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


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Northwest Inkle Looms

November 22, 2011

Today is the first day of starting up my blog again after my car accident and short hiatus.  I will be posting on Wednesday's only for a little while, with maybe a few scattered in between as I feel the need.

To start with, I think you all know that I have recently been forced to move for the second time in 3 mnths.  It really sucked, but I am no pretty much getting settled in...again.  However, per usual, I was having an extremely difficult time figuring out where to hook up my backstrap.  The room I am in is extremely small this time and this was making me very sure my trash picked weaving table wasn't going to fit.

So I decided to try out an Inkle loom and see if this would eliminate this problem from here on out.  I went on line and did some research.  I decided I wanted a full size loom, not an inklette.  I also decided I wanted one with two sides, one of which would be removable for warping.  This research lead me to a site for the Northwest Loom company in Wyoming.  Beautiful handcrafted looms very reasonably priced.  So I went ahead and ordered one.

There was a little confusion on delivery, since I was new to the neighborhood, through no particular person's fault, but it came to me the day after I got into the car accident.  It is/was a beautiful piece with a free belt shuttle as well.  Oak is my favorite wood and it was crafted beautifully. 

I have been in a sling, but did manage to warp it up with my roommate's help for a set of shoe string's for her.  Home Depot orange, ecru and gold (I still have to get aglets for the ends).  Very narrow, plain weave.  The loom was about 34" long though, making it necessary to have a table at the far end to rest it on.  I had thought I would rest it on the floor at the other end from me, thus no need for another table.  I have seen others do Inkle weaving this way, but for me it was a uncomfortable, and it had nothing to do with the car accident, it just felt awkward.

So in rearranging the furniture in my room for the 15th time I finally hit on an arrangement that allowed my weaving table to come into the room.  OMG, what a homecoming.  It was like slipping on my favorite slouch clothes when I sat up to that backstrap loom.  I knew in that moment that Inkle weaving was not for me.  No matter how lovely the loom.  So it has been returned to Wyoming with my most sincere regrets to Mr. Tony.

I put on a practice warp for the backstrap, a little red and green piece for the Facebook Color Challenge group and started up  (more about the actual weaving soon).  Now to get rid of the bulky and ugly tool box.  There is a drawer in my trash picked table...so I brainstormed and came up with what I now call a "Weaving Station".  I laid a handwoven piece in the bottom of the drawer and placed all of my necessary tools in the drawer.  Everything from a mirror for double weave, to my notebook.  Then I took a Russell Stover candy tin my friend Max gave me and put the tools necessary for the actual weaving, pulled my computer chair u next to the recliner as a table, and placed the tin there.  PERFECT!

First we see the tin with the immediately needed tools ready at the hand next to me.  They are sitting on the computer chair which of course has wheels and I can position anyplace needed with one hand.

Here you can see the drawer with my other tools in it.  You can also see the backstrap loom, it is behind the c clamps.

Love this!  I need to trash pick more often.  My roommate and I are even thinking about painting the table with acrylic pain, maybe a woods scene.

And here you can see it being used! 

So for now I am set up again...until another (God forbid) move.  Can't weave for more than a few minutes at this point, because of my shoulder.  The car was t boned on my door.  So the right arm (I was a passenger) is very sore, we removed the staples on Saturday the 20, boy am I glad those things are out.  But I still have alot of pain due to the separation in the shoulder, but hopefully I will be o.k. in the long run.  

Stay tuned friends and I will be letting you know how this little Christmas band turns out.  

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

Crack of dawn on Thanksgiving day.

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY Turkey Day to one and all!

May your day be filled with all that you are Thankful for.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I am sooooooo bored!

November 21, 2011

WOW!  It is the week of Thanksgiving already...how did that happen?  Seems it was Easter only yesterday.

And so I thought I would try to get back into the swing of things after the Thanksgiving festivities are over.  

I intend to start my blog back up again, full time, the week after Thanksgiving.  I am going to start out posting on Wednesday's only.  Please keep in mind that the car accident is still effecting me in that my shoulder that is separated won't let me weave for very long at one time.  Actually, even typing is difficult/painful, and I am sure you know how much I love being in a sling (couldn't have been my left arm right?  Had to be the right!).  

Soooooo...I have been taking photo's on the current piece, along with some updates on my weaving station and the new surroundings since I moved; in preparation of starting the blog back up again.  It has been a very difficult time, I haven't even been able to work for two weeks.  Bored out of my skull at this point.  I think Wiggles and Lacy are going to have 'mommy withdrawals' when my schedule kicks back in.  LOL

So for those of you who are still with me,  Thanks so much for all of the well wishes and caring conversations.   Keep watching, because the first post will be on Wednesday, November 30th.  As soon as I can I will pick it back up to the Monday, Wednesday and Friday postings.  But for now I think this is a good way to go, slow and easy. 

I sincerely hope that ALL of you are going to have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and eat tons of turkey!  Eat, drink and be merry my friends, because that is what I am going to do and that is what this holiday is for.  Being with friends and loved ones, breaking bread and giving Thanks for all that we DO have and not dwelling on what we don't.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Car accident

On Monday night I was in a car that was t boned on my side.  I am unable to post for a while.  Please stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Planning an day outdoors today.  Going to meet a new friend and go motorcycle riding.  We have been having some great weather here of late, should be loads of fun.  We will be heading to Fernandina Beach by way of the scenic route.  Maybe even go across the Mayport ferry in Jacksonville.

Crochet blanket is about all that is being worked on at this point. I am still deciding on what to do for my first project on the Inkle.  Might be shoelaces so that I can get the hang of the loom.  But keep in mind that I also have some hand spun yarns that need to be used.  My Fall wool and tons of cotton.  Still gotta ply both though...

Monday, November 7, 2011

No new loom yet...

It is Saturday, November 5, 2011

After the long research (months) and research, I am about to pop waiting for the new inkle loom.  It was supposed to get here yesterday (Friday) and I thought I would bust waiting for it.  

I haven't done anything creative, other than a couple of hours to finish off the skull piece, in weeks.  I am bored and frustrated by the whole thing.

Soooooo, I did get out a crochet hook and start a small blanket of acrylic for a Christmas present.  I don't love doing crochet, but at least it does keep my hands busy.  I also owe this one to one of my relatives.  The year I did blankets for everyone, she got short changed.  I ran out of yarn for hers and it is being saved in her hope chest for when she has a baby.  I still owe her one to snuggle in when watching tube and such.  

So now I will go and crochet while having my morning cup of jo.  I will post pics as soon as there is some progress on the blanket, and also when my new loom gets here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Change in plans...

October 31, 2011

Having had to move for the second time in 3 months, I am now back to square one on how to tie up my backstrap loom.  I am in a smaller room than ever and I simply can't find a spot that works.  The frustration of this is at an all time high!

There is no room for my usual table (if you recall I found it trash picking and it worked perfect), and I don't think the walls in a mobile home will take the pulling very well.  I am made to feel much more welcome here, but I often find my weaving a meditative solitary endeavor.  In other words, even though I could weave in the living room, there is a HUGE big screen, 2 adults and a 6 yr. old alot of the time in the same room.

In thinking about this dilemma ever since I first started to do backstrap weaving, I am find it a total PITA each time I have to move.  I am finding that for my purposes this loom is anything but portable...or maybe to clarify, it is portable in that it is easily moved and transported, but not portable as to finding a place to tie up.  Maybe if I were in another country where folks sit outside alot more, a tree would be very handy!  But here in Florida in the southern United States, between the mosquitoes, flies and humidity, as I have a choice, I prefer to weave indoors.  Thus the dilemma.

So I have been researching Inkle looms for quite some time now.  For many reasons.  Direct warping being one of them, no need for a warp board.  Easier! and less gear is a good thing.  Longer warps, most have somewhere around 6 to 9 feet capacity...if not more.  A 9 ft. warp on a backstrap is beyond my current skill set or need.  Along with the fact that 9 feet of the same weaving is boring after a point.  I love that it will allow me to use the same techniques I am currently using on my backstrap also.

For a long time the 4 1/2" width seemed narrow, but I have come to the conclusion that this is about my maximum width anyway, my comfort zone as it were.  Especially since I am no longer afraid (Thanks Dana) of my sewing machine, and of course still have access to the large Wave my friend owns any time I want to use it (or can find space for it). 

SOOOOOO...my friend's, yesterday I ordered an inkle loom.  It is made by Northwest looms.  It holds 9 1/2 ft. of warp and has a weaving width maximum of 5 1/2 in.  It also has two sides, one that comes off for warping and then is placed back onto the loom to keep the pegs from bending or becoming loose from the tension on the warp while weaving.  I already have a hook on the wall to hang it when not in use.

I can either use it on a table, or I have even seen folks rest the far end on the floor while weaving.  No extra pieces of furniture taking up valuable floor space and no need for a fixed object that won't move while weaving.  No need to scoot my chair up or the table closer while weaving either.  Much more user friendly in my current circumstance.

If you have never visited Northwest looms...please do.  I talked to Mr. Tony in person yesterday and found him to be a lovely gentleman.  I am excited to get started!

I got these pictures off of the Northwest site.  My loom will be Oak, which is what I think this one is made of also.

Here is a shot of it with the side off...Another point to notice is that the tension peg has a large wing-nut on both sides of the loom.  I am sure this will make for an easier time using the tension peg.    Can't wait!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More yarn spinning than usual.

November 2, 2011

I have been doing a little more spindle spinning than my usual, as it requires nothing in the way of brain power or valuable floor space.  On a positive note I did bring a bit of spinning fiber with me through both of my moves in the last 3 mnths.  (Did I mention moving sucks?) 

So I have been working on some commercially prepared white cotton roving, and also on my Fall (that's my name for it) wool roving.  The colors are sooooooo rich and I am even thinking that it may turn out to be sock yarn...maybe. 

Here are a few shots.

I still have a bit, quite a bit actually, of the Fall roving.  I have one ball all nice and plied and one ball of singles.  Lots more spinning before I can do any more plying of the wool.

But this is the end of the white cotton roving.  It will be plied next.  I have been spinning for weeks and weeks on both of these!

I was trying to catch the brilliant colors in the sunlight, still working on the best location for pictures.