Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Drama Queen Poppies

Greatly enjoying the poppies that Lise picked out from Annie's Annuals this year - the best success we've had with some of these. Amazing things!
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Seamless Weaving

This week, creative spirit Lyne Bruning asked for collaboration in researching the weaving of a seamless garment given to a king for his wedding...
My immediate thought, given my background, was of Jesus' robe "having no seam, being woven from the top down" (John 6:23) and folks who may have wanted to emulate that over the centuries.  Not finding much else at my first Google attempt, I checked in this morning, and she'd found this lovely seamless shirt, woven in Glasgow by a David Anderson in 1821, and presented to King George IV — —
Labeled "A Shirt completely finished in the Loom without one stitch of Needle-work in the whole, by David Anderson, Weaver in Glasgow. It is believed that this is the most ingenious piece of Work that ever came from the Loom."

I found also an interesting discussion over at Weavolution that includes core contemporary book resources for shaping garments on the loom:

Here's a blog post from the ingenious Katie Meek, with a historical (1680) record of a loom built for weaving shirts with sleeves with no seams - it's a warp-weighted loom, which is an early technology that lasted quite a while in some parts of the world. 

Historically, various Pacific Northwest folks used tripod looms for weaving in the round: for seamless garments

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Verbal snapshots of the day at Maker Faire 2011

Some few of the very many Cool Things interacted with at Maker Faire this day, in no particular order:

“Here” said Aviva, “it takes six to make a block. Simple geometry puzzle.”
Geometry pleases me.

Natalie McKean’s scratchboard work and Santa Cruz roots;

Monsieur Klutz Himself with a nice big booth of fun; as ever,

The always delightful Kelly of Ceallach dyes, ably assisted by East Bay fiber-maven Brooke, and I’m so happy they’re using Square, because I got into a couple of skeins and 8 oz. of lovely superwash Merino from her solar dyeworks. Mmm Pretties!

Some utterly delightful stuff in the Bizaar Bazaar (that was Too Crowded in the middles though I love the tent setup. Came away with a Set o’ Magnets from birdversusbird

Sweet Maria’s Home Coffee Roasting looked interesting, and were selling green coffee beans and doing show-and-tell in the big food tent.

I love the color combinations this jeweler is getting up to: TQBdesigns

Shared kind words about Urban Gardener Mike L (Twitter @CanarsieBK) with the Back to the Roots mushroom kit folks who were there, doing well.

the Spindles and Flyers spinning guild was there in force, Dawn Jacobson plying long draw, Cookie spinning on her gorgeous hand-painted wheel, folks setting up new spinners with CD-and-dowel drop spindles, and showing items made from handspun yarns.

The lovely folks of the Peninsula Quilters Guild were there, with needles busy, and many items to show, and this year's raffle quilt...I won't mind if one of my six tickets is the one chosen. They do lovely work.

So much more to share, so much more than one can see in a day - we didn’t even get over near the model boats area, or the health expo they put in one big building. But better to post these tidbits and say goodnight, than never get to it at all.

Lovely day.Winderful show to make the brain to twinkle, and meet & greet old and new friends!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some Autumn Gardening Fun: National Heirloom Expo, Sept 13-15

The first National Heirloom Exposition will be taking place Sept 13-15
in Santa Rosa, sponsored by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

For anyone interested in heirloom seeds, produce, livestock, and more,
this sounds like a fabulous event -- like an old-fashioned state fair.
There will be exhibits, events, speakers, demos, and vendors.

They are looking for gardeners who want to grow and display heirloom
produce (vegetables/fruits) or products (e.g. eggs, honey, pickles,
preserves, pies, etc.). There's likely to be an heirloom seed exchange.

And heads up, artistic types:
They are also looking for garden and farm-themed art for display.

Exhibitor form:

Friday, May 13, 2011


A great tweet from earlier today:

@GreatDismal: "Dance like nobody's watching. Love like you've never been hurt. Develop software like the end user has your home address."

Gardening Day

Today, we've dug and planted and uprooted, carefully sown some seeds in starter pots and carelessly scattered others to see what happens there...
In the back, against the mostly-south-facing back wall of the garage, are a row of tomatos, started earlier, in a row in their cages:

Rouge d'Irak,  Pink Beefsteak,  Costoluto Genovese, Green Zebra
A scattering of red amaranth plants between these and a little forward
Vervain, various basils, a Ronde de Nice courgette (Zuke), Calendulas moved from a hanging planter;
Yarrow, Thyme, 2 eggplants
Roughly in order from back to front and left to right.

We finally did in the bloody dock - not to be badmouthing the stuff, it's just red-veined. We're steaming the greens and tincturing the serious roots.

We have three big square planter boxes in the front yard, with strawberries and the spring flowers, to which we've added squash, that can leap out and sprawl over the juniper if it likes, 2 tomatillos, a yellow pear tomato for nibbling on as we arrive home; sunflowers, some in the boxes, and the ones that get really tall went into the ground next to the box nearest the front walk border of fortnight lilies.

I'm sort of catching up in logging these things in my journal over at Dave's Garden but I'm not sure anyone can see that log if they're not a member of that venerable website. So perhaps I'll be blogging on the garden more over here, with pictures. I do recommend and its $20 nuisance-fee-that-weeds-the-trolls, for the plant files database and the conversation in forums there. It's where we learned about straw-bale planting in a swampy-by-adobe-cob yard we rented for a couple of years: the perfect solution for that place. A raised bed garden you plant directly in to; took plenty o' water by hydroponic-cognate fertilizing (fish juice, yay), and worked amazingly. 

Sunday, April 03, 2011

O Blah

Oh allergy pollen season is upon us, sing whack fol the diddle hack-cough wah.
Getting somewhere with the sample test weaving, thinking towards clothing textile weaving.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book: Treadled Togs by Kerry Evans

Treadled Togs: A Pattern Book of Loom-Fashion ClothingTreadled Togs: A Pattern Book of Loom-Fashion Clothing by Kerry Evans

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

Several patterns for handwoven clothing of the author's design; photo-illustrated. 

More of the weekend at Monterey

Great time in Monterey last weekend, continued for completeness - we stayed in the cosy and quiet Holiday Inn Express on the lagoon in Seaside, all of 3 miles from the Aquarium on Del Monte road; of course spending the extra $100 plus saved by not staying right on Cannery Row on yarn. Naturally!

There's a new yarn shop in town, the Twisted Stitch, at 400 Foam, and we like it, and the owner, Dawn, very much. She's got a great start on a collaborative project, a kelp forest knit / crocheted, etc. which gives rise to a great idea: how cool tubular cardweaving would be for making kelp, where you could at once weave both stems and leaves, attached and floating.  Seeing a nutibracht right *there* on a kelp frond at the upper window of the kelp forest tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium doesn't hurt the imagination a bit, either.

Well, the dude in the ice cream and Beatles memorabelia shoppe in Pacific Grove is as out there as ever, and serving up the best ice cream ditto likewise. The rain stopped long enough for us to have a little stroll out at Lover's Point, and interact with a little ground squirrel and smell the after-rain astonishment of alyssum.

Member evening at the Aquarium included behind-the-scenes areas, show-and-tell with the docents, lots of families, which is always delightful to see. Sunday morning we came back again, to enjoy the views of our favorites again and spend a little quieter time enjoying the otters who are, face it, preternaturally cute.

So now it's time for me to figure out how to get photos up on this thing, so I can get to posting about the fiber arts goodness that's currently on the loom...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New yarny goodness

What a wonderful, whirlwind weekend! Combining late Lise birthday, Anniversaryishness, and really-really celebrating having Both Days of a weekend off at the Same Time (!) I took Lise off to Monterey for the weekend.

There was a special member night event at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, so we took our time, and finally stopped in to 'splore Purlescence Yarns. Delightful encounters with the store owners, astonishment that we haven't already known one another for decades or lifetimes, chat about the Nova Albion Steampunk Expo at the Hilton attached to the Santa Clara Convention Ctr (yes, where Stitches West is, and CNCH 2010 was); perhaps we'd wander back on Sunday in time to prowl the vendor halls, which as it turns out, we did. Purlescence Yarns do spinning, some weaving support, are Schacht dealers (yay!) And have a splendidly Stuffed storefront just off El Camino, with tools and batts and roving and YARN and scrumptipus samples, and happy customers knitting in comfy chairs and…you get the idea. This LYS is thriving, well-deservedly. Yum.

Well provisioned with fiber, we hungrily stumbled upon a local independent barbeque joint, H Butler's BBQ and treated ourselves to some of the. Best. Q. I've had in a long while. Okay, the brisket was a little dry, but the ribs, and sliced pork Lise had, could not have been more perfectly done.

We drove on through the steadily pouring rain (day 13, slides closing off Big Sur, Capitola flash flooded, wet), took the early Del Monte exit in Seaside and played talking billboards through town, & checked in at ye Holiday Inn Express 3 miles & $100 less than the one 3 blocks from the aquarium, happily.

Prowling onward, we next 'splored over to the new Twisted Stitch at 400 Foam St, yes four count them blocks from the aquarium, yay, where Dawn has some great design ideas and a splendid beginning to a knitted/crocheted kelp forest going. Wouldn't it be interesting to weave some kelp, though!

I'm up to about 4:30 on Saturday, and willcontinue this rambling post later.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Learning about hemstitching

Today I warped onto the Beka 20" rigid heddle loom at 5 epi in Harrisville Designs New England Shetland for what'll be a weft-faced woven bag. Now as I go to start the weaving, I'm thinking about my ends, whether I'll seam the bag with the weaving folded as a U or sideways to the direction of my weaving; whether and where I'll put designs, along with the color changes I'll be playing with (a dark and a medium blue with varietaged blues, all in that indigo-flavored "that blue" hue family).

I'm pulling out various works and looking at hemstitching, because even if I put the weft-ends into a seam on the side of this bag, messing about with interesting hem stitching has a great appeal to me.

Some of my sources, and idea-frothing comes from:

Finishing Touches for the Handweaver by Virginia M. West, which has all kinds of ideas in a deceptively slim volume, and the most different kinds of hemstitching patterns and applications I've seen in one place. Excellent resource for the rigid heddle weaver.

The Weaver's Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom by Jane Patrick, an excellent workbook for exploring all manner of topics, and has a few different hemstitching patterns. Jane covers all the basics and then goes on beyond.

Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving and Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom both by Betty Linn Davenport, has all the good basics for weaving on the RHFL, including some thoughts on finishig touches.

The one that's newer to me today is the Virginia West, and I'm delighted to poke through this work - I think I might need to do a sampler that's just variations on hemstitching techniques, since lookee there, here are so many ideas!

A note on links: I'm as likely to point you to a library listing as a where to get it link when I mention books; not being affiliated with any of the above, I've gone with a different source for each work linked above. Have fun exploring those sources and further descriptions of the works mentioned, too.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Adding connectivity

Funny how one tool disappointing can lead you to picking up a much better—ditching Twitter's own app for iPhone on an upgrade that broke the UI, I've picked up this little app that'll also allow me to post to my refreshed blogger account.
There's some basic html functionality and photos through Picasa, neatly integrated. Someone in the design stream of all this must be old enough to remember how much we all did with PCs in the 1970s & '80s, and how much bigger than that these wee smartphones are. Good.
I'm looking forward to exploring with it. Now to see how the Twitter interface actually works, and do we want that on?
I'll likely go back to EchoFon for just following/conversing on T.

- BlogPress from my iPhone (The sig goes. Tags to add later, and that's fine.)

Friday, March 04, 2011


Some things I'm grateful for and about:

  • Lise, my sweet wife, collaborator, co-dreamer/gardener/cook/practical manifestor of all that we do; She With Whom.
  • The sacred work I get to do: editing dissertations - sure, parts of the practical work are tedious, what production work isn't? and the final product, helping folks perfect their distilled years of work and study into a beautifully published academic work, getting to go hands-on and citation/reference deep into the underpinnings of them, along with that small bit of edit-coaching towards the end of the whole process, is a sacred midwifery that fills my heart.
  • The fun work I get to do: customer service at REI, part time for the past three years at this point; great company and companionship in the workplace, delightful stuff, service, and stewardship; the balance of getting out from behind the computer keyboard several days a week and additional encouragement to get further outside and play, is good in so many ways. 
  • Fiber arts folks - from the myriad little opportunities to demonstrate the love of weaving, to getting to study and learn with others who share this fascination, from hobby to vocation levels.
  • Spinning and spinners - same as above, specifically to the turning of fluff into yarn, yarn, yarn. 
  • Music - and those dancers who call me to play for the dance, even though that hasn't been the lifebreath of my attention quite as much in the last few years, it's Still there, and Still really matters. It was good to play for Gridlock at this year's Midwinter Day of Dance, and it'll be fun to re-connect with folks and play for the spring Ale, if that's the happening thing (invite came, cleared my calendar, need to follow-up and pay my share for the weekend dance camp part of it all); and the workshop Norton's Guard did for Pantheacon was a lot of fun - we had six sets up!
  • Twitter, Facebook, LJ, emails, and we'll see about rekindling this blog, for keeping connections flowing with dear hearts
  • In a microcosm, Barbara Shapiro and her excellent work in developing the idea of a Greener Indigo into various sized classes, a four-week section I just completed through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and the joy of dyeing with indigo in a non-toxic dyebath;
  • For the napkin/serviette exchange being run in 2011 by Su Butler, for which I have a warp on the Norwood now, no matter that it took five busy weeks to brave the time to just get it all warped up, threaded, through the reed and tied up (with! no twisted threads, ta-da), and started weaving today!

Some editing thoughts

It's Spring, and that means technical editing clients and their dissertations in for format, citation//reference check, and last-eyes review and polishing on the way to finalizing and turning in to the school for publication.

I've been doign this level of editing for a decade now, and haven't blogged about it a whole lot—which means I have a lot of saved links that'd likely be Useful Someday. I may as well plunk some of them up, and here's this handy old blog sitting around being not-used-much.

What I intend : I'll post a link and annotate—I don't know that my clients will necessarily find and use this, or if it's of general writerly interest, I imagine that'll grow over time. Let's see what happens next.