Placemats or table runner??

I hit a bit of a snag….I suck at planning. I realized that 11″ is really not wide enough for placemats. AGAIN!! Why can’t I seem to get this right? Next time I’m doin’ 14″ x 20″ + fringe. End of story.

So here’s the issue: I still have this 6 yard warp of canvas weave linen. What am I gonna do with it? Weave up lame-o, too skinny placemats? I was thinking I could do a couple of table runners and use that as the gift. That could work out quite well. I could use one for the gift and have one to sell. It’ll be a fairly narrow table runner but that makes more sense than narrow placemats. Hmmm…I need to do some measuring and research. At least I have an idea!!

I’m still coughing like crazy. Yesterday was baaaaad. I couldn’t even stand up without feeling dizzy. So I didn’t do any weaving. I did sit finish knitting a cowl that I started in like January! I’d really like to work on my cable knit beret, but I’m scared of cabling. I don’t know why. I should just suck it up and try it. I’m using cheap (but nice) yarn so it doesn’t really matter if I mess up. Hopefully I’ll like the pattern and be able to make more. 🙂
~JoAnna

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Finally back to work!!

I began dressing Mac (my loom) today for the placemats. Oh side note: Even if google says placemat is two words, I like it better as one word. Okay. Anyway, I haven’t gotten very far yet, just sleyed the reed, but I’m excited to kind of get back in the swing of things. I’ve missed weaving terribly. I’m pretty excited to get going with projects. I need to do up the calculations for the undulating twill scarves. I suppose I could do a few of those in different colors and just tie back on. I still haven’t unpacked all my yarns yet. I don’t really have any place to put them.

Okay! Staying positive! I have a few color ideas. I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to use the cordovan and coral rayons for one set (possibly just one scarf). I also really like my pumpkin orange silk with my yellow/green Tencel. A bit strange, but for some reason I like it! The aqua Tencel would also be lovely with the orange silk. I gotta come up with something besides using orange silk!! I also have a lovely chocolate brown silk. That would go well with the yellow/green and aqua Tencels. I still want to do Houndstooth Tencel scarves in black and red, as well as black and white. Everyone likes black and white Houndstooth!! 🙂

So I got my dyes!! I’m very excited. And boy HOWDY is it A LOT of dye!! I guess dye powder doesn’t weigh a lot because a pound of dye is a lot! I’m pretty excited though. I may try mixing some dye concentrates up later today. I totally forgot that I don’t have any squeeze bottles to put them in though…I’m not sure what I’ll do about that yet…Hmm…I just really miss dyeing and I can’t wait to get started on something!! I’d love to do a bunch of low water fabrics. I could make some liners for woven bags. I felt SO guilty buying fabric that looked hand dyed to line a few of my bags with. It made me sad. I hope I can figure out some creative combinations with the three colors that I have a TON of. Also, 1 oz of dye is much less than I suspected. I can always overdye things in different shades. I forget about that option. 🙂 Well I must go for now. I have a lot of crafting to think about…
~JoAnna

Planning projects

I’m still moving so no projects started. Since this week is almost over and we have to be out of our apartment by 2pm Monday, I should hopefully be able to start some projects SOON! 🙂 Looking forward to it.

I have a few projects rolling around in my brain right now. I believe I mentioned the linen place mat set I would like to make for some friends who are getting married. This really needs to be my first priority because they’re gettin’ hitched in June! I have done most of the calculations and I believe that I will have enough linen for 8 place mats that are 11 X 18. I know 11″ wide seems a bit of an awkward number, but that’s how much yarn I have. So hopefully that will be good enough. 🙂

I am also planning some scarves using the Cordovan rayon (plum purple) and the Susi rayon in a coral. I found a lovely undulating twill pattern that I would like to try in the Handweaver’s Pattern Directory. It’s fairly simple once everything is threaded and all that. The treadling sequence isn’t as long as others. I’m sure I’m capable of doing a more complicated sequence, but I’m trying not to overwhelm myself like I did when I attempted overshot for the first time. Haaa….Although, I’m trying to find a pattern similar to one of the overshot threadings I used in that scarf. It was one of the longer ones that I had but it was just a twill treadling sequence. I wish I hadn’t lost the sheet that had the threadings on it. I used to have the drafts saved somewhere. I wonder if I still do…I DO!! I DO!! 🙂 I found them in my email. Yay for weaving software! Although, I still think I’m going to use this undulating twill pattern. It’s intriguing.

I don’t have other plans besides this. And I’m not really sure what you sett an undulating twill at. (yes, I ended my sentence with at. But I passed college grammar with an A so I can do that. haha)

OH! My dyes shipped!! Did I tell you I ordered dyes? I forget…Well I ordered some dyes!! 😀 I’m super duper excited. Dharma had these dyes called Muck Dyes. I got an email on April Fools (the first of April, FYI) from them telling me that they had these dyes for sale. I know, I know, what on earth is a muck dye?? They are dyes that for whatever reason don’t match with the color that they were supposed to and were thus cast off. Dharma chose to sell them anyway. Yay!! They were like $8.00 a pound which is a really good deal!! Depending on the color, some dyes can sell for $6.95 for 2 ounces! The Muck dyes were given these strange/funny names too. I ordered Varicose Violet, Pepto Dismal, and Spray-On Tan. *lol* The colors are actually quite nice they just have icky names. I also ordered a starter kit so I would have all the other chemicals I need for mixing dyes as well as three more colors. (These colors are normal though. And I only have 1-2 ounces of each)

Hopefully I’ll be able to dye some of that rayon I have! I was also thinking about using some of the dyes to dye some fabric for my sister-in-law to make a comforter for her bed. She just turned 13 in February. When they first moved to TN, she was 4 or 5 and her mom bought this fabric to decorate her room and it was cute for a 5 year old, but not so much for a 13 year old…It’s like picket fences and flowery and…just not her at all anymore. SO! I was thinking it really shouldn’t be TOO hard to make a comforter for a twin bed. And low water immersion is ridiculously easy to do. I even told her we could dye two different pieces of fabric so that it would be reversible. 🙂 She wants to screen print though and that might be a bit more of a problem because I don’t have anywhere to do that or any way of burning a screen.

The pattern she wants is pretty simple so it’s possible that I could do it using something other than photo emultion. I believe Speedball makes a screen block out chemical that doesn’t require a dark room and light table. I did a bit of investigating and found the chemicals at Dick Blick. I may get some at some point and try it out. I’d love to be able to screen print again. And I don’t have to do anything really complicated. I like un-complicated. Anyway, I think it would be a fun project. I could probably use some of my mom’s pigment dyes to print with. I think she has some thickener. Pigment is SO much easier to print with. If you use dye, you have to have sodium algenate or some other type of thickener to make the dye into a paste. Now if only I had a slightly smaller screen…Mine are all pretty large and hard to manipulate…

~JoAnna

Moving, moving, moving

I am SOOO sick of MOVING!! Now I know why people just have “moving day”. Because then it’s all overwith in a DAY!! I’ve been moving for THREE days now and I’m getting pretty worn out. 😦

We moved my loom over to my parents house and…well…there’s not much room for it. I keep forgetting my camera to take pictures of everything but honestly, I don’t want to remember all this packing and moving and frustration!! Then I won’t be so reluctant to move again (hopefully by the end of the summer).

Anyway, I’m not sure what I’ll do about the fact that I don’t even have enough space to dress my loom at this point. That’s one of the few downfalls of a Mac. In order to really be able to get at the heddles to thread them, you have to be able to fold down the back beam to the floor. Otherwise it’s very awkward and uncomfortable.

I really need to work on being more ergonomic when I weave. I was reading an article (or maybe a book) by a weaver (Possibly Sharon Alderman, but I can’t remember right now) and she said that she injured her back from years of weaving and had to have back surgery. Well…My back’s already messed up. Not bad, but it hurts a lot after I weave and especially after I dress the loom. I’m just wondering what the most efficient and comfortable way to dress a loom is. Granted, I usually try to do the whole thing in one sitting instead of breaking it up, but that doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. Anyway, I got scared when I read that and freaked out that I’m gonna have to have back surgery now because I’m not careful. I also need to learn a way to stretch my back so that when it DOES get sore and tired, I can actually DO something about it. I think yoga might help.

It’s nice to at least get to think about weaving stuff even if I can’t do it yet. I feel like my entire summer is getting away from me and I won’t have any time to weave! Which isn’t true at all…It’s not like I have school in the fall to keep me from weaving. It may just be that I don’t get to do much on the loom over the summer. I just have to get through this week and then things will normalize a bit.

~JoAnna

I'm graduated!!

I’m officially Alumni!! 😀 I’m proud of myself and Ben!! It was so fun getting to sit together and walk one right after the other in line. Our families made some NOISE!! 🙂 And we skipped out early. Wonderful!! The final “stick it to the man”!! haha.

They told us at rehearsal on Thursday that we were not allowed to wear anything over our robes that did not pertain to academia. I chose to wear a hand woven scarf that I made to demonstrate that I am I weaver and craftsperson. Take that TTU!! Whatcha gonna do about it?! It was pretty funny, one of the guys in our row actually asked me what honors society it was for and I said, “It’s because I’m a weaver. I made it.” He was impressed. I wore it proudly. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some of the pictures my mom and other people took and I can post them on here for you to see! Well I must go for now! Graduation party in just a little while!!
~JoAnna

A moving studio

As I was packing up my yarns and things in preparation of moving, I realized that I have begun building my studio already. I may not have a place for everything and everything in its place, but I definitely have plenty of stuff to fill a studio!! I transported about 5 boxes of various size to my parents house for temporary storage. And my new box of yarn was awaiting me when I arrived. 🙂

I am SUPER excited about weaving up some beauties. I’m not entirely sure what I should do first…Did I already tell you what I got? Well…I shall tell you again because I’m excited. 🙂

I got:
two tubes of 8/2 linen in natural (it’s a lovely tanish gray.)
Two half pound cones of 20/2 silk in chocolate brown and deep orange. MMMM!! Delicious.
Two little cones of Susi Rayon in Kelly Green and coal pink (Beautiful accent yarns)
One pound of 3/2 perle cotton in a red/orange
And 4 more cones of 6 ply rayon in Cordovan (plum purple)

I have SO much rayon!! It’s comin’ out my ears!! 🙂 I’m excited about it though. I think the Susi would probably look pretty cool with the Cordovan.

I think my first order of business (once I get a chance to weave again) will be to weave up some gifts for a wedding. 🙂 I’m not sure what yet. But I know I would have loved to have gotten something beautifully hand crafted just for me. Actually, I GOT something beautifully hand crafted for me. 🙂 A beautiful, quilted table runner. And I did and DO love it!! If only I had a table to put it on… Anyway, hopefully I can make up my mind and make something lovely.

~JoAnna

Oh! So I had this really strange color combination idea: orange with like a yellow green. I think…it could look pretty SWEET!! 🙂

The product of stress

Apparently my stress can be productive in some form…I still am not sure if this is going to work…

Thrums tied together to form continuous strands of yarn, wound into little center-pull balls that can be used for warp.

Knots become part of the design, an effect, a feature, similar to eyelash yarn.

Perhaps fill in the “gaps” with a regular, consistent yarn with no knots allowing for more movement and less catching and tangling.

~JoAnna