Monday, September 19, 2016

The Old Dump and Run

It's an age old story! You get busy and the blog languishes a bit. That's life. My Dad hasn't been feeling well and for the last number of weeks I've been making more runs down to town to lend a hand where and when needed.

We're also getting anxious about getting wood in, doing some heavy equipment work on the driveway and gearing up for winter. We need rain. We can't cut down dead trees with chainsaws when we are in extreme fire season. The risk is far too great and the rain is proving to be a bit late this year. So putting up wood for the winter will be a hurry up and wait affair. I have seen a fox though, on the deck and the raccoon babies have been cut free by their Momma. The not so little pirates were on the deck by themselves last night. No sign of Mom I could see but I'm betting she was near. Just two nights ago all four where out dining on sunflower seed by the almost full moon.

I have lots of things in process on the looms and not much weaving to show. Nick is going to get a warp on this weekend for a run of turned twill towels. Say that 3 times fast!

 The project is from the Jan/Feb issue of Handwoven. I loved the marled yarn effect, just didn't like how the black and white muddied the colors and wanted a lighter version. This is what was found and on sale at the time to boot!

I think the lighter marling will make for a better pop of those crayon colors. This is a 7 yard warp and I'm starting the sett at 18 epi since this yarn runs at 1900ypp. I think 20 epi might be too stiff. We'll see.

Up in the salon, fall sewing has started. Two long sleeve tunics made it out last week.

 I had an epiphany working on the sleeves of the Esme ( red floral) tunic. They can be a bit of pain to set. So, there I am thinking that maybe I could frankenpattern the Scout tee armsythe and sleeve onto the Esme, when I realized it would be MUCH easier to just adjust the Esme neckline to the scout tee. So from now on, the Scout Tee shirt pattern is really my "block" which I work most options from. To that end I ordered a second paper copy since my original taped PDF version is tattered and messy.  I have some nice fall fabrics in fun prints just waiting for time and inspiration!

What a sweet raku piece I found in a local floral and statuary shop! It makes me smile every time I see it. Our hummers have left although we are getting some as they migrate south or just down into the valley for winter. The feeders here stay up well into late fall/early winter. You never know when a straggler might need some fuel to make it last bit down to warmth!

Parting shot: Pogo doing his best Yoda imitation.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

4 Now 4 Later

Yep, another Schacht loom has landed, this time a Baby Wolf, 4 now 4 later. A wider replacement for the Gem II. At 26" weaving width this is a perfect bridge width  to the larger looms.

 Schacht considers this a portable loom. I have to say, it's pretty heavy. I couldn't move it to a workshop by myself, but maybe someone younger and stronger could, although, I'm pretty strong.  This beauty was ordered through my LYS, The Web-sters. It saved me some cash (which I spent on a castle tray and extra reed), to have it shipped there and I picked it up within minutes of it arriving. It was carted right out to my car and the carton just fit into the back of the Subaru. Whew! The loom fit and finish is as nice as you can get. The maple Schacht uses on their looms is some of the best quality I have seen. Clear beautiful furniture quality. And it is certainly easy to use. It took me half a day to do a careful job of installing the castle tray and getting the heddles on, all the tie-ups etc. In under 3 hours I had him warped and threaded with a 5 yard warp in a nubby silk noil yarn for a couple of birch bark runners.

 The main weft is a lovely handspun wool from a fellow blogger. I'm thinking one of these runners should really be heading back to her.

 The one that stays will become a wall hanging.

The long carriage bolts on the front beam have been replaced with carriage bolt knobs like the back beam has.

That allows for the front beam to be removed to thread since I warp back to front. It made a huge difference in comfort and speed. There is a barrel nut in the beam, so you have to set that correctly when replacing it, but it is a small price to pay for the better access. I will probably switch the plain bolts for knobs on Fiona the wolf pup since the set up is the same. Oh and the new loom's name? Why Shrek of course. :-)

I'll be participating in Spinzilla again this year with the Web-ster's team and give some cotton roving a whirl on the wheel.
Of course I have ounces and ounces of some wonderful wools too should cotton be a non-starter for me. This beautiful fiber came from the Etsy shop of Robin Edmundson.

The Hogwarts towels continue

with the bronze and blue of Ravenclaw. I might not get a Hufflepuff since that warp is looking pretty close to the end. We'll see since I do love their colors and their mascot. A badger!

And speaking of badgers, a double gauze fabric adorned with them and made into a Grainline Tee came out of the sewing salon last week.

A few things hit the cutting table and some linen pants are almost done. It was a slow week up there with all the excitement of a new loom.

The fall garden is full of California Fuchsia (Zauschneria) and various salvia's.

 It's all a wonderful chaotic jumble at this point and I smile every time I walk by it all. Of course once fall really sets in there will be a reckoning for my lazy ways with the garden this year, weeds will need to be pulled, some things cut back etc. But not today!

Parting shot: The magnificent seven.
Spike, the resident alarmist, keeps watch.