San Jose TNNA

Hey everyone, I’m a bit behind in my blogging, so I’m going to try to catch up this weekend!   I flew to San Jose, California on January 19 th for the annual winter Textile Needlework Trade Association (TNNA) convention with my friend and employer Jean Smith.  Jean is my summertime gardening employer, but she also has a nationally recognized needlepoint canvas business…JeanSmithDesigns.com….
This is the third yeR I’ve traveled with her in January to help her with her show, I help her set up her booth, then I hang out with her as needlepoint store owners stop by to pick out and order new canvasses for their shops…mostly I just sit and chat because honestly, everyone really just wants to talk to Jean.  ItKe a few orders, but mostly I just chat with customers until Jean is free because they all just want Jean!  Jean has had this business over 30 years and some of her clientele are old friend and this is their chance to catch up with each other.  Here are some pictures of her booth…

Pretty nice!  I think Jean has the prettiest booth in the convention center because it’s not a mishmash of stuff, it’s all floral and the palette is so feminine and cheerful.  You can’t help but smile when you walk into her booth.

I left Jacob and Norbert home alone for 5 days and they survived!   Who hoo!
When I got home I looked at the calendar. ( because January was Linen Scarf Month..I’m not sure if I announced that loudly enough, but it definitely was!). And I finished up my lacy linen scarfs.

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While I was in San Jose, since I was still on Grand Rapids time and I was waking up early, I  looked thru this new (to me) book I had ordered used from the Eugene Textile Shop and designed a different kind of linen scarf…

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This is an excellent book, if you see one, get it because it’s in depth, but understandable.  An excellent reference book.

Here are the three scarfs I wove.  The warp is linen that I got from Heidi’s estate sale.  It had been cream colored and a bit musty, but Gabriela dyed it for me and it’s lovely now and fresh smelling.  I put on a three scarf warp of silvery gray, and wove the three scarfs, one turquoise, one blue, one lavender.   They are lovely and the perfect things wear  for spring into summer.

My goal was to weave 10 linen scarfs in January, I wove 8, plus my first one which was full of mistakes.  I love these linen scarfs..I might weave some more in March, but I can’t in February, because February’s towel month…that’s my proclamation !

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February is Towel Month!

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Ha!  Bet all you weavers didn’t know that February was towel month…and you are all thinking crap, crap, crap!  She tells me that on February 11?  That is so unfair!   Sorry about that, but now you know for next year…February is towel month…and, unlike most of you, I have a towel warp on my loom!  Who hoo!

I sure do like these colors!   I did make a mistake while warping. For some reason, I set these at 30 epi, and with 8/2 cotton, I usually use 24 epi for the warp, so they are a little denser than usual, but perfectly fine!   I did two towels with a bright blue..now I’m using violet…red is next!  Hope to have them done by the weekend so I can put on a new warp!

My goal is 28 towels, one for each day of the month…so I need to hustle, and so do all of you!

Oh!  Here is a picture of my makeshift photo studio…cause it’s too cold to be outside!

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Linen scarf in rose

I should be moving faster than I am on these scarfs, but I caught a cold so I’ve been huddled down under a blanket and occasionally knitting.  I figure if I knit one hat a week until November, I will have a good collection for my sales.  But I’m not putting any hats in my shop.  I can’t guarantee size.  They are all knit from my handspun yarn and each one fits differently.

I also signed up for the Michigan League of Handweavers workshops in early June.  The three day class I’m taking is with instructor Bobbie Irwin – Shimmering Colors: The Magic of Iridescence.  I’m really looking forward to that.  I just got the book Weaving with Echo and Iris for Christmas and frankly, I could use a little hand holding so I hope to be able to walk out of that class with a couple of scarf projects planned.

At the end of this week I’m going to the TNNA conference in San Jose, California.   Maybe I will pick up some new ideas there, too!

Oh, and before I forget, I signed up for Jane Staffords online weaving seminar.  She’s doing new lessons every five weeks, I’ve watched just part of the first one.  She’s starting at the very beginning of a project, talking about winding a warp and I’ve picked up a few tips..things I knew but had kinda forgotten to do.  If you are interested you can find it here at Janestaffordtextiles.com.

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Linen scarfs

I think I like them!

Now I’m working on a gray/ white warp….and a 10 dent reed…

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I have a lot of white linen from Heidi’s sale, so my dear  friend Gabe dyed some for me!

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I think I’m using the rose color next!   I am just thrilled with these colors!

And I’m also drinking a lot of coffee…

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First project of 2017!

I finished my yellow towels!

I’m going to sew them later on….I wanted to dive in and start something else.. first I spent a bunch of time playing with colors for a new set of towels…I kinda like this

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Who wouldn’t like that…it’s almost every color thrown down…but then I had another cup of coffee and cruised thru Pinterest ( which if you don’t already regularly do this, please don’t start..honestly it’s the biggest time warp you can fall into.).  But, I saw something….and it gave me an idea…

It’s only 75 threads..honestly…a really quick warp to put on…

 

I’m using some linen yarn I bought from Heidi’s estate.  The 20/2 blue is a lot thinner than the 12/2 green, but I liked the colors together so I guess I will see how this goes!  I put on a nine yard warp for 3 summery scarfs.

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Happy New Year!!!

January 1, 2017…Grand Rapids Michigan

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Or maybe I should say HOPPY New Year!!

Happy New Years everyone!  I got up at 6:30… which is late for me…let the dog out, drank two cups of coffee…and started weaving on my windowpane towels.  I think I can finish that warp today.  I’ve been soaking my bobbins so the linen is more flexible in the weft.

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I’m including a picture of the back of my loom which is a terrible mess!  Every other thread of the warp is of old white cotton that I think I got off of eBay last year and it’s not strong enough so I have had broken thread after broken thread…and then my cat Angel sits down and begins to bat at everything I have hanging…I don’t blame her, I want to bat at them too.

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The warp is yellow and white cotton, and the weft has been varying colors of linen.  I thought orange and red linen would look good, but not really, it’s better with pastel greens and blues so that’s what I’m doing.  Regardless of the broken threads I think the towels will come out just fine!

I’m not sure what my next project is going to be… I’ve planned two…one is a twill scarf with a dyed warp of lime, gold and purple…but it’s a bit cold to dye anything in my unheated garage..and the other is to use up my remaining Zephyr Jaggerspun and make more möbius cowls like this one.

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I also need to devise a project for my grab bag from Heidi Huntly’s studio.  Heidi, I understand, was an accomplished weaver and spinner who lived in Muskegon Michigan.  Tragically, she now has Alzheimer’s and can no longer weave.  Her generous husband gave her entire weaving studio contents to my guild, the Woodland Weavers and Spinners guild.   The Guild had a huge sale to sell off the majority of her yarn, looms, and spinning wheels, but a few items were left over.  Those items were devided into about 25 grab bags with the stipulation that you must do something with the contents by our February meeting.  Here are the contents of my bag:

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Yellow boucleish cotton, handspun cotton, bobbins with cotton thread, empty tapestry bobbins, a basic shuttle, a book on the Ming dynasty’s textiles, and a Historic Preservation magazine.  So we will see what I come up with.

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Hopefully I will have a full run of towels cut off the loom tomorrow!

I wish everyone a wonderful new year!

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Now I have pictures!

And jacob is showing me how to store a draft so he can add pictures before I post so people who are following me don’t get an email with all my pictures missing….like I said, REALLY nice to have in house IT.

So this is where I am..

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And it’s always good to peek underneath to see if everything looks good on the opposite side.

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I’ll post again when I get a more vibrant color combination.

 

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I think I’ve got it!

The last you heard from me, I was going to cut my warp

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And redo my heddles in a point twill..1123456787654321234….  like that…

And do more of my yellow towels…but then I talked to a good friend who strongly, but gently, but strongly….honestly…told me to not do those tiny little prints, do something bold!  So I mentioned the conversation to NB, who also agreed….so there I was yesterday morning, pulling everything out of the heddles AGAIN and deciding, once again, on  what to do with 630 threads.

If you are a weaver, reading this, I’m sure that you too have done this..it’s a pretty warp, good yarn, I just don’t want to waste it, and I hate hate hate weaving something I don’t like.

So, now this is what I’m weaving!

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I’m going to use up these bobbins to make a blue towel and then a green yellow. And then I think I’m going to transition to orange and reds.  But my warp is nice and firm, and these will be quick to weave!

Aren’t these bobbin holders nice?  I have a bunch…first I tried to make one my self….

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Then NB had a client thing at our house and someone’s husband was looking at my loom…cause it’s a wood machine…and then brought me the beautiful checkerboard ones.

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When he saw that I popped one up on the castle of my loom, he took out his tape measure and brought me another one with a higher base so I could reach it easier.  What a guy!

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Then I showed a guild member my handy bobbin holders, she borrowed one to show her husband, and he made me the pretty cherry one.

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I use them everywhere!  I keep my original one with the screws by my bobbin winder, another on my castle, one on my side table and one in my yarn room.  Truly useful!

It’s 6 am in Grand Rapids on a Sunday morning .  I’m going to post this, and when my son wakes up he will add the pictures, cause I truly do not know how to.  That’s why you have kids…so you can have an IT person in-house.

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12 days till Christmas…oh no!

Wow, two weekends of sales has kinda set me back, but I almost have my shopping and my wrapping done so the end is near!  Tomorrow I’m baking cookies for a cookie exchange and making chicken tortilla soup for dinner…but it’s 4:54 pm on a Tuesday and I have no idea what I’m doing for tonight….
I do, however know what I’m doing to that travesty on my loom…I’m putting in my sticks to get my cross back, cutting that stupid thing off and resleying the whole darn mess!  I really liked these towels

See how it’s one pattern on one side, and a coordinating pattern on the other…so I hope I can find my draft!  Anyway, that’s my game plan.  I’m going to do some more of that towel and again use that beautiful blue linen that I got from hacylon last year…it was a one off color that is unevenly dyed, but was a fantastic value and it makes a lovely towel…I really like linen.  I like how hard and firm it feels and I love the intensity of color.

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Isn’t that a pretty color?

The other thing that I spent the afternoon doing was working with Jacob  to set up my Square shop!  Who hoo!  So now, if you look under the rotating gallery of projects, you can click on my “square shop” and it will bring you to my store and what I have available!  Isn’t that cool?    Thank  you jacob!

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Ugh!

Maaannn….I do not like these towels…I think I have a dog on the loom!   I really don’t know what I was thinking…this warp is set at 30 ends per inch, my pattern repeats every 8 shots, it’s minuscule!  Doesn’t show up and is truly boring…as tedious as the drive from Urbana Illinois to Springfield…the same drive that NB and I had to turnaround from after 45 minutes because we just couldn’t bear the flatness and sameness of never ending corn and soy fields…yes, that tedious!

So then I tried this…

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And then this…

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Still don’t like it, don’t know what I’m going to do, so I think I will tag some stuff for my two winter sales.  Artmakers is this Saturday, December 3 and the Woodland weavers guild sale is the following Friday and Saturday.
I have some towels I like….

And hats…

And lovely scarfs…

I will continue to ponder the yellow warp…ugh!

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