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Good Weaving Weather

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Is it fall yet where you are?  I keep reading on social media about people enjoying the new crispness in the air, and I'm envious.  It'll be in the 90's this week, though today is nice and cool and cloudy.  The heat has driven me into the studio, so I don't regret it, really.  
I've been plugging along with the bamboo warp, and enjoying the pattern.  I've beaded the hemstitching with some large seafoam green Czech beads.  It's my thing.  I love a little bling, but I also like the weight the beads give to the end of scarves.  



I had a slight problem at about the first 20 inches when one of the threads in the center broke.  It was one of my "walk away and close the door" moments.  The next day, I pulled out the stash of extra warp I had and repaired it.  This morning, two repeats of the pattern got the whole thing woven in, and I can't really see it.  The natural and olive towels are coming along, and I'm really enjoying the direct treadling. …

Trapeze, Part Two

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After I posted the blog about the front-to-back trapeze, and posted about it on facebook, I had a few people ask if it could be done back-to-front.  Since I swing both ways (is it me, or does b-t-f and f-t-b sound dirty to everyone?), and I had a naked loom, I tried it. This is a warp I hand-dyed several years ago at a Tuesday Weavers' dye day.  http://tuesdayweavers.blogspot.com/   I really love the colors and the sheen of the bamboo.  But because bamboo can stick to itself a lot, I think if I warped by trapeze again with bamboo, and probably Tencel, I would stick with front to back.  Just using the raddle didn't give enough separation the way it would have if the threads had gone through the reed and heddles. There was a problem at the end, which I'm pretty sure was my fault.  The cross at the end of the warp made a big fat mess!  I couldn't save it, so I cut it off and grouped the threads in bunches of 24, the EPI I was going to use.  So far so good, and would have b…

Trapeze Artist

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I've finally wanted to weave again, and I've done little else the last few days.  I had a warp wound for a couple of years for a project that never made it to the loom, and wanted to use it to make dish towels.  I needed some color, so I added some of Mom's olive green 8/2 to the organic 8/2 already wound, and interspersed stripes into the warp.  I wanted them to be big, so I added enough to make them about 26 inches, before shrinkage, 620 threads set at 24 EPI.  I think they'll probably be about 22-24 inches when they've been washed.  And I'll make them about 36 inches long.  I started threading on Tuesday, front to back, and finished on Saturday.  But I found myself dreading winding that big, fine warp alone!  I've been curious about Trapeze warping, and spent a lot of time watching videos on YouTube, reading blogs,cruising Google, trying to figure it out.  I didn't want to drill and cut and generally spend an entire day using power tools and making a…

It's Been Too Long

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Well, hello!  It's been a long time since I've written anything, but this past year has been a doozy.  Probably for you, too.  But this morning, I had too much time on my hands before I had to go to my desk, and went into the studio to get a certain warp off the loom  When I was still in Brasstown, over two years ago, I put this organic cotton warp on the 8-shaft Tools of the Trade, aka Tootsie.  I used a pattern from Lace and Lacey Weaves by Mary E. Snyder, which is a fun but somewhat confusing book.  I've loved this pattern for a long time and was ready to take it on.  But I warped the loom before I moved to Richmond, and the warp got awfully wonky in the move, of course.  I battled and cursed and hated this warp, but I was determined to finish it.  It's bread cloths, which I intended as gifts.  Oh, but they're just full of skipped threads and a couple of broken ones, and I just wanted this dog off the loom!  And this morning, I finished.  Well, I'm lying:  Th…

Inside Projects

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I want to be outside digging in the dirt, and it hasn't really been too cold, but I just don't want to be cold and wet and muddy!  So, I've been doing inside jobs, like painting the office a lovely brown-toned mint and off-white, and knitting a lot.  The other day, I went to a knitting group meeting, and afterwards, stopped by the local yarn store.  The selection was so disappointing, all hand-dyed and variegated and not suitable at all for what I had in mind, which was a brown tweed for a sweater for my son.  I ordered some yarn I felt lukewarm about, and left unsatisfied.

  But, there's a quilt shop around the corner.  So I went in.  And they have a whole wall of batiks, which, in my quilting days, I loved!  Turns out, I still do.  I bought a bunch of fat quarters in colors I thought would go with the last quilt I was making when I quit quilting, way back in 2004, when I got my first loom  
  When I got home, I pulled out that quilt, still in pieces, and looked long a…

Mom

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This week, I lost the person who taught me to love fiber, food and flowers.  My mom, Joyce Hoffman, passed away Monday, after a long battle with cancer.  She is the one responsible for my room full of looms, the other room full of fabric, and my never-ending curiosity about food and its possibilities.  She gave me my first garden plot, a shaded square by the carport, when I was five, and she helped me plan another garden that nestled in between the chimney and kitchen when I was nine.  I am who this person helped make me, both because of who she wanted me to be, as well as who I didn't want to be.
  As I sat by her bedside for the last three months, I knitted sweaters and socks, fumbled with embroidery and kept her t.v. humming with programs on architecture and DIY, things we neither are good at but both love to think about.  
  I hope she's where she imagines the afterlife to be, hanging out with people she's missed, walking with our childhood dogs, a world without pain.  T…

New Rabbit Holes

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I always have excuses for not writing, it seems, but this one is very valid.  You see, my mother is dying of cancer in a nursing home, and I've been working on-call for the last three months to help take care of her.  At first, way back in July, it meant being at her house from six in the morning until four or five in the afternoon.  After a few weeks of that, it became obvious that my sister and I couldn't do it ourselves anymore.  
  Liz found a nursing home not too far from our homes, and I started spending a few hours each day sitting with Mom, and then shopping for things she might want.  I always showed up at the nursing home with bags full of things that might tempt her.  She tried to keep up a brave face, knowing we couldn't give her the care she needed, but she was sad to leave her home.
  Now, "the disease has progressed," and I don't spend as much time at the home as I did, because she sleeps most of the time.  When she's awake, I move her bed,…