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.
I have been working on some whimsical little critters. The inspiration came from a lovely book from Estonia filled with old patterns and very sweet puppets and critters. I had some leftover hand dyed yarn in yellow and blue that I thought would be fun. The yellow is goldenrod and the blue indigo. I have enough to make one more and am pretty sure it is going to be a chicken.
Then I have angels in my head--so who knows. Merry Christmas everyone, Peace.
So the rug is done--I am pretty happy with it--I used some heavier warp that I liked a lot however it didn't cover as well as I would have liked. I think it was because the twist was not consistent--but it is a great bathroom rug--I think it will suck up a lot of water out of the shower----next I think I am going to do some stripes for a cushion for a bench--we'll see
Well I am almost ready to go--seems I always say that and then I make an error slaying the reed or something really dumb. Have been thinking about why I like rep weave so much and I think it is because there is a rhythm to the threading much as there is a rhythm to knitting. There is also the geometric aspect--I like it when the calculations work --its truly magic. Will have to let it rest for a few days, am having a house full for Thanksgiving-so it looks like Sunday or Monday--that's OK it will be fun to have family here for the holiday.
My "Penny Rug" animals are done. It was such a fun project--they seemed to grow right out of the felt. I have another one in my head---birds---but I think it has to wait for a bit. I have a sweater that needs some attention first. I almost have my rep weave warped and am anxious to get that going.
Sometimes it takes me a long time to figure it out!!!! I finished both my rag rug and penny rug. I love the penny rug--the rag rug--not so much. Don't get me wrong, I love rag rugs. It just seems when I make them I have a "vision" in my head that just never turns out. So I am kissing my rags goodbye. For anyone that wants some I will bring them to the next weavers and feel really good that they are going to a good home. I am really enjoying the wool, beads, applique process and have another in my head--it is all animals and so far I have the giraffe mostly done. I am also starting another rep weave--this one will be for my husbands bathroom. Right now I am moving heddles--but maybe next week I will be able to start warping it.
I spent a good deal of time last winter making rag balls out of all my unused quilting scraps!!!! It was a long winter!!! Anyway I finally decided to make a rug for my son and his wife in Colorado. So far I have about 20" done--I want it to be about 60". We will be visiting them in less than a month so I guess I should keep at it.
My second project is my version of a "penny rug". I have always wanted to make one but did not want the usual version. So I decided to make a bouquet of flowers. It is all wool with embroidery and beads. Very fun to do.
I finally got my rep weave done!!!! I like it!!! I wanted to add some more color and decided to add a border. I had enough fabric to make some napkins. I was going to cut one of the runners and make place mats but my friend Susan thought it would be a good idea to keep both of them and overlap them when I needed four--I really like that idea
I like the darker side better but think it would be fun to use both.
So its on to another project--think I am going to do a rag rug--
I am lucky enough that my weaving studio is in the shade until afternoon. It has been OK with a fan until about 2:00. Then I make a mad dash back to the house and the air conditioning. I started another rep weave. I am not sure what the end product will be. I have enough on for 2 place mats and a table runner, four place mats or I was thinking maybe I would use the fabric for a couple of bags. We shall see when it is done. I did get the warp done so maybe tomorrow Harry will help me wind it.
This is my dog Scraps-. It's actually not really my dog but that is a whole other story. He is my weaving companion. He comes to the studio and sleeps while I weave. He has good taste when it comes to places to lay!
It's Done--and I love it. It started out 70" long and shrunk to 54". The width did not shrink much, less than an inch. So my next one will have to be a lot longer!!! I did weave off the rest of the warp but I only had about 20" so I am not sure if it will ever be anything. I really liked this project-I learned a lot and it was fun to see the calculations work out. So maybe I will put on another one!!!!!
So I am facing a dilemma. One of the rep weave rugs is done. It turned out to be 69" Long. My dilemma is that most of my weaving friends said to put enough warp on for two-which I did. But I want to whack it off to see just what it really looks like. It looks like I have enough for a 45" one or so. So I have resisted my urge, as well as better instincts, and will go on!
So it worked, magic!!!!! The first 2.5 inches are hem and below that some fooling around. Then I started for real. The book is not exactly right--it doesn't weave up that fast--but who cares! I think I could get hooked on rep weave.
No pictures yet but it worked. Angie came and helped finish setting up the loom. I have no idea what she did but it worked. I had to fiddle with the tension to get a shed but am actually starting to weave. It is magic. When I have enough done to get a good picture will post it. Fun, fun, fun.
So it is all threaded and came out exactly. I am pretty sure there are no threading errors as I read my scribblings back inch by inch and came out right--who knows? Angie is coming over tomorrow and we are going to finish setting up the loom and then eat strawberries and weave!!!! Hope the weaving gods are with us.
It's going to be fine! I have 21 inches done and 12 to go. The math is still OK--hope to have it done by early next week and then Angie is going to come over and finish setting up the loom so I can actually weave.
So far so good. Harry and my good friend Susan helped wrap the warp. Must say even though it was not easy it certainly went better the second time. I think making chains for every inch was a good idea. I also think it helped with my math because if I haven't made a huge error everything is OK
The last time I tried to get the warp on all the threads were tangled in the back. This time they look like they will wind off OK.
I threaded two inches--only 31 to go! Thanks again Harry and Susan!
One of the truths that I always try to live by is "that if you can't do it right, you can always do it over." I figure that works for most people, except maybe if you are a brain surgeon. So I whacked it. It really wasn't that painful to do--I had a mess. So I did some thinking and decided I would make a chain for every inch of the warp and put them on the loom as I made them. This seemed to work much better.
So I think this will work out--don't know if you are supposed to use tape on the warp but these puppies are not getting tangled if I can help it! I have 10" done--only 21 to go!!!
I went to Madison with Harry and picked up my new loom!!! I got it from a weaver friend Elin. Harry and I, mostly Harry, put it together. Angie came over and helped me get it balanced (?) so I began warping. It was truly a mess. Very tangled and almost impossible to feed through the rattle. Harry helped me enormously and I finally was able to start threading. It is not hard to thread, the pattern is a straight twill and threads are used two at a time. So far it is working and my calculations are good!!!!
I have always liked big projects so I decided to do a rep weave rug, actually two, this summer. I think they will be a good project for the summer because I will only have a few hours every couple of days to work on it and that way I probably won't make as many mistakes. I tend to make errors when I have a lot of time. I am buying a loom from a friend Elin and hope to pick it up this week. It is bigger and sturdier than my Mighty Wolf and my weaver friend "experts" tell me it is just the thing I need. The project has 2672 ends and so far
I have about 600 wound. This is the right boarder. It is like a big puzzle! I love the colors and yes, I will walk on it! Wish me luck.
Pearl lives in Bishopville South Carolina. When he moved there in the 1980's his aim was to win the "Yard of the Month" award given by the local garden club. He is completely self taught and does all his own sculptures as well as the topiary. We were lucky enough to meet him and spend a few minutes with him. He is truly an inspiration.
One of his intriguing sculptures
My favorite--"hate hurts"..He is now 71 years old and deciding who to leave his garden with. The Garden Conservancy has taken an active interest. If you have a few minutes there is a documentary called A man Named Pearl on U-tube. Pear has a website--www.pearlfryar.com. He is an inspiration.