Saturday, December 15, 2012

Winter Wear

Obviously, this is not my usual pastime, but our doggies were cold.

Machine sewing is not my favorite thing to do, but there's just not enough time to sit and relax and stitch something by hand.

So, here are Dobby and Winky in their new winter wear.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pencil Roving

I've never used pencil roving before. This was actually the first time I'd even seen it. I bought one, four ounce skein of this hand dyed, merino about a year or so ago at a show.The color is Vineyard Blues. It was easy to separate the two "ply". However, the fiber did NOT want to draft, so I spun it as is...

...and got this beautiful yarn. It feels a little dense, but it's Gorgeous! I have no idea what I'm going to do with it now. I guess it'll just be another skein for the "it's all about the journey/process" box.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Moving on

Now that I've finished designing and knitting my son's sweater, I have time to move on. I've finished the napkins I was weaving on Julia. 
I did three different treadlings on them, though it's not immediately obvious. The brighter colors are so striking, that I see color first, then pattern. The 8/2 cotton turned out VERY soft. I just hope it's absorbent enough to be functional.

This bobbin of singles is the entire  1/2 pound (225gr) of fake cashmere I got for $10 from my LYS. The color in the photo is accurate.

And here is the first of two skeins, done with Navajo ply. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

My 12 year old nephew always wants to try his hand at spinning when he visits. Usually, I just sit him down at my Majacraft Suzie Professional and have him practice treadling as slowly as he can without the wheel stopping or changing direction. This time, I pulled out some wool for him. And I think he's really getting the hang of it!

I'm glad someone got some spinning in. I have been working on this sweater to the exclusion of all else. And it's DONE!!! But it's a shame I didn't make enough notes to have a pattern for it. By the way, the yarn is from the Imperial Yarn Company. It's so soft and squishy! And you can see how clearly the cables stand out! Luckily, I won't have to put it in the mail. My daughter will take it home to Boston with her when she leaves Tuesday. Then she can hand it to her little brother when he goes to visit her later that week

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall planting

I've spent the last two days doing a little fall planting.

These are all decorative grasses.

And they'll be drought tolerant once they've had a chance to get comfy.

And in case you think I've only been playing outside, look again. This is the back of the sweater I've been working on for my youngest. I started designing it on paper. Then, I did the gauge. Then, I redesigned it. Over and over and... I've ripped it out so many times, that I probably could have been done knitting it by now. And as I look at it, I think that maybe the outer pattern should have been the middle. Hmmm.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's done!

I finally finished the lace shawl I've been knitting! It's so soft! It's made from Scrumptious Lace, a blend of 45% silk and 55% merino. Yum!

Now, I can cuddle in this while I focus on my son's cable knit sweater.

I need to finish the tie up for the place mats I'm going to make with Sophie.

And I've been spending some time weeding amongst the plants in our backyard. Not a year ago, this was all bare. I can't wait to see it in the spring!

Monday, October 1, 2012

I'm still here.

I'm still here. I just haven't finished anything, lately. Along with all of my many projects, my day job raised our hourly cap by an additional seven hours per week. That means less play time for me. So, what have I been doing when I'm not at work or working out or puttering in the garden?

After days of stressing over what I want to weave next, I decided to make a functional sample. No matter how these turn out, I should be able to use them. These are the first two of my sample napkins on Julia. They're so pretty now, I wonder what they'll look and feel like when they're finished. These are four shaft "M and W", 17.5 epi with 10/2 pearl cotton. The pattern is the second threading on p.88 of The Handweaver's Pattern Directory.                                                                                                                               And after making myself crazy over how to get what I wanted, I've started warping Sophie for rep weave place mats. I realized that the reason the design part of weaving is so hard, is that I never learned more than the basics. I learned how to warp a loom and weave and read a pattern. I never learned anything more than that. Maybe one day I'll have a chance to take a class or three.                                                                                                                       I'm still spinning the fake cashmere. It feels so yummy and keeps me sane. Spinning is soothing for me.                               And in the meantime, I'm half way done with the knitted border on my blue lace shawl. I've started designing a cable knit sweater for my younger son. And I'm in the planning stages for a knit angel coat for my daughter. Why an "angel coat"? Well, she sent me an e-mail with a link to a coat she would like for Chanukah along with the comment: "and if you don't make it for me I'll have to buy it and when people buy sweaters that their mommy could make them, an angel dies". 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Here's the rug I showed you earlier. It started out with me thinking stripes and use up remnants and just do it. It's just a rag rug, so I didn't bother doing the math ahead of time. The problem is, remnants is "what's left".  I didn't have enough of the darker fabric, so to get it done, I just pulled strips out of the basket without looking . Clearly, I'm doing some serious pendulum swinging. My normal is to over plan (2-3 months being standard for designing a project). Now, if I could just find a happy medium! 

We were debating which picture to put up and decided not to decide. The rug's okay, but our doggies are just too cute. As soon as I put the rug on the floor, they claimed the space.

After I had taken the rug off of the loom, my hubby and I took her apart and moved Julia out of the dining room and into our bedroom. She's lovely, but I can't let her stand naked. I'm thinking that some nice cloth napkins might be a good 4 shaft project. I saw some lovely linen ones on Hey Dawn's blog. It reminded me that the only napkins I have are almost 30 yrs old and absorb Nothing. What's the point? And I have plenty of 10/2 pearl cotton in need of de-stashing. Hmmm.  Oh. And the picture on the wall is another of my mom's pastels.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

The pattern said to use four strands of mop cotton. Yeah. No. After weaving about five inches, I could see that the rug would be way too Short. Unweave. Then, I started again with two strands. Looking back on it, I should have played with one strand, as well. I ran out of mop cotton before I ran out of warp.
Here's the tabby for the hem.

And since I had some warp left, I pulled twelve cones of blues and greens to use as weft in place of the mop cotton.


And the sample done, too. I liked the feel of them both. I'd like to play with the warp rep some more. Next time, I won't use all of the colors for weft. And one of these days, I'm going to learn to sample in small bites, not big projects...or not.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend Work

I had an unexpected long weekend come up and made plans to leave town on a road trip. I didn't want to leave Sophie naked, so I started dressing her for another rug. This will be pretty close to a copy of the the warp rep rug on p. 66 of the Jan/Feb 2012 Handwoven. These colors just happened to be what I had on hand.

Being rather new at warping the loom back to front, and being ridiculously stubborn about doing anything that seems like it'll be extra work, I've never bothered weighting the warp bouts. I finally broke down and gave it a try. Take my word for it. It makes the process So Much Easier!!! And it ends up being Less work. 

So while I was visiting my mom (and lovely model) in Phoenix, I finally finished putting together the sweater I'd knitted Months ago. It's the Habu, #77 silk stainless and cotton cardigan. Really! the silk yarn has a stainless steel core! I thought it was a pleasure to knit, but sewing it together was quite the challenge. Hence, the procrastination. Hint: Sew it together through the middle of the second stitch from the edge. If you try through the middle of the first stitch, the whole seam looks like it's got holes.

Here, you can see the silk/stainless. It's two skeins knit together. And you can see that we were just playing with and molding the shaping. Just give it a gentle tug in any direction and it stays until you pull, again!

Now my only knitting project is a shawl from Victorian Lace Today. I started this for a road trip back in June. I'm finally on the border.
My Mom is So Talented! She drew this pastel of me and gave it to me to bring home. I've proudly hung it in my studio.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I did it! I finished the blankies! This was not an easy project, all my fault. If I had listened to Joanne at Glimakra USA, this would have been a 6 or 8 shaft pattern. But me? I jump right in to the 12. Cannonball!!! Quite the splash. At least it's not a belly flop. It turned out okay. The randomly placed colors in the warp give it a stripey look. I'd like to see the pattern done with a thicker yarn, like a 3/2.  

Here's front and back.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

OK. I give. We had someone over yesterday, and with three looms in the living room we had to enter walking sideways. I'm used to it, but really.?! So, today my hubby and I moved Julia into the dining room for a temporary respite. Now, I can finish the rag rug I'm working on. Then, we'll take her apart and move her into our bedroom.

This project is both a stash buster and a necessity. One of the old rag rugs I made is eroding and badly needs to be replaced. And this yardage is leftovers from sewing. The newest is probably 15 yrs old. I started out intending to make a stripey pattern. Yeah. No. There's not as much of the dark fabric as I thought. So, I'll just keep going until I run out of either warp or cloth or enthusiasm.
And for my spin Zen, I'm playing with this. It's SO soft!

I'd told myself, 'no more spinning without a plan for the yarn once it's spun'. That got as far as the last fiber I spun up. I have no idea what this is going to be. I only know that it feels yummy and it's just what I need when I need some peace and relaxation.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Learning to work together

Since Sophia and I are just learning to work together, I find myself weaving for a bit and then climbing down under the loom to adjust some of the treadle tension. I was rather shocked at how much I'd done when I stopped to take the picture. I guess I'm too focused on the mechanics right now. In this shot, the blue is more true.

This is my first ever 12 shaft pattern. I pulled it off of  It's 8/2 cotton from my stash. I didn't have enough white or natural for the warp, so I added some pale yellow and gray. The color differences are not noticeable unless you look for them. In the meantime, I still didn't empty any of the cones. Although, I did make serious inroads. I had intended that this be a light-weight baby blanket. We'll see how it finishes before I decide.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

First project off of the new loom. (I used a 4 shaft draft from Weaver's Craft, Issue 17, p.8.) I'm trying to shrink my stash, so I chose the aqua yarn. Warp for five towels and weft for two used it up! Then I picked the purple, because it's the only other 8/2 cotton yarn I had that was as coarse as the aqua. All the rest of my non-mercerized 8/2 is So soft, that I don't think it would absorb anything.

I knew that it would make more sense to go from a 4 shaft first project to maybe an 8 shaft, but I don't do 'easy'. I have 12 shafts now, I'm going to use them! So, setting up.

Yeah. This could take a while.

And it did. But here she is (and I think she likes the name Sophia, or Sophie) ready to test the sheds...all 12 of them!