Monday, December 29, 2014

Catching Up

   Hi, how are you? Yeah, haven't seen you in a while! I haven't been around much, ya know, so...
I finished the cotton/linen towels, but I made several mistakes on them, so I tied a new warp onto the old one to make more.  I changed the colors a bit, wove a couple of inches, and then had to put the loom up so we could make room for the Christmas tree.  I will probably use the towels myself. I can't sell something so flawed.  Jo Buyer probably wouldn't be able to tell that it didn't look like it should, but I would know.

   We had our local Christmas parade, and all three of my girls were in it.  That shorty holding the Alabama state flag?  That's Middle Daughter.  Yeah, I couldn't get a shot of her face, and no, she couldn't see.  That's why they are so close together, so they people holding the flags don't go haring off.
   The girl in front with the Santa hat is Eldest Daughter, leading the seniors of her NJROTC flight.  Both oldest daughters are in JROTC at their school, and have been since they were freshman.  The have leadership positions and I love what they are learning from it.
   Baby girl is NOT the one with the cheesy grin, but the one behind her.  They were on the Search and Rescue boat.

   On the homestead front, we got new gates since the other ones were bent.  They were my husband's Christmas present.  We are still working on getting something to live on on our land. We have three choices that we are considering: building a cabin (third choice), a mobile home (which I greatly dislike), or getting a cabin that is manufactured somewhere North of here in our state.  We are looking at this one, especially. Or this one.
   I should probably get going, I have to do some cleaning up. It was nice seeing you! I am going to try coming back here more often. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014


  I know, it looks different, yeah? My life is changing so the blog is, too. 
  Why is my life changing?  Because I am not satisfied with how it is right now.
  Don't get me wrong, my relationship with my family is great, but I am not where I want to be right now in almost everything else. 
  I hate to go to work every day.  I want to stay home and take care of my family, have food ready for them, and do more weaving.  I used to find my job very satisfying. Working at a doctor's office, I felt like I am doing something worthwhile and helping people, but not so much responsibility that if I screw up I would kill someone.  I am trusting doctors less now the more I have them throw pills at me instead of trying to fix the problems I am having.
  I have a 1300 square foot apartment on the second floor that is very nice, in a good neighborhood. I also have a frustratingly small space to grow anything, I have to hand-water what I do grow, I can't have any animals, and I hear ambulances and fire trucks at least once a day.  I am not satisfied with this. 
  So we are changing our lives, my family and I.
  We have bought a slightly more than an acre lot about 15 minutes away in a more country area, that already has a septic tank, water service, and a power pole.  It also has a chain-link fence around most of it, mature trees (cedar, pine, fig, sycamore, crepe myrtle, magnolia), and a little shed.
  Our plans are to buy a Mobile home to move into after the school year ends (Eldest and Middle Daughters are in their senior year of high school and we don't want to screw that up), get a few chickens and start planting.  In a few years, since we will be paying a heckuva lot less for shelter than our current rent, I will quit my current job and either stay home and take care of our little homestead or get a part-time job.  One of my goals is to produce as much of our own food as possible.  We will be gradually getting more animals. I want a couple of goats for milk, sheep for wool and meat, and maybe even a pig.  We'll see how it goes.
  I have pictures!
  This is where we start. This is where we will end, and pass it on to our children.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

This Is My Dream

  This is my dream: five or more acres on which are planted vegetables, fruits, hay, and herbs to feed my family; chickens, rabbits, pigs, and a dairy goat; a below-ground house with every wall raised and every pipe laid by myself, my husband, dad, and kids; days spent out in the sunshine, tending to God’s creation instead of inside answering phones and sitting at a computer; afternoons and evenings spent at my looms and spinning wheels, creating more unique pieces to sell and provide for my loved ones.  
  Right now I live in a second floor apartment and a southern-facing balcony that is mostly taken up by a smoker-grill and two kayaks.
This picture is pre-kayaks.
  I don't have anywhere to put any animals, or really grow much of anything. So I do what I can now.  I'm researching like crazy about homesteading and animal care, getting books and bookmarking homesteading blogs on my computer.
  My husband thinks I'm crazy, but in his defense the history he knows and has seen of me and plants is of the houseplants I neglect and kill.  I know he will support me, within reason.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Another Article on The History Bog about Textiles

  This time the article is about Peruvian textiles. I love history!
   Make sure you click on the pictures, you can see them a lot more clearly.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Bit of Textile History

  I find the history of weaving fascinating, for obvious reasons.  I also just like history, and The History is an excellent source for interesting history articles.  This one is excellent:
   Just thought you might be interested.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Behind in My Reporting

   So, the taquete rugs was a couple of projects ago.  Let me catch you up.
   I finished the rugs on March 3. As I previously said, they didn't come out the way they were meant to, so I probably shouldn't continue to call them taquete. Blogging isn't the only thing I am behind on, as I haven't gotten these in my etsy shop yet either.  Soon.

   I have been doing more baking lately, especially bread, and I don't really have an apron.  I was washing dishes, and hunting for a kitchen towel to dry my hands, and I thought "I should combine a towel and an apron!" The kids, as usual, had made off with the towel.  I don't know what they do with these things.
   I already had a band at work on the inkle loom with no pre-set purpose, just making a pretty pattern in red and yellow linen.  I warped the rigid heddle loom as wide as it gets with some red, natural, black, and yellow linen in wide stripes for the main part of the apron. It only took 21 days for me to finish the band, the apron panel, hem and sew them together. Eldest Daughter liked it so well she now wants me to make one for her, but in colors she can see (she is red-yellow colorblind).

   Eldest Daughter's apron will also be linen, in teal, black, natural and lime-y green. I wove the band in nine hours, the simple pattern making it easy to get done quickly. Her apron panel will be wider and denser, which means it needs to be on the floor loom. I have the short warp measured, I'm just waiting on a couple of straight hours for me to put it on the loom.
  Those are my weaving plans, currently. I have other plans, non-weave-y, which I will share soon.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Something's Not Quite Right

  The taquete rugs I am weaving right now, don't look right.  This is what they are supposed to look like (blue = light yellow):
  This is inspired by a project in Issue 160 of Handwoven magazine.  This is what my rug looks like so far:
   This is supposed to be a weft-faced weave, so you shouldn't see anything but white and yellow.  Also, one line of weft is getting packed up under or over the previous one.  This will make for a nice, thick rug but not the blocks of color I was going for.

  This was part of the instructions for the project.  I found it very confusing so I just ignored it.  This may be why it doesn't look right.
  Just maybe.:)

Thursday, March 20, 2014


  I was going to use some handspun and store-bought yarn on my rigid heddle loom to make a log cabin patterned scarf, but the yarn was too thick to go through the holes without shredding. This should have been my first clue.
  I took it off of the rigid heddle and put it on the big loom. I started weaving and it looked great, if I do say so myself.
  It ended up looking like this:
  Those ends? Those are the ends I had to weave back in when they snapped.  You know the proverbial "last straw that broke the camel's back"?  Let's rephrase that to "the last thread of warp that made me cut it all off from the loom before it was done"!
  Notice what color these snapped ends (mostly) are? Guess which yarn is the homespun.
  AAAAAAHT. Wrong.
  The homespun is the colored. The store-bought is  a non-plied wool that just. Kept. FRAYING!
  Deep breath in.
  Deep breath out. I'm better now.
  So now I have a really short scarf that I think I will put a button on and market as a neck-warmer.
  Now I can put the taquete rug on the big loom.
  Lesson learned: Don't use a non-plied yarn as warp. Also, weave thin yarns on the rigid heddle loom.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

After the Baby Shower Blog

   By the time I publish this, my co-worker, who I made this for as a baby shower present, will know what it looks like first hand.  The likelihood of her reading this blog beforehand is astronomically small, but still.
   Isn't it lovely?!  The pattern shows up pretty well, and the colors look good together, if I do say so myself.  The Orlon was pretty easy to work with too, no tension issues to speak of.  I put enough warp on the loom for two of them, so I will be listing one soon on Etsy. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Secret Baby Blankets

The baby blankets are well underway on the floor loom. The  pattern is called Star of Bethlehem and the yarn is something called orlon. My mom has heard of it from Way Back When, but I haven't.  I usually don't like to work with unnatural yarns, but I thought it would be good for this project. Wool would have been too hot for a Spring baby in Alabama, linen is too scratchy at first, and cotton is too....boring. Also, I had already bought the Orlon and just needed something to do with it.  The colors are a little odd for a baby blanket, but I wanted ones that would go for boys or girls. I have a co-worker who doesn't like the green, she thinks it is too dark.  I think this works, though.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What I've Been Doing

  In October, I started on some cottolin placemats that I was hoping I would be able to get done before Christmas.  That didn't work out too well and this is where the loom had to spend the holidays.  The tree needed it's spot in front of the windows. This is what it looks like all folded up between my sideboard and freezer in the dining room.

  I did eventually finish weaving the placemats in mid-January. These being part linen, they shrank a bit when I washed and dried them, before I ironed them. The pattern didn't help.
   Quite a difference, isn't it?  The bottom one is post-ironing, the top is pre.

  I really like the colors, very Christmas-y, which is why I wanted to get these done before the shopping season ended. Oh, well, there's always next year!

  Next on the loom is a couple of baby blankets in orlon.  One is for a co-worker who is expecting, so SHHHHHH!
I ran out of the light yellow for the last 3 mats. I totally meant to do that.