Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Light at the End of the Warp

I bought a little clip on lamp for my loom and it makes a big difference. There seemed to be plenty of light in the room but it was always coming from the wrong angles and casting shadows upon my work. This is much better.

The light at the end of the warp.

  And yes, I've come to the end of the 6m inaugural warp.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

CH60 Inaugural Warp

Warp's on the new Saori CH60 and I'm back weaving again.

Inaugural warp.

New Saori looms come with a pre-threaded, sleyed, and beamed warp so once the loom itself is assembled it only takes a few minutes to tie on and your're off and weaving. It was a welcome reward for the time spent actually building the loom!

The colourful blips in the first section of weaving have generated quite a bit of interest in the Saori forums I've posted the picture in, so I'll explain in more detail for those who do not frequent those forums.

The warp is the all black cotton pre-wound that came with the loom It's 150 threads wide and 6m long. It's threaded one end per dent in a 5dp-cm reed. It's a bit widely spaced for my tastes but I wasn't about to mess with re-sleying the whole thing over that.

Weft choices for inaugural warp.

The 'background' weft is "Dalegarn - Falk" (100% wool sportsweight) that I had on hand from a failed knitting project. The pretty pops of colour and texture that so many are raving over is from a ball of "Brunello Black" (67% wool, 33% acrylic) which is a discontinued super bulky weight yarn. The ball in the photo is obviously not the colour used in the weaving. I used that colour up.

My plan is to use this yardage to make hats. The main part will be woven but each hat will have a hand knitted ribbing. We'll see how that plan goes once the yardage is wet finished. I think this first section may be a bit stiff for the intended purpose. I've got another section done now and I'm being super careful to gently 'place' the weft so that there will be room for a slight fulling of the finished fabric.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Oh Happy Day!

It wasn't until 9pm, but we did get the loom assembled and I even managed to weave an inch or so before bed.

Assembled and weaving.

I love, love, LOVE this loom! She's so sturdy and beautiful and the mechanics of it are so nicely thought out. It was hard going to bed last night knowing I wouldn't have a chance to weave again until around noon today. I woke up at 4am just itching to get back at it but had to restrain myself so as not to disturb my sleeping husband.

Yesterday was a fabulous day for me. I mean absolutely FABulous. First off I got this lovely little loom and I'm so, so happy with it, but that wasn't all. A large part of my day was spent at an eye surgery centre having tests done. How is that fabulous? After all the testing was done I learned that I qualify for Lasik eye surgery! Squeeee!

The actual surgery will be scheduled for near the end of September. For the first time since I was about 7 years old I won't have to wear glasses or contact lenses for distance vision. I'll still have to wear reading glasses for close up work, but that's better than having to wear glasses ALL the time. For me it's not at all about vanity. It's all those little, annoying things about wearing glasses. For instance, I'll be able to walk the dog in the rain without wishing my glasses came with windshield wipers.

Yesterday was such a great day that I was practically bouncing in my seat with excitement. A new loom AND some great news.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Some Assembly Required

This could be -- interesting.

                        Perhaps even --- Challenging!

My new loom arrived yesterday afternoon. I was warned. Yes I was. I knew it was coming in pieces and would need assembly. Perhaps I was unprepared for the magnitude of this job?


This is how far I've gotten so far.


Yes, so far I've only unwrapped most of it and identified (most) of the pieces. To be fair I spent all day yesterday, and well into the evening, decluttering, organizing and cleaning my weaving room. I only got around to opening the box this morning. I have a lengthy eye exam scheduled for today so I'm not likely to get the whole loom assembled, let alone operating, until tomorrow, but I'll pick away at it whenever I have a moment.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sharing a Technique

The Saori Mug Rugs (coasters) turned out so nicely that I thought I'd share my technique with my readers.

I started with some handwoven fabric and this fusible fleece commonly used to create body and strength in quilted or sewn handbags and totes.

Fusible Fleece

  1. Cut fusible fleece to desired size minus the fringe, then fuse it to the back of the weaving.
  2. Machine zigzag around the edge of the fleece.
  3. Cut around the mug rug 1/4" beyond the outside edge of the zigzag stitching. 
  4. Unravel the weaving back to the zigzag stitching on all 4 sides creating a fringe. 

Here's a close up of the back with it's zigzag stitching.

Mug Rug back edge

And the finished "mug rugs". 

Hand woven "mug rugs"

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Late Exhibition Report

Just realized that I never did report back to my readers about my Chilliwack Exhibition entries for this year. Enough time has passed that I can barely remember what I entered let alone how each entry did! (Why yes, I DO have a very short memory!) I do recall that I entered 6 items and all 6 got some sort of ribbon. No rosettes this year, but lets see if I can search Flickr files to see what was entered and which ribbons were won for each category.

Oh. This photo is somewhat helpful. It at least shows the ribbons won in the weaving department.

4 entries and 4 ribbons

A second for my Saori "8/2 Blues" yardage.

Hand woven yardage

A first place ribbon for my Saori vest,

Hand woven garment
Hand woven garment

Another first for the little red cross-body bag with its handwoven Saori fabric.

Hand woven bag

The Saori woven coasters also won a first. I'll be posting a bit of a tutorial tomorrow about how those were finished. Come back around if you are interested and haven't already found my explanation on Ravelry.

Hand woven "mug rugs"

The other two ribbons were won in a different department. For sewing I received a third place ribbon on the orange Runaround Bag.

Runaround Bag

And finally, in crocheting, a first for the miniature 1/4 scale afghan I made for the doll couch. 

Minifee Couch

So there you go, the 6 ribbons won at this year's Chilliwack Exhibition, though I neglected to get photos of the ribbons with those last two projects.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Temporarily Loomless

I’m currently loomless. I sold my SAORI WX60 and with the funds I’ve purchased a SAORI CH60 to replace it. There are some much desired ergonomic features to the new loom that will become even more important to me as I age. Hopefully I’ll have the new loom by next week and then be able to find the time to build a loom and get it dressed with this very mixed warp before the end of August.

Mixed warp inspired by a skein of handspun

I pulled a thick and thin handspun skein from my stash as the colour inspiration for this one. I didn’t actually use the handspun in the warp, that will be saved for inclusion as weft as it is too loosely spun, and too thick in places, to stand up to the tension and abrasion of use as warp. I felt the skein had a nice mix of colours though so I pulled 10 threads from my stash and wound them as one with the intent to sley them randomly in the reed.

Mixed warp inspired by a skein of handspun

The skein I used as inspiration is the one at about ‘3-o-clock’ in this picture. As I chained the warp off the warping board I could see that I had my mix emphasizing blue a little heavily and neglecting brown, but m’eh, I can adjust that with weft choices if I feel like it come weaving time. Some of the yarns seen in the picture will only be included as weft. I’ve bagged them all together with the chained warp and now they await the arrival of the new loom. I may decide to wind as many as 5 more varied  warp chains while I’m loomless and therefor have a bit more room to move around in my tiny bedroom of a ‘studio’.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Appreciating Shade

So grateful for the shade!

My daily dog walks are usually one and a half to two hours long, but with the extreme heat we've been experiencing I've had to shorten them up some, for my sake and for the dog's.

Kona insists that the walks still happen, but she's no dummy. When given a choice she always picks a route that takes her through the shady spots and down to the slough for a drink. 

Luckily, early in the morning one of our favourite routes has plenty of shade -- at least until we have to head home along the hot city streets.

Even then Kona will want to cross the road if it means she will be able to walk within the shadows.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Trixie's Introduction

I've been selling off some of my dolls, my interest in them waning and my available time being dedicated to other hobbies. I'm working my way down to just two dolls, but a fun little newcomer arrived today.

This is Trixie. She is a bit of an impulse buy, and technically she was only a "faceplate", not a full doll.

When the new Fairyland Realfee face sculpt, "Sira",  was introduced a few months ago I instantly fell in love. The face reminded me so much of my eldest daughter, Lisa, when she was just an infant. For several months after she was born Lisa always had the tip of her tongue hanging out, even for portraits!

Playing with a character idea.

Trouble was the Sira faceplate is not all that easy to come by, especially if you are downsizing your collection and not wanting to buy additional dolls. Sira is a limited edition "event faceplate", a gift with purchase incentive. You can only get one by placing an order of a qualifying dollar amount, or by buying from the second hand Marketplace.

So when my friend and doll artist, "Ban Sidhe", mentioned that she had ordered during the promotional period I asked her if she had qualified for the limit edition special gift faceplate, the Sira.

She had indeed, but had no specific plans for the qualifying gift faceplate and agreed to not only sell it to me, but to modify the tongue to a shorter, rounded shape and to give the modified faceplate a faceup before mailing it to me. 

When Trixie arrived she immediately took over Tingle's body and pronounced it a perfect fit. Poor Tingle might be moving along to a new home shortly as I truly do intend to limit myself to only two dolls. I like that Trixie's large, upturned elfish ears and happy, mischievous expression are a better match for the happy, playful Flame.

Flame and Trixie.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Little Red Bag

Whipped up this little bag to enter in the "handwoven bag" category at the Chilliwack Exhibtion.

Zippered bag of Saori handwoven fabric.

It's lined with quilting cotton and the same cotton is used for the section at the top, above the zipper, and also for the strap. The back has a handy pocket sewn from the same handwoven yardage and lined with cotton.

The purse I entered in the same category last year was much more elaborate, but I wanted to enter the category to help plump up the hand weaving displays even if it is only with this simple offering.