Thursday, December 24, 2009

Good Morning! Stashbuster Poncho

IMG_8367, originally uploaded by myfinn.

I recently worked out an arrangement with a jeweler who is melting down a bunch of my old gold to make me a custom mother’s ring. She asked for a woven poncho in exchange for labor. The one I made for her was my first, and I really loved the way it turned out. So much so that I decided that I wanted to make my own. And it was the perfect way to use up a bunch of odd balls of handspun multicolored yarn from my stash! The warp is mostly my own handpainted yarn in a pink, turquoise and purple colorway.

Merry Christmas all!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hitting my Stride. And Craving Chocolate.

I began yarn painting (dyeing) this past week. SOOOOO much fun! A bit messy, and imperfect (for now) but I am absolutely loving the way the painted warp looks woven up! Here are a few pictures of my first (I call this one "Embers").

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Much better.

This is what I have been going for: chunky, over-sized, undulating twill patterns. And finding the sett that would achieve a balanced weave was eluding me. Through trial and error I finally figured out how to make it "work".

DH tells me that I will look back on this some day and laugh. He seems to think that I have a lot of evolving to do.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Water, water, everywhere...

Here I am enjoying some delicious pan dulce that I managed to track down yesterday in an effort to satisfy my craving. A very absurd contrast to how I am feeling at the moment.

I have reached a very unwelcome artists block. What? You ask? Didn't I just become the owner of a 4 shaft floor loom that would open a whole world of possibilities to me???

I did my friends. And that is the problem.

When I got into rigid heddle weaving it was a new and novel craft. Everything I made was amazing! After a while I got a sense of what I liked and what I didn't like about it and had a few dead-end thread-ups; all part of the learning process. And with my rigid heddle I feel as though I have entered a realm where I am no longer figuring out what I am doing with it. On the contrary, I feel as though I have complete creative control and can conceptualize projects long before my yarn touches the loom. And now add this new machine to the mix...

I feel like I should just get it! And to an extent I do. I know how to thread patterns, I get the treadling, but the past few projects I completed were only half-length because I didn't realize that twill could take up so much yarn! And then, combining yarns of different gauges just doesn't work the same in twill/patterns as it did in tabby on my rigid heddle. And worse! I think that to achieve the "look" I am going for I may have to invest in a new reed which isn't cheap.

The past week I have made out like a bandit! I have swapped for so much amazing yarn! I have even bought quite a bit expecting it to work for me, but have threaded and unwoven, started and restarted so many times I am afraid that it might never work for me.

Perhaps I was putting the cart before the horse. But who can blame me when I have churned out nearly 100 FOs, handwoven, already?! I should be able to sit down in front of this thing and write jazz! Alas, I think maybe I need to take a break. At the very least I need to stop buying yarn. And somehow, some way, this needs to come together for me. Help me, Oprah, I need my "Aha" moment...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pan Dulce!

Pan Dulce!, originally uploaded by Decayla.

Christmas time makes me think of the sweet breads we would have for breakfast before a day of tamale making. I miss tamales. I miss pan dulce.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New 4 Shaft Projects

Here they are! My very first Wolf Pup project was the blue/purple diamond twill scarf. The yarn is a pima cotton and tencel blend that has a fantastic drape and sheen. I discovered a few pattern flaws here and there, but hey! It was my first project; I think I am allowed ;). So, obviously I am keeping this one for myself.

And then I was dying to try 32 Flavors in a pattern, so I found this undulating twill pattern in my Handweaver's Pattern Directory. I decided to reverse direction about halfway through, just to see what happens, and holey moley! I ended up with a set of eyes (first, second and "third") in the middle. I think I will call this one "Lucky Stripes".

Inspired by the spontaneous development in this pattern, I threaded up another sticking more or less with twill threading and played around until I found a design I liked. That one is in-progress, but I will post as soon as it is finished.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Striptastic Vest

Sorry I have been MIA. I got my new Wolf Pup on Saturday and am in heaven! I am even working on an improvised twill pattern right now...

About the vest: I decided that I needed a sweater vest and nothing I was finding online was doing it for me. So I improvised this design. I frogged two beautiful projects that weren’t being worn or used and repurposed them into this stripe-happy vest that I will surely wear. Even if it isn’t quite as lovely as the others were :(.

The unique striping pattern is somewhat arbitrary but mostly a unique result of using the Noro Taiyo. Fab yarn! Overall, I am pleased.

PS. Sorry about the dim photos. That is the best we could do this late in the day. I will post new pics of 4-shaft projects soon. Gotta capture them in the daylight.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Promised to Share

So here it is, my very own 32 Flavors scarf. I threaded a whole bunch of purple into the warp (my favorite color) as well as a little bit of sparkle. Not too much! I wore it the other day to a yarn store that I have been frequenting for over 6 years and for the FIRST time I was acknowledged and they even were looking at my site before I left the store (thanks to this scarf).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Flattered, Honored and Humbled

Steph of Rivulette gave me quite the compliment and shout-out on her blog here. I would be glad to make more of these. Obviously.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm Super

I don't know if I should be worried that I had such a productive weekend. That was probably my last chance to get out and enjoy nice weather until next spring, yet I managed to get 3 scarves woven! I believe my sudden voracious appetite may be due in part to learning that I am soon to be the owner of a Schacht Wolf Pup loom! Four times the possibilities of what I have done on my rigid heddle, and I have only scratched the surface with that!
32 Flavors


Of the three, one was a custom order from Steph of I have worked quite a bit with her 32 Flavors (probably my most favorite yarn in the world) and was quite flattered when she recently requested a scarf woven in her own 32 Flavors. Get your own 32 Flavors yarn in her shop, or visit my shop for other scarves made with 32 Flavors yarn. The other was Twinkle, a very soft and feminine plaid with a bit of sparkle. And the last is my very own 32 Flavors scarf that I will be posting pictures of...sometime, I guess. Onward and upward.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

You Just Made My Day

Just found this convo in my inbox. I am truly, truly flattered, humbled and blessed:

Hi from beautiful North Carolina!

I looked all over your beautiful handwoven scarves today and just had to say WOW!
Your work is beautiful and I loved the close-up pics especially. I'm getting into
weaving soon and I can't wait. There is a Cricket loom being assembled in SC and
I'll be meeting the dealer next Sunday to pick it up and have my first lesson.

I've wanted to weave since I was a camp counselor while in college at a girls'
camp in the NC mountains. They had an entire cabin filled with looms! It was my
job to help the girls hand finish the items that they wove. Recently I saw a weaver
at work in Sparta NC and remembered my desire to learn to now at age
62 I'm finally getting around to it! I'm starting out on the small Cricket rigid heddle
loom, then maybe I'll graduate to something bigger.

Your work is a real inspiration to someone like me! Thank you!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Barter or Trade, Give and Get

Because there is no greater pleasure than giving someone the guilt-free thrill of owning and using something that I made with my own two hands. And because there isn't a whole lot one can "buy" with a bucket full of handwoven scarves, my new shop announcement reads:

Dos Palomas is committed to making this upcoming holiday season as affordable and accessible to everyone as possible in this challenging economy.

So, name your price! Or better still name your currency. Are you a talented baker? Do you make adorable baby clothes or fab jewelry? Nothing ventured, nothing gained...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Meet Inga

IMG_7711, originally uploaded by myfinn.

Inga is my first attempt at fair isle knitting. Sure, there are some tension issues here and there, but the nice thing about this pattern is that the damask design is so intricate that it almost doesn't matter! I love it and I think that I am addicted to color knitting!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Meet "Taos", my first attempt at clasped weaving. I used some gorgeous handspun from Marion on etsy in a colorway that is more subtle than I am used to and really has a southwestern feel in this context.
In my wildest daydreams I escape my northern environs and flee for the desert. There I can weave in the open air on a Spanish-tiled terrace of a sprawling adobe hacienda with only the endless and breathtaking desert as my backdrop. Just like Georgia did.

On a side note, my husband thinks that I could have a lucrative career writing product descriptions for the J. Peterman catalog.

Monday, October 5, 2009

And that reminds me...

MY design. Not TGDNE's

Of this very true story:

Once a couple of years ago, on a whim, I suddenly had the urge to design some little 3 dimensional hand knit pears. You can see my original post about this design here. It was, as I thought at the time, one of those true "eureka" moments as an artist where the notion wasn't inspired by anything but my sudden urge to create and my very original idea.

Those pears were received very well by people, and I absolutely loved them myself, so I went on a sort of pear-knitting binge. I was having so much fun whipping those up and making little stems and leaves, and eventually different sizes!

One day I went into my LYS to buy some more pear yarn. I excitedly started telling the shop owner all about my very clever project, after which she directed me to a recent issue of a knitting magazine with HAND KNIT PEARS on the cover. Designed by Nicky Epstein. And I remember thinking "that goddamned Nicky Epstein." I was crushed!

Though to be honest, I liked my design much better. I thought they had a more realistic shape and were just cuter overall. But there was some part of me that began to question if it was truly my original idea. I started to think that maybe I had seen that cover somewhere and it got filed away into my subconscious until one day it bubbled up to the surface, seemingly out of nowhere. I mean...because, this is Nicky Effing Epstein were talking about here. I had only been knitting for what? 4 years? How could I possibly have come up with this genius idea on my own?!

In the time since I have seen many other approximations to my own knitted pears, and part of me thinks "Holy crap! I have been copied!" But after what happened to me in my LYS I could never be sure. And bottom line, I could never complete with TGDNE even if I wanted to.

Where does it begin and where does it end?

I read a post on another designer's blog recently about the issue of imitation. This subject is something that I (like practically every other artist) has struggled with at some point or other. But now after reading this post and comments I am truly confused about where imitation begins. And, perhaps more importantly, is anything, any design or object style or technique, truly original? And can it really and truly be claimed as the artists original work alone?

My mother-in-law used to tell me when I would question my work "there is nothing new under the sun" and often that was all I needed to reassure me that my work is indeed my own and not a copy of someone else. There is one scenario that stands out, though, where I am not so sure.

Inspired by an item I discovered made by another artist in another medium, I replicated the shape of a certain accessory. It was in another color, it was in a completely different material, and I am sure created by a completely different method. However, I just couldn't get past it. To this day I still feel very much like a fraud for it. And this is even despite all the differences I listed in addition to finding through some research that the shape was not original per se, but a recreation of a style that was popular decades ago.

So then, was I imitating the subject of my inspiration, or the first person to create the particular shape of this accessory more than 50 years ago?

Knitting and weaving are crafts that have been around almost as long as man. But who invented them? Were they invented simultaneously in completely different parts of the world by people who never crossed paths? When I knit or weave am I imitating the art of a "person" who lived thousands or maybe even millions of years ago?

What about techniques? Mobius knitting is rather new in the realm of knitting. If I knit a mobius am I imitating the first person to discover how to knit a mobius? Would I be a fraud if I knit a mobius of my own "design" and tried to sell it?

I recently discovered a new technique of weaving called "clasped weaving" that I am really anxious to try out. Examples I have seen by other weavers are simply stunning and I cannot wait to try my hand at it. BUT, if I do will I be a copycat? A fraud? And what happens when I graduate to a harness loom and start working patterns (houndstooth, chevron, twill, etc.) that have been around for a century or more? Someone invented those patterns, those designs, and now am I to assume that every time I see something woven in one of these patterns that the artist is not an artist at all but instead someone who could not come up with their own just as interesting "pattern" and is now an imitator? And by that measure, even if one were to come up with their own pattern, wouldn't they be imitating the person who first determined that patterns could be devised for weaving? What about the first person who ever wove? Where does it begin and where does it end?

For now I am seriously confused. Situations like this do nothing to reaffirm my confidence in myself as an artist, but rather make me question my own validity and feel positively unoriginal. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Union Terrace Chairs in Line

Just because I love this picture. And I love the terrace.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Gail in Orchid

IMG_7305, originally uploaded by myfinn.

Like a crazy person, I recently decided that I MUST knit a super complicated triangular lace shawl. After looking at some free patterns on Ravelry, I decided that Gail (aka Nightsongs) was the prettiest. There was a bit of filling in of blanks involved...the pattern is definitely not for beginners. But all in all I am very pleased with the results!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

All Work and No Play

IMG_7244, originally uploaded by myfinn.

Makes Melissa deliriously happy!


IMG_7229, originally uploaded by myfinn.


IMG_7240, originally uploaded by myfinn.


IMG_7251, originally uploaded by myfinn.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

For Linda's Hope

IMG_7001, originally uploaded by myfinn.

Linda is a sweet gal I have known since elementary school. Recently she was diagnosed with a second bout of leukemia. She will be receiving a bone marrow transplant later this year, but as a mom with a couple of sweet girls at home it will be difficult for her to pay for her medical care.

A benefit in her honor (Linda's Hope) will be held at Hiawatha Bar in Racine, WI on Sept. 5th where and when this shawl will be auctioned. If you wish to donate an item for silent auction, please contact me and I will put you in contact with Linda for more information.

Not For Sale

IMG_6991, originally uploaded by myfinn.

Finally, after months of weaving scarf, after shawl, after scarf, after shawl, I decided to make one for myself. During a trip to my LYS I picked up three skeins of Malabrigo in my "dream palette" if you will...And I am ecstatic with the results. Not only is it supremely beautiful, but also unbelievably soft and squashy. I cannot wait for winter!

Monday, August 10, 2009

I am a little behind on Everything

IMG_6785, originally uploaded by myfinn.

I don't know why but I am on an artistic roll right now. I can't seem to lay off the needles or the loom! Good thing is I am completing projects!!! Love that. Downside is that a lot of other things around my house (cleaning, changing diapers, etc) are not being done as often or as thoroughly as they probably should.

About Kim: I ordered this kit (3 week custom dye job) weeks before starting WW and now 20+ lbs lighter I would probably fit at least a size smaller. But hey! Who doesn't love a big slouchy warm sweater when the weather gets cooler, right?


IMG_6781, originally uploaded by myfinn.

Hey, how do you like my light switch?

IMG_6780, originally uploaded by myfinn.

My Perl Grey Kim sweater that I actually finished a while ago but am just posting now.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I am in love

IMG_6747, originally uploaded by myfinn.

With "Sweetheart" my newest scarf. I modified my chevron lace pattern a bit to include another center panel of lace and am really pleased with the results!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


IMG_6615, originally uploaded by myfinn.

Gosh. I haven't gone Latin dancing in ages! I used to love to get tarted up on a Saturday night and go out with my girls to whatever bar was having Salsa night.

However, it was more fun to get together with my fellow Mechistas for a baile somewhere in vacant parking lot. Shuffling our feet to tejana, norteneas and my personal favorite, cumbia....Ahhhhhh, memories.

The bright fun colors in this scarf really stirred up some memories of a very different time in my life!

Friday, July 31, 2009


IMG_6596, originally uploaded by myfinn.

I think I may have discovered my new favorite way to use handspun self-striping yarns! I worked a scarf in this design once a while back in Rivulette's 32 Flavors. For this one (Fusion) I used two distinct colorways and alternated every two rows. And POP!

I seriously could have kept on knitting forever, and ever, and ever...

What Have We Here?

Oooooh! What are these? Why, they are lovely, victorian-inspired collars. How clever! Indeed. For why would one sport a scarf like a mere peasant when you could adorn your neck with one of these beauties. And nothing says high fashion like a limp silk bow!

One hand knit in a dark olive green with a scalloped trim and a hand-dyed olive and violet silk ribbon. The othr hand knit in a variegated tan with a petal edge and a hand-dyed royal blue and purple ribbon.

If you want one, please comment below and mention which you prefer. I will draw the winner(s) in one week!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


And gone! Sold! To the little lady in the front row. Congrats Marie!

Who Me???

GIVEAWAY!!! I dug this little lovely out of storage...This cowl/scarflette is super soft, nubbly and fun! Hand knit in a beautiful periwinkle cotton boucle. Imagine how cute she would look with a fitted denim jacket, skinny jeans and flats. Is she yours? Comment below and she just may be!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Emerald Eyes

IMG_6423, originally uploaded by myfinn.

Finally! I feel like I have been whittling away at this one for ages! And none too soon. I received my acceptance letter for a big show in fall and now I will have to seriously beef up my inventory....Threaded a gorgeous new one in a bright jewel-toned rainbow this afternoon. Can't wait to post it!

And in knitting news, my Kim origami sweater is almost finished! next I am working on a one piece mobius cropped sweater design. Stay tuned!

Monday, July 27, 2009