Tuesday, June 13, 2017

And On We Go a'Weaving

I began writing this post on Wednesday, and had to put it on hold while we made a pre-Father's Day trip to Los Angeles. We figured that my father-in-law would have lots of visitors on the weekend, so spreading out 'his' day would be a good idea. So, to resume the post:

After letting the lashed-on warp rest overnight, I wove a few picks to debug the threading, and finding no errors, went on to get the PPI at the desired density. Here's the result:

For this draft, I'm only using 16 shafts. Eight shafts for the big stripes (both colored and natural), four shafts for the narrow, paler stripes of each color, and four more shafts for the basket-weave selvedges.

The warp is all 12/2 unmercerised cotton. The hem wefts will be 24/2 unmercerised cotton, and the towel body wefts will be either 16/2 unmercerised cotton in natural or 18/2 unmercerised Fox Fibre in light green.  I may use up the remains of the colored warp yarns for narrow, weft-wise stripes on the last few towels on the warp.

The drafts use broken twill for hems, and various straight and point twill for the broad stripes.

That's the plan, anyway. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Getting Closer...

The towel warp is threaded and sleyed. Lashing on today. More photos to come.

The warp is 12/2 cotton, and the colored stripes are Fox Fibre's naturally colored cotton. The natural stripes are from a U.S. mill. I've sett the warp at 32 epi, and plan to use a finer cotton, also unmercerized, for weft.

Sunday, May 28, 2017


I forgot to post these images a few days ago. The Fox Fibre tea towels are ready to thread:

In the meantime, we have guests. One set before and another after the Memorial Day holiday tomorrow, so I have not been able to begin the actual threading. Soon, I hope!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Beaming the First Warp in Months!

Yes, really! The photo below is the first 8 sections (there are a total of 19 in the design) of a run of dish towels (or tea towels, if you prefer) using 2/12 Fox Fibre naturally colored cotton in two shades of brown and two shades of green. In this case, my use of the term shade refers to the percentage of natural versus the colored fiber in the blend. The light brown yarn has a higher percentage of natural fiber than the dark brown yarn.

The two brown yarns are in the center of the design, because those were the cones holding the least yarn. I spent a fairly long time with some empty cones of the same type, and a scale, and a spreadsheet to help me figure out how wide I could make the stripes without running out of the darker brown yarn. It was a tense few moments as I wound the last of the dark brown stripe. These are the remnants of the two browns:

Only just enough left of the darker brown for 1 or 2 repair ends, and it's a good thing these are towels, not yardage!

I began the project with over 16 ounces of natural, and ample light green and dark green for the design. The colors of the Fox Fibre cotton will deepen with a few trips through an alkaline laundry cycle, which I will do here in the studio so the buyers will have a better sense of the eventual hues.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Another Happy Flower Producer

This one is my Peanut Cactus. After a winter in the greenhouse, it is delighted to be out in the sun again. The blooms, almost blindingly orange, are larger this year, at least 2.5 inches across.

And although you may not believe it, I'm in the process of getting ready to beam a warp on the dobby loom. Tea towels in naturally colored cotton from Fox Fibre.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Iris Season

Not the metaphor for woven iridescence, the flower itself. We've been enjoying these beauties for a couple of weeks. Time to share:

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Is It Really Almost May?

And here I am, still on holiday from the studio. A little knitting, some spinning and plying, but mostly trying to become fully mobile again. The surgeon keeps reminding me that full healing can take a year or more, and to keep at the exercises (but don't overdo them).

We have made a few day trips out into the California springtime countryside. As you might have seen in the news, the desert-like countryside is really stimulated by the rainfall this past winter. (Our calculation at home is almost 3x the normal. Twelve inches annually, between mid-October and late April, has been typical for the years we have lived in this part of the state, about half-way between the San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose area and the Los Angeles basin to the south. This year, we measured over 35 inches.)

Wildflower seeds can wait many years for enough rain before they germinate. Early in April, we drove east to the edge of the Carrizo Plain National Monument, and although we were about a week early for the maximum colorful display, this was typical of what we drove past:

The common names of some of these include tidy tips, fiddleneck, shooting star, owl's clover, and baby blue eyes. It was actually difficult to find a place to take a photo without another 20 cameras clicking away within the frame. Where a low spot was damper than the hillsides, the variety was much greater, and the stems of the flowers taller. The ones above were perhaps 6 inches maximum, the blues and whites in the next photo were up to 24 inches:

Closer to home, and 10 days farther into the season, we now are enjoying lots of native lupines and California poppies. These are on our property, so I don't have to go far to appreciate the result of the rainfall:

Both of these have very recognizable foliage, so I can persuade DH to let them have their days of glory before he pulls them up.  And by that time, they've scattered the seeds for the next season.

Tomorrow, I'll post some pictures of our domestic plantings, the purposeful ones, not the spontaneous and accidental ones. Happy Springtime!