Done – 1/4/2020

The blanket beat the baby. The weave was completed last evening, but I didn’t want to work with my sewing machine without very good light, so it rested on the loom overnight with the small towel.

After the morning Farmers Market run for some protein and veggies, which we did between the early morning rain and the arrival of the cold front with wind and more rain, the weave was carefully removed from the loom. The third panel was added to the other two, the ends hemmed. The other three pieces were also hemmed.

The crochet hook located and a single crochet edge applied.

With fingers crossed that there wouldn’t be too much shrinkage, the four pieces were put in a cool water quick wash in the washing machine and a dry on low in the dryer. The blanket shrank a bit as expected, but is still baby blanket size. I think the Lily Sugar and Cream shrank too much for the towel to still be a towel and the smaller one is a dish drying mat or hot pad size. The dish cloth is ok.

Maybe 3 more woven with the same warp amount and the three blocks, I will have a set of placemats. If packaged with the hot mat and 4 napkins sewn from a matching color cotton fabric, it will make a nice set to gift or sell.

As tomorrow is Olde Christmas at Wilderness Road Regional Museum, the rest of the evening is being spent making sure that I have clean fleece to spin, fiber on the ring distaff for spindle spinning, and a basic men’s hat cast on with hand spun Jacob on the bone DPNs. That will give me plenty to demonstrate to any visitors that tour through the museum. The militia will be outdoors and will fire off a salute to Christmas. There will be goodies to eat, craft beer to buy, some crafted gifts to purchase, and music. It is a family friendly event, so if you are a local reader, it should be a nice if cool day to come out for some fun.

When funny is not funny – 1/3/2020

I hate laugh tracks. I am not a television watcher. If I am home alone, it never gets turned on. If hubby is home, it is background noise even if he is reading, on his computer, or his smartphone. If it is on and I am in the same room, I either have on headphones listening to pod casts or music, or I am knitting, spinning, or weaving not paying much attention to it.

For the past several years, I have noticed a hearing difficulty in noisy environments and in October, it was confirmed as fairly significant hearing loss in my right ear, slight loss at high frequencies in my left. The loss in my right ear was significant enough that we took the major budget hit to get me a single hearing aid. It has helped considerably though it is still not set to full functioning, that will occur Monday morning, but one difficulty I have noted is directionality of sound. I guess if we had been willing to fork up twice as much budget money, I would have more directional microphones, but I have what I have.

Our house is a log home with heavy timber roofing system, so if I stand in the living room, the main support beam is way up in the air, well more than 20 feet. Behind the living room is an open kitchen and dining area, but it has an 8 foot ceiling and above that ceiling is the loft. The loft is our “den,” our sitting area where my craft tools are, where hubby’s flat screen TV is mounted, and where our comfy chairs are.

Often when I am in the kitchen, below the loft and he is in the loft with the TV on, I hear the voice sounds, often not distinguishable as conversation, but the annoying laugh track comes through clearly. Some shows vary the track a little, others such as some older sitcom reruns use the same excessive, repetitive track until I want to run screaming from the house. If I am in the room with the TV, and a line is spoken that is funny, I will laugh, often a line is spoken that lacks any level of humor and the laugh track is played. I don’t need to be cued to laugh when something is funny, nor will I laugh just because of their cue if it is not. Fortunately, movies don’t have laugh tracks.

Here we go again, Lessons learned – 1/2/2020

I am a relatively new weaver. Having used a rigid heddle loom briefly a couple of years ago, one that I had help warping. Getting a 5′ Tri loom in 2018 and weaving a few shawls and wraps on it. Borrowing a small rigid heddle loom for a 4th grade demonstration event on spinning, weaving, and colonial clothing in early December, I wove off the small amount of warp on it, warped it myself, used it and wove off the remainder of the warp after the event. For Christmas, I was given a 16″ rigid heddle loom and the announcement of another expected grandchild.

Christmas night, after waxing and assembling it, I warped that loom following my memory with guidance from the booklet that came with it and wove the sampler wrap pattern in that booklet. I felt like I had the confidence to tackle a cotton woven baby blanket. I had only woven wool, wool/acrylic blend up to that point. The cotton was purchased after Christmas and again I warped the loom, using white warp. The weft that was purchased was variegated and about 6 inches into the weave, I realized that the variegated yarn wasn’t strong enough color and the blanket would have looked washed out. Back out the next day to pick up a dark solid from the colors in the variegate and a plan to make the blanket color blocked. As the panels from the 16 inch loom aren’t wide enough alone, the plan and warp was to make 3 panels to be sewn together, hemmed and a crochet edge applied. The weaving was progressing much more quickly than I thought it would and I was marking every 6 inches, checking off my sketch. I was on the last panel and put it aside to go to the New Year’s Eve party at Mountain Lake. Yesterday, I pulled the loom table over to finish the weaving and realized I had a fair amount of warp left. Not wanting to waste it, I put a spacer in and wove a 12 X 12″ wash cloth. Carefully cut everything off the loom and carried it in to the sewing machine to secure the ends before I cut the panels apart, layed it out on the ironing board to cut it and DRAT, I made one panel one color block too short, that is 9 inches. I was disappointed that I had made such an error, but the 12 by 24″ panel will make a small towel to go with the wash cloth. But that meant the loom had to be warped again to weave the final panel.

Since I had to go through the steps again (I’m getting quicker at it and more efficient), I warped enough to make a second towel while I’m at it.

Lessons learned: 1) I don’t like weaving cotton very much; 2) make sure your pattern is accurate and pay more attention to it; 3) practice improves.

Since the loom was requested to take some of the burden off my joints from knitting, to add some different styles of garments and accessories to my shop, and to make some gifts, I guess the extra weaving gives me a head start. I need to get lining fabric and rope or twill to make bags/purses out of some of the earlier wool weaving and finish this blanket, SOON!