Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Moving Forward

Not too much to say except I am enjoying the loom activity on both looms.
The top picture is Bambu 7, and the bottom picture is Bambu 12.

Monday, February 25, 2008

One Step Backward...

Here's a first for me: I have panel #6 of 7 for the THE BIG COMMISSION all threaded and ready to go, but I have to get ready for my selling trip in Santa Fe. It will take many hours of weaving (that I don't have to spare) to weave off this panel. What to do? What to do?

Yes, I took to the bottle---my essential oil blending hobby and mixed up 4 lovely blends.

Then I marched back into the studio and carefully removed the warp from the loom for later use. I quickly began setting up a Bambu 7 Horoscope Warp, one that I can use as a sample in Santa Fe.
I have just begun weaving another horoscope weaving in the foreground. This one is in Bambu 12. I know they look very similar now, but just wait.

I can't tell you how difficult it was to take that step backward even though I know I can re-thread the loom for panel #6 in just a little over an hour. Even though there are advantages of putting on short warps (4 yds) in narrow widths (9") in a straight draw, it was mighty hard. Now that I am moving forward, I am off to weave.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Birthday Postposed Due to Lack of Interest

Have you ever had a great idea? And then had 10 great ideas? And soon there were so many ideas swirling around in your brain that you could hardly brush your teeth and get dressed in the morning?

Birthday Wish Collage entitled: ONE WORLD WEAVERS.

I had lots of great ideas about my upcoming birthday, but one by one I have let them go. The reason for this is I am once again getting ready to leave town. I am heading to Santa Fe to do a kind of "trunk show" at Body of Santa Fe
I say "kind of" because most trunk shows have lots of products to sell on the spot, and I will be taking orders for Color Horoscope Weavings. I am in the process of putting together a brochure to hand out to potential and will leave in their gift shop that will remind everyone just how wonderful my weavings are and why they need to have one.

Have you ever made a brochure? Well, this will be my third one. The other two were focused on my workshops, and there is nothing in them I can use for this one. What has stopped me in my tracks has always been what to call what I do. I have spend over 20 years trying out different names, and I keep coming back to Color Horoscope Weaving. I have been playing around with Moment in Time Weaving and Twelve Treasures Astrology Weaving. (I now believe Twelve Treasures sounds too much like Chinese food and Moment in Time seems vague)The funny part is I just clicked on the Body's link and they already have published my little story and the title Color Horoscope Weaving. Kind of a moot point:-)

Now I have to get busy and have some woven samples to give potential customers an idea of what they can order. Those of you who sell your work will understand what a great challenge it is to sell a weaving that the customer can't see before they purchase. I do make it clear that I totally guarantee their satisfaction. I have only had to reweave a shawl on two different occasions ;-0

For both purely educational and entertainment values, I will be posting a lot right up to flight time---3/14

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sock Love

I can't begin to tell you how long I have wished to post a picture of my feet in hand-knitted (hand-dyed) socks!

As you may know, knitting is another one of my virtual crafts---not an actual one. I am getting to be quite an un-knitter, but that is a subject for another post. I do subscribe to several knitting blogs, however, and constantly drool into my keyboard every time I see hand-knit socks on feet. I want them to be MY feet, MY socks!! Then I got an idea: Why not offer up "A Gamp For All Seasons" horoscope weaving kit in exchange for the socks of my dreams? So that is what I did. Astrid Bear of Moominmama's Memoirs is the first of many (I hope) "Socks for Kits". Pop on over to her blog for the details. I know she dyes yarn to sell and has an Etsy Store, Damselfly Yarns.

"The yarn is my Sturdy Sheep base yarn, that I buy from a very picky indie dyer. It’s a 4 ply superwash merino fingering weight, spun with 25% nylon for extra strength. I dyed it with Jacquard acid dyes, one end of the skein purple, the other end red, and an area in the center with a mixed purple-red. The needles were size 1, and the pattern is a cross between the Bordello sock designed by Cory Watt for Fleece Artist, and the Jaywalker sock, designed by Grumperina for Mag Knits. I’ve been knitting, off and on, since I was about 10, and weaving, off and on, since I was about 40. Currently, knitting is much more on, and weaving is pretty much off, but I have weaving projects planned for later this year. Fiber goals? To create beautiful, useful things for me, my family, and friends, and to have that financially supported by my dyed yarn business, which makes beautiful, useful yarn for other people to create things with!"

Because Astrid doesn't live that far away, she was able to deliver the socks in person, enjoy an Indian Buffet at the restaurant next door, and create her personal color gamp using Bambu 12. Keep in mind the yarn is not a part of the trade, but since Astrid lives so close I let her wind off the amounts she needs from my personal stash and pay me for the yarn. I am happy to do that for anyone who drops by. (BYO yardage counter)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Loose Ends

LOOSE END #1 Here is the picture of the Turned Weft Ikat Workshop participants happily modeling their ikat dyed skeins. It got erased from the last post accidentally.
LOOSE END #2 I just received a "no reply" comment to a blog post I made a year ago:
Chenille, The Pet You Don't Have to Feed
If you ask me a question and want me to answer, you have to give me a way to contact you.

LOOSE END #3 For those of you who guessed my birthday, March 4th
(even if you weren't the first), only one of you sent me your address. I don't want to beg you, but this is an email I received on Saturday.

Your card arrived on Saturday. How lovely!!! I wasn't expecting something so professionally finished....after seeing your work on the web, I should have known better. Silly me!

Thank you, I am honored to receive it!

Happy Birthday!


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Turned Weft Ikat Meets The Towels Project Meets WeaveZine

I've been going crazy waiting for WeaveZine to launch, and today is the day!! Since my Turned Weft Ikat article in WeaveZine contained the very same information I taught last month on Whidbey Island, I had to keep 2 secrets (from my students at the workshop and from my blog readers)

I can't believe that anyone who reads this blog doesn't know about Syne Mitchell and WeaveCast, but in case you don't---now there is a wonderful new (one and only) online weaving magazine as wonderful as the one and only weaving podcast. I believe Syne is the J.K. Rowling of Weaving! (Cheers and Applause!)

To weave 3 cotton ikat towels.
One towel the student keeps
One towel the student gives to me
One towel will be sold at the Guild Sale and the proceeds to endow the Whidbey Weavers Guild Grant Fund

One of the problems I face when traveling to teach a workshop is I go home and never know if the students ever finish their projects, what challenges they faced in the process, or how the weaving came out. I decided to create a workshop that had a built in critique and that I would return at a later date to see all the finished pieces.


I will return to Whidbey Island in March to cheer everybody on and to collect everybody's class notes. (which they will have copied for me) . I will compile the notes and make a copy of them for the Whidbey Weavers Guild library. AND to celebrate my birthday!

I accidentally erased a picture here. (students posing with their ikat dyed skeins) I'll put it in a post tomorrow as I haven't figured out how to insert an image at this point.


DESIGNING IN THE RATTLE (or is it raddle)

Since most of the students warp from front to back, I arranged for a loom so I could demonstrate how I warp from back to front and how easy it is to manipulate the ikat design at this stage.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Welcome to the new feature, INSPIRED BY BONNIE: If you have taken a workshop from me, heard a lecture by me, read an article by me, or purchased one of my kits, here is an opportunity to show and tell. AND win fabulous prizes too! People who submit their show and tell will be entered into a drawing to receive my new kit "A Gamp For All Seasons" (a personal horoscope translated into winding draft that weaves up into myriad bands of woven color).

Here is the first!

I heard about you on the Weave Cast Podcast. I subsequently looked up your article in Handwoven and was fascinated by the idea of weaving someones horoscope. Your instructions were quite straightforward. It was more difficult to decide on the yarns. I had never used Bamboo but it turned out super. The colors are vibrant and bamboo has a wonderful feel to it. It was a good choice. One of the design features I like best is the multiplication of threads for the planets. This not only acts as an accent but adds a texture aspect to the garment.
I made it for my sister, Amy Lear, and it suits her perfectly. She was thrilled to receive it. I am looking forward to making another one.

thank you
Perry Drevo
Lewes, De

Here is the second!

My husband Rich and I heard Bonnie's "horoscope warp" interview with Syne Mitchell on WeaveCast, and were quite intrigued. Without me knowing, he got my birth information from my birth certificate and a conversation with my Mom, contacted Bonnie, and arranged to have my horoscope warp in time for a surprise Christmas gift. Ohio winters are very gray, and I was delighted to see all the wonderful colors in my own personal warp - colors I would never have thought to combine in one piece. The warp Bonnie sent was Bambu 7; I added a 10/2 cotton border on each side so I could have a wrap-around shawl. I wove the shawl with an 8/2 Tencel weft in plain weave, as Bonnie suggested, and plied the fringe. It was my first experience with Bambu yarn - yummy, especially after I washed and hard pressed the fabric.

The "blanket bandits" are Wolfie and Squirt. They are always willing to tolerate a little interruption to their nap time if they get loveys and treats.

Thanks, Bonnie.

Peggy Bowman
Beavercreek, Ohio

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ultimate Birthday Card and/or Virtual Quilt

Every year I attempt to think up something new and different to do on my birthday (which is coming up soon) It is the only day of the year that is a complete sentence and a military command. If you guess, I will send you an ultimate birthday card.
Two years ago, I invited a couple dozen folks to come and make collages. Each person made two 4" x 5" collages--the first depicted their birthday wish for me and the second, their greatest strength. The picture above shows all the collages.

I made color copies of the collages and cut their wishes into warp and their greatest strength became the weft. I wove strength into wishes and arranged the woven blocks into a 20"x 24" virtual quilt which I framed and hung in the entryway to my apartment. Not all, but many of the wishes have come true.

I am waiting for inspiration to strike for this birthday. I will let you know.

Oh yes, I still weave although it has been a while since I have let you into the studio. I seem to be called to the task of cleaning, preparing for a new year---the year of the Rat.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Gift of a Little Bag

I just cut and pasted the following directly from the "Small Steps" website. Although these are not my words, I feel moved to include them in my blog. A new friend, Sharmila, told about this amazing project, and now I am telling you....

Think about it..

Do you want to make a difference, but do not know how? Do you think that only big steps and big actions can only make a difference?

Think again!

Everyone around us can talk about problems. How many of us can think of solutions? Out of the ones who can talk about solutions, how many of us are ready to take a step forward and execute those solutions?

If you believe that environment needs solutions, and you are ready to join us in this move to clean the environment around us, read on.

Join us in taking simple solutions, join us doing those little things that make a difference...join us in taking ...Small Steps!

So what is the problem?


Every day millions of plastic bags are disposed and destroyed, polluting our environment. Be it for shopping, for carrying our belongings or simply for getting items from the nearby store - we have seemed to live with plastic bags, and cannot do without it. Is there a way out of this mess? Can we do something about it or we keep destroying the environment around us?

A simple solution

Carry a shopping bag always with you...
We have designed a compact little bag for you!

The little bag

What can a little bag do?

  • Every single bag can effectively prevent dumping of 200 throw-away plastic bags.
  • Every single bag can provide a meaningful job to women who are empowering themselves.
  • Every single bag can educate a whole family about environmental issues.

10 million handmade bags!

Hand crafted for a beautiful world

  • We are making 10 million bags
  • Yes, by hand!
  • Creating 1000 jobs for 1000 people for 1000 days.
It is not only about making a better world,
It is also about changing ourselves,
Learning new values,
Taking responsibility,
Loving our mother earth.

Go to:
"And get one of these great little bags. Get a dozen. I just love mine! The only thing better than having a little bag is giving a little bag to someone else. It is a perfect gift."
The words in quotes above ARE mine, and I really mean it. Bonnie

Saturday, February 2, 2008

First Sign of Spring

In my urban patio setting here in Northwestern USA, it is not too early to find the volunteer hearty Wood Hyacinth getting a jump on the season. Apparently squirrels do not care for their taste as they devoured all of my crocus.

Here are some other volunteers, those big aromatic purpley blue hyacinths. They are not as far along as the wild variety. (also squirrel proof)

Happy Ground Hog Day!
(February 2nd)

Celebrated by the Druids as the festival of the lactating sheep. Herd animals have either given birth to the first offspring of the year or their wombs are swollen and the milk of life is flowing into their teats and udders. It is the time of Blessing of the seeds and consecration of agricultural tools. It marks the center point of the dark half of the year. It is the festival of the Maiden, for from this day to March 21st, it is her season to prepare for growth and renewal. Brighid's snake emerges from the womb of the Earth Mother to test the weather, (the origin of Ground Hog Day), and in many places the first Crocus flowers began to spring forth from the frozen earth.

According to lore, if the groundhog emerges from his burrow on February 2 and sees his shadow, he will be frightened back into his hole, presaging another six weeks of winter. A cloudy day -- and no shadow -- means winter will end early.

The results so far:

Shubnedacadie Sam (Nova Scotia): Spring

Punxsutawney Phil (Pennsylvania): Winter

Wiarton Willie (Ontario): Spring

General Beauregard Lee (Georgia): Spring

Balzac Billy (Alberta): Spring

Buckeye Chuck (Ohio): Spring

Staten Island Chuck (New York state): Spring

Malverne Mel (New York state): Spring

Woody Woodchuck (Michigan): Spring

Ms. G. (Massachusetts): Winter

It was cloudy here when I went out to take the pictures on my patio. I did not see my shadow. I vote for Spring!