Fun with sidewalk chalk

I did this on my sidewalks this morning.

Stay safe, stay home

stay well, stay creative

stay strong

And this on the other side.

Comfort At Home

We all need to do things that bring us comfort while we’re staying home. For me, too often that’s baking. Here’s today effort – a luscious lemon cornmeal pound cake. Made with 1 bowl.

lemon cornmeal pound caske

I ate a few slices, then sliced up the rest and put it in the freezer. Safer there.

On the weaving front, this is my next batch of towels. I’m calling them Comfort At Home. Why? Because these towels are so oatmeal-like. And what’s more comforting than oatmeal? (Readers of a certain age will remember the Wilford Brimley commercials.) Add the soft wave structure, and you’ve got a comforting towel.

7 handwoven Comfort At Home towels

In fact, although the warp of 7 towels is called Comfort At Home, each towel (or pair of towels) has an oatmeal name. Here you go, along with the info about each weft. The warp is a softly plied 8/2 barber pole cotton.

The first two towels below are Oatmeal & Brown Sugar. The weft is a 3/2 organic colorgrown FoxFibre in khaki. Since this is a fairly heavy and loosely plied weft, the towels are a bit thicker and rougher than some of the others below. If you look closely, you can see that my hemming has shown one towel ‘right side up’ and the other ‘upside down.’ It’s not uncommon that I can’t decide which side should be up when I hem.

2 handwoven towels - Oatmeal & Brown Sugar

The next towels, Plain Oatmeal, are also 3/2 organic colorgrown FoxFibre cotton, this time in oatmeal. (How fitting a yarn color name!)

2 handwoven towels - Plain Oatmeal

Next up are Oatmeal & Honey. This is an 8/2 Brassard cotton, color name…you guessed it…honey. It adds a soft golden glow to the towels.

2 handwoven towels - Oatmeal & Honey

The last towel, Oatmeal & Cream, has an undyed 7/2 hemp-cotton weft. The yarn is 55% hemp, 45% organic cotton. An unusual size, it’s really not noticeably different from 8/2. Only one of these.

handwoven Oatmeal & Cream towel

This is an 8-shaft draft. I originally got it from, but it wasn’t quite symmetrical so I made some adjustments to both threading and treadling. Then I centered it for the width of my towels.

I’m going to post these on Facebook tomorrow. The last batch of towels I posted sold in a few days, so if you want one of these, contact me and we’ll arrange payment and shipping.

I also did a bit of dyeing. Back in February of 2019 I snow dyed some cotton leggings. But I got carried away with colors and they ended up like a cross between the 1960s and a clown.

1960s leggings

I knew I wouldn’t wear them like that, so I overdyed, again a snow dye technique, with just red.
2nd try dyeing leggings

They were much better, but I only wore them a few times as they were still too flashy for me.

Yesterday I put them on and said, “Nope.” Even though I’m not going anywhere, I wasn’t happy with them. It was time to do something about that. Overdye again, this time in a dark color and immersion dyeing.

3rd try dyeing the leggings

Yes. I can wear these out in public without attracting stares of disbelief.

I have another warp of towels on the loom now, but I’m going to take a few days off weaving to make face masks to donate.

Towel info

Warning: weaverly post

I have lots of things to say, but this post is to follow up on the last about my colorful Safe At Home towels. I’ve gotten lots of questions about them, so here goes with some answers.

handwoven colorful towels

This is an 8 harness twill blocks weave structure: 3/1 twill and 1/3 twill. I’d seen a photo of Catherine Marchant’s work on Facebook. I loved the way it looked and sat down with Fiberworks weaving software to figure out how to achieve it. It took me some time, but I got there.

Although I know others recommend doing your treadle tie up so that you are alternating use of right and left legs, I don’t do this. It’s much easier for my brain to do a more typical tie up, with treadles 1-8 or 10 in order from left to right. This time I modified that. I tied the treadles so that my pressing order was 4-5-3-6 for one portion of twill and 1-8-2-7 for the other portion. This was for 2 reasons: the 4-5-3-6 section had many more repeats and I was lifting 6 shafts with each of those treadles. Sure didn’t want to do all that with one leg, and one that had to stretch to treadle 1 every time. (Yes, I have short legs.)

I used 6 colors in the warp. Each towel has 11 weft-wise stripes. For 7 of the 8 towels, each weft stripe was a different color. On 1 towel I tried simply alternating a light and dark weft, but I didn’t like it as well.

This was the second warp in a row that I lost count of the warps while I was winding them. Of course I didn’t know that until I was threading the loom. I was 10 threads short of one color and didn’t have any choice but to hang 10 threads off the back of the loom. I don’t like hanging so many and was quite concerned about tension issues, but it all worked out fine.

Someplace on Facebook I recently saw a new weaver asking questions about hanging threads, and one of the answers was to tie a shoelace or length of heavy yarn onto the film canister (or whatever else you use). That shoelace has to be long enough to touch the ground. It’s job is to keep the film canister from spinning and untwisting the plied yarn. Hmmmm, I thought. Seems too simple.

NOT!!! It works BEAUTIFULLY! I’ve always had a problem with the hanging yarn untwisting, and this solves it so easily. I happen to have a few dozen old corset laces (no, I never wore a corset), so they’re longer than a standard shoelace. Although I left so many other things behind when I moved almost 5 years ago, I brought these, and now I’m very glad I did.

Honestly, if there were other questions I can’t remember them right now. Ask in a comment an I’ll either answer you or modify the post.


I finished those colorful Safe At Home towels, and in fact have already sold 3 of them.

handwoven colorful towels

I did another warp in between, but don’t have photos yet.

Although colorful towels were a real hit, I decided to take this warp in an entirely different direction. I’m calling them Calm At Home. The warp is an 8/3 barberpole soft cotton that I’ve had a long time.

cotton warp on loom

For weft I’m using yarn I’ve also had a long time. This is a Foxfibre 3/2 colorgrown cotton. If you’ve never heard of it, or of its inventor, Sally Fox, you’ll want to read about her and the yarn. The cotton will get deeper in color when I wash it in hot water.

handwoven towels, wave pattern

They are calming, don’t you think?

I’m going back outside now to enjoy the BEAUTIFUL weather in my back yard. HAPPY EASTER!

Safe at home

I’m an introvert by nature, so staying at home is easy for me. I have everything I need, and most things I want, here in my little house. The reality is that I ‘trained’ for this. For 14 years I lived all alone on a dirt road, with my nearest neighbor almost 1/2 mile away. So this is no biggie.

buds on a Cornelian Cherry

buds on my Cornus mas – Cornelian Cherry

I’ll need to get some more groceries by the end of the week, but that’ll be a whole month since I went last – a month with no public contact. And I’ll do all the things I should do when I go out, ordering what I can in advance for pickup to my trunk, wiping everything down with disinfectant when I get home, etc.

crocus blooms

I do feel badly for those people, from little kids to great-grands, who are having physical and/or emotional difficulties with the social distancing.

I have gotten my weaving mojo back, and decided now was the time to use a weave structure I’ve wanted to try for a while. I like weaving twill blocks, and this was a modification that really appealed to me. Towels seemed like the perfect ‘vessel’ for my first attempt.

I loaded the loom and wove 8 towels. Here they all are right after coming off the loom – they still need to be washed, dried, cut apart, and hemmed.

handwoven multicolored towels

I also spent a bit more time in front of my computer and loaded 3 more wearables onto my website. You can see them all here.

One of the newly listed items is wrap I finished from the multi-colored hand painted fine cotton warp. I like the fact that Jack is photo bombing this one. 🙂

handwoven Caribbean Dreams wrap

The rest of the warp is waiting to be cut and sewn into a garment. My lightweight iron-on interfacing tape should arrive in the mail in several days, and I’m not cutting anything until then.

Meanwhile here’s my advice to everyone: stay home, stay well, stay creative!