Bad, okay, and questionable

Starting with the bad. Or maybe it’s not so bad, but it creeped me out a bit.

I was on my walk a few mornings ago and was stopped by bright splashes of red on a plant I was passing.

a few boxelder bugs

I thought they were interesting looking. Bright and cheery. And then I looked down. OMG there are about a million of these bugs.

LOTS of boxelder bugs

This is just a small sampling of the bugs that were there. I didn’t know what they were so had to do some googling when I got home. Apparently these are boxelder bugs. And they are only bright red in the nymph stage, turning more black as they grow. You can see a few adults if you look close, especially in the first image.


Now for the okay. As planned, once I had that black & white chenille shawl of my loom, I went back to my rigid heddle and re-wove the diamonds in the graduated colors.

framed pickup diamonds

I have to say, now that it’s all done, I find it just meh. It’s okay. Nothing special, especially considering all the time it took. I do think I’ll enter it in the Guild’s 75th Anniversary Diamond exhibit, but I won’t have it juried. I can see what the problems are myself.


Once I got that done, I wanted to weave some more real fabric. I debated and debated – would I weave more rayon chenille to help use up that stash? After all, the Guild’s Holiday Sale is the right time of year to sell that luscious fiber.

Maybe I’d weave another length of fabric for me to sew? I have a few patterns from Get Weaving to make.

But I found I didn’t want to do either of those. I wanted to weave towels. I can sell them at the Holiday Sale or in my Etsy shop. I haven’t put anything new up there in a while, so it’s time.

Once that decision was made, I spent HOURS playing with drafts, and just couldn’t get what I wanted. 🙁

So instead I went to my stash. What yarns do I have that would brighten my day? I found some yummy thick & thin yarns in pink, orange, and yellow variegation, as well as some other variegated yarns in similar colors. They remind me of the zinnias that are currently in bloom, so that’s what I’ll make.
plain natural warp

I generally prefer variegated yarns in the warp, but my reed would not like that thick & thin, so I changed plans again and warped a solid natty yarn. This is a 6/2 – an odd size, but I thought it would work well with the variegations, both of which are a bit thicker than my usual yarns.

I decided to thread a straight draw //// and let the colors do the talking. I also decided to just thread on 6 shafts instead of 8 to lighten the lift of the treadles. That made some subsequent decisions a bit more challenging, as I’ve got lots of 8 shaft drafts, but none for 6 shafts.

So I did some poking around and decided on a draft with 3-end floats. Got it on the loom, started weaving, and liked how it looked.

waffly zinnias, close up

Until I stepped back. Uh oh. This sure looks like a waffle weave to me. And I’d already made a plain weave hem, which will just pucker and ruffle like mad when that waffle draws in during wet finishing.

So for the 2nd towel I opted to do plain weave throughout. It’s fine, but the colors are SO much more muted, so that wasn’t the look I wanted, exactly, either.

zinnias, plain weave

I changed the tie up for towel 3, which is the last one I’ll be able to weave with this thick & thin yarn, but didn’t take a photo of it. You’ll have to be surprised when I get this warp off the loom.

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