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February’s beginnings

February 2, 2019

finished – “Clover Point”

fringeless  (four selvedges)- 5.25″ x 7″

sett at 10 epi – handspun, natural dyed wool, silk and cotton

 all I have to do now is decide how to hang it

maybe I’ll go in search of the perfect piece of driftwood

I gather windfall lichen on my daily walk

no doubt there are folks who wonder what the crazy old lady is doing

soon there will be enough to get a dye pot going

in the evenings I sit by the fire and spin hemp on my favorite drop spindle

it would be much faster on the spinning wheel

but as I really don’t need to add to the stash it is good to go slowly and enjoy

this is the last 8 pound “bump” of Chinese hemp – bought in 2010 (I think)

I might not live long enough to see it finished!

I’m teaching a young mom to weave and Friday she brought her 7-year-old son

he loves to weave and has a rigid heddle loom

the 4 harness table loom was warped and waiting

with a quick reminder of how the loom worked he was off and weaving

he tried different beats

 then I showed him how to read a pattern

from “the Handweaver’s Pattern Directory” by Anne Dixon

(his mom received the book at Christmas)

we wrote it down on an index card

one very clever 7-year-old


12 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2019 4:36 am

    Dear Jean,

    I followed your link from Kate’s follow lineup this morning. Good Morning!

    I have always wanted to weave, but never seem to have the funds or the time. There is one weaving project I have seen that I may still get to do however. It involves gardening jute, garden pruned fodder and a simple frame. You set it up with the jute and then weave in your garden pruned lengths. It grows through the season and seed heads get eaten by the birds in winter… Next spring you cut it down and toss it into the compost heap and start over!

    As I have read back for some time this morning I’ve gleaned quite a bit, found several weaving terms I will have to look up to know their meaning, and fell in love with your old Kimono sample pages too. Clover Point? Only one word for it, serine.

    In this post I was really taken with the seven year old’s note taking for his weaving pattern. Amazing child! I taught first and second for many years and I can tell you he is one in a million!

    This is getting lengthy, but I will close with the lichen. I often find similar lichens on branches that have fallen from our oaks here on our property. I never thought of using them for dying purposes. Your orange-brown color sounds lovely for dying my wool used in applique. Orange from green and gray, I would never have guessed, but then I am often surprised at the colors attained from organic items. Glad you shared that bit with Kerry in your comments. 🙂

    Have a lovely day,



    • April 9, 2019 2:47 pm

      Hi Lynda – thank you for visiting, I love your long, newsy message. Your idea of a garden weaving is great fun, I made a scarecrow with cuttings one year just adding to it over the season, maybe I’ll do another one this year. Picture of her is on my blog somewhere – Sept. 2012. Usually when dyeing with plant materials you need to use a mordant – a chemical which helps the dye molecules attach to the fibre – the only one I use is alum as it is safe and o.k. to dispose of in the compost. It is the same stuff available in the spice section of the grocery store (used for pickling) but is too expensive so order in bulk at at dye supply place. BUT lichens don’t need a mordant and they make long lasting, beautiful colours. Rhubarb root makes a wild, wonderful yellow and the soft outer shell on walnuts makes a very nice brown. The squirrels plant walnuts in unwanted places so when I cut young,tender trees down I strip off the bark and dye with that – the wood of the branches makes good strong garden stakes. The seven year old has finished his weaving, I hem stitched the end, cut it off the loom and he proudly took it home. Hope to hear if you try the garden weaving and/or some natural dyeing. Great dyeing site and good mushroom dye site Please say “hi” another time. Jean

      Liked by 1 person

      • April 10, 2019 5:51 am

        Rhubarb!? Well there’s a sign. I just planted rhubarb in my garden this spring. (it’s four inches tall as of yesterday) I have never grown the plant before and now your suggestion gives me hope for using it even if I don’t like the taste! 😀


      • April 10, 2019 9:42 am

        Lynda – I love my rhubarb in pie and muffins and stewed and frozen on porridge in the winter. The leaves are poisonous but are used as a mordant (oxalic acid) when used carefully. Don’t eat the stalks raw.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. February 3, 2019 7:48 am

    Clover Point is a beautiful little tapestry! It’s wonderful you are teaching weaving to two generations, keeping our crafts alive. I wish I lived by you so I could come and advance my skills with you, sometimes I feel like I have been a beginning weaver for 20 years…we need mentors like you…thanks so much for your blog and for sharing


    • February 3, 2019 9:25 am

      Randi – thank you for the kind words. We all need support and encouragement. Although we may not realize it, by practicing any craft on a regular basis we are learning and advancing our skills.


  3. February 3, 2019 2:48 am

    Driftwood–yes! It seems just right for this piece. I wish I could’ve learned to weave at 7–think how far along I could be now! What color will the lichen give you in dyeing?


    • February 3, 2019 9:22 am

      Kerry – hopefully what we learn as children is a base to build on for the adults we become. My grandchildren learned to weave before they were seven, will they ever weave again?? The lichen will give a warm orange-y brown.


  4. February 2, 2019 6:31 pm

    Wonderful Clover point portrait, and how fun to have an interested 7 year old to teach!


  5. February 2, 2019 4:55 pm

    Love the idea of a driftwood frame or hanger for the Clover Point piece. It would be the perfect finish. And I applaud your teaching of the next two generations, passing on your skills so they’re not lost. Wish I’d had the opportunity when I was that age.


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