Keeping My Ears Warm this Winter

So I’m outside at dawn each and every morning (farmers do not get snow days, rain days, weekends, holidays, or even sick days off) This winter has had some right cold mornings for this kid as those temperatures have plummeted to a wind chill of the high teens and 20s some days. Now I can bundle up pretty well, but whatever I did my ears were still cold. What is a girl to do? Well, first be thankful she is a fiber lover and has a stash.

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A few hours work and dilemma solved.

I remembered one day that I had some alpaca from Starry Knight that I had spun and was just sitting, waiting for the perfect job. I had at last found that perfect place for it. So I gathered up the skeins and then went looking for a headband pattern. Now I crochet and do not knit. And after perusing patterns decided that just thick and basic was the way to go. But being me, of course, I changed it and ended up crocheting a longer first row than the simple pattern suggested. You see, I wanted to be sure that it would cover my ears and do the job at hand. Then it was just a double crochet in the back loop along each row. After going so long, I decided that maybe I had made it too wide after all so then needed to decrease for the area at the back of the neck, at least. Now I may say that I crochet, that doesn’t mean I am a spectacular wonderful crocheter. I do some nice things but all in all I crochet like many things in my life. I call my method “By the Seat of My Pants”. So I didn’t go looking for proper way to decrease and then increase again, but I did my own thing. It all worked in the end and can I say, I haven’t had a single cold ear since. Actually, I have even had a sweaty forehead some mornings before I got back inside.

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What better way to show it off than with my other morning friend – tea.

So now with these cold mornings, I get a pot of tea going and under a cozy before heading out. When I get back inside I can take off my headband with my warm ears still intact and drink a warming cup of tea and then a second cup and then… Yep, tea is a great friend in this weather as well.

A problem solved without having to go to a store, spend money, and solved in a way that has worked so well. Nothing commercial could be as good. Well, except maybe that hat Mark bought at Housestead Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall that day that was so incredibly miserable, rainy, cold, windy, miserable. If anyone knows where it ended up in our move, we’d appreciate you letting us know. That aside, I’m a happy camper.

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Categories: Fiber, Spinning | Tags: | 1 Comment

A finished Apron

So last August I was able to attend the Stepping Back Accurately Civil War Era Ladies event in Washington, Arkansas. It was a new adventure for me that I didn’t know what I was getting into. All in all, it went well and the next time I go, I will be better prepared for what is happening.

But to this apron. One of our classes was the making of a Gathering Apron. Now you could take a sewing machine with you and all pertinences but being me, I didn’t want to go to that trouble and my machine is older and decrepit and in our last move was very mistreated by the movers. Wonder it actually still works, but it does. Sort of. Well, more than sort of, but her better days are well behind her.

I began my apron at the meeting by hand stitching the binding on the main panel of the apron. I will have to say that I was pretty pleased with how it came out.

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Binding to the apron

I even was even more happy with how the join I made with the binding looked. I would say it almost looks sewing machine sewn, but no it was just me.

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Join on binding

With such an auspicious start, you would think that the journey would have finished rapidly and well. Alas, should I admit that by the time I got home and things in the house, I spent a few months not even knowing where it ended up. Sad to say but true. Well, I did find it and what else I was missing, and finally this week got back to finishing it in the hopes it would help me to get on with another project. So it was time for the pockets.

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The poor pockets

This I did on the sewing machine. I took the perceived easy route. Well, for most people. That doesn’t mean it is for me. I still think they look like ruffles and the picture upside down, but this is as close as I came to the directions. Which I might add I thought I did pretty well on that point. Well, it would look a lot better if I had gone by what was back in 1860s Texas. You see the sewing machine didn’t make it here till after the war so no apron like this would have been made with one inside of Texas as far as we know. Now just maybe someone in Galveston got one before the war and brought it over from New Orleans, but then the story of Galveston and the war isn’t pretty, and I doubt they were using it at all – if it happened to be there.

But back to my apron. I did get the pocket on but don’t you dare look at the backside. Yes, the bobbin decided to rebel for a moment and though we were working again, I didn’t look at the previous sewing and well it does have those bunches of threads in an area. May cut them out yet and if it falls apart hand sew it back. I must admit though that I like the seams to be hidden and they show quite well. Or maybe not quite well if you aren’t looking for them. This is a bit of business in a plaid to be looking for matching color in thread.

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The waistband

After doing the quick easy way for the pockets, I decided to go back to the old way for me. There were two options for putting on the ties and waistband that included a major stressed point that one must realize the one way was faster and easier than the other. Well, it didn’t take two seconds to know I was going the slow and easier route for myself. I did use a machine on part of it. I sewed the two pieces together for the center and then folded it wrong side out and sewed up the ties on the two ends. Then turned it right side out and hand stitched the ends closed. Next was pinning it over the top of the waistband and sitting down with Time Team to sew tiny stitches on both sides to get it attached. I didn’t get the gathers all nicely spaced but it did go on and after ironing it again, I believe it doesn’t look half bad and would have looked worse with my sewn seams showing from the machine.

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The finished apron

So this day, I have finished the apron started last August. It really isn’t too badly done. Well, except for that sewing machine. So just remember that no matter if a project gets lost or well past the time most have theirs done or whatever excuse we can come up with, it is better to go ahead and finish it. Learn while your doing.

And now maybe I’ll get back to my BIG project that scares me.

Categories: Fiber, Sewing | Tags: | 1 Comment

The Next Morning

Despite the little sleep I got last night, it seems everyone else on this little farm did well. We still live in our little bubble that seems that most weather goes north or south of us. Thankfully, the worse of this did the same. During the night it was mostly north and this morning mostly south. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t get anything. We did get some icy rain, high winds, and cold. But when compared to the prediction, not bad at all.

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The horses chowing down

We have three horses right now. Candy is actually ours in the far right stall, and who you can’t hardly see. In the middle is Poppy’s Red. We are fostering her and she is quite the old lady. Well into her 20s. After fostering a couple of horses that moved on quickly, Candy was not a happy girl, so we are fostering Poppy as a long term friend for Candy as few people want to adopt 20+ year old horses that can’t be ridden. Then Mark received Brooklyn, on the left, as a foster as she is just a sweet girl and can be ridden. We did get all their coats on before this began. Candy is not a coat liking girl but was actually easy last night. Must have known she would need it. They did get extra this morning as I don’t know how much grazing they will get out of this day. This part of the barn is well protected from about all weather we get so they will probably hang out here the whole day.

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Sheep and their ice shield

The sheep started the night out, laying out in the pasture near the gate where they like to sleep. I was hoping, as I heard the storm, that they had all moved in to the sheep shed quickly. This morning they were all there and dry. The tarp on the corral panel is a sheet of ice. It is permanently in that position till it thaws out. After being out there, I learned that it did its job well. It was dry and much warmer inside behind it than on the outside. I think the babies must have appreciated it. Ruth, our spunky girl who had a bout of being sick and blew off her whole fleece as a result, is even doing well. We wonder if she didn’t get her growth stunted as a result of being sick or if it is because she just doesn’t have the wool that the others have, she looks so much smaller. She has gotten used to her dog coat and mom constantly pushing it back up where it belongs. Her fleece is growing back in but mom still worries over her being warm in this weather so she keeps on her coat.

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A cold dreary morning

I think the above picture best shows what the morning looked like out there. These four did not head out with the others to graze. James often hollers at me. I really think he’d prefer being a house sheep, if I would give him the option. So anyway, I often end up going out and leading him out to where the other sheep are grazing and leaving him with them. This time I lead the four out and everyone thought they needed to follow me back out. Couldn’t sneak away when every step you take crunches under you feet. So they all ended back up at the shed but are out grazing once again at this time.

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So what about the chickens?

If ever there was an animal that points to a Creator, it is the chicken. A most marvelous creature that beggars belief that anyone would believe they came about just by chance. These girls were all ready for the chilly outdoors this morning. When I opened the coop, I put in their food and thought only a wise bird would stay in where it was warm rather than head out. But these girls are tough. God gave them down and feathers that when they puff them up they can keep cozy when out and about. And for them foraging is so much more fun than eating out of a dish. So off they went hunting for bugs. I’m sure they are spending time back under their favorite bushes as well. They have their spots out there to get out of the weather.

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Pullets didn’t take long to learn where to hang out

And the young pullets? Nope. Not staying in the coop. But they didn’t take long at all, when they were allowed to roam free, to figure out the best place to hang out whether it is cold or hot. Yep, the patio. So back in the protected corner with food mom brought for them, they hung out at first. Though they have also learned that if you really like to eat living bugs, the other side of the patio is the wood pile and if you just stand and peck all day you will get a belly full.

So I’m thanking the Lord we are all well and this weather hasn’t taken anyone down yet. The wind has picked up again and looking out the window I can see the sheep have come back to their shed. Glad that it is a shelter for them. Reminds one of the hymn A Shelter in a Time of Storm by Vernon Charlesworth.

The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide,

A shelter in the time of storm;

Secure whatever ill betide,

A shelter in the time of storm.

The raging storms may round us beat,

A shelter in the time of storm;

We’ll never leave our safe retreat,

A shelter in the time of storm.

chorus:

O, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,

A weary land, a weary land;

O, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,

A shelter in the time of storm.

Categories: Bent Oak Farm, Gulf Coast Native Sheep | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Day Before the Storm

I know when I read this years hence, I will wonder that nothing has happened in so much time. Stuff has happened but nothing that I’ve recorded here. But this morning I decided to take some pictures.

I married a Texan. I learned later that Texas is a Siren that calls all her boys that wander away, to come home at some point and then they will never wander again. So yes, I live in Texas and after 14 and half years here, we are actually having close to a real winter. We’ve had snow, high winds, and cold weather. Of course, this is the winter that I have animals to worry about as well.

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Working on the coop

We have a big, wet storm coming in late tonight. It is headed our way from the Hill Country of Texas. It is to get down in the 20s (which has happened already this winter), but it is also to have sleet and rain with it. Not fun for those of us safe in houses, let alone the animals. So I have been busy making their homes a bit warmer. Here is the first load of hay coming to the chicken coop. Needless to say, the girls were quite interested in what mom was up too, and what they could find in that hay. They were all over it and checking out the work being done.

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Thesis II checking out what mom’s done with the new decorating

Yesterday afternoon,while it was somewhat warm (relative to other temperatures of late), I redid the sheep shed. I worried about the sheep and the sleet. During an earlier storm that came in with such high cold winds right out of the north, I had fixed a barrier in the shed for them. We had set up some corral panels which enable us to close off an area if needed to keep some in or some out. I had covered the outside of the panel for them but being sheep they really didn’t like going in there through a small opening. They like a bit more open area and easier escape if the need were to arise. So this time, I cleaned and sorted and worked my tail off for my babies.

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New look to the sheep shed

Well, we shifted lots of hay, cleaned out poop, and moved the panels to the other end, and tied on the tarp again. Would they be happier with a more open feel and mom happier that they could still get inside and relatively out of the sleety rain that is coming? Actually, it seems that it did win last night. This morning, they were all inside and seem to have slept inside the shed all night. Something they don’t do often. I think it was a win for a cold night as I did have quite a bit of manure to get out this morning so it doesn’t pile up too quickly. I’m hoping to have it fairly in good shape so if it is downright nasty out, I can do a quick check on them, give them some feed, and head back into my warm house. Lots of hay in there. I think it will work. Of course, being sheep and a landrace breed, they probably won’t care or need half of what I did but they won’t be left out under the trees, finding which side of the land to lay down. On the high wind day, they spent a good bit of their time on the low side of the tank where it was sheltered some. Hopefully they will like their home better for not getting all wet and cold. This storm is coming in from the right side of the shed so it shouldn’t come in the front like the high wind did.

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Early morning the day before

So this morning was a foggy wintery morning. If it wasn’t that the sun rose and her light could penetrate it easily, it would have been quite dreary. But what will we wake up to tomorrow? What will a picture from in front of the sheep shed look like then? We will know soon enough. Oh, and I know it barely shows but the bridge was a project this vacation that was completed. The rails were treated and painted black and new boards put down to walk across. Interestingly, the sheep will step up on it but won’t walk out farther than there is land underneath it. I’m happy as I worried they would walk out on it and fall in the tank. But it seems they’re smart enough to not do that.

Categories: Bent Oak Farm, Gulf Coast Native Sheep | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Sam 2004? – 2017

Today has been a sad day around here. I knew it was coming. I had said it was what was going to need to be done just last week. But then this last weekend. The bottom just dropped out of it. And at this moment Mark is at the vet, and after a look it was decided that Sam must have liver trouble and cancer, so they are putting my baby down right now.

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Near the time Sam joined the family

He joined the family when we decided that Mattie needed a sibling. When we went to the SPCA to look, the saddest eyes on earth stared up at me from the floor of a kennel and so we said lets look at him. As soon as he came in the room with us, he went ballistic and was so happy. I couldn’t send him back to the kennel and he came home with us.

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Spoiled babies

 

We struggled with a name for him. He came with the name Sam but that wasn’t very Dog sounding. Alas, he was just a Sam. Nothing else worked. So Sam he stayed. We did learn he was a Vizsla and had all their good and bad issues. He was loyal to his family to a fault. But yes, he chewed and was a baby for way longer than normal dogs, but we all survived, though two Bibles did need replaced during that time. He must have loved the Word of God.

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Squirrel Watch

He loved watching Mattie running around outside. He couldn’t figure out why she was running, so when she started, he would run after her. Finally, he discovered Squirrels and what fun they were. So Mattie would leave the watch to him and lay in the sun, and when he let go, off she’d go as well.

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Surprised everyone that Mattie allowed Sam to lay so close to her

Now the fun of Sam was that he never ever really grew up. He always seemed a happy puppy just looking for what was fun and never being upset with anyone over anything. He always seemed to be trying to figure things out. My lovely baby. Ever joyful and happy. You could be gone only ten minutes out the back door, and he would act like you had just returned from the European tour, and was he ever so happy to see you.

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Isn’t there room for me in the chair?

He was a lovely boy that will be missed many times. The next time I check where my legs can fit in bed and there’s nothing in the way, I may shed a tear. The next time I get food out and only feed Mattie. Yep, I may shed a tear. The next time I need someone to clean up the floor while I’m cooking. Yep, a tear may escape when I have to lean down and do it myself. When I have no companion while I sit at the computer. Yep, I will cry. I am right now.

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Bluebonnet picture while at the condo between homes

I am sure going to miss you boy, but I know this was the best for you. We had 13  great years with you. Rest in Peace.

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Enjoying the freedom of the farm

Categories: Bent Oak Farm | Tags: | 4 Comments

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning

So it was 54F when I went out this morning. Oh such a wonderful feeling as this summer it has often already been in the 80s when I go out. The sun was just coming up and it was crystal clear. I do want to remember this one.

I posted before about a morning in October of last year. A few things have changed since then. The sun wasn’t quite as high yet for pictures and not as far south so it didn’t show as soon. Candy has had a few companions as we have fostered horses. She alas doesn’t care for the constant change so now has a companion that the odds of getting adopted are slim and none. Four of the heifers went to auction and one to freezer camp. Yep, we eat beef almost exclusively for meat here at home now. Mark is loving having a steak anytime he wants one. Lastly, there are now additions to the farm that weren’t here last year. So lets head out.

The temperatures this week have made the tank a sight to enjoy each morning.

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Early morning at the tank

Once I get what I need from the house the first order is to give the chickens their bit of feed. They will come running when their door opens. Despite the fact they free range all day and eat lots of bugs and plants, they do like their feed as well. So a little bit gets spread about ten birds.

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I have gone to just throwing their feed on the ground

Then it is head to the barn and give Candy and Poppy their feed. They get a special one each morning and afternoon that helps with growing old (for Poppy). They will be nearby and Candy will holler as soon as she knows I’m close. She does love her feed and will guard and steal what she can. Mark met, a couple weeks ago, the first gal to ever foster Candy back several years. She said she came in with a major food protection attitude. Tells a bit about where she came from and her old situation. We feed them in their new stalls out back of the barn. The gates stay open unless Candy is being testy and then the gates close till they are done. Candy did well today except that when I went to muck out Poppy’s side (why do they poop in there? They have a few acres to spread the wealth.) Both horses were in there together. Not the best situation for me to enter.

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Enjoying Breakfast. Candy on the left. Poppy the right.

Now the sheep were already grazing halfway up the rise to the upper paddock. That didn’t keep them from knowing I was about and down they came running. They love their alfalfa. We had an health issue with them. Not serious to most, but as you can see, Ruth was the one that had to make a vet visit. She even ended up overnight at the vet’s who thought she would probably be dead in the morning. Alas, they didn’t know what good blood she did have in her. She surprised them by morning and has been getting back on top of life ever since. Alas, if you have a sheep with ulcers over both eyes (part of her trouble), do you think it is easy to catch her now that she is feeling back on top of life and put cream in her eyes? Think again. Easy at first when she was slow and not able to see well. But I dare you to try and catch her now. She can even keep quite the vigilance while eating and can see the wires of the fence so doesn’t run into it any more. But, back to the flock, they do get alfalfa each day to help build them up more, and at this point they would probably kill for their alfalfa. So here they are waiting for mom to finish with the horses and get on to more important beings to feed.

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Tabby also waiting with her charges. Yes, Ruth is there looking worse for wear but doing quite well. The camelid look is compliments of loosing wool but still having a bunch on her rear.

Tabby took on a new roll this morning that mom likes. She didn’t allow chickens to come near the sheep or her feeding areas. No chickens allowed to share the wealth. I have shooed chickens away (they really like alfalfa and have been giving Tabby’s food a try as well. Omnivores they are.) But I doubt too many of them will challenge her as they do me. A flurry of feathers as they skedaddle through the fence to make a try for horse droppings instead. Hopefully soon, Mark is going to make a feed trough to make this chore a bit better for all concerned.

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Yummy! Scoop is on ground as I tried to catch Ruth, but no one’s sticking their finger in her eyes today if she can help it. I didn’t press the issue. Try again later.

Next Tabby has been waiting ever so patiently. She gets a bit of meat to go with her dog food each morning. Food is a great friend. She does go under the gate and visit the tank, so hence the dirty feet.

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Am I next?

I will have to admit to taking several sheep pictures at this point. Who wouldn’t but then I headed to the upper paddock and loved the view. The moon has been lovely the last few early mornings when getting Mark out the door. By this time it was sitting above the trees with the sun shining brightly on all. But then it was time to head over to the chicken coop and see about it. Fun! One of the Barred Rocks just laid an egg. Still warm. So took it in for breakfast. If you haven’t had an egg fried very over easy that is less than hours old. You haven’t lived. The yolk is ever so creamy. As in creamy goodness. As in never had anything like it before with an egg goodness. Nothing like the old things you get in the grocery store.

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Gift in the nesting box. Thank you!

So after going inside and feeding the dogs there, they always have to wait ever so patiently on everyone else to get fed first; it is my turn (I might add that I often have first breakfast and second breakfast in the mornings. This was actually second breakfast for me today.) That new fresh egg went in the skillet and oh was it good.

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Cook it on the bottom well and then flip to just harden up the whites on top a few seconds, and you will have creamy yolk heaven.

Now one must move on to other things. But what a way to start the day.

Categories: Bent Oak Farm, Fiber, Gulf Coast Native Sheep | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Lena’s Off the Loom

I finally have cut the material for the dress off the loom. Now, I will admit I was hoping for at least another foot woven, but alas and alack, this warp just decided to give up the ghost, and die on me, and I decided not to fight it any more let it rest in peace.

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Solution to increasingly bad tension

I had two inches of warp that decided all of a sudden that tension was for the birds and seemed to just totally loose it. So I tried many things before suddenly grabbing spools and tucking them under. Alas, I needed a bit more height and they wouldn’t stay stacked. so a bit of cloth wrapped around kept everyone where I wanted them and it worked. The far right was a minimal tension problem that got taken care of at the same time.

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Broken warp with the end in sight

So all was going well for, oh, how about two inches. Then I noticed a broken warp thread. In a pattern like this you just can’t throw it out and say, I will pretend I never noticed and pretend it never happened. So do I consider it done? The end is so close. Or try and fix it? I tried and fixed it, only to discover that there were two broken threads. So we fixed both – or should I say, I thought I fixed both. I went back to weaving. Wound a bit more blue on the bobbin and wove a bit more only to realize that the new warp threads weren’t being caught by the weft threads. I swear they came through perfectly. They should be exactly as they should. Oh well, so much for confidence. Obviously they weren’t right so what to do now?

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Cut off the loom

I finished off both shuttles which ran out at the same time and considered it done. The on loom length came to just four inches shy of 11 yards. Cry. I would have loved to have made those last four inches at least. But no more fighting this warp. So it is cut off and on the table downstairs now. I am going to be spending a bit of time now going over it to find what I can fix in problems. There are many that need a needle to help out. Despite my best efforts at wanting a perfect piece of cloth, that didn’t happen here and probably never will.

So for this project we are a step closer to the end. Albeit that end is still far in the distance.

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A Pretty Scarf

I did finally finish a scarf I started not too long ago. You see, my mother had a friend who gave her some spools of yarn. Yep, the kind fiber people like but what on earth was she going to do with them? So she held on till I visited her and gave them to me.

Now I loved the colors in this one and thought I would just play with it on my Zoom Loom and so started making a square. Not the easiest as this yarn (Which has a fancy name for its style, but not being one to use these types I don’t remember what it is.) has little loops off the sides of it which just are begging to get in the way. But then to compound that, I decided to weave them together into a scarf. I had played with this idea before, and have posts on it, but have never made an official good enough to use project with the method. So besides the little loops getting in the way, I was also trying to catch the loops of one while weaving the next. I can just be a glutton for punishment.

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The finished scarf

In the midst of creating, I needed a handmade gift for a friend, so decided that is what I needed to get me to finish it.  So I got a few more squares added and then promptly forgot to take it to give away. YIKES! How me is that? So, back home I added a another square (couldn’t decide how long to make it) and then sent it in the mail.

I will admit it is far from perfect as it was hard to keep tract of what was where. But in the end I loved the colors which are much more jewel-toned that show here on my computer. I did add a single crochet edging around it to help hold it all together so that it didn’t get pulled out of place somewhere. You can ask me how I know it can get pulled out of place?

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Three squares joined with crochet edge

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

A Tale of Two Towns

So this last week I have been between two towns that their names come from back east and from much more famous places. First lets look at the trip I took.

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Washington, Arkansas

Last week I went to Washington, Arkansas for the Stepping Back Accurately Women’s American Civil War re-enactors meeting. It was an interesting time to learn more about how people lived and dressed in the 1860s. And to meet ladies just as crazy as I am. It was held in an old 1914 School House that is in Washington. A town that time bypassed when they didn’t want the railroad, but it didn’t totally die either. It did, however, survive with many old houses and buildings and is now a state park as an historical town.

What would I find so interesting there? Of course ,many things, and I would love to go back and see more of the town. But one morning Peggy and I skipped the meeting and went on a tour. Our first stop was the Trimble house and after telling the docent we were with the group at the school and lovers of history; and that I was a weaver and Peggy a seamstress for the Alamo, he said he thought he could trust us and we got to leave the red runner and walk over to things to get a close up look. So what does a weaver spot ever so quickly? Three wonderful overshot coverlets.

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First coverlet

The first one I didn’t get a good shot of just it as it had a dress laying on it. But here it is in such beautiful perfection. I must admit to drooling over it. But on to another room.

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Second coverlet

Oh,  this one was a dream. It was wool and linen and woven in three panels which were sewn together. It was incredibly wonderful despite the fact that the panels didn’t all line up perfectly. The actual weaving was something to behold. I did actually get to touch this one quickly. The docent folded it just a bit back so we could see the back and then told me, I could lay it back right. What a pleasure! I probably took more care and less touch than most of the docents in getting to touch this gem. It so spoke to me in my language. It was quite stiff and rough to the touch. I would assume it is the drying out of the linen over so much time but maybe I’m wrong, and it is just the age and wool and linen get rough with it.

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Closeup where it does line up pretty well.

Then one more coverlet came into view in a cabinet. It was an eye catcher as the colors weren’t just the natural and green and blue that the other two were but was in a red/brown and rust.

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Third coverlet

This quilt though quite common in pattern (if I was near my books, I could look it up quickly, but I haven’t learned the pattern names though I can recognize so many and think I should know their names) to me was quite unusual in these colors. I just wished it wasn’t in the cabinet so I could get a better picture.

So had a great time in Washington, but was soon back in good Lexington. So what is happening here? Yes, I’m still weaving away on my Lena dress fabric. I have officially today crossed the 8 yard mark and have 4 more to go. Yippy! Two thirds of the way done. I do have several things that do keep it at a slower pace than it would be. Not the least being that the brake release has frayed, and so I have to get up and do both the front and back brakes separately. Must go to Ace and see if they would have what I need. Also, still dealing with some of those cantankerous warp threads but all in all it is going along and looking pretty good except for my left hand selvedge. Hard to accept that the handed side you are is the worse one. The right looks quite nice.

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8 yards headed on the cloth beam

I am happy to be this far along, albeit, I had hoped to have it all woven before Washington but, alas and alack, what can I say, it didn’t happen. But it is moving along.

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The big fat sections are loosing their girth.

So, I got to see some wonderful coverlets that make you wonder who wove them and their personal stories. And I have made more progress on my own weaving, albeit, not an overshot at this time, but I feel one coming on soon.

I tend to love those two shuttle patterns best. So now I am doing Color and Weave which I love and next it probably will be an overshot.

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Lena’s Dress Oh Dear, Me, Oh My!

Well, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since I started this project, and no it didn’t get as far as I had wished. After posting last, I looked at my beautiful warp and start and had the biggest groan. There on the right side was a white line so out of place it was glaring. Why didn’t I see it sooner. As in a lot sooner. As in from the very first.

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Wildly out of place white and blue warp threads

So do you cut your loses and start over? I did. I really hate not being able to make something work, but I guess pride does go before the fall as I thought after all it took to get started, I had done it well, and now looking me right in the eye, was this line that couldn’t be ignored. So yes, I took out the scissors and with great sadness cut the cloth off, fixed the warp threads, retied again, and started over. Not getting very far very quickly at all.

So we headed back to weaving again only to keep discovering little problems here and there. Even to the point of not cutting off again, this was a time eater, adding in threads and taking out and doing warp thread fixes to the already started cloth.

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More problem threads

Well, two more here fixed. Alas if you look closely at this cloth you will probably decide that there are other threads that could be fixed as well but we are leaving the rest. Nothing glaringly noticeable.

So we are weaving and we have just over 6 yards woven on a 12 yard warp. Sounds pretty good to be half done. Alas, again, I had wished to have it finished and wet finished by this weekend to take to an event this coming week to get advice on making the dress and getting it started. Alas, and alack. It will not be going though I am tempted to cut off where I am and do what I have. Alas, we all know that I will undoubtedly cut it right in the middle of the bodice or a sleeve and will be at a lose for fabric then. Alas and alack. Yes, this is an alas and alack sort of feeling.

But we must continue on and get it done. It is going better than the stumbling of the first yard that has quite a few problems in the weft, and that ever fussy left selvedge that always tells me I have a ways to go to be good at this. I did manage to start weaving better, the selvedge is better, and the cloth is looking better. I will still have some fixes to make when it is cut off but all in all I am much happier with it, and it will be wonderful when finished, and I can’t wait for the finished dress whether it takes me a decade to finish it.  –  Lord have mercy, I hope it doesn’t take a decade to finish it.

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The pattern of the fabric for the dress

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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