Tuesday, June 30, 2009

a piece of history

As I was playing in my garden today my very elderly neighbour came out with a booklet about making a box loom. This little booklet was published by the Community Programmes Branch of the Ontario Department of Eduction. It lists the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners executive. There are no postal codes or any date. Quite the piece of history and it would be great to contact anybody affiliated with this booklet as they may like it for archival sake.
Happy Canada Day (tomorrow)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Things that get in the way of weaving

Days should have 48 hours, I should get paid more for less time at work, my house should be self cleaning and my husband should learn to cook. There are a lot of things that get in the way of creating. At this time of year the garden and yard work place huge demands on my time. It is close to the end of my school year and so much needs to be done.
But today I needed to deal with lots and lots of tomatoes. A good friend has many connections and through these ended up with 8 crates of greenhouse tomatoes. I was given one. So after a full day of work I had to chop tomatoes, red and green peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro for salsa. 18 Pints worth of salsa. The last nine jars are boiling away in the canner as I type. My darling daughter very graciously bought pizza so dinner was taken care of. And now I must take my weary body off to bed. ...Maybe I'll just fix my selvege........

Friday, June 5, 2009


It is finally cool enough to spend some time in the garden (don't get me wrong I love the heat but it's best for lazy activities). I had been thinking that my veggie garden is quite lame this year. My poly sheeting green house did not survive our wind and snow of this past winter and as I am paying for new front teeth for my son somehow my greenhouse is low priority. And I am thinking about a garden replan so it's location may change.
I ramble on back to my adventure in the garden. I went out to play and put a few seedling veggies into the beds. Weeds seem to have taken over my beds grrrrrr. But wait what am I seeing not weeds but many many self seeding tomato plants. how can this be then I remembered I topped my beds up with compost. Last season when I cleaned up the green house I discarded my tomato plants into the compost. There were some straggler tomatoes no longer edible and a few green. Although the soil looked great from the compost the seeds survived. I transplanted some to other areas. I have no idea what they will become or how many will survive.
Another happy dance occured when I saw new leaves on the little fig tree that I had started from a cutting. I thought the snow had killed it but it is starting new leaves near the bottom. And the hops are growing as well.
Things inside get put to the side in good weather.
Happy weaving , gardening, or whatever your current passion may be.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Is this piece fated or what?

The piece on the loom; the 'ultra frustrating warping' project on the loom, is it ill fated or what? I am happily weaving, enjoying the forming pattern and the colour play between warp and weft when I notice my right side is loosing it's edge. My floating selvege thread has snapped. So backwards weave until the edges hold. Grrr. I wrote a note where I was in pattern and what to fix and walked away.

On a happy note my family heard my request and bought me the stand for the kniiters loom. I want to explore some pick up weaving techniques with my rigid heddle and possibly double rigid heddle patterns while away on holidays this summer. I know the knitters loom is designed as a lap weaving loom, I find that everytime I need to rewind a bobbin or change colour it is awkward to shift it from my lap. Or maybe I am just a clutz.

I was outside watering my garden at 5:30 am this morning. What a beautiful time to be up. The birds were singing and a Great Blue Heron flew over. The grass was damp from the morning dew and felt glorious on my flip flopped feet. Yes my garden needs TLC and would never be right for tours or a magazine but gardening is not just about the finished project but about getting outside, planning, changing, nurturing, and learning. (okay I really am saying my yard's a mess but trying to be okay with that, not)

Have a great day every one.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fear and Weaving

A few months ago I bought a 2 harness Gobelin style tapestry loom. I warped it then my life got crazy. Now I am looking at this loom and I am scared to start. I have done tapestry on a small scale before on a frame loom. I need to get passed this and start. I have felt this fear before with painting. What I call masterpiece syndrome. Making sure my design and my technique is perfect. So when I am unsure or in doubt I don't start. I need to just try have fun and enjoy the process.

I also think time and beautiful weather is a factor. I am an Early Childhood Educator and this is a busy time of the year. I only have 4 weeks left before summer holidays and these weeks are so full. When the sun is shining I wish my looms were upstairs where I could enjoy the sunshine. If and when the kids move out...........

Happy weaving

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Just a Few Inches

I did a few inches of weaving while my family cleaned up the dinner dishes and to test the pattern out. I am very happy say that after the hassle of my being brainless warping it looks good and I am very happy. It is a simple twill variation using tencil (ocean, wintergreen and white)and will hopefully become some scarves.

I just love the history of weaving and the weavers who are passionate about weaving. Our guild is 75 years old and I am a fairly recent returning member. It is an honour and a priviledge to use equipment that has been lovingly used by other weavers to create beautiful things. The bobbin winder that I have now attached to my loom was custom made by a now passed life member's husband. I hope that I can create beauty and continue the tradition.

Hope everyone has a glorious day.

Monday, May 18, 2009

it's done

It is done. I finished warping the loom. I had lunch had a hot bath had an Advil then I went back to threading heddles. I made myself finish or It would be long time before I got back to weaving. To all you fabulous weavers out there, does anyone have any suggestions or favourite warping methods?

warping disaster morning

I have a splitting headache. I am wondering why I even like weaving and am very close to tossing this warp into the garbage. Knowing that every once in a while every weaver has a difficult warping session is the only reason I want to persevere with it. I will learn something from it. It is a VERY simple warp so why was it causing me so much grief? My own stupidity and thinking I know more than I really do. I usually warp front to back, I was trying to think this method through to make it more streamline and I sleyed the reed, and for some reason tied it on tho the back beam and wound it up before putting through the heddles. (don't mention a broken warp thread) It was at this stage I almost took it off the loom and threw it away. Dum I know, How to solve, tie on cloth beam and beam it all forward again. halfway through beaming forward The cloth beam falls off. The screw holding it on fell out. Okay I am now kneeling on the cement floor trying to line up clothbeam, ratchet and screw. Done except the ratchet handle pusher is on the wrong side. Undo screw and do it again. This takes me a total of 30 minutes to get the cloth beam reattached. Once I wound it all the way forward I cut it from the back beam to make tidy ends and tied them in groups behind reed and left it ready to thread heddles another time.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Costumes done, warping started

Boy was that ever a hot and heavy time. But costumes for a production always gets insane just before the show. The Sunday before the Friday opening I had to make over three outfits (redesign preexisting outfits) for a main character and finish some odds and ends. I also work fulltime. I have only been able to catch quick glances at the blogs as well. Actually I have been done for just over a week but needed to do nothing. I am in the process of creating a warp for some scarves. I started laying out the warp on the warping board one day when I had a bit of sewing downtime. I was feeling tired and marked off 100 ends and left it for a wee break, but didn't realise I was getting sick. Then I got really crazy sewing. So there it sits on the warping board. Is it okay to have it sit there???
I will try to chain it off tomorrow as I am off for a conference in Winnipeg and won't be home until the weekend. Sewing passion input here, while in Winipeg I am hoping to get to Mitchell's Fabrics. As I will be designing and co-ordinating costumes for VOS' Gypsy in the fall I owe it to myself to look and see what is there (I am taking a big siutcase & they do mail order). Keep weaving everyone. Your an incredibly talented bunch of folks and an inspiration to move forward in the journey.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My looms sit at the 'entrance' to my sewing room. (Okay its only an open basement that I have designated areas by the arrangement of furntiure). As I have been crazy busy sewing costumes I have spent a lot of time there. My sad little looms wait patiently for me and I feel guilty.

I would love to post pics of the costumes but can't because of the show. I had fun on Thursday night. I took a Value Village find of a grey dress redesigned it and it became a jacket and a skort. What fun to lay it out on my cutting table, slap a coffee can lid down as a curve template, a few quick measures with the ruler and free hand cutting. weeee!

This round of costumes should be done in hopefully a weeks time. I will call May my weaving renewal month. I must give a couple of hours to my house then off to Walmart and then my sewing room/space.

Hope eveyone has a happy weekend, whatever and however people celebrate.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My looms are idle today. Kind of feel costume crazy at the moment. I just finish a pile of costumes, think I will rest then another armload appears in its place. Don't get me wrong I love sewing and I love Theatre, there's just never enough hours in the day or energy in the tank as I would like.
The energy at the College is wonderful though and watching a show come together and in some way sharing my creativity even in a small way is very rewarding. And deep down it is a dream of mine to design and create fabulous costumes for theatre.
Good Night fellow weavers

Saturday, March 28, 2009

This past week we spent two nights away recharging our batteries at Yellowpoint. I took my Knitters Loom and worked Saori style on some bathroom fingertip towels. It drew a lot of interest and discussion. One women even tried weaving and next thing I heard was her telling her husband that she thought it would be a great thing to take on the boat. A new weaver perhaps?
I came home and warped Maggie, the vertical loom. I had felt a little daunted by her size but she warped very easily and was great on the back as the reed and heddles are at a good height while standing. Header weaving, warp wrap and hem are done. I don't as yet have a 'picture' in mind for the warp. It is like a painter looking at a blank canvas and letting the ideas arrive. I warped about 3 yards of usable 'canvas' so may do a small sampling of techniques. This is the first tapestry loom I have used with heddles and a reed/beater bar.
Patience is waiting for some tencil to arrive before I can dress her. I plan to warp her for some scarves. I will be extremely busy in the fall with costumes as I said yes to coordinating/designing/sewing for VOS' production of Gypsy, so need to get a jump on some Christmas weaving.
I still have 2 more costume dresses to sew for VOS by tomorrow. I will also be doing a bit of sewing for CCPA for their performance of 42nd Street at the end of April. Having dressed looms means I can easily pop down and weave.
Have a great day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

saori weaving

Today...oops yesterday, I really should go to bed, I took a Saori Weaving class. It was great fun to play and design as I go. The ladies were fun as well. I took the class to try something new and maybe to lose some of my perfectionistic nature. Even playing I wanted it to look good. It has potential and I will play with it in the future. I like patterns and textures of mutliharness weaving. I also care about selveges. All in all a fun day and I think beneficial.

The purple is off the loom but not fulled. I tried it as a shawl but it is much too heavy. It is about 2 yards long and 20 inches wide.I think I have enough for a carpet bag but may may use commercial upholstery fabric for complement.

Godd night

Friday, March 20, 2009

life will be what life is

Last night as I attended the weavers guild 75th anniversary tea/meeting my phone went off. It was my son's cell phone calling and as a mother I knew I needed to respond to it. It turns out it was a call from another student saying my son was in emergency having fallen at school and knocked his front tooth out. I had to abandon the ladies I had driven and go to emerg. I arrived just in time for them to stitch up his chin and bottom lip then wait and wait for an emergency dentist. The ER docs and nurses were great but getting frustrated with the lack of response from dentists. Sara-Anne, the student with amazing pluc just started calling Dentists in the phone book (mine doesn't do emergencies) and finally found an amazing dentist that was willing to get out of bed and see Marcus. She was able to put his front tooth back in. We will have see if there is any nerve damage and whether the tooth will hold. He will probably need to have both his front teeth capped eventually. Marcus is a performing arts student, like I said life will be what life is. I thank God the fall was not any worse, teeth can be repaired, I thank God for all the wonderful help he received, Sara-Anne (a calm head in a school were dramatics are the norm), the ER staff and the dentist and her husband (who acted as her assistant).
Thank you for letting me write about this.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Patience's first Project photos

Here is a picture of the mauve Finnish Bird's Eye fabric. This was going to be a shawl but it is working out too heavy. The photo was taken sideways to eliminate shadows. I can see beat errors. Oh well this is the first project on this loom and 4 harness weaving in about 4 years. I am relearning a lot as I go along. How to throw the shuttle, proper tension, and most importantly where I am in the weave pattern when the phone rings.

As you can see I weave in the basement on cement. I need to make a rug for under my feet and I also need to figure out antislide for the legs. The loom slides forwards when I beat and ends up on my knees. This is a large table loom on legs. Any ideas?

I Am fairly happy with this project, once I get over my need for perfection.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Carpet Bag

For the carpet bag project I have used the pattern from Favorite Things in the past. I am not sure if I will have enough yardage so will probably have to change pattern. Will keep you posted.

Meet Maggie

It amazes me (to the frustration of DH) that I can always find ways of fitting in more 'toys' into my ever expanding art area. I rearranged and gave away stuff to make room for a 45 inch Leclerc tapestry loom. I am calling her Maggie as she came from a Margaret. I have done some small scale tapestry weaving on a copper pipe loom, usually in the TV room while DH watches sports. I am looking forward to having a designated area.

I will be sewing today as I have a few things to sew/alter for students at the Canadian College of Performing Arts for their presentation of A Midsummer's Night Dream. Hope to find some time to weave and dream of a project for Maggie.

Have a thread happy day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Welcome to My Blog

Hi and welcome. Why "Wrapped in Threads"? Well I seem to always be surrounded with threads be it sewing threads or threads from spinning, weaving or knitting. And as it sometimes goes I have so many ongoing projects I literally feel like I am wrapped in threads from head to toe. Currently I am working on a few costumes which I hope to see the end of later this week. Also I have a couple of hours of work for another performance.

As weaving has also become a focus again, I am trying to weave daily even if it is only for 10 minutes. I had stopped weaving for a few years. The floor loom I had been using went back to it's owner and I had, stupidly, given most of my other stuff away. In the in between years I have been collecting antique treadle sewing machines so space is now at a premium. My new to me loom is a large table loom by Leclerc. It is the Iris model but she is named Patience. She stands on legs and is a 4 harness loom.

Using some yarn I had purchased awhile ago I had to relearn warping a loom. I took my time and looked at some books. I am using a Finnish Bird's Eye pattern from Marguarite P Davison's book. The yarn is 2 shades of mauve and about an 2/8 (or 8/2 for all you folks south of the border) acrylic. Sett is 15 EPI. It is turning out quite well but heavier than I had first thought. It is like upholstery fabric so I think I will make it into a carpet bag for my mom.

Well sewing is calling and my loom is standing idle.