Monday, May 31, 2010
What I did want to do today was finish Bonnie's color on the Clinch Valley afghan, and start Pat's color. Pictured above is the start. Since then, I've finished the first rectangle and started the second. I've broken another thread, smack dab in the middle of the break between Bonnie's two rectangles. There is another weak thread in Pat's, but it hasn't snapped yet. Flake on flake is a bad idea. I hope I can get through this project without anymore broken threads! The pattern doesn't show up as well with Pat's pink as it does on Bonnie's pretty dark red, but it is showing up, quite subtly.
I also felt like major spring cleaning, and while I didn't accomplish all I set out to do, I came close. No photos, because the before pictures would be too embarrassing! I love a clean house, but I hate having to get it that way!
Miss Etta has become much more sociable, but every time I tried to get a picture of her mingling with the other pets, she took off before I could get the camera. I will try again tomorrow.
Until then, happy weaving!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Turned overshot, for those who missed the beginning of this project, is when an overshot pattern is turned 90 degrees; the weaving is done with one shuttle, the ground thread, and the pattern colors are threaded in the warp. The pattern is threaded twice the e.p.i. that the ground is, so for this pattern, it was 24 for the ground and 48 for the pattern. The piece is threaded on six shafts and treadled on four treadles, each treadle tied to three shafts, and each shaft carrying a tabby thread.
The ground in the curtains is white unmercerized cotton, which was a little sticky, but I think any yarn will be sticky in turned overshot, since the e.p.i. is so close. Threading took a long time, too. The ground was 480 ends, and the pattern was 72.
I will definitely do more projects this way. In fact, the next project will be the kitchen curtains, with a large daisy pattern from Davison, the pattern I used for the tote bags I made at the center a couple of years ago. I wish I had a photo, or that one of the bags was still around, because it was one of my favorite weaving projects to date. I will take many photos this time, as soon as I can figure out how to thread the tabby on shafts one and two.
I think turned overshot is the perfect way to have a pattern running through a piece without having it be entirely in overshot. It is perfect for trimming an otherwise plain fabric. It's a brain-teaser to turn an overshot pattern, but I like the results. I hope I've inspired others to try it!
Time to go get my next warp on!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
4 pounds ramps, greens and roots trimmed
4 cups white distilled vinegar
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup pickling spice, in a cheesecloth bag
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes per jar
1/2 bay leaf per jar
1 garlic clove per jar
Put ramps in sterilized jars, tightly packed. Add the spices and garlic to each jar. Bring vinegars, salt, sugar and bag of spice to a full boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Pour hot brine over ramps in jars to within 1/4 inch of the top of the jar. Close lids tightly and place jars in a pan of boiling water, with 1/2 inch of water over the tops of the jars. Boil for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the jars. Let jars sit in hot water for 5 more minutes, then let cool completely before storing. Allow to pickle for about 3 weeks before enjoying!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
This past week, my cousins Annette and Cheryl came to spirit my mother away to Atlanta to see her sister. It was the first time I'd seen Annette and Cheryl in 18 years. We went to Litton's in Fountain City, one of my favorite places in Knoxville. Mom is still in Atlanta, with no concrete plans yet of coming back. Good thing I have Miss Etta with me! We cousins didn't get to spend much time together, but I hope we will in the future, now that they have moved from the northeast coast to Atlanta.
My sister-in-law, Jeanne is pictured below, weaving in my studio this past February. She went home to Tempe and took a weaving class. She sent me photos of her twill samplers from her class and said I could share them with you.
Very nice for a first effort, isn't it? She's already a fiber artist, a knitter of amazingly beautiful Fair Isle sweaters, and I know she's going to be very creative with weaving, as well.
A few days after Jeanne sent these photos, my brother sent me a video of Jeanne threading her new 8 shaft Baby Wolf, but the quality of the video is a little hard to see. I'm hoping for more photos to share with you of the new weaver in our family soon. Until then, happy weaving, and don't forget to pass it on!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Speaking of fun, yesterday was the second week of the Maryville Farmers' Market. It's every Saturday, from now until the weekend before Thanksgiving in what they optimistically call Founders' Square, a parking lot between a row of stores and the CBBC building downtown. Last year, I worked the Blackberry Farm booth almost every Saturday with Jeff Ross, the Garden Manager.
This year, I had to bow out, because my production goals have tripled or quadrupled--no one has been clear on that point yet-- and I can't give up any more Saturdays. This Saturday, however, I had my new assistant Abby, and I wanted to touch base with my farmers. I walked around and talked to old friends, got hugged and placed orders. When I came back to the BBF booth, the line looked like this:
It got longer, and lasted for 25 minutes, while Jeff, Abby and I did the farmers' market dance. We line up, the farthest left person asks the first person in line what they'd like and they move on down, while the next of us moves up to the left and the next customer. It's a dizzying dance, one done with math going on simultaneously. Bread is $4 a loaf, those cakes are $3, that's $1 each, that one is Jalapeno Cheddar Sourdough, the peanut butter is $5, no blackberry jam yet, sorry. And at the end of the line, the total is sometimes in my head, sometimes I have to back up and recount. It's the quickest half hour of the week, and suddenly, no one is left in line. Last year, I would stay and help Jeff with the stragglers or go shopping for vegetables to preserve, but yesterday, Abby and I cut out as soon as the line was gone. I hope we can do it from time to time this summer, but that seems unlikely.
I hope everyone has an opportunity to visit their local farmers' market. Farmers need us to support them in what I hope is an ongoing shift from mega-industrial farms back to small farms using sustainable practices to give us the healthy, clean food we need, and an earth we can continue to live on.
Eat your veggies!
Friday, May 7, 2010
Tina warned me that the flake in the warp will be very weak, and sure enough, my right floating warp has snapped already. I'm trying to beat only once per pick, as I've somewhere along the way picked up the habit of two beats per pick.
On a more positive note, my friend, the amazingly talented artist Amy Campbell has agreed to my very first Artist Barter! Amy has been painting a series of small paintings of iconic signs from around Knoxville and Maryville, and said she'd like to do some small food paintings. I've asked for a butter yellow cupcake painting to hang in my kitchen, and she's asked for a scarf. She's going yarn shopping this week to design her scarf, very excited about it! View some of Amy's work at http://www.amyloucampbell.com/, and you'll be excited for me, too.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
And off I went. The Artisat--Jenny--is shallow enough for me to get good tension while I'm winding by myself, unlike the Colonial, Jennifer. I wound, and wound, and wound. It's a 9 yard warp of cotton flake, a little sticky, but fairly well behaved.