Thursday, November 09, 2006

Woven Tote Bags, my happy accident.
This past spring I was playing around with double weave twill. I actually was working on a fabric not shown in the above picture, but that fabric led to the tote bags that you see. First I planned on making a lap throw. Fine. I was using the direct warp method, and was just about finished when I realized that on two of the 8 shafts, I had run out of heddles. Fine, I could start at the other end and add the 3" additional warp. Wouldn't you know it, I was short heddles on 2 of the other shafts on that side! Undaunted, I figured a wrap would probably be better yet. I wove the double weave twill, most times unweaving more than I actually wove. Fine. Then I got to the end of my weaving, feeling a bit uneasy that despite all the weaving that I had woven and unwoven, that it seemed a bit short. It was. Hmm. So I cut it off the loom, studied the fabric and realized that despite my best efforts, my fold was just dreadful, very holey , not nice at all. Well maybe once I finished it the holes and uneveness at the fold would work itself out. I threw it into the wash, and I lightly fulled the fabric. The fold was still awful. I also realized at this point that my fabric was going to be too short for a wrap, even with me and my short arms.
Even a shrug was out of the question. FINE. I would just felt the whole piece and figure out what to do with the fabric. Well the felting worked just great. It was a lovely soft woolen fabric. I kept thinking of all the time that went into a piece of fabric that could have more easily been woven flat on 4 shafts rather than double on 8 shafts. Well I did learn alot about double weave, although the fold still bothers me. I had woven a plain weave double woven piece, and was quite proud of that fold. What is it said about pride, it comes before the fall? Point taken.
Well I couldn't stop fooling around with the fabric, it really was quite nice, and by now the holes at the fold were totally gone. I folded the fabric this way and that, and suddenly there it was, the tote. I had left the fringes, which actually made the whole thing fall into place. So my fabric evolved from lap blanket, to wrap, to shrug, to felted fabric, to bag. Fine.

Handpun Crocheted Poncho

Handspun Hand Crocheted Poncho

Beth Ann stopped by the Wool Connection, the knitting store where I work, and was wearing this wonderful poncho that she spun and crocheted. As Beth Ann told me, the poncho was a happy accident, she couldn't find the rest of the cashmere she worked in the top, so had to work other yarns in to blend in and finish it with. She used shades of a silk blend for the rust/green colours, and finished it off with a yummy alpaca. Ellyn my co worker couldn't keep her hands off it, it was so soft. Of course Beth Ann found the rest of her cashmere when she was done!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Jacob Sheep at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival
I adore Jacob, one of the first raw fleeces I ever worked with was Jacob. I love how you can use their fleeces in so many different combinations of colours. You can seperate the colours, or blend them. Plus they are so unique looking.
The Festival was fun as usual, lots to look at. I was dissapointed however in that at 10:00 Sunday morning the main gate was out of maps, and I missed the sheep to shawl since they moved it clear across to the other end of the fairgrounds, and of course that was the last place I stopped at. I got to see the weavers just as they were cutting the shawls off the looms. Next year I will be more prepared, and go online first.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Litchfield Borough Days

It's hard to believe that Borough Days was already a month ago.( September 10) Borough days is held once a year rain or shine, but we have always been so fortunate to have great weather. The Historical Society has all types of demonstrations, from spinning (me), a potter, wood working, lace making, how to dress in the 1800's, to musicians, stage coach rides, a military reenactment, and so much more. It's a wonderful day, with children the center of it all. I have been demonstrating for the last 13 years, and look forward to it every year.

The image above is of Paula Walton, who does wonderful painted cloth dolls, and great animals, that look like they came out out of the past. Paula's website is:

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Woven Inspiration Everywhere!

I love it when I see woven things in everyday life that have nothing to do with cloth. Art thought I was nuts taking pictures of the different screens at the quarry where he works, although he helped me move screens around and held them up for me. He likes to say that he "breaks rocks for a living". This is one of my favorite ones, although I really could have taken so many more. I had spent an afternoon taking pictures at the quarry previously, and the best picture I took was one of the last, a screen. I went back, explaining to Art that I wanted to do a " series" of screens. Of course I couldn't explain why, I have no idea what I"m going to do with them, they just speak to me.

Monday, August 21, 2006

High Fat,
Low Fibre

These little cuties are only one hour old. Their Momma surprised everyone with a nice healthy litter.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Weaving with Sock Yarn

Sock yarn makes great scarves! You can use it for your warp and your weft for super easy and fast weaving.I like to add a strand of lace weight mohair to the weft to add softness and drape. Being a superwash yarn I like what a little wool does in the finishing by filling in the spaces.
I have to admit that when I saw the scarves in the Ashford Knitters loom book with the sock yarn scarves I had to try them, and then I was hooked! I have also used Mountain Colours Barefoot sock yarn, which weaves up beautifully.
The mohair in it makes for a gorgeous hand and drape.
I can't wait to see what Opal will be offering for new colours this Fall.
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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Weaving on my Ashford 32" rigid heddle loom

What's in a name?

The name of my blog, Loominations is a homage to my husband Art. I'm not normally a fan of made up words but is an exception.The name came when Art popped his head in my workroom and asked me what I was "loominating". It tickled me that this should even occur to him, as well as his interest in what I was doing. So "loominating" has become part of my weaving life, and it only follows that the fruits of my labor are my "loominations". Art is one of my biggest fans, always cheering me on.
My Ashford 8-shaft loom was a Christmas present to me from him several years ago, which I put together that very afternoon, but it took me till that summer to get the nerve up to "really " weave on it. I'm sure Art was thinking, that it was just going to sit there. Well now you can't keep me off it, Art teasing me that I spent the day loominating instead of getting any housework done.
Although I have technically been weaving on and off for over 15 years, I consider myself a a very advanced beginner.When I see the work that is being done on a regular basis by weavers out there, I'm just amazed, and humbled. This past year I have really been concentrating on some basic weaving, trying to just get real good technique under my belt. I am very tempted to try everything under the sun, but I really feel that this is good for me right now. ( of course this doesn't mean I won't forget myself and run headlong off into something"new" from time to time!)
I have currently been working on some woven tote bags, a result of a past weaving fiasco. I find most often that my best results have been from miscalculations. Math has always been a challenge for me, so I guess this is good for me as well.

Monday, July 31, 2006

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I've thought a great deal about to blog or not to blog. I thought that I didn't have anything that could be important enough for anyone else to read or even care about. I have since discovered some very interesting blogs that I could relate to.I certainly didn't think less of these individuals for opening up and sharing some great information and inspiring me. The fibre world is a pretty wonderful place, and I can do a lot worse than to share my little piece of it.