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Showing posts from 2011

The Big Reveal

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I can finally show you what I secretly worked on this fall.

I wove a tencel shawl, in the 8 shaft snowflake pattern, for a very special someone, my soon-to-be daughter in law.
The weaving took a bit less time than I thought, but the fringe twisting, as always, was an endeavor.
Then I squirreled it away until Christmas eve, when it was opened with much anticipation on my part, and apparent joy on hers.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of it on her, as her two black kitties were romping around, but here is what it looked like on my dress form.

It is a fun project, so I'm sure I will weave another (or two or three..) in different colors.

Latest Spins

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Since I still can't show the big Christmas surprise yet, I thought I'd show a couple of the latest yarns that I've spun.  I rarely get a chance to spend time spinning, so to have two completed fairly recently is unusual.  Slowing, bit by bit, I think I'm improving my consistency and my ability to spin specific kinds of yarn.  Lots more to learn, though.

The first skein I'll show you is 4 ounces of merino/silk that I got as a gift LAST Christmas.  I just finished spinning it on my wheel, using both double drive (which has been my default method), and Scotch tension, which is totally new to me. 
This was the fiber, which was indescribably soft. The two spun bobbins:
led to the the plied up bobbin ( a new-to-me bulky, or extra large bobbin):
After skeining, washing, whacking and hanging to dry, this is what I ended up with this morning:
Really, really soft!  723 yds, lace weight.

The other yarn I managed to get spun shortly after receiving it was a Romney fiber that …

How Cute are These???

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I obviously can't show alot of what I've been working on, being so close to Christmas, but I did want to show these adorable little baby booties that I just knit for my hairdresser after I found out she's having a baby in May.  They were designed so that they can't be kicked off, and the construction is very very different from a typical sock pattern.  I used some leftover sock yarn that seemed gender-neutral, but still fun.
They are knit very densely, on size 1 needles, and have a fold over cuff.  The sole is knit in such a weird way, to the point that I couldn't envision it working, but it certainly did.  I'll have to be sure to get another haircut before then!  I did manage to snap one of the needles while knitting the first bootie - luckily they came in a set of 6.

The other big project has been weaving a set of 16 placemats for someone who contacted me a few months ago requesting them.  I couldn't get to them until recently, because I was weaving like …

Happy Thanksgiving!

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To all my friends, virtual and flesh and bone, I give thanks for your being part of my life.  I hope your day is filled with love, family, friends, and wonderful food!

Administrivia

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As another craft fair approaches, I find myself spending way too much time on things that are no fun, the "administrivia" part of my hobby.  For example, all morning, and a bit of the afternoon, I have been ironing, pricing, and labelling items for the upcoming fair on November 19 - YUCK!  It never seems like it should take very long, but you'd be surprised how time consuming, and therefore tedious these jobs can be.  The good news is, I think I'm done with it, at least for this show, although I might find time to knit a few more earwarmers.  Sorry, no photos of those yet.  And I can't show you what I've been working on at the loom lately, because it is going to be a holiday surprise for someone.  I CAN let you know that I've woven two more of the undulating twill scarves that I created a few months ago.  The one I wove a couple of months ago had sold at a sale at the Botanical Gardens during an Open House and sale put on by the Maine Fiberarts folks.  He…

A Major Project Finished!

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There hasn't been any time for me to update you on my weaving and other projects, because I've been going all out trying to finish up a sweater that my younger son asked for in August.  Now, I haven't done much complicated knitting lately - mostly hats and mittens for craft fairs.  He chose a sweater in an all-over cable pattern that made me a bit nervous about how long it would take to complete.  I purchased the yarn at www.knitpicks.com, and chose Wool of the Andes in a worsted prep.  I was a worried that the yarn might be scratchy, because the price was very reasonable, but it is a nice soft wool that can go against your skin.  He chose the "Mink" colorway - expensive taste!

Turns out I was justified in worrying about the knitting.  I had all but finished the first sleeve, and had thought it seemed a bit stiff as I knit it, but it stretched just fine, so happily kept knitting.  It wasn't until I stopped knitting in the round that it hit me that I was using…

This and That

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There's been an awful lot of crafting going on here, yet not alot to show for it - yet!  I've been weaving off some holiday tea towels, and as is the norm lately, they didn't turn out at all as I envisioned them.  They were meant to be more log cabin towels, but I, in a moment of brain coma, decided to thread them differently, still thinking that they would weave up in the correct pattern. I believe this is called "magical thinking," in developmental jargon, and it is common amongst small children.  What does that say about me, I wonder...

After my disbelief that the project was not going to end up as I'd hoped, I made peace with it, and actually like the new design.  One towel was used as a sampler, then the next 5 were woven in one design.  I have only a few photos of them while they were still on the loom - the rest will be in the next post.

This photo is after I had finished dressing the loom:
And these are after the weaving had begun:
As you can see, th…

Something Blue, and Green, and Yellow, and...

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Just a quick update today.  I found that, despite feeling like I've woven an awful lot of towels recently, my shop seems rather empty of them, as did my consignment shops.  So, I got rather busy during this, my week of vacation, trying to weave up somthing to display, sell, and share.  But when you are supplying shops as well as your own, weaving several towels doesn't get you very far.

A few weeks ago I wove 6 towels, 3 blue and 3 green, all on a white background.  I now have 2, 1 blue and 1 green, and the green one is the "runt" of the litter - I ran out of warp on my loom, so my last towel is a bit short.  I always keep the less than optimal ones for my shop.


Then, this week, I wove off 4 beautiful towels in autumn colors, and had the same thing happen again!  I followed the pattern, added the recommended amount of warp for the 2 extra towels (the original pattern made 2 towels), and even after leaving out a few repeats, I still ran very short for the 4th towel.  …

Critical Mass

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Wow, it has been a really long time since I updated this blog.  Life just got in the way a bit, and you know how easy it can be to put something off for just a bit more time.  Part of the reason I haven't posted is because of the "surprise" I alluded to in the last post.  That surprise is a new-to-me spinning wheel that I purchased from a lovely woman and fellow Etsy shop owner from NY.  It's a Schacht Matchless, and I love it!
This wheel replaced the old Ashford Traveller loom that I had purchased off Craigslist a year or so ago.  This new wheel is a much nicer tool to use while spinning, and feels totally different than the Traveller.  It has more adjustment options, as well as three different systems with which to spin.  I jumped right on with some fiber that the previous owner threw in for free, and have been spinning ever since.  Here's the fiber I got with the wheel:
It's wool, carbonized bamboo and Angelina, a sparkly bit.

And here's the yarn I spun.…

Results

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Just a quick post to show the end result of my weaving and spinning efforts last week.

 The tencel scarves came out quite nice, I think.  The both feel a bit more dense than my other similar scarves, but are still silky to the touch.  The first is hemmed without fringe, and the curves remind me of line drawings of classic wooden boat plans that my husband has used when building wooden boats.
The second scarf was woven on the same warp, using the same threadings.  I merely changed the treadling from 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 to 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.  Practically brainless, yet it produced a scarf with wavy lines surrounding intricate diamond shapes.  And I did include twisted fringe, despite my lack of enthusiasm for it.  I tried to make them a bit bigger, thus reducing the time it takes to create them, but it still took me the better part of a day to finish both ends.
I loved how the simple choice of royal blue and white contrasted so dramatically in both scarves.

In my spinning last wee…

I DID IT!!

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Opened a seconds shop section, that is.  It gives me a place to list items that are not up to my standards, due to human error (who, me??), but are perfectly fine for use.  In fact, the errors are usually quite small and, some tell me, pretty unnoticeable.  So far there are only 2 items in there, but if you're looking for a bargain, take a look!  Everything in there is 20% off.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThreadbareDesigns?section_id=10137750

I've also been working on a couple of scarves this week.  I was getting really tired of towels, so I warped the loom with a beautiful royal blue tencel, and am weaving two undulating twill scarves.  Though similar, they are quite different from each other, just by changing the treadling.

The first one:
And the second, which I just started yesterday.  Probably won't get to it today...
This one will have the dreaded twisted fringe.  So, which do you like better?

Also, I've found a bit of time to do some spinning.  The fiber was purchased …