Monthly Archives: August 2012

A friend of mine requested I make a set of table linens for her sister-in-law’s wedding gift.  She had just moved into a new house, and it took a terrible amount of espionage to come up with a color scheme we thought would work.  She had registered for some place mats, so we used that as a starting point and went for a combination of greens and purples.

Closeup of light green weft napkin

The napkins are 10/2 cotton, sett at 24 epi.  The finished measurement is 20″ square.

Closeup of purple weft napkin

I used a technique I read about in an old handwoven magazine, that suggested winding a warp with 6-8 colors alternating, then when threading, selecting randomly from each set of 6-8.  This method required a back to front loom dressing, which I’m really not set up to do.  So I just wound each color separately and warped front to back, alternating the 7 colors of the warp regularly (rather than randomly).  I think it turned out wonderfully.

Closeup of magenta weft napkin

It was something of a pain to warp the way I did, so I’d only recommend doing this back to front, but still, the results are great.  Every single color of weft thread that I used looked amazing, so I made the napkins in sets of two, and I even had enough warp left on the loom to make one extra as a breadwarmer.  Oh, can you tell by the photos that I love my bird napkin rings?

Closeup of black weft napkin

The table runner is also 10/2 cotton, striped randomly, but mirrored so it would be symmetrical.  I used a black 5/2 cotton for the weft to give it a little bit of weight.  Originally I thought I’d have a fringe, but I thought that the hemmed edge would continue to look nice and neat no matter how many times the set gets washed, so hemmed it was.

Closeup of table runner

I like the runner, but it’s not as fun as the napkins.  All together though, it makes for a very charming table setting.

Full table setting

Cutting the log into a blankI know this is supposed to be a knitting and weaving blog, but I have started doing a lot more stuff, so it’s going to be branching out into woodturning and spinning, and maybe even embroidery.  I started turning in 2010 so I could learn to make a spindle, and now I can make all sorts of nifty things out of wood.  Ironically, I don’t actually spend much time making spindles, even though that’s why i wanted to learn.

A couple weeks ago, I needed to make a bowl for the President’s Challenge for the August Show Me Woodturners meeting, so I rummaged through the wood collection on the back porch and pulled out a piece of black cherry wood.  Some nice tree trimmer had given the club president a bunch of logs, which he shared with us.  Free wood is great!

I cut the log down into a round blank on the band saw, then started the turning process.

After I got the blank turned into a reasonably bowl shaped item, I noticed a notch and crack along the rim where the pith had been very close to the cut edge of the blank.  I could have made the bowl shorter and turned away the crack, but instead, I went with it, and when I was done with the turning, I found a white sapphire that fit perfectly into the notch created by the crack.  It makes the rim of the bowl nice and sparkly.

I finished the bowl with Watco butcher block finish, then buffed with the Beall buffing system, using carnauba wax as the final top coat.  I glued the sapphire in with CA glue after finishing, but before buffing.  The bowl is about 6″ high and 6″ in diameter.

black cherry bowl with sapphire