Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A New Twist on an Old Design

So, I've fallen in love with this fantastic Mongolian cashmere that I found, as you may have noticed... And I'm also still really intrigued with shadow-weave (most of my bamboo scarves that I made over the past year have been in various shadow-weave structures). I did play around with using the cashmere as the weft in some mixed-twill scarves, and liked that, but I really do enjoy designing/weaving shadow-weave a lot more than just twill. (Who knew I'd ever find a structure that would keep me this occupied!)

So, I decided to give a mixed warp of Bambu7 and the 2-ply cashmere a whirl... I normally sett my Bambu7 at 16 epi (a little loose, perhaps, but I like to give the yarn room to move when I wash it), so that's where I started.

There it is, going into the sink to soak! The black yarn is the cashmere, and I used a couple shades of Bambu as the lighter blues and greys (hard to tell in this photo). It came out nicely after the wash (it's air drying at the moment) and now I'm warping another one to sett at 20 epi instead of 16, just to see how it turns out. I'll keep you posted!

It's fun to be back to weaving a little bit after the busyness of last week... we have Open Studios at WAS this Saturday, but I have nothing, basically, to sell! Eeks! Ah well, it's always nice just to chat with the people that come through, and get some work done, too.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Handmade Christmas Presents

So, I've been meaning to post a couple of things that I bought from various artists on Etsy for Christmas...

Love this belt buckle from Etsy seller Metalogical (bought it for Carlos):

The whole idea of actually forging something in this day and age really caught my fancy. And Carlos likes it too!

Another present for Carlos - a t-shirt with a graphic of a Puerto Rican petroglyph of the Coqui (Carlos used to fall asleep listening to Coquis when he was a little guy):

This shirt is from Etsy seller AmaAmo - I was soooo impressed with her packaging and service. She's a newbie on Etsy but she is just incredibly professional.

And, finally, for me:

Hooray! A ring from TreAnelli that I've been wanting forever! I've been wearing it every day, middle finger of my right hand - that's one of the really nice things about Etsy, you can get something like a ring in whatever size you need, generally.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to All

Kind of a dark photo, but you get the idea, right? We got about two FEET of snow over the weekend. Crazy.

The kids stayed in, for the most part (painting in the kitchen, here, Bella paints practically every day, but this was Conall's first time - so happy he didn't eat any of the paint!).

I decorate the mantel in our living room differently every year. This year, it's little origami trees - I made one and then couldn't stop. Kind of like chips. Or ski runs.

Carlos and I were up far too late last night wrapping presents... I still have to bake cookies and start crescent rolls for the trip to Ginga's (my Mum's) house, plus we're seeing the Nutcracker today at noon - I have a feeling I won't be sleeping much tonight, either. At least there are no complicated toys to assemble this year! (Best toy of the year, IMO - a Harrisville Easy Weaver loom for Ms. B. I even bought Liz Gipson's Weaving Made Easy for her.)

Merry Christmas to everybody! If you're somebody who normally gets a card from us and haven't gotten it, it's because I'm hopelessly lame and haven't sent them out, I'm sorry. I'm hoping to get some out for the New Year - but, in the meantime, I hope you have a lovely holiday!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Well, I do believe we are going to have a White Christmas this year!

We got about 10 - 12" last night (still flurrying a little now), of fluffy white, nice snow. How pretty!

The kids are having fun, though Conall isn't too sure of the deep stuff.

Trying to get the driveway cleared out - we're thinking of doing some cross country skiing this afternoon, probably during Conall's nap (we have a big sled/poulk that Carlos made to pull the kids along behind whoever is skiing, but Conall doesn't want to sit in it, though he did last year).

I was thinking of dragging everybody up to Pat's Peak in New Hampshire tomorrow to get Bella's seasonal rental skis and maybe ski a little, but I've just heard that we're getting another storm tomorrow! And we're right where the weather changes in our region - Boston is supposed to just get maybe a couple inches, but we're just into the zone that is supposed to get anywhere from 5" - 10" *more* tomorrow. Crazy.

Hopefully the weather will hold on Wednesday... We're attempting the Nutcracker again, lol. We got completely stuck in a HUGE traffic jam on Thursday night trying to get in to Boston and Bella completely fell asleep, so we didn't actually see it. Argh! I managed to get more tickets for Christmas Eve, though, and it starts at noon, so no chance she'll fall asleep this time! (Learned my - VERY expensive - lesson!)

I love winter. I know I'm nuts, but I really love winter and snow....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Over the Holiday Rush?

I can't seem to relax this week. I'm shipping out my last custom order this morning...

(It's an Ms and os bamboo scarf in shades of brown - had a hard time photographing it, the weather has not been cooperating lately!) I've had a busy week on Etsy and at the studio (Open Studios for the last two weekends means that my house is a complete wreck), but I think things should calm down now for a couple weeks.

But I keep feeling like I'm forgetting something.

Oh yeah! The Christmas tree!

LOL. We're really late this year. But I figure that's one week or so less of keeping Conall from trying to pull it over. And house cleaning, Christmas cards, wrapping presents (which I actually have managed to buy, amazing), weaving a couple scarves for some nieces, the Nutcracker tonight (Bella's first trip to see the Boston Ballet), Conall's second birthday is just two weeks after Christmas...

So I'm working on spending a day doing not very much today. My Mum will arrive this afternoon to go to the Ballet with Bella and I, there's a big snow storm on the way for tomorrow, I'm making slow cooker beef stew for dinner, and I'm thinking of making some little origami Christmas trees to decorate the fireplace mantle. I hope everybody is having a similarly relaxing day!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ice Storm! And Handwoven

Good grief. If you're not in New England, you probably don't know, but Massachusetts/Southern New Hampshire were hit with a HUGE ice storm Thursday night/yesterday. We lost power for the whole day yesterday - got it back around 9pm, I think. We spent the night in a hotel - it was supposed to get down to about 19 last night - too cold to spend the night in a house without heat! (And little man Conall is sick, too, to make things more complicated.) It looks like Worcester is a huge mess, yikes... (one of my brothers lives there - another lives a bit south of Worcester and didn't get any ice!).

On the bright side of things, the latest issue of Handwoven magazine arrived yesterday, and my ruffley scarves are in it! Hooray!

This was a fun project, I actually got a lot of input from Madelyn van der Hoogt on it. The scarves started out like this:

And, after a lot of back and forth, ended up like this:

(The photos in Handwoven are so good!!) The project scarf is actually in the berry colorway, like the little one above, but I didn't have a chance to take pictures of it, I was weaving right up to the deadline, it actually went into the mail still damp, lol! (After my dear little son got into the laundry room, pushed buttons on the washing machine and sent it - the berry one - through the wash a third time - ahhhh! LOL! It shrank a bit more than I expected, needless to say. This child, I'm tellin' ya...)

Anyway, it was such a fun project! And the Dragon Tales yarn is just so gorgeously colored, it's hard to go wrong with it...

Well, here's hoping today gets back to normal. I theoretically have Open Studios, and I also have a couple of cashmere scarves to send out to Etsy customers, goodness. Time to get going!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Open Studios Coming Up!

So, did everyone go shopping on Friday? I'm actually pretty proud of us for *not* going out shopping, lol... We did buy some outdoor Christmas lights and put them up, though, so that was fun. It even flurried here a little bit on Sunday (didn't stick though, rats).

And I sold the sister to my cashmere scarf that I posted about earlier. Barely got it listed on Etsy, and now it's off to Chicago...

Love that cashmere... I've got two with navy stripes in the works (too dreary to take good photos, waiting for some sun), and have some on my loom with yellow in the stripe that are looking pretty cool, too. I'm pleased - and they're fast to weave, since they're twill (my shadow-weave bamboo scarves take two shuttles, so they're a little slower). I'm hoping to warp and weave a couple more sets of the variegated rayon scarves as well. All this because we've got the Holiday Open Studios coming up at Western Avenue over the next two weekends - Saturday and Sunday both weekends, from noon - 5pm.

And, finally, I'll be delivering five pieces to a new shop in Chelmsford, hopefully today - one of the WAS artists is opening a shop about five minutes away from our house! How fun! (We live near the center of our town, it's nice to be able to walk to the library, the grocery store, etc.) Even better, her shop is *right* along the new bike path that is being built through Chelmsford (as part of the Rails to Trails network, very excited to have it here). So, while I wouldn't exactly recommend biking while wearing a scarf, it will be great exposure for her shop...

(Oh - and I'm about halfway through New Moon, the second book in the Twilight series... Jacob has definitely taken a turn for the grumpier, but I still like him better than Edward, lol! I thought I was going to finish the book yesterday, but I was good and went to the studio to weave, instead...)