Weaving Senovinis: The gifts of crafting in public

It’s been a few months now since I began crafting in public at my local library on Sunday afternoons. I work on different projects. Spinning (people especially love to see the spinning wheel at work), braiding, piecework, knitting or whatever I can stuff in a basket.

It is so fun to talk to people who see me working. Many are reminded of someone who used to craft or are just wondering what the heck I am doing. Occasionally I  will meet someone who likes to make things or has tried it in  the past.

No matter the reason, it is always a blessing to engage people about the joy of crafting.

The first time at the library I met an awesome woman and now dear friend whom I later found to be from Lithuania. Her craft of choice is weaving traditional Lithuanian narrow bands and sashes. She learned from her teenaged cousin while living in a concentration camp. In all her days here in the States, now in her 70s, she has not met another weaver that uses her method.

Traditional Lithuanian Weaving

Traditional Lithuanian Weaving by my friend

I had tried the technique in my college days using an older Supplementary Warp weaving video by Jacquetta Nisbet. On sale Here. I made the small sample on an inkle loom and left it at that.

Supplementary Warp Weave Video

Supplementary Warp Weave Video

Well when I saw my friend’s work I was inspired to revisit the technique. It is beautiful! I have found no other technique that can produce the kind of dimension that hand-picked weaving produces. She offered to teach me to weave in her way using a traditional frame loom and string heddles and sticks to manipulate the treads. There are very distinctive patterns that are used. So far my favorites are the tulip and the tree.

To add the different colors we tie them on in one continuous loop

The 1st weaving uses orange to make the pattern and two shades of green silky perle cotton for a border. To add the different colors we tie them on in one continuous loop

1st weaving sample. We use a picture frame as a loom!

1st weaving sample. We use a picture frame as a loom! We use a charted pattern to keep track of when to pick-up the colored pattern threads.

Tulip pattern weaving. (You can see the finished 1st sample to the left)

Tulip pattern weaving. (You can see the finished 1st sample to the left)

Traditional frame loom.

Traditional frame loom.

Tulip pattern detail

Lithuanian Tulip pattern detail

Tree pattern draft and woven sample

Tree pattern draft and woven sample

It’s so clever and fun to do. We often weave until after midnight. The time just flies when you’re have a good time. I can’t wait to fully explore this technique.

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Post Easter Dress, Butterick 5850

Hancock Fabrics has some special occasion fabrics on clearance. I found taffeta with a matching shimmery accent fabric on sale for less than $3 per yard! Now there was a catch. The fabric was a bright lime green. I figured I could get away with it for Easter. People really get dressed up at my church so it would be a fun dress to wear for the occasion.

The pattern I settled on was Butterick 5850

I chose view A. Love the  no peek-a-boo issue mock wrap and sash

I chose view A. Love the no peek-a-boo issue mock wrap and sash

Unfortunately, what started off as mild congestion on Thursday turned into an all out monster cold on Friday. I was down for the day. Saturday I worked on altering praise dance dresses for the youth ministry and went to my niece’s birthday party (the baby is 5 already!). Before I knew it, it was midnight and I was putting together folders for scripts at the last minute for my youth group. That green dress was not happening. I ended up wearing my rose dress instead. New Look 6184 Here.

I did finally finish this week, post Easter but better late than never. The tucked shawl collar was a little tricky for me and the huge skirt required more gathering than I was used to doing but all in all it came together okay. I’m not sure where I’ll wear this bright green dress but it was a great learning project. I probably need to lay off the taffeta for a while now.

Inside bodice is lined

Inside bodice is lined

After several failed attempts to hem by machine, I found it much nicer to hand finish this slippery, stretchy, too fragile to press fabric

After several failed attempts to hem by machine, I found it much nicer to hand finish this slippery, stretchy, too fragile to press fabric

The dress has a lapped side zipper that hides behind the sas

The dress has a lapped side zipper that hides behind the sash

Close-up view shows the self- facing tucked collar.

Close-up view shows the self- facing tucked collar. I think it looks better with the collar turned out.

Butterick B5850

Butterick B5850

Butterick 5850

Butterick 5850

Cotton Seeds Sown, They know what to do

Last year I planted my first cotton seeds in my kitchen one frigid February, Indiana winter day. View Post. It was a lot of fun to watch the plants mature. I learned so much and at the end of it all I had useful fiber.

It took me a while to get around to spinning it up but I did finally get to it. I’m really happy with the result. The brown skein is especially interesting because there was a lot of shade/color variation in the crop that occurred naturally. To think they all descended from one gifted cotton boll with 21 seeds inside. Now I’m debating what to make with it.

Spinning  Cotton on my Ashford Traveller Wheel

Spinning Cotton on my Ashford Traveller Wheel

Bobbin full of white cotton yarn

Bobbin full of white cotton yarn

Winding Cotton Skeins

Winding Cotton Skeins

Skeins from 1st Crop

Skeins from 1st Crop

Finished skeins from first cotton crop

Finished skeins from first cotton crop

I found a straggler! It must've opened up over the winter.

I found a straggler! It must’ve opened up over the winter.

Of course I planted a new crop for this year. The kids from the youth ministry helped. Then my niece wanted to plant some too, so we planted more. I’m sure a gardener would cringe at our methods, those poor seeds.  The cool thing that I’m finding with cotton plants is they’re really hard to kill. Those seeds just know what to do! Even if you put too many in a whole and forget to cover them.

1 week old seedlings in my kitchen. Baby nephew is loving the new hiding place

1 week old seedlings in my kitchen. Baby nephew is loving the new hiding place

These cute little guys know just what to do.

These cute little guys know just what to do.

It's been pretty cloudy so far this spring so they are stretching for the sunlight.

It’s been pretty cloudy so far this spring so they are stretching for the sunlight.

My niece helped me pot the 2nd batch of seedlings

My niece helped me pot the 2nd batch of seedlings

About 1 month in, some of the plants have adult leaves coming in.

About 1 month in, some of the plants have adult leaves coming in.

 

So far so good

Still Nippy, Sew Here’s a Jacket

We’ve had a few warm days in northern Indiana but for the most part it’s still Nippy.

Still a little frosty in the morning

Still a little frosty in the morning

There are little signs of spring popping up. Yeah, a little crocus flower.

There are little signs of spring popping up. Yeah, a little crocus flower.

Seizing the perfect opportunity to use up some embossed faux fur that was in the stash, I decided to make a jacket using a factory remnant of Simplicity 1758 view A.

I was able to buy just the 1 jacket pattern (original has 4 styles). The trade off for the $.97 Walmart price was it came without instructions. Well it had instructions but they were for a apron!

I was able to buy just the 1 jacket pattern (original has 4 styles). The trade off for the $.97 Walmart price was it came without instructions. Well it had instructions but they were for an apron!

I was a little confused about this armhole but the great customer service lady at Simplicity assured me the pattern was okay.

I was a little confused about this armhole but the great customer service lady at Simplicity assured me the pattern was okay.

 

For $.97 at Walmart you can get a discount pattern with minor packing issues. In my case it had apron instructions instead of the jacket instructions inside. ( Another discount pattern came with an extra sleeve piece) Oh well. Simplicity has awesome customer service. They helped me out with an issue I was having with the armhole. Basically, I needed some assurance that that the pattern would work and too keep going. It worked!

I was  little confused about the unusual armhole. Nephew offered to help but...

I was little confused about the unusual armhole. Nephew offered to help but…

Embossed faux fur fabric. Cozy but not too warm.

Embossed faux fur fabric. Cozy but not too warm.

 

Back view.

Back view. Simplicity 1758

I used two buttons layered on top of each other for more interest

I used two buttons layered on top of each other for more interest

Left over hounds tooth fabric was used for the facing

Left over hounds tooth fabric was used for the facing

 

This jacket has a close fit even though it only has a closure at the top.

This jacket has a close fit which only allows for small pockets in the front seams. Simplicity 1758

Very easy to where. This jacket only has a button at the top

Simplicity 1758. Very easy to wear. This jacket only has a button at the top.

I would like to make this Jacket again perhaps in denim.