Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New things

I love starting new projects. Going from the general of looking at patterns, finding one that moves you, preparing materials all lead you to that moment when you Start. 

There's something engaging about Starting. That's probably why so many of us are so accomplished at Starting things and not so much about finishing. The promise of something beautiful that comes out of the effort of Starting. 

Maybe the fact that we've had unseasonably spring-y weather adds to my excitement about Starting. 

I'm back to Ulrike's Torchon Workbook, working on chapter 9 focusing on Scotch Broom, which is an element of ground. I'm just Starting so when I get to that part of the pattern. I don't know much about it yet except it's pretty. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Watching over

This post is going to be a bit of a mishmash of things going on right now. Works completed and those in progress. 

First of all, a project completed. 
Not perfect but I'm quite happy with this little angel. I definitely need to work on the braided/plaited diamond filling. 

I actually did a practice piece to work out where to start, how many pairs to use and how to space the pairs at different points. The pattern didn't come with any instructions and had only a few hints on the pattern. 
I think if I did it another time, I would use the same number of bobbins and spacing but I would focus more on the diamond filling and be a bit more careful on the picots. 

The practice piece was done in silk and the finished piece was cotton so I think I would do the next piece with silk. It's such a joy to work with. 

Speaking of bobbin lace, I've taken advantage of the warmer weather to work more on the bobbins I've been making. The project is moving along. 
Here are 5 pairs in process. I've got 10 pair in process right now (with 2 pair completed and in rotation) finishing up now with sanding before I finish them with oil. I think I've got another 8 pair marked out but not started yet. 

The other recent project I was involved in was not mine but came as an ask from the Choi&Shine design team.  They did a beautiful lace installation as part of the Amsterdam Light Festival and were working on an upcoming Light Festival in Singapore project. They asked for help in making crocheted motifs. The twist was that the working thread was actually marine rope. Here's a finished motif. 
Using a 5.5(I) crochet hook, it took me almost 10 hours per motif. I made 6 motifs in about 2.5 weeks. It was all down to the wire but hopefully they got it all put together and shipped on time. I can't show you the new project but here's a link to the Amsterdam project. Pretty amazing, right?

Friday, February 10, 2017


I can't believe how much this workshop changed my attitude to warping for the loom. It just seems so doable now. 

As to the current warping, I tried a few different variations of the houndstooth pattern I wanted to use and decided to do four patterns of one (green/purple/green/purple) houndstooth pattern and then four of another, slightly longer pattern. 


I'm now about 2/3 of the way into the warp and will hopefully be able to finish it this weekend (during rest times for my poor hand that is about to fall off from helping a crochet project that has me crocheting with rope - long story for another day). 

I just can't wait to do the next warp!!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ready to roll

We had an absolutely lovely day at Hopewell Weaving yesterday. I love Jennie's common sense approach to weaving and how she can do easily move between teaching absolute beginners (there were some of those) and experienced weavers (there were a couple of those), including those inbetween (the rest of us). 

This was one of those classes where you don't come away with one big revelation but loads of little gems about the warping process. 

A few of my new gems:
  • You can wind small sections of warp. You don't have to wind and manage the whole of the warp at one time. I know this is going to sound silly to experienced weavers but I didn't know this. I've wound large warps where the strands were popping off the warping pegs because it was too much. Just wind smaller sections. BAM! Problem solved. Need to warp with different colors or yarns?  BAM!  Problem solved. 
 My purple and green linen warp fully wound on. 
  • How do you hold the warp and keep it organized?  Use the loopers from the little potholder looms, of course. And super important to wrap one all the around the cross. 
  •  Loopers and slip knots work just fine. 
  • Before tying the final knot on the front beam, lift the shafts to make sure there are no crossed threads. 
  • No one really knows why plain weave is also called tabby and the terms are interchangeable. There are theories but no one really knows. 
There's more but the main lesson is that when you get 9 people in one room who are open to learning new things for a day, it makes for a darned enjoyable day!

Friday, January 27, 2017

So much to learn so little time

So excited!  On Sunday I get to go with one of my favorite people to a weaving class taught by another of my favorite people and spend the whole day better learning how to warp my loom. 

Jennie Hawkey of Hopewell Weaving teaches a wide variety of classes through the year at her studio near Peoria. Fabulous teacher and all around good egg, that's her. 

I have warped a loom before in my life but if I were ever to be filmed doing it, the video would go majorly viral and cause injury to many people (from laughing). I want to do good in the world, not injury, so I will be at Jennie's house on Sunday to learn and doing a little laughing myself (and at myself, in sure).

If you're in this area of the country and want a reasonably priced weaving class, keep an eye on Jennie's website ( or follow her on Facebook. You can sign up for her mailing list and keep up on what classes she had going on. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

All in how you look at it

If I were in a "life is like…" sort of moods, I would say this hot mess is a reality for all of us. None of us gets through life with everything all put together and beautiful all the time. Life is beautiful as we embrace the messiness it takes to eventually get where we're going. 

But I'm not in that mood today. This hot mess is waiting for one more tiny section and then I'll be able to get it off the pillow and cleaned up. But it's been a fun one. I think I'm going to use it as a doily under my candy dish at work. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Heart Challenge

I've moved onto the second pattern from the Brigitte Bellon book.  I won't tell you how I know this but when you work this pattern, don't do it at one in the morning on a long weekend.  It'll catch you out sure as sure.  Not hard but tricky.