This Week in Pictures


Shetland of many colors-

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Purple Haze from the stash (b-day gift from thoughtful co-workers!)

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Tilly, from A Fine Fleece. Finished. Just needs ends woven in.

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Zipper arrived, and I’d better buckle down and finish the Urban Aran before it gets really cold out.

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Casting On:

Purple Haze and Tangerine Blaze. Match made in heaven?

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& studying up!

Very exciting- I’m taking the Livestock adviser class in Everett this Fall. This week was Poultry 101. Next week is Grass-fed beef. Hopefully we’ll get to sheep sometime soon.

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Denise out.

Yet another way to play with wool

Until today, I’d never ventured into weaving.

I always thought “Geez, looms look like such big, complicated machines” and “Man, it must be a bugger to warp one of those things”.

I’d looked at some of the small rigid heddle looms that a lot of spinning wheel manufacturers have on the market,, but they run about $200, and that seems like a lot of cash to drop to just “give it a go”.

Then other day I was poking around on the web, and I happened upon a plan for a simple loom.

I read it, and it actually made sense to me (helped that it had pictures). I thought “Hey, I could do that just just materials we already have around the house”.

And so I set about doing it. I present Exhibit A:
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This is just the frame with the warp yarn wrapped on it.

Before you can do any weaving, there are a couple more steps you need to take-

First, you need to tie the warps together so they are all laying in the same plane (at least on the end you’re working from)

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Then you need a “shed” board-

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and a heddle, so you can easily lift every other warp yarn to create a plain weave cloth.

The shed is easy- just place a lath-type piece of wood in the opening between the warp yarn layers on the far side of the frame. The heddle are a little (but not much) more work. You cut and tie loops of string for each of the lower strands of warp,

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and then load them on a dowel (or PVC, if that’s what you’ve got hanging around),

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Then magically, when you lift the bar, the lower strands rise too, and create a nice little space for you to pass your weft through! Neat, eh?

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You also need something to press your newly-passed through weft yarn down next to the last one. For this, I’ve been the using the tine end my diz, who happens to also be a spork (seen in a couple photos above).

Who’da thunk that this modest little lunchbag utensil would have such extensive fibercrafting potential?

That’s all for now-

My Kind of Harvest

This years tree fruit crop was kind of a bust.

Cold, wet spring weather didn’t help with getting things pollinated, so we’re a little light on the cherries, peaches, pears and such. Apples are coming along, but won’t be ripe until probably sometime in October.

But look what I found ready for the picking out in the orchard today:

Appletree Wool Worm

There was Ulla, up a tree, makin’ like she’s an Appletree Wool Worm or someting.

Ulla looked so happy up there that Tilly-in-progress decided she needed a piece of the action as well:

Tilly in a Tree

Made quite a bit of progress on the Tilly scarf this week, on account of me now being a bus-knitter.

Yes, indeed. I am switching commute modes. I learned the basics of the routes involved in getting me to and fro, bought myself a pass and I’m on my way.

Things have gone pretty smoothly so far. I’m saving gas, wear and tear on the vehicle, and I figure it buys me about and extra half-hour or more of knitting a day.

Win-Win, eh?

Book Love

I have a new book. And it is wonderful.

A Fine Fleece, by Lisa Lloyd


If you’re into wool, spinning, knitting, etc. I highly recommend it.

Lots of good wool-talk, beautiful photos, and really great patterns. Plus, all the garments are shown in handspun and commercial yarn versions. Neat, eh?


I don’t often buy knitting books because, more often than not, they have maybe one pattern in them that I would actually knit and wear. Usually doesn’t seem worth the price of admission.

But Lisa Lloyd and I are on the same page. Lots of texture, classic shapes, natural wool shades. Of course, I would probably do an EZ conversion on most of her saddle shouldered garments (seems so silly to do all that sewing when you don’t have to).

But other than that, it’s the book I wish I’d written.

So, even though I still have the argyle socks in progress (and it is a little slow-going)
Argyle in progress

the book has inspired me to cast on a little something handspun and cabled:

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That is “Tilly” taking shape in a soft-spun single of Gershom, my Shetland ram friend from Ferndale. I think he’d be pleased.