Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring feels like it has finally arrived. The trees are in bloomand the scent of flowers fills the air. New beginnings and a great many exciting events are on the schedule at the Salon. I've scheduled several exciting workshops including Lace Shawls (April 29), the Belgian Curly Scarf (May6) and then, there is Spinning, a two session hands-on class with individual wheels for all participants. The really big news, however, is the Summer Retreat, a fabulous workshop and knitting event upstate(we will have dinner at our upstate home shown here). Catherine Lowe, the Couture knitter, extraordinaire, has agreed to take on our Salon knitters with a special workshop program entitled: 3 Bags in a Box. How lucky we are and what fun we'll have. Couple this with lots of knitting time, splendid scenery, great food and more knitting. Some surprises too, still yet to be announced. And then, Milk and Honey Knitting, a Knitter's journey to Israel is planned for November. More scenery and sights here, and a knitting conference at beautiful Kibbutz Lavi in Northern Israel. 2KN, the Israeli knitting studio will join us and help us explore their unique and creative knitting designs. Knitters, from around the world will attend and there will great projects, a fashion show, good food (of course) native yarns and natural products. Extensive touring to all the great sites. Can't wait.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fiber Frenzy

I am in a current state of fiber frenzy. Am still setting up the loom. Today, I wound most of the warp onto the back beam in sectional fashion. A tedious task, winding section by section, turning the big beam by hand, yard after yard. 29 turns per section times 25 times. I try my darndest to keep track of the turns, it is easy to make a mistake in the count. I am almost done and then the next task will be threading the loom, or tying on my threads to an already previously threaded warp. Have got to get this done as I have orders for prayer shawls for mid-May deliveries and I am not even near ready to begin weaving yet!!!

Lots on the needles, too, lace on Artyarns' luscious Cameo, the cashmere and mohair combination, the coolest sock (still on the very first one) in Farmhouse Yarns, handdyed sock wool. My friend Linda got this for me in pinks and yellows and greens. I just love the colors and the socks are divine. I started another cotton baby hat this evening and am still knitting the "Curtain Call Shrug" from Lion Brand in a great soft tweedy wool and alpaca mix.

To top it off, I've got to get my brain and pen in a fiber mode as well, as I finish up my next piece for Yarn Market News. The best part of this is chatting with so many great knitters and hearing about their shops and their stories. It always confirms all my best thoughts and wishes about the craft.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Slowly, I warp along...

There is something therapeutic about threading a loom. I usually thread my big Swedish Glimakra loom once or perhaps twice a year. However, it has been a couple of years since I have tackled the fine art of threading this loom. It is a process marked by time and measurements. Each step requires careful planning, beginning with a calculator and my weaver's journal. I first calculate the length and quantity of threads per warp, multiply those figures by the width of the warp, estimate yardage and weight of yarns, order sufficient supplies and record everything. Then there is the equipment required for warping, books for reference - it seems no matter how many times and years I have been doing this process, I still require the assurances and review of my weaving reference works. Peggy Osterkamp's fabulous and thorough guide: Warping Your Loom and Tying on New Warps has been my warping bible for some time now. Because of the size and length of my warp, I use a sectional warp beam, which also requires very specific and detailed planning. I have just finished winding 48 separate spools each holding some 750 yards plus of fine wool and silk threads. Next, I'll begin winding the threads from the spools onto the sectional beam. It is a slow and tedious method , but I find myself immersed in the rhthym of the tasks and feel enormous relief and optimism as I complete each step and look forward with trepidation to the next.