Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Twined Bag 3

Twined bag 3 is nearing completion. I tied the bottom warp threads with overhand knots to close off the bottom.

When I started I was tying knots to the outside and covering the weft with a couple rows of twining, but then I started tying to the inside.

So I can clip the threads on the inside of the bag and hide the ends.

Have a good day!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thunder Fury

It's Christmas and Number Three Son (Oscar) has received "The Sword Of Thunder Fury!"

So as not to annoy the chihuahuas or chihuahua mama, Do Not poke or jab at persons or animals. Only swing in areas clear of obstructions.

Merry Christmas!
From my corner of the world, Sacramento, Calif.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jingle Bells and Holly Berry

I was given the bird this season. Meet Jingle Bells. He is a yellow Pacific Parrotlet. He's a little bitty parrot the size of a budgie (parakeet). He likes to ring the bell hanging in his cage. He was given to us by a friend last week. Well, my lovely wife bought for me a female yellow parrotlet. Her name is Holly Berry. We are so clever with pet names. Right now they are living in separate cages but next to each other until they get used to each other. I've always enjoyed birds and I am thrilled to have a pair of birds again in our little condo. These birds are captive bred since restrictions prevent them from being imported (USA) from South America.

They are in separate cages while they get used to each other. So its no pictures together for now. Here they are in their separate cages.

12/23/10 EDITED TO ADD:

Second try at pairing them. This time I moved him to HER cage. Now they are behaving in a friendly manner.

Have a good day!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Designer Yarn From Lumpy Wool

Betty Chu is the breeder of top of the line English Angora rabbits. She is also
an accomplished spinner, knitter, weaver and designer of custom yarns.

Betty takes wool from combings and clippings that may be a little felted from
the sides or bellies or armpits on rabbits and then she spins it as a lumpy
yarn. Then she dyes some of it and knits hats or sweaters with it. Nothing like
an angora hat to chase away the chill.

Some knitters love the yarn because it is uniquely handmade. If they want fine*
yarn, they can buy commercial, but Betty's fun yarn is different.
(*Betty does know how to spin fine yarn)

It's no secret how she does it, but it fascinating that she can take wool that
many of us would throw away and make designer yarn with it.

I've seen Betty's yarns and knitted goods for years so when I wanted to find
some pictures of Betty's hats, I went to the weblog she manages for Northern
California Angora Guild.

Here are links to blog posts that show some hats and other goods.

You can click on the pictures for larger views.

Betty's Fiber Display at Monterey Fair
(click the pictures!)

Show & Tell at Cow Palace (see two of Betty Chu's hats)

over dyeing angora yarn - see Betty Chu's hats

Check out these dye jobs - see a Betty hat

Angora caps in July

Head for hats

Useful empty kleenex tissue box - with a hat

Doggie fashion - a Betty Chu dog sweater

Angora dog sweater - a Betty Chu dog sweater

How many pounds of wool? Classifying angora wool.

Have a good day!

Note: Originally titled "Designer Yarn From Junk Wool" titled changed to "Designer Yarn From Lumpy Wool" because it implied that Betty's wool was junk, which it definitely is not. - FR

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Twine Too Many

(click pictures for larger image)
Twining continues on the train and the bus. From bottom row, the orange, light brown rows have one row of S twine followed by Z twine. From the lowest black row, up to the next orange, those are Z twine. Above that is all S twine.

Notice how the sides of the bag kind of bulge out. I have too many warps on this bag. So when I twine it causes the bag to spread. I did not need to pack in as many warp colors as I did. I could have easily left off five warp pairs and it would have fit more snugly to the cardboard frame. I also think after I put the straps on the sides nobody else will notice.

Sometimes while I twine I turn the card sideways. The yarn falls down out of the way and it goes better sometimes.

Have a good day!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Caught On The Web - Dec 2010

Here are a few websites of interest I found while surfing the web:

Eva's Weaving Blog

Extreme Sheepherding with electric lights (reprise from 2009)
A youtube video "What Welshmen do when they're bored"

Inagaki Kiryou Weaving Supplies, Japan
Be sure to check out the spinning wheel for cotton
under the group of Cotton Tools

Weaving on a forked stick - kids project

News article:Santiago Morales, weaver of pine needles, baskets, etc

Check it out! Back issues of Weaver's Journals
available for free download. This is awesome!

A Weaver's Album: Pictures of Looms, Spinning Wheels, and more

A blog from Europe? Interesting colors and a couple of looms?

guatemala info with textiles

Mademoiselle Chaos blog, pastry, spinning, knitting, crochet

reference book for double weave

Tangled web blog

tri loom instructions

How to knit to wristwarmers bangles on doublepoint needles - very unique!

Fabric Follies Two - interesting postings and a list of more blogs to visit


Pretty scarves knitted from lumpy angora rabbit wool
Good idea for spinning angora "second" wool

Prussian sash in Sprang (oblique interlacing)/German Language

Google translate can convert this to English or other

Ears of Corn Placemats

Kathe Todd-Hooker, MorningStar Studio

Kathe Todd-Hooker, Fine Fiber Press

Nadeau Hand-Skill Loom seen in Popular Mechanics Jan 1955

Waaban Aki Crafting - Eastern Woodlands (US)
See twined cornhusk bottle in middle of page

How to make and use a floor loom for twined rag rug weaving

Twined bags for sale - check out design

Weaving World

Language of Native American Baskets

Primitive technology

Basketmakers.org - Information and many links

newspaper basket

Lots of woven baskets and some good design elements

Rigid Heddle Weaving - and more!

Doni's Deli blog - great monk's bag tutorial
narrow cloth woven on rigid heddle makes a fast bag

Fibers Of Being - a blog with nice pictures

Daryl Lancaster's blog
See how she plays with cloth

Have a good day!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Off Loom Woven Scarf

Here's the stash I bought. See the fat yarn called Sumptuous? I'm weaving a scarf with it. Since it's too fat to fit any of my rigid heddle looms, I'm going to weave it off loom or free hand.

Here I am warping it about 7 foot long of the brown and tan yarns around a couple of chairs. Winding with continous warp will create finished edges on both ends, no fringe to be worked.

Hanging it from a wire cut from a wire coat hanger, I started weaving it, using my fingers to pick the warps and pushing the weft through. The weave is warp faced weaving to get the horizontal bars to show. This is not a tight warp project. Firm but not tight. Just finger tight.

Here is about half way done. It has a good simple look to it and it's going fairly quickly with the fat yarn. I'll start and end with that coat hanger wire and will have finished edges on both ends, so no fringe on this. The ends sticking out are at the spot where I added weft (yarn) and I'll trim those off after the wet finish of the scarf.

This is wonderfully low tech.

Have a good day!

Vertical Twined Bags - Twining On A Train

First let me share this link to the post of a virtual version of a recent Textile Museum "Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning" program by David W. Fraser on "Vertically Twined Plateau Bags," an American Indian format. The pictures and text are wonderful and a beautiful example of using the internet to share knowledge and art. Check it out.


Next, my humble twined bag adventure continues:
(click on pictures for larger image)

Twining on a train. Here is the current bag in progress. I wanted to see what a lot of stripes would look. Here it is. The warps are tied over a double strand of yarn. I wanted to get a fatter edge to the top and it worked well, showing off the different color warp yarns. The stripes are tedious with changes every two rows.

Here is how I wind my butterflies for twining. Upper left of the picture is the train seat in front of me. The right side of the picutre is the floor of the train. Sacramento has a light rail system that I use to commute to work and the light is good enough for pictures without using flash. I can work on small projects if I can get a seat. I should probably keep a drop spindle handy for days when I have to stand.

Here I am starting a new color. I start the twine around the last pair from the back side (orange) of the cardboard so I get a secure change on the side of the bag. Then twine the first pair from the front side (yellow). Of course the front and back sides change every time I flip the cardboard.

I am ending the rows on the sides of the bags with a square knot. Because it ends on the side I can cover the knots with the strap for the bag later. Even so, I try to hide the knots. The white plastic bag is for transporting the work. I stuff the cardboard with twined bag into the white plastic bag and slide it into my red bag that I use to carry my books and lunch to work. I try to pre-cut my yarn so I can pull the next color out of the bag to keep twining. So I leave the big skeins of yarn at home, I carry only enough yarns for a days' work.

Here is the square knot at the end of the color change (circle). I start the color on the side opposite the knot from the end of the last color. This way I can trap the loose ends from the knot. Here you see I am twining around three strands of orange, one of which is a strand from the knot. I'll trap the other strand from the knot on the other side of the cardboard in the next pair.

When I finish the next row (yellow) I'll tie it off then go to the side where the orange strands from the square knot are. The strands (marked with X) from the square knot (arrow) travel under the yellow rows and are hidden. I'll cut off the orange strands and start another color.

After my train ride I transfer to a bus for the second half of the ride to work over the Sacramento River into West Sacramento, the light is not as good on the bus so no pictures of working on the bus. But here is a picture looking out the bus window at the flag at 500 Capitol Mall Tower, where strong winds are making the large flag stand straight out.

Have a good day!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tinkuy Peru 2010

The above picture is from Laverne Waddington's blog "Backstrap Weaving"

Can't let this month go by without mention these beautiful articles posted on the web regarding Tinkuy de Tejedores 2010 which is a conference celebrating traditional weaving and textiles. It's four days of weaving, spinning, knitting, singing, dancing, storytelling, and conferencing. Not just weavers from Peru, there are weavers from Guatemala, Bolivia, and all over the world.

Laverne posted a couple of articles on her blog.

You can read the articles at the following link. There's lots of pictures and there are two articles because of all the pictures.


Blogger/weaver Beth Smith and her daughter Maggie also attended the Tinkuy and posted an article on her blog "Three Sheeps to the Wind"

You can see the article at:

The event was organized by Centro de Textiles Tradicionales de Cusco (CTTC) or Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, dedicated to the preservation of local traditional fiber arts.

You can visit their website;
Spanish: http://www.textilescusco.org/index.html
English: http://www.textilescusco.org/eng/index.html

What a wonderful gathering it was. It's wonderful that these ladies took the time to share their trip with us so we can travel with them through their pictures and words.

Have a good day!

Friday, November 19, 2010


don't tell the roses the winter is coming
see how they raise their flowers to the heavens
smell the air rich with fragrance that is pleasing

don't tell the roses the winter is coming
with rain that batters the petal and leaf
with ice that coats the stem and thorn

don't tell the roses the winter is coming
they cannot hide or raise a cover
they can be roses and nothing else

don't tell the roses the winter is coming
they already know the seasons
because they are roses

Have a good day!
My corner of the world
Capitol Park, Sacramento, Calif.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Twined Bag 2

(click picture for larger image)
Here is a closeup of the latest twined bag. The basic weave is twine around two warps. The middle detail is two rows of three strand twine around warp pairs. The last row is twined around single warp to make a tighter bottom for the bag.

The bag is twined around cardboard frame and goes around both sides. The warp will be knotted at the bottom to close the bottom of the bag. Next I have to make a strap for it.

Have a good day!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


My Corner Of The World - Rain

(click picture to view larger image)

Today we are having rain all day. It seems to be end of summer for sure. Above is a view outside our front door. You can see the other condominiums on the other side of the street. Our unit looks just like those over there. Since we don't have room for a regular garden, we garden in a wheelbarrow. Normally the wheelbarrow sits by the front door, but since it was raining, we moved it to the lawn for the water.

Dinner for tonight is homemade chicken vegetable soup and corn bread muffins.

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
Sacramento, Calif USA

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Twining - Part 2

(click pictures for larger image)
The twined bag is almost complete. It needs a loop and button on the opening to close the top and it should have a lining. I have some old shirts that I can use for lining. I also need to trim the fringe.

I'm happy with the pattern that I just threw together as I went.

Here you can see the bag and more of the strap. I made the strap from six strands and used finger weaving to make it.

Here is a closeup of me twining the fabric. With big fat yarn like this the process is very quick. Notice how I pull up to the right to place the weft. Later I used my fingers to push the weft tight.

I don't have a big needle to use for sewing on the strap, so I wrapped some plastic tape over the end of some yarn to stiffen it and I used it like the end of a shoelace to push the yarn through the bag fabric and the strap.

Have a good day!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Twining - Part 1

(click pictures for larger image)
My friend Laverne has been working on a twining technique inspired by Montagnard weavers. She about it posted on her blog Backstrap Weaving.

Twining has been on my fiber adventure list so I moved it to the top. This is the first part of a twined bag I am making. Twining is an old craft that can create fabric without a loom.

Twining is usually started by stringing a line around two poles. I wrapped a string around some cardboard that is 8 1/2 by 11 inch. This makes it portable enough to carry. Then I attached some warp threads down with a larkshead knot or loop.

The first few rows I misread the directions and I twined around each warp with white yarn. Then I realized I was supposed to twine around warp pairs, so I started with the yellow yarn.

You can see how the yarn is twining around the warp pairs in this picture.

Here is a closeup of how I tried to pull up on the weft to keep it tight. I twine all the way around both sides of the board so I will have a bag when I am done. The yarn is labelled Rug Crafter's Rug Yarn, 100% acrylic and I bought it cheap at the thrift store for this kind of project.

Here is a link to a PDF file that will tell you how to start twining.


And some more links of interest.









Have a good day!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sprang by Comb and War Shirt

Interesting links

Sprang technique by means of comb
Anita Rašmane, 2006

I also found the "war shirt" article very interesting. It looks like a finger
knitted coat, no loom and no knitting needles.


Translate to english: http://tinyurl.com/WarShirtLatvia

And translate to english Senzeme main page: http://tinyurl.com/Senzeme

I used Google Translate to convert from Latvian language.
Have a good day!

Edited to add:
Ieva contributes this link: http://zagarins.net/Latvjuraksti/index.html

Google Tranlate to english: http://tinyurl.com/LatvianSigns
Be sure to click on "Shirts articles etc"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lambtown USA Oct 2 2010

Oct 2 - The Dixon Lambtown, USA Committee has planned another great Lambtown Festival for your family this year. The festival will be held at The Dixon May Fair Grounds, 655 South 1st St., Dixon, CA, on Saturday, October 2, 2010, from 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. Admission is just $2.00 for adults. Children 6 - 13 $1.00 and kids 5 and under are FREE! For your enjoyment, you will find more focused craft and fiber booths, competitions, and as always, a variety of great food celebrating the lamb industry and the rich agricultural heritage of the region. This year's live entertainment will feature music and an evening street dance. Parking $5


Friday, September 24, 2010

Rancho Cordova CA Fiber Arts meeting report 9/24/10

Rancho Cordova CA Fiber Arts meeting report 9/24/10

6:30pm Arrived at library to set up the room. Laid out some woven items, a
Cricket rigid heddle loom, an Erica rigid heddle loom, a Harrisville lap loom, a
couple of drop spindles, some handspun yarn samples, some samples of
fingerweaving. Posted a couple of notices on the glass doors.

7:00 Open door to meeting room that connects to the library. People were
wandering around the library. I pulled out a drop spindle to spin while I
waited. Meeting was scheduled for 7:00 to 8:30

7:15 First visitor showed up. Two kids who wanted to see what all the stuff was
for. So I showed them the stuff, answered questions, showed them how to use a
drop spindle, how to use the Cricket loom, and the lap loom. One girl took to
the Cricket loom right off because she said she had seen it done before.

7:30 Another kid shows up and she starts working on the lap loom. By this time I
am realizing I need little cardboard looms for kids to use and take home with them.
I'll try to have some next time.

7:45 An adult woman drops in to see what I was doing and said she couldn't stay
but she grabbed an information flyer and said she'll try to be back next month.

7:55 Library closes at 8:00 pm and the kids have to go home with parents. So I
start putting stuff away since there was no one else there.

8:10 Take stuff to the car and go home.

Notes: Need to advertise the meetings. Need to have some prepared projects for

Have a good day!
Franco Rios
Rancho Cordova Fiber Arts Coordinator

Upcoming events:

Sacramento Weavers & Spinners Guild
Sat Oct. 23. 10:00 am to Noon
Arcade Public Library, 2443 Marconi Ave
A resource for spinners and weavers

Church of the Nazerene -
Fiber Arts Presentation by Franco Rios
Sept 29, 2010 Wednesday evening 7 pm
3520 Bradshaw Rd, Sacramento, CA - (916) 363-0364

Next Rancho Cordova Fiber Arts meeting
Oct 14, 2010, Thursday, Spinning for Beginners, drop spindles, plying,
Nov 15, 2010, Monday, Weaving for Beginners on simple looms
Dec 2010 Holiday Break (no meeting)
(schedule updated 9/10/2010)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Fabric of Mayan Life - An Exhibit of Textiles

"The Fabric Of Mayan Life: An Exhibit Of Textiles"


Found this article on the web.
Lots of examples to look at and some background info.

Courtesy of Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

Have a good day!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

$2 Thrift Store Loom

(click pictures for larger image)

Back to the fiber adventure. Above is a needlepoint stitching kit I bought for $2.00. It has a mesh background with a printed pattern to follow that is tacked to a wooden frame measuring about 10 inch by 8 inch on the outside. It includes over a dozen hanks of embroidery floss. I bought it to make a loom out of it.

Here is the wooden frame. I attached pencils with clear plastic tape to raise the warp and give me some room for tension adjustment. If the tension gets too tight, I'll remove a pencil to give some slack.

Here is the frame with a continuous warp of #10 cotton crochet thread, about 100 ends. I tried to weave some floss with a crosstitch needle. I quickly realized the warp was too close and many of the warps were crossed over each other.

The warp is wrapped around the front and back of the frame. I followed the warp around and around the loom making sure all the warps do not cross over the one next to it. Once it was straightened out, I set the cross using pencils and safety strings. The knitting needle was helpful in picking up threads.

Once the crossed warps are straightened out, I need ot spread out the warps. So I put three rows of twining on the warps. This spread the warps very well. You can also see the string heddle on a pencil.

In this picture you can see I am using the knitting needle to open the shed to make room for the ruler I am using for a shed stick. When I turn the shed stick it opens the shed (spread upper/lower warp apart) so I can push the shuttle stick, which is the pencil with the red floss wrapped around it.

Here you can see the pocket comb I am using as a beater to push the warp into place. Right now I'm getting a very uneven spread of weft, too far apart then very close. Very gauzy in spots so I now have one way of doing gauze which is on my list. I am thinking I should use double floss to fill in the weaving more.

Have a good day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weavezine - Syne's Back

Syne's back!

Two articles in last 3 days posted on Weavezine

What I Did Over The Summer 2010 - Syne Mitchell

Weaving Handspun Singles On A Rigid Heddle Loom - Syne Mitchell

Weavezine is the online magazine for weavers

Have a good day!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Living Crafts

Another fun link: Free Patterns from Living Crafts

Have a good day!

Hair tie

Here is a quick project. Please excuse the blurry phone camera picture.

My niece Maggie had her birthday party last month. I wrapped her gift with paper and tied it off with 4 strands of #3 crochet thread in different colors. After she unwrapped her gift I told her to save the threads and get a safety pin. Using the safety pin to anchor the end to a tablecloth, I tried to show her a four strand braid, but for the life of me I couldn't get it to work!

So I showed her how to fingerweave it. She made quick work of it, weaving up a 4 foot long band which she used as a hair tie. 12 year olds can be so crafty.

Have a good day!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Farmers Market

My corner of the world: Sacramento Farmers Market at Sunrise Blvd and Highway 50
Every Saturday the light rail station parking lot is converted to a farmers market where farmers bring their products to sell direct to the public. Vendors are certified as actual farmers who work in the surrounding area. As you can see there is a lot of produce for sale.

These are herbs for sale.

These are buckets of flowers for sale. There is a black bumblebee browsing the flower in the center under the little white arrow. These flowers are fresh.

Often there is live music for enjoyment. Today is a 3 piece band with bass, guitar, and accordion.

Here is our stuff from the farmers market. Got potatoes, squash, cherry tomatoes, sour baguette of bread, oranges, a plant called hummingbird sage which I bought because it attracted bumblebees while it was on the table. We bought white peaches and yellow peaches. We also bought some organic eggs (not pictured).

It was a busy day for us. Our chihuahua, Paco, needed to get his shots. The mobile vet trailer is where we get shots for our dogs. The two men on the left are veterinarians. There is a table to the right where people get their paperwork filled out and pay for the shots. It's cheaper to go to the mobile vet clinic than a vet's office.

And there is an airshow going on this weekend. Overhead there was a Stealth bomber, an F22 Raptor, a squad of L39 jet trainers, a couple of acrobat flyers, but none of those pictures came out. I did manage to get a couple of pics of these P38 Lightnings.

It was a good day!