Friday, December 28, 2012


Teaching has pushed me to try many new fibers and techniques this year. Scarves are quick and easy so instead of small samples, I usually make the warp long enough to be used as a scarf.

The warp on this scarf in bambu, sari silk and ribbon, was incorrectly measured and was verrrry long! Why not cut and sew it and make a little neck accessory?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Busy Summer

It's been a busy summer in my studio. In addition to teaching, weaving and designing new garments, I've been learning to spin on a spinning wheel. I purchased this hand-dyed alpaca roving from Creature Comforts Etsy Store and spun and plied the yarn and knitted the sweet little scarf pictured above. This is my first hand-spun, hand-knit scarf. It's so soft and I love the colors. Thank you, Creature Comforts!
On my big floor loom, I've been weaving yardage. This flax blend swing vest was hand-dyed and made in a medium/large size. It's accessorized with a scarf from last fall's collection.

And now that I'm carrying yarn for sale on my shelves, I can't help but knit some of it myself in the evenings. I made this black vest with Prime Alpaca from Galler Yarns. It's so soft and light weight. I can hardly wait for cooler weather so I can finally wear it. I found this fun pattern on Ravelry by Drops Design. I love their style.
The back has a web-like spiral. This picture shows the design but the color is a bit washed out.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Many Shades of Gray

It rained today. It rained all day long. Since I've lived in Roswell, I've never seen it rain all day long. No blue skies, just gray clouds and rain. I'm not complaining at all because God knows, we need rain. It was the perfect day to stay inside and weave. So first I wove on my gray flax warp on my LeClerc floor loom.

 When I got bored with it, I moved to my gray alpaca project on the Schacht baby wolf loom. 

After a few hours, I got bored again, so I sat on my comfy wicker chair and wove on my Schacht flip rigid heddle loom perched on its new trestle stand that I love.

And guess what, that project is also gray.

You'd think it was a gray and boring day, but not at all. These looms and projects were a great excuse to not go out in the rain.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First Weaving Classes

So I finished teaching my first ever weaving classes. My evening class lucked out. There were only two so they received much more personal attention.

Toni & Marian with their final projects
With nine students in my morning class, it kept me hopping. I learned so much about teaching. No matter how organized, things don't always go as planned. Every problem seems to make its appearance at once and you gotta be ready to problem solve on the fly. But, success is seeing the excitement on a new weaver's face when she finishes her first scarf and drapes it around her neck. Ah yes, that was the best part.

We're missing a few at this last class. What a fun group of ladies!
My students were kind to me but they really were my guinea pigs. The next class will have the advantage of my "working it out as I went" this time.

And the best part of it all is passing my love of weaving on and hopefully a few of them will keep learning.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rigid Heddle Weaving Classes

In preparation for my upcoming classes, I've been sampling many different yarns and projects on my Schacht rigid heddle looms. The smallest loom, the cricket is great for scarves and narrow panels and I've used the 15 inch Flip loom to make table runners, placemats, dish towels and a garment.
I might mention that I am now a dealer for Schacht products. For a short time I'm offering 20 % off of the retail price. Students need to order two weeks before classes begin to ensure your loom arrives in time.

These looms are perfect for road trips. The travel bags are roomy enough to contain everything you need for a project and pack in the car easily. I took both of them last week as we drove cross country to visit family. While there, I finished two scarves and fabric for a vest.

A friend generously donated a bag of yarn for my classes. Thank you Jamie! Most of it was knitting yarn. And since I hope to recruit knitters to my classes and encourage them to use the looms to use up their leftover stash yarn, I needed to try it in a project. I had an idea for a vest using three panels. The yarn was a little softer with more give than I'm used to. But the tension held up okay. It wove up nicely.

 After I pinned the finished fabric pieces together, I realized it needed more length. So I set up the cricket loom and whipped out a narrow panel with the same two colors but threaded differently for a contrasting fabric. I used the darker fabric at the bottom on the front panels and as a yoke on the back. I really love how this all came together. It can be worn several ways and can be easily sized smaller by weaving shorter pieces. I think I may put this in pattern form for my advanced students in a later class.

Working with these looms is so exciting. Set up is quick and the project almost weaves itself. The rhythm of throwing the shuttle, lifting and lowering the heddle, beating the yarn in place over and over is so zen.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Roswell Fibercraft Guild

A local weaver, Zelma Wilcox, has kept the Roswell Fibercraft Guild alive, despite a few lean years. Joining with Zelma we have focused on rebuilding the guild this year.

Margaret Barry
in her fiber creations
Twenty attended the March meeting where Margaret Barry from Carlsbad, New Mexico was our featured presenter. Margaret is an amazing fiber artist with knowledge of every aspect of yarn and fiber from plants or animals, including the processing or manufacturing. She's a walking textbook of fiber knowledge.  
We were given an opportunity to experience first-hand how different fibers look and feel in their raw form from dog to silk. She demonstrated spinning and we played with carding wool and learned how to test yarn by burning it.  
This spring in Roswell our guild is growing and fiber arts interest is blooming.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Out of My Comfort Zone

This month I've been planning and sampling for my rigid heddle classes, as well as weaving fabric for spring and summer jackets. But even with all the busyness, I found time to push myself way out of my comfort zone.

On a whim, I ordered a variety of alpaca yarns. Oh, my! How does anyone even begin to describe the lusciousness of this yarn? Oh so soft. And oh how I love a challenge. I think I'm at my happiest exploring and discovering. And of course I just make it up as I go along.

My first attempt was to weave a scarf and to felt it. Now everybody and their sister has been felting for years. Believe it or not, this is one thing I've never attempted. Since felting an item shrinks it, I wove a wide scarf. When it was finished, I hated it! It was still too wide and bulky. But the next day it seemed to want to be a garment. So I cut it in half and made it into a cape and finished it with an elk horn button.

I love it now! But, alas, with the felting some of the softness disappeared as well.  I've warped the baby wolf loom with more of the alpaca yarn and I'm weaving a scarf in a loosely woven undulating twill to wear with the cape.

I have no idea where this is taking me? These pieces are so different from my current offerings that they may never be duplicated. But I've had the amazing experience of following my heart and letting it lead me to a new place of discovery.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Demystifying the Floor Loom

My first mini-workshop, Demystifying the Floor Loom, was a success.
Using my rainbow dyed cotton yarn, participants had the opportunity to try their hand at each step from making the warp chain to throwing the shuttle and weaving a piece of cloth discovering how easy and fun weaving can be.
For those who want to learn more, I am available for private lessons and I'll be offering a rigid heddle class in the spring.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Good Year for Fiber Arts!

We're barely into the new year and already it feels like this is going to be a good year for fiber!  2011 was a great year for me after I finally got moved into my new studio.
I added fused glass shawl pins to my offerings and they sold well along with my fringy scarves.

I had tons of fun playing with new ways to dye fabric. You might remember this scarf from my last post. I decided to keep this one for my own.

The small fibercraft group I discovered after moving here last year is growing by leaps and bounds. Now, instead of one, we have two meetings a month-- one morning and one evening to accommodate as many as possible.

I've had many questions from possible wannabe weavers about how this all works and how does one set up a loom to weave. So I designed a workshop called Demystifying the Floor Loom. Hopefully I can demonstrate how easy and fun the process can be and also win over a whole new crop of weavers.

And then there's spinning and felting and dyeing and knitting and crocheting. All these are fiber related crafts and I'm hoping this group inspires me to learn new stuff in some or all of these areas as well. I'm just not sure there are enough hours in the day or months in the year to accomplish everything I want to do.