What a Cute Little Baby!

Here’s the newest addition to my family of Rigid Heddle Looms. . .

a used size A Easy Weaver, which I found on eBay.

Smaller, 17-1/2″ x 10″, and much lighter, than my 18″ x 18″ Bs,

this baby will be easier to tote around!

Although it can only weave fabric 6″ wide, (compared to about 14 1/2″ for the size B) that’s not a problem for demonstration purposes. What is a problem is the missing “shedmaker”. That’s what Harrisville calls the tall block of wood which serves as a heddle rest. . . near the middle of the larger loom. But DH says he can make one. Yay!

He has plenty of time to get that done. . . my next demo isn’t until August 5th, during Putnam, CT’s next First Friday.

Oh, I want to share with you the fun little bonuses that came with my new loom:

a 7 x 10 pegLoom,

which I suspect one of the Crochet Corner ladies will enjoy weaving on, (Found a couple of video tutorials: Part One, and Part Two.*. Looks like DH needs to make us a pick-up stick, maybe by tapering down one end of a wooden ruler.)

and a 1995 Harrisville Designs catalog!

Interesting to see that back then you could order Refill Warp Kits in SIX different color combinations for the Size A

and, on the right-hand page, three for the, then NEW, size B.

* More Information on Lap Looms:

  • First 2 min. of this video, from Schacht, talks about larger versions.
  • Double warp to weave with finer threads.
  • I like the over-sized wooden needle that comes with this one!
  • Note to Self: Could add legs to any frame loom as a way to display a finished weaving or work-in-progress.
  • Instruction Booklet – pdf
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Blankie #8 of 2016

For years I’ve talked about wanting to try my hand at weaving, instead of crocheting, a charity blanket. Well. . . I finally did it!

Since this was my first attempt, I used yarns from the scrap box for the striped warp and the weft is black vintage Wintuk that I got at Sal’s for 50¢ per 4 oz. skein.

Strips #1 and 2 done. Strip #3 on the loom.

755A 2strips

The gold is a scrap yarn header that I’ll remove when I’m ready to deal with the loose ends.

Joining the three strips went smoothly and took less time than I’d expected, about an hour.

I passed a needle carrying a single strand of black through the little loops that form on the edges as the weft wraps around the outermost warp threads. (click on photo for a closer look)

755C close-up

My explanation seems about as clear as mud! – lol – It went something like THIS.

Go ahead, examine the join. . . in the middle of the wide black stripe on the right, between the pale pink and green, below this capital v. . . . . V

755D joined

Looks really good to me! Far better than I had expected.

Obviously, I had a little evening up to do down at the other end,

755E otherend

but unraveling a few picks doesn’t take long and then, excited to be so close to finishing, I started twisting fringe. . .

755F twisting

which took all the time I’d not needed for joining and more, way more. Let’s just say that although I love the look, I will not be twisting the fringe on every blanket that I weave.

Three Striped Strips

755H ta-dah

I brought my lovely blanket indoors so I could adore it lay it out on our bed and take measurements. – 40 x 55″ – Terribly pleased with myself, I left to find DH so he could share in my success.

We returned to find “the inspector” had completed her work while I was away.

755G inspctr

She seems to be pointing out two yarn ends left from when I refilled my shuttle. – HA – New to weaving, she doesn’t understand that I must wash and dry the blanket before clipping ends.

This project was so enjoyable, I immediately started work on Scrap Stripes #2. Instead of fringe, I plan to give this one double-turned hems.

755I #2

Ah-hem. There are definitely supposed to be some purple stripes in there. Hopefully they’ll show up for my next photo shoot.

Note: The last blanket I wove, circa 1977, was a red/green/blue tartan which I gave to my dear Aunt Clara and Uncle Don for their 50th wedding anniversary. I know I have a snapshot of the occasion, somewhere. . . if it should ever show itself, I’ll be sure to share.

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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.

HPIM0865

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!

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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,

Linda

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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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