Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Four shaft spot weave bookmarks!

Hello, friends. As promised last week, I am providing instructions for my spot weave bookmark project. I am assuming a basic level of weaving knowledge, such as how to warp a loom, in the directions. If any of the instructions are unclear, please do send any questions my way! So, here we go...

Spot weave bookmarks for a 4 shaft loom

Yarn: 5/2 mercerized cotton yarn in a solid color of your choice. (I used 5/2 mercerized cotton in ivory from Halcyon Yarn). 3 1/2 yard warp, 66 ends.

Sett: 20 ends per inch (2 per dent in a 10 dent reed).

Width in reed: about 3.5 inches

Threading/tie-up/treadling: Please see the photo below:

Weaving directions: Weave a 1"-2" tabby header using scrap yarn to help spread the warp. Leave about 1" between header and beginning of your first bookmark so that you have enough unwoven warp yarns for fringe. Weave 8 picks tabby (leave about an 18" "tail"); hemstitch in groups of 4 threads across the warp and in two groups of three threads for the last 6 threads of the warp. Make sure to bury the tail of the hemstitching into the body of the cloth. Continue to weave the spots for about 6 inches or any length that you think would be nice. Finish with 8 more picks of tabby. Hemstitch the end of the bookmark. Weave another bookmark, but be sure to leave about 2" of unwoven warp before starting your next bookmark for fringe. Continue to weave bookmarks; I got nine bookmarks out of my warp, but I have a lot of loom waste on the LeClerc Nilus II.

Finishing: Remove the bookmarks from the loom. Handwash in cool water with gentle soap. Hang to dry. Lightly press the bookmarks and then trim the fringe to desired length with a rotary cutter (I trimmed mine to 1" on each end). Finished dimensions = 2.75" wide x 8.25" long. Trim any loose ends. Admire your pretty bookmarks and give them to your friends and family!

Easy peasy! These would make really nice Mother's Day gifts, or presents for teachers or graduates, don't you think? I am partial to ivory for loom-controlled lace, as it has sort of a vintage appearance, but a sunny yellow would look charming, too.

I'd love to know if you try these out and if so, to see photos of your finished bookmarks! And, if you note any glaring errors in the draft here, please let me know that, too -- drafting patterns of any kind is rather tricky, and it is easy to let details slip. 

Be well,

Friday, April 19, 2013

April loom

Hello, friends. Like many of my New England neighbors, I have found focusing on my work to be very difficult this week in light of the terrible events that have transpired in our beloved Boston. It is hard to understand why these things happen, and even harder to try to provide an explanation to our kids. Boston is THE fun place to go: Fenway Park, really great restaurants, museums, New England Aquarium, vibrant and sometimes delightfully quirky neighborhoods, and enthusiastic energy that virtually spills out of the many highly respected institutions of higher learning throughout the city. We love our city, as do so many people throughout New England and beyond. We are looking forward to seeing her again - and we will, soon.

Despite a heavy heart, I have forged ahead in true Yankee spirit and have continued to try to work at the loom in anticipation of artisan fairs this season. The waffleweave towels are finished! Here are two of them:

And, here is something new that I'm really excited about. I will be taking these delicate and, I think, pretty, spot weave bookmarks to artisan fairs this season. Here is a photo of one on the loom:

In the spirit of sharing, I am thinking about offering the pattern draft to my weaving friends. It would make a lovely Mother's Day gift or graduation gift, don't you think? Any takers? If so, please leave a comment below and I will provide instructions for your personal weaving enjoyment!

Be well,

Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Art Show Preparations

Hello, friends. Even though ice pellets are hitting our deck right now, spring is not far away. And that means that my craft show season will begin to ramp up!

This will be my second year of exhibiting in shows, and I am really looking forward to it. There is definitely a learning curve involved in addition to committing to some major investments in equipment and display materials. Last year I purchased a good, sturdy tent (complete with walls, should I ever need them), signs, and a few display fixtures. This year I will not have to purchase as much but decided to splurge on this nifty item for my notecards:

This little carousel will get my notecards up off of the table! It spins and everything. It was a good investment and ran about $25.

Dishtowels always seem to find new homes when I take them out to shows. My latest towel is here:

This is another waffleweave towel and I hope to have five out of this particular warp wound from a creamy beige. It is a nice cappacino-y color and should like nice in just about any kitchen.

So, that's all for now! I hope you all have a terrific weekend!
Be well,

Monday, April 8, 2013

Baby steps

Hello, friends. Spring is just about here! Our crocus are up - and we welcome them with great enthusiasm this year. It has been a very long winter.

In addition to the waffleweave towels that are new to the shop this Spring, I've been working on a new project just for me. I've been sewing a lot of clothing lately and finally have the confidence needed to introduce a bit of handwoven fabric to my work. Here is a sneak peek:

This doesn't look like much right now, but I'm hopeful that the use of the spot weave lace will work as a pretty embellishment to the bib of this simple shift dress. And since I love to do ribbonwork, I stitched on a tiny red rose for a bit of color.

So, as the post title implies, these are baby steps toward using my fabrics in the things that I wear. Do you weavers out there incorporate your handwoven cloth into your clothes? I think that using small pieces like this is a nice way to wear our work. Well, at least I hope so -- let's see how this dress turns out!

Be well,