Monday, September 15, 2014

Hello, September

Hello, friends. With temperatures in the thirties this morning and my vegetable and flower gardens suffering from a serious case of the shaggies, there is a definite sense of fall in the air. I was pleased to issue in the season last weekend at the Apple Country Craft Fair here in Londonderry, where I sold my wares along with many other New Hampshire artisans and crafters. This year I was very happy to bring "Bug" along with me for demonstration purposes!


My booth at the Apple Country Craft Fair, Londonderry, NH

With the craft fair behind me, I am focusing on preparing for my jury session with the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. The jury session will take place in late October. I'm to bring between 6-10 handwoven pieces with me for the panel to review. I will keep you posted!

With the advent of cooler temperatures and some upcoming exhibiting opportunities on my calendar, I have been working on some winter wearables. Here is my latest ladies' scarf, woven from a lovely alpaca and silk weaver's yarn. I kept this piece simple: just one color (this is a silver grey) and included regularly spaced lace squares throughout the scarf. I dabbled with a two color design (a sort of windowpane plaid that surrounded the lace squares) but didn't like the result (the scarf was reminiscent of a picnic blanket). Here's the scarf:


I'm thinking about another scarf using this pattern made from a raspberry pink -- a bold color for my otherwise subtle palette, but I figure it is good to keep things fresh, right?

Be well,
Kate K. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DIY warp weights that really work

Hello, friends. As we all know, necessity is often the mother of invention. On Saturday I took "Bug," my 4 harness Harrisville Designs small loom, out for her first field trip to demonstrate weaving at Londonderry's Old Home Days event. There was a warp on the loom (rayon chenille) and after unfolding the loom and getting everything ready to weave, the first three threads on one side of the warp were really loose and the whole thing was just a big kerfuffle.

Since I was on the road and didn't have my hemostats handy (my preferred method of suspending, for example, floating selvedge threads), I had to fashion something that would work out of the items I had with me in my "artisan-show-disaster-kit," which includes things such as screwdrivers, scissors, and cup hooks (which I use for display purposes for signs, etc...).

Here is what I came up with on Saturday:


Supplies needed:
film canister
cup hook (mine have a threaded screw-like end, which is great)
pennies or other weights

I have to say, these work great. Here's a  photo of the weights on the loom:


I like the way that additional weight can be added to the film canister, and the cup hooks have shown to be securely anchored into the lid of the film canister. "S" hooks or even a paperclip can be fashioned to add a bit of length/distance between weights.

There are all sorts of ways to tension a misbehaving warp thread (I recently read filling milk jugs with water or using "plastic bags full of rocks"), but I think the film canister method is a bit more tidy and compact.

Let me know what you think! I only wish that there were more film canisters around the house!

Be well,
Kate K.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

For your sewing room

Hello, friends. I'm preparing for a small local show to be held in August (Old Home Days, Londonderry, NH) and in addition to taking "Bug" with me for demonstration purposes, I will bring along a few items that will be for sale. I've found that it is helpful to have items for sale at a variety of price points at craft shows, everything from handwoven lace notecards to dishtowels to handwoven scarves. I wanted a small, interesting yet utilitarian item to take with me for shows in August and September and came up with this new pincushion:




The weaving is a traditional overshot design, "Star of Bethlehem," and the bottom is made from 100% wool felt. I included a vintage button and worked an embroidery stitch around the edge. (Is the red too bright? I thought it seemed cheerful, but then again my tastes tend toward the whimsical).

I might try a square version, too, but will wait to see what sort of feedback I generate from this post and from my Facebook and Instagram pages. It is always good to test the waters before investing a lot of time and energy into a new project!

The shadow weave scarf is coming along; I am about half-way finished with it. I find that taking the weaving in small doses is a good strategy for me -- I need a break after about 12" of weaving the pattern!

Have a happy Thursday friends, and enjoy your day. Thanks for reading!
Be well,
Kate K.