Saturday, February 17, 2007

I love headphones!

We have switched from “land line” phones to cell phones in this house. While it is a wonderful convenience .. I don’t miss calls when I’m away from home because I have my home phone with me ... Norm has a phone that he is SUPPOSED to take with him so we can call if the need comes up... it’s cheaper to have two cell phones than one land line and one cell phone.

However, those little buggers are LITTLE – and I have one of the biggest ones. They don’t fit under your chin and can’t be held with your shoulder, so to talk you have to HOLD them at all times or put them on loudspeaker (which many people don’t like).

Knowing all this, I purchased a headphone / speaker when we got the second cell phone. This is not one of the cute ones that hang over your ear and stick into your ear – I can’t stand putting anything in my ears (or my eyes, but that’s another story). It’s a full-blown over the head, big cushion ear piece and microphone sticking out in front of you (to get caught in things if you are not careful).

But you can talk for hours on the phone and not get physically tired of holding the phone and the cushioned ear piece doesn’t hurt your ear. (Do you realize, Heb, that we talked for nearly THREE hours last night????) Modern conveniences ... I love them!

On another note, in response to Heather’s questions, and her son’s comments, I have come up with a drawing of a homemade tapestry / wall-hanging loom that others might be interested in. This is a temporary solution, to see if you like weaving tapestries or wall-hangings. If so, you can always move on to more sophisticated looms.

Please do not accept my drawings as ‘to-scale’ or exact – they are just sketches from a pencil-challenged person to give you an idea.

You can use just about any wood, but Norm suggested using one by two inch wood – it can be pine, if you are only going to try it once – or some pretty hardwood if you think you might use it more often. Make a rectangle larger than the wall hanging that you want ... if your test wall hanging is to be about eight by ten inches, then make your frame at least two inches larger. This is something that you will need to “play” with to get your dimensions right. Make your frame as strong as you can make it – glue as well as nail it together. You will be putting quite a bit of pressure on this frame.

Once ii is assembled, lay it flat. Use “finish” nails – small ones with very little head (if any at all) to be the warp holder. Mark a straight line down the middle of the top and bottom boards and mark off even spacings. As close as possible is the best – if you could do five nails per inch or more would be nice. Pound them in straight and firm so they don’t pull out.

Then take a strong cotton thread – crochet cotton works well – and stretch it firmly and tightly from top nail to bottom nail, making a wrap around the nail to keep the tight stretch as you move to the next nail.

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Again, don't use this as a scale model.

After the whole frame is wrapped in the warp (long threads), then it’s time to weave. But first you need shuttles and a pick-up stick. These can be made from firm cardboard or thin pieces of plywood. The shuttles need to be at least as long as the frame is wide, but not too long. The pick-up stick needs to be a little bit longer than the frame is wide.

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Cardboard or thin wood works fine for these

Take some scraps of cotton material and, using as a header and a footer, weave them “over and under” the threads to push against the frame.

Wrap your yarn of choice unto the shuttle for the “weft” – if you are going to use other colors, you will need a shuttle for each color.

Take your pick-up stick and put it through the warp, “over and under” from one side to the next. Flip the stick up to the side, raising the “over” threads up and pushing the “under” threads down. Take your “weft” thread on your shuttle and push it through the opening (shed) and beating it close to the “header” with the pick-up stick.

Now, leaving your pick-up stick permanently in the warp, lay the stick back to the flat side. Use the shuttle and pick up the opposite threads (“under” from the last row) and slide the shuttle through, again beating with the pick-up stick.

Your pick-up stick allows you to not have to pick each row, but only every other row. Your third row of yarn will be as the first – put the pick-up stick up on it’s side to raise the “over” threads up again and slide your shuttle through, again beating it with the pick-up stick.

That is weaving! And what you do, as an artist, is decide what is to be done with the weaving as you go along. Once you get as far along as you want or up to the “footer,” it’s time to take it off. You have enough thread for a fringe because you put the “header” and “footer” on. You can lift the thread off the nails or carefully cut them off. You will carefully pull the cotton waste material off the weaving and tie your fringe in any pattern you wish.

Put some kind of stick or hanger on the top and hang it on the wall!!! And you are a WEAVER!! I am including a picture of one of Candy’s wall hangings as an example of what can be done.

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If you like this, you can purchase professionally made tapestry looms for either continuing on with wall hangings or actual tapestries (but that’s books and books full of ideas and instructions). Or you can get a simple “rigid heddle” loom or a two harness loom to continue on your path. What ever you do, know that you CAN do it and can become great at it!!
If these instructions are confusing, feel free to email me and get more details. I realize that it's difficult to teach without being side-by-side, with hands on, but I have confidence that you will be able to work on your own to do this.

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Tapestry loom

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Rigid Heddle loom

Have a beautiful weaving day!


happyowl said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I am going to work on someone to make me one so the kids and I can try our hands at it.

Yes, I did realize that we were on the phone that long but only after we got off...LOL... no wonder we were so tired!

Hope your keeping warm today!

Brightest blessings


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I didn't know they make headphones for cell phones! I'll have to get one.

My daughter and I are both usually cooking when we chat with each other (she in New England, me in the Midwest).

There is a famous story in our house about someone who dropped the telephone into the chicken soup someone was making, ruining it (the phone, not the soup).

Someone will remain nameless.

Jan said...

You are right, Connie, the cell phones are small. o you have any reception problems in your area? We find that a problem here in Maine. Hey maybe I'll try weaving next...I seem to be on a roll!

Renee said...


Thank you so much for commenting the other day about the rabbit hutch.

We don't think we are going to get rabbits. We live on 1 acre and we do have neighbors close by that aren't really friendly as of yet. We were told that rabbits have a slight odor and we didn't want to bother our neighbors:) My friend said little goat's are sweet and so what odor free? What do you think?

What should we think about getting on 1 acre of land? We will have a large garden this year:)

Any idea's I would love to hear them.

Many Blessings to you and yours


Renee said...

I meant some what odor free.



Aurora said...

Why, that is quite lovely!

I'm headed to Stitches West this weekend. Perhaps I will find myself a little loom to try.

Thanks for reading, as always. Love!