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.



Continue reading “Weekend With Weaving”

Weekend Wexit

This weekend we will be preparing for our vacation to France… (OFF FOR THREE WEEKS… and I am Excited).  The Poppies in the featured image have nothing to do with this preparing… I took this picture at my bunker…thought they were beautiful… and  wanted to share them. SO…. While packing and finishing up last minute errands…  and … Continue reading Weekend Wexit

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”