I promised a video but that’s not going to happen. I even downloaded a supposedly easy for beginners editing program. I think I got my video edited but now I can’t figure out what they want me to do to export it back to my computer file. However, it looks like it doesn’t matter. I tried loading it onto my blog as is and it i just won’t do it. It didn’t actually say so but I’m pretty sure it’s timing out as videos are Large files. I’ll try calling tds again tomorrow to see what’s up with the promised fiber optics.
OKAY! It’s Monday and time to start Weaving! We’ve gathered up our square and Triangle looms and found the perfect yarn and we’re ready to weave! The Pattern is posted below, You’ll also be able to find it on my project page at Ravelry and on the facebook Pin loom group.
Be sure to enter for the weakly prize by posting a comment about the WAL here on my blog. name will be [picked at random at the end of the week. This weeks prize is a set of Packing forks the regular and the small sizes, one will be one of Randy’s arty ones! Very handy tools to have in your kit!
It’s a Party! There’ll be weaving and pictures and projects and prizes and chatter and fun!!
First an anniversary story.
A little History…
I’ve been reading about companies moving their manufactories back to the US and it got me to thinking. Randy & I have been making small looms for nearly 20 years now and all those years have been right here in the US. Right here in Trinity County, California, in fact. We started out in Grandmother’s garage. We now have our own shop but it’s less than 100 yards from that old garage so we haven’t moved far. In the beginning I told Randy that I would not publish our web page until he had at least a dozen looms made that first time and last year we made over 1700 but it’s still just him and me.
Some people may think they see too much of me ‘on-line’ but it’s what I love. I belong to many groups, to a bunch of Ravelry groups, as well as facebook, even twitter, tho my internet and ‘dumb’ phone won’t let post there. Most of these are about yarn in some way. I knit, crochet, weave, felt, spin… you name it. It’s what I like to do, just as you do or you would not be reading this here. And I like making the looms. I think we do a good job with them and I think the fact that we’re still doing it after 20 years proves that a lot of other people think we do a good job, too. I use the same looms we send to our customers. Well, almost. I usually end up using the ones he doesn’t think he got quite right. You know, what some other company would call ‘seconds”. It has an extra hole drilled in the wrong spot or the grain of the wood caused it to develop little hair line cracks when I put the nails in, that sort of thing. But they are still good looms and sturdy!
Yeah, if you ever manage to wear out your loom or find a flaw in it, send me an email. We’ll make arrangements to repair or replace, depending on what’s wrong. For instance, if you drop your loom in the driveway and then back over it, we may not be willing to replace it free but we’ll try to fix it if you think it might be done. I’m still using the very first looms he made for me and they are going strong. And I don’t really treat my loom tenderly; they kick around all over and get tossed in the car to go to shows or just on trips with us. They aren’t hung neatly on the wall like my sister’s but are piled in a box in the closet. Sturdy!
And if you need something special made, Randy’s your man. Several of the looms we make started with a weaver saying, “Can you make a….”. Randy says, “I can make anything.” And so far he’s made good on that bit of boasting, I have to admit. He made a tiny purpleheart trapezoid for a weaver and recently made a long thin loom that will be used to weave purse straps. Our Diamond looms started with a customer request. And the Multi’s were a result of another company dropping their version of the old Weave-it looms. Weavers kept asking so we finally gave in. Now we make 6 sizes of Multi squares, three rectangles, and two triangles in that style.
We ship the looms, not all over the world, but I can count at least 10 countries I have shipped to. If you are in England, Canada, or Scotland there are shops carrying them. There are weaving teachers giving workshops using them, too. We are quite proud of our little looms and are just tickled pink by the number of people who also like them. If I sound like I am bragging, well, I guess I am. We’re not in the same category as Schacht or Ashford or LeClerc or any of those Big Guys but I think we have a quality product in our nitch. We want to make weaving tools as beautiful as the projects weavers make on them.
And we are lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful parts of California and get to work from our home. How could it be better? I try to post on the blog regularly and there are pictures of our part of the world. Take a look and then go look at our looms and see if I exaggerate.
I learned about this kind weaving from my sister who built herself a 6′ triangle for weaving shawls. I was visiting her and she showed me how to do it and I went home and ordered Carol Leigh’s 7′ adjustable loom. I wove a few shawls, Okay, done that. And the loom set up in my small house took up just too much room so one day I got inspired and got some finish nails and some scrap plywood from Randy’s construction stuff and made myself and 7″ tri. I was able to weave these small triangles while sitting in my chair in the evenings.
The square came next, thus the first Quilt Weaver set. It was very rough and ugly but worked fine. Sometime later, things were looking down for us, his big job for the summer was canceled when the people found they could not afford to build after all, and the K-8 school where I was aide and art teacher was losing students and had to cut back my hours, so we were feeling sorry for ourselves. I jokingly said, “Well, we can always make looms.” He asked to see what I was talking about and – it just grew from there. We haven’t looked back. When we first started he made one loom at a time. Today he cut out and assembled 30 looms. My Dad used to say that when you make something for money, it’s not fun anymore. Well, I don’t know if loom building is exactly fun, but it is very satisfying. And it’s also satisfying to know that we are helping other people learn the art and enjoyment of weaving.
I think that sometimes we should remember that the people we buy from on-line, especially in this yarn line, are not corporations for the most part, but people, almost neighbors, no matter how close or far they live from us. There’s a weaver sitting at a floor loom in the back bedroom weaving dishtowels to sell, with the timer beside her so she doesn’t forget the roast that’s in the oven for dinner. A spinner on the porch spinning yarns for sale while she watches her kids playing in the yard. A couple of knitters working on lace scarves to put up on etsy, I know a weaver who is weaving I-pad cases on our looms to sell at the spring craft sale in her area. It’s the same with the gal who spins or the family raising sheep or alpaca. This is all true. It’s that huge village and we all contribute to it whether we sell or buy or just share what we make via donations to charity or pictures posted to group, blogs or even facebook.
But now I’d better get back to work, neighbors are waiting for their looms!
Maybe the internet and I will get along better today. You think?! Doc says, Yes I did break my finger. He gave me a new splint and congratulated Randy on his. He also said I’ll need to wear this thing for a month!! Trying to make apple sauce today. I can halve them with the cutting board and big knife but coring realty puts a strain on that finger so Himself will have to take over that slot for the time. But I’ve got the first pot cooking. The Squeezo wall take care of the clean cores.
I spent most of yesterday in town what with Doctor, Chores for Himself, and my own list. Traffic was horrible, with fire hold-ups still north of town and Weaverville’s first traffic light being installed on the other end of town. Took forever to get from place to place so I didn’t get anything done on the shirt yoke.
But we got a lovely cool wet rain! It was so relaxing that I didn’t mind sitting at two road work stops on the way to and from town, just relaxing with the cool and wet and dim landscape. It was great. And hopefully did some damage to the remaining fires as well.
I’ve made and modified the pot holder. Have two more made and one test woven. It’s a light commercial “worsted” woven on the 5″ Quilt Weaver Square. So a test for both yarn and loom size. The dark on on the left is the first one I made using the 7″ and it was a little too long. I rewashed it to felt it a bit tighter and then cut it off shorter. The red one and the one on the skillet handle are both handspun felted max. You can see the pot with the apples there on the left, too.
But now I think it’s time for some lunch and by then the apples may be ready for the next step. Hope your day is moving along smoothly!
Wild fires and drought. We did have to evacuate. spent 8 days in the trailer with half our household goods. Thankfully a kind neighbor let us camo in their field so were only about, well, I don’t know, probably less than 10 miles from home. Randy, being in Search and Rescue and part of the sheriff’s dept. was able to go home and check on things and keep the pumps going to keep things wet and water the garden. We’re back now, the fire got less than a miles from us and then went up a draw behind us and around Billy’s peak. Good for us but not so good for some others. My walking friend is still not allowed home.
But she is luckier than some others who do not have homes to come back to. About 30, they say. A lot of them summer places but several were folk homes and at least one historical resort. We havent gotten any news about the other one yet.
But we are home and trying to get going again, putting packed things back in place. A lot of them not going back but rather into the donation piles. And others being sent to the kids.
And I’m still having adventures. I went out to the garden today to take photo’s of my zinnias to show sis asking her if she wanted seed and tripped over one of his row stakes. Landed on my foreheat this time and didn’t rebreak my nose, thankfully. Just a few scratches on my heard head! Took the skin off my healing arm where I cut it last week & have either broken a finger or pulled it out of joint. He’s splinted it up for me and I’ll take it to the doc tomorrow. Didn’t want to go on Sunday. It’s my left hand so I can still weave but it does make typing a little tricky!
But I also have a long rip in my pant leg so thought I’d weave one of those colorful patches. Rooting around in the yarn bin I found a bag of already woven 4″ squares in a colorway in Opal sock yarn. And I have a couple shirts that are just right for this kind of thing so now I just need to stitch it on and wash. And there are enough patched left to patch the pants!
Well, it appears my blog editor has decided Iam done posting today so I guess I am. Hope your day is going better than mine.
Okay, finally here’s some weaving content! When packing up the kitchen in case of evacuation I used all my potholders as packing material between breakables. Clever, huh? Yes, but I still have to cook meantime! The too thin commercial pot holder that was left is cute but I may as well use my barehand and burn scars are not cute! I I dug out some yarns and the 3.5×7″ Quilt Weaver rectangle and wove a few. Two are Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride 80% wool, 20% mohair and a skein of my own handspun, unlabeled, of course. That’s how I know it’s mine. Rosy, my spinning sister, labels hers with fiber type and yardage. Anyway, I wove two of each yarn and felted them in the washer with some bath mats. Not a good choice by the way as they incorporated a nice bit of white fuzz onto my blocks. But as I am not after pretty with this project I didn’t let that stop me, just something to keep in mind!
So now I see that the Brown Sheep felted up nice and tight, the hand spun less so but still good. I decided that the Brown Sheep were going to be a little too small for my project and that both were still a little thinner than I wanted for a pot holder. So I sewed the smaller ones to the larger to make my holder a double thickness. Then I used a blanket stitch to sew the two pads together.
Those of you who use the original non-stick (cast iron) skillets know how hot that handle can get but I think I’ve fixed that now! I’ll tell you after breakfast tomorrow!
It’s not pretty or cute but it looks like doing what I need. It ought to be pretty fire proof too, so hopefully I won’t set the kitchen on fire! However, I think I’ll make another and make it just a bit shorter. And maybe this time I’ll go for cute as well as safety!
At least I hope so. The Weather Wizards have been speculating on La Nina, telling us we may get a colder and wetter winter this year. What a wonderful thing that would be. I’m afraid to believe it, tho because if they are wrong it is going to be just too disappointing! Anyone who has been watching the goings on out in the US west know we are drying up and burning up. Here in Coffee Creek we are under Evacuation Warning and the fire is creeping closer. We have the trailer parked in the driveway and are loading what we want to save. Have you ever had to make decisions on what you want and what you have room for? Then you know what it’s like around here these days. Not only that but we don’t know we are going to have to leave so meantime we have to go about our lives. There are still looms to make, the garden to tend and veggies to can, he has unfinished jobs… It’s hard to pack what we need to take if we have to leave when meantime we have to live here and need those things for that! If you can figure that out!
Here’s a picture of the fires on Aug 2 from the space station. That was before the Haypress fire (ours) got over the hill and down into Coffee Creek drainage. Since that time it’s been creeping down toward us. The canyon is filled with smoke from it and from the rest of the fires in N CA. But the fire people tell us that’s a good thing as it keeps the fires down, less oxygen for them. Also for us! But I don’t think we’re going to be able to count on La Nina to arrive in time to save us so we’re just going to have to count on the fire crews and our own resources. And your good thoughts or prayers!
Himself thinks these old games are worth a lot of money to game collectors, but I think those guys want unopened new “old”
games and mine have a lot of miles on them! I played and so did every kid that came around. It was fun but I expect I’d get Zelda slaughtered these days. If I could figure out how to hook it up to the modern TV. But it just goes to show what you can find when you start digging out dusty corners. I didn’t find my wedding rings, tho. 😦
Weaving content is still missing for the same reason. But there will be projects in a couple of Little Looms magazines next year so is that something to look forward too?! I hope!
Meantime get out your dancing shoes and give us a rain dance or two!
But while the fires aren’t all that near, the smoke is! It was really bad yesterday. We were closed up and it got hot and muggy in here but we could breath at least. Today the smoke is higher and I have the house open to get some new air in here. I can’t smell it today at least. Not a good ‘aroma’.
I took these pictures this morning. The smoke is starting to settle now so I’ll be closing up soon.
I think we’ll be safe, at least for some time yet, You really can’t predict where these things will go and until we get a good rain they won’t be out. They are usually pretty good at protecting small towns, tho we’ve seen examples where there is just nothing anyone can do. I’m looking on the bright side. but if it happens and we burnt, I seriously doubt I could bring myself to come back. That would be a issue I hope we don’t have to face.
On the more cheerful side, I’ve finished with the peaches. We have a bowl of sliced in the fridge for dinner and then we’re done for another year. I’m knitting a “meet dress” for my new used American Girl Kirsten. That’s been interesting making up the pattern as I go along. As you can see from the pro photo, I have a way to go! I’m thinking I may embroider one row of little red flowers on her bodice but no way are they going to be all over!
Hope your August is going well!
It’s another hot summer in California. No- in the western US! So far we’ve been lucky in our part but it’s getting closer and we’re not having fun. The Summer Fire, part of the River Complex, is now on our side of the mountain. There are towns on both sides of us being evacuated or burnt so we’re still luckier than some, but it’s getting hard to breath and we are starting to pack up the important stuff we need to have if/when we also have to go elsewhere. We, at least, have the 5th wheel so will have a place to live in that case, again luckier than some.
Meantime, life goes on as well as we can manage. I’ve closed up the house now, the smoke is starting to settle in & they are predicting thunder storms this afternoon, not what any of us want to hear. This time of year it rarely comes with rain.
He’s about got a handle on the water system so we do now have water for domestic use. We water the garden with a pump in the creek, being lucky enough to live near that resource. And the garden is producing. We didn’t plant a lot this spring, not being sure if we would be able to water it. But I have been canning beans and drying various veggies as they ripen for my winter soup mix: peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, onions, whatever crosses my path really! And yesterday I made peach jam, have more of that to do, maybe later today. Meantime, I wanted to post here and then I have to get out to the shop and finish looms.
Where’s the weaving content? Well, the only weaving I’ve gotten done this month has gone off the Little Looms magazine and I can’t show you that yet! But when I catch up on my chores I’ll find some to share!
Today we “meet and Greet” with new neighbors. Then there is music at the Trailhead Pizza here in town. It’s a busy day! Part of one of the bands is staying in the cabin. Watered the flower bed this morning, It’s showing new blooms now. Then got some breads baked before it gets, I hope, too hot! Now, I’m doing a little knitting. In fact, a little Little knitting! For a tiny doll I have not gotten yet. But I needed a break from my weaving project for just a day. I may be getting a further break from all yarning projects in a few days as Himself says the beans are getting very close to harvest time! We’ll be eating a lot fresh but we got a little, shall we say – Generous? with seed this spring and so there’s a Lot of beans out there! The canner is going to get worked as well!
I don’t have any new or even any old weaving to add to todays post but a neighbor said she’s help me figure out how to use this blog to best advantage so may be I can get things so it’s easier to find. I hope she was being sincere! I need some help! Meantime, I hope you are all far from any fires and keeping at least moderately cool.
So I’m not too far behind! I think I managed to add a new page to Weavings. I failed to get the last two posts into that category and haven’t yet found a way to move them. I don’t know if I can repost them as a page and then delete, my blogging skills are stuff not up to par. I can find tutorials that will tell me how to start a new blog but so far have not found one that will tell me how to use the one I have! lol Problem is I don’t speak the language. So they may be telling me but I am not understanding.
They tell me how to be a more mesmerizing writer, or so they claim, an unlikely goal I’m afraid, but avoid telling me what all that long ‘menu’ of things I can do means! Mostly it means when I try something everything goes away! I have several blogs worth of postings floating around out in the ether somewhere!
But at least today is a cooler day. That means it has not quite hit 100 before noon. It’s only 99 with 20 minutes to go. But we are surviving, unlike a lot of less fortunate people is this warm west. Meantime, I understand the east is being deluged with more rain than they can handle. Whatever happened to the Happy medium?! The way I see it Mother Nature is trying to rid herself of the plague of “locusts” that has infested her. We have drought, flooding, hurricane type storms, pandemic diseases. Add to that a younger generation already outnumbered by us older folk, who do not seem to want to have children. Well, you can’t really blame Nature, we’ve made a mess of everything we get hold of. We pave over forests and meadows, we fill the oceans with plastic and garbage, we treat everything nature has given us with greed and distain, and waste what’s left. The old saw says, ” Your made your bed, now lie in it”. We may even get to die in it. I hope not, I hope we as the people of the world will figure ourselves out before it’s too late. I will do what I can and hope right down to my end.
And will to be more cheerful next time. But I did add a new page with some weaving content, that at least is cheerful!