Monthly Archives: October 2010

A Busy Day

Today was a beautiful, sunny day with NO WIND! So I cleaned house, washed windows, washed the laundry, ironed the clothes, raked the patio leaves and the leaves on the front porch, filled the bird feeders, and fell exhausted into my seat with a glass of sweet tea! I started winding the warp for my experiment on my floor loom. But didn’t get far enough before the household duties loudly raised their voices. Tomorrow is the Spin-In at the Yarn Store so I have some carding to do before that.

We are supposed to have sunny, un-windy days for the rest of the weekend. Yeah! Those 60 mph gusts for the last two days were too much for me to handle.


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My Macomber All Spiffed UP!

Clean Jacks!

Today I was able to get some solvent and steel wool and clean up the jacks and lamms on my loom. She looks so nice now.

I have been receiving some excellent advice and photos from Sarah Haskell, a Weaver, Educator and Macomber sales rep on her blog Macomber Looms and Me. She lives around the corner in Maine from the Macomber Looms shop and she goes and asks questions of the men that work there, Eddie and Rick, and gets right back to your question that you have asked her. Yeah Sarah!!

At my local yarn shop today, CR Yarn, I saw some beautiful new cotton yarns being hung up on display and I was smitten! I hope to be able to weave with those lovely yarns someday soon. Right now I will warp my new loom with something I have here already to practice getting used to the treadles, the shafts and the patterns!

Eight harnesses! What an exciting thing to behold.

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Gracie is Ready to Go Someplace!

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A New Loom

Since I was heading down to Colorado for the weekend last weekend, I decided that I needed to test drive some looms. I searched the internet, talked to shop owners in Colorado Springs and decided on one kind of a loom. Then, my husband said, “aren’t there any used looms that fit what you want?” Hmmm…Craigslist!! Well, I found many. I had a hard time deciding what to do. I looked at the photos listed on Craigslist, I calculated the miles from where I was headed to where the looms lived, I measured the space in the back of my Subaru wagon, I emailed owners and asked questions. When I left for the Springs on Friday morning, I had one or two looms in mind. I had their photos, their owners contact info and a basic idea of what I wanted. By the time I got to the first loom to try out, I was pretty well convinced in my head that I really wanted 8 harnesses as opposed to 4 harnesses. So, the first loom I looked at I bought!!! Yeah for me!

The loom is a Macomber CPJ which means it is portable, folds up, and is 24″ so she fit into my car, even with my spinning wheel and the other loom and bags of stuff. She was built in 1984 and needs a little bit of spiffing up, but otherwise is awesome!! I am so excited.

I got her home and my husband helped me lug her upstairs, she is a bit heavy. We opened her up and got her set into her space in the Studio. Now I have some cleaning to do, but am excited about getting a warp on her.

This is something that I have wanted to do for ages. Even before I learned to spin, I wanted to weave. So this is a dream come true for me.

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Fiber Weekend update

We had a wonderful time!! My friend and I talked and talked and talked. And then she tried out the rigid heddle loom that I had brought along. We talked about her preferences and then moved on to the SHOPPING! We went to Green Valley Weavers and Knitters shop in the Springs. We wandered around the shop oohing and aahing about the cool spinning wheels and all the lovely yarn. The shop has changed for the better, it is very cozy and the ladies helping, Judy and Kathleen, were both very helpful. We debated over the different types of rigid heddle looms in the weaving part of the shop and then decided on the Schacht Cricket Loom. Oh it is sooo cute!!

We bought the Cricket and extra heddles and the new book out by Jane Patrick on rigid heddle weaving. Then we floated out of the store and took a tour of Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs and then on to Woodland Park.

We had lunch in Cascade at The Wines of Colorado and then went up to visit my friend’s parents in Woodland Park. It was a lovely Saturday and when we got back to the hotel room we began the warping process in earnest!!

My friend is a natural with this kind of thing. I made a mistake on the warping and she figured it out. I was getting tired, but she persevered and got it all worked out.

Our hotel room was awesome. Staybridge Suites in Colorado Springs is the place to stay. We had a lovely time. I even saw a huge Beaver moving upstream in the creek outside our window one morning. He was quite busy with moving a mouthful of sticks someplace out of my sight.

Sunday we went to church and then had lunch with my friend’s family and then came back to the hotel. We visited with the kids and grandkids and then we tried out the spinning wheel. What fun it was to share my passion with my friend. She was good at the spinning wheel also. Now she is prepared for fiber adventures when she returns to her home in Europe. I am so glad that we got together for our own personal time together and for the fiber adventure that we shared.

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I’m Dyeing, I’m Dyeing!

Actually it was mohair that was dyeing. I managed to get some wool yarn dyed and then got out the last bit of white mohair that I have and dyed it also. The mohair turned out beautiful. The dye? Easter Egg Dye!! Yes, I doubled the amount of dye and vinegar and got these. The top 3 from the left are white mohair and are blue/green, red/purple and orange/yellow. The bottom 3 are champagne colored mohair using the left over dye bath. The lock of mohair in the bottom right corner is the original champagne color of the mohair.

I used two tablets of the dye from the PAAS Easter Egg Dye Kit (purchased at Walmart for about 33 cents a box end of last Easter!); then added about a 1/4 cup of vinegar. I dissolved the tablets in the vinegar and then added boiling water to the bath. (I used large canning jars because I had just a little amount of each fiber). I left them over night. Then when I did the second set of mohair, I added the mohair to the leftover dye in the jars and added more boiling water and left these in the sun for the day.  I knew the color would be lighter, but that was the effect I was hoping for.  It was great fun.


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A Very Funny Post

I read this today and laughed and laughed. If you have or have not had a mouse in your vicinity you would enjoy this post by Henya: Chicken Stitches: How to remove a mouse from your washing machine.

Her story reminded me of the first month that my husband and I were married. We lived in the “summer side” of a cabin on White Earth Lake in Minnesota. We were working at the Bible Camp across the Lake but had to rent this cabin for a month or two before our housing was ready. The “winter side” of this cabin had a retired Pastor, his wife and their handicapped daughter living in it. It had heat and we didn’t!

We also did not have hot water in the kitchen. There was running water out of a tap, but no hot. We had to get a bucket of hot water from the bathtub and carry it to the kitchen in order to wash our dishes. One evening we ate supper later than usual and had to hurry and run off to the Camp for a meeting and didn’t have time to do the dishes. I left the bucket of soapy water in the kitchen sink with only a couple of dirty dishes left to finish when we got back.

When we returned there was a small mouse swimming in the bucket! He barely had his nose out of the water as he treaded water and was obviously getting weaker. Now, I grew up in an animal house of sorts, where the animals got more attention than the children, so seeing a “poor little mouse trying not to drown” really appealed to me. I rescued it. My husband, who grew up where mice are prevalent, said that “was not a good idea.” “What could it hurt?” I said. I dried the mouse off, he did not struggle, too tired probably. Then I wrapped him in an old washcloth, laid him on a flat surface and left some sunflower seeds (from the bird feeder) laying next to him. I went to bed.

My husband couldn’t believe what I was doing! He had been reading, as I had, the Narnia series and had just met the character “Reepicheep” the cavalier little mouse that fought for honor and Narnia. So, hubby thought it would be funny to leave this little note for me:

Dear Sue, Thanks for the bath, bed and breakfast, Reep

Of course, when I got up in the morning, my mouse was gone, the sunflower seeds eaten and mouse dodahs left behind to prove that a mouse had really been there. Within the day, “Reep” had returned to the house with all his relatives ( a lot!) and they had found my flour and my crackers and my toilet paper and they made a mess out of several rooms that day.

That was the first and LAST time that I EVER rescued a mouse!

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