Friday, November 12, 2010

Great Weekend ahead!

It is so much fun to have Melissa Leapman here again for a weekend of workshops!  This fabulous teacher, and friend, will be presenting 4 workshops: Cable Confidence, Celtic Cables,  Mosaic Knitting and Two Color double Knitting at Woven Art on Saturday and Sunday (call 517-203-4467 if you want in on this! If you are reading this on Friday 11/12 it is not too late).

As an added bonus we also have Ken Wing of Leilani Arts with a trunk show of really beautiful yarns. The prices are also unbelievably good.
Here are a few eye dazzlers:

Handspun Angora

Mulberry Silk


Recylced Sari Silk

And Melissa playing hide and seek in the yummy yarn

You can see this trunk show this weekend, 11/13 and 11/14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.
Woven Art is located at 325B Grove St
East Lansing, MI 48823

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


The warp is nearly wound on, and I have discovered a problem. I measured off the warp in two inch increments to facilitate the painting of the warp.  The last bundle on the right was measured off at 8 yards instead of 6 yards.  How did that happen?  No matter. What to do?
Option 1: Re-paint this section.  Pro: it would maybe be a close match. Con: Very messy, and complicated, plus need to add drying time.
Option 2: Pull that section back further, and weight it. Con:This could potentially mess with the tension on that side, making for uneven weaving, and constant fussing. Pro: If it works, it would match perfectly. 
Option 3: Take that section out entirely, and make all the panels 2 inches narrower.  Pro: No problem with the color and look, and it would be a bit more manageable.  The warp is currently at the full width of the loom, which can be difficult to maintain over long yardage. Con: all the pieces would be 2 inches narrower.  I am not sure how that works with the over all space that we are trying to fill. I really think it would be fine.  Another problem is that this warp would no longer be centered. That is maybe not such a big deal.
Option 4: Just let it be, and call it a design element. 

I am torn between options 3 and 4.  Gotta decide. Need to start weaving!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Waterfall of Warp


I love the way the warp looks, cascading over the beam of the loom, like water.

I have begun threading the heddles.  This morning I dyed the right center two panels. I want to get all the warps dyed as soon as possible.  Somehow I think that dyeing them all at nearly the same time will make them turn out to be more nearly the same color.  So, my routine is measure and wind warp, thread, dye, repeat.   I have four more panels to measure off and dye. I might be able to start weaving by mid-November.

My knitting projects in the meantime include Cocoknits Buckets, the wrap called Volt from a Fine Line,  Diamond Lucy socks from Chrissy Gardener's book Toe-Up!, and a Christmas Stocking from Judy's Colors.  Four knitting projects.  That means I have to finish one before I can cast on for another. My money says the bucket will be finished first.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Slow progress

But, still, progress!

 There is a lot involved to setting up a weaving.  This project will be huge.  8 panels, each four feet wide, and of varying heights.  Last post I showed you the left center panels getting painted.  Here is a picture of the right center panels as they are measured on a warping mill.  To facilitate painting the background image, I am winding off the warp in two inch increments - 25 of them. 

I have begun to thread the loom for the left center panels.  I discovered a mistake in calculations.  I measured the warp off at 12 ends per inch.  The reed in the loom, that was used to make the sample, is a 10 dent reed.  This means that I have to drop 3 or 4 threads off from each two inch segment of warp. I don't believe this will disrupt the image in any significant way. It does mean I have about 90 extra painted warp threads.  Maybe some beautiful scarves for the committee?  I think I have enough for about three scarves.

I expect to be threading the loom for a week, or maybe two.  Then, I can get to the weaving!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wonderful Project

I am honored to have the opportunity to make a large series of wall hangings for a local church.  The 8 panels will describe a Cross on a Hill, and will hang over the entrance to the Sanctuary. I will be documenting the progress of this project here.


This photo is of the warp chains, cotton and silk, before dyeing.  These chains are for the left half of the center panels.


here, the warps threads spread out, in order, ready for painting

And here they are, painted, earth, ground, sky.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Warm and Fuzzy

Our final numbers for this year's Charity Knit off are:

95 hats
23 scarves
2 pairs of mittens

Congratulations!  Woven Art knitters are the best!
I'll be taking these gifts to the Black Child and Family Institute next week (after I finish one more hat). If you would like to contribute one or two more items, you have a few more days.

Thank you all for your amazing generosity

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Random Chatter

Go Green!

I can't find my phone.  My Android. I have "functioned" for four days without it - but I was on a mini-vacation, at a wedding, at the beach.   Even so, every time we needed to go somewhere, or find something, I would think; "if I had my phone..."

Yarns on Stage this Saturday!  This is a nationwide launch of ten limited edition sock yarns. I have ten skeins of each, 20 of some.  So, we're going to have a party!  And you are invited.  Yarns on Stage Coming out Party will be Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  As this coincides with the Spartan homecoming game, there will be celebratory food and drink.  There will also be a drawing held at the end of every quarter. At the end of the First quarter one lucky knitter will win a free pattern from the YOS collection.  At Half time, some lucky winner will go home with a skein of YOS yarn!  Third quarter - pattern,  end of game - yarn.  You will be entered into the drawing once for every $10 you spend at Woven Art that day.  You will also be entered one time just for telling me that you plan to come. You will be eligible to win more than once! So, come early, buy lots and enter often.

Now, if I could find my smartypants phone I could set alerts, so that I'll know when to do the drawings. Sigh.
Meg, I know you don't like the GPS function on my phone.  Do you know anything about this?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hats off to Spartan Knitters!

Every year Woven Art (in Spartan Country) competes with Knit-A-Round Yarn Shop in Wolverine Land to see which group of knitters can make more hats, mittens and scarves to keep our communities warm this Winter.  Unfortunately the Knit-A-Round Quarterback is out of the game, and the Wolverines forfeited for this year. Personally I think they are resting their fingers, and will be back with a vengeance next year!

But, hey! - look at this mountain of warm and fuzzy hats and scarves! And we can make it bigger!  Woven Art will be accepting hats until closing on Saturday. You can knit while you watch great football! I am still knitting! One more hat on the needles.

I will be very proud to deliver these to the Black Child and Family Institute next week.  Thank you all for your generosity and caring spirits.

Go Green!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Eat Play Knit

Thank you Sharon  
for coming up with the perfect title for Woven Art's First ever retreat.  25 fiber-lous folks gathered together on the shores of Lake Macatawa, at Rosewood Pointe Resort this past weekend.
I didn't take any pictures worth putting up on line - my paparazzi skills not being up to snuff. But I know that Meg did, and Erica did.  Maybe they'll put some pics up soon.

I wish I could tell you how much I enjoyed this trip.  I love to entertain, and rarely get to do so.  I spent most of Saturday morning cooking (breakfast was enabled by Michelle ) two kinds of Chili. It was my intention to present new food about every three to four hours.  Home made banana bread, blueberry breakfast cake (thanks Meg!), Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal scotchies,  and beverages a'plenty.  It really wasn't much work at all - every one pitched in. We enjoyed the royal treatment at Boatwerks Restaurant on Saturday night. The food and staff were stellar.

Sarah taught an eye opening workshop on Gauge Friday night, and she was back at it Saturday morning with Double Knitting. Jill Bigelow Suttell taught two workshops: From flat to round - how to convert flat knitting patterns to knitting in the round, and Knitting shapes. Both of these workshops pulled heavily from the genius of Barbara Walker.  In fact Barbara Walker shared the spotlight this weekend with Elizabeth Zimmerman.  Each knitter received a really, seriously, cute goody bag with supplies for many of the workshops (Thank you  Erica and Kollage for the Fantastic  yarn and the Square needles!!), and a copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman's The Knitter's Almanac. Meg led a workshop on mitered mittens, including the scary part where you clip out some threads for the thumb. On Sunday morning, when everyone was truly filled up with information, I led a short introduction to EZ's Ganomy hat.  I do hope to see my friends kept warm this winter in their hats and mittens. 
When we weren't knitting or eating we played Bananagrams, or Apples to Apples.  I laughed til I hurt.
And today I plunked down the deposit for next year. Sept 30/Oct 1-2.  I am so excited!

Friday, October 1, 2010

So Proud!

I am very happy and proud to say that I will be writing a check for $305 to The Greater Lansing Food Bank this morning, in honor of all the people who purchased Shop Hop Passports from Woven Art. Thank you all for being part of the Woven Art community. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Milk goes better

I just discovered that milk goes better with oatmeal scotchies cookie dough than red wine. Darn.
That means I have to postpone either eating cookie dough, or drinking wine, and I rather want both, right now.  

I am baking cookies for our first ever Woven Art  retreat this upcoming weekend.  Also, planning the rest of the eats.  Given the mood I am in, I fear we will be low on nutrition and high on gratifying snack-y food. Oh well, how much can one weekend hurt us all? Never mind the dress I must fit into for the following weekend's wedding festivities. 

Today I also purchased some silly board games for our retreat. The porch and living room at Rosewood Pointe resort just begs for game playing and knitting. Perfect!  I needed my own Bananagrams for sure - but did I really need my own Munchkins game?  Or my own Apples to Apples?  I love to play games, and I am pretty competitive. I know at least one other pretty competitive person is going to be there.  All in good fun.

Lastly, in preparation for a weekend focused on knitting, I started a new project ;"Volt" from The Fine Line, in 100% wool by Isager.  I want to get to the point where the markers are doing all the work for me, so I can converse, and drink.  I am considering beginning a new sock as well, for when Volt seems too demanding. I have been working hard for months - a weekend at a lake is just what I need.  Can't wait!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


We have two lucky winners of our Woven Art Shop Hop 2010 prizes.

Tracy Woodhams is the winner of "The Big Fat" scarf kit.  The kit consists of 9 carefully selected balls of premium sock yarns and the book "Crochet in Color".  This is a very easy but dramatic pattern. I completed mine during a week of travel, and even wore it to dinner every night along the way.  Congratulations Tracy! 

Sharon Rett won the Grand Prize drawing of the Surprise Jacket and handbag from Kollage Yarns. The show stopping cardigan is made with Glisten and 1/2 and 1/2 - two fabulous yarns.  Glisten is an alpaca/silk blend with a tiny subtle sparkle.  It is very soft - the nicest sparkle yarn I have ever knit with.  Many thanks to Suzie and Mark at Kollage for this great prize, and congratulations to Sharon!  I know you'll enjoy knitting it, as well as wearing it!

In other news; I have finished my Origami Cardigan from Frog Tree Alpaca sport melange.  Mine is bright blue. Now that the weather has turned colder, you will be seeing it on me at the shop.  This sweater is so cozy and easy to wear, I am pretty sure I'll be saving on utility bills this Winter.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Shop Hop 2010

The Capital Area Shop Hop 2010 was a blast!  We were so busy all four days I barely sat down, and neither did Deidra, Jenn, Meg, Jessy or Luann. My brand new POS system was put to the test - but everybody was very patient and a good sport about it. Kzoo Erica stopped by and later posted this report.
I am sure that everyone wants to know who won our Grand Prize (a beautiful cardigan and purse project from Kollage), and our second prize(a Big Fat Scarf kit including yarn and the book Crochet in Color).

The winners will be announced in my newsletter, and on our Ravelry and Face book page tomorrow. Maybe even here - if I can get myself to write a blog blurb two days in a row! Now that would be news.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day Brightener

I had just dumped my coffee on my "first time on me" dress.  I was washing the entire front of my dress in the sink, when Jenn said there was someone there to see me named Faun.  Oh - dang- I thought that appointment was for tomorrow!! 
Faun is a local spinner. She has her own company: hands and notions fiber goods.  You can find her on etsy at  Faun makes fabulous yarn. Her work reminds me of handspinner I saw at our trade show, but richer colors, more in keeping with Michigan preferences. Still, super soft, bulky yarn with a wonderful mix of fibers and colors with a bit of glitter and mix-ins. She is very talented.  She also sells batts.  Of course I ordered some.  For you my friends. We should have some in the shop within a few weeks.  Here is a sneak peek:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tie up your shoes

Here's a fun run, and a great cause:

Anybody out there want to join me?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What did I buy, and why?

Those of you who follow the world of yarn closely, or know a yarn shop owner intimately know that this past weekend was one of our industry trade shows. It was the big one.  If you attend as a retailer, you get to take classes, and visit vendors.  I enjoy the opportunity to strengthen my relationships with my current vendors, and discover new ones.  Here is a rundown of what I am bringing home, to you:

Kollage Yarns:  
Lots of colors of Solace, Glisten and Luscious.  Also 1/2 and 1/2. I became interested in this company because of a yarn rep named Erica.  She facilitated great generosity from the owners of the company. I also love the yarns.  Visit their website and you'll see why.

Habu Textiles: Have you seen the book Ori-ami Knits? It is a lovely book of unusual but beautiful patterns, using only Habu Yarns.  I needed to bring in some cotton gima for many of the patterns.

Frog Tree - Alpaca Sport. Origami Sweater. Of course.

Namaste - Monroe, Hermosa, Hip Holster

We got the natural sport weight yarn in all the colors, even green! Fiber too for my spinners.

Punta:  More colors of my favorite three: Merisoft, mericash and merisock. I love this yarn.

Shibui: I am really intrigued by this new-to-me company. I "met" them when I was asked to design a vest for Handwoven Fall issue.  They generously sent me a box full of several different types of yarns. This time around I bought Sock, Baby Alpaca dk, and H'Land wool alpaca.

Mission Falls:  This is a yarn I can count on for color, value and great feel. They also have excellent pattern support.  We stock 1824 cotton and 1824 wool.

Frabjous Fibers: I love the silk ribbon yarns, the felted notions bags, and assorted other goodies.

Imperial Stock Ranch: This is yarn that you want to sink your fingers into. It is springy and delicious. Then when you hear their story you just fall in love. That's what happened to me anyway. Always had a weakness for western romance.

So there you have it - a sampling of what I fell for over the weekend. I hope you enjoy the links.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Where you shop

You make decisions everyday that can make your town a stronger and better place. Watch this video and understand that where you shop makes a direct impact on where you live.
And, thank you.

My local yarn shop is growing thanks to loyal and regular customers who have become my community. It is a rich and rewarding experience that I am grateful for everyday.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Frozen goodies for a hot Summer day

Luann and I were hanging around the old ball and skein the other day, when a young woman hefting a freezer box came in and offered us a free frozen yogurt. Free? Why yes, she was introducing the downtown worker bees to Swirlberry Frozen yogurt.  It is good stuff, let me tell you. And, it is right on the corner of Abbot and Albert here in East Lansing.  That is literally right around the corner from me. Next time I need an indulgence, that is where I'm gonna go.

And way to go Sharon! You have a great KIP story ( see previous post). Will no one give Sharon a run for the money? She set the bar high to be sure, but you could at least give it a shot. Share your KIP stories here, the best one ( by June 15) wins a $10 gift certificate to WovenArt!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

More KIP stories

Knitting in Public.
I have two to report.  On Sunday, May 16, I knit at Comerica Park, watching the Tigers soundly beat the Red Sox. Our seats were in the second row, on the 3rd baseline.  One ball landed on the field right in front of us and was snagged by the young man directly in front of me. Pretty exciting. They called their parents, each on their own cell phones.  Another foul ball went into the row right behind me, caught by an adorable 10 year old girl.  She was all smiles for the rest of the game. 
I am not super invested in watching games, so I was glad to have my knitting with me.  It was only a problem when I felt like I should duck.  How to put needles, and yarn back into tiny bag (safety of project being my top concern) while avoiding a baseball?  Two very nice ladies a few rows back asked about my knitting, and needed to feel the silk.  KIP is a great way to meet people and make new friends.

When I heard (bop)Harvey would be appearing at the East Lansing Art Festival last weekend, I knew I would be in the audience.  I first saw them at the same festival in 1988. Yes chickens, before you were born, some of you.  I got my knitting out right away, to the astonishment of some people who believed it is impossible to sit still while this band plays.  It IS very hard. I did a bit of chair dancing while knitting.  But, the real way to dance to (bop)Harvey is to hop up and down, and I did a lot of that too. I was grateful to have my knitting waiting for me at my chair when I needed a hopping break.

Tell me your knitting in public stories! The person who sends me the best  story before June 15 gets a $10 Woven Art gift certificate, good toward anything but classes. You have to be willing to share your story in this space to win.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Thank you Gary! I love you 32 times as much as I did on the day I said "I do".

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

KIP story of the week

Ralph stopped by yesterday to show me his new creation.  Ralph is an accomplished knitter, and has been knitting for many years. He often knits for his grandkids; sweaters, mittens and hats. He often knits in restaurants while waiting for one of his kids to finish up with school. Sometimes he'll knit hats or mittens for the waitresses.

One day, he was knitting at Hooter's. The waitress said that she had seen him knit hats and mittens. Could he knit a bathing suit?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New couch needs pillows

Thought train number one:
I have a huge, new, charcoal gray couch. The fabric has a subtle twill stripe. It needs colorful pillows. On the wall we have hung a woven saddle bag. The kind you might put on a camel. It is very tribal looking, with a complex pattern and lots of fringe.

Thought train number two: Somewhere in the back of my head I have been curious about the visual similarity between Fair Isle knitting patterns, and woven patterns, particularly point twill diamonds. It might be interesting to chart a weaving draw down, and then both weave and knit the same pattern in the same yarns. This thought has been bouncing around inside my head for at least a year. Probably more.

Do you see where I am headed with this? Pillows!
I might even do a 3rd pillow in tapestry crochet.
I think weaving would be faster, knitting might offer more flexible design opportunities. But I won't know for sure until I compare. Hey Handwoven! Hey Interweave Knits! Want an article?

But first:
1. Finish silk curtains for kids bathroom on rigid heddle loom
2. Finish Kitchen towels (the first in my sourdough towel series, where I incorporate leftover yarns into the next set of towels.)
3. Design and weave a tunic style faux-ikat vest
4. Finish proposal for Church commission.
5. Spin! spinspinspin..

Yeah baby. Knitcrochetweavespindye...happy me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pangrams in Fiber

"Change is unavoidable - expect it and skillfully enjoy the squeeze of it's wild embrace"
- Linda Hendrickson

Listening to Weavecast on my daily walk yesterday I was introduced to the concept of "pangrams" which are sentences or phrases that include every letter of the alphabet, such as the one above. Linda Hendrickson weaves these phrases into ribbons, in card or tablet weaving. Want to see this for yourself? Visit Linda's website to see this and other phrases beautifully woven. She even employs different fonts to carry her expressions. Linda is the author of the book "Please Weave a Message". I am trying really hard to contain my interests. I made the mistake of counting up my projects in process right now. At least 8. And how many processes? Four, if you make the categories broad, like "knitting". If I were to break it down, like Fair Isle or lace, I guess I'd have about 8 different processes going on too. I should add the commission I am supposed to be working on.

So I need card weaving like... well, like I need another interest. Imagine my dismay when she began to talk about "Split Ply Braiding".
From Linda's Website: "Ply-split braiding comes to us from the desert between India and Pakistan, where men spin goat hair, ply the yarn into sturdy cords, and ply-split the cords into girths and necklaces for their camels. They also create several types of ply-split bags and holders which are hung up to keep pots and bowls out of the reach of children and animals."

It is just too much. Go, see for yourself. If you want to explore these techniques or idea, I bet you could talk me into exploring with you. Would that be enabling?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sign of Spring

Saw a game of Beer Pong on my walk this morning - at 9:30.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bears need Friends

These cute little guys are so happy that they are going to be "Comfort Bears". They were made by Jackie Hagan and Jill Bigelow-Suttle to donate to the Lansing Police Department. But they want some more friends to go along with them. Can you help?

Lansing Comfort Bear is an on-going project. Individuals can knit, crochet, or sew bears for the Lansing Police Department to provide children during house calls, raids, interviews, etc. We ask that materials be washer and dryer friendly. Jill Bigelow Suttle is offering a couple of Bear Making workshops. You can find that information under classes at

Founder and Contact: Kristi Garcia

Police Contact: Noel Garcia

Find us on Raverly – free to join -


JUNE 12, 2010

DECEMBER 11, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

My Valentine treat for you is this picture of a Valentine Cactus! Prickly but cute!

I took the picture while hiking in the Saguaro National Park with Kristin and Gary, while on vacation in the Southwest last week. Tucson was getting a lot of rain, while we were there, and just before. This lead to a very unusual site: a river in the desert:
The colors were most amazing!

Naturally I took a trip project with me; The Big Fat Scarf from Crochet in Color.
I made the first stripe on the plane to Tucson.
The second stripe in between visits to the Gem Show.
I made the third stripe on the way to Tombstone (crazy town- everybody dresses up like cowboys or bar maids, and gets paid to have fake gun fights on the hour).
I started the fourth stripe before breakfast at the Gadsden Hotel in Douglas, where legend claims Pocho Villa rode his horse up the marble stair case in the lobby. Really the most beautiful hotel I have ever seen.
I made the fifth and sixth stripes on the way to Santa Fe. We did a lot of walking and looked at a lot of art. And ate a lot of really great food.
The seventh, was created on the way to and from Taos. While in Taos I got to finally, finally see, in person, La Lana Wools and Weaving Southwest. My trip was now complete.
But, my big fat scarf wasn't. So, I worked on the eighth and ninth stripes all the way home.
I think it is gorgeous. The colors will always remind me of my Southwest road trip. The yarns are Merisock, Madeline Tosh sock, and Woven Art's hand dyed treadsoft. I hope to have it in the shop later on this week for you to see.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Farmer's Market Soap Bag

I love to buy handmade soaps at my local farmer's market. The bars I buy have luscious smells. The guy selling them advises that you keep them in your drawer for a few months, so that they get good and hard and dry. They will last longer and they will make your undies smell very nice.

I crocheted a little bag to hold my soap last night:

This one is made from allhemp3. I designed this as a proto-type for a beginning crochet class. It is super easy, and took me less than an hour, including writing down the pattern, rethinking and editing as I went. I think I will need at least three of these for myself. One for a drawer, and one to hang in my closet while drying (and wafting good smells). The 3rd one will hang in my shower and become my scrubby. I am going to test this one out for a week or so - and if it passes my shower test, I'll put it on my class list.

In other news, I have warped up a "Flip" loom for curtains for a bathroom window. I love how my warp glows! The yarn is 2/17 tsumugi from Habu, sett at 20 e.p.i. The plan, so far, is to do mostly plain weave, with a few rows of texture at the bottom of each panel.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Year, New Post, New Resolve!

I love the blog-o-sphere. I think Blogging is a great way to communicate, share your creativity, or whatever else you love. It is a fabulous way to keep in touch with what others are up to.

I am just lousy at it.

So, New Year, New Resolutions - one of which is:

New Posts!

I will share with you two Christmas presents.
The one pictured just above is a blanket made for my friend Sharon. This friend crochets something for me every year. This year she made a rug for my shop You'll see it the next time you are in. I have been wanting to make her an afghan for quite a few years, but this year I did it! The warp is hand dyed Montana. The weft is Mochi plus from Crystal Palace. Both are 100% worsted weight wool . With an e.p.i of 8, this pattern was of a pretty large scale. The pattern is
four block "Primose and Diamonds" adapted for 8 harnesses by Leslie K. Alperin. It can be found in A Weaver's Book of 8 Shaft Patterns. The finished blanket is about 50' by 70". Warm and squishy.
In the meantime, my eldest daughter has been asking for mittens. Both fingerless for office work, and substantial for walking around Chicago. Pictured here are her brand new fingerless mitts, designed by me, knit out of Mericash. I have put the design on Ravelry as a free download, if you are interested! They are soft and warm, and I have already seen her wearing them quite a bit. I also made her Jarod Flood's "Grove" mittens, with a twisted stitch design, to go over these. Now, my baby's warm.