Weekend with the Loom

This weekend I spent my time with the Loom… (not to be mistaken with fruit of the loom…   fruit and a loom is a strange combination if you really think about it).   I still feel very novice and I am going to update you on my weaving…   add some more “ah ha” moments and hopefully … Continue reading Weekend with the Loom

Weekend With Weaving

I once was told “the second time is always easier”. ( actually I was told this by someone who accidently deleted something I had spent half a day creating… and it made me a tiny bit angry…)   Here is my second attempt at weaving a rug with a frame loom.  This will take more than a weekend (maybe that is obvious to most) but I will start the project “a new” this weekend.   Here is a link to my first attempt (weekend with warp and weft).

Let me share the original design and the failed outcome.

Final drawing for rug
Handmade Rug.jpg
Here is the finished project (or maybe I should say abandoned project)

I am a bit sad that I was only able to complete just a bit more than a third of my design.  I had to stop because it was starting to weave in.  Weaving in is when both sides start to move towards the center instead of staying strait.    I have been hand spinning  and dyeing all of this wool and I could not bare to waste any more of the wool on a rug that was not going to turn out nice.

drop whirl.jpg
This is the drop whorl that I have been using to spin all of the wool yarn.  (maybe I will post a “how-to” hand spin wool into yarn)

While on vacation I spent some time researching and reading about “weaving”.   I have also visited many blogs and tried to learn not only from my mistakes but by learning from the experience of others. I also have a “clever” invention for a “paper clip” heddle that I am going to try on this project.   (I think it is clever…  we will see)

The rest of this post is going to be a “show and tell” on all of the things  I have learned and hopefully will be doing better.   Click continue if this is interesting to you.



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Small Whair Update

Before beginning with this weekend’s  project…  I want to add a small update to last weekends whair.   You never know where (whair → where…clever huh) an idea will lead and this one may end up with me having to meet with HR .  Let me explain a bit further… I happened to mention to a co-worker that that while spinning hair I found … Continue reading Small Whair Update

Weekend with Whair

I write this post with a tad bit of reservation…  I want to be honest and  true to my “weird” weekends and this one will be a great example of what may happen during a weekend at my bunker…  With that stated… this one might be a bit over the top.  I didn’t think this was so bad.. but anything that makes my wife say “think of the kids” might be…so I warn you all…  Please don’t stop reading me  and “unfollow”…  even if you find this one too “weird”…  I promise this is the last time I do this…

Maybe it wont be so weird if you know the back story… so here goes.  I have been spinning wool for several months now.   As  I spun my thoughts went to what else can you spin…   I thought back to a  world war 2 french news reel that I had seen.   In one news clip they spoke about wartime shortages… and that they had started using “hair” for fabric…  In our past we have used hair for many things including jewelry and clothing.  (here is an advertisement I found for human hair for sale… along with goat, camel, and cashmere)


So… I began searching the web… for info on spinning hair… and yes people do it and in fact you can buy human hair yarn on etsy ($10 an ounce)…   So… at work I started joking about doing this… with the idea I could crochet a hat for bald men using humain hair.   They could then have hair on their head without the shame of wearing a toupet.

If this is weirding you out (you are reading a blog called weird weekends)… stop now…

After the reactions from friends and co-workers… this next picture might need to come with a warning… (NSFNP… Not Safe For Normal People)… if you are getting worried…look no further…

For those curious and open minded… look… This was not an easy procurement and I owe “co-worker Joe” all gratitude for making this next picture possible.


Garbage bag of Hair… (cool huh)

I thought it would be easy to get hair but as I asked around I found out that people didn’t think it was a good idea… I heard a lot of comments at my expense like… “you are so weird”… “my wife thinks you have mental issues”… “don’t be gross”… and even a… “it puts the lotion on its skin”… remark.   But “co-worker Joe” got his hair cut this week… and asked if he could have some hair.   He got much more than his own hair… and was able to drop off a garbage bag full of hair at my desk…  Best part… It was free… (kind of freaked out many of my co-workers… had to take it out and put it in my trunk)

My wife didn’t like this idea… especially when she heard exactly what I was going to do hence the “think of the kids” comment and she refused to help… Even now that I am done she continually says… “C’est dégoûtant“…(I even had to do this outside… at least it is beautiful here on my front porch).  


The rest of this blog is a “how to” take hair… (the garbage bag of random people’s hair)  and create what you see in the picture below (my first… maybe only… “whair” hat… “whair” = wool and hair).


IF YOU WANT to see the steps to create this beautiful work of art continue on….

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Weekend with Warp and Weft

You may have read an earlier post of mine when I spoke about my “urges”… Not the cheese urges but spending a Weekend with the Cochineals and the urge to dye something red.  If you remember I dyed (not died) some wool red and then I spun it into yarn.   Then I said I need to do fun things with it..  well   that is what this weekend is about.   It so happens that I finally got my loom after a long wait!!!  I will be weaving (or starting to weave) my first blanket/rug (depending on how it turns out).    Unlike cheese this is my first attempt and I am doing this with my daughter… (she has been awesome… only complaint she has made is why is it so big?…. and she didn’t get.. “go big or go home” since we were already home…” ) .  Before I go into our experience/experiment I want to share some back story.  My urges went beyond just red dye… I have been boiling or soaking all kinds of different plants and other thing to create natural dyes.    Have a woad dying weekend coming and will get more into this but I wanted to share some pictures and let you know why I was so excited Friday afternoon… (just before leaving for our bunker) when …. the loom arrived.

Here is one of my experiments… I dyed and spun wool and made a hat (crochet… which I hate doing… when I die and by some horrible mistake land in hell… the devil will be waiting for me with a crochet hook asking me to crochet him an afghan).  The hat my daughter is wearing is wool dyed from red cabbage (light blue/green), black bean (blue gray), and some weeds she brought me from the field next door(yellow/biege).   This is also some of the first wool I spun (learning how to do this… that is why the yarn is uneven… stop judging)

I love natural dye and love the idea of our ancestors experimenting with plants, bugs, sea snails, etc. … to make colorful things.  I mention all of this because I have been anxiously awaiting a loom so I can use all of the wool I have been spinning and dyeing to create something beautiful.. (or at least homemade).  That hat just frustrated me… It was suppose to be a mans hat for myself… but I suck at crocheting and wasted cool wool on a girly hat… (at least my daughter liked it… so I lied and told her I made it for her.)

SO…if this hasn’t made you already leave… ( continue reading and you will see what I did with a loom… wool and… a weekend)…if you don’t want to read click like anyway… it helps my ego… and I won’t know

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Weekend with the Cochineals

I mentioned in my intro that I have “urges”… I am not sure that is a good word to use… I think a chain of serendipitous events that compels actions on my part… is a better way of explaining why I do what I have done.  Let me explain how my last weekend of madness began.  (I like to say it makes complete sense if you know the whole story… like the time I tried to take a tumor  out of my head with a Dremel… it sounds bad but makes sense if you hear the whole story…  I will save that for another post).  Back to the weekend…   this is how it all started.

While at work a colleague  mentioned that “natural red coloring” often called carmine (check your labels) is made from bugs (cochineal).  This statement (think of Cliff from cheers) beckoned a night of googling and youtubing.  Here is one of my favorite YouTube videos from that night  Amelia from Peru…  —  watch closely at 4:20… she crushes several bugs… adds lemon juice smears the bug guts on her lips and says “the single girl use as natural cosmetic for carnival” (no wonder they are single)—

SO… I decide to hunt cochineal… unfortunately I found it is too early (stay tuned… that hunting will happen).  Being a determined type… I would not let this stop me so I did the next best thing and bought them on the internet (you can get almost anything on the internet).  I then had to do what logically has to be done with cochineal (nope not on my lips nor in my food) dye something red.

In discussing my anxiously awaited bugs, I was asked what are you going to dye?  I offered the truth that I didn’t know… something cool maybe a shirt.  I  then mentioned that I had watched a Navajo lady dye wool red… after spinning it…. bingo it came  to me (you see… all of it makes sense now).  I went back on the internet and learned new words like top and roving (already washed and carded wool) then ordered some natural undyed roving.   I also purchased a drop whorl and a loom… (all of that will be discussed in future posts).  This is how it all began and the rest of this post will describe the process I used to dye wool this past weekend.

For those who flip to the end of the book to read what happens… I offer this… a before and after preview (we all suffer from attention deficit)

Before Dye:


After Dye:


Now back to the post… read on for those who want to know how I did this (isn’t that color beautiful)

Continue reading “Weekend with the Cochineals”