Showing posts from 2012

Holiday Wishes

Just a quick but heartfelt note to all my (fibery) friends near and far, for a most joyful and peaceful holiday season, however you celebrate.  With all the awful things that seem to happen with horrifying frequency in our world, take a moment to remember and celebrate with the people who center you, love you, and make you smile. Reach out to those in need of comfort, and by all means, revel in the wonder of friendship (and fiber!).  What a wonderful thing it is, that we can all connect and enjoy each other no matter how far apart we may live.


Loom Room Post-Painting

We finally have a sunny day here, so I ran upstairs and took some photos of the loom room.  It feels much brighter than before, which was the goal.

Here's a photo looking towards the only sheetrock wall, which is also the only full length vertical wall.  My loom lives there, as well as a bookcase for additional storage.

That's a very pale lavender on the wall behind the loom, and a darker, bluish-purple on the knee wall.

Here you are looking toward the wall with the solitary window (sorry for the glare!!). This corner is my photography space, where I hang up a white sheet as a background for the photos.  You can just make out my light stands and a dressmaker's model in the corner.  And that small pile of newspapers is for the final bit of painting still to be done - the interior side of the entry door.

This is looking toward the opposite corner, where I wind my warps and store most of my yarns.  The plastic bins hold my handwovens, plus one has my unspun fiber stash.  A…

A New Challenge?

I'll be starting a new project on the loom soon, since I have FINALLY finished painting my loom room (studio still sounds kind of wrong to me).  Well, perhaps not entirely finished...  All that is left is the inside surface of the entry door, but it really is a "troll" door - narrow and very crooked.  It is already "white," but aged and in need of a re-coat.  It won't take long, and I will get to it shortly.  The rest of the room came out rather nicely, and I will gladly show you, if and when the sun ever makes an appearance.

Here's the draw down of my next project, simplified:

The actual weaving will be differing repeats of different sections.  For the uninitiated, the "box" at the upper right represents how you tie up the treadles. This tells the loom which shafts lift up when you step on each treadle. The row at the top represents how you thread the loom.  The shafts go from the bottom of that piece to the top, so shaft 1 through 8.  AND on…

A Photo for Another Karen

Not my usual blog post, here.

A very kind person commented on one of my scarves in my Etsy shop, requesting another view, so I'm posting the photo here for her to see.  Everyone is welcome to look, of course!

This is the only photo I have of the hem of my Iris Tabby scarf.  I hope you can make it out alright.

I'm glad my photography skills have improved with time!

I Really Can't Say...

No "crafty"photos to share this time around, as I've been busy busy busy creating some Christmas gifts for family and friends.  The Christmas tree towels I shared last time got snapped up by coworkers, so they never made it to my shop, but I am grateful for the support.  They were a bit of a challenge to weave in the decorative area, but otherwise were a quick project, so I think I'll revisit them again.  I also have many other options for the borders (snowflakes, Santas, other designs), so maybe I won't have to wait until the next holiday season to fire up the loom for rosepath towels!

Speaking of looms, I almost can't find mine right now.  I've been trying to spend at least a little time most days tackling the painting job in my craft room.  I painted the last of the bead board knee wall the other day, so now the "fun" begins.  I have to paint the slanted part of the ceiling, which is also bead board.  I had to unbolt one of the book cases (wh…

A Sigh of Relief

I've finally finished the Christmas tea towels, which was the last holiday project on my "to do list."  I know, I know, there's plenty of time between now and the holidays to weave more, and I'm not saying I won't.  I've been pushing myself pretty hard to get some things done, and this was the last project that I really REALLY wanted to complete in time for Christmas sales.  Nothing takes the fun out of the holidays like working frantically in the weeks prior.

This weave structure is known as rosepath, and it consists of a background "tabby" or plain weave cloth made with a fine yarn, with the pattern "floating" on top of it, woven with a thicker yarn.  The background yarn helps hold the pattern yarn in place.  There are all kinds of possibilities with this structure, and I'm sure I will attempt some of them in the future.  It was slow weaving in the pattern areas for me, but the rest of the towels went so quickly that it made for …

With Time to Spare!

To all my far flung fiber friends, I hope that you are safe and don't have to endure the ravages of Sandy for too long.  Thank goodness knitting, weaving, and spinning can be done without electricity!!

Thanks in part to dodging the Hurricane Sandy "bullet," I've managed to finish up my to do list in time for the craft show starting this Friday.  I even did it with a whole day to spare!!  Mind you, it has been spectacularly less than fun frantically weaving and knitting every spare moment for the last few weeks, and then having to quickly complete the finishing work -  sewing/cutting/pinning/sewing/washing/ drying/ ironing/labeling prior to a possible loss of power last night, all done on 2 hrs of sleep.  Having said that, I am grateful that I was invited to join this group of women in presenting our crafts.  I've heard wonderful things about this show, and hope there is a good turnout.

So, what am I taking?  Well, my handwoven scarves, of course, a few of which w…

Hamster Wheel

So, the deadline for this Christmas craft fair that I originally didn't plan for is coming right up - only 15 days to go!!  Needless to say, I am busy busy busy trying to increase my stock, but I'm not having much luck.  Every day, I'm grabbing whatever "free" time I can find to weave, but I'm not making much progress.

So far, I've woven a few scarves (remember the Drall ones?), a table square (plus placemats and a tablerunner off the same warp, destined for two shops), one set of placemats in a nice holiday green, (which have yet to be wet finished), and 4 towels that just came off the loom this morning.  They are stuffed into a bag, awaiting sewing, cutting, measuring, pinning, and sewing again, before they are to be washed.  In the meantime, in my head, I'm trying to see if I can fit in another set of towels before craft day, or whether I should just go with another set of placemats in a nice deep red, which will be a faster project.  I'm pret…

Who'd've Thunk It??

Did you know that you can weave with....PAINT STIRRERS???  I admit, I have never given it a thought, but there I was one day, weaving my tencel scarves, when I realized that I wouldn't have enough warp to complete the last one.  (And I'll admit it right here - I have a terrible problem with estimating the correct warp length - I'm always off one way or the other).  At first, I used my hands to try to widen the shed by lifting the harnesses the additional bit that was needed so my shuttle could get through, but after cutting my hand on a heddle or two, I had to get creative.  I mean, who wants blood on their handwovens???

I cast about for an idea, and then saw them; wooden paint stirrers!  You know, the ones they give out for free when you buy paint!  I've been experimenting with paint in the spare bedroom, er, studio, (which you can just make out in the background) and I had several stirrers at hand.  At first, I used only one to help hold the harnesses up where they b…

Slowly But Surely, and a New Adventure

So, first the adventure.  I've finally started to knit my toe up socks from my spindle spun, chain plied yarn!  (I know, not much of an adventure, but I take what I can get).  You remember this fiber from a few months back:
And the final skeins:
I've just started a pair of toe up socks using "David's Toe Up Sock Recipe" pattern, free on Ravelry.  I had a few issues, because I've knit  ALOT of cuff down socks, and my brain kept thinking that his instructions must be wrong, so I'd try to modify on the fly.  Big mistake.  Trust the pattern, and it all comes out well.  So here's the first progress shot:
The best thing is, you can try it on as you knit it, so the custom fitting works well. The worst part - you have to swatch, every knitters nightmare.  But the extra effort is worth it.  Now that September is upon us, I'm yearning for socks and turtlenecks!

On the weaving front, I've completed weaving the first two Drall scarves, and have just star…

Gothic Cross Scarves, and a New Gadget!

I finally, finally, finally have finished weaving these scarves!  These have been the most tedious thing I have ever woven, so I'm glad to get them off the loom.  They still need to be wet finished, but that will wait for another day.

Here is a photo showing both sides at once.  You can see that there is a bolder side on top, and a slightly less in-your-face design underneath.  That is the one that I was looking at while I was weaving.

The warp is 10/2 bamboo in silver, and the weft if 8/2 black tencel.  They already feel more silky than scarves woven of all tencel, so I anticipate a lovely hand once they have been washed and ironed.

And my new gadget?  It's my fringe twister!  And I've actually owned it for almost a year, I think, but it's taken me this long to need to use it.  It was awkward at first, but there was a definite time savings.  I got all fringes twisted this afternoon, and the most I've done manually has been one scarf's worth in one sitting.  It…

Lessons Learned, and a Lovely Gift

A bit of weaving has been happening in the last few weeks, but more on that later.

First, I'd like to share the gift I received from a friend at work.

There are two batts of wool, dyed in some lovely shades of purples and pinks.  No idea what kind of wool it is, but it will be a pleasure to discover its properties.  I've never spun from a batt before, so the whole process will be a learning opportunity. The funny thing is, the person that bought them had no idea what they were (she doesn't knit or spin), but she just liked the way they looked.  I agree!

On to the weaving update.  You'll recall that I was last in the process of threading the silver 10/2 bamboo for two scarves.  It's been awhile since I last blogged, and in all that time, this is what I've accomplished:

Yep, that's it.  A grand total of 5 inches.  It took me no less than four attempts to get the threading correct.  And I still found 3 threading errors after I'd tied on and spread the war…

I'm Dy(e)ing!!

No, not that kind - the FUN kind!  Yes, that's right, I've picked up yet another fiber hobby.  Actually, I'm not sure it will become a habit, only because I seem to have run out of hours in the day, but I decided to try dyeing some yarn.  I knew that I'd have to buy new equipment to use regular acid dyes, so for this little experiment I used sugar free Kool-aid.

Here you can see I've assembled everything I needed: I covered the counter with a large plastic bag, and I have four packets each of purple (grape), blue (berry blue, I think), and green (lemon-lime).  I also have measuring cups to hold the dye, a bowl to soak the yarn, the yarn itself (which is an undyed wool/nylon blend meant as a sock yarn), gloves, and a towel.

I soaked the yarn in some warm water

and mixed 4 packets of each color in about a cup of water.  I could have used more water, but one of my measuring cups would only hold that much.  I have to say, the sickly sweet smell was pretty strong!

I car…