Friday, January 27, 2012

Too much of a good thing - storage solution for weaving cones

Hello, friends. Here is a little secret: I love cones of weaving yarn. I find them to be so inspiring that I often just line them up and stare at them and think about what a fabric might look or feel like or how a certain fabric might be used.

But here's the kicker...I had so many cones of weaving yarn "stored" on the floor that the other day I took a misstep, had a cone roll under my right foot, and did a sort of weaver's skateboarding move onto my rear end. (I was half glad that no one was home at the time). Time to clean up!

Here is my solution for storing cones in a small space:


We had these easy to assemble wire mesh storage bins in a closet. (We originally purchased them to house toys and stuffed animals for our kids --and there aren't too many stuffed animals on display these days). My son, Andrew, put together 4 cubes for me and lined them up against a wall in the corner. (It is a tight space - you can see the corner of the back beam of the loom in the photo).

I am tickled pink with this simple solution. Here's why I like it:

a) this arrangement has a small footprint (30" long x 15" deep x 30" tall).
b) I can see the cones that I've got due to the wire mesh.
c) It houses 60 (SIXTY!) cones of yarn.

It is probably pretty affordable, too, although we bought these gizmos so long ago that I am hesitant to estimate a price.

I hope that my fiber friends will share their storage solutions, too! What works for you?
Be well,
Kate

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Guilt-free chocolate muffin mix

Hello, friends. After our family's slight inclination to overindulge on Christmas cookies and our son's outstanding Marshmellow Fluff fudge in December, we have reduced our consumption of desserts and other sweets this month. But, hey, sometimes you have to have a little treat now and then. And one that is easy to prepare is even better. Here is my recipe for "Guilt free chocolate muffin mix."


Guilt-free chocolate muffins

Ingredients
1.5 cups flour (I have been using King Arthur's "white whole wheat")
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. water
3 T. vegetable oil
1 T. vinegar
1 t. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper muffin cups or spray cooking tin with cooking spray. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients. Then pour wet ingredients in with the dry and mix thoroughly. Spoon batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 12-ish minutes. Yum.

Here's something I do to make these even easier. Mix your first 6 (dry) ingredients together and then store in a quart-sized canning jar. You'll have your own muffin mix! Perfect on a busy day when there is a loom to be warped.

Be well,
Kate

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Playing with color

Hello, friends. There are a lot of fancy-schmantzy weaving/drafting software programs available for handweavers, but with college tuition looming on the horizon for two kids, this is a luxury that I cannot justify at this point in my weaving career. Like all weavers, I do like to get an idea of how color combinations might shape up before going to all of the time, effort, and expense of weaving a new fabric that might turn out (horrors!) ghastly.

What's a girl to do? Well, I do have a scanner, graphing paper, and plenty of colored pencils. Here's what I do:

a) I make a fairly accurate grid of the fabric I envision (often based on one of my popular dishtowels). Here's an example:


b) This is my master copy. I scan the copy & save it as a PDF.

c) I can print out as many copies of the master design that I would like and scribble to my heart's content!


Maybe some of my weaving friends can adapt this concept to their own needs and designs. It works for me! (And if you're lucky enough to have one of those software programs, I am insanely jealous).

Be well,
Kate

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Handwoven Valentine

Hello, friends. We have sub-zero temperatures here in New Hampshire, but the sun is shining so it is a lovely day to dress the loom. I'm putting more "zigzag" dishtowel fabric on the old girl today.

Valentine's Day is just about a month away and while I haven't woven fabric specific for this holiday, I did put together a little, pretty Valentine for someone's sweetheart:


I used a small remnant of ivory huck lace for the fabric insert and a rich burgundy ribbon to hold it all together.

My sweetheart gave me a gift certificate to Harrisville Designs for Christmas this year, and I purchased a copy of Marguerite Davidson's famous 4 harness pattern book. What a treat.

Stay warm & be well,
Kate

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Burlap chair cone for rustic weddings

Hello, friends. I have been doing a lot of Nutfield Weaver custom work lately for spring weddings. My new ribbon carousel has proven to be invaluable!

Here is a photograph of one of the custom orders that I'm working on this week. This burlap cone can be tied around a chair and filled with botanicals. Simple and sweet!


This particular cone will one of sixteen that will be part of the decor at a barn wedding this spring. (The venue is lovely - I saw pictures!).

Next on the loom will be some more zigzag towels. The warp is wound and patiently waiting her turn to be turned into cloth.

Be well,
Kate

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lime green love at Nutfield Weaver

Hello, friends. The weather is frigid here in New Hampshire but it is positively tropical on the loom today:


This fabric is woven from cotton threads in white & lime green (kiwi, peridot, chartreuse, etc...) and it worked its way into a practical, perky dishtowel this afternoon:


I'm still weaving this cloth and then have plans for a few more towels in this same pattern using natural/ivory and barn red for the narrow warp and weft stripes that to create the plaid.

Hoping you are all staying warm!
Be well,
Kate

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Nutfield Weaver's spiffy new studio

Hello, friends. Happy New Year! My work area got a makeover for Christmas! My husband and son, Andrew, worked diligently to make some new, wonderful organizational tools for my work space. Here are some photos!

My new pegboard organizer is not just ANY pegboard organizer -- it even has a nice looking framed edge. It is practically a work of art.


Here is a close-up:

And here is the wonderful ribbon carousel that my husband and son, Andrew, designed & made together (the four post ribbon holder spins and everything and even has a sweet decorative knob on the top - with a sheep, of course).


There was actually a table underneath all of the clutter that I'd accumulated over the past year.

It is all very exciting, and I'm sure that many of you who spend time in their homes working and crafting can understand how important it is to be organized.

How lucky am I?

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and propserous 2012.
Be well,
Kate