The Weaver's Dance

On a loom that whispers, with shuttles that fly
And bobbins that chatter as the hours go by
I'll not lay in one thread of mere chance
As I work in the motion of the weaver's dance.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I'm stopped...

This has been really difficult, but I've not been able to weave now for about a week....and when I was trying last week, the pain grew increasingly intolerable....I'm totally stopped. I've got a lovely blanket in progress on Doris and I am done with the stole order on The Old Structo, so I would love to be able to start weaving a baby blanket on it. Margaret is in the process of getting a new soft white warp dummied-on to her old green warp and I haven't even tied back on Hazle, Grace or Stanley...they just have blankets draped over their front beams....

The tulips and the daffs are busier that I am!

I have put more items into my Etsy Shop and I'm happy to say that I finally added some of my fiber art.

I don't like to whine, but I cannot even work in the garden.

Things are starting to improve, but I still have a painful time just sitting on a weaving bench.

Oh, yeah, guess, if I'm whining and moaning, I might say what I have...It is sciatica.

I've had it once before and it totally stopped me then, too. But I was being so careful about how I moved and sat during some very long hours with the stole....I thought I was doing okay.

The stole came off without a hitch. I had 16 wefts to weave in on a constantly changing order.

Here are ONE of the trays of colors.

I would weave all from the right tray, this one, then all from the left tray.

Yes, there are some wild and crazy wefts in here, but the client was fun and adventurous and we just WENT for it!

Here was the left tray.

Needless to say, the weaving went very, very slowly compared to how I can weave off a yard in an hour on some of my looms!

I weave on The Old Structo for all of my stoles, because, since it's rather a slow friend, I feel more calm and patient if I'm doing stoles on it.

I think it's okay to show here...

I'm carrying up ALL the colors on the selvedges!

I have 8 going up one side and 7 going up the other side.

I used a big craft needle to sew the threads into the fringe area prior to twisting the fringe...the few that you see there (lilac) I had to put in as I stitched the hemstitch because I would not have been able to sew them in...they would have stretched out to nothing...

I didn't get a photo of the finished stole. I decided, because I'm getting ready for a show in Taos, that I would photograph IF the buyer decided that the stole was not right for her.

They loved the stole! photo.

I try to "bloom where I'm planted", so, when weaving HAD to stop so I could heal, I decided to use the time well. I added a bunch of items to my Etsy Shop. I've got my fiber art up there, more scarves, more yardage and tons and tons of This-N-Thats. I would like to show some of my scarves here instead of in some of my pages (where I show things for sale).

This photo shows a 'batch' of my scarves...I call them Camille Scarves.

These scarves are made to give away as part of a service project that my guild has taken on.

These scarves go to chemo patients at a cancer treatment facility in Albuquerque.

I had crocheted a bunch of them and, as they lay over the back of a rocking chair on the living room, I must admit, I felt a sense of pride that I was helping in such a worthy cause.
As I looked, I began to realize that there was over $40 in yarns there...I want to continue to contribute to this project, but decided it might be a good thing if I started making some scarves to sell, just to help me fund the ones I give away.

So, I began to look for good quality wool fibers to make the same 'version' of this scarf, but for sale.

I have priced them reeeeeeeeeeeally low, just the cost of the yarn times 2, so I can fund the other scarves. I don't know how well it will go over, but I have these crochet scarves over in my Etsy Shop, and....I'll see how they sell, if at all, but, it's worth a try, right?

Which brings me to a point where I want to mention that I've changed my blog a bit....

I have added pages that are about items for sale from this blog and in my Etsy Shop. I just want to say, that the followers of this blog are NOT the targets of a sales campaign!!! Please know that I'm just trying to offer more sources of photos and the blog seemed a purrrrrrrrfect place to do it. I can only put so many photos up on my TAFA List page, and, though I've been trying, I can't list everything in my Etsy Shop either.

I still have my loom pages, and hope to be able to post more ordinary stuff again, now that I've got my global stuff going....if you are curious about where I am, just click on "Find Me on the World Wide Web". I've had fun learning about some of these places....some are for networking, some are for showing what I do and how I do it.....FaceBook is fun...I try to add a photo everyday.

To put it simply and straight forward....

I'm not trying to get followers of this blog to buy stuff!

I've got to end this post for now as sitting in this nice soft office chair is getting painful all the way down my right leg. I have to mend before move-in at the Taos Fiber Marketplace on Thursday. The show is from April 20- 22 and here the link to their site:

Okay, I've had a break, stood around for quite awhile, had on to my Trick on the Trade!

THIS IS HOW I ADD COLOR TO AN OTHERWISE PLAIN WARP. I use this method if it's, like the photo, there's an all white warp, but I weaving in colors. If I did nothing, the fringe would be all white, not at all like the stole, so I add color to the fringe.

I do this WHILE I am hemstitching, so, when I'm ready to twist fringe, it's all ready to go!

See the PHOTO 1, directly above...If you don't know how to hemstitch, any stitches book will show you....or, if you are a former student, it's in the student packet that I gave every one of my students. Referring to photo to right, this shows Step 1 of's the 'horizontal stitch'...parallel to the fell, purrrrrrrrrrpendicular to the warp...hee!  hee! Perform that step completely.


To see the next step...PHOTO 2. See where I lay the colored thread over where I just performed Step 1 of the hemstitch? This colored thread needs to be long enough to reach the end of the fringe in one stitch and to the end of the fringe in the next stitch.

See PHOTO 3 where I perform Step 2 of the hemstitch. This is where I do the diagonal stitch...I go right under the colored threads that's laying there. Once I finish that step, the first 1/2 of the colored thread is now trapped in the hemstitch.

Next, I do a new hemstitch, Step 1 as normal (horizontal stitch), then Step 2 (diagonal stitch) and begin to pull that stitch through just like all the others.....BUT WAIT...just before you close that last stitch of the second hemstitch....see the PHOTO 4.

Just as your about to pull that last loop through, crasp the colors threads that are laying there and PULL THEM THROUGH THAT LOOP!!!

Now you have sewn in the colored thread as you are hemstitching. You can do one thread at a time (if that's what looks right to make the fringe look like it matches the cloth of the weaving (scarf or stole) or you can add as many threads as you want. I have been known to sew in as many as 12 threads into the fringe with each hemstitch pair....they were tiny.

PHOTO 5 shows the process done and you are ready for sewing another group of colored threads into your hemstitch.

It takes 2 hemstitches (or 4 steps) to sew in each group.

I lay pre-cut lengths of my colors threads up across my warp purrrrrrpendicular to the warp) and extract what I need from one end which I hold gently to the other end of the mass of threads laying there...everything stays neat, if you do this, too.

Now, when you are doing this whole process, don't pull tightly anywhere....just pull things up NEAT, but not overly tight. You want the bridge from stitch one and stitch two to be smooth, not loopy or loose, but neat and smooth. These 'bridges' don't seem to be noticed after the fringe is twisted and the stole/scarf is washed and just all looks like it 'belongs'. I've been using this technique since I created it back in the early 80's....I'm sure it's not new, just never saw it before and made it up on my own.

I'm glad I could finish this post the way I wanted....the Advil has kicked in and the pain is just so-so. I'm going to go stand up and work on my fabric that's been accepted for exhibition at Convergence....standing up is good. I will try to help pack up the trailer tomorrow...I hope this sciatic nerve swelling has gone down more by then....wish me luck.

Until next time, I wishing you, from the bottom of my heart, Miles and Miles of Smiles, Cat B.


  1. I am so sorry about the sciatica flare up :( it hurts so much.
    If your sciatica issues are due to standing, like mine seem to be, I heartily recommend Keen brand shoes. I was having significant, repeated flare ups while quilting and piecing fabrics a few years ago. A friend convinced me to get some of the shoes for hiking (they are super sturdy) and my life is changed.
    I am glad to see you healed up after your show. I will keep an eye on new posts to see if you find any solutions that might help me. So far, fingers crossed, switching between office chair and hard bench seem to keep me in good shape while weaving.

    1. Thanks, Sarah,

      Yes, I am healed, but, when I stay at one loom too long, especially when leaning over to the right repeatedly to get shuttles, that's the cause...I at least have finally figured that out! I have gotten a cushion to use while siting at a loom where I know I have to lean and reach and it is protecting me! Thanks so much for your kind is really an awful pain isn't it? Best Wishes! Cat B.