Funny Farm

A fearsome foray into my fiber follies. I talk about weaving, knitting, spinning and dyeing. Some chatter about the sheep, goats, pigs and chickens.

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Location: North-east PA, United States

Thursday, February 28, 2008

This was my experimental piece (in our previous episode). I had cut out 5 warp threads between 20 end groupings. Obviously I should have cut out 4 or 6 ends. My concern however, was how to treat the ends after it was off the loom. I hadn't left enough space at the beginning of the "runner" (cough/hack) to twist the fringe.

I heavily zig zagged the edges then double folded the edges and used a 3 point zig zag to secure the hem.
The white warp and the green weft makes my eyes spin. It's much too busy though it doesn't really show in this photo. White weft is ok, but my preference is color. White washes out the weft, though there are times that it's needed. I think I had a specific plan when I warped the Union, but I have no idea what that plan was. Perhaps I thought I should put on a generic warp so I could use any weft. Dunno, but sorry I did it that way.

This is one end of a rug using white as an accent. I believe Shaker rugs use this technique, though far better, to create sharp arrow patterns. I attempted this, but it is mighty fiddly, so I relaxed and just made "free-form designs".
Sure looks pink, doesn't it? It's not. It's the same weft as the above rug. I learned a lot about the definition of "value" with these two rugs. I dyed lots of muslin a few years ago. One piece was LWI in oranges. Another piece was dyed using fuchsia and deep gold and the third piece a gold/orange. The 3 pieces were then sewn together at the selvages and finally sewn into a tube. One, continuous strip was cut . The long strip was ironed with the edges folded in towards the center, then folded in half. Next time (ha!) I will make sure not to use the same value so the changes in color is more distinct. I do like these two rugs. Now to twist the fringe on this rug.
I love this! This piece transitions gradually. I had two very old, thin duvet covers. The fabric was a border print. The fabric was quite thin and cut into 1" strips. This could be a rug, obviously using a rubber mat, or better yet, a runner for a long table.
This shows the transition from one part of the duvet cover to the next. There were four distinct parts to the overall print. I separated the strips into four piles then divided them into two groupings so the rug/runner would be symmetrical. The rug shuttles have to be wound twice to preserve the order of the weft as in the orange/pink rugs.
The morning is over and nothing but this blog has been done. I'm outta here!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

How To Finish Projects That Bore You

Whew! That took some doing, not ending the title with a preposition!

About a year ago I was slogging along with a long, boring, monochromatic warp and weft. It just didn't seem to be progressing. I begin to find myself avoiding the loom day after day because I was so, terribly bored with it. I eventually realized that I wasn't going to finish it by avoiding it. I got the kitchen timer and brought it into the weaving room and set it for 15 minutes. That is a doable time. The timer went off and I set it for another 15 minutes. I don't recall how long I actually wove that day, but did realize that once I'm seated, and there are no interruptions, I'm likely to sit and weave until my butt-bones cry Uncle. There are times when 15 minutes is all I can take. I've also learned that it is a (project)"state of mind", which often changes day to day. Those 15 minute intervals of weaving pays off. The project is magically completed, another warp wound, and there is new hope.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday birds

I'm at the end of the warp on the Union and decided to experiment. I cut out 5 warp ends between sections of 20 ends (sett 12). Jury is still out. If I finish it, I'll declare it a table runner. I woven a 2" hem. Oops! There is no way this can be sewn because of the cut warp. I'd have to tie the fringe and there is only about 2" to work with unless I go into the hem of the previous disaster. We'll see. It's an experiment, right?
Donkey Barn in the snow storm
Boy Bird ignoring the snow storm The North East Chapter of the Polar Bear Club. Silly Ducks, swimming in the spring!
Pond, spring and ducks. Note the duck to the left watching the silly ones swim.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February Fiber

Star Towels from Interweave Press/Handwoven download: I'm weaving the second of three towels on this particular warp. I'm using a skeleton tie up because I don't have enough treadles. It slows me down and I'm bored with this. They are lovely, but for some reason I feel very uninspired. I suppose these are just too conservative for me.
I'm working on rug number five. It will be interesting to see them all off the Union, finally. Two are t-shirt rugs, my first. I doubt I'll like them. However, I had many t-shirts and cotton turtle necks cut up and decided to finally try them out. I'm laying single strips into the shed and not joining them because I don't like bumps in rugs. I've seen pictures of sock loopers with "bumps" and thought they looked fine, but I'm a barefoot babe and those bumps hurt.
The first of the three bags of wool is spun up and all that damned greased washed out. Post washing, the skeins weigh 1398 grams (3#s) and a total of 941 plied yards.

I'm into the second bag and have two bobbins spun up. This roving isn't as greasy, though there is still more than I'd like. I don't need to heat up the roving prior to spinning so that is a time saver.
Lambing season is over. It went quickly this year, I think in under 10 days. We have two house elves, uh, bottle lambs residing in the back room of Chez Princess. I hate that! I fall in love with resident lambs and don't want to give them up. Ever. We're attempting to phase out the sheep over time. We lost our oldest ewe this winter. She was our last Romney-Coop, my favorite cross, though her fleece was not my favorite. We were able to save one of her lambs, a black ewe.
The buck was (finally) returned to us so I expect kids in mid-summer. Not the best of plans, but it is what it is. Profound.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Serious Hat Head on Super Bowl Sunday

I had great plans for today:

wash hair

make Super Bowl Sunday horse devours



roast a chicken

I got the chicken into it's clay pot for a quick 80 minute roast and managed to wash my hair when Mr Princess came into the house to inform me our eldest ewe, Soot, looked like she was finally ready to lamb. She has ketosis, which luckily we caught early, so have had concerns. So I pulled a wool hat over my wet head and grabbed the lambing supplies and out the door I went. To make a long story short, Soot had triplets, all ewes and two were born strong and healthy. The third one didn't make it. I also managed to remember the chicken between lambs 2 and 3 and ran back to the house to pull it out of the oven. I didn't really run because we have lots of ice and it is slippery!

I believe in miracles..........GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

spell check still isn't working

any ideas????

Friday, February 01, 2008

Animal pictures for Marcy

Because we are having sleet and snow we had triplets................Finn lambs born to GooDeeLooKey. Two ewes and a ram lamb.
And here is Soot. She looks ready to lamb, doesn't she? Tapping foot here.
And here is Laz, our eldest sheep, a Corriedale.
Tracks that belong to,
Keely, the peacock.
Last week's lamb ram, a singleton.

adopt your own virtual pet!