Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I caught this guy hunting in front of our house. I shot these pictures through my studio window and the flash bounced off the glass, so they are not the best quality.
Minutes after I took these pictures, he snatched a newborn fawn out of the deep grass. Last I saw of him, he was heading out at full speed with a screaming fawn and 4 does hot on his heels. I don't know if the does got the fawn back. It's sort of sad that the cute baby fawn is gone, but the cute baby coyotes have to eat, too. I generally side with the predators, they have to work hard for their meals.

Tomorrow, I have two job interviews. I've been looking for part time work for months, and suddenly I have two offers. When it rains, it pours.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wardrobe Sewing

I have not done any weaving lately. I need to apply myself more. When I was weaving for others, I had deadlines and I wove almost every day. Now that I have no deadlines, I am completely distractable. I can easily justify these distractions: gardening, lawn mowing.... the list is endless. Yes, all these chores need to be done, but so does the weaving.
My latest distraction is sewing. I am visiting friends and family in Michigan and Wisconsin soon, and I have nothing to wear! The Endless Stash is full of beautiful fabrics just waiting for me to sew into wonderful garments. Unfortunately, commercial sewing patterns do not fit my body and I have to do major alterations. I don't really understand alterations, I just wing it with help from the fitting articles in Threads magazine and these two books:

Fantastic Fit for Every Body by Gail Grigg Hazen
This book has many of my specific fit problems illustrated with the alterations necessary.

Fast Fit by Sandra Betzina
This book has more fitting problems and their alterations than the Fantastic Fit book.

Even with the references, it is a struggle. I am on my third muslin iteration of a pair of pants. I use old sheets for the muslins. When the pants are perfected, I hope to work out a pattern for a simple, short sleeve shell, and a simple jacket. I hope I have enough time to sew the garments before the trip!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Yardage Counter

Kimberly asked about my yardage counter.
Here are 2 photos of it. The yarn passes from the cone, through the front eyelet, around the wooden wheel, through the back eyelet and then onto the spool. My spool and pirn winder and the yardage counter are made by AVL.

I have read on several weaving lists that you can use a line counter that fisherman use to measure fishing line on a reel. Your local sporting goods or Cabelas probably has them.

Spool Rack

My spool rack for sectional warping was built by my husband. It is made of 1" X 2" lumber for the frame and 1" x 6" boards for the "feet". Also needed are two 1/4" x 3" carriage bolts, two nails, 26 welding rods and 18 drywall screws.

(the top photo doesn't show the "feet" well, but this side view is on a table and the far side is unsupported, but at least you can see the shape of the feet.)

The frame height is 42", the width is 23", and the depth of the feet is 24". The corners are rabbited and screwed together with drywall screws.
The wire supports for the spools are welding rods driven through very tight holes in the center pieces. The wires are 3" apart, which fits my 2-3/4" paper spools perfectly.

The two center supports for the welding rods sit in dadoes cut in the bottom frame piece. The bottom pivot is a nail driven through the bottom piece and up into the support. The top pivot is a carriage bolt that goes through a hole drilled in the top frame crossbar, and then is screwed into the top of the center support. There is enough room between the wire support piece and the top frame piece to lift the whole wire setup and twist it. That opens it up to allow spools to slide on and off.

When the spools are loaded, just lift and twist the wire support until it lines up with the dado in the bottom frame and slips into it.

I now have great respect for those who write assembly directions! I don't think I did a very good job, but I will answer any questions you have to help make it more clear.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sectional Warping

There have been some discussions on the weaving lists about warping reels to make long warps. They seem enormous and must take up a lot of studio space. I almost always warp using a sectional beam, tension box, and spool or cone rack. I thought I'd post some pictures of my equipment.
My sectional beam has 2" sections, so I must prepare a spool for each end in 2" of the warp width. In this example, I am preparing a 6" wide warp, 14 ends per inch.
Therefore, I need 28 ends per section (so 28 spools), 3 sections total. The warp is 10 yards long, so I must wind on at least 30 yards per spool. I make sure I have enough by winding 2 yards extra per spool. Here are the spools ready to go. (my husband built the spool rack)

Here are the yarns threaded through the tension box, and then attached to the sectional beam, ready to be wound on. The tension box is made by AVL. The two little metal harnesses with heddles on the inside left makes the cross. I think it's called a "heck block".

Here is what is left after the warp is wound--less than 1 yard per spool. I wanted to show this picture, because I have heard the argument that sectional warping is "wasteful". Sectional warping is so much quicker than winding a warp on a warping board, that the cost of a few extra yards left over is peanuts. I wound the spools, threaded the tension box, wound 3 ten-yard sections on the beam, tied the new warp ends to the ends of the last warp, pulled the warp ends through the heddles and reed, and tied up ready to weave in less than an hour. I always have lots of uses for short pieces of the warp: fix a broken warp thread; use as supplementary weft for woven shibori; supplementary fringe; gift wrap; or tassels. I never throw it away, it gets used for something.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Painted Shoes

In my quest for a new artist's identity, I have decided to bring art to as much of my whole life as possible.
These shoes began their life as a drab, khaki-colored eBay find.
They are painted with Lumiere paints. The spiral and diamond wingding are handcarved vinyl block stamps.