Archive for January, 2009

Fog Hokey-Pokey

The fog rolls in…..the fog rolls out……….

My creation

There’s been a strange temperature inversion over Washington for several days which has been giving us lots of fog. It isn’t unusual to wake up to fog horns and thick fog coming up the hill, but it usually burns off before noon. But for the past few days it has been hanging around, rolling in and out all day long. It’s gotten even thicker as I’ve been writing this! If you listen closely, you will probably hear the ships’ foghorns!


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Seattle Adventure

DH & I went to Seattle yesterday and explored the Seattle Art Museum, Pike Place Market, and the Seattle Public Library The library is amazing – an eleven story glass building, almost 363,000 square feet, over one million items and 400 public use computers. Materials travel around the library on a conveyor belt system. There is a gift shop that rivals high end museum shops and a coffee cafe. It is made of 2,050 tons of concrete, 4,644 tons of steel, and 9,994 square feet of glass. You have to see it to believe it, and should you ever be in downtown Seattle, I highly recommend that you check it out!
Seattle Library Mosaic

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Off the Loom

Here’s the scarf, fresh off the loom:

I’ll twist the fringe, wash, dry and press it tomorrow. Destined for Raven Rocks Gallery.

Oh, and the new heddles and friction brake??? I’m in love!!!

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First Scarf Of The Year

I’ve started my first hand dyed, hand spun, handwoven scarf of the year:

This time I am adding some texture – four picks of tabby alternating with four picks of basket weave. So far I really like it!

I spent a month or so toying with the idea of getting a different loom. I’d like something a little wider (my HD has a 22″ weaving width), but realistically I can only go up to about 30″, or maybe 36″ – I just don’t have the room for anything wider. It might be nice to have eight shafts, but in reality I am quite happy with four, and I do have a nice eight shaft Kessenich table loom if I really feel compelled to complicate my life. It would also be nice if the loom were a bit heavier – but then again, it’s kind of nice to be able to move it around easily. So after researching every loom in existence, I decided to do a few upgrades on what I already have.

I bought my HD loom second hand, and it was probably made in the 70s. It had a ratchet brake on the back beam and a hodgepodge of different kinds of heddles. So, my first step was to replace the heddles with HD inserted eye heddles – and I am totally in love with them! They slide easily and the eye is nice and big and centered so that you don’t have to worry about threading through the front of the heddle – and, they are easy to thread without having to use a hook! The things are ridiculously expensive so I only bought 200, but that puts 50 on each shaft which is more than I need for the kind of weaving I am doing now.

The second upgrade was to change out the ratchet brake for a friction break. The great thing about the HD looms is that the basic size and design has never changed, so it’s easy to buy and install upgraded components. A free shipping sale at Woodland Woolworks came along at the right time, and DH installed the new brake for me right before Christmas. It’s hard to explain what a pain a ratchet brake can be…..but take my word for it, the friction type makes all the difference in the world.

I am toying with a third upgrade. My loom is direct tie up, which means that I have four treadles, one attached to each harness. I could get a kit to have six treadles, meaning that I would have to tie the treadles to certain harnesses to treadle a pattern. I actually don’t mind the direct tie up, though, and in many ways I think I prefer it (especially on a four shaft loom), so this one is up in the air. I’ll probably leave it as it is unless I decide that I really want to start weaving more complicated designs.

By the way, did you notice my favorite gadget in the first photo? See the measuring tape right over the reed? I picked that up ages ago at a woodworking show. It’s actually a stick on tape that measures outward in each direction from the center. So all I had to do was line it up with the center of my beater bar, stick it on, and voila, no more measuring to center my warp! Woo hoo!! (insert happy ‘nanner dance here!)

I leave you with the amazing sky that appeared as I was writing this post:

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It Was A Great 2008

Well, time flies! Lots has happened since you last heard from me, and I have absolutely no excuses for not posting since September. Let’s just wipe the slate clean and see if I can do better this year.

2008 was an amazing year. I travelled down many roads – some were long and winding, some were short and straight, some were just mere beginnings, and some were dead ends. The one thing they have in common is that I enjoyed them all! I had the chance to explore varied interests, such as Zen, marimba, Native American flute, vegan cooking, and bread making. I set up my dye den and dyed roving. I have my hand dyed, hand spun, handwoven scarves for sale at Raven Rocks Gallery at Greenbank Farm. I found two local groups that I enjoy volunteering with – Good Cheer and The Whidbey Institute. I’ve enjoyed helping my husband with various projects at our local firehouse, where he is a volunteer firefighter and Lieutenant. I was fortunate to have two friends visit whom I hadn’t seen in years. And most importantly, I feel that I’ve solidified a few very important friendships with folks here who are like family.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s in store for 2009. I have so many interests and am so easily distracted that I really have to limit my focus or nothing will happen. I think a good way of doing that is to immortalize my list here (that way I can always find it!) So, in no particular order, I present my Themes for 2009:

Establish my fiber business through Etsy, personal contacts, and possibly my own website
Native American Flute and cultural/spiritual studies
Jewelry making
Volunteer activities

Any bets for how long it will take for me to get distracted by bright shiny objects?

To start the year off on the right foot, I present my first plied yarn of 2009:

Sorry about the double photo – I obviously need to add “improve computer skills” to my list! That’s 4 ounces of Fibermorphosis(TM) superwash merino spun into 250 yards of yarn, destined to be woven into a scarf.

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