Welcome To My blog--my name is Barb and I am a weaver in a small town in Wisconsin called Dell. Actually it is more of a place than a town but I love living in the middle of nowhere. I am a weaver and my studio name is"COULD HAVE BEEN A PIANO" I always said I was going to learn how to play the piano, but as luck would have it I met a wonderful group of women weavers and was hooked. I have been weaving for three years or so but have been addicted to fiber since I started knitting when I was about 10. I still love to knit and do some spinning and dying as well. I love natural fiber and texture. I like to use thrift store finds and use my imagination.
Well my second set of placemats are officially dead for the time being. I figured if I threaded it twice and didn't like what I had there was a message there somewhere. So I started weaving a throw or small blanket with some alpaca that I recently acquired. It is a twill pattern threaded 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,3,4,4 and I like the texture
I have a nephew who is being married later in January so maybe it will be a wedding present--who knows?
It's been very cold here lately. My weaving studio is located about 50 yards from my house and has a wood stove. I have a very great husband who starts the fire for me early in the morning so I can usually be out there by 9 or so. I had a pair of felted slippers that I wore a hole in so I needed a new "something" to keep me warm while weaving. I saw these in a knitting book and was intrigued by their design. They are made exactly like mittens. I am going to make some more pairs and have figured out a way that for me would be easier. I love them.
Since they are made of two colors they will be very warm. I am thinking about making them on very large needles and felting them. Anyone have any other ideas?
First the good--I have been babying this thing for a couple of years and it finally bloomed. I was ecstatic to say the least. Now I see another flower shoot. I guess I don't do anything special, just try to be nice to t.
Now for the not so good--above are my bamboo placemats. Lesson number one I guess is not to use bamboo for the warp--I had a multitude of broken warp threads in less than a couple of inches. So I WHACKED it and put on a cotton warp and will try the bamboo as weft. Oh well.
I wanted to try something new for the cutlery my husband carried around most of Europe for a month! We bought the tableware in Naples after eating in a restaurant that was using it. So I thought I needed something sleek and modern to go with it. The pattern is actually very easy to thread--each color is a set of two heddles, 2-1, 2,1 etc. The treadling is the reverse for each color 1-2, 1-2 etc. Since I made an error in calculating the length I needed I only have enough warp for two placemats but I think I will use the same colors and choose another design and make two more. The fiber is 10/2 cotton and Tencel.
We were lucky enough to spend most of October in Europe. Went to five countries and had a blast. I'll try not to bore you with too many pictures but I picked out a few that really made me laugh. This is a street "artist" in Madrid. We saw them all over, she was funny cause she made this chattering noise and shook. They work for whatever you put in their container--she makes me laugh.
This is from Bern Switzerland--a very great city--they have statues all over the old city and this is the strangist one ever. He is actually eating the little children!!!! No one seems to know why, none of the other statues are grim--go figure
We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in Venice--it was a very cool spot--the artwork in the resturant was unusual?
We found the local market in every city--this one was in Italy, the man who ran it gave us great samples, Harry asked if he could take this picture--the man did not speak much English but Harry told him it reminded him of someone "special"--the guy cracked up.
Aren't these shoes great!!!! They were in a store in Florence--No price on them but I think if you had to ask you couldn't afford them!!!!!
And finally for all the Morel fans--these were in Spain--36 Euros is about $50 and that would be for 100 grams which is 1/10 of a kilogram--maybe we should ship them over!!
We had a wonderful time, if I ever go again I would try to learn more on the languages--people were great. A word to the wise, never order a club sandwich in Madrid--it is a hamburger with tomato and lettuce. Along with it you get a fried egg and a huge slice of ham--no kidding--we didn't know what to do with the egg and ham so we put it on the burger.
I wanted to do something different and not "make" anything so I bought the new double weave book and am doing the sampler. It seems to be very magical--I have only done the first one but I do like the color change with the cream then the brown on top-I guess the only really important thing is to keep the sheds "open" . It is very intreging.
I have been working on mittens most of the summer--I know, not really the prime time for thinking about mittens but they are a small project and easy to pick up at any time. I love to make "mirror" image mittens. The colors are reversed on each pair so that the background on one mitten is transposed to be the design on the other. This makes them far less boring to make and also uses the same amount of each color for the pair of mittens. I am taking them to sell at the Sheep and Wool Festival next week. I make up the designs from old knitting patterns. The cuffs on most of them are very long-I think this is really great because they can be put over your jacket or under and you will keep much warmer. No snow up your jacket!!! I love winter and figure you should dress up your hands to play in the snow.
I thought I would try and make some towels. I had some really nice organic cotton, cotillion and tencel on hand as well as some really old bias tape from the Silver Palate in New York that I couldn't bear to throw out so I recycled it for the hangers. I threaded the red tencel in rosepath and did a different variation in each of the towels.
One of my favorite times in summer is going to Door County. I have a friend who has graciously let us use her cottage in Baileys Harbor for the past ten years. Its a great time--my daughter and her family go as well has Harry and I. The boys stay a couple of days and then it just the kids, Liz and I. We have great fun going to the beach and just hanging out. It is nice to see teenagers who still love to dig in the sand! Of course sweet Violet Rose is too little to dig, but she did love to sleep on the beach.
I have been thinking about market bags, maybe because my garden overflowith!! Usaully I don't put on enough warp for more than one thing but I thought I would try it this time. I first thought I wouuld get enough for two bags but the cotton I used (10/2 pearl) shrunk very little. It was fun figuring out what to do to make them different from one another. The large bag in the middle actually folds up so that you can put it in a purse and take it along with you. Black and white always reminds me of summer.
So I thought I would dye some indigo today. I had restarted the pot and it smelled pretty bad so I figured it was time to give it a shot.
I like indigo because it is simple to do, a pot, some gloves and some time. I noticed when I hung it on the line outside that a butterfly was interested. It also seemed to attract a lot of flies!!! I like the result.
These two pillows are made of some leftover handpainted silk and handpainted Merino. I made them in squares and sewed them together so that I could get different textures on each pillow. They are all woven from the same tie-up. The pattern is out of my favorite "green " book