Category: Yarn

September 2017

Cory Ellen Boberg of Indie.Knits gave a presentation on her creative process and color theory.  This reporter was unable to attend, but here are some images of her and her work.

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May 2017 — Rug Hooking

Judy Taylor did a wonderful presentation and demonstration of rug hooking with yarn.  She prefers yarn over the more usual fabric strips.IMG_4391

She designed and made this frame to hold the work, and here she’s showing the hook she uses to pull the yarn up from behind the backing.


The pattern is drawn on the backing fabric with Sharpie pen, and then the yarn is hooked up through it to fill in all the spaces.


Here’s a view of the back, showing how a loop of yarn is formed over the hook.  This also gives you a view of she lays in the rows of loops.


Designs can be bold and graphic…


Or amazingly detailed.


Judy’s written two books about her techniques and also has kits and materials for sale at her website, Little House Rugs.  Check it out!


We also had our end-of-the-meeting year potluck and swore in our new slate of officers for the September 2017-May 2018 meeting year.


From left, Graham Humphrey, President; Gail Parris, Treasurer; Susan Lindsey, Secretary; and Toni Burton, Program Co-Chair. The other Program Co-Chair,  Jeff Botton, wasn’t present.

Leslie Greenquist from the  All Wound Up  yarn shop in the Perrinville district of Edmonds, WA, demonstrated  weaving on a triangular frame loom and also I-cord knitting using a knitting nancy or an I-cord machine.

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This reporter wasn’t present at the meeting, but looks as if the weaving is done with a continuous length of yarn, first making a warp pass along the long arm of the loom, then going up as weft on each side of the loom in turn.

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If that is the case, then the weaving builds from the sides and finishes in the center.

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Here Leslie is demonstrating a crank driven I-cord machine. What a timesaver!

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Members Valerie Day and Carol Campbell show off the fascinators they made.


The craft is called Handknotted Oriental Rug Work.

The knot is called the double tie Ghiordes knot.

Dorna Stone, October program presenter, is originally from Maine where she  learned this craft from her Mother who had a needlework school in their farm house called Gentian Meadows School of Needlework and Rug Making.  She has been making hand knotted rugs for forty years.  When she moved here to Seattle in the 70’s she started teaching through the Experimental College at the University of WA as a way to meet folks and “spread the word”.  Dorna says, “I have entered my rugs into the WA State Fair and won many blue ribbons as well as ‘best of show’, and also into the Evergreen State Fair.  I also received awards from the PNNAG annual Fiber Show in 2009.  After my Mother passed away I transported the rug business to my home in Seattle and managed the supplies and teaching from there.  “Have Needle Will Travel” was my motto and I have taught where ever a group would organize a class and invite me to do so.  I also taught through community centers, needle arts groups like PNNAG, private organizations and folks.  The most recent being in Bellingham where I currently live.  I have demonstrated at nearly every fair and festival in and around Seattle.”

She wrote an article about her  Mother and the rug work which was published in Fiber One magazine in 1997.

As far as materials are concerned I still have a fair supply of the duraback cotton, but you could contact folks who sell hooking supplies such as Rug Art Supplies in Oregon.  Hookers should be able to tell you where they get there stuff.  They do use it, but not as much as monks cloth.  The needle # is 18.  JCA is a whole saler.  If you type in Paternayan Persian Wool you should come up with many options to buy.  Lots of the shops are on the east coast.  Acorn Street Yarns in Seattle sells it by strand and hanks.  They are quite expensive.  I sell it by the 4 oz and 2 oz hanks.  Brown Sheep is a yarn supplier that sells persian wool.  I don’t like the twists per inch they use.  It makes the yarn thicker, but it can be used and the 3 ply split to 2 ply.  I think Northwest Yarns here in B-ham might sell it.  Also the Fiber Gallery in Seattle was selling it.

April Program ~ spinning

April 12 offered magical spinning techniques with Astrid Bear, Mary Black and others who shared their tools and techniques as well as their drop spindles, wheels and roving.

Annie and her hats

Our April meeting featured a fabulous talk by Anne de Vuono, who makes the most amazing hats! I didn’t think to get more pictures of them, but do check out her website. She gave us an overview of the history of hats, and explained some of the techniques she uses.  Then she showed us two amazingly cool things to do with ribbon.  If you are very nice, I’ll post pictures later.

Show and Tell — click to enlarge thumbnails

Just how long is this?Yum!Silk warp
Heather is back from Costa Rica, and showed us the fabulous dyework she was able to do there. Above left, she and Patty are stretching out the dyed portion of the warp, which so far has the colorways of three different hummingbirds. The remaining undyed warp is that luscious pile of silk in the middle, and take a closer look at those fabulous colors!  Above, the warp slightly spread out, below, slid together for your amazement. The total warp length is 18 meters.

Silk warp

All I can say is, Wow!

Valerie’s harps

Valerie free motion machine embroidered a harp motif for a bag, them scanned the image and used it with some of the paper techniques Patty showed us last month.

Ruth and JaneRuth’s blanket

Ruth had a surprise when she washed the blanket she showed us last month.  She thought it was all acrylic yarn, but it turns out most of it was wool, so it shrank quite a bit.  The later part of the weft was acrylic, so she cut off that portion. The wool part is soft and lovely, and the striping from the sleying disappeared.  The acrylic part still shows the striped effect — it’s the top layer in the picture on the right.

Michele’s doll

Michele took a class at In the Beginning and made this gorgeous doll.

March Show and Tell

We had another bounty of Show and Tell at our March meeting.  A lot of it was for our Art Page exchange, which I will cover in another post, but here are some others items that were shared.  Please click on the thumbnails to enlarge.

Ruth’s blanket

Ruth wove this beautiful blanket double-width on her 36″ loom.

Ruth’s blanket detail

Here’s a detail of Ruth’s blanket.   The striped effect comes from the way she sleyed it in the reed.  We’re all curious to see how it looks after it is washed, but she hadn’t had a chance to do that yet.

Mary’s wool

Mary has been dyeing wool and spinning it in these luscious colors.  The shorter skein of yellowy green towards the right is silk.

 Mona’s flags

Mona brought some fabric prayer flags that her Monday Night Creative Group exchanged.  They dyed the fabric and printed it with blocks of their own design.

Valerie’s leaves

Valerie made lots of the beautiful beaded leaves that Heather taught us the technique for in February.

Astrid brought two knitted items, a shawl and also a scarf for her charity project.

Heather among the hummingbirds

Heather is traveling in Costa Rica, observing hummingbirds, taking notes, and even doing some dyework to capture the elusive beauty of those jewels of the air. If you look closely, the large bird at the feeder closest to her in this picture is a saber-wing hummingbird. Here are a few excerpts from her email journal:

At the [Monteverde Cloud Forest] Reserve, we walked up a flight of stairs to reach the “Hummingbird Gallery”, which was a terrace about 20 feet long by 10 feet wide with 6 or 7 hummingbird feeders hanging about. But the hummingbirds!!! They were everywhere. We saw violet saberwings, green crowned brilliants, mountain gems, green violet ears, and even a coppery headed emerald. When you stood still near the feeders, they would ignore you, for the most part, and eventually they would use your body to do aerial acrobatic maneuvers around. Several times we stood next to each other (maybe a foot between us) and one hummer would chase another in between us – talk about close formation flying! We were both glad we wore glasses as more than once one would fly close enough to our face to make a breeze in our hair! The “Cloud Forest” lived up to its name during the 2 hours we watched the hummingbirds. It sprinkled off and on the entire time, but we were so entranced we hardly noticed the wetness. I managed to take notes on the violet saberwings and the green crowned brilliants today, and we plan to return Saturday to for me to study the green violet ear and the mountain gem. They are both much smaller, and are going to be real challenges to create as they have so many color changes on those little bodies! Heck, the green crowned brilliant, although bigger, was a tough nut to crack as he just would NOT flash his purple throat at me so that I could note the color! I must have watched him for close to 30 minutes JUST for that little purple spot!
I wish you all could have heard the sounds they made flying around – buzzing and chittering at each other, and us! It was really magical.

As the sun sets, the numerous bird species are raucously singing, squalking, calling and chirling their way into the night. Now I hear the macaws calling their loud call, with the softer and higher chitter of the hummingbirds adding counterpoint rhythm. The colors of green on the canyon sides range from the darkest green-black to emerald to chartreuse to lime. I just looked up to see the most beautiful hummingbird, a new one, that looked to have a long curved bill, and was colored a brilliant sapphire blue. The long curved bill suggests that he is a “hermit”, perhaps one on my list. I will have to look him up and report on what, in fact, he is.


This morning we slept in, then took a taxi over to the Hummingbird Gallery at the Monteverde Reserve. And it was a beautiful day at the reserve!! It was actually sunny, which really showed off the colors of the birds. The wind wasn’t too strong, so the little guys were out in force. We even saw three Magenta-throated Woodstars, which are so tiny you could fit one in an old film canister (um, not that I would recommend trying that, mind you). They are so small they never even light to feed – they just hover, seemingly effortlessly, and they sound just like a bumble bee! I took the opportunity to take notes on the Purple-throated Mountain Gem, and added a bit to my notes on the Coppery-headed Emeralds, and even the Green Hermit.

February Show and Tell

Here’s a look at the some of the goodies that were brought to our February meeting. I think some of the snowy days in January let us get a lot of work done! Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.

Ruth’s Towels 

Ruth wove these towels from a slubby cotton.

Patty’s Papers

Patty will be showing us how to make these fabulous painted, textured papers at the March meeting.

Patty’s Hearts

Patty has been making machine-lace hearts on dissolvable stabilizer.

Mona’s Bowls

Mona is making fabric bowls in a fabulous variety of fabrics and colors!

Michele’s Necklace and Heart Pin

Michele used a simplified kumihimo technique to make the cord for this necklace.  The heart pin used some of her stash of quilting fabrics.

Heather’s Dyed Silk

Heather dyed this fine, reeled silk to explore how well Jacquard acid dyes do at capturing the iridescence of hummingbird wings.

Glenda’s Rainbow PurseGlenda’s black purse

Glenda made these purses by punching wool into a linen base.

Fun with Felt

Felt mat

Patty does wonderful felting, both wet and dry.  I love this wonderful lion hotpad she made for me!

Felt mat close-up

Here’s a close-up showing the great detailing in the mane and features.  Patty started with a partly wet-felted mat, and a thin sheet of partly wet-felted yellow.  She cut the lion out of the yellow, then finished wet-felting it all together.  The outline was done with needle-felting.  Seaview is having a felting party in February to play more with this technique — this won’t be a regular meeting, but at a private home.  Contact us through this website or come to the  February meeting if you’d like to join us.

When you are doing wet felting, you need a solution of hot, soapy water. A technique Valerie shared with us at a mini-workshop in 2006 involves using small amounts of very hot water, and scooping up a little liquid soap to coat the hands.  Frequently remove the now-cold water from the wool with a sponge or towel, and reapply very hot water from your airpot/Thermos.  Scoop up more liquid soap, and scrub (gently) away.  Valerie said that you can use liquid dish soap, but she prefers the recipe below.

I like to call it Soap Goop,  and it’s from Pat Sparks’ book Fundamentals of Felting.  She calls it Cold Soap Gel.

Cold Soap Gel Recipe

1/2 cup powdered White King Soap, or 1/2 cup grated bar soap (can be homemade)

  . . . . . plus  . . . .

1 gallon very hot water (simmering) — The water must be soft or distilled. 

Mix well until all soap dissolves.  Allow to cool overnight. Ivory Soap works well for this.