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Clint Eastwood Serape

Wednesday, December 29, 2010: The Joys of Winter

I'm sure that most people hate me for saying it, but I love winter! I finally get to relax a bit. The holidays are over, real estate is slow, and it's too cold and snowy for anything much in the line of farming which means I get to clean up all the loose ends on half finished projects. Today I have finally returned to the Clint Eastwood serape.

Clint Eastwood in Fist Full of Dollars
 After digging it out a few weeks ago to find the moth eaten yarn fiasco, I'd done basically nothing with it, other than storing it in a slightly more "moth-proof" container. But today, I actually added two inches to the loom. I was too, shall we say, lazy to be authentic enough to weave the white yarn patterns into it, so I'm kind of cheating by weaving the green part first, then embroidering the white lines on afterward. I love crewel wool embroidery anyway, so it's double the fun.
Thus far I've got the entire first side woven with about half the white lines embroidered. I figured I'd weave the second half before doing anymore embroidery since the weaving is the harder part and I'm always up for getting rid of the harder parts first.
The loom itself is just the old-fashioned kind, four pieces of scrap-wood nailed together, the warp strung on that and a little wooden sardine box cover that I wrap yarn around to use as a shuttle. Hand weaving at its most traditional. In all, I've got around 6 inches of the second side woven. Only two more feet to go! (I'm gonna be here a while.)

Friday, September 18, 2009This week I decided that it is definitely never too early to start making a Halloween costume. At this rate, I'll be lucky if my family's costumes are done by Halloween, let alone anyone else's. Weaving is a slow business to begin with, but it seems to get even slower when I'm never there to push the shuttle through the strings. And as for the civil war gown, sewing with a pattern is certainly a new experience. There are a lot of pieces that I'm not sure are entirely necessary, but I'm committed to sewing my first pattern exactly as it is. Next time, I'll rework to my liking.

Friday, September 11, 2009
Well, this week I learned that it is possible to weave without a loom. I just tied two board above and below a windowsill and voila! an instant weaving loom. I'm using it to weave my brother's Halloween costume, the serape Clint Eastwood wore in the Spagetti Westerns. Never too early to start. I usually make costumes for rental in October, so my own family's costumes have to be done earlier. I also decided to make this week, my first week sewing with a pattern. I usually make own patterns to sew from scratch, but this week I was in Jo-Anne fabrics (my favorite store in the world) and they were having a pattern sale. I'm a sucker for any type of period garb, so when I saw a pattern for a full-hooped civil war era gown, I couldn't resist. If nothing else, I just want to experiment and see what it's like to work with a premade pattern. It should be fun.

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