Monday, December 26, 2011

"Weaving" up dessert

My best "tatin" so far.  I guess I can develop a new culinary obsession!  Julia Child, wherever you are...eat your heart out!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Taqueté

Getting the small loom set up to sample for a new taqueté project.  This involves finding the four other shafts, putting on heddles and loading them up in the loom.  I had taken the extras out when I was using the looms for Art Camp.  Miss Lizard and I both got marooned in the weaving-shed, along with The Daisy, due to the monsoon going on outside!  My yard was transformed into "Lake McLeod" within minutes!  Anyway, seemed like a good time to get this done.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another digression

Warm, hearty-but-delicate soup for a cold, rainy day!  I use chickpeas, leeks, carrots, potatoes, broth (I prefer beef, but veggies can use veg broth).  Then, add a dash of red pepper and a pinch of saffron, finishing it off with a couple a T's of the "Tuscan Herb" oil from the Vintage Olive shop over in Mgm....just heaven.  I polished off one bowl of it and desperately wanted another, but my stomach was so full....my  mouth was having such a good time but the tum said "absolutely not!"  Happily, this keeps nicely.  Lovely with fresh, warm bread.  Looks pretty, too.  Don't ask for measurements!  I "eyeball" everything.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sketch pads

Learning to love the sketchpad app on my iPad!  At least, if I get fed up with tatting etc, I can play with that as I fly over the Atlantic.  Also bringing along my little "gridded" notebook I used to plot out taqueté designs prior to working them up as drafts.  Plenty to do!  I shan't get bored, even though they won't let me have my knitting needles. (harrumph)  
I've made up my own "set" of Knitter's Pride Cubics interchangeables by ordering tips and cable separately.   Now, I get to design myself a little storage gadget for them.
Poor pups, tho.  Not being able to come up with projects to pass the time on a grey, cold and rainy day, they've been attempting to chew up everything they can reach.  The cats have begun coming in, which provides a little distraction until "Mom" shows up with the spray bottle and a "cease-and-desist" order.  At least the cats can head for the attic...I have managed to open the attic door just enough for them to get thru, but not doglettes.  #win.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The sox are DONE!

Miss Liz was kind enough to lend me her legs for a photoshoot this pm, so we took off out to Cahawba to one of the great spots to take a Fall picture.  If it didn't take so damned long, I'd make myself a pair, but it was two weeks of "knit-every-time-I-sit" for two weeks.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The auction sox


Is Cedric astonished by the wonderful Fall colours (not really showing up well here) or is he wondering how much planning it would take to capture and chew up the needles?
There is not any pink in the sox at all, but could not seem to adjust that out of the photo.  Oh well, just imagine that there is NO PINK.  Yes, I am knitting in bed!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

mixing puppies and knitting

NOT a good idea.  Am working on a pair of sox for the Fall fund-raiser the Papillon Rescue group puts on.   I thought they were out-of-reach, but, suddenly, Teddy whizzes through with......THE SOX.  Since he'd started gnawing on the cuff edge, no question of repair.  Just toss them and start again.    The deep sighs of martyrdom may now be heard.  For puppies, all the world is a chew-toy.  Anyway, am enjoying knitting up these things, in nice autumn-leaves-coloured Kroy yarn.  Hope to make them knee-highs.  If I have time, I might knit up a pair of mittens for the auction as well.  So many people work so hard to save these wonderful little animals, but it takes money!  So many of these little dogs are terribly sick and hurt, esp the "breeding females" who come out of mills, and the vets give as much "break" as they can, but still have to charge for treating them.   
Lillian Whipple, who is a generous and warm lady, donated a bunch of her "butterfly" motif cards and we've been selling a couple of them at each auction.  They brought in some nice change last time!
Will let everyone know when the auction kicks off again.  There are always some nice things there and you help the people who help the helpless!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

simplisticism

Well, I made the word up...but it applies sometimes.  Located my MIA potholder loom yesterday, quite by accident, so sat down and made myself a new potholder. Well, I needed one.  Rainbow prism design for "De Colores!"  A fun little break to do it and I now have this cheerful little potholder, ready for duty, hanging in my kitchen.  VIVE les  métiers à tisser les plus petits et ses techniques les plus simples!

Friday, August 26, 2011

I gotta get organized!

Since I still have to go pop a pill and "sit" for a bit due to THE BACK THING, I decided I might as well get some work done while sitting.  I've been "inventorying" yarns.  Since I want to do some nice towels for Xmas sales when the rugs are finished, I started with my Cotton/linen supply.  Last time "WEBS" had their version on sale, I got quite a bit of it.  I also have some of the Louet "Euroflax" pure linen and a lot of little Lily spools of pure linen I bought off ebay.  Then, of course, a few small cones of the original "Cottolin."
I am making "wraps" along a strip of cardboard, with a note about lot number and amount on hand.
This will help HUGELY my bad habit of ordering duplicates because I don't REALLY know what's out there in the workshop!
Also watching an ebay item: one of the old "tall, skinny" old Structos.  I have two of these and might sell one, so will be curious if this one gets the price being asked.  These are nice for weaver-manipulated bands, as they have only two shafts.  They are also light enough to carry along on travels, so they are practical as well as being "collectables."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kraking the Krok(bragd)

After much sampling, fiddling with colour pencils etc the first rug is under weigh.  Very odd that the sett of the sample proved wrong for the bigger rug.  Same warp, same fill but the fill not, um, filling.  Finally got that sorted.  This is the "sunrise, sunset" variation.  Next one will be greens and blues but am too tired to figure out a name for it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sampling

Gawd, I love sampling!  Strung the little Northwest Loom up and made several experiments with the krokbragd treadlings.  Fun and stimulating to the imagination.  The two photos show one of the reasons I love Tony Klissus' Northwest Looms 'Frieda"  model.  There are three different positions for the beater and the third one makes threading the reed a lot smoother, since it stays sitting up straight.  No chance of ends slipping out or having to move it to see behind.  I position the beater on other looms by tying it into position, but this makes it so much easier.

 

Monday, August 8, 2011

rugs!

Cut my towels off the Macomber and put up enough warp for three small Krokbragd rugs.  Threading and beaming tomorrow.

Friday, June 3, 2011

"new" Toyota gets 0 mpg!!!

No, no wheels or doors.  Many people don't know that Toyota started out manufacturing weaving and knitting equipment for the industry.  They added home knitting-machines for a few years, and the cars came later!  I am thrilled beyond belief that a KS901 has turned up in Birmingham and I am buying it! It even has all the extra gadgets.  This was my first machine and I loved it.  The KS901 is still one of the best out there.  Aside from that, I'm used to it.  SOOOOO, the Studio, which is, of course, a perfectly fine machine, will go back on ebay.
I made a POT of money with that machine when I lived in NY!  Aside from free-lancing for designers, and teaching, the textile company where I worked decided to go into knitted fabrics.  Since I was the only person in the design dept with a knitting-machine, I got the gig to knit 3-yard samples of all the yarns they wanted to put into work.  That thing paid for itself a couple of times over!  
I am picking it up today and very excited about it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Home again

Back in my weaving-shed today for a whole afternoon before my back gave out.   I got the Macomber tied back up and the towel-warp re-tensioned.  Next move is to hook up the AVL and weave off my "getting to know you" warp and get something real on there.  Time out to bathe two small dogs, the Pap and the Affenpinshcher with reproachful looks until everybody (including me!) dried out again.  At least it's getting pulled together in there and I am so pleased and happy to be in there and have it under control.  
Coming up: studio sale!  Make an appointment!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Back in "harnesses"

Pun intended.
Off to spend the day at the opening of the new Alabama River Region Art Centre in Wetumpka!  Packing along three looms.  I like to make them available to people so they can actually weave!  Two little Structo's and one "Frieda."  I am so grateful that friend Anne called and invited me to come along to demonstrate!  I hope this really catches on over there.  We need more efforts like this one around our area.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spud and Chloe sweater yarns as sox!!!

Thanks to my favourite knitting blogger, I got turned on to "Spud and Chloe" sweater yarn and have made two scrumptious pairs of sox!  I was surprised that the bulkier yarn made sox that I can still wear with most of my shoes without needing a larger sized shoe (-;.  This stuff is Merino wool and cotton blend and is cool and cozy at the same time.   Definitely a "find."  Kind of pricey, so I'm loving WEBS' deep discounts!  I got my "Summer Sox" yarns from them at half the MSRP.  Once you buy five of anything, the discounts kick in and it's almost a "free" fifth item.  Anyway, for a yarn addict, it's paradise.
Pics soon of the S and C sox!  Am working on a pair in a dark, yummy green!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Zeros!!

I have obtained a set of size Zero needles.  I am DYING to try knitting with them!  I have a bunch of stuff to do first, like a couple of Easter gifts and a donation to an auction being run by the Papillon rescue, but, maybe soon!!!

More knitting

Well, the weaver is still knitting, since my back is still limiting the amount of time I can spend at my looms. Sock knitting is absolutely swell!  One of the few things you can do with a "recipe" and I use "Sock Wizard" as a reference-point for getting going.  Essentially, you just stick with the arithmetic!  I used three "holding" needles and one "working" needle.  I don't particularly "number" the needles, which I found confusing when I started out with this.
If you figure out your needed stitches, you put half on one needle and divide the other half between the other two needles.  Keep going back to those numbers!  I do a heel-flap with the basic knit, slip one row and purling back until I have the requisite number of rows (matching your stitch numbers) shape my heel, then pick up stitches to match the new rows, to my regular decreases back to the "arithmetic" for the two "1/4" needles and knit to the end decrease...kitchener-stitch the toes, and "VOILA!"
This "recipe" can be found in "The Knitting Harlot's" helpful and entertaining "Knitting Rules."  Get it from amazon.com and it is also available for your Kindle!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

A light shining in the dark

I am grieving, heartsore this morning.  A lovely, wonderful, kind and generous soul passed on last night.  Cliff Foster was "my handyman" for all the time since I moved into town here and had been recommended to me...or I was recommend to HIM, by my dear friend, Christine.  Cliff looked after us, making sure our houses stayed in good repair and checking by now and then to make sure "things are ok."  I can remember coming home to find that a burned-out porch-light had been changed or a note saying that something needed work etc.  We recognized and appreciated each other the way two people who take pride in the work of their hands do.
A few very short weeks ago, he was diagnosed with cancer.   I had been wanting to go see him but my back kept me on a short leash.  So, yesterday, Christine and I went by the house.  It was hard to see our old friend in that frail man on the bed.  I prayed all afternoon to God to either make him well or take him home and this morning I go "the phone call."
Now, here's the mystery.  The light in my carport had been flickering "down" for  several weeks...it's flourescent and they sort of "fade and flicker" before they go.  I looked out last night and it was burning away like new and the one in the other fixture, on the same circuit, looked as if it had kicked back in.  I can't help but wonder if Cliff came by one last time.  
It's the sort of thing he'd do.
Goodbye, my dear friend, I know that God welcomed you in like He does with all his "good and faithful servants."  You will be so very sorely missed.

Monday, February 7, 2011

SOX!


I am in love the "Summer Sox" yarn and ordered a BUNCH from WEBS since they have it for half-price (thank you, WEBS!)  My first pair has me so enamoured that I didn't even take them off to sleep last night (-;  The yarn is Merino, cotton and nylon and has a wonderful feel and hand.  the most comfy pair of sox I've ever had on MY feet!

I have ordered a book and DVD on making sox on my flat-bed machine.  At present, I see doing the legs by hand and hooking the rest on there to do the "grunt work" on the foot parts.

Friday, January 28, 2011

reinventing the wheel

FINALLY figured out the S&W pickup and there is an asymmetrical kitty-cat tail on the warp!  Going to do the taqueté example tomorrow.  I checked Nancy Hoskins' book and she doesn't even touch on this trick, so, glad we have Lillian!  Anyway, did some sampling for my key book motif.  I think I will eventually weave that on 16 shafts, tho, in the interest of speed, but, it's nice to know that I can show somebody how it's done if they only have 8.   I love to share what I know and get other people into the joy of turning a bunch of pieces of thread into a beautiful and/or useful piece of fabric!
here it is "reflected"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

shopping for information

Living where I do with a public library that is simply adequate for fiction, cookbooks, et al, and no specialised libraries around, I have to purchase technical books when I need them.  Over the years, my two "first stops" are amazon and ebay, the latter which started out as the place to get good deals, right? Well, ebay is really going down the tubes. I thought I'd check a Photoshop for Textile Design text I wanted on ebay, and found the prices DOUBLE that of amazon.com.  Opportunists trading on the public's perception of ebay as the place for bargains, I guess. Far too many people don't "shop around" the way they should.  
In any case, the book is ordered "used," from amazon,  and on the way.  
I often wonder what graduating design-students, heading for jobs on the Avenue, would think if confronted with our hands-on methods of just 20 years ago!  Sample orders and mill orders both were written out on a form, a swatch of the yarns attached and the drafts then passed around the design dept to be proofed a couple of times.  This is especially important when it comes to ordering a couple-hundred-thousand yards produced.  Even for the samples, an error meant wasting a sample-weaver's day or morning, meaning, the company had paid for that waste.
I guess everything is computerized now, although I would bet some "proofing" still goes on (-;  Nothing is perfect and human error can still wreck something.