Sunday, December 28, 2014

More progress on the Knit, Swirl cowl

Progress photo as of yesterday. I've knit another welt or two since then!

I'm not sure if I want to stick with just this color order or mix them up and go easy on the pink... maybe handpaint a couple of skeins so I can have some green and reds...

I'm also working on some ideas for new tapestries. What I'd like is to fix up some copper pieces that I have so that it'll be a small loom, but I can roll the warp instead of having this big tall thing. I tried warping my inkle loom, but it doesn't hold the warp tightly at all... I don't know if it would help to somehow turn it into a closed loom. Gary doesn't think that using copper pipe set up similar to an inkle loom would hold the warp tight enough using a closed inkle loom design. I'm not sure why not, since lots of people use copper pipe for rectangular tapestry looms.

What I'd really like is something that would allow me to roll the warp and cut a piece off as I go and then re-tie the warp...  and allow pieces about 12" wide (for starters)... drawing board mode ON here!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Coat of Many Colors Swatch

This is the beginning of my Coat of Many Colors Cowl swatch... I did this last night while watching Heartland... I made a couple of mistakes but except for the one time when I knit a whole round without switching to the other needle, I didn't tink or frog at all...

I should be getting back to tapestry weaving soon... I may be doing a show at the librarry next year...

Monday, October 27, 2014

it's been a while...

I haven't woven in a while, but I am trying to clear up some space in my room so it is easier to get to the Crisp loom. I have to go slowly with that (clearing stuff up) since my back has been acting up.  I also got sidetracked by my cochlear implant surgery.. first recovery, then learning how to listen with it, etc... and trying to clear up stuff in my room. You can read about my CI journey at my other blog: Rambling Warps

I have a small piece on the Crisp loom that is based on an abstract I did a few years ago... and I should finish the alphabet tapestry & do something with one of my legal paper sized looms..

I'm trying to come up with some things I can weave: I put 3 pieces into the art guild show that ran from August through late October: an owl (which sold), rays & one of my little Girl Blob tapestries. I think I have a photo of the owl, if not, I will track down the new owner to see about getting a good photo of it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I'm still weaving, but forgot about blogging...

I'm working on 2 pieces, one is an alphabet piece and the other is an owl design that I did a couple of years ago. When I was cleaning up and going through some stuff, I found another loom that Gary & the boys made for me a few years ago... all warped with a cartoon in place... I decided to go ahead & weave it!

It's funny how I know how to approach a design after doing the sampler & browsing around looking at other people's work! If I were to re-do the following box weaving project again (either as a box weaving or otherwise), I would know how to approach the trees without having to do them sideways.. sideways is an option also, if it's not going to be on a box woven bag:

These are the two pieces I'm working on now:

I haven't decided whether or not I will do another row of letters or if I will just work on write-weaving "now I know my XYZs"... I have some ideas for how to approach this so that I can include some other types of letters like Q, R, S, etc... roundish letters... when I did Flyin' Cat, originally it was supposed to be "and then it flies away with the cat" but that would have made that piece WAY too busy, so I decided to go with "Fly Away Cat"... I had trouble with the W, so decided to go wtth Flying cat... trouble with the G so I decided to do an apostrophe instead of a G...  conquered the W in this project and probably should also make sure to try a G... as well as B or/and R...

I should have done the above letters project FIRST! Heh... hindsight. Flyin' Cat will be in Rhode Island with the Untitled/Unjuried Small Format show in Rhode Island in July

I plan to make the owl a little smaller since the warp ends at the very top of the loom.  There is another piece on the other side...

Other news: things appear to be going forward for my cochlear implant... I had the initial evaluation with a new clinic on the 11th and have a few more evaluation appointments and a pre-surgery clearance checkup coming up in July.  Hopefully I'll have a surgery appointment soon! 

Sadly, it seems that I have missed hearing my youngest son's voice change in real time... he has some videos with his voice on them, so I'll be able to listen to them later on... 

I wonder if I'll be able to hear/understand accents any better than I do now... 
I had an English roommate back in 1975 and I was able to understand her most of the time. If I couldn't, she would spell out the words that I missed... I got used to how she spoke, so I knew what to expect. Something similar happened when we had someone with an accent come to our art guild in early 2013... I turned my hearing aid up and after a couple of minutes, I got used to her accent and was able to understand her pretty well!

I'm mostly happy with the idea of going through with the surgery and really don't think that even a digital hearing aid would be helpful for me: I've read what others have said about their CIs (from the "thinking about it" stage, evaluation, surgery recovery, etc), so I have a pretty good idea what to expect. 

Everyone is different, of course, but I'm hoping that my hearing memory will be on my side, and also, I'll have to remember that I learn most things a bit at a time and then one day I realize that I don't want to go back! 

I stopped listening to music for a while because my telephone coil no longer works, so I'm not able to listen with earbuds positioned on the speaker of my hearing aid, but I'm able to hear the speakers on my new tablet, so I've started listening again. Some of my favorite songs by Neil Young and John Denver sound weird now, but James Taylor sounds clear & awesome. Weird how that works. In a couple of weeks, NY and JD should start sounding good and clear again... I also listened to Reverend Horton Heat's "Slow" last night and had a bit of trouble with it. I will keep trying.. just training my brain! A little at a time so that I don't get too frustrated!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cut Off Day for "Rays"!

Today was cutting-off day for the "Rays" tapestry. I didn't feel up to posting progress photos, maybe next time!

Here are photos of it getting cut off, still on the loom, the back (I almost like the back better!) and the initals... it was fun to weave! Now to hem it and find a way to set it up so I can hang it up. Maybe I'll mount it on a stretched canvas... not sure yet!

I'll be taking it to the Nocona Car show and auction this weekend... the art guild is having a show there, should be fun!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


This week, my son has been going to track meets: one was yesterday and the other will be this afternoon. It's the district meet and anyone who qualifies will go on to compete in the area meet next week.

Weaving wise: Gary built a loom stand from Noreen Crone-Findlay's stand shown here. I still have a couple more things to do and I'll be able to use it. It needs a spacer on the carriage bolt and also, the loom itself needs to have the coil spring tray secured better. The adhesive it came with did not stick to the copper and gorilla glue didn't work either... it stays on just fine when the loom is warped, but every so often, the loom might NOT be warped, so we need to have it attached so it won't fall off...

I've been working on some triangles on my smallest loom. Here is an in progress photo:

I have done more since this photo...

I'm using a crochet hook to pull the weft through.

Hopefully by tonite, I will have one of my larger small looms started, I think I will do some more triangles on it, or at least a tall diagonal on the side since the littlest loom doesn't have room for very much... I'm barely beginning to get the concept of how turning the weft on a high or low warp (or front or back.. or start-around-an-over or start-around-an-under) affects how the edges turn out...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ATA Untitled/Unjuried Small Format Tapestry show 2014 "Flyin' Cat"

This morning, I mailed my tapestry to the ATA Untitled/Unjuried small format show in Rhode Island:

I think it is 9" by 7.5" but I forgot to double check the measurements before mailing.. oops.

BTW, people who are familiar with cats will get the reference to cats flying... they don't actually fly, but they do some amazing long jumps. Our cats have been known to give me heimlich maneuvers with some of those #%$^&*() ing long jumps!! (Usually it's a jump from a high spot next to where I'm sitting, though...)

There is an awesome YouTube video of a past show here, enjoy!:

Pacific Portals YouTube video

ATA Untitled/Unjuried Small Format Tapestry show 2014 "Flyin' Cat"

(note: this entry was put in my other blog by mistake on March 25th 2014! It's still there on but I prefer to have that blog as my main blog & cochlear implant blog...)

This morning, I mailed my tapestry to the ATA Untitled/Unjuried small format show in Rhode Island:

I think it is 9" by 7.5" but I forget to double check the measurements before mailing.. 

There is an awesome YouTube video of a past show here, enjoy!:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Flyin' Cat cutting off...

I'll post the finished piece when I get a good photo of it! This will be heading to the Untitled/Unjuried exhibition in Rhode Island. It'll be there this summer... still have a bit of finish work to do!

Here's the mess of ends before trimming:

Trimmed (well.. still a mess...)

Friday, January 31, 2014

Weaving from Old Times

The boys and I did the following pieces in the late 90s...

The orange & green piece above was a miniature Navajo sampler from Noel Bennett & Tiana Bighorse's books.. I believe it was from "Weaving With the Wool", which is now only available as a used book. I don't know if their newer book (which is a combination of the first book & Designing with the Wool) "Navajo Weaving Way" is still in print or not. Good books!

The piece on the right was an experiment with a Navajo design. Both were done on the Tornadowood paperback loom (no longer in production). All the pieces on this page were done on Tornadowood paperback looms...

The 2 pieces above are "magic carpets" that I helped my son Harrison make... 

Evan did the piece above

Micah did the piece above. I found these on my website. I only had the thumbnail version of Micah's piece (which is why it is so fuzzy)...  Evan and Micah were around 4 years old and Harrison was around 2... (I did say he had a lot of help but he picked out the colors and did the actual weaving... I probably just beat the yarn into place...)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sketchbook Project mailed!

Well, I sent my sketchbook project in today & here are a few scans of the book:

The following is from a book by Jill Domschot called Anna and the Dragon. An excerpt on the left and an illustration on the right. The book is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format. I will find out if it is available anywhere else.

8 things about me and the Ah seed syllable:

Color Trickery, gesso, acrylic paint, black pigment ink pen, zig markers:

I showed the tapestry in yesterday's blog entry.. here is a little info about it:

There are several other pages; I may post more, or I may make a PDF of the book...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tiny tapestry that's in my Sketchbook Project book...

I'm sending a sketchbook to The Sketchbook Project in NY and it will be going on a tour this summer. At this writing, I think it will go on the Southwest tour, but I'm not 100% sure.

Here is a tiny tapestry that I included on the inside of the back cover. It is 2" x 2.5" and the warp is about 11 epi (doubled button thread) and the white section is done in 22 epi. The weft is 2/18 lace wool and 2/18 lace wool silk and the tan at the bottom is probably 1 strand of Paternayan wool. It was fun to do!

The reason it is not straight at the top and bottom was because I mounted the piece with an adhesive. It WAS pretty straight before I used the adhesive. Then I sewed some button thread on the edges to secure it better.

I haven't decided if I'm going to put some kind of frame around it to cover the warp threads.

I did this on my smallest Brennan loom. It's around 6" wide and about 10" tall...  I'll take a pic some day. I have had this little loom for almost 4 years!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Show and Tell Night at Chisholm Trail Art Guild

Here are 2 pictures from last night's show and tell:

 Here I am explaning how the shed changer works.

I may not be using a shed stick with this loom as the shed Stays Open... this is one difference between the Mirrix shedding device and the Crisp's. I still plan to continue using the Crisp loom, though may make some modifications to it.

The sampler is on my shoulder! It's too stiff to use as a shawl or blanket but I may make a bag out of it or may just hang it on the wall...

Here I am talking about different techniques used in the weaving of the sampler:

Other people talked about books and calendars. Overall a fun night. I'm looking forward to getting a cochlear implant sometime in the next few months so that I won't be so lost at meetings...

I still need to get some good pictures of the loom..

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mirrix-Brennan loom is warped! Another needlepoint canvas found...

We sort of finished putting the Mirrix-Brennan loom together yesterday, just need to do some more work on it to make a stand.  I warped it last night and then twined the bottom and top together to make a single sided (shorter) warp and this morning I started putting the heddles on. Will do a bit of weaving in a bit and will have photos in a day or two... the art guild meeting is tonight and I plan to take this loom along as well as the long sampler for show and tell night. I may take the little loom along also, and the Girlblob tapestry postcard that I did last summer.

Needlepoint babble:

I also found another needlepoint canvas, this one appears to me a nice one, albeit a little dirty/stained. I looked it up online and found two finished versions of it for sale... one on eBay and another on  Here they are, I'll take my own photo later, will see about giving it a gentle scrub to get the stains out, or maybe I should wait until blocking time, if I ever get this one done.. the top one, on Dollyjane's site says it's a pink hummingbird and the one on eBay says it is a Kingfisher. Anyone else know better?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New stuff for the New Year

The loom is warped and I've sent in my application for the American Tapestry Association small format show. 

Short & sweet...

Monday, December 30, 2013

Time for an update!

First: does anyone know how to make it so a photo can be shown on a blog post in a smaller size and then when you click on it, you can view it larger? I know how to do that on my movable type blog, but not on here... (or at least I used to know how...)

Since I finished the Tapestry 101 based sampler, I have done a small piece to test the warp on one of my little wood looms and probably will warp the Crisp today or tomorrow. Here's a photo:

The ends are not tucked in yet and the edges are not the way I'd like them to be, but this is only a sample... testing using 2 different setts in a piece. Where I was using a the 6 epi sett, it came out bulgey and the 12 epi sett came out pretty neat. I may do another practice piece before starting to weave. It could also be that this is a narrow piece, so combining the 2 setts/yarn weights is more pronounced here... also if I'm going to do 12 epi, I need something better than the fork and pick to use as a beater.. I may not use 12 epi very much in this piece. I beat the rows down with the crochet hook inserted into the opposite shed.

I know not all tapestry weavers tuck in their ends, but it is something that I want to do. A few years ago, I did a piece that had so many ends in the back, that it could have been one of those cut pile rugs on that side! It wasn't even... it was messy and I didn't like it. SO I will tuck in the ends of my pieces:

Here is the right side of Mew:

I've also been working on a needlepoint practice piece. It's inspired by one of Frank Stella's geometrics. I can't find the photo of the painting I found (in the color order that I am using) but it's either one of the Hyena Stomps or Les Indes Galantes. Les Indes Galantes is the closest except the color order is a little different. What I found may have been a variation someone made up, I don't know if it's one of the pieces Frank Stella did.

I attempted to paint the canvas using artist acrylic, heavy body liquitex thinned down). The paint went on nicely, but what I didn't think to do was to work out the design based on a specific number of canvas mesh boxes, so I'm not really following the painted design. Next time! Any experienced needlepoint canvas painters have any tips? I read a file about painting on and I guess I just need to practice and maybe do a design on graph paper first!

Here's the painted canvas:

And here is the piece in progress:

I'm doing the basketweave stitch for the colored section and for the border, I'm doing a straight up and down stitch, I don't know what it's called, it only goes over one strand of canvas and I like the way it looks. I hope it blocks out straight. I may do a larger piece based on this design, I'm not sure yet...

I'm also making hats for sale using very bulky yarn.. they knit up fairly quickly! I'll post them another time as I would like to take pictures on someone's head.

I'll close with a pretty sunset:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

FInished Sampler photo!

Here she is in all her glory... still on the loom and HOPEFULLY safe from the cat...

Attempt at weaving a circle. I'll try again another time...

The fabric I keep on the loom when I'm not working in the hope of keeping the cat & dust off...

Here is a needlepoint piece in Longpoint that I started several years ago. I decided to work on it again on occasion... I also would like to learn more about handpainting canvases. The ones I see online fetch insane prices, but do very many people buy them? I suppose if they can develop a following...

I will be starting on the next piece, an abstract, this afternoon. I already have the header and hem woven...

If you're interested in my cochlear implant journey, check out my other blog, Rambling Warps. It is my very first blog from years ago. I use it for random this and that & will be using it to post about my cochlear implant journey. I hope to get the surgery in about 2 or 3 months and meanwhile, I have a lot of research to do as there are 3 companies and also several options to consider...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The whole thing so far

It's a little wonky because of the way I moved the piece, but hopefully once it's off the loom (in another month? January 2014?) and blocked the straight lines will look straighter. I should have adjusted the piece before taking the picture, but was in a hurry because it was "time to go"...

Just a few more rows & I think this sampler will be finished. I want to finish weaving the egg (which was supposed to be a circle) and may attempt a smaller circle on the right side, and I think I know what I did wrong... I was being a bit of a smart-ass and thought I'd do 3 or 4 stitches at the bottom instead of the recommended 6... after it's done, I'll weave a few rows, do the header, the hem fold, a couple more rows & voila. I MAY try doing a few rows of weft interlock now that I have some clear instructions from Jan Austin's blog, I will give it a try! I did do a few weft interlocks and overall I find that slits work out pretty well fro me, but I'd like to use the weft interlock technique and get it down pat.

 It's almost 12" wide by 29" wide.. not counting the woven section below the soumak fold line.

Then I'll move the piece to the back and work on something else on the new front.

My next piece will be something I think I know what design I'm going to work from, but it's kind of random... I do have some things I want to try, but I don't have a "goal" or a theme that I'll want to keep coming back to like some people do. One thing I am fascinated by is how colors & shapes can interact in tapestry...

Got a question about blogger: is there a way to do thumbnails that will embiggen in a pop up or another tab?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Butterflies & Bobbins (I'm a beginner, remember!!) and Sampler Update

Kathe Todd-Hooker posted a blog entry here discussing the pros and cons of weaving with bobbins, and also mentioned butterflies. I'll go through my thoughts point by point (but not all of Kathe's points, just the ones that stand out for me... keep in mind that I am still a beginner (advanced beginner? intermediate? adventurous beginner?) and I may (probably will) change my mind as time goes by!

1: Kathe: "Bobbins aren't a butterfly or needle"
Me: I still need to learn how to use bobbins... I find them hard and stuff and harder to handle than butterflies and maybe a little too long. if a 4" golf tee seems too long, the bigger bobbins will seem even worse... again, learning curve still in progress here.

I don't care for using needles when I weave. Long ones, short ones, doesn't matter... once in a while, they help, but most of the time, nahh. Tight spots/adjustments, yeah... back in 1998, when I was going through Nancy Harvey's exercises from her book using a small handheld paperback book sized loom (about 6" by 9"), I got frustrated because I only had one or two needles on hand & was dealing with a few different wefts.. threading and rethreading was a pain... 
I had a size F crochet hook, and since I only needed "cut needlepoint lengths" for the yarn, they worked great... I still use them for my smaller looms. 
I could have run to the store to get more needles, but my kids were little and at that particular moment (they were 5, 5 & 2), I didn't want to go out... I found that I really liked using a crochet hook since I only needed one.

I don't need a crochet hook on my big Crisp student loom, I use the "magic heddle" to change the shed & a shed stick to hold it open.. it's become automatic, I can use butterflies or bobbins...I never felt the need to use a crochet hook on this loom.

2: Kathe: "Bobbins organize weft bundles" (Kathe)... 
Me: again, I probably just need to get better at using bobbins. I haven't had trouble with my butterflies getting tangled up (see how-to make butterfly videos by  Rebecca Mezoff and Noreen Crone-Findlay  (Star Trek hand sign method)), and have also found that I can fit more yarn on a butterfly than a bobbin... the bobbins I'm using are actually 4" golf tees. I can't afford "proper" bobbins at the moment, so there's that. I've had more issues with tangling with bobbins, usually when I forget which end the half hitch is, than with butterflies.

4: Kathe: "Bobbins keep weft cleaner" 
Me: I'm sure, especially since I don't always wash my hands before coming to the loom...(I should... probably a new habit I need to form!) but don't most weavers wash and block their tapestries after taking them off the loom?
I don't think I touch every piece of the yarn on the butterflies, so don't think this is an issue.

5: Kathe: "Allows you to twist the weft bundle" 
Me: This is one thing I found that I was liking (a lot!!) about the bobbins! It naturally "twists" the different colors together as the weft comes off the bobbins. I found myself occasionally giving the yarn a twist when using butterflies so that the different colors would land in different places in the woven piece. Also, since some of the yarn I have is precut (uggghhh!!!!) Paternayan yarn (hey, it was $1 for a quart sized ziplock bag & I got about 10 bags!), this twist "feature" helps to load more than 1 length of yarn onto the bobbin. It is still fiddly, but the short lengths work better with bobbins than butterflies. 

6:  Kathe: "Less chance of tangling." 
Me: I find that I have less trouble with tangling with the butterflies than the bobbins. I sometimes forget which end the half hitch is, so I sometimes end up with a knot in the yarn.. easy enough to undo the knot, but that's a little time wasted. I need to make sure that I do the half hitch in the same place each time. Also, if I wind the yarn too close to the point, I stand a good chance of the yarn unwinding and tangling... I start higher on the golf tee than the photo below shows and I add a little more yarn to the end near the point each time I add another layer.

9: Kathe: "Less wear on the weft as great amounts are used/pulled through the sheds" 
Me: When I push a butterfly into the shed, it hardly comes in contact with the warp yarns, even the fat ones & they don't stay fat very long.. they come in contact with the warp just a little bit...
Which brings me to another question: How much weft CAN you fit on various bobbins?

On the 4" golf tee, I was able to load 4-1/2 "layers" of yarn, got about 4 yards onto the it while I got about 6 yards of weft in a butterfly. Both of those had a little more yarn than I would normally put on a bobbin or butterly...this is with a worsted weight strand of Briggs & Little Softspun plus 1 strand of needlepoint tapestry yarn, so a little on the thick side. I'm using a 6 epi warp.
One length of the cut yarn covers the bobbin in 2 layers, so for areas when I need a small amount of color, this may not be too bad.

Here are photos of the butterfly & bobbin I wove to measure the above:

That butterfly is fatter than most butterflies I make but I think if I were to weave with it, I wouldn't have had much of a problem with it... I probably would have had to rewind it about halfway through because it was so big.

One disadvantage of bobbins: the cats may want to play with the dangling ones when the loom is unattended! 

That's enough for now about bobbins and butterflies. At this writing, I like them both.  I'll keep using the bobbins so that I can learn how to use them, and will keep using the butterflies as well. I may be a butterfly *and* bobbin girl! :)

Here's an update of my tapestry weaving progress as of this morning... there is a slight overlap between the last photo I took of "The Whole Thing So Far" on the October 19th blog entry and this.  There's hatching, pick and pick, soumak (the narrow red and pink section), hatchure practice, triangle shapes, a square and a rectangle:

And here's my attempt at weaving a circle... anyone want an easter egg that looks like a setting or rising sun?

Speaking of sunsets: