Did you know?

A "Pandula" is a flower which blooms only in one's imagination.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wow! Can you believe it?

It is Saturday, and I don't usually blog on the wkends...but I took a gander at things today and discovered I have 10, yup I said TEN new followers.  

I am so flattered!  Thanks so folks.  Welcome to all.

I could not do this without each and every one of you!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Beautiful first day of Spring!

March 20, 2011

Went to the Calico Arts and Crafts show here in Moultrie, GA today.  It was fun to be outdoors...but I do wish there had been a bit more 'Art' than craft.  I did have fun looking around.

I had started a new warp for a backstrap for a friend of mine.  I met her on Ravelry and she ordered a backstrap loom from Guatemala but it didn't come with the 'backstrap'.  She has been very generous from day one (same lady who sent me the silk) so I though I would pay it forward.

She said she loves orange so I choose some hemp I had in a nice rusty orange.  Mistake #1.  Then I paired it with a bright sunshine yellow unmercerized cotton.  Mistake #2.  Minute one it was a hassle.  I also chose to use the orange for weft....Mistake #3.  Not only could I not un-weave as it was too grabby...especially as weft,  but I had tension issues due to the grabbiness also.  After fighting with it for 2 days, I cut that stupid 4 ft. warp off of the loom.  Ahhhhhhhh....instant stress relief.  It is too bad though, I think the design would have been kewl.  

Not sure what I will do for her now...have to rethink this project.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Houston we have a hit!

 March 18, 2011

I finished my knot work piece.  This pattern belongs to Laverne Waddington.  It is one of the charts that she so generously allows all to use from her blog 'Backstrap weaving'.  I think I did her justice.  Thank you so much Laverne for all of your support, encouragement, time and knowledge.

This will be given to my sister for her birthday in November (if I can wait that long).  If you remember I did a piece with scrolls for her at Christmas in the same basic colors with a splash of burgundy and red.  I think it will match nicely.

I hope she likes it as much as I do!   

Monday, April 25, 2011

March 18, 2011

Wow, this is getting intimidating. This is so far over my head…I may have to rethink this.

I am doing the re-spinning…actually just about done with the white cotton. Then wanted to either do some blue cotton or maybe do some sunset wool. The thing is, I am discovering that spinning white cotton gets kind of boring…even though I am reasonably good at it and like the plied result. It is short stable cotton from Georgia USA, so that is saying something. The blue I spun on my wheel months ago, it was professionally prepared cotton roving. My goal is to spin enough for one small warp face piece to see if it is even feasible to use my own yarns. Terribly time consuming even though I already had the first spin of all of the yarn in question done. It has even already been boiled. Not sure I would do this very often.
For instance the piece on my loom as we speak is 416 threads 4 1/2 ft. long. That alot of double spinning folks.

I hear the piece that is almost completed on the loom calling to me also. It is the brown with open knot work, one of Laverne Waddington's charts.  It is done in earth tones, expresso, copper mist and ecru.  I would really love to get it off  the loom.  Pretty sure it will win out eventually. I WILL do some spinning today, out on the back porch in this beautiful Spring weather. 

But it's the weaving that makes my heart sing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's on the Loom????

March 13, 2011 to be posted April 22, 2011

As most of you know I have started a Weave Along in the Inkle Group on Ravelry! You have seen the baby blue, forest green and teal piece...now on to the next one.

This is done in espresso brown, ecru and copper mist #10 mercerized cotton crochet thread.  It is 208 warp count per shed, total 416 threads, which means at 6 1/2 in. wide it has 64 threads to the inch.  It is being woven on the Large Gilmore Wave Loom.

It has 148 thread wide pattern area.  I chose a knot work chart from Laverne Waddington's blog and here is how it is coming along.  She only lifted in pairs, but I am lifting 4 threads at a time.  I do this because this thread is so fine and I wanted the pattern to show more prominently, this is also why the lifts are done in the darkest color, espresso, this time.  It made the pattern twice as large as it would have been also.

Here are a couple of pictures.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Friends, Ravelry and spinning yarn!

March 13, 2011

I have been busy with quite a few things of late.  I actually took up spinning again.  This came about quite innocently enough through a Spin Along in the Backstrap Group in Ravelry.  I have had so much fun with Ravelry and the wonderfully "  warped"   folks there, lol.  I have even made some on-line friends.  Quite the blessing, considering I really still don't have many friends here in Georgia.  

But I digress...again. 

One of my new friends known as popsicletote belongs in a couple of the groups I also belong to.  Inkle and backstrap to be sure.  She is involved in the Inkle Weave Along and the Andean Pebble weave in the backstrap group also.  Thus we go onward into the Spin Along.

Just cruising around and reading one morning I stumbled her her profile and found that she makes her own hand whittled spindles...ALL kind of spindles.  I contacted her to ask if she sold them.  They have a very rustic look to them and I simply had to have one.  Turns out she doesn't sell them, she gifts them.  I am now the proud owner of the coolest spindle I own to date.  It is a Turkish spindle and it is very light compared to my others.  This might be why I have had so much trouble with my cotton spinning...duh...ya think?

My cotton is from GA (just a coincidence that I live here) and is of course short staple.  When I say short, I mean VERY short.  And I have TONS of it.  So since I was having so much trouble spinning it without carding, I gave in and started carding and making puni's.  If you are unfamiliar with puni's they are little rolls of cleaned and carded fiber.  Mostly called puni's in places like India they are sometimes called Rolag's here in America.  Anyway, I started carding and making them as I watched television, or while helping Dana in tapestry class.  I wanted to weave myself a shoulder shrug of some sort.  Past tense.

Now I have decided that I want to spin for warp face weaving.  A horse of a much different color.  When I picked up my spindle again I still had a difficult time.  Now keep in mind that I have plenty of commercially processed cotton I could use.  But that is not what I want to do.  I also feel that it is important if I am to offer to teach this ancient craft, I should know how to process the fiber start to finish.

Thus, more reading and such on Ravelry which lead to my new friend.  I received my new spindle yesterday.  I jumped right on it too.  I already had some cotton spun and had been told that it needed to be spun a second time so that it would hold up to the abrasion caused by warp face weaving.  So I did.  If you take a look at the pictures below you will see that it has little arms.  You wind the spun fiber onto these arms in a fashion that afterward is a center pull ball of yarn.  You simply slide the arms up off the center piece...then slide the arms out.  Wala!  Center pull.  No winding off of the spindle and then into another skein, or ball or hank.  Cotton is kinky when it is newly spun and that rewinding was always a hassle.  So not only is the spindle perfect...it cuts down on the other work involved for storage.  LOVE IT.  It has the added benefit of being able to come apart if you want to take it around with you in a small bag.  Very portable, even more so than most spindles, which are admittedly very portable.  Especially when compared to a spinning wheel.

So then, after re-spinning it, I plied it.  I took one end from the center, the other from the outside, and spun it in the opposite direction it was originally spun to make a plied cotton yarn.  AWESOME, if I do say so myself.  Turns out I am not as bad with the cotton as I originally thought.  Very nice surprise, and I am on my way to being able to use my own yarns in my warp face bands.

Here is a picture.  I must say it is the simplest things that bring me the most joy.  Thank You so much popsicletote!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Silk Hankie!

March 11, 2011

On Monday I received the nicest gift from my new friend on Ravelry, Cateseye03.

She sent me a hand-dyed silk 'hankie' to spin.  So I did a little research and learned that these are silk fibers stretched over a frame, sometimes square sometimes shaped like a 'bell'.  You peel off layers, draft and spin them.  In doing this research I learned that there are all sorts of kewl ways to order silk. Some are even pretty economical.  Rather than try to educate you myself, I am placing a link here for the site that I learned the most from.

She sent me a pick up stick also.  She says these are for helping her with her inkle weaving...I say it was 'my pleasure' as I made a new friend in the bargain.  Even without the gifts.  They are of course welcomed though as I have been lusting after doing some silk spinning.

So I took a couple of pictures and thought I would share them with you.  Don't you just love the colors she chose.  Coincidently I  just completed a weaving for the Weave Along in the same colors.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Why do I do this to myself.

March 9, 2011

Ok, enough of the creative glitch.  I am kicking it in the arse and moving on.

I occasionally get bored, or frustrated, or depressed or whatever the heck it is and can't get any satisfaction with my art.  I am here to tell you boys and girls that I have been in this funk for about a month and I am sick, sick, sick of it!  I am not going down without a fight.

I even went so far as to warp up my tapestry loom.  I really haven't touched it since I started with the Gilmore Wave / warp face weaving thing.  In the process of warping it up I discovered a few things.  

I intended to do an interlocking scroll design.  My thoughts being that it has no striped background, isn't a double weave thus not as thick, and of course I need to learn to follow a cartoon.  Guess what?  I hated it.  Big surprise right!  It bored me to tears to try to do an exact design, even though it was my own.  Not only that but I hate that the tapestry room hogs my bedroom so much.  I just wasn't having fun at all,

So once again, it is back upstairs in the attic and I am returning to what I seem to really love.  The warp face weaving I have been doing since October of last year.  

I never thought I would like the big looms with all of their technical stuff.  But a table loom, oh YEAH!  It also pleases me to know that when I have to return KraftyMax's large Wave, I will be able to convert over to the backstrap for the larger pieces than my Mini Wave can handle.

I haven't come up with another project yet, but I will...and it will be something warp face, without a chart in all probability.  Just wingin' it as usual.  But lovin' it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Weave A Long

March 8, 2011

I worked, and worked and worked on the blue/teal/forest green piece.  For some reason I became impatient with it and finished it about a foot or more short.  I like it and discovered alot of things.  But I don't love it.

My biggest discovery was that at times I can convert a double weave pattern chart to a simple warp float design.  YEAH!  Unfortunately this time it did not come out in the center and I decided to leave it...it was something of a struggle to get it in there at all.  So here are a few pictures.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Warp for Ravelry Weave A Long

Written March 3rd for posting on April 11, 2011 

Dedicated to my sister Jackie, Happy Birthday Jack.  Rest in peace.  She always told me how creative I was.  I used to laugh at her and say, "not creative, just poor, I have to make the best use of what I have".  In hind site, she was a pretty smart cookie.  I miss her something awful.

I warped up my Mini Wave today with a 8 1/2 ft. warp. I double stranded the entire thing. It is 75 warps wide…which means 74 heddles that have 2 strands in each. So at 150 per shed it is 300 threads. It is 4 in. wide and I have woven about an inch so far. Gives me about 75 threads to the inch.
I used #10 mercerized cotton crochet thread, doubled, 15 heddles wide in forrest green.
Then #3 mercerized cotton crochet thread in warm teal, stranded together with #5 perle cotton in baby blue, 46 heddles. Then another 15 in doubled forrest green.

I ran out of the forrest green before I got done, so one side only has 13 instead of 15. Thus 74 heddles/warps that are double stranded wide. By doubling all of the threads I get a streaky effect of the two blues together. I also get the choice when I do my pick ups of using either the perle or the #3 for my picks ups. So considering this…I can get lifts in green when I want to, then I can also do lifts in #3 warm teal and also in #5 perle, or use both blues at the same time. So I get 4 choices of pick up colors instead of the usual two when using the horizontal stripe background. I will say that it is a bear to wind the warp with two crosses using 4 cones at once. grrrr

I will be doing what Laverne calls ‘Simple Warp Floats’ (click here if you want to see the tutorial), on her blog.

I will be doing my own designs and making them up as I go along. For those of you who don’t know me this is how I usually do my weaving. I like to make my designs up as I go. I do sometimes look at pics of other folks designs for inspiration, but I rarely follow someone else’s pattern, and I hardly ever chart mine. I find the proportions off when charting…so I just use my eyes as I go along. Sometimes I have to do quite a bit of un-weaving, but I have had great successes so far and I like to experiment to see what I can accomplish.

Here is the start of the warp.

Here is the first design.  Go figure?  I did indeed follow someone else's pattern.  This one comes from Mary Atwater's, "Byways in Handweaving".

Friday, April 8, 2011

Another failed warp!

February 25, 2011

Once again I re-established the fact that #10 cotton crochet thread is out of the question for me with double weave.  I am doing an awesome piece, all be it slow, and found 4 mistakes on the back ;~{.  They are called teardrops, and I definitely know why.  I just wanted to cry.
I have been working on it since Saturday and only have about 5 in. done.  I was hoping I would be o.k. this time because I don't always want a band as heavy as the #3 produces.  This is my 3rd failed warp...I am definitely off my game.  Maybe time to try a tried and true technique, or maybe even pebble weave...

This side looks lovely!

This is the side where you could see the mistakes.  Couldn't miss them with that pale pink showing on this VERY dark fuscia.  I cheated and cut them out before I thought to take picks.  I wanted to see what exactly would happen.  Caused a couple of VERY long warp floats.  ;~{

Here is what it became when I started it again in plain weave.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Double weft Double weave failure!

February 20, 2011

So I warped up for an experiment to help along my Weave A Long.  It didn't go well.  I decided that I didn't even see the point of it.  I really had no practical use for the technique and it didn't look as good as I wanted it to.

Took some pics for you.  You can see the little bits of white showing though.  Ugggggg.  then I tried again on the left...too bunched up trying to hide the little white specks.  grrrrr.

Plus this makes a much thicker fabric in the center of the piece than on the edges...I guess I don't want a solid background as much as I used to. ;o)

This is how I am saving the warp from the garbage can.  Actually it is kind of a relief to just plain weave for a while after a flubbbbbb...

Live and learn.  I really thought I would love this double weave thing...

Monday, April 4, 2011

One weft double weave and the "Relay for Life!"

February 22, 2011

I really just didn't like the little man that I did in the coffee brown double weave project.  In trying to un-weave him I found the yarn really fraying and making a mess.  The nubbies weren't helping either.

So I cut him off the loom, retied to the front beam and am going to make this piece into a plain weave piece.  Maybe a sash belt or even an envelope pouch.  Not sure yet.  Just trying not to waste any yarn.

Here is how I saved/salvaged that yarn.  It will probably be made into an 'envelope bag', as it isn't quite long enough to use for a belt.

On another note: 

Now that you have seen what I am donating to the auction for 'Relay for Life' cancer fund raiser, I thought I would promote this cause a little.

For now here are the links for the the one The Pine Cone Teacup participates in in Ohio.  There are also page links where you can find more info if you want to get involved in one close to your home.

Please go and check them out and do whatever your heart moves you to do!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Relay for Life

February 21, 2011

TA DA!!!!

It isn't even close to what I had I mind when I started.  The warp gave me fits!  But I LOVE it anyway and I think the pair will make a nice donation to the 'Relay for Life' cancer fund raiser.