Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Use Tabby

Have we talked about the phrase/term "use tabby"? It is not unique overshot. I've seen it elsewhere but for now let's assume it occurs with overshot. It means: between every treadled pattern shot/pick/pass, treadle a row of plain weave to tie down the pattern threads. It gets more complicated than that, though. It means you have to set up two treadles that can be treadled as plain weave. On a four shaft loom with a straight draw threading and six treadles, this is means tying a treadle to shafts 1,3 and another to 2,4, leaving treadles the remaining four treadles handle pattern. All overshot patterns I've ever run across are configured so that they can be treadled in plain weave - or pretty close to plain weave.

pass 1: pattern
pass 2: tabby
pass 3: pattern
pass 4: tabby

This concept confounded me when I first started weaving. Less so when I understood it intellectually, and the mystery was completely eliminated when I actually did it. Sort of like double weave.

Almost immediately the next question comes up: which treadles should I use for tabby?

Kerry likes using treadles 1 and 6. When her shuttle is on the left, she uses treadle 1; when her shuttle is on the right, she uses treadle 6. For some this is completely intuitive.

I like putting the tabby treadles on the right hand side. I can slide one foot back and forth between the two tabby treadles (left-most when my shuttle is on the left, right-most when my shuttle is on the right) and my left foot operates the other four. If you have any music training, this might feel alot like playing the piano but with the bass line on the right instead of the left. That analogy falls apart pretty quickly if you go much further so let's not. In any case, I'm more comfortable handling the pattern treadles with my left leg.

Still, though, sometimes I miss the correct treadle. They are so close together! This was a constant problem for me with the Minerva. Slightly less of a problem on the new Tools of the Trade loom. Even less so on MayMac (my Macomber) but...sill an issue...until I remembered that I can shift my treadles! Bwahahaha!

Not everyone has this advantage. I do and I am using it. I increased the gap between treadles 4 and 5 from an inch to 5 inches. It's simply a matter of loosening the screw bolts and scooting the treadles (and their connectors) over.

There's no difference in the shed or the integrity of the lift of the shafts. That gap has made ALL the difference for me and I'm loving it for my latest overshot runner.

Not all looms have a long bar for the treadles but if yours does and there is an extra few inches available, give it a try. You could create a gap between treadles 1 and 2, and between 5 and 6.

Happy Weaving!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Finishing Up Fall?

It seems as if Autumn has barely begun and we're already finishing up our Fall Weaving Session at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens Visual Arts Studio. Our overshot projects have created a frenzy of weaving and imagination and challenge. We're VERY proud of our students for rising to the challenge and tackling it with gusto despite vacations, family challenges, and sleying errors.

After October 28 we have a couple weeks off to catch our breath and then we begin the Holiday Session. We've split Holiday Session into two mini-sessions for beginning weavers, and the project is a warm winter scarf. Students who choose their colors via two or more skeins in wool/wool-blend yarn from the fabulous inventory at Baa Baa Sheep in Ghent receive a 5% discount. We are really excited to partner with Roz and her team at Baa Baa Sheep. To say we are thrilled to have a yarn shop in Ghent would be an understatement. I swear, if she ever goes out of business I'm going to take over!


Kerry is wildly weaving  __________s (ahem, no spoilers) and is on the last 10% and wishing someone else would take over. It's a long warp. Almost everyone in class and nearly everyone who has visited has taken a spin on Niles, who is right now living at The Herm. We've decided that we DEFINITELY like having an easy work in progress on a long warp and it's like a loom tasting. We should definitely have a Wine & Weft Tasting this winter. Something to chase away the chilly January blues.

Kerry is VERY good at winding long warps. I need to barter with her to finish winding my 12-yd warp in 20/2 bamboo.

I acquired a third loom. Because I'm a weaver and that's what insane weavers do. It's a Tools of the Trade loom (ToTT for short) whom we are calling Tutti. I'm not very good with names. Anyway, I cut this sample off Tuttie yesterday.

I love this little 4-shaft loom. Well, not little, it is a floor loom after all, and weaves at about 32" I think. I want to find another just like it so I can bolt the castles together and create an instant 8-shaft loom. The price was perfect - cheap even - so I could NOT pass this up. And my pay from the Herm basically paid for it. The only downside was transporting it 90 minutes from Richmond in the rain. With the eight miles of green tarp we have even that wasn't a problem.  

Because this is a gift I want it to be well done without any really obvious threading goofs. Except that I treadled my sample incorrectly. However, I know that the pattern weft is a good color, and i know that I missed an 8-thread repeat on the right border. So I'll remove eight from the left side to bring it symmetrical and treadle the next sample correctly. I like how it finished, too. I'll actually press the hem before I sew it next time, too. The warp is 8/2 Tencel in Mountain Stream colorway, the tabby is 14/2 unmercerized cotton in dark hunter green and the pattern weft is 8/2 Tencel in a golden peachy color (referred to as Straw) combined with some leftover .Bambu 12 in Golden Wheat. These are all colors I already had on hand, and I obtained the 14/2 from a source on eBay and I don't know where it originally came from. The pattern is based on BGH #40, Peggy's Choice, and adding 2" borders along the length, and an inch on the ends for the hem.

Share your projects with us!!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Getting ready for Rags, Dyes, and Overshot

A whole host of classes coming up, all of them at the wonderful Hermitage Museum & Gardens in Norfolk, VA. The Visual Arts Studio is located in the old stable and it is such a treat to use the space for reintroducing  Hampton Roads to the addictive craft of hand weaving on a traditional floor loom.

BUT: to butcher a famous Saturday Night Live line...send us your looms! Seriously, we need more looms. We have five, but we can accommodate more. Know someone with a loom that they haven't used in 20 years? Suggest they donate it to the Hermitage, a 503c designated organization - which means the a tax write-off for the giver. Got your own loom that is up in the attic/gathering dust in the little used parlor/sitting in the garage or basement and waiting for a yard sale? Do you have one too many looms? Does it need a little TLC? A lot of TLC? We'll  take looms in pretty much any condition and we have the means to pick it up (e.g., a pickup truck) and refurbish it for use. PLEASE contact Truly Matthews at the Hermitage at 757-423-2052. Kerry and I can travel up to about 300 +/- miles to pick up looms, and we have done so in the past. Or you can drop it off. Don't hesitate to call Truly, or even contact Kerry or myself, Erin, via the comments on this blog.

So enough with the begging, on with the show.


This fall we will be teaching an overshot class at the Visual Arts Center in the old stables at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens. It is an open class, meaning that beginners and non-beginners can register. Experienced weavers will be able to more or less work at their own pace, while beginners will learn how to weave using the overshot technique. It could be argued that that's too complicated for a newbie. We agree that it takes some focus but we think it is achievable.

The key to success for the fall class is to be present. The class is held Monday and Saturday, and both nights are class nights. I point this out strongly because there was some confusion last session. Anyhow, Wednesday nights were Open Studio nights during the spring session.  While Open Studio was entirely optional, we found that the students needed/wanted the additional time. We will make a couple of the Open Studio nights required this fall. The overshot threading is more complex than a straight twill and we'll need the extra time to get it done.

Details: Two sessions per week with optional Open Studio. Saturdays 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and Mondays 6:00 to 8:00pm. Open Studio is Wednesdays from 6 to 9pm. The first THREE Open Studio sessions are required. There are five looms, so the class limit is 5, but if bring your own loom and we can expand the class!


Fun rugs for new weavers! This class is a day of weaving on workshop looms that have been set up for rag rugs. All you need to do is show up, pick your colors, and we'll show you how to weave. No experience necessary!

Details: Saturday, July 13, 10:30 to 3:30 pm. Bring fabric shears!


Kerry is a super awesome kettle dyer and is always coming to the party with some new never-to-be-reproduced-again yarn colorway. Hand her a set of ingredients and a skein of wool yarn and she'll come up with something wonderful, no recipe required. Erin is a more deliberate dyer and likes to paint the yarn with sponge brushes and "wrap it and zap it."  We'll both be on hand to walk you through the dye process using food-safe dyes and common kitchen equipment.

A special bonus: the yarn you dye in this class can be used for your overshot project in the fall, should you decide to register for both classes.

Details: Saturday, July 27, 1:30 to 4:30 pm

You can register for all these classes at the Hermitage Museum and Gardens Visual Arts Studio web page. The overshot class isn't listed yet but will be soon - keep watching this and their site for updates.

Happy Weaving

Friday, June 7, 2013

The New Kids on the Block!

Its been a crazy-busy few weeks for us in the Loom Lounge - but at this point, that seems to be the State of the Union for Erin and I in 2013.  I'm loving it and being this busy has me sleeping really well at night.

As Erin mentioned, we spent Memorial day weekend on a whirlwind road trip all the way up to PA and then back in 24 hours.

On the way up, we got to visit the Mannings Studio  where in my nerdy way, I felt compelled to hug a giant antique barn loom.

The loom was from between 1800 and 1830 and had about 99% of its original pieces still intact and functional. The reed had been replaced as well as a few of the joining pegs. But considering our modern looms lose parts like kids lose teeth, I think that this loom's condition continues to impress upon me the value of antiques and quality craftsmanship.

Obviously if a 180 year old loom is still going strong, those guys knew what they were doing.

My new loom (currently dubbed "Niles") is a 4 harness 6 treadle Nilus by LeClerc with a 36inch weaving width.

(That's Erin in the corner. She's reading the instructions for her new loom, a giant Macomber Loom --currently dubbed "Mac" or "May" depending on how cheeky we're being.)

On the floor in front of my loom you see several cones of cotton. I ordered cotton directly from Supreme down in NC - great customer service and phenomenal pricing and shipping times.

These aren't quite the colors I expected so - lesson learned: Buy a color card. Its worth the $10. :-/ However that did not stop me from winding a warp and beaming some towels.  I'm using a draft which is similar to a honeycomb. Its from the 7th or 8th Century and was found by historians/archaeologists near York England. Historically, these would have been made from linen instead of the cotton I'm using. I love the tie to history in these towels. This is a 4 yard warp. Some of these towels will be gifted as a wedding gift to a childhood friend. The rest I will sell.

Erin's new loom is pretty bad-ass.

She currently has 4 harnesses on the loom, but it is expandable up to 12 harnesses. The thing is massive and heavy. By the time we rolled up to the driveway at 2 am, I barely was able to haul MYSELF up the stairs to her house, so carrying her loom up was nearly impossible.

I'm still not sure how we would have gotten it into Erin's house had her hubby not been home and kind enough to help us. YEAH for Kent!

I am sad to say, however, that I failed in my friend-duties and didn't get a photo of  Mac. I did, however, get a great photo of her sleying her new loom with it's first project :)

And here's Erin's rescued and rehabbed older loom, BamBam. She's currently beamed with an overshot warp we're using as samples for our Fall teaching course. Erin's beamed with 5/2 cotton and using sock-yarn as weft. This was a really cool test weave for her as she had an "Ah Ha!" moment when the overshot just didn't look right to her. After some reading, she found out that the pattern weft (sock yarn) was just not the right weight. She ended up doing a little stash-busting to double-up her threads and the problem was solved.

We're going to wind a second of these warps to test the 8/2 cotton with sock yarn as pattern weft and see if that's a better fit for our class. :) Here's hoping!

And since I'd like to prove that I DO, In Fact, Spin:

This is a photo of the bobbin on my Canadian Production Wheel, Millie. I'm spinning white Shetland (with grey tips) from the lock. The locks are scoured, but I'm not even flick carding them open. I'm getting a semi woolen spin and its just sooo pretty. :)  I've since plied this into a 2 ply - hopefully photos to come. This yarn is not yet destined for anything in particular.

While on our road-trip, I convinced Erin to pull over at a local antique mall called Old Sled Works . It was a good place to stretch our legs, but would have been more fun if we weren't on such a time crunch.

Erin picked up a hand woven table runner.

And I saw this lovely tag:

The tag read "Old Loom $400."  I walked away laughing so loudly, Erin came over to inspect my mental health.  *Sigh* Muggles. :-/

The store was cool, though. They did have a corner in the back set up with a neat old fashioned soda fountain which was, sadly, closed.

So that's pretty much the state of the union around here.

Our Spring class is winding down -our students have done wonderfully and we'll say goodbye to them in just 2 days! But we've got some weaving demos and workshops this summer to keep us busy and in the teaching mindset.

I'll be participating in the Tour de Fleece here in just a few weeks. I hope to stash bust some of my embarrassing amount of Fiber.

And, meanwhile, Erin and I have enough projects to keep the looms going non stop. Darned that work and spinning and knitting getting in the way!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Upside of Warping and A Little Side Trip

Is there really a downside? I think not, unless your name is Kerry and you get a sack full of email from me before 7:00 AM.

She gets all those emails because when I'm warping, and there are no distractions, I get a great deal of quality thinking time in. And I'm a morning person. We're deep in the planning phase for our fall Overshot class (8 weeks) and the two summer workshops we'll be doing - Dyeing (1 day) and Rag Rugs (two weekends).

I'm winding warp for the Fall 2013 Overshot class. We want samples of the project students will be doing and we need something to photograph for the catalog. The project is textile-based, in that they will weave two 22" square sections of overshot as pillow covers, or one 44"x 22" as a runner or for any other use they'd like.

It took me a little time to realize that I don't necessarily need to have an immediate purpose for the fabric I'm weaving. It's fabric. I can use it in just about any way I want (a million variables not withstanding). Liberating my design process to encompass the world of FABRIC and TEXTILE instead of limiting it to SCARF or RUNNER can be very exciting.
One of my favorite authors and weaving gurus. Peggy makes ethereal textiles in silk.

On the other's nice to have an end in mind. I have several skeins of sport-weight raw silk, that wonderful textured matte stuff in pretty browns and tans. I haven't quite decided what I want to do with it. I only know that when I saw it, at Tess Designer Yarns booth at the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival in 2012, I knew I had to weave something with it. I don't want a complicated structure but I do want to show off the colors. It isn't fabulously strong so I may need to combine it with something else as a warp.

In the meantime, I have PLENTY of other weaving to do for upcoming Fall art shows so as soon as the overshot sample comes off the loom I'll be onto that.

As Kerry mentioned in the last post, we're in a little bit of project overload, and we don't entirely hate it. The overshot is on Bam Bam, the Hearthside loom, and I'm almost done with the first sample. There will be two samples for photographing because we need something representative for the fall class and we need it early for the printed catalog. The next project is also overshot, this time for the class sample. Kerry is winding the warp for that tonight and I'll weave it on one of the classroom looms. In the Loom Lounge, Kerry is just started green and white towels, and I am tying on for waffle weave towels.

Last weekend we road-tripped to State College, PA, for a 36" Leclerc Nilus for Kerry, and to Alexandria for a 48" Macomber for me. Our personal projects are being woven on those and we're so excited! It's comforting to have looms with all their pieces-parts. Kerry's Nilus still had it's warp beam crank! Mine doesn't but I can use a wrench. Along the way we stopped at The Mannings (how could we not?) and had a wonderful conversation with Carol, one of the owners, about some of the very vintage looms they have. Kerry got huggy with the barn loom, and who could blame her? I'll let her tell the story of the barn loom. We also made some purchases but not as much as you might think. We pawed through Tom Knisely's pile o' rugs while Carol talked a little about them and that was worth the trip all by itself.

Weave on, dudes!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Adventures in Teaching

The last few weeks has been incredibly busy for Erin and I. As Erin mentioned, we've been teaching a weaving class at The Hermitage Museum in Norfolk with class meeting several throughout the week. And of course we're also trying to find times to do the silly things in life. Like work full time. And maybe spin. Or knit. Silly us! There's only 24 hours in the day!

*phew* I know that I'm on project overload - but secretly I'm loving every minute of it.

Our students have made real progress on their projects! In this course, students are weaving a tencel twill scarf; they've been able to select their own twill pattern as well as their own colors. The options were seemingly endless for how their projects could turn out.

We have 6 students in class, and experience levels from "What's a loom" to "I wove in college 20 years ago" to "I own a loom but have no idea how to use it."  Keeping everyone on the same timeline has been an interesting task! To me, somedays it feels like herding cats but most days, everything comes together and the class goes very smoothly. Its a joy to watch the students so eager about their work and to watch those weaving 'lightbulb' moments go off!

As Erin mentioned, we've geared up for continuing our weaving courses.

This summer we're very excited to offer a Weekend Rag Rug Workshop. (Say that 3 times fast! Eek!) which is really our secret plan to infect everyone with the Weaving bug.  I am hopeful that we have enough applicants that we can offer this workshop on 2 different weekends this summer.

Here's my first rag rug made from jeans and cotton rug-warp. Its lumpy bumpy and uneven. Why? Well,  because it is a design element, of course!

Don't buy that?
Ok. Fine.
The reality is that its lumpy because I knotted the denim strips together instead of sewing them because I was too lazy to get the sewing machine out.
And its uneven because I just couldn't be bothered to measure out the fabric so that every strip was exactly the same width.

But, being 100% honest, I still love the darned thing. In all its lumpy uneven goodness. Its squishy beneath your feet, nice and thick from the denim, and was an incredibly quick weave. I think once I started weaving, total weave-time was less than an hour. Warping and beaming took maybe an hour in total.

We'll also have a Dye-lab this summer, where participants will be able to dye some sock yarn using food safe dyes (my personal dye-method!)  The neat part is that this custom-dyed sock yarn will be used as weft in the Fall weaving course: an Overshot project.

I've got some yarn in the dye pot now which is some of our sample yarn as we test our lesson plans for the Overshot project. (And might I say Kudos to Erin for her awesome lesson planning. She's got a knack.)

I have no pictures of current weaving for me. My loom is currently being used as a class-loom so it is warped with a student's project.  My most recent weaves are all gifts for other folks - something I love to do. :) 

And Erin's Minerva loom is currently housing some amazing towels that I will let her tell you all about in the next post. (Trust me. They're a story of her incredible passion for doing this whole fiber-addiction as a true art, not just a passing whim which is more my M.O.)

One of the things I'm enjoying most about this teaching experience is learning the different teaching styles of different people. As a riding instructor, most of my teaching work has been in a solitary environment - meaning I was the only instructor in the riding ring. I didn't have to debrief after lessons, or confer on methodology. But in our weaving studio, we are sharing students, space, looms, lesson plans, etc, and really bouncing off of each other's strengths and weaknesses. This is a new and educational experience for me.

I feel incredibly lucky to be working with someone I admire. I'm not only learning from Erin's weaving expertise and passion, I'm also learning about myself - both as an artist and as an instructor.

Its a really enlightening experience and I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunity.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Oh my!

Goodness, Kerry and I have gotten waylaid by a very exciting development. Not too long after the last post was written we submitted a proposal to teach a Weaving I (weaving for beginners) course at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens here in Norfolk. They accepted our proposal and we started working on the details of our syllabus, renovating/fixing the looms that were donated to the Hermitage, and readying the weaving room (Kerry: Weaving Lab). We were hoping for, but not really anticipating, enough sign-ups to meet the minimum# of students. In reality, the class filled up and we are into our second full week of classes. We are learning a great deal about teaching weaving to multiples and how different it is than teaching one person at a time. And the students seem motivated and satisfied.

Feedback has been that a Weaving II, something a little more advanced, would be welcomed. For this summer we have proposed a wool dying class, and a Weaving Open House, and a fall Weaving II class where any student who has dyed wool in the summer workshop can use that in exchange for the materials cost. The fall workshop will focus on overshot pillows, where cotton is the warp and tabby, and wool the pattern weft. (oops, another edit where I had to change towels to pillows...more coffee required, obviously)

I would love to do an entire series of classes based on Madelyn's Twill Thrills book when it is finally reprinted. We'll see. For advanced students we might be able to do two 4 week sessions plus open studio. I know it's helpful to have dedicated weaving time where you aren't distracted by the everyday things going on at home. I'll be thinking about that. But I'll keep my day job!

At the Hermitage, Kerry is threading a rag rug project on a donated 40" Macomber 4 shaft B5. At home, I mis-sleyed a red & white cotton towel at 30 epi instead of 20 epi (note to self: read the notes I've jotted in the margin - except I had two sets of notes and only one of them was related to the project at hand) and so I am re-sleying at 20 epi. Yes, it means some wasted warp, probably a couple hundred threads. Or maybe I'll save the remainder for a similar but narrower project.

Edited to add: one of our students came in with an adjustable shower chair to use at her loom. I love her creative solution to finding the right height chair/bench! These are so much less expensive than "loom benches" that I have one in my Amazon cart right this minute. Maybe I'll weave a very dense twill upholstery-type textile and sew a slipcover. They aren't as pretty as a custom wooden but they certainly are functional and the price is right.

In Weaving II, if Kerry let's me, I'll teach back to front warping. Time to construct some raddles!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What should I do next?

That's a question I ask myself frequently. I'm not just a weaver. I photograph. I play flute. I spin. I knit. I work with silver. And lately I've broken through some personal obstacles and can proudly say that I sew. I always have multiple projects going on. I know I'm not alone in this. Almost everyone I know who engages in multiple hobbies is in the same kind of boat.

Some would disagree, but my problem is not that I have too many hobbies. 

My problem is that there are so many great project ideas that I want to do them all. Right now. Tell me you haven't been there yourself. I dare you. 

This is not a situation of a weaving project competing with a sewing project. Oh no. This is multiple weaving projects competing with one another. 

I have a notebook (Kerry laughs at this point, face-palms, then gives me a mental hug) because I'm a planner. It's basically a project notebook because I really want to be that kind of organized. It contains projects I want to do, and projects completed. I photocopied or printed a project I want to do, made some notes about fiber, maybe even included fiber samples or swatches. Strangely, I also included a sewing project. Why not have a notebook that includes ALL the projects you want to do, not just the weaving ones? At least they are all in one place. I like kind of like that. It also includes some references about sett, reed substitution, weaving calculations, and a master yarn chart from Handwoven. Each project is in a clear page protector because they expand and you can stick samples and patterns in them, though I wish the clear protectors had a flap to prevent stuff from falling out. 

(Note to self: search for clear page protectors with envelope style flaps or something like it)

Bottom line: I have several projects in the notebook. Recently I said on this very blog that I wanted to work through the first chapter of Twill Thrills. But (whine) do I have to? What if this one project over here is just screaming at me to do it? What if I want to rag weave a textile to use for a tote bag? What about the projects I want to do to build inventory for an Etsy storefront or for the upcoming art/craft fairs and demos? I could have projects on multiple looms but I can still only physically weave one thing at a time. And then what if the only time you have to weave is a few hours on a weekend?

I know of people who have chained warps hanging around. The weaving version of a UFO (unfinished object). No, I'm not giving up the other hobbies. 

There's no answer and I don't really expect to find one, but I think I might start chaining some warps for future projects because, as they say, opportunity favors the prepared. That's always been my experience. And suddenly it's the end of January and I'm still threading the project I started right before we traveled for Christmas. 

I've always despised the phrase "promises were meant to be broken" but I think I won't hold myself too strenuously to the chapter 1 goal from Twill Thrills. It's a worthy goal, to be sure. If I only get a few completed, though, I think I can be totally okay with that, let myself off the hook, and just enjoy the weaving experience. 

Maybe that's my answer.

Weave on,

Friday, January 25, 2013

Oops. No guild on Jan 26

After much soul-searching, our first guild meeting will NOT occur Saturday, January 26. Why? Would it be awful if I admit that I don't really think we have our ducks in a row? Not quite, anyway. The ducks are still a little scattered. We're still wrangling, and they're really quacking up over it.

So please stay tuned. I apologize to those who were looking forward to this.


p.s. Please drive safely and be watchful. The weather is going to get nasty tonight. Cuddle up with your significant other and/or a live/stuffed animal, something warm to drink, and watch a good movie. That's where you'll find me.

p.p.s Obviously this is specific to the SE Virginia area.

p.p.p.s One of our local stations, WAVY, has been doing a nice job with their weather blog with the details that go into forecasting a snow event such as this, at If you're a bit of a weather geek, check it out. If you're slightly more geeked about meteorology, try Fewer ads, and for $5 a year, no ads at all. For the truly snobby, is still awesome. But the National Weather Service site is also good.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Twill I? Or Twon't I?

GUILD NOTE: Guild will meet at Erin's house Saturday January 26, from 11am until whenever. Bring your loom if it travels or your wheel if it travels. You can bring both, but really? Gonna do both? Bring show and tell - got a project you are particularly happy with? Proud of? Wanna show off? Bring it! Coffee, tea, water available. Not planning snacks but you are welcome to bring something if you are so inclined. Very informal at this point in our guild life, but on that day we will focus on learning to weave. Hopefully more hands on than not, because first things first: measure a warp. You'll be shocked at how much time some of these things take. Don't worry if you don't have yarn, or you don't think you have the right yarn. The guild has plenty and it will share.

I was reading a post on Weaving Today about twill and how the writer always imagines she'll do a huck lace or a bronson lace as her next project, but always finds just one more amazing twill pattern that is calling her name.

I can appreciate this.

I sought high and low for this one book of twill patterns. Set aside for a moment that I'm not content to merely search and acquire twill patterns online and that I must have a book. I was searching for this book which it turns out is out of print. I searched eBay. I search Amazon. I searched LibraryThing. For a year I looked for a copy of this book that wasn't more than $75. Because, let's face it, scarcity increases value. I emailed the editor of the book. She had no copies, and hoped the publisher would someday decide to do another printing. Finally Kerry said, well, have you contact the publisher?

Me? Email a publisher? Right, my email is going to go into some generic customer service email box and be lost forever. But a few weeks after she suggested it I thought, well, what have I got to lose?

It didn't get lost. It found a human who hunted through the office and found ONE copy of this book in a box under someone's desk. It's probably the last remaining unsold copy of this book in the world. And it had a bent corner so she charged a discounted rate and threw in free shipping.

That's how much I appreciate the siren song of twill.

I want to do every pattern in the book. All of them right now. Immediately. But dang, I only have three looms. Oh wait. I have three looms. Hehehe. Could this be my personal weaving challenge for 2013? Work my way through Twill Thrills on three looms? Two are eight shaft, one is four shaft, and there are only a couple of projects in the book requiring more than eight shafts. 36 projects. Uh. Maybe just chapter 1 in 2013. That's half the book and I have to time balance with band, flute choir, knitting, and sewing. And work.

Project 1: Blue Tick Hound. 4 Shafts. Adorable. 2/2 Twill. It wants a 16" weaving width, which means either Bam Bam or Minerva. Dot isn't wide enough (she's the 10" table loom). I don't have to make the stuffed toy but it would be fun to sew on my own handmade fabric. And It would make a nice gift for a certain little one in Maine.

The color in the photo SHOULD be blue and white, not blue and pink-ish. Except for that little doggie bed, which is mauve.

Happy New Year and Happy Weaving!