Daily Check-in December 2016

Yes I know it is not December until tomorrow but I wanted to get this posted while I was thinking about it. I know how busy everyone is this month so. . . I am not weaving for Christmas this year, but I am knitting my little fingers to the bone. I might take a break from that this evening to spin a bit. Hope this post finds you all well and weaverly. Even though I have not been posting much I love reading everything you are posting. You are all so inspirational. Weave on!


Posted on Thu, 12/01/2016 - 19:23

You may have read news in the past three days about the devestating fires that have swept through the Great Smoky Natl. Park in Tennessee, USA.  Sadly, hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed as well as having 14,000 people who were evacuated on Monday night as the fires swept into the town of Gatlinburg where Arrowmont School of Crafts is located.  Luckily, the staff and resident artists were able to evacuate safely and the school suffered only the loss of two dorms and one maintenance building.

If you want to learn more about how to help this wonderful school come back from these losses, please visit their website at arrowmont.org  Scroll down to see the donate button, if you choose to donate.

Arrowmont is one of the premier schools for craft learning in the nation.  Everyone associated with the school in some way, from former student to teacher, to one who's exhibited or attended conferences there knows the place for the fabulous resource it is.  Here's wishing for the best to come for both Arrowmont and for the larger community that's in such pain right now.


Posted on Thu, 12/01/2016 - 20:26

There are several handcraft schools in that area of the U.S. I had wondered if they were in danger. Thanks for the news, Tommye. So glad the people are safe.

Posted on Thu, 12/01/2016 - 21:04

...entered the world today. Look what my Russell built for me!

DIY rag rug loom

I can change the warp length by moving the dowel rod. If the bottom is too hard to reach, I can easily take the loom off the stand and flip the bottom to the top. It is sturdy, yet light weight.

I have a project in the works for my Color Challenge. After that I will be ready to rag rug all over the place. I have never tried weaving one, but I do have an obsession with rugs. 

Posted on Thu, 12/01/2016 - 21:16

It is a blessing that no lives were lost, but the loss of buildings, and long-term changes to the landscape, will take a lot of effort for recovery.


I am home sick, 4th day in a row.  Today I feel well enough to be digging out more scraps of handwoven cloth, and yep, you guessed it, I am making small zippered bags.  One will be for our guild christmas party's gift exchange, and I will fill it with those little things weavers are always needing -  scissors, tapestry needs, clips for weighing down repair warp threads, tape measure, etc. 

Posted on Thu, 12/01/2016 - 21:17

Queezle, no lives lost among the Arrowmont staff and artists.  Unfortunately, quite a few others throughout the area were injured and there have been several deaths during the fires.  More are missing.  It's a tremendous tragedy.


Posted on Fri, 12/02/2016 - 15:56

..but I did get quite a bit of sewing and dyeing done yesterday.  After a couple really bad experiences with tangled hand-dyed warps, I've measured out a warp for dyeing.  Hope to get to it before the new year.

Posted on Sat, 12/03/2016 - 17:32

Typo demons are evil, they appear in my writing as well.

I am working to sew a bag with mostly handwoven for my son.  I have made it to the fabric store, found adequate lining fabric, and am working carefully on my strategy.  I will use elements from my handbag (which I use every day now), but modify the size, etc.  Here is the fabric, lining, and zipper.

preparing to sew

Posted on Sun, 12/04/2016 - 07:37

Snarl was the word of the day. The fiber snarled. I snarled. Not really. I kept a fairly good humour while untangling, recalculating, and rewarping today (for hours and hours and hours.)  Tomorrow -an opportunity to try, try again.

Queezle, I am coveting that bag. What a super mom. 

Posted on Wed, 12/07/2016 - 17:05

I have been looking all over for some perle cotton 20/2 that is dyed.  I have looked in all the normal sources and can't find any.  I want the shiny quality of perle.  Any suggestions?

Posted on Wed, 12/07/2016 - 23:56

Natural unbleached cotton, 7 shaft waffles, I did thread another shaft though to catch the threads at the edge warp. I'm assuming that the edges are going to collapse because that end warp likes to be puled in a little. We'll see how it goes when it goes through wet finishing. I am sing 8/4 and I had some 3/2 to do in the hem areas. In the hems I have used a couple picks of plain weave at the end of the block. Might get a bath mat if it works. Looking to get 40-50% shrinkage.


Camera is angled to catch the shadow of the cells. So it looks uneven as a result. It is very 3D on the loom. :D

Posted on Thu, 12/08/2016 - 19:21

I second the recommendations already made for obtaining dyed cotton yarn. I applaud you, ReedGuy, on your fantastic waffles!! I can't wait to see the finished cloth.

My weaverliness has been planning a stripe sequence for my next color study! I've taken an inspriation photo and chose similar (though not perfectly matched) 5 of the colors. I've assigned fibonacci numbers to each color based on the amount  of the orginal painting each color occupies. Hopefully, I'll have a photo for you tomorrow.

Posted on Sat, 12/10/2016 - 03:21

I have intermittently worked on this one warp a week.

  1. Design change in stripe width
  2. Color change
  3. Missed slots and holes while threading
  4. Three broken threads
  5. Two frayed threads from abrasion 

Decision for tomorrow. Persevere; or, start a different project. Ever hear the song, The Gambler?

You got to know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away. 

Video of song > https://youtu.be/kn481KcjvMo

Posted on Sat, 12/10/2016 - 04:13

Ten - there was singing a different song going in my head as I read your list - it reminded me of the 12 days of Christmas.  I hope that you wake up tomorrow with new ideas on how to tame that warp.  But I know we've all had bad warps, it seems to be a rite of passage (and a recurring one, if I am typical).

Is anyone giving away woven holiday gifts?  I realize that by weaving myself things (bag, scarves) December came without a pile of table runners or dish clothes.  I am continuing with the Shibori dyed scarves, and I think I will make it in time.

I "helped" my DH with my gift - I think I already said that in this thread - I ordered a Glimakra band loom on Cyber Monday.  I finally called the company to see when to expect delivery, and it turned out the company sent it to the wrong customer!  I guess that is one way of avoiding the temptation of getting into it before Christmas.

Posted on Sun, 12/11/2016 - 04:24

I took a break from the warp problems and watched the dvd,  Creative Cloth featuring Anita Luvera Mayer. There are instruction, examples, and mentoring on creativity. What I learned the most from was her attitude. I made some changes in my weaving thinking. Queezle thank you for introducing me to this weaverly name.

My weaving hasn't reached gift status yet. A friend did take a failed table runner to cover her computer keyboard.

I cannot believe it. You finally gave in to the band loom craving; and, they delivered it to someone else. Oh, alas, alack.

Posted on Sun, 12/11/2016 - 15:12

My weaving has taken the back seat as I am dyeing 15 silk scarves for gifts.  Its a lot faster than weaving gifts, but still takes a bit of time.  And I am trying to finish sewing my son's bag. 


I looked back to my 2016 goals, and they were awfully vague:


"My goals for 2016

For 2016, I hope to study (at least) 3 more chapters in Mastering Weave Structures, get caught up with posting my projects here, hem my heap of unfinished dish towels, and do something weaverly every day. And I will forgive myself if all I have time for is a weaverly peek at pinterest."


How did I do so far?  I do not own Mastering Weave Structures, so I cannot quantify my progress, but I didn't do much formal work with that book this year (but I did read a few chapters).  I did not hem all of my dish towels, but did find joy in converting two of them into a purse.

I know I also wanted to put a new warp on each month.  It looks like I have 7 woven projects I listed this year, and not 12, as I would likely have if I had made 12 warps.  But I also found new uses for old samples, learned to make a lined zippered bag, and did a pretty big alteration to one of my looms. 

All in all, I am happy with my weaverly progress!  The other thing I have done is to upgrade my stash by purchasing some other types of yarn, such as tencel (still nothing made with it), yak-geelong, alpaca, and cashmere.


I raise this topic as I want to make a better list of goals for 2017. 


Posted on Tue, 12/13/2016 - 16:31

This looks like an amazing opportunity for the talented weavers on Weavolution. Wasn't sure where best to post it!



call for artists

The coverlet, a wonderfully elaborate example of woven bedding, is lesser-known than the quilt when it comes to Southern material culture. These bed-coverings are often devalued or romanticized rather than recognized as having provided real value to households. To address this oversight, anthropologists Susan Falls and artist Jessica Smith are holding a call for weavers to participate in Fold Unfold.

Fold Unfold invites skilled makers to weave functional bedding on manually operated looms as part of this installation. Each coverlet should be informed by overshot geometric patterning popular in the South. To undermine traditional signifiers of class and race, makers will use a modernist color scheme of black, white, and gray. This neutrality will draw attention to the hands of individual makers.

The coverlets will be folded and stacked to form pillars; one pillar will stand in the entrance of the historic Ware-Lyndon House to connote the role southern women played in the aesthetic narrative of their landscape, and the second pillar in the contemporary Lukasiewicz Gallery will unite the historic with the contemporary.

To reveal individual creative work, the pillars will be taken down and the coverlets will be unfolded in a public performance. The coverlets will then be re-stacked at full size to form a minimalist contemporary sculpture. Each coverlet will be professionally photographed and published in a downloadable catalogue."



Posted on Sun, 12/11/2016 - 22:53

Last year was my first year to weave. The goals got displaced. I was like an untrained bird dog on a quail hunt. Look there's a squirrel. Ooo. A rabbit. Wait. Chasing that grasshopper looks like fun.

My first thoughts about next year are...FOCUS. Learning is fun, but I need a few successes for sustenance before going on to the next practice project.

What do I want to make? Everyday useful objects that convey a message for myself, friends, and persons in need of a small kindness.

My favorite comments on my other artsy -craftsy endeavors were "I see..." A story unfolding, a social issue, a memory. Something that made them think beyond the object.

  1. Useful: My new loom is a simple frame for rag rug weaving - rugs, place mats.
  2. Message: explore communication with fabric

January - Use on hand materials to practice the basics of twining.

If I like the rug weaving, organize notebooks for: basic technique, embellishment, messages, inspiration, and each project.

Next projects. Do I enjoy the non-thinking random rag design; the planning of simple patterns, like stripes; or, the concentration to produce a graphic in a specific spot?


Posted on Mon, 12/12/2016 - 03:03

When I returned to weaving at Convergence 2014, I set a primary goal to collect the tools for a studio before I retire, expecting to have more time than money for weaving at that point in my life.  Although my beloved Gallinger loom is still in the attic, it is time to view the collection of looms as complete.  

At Convergence 2016, I selected a goal for 2017 to weave my way through Nancy Arthur Hoskins, "Weft-face Pattern Weaves: Tabby to Taquete."  I have collected the materials and gotten over my indecision about how I want to create a sample library but have not yet wound the first warp.  I do have table looms ready to choice from for the first warp.  Between now and January 2017, I should organize a timeline for the work.  

I bought wool yarns required for this project and complementary spaced dyed pencil roving to match the colors I received for the Weavolution color challenge.  I will have to make it to at least the first wool sampler before the color challenge ends.  My focus is not on practical uses for the cloth but I will remain open to the idea of taking a break from sampling if the color challenge sampler inspires me to weave a more specific product.

I have one more goal, in honor of my own procrastination, I do need to join Complex Weavers!  I am interested in weave structures and turning them (swapping warp and weft). By 2018, I hope to be weaving turned overshot with a single weft.

Happy Holidays,


Posted on Mon, 12/12/2016 - 19:52

I got a lot of weaving done today. We are doing Secret Santa at work and I finally decided to participate. Then I realized that I couldn't give anything handmade before the reveal, or I would give myself away. So today I've been weaving a cup cozy on my summer and winter warp. I probably should have done something simpler. But I decided on suing the first 5 numbers of the fibonacci sequence to determine the pattern block sizes. 

And for some reason the 3 photos I took of the weaving today are showing up as being on my phone, but vacn not be viewed. Sorry!

Posted on Tue, 12/13/2016 - 05:42

I like it, 10 and Francine.  Francine, I need to find a copy of that book, I do not believe I have seen it before.  And I am totally with you on turned drafts!  Do any of your looms have two back beams?  I am thinking that might be important for turned drafts, especially something like overshot, where the takeup of the tabby and pattern would likely be quite different. 


I am trying to give my goals some thought, but they will include making actual things, a bit of dyeing, and hopefully weaving on a band loom!

Posted on Tue, 12/13/2016 - 12:26

16 shaft Julie table loom has 2 back beams--1 of the reasons she is with me. Second back beam is not mandatory. Band loom increased my interest in turning drafts. 

Posted on Tue, 12/13/2016 - 17:32

Great goals!!! I too plan to get back to my tababy to taquete studies. I have studied chapters 1-3, then skipped to taquete and samitum. The chapters on between are calling me back!!!

Posted on Tue, 12/13/2016 - 19:46

... are to do more weaving, too. 

I have no specific book or structure I want to explore, but I hope to keep pushing my desire for actual products.  Maybe a bathrobe as a gateway for clothing (a bathrobe can be ugly, yet still used, if comfortable), weaving bands, making new collar and leash for my puppy. 

I also plan to get to that color challenge, and my guild has a crackle challenge.  I think I will come up with an actual list of weaverly goals, with the hope it will keep me focused.

Posted on Wed, 12/14/2016 - 02:54

Queezle, I'm gonna start calling you the 'bag lady'!  That's some nice fabric!

Reedguy, I love those waffles! Such an amazing structure on the loom!

My goals? Try different structures: S&W, Rep, Blocks, M's and O's and maybe a another blanket again. That and 'rugs'! I really want to get into rugs again. Basically, just to produce more and better functional cloth.

Posted on Wed, 12/14/2016 - 11:23

You all are so inspiring. Finally getting back to weaving after getting stitches in my hand over Thanksgiving. Note: when helping a grandchild get on the zip line do not put your hand in front of the handle on the wire. Sheesh. But, it did mean I could spend more time cookie making with the littlest grandchild. Still plugging away at projects on the drawloom. I finally started the faux sheepskin rug I've been wanting to do with a Navajo Churro fleece. This loom resides in the basement with another that will  have a coverlet size skillbragd piece. Soon, I hope! I plan to submit this to the call I posted above. I've never done this before, so a bit nervous. But I really wanted to do a coverlet and this encourages me to do so.

The basement is rather chilly until the snow covers all the windows, etc. I think I'll let my friend try his hand at installing a little vent so I can warm it up while working down there. Winter has settled in for the long hall in the Western UP. Once the holidays are over, I'm sure I'll have more time for weaving, right?

Posted on Wed, 12/14/2016 - 13:42

my goals for this year are project completion and just spending more time at the loom. 

Posted on Thu, 12/15/2016 - 23:57

Get Mr. Putney the floor loom operational....finally.  It has been such a LONG haul, renovating this Putney Mountain loom.  Now for the operational part of the reno.  Getting him to work as a loom should.  It has taken 3 years (2016 is year 3) to get all the missin treadles, shafts, upper and lower lamms fitted correctly.  Got the treadle ties done.  Found out I had to raise the lower lamms to get a decent shed.  Now to re tie all 80 treadle ties by years end.  I have two weeks left!  Been away from here of late as gardening, spinning, Spinzilla, and family things have taken over.

Posted on Fri, 12/16/2016 - 19:10

I'm working through the Ontario Handweavers & Spinners Weaving Home Study Unit 1. I don't think I'll actually submit my weaving, but the unit itself is making for an interesting study. Here are photos of 2 of the samples.

2/2 treadling using the blue's compliment orange.

This is the same treadling using the triad woven in pick and pick for a colour and weave effect.

Posted on Fri, 12/16/2016 - 19:10

I'm working through the Ontario Handweavers & Spinners Weaving Home Study Unit 1. I don't think I'll actually submit my weaving, but the unit itself is making for an interesting study. Here are photos of 2 of the samples.

2/2 treadling using the blue's compliment orange.

This is the same treadling using the triad woven in pick and pick for a colour and weave effect.

Posted on Sun, 12/18/2016 - 23:24

In our town it is a tradition for Santa to visit all the neighborhoods and hand out candy canes, courtesy of the Fire Department. I am not sure who is having more fun, despite the uncooperative weather! What's happening in your neighborhood this week?


Posted on Mon, 12/19/2016 - 02:37

Like most of the country, its been very cold this weekend.  We got our tree, but the only weaving I've done lately is the path of the light strings going into that tree.  The stretch between Thanksgiving and new years is always more difficult for personal time, but its been extra hard with a bad cold I cannot seem to shake (starting the 4th week). 


But I did make progress in another area.  Last month I was given ~2/3 of a warping mill (leclerc, tabletop) - and finally am starting to address the missing pieces.  Today I found nice oak dowels that fit the two cross-pieces perfectly, they just need to be sanded and finished.  And I have a plan for a more complicated missing piece. This piece clamps onto the dowels, stabilizing the setup and providing dowels for the cross, and only one of the two was lost.  A friend who said he would love a guitar strap from my band loom has a nice woodworking set up; maybe we can trade!

Hope everyone else is being more productive than I.

Posted on Tue, 12/20/2016 - 08:49

I ripped rags today in preparation for my first rag rug. I wanted to dye the sheets to get the colors I wanted. Common sense won the argument in my head. Learn one thing at a time. Rugs first; dyes later.

A visit to the art museum on Thursday blew the cobwebs from the creative corner in my brain.

Queezle, did the band loom arrive yet?




Posted on Tue, 12/20/2016 - 14:13

I am glad to see so many of you posting fun things and things that are going to plan!

The first day of our ski holiday did not go to plan. That's right I joined the ranks of us here who have had surgeries! I tore my ACL and meniscus! I had surgery within 12 hours of the accident and am now recuperating at our resort! More later! :)

Posted on Tue, 12/20/2016 - 14:38

that is not how you are supposed to enjoy a skiiing vacation! Hope you have a fast recovery.


Posted on Tue, 12/20/2016 - 14:54

Erika - that is terrible!  Where is the resort?  Here where there are many ski resorts, there are a lot of injuries.  It seems to be a rite of passage for people who move here.


Still no band loom!  I learned that it had accidentally been sent to Seattle.  And the company says that when it is returned, they will send it FEDEX.  So there is still time for it to appear under the tree, and its slow meandering path makes it less of a distraction for me.


My husband's friend agreed to the barter - he took the one piece of the warping mill with him that needs replicating - and agreed that he would love a hand-made guitar strap in return.  That band loom had better arrive eventually.

Heal quickly, Erika.

edited to add this story about a sheep, enjoy.

Posted on Tue, 12/20/2016 - 22:23

Erica, there are easier ways to get breakfast in bed. Heal quickly, keep your good attitude, and squeeze the joy from your remaining holiday.

Posted on Wed, 12/21/2016 - 09:03

Thanks everyone! Yes there are much better ways to get breakfast in bed! I am glad I almost always over pack craft projects, I have plenty of spinning, etc. To keep me busy. We are in Italy so I also have amazing views and have already started sketching profile drafts based on the mountains just outside our hotel!

I am so thankful to have a plethora of warped table looms when I get home. I have also started thinking about how I might prop my leg up on my Glimakra for maybe 10 minutes or so a day. :) But I will take care in my recovery.

Posted on Thu, 12/22/2016 - 13:40

to my 4 day weekend. Hoping to get some weaving in this weekend, among other things. Since all my family is elsewhere I will have a quiet day with the dogs - except for Church Sunday morning where I will be busy since I am the organist. I want to star the New Year wil clean looms and new warps all ready to work on so the next week will  be busy.


Posted on Fri, 12/23/2016 - 00:04

I love the week after Christmas... the last days of the year to hurry up and finish a project or at least clear the decks for the new projects of the year to come!  I remember something from college days that the ancient Maya had a special period at the end of their year which included the "five dangerous days" which were an unsettled time (and a useful way to make up for slippage in calculating a year in their calendar).  Something different for people to do at the end of the year, sort of like the Roman Saturnalia!

Whether it's five dangerous days or a Roman Saturnalia where one cuts loose of old roles and rules, I'm all in for some change!

It's been a six month recovery on the elbow with no fiber arts.  Now I can knit a few rows per day and feel quite productive.

It's been a four month wait for my fly shuttle attachment for my Liisa to arrive. It's now installed and I'm finally weaving my wide net curtain. 

So I'm high fiving everyone to enjoy a little post-holiday weaving!


Posted on Fri, 12/23/2016 - 01:08

This evening was a first -my first rag rug warp. Wahoo! Ready to start the weft tomorrow.

Today was glorious weather with cool air flow and sunshine. I took the loom on the porch and I felt solar-powerful. Did Mayans have a weaving goddess? Time for research.