Monday, August 17, 2009

Woven Pieces

I'm posting a few pictures of finished items just to show the differences in texture between pieces that are woven in the same manner, but with different yarns. The top one is woven with hand spun (by me) and with cotton warp. The next is woven with Red Heart acrylic yarn and a nylon warp. I wasn't happy with the second piece, not because of the yarn, but because of the warp threads. They seemed to stretch and I ended up cutting the piece off early. I guess I can sew it together to make a purse. The yarn actually made a pretty piece, being variegated. I'll probably try it again using some of the Maysville cotton warp.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cricket Loom Parts 3, 4, 5, 6

I'm going to try to post the rest of the loom videos. I'm having to divide episode 2 in half because it's a minute, four seconds beyond youtube's limit. I'll work on that tomorrow.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cricket Loom Part II

In these videos, I'll finish warping the loom. The next video sections will show how to wrap the shuttles in preparation for weaving and using a lead yarn to even out the beginning of the weaving prior to weaving with the main yarn. Upcoming videos will include: how to finish your ends at the beginning and at the end of your weaving and how to add a new line of weft (the threads you weave with). I have become totally absorbed with weaving now and I hope these clips will encourage you to try some weaving on your own. Sorry for the delay for these. I went over a minute, four seconds and youtube wouldn't accept it. I had to divide it in two.

Weaving with the Cricket Loom Part I

I thought I'd share some video clips with you on weaving with the Schact Cricket Loom. Here is the first part where I will show you how to begin warping the loom. I'm using Maysville Cotton Carpet Thread as my warp. I found the black and white instructions a little lacking, so I signed up for a lesson with a professional weaver, Marilyn Vandersea, at the Weavers Web Gallery in New Bern, NC this summer. It paid off. The loom is actually very user friendly, but getting the hang of it takes a little help. I hope this will help those of you who may be having a little difficulty. I'll be posting the rest of the video clips later. They'll take you through the entire process of setting up, warping, adding on new threads, winding your shuttles, weaving and finishing the ends of your woven piece.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nauti Paws Pet Supply Shop

On a recent trip to New Bern, we visited Nauti Paws, a pet supply shop. They feature unique carriers, bowls, and pet paraphernalia. They also bake beautiful pet treats. New Bern is a very old city and thankfully, the citizens have made every effort to maintain a downtown district that is beautiful and inviting to tourists. I'm including a few pictures here of their store.

Hummingbird Moths

I have two large butterfly bushes outside my kitchen window. This has been a great place for them this summer because each night during dinner, a female hummingbird visits their flowers. Recently, I've noticed an occasional visit from a hummingbird moth. Taking its picture proved difficult as it stays on the move more than the hummingbirds. I've included two here.

Kicking Around In My Home Town

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Henry and I took our visiting friends on a walk around New Bern, NC. It was a great day, not too hot considering it was August. I decided to be a tourist myself for the day and snapped a lot of pictures. It made me think that even in one's hometown, or birthplace as New Bern is for me, one can still try to see things with fresh eyes. This can be especially important for a writer. When you're used to an area, everyday occurrences, objects or accents don't register as anything out of the ordinary. But, when you pretend to yourself that you are new to the town, people take on new life, buildings are suddenly full of character, not old.
Henry and I have also joked before about being alien anthropologists and studying life here in Goldsboro. This can be helpful on a particularly trying day and also brings in a sense of humor to a bad situation. Some of my favorite writers are the ones who include minute detail in their writing. I don't mean that they go on for pages about a brown paper bag. But a bag's origin may be identified by naming the store it came from (as in American Gods by Neil Gaiman). This fleshes out the story, making it more realistic.
I saved the wrapper from a necklace Henry bought me on my trip. I want the name of the store if I decide that the heroine I'm currently developing makes a trip to New Bern. I also liked the vase in the window of that store and took its picture to help remember details. I'm thinking about a way to include that as well.
As an exercise for writing, just for fun, take a trip to a place that you're familiar with; take a notebook and/or camera. Look at the stores, people, plants and trees as if you've never been there before. How many details can you find that you never saw or noticed before in the last twenty or one hundred times you walked down that same street? I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Last of the Summer Craft Classes

I had my last craft class of the summer at the Tail-Spinner with owner Linda recently. My mom traveled with me to the store and we began a Christmas stocking project. I didn't finish as this is a complicated pattern for me. I do intend to get back to it and finish. We had a great time doing Fair-Isle flowers at the top of the stocking. I'll post pictures of my finished stocking later. Linda showed us different ways of ending a stocking. I'm including pictures of her samples.