Daily Check-in January 2016

Happy New Year! Some terrific projects came through here last year. Looking forward to what 2016 brings! Weave on. . . .


Posted on Thu, 12/31/2015 - 19:02

My mission to continue to weave down my stash will be priority.  Finished one towel warp yesterday and hope to dress the small loom with the next today.  Plus write.  Making good progress on that, enough that there is incentive to continue.  :)

Posted on Thu, 12/31/2015 - 20:08

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.

Posted on Thu, 12/31/2015 - 20:52

I'm still around. Working on a couple interesting projects. One is an experiment in quilting or stitching double cloth. I'm waiting for the cloth to dry to see how much raised the cloth surface becomes. Another is a type of honeycomb called sponge weave, it will be a scarf.  I'm beginning tomorrow. I'm after texture, pattern isn't going to look like much. And a third is something lacey.

Posted on Fri, 01/01/2016 - 13:49

Happy New Year everyone. Hope this new year is the best one yet. Cool


I have been working with my peg loom for the last couple of days. Not much done for my efforts. I didn't like how my pattern was coming out and I took all my weaving out not once, but twice. And since I started new, I decided to extend it to it's full width which is 35" instead of the narrow 20" I began working with.


Time to go back to work tonight, so no weaving for a few days again. Everyone stay warm or cool & safe during all this bad weather most of the country here in the US is facing. Hoping ya'll folks in other parts the world are having good weather. Laughing

Posted on Fri, 01/01/2016 - 16:58

Great goals everyone! I look forward to following your progress.

I plan to submit my portfolio for submission in June to the UK Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. I finished my soumak samlle today, which makes a great start to 2016! ;)

Posted on Fri, 01/01/2016 - 17:54

The great part about winding warps when the inspiration strikes, is you have them ready to go on the loom when it becomes available! Laura is clearly rubbing off on me, yeah!!!!

Day 1 2016 and I have another warp on the loom. It is a fairly long samitum warp, so after my Certificate of Achievement sample, I will actually be able to show you what I do with the rest of it!

Posted on Fri, 01/01/2016 - 18:04

my quest to stash weave.  I have been doing that for almost 2 years now - it is combination of embarrassment at how much yarn is in my stash and the challenge of making the crazy color and yarn types work together.  I am also setting a goal of weaving tapestry techniques on my Hokett loom, small scale, fairly quick to weave and hopefully a good learning device.

Posted on Sun, 01/03/2016 - 01:07

This year as a new weaver, I want my focus to turn to process instead of piling up completed projects.  I've never really focused on studying a book, chapter by chapter.  Mastering Weave Structures sounds like a match for my needs. I need to learn to think on my own when I'm weaving. For now, though, my brain is wrapped around my new overshot project.  The Nov/Dec 2010 runner by Mary Berent Is on my loom, but I substituted 10/2 and 5/2 for Mary's 20/2 and 10/2 as she recommended in her article.  I chose 24 epi and began.  My problem is I follow directions with tunnel vision!  When the original direction said begin with 60 picks plain weave, I did just that.  It's several inches!  And it's supposed to be a turn under hem before the pattern.  Even though I'm beating as firmly as I possibly can, I'm afraid my pattern will be very off from the intended pattern. So getting a better understanding of weaving structures and their workings is my goal!

Posted on Sun, 01/03/2016 - 02:06

that is great! I love puzzls and that one would be great fun to do!


Posted on Sun, 01/03/2016 - 14:35

After sloughing off (weaving) for a few months -- life intervened -- I did a hurry up and finish job on a 20/2 Jaggespun wool warp and weft twill weave.  With a close sett and heavy beat, this twill came out perfectly to be used as yardage for stuffed animals -- following the suggestion in Weaving a Zoo.  My daughter, horse-crazy, is enjoying the fanciful wild pony that resulted.  Sewing up the critters was a snap.  Immediately after cutting the pieces, I used 1/4 inch staystiching in a very small stitch size all around the edges to prevent catastrophic fraying.  It worked very well with this fabric which was able to take a lot of stuffing inside with no blow-outs. 

On to the next excitement.  I found a copy of Happy Weaving from the folks at Vav and am today going to beam a 6m warp of 12/6 cotton for  huckaback lace curtains.   If I enjoy the project I intend to weave different curtains for rooms around the house. 

I hope that 2016 is the year that I will upgrade my warp-winding skills to have confidence with the paddle.  I can see that for some warps, multiple packages and multiple strands is the way to go, especially with weaving yardage of single color items like curtains.

Happy New Year to all --

Posted on Sun, 01/03/2016 - 18:43

My "regular" tapestry life continues as I work on designing and weaving tapestries on assorted looms, large and small.  But one of the small joys of my life is devoting a few minutes each day to what I've called tapestry diary--a daily practice for me since 2009 as a year-long commitment (I did an initial one-month foray in 2008).  Others are doing similar daily practices using tapestry as the medium (check out Jan Austin and Janette Meetze online, both have blogs and often write about their tapestry diaries, as well as other things they're involved in).

My 2015 TD came off the loom on Dec. 31--here's a link to a post to my blog about it.  in 2015 I did a daily square or rectangle of varying size, and surrounded a small tapestry that I spent about a week on, thinking of each month as being represented by four weeks. That gave me four small areas devoted to each month and in those areas each month I concentrated on one growing things from our property.  For instance, January held oak leaves, February was shown in pecans, March had a few of the sticks I picked up in our yard after an ice storm. 

So far, this year I've woven three days as simple bands from selvedge to selvedge, each a different color.  Since I enjoyed the challenge of a weekly devotion to image, I'm getting ideas generated for potential month-long larger pieces to be framed in within my days.

So... here's to weaving the days of our lives, in whatever way we choose to!


Posted on Mon, 01/04/2016 - 00:57

I am tackling my pile of dish towels.  I typically hand hem them, but there is no comfortable place with good light in the current configuration of my house.  But there is a pretty good spot for my sewing machine.  And my pile is pretty big, so I decided work on my sewing machine skills and wade through the pile.  So far, I have 2 1/2 done - the pile is on the photo below.

Tommye - I am so impressed by your tapestry diary.  What commitment!

handwoven dishtowels awaiting hems

Posted on Mon, 01/04/2016 - 06:03

Wow - I didn't realize they had so many!  Thanks Sally.


Posted on Tue, 01/05/2016 - 17:33

weaving the organic colored cotton towel warp.  I even wove a bit of a sample - I want to see the difference in color before and after wet finishing.  I have never been very good at weaving samples, I am going to try (the key word is "try") to be better at it this year.

Posted on Tue, 01/05/2016 - 17:54

To really bring out the colour the cloth needs an alkaline environment.  Usually I add some borax as well as a heavy detergent solution (I have hard water so soap doesn't work well for me).


Posted on Wed, 01/06/2016 - 00:54

I finally finished my sea-turtle scarf! I wove it last March and only just now got around to hemming it and sewing on the beaded fringe:

scarf with frings

They're sea turtles on 40 shafts - 34 pattern shafts in point order, and six shafts on a 3-end network for ties. The ripples are from the network drafted patterning in the ties.

I also drafted up my next weaving project after weaving a second phoenix for my brother. I was trying to figure out what I could weave to use up the 25-yard warp in 10/2 cotton that is currently on my loom, and decided that we need new placemats! and napkins! and maybe even a table runner. Also that cats were far too adorable. Here's the design I dreamed up, using (and modifying a bit) some cat clip art that was licensed for noncommercial use:

cat placemat design

I think it will actually be a bit nicer than this once woven; the white background around the yin-yang cats will be in a pebbly crepe weave, and I will probably overdye the white to something less sensitive to spills, like maybe a rich burgundy or cranberry.

I tried weaving some today and discovered that my TC-2 does not like the humidity! It is raining cats and dogs here in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is wonderful! as we desperately need the rain. But it is also raising the humidity beyond what the TC-2 will tolerate, so the heddles are not lifting properly. I think I will have to crank up the dehumidifier if I'm going to have any chance of weaving the rest of the week.

Posted on Wed, 01/06/2016 - 03:27

Or maybe crawling from egg hatching site to the water - they are truly enchanting.  And while I am not much of a cat person, I just love the yin yang cat motif!

Posted on Wed, 01/06/2016 - 12:03

Love those turtles, and the sea around them swirling back and forth gives the perfect home for their journey!  

Posted on Wed, 01/06/2016 - 12:47


My 20/6 cotton curtain warp of 699 ends is loaded to almost completely fill a 150cm raddle on my 150cm Liisa.  So, undeterred, I enlisted my kids to help.  My son was the muscle operating the crank and my daughter was my warp holding partner.  After we wound on a couple of yards, I noticed that the corrugated cardboard packing material had gone cattywampus and that some of the warp ends were rolling onto each other with no material in between.  We did a full stop, and today I'm going to unwind things on my own and then have my husband manage the warp packing.  Crazy!

This is the widest warp that I've ever put on.... quite exciting.  If we can't get it done with the 4 of us then I'll call for help from my local weaving friends....  they have offered to make house calls for warping help. Yay for weaving friends!

Posted on Wed, 01/06/2016 - 17:39

Having one loom naked is sort of okay, having two naked is just unacceptable.  When I bought one of my table looms, the woman who sold it to me also gifted me with a bunch of yarn and there was a kit from Lunatic Fringe for bath towels.  It is 3/2 unmercerized natural cotton, really lovely yarn to handle.  So, that warp is now dangling in chains off the Cranbrook.  That was a productive morning.

Posted on Wed, 01/06/2016 - 20:20

Vicariously joining your warping efforts while eating an apple at my desk.  Love my job, but I do wish it left a bit more time for weaving.  I am really interested in hearing how the 3/2 cotton bath towels turn out.  I love the idea of converting my bath linens to home made.

Posted on Wed, 01/06/2016 - 22:42

Thought I'd share a page I just put up on my website: Resources for Fabric Design. I wrote it as an article for the Designing Fabrics Study Group, which I chair, but I thought it might come in useful for others.

Also, I designed napkins to go with the cat placemats! Pretty whimsical, but I thought it would be amusing to look down into your lap at dinner and see this:

Napkin design featuring cats!

Other than that, not much weaving. It turns out that activating the pedal on the TC-2 is (badly) aggravating the bursitis in my hip. I've moved the pedal to just above the beater so I can activate it with my hands, and that seems to be helping, but I'm taking things slowly to avoid further injury. Mike and I are talking about wiring a switch up on the beater to allow me to change sheds automatically while pulling the beater back - since I beat on a closing shed normally, this should work pretty well.

Posted on Thu, 01/07/2016 - 16:02

vicariously tie up my lamms and treadles on the Cranbrook:-)  It would even be nicer if you were here to give me a hand beaming this beast - LOL!  I did weave a small sample (eek! Shock!) of the towels on one of my table looms and it did come out nice, so hopefully the final product will be nice too. 

I am with you in wanting to weave all my home linens.  I have had luck with hand towels and kitchen dish towels but I have not fared as well with washcloths and bath towels.  I have wove a couple of washcloths once but I have never been super happy with them.  I used softball cotton and they just get too wet, if that is possible.  I also tried bath sheets once, using a combo of 8/2 cotton and cotton chenille and I was not please there either.  I think that had more to do with the yarn - a bad cone of 8/2 - I had breaks everywhere.  I will bet at one time I had a dozen repair ends hanging off the loom.  It was such a bad experience that I never wanted to go back, but when this kit feel into my hands I decided to give it a shot.  I will keep you posted.

Posted on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 09:57

Recently did some waffle cloths (4 shaft) and sponge weave hand towel. I used 8 shafts because I was doing other tie-ups on the same warp, so it was actually a straight draw threading, two shafts for plain weave selvedge. Serged the final edging after washing for 12" x 12" cloths (16" x 16" on loom, 12% shrinkage). One of my cloths got confiscated for dish washing duty. LOL  hmmm ;)  These little cloths are great to use up part spools of color. I could weave waffle for a long time lol, weaves fast to.

Needed more yarn for this winter, so 3 heavy boxes on their way. :)

The edges are a little rough in the photo because I photoshopped the background out. ;)


Posted on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 14:52

Your waffle weave cloths with neatly serged edges are a success!  Have you washed them post serging and how did the edge hold?

Posted on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 14:58

did you use for your washcloths?  I really like the way yours look, I wish I could feel them (actually use them!  LOL).  That is a great pattern as well.  Surging the edges is a really great way the finish them.  Sometimes I think I should get a surger but so far I have been able to stop myself - where would it go!

Yesterday I tied up the lamms and treadles on the Cranbrook and was about to start to beam it but decided I wanted a warping trapeze.  So I ran to Home Depot and for about $16.00, I am beaming my warp on with a trapeze.  I have been beaming on the Cranbrook with weights just over the breast beam and the extended height really is nice to have.  Plus it breaks down into 2 - 1"x3" boards and a shower rod - easy to put in my "stick" corner.

warping trapeze

Posted on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 15:14

Washed a cloth today and it has held. I've done loop pile before as well and it holds. But like commercial wash cloth, a thread works loose here and there over time because of the floaty nature of the weave. Just happens. I'm using much finer polyester overlock thread than the cotton, so it can bite into the heavier yarn to. Using 4 thread overlock. If a thread does come out it can't go further than the plain weave stitchers. These were wet finished before the final overlocking

Posted on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 15:18

These were 8/2 non merc cotton. For tea towels I would use 16/2 and for bath towel 8/4 (softspun, not rug warp).


Way to go on your new trapeze.


Posted on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 15:28


Your fabric looks great and thanks for the finishing info.


I'm unfamiliar with the Cranbrook, but it looks like to me that the trapeeze is on the front of the loom and that you are spreading the warp with a reed somewhere near the back beam. Is this correct?  It also looks like the heddles are already perhaps threaded. 

I warp btf on a Liisa with the shafts removed and a raddle suspended from the back of the castle.  I think the trapeeze might work for me and would certainly help me beam my current 140cm warp which is sitting unbeamed now because my family helpers have been too busy to give me half an hour this school week. 

How do you anchor the trapeeze at the bottom?  And how much weight is in those jugs approximately?

Posted on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 16:21

The trapeze is at the front of the loom, wedged between the breast beam and the board that the treadle gates are mounted to.  I also clamped them on each side to a side beam of the loom.  The heddles are not threaded, just shoved to the side and the warp passes through the open shaft frames.  With the Cranbrook it is a hassle to remove the shafts when beaming because of the way they are attached to other stuff (sorry, not too technical there).  My raddle is mounted at the back of the loom but after doing this for the first time I am starting to see why people rough sley a reed when beaming with a trapeze.  I had to keep spreading the warp out within the raddle and on the lease sticks.  The jugs weigh 3 pounds.  Also, in the picture I was using a shower rod and found it to be too flimsy and so lucky for me, I had a wooden closet rod that fit in the holes that I had drilled in the 1x3's and that worked much better.  It was a "duh" moment - 12 pounds on a little shower rod, of course it would bow in.

It was mostly a positive beaming experience.  I do not regret making the trapeze and as I work a few of the little bugs out I think it will be a wonderful way to beam this loom.

Posted on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 17:43


Thanks for your clarifications -- I am going to make a trapeeze with your insights and it looks like a great way to get beamed without too much extra personnel on wide warps!  Happy Friday to you!  The Toika breast beam is pegged and just lifts off, so I think I'll have to clamp that down to keep from lifting up.  Also, I wonder if having two raddles (which are easier to load than a reed) would take the place of a rough sleyed reed.  Hmm.

Posted on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 19:08

There is also some nice information and pictures in Handwoven May/June 2014 issue.  That is what I based mine on.

Posted on Fri, 01/08/2016 - 20:15

... what to ask my husband for on my birthday on Monday.  That trapeze looks like a great "bang for the buck" as they say. 

Posted on Sun, 01/10/2016 - 02:01

I just got back from a long day moving dh's office.  Lots of sore muscles, but here, the first place I turn for comfort (with my cup of duck broth!) are all of you sweetlings giving out even more trapeeze help.  Naturally, I'm going to collect the info recommended by teresasc and tien and then it's off to the hardware store.....  but first I'm going to sleep late tomorrow!


Posted on Sun, 01/10/2016 - 22:45

I spent the afternoon, working and demonstrating at the studio in Art Gallery of Burlington along with 10 other guild members.  We had visitors weaving on the ridged heddle and floor looms as well as carding wool.  Guild members were are also spining, weaving, needle felting and preparing warps.   Must have had at least 200 people through the studio so it was chaotic at times.  The children just loved weaving on the looms and had so many questions. 

My 'work' was winding spaced dyed skiens into balls using an umbrellas swift and a ball winder. I would look up an find people just staring at the swift.  The video crew must of spent 10 minutes filming the swift spnning then the ball winder twirling. 

Today was the New Year's Levee hosted by the local Members of Parliament and Members of Provincial Parliament.  The 6 guilds at the gallery were asked open the studios so the the public could visit during the levee.  One of the MPPs sat down and wove a bit on a floor loom.  Cameras were clicking so I bet there will be pictures on Facebook soon.

Posted on Sun, 01/10/2016 - 22:53

Been working on some lace weave. 20/2 cotton warp, 44/2 linen weft. I had to reduce the light to see the motifs better and to photograph. :)

Have a good evening!

Posted on Sun, 01/10/2016 - 23:40

Tien - I hope you don't mind my posting this - it looks like a brilliant idea!   In looking for more on-line information, I was excited to learn about Tien's use of a trapeze in place of a second beam.  I have only one beam, am planning to play with Moorman technique, and understand a second beam is important because the two warps have different take up.  And my dear husband is - at this very moment - working on a trapeze for me for my birthday! Thank you, Tien!


Posted on Mon, 01/11/2016 - 16:10

Glad the idea is useful to you! One change I would make would be to put a rotating rod on the top of the trapeze - that reduces friction a LOT compared to the 2x4 I was using.

I'm slogging my way through the second phoenix - plagued by ergonomic issues. But Mike and I (OK, mostly Mike) are cobbling up a switch that can be put on the beater to alleviate some of the ergonomic problems.

I've also gone through and inventoried all the books in my craft library, and researched prices for the ones I plan to get rid of. Most of them aren't valuable enough to try to sell, but a few would bring in a good chunk of money according to (sometimes inflated) Amazon prices. And WTF, $150 for Powell's book on 1000+ shadow weaves? Wow, I should have sold it long before. I have plenty of other books that cover shadow weave!

I'm thinking I might donate some of the weaving books to the local guild library - the rest can go to Goodwill. And I will try selling a few of the ones that are worth the effort.

Plan for today is to put in another 1600 picks on the phoenix today, and a similar number tomorrow. That should finish it up, just in time for me to leave on my trip to San Diego. I'm hoping to be able to do the embroidery, etc. while traveling (and hence away from two very helpful and enthusiastic cats!).

Posted on Mon, 01/11/2016 - 17:03

at some of the crazy prices for books on the used book sites.  Some people think that since the book is out of print, it is worth a fortune.

I finished threading and sleying bath towels this morning.  I had to get that finished up because I use my sewing machine stool to thread my Cranbrook and I need my sewing machine.  That always seems the way things go for me - have to finish this in order to do that!

Posted on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 12:44

Last night all four of us shook, plucked, cranked, packed and plucked our way to victory, beaming an almost 7 m warp of fine cotton rug warp almost 150 cm wide for the curtain project.  We just had to celebrate with champagne.  And I am thinking that putting together a trapeeze would be an economical investment given such extravagant beaming costs! 

Posted on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 15:59

The end of the year I managed to finish a waffle weave shawl, but then time was spent caring for my dad as his health deteriorated (thank goodness for my daughter's help!), getting hospice in (only a week before he died, the same day (Dec. 18th) as my mother 5 years ago), prepping Christmas for all my kids and grandkids (a long time since we've all been together at the same time) and the service on Dec. 28th. Then was able to continue the loom moves I had begun, but one (the one I use most) ended up in his old bedroom. Now getting it set up for skillbragd. Used my trapeze to wind the warp, drilled holes farther back on the 2 ground shaft treadles. Ready to thread the ground heddles!

Posted on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 16:18

Hi ShawnC,

I'm sorry to read about your father's passing and thank goodness for your family at Christmastime.  I am inspired by your trapeeze photo.  I have an underslung beater on my Liisa.  It is likely I could peg into that to support the bottom of the trapeeze.  The notched cradle at the top of your apparatus looks like utter simplicity.  Is that a varnished closet pole perching on top?  Also, how do you secure the supports for the pole to the loom?  I think I see a clamp of some sort on the side piece of the loom but wanted to ask.


Posted on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 17:47

Thanks, MissusT. Yes, was wonderful to have my family and then my siblings here. We'll meet again to bury them both in Arlington in April. I modeled my trapeze after the one shown on the Vavstuga website. In fact, the pole I purchased from them. It's very thick (2 inches?) and has rubber stops on the ends to keep the pole from sliding out. The side pieces are overkill, 2x6, but found one long board for sale at a neighborhood clear out. I didn't need a special drill attachment to cut the notches. I have bands from the band loom holding them to the sides, but have also just used with no support. I use weights from my son's weight equipment along with texsolv to provide the weight. The uprigts sit under the cloth beam, and rest on the breast beam. I haven't tried it on my Finlandia yet, but don't imagine any problems. Oh, and the other weaverly thing I've done is to put a deposit on the Oxaback drawloom listed on this site! So excited. It may have taken me forever to build a drawloom attachment.


Posted on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 21:32

Thanks, ShawnC. for the clarification.  I think your set up would work perfectly on the Liisa.  The stick pile is set to grow!