Friday, February 22, 2013

Making More Things

 Having turned my back on potholders for the time being, I'm making placemats.  I found this  wonderful piece of fabric that's actually a king sized duvet covers so there's lots of yardage in it and
 am making up a batch of placemats from it.  There's enough fabric for a dozen placemats and a matching runner.
 Because I like to work on more than one thing at a time, less boring, I am also making boas.  I choose 5 or 6 novelty yarns that go together and wind up a weft.  The warp is 8 threads with two thread on the edges that get pulled out after the boa is woven.  That makes the loops at the sides.
I am particularly happy with this silvery grey one.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Walk in the Woods

In the afternoons I like to take a walk in the woods that surround our place.  I spend a lot of the day hunched over something, a loom, my knitting, weeding, etc. so getting out and walking for half an hour or so gets the kinds out so to speak.
The woods on the island were almost completely clear cut logged around the turn of the 20th century to provide cord wood for the lime kilns at Roche Harbor.   And this area around us was logged again in the 60's, this time for lumber.  So the few big trees left are mostly second growth that wasn't suitable for lumber for some reason, too twisty, double tops, etc.  When we first came to the farm the woods were mostly small trees, so dense you could hardly walk through them.  But in the intervening 30 or so years they have grown up, thinned out and are a lovely place to walks.

 This big snag came down in a wind storm last spring and you can see where the woodpeckers have been busy at it getting bugs.
 At the end of one of my favorite trails the woods opens out into what was once an old farm and is now a marsh and pond and the ground is covered with wild rose bushes,

 with the ruins of one of the log cabins that date from the 19th century.

Friday, February 15, 2013


 Boxes and packets of seeds are arriving every mail day.  It's like Christmas again.  I love opening the packages, looking through the seeds, making piles of one that need to be planted soon and ones to be planted later when the soil has warmed up.
 Yesterday Joel started 4 flats of the first lettuces.  These will be planted thickly and every other one harvested small for lettuce mix and the the rest left to grow as full sized heads.  This is also a germination test of last year's seeds to see which ones are too old and should be discarded and replaced.
A couple of weeks ago I planted a small flat of echinaceas.  I'm starting perennial flowers now as many will bloom this first year if planted early.

Monday, February 11, 2013

More Potholders

 I finally got to the end of the green warp.   After enjoying how much I liked the random patterns that show up when I am weaving with plaids I came to the last piece of fabric that I thought was pretty dull looking.  It's a plaid but only dark green and dark blue with no little bits of yellow or red to brighten things up.  However, as soon as I started weaving with it I realized that having no bright bits to distract the eye this fabric really shows up the texture of the weaving pattern.  I have to say I think this is about my favorite.
 People at shows always ask "How long did it take you to make that?" I try to be patient and friendly and explain that the weaving is actually the fast part.  Before that, of course, there's setting up the warp on the loom.  but after there's also the hemming or fringe making, tagging, washing if necessary, etc.  Here is my stack of 63 potholders in the process of having their hems sewn on my trusty old Singer treadle sewing machine.
And I am determined to do one more warp of potholders so am tying a shades of coral and salmon warp onto the end of the green one.  that's give me a lovely stash for the summer sales.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fabric Magic

 I'm still in a mad potholder making frenzy.  Decided to make up 3 warps of about 30 potholders each and then I can forget about them until next October for Christmas sales.  I am eager to get on with other things but am having fun anyway.  The one above shows what happens when I tear up a plaid fabric into strips and then weave with them.  Wonderful patterns emerge.  The next one is different depending on where I begin with the first strip.
Here's the fabric  before I cut it up.  Magic.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


 It's that time of year again and I am back in production mode.  First priority is to fill the gaps in my stock from last years sales.  Since the local co-op has 1 potholder and I have 1 more in my stash I figured I'd better get going on more of them.  I make them from cotton flannel material left over from rugs.  I always have bits and pieces of various fabrics after the rugs are finished.  I fill a big box with them and then make up a warp out of bits and pieces of leftover warp yarn.  Altogether a "use it up", "clear it out" project.
I put on an 11 yard warp of browns and greys and wove 31 potholders approx 8" x 8" plus hems.  Now I'll cut them apart and sew up the hems, put on labels and they'll be ready to go.  I'm about to go into the studio and tie another potholder warp onto the threads left which you can see behind the roll.  This next one is two shades of green, dark and medium.  I have a whole bunch of green plaid fabric to use up.  I'll post a picture when they're done.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Flowers Inside

I just had to share this as there are a serious lack of flowers outside at this time of year.  This was a Christmas gift from our daughter, Jennie.  I love amaryllises in the winter.  This one just makes me smile when I look at it.