Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Got Lots of Catching Up To Do!

Guess who has neglected her blog??  I try to keep my Facebook page updated, but my poor blog hasn't had an update in months!  Spring is our busy season, of course, with the most demonstrations, but here we are in the latter part of the summer and no updates have happened.  So here we go!

Well, I'm obviously weaving my little fingers to the bone, although at the moment, not as much on the big looms.  A Schacht Zoom Loom came home with me in early July.  Since then, I've made two bags for it (one for me, one for the shop), a notions bag (for the shop) and two baby blankets (one for the shop).  The little looms are versions of the Weave-It looms from the 1930's.  I have two of the original Weave-It's, as well as a Loomette loom from the 1940's.  I've woven projects on my antique looms, but for some reason set them aside.  Although the antique looms are plenty strong enough to weave on, I do worry about carrying them around.  If I drop the Zoom Loom, no biggie.  So here is a photo of all my hand looms with the yellow / variegated baby blanket I finished a few days ago.
Katie Ann with the Looms!
From left to right are the Loomette (1940's), the wooden Weave-It, the resin Weave-It (both from the 1930's) and the Zoom Loom.  Showing the looms is my mother's favorite doll from the 1940's.

Here's the blue checkerboard blanket I made for the shop.
Blue Checkerboard Blanket

Both blankets have a crocheted edging I got from a 1930's booklet.  Here's a photo of the detail:

Edging Detail

Here's a photo of the first bag I made to carry the Zoom Loom and all its stuff:
The Zoom Loom and its Bag
Making squares on these little looms is a bit like eating potato chips.  You really can't stop with just one!  I've got lots of other ideas for Zoom Loom projects.

Navajo-Style Weaving... from a Cherokee Point of View

The Loom and Me
But before the Zoom Loom craze got me, I was taking some time to do more Navajo-style weaving.  George finished my big Navajo loom.  Of course, by "big" I mean "bigger than the miniature looms."  The loom isn't big enough to weave a full-size rug on, but it's plenty big for me.  The first project.. didn't happen.  I probably made every possible mistake warping it.  I completely removed the warp and started over.  The second warp went on just fine, but it took a few tries to get the design working the way I wanted it to.  The design is a cross between a classic Two Grey Hills design and "Arizona," a song I loved from the 70's.  So that's why I'm using... colors of green and grey instead of more traditional colors.  This is as far as I've gotten:
Arizona Rug on the Loom
So why "From a Cherokee Point of View?"  I'm not Navajo at all, but I do have two Cherokee ancestors. I have a great deal of respect for those two women and I wish I knew more about them.

More Overshot Designs
After finally working through Madelyn van der Hoogt's Block Weaves DVD, I decided to play with some designs from Marguerite Porter Davison's A Handweaver's Source Book.  That book has been following me around for 30-plus years but has been a bit difficult to use. Analyzing the drafts as blocks really helps and makes it easy to convert to more modern weaving drafts.  The first one is a re-work of my favorite Soldier's Return draft.  I made it a little smaller to fit on a scarf and then wove it up in blues and turquoises that reminded me of our trip to Florida and diving in the Keys.  Here's the scarf:

Soldier's Return Scarf

I have lots of other projects waiting in the wings, but I need to finish up things currently on the looms.  I'm weaving another Orange Peel scarf to photograph for the draft available in my Etsy shop.  Once the scarf and Joseph's towels are off the loom, I have lots of new projects getting ready to go on!

And maybe it won't be so long before I do another blog post!