Saturday, July 15, 2017

A couple of months ago, we took a week away. We started out with a serendipitous find at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, an exhibit on weaving:
I thought this top was knit until I got up close. It's a reproduction of a woven (called Sprang) shirt from approx 1300CE, found in Arizona.

And this is the real thing! Imagine! Someone actually wove this some 700 years ago!

And here's more of the exhibit on fiber and handwovens.

At Casa Grande Ruins National Monument museum in Arizona, there is a small exhibit on spinning and weaving.

While we drove, Gingie and I worked with "Dark Matter", an Anzula fiber colorway.

And I finished making up this sweet pillow. The pattern is from Purl SOHO. The bobbles are made up of my first ever handspun!

At home again, I got Sophie dressed in stripes. The colors were so striking, I didn't want them to wash out. So, I sett the 10/2 pearl cotton ends (threads) at 40 epi (ends per inch--think sheet thread count), closer together than I normally do.

Because I don't weave as much as I'd like, I don't get much practice setting up the loom. This is the same problem I had a year ago. There's only supposed to be one shed (see the opening to throw the shuttle through?), not two. Thanks to some generous support on, I got this straightened out.

...and got to weaving some satin yardage! Look how the colors stand out! And with the warp  threads so close together, the weft is almost invisible.
After all that weaving, out came the scissors. Yikes! Then, thanks to some math miscalculations, I had enough cloth to sew two aprons and two pillow cases. My SIL says this will be her winter apron. Note to self: this density of cloth would work well for tote bags.

A minute here and a minute there, I've been spinning with Suzie and her stylus. This is silk from Chasing Rainbows. The color is called "crocus".

Every non-workday morning, I've been in the front yard as soon as the sun comes up. About a month ago, we put in a few vegies as place holders until I decide what belongs there. Since this picture was taken, we've gotten about 25 cucumbers and the cantaloupe and corn are coming along.

Further down the way, I've been digging up the roots from one of the trees we had taken out. The space longer than the length of the car was filled with roots...

...until me! This must be the reason I go to the gym!

And indoors, I finished painting the room that is to be our guest and my sewing room.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Before I start writing a new post, I like to look at the pictures and try and find a common thread. This time around, what I see is COLORS!

I really liked an advertisement for a very similar bracelet to this, in the colors of the rainbow! But after several recent, frustrating, online buying experiences with other companies, I decided not to chance it and made my own instead.

This year, I heard quite a bit about the "color of the year". This is not it. I chose two colors from my stash that were as close as I could find to the colors on the Pantone webpage, and I dressed Julia in a rayon-chenille, scarf warp. This checked design was what I'd planned on, but the color and weave design is almost lost. 

So, I unwove it and went for a simple, vertical stripe. It's achieved by changing weft picks (pink, beat, green, beat, repeat...).

I haven't been playing with my Suzie, spinning wheel lately. I finished this BFL(blue faced leicester) and silk blend, but can't decide if I want to leave it as is or ply it. So, she and the yarn sit...

...while I go back to knitting socks, again. We say that "socks are knit in the round". What that really means is that they're knit in a spiral. Once around and you find yourself just above your starting point. (Picture a spiral staircase.) That means that striped socks have a "jog" in them. In this picture, it only shows on the right toe and left ankle.  

But I made these socks to practice "jogless stripes"...
...and so I could make silly jokes about "pussyfooting around".

Sometimes (read "often"), I can't figure out what to do with my handspun. This project feels like an "undo"-ing. I had some bits of fiber that were too rough for much other than rugs and not enough for that even. I spun it up, made the yarn into balls, put the balls into an old pair of tights and ran them through the washer and dryer to felt the fiber so that they'd keep their shape.  
Now, I can use them to bounce around in the dryer instead of using fabric softener sheets!

I showed this blanket as finished in my last post, but I don't think it was complete until it was gifted with love to this little doll!

My LYS asked me to knit up the Brahmin Moth Scarf kit by Annie Modesitt before our yarn crawl.

I wasn't a fan of the colors until I saw them in the flowers and poppies in my backyard!

Look who my friend found hiding in the lilacs back there!

The front yard's got color, too. Check out the artichokes and wisteria!

And the Roses!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Getting Lots Done!

Does it ever feel like you're so busy that you can't get anything done? Between work, home, garden and life, that's the way it feels to me. Then, I sit down to compile my pictures to blog. That's when I realize I'm getting lots done!
These napkins were made as practice samples for using my Julia loom and playing with pattern and color.

A certain young lady has been asking, "Mama Karen, when are you going to make me some socks?" for more years than I care to mention. Knitted toe up, from either end of the ball of yarn, makes the colors seem different.

Here's another pair of warm tootsies.

My daughter's been fascinated by dinosaurs since she was little. Now, she has some Dragon Scale Mitts to keep her warm while playing "let's pretend".
On a short visit to Phoenix, we went to see an exhibit at the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery in Chandler. The Museum displays Contemporary Western American and American Indian art.

I like the way the baskets are displayed...and wish someone would teach me how to weave like this!

So instead, thanks to the video I mentioned back in November, I decided to give weaving my handspun another try. I used it to warp Julia for this scarf. The weft is tencel. I'm happy with the way it turned out.
This shawl, knit with my handspun, Redfish silk and camel, just needs to be blocked before I call it done. The pattern's from Sock-Yarn Shawls by Lucas.
I'm pleased with the way these summer and winter, paper doll blankets came out. The pattern's one I've done before from Handwoven Magazine. At least one of them will be going to another someone who calls me Mama Karen.
I don't know about walking and chewing gum, but I took a walk while I was talking on the phone and knitting. Doesn't everyone?


The kitty, hood pattern I followed has ties that are a cat's paw and a tail.
Thanks, Mama Karen.
Thanks, Mama!

 No, Thank You, Ladies!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

I had nothing to do, so...

I had nothing to do, so...
I bought some yarn I didn't need from Anzula's trunk show. The pattern's called a shrug, and hat (from Knitter's magazine, Summer 2009). To me, it seems like a tea cozy for people!

Then, I had nothing to do so I bought some yarn for a shawl. I didn't realize that I'd made this pattern before, from Victorian Lace Today. It's beautiful, but the corners make me crazy.
My classic "nothing to do" project is always socks (cotton this time). And I learned to do a new kind of heel shaping. With this easy heel, I can start knitting at the toe and work my way up (instead of top down). That way, I can keep knitting until there's no yarn left!
The last time I posted, I had just finished spinning up the BFL on the left of this picture. I plied it with the fiber I got from Redfish for that purpose.

And here, it's finished up. Now, what to do with it?
A sweater's always better than a swatch (a small sample) for selling yarn. My LYS needed a sweater to show off some Debbie Bliss, Falkland Aran (that's this yarn), so they gave it to me! And since I still had nothing to do, I gave them my time (one month) and labor and made this sweater. It'll be mine at the end of the season. But now that it's finished, I have nothing to do.!