Handmade Gifts for the Holidays

Handmade holiday gifts are something the friends and families of every weaver (and knitter and spinner and felter and..) know about and treasure. We may be planning all year, but come crunch time, many of us are hunkered down in our studios, listening to the rhythmic and hypnotic sounds of our looms in action.

The list of what we weave is exhaustive and the ideas endless. Give two weavers the same draft (pattern) and two unique creations will emerge. The variation in color and type of yarn only begins the uniqueness that every weaver brings to her (or his) finished product. Holiday weaving seems to enhance this already magical creativity.

If you are not a weaver yourself, don’t leave yet. I have some ideas for you further on. In the meantime, keep reading. [Read more…]

Grandma’s Spinning Wheel, Tucson AZ

What fun we had at Grandma’s Spinning Wheel in Tucson,  AZ! I was at an event with fellow coaches, and was able to fill the car and head out on our adventure!

We were welcomed as soon as we entered by Michael, Grandma’s husband. He immediately introduced us to “Grandma” the knitted version, another photo opportunity for me.  [Read more…]

Spike the Angora Rabbit visits Jockey Hollow Weavers

Last night at Jockey Hollow Weavers, we had a grand Show and Tell meeting. The members were also encouraged to tell how they became handweavers. I learned a few new things about some women I have know for years! It was fun! [Read more…]

Handwoven Dishtowel Exchange

I belong to the Jockey Hollow Weavers who meet in Mendham NJ. June first is our last meeting before the summer and until September. We usually have some sort of exchange, and I have really learned a lot over the past few years of participating.

[Read more…]

The right tool for the job

The stash busting/ufo project proceeds.  I am absolutely delighted that I have woven off the yardage for my guild’s most recent exchange.  All right, it was due 3 weeks ago, but I had only woven about 1/2 of the very ambitious 5 yards that I put on the loom. The project was quite a learning experience.

Here’s how it went: Each participant put up to 5 different yarns (any amount of each, but enough that something could be woven with it) in a paper bag. Also in the bag was a questionnaire about the person. Then each person picked a bag that wasn’t theirs, and was challenged to weave something for the person whose bag it was.

I received an awesome tunic.  That’s me thanking the weaver, Robin!  And modeling.

I am giving 4 yards 22 ” of fabric to Daryl Lancaster, http://weaversew.com/wordblog/.  She has been very encouraging and patient. I am hand delivering the fabric tomorrow.

So on to the next UFO (unfinished object for you non-fiber types).  Bonnie Inouye  http://www.bonnieinouye.com/ came to the guild, Jockey Hollow Weavers jockeyhollowweavers.org, last year, and taught Advancing Twills. It was really a class on designing advancing twills, was very interesting, and right at the tippy tip of what I could wrap my brain around. At the time, I did not own weaving software, but I muddled through the workshop. I did get home and had to resley the loom, as the finished fabric was not dense enough.  I wove a few inches, and the rest of the warp and the loom have languished since.

So I dusted off the loom and decided to weave this off. I read through the handouts, and chose what to do next. In the past, I would painstakingly hand write the treadling, or in this case, the lift plan. With the software, the right tool for the job, I had the lift plan ready in less than 10 minutes. I also learned a few more tricks that the software can do to speed up my paperwork time to give me more time to weave.

Ok, for the non-weavers, this is a pic of the loom. It is called a table loom, and is operated by levers. The lift plan tells me which levers to press to get the pattern that I want.  For me, it is much quicker to use my looms that are operated by pressing treadles with my feet, but that’s another mini-lesson.

Off I go to the studio now, to turn another UFO into a FO. Happy Weaving!