Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weaving Courses Offered

Woohoo! Time for a Big Honkin' Announcement! As I may have alluded to once or twice but never really expanded on, Mom and I are offering two five-day weaving courses at her studio on Vashon Island, WA in January of 2010. Now that the madness of the latest craft market is over, I've finally had enough time to put together a respectably complete prospectus of what we'll be doing.

(I had intended to do up a spiffy web page on my Weavers Palette site to announce this but, woe is me, my mad webskillz were not up to the task. Or not up to making it as pretty as Blogger can, at any rate, so to the greater and prettier wisdom of Blogger I shall yield.)

Here is Thee Scoop, for your viewing pleasure:

Beginning & Continuing
Weaving Courses
The Weaver's Palette
& Willingham Weavery

Mother/daughter weaving tag team
Sue Willingham and Janet Dawson are offering two five-day courses in January 2010: Weaving 101 – Beginning Weaving (January 11-15), and Weaving 102 – Continuing Weaving (January 18-22).

Courses run from Monday to Friday and include an hour or two of “class” each morning and afternoon plus several hours of time at the looms with two (2!) experienced instructors close at hand, for a total of 6 hours of instruction and supervised weaving each day for five days. In addition, the studio will be open before and after scheduled class times from Monday to Thursday; students are welcome and encouraged to weave on their own as much as they like between classes. Students who complete their first project with time to spare may plan and weave a second if time permits (additional materials fees may apply in this case).

There is a maximum enrollment of eight students in each course and there will be two (2!) instructors on hand at all times, so students will receive plenty of individual attention and assistance.

NB: Sue's studio contains looms made by several different manufacturers so students will have an opportunity to meet and test drive jack, countermarche and rigid heddle looms made by Ashford, Glimakra, Harrisville, LeClerc, Macomber, and Schacht – an invaluable experience for anyone considering purchasing a loom for the first time. The Weavery also has a nearly complete set of Handwoven Magazine and many other weaving texts that students may make use of during the week.

Course Descriptions

Weaving 101: Beginning Weaving ~ January 11-15, 2010

Topics covered:
  • Loom meet & greet: the parts of a loom and how they work
  • Other weaving paraphernalia: what it's for and how to use it
  • Planning a project: choosing threads, set, structure and size
  • Reading and creating drafts for weaving
  • Dressing a loom from front to back
  • Introduction to simple structures: plain weave, twill and basket weave
  • How to actually weave: filling bobbins & shuttles, treadling a pattern, throwing the shuttle, maintaining an even beat and tidy selvages
  • How to avoid and correct mistakes made while weaving
  • How to stop weaving: hemstitching, hems, knotted fringes and other methods of securing your fabric
  • How to wet finish cloth

Each student will wind a warp, dress a floor loom and weave a sampler in plain weave, basket weave and a variety of twills, then use the skills learned from the sampler to weave a set of tea towels in her choice of colours on the same warp. Additional looms will be dressed and ready for students to weave samples of variations on plain weave and twill: warp faced, weft faced, twill gamps, and/or finger manipulated weaves. Students may plan and weave a second project if time permits.

Beginning Weaving makes use of the book Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler; students are required to bring their own copy of the book to class. Students should also bring their own small, sharp scissors, blunt end tapestry needles, and note taking supplies. All other materials and equipment will be provided (though students who have their own shuttles and bobbins may wish to bring these as well). A materials fee will be charged.

Weaving 102: Continuing Weaving ~ January 18-22, 2010

Topics covered:
  • Review of topics from Weaving 101
  • Dressing the loom from back to front
  • How to read a profile draft
  • Moving beyond plain weave, basket weave and twill
  • Mixing fibres together successfully
Each student will warp a floor loom in different structures and fibres, using warps and drafts provided by the instructors. Once the looms are dressed, students will rotate among the looms1 and weave a project on each warp. Structures will vary from three to eight shafts, including krokbragd, waffle weave, lace, fancy twills, block weaves, unit weaves, and/or two shuttle weaves. Projects will include scarves, tea towels or table runners as appropriate for the fibres, structures and sets being used on each loom.

NB: Continuing Weaving (Weaving 102) is designed for students who already have some experience in weaving and dressing a loom, reading a simple draft and planning their own projects. It focuses more heavily on loom time than Weaving 101 so that students have ample time to weave each project with instructors nearby to offer assistance if required.

Students should bring their own small, sharp scissors, blunt end tapestry needles, and note taking supplies to class. All other materials and equipment will be provided (though students who have their own shuttles and bobbins may wish to bring these as well). A materials fee will be charged.

The Instructors

Janet Dawson (that's me!)

"I've always loved yarn: the colours, the textures, the feel of it in my fingers... As a girl, I used to spend hours sifting through my grandmother's yarn drawer and winding up the tangled skeins into tidy balls, then unwinding them so I could do it all over again. Gramma taught me to knit when I was nine and to crochet a little later but when I moved to Cape Breton Island in 1994 and took my first weaving class, I knew I'd found my place: at the loom.

Though I've always longed to create beautiful things, my strengths run more toward math, computers and mechanics. This makes weaving perfect for me because it combines structure and beauty, balances planning with creativity, and allows exploration within a clearly defined framework. In short, it lets the arty-farty right side of my brain and the techy and mechanical left side of my brain cooperate rather than compete for my attention.

I also love to teach! I come from a long line of teachers so it's in my blood and discovering a new way to explain an old idea so that it finally clicks for someone who's been struggling is a particular delight. That I can combine my two passions for weaving and teaching into an actual job is a constant source of surprise and wonder for me. That I can do it with my mother? Priceless!”

Janet learned to weave at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design in 1994 and taught the weaving program there from 2000 to 2009. She has been a member of the Sydney Weavers' Guild since '94 and was the HGA Rep for the Maritime provinces for four years. She has had articles published in the Ontario Spinners & Handweavers magazine, Fibre Focus, and twice in Handwoven Magazine, most recently in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue. Janet has her own weaving business, The Weaver's Palette, and is one of the founding members of Mixed Media Artisans Co-operative, a retail gallery showcasing the work of artisans from across Cape Breton Island and mainland Nova Scotia. Her handwoven blankets, scarves, table linens, garments and other items have been sold in shops in the Maritimes for 15 years and now grace the homes and wardrobes of customers across North America, Europe and as far away as Australia and the country of Georgia.

Janet is also active in the online fibre community. She writes two fibre related blogs: Scarfaday, which is almost entirely devoted to scarves, and High Fibre Diet, which covers fibre topics of all stripes. She also broadcasts live on Weaving In My Jammies (access code: jammiecam), where viewers can watch her weave and ask questions in real time about what she's doing or anything else related to her high fibre diet. Janet goes by janetdawson on Twitter, on Ravelry, and on Weavolution and by Janet Dawson on WeaveZine.

Though Janet has experience weaving and teaching advanced, multi-shaft structures, her current passion is for colour and texture in simple structures like plain weave and basket weave, and twills both plain and fancy.

Sue Willingham (a.k.a. My Dear Ol' Mum)

"Weaving has become the focus of my life since retirement, a way to be creative and to be involved with creative people. I especially enjoy helping people learn to weave and to explore more about weaving. My students never fail to surprise me with their individual flair -- I always learn as much as they do!

Sharing a love of weaving with my daughter is, of course, a very special gift. Her enthusiasm is the reason I took my first class. Since then sharing and consulting together has bridged the miles between us. I am really looking forward to teaching these workshops with Janet!"

Sue learned to weave in 1996 at the Weaving Works in Seattle – and via phone consultations with Janet! She moved to Vashon Island in 1998 and after retiring in 2001 had more time to focus on weaving. In 2005 she was asked by friends to teach them to weave. Her living room wasn't big enough so she converted her garage into a studio and later in 2005 opened the Willingham Weavery there. All of her looms were used when she acquired them. Currently there are eight floor looms and several table looms. During the workshops two more will be added temporarily for participants to use. Sue's weaving interests are eclectic -- she likes to experiment with new weave structures and various yarns. As looms have been added to her studio, new opportunities arise because of the size and number of shafts.

In 2003 Sue was one of the co-founders FiberNet, a group of Vashon fiber enthusiasts who share, teach, and learn from one another and, in 2008, mounted a show in Vashon Island's Blue Heron gallery. An outgrowth of FiberNet and of Sue's weaving classes is Vashon Weavers, a group of island weavers that meets regularly and enthusiastically to share and learn.

Sue has been a member of the Seattle Weavers' Guild since 2002 and is currently serving a third term as recording secretary. Next door to her studio is Vashon Island Alpacas; Sue works with the owners to produce and sell spinning batts and yarn from the luscious fleece of their animals under the name Vashon Alpaca Fibers. For several years she has participated in the Vashon Island Holiday Studio Tour the first two weekends in December; other island weavers also show their work at her studio during these tours.

Sue and Janet: Mother/Daughter Weaving Duo Extraordinaire!

Together, Sue and Janet are an international, east-meets-west, island to island, border hopping, mother/daughter weaving duo extraordinaire! They may live on opposites coasts of two different countries but they visit one another as often as possible and, due to the wonders of the interwebs (and a couple of webcams and hands free phones!), they weave “together” almost as much as if they lived down the road. The two of them live and breathe to weave and are often in consultation with one another on projects, on teaching, and on life in general.

Collectively, Janet and Sue represent almost 30 years of weaving and teaching experience. Their shared enthusiasm for their craft will inspire you and their mother/daughter antics will entertain you while their breadth of teaching experience and subtle (or not so subtle) differences in approach and technique provide you with a solid foundation of weaving theory and skills that will enable you to weave confidently on your own for years to come.

The Willingham Weavery

Sue's studio, The Willingham Weavery, is located on beautiful Vashon Island in the Puget Sound between Seattle and the Olympic peninsula. There are several places for visitors to the island to stay and to eat; anyone coming from away to take the workshops may contact us and we'll provide you with suggestions.

The Weavery is also right next door to Vashon Island Alpacas (where my niece and nephew live!) and Sue sells alpaca bats for felting and spinning as well as spun fibre that weaves up beeeooootifully. If there's interest, arrangements could be made for a tour of the farm. We may even be able to arrange a special yoga session for Madly Weaving Weavers if there are folks who'd participate - always a good idea to give your body a break after weaving for six hours a day!

1. Weave on one loom and then another and another, that is... as opposed to, you know, standing in amongst the looms and spinning round like a dervish. Though you're welcome to do that too if it makes you happy!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

For your viewing pleasure: Scarfaday Live

I use the term "pleasure" loosely, you realize. There's not much to see here besides the clickety-clack of a loom at work and a shuttle swooshing back and forth, but you can now watch Weaving In My Jammies live on JustinTV. Access code: jammiecam!

Except that it won't be online all the time, or even most of the time. When it IS live, though, you can come watch me weave and chat with me while I do.1 I'll be happy for the company, and happy to answer any questions you may have about what I'm up to. If you're very lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of an elusive loom cat. You will almost certainly glimpse some flannel.

If you do stop by, be sure to introduce yourself! There's a little chat balloon jobbie to the lower right of the screen.

1. And by chat, I meant txtmsg. I've got the mic off, 'cause I didn't want to have to make it a 18+ site and One Never Knows when some swearing might happen.

Friday, November 6, 2009

And the calendar goes to...

...Ron Dawson! Errrr... hang on now, that won't do at all.

Okay, try again: the calendar goes to... Evelyn Oldroyd! No, wait, she's got one already. Does she have one already? Yes, yes she does. Is it definitely the 1998 and not the 1997? Yes, it most certainly is.

Oooookay, try again. The calendar goes to... Ron Daws-- gnaaah!

*deep breath* Once more: The calendar goes to....

...PattyAnne of PattyAnne's Place! Congrats, PattyAnne! Your calendar is all wrapped up and waiting right by the door for its trip to the PO in the morning. :D

Big thanks to everyone who weighed in with an opinion on random vs. reflected. The answers were about 2:1 in favour of random, with 2 people not coming down on either side. (plus a third lurking in twitter DMs - you know who you are!)

Don't be too disappointed, those of you who didn't win, for all hope is not lost: I still have a handful of these and they'll likely be turning up in future contests, so Watch This Space.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's contest time again!

Time for another quick and dirty survey, and hence another contest! It's going to be really quick and really dirty this time, so weigh in quickly for your chance at a Mahvelous Prize!

First, the question:

Do you prefer scarves with random stripes, like these:

Or those with reflected stripes, like these:

And now for rules and the prize:

To enter, simply comment on this post and tell me which you like best - easy peasey! At noon on Friday, I will pick a comment at random and that person will win... (dum dum dum dum duuuummmmm) A 1998 calendar!1

Wait, don't go! I may be shamelessly giving away ancient calendars but it's not as lame a prize as you may think! This is actually a vintage2 hand woven calendar made by the Sydney Weaver's Guild:

Yes, it's from 1998, but it's got handwoven swatches for each month! Actual bits of handwoven cloth, with a different thematically chosen structure and colour scheme for each month. Complete with drawdowns by Yrs Trly even, so you can weave them up yourself if you so desire. These are really nifty little swatch books and we sold hundreds of them all over the world back in the day.

But wait, there's more! Absolute proof that everything old is new again: the dates on the calendar are correct for 2009! I promise to get the calendar into the mail really really fast so that you can enjoy at least one month of accurate dates. Just disregard the "1998" on the cover and you'll be all set for the month of December - after that, it reverts back to being a swatch book.

Please be sure to include your email address in your comment so that I can contact you for your snail mail address. Do not include your snail mail address in your comment unless you like strange people appearing on your doorstep or junk mail in your mailbox!3

This time I really will only consider comments actually attached to this post and not email sent directly to me, as I'm going MAAAD this week trying to get ready for next weekend's market and won't have time to figure out how to merge the two lists. I'll also only consider comments that contain an email address since I want to put the calendar into the mail toot sweet (like on Saturday) so that there's really some hope of it arriving by Dec 1, so I want to be able to contact the lucky winner ASAP.

There, I think that's everything.

[Edit: Oops, not quite everything! You can put in your twitter user name instead of your email address if you prefer. Just so long as I can get 'hold of you really fast.

Oops: one more thing! Even if you'd rather not have the calendar - perhaps you're not a weaver yourself or maybe you've already got one? - I'd still like your input! Please chime in anyway and either say in your comment you'd rather forgo the prize or let me know on Friday if you happen to win. - J ]

1. I did say "really dirty"!

2. Is 11 years old vintage? I'd say so, for a calendar!

3. You might also like to hide your email address with an [at] instead of an @ and a [dot] rather than a . so that spammers do not sniff it out and start to use it. (e.g. jandawson[at]gmail[dot]com).

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just the stash, Mom, Just the stash. [Scarves ?? and 44-46]

You may recall that when Mom came to visit1 last May, I stashed her in my yarn room for a month. Some people might object to being stuck in a storage room rather than a guest room but, being a weaver, Mom is quite content with the arrangement.2 For one thing it's the only room in the house besides our bedroom, office and bathroom that actually has a door (for some reason she objects to cats climbing into bed with her).3 For another, it's filled with yarn:

Remember this? One wall of my yarn room/guest room/Mother containment unit/playground.

The door's nice but it's really the yarn she likes, even though she says it makes it hard to sleep sometimes. It overstimulates her and gives her all kinds of ideas for things to weave, apparently, and I don't doubt it. In years past when she visited I'd stick my head in and find her lying on the bed, staring thoughtfully up at the walls and worrying her lip or tapping her cheek as she combined the yarn on the walls in her mind. "I'd love to use that one and that one together," she'd say, pointing at the walls and looking at me hopefully.

I had my stash sort of organized, though - at least in theory. Production yarns were on one wall, knitting yarns on another, yarns I collected before starting the business on a third, etc - and I tried not to mix them up too much since some were business supplies and some weren't. And we were always so busy... and I never wove many scarves... There was always some reason I put her off, poor thing.

This year, though - This was The Year of the Scarf! I swear, she literally clapped her hands with glee when I didn't just allow her to go crazy in there but asked her, pretty please with sugar and cherries and all the trimmings, to wind me up some stash scarf warps. She was like a kid in a candy store mixed with a kid whose favourite toys were all in her room - she'd disappear for ages and when I finally tracked her down she'd be sitting on her bed with piles of yarn all around her and a big excited smile on her face: "Look at these, honey! Ooo, and what about this!? And you could use this or this... ooo, or that for weft!"

The end result was seventeen (17!!) warps she wound for three or four scarves apiece. The first couple of combos she just made a single warp out of but by the third one she was making two warps from each so that she could take one home and weave it too - the idea being that we could then compare to see how our respective scarves turned out. Here's the lot, aren't they gorgeous?

The stash warps Mom wound for me while she was here in May.

We thought they were so cool (and the pictures so neat) that we sent them off to Handwoven to see if they'd be interested in them for an Endnotes but I guess they already had stash warps articles planned for an upcoming issue or something so they didn't bite. Their loss, I think!

Anyhoo, we were both really excited about this back in May and each of us put on a warp right away. Mom actually wove three of them in quick succession, and they all turned out GRATE. See for yourself:

Mom's first three stash warps, all woven up. Soooo pretty!

Aren't those pictures FAB? I particularly like the ones that show the finished scarves all swirled up with their own wefts.

Unfortunately, I hit my Weaving Funk and stalled during the first stash warp I put on. Truth be told, I think the two are related to some extent. I don't mean to say that the stash scarves caused my funk, no sirree! They are BEEOOOTIFUL and I love them, and I love that my Dear Ol Mum (who I also love) wound them for me. But Mom's scarves were soooo pretty and her pics soooo cleverly composed that I, in my funkiness, thought to myself: "how can I compete with that? How can I improve on that??" As if competing or improving on was important somehow! Pfff! Ridiculous! But there it is: my darkest, dirtiest secret is that I'm a competitive little bi...er, thing, even where my Dear Ol Mum is concerned. I'm working on it, really I am. :P

I did manage to finish that first stash warp, though. And then, since those three scarves and three similar stashy scarves Mom had woven before she left sold like hot cakes in the shop, I managed to squeeze out a second one over the summer in spite of my weaving dry-spell. As it turns out, the two warps I chose were two of the ones Mom had also woven and we both wound up picking similar weft colours, too. Great minds think alike and all that:

Gaah! Mom's pics are much better than mine! Let it go, Janet, let it go...

Sadly, I didn't take any finished shots of the pastel warp, or if I did I can't find them. I still have one of those left - the only stash warp scarf that hasn't sold yet, I think because it's very springy colours and I didn't get them woven until fall - so maybe I'll get one taken yet. Or maybe I'll unearth the pics I thought I took but can't locate.

Those two warps were the only scarves I wove between June and September, actually. I've been weaving like crazy this month, though - and, now that my funk is over, these stash warps are calling to me! I wove one last week and am hoping to get several more done before the market next month. I'm sure they'll be as popular there as they were in the shop.

Here's the one I've done so far:

Warp #17, Scarves #44-#46

As I wove the first one I thought I was beating the weft in too hard and that it would cover up the lovely warp too much, so I beat the next two very lightly. In retrospect, I like the hand of the first one best even though the warp does show better in the other two. The third one, #46, was a particular experiment: I couldn't find the exact shade of grey I wanted on my production wall so I used a fine silk that my friend Barbara (hi, Barbara!) gave me years ago. The colour wasn't quite as blue as I wanted but hit the mark pretty closely. It must've been a good choice 'cause that's the scarf that the peanut gallery of weavers I showed these to on Thursday liked best. All three of these are sooo drapey and soft and the colours look reeeally great with a chocolate brown vest that I have, so I'm hoping they'll go quickly at the sale.

I still have four more warps from October to share with you but I'll save those for future posts. Right now, it's back to der loom for me!

1. Read: "work like a slave"
2. Good thing, 'cause I haven't got a guest room!
3. Hmm. Maybe I'm adopted?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Round Up [Scarves 36-41]

I finally got a chance to take some after shots of some of the scarves I've done the past week or so. I took all these pics in the shop, actually, so the colours are really pretty accurate - the ones I've been taking in the basement lately have been Very Odd Indeed. Maybe we changed the lightblubs or something?

First up is Warp #12, which is the same colourway as Warp #1. You may recall that I wove the first one just like Scarf #3 except that I hemmed the ends rather than fringing them. After I finished that first scarf, though, I resleyed at 8 EPI rather than 10 to see whether I liked the hand of the looser fabric better.

Scarf #36...

Scarf #36

Scarf #36

...Scarf #37...

Scarf #37

Scarf #37

...and Scarf #38!

Scarf #38

Scarf #38

Turns out that I do quite like the lighter hand: the 8/8 cotton woven up at 10 EPI is a really nice weight for winter but the scarves are ... well, let's just say they're Big Boned. At 8 EPI the scarves have a bit more drape and flexibility - and they're wider, of course. If I had to go out on a limb, I'd say the 10 EPI might be better for guys (narrower, sturdier, denser) and the 8 EPI ones might be preferable for da ladies. I'll definitely be doing more of each for the market and will try to pay attention to whether or not this theory carries any weight. :) I used the same old 4/8 cotton weft as usual for scarves 36 and 38; for 37 I used a cotton boucle of similar weight.

Next up, Warp #13, the wide Water Lilies scarves -- except that now that they're done, they make me think of the Scottish heath as well so now I'm not sure what to call it. Might have to have a "name that colourway" contest or summat. Name the palette, win the palette kinda thing. These are done in 4/8 cotton both warp and weft, with a planned stripe permutation in the warp. Anyhoo, here they are, whatever they'll wind up being called:

Scarf #39...

Scarf #39

...Scarf #40...

Scarf #40

...Scarf #41...

Scarf #41

...and the whole happy family:

Scarves 39-41

Scarves 39-41

So there you have it: the first crop of scarves I'm getting ready for the craft market next month. I'm going to work both these colourways up as kits as well, and I think I might take some prewound warps to the market with me - either to sell to local weavers or to take orders if someone wants to choose his or her own weft colour.

Incidentally, I didn't make a slideshow out of these 'cause I put them on Flickr rather than uploading them right to Blogger, as my Picasa account is rapidly filling up. I don't yet know how to create a slideshow out of a Flickr set and if there's a handy little "create slideshow" button on my Flickr page, I'm not finding it. Can anyone shed any light?

I also wove off this wide scarf that I'd put on the Schacht Flip I borrowed from my friend Marie earlier today. Apart from an interlude of great wailing and gnashing of teeth, I got along pretty well with the Flip. I've got to give it back on Friday but I went ahead and put another warp on it this evening while Ron and I were watching t.v. Will keep you posted!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sheds, temples and water lilies

Just a quickie to show you guys some of my progress so far on Craft Market Countdown 2009. You may have spotted my tally in the top right corner; if so, you're probably fretting at the very small number of scarves I've finished so far - I know I am! Still, those are scarves that are Completely Done, tagged and everything, not any of the ones that are currently in progress, so things aren't quite so grim as they appear. Which is to say, I'm not yet in full blown panic mode - that's still a week or two away. I hope. Ahem.1

In addition to those three finished scaves (pics up soon, I promise!) I've actually got warps going on four different looms right now, with two wide scarves off and ready to be twisted and three others in varying stages of doneness. (Is that a word? My spell checker says no but I say yes. Take That, Mr. Spellchecker!) The warps are all totally and completely different but very pretty in their own ways. Here's the one I'm loving the most, in spite of the fact that it's totally unseasonal. It's on Joey right now but only for another hour or so until I get the last of three scarves finished:

The weird green thread on the left side is the guide string - I don't usually use one but did this time just for kicks.

That's the warp on the mill before I chained it off. The colours aren't so hot in this pic but you can see that they're soft, nearly-but-not-quite pastels. Or maybe they are pastels but they're more grey than the baby pink and blue and yellow that I associate with the word "pastel". To me this colourway looks like one of Monet's paintings. One of the Water Lilies, perhaps?

Here it is again, all chained up. This shows the colours much better:

I'm doing these scarves like the ones from Warp #9 and the magazine article: 4/8 cotton at 8 EPI, 15" in the reed and beat Very Gently Indeed. They usually come out around 11" wide after they're wet finished. I used the same stripe progression that I used for the grey scarf in the article rather than my usual random colours or reflected stripe - I'm quite taken with that and expect to be using it quite a lot in the weeks and months to come.

I started out using the same light green that's in the warp. I wasn't sure at first whether it worked but after the scarf was finished and off the loom I decided I quite liked it. The stripes are much more subtle than I'd anticipated but subtle is okay!

For the second scarf I used a soft grey with brownish undertones that sets off the warp stripes much more than the green did. I fell in love with that one from the get go but didn't take any pics of that one on the loom so you'll have to wait until it's wet finished to see how pretty it is. Ho hum.

For the third one I used a bluish green that's just a bit darker than one of the colours in the warp. At this point the grey's still my fave but I remain open to the possibility that this one might overtake it. I started working on it this morning when I found out today's cruise ship was canceled, and I'm heading downstairs inna bit to go finish it, then twist the fringes on all three and get them wet finished - am very excited to see what they look like all done!

I've got two rigid heddle looms on the go right now, too: my own little Knitter's Loom which is dressed with some bright scarves in purple, gold and navy, and a Flip that I borrowed from a friend which is wearing all bright purples and fuchsias. I'm really loving the fuchsia stripe action on the Flip and I think they'll be really popular what with how big purple is these days but the muted tones in the Water Lilies are my absolute faves for me personally. I wear those kinds of colours all the time. Will be hard to part with the scarves once they're done but then I can always make myself another. :)

Anyone following the hubbub over the use of temples on the Weaving List may be interested to know that, as you can see from the pic, I'm using one on these scarves. I didn't use one for the green scarf but put it on part way into the grey one (hopefully the funny little bump where it gets wider won't show up too much) and plan to use it for all other scarves I do of this type since it makes such a big difference. I generally use a temple on my wider scarves and shawls but not on my narrow scarves. Don't use one on placemats, sometimes do on blankets and sometimes don't. I have no hard and fast rules except to use one when it improves the cloth.

Incidentally, for narrow and lightweight fabrics I use Glimakra temples. I've tried the LeClerc temples and, although they're very similar in style to the Glimakra, I Do Not Like Them. I don't know whether it was the particular temple I was using at the time or something about the LeClerc design, but it prompted considerable wailing and gnashing of teeth that the Glimakra ones do not. The Glimakra ones are lighter with finer teeth and just generally more pleasant to look at and to touch. That counts for a lot in my book. For heavy, wider fabrics (read: blankets and rugs) I use metal Toika temples. They are The Business. Also, I like the bright cheery colours. I also like that they don't obscure as much of the fabric as the wider, wooden ones - that extra width bothered me a bit at first with the Glimakras but I've gotten over it now. :)

Speaking of seasonal colours, things are absolutely gorgeous around here right now. The colours are just a tad past their prime around my yard but still lovely, as you can see in this pic of our brand new shed, which has caused much rejoicing chez moi the past couple days:

Every fall I daydream about weaving something using the colours in the trees. Especially the hot pink and gold of the maples - such an unlikely combination but so beautiful! Throw in a bit of dark green from the evergreens and the grey of the tree trunks... oh man, now I want to go wind warps instead of weaving. Good job there's time for both!

The shed is big news 'cause it's finally going to relieve some of the pressure in the house space-wise, plus it's extra exciting for me 'cause it feels like Step One towards building my outside studio, which I think might become a reality next year or the year after. The link between the shed and the studio is more psychological than anything but I have walked around in there and tried to get a feel for the space, estimate how much more space I'd need for what I want in the studio, etc. etc. It just feels like Progress, and that's a really great thing.

1. I've also got a fair number of scarves at a couple of different shops that will close for the season by the end of the month and I'll be Very Surprised Indeed if I don't get several scarves back that haven't sold yet. Surprised, then thrilled and then really freakin' desperate 'cause I won't have diddly for the market. Gaahh!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Back on Track [Scarf #...er, 36, maybe?]

Oh, so many things to tell you! Not least of which is that, after seemingly MILES[1] of placemats, I am finally weaving scarves again! See?

That right there is Mr. Scarfy Pants, the first proper Scarf A Day scarf in simply months. By "proper" I mean one who had his picture taken on the loom and is getting blogged about on the day of his birth - I've actually woven a couple others but I either didn't snap any pics while they were on the loom or haven't blogged 'em yet. I'm sooo out of practice!

More about MSP in a minute, but first I want to say a huge THANK YOU to you guys who have stuck with me through my long dry spell. I also want to give a hearty welcome to anyone who's found the blog via my article in the latest issue of Handwoven Magazine. These two things are related!

That they're related will come as no surprise to anyone who's read both my last post and my article, as the first inspired the latter. You'll recall that I mentioned the article way back when, when it was supposed to be about Scarfaday and stash scarves and weaving on the cheap and joint projects with Mom and, oh yes, the kitchen sink as well... The scarves were originally supposed to be a project article for the Sept/Oct issue of the mag but for Various Reasons it was delayed until the Nov/Dec, which was just as well 'cause I had no clue how to work all that stuff in, really I didn't. In fact, I was still struggling with the subject matter when I wrote that last post - I was just seeing the light at the end of my funky tunnel, but article angst was holding me back. Finally I wrote to Madelyn and said, "Look, I'm really sorry, but unless you want an article on what to do when your attention span is shorter than your warp, I'm afraid I'm not your girl for this issue." "Really?" she asked. "Were you serious about that?" And the rest, as they say, is history. They also say you should write what you know and you know what? It works!

At first I felt mighty sheepish about writing an article for lazy weavers but then I had an epiphany of sorts: I realized that being a hare (at least one who eventually gets off her duff and back onto the track) isn't a Bad Thing, it's just... a Thing. If you know in advance that it's Your Thing, you can plan accordingly and there won't be any need for embarrassment or guilt or funks or angst when you inevitably decide to cool your heels for a while. I also realized as I talked with other people about the article that I'm not the only hare out there. I can't tell you what a relief that is!

And so, article angst, hare self-acceptance and miles of placemats behind me, I am not just ready but anxious, eager and excited to WEAVE SOME FLIPPIN' SCARVES. Which is a bloody good thing, since I inadvertently signed myself up for a craft market next month and then forgot all about it, so now I have less than five weeks(!!!) to weave a booth full of stuff, and by stuff I mean scarves.

Which brings me back to Mr. Scarfy Pants:

You might recognize the warp colour combo. It's Warp #1 again, and it's back on the loom[2] 'cause a customer ordered a scarf just like Scarf #3 except that he didn't want fringe. It was for a friend of his whose chemo treatments were making her skin super sensitive and he feared the fringe would irritate her. Personally, I think the firm edge of a hem would be more irritating than the super soft cotton fringe, but he wanted a hem so a hem he got. I split the 4/8 into plies and used one ply of 2/16 for the hem bits so that when folded up on themselves they wouldn't be tooooo bulky. Worked far better than I expected, I have to say.

I put on enough warp for four scarves, of course. The first was his and done just like the others on Warp #1, i.e. with regular stripes in the same colour order and at 10 EPI. Just to change things up a bit (yay for hares!) I resleyed before the next scarf and wove it at 8 EPI like my wide scarves 'cause I want to see what the 8/8 warp will do at that set. I've done two scarves like that now and am trying to decide whether to do the last one that way as well or cut these two off and wash 'em first. The fact that I think I've woven #2 and #3 longer than I planned for is a mitigating factor - don't want #4 to wind up stubby!

For the weft of the second scarf I used the same blue that I'd used in Scarf #4.5 'cause I loved it so much and really wanted a full length scarf in that colour. No pics of that one on the loom, but here's 4.5 as a reminder of the lovely colour (this one's at 10 EPI, tho' but):

I think a chocolatey brown would be lovely with this warp palette but I quite liked how the blue of a more similar value wove up, so I decided to use a grey with brown undertones for Mr. Scarfy Pants. I like it but it hasn't sent me into paroxysms of delight. Perhaps it will once it's washed. :) I hope so - I do so enjoy a nice paroxysm. What a funny word. Paroxysm.

Hmm... I like it even better in this pic than I do on the loom. That is Promising!

So! That's all the time I have right now, but here are a few other things I want to be sure to share in the near future:
  • Mom's super keen stash warp project and the lovely scarves they've produced
  • Plans for two week-long workshops that Mom and I are offering in January on Vashon in WA - excitin'!
  • Pics of more of those wide, loosely woven scarves like the ones from Warp #9 and the ones in the Handwoven article, which are doing really well in the shop
  • Pics of my stole, which I never did post. Gah!
  • The rehabilitation of Scarf #34

[1] I'm sure 30 yards = miles in some space time continuum.

[2] In fact, it's on both looms which is Very Odd, let me tell you. Like I'm seeing double when I go downstairs, 'cause the same colours in the same stripe pattern are in two places. First time that's ever happened, and it's because two people ordered the same colours, one for scarves and the other for baby blankets - who am I to argue with paying customers?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Won't You Take Me To Funkytown?

Gotta make a move to a
Town that's right for me
Town to keep me movin'
Keep me groovin' with some energy

Well, I talk about it
Talk about it
Talk about it
Talk about it
Talk about, Talk about
Talk about movin'

Gotta move on
Gotta move on
Gotta move on

Won't you take me to Funkytown?

- Funkytown, Lipps Inc.

So you may just have spotted that I have not been posting this summer - not my own scarves, nor the lovely guest scarves I still have lined up to share with you guys, nor the super keen stash scarf project that my dear ol' Mum cooked up for us while she was visiting in May, nor even the absolutely lovely tea towel that Beth Mullins wove for me Just Because she's a sweetheart. At first this was 'cause I needed a bit of a break after the madness that was May. Then it was 'cause I was in a bit of a weaving funk, and then a funk in general. After that it was just... inertia, I suppose? It is very hard to get back to something once you've had a break from it, no matter how much you love doing it. At least for me: I've always been a binge kind of person, and tend to do things intensely for a while and then not at all for a while rather than a little bit all the time. I'm a hare rather than a tortoise, you might say, and lately I've been sitting under my tree by the side of the race track, taking a break and watching the tortoises trundle slowly by.

And, although I fully expect to dust myself off and get back onto the racetrack that is Scarf A Day eventually, for the moment what's stretching out in front of me is miles of placemats, punctuated by the occasional blanket. I've got zero (0) blankets, wool or cotton, left in either store, and zero (0) placemats or runners left in my store 'cause I sent everything I had, which wasn't much really, off to Arts North so they'd have at least a little bit of something. Happily1, I've got eighteen (18) yards worth of placemat warp on the loom at the mo' and materials for lots more after that2, so I'll be able to restock once I get myself in gear. It's the getting into gear thing that's causing me trouble these days. ;)

So, since this blog is supposed to be about scarves and all I've got to share is placemats, I'm in a bit of a quandry. Do I talk up placemats over on High Fibre Diet and leave Scarf A Day gathering dust? Do I post about them here and pretend they're just very short, very wide scarves? Do I convert the whole business to a Wordpress blog and try out their intriguing category wossit which, if I understand it correctly, will let me have different pages all as part of one blog, with Scarf A Day on one page, HFD on another, and possibly other stuff on other pages3 Choices, choices, choices...

And now, since no blog post is complete without pictures and because nothing cheers a person up like unexpected pressies arriving by post and because I have had this lovely little item sitting out on my kitchen table for weeks as a reminder of good friends online and encouragement to keep blogging, I invite you to join me on a little trip from Funk to Funkytown...

This mysterious package arrived in my mail one day in early July:

Well, okay, the customs label kept it from being totally mysterious but it was totally unexpected! I had no idea anything of this nature was Afoot. Naturally, I was like a kid on Christmas morning all anxious to tear off the wrappings and see what was inside but I managed to restrain myself long enough to grab Bella and take some pics of the unveiling.

Aahh! Yet more wrapping between me and my "one (1) towel - handwoven"! But such pretty wrappings, aren't they? And a card and everything. The anticipation rises...

Isn't that the cutest card EVAR? And how could Beth have known how much I love cats? Okay, so I may have mentioned cats a time or two (or three or four or five...) but how could she have known that this particular kitty looks just like our No.1 Cat? I know I've never posted pics of him on either blog 'cause he died before I started blogging and, truly, this card looks just like him:

He had a bent ear and way more toes (26!!) than the guy on the card, BUT STILL. You'll just have to take my word for the legs and body being a nearly perfect match, apart from the toes.

And now for the pressie itself! I wish I could somehow squeeze the towel right through the intertubes so you could feel the lovely weight and hand of it. Beth, you'll have to correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's woven of 100% unmercerized cotton; I'm guessing a 2/8, or is it a 2/10?

As you can see, the shade of blue is a ridiculously perfect match for my dishes; what you can't see is that my kitchen floor has diamonds on it just like her little turned twill block structure4. Srsly, how does the woman know!? I know I've posted about the cats and I have a vague recollection of putting a picture of one of my blue plates on HFD but I'm quite certain I've never put my kitchen floor online 'cause, really, who's got time for housework anyway? I think there must have been an inside man on this one, or an inside Mum if my sources are correct.

Here's another shot of the towel fabric, sans props:

And a closeup of her lovely turned twill:

Isn't it beeooootiful?? I just lurve it, yes I do. Thank you thank you thank you, Beth!

I can't tell you what a pick-me-up it was to get this in the mail when I was feeling so funky (and not in a good way). I mean yeah, sure, I really love the towel and will use it heaps5 but the best bit about getting pressies like this one and the one Laura sent in April isn't so much the towels - it's the friendship that comes wrapped up in them, the reminder that people out there are thinking of me fondly (and not with irritation or judgment that I haven't been blogging, as I am wont to imagine). I told Beth when it arrived that I'd keep it out where I could see it as a gentle encouragement to blog again when the funk wore off and I think, I hope that's right about now. :)

Speaking of which, thanks so much to everyone else who's sent little notes to keep in touch over the past few months. Barbara, Ellie, Annie, and all the rest - I really appreciate that you took the time to drop me a line even when I wasn't feeling very communicado. :)

So! I dunno how much I'll blog or when I'll get around to posting the guest scarves that I'd meant to post back in May but it'll happen eventually. :) And I'll figure out what to do about the whole Placemat A Day issue as well. I'm going to take Barbara's excellent advice and not make any promises that I have to live up to so that whatever happens is all good, but I am going to try to just Do Something 'cause that's what always gets me out of the funk in the end and, like the Lipps say, it's time to be groovin' with some energy.

1. Who am I kidding? I am dreading these placemats, yea and verily. They are just so monotonous and endless... Every year I tell myself I'm done with placemats and yet, they are what sells at Arts North and I get lots of orders for them. The very idea of 18 yards of mats, followed by many more yards of other mats, makes me wail and gnash my teeth. However, since I'm not weaving anything else lately, I might as well do these. Does anyone have any advice on how to make placemats less tedious?

2. *sob*

3. Wordpress bloggers, am I right about this or is it Fantasy?

4. Is dornik the same as turned twill? I've never been entirely sure just what "dornik" refers to, except that it seems to be a point twill block where the turns aren't true points but are offset in order to prevent floats. Can anyone help me out here?

5. Or maybe I'll just pet it and admire it... I rant and rail at folks that refuse to use the handwoven gifts I give them for fear of getting them dirty or damaging them yet I must confess to being just the same myself.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Guess Scarf Week

Ahoy, me hearties! Thanks heaps and heaps for all the email and little notes asking when I'd be back and wishing me well during my little hiatus. I really hoped to jump right back into the saddle at the start of June but, as you may have surmised, it took me a week or so to recover from the mayhem that was May. Things have calmed down considerably and I am feeling somewhat refreshed so by Monday it should be business as unusual around here.

I've been feeling particularly angsty about missing out on so many guest scarfa days so to make up for lost time I'm planning on doing an entire week of guest scarves. To this end, I have been trolling back through my old emails trying to find any outstanding submissions - which is to say scarves I haven't posted yet, 'cause all the scarves I've ever gotten are all outstanding, OF COURSE. I think I have emailed everyone who's sent me something I haven't used yet. If you did send me something and haven't heard anything from me in a while, please write again and prod me with a pointy stick to remind me.

To my chagrin, I found one letter - with lovely scarf pics attached, even - that I never responded to at all! Gah! Hopefully there aren't any others but please, please, please understand: if you wrote me about contributing a guest scarf and got zero response, this is because I am horrid and very disorganized have been incredibly busy and burned out by turns lately. It is definitely not because I am not interested in your scarves! If you wrote me and I didn't answer at all, PLEASE write me again.

So! I will see you next week, all set to guest scarf like maaaad.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

So much weaving, so little time

So little time to post, that is. I can't believe I've only posted twice since Mom arrived! It's not for lack of content, I assure you - it's just that she's been working so hard that I feel really guilty playing on the computer for the couple of hours it would take to write one and I've been working so hard that by the time I get to sit at the computer all I feel like doing is reading webcomics and playing WoW.1 :P Mom is heading home in two days, though (gnaaaah!) and then I will have time to reprise everything we've done for the past month, including the following scarf related activities (in no particular order):

1) Weaving, sewing up and delivering the stole - which turned out so well I can hardly believe it. It was a thing of beauty, ifIdosaysomyself. I still get goosebumps! If only the pictures of it had turned out as well. Oh well, c'est la vie.

I'll write a proper Part IV post about finishing up the stole as soon as I can with much better pictures. This is just a teaser. :)

2) Weaving three happy trombone shawls on a warp I wound ages ago but never used 'cause I didn't have an 8 dent reed or feel like turning the beater bars around on my Minerva. Happily, Mom brought me an 8 dent reed for my birthday and now those shaws are done like dinner. Well, apart from the wet finishing...

3) Winding a TON of mixed fibre warps out of my ridiculously huge yarn stash. Mom has spent several happy hours staring at the walls of her bedroom (my guest room/yarn room) and picking out yarns to put together. She has wound seventeen (17!!) warps long enough for three scarves each and has woven off three of those warps. They are beeeooootiful and, of the four that I took into the shop last week, one of them promptly sold. Which was heartbreaking 'cause I wanted it for myself but one of my best friends and business partners bought it, so I will at least have visiting rights.

4) Weaving another warp worth of the wide scarves like scarves #30, #31 and #32, to test out whether sleying the 4/8 cotton one per dent in an 8 dent reed works out as well or better as sleying it weirdly with wide gaps in a 12 dent reed. More on this later but the verdict is: "meh, tomayto, tomahto."

5) Figuring out a decent display for Many Scarves in the shop and then displaying the forty-two (42!!) Scarf A Day & other scarves that I had ready for Ship #1. Surely it is not a coincidence that there were 42 of them? Apparently weaving falls under the category of "everything." Was very happy in the end with the new display method:

Hello, Chris-hiding-in-the-mirror-with-whales!

Incidentally, it was a great day sales wise - our best first ship of the season to date - and I sold half a dozen scarves, including Scarf #2, Scarf #5, Scarf #9, and Scarf #14. It was also an incredibly cold day, so I wore Shawl #8 the entire time so as not to freeze to death, with price tag dangling like Minnie Pearl.

6) Working on a Very Exciting Super Secret Scarf A Day Project! The warp is wound, the first scarf is woven and the second is half done but there is much yet to do and the weaving at least all has to be done before Mom leaves at an insanely early hour on Friday morning. I cannot tell you much about this Super Secret Project because it is not a Sure Thing(tm) but I will give you a little hint: it starts with "writing" and ends with "a Scarf A Day article for the SO2009 issue of Handwoven." Woooooot!

7) Appearing in the latest episode of WeaveCast, thanks to Gmail's lovely voice mail feature and Syne Mitchell's audio-wizardry. I haven't had a chance to actually listen to the show yet (might do that while in the shop today - surely cruisers will find it interesting!?) so am a bit anxious - I never sound like I think I sound when I hear myself in a recording. Will be very curious to hear whether I sound okay - I fear I'll sound sing-songy like you do when you're reading something rather than just chatting. Still, is tres exciting!

Hmmm. There may be more scarf related things but they're not coming to mind right now. Sadly, I cannot seem to track down Bella to unload the pictures she's holding, so I have no pics for many of those yet.

There were also non-scarf related things, like setting up the shop, weaving off the wool blankets that have plagued my big loom for some time, sewing up half a dozen small bags and more than a dozen eyeglass cases out of fabric I wove ages ago, delivering scarves to Sunset Gallery, a lovely little gallery in Cheticamp that's carrying my work for the first time this year, weaving a bunch of placemats for another shop I've had things in for several years, having a graphic design student working here for a month, visiting with family and friends while Mom's here, etc. etc. etc.

Woosh. So much of everything, so little time! And now I am running late for Ship Day #2 and really want to take some pics of the newest scarves before they go into the shop and then hopefully off into the world, wrapped round some lucky cruiser's lucky neck. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Introducing the SNRH!

I'm officially going to stop saying "tomorrow I'll post blah blah blah" since this month is clearly not going to arrange itself into tidy days that allow for regular posting, what with Mom visiting and Vanessa working here six hours a day (often on my computer) and the shop opening in ten (10!!!) days and and and... ooph! Also, I'm declaring the entire month an MFM (Mixed Fibre May) 'cause I have no idea what I'll be posting when. There will be scarves - there may even be guest scarves! - but the timing thereof will be dodgy at best.

Now that business is out of the way, I'm dying to show off the SNRH, i.e. my Spanky New Rigid Heddle loom! As you may recall, Mom scored me a second hand but never used Ashford Knitter's loom and brought it for my birthday present. As she feared, I didn't let her save it for my actual birthday; instead, I plunked myself down in her hotel room and waited anxiously while she unpacked her bags then practically tore it out of her hands and started assembling right there on her bed. Let the poor woman sleep after a long international plane trip when there was a new loom to be warped? Are you kidding?

Assembly was easy peasey but figuring out how to warp the loom was a smidge trickier. Mom's room had a sort of flip-top desk we were able to clamp it to (carefully, since the desk was almost certainly an antique)

but there was no other surface to clamp the warping peg onto. Fortunately, Ron was as obliging as ever and anchored a wooden chair so that I could clamp the peg to one side.

I'd packed a couple cones of looped mohair to weave with since I knew the loom came with a 7.5 DPI heddle. I usually weave mohair at 6 EPI but I figured this would work just fine. I snuck the cones into Ron's luggage without him noticing until we got to Halifax. He evidently hadn't got word that Friday night was Weaving Night so was rather surprised to discover coned yarn in his suitcase when he opened it on Thursday hunting for a toothbrush. He's quite used to me buying yarn and packing it home on our trips but it isn't often that I actually leave home with the stuff.

So I had yarn and I'd also packed scissors. The loom came with shuttles and all the bits and pieces it needed... but I'd totally forgotten any sort of packing to go on the back beam between the layers of warp. We hunted around for some hotel stationery but, alas, there was none to be found, nor any kind of sticks either. We hunted around for anything flat we could use and first spied the long plastic sleeve that my new 8 dent reed came in (another gift from Mom - my cup runneth over!). There was also a large Ziploc freezer bag, so that went on the beam next. Then we had to get creative. We tried a t-shirt bag...

...which seemed to work okay (at least until the end)...

...but after that we were really scraping the bottom of the barrel. I considered toilet paper but ruled it out as 1) too narrow and 2) too soft. Then, since I was in the bathroom at the time, I glanced over at the toilet and spotted the only paper product the hotel had provided. A couple quick snips with a pair of scissors later, we wound up with two of these:

Necessity is the mother of invention and all that.

It felt a bit daring to use mohair for this project in light of previous mohair-for-first-project horrors1 but am happy to report that the tension was fine in spite of the unorthodox packing material and warping equipment and the mohair worked great without any trouble at all.

By this time it was Pretty Late so I took the loom back to my own hotel room and let Mom get to sleep. I spent an hour or so weaving on the bed with the back of the loom propped up on pillows but that was hard on the back.

Eventually I realized that the foot of the bed was high enough that I could sit cross-legged on the bed and prop the loom against the foot...board? which worked a treat until I just couldn't keep my eyes open any more. I kept weaving the next morning (this time sitting on the floor with the loom propped against a wing back chair since I figured sitting up on the bed might wake up Ron. ;)) and then finished the scarf up in Mom's room before breakfast, wedged between her bed and the flip-top desk.

Here's one last look at my SNRH baby, this time in its natural habitat, i.e. the kitchen table. Although perhaps that's not really its natural habitat since the idea is to take it out and about and weave away from home on it. At any rate, here it is, complete with its Spanky New Rigid Heddle Bag:

And a last glimpse of the scarf fabric:

In other news, work on the stole continues apace and Mom's been weaving up a storm on a warp of shawls much like the Sad Trombone shawl, except that the wool is slightly finer and white, and no sad trombones have been required as yet.

1. The very first time I ever warped a loom it was with brushed mohair. I had some rather alarming problems with that warp which I think you might be able to hear more about in the next episode of WeaveCast. OoOoooOOooo!

Monday, May 4, 2009

On Stoles, Part III: Stoles were woven

Ooph, what a weekend! There were looms and birthdays and loads of shopping and a long day's drive and when I emptied my suitcase onto the bed last night it looked like a book/game/yarn/clothing store had exploded. Today was super busy as well but Mom, bless her heart, got the loom tied up for the stole and wove the first couple feet. I took over at the first colour stripe and accidentally kept going until it was done. (Well, until the length we'd calculated was done anyway - I'm trying not to be too concerned about the fact that there's still a good yard on the loom even though I don't remember adding that much extra. Must've done. I... hope? Gnaah.)

No time or energy to write any proper sort of post, so hopefully these pics will be an acceptable substitute and give you an idea of how it's shaping up:

Tomorrow I'll introduce you to my Spanky New Rigid Heddle(tm) loom!