A Romantic Morning in the Country

I do have projects going but nothing at the moment to add to my memories as far as they go. But the last two mornings, I took the camera out with me on morning chores and thought I would share the romantic mornings I have. Now of course I am using that word “romantic” half tongue in check. It is work and getting out early and mucking out and stuff. But all in all, I really love my mornings outside with all the animals.

My first job is to get feed out for Candy and Mani. Without a word to me my dear husband joined Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society. I found out the day he told me we could be fostering horses by that evening. Well, despite an initial OH DEAR ME OH MY?! I immediately went online and bought a couple of books and got ready for them. We both have ridden many times – but actually care for them? Another ballgame. We soon had Candy dropped off to us (not the same day as I learned of this venture, thankfully) and a bit later then came Thor to join us. This past weekend was the big adoption expo. Thor was adopted by a family who does train horses which is good for him. He was beyond our means to know how to handle. Candy, though, refused to get in the trailer to go and as Mark had wanted to adopt her since the first day she came, she got to stay and is officially ours now. At the end of the expo we had another horse dropped off to foster. A sweetheart named Mani (hate the name though) who is 21 years old. Has a leg problem so can’t be ridden but makes a great companion. So Candy is not alone now. (She didn’t handle Thor leaving well at all.)


Mani and some hens

As the early hours begin I go and get feed out for them and soon after, the door of the chicken coop opens and the hens start scattering about in the direction of the horses. They have learned that horses drop a bit of food and it is good scavangering under their feeding. Neither horse is bothered by them, and they are smart enough to move when the horses do.


Sun just rising over the upper paddock.

Now I get out there before the sun is actually over the edge of our property. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t up for the area though. We are in a small dip and from up above the sun is well on its way with the day. I do enjoy seeing it come up in cloud, fog, clear mornings. Yesterday was foggy but today all clear.


Candy finished eating and waiting on Mani

So at this time the horses are fed, the chickens are free ranging. I’ve counted hens. Looked over horse. Mucked out what needed mucked out where they eat. And I have turned on the hose to fill the trough that is at the barn. This trough isn’t just for horses and heifers though. I think the hens use it more than the waterer at their coop.


After a long night it is time for a drink.

The hens do provide lots of entertainment around here and if you don’t have any, you should get some. Many cities allow backyard hens and if I was back in a city, I would have some, though since we free range I’d feel sorry for them being stuck in a small area. These guys travel and have fun while doing it. Always something going on. Well, unless it is still a hot Texas fall (Fall where did you go? I would really like some cool to cold weather.) and they roost in the big bushes during the afternoons.

I might add though that this trough has become a frog nursery. There are millions, evangelistically speaking, baby ones all around here. I actually think home is underneath it as it sits a bit crooked.


One of the big ones.

Just yesterday I actually saw larger ones than the tiny ones. So here is one I got a picture of. When we clean out the trough and surroundings, I hope it discourages them a bit.

Back to farm animals, the heifers soon came over and joined us. They don’t beg for food in the mornings anymore since they only get extra in the afternoons, but this morning they came in close (Spooking the horses once.) and decided they needed to eat some of the hay that is available. Yes, we are dry and the pastures are a bit sparser than I’d like to see them. We will probably need to get hay soon.


Why are you disturbing breakfast?

The five heifers are doing well. They mostly are still laying about in the early morning but sometimes get with the job of eating before I leave for the house.

After all is done at the barn, I put everything back and head for the chicken coop. Fun to watch the chickens around the wood pile. This must be one of their best opportunities for critter eating. They spend a lot of time here and that is fine by me. I like the idea that they’ve taken care of anything before I go up those stairs.


King of the Mountain

Sometimes they all rush after me back towards the house as I refresh their water and check on their supplemental food. They do get some from us and aren’t totally dependent on what they find to eat. So check the coop, water, food and the animals are dealt with. Well, almost.

Many days I also wash down the coop, water plants, take care of things in the yard. But when all is said and done, I try to remember one last thing before going inside.


The last washing up.

You never know what all is on your wellies when heading back inside. I always wear them to the barn. Then I don’t worry about what I step in or what can get in my shoes. So they must get a good washing down so that I don’t groan when I see their spot by the door full of who knows what that has fallen off.

But back to that – Well almost. When all outside critters are dealt with, I do still have to feed Sam and Mattie breakfast. I don’t think some mornings they like being last. I guess that is the problem of being the domestic animals of the place.


Is it our turn yet?

Someday these days will be over and I will miss them. I hope that day is well in the future, but for now here is a note of what it is like in early in the morning in my peaceful corner of the world.



Categories: Bent Oak Farm, Fiber | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Maybe There is Hope

You know when you have big ideas and then they crash before your eyes, and you become depressed and ignore it? Yes, that is what was happening with the warp on the floor loom. I wrote about starting it in There is Something on the Loom.

Now as sad as this is, I did try several things with this warp and nothing looked great. I did weave along but found it hard to want to as it just didn’t look nice, good, ok, well maybe, oh dear what is this mess. So it was time to think radical, and I decided to redo the tie-up on the loom (a countermarche) so that I could weave it in a 3-1 twill. I actually managed to do that fairly easily. It actually is rather simple how the tie-up works on a countermarche though you do have to wrap your head around it and make sure you understand.

So first step accomplished and then a complete change in weft thread was the next step. And we were weaving again.


This is the backside of the cloth

So I started weaving with a cream thread and it went quickly. You can see a bit of the colors through it but this will be the back of the cloth when finished. I did the tie-up so that three shafts were down and one up for a better shuttle race. So I will be weaving and watching the back. But I did find it quite easy to see that I was keeping it in order. Quite easy to see the twill line and immediately notice a mistake.


From underneath trying for a picture of the front

I think I am pleased with what is happening now. I at least like it incredibly more than what was happening. You can see in the first picture the dark blue taking over the whole piece.

Now to get this warp woven and off the loom. I have a variation on Log Cabin sitting here beside me that I can’t wait to get on the loom. Somehow I seem to be happier with my two shuttle shadow weave and overshot patterns best.

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

What to do with Thrums?

I had seen a project using thrums a long time ago. Who knows really when, but it always stuck in my brain. It would take quite a few and not seem to take lots of time. Well, I needed one product to make it easily, and it seemed to hide when I looked for it. But as we had a rough Sunday evening, I went shopping Monday. Well, not totally the reason I went shopping, I needed to go do some shopping, but I made a day of it in the end. It kept the mind busy on other things. And in the process, I found what I needed for this project. So yesterday we gave it a shot.

I was going to make a scarf sewing thrums together. Though it had been ages since seeing it originally, I didn’t think it would take much to recreate. So I finally found some wash away stabilizer.


Wash away it says, will it actually do it?

Thankfully I found this at Hobby Lobby and the price seemed a bit high to me for an experiment but then it was nice to whip out the phone and Hobby Lobby app and get a quick 40% off.

I decided a 2 yard scarf would be a good place to start. So cut two lengths of 2 yards and laid it out on the table. Then I got the glass jar full of thrums down (no I do not throw away weaving thrums or much of anything handmade. Getting better at tossing those tiny bits but not yet totally.) and started pulling out yarn and laying it out on the stabilizer.


How much do you layer it?

I did have a time deciding how much to put down and what colors. Then as I rolled it up, I had to decide if I wanted to keep it looking the same all the way along and … oh dear, would I remember what all and how much of each I put down in each section? Of course not.


I think it needs a good bit more.

So layers and layers of the different colors went on the stabilizer. Actually a trip down memory lane as I remembered what each of these yarns had been a part of creating. Some favorites and some not so favorites.

Then came the sewing. A bit tricky. Especially since I’m not great with a machine anyway. But we went to town.


The first of the sewing before it went south

So freeform sewing was attempted. A bit wobbly and crazy but it seemed that it really didn’t matter how things went as long as there was no major shift in what was there. Then the bobbin ran out.  I refilled it. Started again. Things went south. It had a bit of a time not balling up. But after cutting it out (yes, I had to cut it away from the machine) and refreshing the machine, it seemed to work better. Not sure what the problem was in there. A bit of tension problems?

So we finally finished sewing and went to wash out the stabilizer.


Drying and wondering

I was amazed at how easily the stabilizer washed out. Rather quite quickly it just all dissolved into nothing and I had my scarf. So after the rinse we laid it out for the night and waited for it to dry.

This morning I checked on it and it had worked.


A finished scarf – maybe

It is one piece of “fabric” or whatever one would call it. It all holds together. You can wrap it around and it hangs nicely.

Is it perfect? No. Of course not. I had tried to lay out the threads so that no ends hung out on the edges but there are many hanger outers. I think I could have done more sewing on it to hold more in place but then also it does have quite a 3D look to it and more sewing would probably flatten that out quite a bit. One half did end up with quite a bit more on it than the other, and I like the thick end better.  The thicker end holds together better or at least looks better. You don’t notice the sewing in it like the thinner end. Just wish now I knew which end was which though I think I could guess. (After more perusing of pictures and knowing what end I was at in them. The thick end was the second half.) So need to find a way to keep it thick and even all the way through.

Funny I’m typing with it here in my hands (or lap while typing) and the more I study it the less I’m liking how it came out. I’m seeing so much that needs to be better. Well, I have enough stabilizer for another one so will try again. Need to sort yarns so that I know how much is going in each half or else do it on a longer table where it can all lay out at once. Or …. so much to think and improve but I’m happy with the start.

My other project of the last entry? It keeps growing with the pattern I’m crocheting around the outside, well, I have to spin some more yarn and get enough black to finish of one layer and then get more for the next layer …. will there ever be an end? I am going to Yarnorama tomorrow so will see what they have to offer. Would be so much quicker to just get a yarn and finish it but as it started all handspun, it will end all handspun.

Categories: Fiber, Fiber Arts | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Then and Now Spinning

It has been awhile since I posted. I have been in the midst of a larger project for spinning than I normally do. As in, I came up with a plan for all of my handspun, early stuff, that was lying around. Now I have been spinning for a few years though not as continuously to be a consummate master of it. But I have been spinning and do enjoy it.

One day this past spring I hit on a plan for a project. I had a Zoom Loom and loved using it. I had made some squares with my handspun with it, and I have posted before about that at Projects Abound and When Projects Aren’t Going Well. So you can see it has been a couple of years since I decided that using my handspun that was in small lots, not perfect, needing something to happen to them was perfect on a pin loom.

Alas, what was to happen to these squares that I had been making over the past couple of years and mainly here recently? This spring I decided that a perfect project would be to make a cloak. So taking out my squares I laid them out several times on the floor to make patterns and decide what would work with all these diverse squares.

Then my three week trip this summer was coming up. I would be driving Mark’s truck so space was not an issue. They all came with me as well as a spindle and more wool and the Zoom Loom and crochet hook to continue making squares and crocheting them together.


A sneak peak at the project

I sat for a week watching the extended Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies with my father and spun, wove, and crocheted away. Got quite a bit of the project done on that trip.

As this project is about handspun, past and present, it is very eclectic in its colors, spinning, quality of spinning and wool, well really everything about it.

As it is an evolving project on this end now (though still not completed) there are a few things I would do different but at this point I’m not taking anything apart. It is what it is.

Now I’m spinning and working on a border around the whole thing. Had a pretty merino silk mix that is all the crocheting that you see in the above picture. The colors in it were real subtle and once spun even less so. It seems to be just a black. Though there is a glow about it that doesn’t say black like the picture says. I have run out of that so now have spun some generic black wool I have. Will be interesting to see how the two look together.


Singles yarn

Now all the spinning being done this summer is on spindles. When traveling I take my Bosworth. But at home I use my Golding. It never leaves home but oh, I love using the Golding most. This black wool has been interesting in seeing how color is really so indefinite. I know that’s not the right word, and I should some day look up proper terminology for what I observe. But it was amazing, to me, to watch this fiber as I drafted it looking toward a window and seeing a blue glow all about it. As the light came through the thin fiber strands it had a pretty blue tint. I know that all has to do with the dying and how black is created in dyes but still despite the chemistry etc. I love to see it happen.


Piled yarn

Last night I got two spindles plied. So today it will be some more Slow TV of the Knitting Night and crocheting around the cloak. I will see how far this goes and then back to spinning some more. You’ve got it. I don’t know yet how much of a border this will get in the end. Did find a pattern I like and will see how it looks. Then if it does please me, oh dear, I’ll need to be spinning more. I’m sure I don’t have enough for any big dream though I have been amazed at how much farther the yarn has gone than I have expected with the crocheting. (No I haven’t done any numbers to see what I need to do to accomplish any of this. It is what it is.)

As we all need reminders. I went out to look at my very first spinning and the wrist distaff I made with it. Actually my very first was a red that I wove into a hat and it sold at the CHH sale. Rather surprised me that the two hats sold. But a very close second is this white. I didn’t find it. YIKES! I do need to figure out what happened to it. I wouldn’t have gotten rid of, given away, whatever it. It should be still about as a reminder. Thankfully, I did find a picture on the computer of it so here is my first and yes, despite that thin bit in the picture above, I have vastly improved.

spinning - first spun yarn as a wrist distaff

My first spinning project


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

An Indigo Apron

I wanted to make something from my indigo dyed pieces from Art Camp. Looking them over, I decided that two pieces were the top and bottom of an apron. Then I cut other pieces for the straps and ties. I hand sewed it all, and it came out pretty descent. Probably would be better if I’d gathered the bottom waist, but the pattern shows this way, so I went the easier way. Finished it at my folks this week.

Categories: dyeing, Sewing | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Victor P. Buchcik Spinning Wheel

So I love spinning and weaving, and I love history, so of course I started volunteering in our small town at the Heritage Center and Log Cabins. There, in a corner, was a spinning wheel so one of the first things I set about doing, as a member, was sorting out this wheel which they said the lady who gave it to them had come and spun on it, but it hasn’t been for a little time.

IMG_3088 (1)

Looking straight on as one would when spinning

The wheel had a plastic drive band that had been wired together and was of no use whatsoever. So I got rid of it and tied on a new drive band (will take better cordage next time) So now the drive wheel turned with the treadle. The treadle rod is in the middle of the treadle which I haven’t seen before but it had a very smooth motion and was quite easy to treadle.

IMG_3091 (1)

Looking at the back of the wheel

Then to tackle the scotch tension. It had a piece of plastic cord tied to springs on each side. Now for all I know of scotch tension, that wasn’t going to work, and it didn’t. So I cut that all out and tied another string to the spring on the one side and then tied it around the knob, on the other side, that is there for that purpose (ignored in what was) and then played with the tension.

Did you notice the crochet hook sticking out at an angle in back? Befuddled me for a bit. Thought at first it was used for the orifice hook and that is just where they kept it, but alas it totally doesn’t work for that. Did learn though how to get the bobbin and flyer off. The maiden on the tension end moves back and turns down to take them off. Alas whatever once ran through those holes that keep it in place when all together has long been lost and along the road someone figured out that a small crochet hook fit in just right.

IMG_3086 (1)

Side view of wheel before scotch tension work. See the stretched spring?

This tension is the problem I think. The flyer and bobbin did not spin if there was the least bit of tension on it. Then after some fiddling, the flyer would spin but the bobbin did not. It was at that point that I learned the importance of both being able to spin. Have you ever wondered why the bobbin needed to spin, albeit slower than the flyer, when spinning on a treadle/flyer wheel? I have. And, as of yesterday, I learned why. With just the flyer turning the draw in is way to fast for these hands to keep up. With the bobbin turning as well, there is time for you to draft and get it right before it winds on.

Also an interesting bit for this wheel is that the flyer and bobbin sit so far back. They are actually, basically, for all practical purposes behind the drive wheel when you are sitting at it. Makes it a bit of a stretch when working back there.

IMG_3090 (1)

Spinning at last.

So, yes, I did manage to spin some. That was after realizing there was no orifice hook and a long way for something to reach through. I searched several drawers and finally found one paperclip. After bending it in different contortions, I managed to make it do the job and got some wool through. That also entailed cleaning the hole out with the wool. Icky! But we were spinning. It didn’t go super easy though. I so wanted to add some oil to the bobbin and tension thinking it would help it move smoother. But I also know “they” say to never oil the drive band or tension. So maybe the groove just needs cleaned up more? Or a wider band for the tension. I already know I am going to do that for the drive band, but the tension as well?

IMG_3092 (1)

Label on bottom of table.

After all this, I wanted to know what this wheel was that was driving me crazy. On the bottom I did find a label. Designed & handcrafted by: Victor P. Buchcik, 8 Norman Street, Wagga Wagga 2650″ . Now this label was between all the legs and footman, so not easily photographed or for these old eyes to read. I went looking for a Victor P. Buchcik online. Got that much down. Thought maybe a local builder? There are lots of Czech and Wends around here so names that only the Good Lord knows how to pronounce are in abundance. Alas, nary a hit on the name at all. Next I thought the “8” was an “&” so looked up Norman Street as well as a compatriot in the work. Alas nothing. So looked up Wagga Wagga. A HIT! A town in New South Wales. What? Australia? How did it get here if it was made by some home guy in NSW? I did, at first, think that the four digit number was maybe a number for the piece, but it turns out to be a post code. That took seeing the picture and realizing that Norman Street wasn’t a man but an address. So of course, I looked up the address and it is a nice house though lots of trees in the way of seeing it very well.

If anyone knows anything about this wheel or the maker, I would appreciate knowing something of them. If you have advice on getting it to spin smoother or dealing with that scotch tension, advice appreciated.

Categories: Spinning | Tags: | 3 Comments

There is Something on the Loom

Yes, my loom is warped, and I did start weaving. I need to get back out there again and get with it. Alas there is a little snag in the plan. But anyways, my plan to begin with was to weave red, white, and blue cloth to make either a valance or swag over some of the windows between the living room and the gallery above. (Now I know gallery is a big word but coming up with a proper name for the walkway between the two sides of the house above was difficult and so I settled on gallery.)

Weaving 1

A warped loom

Because of the mix of yarn sizes I had, this became a mix of ideas in the warp. My loom has a sectional back beam (something I became once again thankful for when I tried to help someone warp front to back recently) with one inch sections. So I just made up a threading for each inch in color and sizes. I was using both 8/12 and 16/2 cotton in this. I then tried to repeat the same pattern in mirror image for the two sides as I worked out from the center. Alas, in threading the reed I realized that a couple weren’t exactly the same but que sera at this point. It will look fine and it isn’t quite noticeable … though more noticeable in this picture than when I’m sitting and working on it.

weaving 2

A warped loom

Next came the trouble of what to use for weft. In the top picture if you look in the distant top right corner, you can see a bobbin of 16/2 blue thread. As there was so much of it, the plan was for it to be the weft. Alas and alack, It just didn’t look right. Above you can see where I used some size 3 cotton crochet thread to get the spacing done. Then I used the 16/2 blue. Yikes! the crochet thread looked so much better. The colors were just lost in the 16/2. So it was start weaving again with the crochet thread and it did look quite good. I did need a bit of practice on those selvedges but as I was only doing a straight twill I could concentrate on them, instead of a pattern, and things became better.

Then I quickly ran out of crochet thread in size 3 and navy blue. That’s ok, I’m running to Bastrop and can visit Hobby Lobby and get some more. But best laid plans. They didn’t have something that I consider so common. At least in right size and color. Guess still too much in the middle of nowhere. So I got what they did have and will see if it works. If not, I will try some other things with what I have and if all else fails will take a trip to Yarnorama and see what they have.

I did take a picture of the weaving at that point, but it just didn’t look good so it went to the trash bin and will have to wait to see the finished piece. I’m not sure how it will look in the end when wet finished, but I do like the colors and it will be interesting to see what happens. I’m thinking a more valance look is what is going to happen as opposed to swag but that will be ok. It actually will go farther that way.

Categories: Fiber, Weaving | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Colors That Came out of the Pot

So I was dyeing Saturday and my pieces are now washed and dried and ready for a new life. But what did I get?


Beautiful Silk

I couldn’t get pictures that really showed the colors well. Still a lot to learn with a camera. But this piece came out just lovely. (At the rate I’ve used lovely on this and the last post, you would think I’d been spending time reading items from England, and you would be right.) But anyway, I dropped this piece of silk in the cochineal pot first. Didn’t stay in long but it did come out a nice pink color. Then I dropped it in the indigo pot. When I pulled it out, I was amazed at the lovely color. It shows a bit of the pink and the blue but mainly it is this absolutely lovely mauvey purple. I will have to find a use fitting to its color and silk.

indigo hanging

Hanging between dunkings

Here are the three dresser scarves. I bought them while in Germany and the Good Lord only knows what their fiber make up is. But I was thinking that a nice green would be better than white in our new bedroom. So in they went in the osage orange bath. After a good bit of time, they then visited the indigo bath several times. I never could decide if they looked very green but there was definitely a hue there hiding.


Home and getting rinsed

But when I got them home and was rinsing them, it was quite an odd event. The water went all yellow/green. It was like the osage orange orange was maybe washing out from under the indigo. Could it be I should have waited longer between taking it out of the osage orange and putting it in the indigo? Odd but we continued rinsing till it was clear. Hmmm… What was I going to end up with?


A close look of the scarf


Again I didn’t get the picture to look as close as I would have liked. But they ended up a very dusty blueish color. They look like there is more grey in them. A quite lovely color though not green. Well, in my eyes. My husband says there is some green there to him. I do love the color. Not what I was hoping for but they aren’t still white, I do like the color, and they will look fine in the bedroom.


This should be a soft orangey color

So then in went a piece of cotton. First the osage orange a bit of time and then the cochineal. It is not an in your face orange. But very soft. Now I hate yellow and have a dislike of orange, but this came out a nice comforting color. Not bad at all. Will have to find a good use for it as well.

My only other piece was the one that I’m holding in the picture that was suppose to be a video in the last post. It is just a nice mottled blue. A good piece of not very dark indigo.

So my own dyed items from Saturday. It was quite a fun adventure. Not sure I would get enough into dyeing to want to get too particular for particular colors, but having the pots and just experimenting is a good bit of fun. I probably got some colors I like better than if I had tried for something I wanted.

Categories: dyeing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Red, Yellow, and Blue, What Fun!

wild hog

Wild hog fresh off the fire

Early Saturday I headed east from Lexington for Jesse Jones Park in Humble where I volunteered when we lived that way. It was fun to head out for a Second Saturday despite the drive being 4 times as long as it once was and it not being perfect weather. Now I know these pictures make it look like a lovely day, but the weather was a fickle maiden this day.

The theme of the day was food from the fire. There was a wild pig spitted and roasted over night to be enjoyed. These pigs are way too abundant and tear up all in their path. There were also set ups of castiron dutch oven cooking with savory and sweet. Wonderful tastes for all to enjoy.


Maureen warping a loom in the shade out of the occasional rain. Jane showing visitors how to get seeds out of cotton.

But I also took out the dyes left over from Art Camp and as a continuation of the theme from last month, spinning and weaving, we had some dyeing going Saturday this month as well as a new weaver trying to learn to warp a loom and people wanting to know what that wheel did.

We had the three pots from Art Camp going. The cochineal and osage orange on a very low fire that someone put more wood on that shouldn’t have. Oh well, it didn’t ruin anything, but my idea of a small fire and others wasn’t quite the same. Then the indigo pot was at work on the table. We tried to make sure we did everything as we were taught at Art Camp, alas, and with me there is always an alas, but alas we did have one bit that never got put out but it wasn’t a flop so can’t complain.


The cochineal pot

The afternoon was spent trying to keep the occasional drizzle and big drops out of the pots. Especially the indigo. We dropped in cloth the park is going to make into aprons. Roving of both cotton and wool went in different pots. Dresser scarves of unknown fiber. And Maureen even took off her apron when she decided she would love a blue one instead of white.

We were thankful that the Lord provided us with a tree that had a branch that just went off on its own almost horizontal to the ground. As we were out without a clothes line the leaning branch became our old fashion hanging rack to let the indigo items air in the oxygen before going back in the pot.


osage orange

The osage orange pot

I had pieces left over from Art Camp so threw some of them in the pots. So we experimented. I even went for an orange and it isn’t a bad one either. I don’t really care for orange but it is quite muted. I also threw in a silk piece. First in the cochineal and then the indigo. It is the most lovely mauvey purple one could want. I so love how it came out.

I did ask about the time once and a gal said that it was late. I about panicked as I did have a two hour drive home. But it turned out her definition of late and what I would have called late back in my old days at the park were two different things. It was actually just normal time when things start shutting down. We had two hours yet before we would have thought it late in the old days. Doesn’t that sound bad. But those days are over a year ago now. Time sure flies when you’re older.


The end of watching the magic

We did get the fun of watching the cloths come out of the indigo bath and turn from a yellow green to blue. I don’t think I will ever be tired of watching the magic happen. We even had the idea of trying to get some video of it happening. But best laid schemes. We were all ready and pulled out the cloth, had video going, or so it seemed. After I got home and watched it, it turned out it didn’t start at the first press of the button, but started when it was pressed again to stop. So I clipped a picture of the cloth all blue and if one were to want to they can watch the top of the table and listen to us talk to visitors who came by while we were trying to do this. Oh, and yes my dress is my first outfit that I don’t wear anymore, but if one is playing around dye baths, if I’m playing around dye baths, I figured I better wear something that wouldn’t matter if I spilled the indigo completely over. Actually, I made it out with only my hands very blue but with some scrubbing, I only have blue finger nails now. It is wearing off but indigo does love protein. And yes, my hair is down. I had to wash it Friday, and there was just no way it was going to stay in a bonnet. So it won and I had a mess to comb out when I got home.

indigo hanging

Part of our afternoons work.


Time spent with friends away from the crazy modern world.

Categories: dyeing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Weaving Those Squares Together: Part 3

So I did sit down and weave a square in the corner. It actually went better than any went before which can be seen by the end of this post. So here goes. I am assuming that you have read the last two posts and so am not going to repeat some things from them. I am going to assume you know what you are doing in some points. But this time we are going to be catching loops on all four layers so the needle will be busy.


Lining up sides to loom

First thing is again to line up the loom at the sides so that pins match. The double loops on both finished squares are in the corner and the double loops that go around the corners are at the ends. This made this one easy to get going.


First layer catching inside loop

So on the first layer, you begin with catching the loop that goes to the side facing our new square. We do not want to catch the loop that goes to the other side at all.So now to continue with the first layer catch the second loop in each pair since we will be going around the two pins to the left of each set of three pins.


Circle the corner and make sure of the loop

When finished with the first layer, and you come around the corner, be sure and pick up only the loop on that side of the corner and not the one that faces the outside.


Making sure of the loop on layer two

Now you continue down the row with the second layer. Going around the second and third pin in each set of three, make sure you pick up the right hand loop of each pair.


End of second layer and starting the third with a mistake

So you made it to the end of the second layer and now to go around the corner of two pins. Pick up the same loop as did on the first layer. Oh, dear. This is the loop that is to be to the outside of this square and we should not go through the same loop as before. I didn’t realize I did it here, and that I shouldn’t have, till looking at the pictures. But if you look at the following picture, you will see this done correctly on the opposite corner. That outside loop around the double pins does not loop with a finished loop.  But after you just circle the pins, continue on layer 3 and picking up the other corresponding loop to the set of pins. Actually, should be the only loop left in each set of two. Also around this time you will be joining with a new thread. If you cut one long one you are going crazy with all the knotting, but with each layer the thread is getting shorter and thus easier.


Starting the fourth layer

Now you are finished with the third layer and starting the fourth. We are going to go around the two pins on the outside and do not pick up a loop before starting to weave the first row. This loop is the outside loop of this square and would be caught up with a square on that side. (This is the correct way to do the corner just above.) So do not catch up the loop on the finished square at this point. Did I say that enough times? Do not catch this loop. But continue weaving this fourth layer as normal and catching the leftover loop of each pair as you come around the two pins that correspond to it.


The finished square

So here is the finished square taken off the loom. Looks pretty good except for that mistake at the top right corner. The dark green loop should just be through the lower loop that is mainly on that side and not the top one that it is also through. Besides that I think it came out pretty good. I may even grow to like the open space between the four squares. I want to reenforce that point but as you’ll see in the next picture, I haven’t come up with a good way to do that. Maybe I should trust it on its own.


The sample full of experimenting with this idea of connections

So here is my sample for seriously figuring this out. I have connected 8 squares in two rows. (Like you couldn’t figure that out on your own.) I started with the first ones on the right, and I worked my way left. So the two I documented yesterday and today are the two on the far left side. You can see my two experiments with strengthening the inside corners in the first two but they just don’t look nice. Also quite a bit of learning showing there but I think I’ve got a plan and system now for doing it. Now to try in a perfect piece. I see a scarf in there waiting to look nice.


Categories: Weaving | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.