Monday, May 05, 2008

East Berlin, PA

East Berlin, PA is one of the most quaint small towns I've been to in a long while. I convinced D. to take a road trip from our stay in Washington, D.C. last week to go to The Mannings Handweaving School and Supply Center. Nestled in the picturesque countryside, the shop houses all the yarn, books, and weaving supplies you could ever want.

The store sprawls across several barnlike buildings, and as such, I spent a fair amount of time browsing. D. came prepared with his camera for the long haul, and took these shots of the grounds while I spent hours choosing just the right yarns.

We stopped at an authentic German restaurant on the way back - I wish I'd gotten pictures of it - the decor was like something out of a time warp - think Bavarian kitsch meets the 1970s. Although the piped in nonstop polka music was a bit unsettling, the food was decent, and the cold beer went down smoothly after a long day of yarn shopping.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lots of Weaving, Very Little Finishing

Finishing a project in weaving is the equivalent to sewing in all those pesky ends or seaming up a sweater in knitting. It takes forever, isn't fun to do, and everything shows if you rush through it.

So, even though I've taken several projects off of the loom in the last month, I've haven't gotten around to completely finishing them. I've still got a doubleweave table runner that needs me to weave in ends and wet finish, and a hand painted warp scarf that just needs to be hard pressed. I've also got zippered bags to finish sewing (many thanks to Sarah for volunteering to teach me how). My sewing skills are woeful!

I'm participating in a bookmark exchange later this year, and am in the process of weaving samples to test patterns. I'm always amazed at how many different variations a single warp can yield - below are two of my favorite samples. Although I don't think either of these will be the winning pattern, they were fun to weave (although I'm not sure what possessed me to use 14 colors of yarn in an inch and a half wide warp). Since I am a big reader, I'm sure they won't go to waste!

Saturday, March 01, 2008





Behold my latest weaving project (actually, there's been more weaving since, but I'm just now getting around to posting pictures of it).

I had hoped that once finished, the color gradation of this scarf would be a little more apparent. I like the way it turned out - it's just a little more subtle than I had anticipated.
For the warp, I chose two colors of hand dyed laceweight alpaca from Fearless Fibers. I have to say - I love this yarn!! It was dyed beautifully, and felt silky soft while weaving it up. I will definitely buy more from this Etsy shop in the future. I have to use up some of my weaving yarn stash first, though, before I can justify buying more yarn (although I do count my weaving yarn stash separately from my knitting yarn stash - it's a perfect excuse to double my allowable yarn quota!)

For the weft, I chose Yarn Place's Graceful cobweb weight wool in Summer Dusk. The pattern is simply plain weave with the warp colors sleyed in random order.
I had originally planned to use this yarn to knit a lace shawl, but after swatching decided that knitting with cobweb yarn was too ambitious for me, and it has sat in a basket ever since. I'm so happy I finally found a use for this yarn! There are a gazillion yards of it on the skein, so it's likely you'll see it again from me as this scarf barely seemed to make a dent in the ball.
My next project is already off the loom and I'm working on finishing it up over the next couple of days. I'm making zippered bags out of handwoven fabric (and I've never installed a zipper before). Thankfully, I wove enough fabric to make three bags so I've got lots of room for practice. Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Flourishing Waves

Here's a picture of my latest weaving project. This is an overshot pattern called Flourishing Waves. The throw is a gift for a friend of mine who finds inspiration in designer Betsey Johnson. I figured the black, grey and hot pink would be right up her alley. The colors are a little bit brighter in person than they appear here.
You can also get a partial shot of my Macomber loom, built in 1953. It's hard to believe that it's still cranking more than 50 years after it was originally built. Looms have a way of being passed from weaver to weaver over the years. There is something quite appealing about knowing generations of women have woven on what's now my loom. I hope my friend enjoys this little bit of woven history!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fiber Addictions

I miss knitting. I miss the rhythmic feel of the yarn sliding through my fingers, stitch after stitch. What I don't miss is how incredibly long it takes me to finish a project. To satisfy my fiber addiction, and enable myself to finish a project once in a while, I've done a lot more weaving lately than knitting.

So, what have I been weaving over the last few months? Some of my projects have been Christmas goodies, so I can't show those for now. But, I did complete two projects I can reveal without ruining anyone's surprise...

I finished a set of lace tea towels:

I also wove a set of dishtowels for an annual dishtowel exchange held by It was a lot of fun to exchange towels with weavers from all over the country. Here's a sampling of the towels I sent for the exchange - the colors were inspired by our trip this past summer to Tahiti:

Now that I'm looking at them - you can tell what color has drawn me in lately!! The project I'm working on now is black, grey and pink, so there is a departure from the colors of the sea in sight.

I've been such a bad blogger lately - keeping up with my adoption blog has kept me away from this one, but I'm going to try anew. There are a couple of projects in the Winter edition of Knitty that caught my eye. Hopefully, I'll be able to cast on as soon as I weave the last of my Christmas gifts off of my loom!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

7 Random Things

I've been tagged to do the "7 Random Things About Me" meme. Funny how when I read other folks' responses I realize I am more odd (and in some ways less) than I thought.

So here goes...

  1. I must sit facing the room in a restaurant. I have asked friends, family, and people I've just met to get up and move to another chair to accommodate my need to sit with my back against a wall. Thankfully, my husband has learned to wait patiently while I choose a chair before sitting down.

  2. I do not eat hamburgers. You can imagine how much difficulty this caused while growing up and attending barbecues.

  3. I get motion sickness very easily. Very. To mitigate this, I usually drive with the air conditioning on full blast no matter what the outside temperature is. The resulting frigid car temperature does not usually pose a problem here in the desert.

  4. I'm good at math. I suck at remembering geography. My husband always beats me at Trivial Pursuit because I can't ever seem to earn the blue wedge.

  5. I have very little depth perception. I will walk right into something at eye level never having seen it. Being short greatly improves my odds of walking into something at eye level.

  6. I like scrapbooking supplies. I don't really like to scrapbook. I have boxes and boxes of papers, embellishments, and tools I will probably never use.

  7. My dream is to one day live close enough to the ocean so that when I open up my windows, I can hear the sound of the surf rolling in. I guess I'm a water bug at heart.

Tag - you're it! Tell me 7 random things about you....

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Almost Over

After four long months of construction, we are finally back in our house as I type this post. Boxes abound with items to put away and inches of dust have settled, but we are sleeping in our own newly delivered bed at last.

Now, all that's left is to figure out what I did with my Clapotis-in-progress. I know it's around here somewhere....

Thank you to all who offered words of support and encouragement over the last few months. Your love and friendship have made us feel blessed, indeed.