Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: December 2010 Page 1 of 2

Baby Camel Finished!

Baby Camel plied with Silk

I can’t think of a better way to close out the year with a completed skein that’s been on the spindles for 3 years. Can you? Whew. I’m glad this is finally done. It’s not the best spinning nor plying job I’ve ever done, but I can cross the camel off the list.


  • Fiber: Baby Camel Down Top and Tussah Silk from Earthues, colorway “Cypress Grove”
  • Yardage: 576 yards
  • Weight: 2.25 oz (70 g)
  • WPI: varies GREATLY. Currently, it’s anywhere from 24-28wpi. I haven’t wet finished this yet. I expect it to bloom significantly.

I still have a bit of the silk to spin, but that should be finished up quickly. It will be plied with itself for a 2 ply and likely worked into a silk band.

Have a fabulous New Year!

Christmas Towels

Huckaback Towels

I made huckaback towels for Christmas. I started with the towels on the left. They were based on the Keep It Simple towels from Top Ten Towels On Four Shafts, I made some slight modifications. I decided to make sibling towels for when I wanted to give a set instead of a singleton.

Huckaback Border

While weaving Keep It Simple, I kept thinking that it would be pretty as a horizontal border. I redrafted it and  created a 8 thread selvedge in plain weave, so this turned into a 6 shaft pattern instead of four.

For the huckaback border, I started with 2.5 repeats, but switched 3.5 repeats because I think it looks a bit better.

The strangest thing happened in the wash with the huckaback border with plain weave. The plain weave section had these really weird crazed lines all over them. (click for bigger)

I’m not sure what caused them. Perhaps they creased up in the washer in the initial wash and I didn’t take it out fast enough. I was out running errands while it was in the wash. I doubt that it will shift anymore since the spinning oils have been washed out and the yarn has bloomed.

I wonder if this wouldn’t have happened if the sett was a little bit closer (24 instead of 20 epi). I have woven several sets of 8/2 cotton towels at 20 epi and not have had this problem, but then, they’ve always been a twill variant.

Oh well, these towels definitely have a “homey” feel.  I hope the recipients enjoy using them.

I kept one towel back for myself. Again, while weaving the 2nd set of towels, I wondered what it would look like if I did the border in color and wove the rest in the same color as the warp. I really like the contrast. I would definitely do more of these. The only problem with this one towel was that it was the end of my warp. I had to really work at getting the shuttle through the shed. In the end, I had to finally call uncle at an inch or so short of what I needed to keep it symmetrical. But really, I doubt that my dishes will notice the difference.

Celebrate Winter Solstice with a Total Lunar Eclipse!

I’m posting this a day early because I want to give you some lead time in case the weather cooperates wherever you are. Here in California, it is unlikely that we will experience the eclipse.

At the Sun's Edge. Credit & Copyright: Catalin Beldea (Descopera Magazine). From NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day. Click through for more information.

Happy Winter Solstice! And we get to celebrate it with a total lunar eclipse. It will last a whopping 72 minutes! It starts at Monday night, December 20th, 10:33 PM PST (or 1:33 AM EST on Tuesday morning, December 21st).

How rare is that? The last total lunar eclipse was February 21, 2008. We have one in 2010 and two in 2011 (June 15th and December 10th). But the last time a total lunar eclipse that occurred on Winter Solstice? 1638 (*). And the next one will be 2094. So this definitely falls in the “once in a lifetime” category, if you are lucky enough to witness it.

For more information about the lunar eclipse, check out the article at Science.com.

(*) There is some confusion out there as to whether the last winter solstice total lunar eclipse occurred in 1378 or 1638. See the update at the bottom of the page for more information. There is also a Facebook page with discussions on the confusion. The confusion seems to stem from conversion from Julian to Gregorian calendar.

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