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.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rebound

I'm feeling Great! after being sick for about six months and not getting much done. Talk about rebound! I think I've been on a knitting production frenzy.
I bought some Cricket (80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon) at an Anzula  trunk show to make this New Caesar shawl.

I liked the pattern so much that I wanted to make another where the pattern really popped! I made this one using Cricket, too.


And I've been eying my huge stash of handspun. What do you do with 4 oz of all these different yarns? Then I saw the pattern book, Curls
I bought this camel/silk as fiber from Anzula, as well. Are you starting to see a pattern?

And I made this up in a few days.

Time for a slight change. This silk will be next on my Suzie, with the stylus, I think.

On Sophie, I've been busily weaving a shawl. The only problem is that the 8/2 tencel is gray and black, which makes it hard for me to see the pattern while I'm weaving it. When I first saw the skips, I thought I could fix them after the cloth was off the loom. Then I realized how many there were. That's no Persian flaw. 

I didn't weave for two weeks while I pouted decided what I wanted to do. Today, I finally decided that the point is to make something I enjoy and of which I am proud. Wasting yarn should not be an issue (just look at my stash). So, my sweetie went out and bought me an Ott Lamp! Maybe I'll tell you later how many inches I had to chose to unweave.
Blue and white sages and bottle brush blooming in my back garden.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

On Hold

I've been feeling like I've been kind of on hold. A couple of weeks after my serger came back from the repair shop, I sat down to finish some edges. I was in a bit of a snit, so I wasn't very focused. I started the machine without paying attention to the threading. One of the threads was twisted and with a loud THUNK, I broke my serger. And not only did I do a really good job of it, but my fix-it guy is going through some family emergency stuff and hasn't been able to complete the repairs, yet. AAARGH!!!

I finished weaving several blankets, but I haven't washed or hemmed them, yet. And I cut out some yardage to make a skirt. I'm just digging my heels in about using the serger and not the zig-zag on my sewing machine. 

In the meantime, I did use up some of the yarn left over from my hoodie sweater.
This was so fun to do, I may just knit another!  
This picture was from my backyard in March (I hadn't wanted to rub a certain someone's nose in this while they were buried under feet of snow!)
 And, now with the heat here, our lettuce is bolting. But look what else grew!
Our first artichokes!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Handspun Lace Shawl

Remember the yak/silk I showed you? 
Well, after I finished spinning it, I plied it.
 Then, I knitted it following the pattern, Inflorescence, on page 13 of Sock-Yarn Shawls. 
I just finished blocking it. It's so soft and pretty. And I can't remember when the last time was that I used any of my handspun! Let's do it, again!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What a Difference!

What a difference!
With my Gilmore out of the living room (and on to his new home), I was able to move Sophie forward enough that I can walk (not sidle) around her. Such a pleasure! So, of course, I had to start putting a warp on her...

Each of these yarns is the last of its kind. I just wrapped each one on the warping frame until I ran out of that color. I kept going until I had enough yarn for the planned width. For threading the heddles, I'll try drall, but I have no idea how wide each pattern stripe will be. I've never designed at the loom before. The colors are so pretty, I hope I'm as pleased with the end product!  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Twist my Arm

Back in July when my younger son said, "Mama, I need a gym bag", it felt like a ridiculous (read 'overwhelming') request.  How easily he can twist my arm! I started to work on it. The only ready-made pattern I could find was McCall's M6410, which is a children's size. When is the last time you altered a backpack pattern? Yeah, me too. Fast forward a few months and I had the cloth on the loom. That was completed in November. And, not that I was dragging my heels, but I didn't start sewing until last month.
This is a picture of my jammed sewing machine. And a project once again marked as "pending".
But I did finally get it done!
I can't remember if he told me it was "legit" or "sick", but I'll take either one! I'm pretty proud of myself, too!
And since I'm always knitting, here are some warm wool/silk socks for the Bostonians. This yarn was the RedFish I bought back in November.
And finally, here's Gilmore on his way to his new home!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Spinzen

I've been somewhat housebound, so I've been able to get a thing or three done (silver lining).
Per request, I made a ski hat for my son in law. Perhaps you've noticed that I never do it the easy way. Instead of making two hats and sewing them together, I cast on with two strands of yarn together. Then, I separated the stitches onto two circular needles and voila! To give it some body, about three inches up I crossed the yarns over each other (kind of like switching colors for intarsia) and back.

Both yarns are superwash merino by Lorna's Laces. He should be plenty warm in these freezing temperatures!

I put one last warp (thinking positively) on my Gilmore loom. I just put him up for sale and am Hoping someone will jump at the chance to bring him home!

That's white 5/2 pearl cotton for the warp and some cotton softball for the weft. I had enough for two baby blankets. The second one is a grey-blue that almost completely emptied the cone!
And I'm still working on the 60/2 silk scarf.
I'm loving it!

But most of what I've been doing has been spinzen. I've been enjoying peaceful, calming moments at my wheel with the yak/silk blend I showed you here.