Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rosepaths on a Winter's Day

Brrrr... The temperature has dropped dramatically here in the last few days. The outside air feels like it is biting, and the house is feeling a bit drafty. So of course, I turn to wanting to weave with some wool...

And what better thing to weave with wool on a cold winter's day, then a bit of Rosepath?

Rosepath is an old Swedish pattern, and one of my favorites.

In truth, it's not just a pattern, but almost an infinite array of patterns, as with simple threading and tie-up, one can create a multitude of different motifs just by changing the treadling. 

Quick refresher: Threading has to do with the order that the yarn is threaded through the different heddles, (heddles hang from the different harnesses, a 4-harness loom has four harnesses, each filled with lots of heddles, which the yarn passes through). Tie-up refers to which foot peddles are tied to which harnesses. Treadling is the sequence in which order you step on which foot peddle, also known as a treadle.

It invites creativity, as even though there are many old and established Rosepath patterns that you can follow, you can also simply play around with pressing on the treadles and be surprised by what patterns appear.

  I was delighted to see these x's and o's forming before my eyes... perfect for Valentine's Day!

You can find these Rosepath in Wool Pincushions for sale in my shop here.

Have a great day, and stay warm! xo

Monday, January 21, 2013

Frayed Color

Two posts ago I mentioned that next on my list was to weave something from shot cotton. Anyone who has read this blog for a length of time probably knows how much I adore shot cottons and sewing/quilting with shot cottons. 

For those of you who are unaware, shot cottons are fabric that have been woven with one color warp, and another color weft. The combination of the two colors creates a third color that becomes the cloth. The fabric is beautiful to quilt with as it has a great depth and richness to it, and the color fluctuates depending on how the fabric is positioned, (horizontal or vertical) and how the light hits it. (You can see a some examples of my stitched shot cotton work herehere here and here.)

The thing that made me most want to weave with shot cotton was the fringe. I wanted to make the fringe an integral part of the design. 

So I hand-ripped strips of different colored shot cottons, making sure to rip some strips of each color widthwise, selvedge to selvedge, and also lengthwise, as that way I would get a strip of each color featuring both the warp-thread frayed colored edge and the weft-thread frayed colored edge. You can see an example of this in the photo above. The bottom group of strips with the frayed maroon colored edge, is ripped from the same fabric group 3rd up from the bottom, with the frayed bright lime colored edge.

Strips were then machine stitched together to form long lengths, then folded along one side and pressed. I then wove the strips, placing the fringe towards me, and beating each one in place along the folded edge.

In keeping with  the rough, (as in raw, natural, imperfect, wabi sabi or some would say, crude) nature of utilizing the fringe as an important design element, I carried that through to other elements, such as letting the colors start and end wherever they happened to be in the weaving,

as well as leaving the frayed ends of one color strip show as a new one began, and not trying to hide where the ends were stitched together. 

... Just for the record, I am sure that many an accomplished weaver may cringe at this work, as it has become the custom of many a rag-weaver to fold all raw edges in, keeping strips of fabric as uniform and pristine as possible. Since many of you are new to weaving, you should know this, as I don't want to lead any of you astray down the road of improperness! (Although that is where the fun usually waits for us!) And, just like I respect those who wish to always quilt in absolute perfection of all points matching, (which I like to do as well from time to time) and no rules broken, I also respect such weavers and what they do, as well. However, while I will strive to always produce structurally well made items, as I firmly believe in craftsmanship, make no mistake that I am in love with the beauty of imperfection, and, when appropriate to the design, will try to honor it.

For more info on this colorful shot cotton runner please go here
(However note that it sold before I had a chance to do this blog post.)

One last thing... Did you happen to take notice of the giant spool that I used for a prop in the first photo of this blog post? It's a beautiful, antique industrial wooden spool filled with vintage twine, thought to be from around the turn of the century. My youngest daughter hit the nail on the head when she gave this to me for Christmas... Love, love, love it!!! As does Ellie, my dog... 
(She likes to pretend she is in the circus!)

Have a great week, everyone! xo

Friday, January 18, 2013

Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Blog Tour

 Did you know that January 24th is Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day? Well it is! And to kick off the event a Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Blog Tour has been put together, by the good folks over at  The Fabric Shop Network, who are spearheading this worldwide event. You can even win prizes, such as a new Brother sewing machine, and a $500 quilt shop gift certificate!

When I was contacted a few weeks ago by them, asking if I would participate in the blog tour, I said I would be happy to do so, as it gives me a chance to show you one of my favorite local quilt shops, Burkholder's Fabrics.

Located in Northern Lancaster County, PA, and situated on a working farm, it is just a mere 5 minutes away from my house... lucky me! Burkholder's attracts quilters from far and near, and it's not unusual to see tour buses pull into the parking lot, filled with eager quilters all ready to shop, as the selection is great and so are the prices. As with all good quilt shops, the inside is a visual treat of color and pattern... none of which I am going to show you, (that would be too expected)! Instead, I want to show you the outside surroundings... 

The first thing I do when I arrive at Burkholder's is to soak in the surrounding scenery, as it is just so pretty. Above are some old barns nestled along a creek.

And, here's a swan that I found just sitting in the field.

But this is my favorite part... look closely between the fence and the pond. Do you see them?

Deer! Yes, Burkholder's has deer, and the deer, safe from the hunters, have lots of room to wander, fields to graze and a creek to drink from, which makes the deer very happy... 

so happy that they will wander over to you!

And they will ask you for a kiss!

And then a scratch behind the ears!

Well, that concludes my little outside tour of one of my favorite local quilt shops. To check out what they have inside please visit there web site: Burkholder Fabrics, where you can also shop online. (Sign up for there email, as they offer regular discounts.) And, if you are ever in Lancaster County, PA, don't forget to stop, shop, and say "Hi" to the deer!

And, if you ever are in this neck of the woods, another great local quilt shop is Sauder Fabrics, also chock full of wonderful fabrics and super prices!

Please remember  to visit and support your local quilt shop this January 24th! And don't forget to visit for a complete list of other participating blogs in this weekend's
Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Blog Tour. (Posts will be going up today, Saturday and Sunday).

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pretty Little Things

Still playing with some simple weavings...

Humble cotton yarns to make some more mug-rugs...

and torn strips of fabric to make some more rag-weavings...

And more of these...

festive colored pin cushions!

 My next project is going be weaving with torn strips of shot cottons... looking forward to seeing how the various colors of the frayed edges appear. Will be sure to share the results once done.

Hope you all had a lovely holiday, and that your New Year is already turning out to be a wonderful one! xo