a throne!

it would seem that it has become a necessity to have a bench upon which to sit when weaving. nothing with a back, so out goes the chair, something cushy as you'll be sitting awhile, so no hardbutt stools, and it should be a nice height so your legs don't fall asleep. oh, yeah, and cheap in the dollar department, as funds dwindle with my trip to japan growing ever closer.

after several hours spent roaming through antique malls, discount furniture stores, and dusty "attic" stores, i found a bench that would fulfill the above list. but it had no seat. but the bones were good; strong and sturdy. but it needed a seat.

i figured some cushy foam, some scrap plywood cut to size and a bit of lovely linen would make it a wonderful bench. once i removed the several layers of grim, oiled it, and waxed it, that is. but of course the linen i wanted to use had a prussian blue stripe, and i really would like a light blue stripe. so then i spent several hours prying the unwanted color out of the warp with a seam ripper, then spent several more hand weaving the new color in. let's just say, i'm nuts, and i can no longer feel the side of my index finger.

then tacking the new seat together (no hammer accidents, luckily) and voila! a new (but was once old) ever so comfy (i hope) bench for my loom. now my only wish is that my cats won't decide to find it as comfy as well.


putting a new face on things

i've suped up my loom. it's almost frankenstein-ish with the different depths of wood color; warm honey on the old parts, pale cream on the new. i wonder how long it will take to age the new cherry parts so there's more harmony?

as i've been learning how to weave on some dorset looms, it's becoming habit to place your shuttles or ruler in front of you or above the loom; but the baby wolf is without a convenient flat area. so, to correct this problem i purchased the baby wolf high castle tray and the baby wolf trap (when searching, use schacht with the other words just because those three words alone bring up horrid things). and now i feel as if i've gotten a professional set-up here.

the trap came with a black nylon sling, which had to go; it would have been like having a black hole in ones lap, sucking up all the creative energy and light. i searched through my stack of selvedged linen and found a beautiful slubby bit that would be long and wide enough, cut it to shape and sewed it up. i like the softness, durability, and weave of this cloth, plus the neutral color is nice against the wood. no fighting with whatever i'm weaving.

next, time to find a bench!



i'm really enjoying my experiments with natural dyestuffs. the exhaust baths are incredible! the first soak in the avocado skins gave me a cool medium pink, but when i reused the dyebath a second time the cloth became a warm pinky peach, mostly pale in saturation.

with the red onion skins the first fiber batch came out a yellow green shade, and the second dyebath was a rich olive green. i wasn't able to reuse the marigold dyebath, as i poured it down the drain foolishly. but i'm hard at work collecting every bloom my little plant throws forth!

i wonder what would happen if i were to change the ph of the dyebath? i must pick up ph strips when i go grocery shopping again, and do some reading research. i would also like to collect more local dyestuffs. i'm on the lookout for sumac berries (which aren't ready yet), eucalyptus leaves, and anything else that would yield somewhat colorful material. i would love to dye some purples, for instance. anyone in the south east have any good sources or plants i whould look out for?


second baths

i dreamt of dyeing an ombre swatch before going to sleep the other night. so the following day, i used the leftover dye baths from my previous experiments, the avocado and the red onion skin. i noticed something about the finished swatch; the colors were not the same as my first samples. so i gathered up some swatches of material, and did some more dyeing.

the second red onion dyebath produced an olive green instead of the bright chartreuse. i rather like this color as well. the fabric took the dye up rather quick, same as the first bath, so perhaps i can get a third dyeing out of it yet.

the avocado bath also produced a color shift. the results from the first bath was a cool medium pink, but the second gave me a lighter warm peachy pink, very pretty. i let it simmer for over an hour, and the color did not deepen much from the swatches i pulled out after half an hour; so perhaps the bath is exhausted.


red = green?

i'm in the middle of prepping fabric for the dye pot, so i thought i'd post a photo of my red onion skin results. i used alum as a premordant, and with the exception of the two lighter colored bits, they are all cotton. the triangle wedge is a scrap of wool felt and the other is a scrap of unknown fabric i had at hand, both of which i just threw in the dyepot to see what would happen.

i used an organic red onion, just the outer dry skins, boiled it for five minutes and then removed the skins and dunked in the fabric. the fabric just drew up the color so quickly; the longest any of them were in the pot was fifteen minutes. i really like this green gold color, it's very pretty.

well, off to check on my fabric pots!

when one is never enough

my little collection of nail polish. and yes, that pink really is that bright. as you can see, i tend to favor the cooler shades. i don't wear polish on my hands, as between work and all the other things i use them for they would quickly become sad, but toes are another thing.

what is your favorite color on your nails?