Thursday, June 17, 2010

finished cardwoven strap and some random nature photos

Here's my first cardweaving finally finished. Not long enough to be a banjo strap, but pretty and easy (mostly) and fun (cardweaving details in April post).
finished card woven sample
The front and the back are really different from each other, and I like them both!

Random nature photos (birds, baby spiders, flowers, trees, and more).

First up - birds:
So I've been going through bird feeder suet at an alarming rate (putting out a new one every day!) and thought I would just do a bird count of suet eaters - this is just in one hour of watching (morning).

One large Flicker
Flicker #2

Two sweet little Downy Woodpeckers
Downy Woodpecker #2

Four bold Black Headed Grosbeaks (males and females or maybe youngsters)
Black Headed Grosbeak Black Headed Grosbeak female/youngster?

Five beeping Red Breasted Nuthatches (this might be a youngster - he let me get really close - I think all the parents are teaching their kids how to use the feeders)
Red Breasted Nuthatch #4

Seven greedy Stellars Jays
Stellar's Jay #2

Many (sorry, too many, too fast to count) fast moving
Chickadees (seen here with Downy)
Downy Woodpecker #3 (with Chickadee)
Well, I guess that explains the suet consumption (yes, I do have 3 of the suet feeders out now!)

Next - Baby Spiders: They are everywhere! Every gate has a little hatching (apparently the gate latch provides nice protection for the eggs)
baby spiders in the gate latch closeup

And this is what happens if you accidentally leave your garden gloves out by the compost bins overnight
baby spiders colonize garden glove

And now a few landscape items:
Vine Maple setting seeds
Vine Maple in the morning sun

Dogwoods flowering

sweet sweet scented monster peonies

And finally, what nature photo shoot would be complete without a wee little spotted Bambi
His mom just parks him on the back lawn while she forages (notice there are no photos of my rose flowers)
(what rose flowers?)

Well, tomorrow is shearing day for the Alpaca boys. More later.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rigid Heddle Double Heddle Double Weave!

So here's my crazy double heddle doubleweave sampler!
Doubleweave Sampler
Did this on my Schacht Flip Rigid Heddle loom using double heddles
(Cascade 220 yarn and 10 dent reeds)
What is this crazy thing? How did I get here?

Started out by warping the loom with two heddles.
First, all the threads are pulled through the slots in heddle one (4 threads to a slot - two light and two dark) - warping from the front of the loom here!

then every other light thread is pulled through the hole in the reed/heddle
(OK, on a rigid heddle loom the heddle is the reed too, so when warping, heddle=reed).
two heddles!

Then heddle/reed number two gets sleyed (threaded) with all threads coming through the slots, and every other dark colored thread into the holes.
two heddles!

This dark/light thing is just so I can see what the heck I'm doing (having never done either double heddle or double weave before).

And here it is all warped up and ready to go, looking really too dense and packed with threads, but one set (light) will be woven as a bottom layer and one set (dark) will be the top layer!
two heddles!

So here's how it works:
I've used a pick-up stick to separate out every other light color thread, which then drops down into an extra lower shed when the pick-up stick is flipped up on end (this is looking from the back of the loom)
two heddles!

Then a simple front heddle down gives the second shed for the light color/lower level of the weave
two heddles!
I pushed the stick shuttle in there so you could see the shed - below all the other threads!

Then for the top layer, the first dark thread shed is created by the rear heddle rising up
two heddles!

and finally, another pick-up stick (every other dark thread) and an extra shed pops up
when the pick-up stick is flipped up on end (this is looking from the back of the loom again)
two heddles!
So they don't get done in that order necessarily, it depends on what your final product will be. Anyhow, you end up with 4 different sheds!

So this is what happens:
double wide on the loom
This is a section of double width doubleweave, and I've just pulled the bottom layer over to the side so you can see what's happening. With this technique, I can weave a 30 inch wide shawl on my 15 inch loom!

And here's the two layers woven with separate wefts and kept separate, followed by a bit where the separate wefts wrap around each other
at the edge so the two different pieces are joined.
top and bottom lavers seperate, and joined
(I switched the weft colors to show the join more clearly)

And then, using a single weft, joining on both sides to make a tube
big fat longwise tube

Then joining at both sides and in the middle to make two connected tubes (stuck my hand in the big tube and stuffed fingers into the small tubes so you could see that they are open inside)
longwise tubes

And then, by switching the top and bottom layers, making widthwise tubes
sideways tubes

Then a completely closed tube with a little slot opening in the middle of one side
closed tube with an opening
the patterned area on either side is both layers woven together into a single thick
dense layer.

and finally, back to the single weft double wide with a little hemstitching to finish.
doublewide double weave

And that's my sampler.
Some parts were a little confusing at first, but overall it just wasn't that hard - thanks to my source materials:

1. HandWoven magazine, March/April 2010, "Rigid-heddle doubleweave" by Jane Patrick

2. Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom by Betty Davenport, pgs. 58 - 60

And now I have something to share at my new rigid heddle study group on Sunday!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

High Fiber Event

Saturday Market "High Fiber" event

The local Saturday Market and Vashon Island Growers Association hosted a really fun fiber day.
Our NwRSA spinning group, "Spinners Rock", participated with many parts of the sheep to wearable process.
Spinners Rock display

from sheep shearing
T demonstrates sheep shearing
(thanks to T Martino Yamamoto of Wolftown fame)

to drum carding (sorry, missed my photo op on that one)
to spinning and spindling,
Happy Spinner
(here I am, the happy spinner, enjoying the moment of spring sunshine, not yet aware of the sunburn that is warming the back of my neck) Thanks to Myra for taking the photo for me!

Marci spindling - doing the twist
(and here's Marci, spindling away. She had a lovely young student for a while that day, learning how to spindle from Marci's able instruction)

to knitting and weaving,
Sue winding bobbins for weaving
(I love the way Sue uses a drill to wind bobbins!)

to natural dyes.
Laurel hanging dyed skeins
(I think Laurel's hanging some Marigold flower dyed skeins)

Lots of people, lots of interest in the process, lots of fun (in spite of the sunburn). Thanks VIGA for a great day!