Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Unwanted Fibers

I like to periodically remind my customers that I have cats.  I do store my yarn in bins in a closet that they don't get to go in.  But, as any cat owner knows, the hair gets everywhere.

This is my cat Eli.  He can be super insistent about lap time.  This can make weaving difficult.  But it's okay.  He's a fickle one and generally only stays cozy for 10 minutes then decides the floor would be a better napping spot.

This is Tess.  She loves to be in the photo shoots.  I moved from this apartment a few months ago, so she probably won't be joining me for pictures anymore.

But she will still take control of the yarn whenever she can.

Here the two of them came together beautifully to create a terrific album cover.  Now I just need to learn to play music and start a band!

I kid, and love to show off my furry babies but if you really have a severe allergy to cats, I might not be the weaver for you.  For everyone else, I do my best to pick off all the hair prior to shipping, but I would guess some gets through.  Please forgive my fuzzy friends and their unwanted fiber additions.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Loose Weaving

I've often seen in art booths or craft fairs woven scarves with sections that are more loosely packed.  I think the loose sections help give better drape and texture making the cloth more suitable to be a scarf.  But how is it done?  I'm not sure if it normally requires a rigid heddle or more than 2 sheds or what.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

available here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/byMichaelRodd
(don't know who this person is, but I figured they'd appreciate the link in exchange for me using their photo)

I decided to have a go at it even though I still don't know how it's supposed to be done.  I chose a thick, single ply wool for warp and weft.  I then did a normal plain weave on my inkle loom for some sections.  For other sections I inserted my cards that I normally just use at the beginning to get the band started.  

^This is what I mean by the cards at the beginning.

I also inserted a row of weft with each card.  I continued in this way throughout the band, alternating normal with carded sections.  Once I had completed a normal section I could pull the cards from the previous card section.  This allowed me to reuse the same cards.

I'm not sure the results are what I was looking for, but it did turn out rather well just the same.  It certainly made the weaving go faster!  Maybe that's the real reason those scarf makers do that, lol.

As you can see the width was a bit more difficult to control.  That was partly due to the plushness of the yarn.  It was very easy to over pull in the regular sections.  Being single ply I found I couldn't back the weft out very easily without damaging the yarn.

On my second attempt the width was a bit more consistent.

I combined several different yarns for this second band.  I don't like it as much as some of my other abstract patterns.  Also, it was a pain to weave.  Several of the yarns were sticky and uncooperative.

I'll probably try this again with more normal yarns.  Maybe a cotton?  If you try this technique, please share your results.  I'd love to hear about it.  Happy weaving!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Altar Server Retreat

The altar servers at my parish are hoping to go on a retreat this summer, but we need your help! We would like to go to Our Lady of Clear Creek Monastery and are raising funds to cover the donation to the monks for our stay as well as transportation from north Texas to Oklahoma.

Who we are:
St. John Paul II is a small but growing, newly formed parish located in Denton, TX. The parish serves the students and surrounding communities of two local colleges, the University of North Texas and Texas Women's University. At this church, the students have regular, easy access to the Sacraments, RCIA classes, as well as community activities (and free food! a must for any college student, lol)

Here are some pictures from our parish:

Adoration with musical accompaniment at the campus center

 TWU student helpers at the 5:30 PM Sunday Mass

 TWU students at a Q&A talk with Franciscan sisters 

 The UNT campus center chapel during Adoration a few days before Easter.

The altar set up for Christmas Day.

All Saints Day party      

For more information about the parish check out their website: http://jp2denton.org

We have a group of dedicated men who every week volunteer to serve at the altar during Mass. Almost all of our servers are students yet they freely give of their limited free time for this ministry. Being an altar server has traditionally helped young men with their discernment of religious life verses marriage.  It is in keeping with this aspect of the ministry that we would like to go on a spiritual retreat.

Here are a few pictures of our altar servers:

 Some of the servers with our pastor 

 During Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve     

During the Easter Vigil

During the Easter Vigil 

After the (3.5 hour) Easter Vigil (hence the not so great photo)

Where we want to go:

We have planning our trip to Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek Abbey. It is a monastery in Tulsa, Oklahoma founded in 1999 by a group of Benedictine monks. 


Some pictures from the abbey:

    A picture of the abbey from their website

High Mass when Cardinal Burke came to visit

Solemn vows of one of the monks last November.
I was in the congregation but don't think I quite made it into this photo

The monks here follow the full rule of St. Benedict. Male visitors are allowed to attend Mass and the Hours as well as join the monks for their meals and help in their daily labor. It is an excellent way to experience the life of a monk. Even if one has discerned out of this form of living, it is a spiritually rewarding experience. Helping us to go would be helping the monks as well. Donations given in thanks for their hospitality help to support their daily living and their continued building efforts. 

How you can help:

I am offering some small religious items in my store. All of the proceeds from these sales would go towards the retreat. I am donating the cost of the items.

If you would like one of my woven or other items instead I would be willing to donate 50% of the sale toward the retreat. Let me know by sending me an e-mail (2horseweaving at gmail dot com) or leaving a note through Etsy at the time of purchase.


Here are photos of the retreat donation items available in my shop:


If you would like to make a direct donation to our retreat, here is a link to my PayPal.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section or through e-mail. I will post an update or two as we progress toward our goal and then hopefully another post telling how great the retreat was! Again, thank you!