Thursday, April 22, 2010

Handwoven linen and an Earth Day project

Hello, friends. Happy Earth Day. I plan to head out in a bit and get my onion sets in the ground, which seems like an appropriate thing to do today.

I have been learning how to weave linen. Linen yarn is absolutely NOTHING like any other yarn. It is really a beautiful fiber, and full of interesting history, but it requires patience and fortitude and determination to get it to work. The fiber is very wiry, and it took me quite a while to figure out how to throw the shuttle without having the linen unspool itself from the bobbin and become twisted around the shuttle pin. It washes up really nicely. It just does not make for "fast weaving." Throwing the weft yarn has to be deliberately and carefully done. Anyway, here is a picture of a very simple ring pillow that I made from the linen:

And here is a tiny project I made to celebrate Earth Day. These are repurposed denim rosebud bobby pins:

They were really fun to make. I'm thinking about adding a few more hair accessories to my shop, but these little denim flowers are for me!

Be well, Kate :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Herb gardens and garters

Hello, friends. After finishing a dozen formal table napkins today, I took things outside to work on my herb garden. I love to grow herbs. They are undemanding, useful, and pleasing plants. Today I moved sage, oregano, two kinds of thymes, and chives to their new homes. Parsley, borage, and garlic chives seeds were also put into the ground. My bird bath is right in the center of the action. I need to put some mulch/stones around the bird bath, but this will come with time.

I learn so many interesting things about folklore in conjunction with writing my item descriptions for my shop listings. Yesterday I put together a new toss garter which features ladybugs and clover. I had so much fun finding out about the etymology and stories associated with these two things! Still an English major at heart, I guess. Here is a snapshot of the little garter I put together yesterday:

Enjoy spring!
Be well, Kate

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fisher Cats and Wild Turkeys

Hello, friends. Despite the falling snow today, we can be assured that it is spring in New Hampshire -- at least for baseball fans. We spent last evening at Merchant Auto Arena (Manchester, NH) watching our Fisher Cats (AA, Toronto Blue Jays affiliate team) get the snot kicked out of them by the Binghamton Mets. It was opening night, too, at the arena. Ouch. It was wicked cold. The lines for hot chocolate were insanely long. We stuck it out for the entire game, for the sake of our 12 year old, who looked at me as if I was half crazed for suggesting that we could leave early, given the score by the 6th inning. You just DO NOT leave any game early. Here is a picture of our Andrew at the Fisher Cats game, and my hubby, Don:

The one really neat thing about the game was Ollie, the Golden Retriever "Bat Dog." Ollie is like a bat boy, except with four legs and a big tail. He trots right out to homeplate (or the vicinity), picks up the bats left behind by the Fisher Cats batters, and returns them to the dugout. Ollie does all of this work for a scratch behind the ears. I was watching this tremendously obedient, hardworking animal and thinking about my own dog, Ingrid, who is sometimes a complete disgrace. Yesterday she stole leftover biscuits off of the counter. The plastic bag and the smaller crumbs, with which she could not be bothered, gave her away. Sigh...

I am weaving today, and experimenting with ribbonwork combinations. Working out of my home has definite advantages. Not only can I get away with staying in my pajamas later than I choose to admit, I can also catch glimpses of the interesting wildlife that we have around us. Today there were a pair of wild turkeys in the backyard. They were so BIG. I wondered if they were a nesting pair. Do turkeys nest or roost?
I will have to find out this weekend.

This Mom is really looking forward to her son's return from his eighth grade class trip to Washington, DC tonight. We haven't heard too much from Nathan, which I think is a sign that he is having a very good time. He is on the bus right now and we expect to hear from him later this evening. Such a traveller he is at such a young age!

Be well, Kate

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some new toss garters

Hello, friends. I'm putting on a pretty big warp on the loom this week (it is over 11 yards long and has about 600 threads), so it is sometimes nice to take a break from this tedious business. Here is the result of today's tinkering:

This is a garter with a red ribbonwork rose (I love to make these folded roses)...

and this is a garter with an amethyst ribbonwork rose...

Which do you prefer? I like them both. The red sort of "pops" but I like the soft purple, too. I may work up a couple of roses in a forget-me-not blue and see how those turn out.

My oldest son is on a bus headed for Washington D.C. with his eighth grade class. He was very excited to go, and had us up and running at 4 a.m. so that he could get to the middle school by 5! The energy level of this particular mom is starting to fade as the day wears on!

Be well, Kate

Monday, April 12, 2010

Petite petal cones

Hello, friends. Lots of time spent in the sewing room today, which, you'll be happy to know, has a new set of shelving and a nice light, thanks to my very talented husband. I had a request for a petite flower girl petal cone, and spent some time this morning putting one together. It is really tiny, measures just 9" with the handle, but is sized for a toddler. It is the same as my "regular" handwoven lace petal cone, except in miniature. Here is a picture:

I had such a good time making this tiny little cone, that I made another one from the little birdies fabric I use on my toss garters:

My yellow tulips have opened, and the veggie garden seems to have survived its first spring frost. Phew!
Be well, Kate :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Waffles and warps

Hello, friends. New England weather is a hoot -- 80 degrees and sunny one day, 40 degrees and rainy the next. I hope that my peonies make it through the cold nights. They look very frail right now.

I'm working on kitchen textiles this week. Here is my latest offering, nothing fancy but pleasing in their own way: waffleweave dishcloths. Unmercerized and undyed cotton. Machine wash and dry. No nonsense! What do you think?

Next on tap are some table napkins -- one set that is woven from mercerized cotton with a lace border, and one set that is woven from unmercerized cotton in a diamond twill (more of an "everyday" look). The warps will be long (for me) but I love to have an excuse to spend time at my loom!

Be well, Kate

Monday, April 5, 2010

An Easter Flower

Hello, friends. I hope that you had a pleasant weekend. We enjoyed warm, sunny weather here in New Hampshire. Look at my pretty tulips that opened on Easter Sunday morning:

Our roses are starting to leaf out, which is always exciting. My husband noted that our carrots and lettuces have sprouted in the garden, too. Yummy.

I am pleased as punch to have been asked by one of my clients to have my work linked to her bridal registry on I wasn't even aware that such a site existed until this weekend! It is a really neat idea -- you can create a registry for things that are from (virtually) anywhere on the web.

So, I am weaving away (tea towels today; dishcloths next) and figuring out how to configure my next yarn order. I am turning into a major fan of Internet commerce.
Be well, Kate