I’m so ready

I don’t remember being this well prepared a few days in advance of prior shows. It’s a good thing, and I’m confident (ok, I’m hoping) that I haven’t forgotten some big prep thing that won’t occur to me till mid-day on Thursday.

My finished pieces are all tagged, marked, and in their bins. (More bins that usual, as those bigger pieces take up a lot of room – much more than a scarf or shawl.)

bins loaded with finished products

My rigid heddle loom is set up, all except tying to the front apron, which I won’t do till I’m there to ensure even tension.

rigid heddle loom threaded

My electronics that can be charged in advance are charged. My list of what to bring is updated. I don’t think I can do anything else until Thursday morning. That’s when I’ll pack my clothes, pick up the rental van, proceed with the final loading, and head out.

Here’s where I’ll be this weekend. I hope if you’re in western New York you’ll stop by.

Ad for Chautauqua Craft Show

FYI, I’m only at the July show; I can’t weave enough to apply to both, and I do a different show in late August that I’m not willing to give up.

People shopping at craft show

I’m so prepared that I decided I’d scour a bunch of socks that I’ll dye – shibori and hand painting – when I return.

scouring socks in preparation for dyeing

I have 14 pair of adult crew socks, 9 pair of footies, 3 pair each of infant and toddler socks and 3 pair of children’s socks. Is that too many? Probably.

I’m approved to bring these socks to the August show. Even though there’s a fair amount of time spent, dyeing is SO MUCH quicker than weaving, and I know I won’t have much time to weave in the 5-6 weeks between shows.

A few more pieces

I only have a few more days before my first show, so I’m finishing my last few items. I wove them on a warp I hand painted.

Here’s the thing…I obviously can’t reliably predict how the color will look from wet to dry yarn. My inspiration was Design Seeds sugared tones.

Design Seeds sugared tones

Nice summery pastels, right? HAH! Here’s what I ended up with.

2 new hand painted warps

We can all agree – Not. Even. Close.

So, how would I proceed? Well, if I wanted to tone it all down, I’d use a white weft. That’s what I did for the first scarf.

handwoven scarf of handpainted tencel yarns-sugared tones

Much closer to the intent. And I like the random switching of the treadling pattern.

However, since I’d dyed some weft yarn to coordinate, I wanted to use it. I’m calling this one sugar & grapes.

handwoven scarf of handpainted yarns-grapes

Then, because I was clearly barely sufficient with the number of my cowls, I wove the last two into short-ish cowls instead of one fringed scarf. First I used a gold weft. Also reminiscent of the original intent.

handwoven cowl, handpainted yarns

Finally I used a grayed-blue yarn, giving the cowl a denim-like appearance.

handwoven cowl from handpainted yarns

On to the many off-loom and/or administrative tasks that need to be done before the show.

Towels and jams

Here are those polka dot towels I mentioned recently. While blue is a main color, you’ll also see lots of lavender, purple and some turquoise. I like the mix. For me, the darker ones appeal to me more than the lighter ones, but I’m hoping others will feel differently. (I like the way I photographed the red & orange ones better, but this is okay.)

handwoven polka dot towels

Like my first polka dot towels, I decided to try weaving with the treadling that switches the background color. Also like that first batch, I didn’t like it so much, so went back to the ‘regular’ treadling. I actually like it better in the photograph than in real life. Weird, huh?

Yesterday morning after the gym I went to a local farm market. I’ve purchased quarts of strawberries from this market and others, and I think this farm’s strawberries are the sweetest. So when their price for a flat was low, I couldn’t resist buying a flat of strawberries. I brought them home, set aside a quart for my neighbor and a quart for my son, washed a quart and a pint for my frig, and since the berries were fully ripe, needed to make jam. Today.

2 batches homemade jam

I made one batch of strawberry with low-sugar Sure Jell. Then I made a batch of strawberry and raspberry, with lime juice and zest, with regular Sure Jell. I would have used low sugar for this, too, if I’d had another box. Both batches actually jelled nicely, unlike some of my experiences. I need to stock up on sugar and Sure Jell (low sugar) so that next time I stumble on the best fruit I can take advantage without an emergency run to the store.

3 already counted

These 3 scarves don’t add to the totals I recently reported; although I hadn’t posted about them yet, they were already completed and in my spreadsheet.

Usually if I like a piece on the loom, I like it off, and if I don’t like it while weaving, I don’t like it later. But sometimes I get surprised. This cowl is one of those times.

handwoven cowl, twill blocks

I did a lot of planning for a mixed warp (tencel, rayon, and a bamboo-cotton blend) of twill blocks, using multiple colors in the weft as well as the warp. Then I started weaving and pretty much hated it. So I decided to only weave it long enough for a short cowl. After it was wet finished? This is clearly my favorite piece on this warp. Go figure.

Anyway, since I didn’t predict that, I rethreaded the loom for one of my go-to weave structures and wove a scarf with black tencel. It made everything too dark, IMHO.

multicolored handwoven scarf

I wanted to brighten it up for the last piece and didn’t have any rayon or tencel that moved me, so I went with mercerized cotton. But since the cotton was thicker (5/2) than the warp (which was a combination of 8/2 and 10/2), my calculations for yardage weren’t even close. I realized pretty quickly that I wouldn’t have enough of the blue to weave an entire scarf. So I put more mercerized cotton in various color stripes symmetrically in the middle of the scarf. Not my typical look, and I hope it turns someone on.

handwoven multicolored scarf

I’m working on finishing the towels – just some hard pressing left now – and getting another warp on the loom – the last before my show.

Am I prepared?

magic kingdom close

As the timing for my first show of the summer rapidly approaches, I sat down to look at what I sold last summer and what I’ve woven since then in preparation for this summer. Made me feel good – in most categories.

Sold last summer:
25 towels (inc. some sold later on)
29 scarves
12 cowls
15 shawls/wraps/mobius/etc.

Woven since then:
49 towels (inc. the 8 on the loom now)
33 scarves
12 cowls
32 shawls/wraps/mobius, etc.

I thought I was making too many cowls. That’s the only category that I have barely enough in, and scarves are pretty close, too. Can I make more in the next few weeks? The answer is maybe – I have a warp ready to go that will make 3 scarves or 2 scarves and 1 or 2 cowls. But I won’t be able to get another warp on after that, I don’t think.