Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Little of This and That

I've been busy with a little of this and that. I knitted hats and scarves to help during Boston's chill winter.

And I'm decluttering and reorganizing the house. What do you do with your old and well used and loved quilts?

I made these 15 or 20 years ago for my daughter. They're both eroding (the quilts, not my daughter). For now, I took these pictures. Maybe I'll  donate them (again, the quilts, not the pictures). I think. Maybe. Or not.
After finishing the tallis, I finally gave myself permission to open the boxes we brought home from Glimakra back in July. Here you can see the extension added to the back side of the loom. Luckily, it didn't need to stay this big. I think of it as 'Sophie's bustle'. You can see the drawloom on the chair in the foreground.
Everything had to come down. The countermarch (all the pulleys and string that make things go when I step on a treadle) needed to be taken off the top of the loom. The jacks (vertical slats) had to be flipped 180 degrees and all the strings needed to be moved to the alternate side of the jacks.

Once everything was back in place, I dressed Sophie for our next project. I put enough warp on her to make another sample before the real weaving begins. (And, yes, I'm being cryptic. I'll tell you later. It's a secret.) See the warping stick I "wove" into the cloth? Watch what happens after I cut the sample off: 

Just by lacing the stick back onto the loom, Sophie's dressed and ready to go! Yay! It certainly beats having to re-tie all 1100+ ends back on by hand!



Thursday, December 3, 2015

Something New

Remember when I said I'd learned something new?
Lace patterns are written on a grid. (That part, I knew.) For the right side of the work, we knit right to left and read the pattern right to left. For the wrong or back side, we knit right to left and read the pattern left to right and backwards (think black is now white and white is now black). Yeah. That's what I think, too. NUTS!
Well, my experiment worked! I was worried my stitches might be a little wonky, but all is well!

The yarn is a lace weight wool, from Anzula (stash busting). The pattern is from the cover of the book, Curls.
 Knowing that I'd soon finish the red curl, I decided to plan ahead and buy some fiber that could grow up to be another shawl. I contacted Redfish to make sure they would be at WEFF in Torrance, CA. I thought I wanted some more silk/yak like I'd used here.    
But this was even softer!

Times two. I couldn't resist!

And this supported spindle and bowl were just too exquisite to pass up. Shouldn't all spindles look like magic wands?

The base is hand-blown glass. Thank you Mingo and Asho!


Friday, October 30, 2015

Please forgive the reflections on the glass. 
I just brought the next two pictures back from the framer. 
This counted cross-stitch was such a pleasure to work on (think "paint by numbers"). The artist who designed it is a magician. There are only six colors, ranging from black to pale green and pale gray. The unstitched white areas are actively a seventh color. Amazing!
And this needlework was a gift to us from my niece, purchased  when she lived in China. The framer is getting lots of work from me, lately.


I was honored to be commissioned to make this tallis for my friend's granddaughter.

The young lady chose the colors and designed it with me. The bag, reinforcement squares at the corners and atarah (collar decoration) were all made on a separate warp with the same threading.

Here's a close-up. It's woven in tencel and a fine metallic yarn for the thin stripes. The tencel is sett at 24epi. There are 18 of the wide stripes (18 being a 'magic' number, meaning 'Life').

I bought this wool a couple of years ago on one of our driving trips.


Just as we have no idea where we're heading as we drive, I have no idea what this yarn's going to be when it grows up.
So, it's on to the next! This fiber is a hand-dyed merino wool from Malabrigo. I had to (arm twisting) buy it. I've only ever seen them make their pretty knitting yarns (...and bought a few!).

Monday, August 31, 2015

Road Trip

 Clearly, I was not as prepared for our 2 1/2 week road trip as I'd thought. I forgot to wind the skeins at home and hubby was busy driving (the nerve). So...
ab work a.k.a. sit-ups. Also, there was this little issue that I didn't like the gauge I was getting with the only needles I'd brought. We were forced to stop at the nearest store.
I did finish the linen-paper bag. I made it bigger than the Habu pattern calls for. Unfortunately, it wasn't big enough to use up all the yarn. Hmmm. What to do next with the left overs.             And did you notice what it's hanging on in the photo? Yep! Our first planned stop was to visit Joanne and Ed at Glimakra USA, in Montana. We brought home a warping reel and, here's a hint...     
a loom extension and...
  a DRAWLOOM!!! I'm SO Excited! These pictures were taken at Joanne's. I can't take mine out of the boxes at home until I finish a promised project. Focus. Focus!
From there we went east. These rugs were at the Crazy Horse Museum.

And this was a stop we Had to make in Iowa.


Next time someone says, "Your loom must take up a lot of space in your house."....

In Kolona, Iowa, there were quilts on the sidewalk

and on the barns.

Iowa! Need I say more?! How could it get any better? So, after this we headed back west.


Coverlet shown at Chimney Rock, was brought to Nebraska from Ohio in a covered wagon in 1862.

This and the next four pictures were taken at Cove Fort, Utah









The only actual fiber purchase I made on the whole trip was in Moab, Utah. It seems there was this yarn shop across the street from our hotel...             A good trip!

And I did come home to finishing spinning the silk hankies I've been picking at forEver!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pre-travels

"Let's go on a road trip", he said. So, of course, I had to destash, pre-travels.
I made more curls. I hate to block this one. It looks like dragon scales.

Now, instead of yarn in boxes, I have lots of shawls in my cabinet.



And, scarves. This was a leftover from a sweater I knit, years ago. And unlike the last time I wove mohair, it worked up like a dream!
Then, there was this. Fail. The plan was napkins with 10/2 cotton. I didn't like it on or off Julia. After sitting untouched for well over a year, Julia (my red Glimakra loom) and I agreed to cut off this mess and call it a learning experience. It's Just string! Since there was plenty of un-used warp left, I re-threaded, sleyed and tied it up. We're both much happier now. 
Now, what will I do in the car? This Habu kit is linen paper yarn and silk. It will just be a simple bag.


And this beauty is another curl from left over lace weight wool from another sweater. This is my carry everywhere project. For that reason, I've been working on it for Months. I do a few stitches here, a row there. Because the pattern is so complex and gauge is pointless, I decided this would be a good time to practice doing  something new. Knitting goes from right to left, right? Well, every wrong side row, I now knit left to right! And I taught myself to knit that way both in continental (grabbing the yarn with the needle) and English (throwing the yarn over the needle)! 
 Am I ready to go,yet? Hmmm...


Friday, June 5, 2015

Getting Caught Up

My serger's back so I'm finally getting caught up on some finishing work! Woo hoo! (Yes, I'm bouncing in my chair as I type this!)
This was my stash buster's dream (warp and weft are left-overs of different cottons I had on hand). For the weft, I just filled a bobbin and wove until it ran out. Then, I switched to another yarn and color. What I learned: 1) If there's not enough yarn to complete the x-rows of the repeat, go back to the end of the last repeat (unless you don't care if it looks messy). So, you "waste" a little yarn. That was the point, anyway. 2) Use an extra thread on each edge for the selvedges. Without it, the edges look almost like a double weave gone bad. A few extra minutes during set-up can save the finished look of the project. (And if you end up not needing them, you can pull them out.)  3) You don't always need a pattern, trust the process. The worst that can happen is that you learn that you don't like something and it becomes trash or a give-away. The best that can happen is that you learn and grow and love it! ...And, I do!

These blankies are drall, just like the multi-color one above. It's amazing how different they look! These were the last project I wove with Gilmore, before he was adopted out to his new home.

When I posted a picture of them here, the color of these silk hankies was so off that I wanted to try, again. I think I finally figured out how to adjust the color of pictures I take with my phone/camera. I'm currently spinning these on my Suzie.

This is the Shadow weave shawl I had so much trouble with (well, the black one pictured below) before I got the OttLite. The light made a world of difference in the weaving!

Both are on the same black and gray warp, as is the weft of the one on the right. As I was weaving it, I was wondering "what if?" So, I made a small sample between the two shawls and changed it up! For the one on the left, I used blue instead of gray. I love it! It's amazing how stiff the tencel is when it comes off the loom. After laundering it's so soft and drapey! It's warped at 24epi.