Thursday, March 25, 2010

More March Color

Major chill hit Charlevoix last night.  The wind off Lake Michigan has made it quite bitter today.  Since it was partly cloudy today, Carolyn and I thought it would be a good day for some sunset shots with the waves on Lake Michigan.  I got some good shots, but my fingers found it hard to push camera buttons, because it was so cold.

The waves are really blowing in off Little Traverse Bay.  Harbor Springs is barely visible to the north, across the bay.
The water doesn't look as rough here.  The photo was taken from the same spot as the picture above, but facing west.  This spot was a bit more protected from the wind.
Lake Michigan from the beach at the foot of Dixon St. in Charlevoix.  There is still a lot of ice build-up on the breakwall to the Pine River Channel.  The lighthouse and St. Mary's Cement plant are in the background. 
The sky is beautiful behind St. Mary's.  There have been some awesome sunsets lately.
The lighthouse from the other side of the channel at the Lake Michigan beach.  The waves are starting to die down a bit. 

Join in the color challenge that Sue started on her blog at

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Working on Linen Samples

I've been working on my linen samples for the last few days after coming home from work.  They were going ok, but I was having trouble with an even beat.
The dense area in the top pattern area was what concerned me.   This sample was a 20/1 linen, sleyed at 28 epi.  I showed it to Kati Meek, online, and she thought it looked a bit sleezy (not a tight enough weave) and suggested I sett it a little closer together.

I tried that this evening, changing the sett to 32 epi.  It definitely helped with making the plain weave tighter.  The first sample looks quite a bit better.  I think that once the wet finishing is completed, most of the reed marks will disappear.

I'm so thankful to learn about the live weight tensioning.  It has made weaving on the tiny loom much more enjoyable with not having to get up after every inch of weaving to release the brake.

Kati sent a message that her reprinted book, Warp With a Trapeze and Dance With Your Loom, is now available.  Here is a link to order a copy:

I haven't decided on my next project.  In fact, I don't even have one concrete idea in my head.  I think clearing out some excess accumulation of "stuff" may be a priority, and as soon as it gets a little warmer outside, I have flower beds in need of thinning out, weeding, and mulching.

Bed is calling.  I have to get up early for work tomorrow.

Colors of March in Charlevoix, Michigan

Colors from nature during the different seasons can provide color inspiration for weaving.  Bob, Carolyn and I took a walk with our cameras a couple days ago. The challenge came from the following blog: 
Check it out and add your colors of March.

The snowdrops are the first flowers to bloom, often coming up through the snow.  These are right by the back step.

The first crocus in my yard.

Canada geese have started to arrive.  They found a spot of open water on Susan Lake.

Ice on Susan Lake.  Still lots of greys and browns.

Moss on an old silo foundation.

Pinecones blanket the ground under the blue spruce trees.

The stump of our Christmas tree.


 Daffodils almost ready to bloom

Lichen on a rock

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lustrous Linen Class with Kati Meek

What a great three days spent with author, weaver and teacher, Kati Meek.  Kati has written a couple books that I know of, and I highly recommend them.  I've added a link to her blog. 
Kati Meek's Blog
Any information from a weaver as skilled as she is would be valuable for any weaver's library.  I'm waiting to be able to purchase a copy of her book, Warp With a Trapeze and Dance With Your Loom, which is in the process of being reprinted right now.  It should be available very soon, so contact her or your local weaving store to get on their order list.

Most of the weavers I know live downstate, where the class was held, so I was able to see some of my weaving friends, plus the added bonus of meeting new ones.

If anyone is interested in learning how to put a warp on their loom under tension with the trapeze, make sure you find out where her next class will be.  I know Kati will be teaching a tartan class at the Campbell School in Brasstown, NC later in the year.  She says she always includes how to use the trapeze and how to use live weight tensioning on the loom in all her classes. 

The class was all about weaving with fine linen.  Since my loom was the demo loom, I took it unwarped, with my only preparation being to get the warp measured into two even bouts, choke tied and with a cross.  It was put into two plastic grocery bags tied shut with the cross hanging out.  The whole first day was pretty much taken up with learning the trapeze method of beaming the warp.  If it wasn't for all the photos I took, I doubt if I could have remembered everything.  I really do need to get her book!

Kati's finished linens that she brought with her were beautiful.  She is such an artisan!  They all were beautiful, but my favorite was an Atwater-Bronson lace cloth.  I've shown a couple photos of it with a blue cloth behind it to make the pattern visible.
I wasn't very happy when I realized I didn't bring my camera charger with me, so I had to settle for using my camera phone.  The quality of the photos leaves a little to be desired.

Kati's threading techniques were great, teaching us to be more efficient with our movements.  Using the auto denter was interesting also.  With a bit of practice, it could make sleying the reed very speedy.

I brought a little table loom on a treadle stand that Bob had made.  It is convenient for traveling to workshops, but isn't the greatest for weaving, because I can't weave very much before having to get up to release the brake and wind the cloth forward.

With the live weight tensioning that Kati taught, I didn't have to get up to wind.  It is definitely a technique I will try on all my looms.  I'll have to watch for some weight sets (barbells) at garage sales this spring.  The picture above isn't my loom, but shows how the live weight is attached using water bottles.

Well, Bob just got home from work.  I haven't seen him in a few days, so I'm going to spend a couple hours with him before he has to go to his Up North Big Band gig. Up North Big Band, Walloon Lake, Michigan

Monday, March 1, 2010

And the Winner is Blue (Weft)!

I had a day off today, so was able to clean my kitchen and finish the scarf.

The weft winner was blue!  I was the only one to put a vote in on time.  I love rayon chenille scarves because they are so soft.

My new little floor (formerly table) loom worked fine, although I will probably decide to do a bit of tweeking on the tie-ups once it is all put back together.  The stand is now disassembled in the basement, waiting for stain and varnish.