Thursday, December 30, 2010

Back to the snow shovel

Lots more snow fell in the night.  I waited until close to noon to clear the walks, driveway, etc. today. That may have been a mistake because feet had trodden the snow into ice but all hail to ice melter!  I shovelled and chipped and sprinkled.  And just as I was stamping the stuff off my boots I noticed that it had begun to snow again!

It's good cardio, right?

This will be another cleaning up day.  I will wash out the refrigerator, then clean the floor and then lay the clean, dry handwoven rug that is now in the washing machine.  That will feel good--when it is finished, at least.

Not very camera worthy, though....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Between Events

Here we are, between Christmas and New Year's Day, sort of a no man's land of the calendar.  There was a time when I set aside this week to work on things that I wanted to do, not things I needed to do.  This year I seem to be doing it again. 

I worked on Christmas Eve Day on tidying up and cleaning.  It wasn't enough to undo all the damage done by inattention to anything other than commissioned work, but it made a difference and cheered me a lot.

I have returned to weaving now because I made the silk scarf warp long enough for two--it hardly pays to make a warp only long enough for a single scarf.  It is well under way now, again all silk and using the same weft but it is being woven in a different interlacement which repeats in 864 picks.
Yes, it looks similar to the one I wove before Christmas which considering that the threading and the yarns are all the same isn't surprising, but it is different, a fact that will be more apparent when it is taken from the loom.

Meanwhile, today a cold rain began to fall a little before noon following strong winds first thing this morning.  That pattern continued until about 4:30 this afternoon when the wind grew wild and started blowing the falling snow horizontally as it grew colder and colder.  Tonight it is still again with a smooth layer of snow over everything.  Up in the mountains, though, the snow fell thick and fast.  Before this storm there were 105 inches of snow at Alta, one of the older ski resorts in the Wasatch mountains that frame my city.  In fact the ski resorts closed early sending skiers down the hill--unless they were staying the night--because the roads were becoming impassable and avalanche danger was growing.
This was the view from my porch a few minutes ago.  The snow isn't very deep, except where the wind piled it up, only 5 or 6" but now the deep cold is setting in. 

Salt Lake City throws a big party to celebrate the end of one year and the start of the next.  These days it runs for three nights and is called 3VE (pronounced eev).  Tonight was the first night and by the last night (12/31) the temperature at midnight is predicted to be +3 Farenheit. (For those who use Celsius, that's about -16.)  I have been to colder places (Fairbanks in January 1989 where it got to -80 F), but +3 will do nicely. 

I am grateful to have a roof that doesn't leak and an efficient furnace that works!  I hope you are also warm and dry. 

Happy new year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


The last thing I had promised to make for someone else (a commission) before Christmas is now finished.  Ta da!
This silk scarf is woven so that the darker silk is sometimes eclipsed by the silvery weft and sometimes is emphasized, depending on the weave structure in a particular place.  Now that the cabled fringes are all dry I can gift wrap it and deliver it.  I am relieved.

Speaking of eclipses, I didn't get to see the one on the Solstice because it was snowing here.  The huge storm that barreled across the Pacific from Hawaii and did such damage in S. California and S. Utah manifested itself here as snow turning to rain, eventually.  We had about 6--7 inches of snow on the ground on Tuesday at my house and now that all the rain has fallen--again, not nearly as much as in the afore-mentioned places--all the snow is gone.  Of course, snow is and has been falling in the mountains.  That is where we need it because our water supply for the entire summer and autumn comes from the snow that accumulates there.  In this desert we are always grateful for water.

I have enough warp left on the loom for one more scarf.  I will change the way I weave this one and perhaps use a different silk weft in weaving it.  I need to clean my house, though, so the second scarf will wait until that job is done.  I have been weaving under tremendous pressure for two solid months and not paying very much attention to anything else with predictable results.

So, what do I want for Christmas?  A quiet day listening to music and reading would be lovely.  May your wishes come true and 2011 be a better year for all of us--even if 2010 was super for you!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Do you know what this means?

That's right:  you are looking at the empty sectional beam!!  All you can see are the extender cords I use so I can weave up to the end of the warp.  Tomorrow I will cut off the grill coth, inspect it, measure it, roll it up and put in a box to ship.

I finished weaving at about 3:30 and then walked to my warping board to start winding the warp for the scarf I must make, finish and deliver by Friday.  I will make it but it won't be easy.  I will post photos when there is something to see.

But in the meantime, a huge weight is lifted from me.  I need to wrap and ship gifts which will be sent via Priority Mail which will help the boxes get to their destinations in time.  No Christmas cards this year, alas, but something has to give because I am giving my all!

Tonight I went to a Christmas concert in which a friend was singing.  The Salt Lake Choral Artists performed wonderfully.  The major piece of the evening was Britten's Saint Nicholas Cantata which I had never heard before.  I loved it.   After the intermission there was a variety of pieces, some sung by the SLCA Young Choral Artists--children under age 12 (my best guess), Utah Premier Brass, the SLCA Women's Choir and the Salt Lake Choral Artists (=SLCA).  Everything was well done but for me the highlight of the evening was the Britten cantata.

One of the wonderful things about living in Salt Lake City is the wealth of music here.  I go to as much as I can afford.  Tonight's concert was a gift from Polly.  (Thanks, Polly!)

Now I need to get to bed because a large portion of tomorrow will be spent finishing up the grill cloth and working on the silk warp.

But for tonight I can rest easy.  Hooray!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting there!

I feel as though I am coming to the home stretch with this everlasting warp.  The roll of cloth is bigger than it was:
Don't you agree that the roll is bigger?  (Please say yes...)

Technically, I have woven almost enough to fulfill the order but there is warp left.  I wrote the company to ask whether they want the exact amount or as much as I can weave on this warp.  (It goes against my weaverly heart to cut off the warp and just abandon it.)  They want all I can weave so what I can weave from this point on is, as my father would have said, all gravy.

Then I need to weave a silk scarf, finish it, wrap it up and deliver it.  That usually isn't part of a commission but this was commissioned by a friend who lives elsewhere and I am sure there wouldn't be time to ship it to her so she could ship it back to Salt Lake City again.  I will photograph it for her--and for you--and send little lengths of the silk I use to her, although not to you.  Sorry. 

I am not out of the woods yet, therefore.  No Christmas cards this year.  I bought a fresh tree but can't really think about putting it up and decorating it until all this weaving is finished.  It proabably isn't such a bad thing because Bob is a young guy and full of beans.  A year old cat and a decorated Christmas tree?  That sounds like the start of a funny story of holiday disasters, doesn't it?

Back to the loom.....

Friday, December 10, 2010

Now it can be told....

Now I can tell you about something in the works that I think is very interesting.   Some months back a representative from the Black Sheep Weavers in the Palo Alto area called me to see if I would present a workshop on sewing with handwoven fabric.  (I am the co-author of Handwoven, Tailormade, now out of print)  I suggested that they get in touch with Daryl Lancaster ( who routinely teaches sewing with handwoven fabrics.  Together the woman in California (I haven't asked her permission to give her name here) and I came up with the idea of having me present a workshop on designing fabrics with Daryl's workshop on sewing a jacket in mind.  I got in touch with Daryl, cleared it with her and got her specs for the cloth she likes.

Today the contract for my workshop arrived.  I will teach this workshop in March and Daryl present hers in the fall giving the participants time to weave the cloth they will need after learning about the design of such cloth from me and perfecting their samples in class. 

Doesn't that sound like a good idea?  The only downside for me is not getting to see the jackets they make but perhaps I can persuade someone to photograph the group next fall and send an image to me.

In the meantime I have been weaving and weaving and weaving.  The warp on the sectional beam is not as deep on the pegs as it once was and I have about 56 or 57 feet woven after I started this second piece.  Somehow thinking of it in feet (which is how I will be paid, eventually) makes it seem that I am making more progress.

The black 20/2 in the warp on one side seems to break every six inches or so (if I am lucky) which requires that I stop, repair and needle weave to make sure it doesn't show and then go on.  Tedious?
Oh, my, yes.

Tonight I took off to go to hear a choir in which friends of mine sing and it was wonderful.  No, it isn't the MoTabs; tickets to hear the Morman Tabernacle Choir's Christmas concert are long gone and I didn't getone.  I have not decorated nor have I written or sent any Christmas cards:  all I do is weave grill cloth but this concert reminded me of the season.

There was a major hitch yesterday afternoon.  The loom which is connected to a computer suddenly stopped communicating with the computer.  It was late enough in the day that when the frist things I tried did not remedy the situation I went to bed.  This morning I checked all kinds of connections, tried the cable on the other loom, tried a new cable, re-booted the luck with any of that.  I could feel the tendrils of panic starting to move.  I HAVE to finish this!  Finally it turned out that the connection at the back of the computer was loose.  The back of the computer is very nearly completely inaccessible so it is a mystery how it became loose and required agility I didn't know I had to get to it. 

I was more relieved than I can tell you.  I have something else promised before Christmas that can only be woven on this loom and I can hardly wait to get to it.  It will be beautiful and interesting and NOT made of brittle 20/2 black cotton!

So it goes....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Still hard at it!

I continue to weave on the endless warp.  You can see my progress:

You may have to look closely because each layer of cloth is pretty thin.  This is 20/2 cotton we're dealing with here....

There is one hitch, though.  This is all the weft yarn I have left:
How could this have happened?  I called the manufacturer from whom I had bought it and they are all out and won't have it back from the dyehouse for 2 or 3 weeks. (!)  So I started calling their retail sellers from whom it would be more expensive, of course.  I finally found some in Michigan (Great Northern) after striking out in Maine and Arizona.

Things seem to happen to me for a greater reason that I seldom recognize as they are occurring.  After a time it becomes clear why there have been obstacles of one kind or another.  I am hoping that I will learn what I need to from this long, trouble-filled warp.  And soon!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bet you know what I have been doing.....

I bet you know what I have been doing.  If you guessed weaving radio grill cloth, you're right!  As of just before I left for a night out--more of that later--I had woven more than I had had to cut off.  There are 42 feet woven on the loom right now.  The initial cloth that I cut off to correct the sleying flaw was just 37 feet.  I am being paid in feet although I have been paid nothing at all yet.

Yes, it IS tedious and I still have a lot left to do.  But I am over halfway there.  At 48 picks per inch it goes slowly.

But tonight I went to a concert by the Utah Symphony and that was lovely.  I went early to hear the guest conductor, Hugo Wolff talk a little about the program.  The concert began with Beethoven's Leonore Overture #3.  (When it was produced the opera became Fidelio, but this overture is not part of the opera so it retains the original name.)   I think it is hard to go wrong with Beethoven and certainly the players under Wolff's baton did a great job of it. I am always impressed by how skillfully Beethoven changes keys.  The overture starts with a nice, big chord and then descends changing to a minor key clueing us in that our hero has been imprisoned.  In the end he is saved by his faithful wife who dresses in drag to get him out.

The second piece was Saint-Saens' Concerto #1 for cello.  Our soloist was Pieter Wispelwey.  I had never heard this concerto and to my ear it sounded devilishly difficult.  Mr. Wispelwey made it seem easy.

If I hadn't known that this was Saint-Saens, I wouldn't have guessed he had written it.  It doesn't have what I think of as the S-S "sound".  That isn't to say that I didn't enjoy it, I was just surprised.  What surprised me more was what I took to be the end of the first movement was actually the end of the piece.  I'd like to hear it again.

The final piece on the program was Symphony No. 2 by Charles Ives.  He wrote this as quite a young man and set it aside.  It wasn't performed for the first time until about fifty years after it was written.  It is a very American piece with snippets of American hymns, folk and patriotic songs incorporated into it.  It's fun to listen to and I found myself listening to see if I could identify the sources for much of what is in it.  I heard references to Brahms and Beethoven as well as Camptown Races, My Country is of Thee, Bringing in the Sheaves and of course Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean.  There is a musical surprise at the very end that he added later:  the symphony ends with a loud, discordant chord that brought a ripple of laughter from the audience followed by vigorous applause.  It was the equivalent of a rude child's raspberry. 

It was a grand evening away from the loom.  I am going to a potluck tomorrow but other than that--and cooking what I am taking--I will be at the loom again.

Now it is past time for bed.  Tonight it is raining lightly although the temperature must be right at the freezing point.  It has been gloomy for several days.  We have had fog (from all the snow on the ground) and an inversion has trapped all the pollution produced in this bowl-shaped valley which has made it rather dreary and gray.  I am inside at the loom so at least I am not adding much to the air pollution we are experiencing (my gas furnace is 95%  efficient so it adds little).   I am hoping that the rain will make a good difference.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More of the same, sort of

I am still weaving the grill cloth.  Does this look familiar?

No, it isn't the same photo from a few days past.  On about Thanksgiving Day I realized that there was one dent that had been double-sleyed (actually 4 ends) that didn't particularly show up from the wrong side that I see as I weave.  But, from the other side is is too apparent for my taste.  Arghh!  I blame the cataracts....

So I cut off what I had woven (37 feet) and worked on correcting the flaw.  What you see here is the new cloth since I cut off the first part.  I am only about 25 feet in right now but I have conferred with the company in Arizona and with their approval shipped the first piece to them today. 

Other than weave this cloth, not much else is going on.  Except, the extracurricular activity now is shovelling snow instead of raking and gathering up leaves.  I have done it four times since I last wrote here.  It has been very cold so the snow is light and easy to shovel even when it is a foot deep as it was on Sunday afternoon.  After continuing to snow there was another ten inches at my house the next morning.  The skiers are ecstatic.

Tonight we are to have more but it has warmed up a bit so it may turn to rain down here on the valley floor by tomorrow morning.  Snow Monday, Wednesday and more is due this weekend.: it's beginning to look a lot like winter.

I did a flock of errands (six stops in all) on Saturday so that cat food and weaver food have been laid in and I can work and work without having to bother to go out.  Tonight's dinner was turkey soup using the broth from boiling the stripped bones of the turkey plus the drippings from the roasting pan.  With the addition of fingerling potatoes, most of the dark meat from the turkey and halved brussels sprouts it is tasty.  Good thing, too, because I will be eating it for a while!

So life goes on and I am beginning to feel like the pink bunny in the battery advertisement.  Going on and on and on.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Do you see what I see?

Do you see what I see?  Progress.

And now I am so tired, I ache, so it's off to the shower and from there to bed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Moving along

When you weave the same thing all day, every day, the days seem to slip past almost without notice.  Granted, I do laundry, prepare and eat my meals, rake and gather leaves and go to my exercise class,  bathe and sleep, but other than that all I do is weave the grill cloth for antique Philco radios, early and late.

I am finally starting to rack up yardage but am still far less than halfway through the warp.  Considering that it is 46 yards long and grows at the rate of about 48 picks per inch, it's a lot of shuttle throwing.  I am so grateful for my library's supply of unabridged recorded books!  I'd be bonkers without them, I think.
This is the cloth from the side (wrong side up) and the next photo shows the cloth (right side up) as it goes to the cloth storage beam.  If you look closely you can see a little shadow that shows that the woven cloth goes around that beam far more
than once.  The cloth is relatively thin, so you see several layers there.  (Thank goodness!)

Perhaps my computer will be more cooperative later so check back to see the photo I have tried and tried to insert here.  I need to get back to the loom!

As you can see, completely re-booting my computer has made it possible to get this photo.  Now, back to the loom....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Underway at last

The radio grill cloth is underway at last.  It's puzzling to me that it took so long to wind, beam, thread and sley this warp.  Granted, it is long and there are close to 40 ends per inch, still it seems to me that it ought not to have taken many days. 

I had trouble with  sleying the reed.  There were errors that I had to find and correct and often they were close to the middle of the width of the warp so that I had to re-sley most of it.  It was disappointing when I created another error as I worked to correct one.  I wonder if the cataracts that are developing have something do do with that.  At any rate, this is what it looks like on the loom:
The gold color looks a little pale here but I am using a energy-saving light bulb that tends to wash out the color when used at night, particularly yellows through orange.  The light color here is a vibrant gold.  I am weaving the cloth wrong side up.  The gold is dominant on the other (right) side.

The weaving is going well although it will take a long time to weave it all.  The weft is 20/2 black cotton so there are lots of picks per inch.

Meanwhile, the snow we were to have had on Tuesday did not materialize.  It has been cold and the days are getting shorter.  Daylight Saving Time ended last Sunday which was a relief.  Now the sun comes up at a reasonable hour so that it isn't dark at seven in the morning.  I don't mind going onto Daylight Saving Time in the spring but now that it has been extended into November, it feels excessive.

The leaves are falling from my big, old cottonwood tree.  It's the oldest tree (nearly 152 years) in the Salt Lake Valley and very big.  I have had it trimmed so that its big branches don't extend as far but it still drops leaves over almost two months.  It began in late October and won't finish until the first or second week in December.  I can completely clear all the leaves and when I wake up in the morning it looks as though no one has ever raked them up.  The good thing is that the ones I have gathered won't have to be raked and gathered again.  Tomorrow I have a lot of leaves to clear and put into my yard waste can.  They may not all fit.

There is no lack of things to do!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What have I been doing?

Just about everything.  I removed the last, and heaviest, window a/c unit and then put up the storm windows.  Some of them are over six feet tall and require a ladder to get up to where they fasten at the top so it is sweaty palms work.  I've mowed the lawn and gathered all the fallen leaves--only to have the lawn covered the next morning!  It's that time of year and the huge cottonwood in front of my house drops a LOT of leaves.  Don't misunderstand, I love this tree, but it is a lot of work.

I have been working at the warp for the grill cloth, too, of course.  I am currently threading, and threading, and threading.  It is a simple point threading on eleven shafts alternating gold with black.  And I really do like threading it's just that one thing after another seems to interrupt progress and getting back into the groove takes a bit more time than it should.  Sigh.

Tonight I took off, though, and went to the Utah Symphony concert. Wowzer!  First I went to the pre-concert talk which featured Eric Owens, bass extraordinaire.  His speaking voice was like dark chocolate covered caramel, rich and deep and wonderful.  He could read the telephone book aloud and I would hang on every syllable.  I was actually sorry when it was time to stop so the concert could begin.

There was only one piece on the program, something I had never heard before: Berlioz's Romeo et Juliette, Dramatic Symphony.  It isn't an opera or an oratorio or cantata, but it has three choruses, and three soloists: mezzo soprano, tenor and bass.  Our mezzo  (excellent) was Tamara Mumfod, our tenor (who had very little to sing but sang well) James Slayden and the bass was Eric Owens. 

Three choruses, you ask?  Yes, one is very big and sings mostly toward the end, one is a small chorus that sings early and late and the third is one that sings off stage to reperesent revelers at a party at the Capulets' home.  The only singer who is actually a character from the play is Friar Laurence, sung nobly and well by Owens.  The mezzo and tenor provide commentary about what it happening.  It is all sung in French (with super titles in English) and to my ear the French has absolutely the perfect sound for the music.

The orchestral parts (most of the piece) were luscious and rich and wonderful.  I learned that it was believed that dreams and falling in love were the gifts of Queen Mab, queen of the fairies, because Romeo is teased by his friends about his lovesickness and told he has been hanging out with Queen Mab.  There is a section of orchestral music devoted to Queen Mab which is light, delicate, and almost twinkling.  It is a credit to the orchestra that the same musicians who could play that could also create a very full-bodied powerful sound only a little later in the piece.  It was all so well done!

There is nothing subtle about Berlioz, but sometimes that is just right.  I wish that Harold in Italy would show up on the program one of these days.  It requires a viola soloist (the voice of the heroic Harold) and I'd like that.  A lot....

Now to bed so I can be clear-headed to thread and thread and thread!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I voted, did you?

I voted today.  I spent extra time with the information booklet so I would understand for sure what the propositions would do if passed and read through all the infomation on the judges whom we either confirm or say no to.  (I made a cheat sheet to take with me, just to be sure I did it as I had decided.)

I had a friend once who was complaining about something the government was doing and I stopped him by saying, "Rick are you registered to vote?"  "Well, no....(here followed a long excuse)"  "I don't want to hear any more complaints from you until you are registered and vote.  No votee, no bitchee!"  (Forgive the language.)

Having said all that I am not listening to the radio or watching TV tonight;  I can read about it in the morning paper and spare myself the "color commentary" when nothing is really happening.  And, if it doesn't go the way I hoped--and voted--I can complain!

The warping of the radio grill cloth is almost finished.  I have some warp sections still on the drums but will deal with them in the morning when I am fresher.  I can hardly wait to start threading.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

It is Halloween but not observed today in Utah because it falls on a Sunday.  Children and their parents were encouraged to trick or treat last night.  There have been no visitors this evening so I will have quite a lot to leave at my voting place on Tuesday.  It's really handy that election day falls so close on the heels of Halloween.  The people who are there all day enjoy the candy and I get it out of the house.  Good for everyone.

I have made progress on the warp today and have photos to post here.  There are none of the warping mill which began life as a Glimakra vertical warping mill and has been customized a bit.  It is permanently installed in the shed.  It is four meters in circumference so it is as big as a revolving door.  There is a heck block, a device that allows me to make a thread-by-thread cross at one end of the warp while I make a cross at the other end that I use in the little raddle to spread the warp out between the pegs in the sectionl beam.
This photo shows the drum wound with the ribbon of warp.  If you look carefully to the right of the Baltic plywood flange you can just see the galvanized pipe that serves as the axle to allow the drum to turn.  The white cords to the left of the warp connect to the castle at one end (via an S-hook on the end of the cord and another on a short cord tied to the castle) and to the sandbag weight at the other.
The ribbon of warp is passing through the raddle you can see here.  The base turns so that the warp can be spread precisely between the pegs on the sectional warp beam.  Once the warp is spread properly, then I turn the sectional beam to wind on the warp.
Here is a closer looki at the warp going through the little raddle.
This picture from the front of the loom shows the sections of the beam filled with 46 yards of warp.I have more than half left to do.   I hope it goes smoothly.  The cords to the right with S-hooks at the end are waiting attachment to the warp ribbons I will install tomorrow.  These extender cords allow me to weave clear to the end of the warp.  The thrums are just as long as the castle is deep.  Once all of it has been beamed then I can stay inside and thread it.

My NPR station is running locally produced Halloween stories acted out as radio dramas.  I recall radio  dramas from my childhood (The Green Hornet, Inner Sanctum, Sky King, etc.) and like them very much.  The pictures are so good!

Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yes, I know.......

Yes, I know I said I would post photos of the sectional warping process here but that was before I ran into a serious snag from which I am (slowly) extricating myself.  I have lost almost an entire day in working on the warp I am making and that is very disappointing.

What an understatement!

The better news was that there was a concert tonight by the Utah Symphony with our new conductor Thierry Fischer in charge.  It was an interesting program with pieces drawn from a broad time line.  There was a short and sweet Hayden symphony (No. 1) played cleanly and with nice transparency.  The second piece was Beethoven's First Piano Concerto played by Ingrid Fliter.  I love the good cheer in this piece and Ms. Fliter's nimble fingers made it seem effortless.  It was so cheerful and quite lovely.  The orchestra was pared down for the Hayden, somewhat bigger with the Beethoven but for the third piece, Shastakovich's Sumphony No. 6--which I had never heard before--filled the stage entirely.   The cellos and violas started the piece setting a somber and almost eerie mood.  The first (of three) movement is long and moody while the second and third are faster and faster still and much shorter.  I had read the the second movement was about Stalin.  From what the composer had to say in that movement, they didn't see eye-to-eye to say the least.  The final movement is fast and requires a good orchestra to pull it off and I'd say and we have one.

All in all, it was a better evening than day.  There is tomorrow, though, and I look forward to that!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The web design class is over

The web design class is over and I am sorry about that.  I met some very interesting people there, including the instructor, Jon Howe, who, in season, is Santa Claus. (You can see him in the Followers list).  I learned a lot and have a distance to go.  I am very close to being able to upload a revised version of my web site and when I do, I will let you know.

I am measuring out the warp (42 meters which is ~46 yards) for the radio grill cloth.  It will take a while and because I do it in an unheated shed, it tends to be a numbing experience these days.  The weather man says it will be warmer, a relative term, so I am hoping I can get that part of it all done during the "warmer" time.

First I measure out a warp "ribbon" two inches wide and 42 meters long on a vertical warping mill.  When I have tied the threading and raddling crosses at each end plus a tie through the loops at each end, I attach a stout cord to a spring connected to the wall so that it takes effort to reel the warp ribbon onto a wooden drum (looks like a spool that is a foot across at the flanges at the ends and 10" in diameter for the body of the drum.)  The point is that the warp, measured out under tension is wound onto the drum under tension. 

Then I carry the drum inside (ahhh!) and mount it on top of my loom by means of a galvanized pipe that serves as an axle by going through the center of the drum.  I wrap another stout cord around the drum twice.  One end is attached via an S-hook to a cord around the castle and a bag full of sand hangs from the other end via another S-hook.  (If I am not the queen of S-hooks, I'll bet I come close.  One day I cleaned the Home Depot out of the size I use the most.  Don't worry, it was years back.)

I do a lot of to-ing and fro-ing while warping the sectional beam going to and from the shed with drums.  I have more than one and generally wind two or three while I am suited up for cold and then divest myself of cold gear to beam the "ribbons" onto the beam using a raddle.

This is an amazing method that I learned from Jim Ahrens.  The warp fills the space between the pegs on the sectional beam exaclty, flat and firm.  I can knock on the warp and of course it weaves off like a dream....although methinks this dream at 42 meters will go on rather too long!

When it is light enough to show a bit of what I have described I will see whether I can get photos to post here.  Stand by.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The in-house workshop, one of my Four for Four workshops (although there were just three participants this time) ended yesterday afternoon and the house is back in its usual configuration once more.  I really enjoyed having these ladies here and showing them how to think of weave structures, invent new ones and how to use colors so that the cloth is far more beautiful than if it had been woven white-on-white, for example.  As is often the case, I find I am missing the Hall sisters (not their last names these days) but I have more than enough to do in re-entry...

The technician from Same Day Heating  and Air came today to inspect and service my furnace.  I had to replace the old one last October so this one is working very nicely.  To my surprise, we got into a discussion about Hindu dieties--who would have guessed that a serviceman would know or even care?  Neither of us are Hindu but both of us have wide-ranging interests.  At one point he had said that it would be handy to have an extra hand and that brought Shiva to my mind whom, as a weaver, I have often thought of.  Wouldn't it be handy to have six arms?!  At least until it was time to buy a new tee shirt or even find a comfortable position in bed.

The people I meet often surprise and delight me.

Today I have to put the fabrics I used to illustrate my class--several hundred in all--back in their proper places so that I can find them next time and then I can begin the radio grill cloth.  I expect delivery of the black and gold cotton yarn today.  When I wove it before it made me think of the wasps that had attacked me as I shoveled out compost from the bottom of the container unaware they they regarded it as their home.  It isn't surprising that they didn't appreciate my poking around and causing general collapse.  I was astonished by how quickly they appeared and stung me and was glad for the Benadryl that stopped the swelling--and me because it makes me very sleepy.

Our weather has turned very chilly and the snow line is quite low on the hills around the city.  I live in a low part of town so we get snow last and often less than people up on the benches.  I shovel it by hand--I seem to do everything that way!--so having 12" when friends up there have 18" works for me!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The court jester

The workshop is now half over.  After all the anticipation that seems surprising to me but things are going swimmingly.  These ladies a bright and catch on fast, even to totally new information.  Being a teacher is such a joy under these circumstances.

The court jester is Bob, my young cat.  Even as a tiny kitten he displayed a sense of humor.  He would wait around a corner when he heard me coming and then jump out, standing on his back feet with his front paws up over his head as if to say "Suprise!"  Then he would scamper away chuckling as he went,  "Got her again!  She's so easy!"  He made me smile and laugh and still does.

In a quiet moment--there are a few here and there--he looks like this:
His eyes are copper colored like most of his coat.  His belly is all white and he loves having it stroked.  I love his round eyes and cheerful demeanor. He is a small cat and very sweet.  His tail is quite long and he often sits with the tip of it curled to make a circle; he is the first feline companion I have had who did that although my daughter reports that her cat does it, too.

Fortunately for both of us he leaves my yarns and loom alone.  A stern "No" was all it took to let him know.  It should be noted that I do not let anything dangle or swing--even a well-behaved cat has his limits!

When this class ends the yarns to make grill cloth for antique radios will be here so I can go to work on that.  I posted a photo of it under construction on Weavolution the last time I made it but will post one here when it is under way.  I have to weave a lot of it.  I welcome the work!

Now to bed so I will be ready for class tomorrow. I have some nifty things to show them and can hardly wait!

Friday, October 22, 2010

the first day of the workshop

Before I write about the workshop I want to mention that the Utah Opera Company's La Boheme was wonderful.  It was set in Paris--as usual!--before WWII a time when times were tough and the sets really conveyed the poverty of the bohemians, enough so that one of my companions found them dreary.  Being poor IS dreary.

Our Mimi, Laquita Mitchell, has a gorgeous voice, true and rich and almost lustrous.  Gerald Powers, as Rudolfo, was also very good although when Ms. Mitchell was singing my eyes were glued to her.  The melodies, familiar as they are, sounded fresh and were very affecting.  The evening flew by.

The workshop began this morning with the arrival of three sisters who are weavers.  One lives north of Salt Lake City in Bountiful, one lives in Idaho and the third lives in Arizona.  They are clearly very good friends as well as sisters and eager to learn.  I am always eager to share what I know and when those two eagernesses meet, it is wonderful.

We started with three kinds of drafting (from structural drafts to profile drafting) and then turned a draft and by the end of class had covered the delights of plain weave, including how to make a structural seersucker and were very deep into twills when the class ended for the day.   While we dealt a lot with structure, color was never very far from my thoughts as I explained in the examples I had pulled to illustrate our work together why I had chosen the colors I did and how they worked with the weave structures chosen to enhance each other.

With their premission I took a photo I will include here.  Left to right they are Dahrl, Terry and Merrily (doesn't her name fit the big smile on her face?).  In the back ground you will notice a doll made by Jennifer Gould and a rug by Michael Rohde.
We are having a good time!

After they left I got my hair cut--I wonder if they will notice?--and then I came home to prepare our lunch for tomorrow.

As it turned out I missed both my exercise time and my web design class last night.  There was simply too much to do and then I was almost too excited to sleep!  Tonight I will do better.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What have I been doing?

What haven't I been doing!  After I finished the second scarf (using a light peach colored silk weft which made it look very different from the first one) and the piece that will become a little evening bag, I dived into getting ready for a class that starts here, in my studio, on Friday morning.

I needed to make and install the warp the class will use and then wove a couple of inches in plain weave so I could double check that all was as it ought to be.  Check.

I had cleaning to do, too.  I have had my head down working and working and needed to tidy up.  I am not entirely finished with that but have a little time left.  I had to plan lunches that would be worth looking forward to and be easy to pre-prepare so that getting them on the table--Iam a one woman band, here, doing all of it--wouldn't be difficult.  The ladies who are coming (three sisters, a first) have no food allergies or strong prejudices that I have to work around which has made it easier.  I still need to make a grocery run for the last things and that will happen Thursday.

Today is Tuesday and tomorrow the vet comes to give vaccinations--don't tell Bob and Lola!--and I need to mow the lawns and still get cleaned up to go to the first opera of the season.  It is La Boheme so it will be a heady night of melody; Salt Lake's Utah Symphony and Opera is a great organization and never fails to please me.  I go expecting to love what I hear and see, open to new experiences and new music.  This opera doesn't fall into the "new" category and is the one I think of first (or second) to recommend to friends who have never been to an opera. 

On Thursday besides a grocery run I have my exercise time (two hours usually) and then go directly to my Web Design class.  this will be the next to last meeting of that class so I am hoping that my web site, newly revised, will be up and running soon.  I will let you know!

If the participants are willing, I will post a photo of them here once class has begun.  This is one of my Four for Four workshops:  a maximum of four people for four days.  This time there are only three so they will have a little extra time weaving, each of them.

It is still pretty early but as my English friends might say, I am well and truly knackered and will head for bed soon.

So that is what I have been doing!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Potential disaster and a very effective cure

I have finished the silk warp today and am happy with the results.  When I was measuring out the warp it made sense to me to make the warp long enough for two scarves, one commissioned and one made on spec since the work of warping is not a lot more for a longer warp... within reason.

I knew that making the warp that long was potentially dangerous but decided to risk it.  The danger was increased with the change I made after cutting off the first 9" after recognizing that I had omitted four threads in one of the stripes.  See "Good news and less good news" of a few days ago.  The change I made after re-threading most of the scarf was to contrast the warp-faced twill stripes with a plain weave ground in place of the 2/2 twill ground.  It was worth the gamble with a 2/2 ground but once that ground turned to plain weave all bets were off.

For the non-weavers among you, the area woven plain weave is used up faster because the warp threads go over-and-under-and -over-and- under.  The twill stripes are over-over-over-and-under.  the more times a warp thread (the long way threads) intersects the plane of the cloth, the more it is shortened.  For plain weave, that happens with every pick but with the twill, every third pick (or pass of the shuttle).  The plain weave threads grow progressively shorter and the others tned to sag.

After a time it was clear that this silk isn't as elastic as I had hoped and sagging was becoming a problem.  The twill stripes are double-faced twill--so that both sides of the cloth look just the same--and are threaded on eight shafts.  I had threaded the ground on four shafts (because it was a 2/2twill initially) so the stripes were threaded on 5--12.  To take up the slack I lifted 6, 8, 10, and 12 and put a very smooth dowel-like stick behind the shafts and then lifted 5, 7, 9, and 11 and put in another stick.  I repeated the even-numbered lift and inserted another stick which took up the slack very nicely.  I used rubber bands--aka The Weaver's Friends--to connect them at their ends and pushed them back toward the warp beam so that they wouldn't interfere with the working of the loom.  Of course, every time I advanced the warp, they had to be moved back but that wasn't difficult.

Once I had finished the scarf, I took the sticks out and made the same sheds and put the sticks in at the front of the loom where they worked as spacers to reserve unwoven warp for the fringes.  I wove two scarves and still had about 20" left (I was right about the length of the warp) so I put in sticks again before I wove the 20" at the end.  It is enough for a very elegant, white-on-white evening bag.  I have some white silk charmeuse I bought from Dharma Trading Company ( that I will use to line it once I have found the proper interfacing.  I might even paint the silk or dye it so that the lining will be a nice surprise....

It may be that weavers are not the most inventive people in the world, but I'd be willing to bet that we are right up there with the best of them.

So, there you have it, a nasty problem and an elegant solution.  Score one for the weavers!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Progress at last!

While it wasn't my preference to re-thread, re-sley, tie on and hemstitch all over again, those tasks are done and the scarf is growing one thread at a time.  I like the way it looks and am happy with the assymetric white-on-white stripes, too.  Here it is in progress:
The silk is smooth and lustrous and I think once it is woven and washed and pressed it will be a winner and very suitable to the man who will wear it.

I spent quite a lot of time yesterday doing yard work, mowing the lawns front and back (I use a mower that cuts and re-cuts so I don't catch the clippings but let them feed the lawn from which they came) and trimming and weeding completely filling the 60 gallon yard waste container which I put at the curb last night.  I am so glad that Salt Lake City has this program because all the yard waste they pick up is shredded and composted for use in city parks and for sale to anyone who wants to buy it.  I compost in my own garden, too, but rose trimmings take too long to break down because I can't shred it and bring it up to the heat level the city composting produces.  Our soil is alkaline here so all my tea leaves--which are acidic although not enough to be corrosive--go into my compost along with fruit and vegetable scraps and help bring the pH of the soil I amend with it to a better level.  The big cottonwood tree in the front garden drops many more leaves than I can compost but of course some of those--run through my power mower--go into the compost bin as well.

The first year I lived here I put all the leaves in the vegetable garden area (where I built raised beds some years back) and layered in nitrogen heavy fertilizer to aid in their breakdown, watering them between layers.  They were thigh deep that fall and still almost knee deep in spring.  I dug them in as well as I could and learned that the old tree (planted in 1859) produces more than I can handle.  Since then I have been more restrained in my leaf composting!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Good news and less good news

Tonight I am going to a celebration of a wedding so I switched my ticket to the Utah Symphony to last night and am I glad I did!  We had a guest conductor ( Mario Venago, Swiss) who began the concert with a lesser-known Sibelius (part of the Kalevalaz) and the well-known Finlandia.  It is no wonder that the latter piece caused the Finns to rise up against Tsar Alexander I!  It's very rousing stuff.

Rhapsody on a Therme of Paganini (Rachmaninoff) was next, played by Conrad Tao.  Tao is just 16 years old, something that wasn't at all evident in his poised manner and wonderful playing.  It is wonderful when the music is played and not just the notes.  When the familiar melody arrived I could almost hear the audience sigh; it was beautiful!  The only thing that revealed Tao's age was the way he left and entered the stage, almost scampering.  The stage was very full of musicians so getting on and off was not easy for him or the conductor. 

When he finished the audience leapt to its collective feet and practically cheered!  There were so many 'curtain calls'--no curtains on the stage of course--that Tao settled down to give us an encore.  He played the Russian Dance from Stravinski's Petruschka which to me sounded devilishly difficult and he did it well.

It is so nice to hear such a talented person who is so young.  I hope we will hear Mr. Tao many, many times in years to come.

Schuman's Symphony No. 4 finished out the concert and was played very well.  The details (returning motifs, etc.) were very clear.  The Rachmaninof was a hard act to follow!

Today I started weaving the white silk scarf.  There are about 700 ends in it and as I went along I noticed something that looked "off" and sure, enough there were four threads missing in a repeat.  I cut off what I had woven (I think the warp was too long so there is no harm in it) and started re-threading.  From what I had woven, I will change the sett just a little because it was pretty crowded, so it is all to the good although disappointing.

Therefore I have no weaving photos to show but I have been so enchanted by the Swiss chard in my vegetable garden, besides being nourished by it, that I took a photo of some just because of the colors.  The veins in the deep green leaves, depending on the individual plant, range from almost blue red, through a yellow red, orange, yellow to white.  It's a good thing I like Swiss chard because this seems to have been its year.  Here's a look:

The colors are so saturated and rich. Do you sometimes feel, looking at a color or a combination of colors that you would like to eat what you are seeing?  It happens to me a lot and this time I have been eating these colors quite a lot. 

 I wouldn't be at all surprised that a cloth will come out of this!

Time to dress for the party!  It is the son of a friend and his bride we are celebrating tonight and I love what I see in the two of them together.  So here's to the beginning of a new family!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Crossing things off the list....

The white silk is measured and beamed onto the loom.  Everything is ready for me to start to thread it tomorrow morning, even my wonderful Hockett Would Works stool is where it needs to be.  I really enjoy threading so I look forward to it.

Today I tackled several things that needed doing.  First I got my flu shot.  I really believe in immunization and don't like being sick nor do I like the part of illness that living alone brings with it.  Then I rented a post office box for business mail and for posting in my ad in Handwoven magazine and on my new web site.  I went to the bank to get documents from my safe deposit box to take with me to renew my driver's license.  I got that done but discovered that the social security card I kept in the box in the bank actually wasn't my card but sort of a receipt.  The original card was torn off from the receipt in 1964 and put in my wallet that was stolen about 30 years ago.  Sigh.  So I made a trip to the Social Security office to apply for a duplicate.  Fortunately, the wait there was mercifully short and because I had my current passport with me for the license as well, it went very smoothly.  Now I have a temporary driver's license which will be replaced with a real one in a couple weeks and my new social security card ought to be here within a week.  Now, that's service!  I have had my dental check up and cleaning and my eyes examined this week, too, so I am crossing things off my to do list at a good clip.  No wonder I am not weaving the silk scarf yet....

I just read in Laura Fry's blog (Weaving a Life) that she finds herself in the position of owing more than she has.  She discussed the possibilities (bank loan, credit card--another kind of loan--or raiding the family finances).  Things are slow for me, too, with more going out than coming in, but that should change in a few weeks if all goes as planned--as I hope it does!  The difference is that I have no family finances to fall back on or raid or anything else....

It's later than I realized.  Tomorrow is a busy day.  I leave here at 2:30 to go up to the Rehab and Wellness Clinic for exercise and directly from there to my web design class.  I usually don't get home until 7:30 ready to eat anything that doesn't get out of the way fast enough! 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Odds and ends day

The day began with a call to North Carolina to learn the current price of mercerized cotton (yes, it went up since I ordered it last) and then a message to the woman in Mesa, AZ who asked me to make more grill cloth.  Then I was off to see my ophthalmologist at nine for my annual check up.  I was right, my vision isn't as good as it was last year and may be caused by the cataracts that are developing.  Cataracts?  At my age!?  In short, yes.  So stronger lights and stronger reading glasses will help to make up for the deficiency until surgical correction is required.  So be it.  At least I CAN see.....

The woman I expected on Friday did not come and finally this afternoon I called to ask whether she'd be coming by.  She said she would come straight away and did.  Now there are a lot fewer cotton towels, no linen towels and she took the silk shawl I made in August, too.  It was all trade for something I owed her so I am not ahead but have discharged a debt.  That's good, too.

The cotton from NC is on its way or will be tomorrow and in the mean time I will wind the white silk warp.  I am embarrassed that I have not done that already but it has been a day of cleaning up a lot of things that have been pestering me. 

Tonight there is lasagna for dinner.  There were several vegetarians at the potluck yesterday so there is a little left for me.  It is a dietary extravagance and I admit to looking forward to it very much.

Perhaps I will start the silk warp later.  It is beautiful yarn, so smooth and lustrous.  (Lustrous, that's a yarn that is shiny in the best possible way...and never applied to a "cheap" yarn.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Two warps figured out

I have spent the day figuring out how much yarn, how long the warp must be and what the sett (# of ends per inch) nees to be for the next two warps.

I have everything I need to work on one of them.  It will be a white silk scarf, a gift commissioned for a very elegant gentleman.  A few weeks back I went to his place of business to "scope" him out to see if I thought that what I had in mind would in fact be right for him.  I decided it will be, so now that the calculations are done I can start moving on it.

The other work is for a company in Mesa, AZ that provides parts for the restoration of antique radios.  I will be weaving grill cloth for antique Philco radios.  I have done this before but needed to calculate how much yarn I will need to order to make enough for about 100 radios (about 44 yards).  Who would have guessed there were that many being refurbished?  The order came in after the yarn company (on the east coast)  had closed for the week so I need to call them on Monday morning to start the shipment on its way.  I need to double check the price as well to be sure that the higher price will be covered by a new quote to the company.

I have also done laundry and ironing and shopping for ingredients for what I will  take to a pot luck tomorrow at 1.  I decided to make lasagna.  Fortunately I have an older recipe; these days the package for the pasta calls for commercially prepared jars of sauces and I think my home made version is better.   The house will smell very nice tomorrow but there won't be any left over....

Friday, October 1, 2010

As promised....

As promised, here is a photo of the new towels.  There are a dozen of them and no two are exactly the same; the variations are in the weft direction.
A woman I know is coming by today to select the ones she wants from this batch and those I have on hand from earlier warps.  Here's hoping that she likes a lot of them!

Heidi is shopping for Christmas gifts.  It is October now and probably not too early to think about it, particularly for handmade things. 

Recently someone asked me what is involved in weaving and when I explained that every cloth I make is put together one thread at a time, I thought he would fall over.  In every textile I make, I have handled every single inch of all the threads that make the cloth.   So, I know these towels--and all the others--very well, indeed!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A stack of finished towels

Today the towels I finished weaving yesterday and then serged and hemmed were washed and ironed dry.  The stack they make, all finished, is quite lovely, I think.  Tomorrow I will photograph them.

The rest of the day was taken up in my exercise session followed immediately (I arrived sweaty as usual) by the web design class.  Tonight only five of the thirteen of us showed up.  Perhaps the others didn't do their homework?  Too bad for them. Tonight's class was the halfway point in the course which sort of surpsises me a bit because it has gone so fast.

As usual, I left home at 2:30 and didn't get back until 7:30 ravenous and tired.  The good news is that I don't feel so out of my depth in the class and feel the homework this time is something I can do with what I know right now.  Is the learning curve levelling out a bit?  That would be a Very Good Thing.

Tomorrow I will start the new homework and clear my desk.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday and balmy

It is Tuesday and we are still having high temperatures at 90 or above.  It is very dry and the nights are cool to almost chilly (50s) so the weather is holding.  Vegetables are still growing and each day I go out to the raised beds to see what is there for dinner.  Tonight it was Swiss chard.  It is lucky I like it so much because it is growing madly.

I work at the web site-to-be as well.  I will find out on Thursday evening what my instructor thinks and probably be blown away by what the other students have done, so we will see whether I like what I have so far as much on Friday morning as I do now.

Meanwhile I am weaving towels.  I still have two or three more to do having taken time for my check up and cleaning at the dentist, exercise time (two hours), and weeding the gardens.  I may cut the lawns, front and back, tomorrow before it is too hot and then shower and get back to the loom.  There is never a lack of things to do!
I think they look cheerful!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


At last I have figured out why I seemed to be accessing--and sometimes posting--to two blogs.  There actually were two blogs.  Now there is only one, but I wanted to save one of the posts from the 'phantom' so it is out of chronological order and appears under today's date even though it was written on the 16th.

Now that I have recognized what I did it seems obvious, as these things that puzzle us always do.  Sorry for the confusion although it was mainly confusion on my part.

Now that is cleared up I can finally get to the loom!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I am determined to update and refresh the look of my website ( and to do that signed up for two classes through the Salt Lake Community school: Phtoshop CS3 (which may not last because of low enrollment) and Web Site Design, which met tonight for the first time. We were assigned the creation of blogs and having had a dormant one for quite a long time, I have decided to re-activate it.

The object of this blog is to record my weaving which will help me date work as I make it and share the joys and tribulations with you, Gentle Reader.

Today I finished washing and ironing a dozen cotton towels woven in autumnal--appropriate!--colors. I had finished weaving the last one yesterday, cut the warp from the loom, serged them apart and hemmed them before putting them to soak over night. Today they were washed vigorously by machine in hot water and then ironed dry.

The warp before this one was a creamy white, linen singles (20/1) that I wove in a two block pattern so that warp emphasis and weft emphasis alternated catching the light nicely. There are four of them, the fifth had a law that couldn't be corrected by needle-weaving so it is going into my own collection; its usefulness to me won't be at all affected by the flaw in it but such things never leave home!

Prior to that warp I was trying to figure out a way to use some silk/stainless steel. I hve just 300+ yards of it so there isn't enough to make a very big sample. My best guess is that this yarn, unlike pure silk, won't shrink very much if at all, so I need to capitalize on that quality. It is very fine (from Habu, NYC) but 300 yards is just that: 300 yards. It isn't stiff, so I think I will put it into a finely woven scarf. The more I thought about it and the more I hunted through my yarn stash to find the proper silk to put with it the less it came together but a very fine silk shawl did come out of it, not using the silk/steel at all. I used a very pale 40/2 tussah for the majority of the shawl and a darker tussah (20/2) as outline threads to make squares with three-end huck squares within each at one time or another along its length. It's lovely.

Utah Symphony

I had a ticket to the performance of the Utah Symphony tonight. I went early to hear the pre-concert lecture by our new conductor, Thierry Fischer. I had heard him talk before and as then found him articulate and very engaging.

The concert itself was brilliant. The first piece was a very early Stravinsky called "Fireworks" followed by Hilary Hahn playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. If she isn't the best violinist living, she'll do. What a wonderful performance!

After the intermission the orchestra played the entire Firebird ballet music. At the intermission I wouldn't have thought that anything could be better than what we had just heard but this performance was at least as good if not better. It was a great concert and suggests that we are going to have a wonderful season under Fischer's baton. Of course, there will be quite a few guest conductors because his appointment wasn't made until this season was settled.

I have spent most of the day involved with laundry and ironing and here, working on my web design homework. The assignment was a good one because now I have a pretty good idea of what I want my web site to become. And, of course, I keep fiddling with the layout of this blog....

Now to bed so I can be ready for Sunday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The morning after...

Last night was the second session of my web design class.  Wow!  We looked at the blogs posted by all the class members and there were some wondeerful things.  It was humbling to say the least.  What's a simple weaver to do?

I've decided that this class is a 'time sink'; that is, it will absorb all available time and I must weave, do laundry, cook for myself, eat, bathe and sleep as well.  As always it is a balancing act.

The weather is perfect these days: sunny, warm--but not hot--days and cool nights.  It is likely that if this is all we got I wouldn't like it as much but I'd be willing to give it a try!  Ragweed, sagebrush and chenopod (tunbleweed) pollen levels are very high making those of us who sneeze keenly aware of the serpent in Eden.

This morning I have added some photos to the margin of this blog.  I am  trying to figure out how to alter the background (currently blue) without noticeable success.  That is why I am taking a class, after all.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I signed up for two classes run by the Salt Lake Community School: Photoshop CS3 and Web Design. I am determined to update my web site ( and change it in a number of ways. This class, which met for the first time late today, should do the trick. Hallelujah!

I have been weaving towels recently, cotton ones and a set of all linen ones. The linen ones are a creamy white; the cotton ones are all autumnal colors: rust, rosy beige, cool brown, warm brown, deep cranberry and olive green.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back to the loom

A new cotton towel warp is on the loom and underway.  This one contrasts--as is usually the case--with the one for the just-finished towels.  It is light with a ground of natural, creamy white and borders of medium orange edged with blue violet.  Within this frame there are narrow stripes of light colors within single warp ends of a gray/white marl.  I am enjoying weaving these.

Meanwhile, our anomolous weather continues.  In the last week we have had several days with high temperatures in the mid 90s (Farenheit), one day in the high 70s.  It is very dry and sometimes windy which fosters wild fires.  There are two burning in the state right now although some years they begin as early as July which makes this year luckier than most...but tell that to the families whose homes burned to the ground on Sunday!

I am still working on posting photos.  I seem to get closer by tiny increments.