Thursday, December 17, 2009

Old friend gets dusted off!

Well, not too much dust, since I keep the looms covered when not in use. I am threading up the Macomber to do some towels. Such a treat to be back to one-on-one with that loom. There is nothing like the feel and sound of Macombers! They're so solid and work so smoothly and reliably. I DO have to say that I am not a fan of the tie-up system, but that's just a quibble, since I can't think of anything that would replace it. Macombers, being built so that you can either do delicate, fine yarns, or wham away at the thickest of rugs if you like, need the extra strength involved in the way the lamms and shafts are engineered, so, whatever my quibbles, the tie-up system is still 'way ahead of whatever would be in second-place.
I remember trying to make a rag rug on my Schacht, which was my first loom and having to "sandbag" the thing to keep it from "levitating" across the floor a couple of inches every time I whammed down the beater!!
If you are looking for a truly great all-purpose loom, you can't do any better, and there are second-hand ones out there at great prices these days. I paid all of $1000 for mine,: 48" with 8 shafts and two room for two more shafts. Not bad at all. The "Baby Macs" are a great deal, even new, and easily packed up to take along to workshops etc. I like to take mine out to the back porch on nice days and weave outside! Also a very solid loom!
Well, guess this is a "mash note" to my Macombers!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


My article for "Weavezine" went live on Tuesday. VERY exciting for me! Thanks, Syne, for being such a great editor and admitting me to "the ensemble" where the company I keep makes me feel quite privileged!

Monday, November 30, 2009


New idea for bookmarks in Taqueté. This won't be going anywhere as a "project" so, up for comment. I have the warp ready to go and will start dressing the loom for this tomorrow. Crossed fingers. I have no idea where the imagery is coming from, except just all the iconography stuck in my brain over the years.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Art camp weavers

One of the wonderful things about teaching kids, and just "turning them loose" as I like to do, on the prepared looms is the work that comes out of it. They have a "no-holds-barred" approach to their designing. They will grab anything, from regular yarn to a piece of old lace and slam it in there! The results are sometimes astounding. Of course, often, "Miss Nancy" has to perform what I have come to think of as not so much a "finishing" as it is a "rescue operation" but they are just fun little things.
I always come away from a week with the kids having my own ideas of what "works" shaken up in a good way and start thinking in terms of what sort of outrageous stuff I could put into some of my own work!
Pictures here:

Monday, May 11, 2009

the virtual sampling

I got one whole "verse" done. I don't know if I will put the whole Beatitude on here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Reasons to sample

I started sampling the "Tree of Life" today and right away saw where I needed to re-do the draft: the "fruits" looked like somebody sat on them. SOOOOO back to the drawing-board where I re-adjusted the whole thing. I guess I could sit down and fuss with the ratios, but I am such a visual designer that I kind of prefer the hit-or-miss version. Maybe I will sit down and do some math at some point. I also need to fix some more draft errors. Sometimes "sleeping on it" helps to see where the errors are happening, whereas, continuing to stare at it means you miss more of them.
Anyway, there is so much to be done this week, I don't know if I will get to the second round of sampling. right away.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Big Rock-candy Mountain and little butterflies

the "butterfly" and he's going to live in the "butterfly capital!"

The "Big Rock-candy Mountain" is AKA "Pearl Paint."
If you ever lived in NYC, and were an artist or art student, Pearl Paint was THE "candy store." Five floors of every art supply item you could imagine, and some you hadn't, plus studio furniture and some little fun things! I used to spend all my Xmas and birthday loot there.
Well, they have branched out and there is one in Atlanta, so, since it was cloudy and chilly, making it ok to leave dogs in the car, "Mom" took the plastic and hit Pearl Paint! I wisely made a LIST so that my impulse buys were "contained" and I just got some small items that looked like fun, like "artists' trading cards." The idea is that you create something small and trade with others. Well, to heck with that...I will make something
small and sell it! (Not the dog, of course!)
Also picked up some blank cards so I have a reference for ordering of the 'net in future, but the BIG DEAL was great blocs of grid paper for graphing out weaving designs. Lovely stuff.
Today is heading for home. Yesterday's storms would have been on top of us all the way to Birmingham so we stayed put. Also needed to finalize Cedric's adoption.
Oh, of course, the real aim of this trip was to meet an adorable Papillon who was at one of the rescue organizations' foster homes. We hit it off right away and Daisy seems ok with the new family-member so, stay tuned for more on this.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

they're done...sort of

Finally got the bookmarks off the loom! Now I need to put gel on the fringe ends and cut them apart. The threads are very fine and I just don't want to fuss with tying them off.
Maybe next time.

And one for the Bishop!!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Drafting and Lillian Whipple

One of the reasons I went to such lengths to go out to Texas was Lillian Whipple's workshop. I have Asperger's Syndrome ("disorder" or whatever) and my little "Aspie" brain needs to either get my hands into something or SEE it done and/or have somebody hang over my shoulder for a bit saying "Yes" or "No."
I told Lillian that, rather than weave samples, since I have done most of her published sample-drafts already, I'd like to concentrate on drafting. Since coming back, I have to fight the impulse to just sit around and draft all these lovely motifs I have floating around my head!
I've been scanning charted designs from needlework books and Nancy Spies' "Here Be" series. This saves me the "busy-work" of copying them on to a grid myself. Then I can write in the shafts on the printed copy and draft away!
Taquete, when you get into more than two colours, makes me think of a little loom-controlled tapestry technique.
Lillian is just one of the most gracious and generous of weavers, and the chance of taking a workshop with her is NOT to be missed! If one comes your way, GO FOR IT.
Pictures to come!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


My little furball of a toy poodle is gone from my life. "Abbyabby"died in his sleep and it will take a long time to stop missing his feisty little self, if I ever stop missing him. He was such a sweet, trusting little guy who had a lousy first half of his life. I am so grateful to God that I was able to make the second half of his little life one filled with kisses, cuddles, good food and care, adventures and friends. I know you aren't supposed to give your dogs table tidbits, but, you know, when they pass, I am happy about every little treat I gave them that made them feel like special, special members of the family....which they are.
Abby, my "Babby" wherever you are...wait for the rest of us and keep watching out for things back here. I will miss you so much!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

the 2009 bookmark

Work in progress: this is the "dukagang" treadling. Includes the threading fixed!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I should have sampled!!!

Well, now I need to "rescue" the 3 yards of 60/2 silk warp and put up one of 20/2. The 60/2 was just TOO fine to show the motif up nicely, especially since, in order to get the width I wanted I had to add a lot of "border" that kind of overwhelm the motif, so, back to 20/2 which will still make a lovely little bookmark.
Good thing I like the whole warping process!!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

confirmation bookmark

the 2009 confirmation bookmark's warp is on the loom and ready to go. I have never woven this narrow on the dobby loom, so we shall see. I don't know how the heck Lillian Whipple handles that 240/2 silk. Handling 60/2 was as close to spider-webbing I ever want to deal with. Hope it turns out looking exactly like the virtual sample.
Hope the Confirmands like them. I have warped for 10...9 for them and one for the Bishop.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Just when you think it's safe.....

One - hopefully-last, more kink. The auto-advance not creating the picks per inch I want....couldn't get it to do less than 8. Not good. I moved the bolt on the back AA shaft down to middle, after looking at some pictures in the manual, and tightened the cables and all seems well.
Then the block holding the tension-arm weight in place cracked. AVL is sending a replacement asap and I am holding it together with a C-clamp in the meantime. Minor problem, at worst. Lucinda mentioned that, at the time they did my loom, they were having some "quality control issues." Well, every company does at some point and their stuff is so great, overall, it's hard to quibble.
Can't wait to get the new workshop dobby. Wish it would be in time for the Texas trip, but, since they build the compu-dobby per order, this is just the way things go. Nice to know mine is hand-built for me!!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

PS: Local wool

Keep it natural, kids!!!!!
Also, for those of you who don't know this, check out this Selma lady's new farm with sheep, goats etc. She started out doing goat-milk soaps and lotions (available at Mark's Mart and from her directly):
check out her blog as well

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Land o' cotton

well, I have ordered green, brown and red! Cotton seeds, of course. Not many people are aware that cotton can be grown to be other than white. White being the more commercially-desirable version, that's what we see out there, but there is a growing trend among the "organic" crowd to experiment with the "antique" plants which produce different colours. Pretty nifty. Furthermore, the colours get stronger when the stuff is washed. Double-nifty.
So far, I have only spun wool, but, once I get this stuff up and picked I guess I will learn to spin cotton. I was also thinking that it would make a lovely "flower arrangement."
Now, this is all assuming that I can get it to grow. I have never raised cotton, but, hey, I come from a long line of cotton-farmers, so, hopefully, I have a genetic disposition for it. Hopefully.
I cannot WAIT to get out there and get the garden ready to go!
In the meantime, here's my favourite spot to order the spun versions:
the photo is from my seed source, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange: Go have a look.
BTW, I cannot recommend "" enough. It reduces long, unwieldy URL's to manageable size and I have found them to be 100% reliable.

How does your garden grow?

It's getting to be planting season so fast! I have to get this all ready before I take off for "Tejas!" Which means that I need to have it ready to plant when I get back.
I am trying to get a "Kitchen Gardeners' Club" started here in town. If we get enough interest, it would be a great way for us to help each other with this. Even if you just have containers, you can grow SOME veggies. WIth the price of produce going through the roof (I paid $4 for a CAULIFLOWER recently!!!!), it makes a lot of practical sense.
I might plant some dye plants this year. Maybe not. I am not to into dyeing. But it would be fun to show the kids. I'd also like to make a little patch of coloured cottons!

auto advance woes

well, now it's the auto-advance.
Sooner or later, I will get everything in sync!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


OK, I have the AVL threaded up for the 32-shaft "Ivy" taqueté design.

Friday, January 30, 2009


My AVL A-Series is up and running!!! After fiddling with the e-lift installation for a good three weeks, off and on, anyway, it finally kicked in. I spent yesterday putting on a warp and threading, then took the whole thing for a "test drive" today. Some problems with the auto-advance, but easily fixed. I wound the pirn correctly on the first try and am getting the hang of the fly-shuttle.
It is just heaven. Now I have to thread up for my taquete designs and see how they REALLY look.
I think I will start with the 32-shaft designs. Not that I'm chicken! I threaded the whole 40-shaft array up and tested it out with a pointed-draw and will fiddle around with that for a bit.