This is what I’m currently working on. My sweet brother bought us a camera for Christmas so now I can take lots of pictures! These will be the first two of four placemats for my culminating project. I’m a bit stuck right now. I just fixed a threading error and I thought I was all set and ready to weave but once I started weaving tabby, I’m not as happy with it as I thought…So I’m taking a short break.

I ordered my Bluster Bay Mini End Feed Shuttle today!! I’m SO excited! I ordered some paper pirns to go with it so that I would actually be able to weave. They were pretty cheap. I went ahead and got 10 so I could get the discounted price. With my gift certificate I think it came out to like $47.95 or something. So that’s really good. I can’t wait for it to get here!

Ohh!! When we were coming back from South Carolina we stopped in Ashville at Earthguild It’s a little weaving/fibers shop. They’re a little expensive online and they don’t have a really big selection, but it’s great to get to go to the actual store because they have mill ends for sale for pretty dang cheap. I got almost 5 pounds of yarn for $31 bucks!



These three are the cones I got. The honey colored one and the red one are rayon blends. They are also Bouclé yarns so they’ll add some texture. The green one (It’s actually kind of more of a teal/hunter green) is 8/2 MERCERIZED cotton. It’s kind of hard to find for some reason, so I bought it partially because of that, but also the color is just wonderful. I think the red and yellow could look really nice together. Or the green and yellow. I have some other rayon in my stash that I could put either with as well. I think the cotton would go well with some tencel perhaps. It would make a lovely scarf. (Of course!) We’ll see. I’m always excited to find yarns for cheap! I still have a Webs gift certificate. Perhaps now I can buy some things that will go nicely with these three cones I just bought.
~JoAnna

Merry Christmas!!

Am I a nerd to be blogging on Christmas? Yes. I know. 🙂 It has been a lovely day and I’ve enjoyed spending time with my family. Everyone enjoyed their hand crafted ceramic pieces and I enjoyed giving them!!

I received several items that will be a big help to me in my weaving endeavors. My mother bought me a 10 dent reed that I’ve been wanting pretty much since I got the loom. I also got Mastering Weave Structures by Sharon Alderman and The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon from my sister. I got some llama silk yarn from my sister that knits up very nicely. (really soft!) Hmmm…What else?? Oh! My grandma gave me a gift certificate to Halcyon Yarn which I will be using to buy a Bluster Bay mini EFS. 😀 Aaaaannd my mom also gave me a gift certificate to Webs. Also fun and good. 🙂 I’m super excited about everything and I can’t wait to get home and get working!!
My brother gave me a camera which will also help me tremendously! Once I figure out how to load the pics, I can start putting pictures of my work on here!! YAY!!! FINALLY! Well I should go for now.
~JoAnna

Christmas traditions

Happy Christmas Eve!! 🙂 I feel like this is the first year for a while that I’ve actually been excited and happy about the Christmas season. I actually decorated our tiny apartment a little. (Just some lights. We don’t actually have room for a tree, but that’s okay.)
I’ve been day dreaming about how fun it will be when I have time and a real house to decorate for Christmas. I would like to make a lot of our decorations. Towels, stockings, table runners, wall hangings etc. I think it’s so much more meaningful to use things to decorate with that were made with love by someone. (Instead of at a factory in China…) Eventually I would like to have hand knit, fair isle stockings to hang and I want all sorts of other lovely things. I’d like to do some table runners and placemats and napkins in red and white overshot patterns.

I was reading one of my favorite Christmas books the other day while helping my mom decorate her house. It’s Trouble With Trolls by Jan Brett(?) Anyway, I love the illustrations. It was one of my favorite books as a child. I was thinking how fun/cool it would be to make clay sculptures of the characters from the book. I especially love the little hedgehog that is in the sub story at the bottom of each page. He was always my favorite. I loved how the trolls prepared a lovely little home for him and he went through and just messed with everything. He’s so cute!

I can’t believe Christmas is tomorrow!! Here in TN it’s pretty warm. 😦 Everyone was hoping we’d have snow on Christmas, but we probably won’t. Unless something pretty drastic happens.

One tradition that we plan on changing when we have a family of our own is instead of giving gifts on Christmas, we’re planning on giving them for New Years instead. Part of that is so that the meaning of Christmas is not lost in the desire and excitement for presents but in my mind, it just annoys me how everyone (especially stores, commercials etc.) get so caught up in buying, giving and other material things. Even if you’re not religious or a Christian, I still think Christmas should be about family at the least (if you’re not going to celebrate the birth of our Savior) even as a Christian, Christmas is still very much about being with family. That way we can all celebrate Christ’s birth together. 🙂 Well in case I don’t write tomorrow, have a very Merry Christmas! (My favorite way of saying it because it’s so cute!!)
~JoAnna

Two blogs…?

So I started another blog at WordPress so that eventually if I want to, I could link it to a website…Well, for now, I just don’t think I’m going to use it. I prefer my blogger one. It’s simple, straightforward and I already know how to use it. So for now, I’m gonna stick with this one. Perhaps somewhere down the road, I shall use my WordPress one. I have strange loyalty issues… haha.
~JoAnna

Updates and excitement

My plan since October has been to weave these stinking placemats and napkins over Christmas break and I still haven’t finished ONE warp! I don’t even have Mac dressed yet. ARGH! Frustration is setting in…

I’m planning on working on it this afternoon. I’ve gone back to my original idea and I’m skipping the overshot. It’s going to be too complicated and too much of a gamble. I don’t have time to do a sample and I really think the yarn is going to be too fine even if I use two shots per pattern pick. I’m okay with it though. I think it really does make it more like me if I skip the overshot blocks. I like to keep things simple. So I am and that’s just how/who I am. 🙂

In my world of ceramics, I’ve had some exciting developments. I made some mugs for a friend to give to his girlfriend for Christmas. I had been planning to make these for him since this summer (when I didn’t even know how to make them) I was not expecting him to pay me for them at all. It was a gift for him to not have to pay for his gift for his girlfriend. Well once he saw them, he insisted that he pay me. I tried to tell him no, but he wouldn’t allow it. So I am accepting a little. But I’m still giving him a really good deal. He also bought two bowls for his gf that I made. And I ended up giving him two more because he wanted them and I said they were HIS Christmas present. 🙂 There are other possible sales coming up, but I shouldn’t say anything until they’re final.

Okay, I was not expecting to sell ANY of the things that I made this semester. Seriously. Not because I don’t WANT to sell them, I just didn’t think it would happen. But apparently, buying things from friends is cool and it doesn’t matter if the stuff is a bit sub-par (I’m sure those buying the items would disagree. It’s probably just me being all negative because it’s something I made and I only see the flaws when I look at it.)
Anyway, it just makes me super excited to get going with my clay work!! I must!! I must!!
Well my mother has an electric kiln she bought last year(?) for $65.00 (SUPER GOOD DEAL!!) Anyway, it needs a little work (new coils, new switch, new cord) but I don’t think it’s really anything major. So I think I’ll probably e-mail the ceramics teacher at school and ask if he would be willing to look at it if I brought it up there. He’s pretty easy-going so I’m sure he’d be willing to help me. Also, my husband’s grandfather is a master electrician so any electrical work that may need to be done shouldn’t be too much of a problem to get fixed. I’m hoping to make that happen when school starts back.

Also, I’ve been knitting more cowls lately. I think I’m getting faster I completed almost two yesterday evening. The only reason why I didn’t finish the second was because I was showing my sister-in-law how to knit and I stopped to eat dinner. (Both of which were good, fun things) I’m currently knitting with some acrylic yarn I have in my stash. I’m not really crazy about acrylic or any other synthetic fibers. I just don’t like them. They don’t feel or behave right. That’s partially due to only being able to use natural fibers with the dyes we use in the dye studio. But I just really prefer natural fibers. They feel nicer, I understand how they are supposed to behave and they’re NATURAL!! Anyway, I’m thinking it might be good to build up a little bit of an inventory of these lovely items and having some synthetic ones will be good because natural wool can be a pain to wash. So it’s all good. 🙂 Phew! It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since I wrote, but so much has happened!! Christmas is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to it. 🙂 I’m excited to give mostly handmade gifts this year. I hope everyone likes what they get!
~JoAnna

Busy busy busy!

I haven’t had time to post lately because I’ve been so busy with the end of school. I took my last final of the semester yesterday. Yay!! I got an A in the class. (Good feeling) Another yay!! 🙂 I’m still waiting to hear back on three other grades, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get A’s or B’s. Very unlike me. I haven’t had a lot of semesters where I didn’t get at least ONE C. Math and chemistry classes mostly…and my history classes. Or when I had two fibers classes at a time.

Speaking of fibers classes… 🙂 I’m SOOO excited about next semester! I’m finally getting back over to the fibers studio (After a year’s absence) I’ve been taking ceramics classes (And enjoying them very much) But I really do miss the fibers studio. I’m very excited about Weaving II. My instructor said it will be very different from how she has taught it before. It will all be very experimental and conceptual. It will be a big challenge for me going from two semesters of functional, 3D work to 2D, conceptual/sculpture-like (possibly) work. I’m kind of intimidated. But I know it’ll be good for me to stretch my brain and push myself in a different direction.

I haven’t had time to work on my placemats for a few weeks. So it’s just been sitting there half in the reed, half out. I had some minor setbacks and I’m going to re-sley the reed because I think 30 epi is going to be too close. So I’m gonna re-sley at 20 which is frustrating to do in a 15 dent reed because it means a sleying sequence. (1-1-2 in this case) It’s not really hard to remember, but it’s annoying. Plus I wound off two bouts that I don’t need now that I’ve changed the sett. I think I can still pull them off and save them (Even though I’ve already cut the ends. If I just put a bunch of ties on it and make sure I tie the cross really well, I should be fine. I wound off two extras on the blue warp too and I would need 5 bouts to make something else. (Towels, runner etc.) If I have time, I might make a runner for the set in a plaid. That could be really nice. The warp isn’t really long enough for anything else so that would be lovely. I just have to decide what to do for that last bout. I was thinking I might throw a bout of the variegated that I’m using for the napkins in there to sort of tie everything together. But we’ll see. At least I have a plan. Now I just have to get weaving!!
~JoAnna

Beginning of the end

I began putting the first warp on for my culminating project in college. I scared myself pretty bad the other day. I got to thinking, I won’t be living in our little apartment in just a few months. We may not even be living in the same town! I’ve lived here since I was 5 years old! I’m scared and excited at the same time.

More about the project though. (I’m excited) I think I’ve already said this somewhere, but sometimes I just need to write things again. It’s like hearing it out loud and I’m a very auditory person.
I’m supposed to combine my two concentrations within my major of interdisciplinary studies. My concentrations are interior design and art. Well, personally, I think those two things go hand in hand anyways. I started trying to formulate exactly what I was going to do.

I’ve decided to make four place settings for a table. I will be weaving placemats and napkins and I have thrown ceramic plates and bowls. They all have the common colors of green and blue. (because those are the colors of yarn I had…And I love those colors!) I’m going to weave two green placemats and two blue placemats. The napkins will be a variegated yarn that combines the blue and the green. I have made two plates that are primarily green and two that are primarily blue. Same goes for the bowls. I wanted all of the pieces to have a common theme, which is the colors. I have also used a motif that is constantly stuck in my head, three stylized leaves.

I have been considering weaving an overshot edge on the placemats that uses a honeysuckle pattern, but I’m afraid that my sett will be too tight. I guess I really should have sampled. I think I’ll have some space to sample at the beginning of the warp. So I’ll probably do that and see what happens. The placemats only need to be 22″ long. (compensating for shrinkage and hems. I would like them to be 19″) Anyway, I have 108″ (3yds) for warp length. Minus 27″ of shrinkage gives me something like 80″ to actually weave. Well 80 divided by two does not equal 20 so I should have enough room to sample a little at the beginning. It just seems strange for the warp to be so short, but I’m getting exactly what I need. Two placemats.

Anyway, I’m almost done sleying the reed (I warp front to back) Threading will be frustrating…It usually is. Mostly because I don’t really have enough room in my apartment to fold down the back of the loom so I can actually get to the harnesses. Perhaps warping back to front would make more sense, but I’ve not learned to do that yet. So we’ll just ignore that and do this the only way I know how.
For the actual project part of this whole thing I have to write a ten page reflection paper explaining why and how these two majors are combined and why I chose to do what I did. I think of it like an artist’s statement. Although I really prefer my artist’s statements to be about a page long when talking about a project. Oh well. I can do this! Now, if only I was at home working on it…
~JoAnna