Brilliant or bad-early on

warp dyed vs skein dyed, early on

Here’s the ‘brilliant or bad idea’ piece early on in the weaving. I am loving it. However I know from experience that what I love on the loom isn’t always what I love once it comes off, is finished, and I can see the whole of it from a distance. In this particular case, I think I’ll weave the second piece with a natural/white weft, maybe in cotton, to tone the colors down a bit,…may be too intense for some folks.

With the black weft, I kept trying to think of what it reminded me of: stained glass windows? Wrong color schemes. Kaleidoscopes? Not enough shifting of colors. This afternoon I think I got it. Although I’ve never seen them in person, it reminds me of photographs and videos I’ve seen of the northern lights. To those of you who have actually seen the northern lights, does it give you that impression or no?

Regardless of what they remind me or you of, I will say, I will say that so far, this concept seems brilliant to me, and I plan to do this again. Time will still tell.

I’m now thinking I’ll make one shawl, one wrap, and one other sewn piece – a 30-minute jacket. Trust me when I tell you this site doesn’t do it justice. I’ve got one pinned with a cotton warp and weft, and it’s pretty great.

Brilliant or bad idea?

My friend had lent me her dyes to shibori those socks, and while they were here I decided to use a little more of them. I got my color inspiration from somewhere on the web, and if I knew where I’d be happy to credit them, but you know how it is…you scroll around and click on this and that, and then the phone rings and you close windows and have no idea where you were.

Before I measured our my 8/2 tencel warp chains, I had a brainstorm. Or maybe a bad idea. Only time will tell. I wound 3 warp chains on the mill as usual, but wound the amount needed for 2 more chains into skeins. I hand painted the 3 warp chains and the 2 skeins with the same colors, using boysenberry, chartreuse, and ice blue dyes.

After they batched, steamed, rinsed, and dried I measured out the 2 skeins on my mill as usual. Here’s what the results look like.

warp dyed vs skein dyed yarn

My plan is to wind and thread the loom as follows: warp painted, narrow dark strip, skein painted, narrow dark strip, warp painted, narrow dark strip, skein painted, narrow dark strip, warp painted.

I’m not saying it hasn’t been done before, but I personally haven’t seen this done before. So maybe it’s brilliant, and maybe it’s a bad idea. We’ll learn together.

Craft Store at the Back Door

Today is the first day of our pop up shop. Very slow so far, but that’s only to be expected. Here are a few samples of goodies on display.

A few of my handmade necklaces. Two very different looks, unlikely to appeal to the same person…except for me.

woven wings necklace

spare change necklace

In addition to her wide variety of machine embroidered items…

monogrammed bags etc

…Debi has a few of her lovely pots.

Debi's pots

In addition to other weaving, I’ve got some just-finished towels.

striped towels

Here’s just one of them so you can get the bigger picture.

blue striped towel

I also have those shibori socks and ice dyed onesies from the last post.

There’s enough space here that I brought my Missouri loom. I’ve been out of bookmarks for many months, and I figured this was a good time to make many. Warped my loom for at least 18. This is as far as I’ve gotten by 2PM. 🙂


If you’re in or near Rochester, contact me and I’ll give you details on how to find us! 10-4 every Saturday & Sunday from now till mid-December.

3rd time isn’t the charm

I’m working with a friend from my book club to hold a little pop up shop between now and Christmas. We’re not sure how this will work, how many customers we’ll get, but I know I won’t sell a thing while it’s sitting in bins in my closet, so I’m committed to trying it. If you’re on one of my email lists, look for an email with details later today or tomorrow.

I think it’s really important for this type of thing to have a broad range of price points, so decided to (a) weave a bunch more towels (more on that in another post), and (b) do some dyeing.

First I dyed 6 pair of bamboo socks. I used some empty plastic yarn cones that had provided the best results last year, scrunching and tying the socks shibori style. I’m very happy with all the results, and am hopeful that they’ll sell.

6 pair shibori-dyed socks

Then I ice-dyed 6 onesies. Well. This wasn’t as successful. For the first round I was quite disappointed in how poorly the dye took on the onesies. After some time pondering this I realized I had neglected an important step – soaking the onesies in a soda ash bath. So I did that, bought more ice, and tried again. One I really liked, 3 were just ok, and 2 were unacceptable. So I soaked those 2 in another soda ash bath and tried a third time. Still just ok. Don’t know if these will sell or not.

I wanted to use colors that were not obviously ‘boy baby’ or ‘girl baby.’ So greens, yellows, and reds were high on my list. The greens were the hardest to get what I wanted. In fact I still didn’t get anything close to what I wanted. Sigh.

ice dyed onesies, just ok

This next photo are the ones I like better, with just 1 that sings to me – that red/dark orange onesie on the left side of the photo. I am more hopeful these will sell.

more ice-dyed onesies

I have 6 more onesies. I think I’ll try wrapping and shibori dyeing 1 or 2 and see how that works.

On the weaving front, I realize I’ve already taken one of the newer shrugs to the pop up shop, and hadn’t photographed it. Maybe I’ll snap it while I’m there this weekend.

This morning I took some shots of the other piece, although it would have been better if Dolly was still here; she’s also at the pop up shop. This one isn’t a shrug, isn’t a shawl, it’s a…well, I don’t know what to call it. Your input will be appreciated.

So here it is from the front.
button wrap, front view

I used 3 buttons that I’d made last year from polymer clay. This wrap is mostly cotton with a bit of linen in the colored stripes. It is pretty heavy and warm, and therefore not as drape-able as most of my work. This looks pretty old-fashioned to me, but it is comfortable. Except that it doesn’t cover much of the back.

button wrap, back view

My daughter, who has always been infinitely more fashionable than I, particularly liked it when it was put on sideways, with the buttons roughly on one shoulder. She thought this look was fashion-forward. This is the one I could have shown it much better on Dolly.

button wrap, sideways

Wearing it this way covers similar amounts of the front and back of the body.

button wrap, side back

I have to get back to work now. Busy, busy.

How I spent my…

…Tuesday afternoon.

Before: house-front-before

After: house front after

Although this color – Dried Lavender at Sherwin Williams – wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I really like it. It makes my house looks more like me. Since I plan to live here until I can’t live alone anymore, I am not concerned about what the next homeowner might think; I’m much more focused on what I like, what makes me happy. This was one more step.

I took the shutters down in the morning (with some difficulty as the old flathead screws were very rusty and I had to be careful not to strip them), then started painting at noon when my daughter and grandson left after their visit. I got 2 coats on the front door, the shutters, and the side door, and was putting things away at 5PM. Not bad for 5 hours work! This morning I got new phillips head screws for the shutters and put them back up in literally seconds per shutter.

A few days ago I also got some shots of recent weaving. So here you go.

You’d seen the flat black and white hand painted Tencel shawl. I turned one of the three into a mobius. A standard shot first.

black and whit hand painted tencel mobius

What happens when you turn it sideways? A slightly different look. If Dolly was larger than a size 8, it would be easier to dress her differently.

hand painted black & white tencel shawl

And if she had arms, even more so. Photographing my shrugs well seems impossible to me. So how the heck will I display them at a show? I have no idea and am hoping you have suggestions.

Here’s the first one, with a mostly cotton warp (the hand painted parts are a bamboo-cotton blend) and a natural cotton weft.
cotton & bamboo handwoven shrug

And the second, with a black tencel weft.

handwoven shrug

Since that photo doesn’t really show it well, I tried another way. Not better, just differently not-good.

handwoven shrug with black

I have two more pieces woven and finished, but no photos. Next post…