Monday, May 31, 2010

Flax spinning and linen weaving book specials

Flax spinning and linen weaving book specials
"June Special" (now through June 30th) of $45.00 (+ $5.00 s/h) on Reflections from A Flaxen Past, for Love of Lithuanian Weaving. It is hard cover, full color, (usual price is $48.00 + $5.00 s/h). If you are interested, e-mail me for a "PayPal Invoice" at the special price.
Additional special Warp with a Trapeze and Dance with Your Loom ($19.95) can be included in the same envelope, saving the $4.00 s/h on the smaller book, total savings then becomes $7.00.
A Flaxen Past includes directions for growing, processing and spinning flax, historical photos from pre WWII of flax harvesting and processing, spinning and weaving, sieve looms, and beating the laundry at the stream side. There are tiny Jacquard looms, tapestry weaving and making leather toggles. There are many charted Lithuanian folk designs for weaving, knitting and needlework. There are numerous examples of band looms and band weaving from Lithuanians and Lithuanian/Americans. There are also directions for making a simple band loom and some drafts of the traditional patterns in various widths. There is even one photo of a poor little black lamb being shorn with hand shears.
The photo above shows a corner of a linen altar cloth I wove for Saint Mary's, Alpena, using a Lithuanian technique described in the book. The band finishing the edge is woven with 4-hole tablets. Treadle with Joy, Kati

Monday, May 10, 2010

Narrow Samples; Closet Cleaning; Poison Ivy

Narrow samples on a very wide loom

Sometimes we need to run a very small test warp on a very big loom. Here are some pictures from a couple recent experiments with multi-shaft waffle weave. The warp was 2.5-yards long and 6 inches wide. I dressed my 48-inchToika with a variation of my warp-weighting system. It is fast and easy to run such tests. By-passing the beaming steps saves a lot of time. The narrow warp is simply tied to the weight-bar that resides at the back of my loom for the fixed-tension stage at the beginning. Then a group of weights (7 pounds total) gave me good tension for the actual weaving. A small raddle riding on the warp spread it nicely so I was able to weave the sample run with very little waste.

Mother's Day Closet Cleaning
I think fiber afficionados have a pretty universal phobia for moths. Light and air are the best defenses, as well as doing the double freeze-thaw treatment for all incoming animal fibers. But even with that, sometimes we see evidence or simply get suspicious that the wee buggies have taken up residence in our treasures. We cleaned the closet yesterday. From 10 in the morning until after 7 at night, all 24 feet of clothes-on-hangers went out onto the deck where John had installed iron pipe rods under the eaves, all shoes, all drawers-from-dressers, all, everything, out of the closet. Vacuum, wipe down, shake and brush everything in the fresh air and sunshine. Then we put everything back. Whew and uggh! It is a great relief and considerable comfort to have it done.

Poison Ivy

My first case of poison-ivy in many years is nearly healed. I usually neutralize any suspected contact with the poison urushiol with vinegar. The alkaloid poison has plagued me since I was a small child. It goes systemic on me quickly and sets medical people scrambling. A few years ago, I learned that plain, white, 5% vinegar in a spray bottle by the back door will neutralize the toxin on my skin, boots, gloves, tools and clothes. I know that I am hyper-sensitive to the poison, but two weeks ago the leaves were not yet emerged and I was very tired after the first day of landscaping for the season. I simply forgot the vinegar. The worst was the loss of sleep from ‘crawling’ skin and the revulsion of feeling so unclean. Bet I won’t forget again soon.

Treadle with Joy, Kati