as I like to call it. . . “weed and feed” – and she’s almost as good as new.

Our class went well, for the most part. When Linda asked for a grade, I gave her a B+, while she thought that she’d earned only a C-. – Sounds like I wasn’t exactly pouring on the praise, eh? Must do better with that. – Haven’t heard back yet what grade she gave me, as a new weaving teacher. Hopefully she will fill out the review form that I gave her to take home. –

Still, I must find a better venue for my next local class. The nursing home’s Rec Room may be convenient but. . . SO Many Interruptions!! I didn’t realize just how inquisitive everyone would be: staff, residents and visitors alike.* Which would have been wonderful if my major objective had been to entertain and inform (like during a weaving demo) but not so good as I was trying to stick to a class outline and time schedule.

We started at 1:30 and I had expected to get through the entire weaving process: measure out a short/narrow warp, put it on loom, thread heddles and reed, weave a little sampler and finish with simple fringe, by about 6:30, having allowed what I thought was plenty of extra time for folks’ Q and A. Well, we quit at 9 p.m., having just started to weave. sigh. Live and learn!

This Saturday, April 23rd, I’m going to happily answer questions, from 1:00 – 5:00, as I demonstrate weaving at the Artisan Soul Gallery in Putnam, CT. Should be fun! There will also be knitting, spinning, – both spindle and wheel – angora bunny clipping and felting demonstrations as well as some opportunities for hands-on experiences. Children are welcome.

Visitors can participate in a Community Weaving Project and you can even weave a Mug Rug to take home!

I would love to see you there. Maybe you’d like to sign-up for one of my up-coming classes: A Weaving Adventure, Free-Style Stress-Free Weaving and Weaving 101.

P.S. Given more time and more looms, I would have invited them all to try their hand at weaving. Sounds like a nice way to spend a future weekend afternoon!

Posted in looms, Weaving | Tagged , | 4 Comments

A Belated Happy Easter to All!

I just received a concerned e-mail from one of my readers, which made me realize that two weeks have slipped by since my last post.

First off, I want you all to know that DH and I are both fine. It’s simply that blogging keeps getting pushed aside by other things.

Guess it’s pretty obvious that volunteering at the nursing home has become Priority #1. For some reason going twice a week seems to take at least three times as much time/energy as going once!

I fashioned a shuttle run out of cardboard for the nursing home’s floor loom. This means S, even with use of only one arm, can now weave on it independently!

752 cardbd ss

After a few adjustments, DH made a wooden version. Notice how it goes all the way across. The boat shuttle can no longer slip through the lower warp threads and drop to the floor, so no more crash, bang, ooow. YAY!

752 - shuttle shelf

The large orange numbered stickers remind us: #1. Pass boat shuttle, #2. Beat, #3L. and 3R. (on treadles) Switch feet, #4. Check that the sticky harness has dropped. These steps are also listed on the 3×5 card in the upper right corner of photo.

The bit of blue painter’s tape in lower right corner reminds that when your weaving reaches this point, it’s time to stop and advance the warp.

The single strand of orange yarn at bottom is part of our improvised paper clip/yarn temple (stretcher) which helps keep the handwoven cloth’s edges from pulling in, a common problem for new weavers.

Here you can see the weight which holds the yarn taut, a roll of pennies in a little zippered pouch. You can also catch a hint of the orange stickers on the treadles.

752 weight on stretcher

Right now, Priority #2, preparing to teach weaving classes at a little craft gallery, is taking at least as much time as #1. I’m SO EXCITED about the potential of this adventure!

I’ve been thinking about what type of classes I want to teach, writing up class descriptions for marketing, weaving samples, gathering/making tools for students etc. Plus, I decided that the vintage looms I already own are really too big/wide for beginners to learn on, so I’ve been watching for moderately priced 15″ looms on ebay and craigslist. I feel very fortunate to have found four so far, all for $60 or less! Those will be enough for my students (starting small), but I need one more for teacher.

#3 – Yep, still making blankets for foster kids.:-)

Until next time,

Happy Hooking, Knitting, Weaving, or

Whatever Yarny Thing You Most Love to Do,


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The Second Half

Here’s the rest of the yarns the ladies and I pulled from the Big Black Bag.

I looked each one up in Ravelry’s data base hoping to find some information about projects people have woven with it. In the process, I discovered that most were discontinued back in the 80’s. Makes me wonder how many stashes of similar age are hidden in the attics, sheds and garages that sit all around us!

First, the Blends.

751 blends

In no particular order:

8 skeins, aprox. 600 yards of Reynolds ‘Paloma’, a cotton boucle from Switzerland. – Should be in the Cotton Box, but there’s no room for it until I knit up a few more washcloths. –

751 1

Unger ‘Parma’ – 60 wool / 40 acetate – no yardage given – from Italy.

751 2

Two skeins of tan wool that I’ve since moved into the Wool Box.

751 3

Reynolds ‘Monique’, a Super Bulky which is 80 wool / 10 mohair / 10 vinyon ? – 900 yards – from France.

751 4

Reynolds ‘Velourette’ of 65 viscose / 35 cotton – no yardage given – from France.

751 5

Reynolds ‘Linaire’ – 55 linen / 25 cotton / 20 viscose – no yardage given – from France.

751 6

Unger ‘Allure’, a dress and sweater yarn of 79 wool / 21 rayon. 8 3/4 oz., 1250 yards each of lavender and white. – Made in the USA.

751 7

Berger du Nord, 255 yards of a thick and thin aran-weight, 55 linen / 25 cotton/ 20 viscose – from France. Found a lovely handwoven shawl in Ravelry with this yarn as part of a multi-colored warp, and a white cotton slub weft.

751 8

10 balls, 1040 yards, of Sunbeam ‘Shantung’, 65 silk / 35 wool – from England

751 9

Withdrawn as strong possibilities for weaving two summer scarves or shawls:

6 skeins of Schaffhauser Woole ‘Antiqua’, a marled blue with pink, peach and cream  worsted-weight boucle – from Switzerland

and 3 balls of Brunswick ‘Casablanca’, two of Cornflower, a light blue, and one of Stone wash, a purplish blue – from Italy

And then there’s the boxful of Cottons:

751 10 cottons

100% cotton, unless otherwise stated.

Berger du Nord ‘Cotonelle’, 900 yards of worsted weight – from France

751 11

Unger ‘Swing’ a Bulky boucle – from France

751 12

Twenty-four 150 yard balls of Patons ‘Cotton Top’, a thick and thin from Great Britain.

751 13

Gone missing – two skeins of lavender, like that at the lower left. Used it double stranded with #8 needles to knit washcloths for foster girls’ birthdays. I’m torn between using up several skeins of this at once to weave a baby blanket and knitting a zillion washcloths.

Next up is a mixed group. . .

upper left – one lavender and one tan of Reynolds ‘Fiesta’, a Bulky boucle

center top – 3 black, 2 navy Berger du Nord ‘Coton no. 5’, 75 yards/ball – from France

upper right – 2 deep blue and 1 off-white ‘Splendore’, a fingering weight mercerized cotton cable – from Italy

751 14

on the lower left – one 110 yard skein of peach Reynolds ‘Slique’, a one ply thick and thin sport-weight of 56 cotton / 44 viscose – from France

lower right – two black Unger ‘Riccione’ of dk weight 75 cotton / 25 rayon – from Italy

Another mixed group. . .

across the top – 7 balls of Melrose Designer’s 3 ‘Memory Eight’, a worsted weight 98 cotton / 2 stretch – made in the USA. I’ve seen some interesting weaving projects made by mixing stretchy/non-stretchy yarns in the warp. Once off the loom, the fabric resembles seersucker!

751 15lower left – one skein of Bernat ‘Gloucester Sport’. Surprisingly, this one comes from Brazil!

lower right – Double Cotton ‘Neveda’, a dk from Holland

I have no idea what we’re going to do with most of this. Weave many, many, many mixed warp scarves? I suppose the bulky yarns would be better suited to shawls or blankets.

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#6 – A Lap Robe

This blankie features the two skeins of James C. Brett Marble MT43 which I received last fall from yarn fairy X.

692 9-2-#43

With it I used four miscellaneous shades of blue.

750 close-up

It’s a very dark and handsome blanket.

A Manly Granny

750 full view

But I also like this highly distorted version, provided by my digital camera!

750 wishful thinkin

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News – Some Old, Some New

The cute little Initiation floor looms that the nursing home and I bought back in December had no reeds. So, I ordered a brand new one, an 8 dent, the gauge needed for yarns like RHSS. – I know, shocking, me, thrifty Linda, buying new!! That’s only cuz the nursing home is picking up the tab as the reed will be for the Crochet Corner loom. –

Even though the reed was coming to me from the Canadian manufacturer, I was told it should still arrive at about the same time as the rest of our order: bobbins and a loom threading hook. While those made it here, all the from Spokane, Washington, in just two days, several more days passed without a new reed arriving. So Excited to introduce the Crochet Corner ladies to weaving on a floor loom, I decided to use the short piece of old 8 dent reed that was thrown in for free with the two full-length used reeds I got for my own Initiation loom.

749 threaded

As I did a short demonstration, I labeled crucial parts.

749 2labels

– That photo was staged after. LOOK! The ladies wove several inches during their first session. Yay!

A. was the first to give our new loom a try. Here she sits admiring her work.

749 3A-wvng

That’s S. waiting in the wings, holding a basket filled with the yarns she picked from our abundance of bits and pieces.

749 4bits

And here’s B, hard at work.

749 5B-weaving

Sadly, after only a few passes, she said her back had begun to hurt. But she’s able to weave for longer periods since I figured out how to lower the loom.

As soon as Linda, a nursing home employee, saw how much fun we were have weaving on a “real” loom, – her emphasis – she decided that she should buy one for herself! I offered to let her borrow one of my rigid heddle table looms. . . nope, she wanted one with “pedals”. . . if we could find a smaller one at a reasonable price, that is.

So when I saw a “Small Antique Floor Loom” listed in Ravelry’s Warped Weavers Marketplace for $40 (post #35571), I just had to show her the ad! Let me first say that I did tell her that she probably wouldn’t want this particular loom as it “needs some work, but most of the parts are there” and it lived two-and-a-half hours away. I simply thought considering a loom’s pros and cons would be good practice for us.

Turns out Linda loves antiques, so the driving distance swayed her from buying the loom far more than its poor condition. She wanted to know, maybe the seller would be willing to ship? ? I told her that, at that price, I couldn’t imagine anyone would want to bother. She heaved a mighty sigh. On her way back to work, she stopped at the front desk to speak with Sandy, one of the nursing home’s receptionists, who immediately volunteered to go and get the loom for her! And that’s how I find myself preparing to help refurbish a cute little 24″ antique floor loom. It’s at Linda’s house right now. But, having gotten Ellen’s OK, once it’s cleaned up, we’ll work on it together in the back corner of the rec room.

The loom came with two rusty old reeds, a 15 dent that doesn’t look too bad, and a 22 dent one that’s in horrible condition, brown with rust. Luckily, Linda doesn’t plan to work with fine thread so that one’s not very important to her, but she definitely needed at least one reed coarser than 15 dents per inch, so I volunteered to watch Ravelry and Craigslist.

It took a few weeks but, eventually, I came across used 6, 7 and 9 dent 24″ long reeds. They’re in good condition and the price was excellent, so she bought all three!

749 reeds

Spending so much time cruising Ravelry and Craigslist for reeds, I was sorely tempted by many other thrifty weaving toys. I was unable to withstand the charms of a 10″ rigid heddle loom by Beka. – $50 including shipping, which is 22% off the Amazon price. Not thrift store pricing, to be sure, but not bad!

Shipped from PA in its original box,

749 BEKAbox

my baby-sized loom arrived safely, in like-new condition!

749 BEKA

Came with a 10″ long 10 dent reed and a four-inch 8. Somewhere, I know I have a little longer 8 dent one. It would be nice to be able to weave something wider than 4″ out of worsted weight yarns, so I’m hoping that my reed-in-hiding measures somewhere between four and ten inches, the longest that will fit this loom.

Now I just need to decide what I’ll weave first. . . a set of colorful coasters? That would use up some of the t-shirt scraps left from creating potholder loops. A scarf? More satisfying for me but not something the ladies are likely to emulate anytime soon. – – Maybe the best answer is to simply weave both!

– Guess I kindof gave away that I’d soon be weaving a scarf, the way I drooled over that “Punch Fun” variegated yarn in my last post. lol. –

P.S. I’m thinking that if this little loom works well, DH and I will probably make a couple more for the ladies. 10″ rigid heddles in 8, 10, and 12 dent are available for $18 each.

Posted in looms, Weaving | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Blankie #5 – A Baby Ripple

“Tangerine” and “Punch Fun”, the dainty-looking variegated, are both Bernat Baby Sport, while the soft green is Lion Brand’s Baby Soft “Pistachio”.

748 RIP org:grn cls

All from Ann of OK’s gift of last summer.

681 10-2nd-layer

Plus a few rows of white.

Peas and Carrots

748 RIP orng:grn


681 15-stwpnchtng

I wonder how the short dashes of color in “Punch Fun” would interact if I were to use it for both the warp and weft in a handwoven scarf. I predict a very pretty result!

Posted in Ripple Afghans of 2016, Ripple Series - Baby Ripples of 2015/16 | Tagged , , | 2 Comments