Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A word of caution

Feeling a draft?

Well, back to drafting.  Looking to do some taqueté work on my "Little Weaver."  I am exploring some Celtic symbols, esp those connected with healing.  Will work them up on the same threading as the "angels" so as to get max use out of the warp.

I esp want to see this little gal growing on my warp

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ripping Yarns...again.

Well, ripped the whole thing out and started again with cast-on.  I had really misread the instructions and it was a MESS, but, now the whole thing is going well and am excited about th eventual outcome.  I also realised that, having used the "x-large" instructions, the thing would have been more appropriate for a baby elephant, so, this works on several levels.
Back to weaving at some point, but, I am getting a tad "OCD" about this project.
Craftspersons will understand. 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The art of getting ripped....

Well, not drinking your way there.  I am learning to knit lace.  OK..picked out a fairly simple pattern, some GORGEOUS Noro yarn (on sale, mes amis, ON SALE!).  TWO big discoveries: this weight yarn really goes a LONG way and I think I have more than I actually need.  I might get 2 jumpers out of this deal and, well, lace knitting (at least when you're new at it) is kind of tricky.  I keep ending up with four perfect lace sections and a couple that are a MESS!
SOOOO, learning to rip out like a master...on my fourth "rip"
Here's the deal: both me grandmothers were REALLY good at knitting, crochet etc.  I have their pictures on my mantlepiece and so they are staring me down during this whole process.  I feel like if I let it go and don't FIX it, they would NOT be happy with me.
OK, Grandmas, I'm on it!!!!!!!
Wonder if finishing it will make me skinny and having long, curly, blonde locks?  (Hey, I can dream!)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Amazing new AVL Jacquard

My mouth is watering, but, even could I afford this wonderful gadget, where the HELL would I put it???  Also would have to reinforce the floor.  Oh well.  Lottery tickets, anybody?

"We've just finished building our second Technical Education Loom (TEL) and are proud to say there's no other loom like it in the world. At 8.5' tall and weighing close to 900 lbs., this custom Jacquard loom does 3D weaving (up to 1/2" thick) and will be used to train workers in the aerospace industry who make parts for jet engines in planes. Its custom features include:
  • Rapier system designed specifically to work with technical fibers (fiberglass and Kevlar)
  • 1200 hooks with 8" weaving space (150 EPI)
  • Push-button shed (no treadles, no foot pedal)
  • Digital automatic warp advance 
  • Digital control panel
  • CE mark for sale in EU countries
Who wants one?"

Friday, January 23, 2015

Great Blog

Another shout-out from the "knitting slump"
This is a terrific blog with lots of free and for-sale patterns and several pages of technical resources

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I made this fabric several years ago and sewed up a nice blouse with it.  I am planning to duplicate it as closely as possible for a new blouse.  ALL in my all-time favorite, "Rosie the Riveter" pattern from Folkways!

Some taqueté plans

Also revisiting to dig out the drafts and get to proofing them again!

The above appeared in "Handwoven" a couple of years ago.

Back to the project

Stoles I've been "planning' for ages, but, have promised myself that this will be the first thing to go on the "Little Weaver"
Hoping to donate these to use at the Eucharist on the Jonathan Daniels annual memorial, in memory of all the Civil Rights martyrs.  

Well, surprises abound!

I mentioned in a previous post that I shared my Brooklyn flat with a budding costume/hair tech,  Peggy Schierholz.  After five years of sharing that huge, rent-stabilized old flat, we both moved on and lost touch.
Well, I'll be darned if I didn't run across a piece about "The Americans" and found out that the genius behind all the wigs they use on the show is none other than my old flatmate!  Well, I knew she had talent!  Also glad she's found a steady job...LOL.  Seriously, not to "name-drop" or anything, I'm just pleased as punch that she has done so well!  
Just some background on me and the the-ay-ter:  I started life thinking that the only thing I could do well was sing and dance and act and concentrated lots of time, money (well, more like poverty) on studying for all that and LOVING "theatre." (I was this little local "star" back in Fort Lauderdale during HS.  If my picture wasn't in the paper at least once a month, I got nervous. LOL)  Then I got to NYC and started in with "show business" and realized that a) I really wasn't cut out for THAT and b) I hated the whole milieu.
Glad I found this out fast enough that I was still sufficiently YOUNG to "change horses in midstream," and the Fashion Institute was there for me, with majors in textiles.   Still, I met some very neat folks, most of whom I have had to "leave behind" since we no longer travel in the same circles, and Peg is one of them.  Well, so it goes, but, as said, VERY pleased for her.
BTW, as to being apt for "show business:"  I recommend to the up-and-coming generation that you find this out FIRST before you spend all your time and money on various lessons.
A HS friend's dad was a portrait artist.  They had plenty of room, so we used his studio for rehearsals.  He had worked for the Hollywood studios in his youth (he was a lot older than most of our parents) so we once asked him about performing vs visual arts.  I have since adopted what he said as a sort of mantra: "Well, kids, acting is all very well, but, when it's over, it's over, and you have nothing to get you food and a roof, but, if you paint, you can always trade a picture for a hot-dog."
Or a picture of a hot dog.

Stitch markers on-the-cheap

If you do patterns in knitting, esp lace, I find it kind of "eats up" stitch markers. While you can use anything from a piece of contrasting yarn to a safety pin, it's still fun to have some cute, amusing little stitch markers to use. They can be kind of pricey, esp if you need, as I did recently, about 25 of them. SOOO, I checked into "jewelry findings" I picked up a bag of 50 cheap little "charms" (about $4 on amazon) and a bag of 100 "jump rings" from a jewelry-findings supply place at about $1.99 and made my own! Easy-peezy!


Finally getting back to the stoles I am planning to make for the Jonathan Daniels observance.  I have settled on "Blessed are they who hunger after justice, for they shall be filled."  In the drafting stage, this is coming in at a length of 111 inches, but I will know more once I get the silk samples woven.   I am thinking of doing one each in French, English and Spanish.  The only problem is the French, which presents having to do an "x" in this alphabet I am using ("heureux") and it's a b*****. Or, a "vache" since this is French.   And I am "vachement embetée" by this whole thing.  The "x" is so stylized that it inspires a "huh?" moment.  or perhaps a "quoi, donc?"  moment.  or the classic "WTH?" moment.   Hélas.
back to it!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Not dead yet!!!!

Just stopping by to apologize to ANYBODY who might be following my blog....due to all these boring surgeries, etc, haven't been doing much of anything but knitting.  That said: Last time I was stuck in recovering from the nasties, I learned how to turn a heel, and knit mittens, so this round is seeing me learning to knit lace!  This is really absorbing.  I've done a couple of cowls as gifts and want to move on to a long-term project of a shawl.  Gotta get my counting down pat, first!
Also thinking up new taqueté designs.  Once I get the Little Weaver back together, going to put a warp on it and "run them up the flagpole."
That's about it, except to say how much in love I am with the NORO line of yarns!  They're kind of addictive!  Pricey, but, I keep an eye on sales and ebay!
The other event is going to be tackling my poor little garden with a weed torch!  (hose kept handy, of course) Those weeds are GOING DOWN.  Aside from a few veggies, I am going to start planting some dye plants.  After all these years of reading Deb Luce McClintock's adventures in dyeing...I am keen to try it.  She's here..worth checking out
Also looking for a printmaking buddy if anybody nearby wants to get into some screen-printing!
And, also, been more faithful about keeping up with the studio's FB page here

Wishing anybody out there a great New Year!  (after 2014, I decided to skip the black-eyed peas this year and things are already looking up LOL...maybe the peas recognize that I am only HALF Southern..(but, as they say, that part is "by the Grace of God!")  Doing a lot of last year while "laid out" and have realized that, in both the War of Independence and The Civil War, I would've had half my ancestors shooting up the other half.  Interesting. (Dad's family is a mix of Brits and New Englanders, with the occasional Canadian getting under the covers.)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Stole for my friend, the Deacon

When a deacon friend,  saw the “Brooklyn” design, she asked me if I would do a stole for her with a “tree of life” on it. Deacons wear the same stoles as priests, but draped over to the side. I did one based on the tree in the “Brooklyn” design, then I saw this one, a Shaker design.It just seemed so lovely, so I drafted it out. I was up until about 3 A.M. in a fog of delight. So far, so good, but, as ever, the “proof is in the pudding” so I won’t know until I get the samples woven how it really is going to work. I am thinking about some other motifs to add to it. I am going to design a little cross for the part that goes behind the neck that is in the same style as the tree.I wonder if I will EVER exhaust the design possibilities of this technique? I guess the next step for me is to try FIVE colours and also blending. DEEP BREATH. AND I need to get the elift working on my 40-shaft loom!

Saturday, August 30, 2014


A couple of "art camp" summers. Highlights!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wyverns!!!in Taquete

Taken from Nancy Spies’ lovely needlework designs, “Here Be Wyverns” - an old, old term for dragons and fantastical beasts.
Fun to draft.
For 32 shafts.
I think I overdid the “blur” filter.
These might be worked up as bookmarks

Cahaba Lilies

Working on a taqueté of our beloved "Cahaba Lilies" It involves getting the colours as basic as possible. On the bottom is the original photo, on the top is the first try at getting it into a "taqueté-friendly" form. I will "lose" the leafy background...maybe.
It's times like these that I wish I had a Jacquard loom. Well, perhaps someday.
In the meantime, with 40 shafts, I can do quite a lot. the trick is drafting it correctly.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Which one next?

Well, shall it be the birds or the shells?

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Thank you, little worms.
I LOVE silk. I've been weaving up some bookmarks to sell and to give as gifts and just enjoying the look of the silk woven up. I've been using 20/2's yarn and I like the way the sheen on it catches the light and looks so pearlescent. the finest I've used is 60/2's and, it has its' own pleasures, but the slightly thicker yarn seems to have a nicer response to light. Right now, I am doing some "gifties" since I am using one of Lillian Whipple's drafts. No time to dream up an original, test it etc, since this was kind of a last-minute idea. One thing I'd like to do during "downtime" in London is draft up some more 8-shaft designs since I can pop one of those on and weave while I am watching tv in the house. I have one set up with a double-weave "fiddle-around" warp on it.
Also have to say what a pleasure the "Northwest" Looms are. Tony Klissus builds these to order and even builds the crate for shipping. They are so well made, work so smoothly...they're just a delight to use. I am always amazed that he also sells them for so much less than the "biggies" like Leclerc and Schacht, etc. Definitely a "find."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Peacemakers sampling

Sampling is under weigh for the "Peacemakers" design. I love sampling. Even though sometimes the actual weaving turns out to have only a nodding relationship with the original draft, it's fun to work through the "fixes."
This has a way to go, but I am very happy with the initial sampling, in that the lettering "works." I love the alphabet, which I found in one of the cross-stitch collections I ordered. It's one book just of alphabets! I need to do something about the borders and selvedges.