Sunday, May 30, 2010

I Hope Summer Is Here To Stay!!

Remember on the first day of spring season, I came to work and there was 4 inches of snow on the ground? Things are finally looking like spring has come. The apricot trees that where covered with snow now have small apricots, and lots of them.
My garden is looking very green as well. The plants all survived the winter except for one of my Hollyhocks, but the rest are coming up and growing.

This is the first time that I've been able to see Coreopsis growing for two seasons in a row. Figured it out last spring when the rabbits kept eating this plant down to the ground. A little chicken wire and some stakes helped keep the plants safe, and this year I will have golden yellow dye from the flowers.

This is a Rose of Sharon. It has some lovely periwinkle blue flowers on it. I haven't had enough flowers to dye with before, but maybe this year I will get enough to see what color I can get from them.

This is Yarrow. It grows like crazy, and it is the most beautiful soft green right now. I've used this plant as a dye before, and when I use copper as a mordant I get a very pretty green.

This week I'll be planting my annual plants. I have two colors of Marigolds. I've already planted the Zenia's and Sun flowers. I'm also going to plant a tomato plant. Not for dyeing, but for fresh tomatoes to eat. I love BLT's with home grown tomatoes

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Looms Are Like Potato Chips

Yep, like the title says, looms are like potato chips.
You can never have just one.
When I first started weaving I noticed that many of the weavers that I met had more than one loom. I couldn't understand why you would need more than one loom. A floor loom can do many things and other than not being portable you can do most any weaving project on one.

Well that was a nice dream.

Then just when you're not looking, wham it hits you, the bug for another loom. Well this is my latest purchase. It's a rigid heddle loom made by the Schacht Spindle Company. It's called the "Flip" and it's wonderful. This little loom makes it so easy to play with my weaving. I can warp it up in about 30 minutes instead of hours. I can play with different yarn combinations. And best of all this little loom folds up even when it's warped, and goes into it's own travel bag.
This is the result of my latest play time. I was curious to see what would happen if I spun up some kettle dyed roving into long color sections. I then set the yarn without plying it in order to keep the color changes true. I then warped up my loom, and wove with the same hand spun yarn.
You know how something looks really good in your head, but then when you try it it doesn't work? Well that was what I was afraid would happen with this idea, but it didn't. The colors softly change thoughout and the scarf turned out beautiful.
This picture was taken before the fabric was washed. After washing the open weave of the fabric closed up, and made it even better.

Love my newest loom.