Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Beautiful Summer Day (and some musings on the rigid heddle....)!

The dooryard garden waits for a good watering. I decided not to water last night, since the weather forecast called for a steady rain overnight. Alas, no rain, so my first chore this morning was to water. I put annuals in this year to fill in the empty spots between the perennials and herbs. I am glad I did! They are doing well, especially after a heavy dose of well rotted goat manure this spring. That certainly did the trick. The garden has been looking anemic for several years, until now. I will definitely continue to add annuals in the future--they provide blooms throughout the season, long after the perennials have had their blooming periods. The goats provide us with not only fiber for handspinning. They give us countless hours of  entertainment, watching them frolic and play, they help the garden grow---in their own special way!

More flowers---cosmos, daisies and morning glories grow along the garden fence. Lots of color to inspire any artist--fiber or otherwise. I think I will use some of these colors to work out some color schemes for a shawl. A recent walk provided me with colors for another project I am planning. When I return from a walk, I sit down with my colored pencils and sketch patches of the colors I remember seeing. I then arrange the colors, tossing out some, changing the values on other, until I have a workable and harmonious color palette to use in a project. The art supplies are always nearby!
Mackenzie enjoying his breakfast! He and Jack have been a bit selfish lately. They have been pushing Violette and Luna out of the goatshed at mealtime. How selfish.........unfortunately, Luna and Violette taught the boys this rude habit! As you can see, Mack has not grown in much of his new coat yet, I am not sure he will be ready for shearing in November. We will wait and see. Jack (Mack's twin brother) has a lovely coat coming in. Mack and Jack are Pygora goats. They produce lovely cashmere-type fleeces, a joy for handspinning.
Ongoing restoration-in-progress..........
The butt'ry shelves get the southeastern morning sun.
The keeping room displays handwoven colonial-style samplers and table runners.
A simple rigid heddle loom in the keeping room is warped with an olive green 3/2 mercerised cotton yarn. This warp will become a sampler for different weaving techniques I would like to brush up on. Stripes, Danish medallion, leno lace and some pick-up pattern weaves are on my list of things to try. This is a Schacht "Flip" loom, in the 20" width.  It has a trestle-style stand, and a portable storage bag, so it is perfect for on-the-go-weaving. I set the 6" wide warp at 10 ends per inch. It is 3 yards long, plenty to practice many techniques. This was my favorite rigid heddle loom. It came fully assembled and finished. It folds up for portability. The stand had to be assembled, but the directions were very clear, and it was easy to do.
Here are some variations on stripes. I alternated stripe widths and colors. Tomorrow I will try out some finger manipulated weaves. I am very happy with the smooth operation of the heddle bar on this loom. It is a well-designed loom. The stand allows you to tilt the loom to any position, which is great if you are like me and weave in different locations, and use a different seat each time---you can adjust the loom's tilt quickly to fit your chair or stool.

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