Friday, October 24, 2014

Looms, Looms and more Looms

The surface of the Earth itself is an immense loom
upon which the sun weaves the fabric of existence.  
~ Wade Davis

It seems like lately I've been surrounded by different types of looms.  Almost two weeks ago, I introduced my young friend, Mariana, to one of those potholder looms.  




Remember those?  :)

Then, last weekend, we were browsing in Michael's and I saw this newfangled loom:  


Oh, excuse me, I mean this "Loop De Loom"...  ;)

It's really kind of ingenious how it works - if you are interested, click here for a YouTube demonstration.  

At first, I thought it was a new and unique type of loom - but then my weaving friend watched the video and said that it reminded her of the weaving sticks that she inherited from her husband's grandmother!  

Being a sweetheart, she popped those weaving sticks in the mail for me and Mariana to experiment with:  



If I can get any actual weaving going with these sticks, I'll post some pictures.  ;)

Being a total sweetheart, she also prepared a small cardboard loom for us to weave on - check this out!  


What can you do with a loom that is smaller than an index card?  

Well...  

It turns out you can weave the most adorable little bag!  



And I know this, because she also included the above sample in my weaving loom care package!  :)

So, the number of looms in my house just doubled!  You know, because I don't already have enough projects queuing up...  ;)

Speaking of bags, hopefully I can finish my backstrap weaving project this weekend and start turning it into a small bag!  :)

What are your weekend plans?  I hope you have a great one!  :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Progress, But I Need a Plan...

You can't get a suit of armour and a rubber chicken just like that.  
You have to plan ahead.
~ Michael Palin

Thanks to my husband's anchor and my weaving friend's warp, I am making good progress on my current project:  



It is about 5.5 inches wide, and I'd like to make it into a small purse.  My thought is to fold it twice - one fold to create the front and back of the body, with the back being a bit taller - and then to fold over the excess of the back in order to form a flap.  

That is as far as I've gotten in my "plan" - there are several open questions that need to be addressed:  

Holding the flap down - the metal snaps that I've used in previous bags seem a bit too heavy, I don't really want to add a button hole...  

Also, how should I stitch it up?  The fabric is kind of thick, and I'm afraid that turning it inside out and stitching up the sides might not work well.  

Finally, my weaving friend recommends lining it, and I agree - but I'm not sure exactly how I would go about doing that.  

I definitely need a plan.  

Any suggestions where I might find a suit of armour or a rubber chicken?  ;)

Or maybe just some thoughts on how I might turn this piece of hand woven fabric into a little purse...  ;)


Monday, October 20, 2014

Gratuitous Kitten Picture

He who is to be a good ruler must first have been ruled.
~ Aristotle




Sophie surveys her domain.  

She has never been ruled.  

I will let you draw your own conclusions regarding the quality of her reign...  ;)

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Best Friend a Woman Can Have...

There is nothing better than a friend, 
unless it is a friend with chocolate.
~ Linda Grayson

It seems I am being quarrelsome this week, but again, I am going to have to respectfully disagree - today, with Ms. Grayson.  While a friend with chocolate is indeed quite a good thing to have, an even better friend to have is a friend who will prepare a weaving warp for you!

Yes, my weaving friend knew about all the problems I had with my loom bag and she took pity on me and she prepared a warp for my next project!  

Take a look at how beautiful it is...  

She wove a few rows at the front of the warp - you can see where her weaving ends and mine picks up - she used a red weft (mine is grey) and her stitches are tighter than mine:  


Here are her string heddles - every one the exact same length:  


And look how nicely spaced and completely untangled her warp threads are on the back shed rod:  


Finally, the back beam - again, look how neat and tight her stitches are, and how evenly spaced the warp threads are:  


It is a dream to weave with this warp!  And I now have a much more concrete idea of what I'm shooting for when I prepare a warp.  

Oh man, I can't wait until I can prepare warps this nicely!  

And I can't thank her enough for doing this for me!  It was an amazing gift!  :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Best Husband a Woman Can Have...

An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have.  
The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.  
~ Agatha Christie

With all due respect to Dame Christie, I must disagree.  The best husband a woman can have is an engineer who is willing to drill holes in the wall of your house, in order to give you a sturdy frame for your backstrap loom...  





And I have one!  :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weaving My Way Down the Road

People die... so love them every day.
Beauty fades... so look before it's gone.
Love changes... but not the love you give.
And if you love, you'll never be alone.
~ L. J. Smith

Well, on Friday I packed up my loom in my brand new loom bag and took off on a road trip with my friends.  We were headed up to Georgia, so that they could visit their son/brother who is incarcerated there.

We take this seven hour road trip about twice a year and we stay at a beautiful state park.  A year and a half ago, I convinced them to take a canoe ride with me in the lake.


One was easier to convince than the other!  ;)

This year, we found that the lake had been drained, due to problems with "foreign" plants taking over the ecosystem:


But we still enjoyed walking in the woods:



I should mention that I wasn't the only weaver on this trip. Remember those potholder looms that we used to play with as children? I took one for Mariana and she loved it!


I may be biased, but I think she has a natural feel for colors and patterns.  


While they were visiting, I  set up my backsrap loom outside of our hotel and enjoyed some weaving in the beautiful, Georgia weather!  

I'm doing another supplementary weft pattern on a narrower warp - about 5.5 inches wide:  



Yes, that lone little splash of pink is a mistake...  Or, as they call it in product design, a "feature."  ;)

I'm thinking that, once this is done, I can fold it a couple of times, stitch up the sides, add a button and make a small bag to carry around.  


If it comes out nicely, I may make several (in different colors) and give them as Christmas gifts - although, it's already October!  Yikes!  :(

Anyways, we got home safe and sound on Sunday night and I am enjoying a Columbus Day holiday before I have to get back to work.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready for another week!  :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Victory!

The fight isn't over until you win.  
~ Robin Hobb


The fight is over.  













I won.  :)