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Showing posts from 2015

Dyeing to Show and Tell (nyuck nyuck!)

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Back again for what will most likely be the last blog before the holiday.  Yes, there's been weaving - more on that in a bit.  I'd first like to share the completion of the long, drawn out spinning/dyeing project that I've alluded to here and there.

As a quick refresher, I purchased some merino/mohair/nylon fiber to spin for socks after hearing that it will wear well and be a bit warmer thanks to the mohair.


I spun it on my spindle because I seem to spin better on it, especially with prolonged periods of ignoring it. The wheel always takes awhile for me to refamiliarize myself with, so here and there, as I had time, I pulled out my wonderful Golding ring spindle and spun up the 6 plies.

I had already decided to try dyeing this yarn, but was waffling between trying some "real" dye or using a food-based one.  I did not want to go the Koolaid route again, but was intimidated by the scope of using real dyes.  I would have had to purchase several containers/pots to ke…

Liar

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Yes, it's true.  I'm a liar.  I don't know how I have become such a disrespectful, loathsome creature, but alas, I have.  I'll blog more often!  Next post will be more colorful!!!  Blah blah blah.  Don't believe a word I say (or write).  So, no promises.  I will strive to be better, to write more often, to fill your screens with vibrant photos of all kinds of yarny goodness.  But, y'know, I wouldn't hold my breath...

In the last post I wrote about my spinning, and I have just finished spinning the third ply of the second skein, so the sixth ply in all.  It is sitting on my spindle, waiting to be wound off with the other two plies to form my plying ball.  When I do this I have to make sure I have more time than it would appear I would need, because inevitably one ply runs out way before another, so I have to use the Andean plying trick (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5VlaR3t_7M).  I've been pretty busy between working extra shifts (lots of sick babies!…

On Hold

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Since last blogging, I've run short of the ink blue yarn that is one of the main colors in the baby wrap warp, so I ordered some pronto.  Unfortunately, it has taken it's good sweet time getting here, so most weaving has stopped altogether.  Very frustrating for me, since my time is already quite fractured. I'm hoping this week it will arrive, and warping will restart.  In the meantime, I have gotten out my spindle and spent a bit of time here and there with some wool, mohair, nylon that I purchased quite awhile ago to use for hand knitted socks.  I love the pairs I have already knit over the years, but find that on the coldest days, hand spun wool/nylon socks aren't quite as warm as ones knitted from commercial wool/nylon.  After inquiring on some knitting sites, adding mohair was highly recommended, so I purchased some and promptly set it aside while I went on with other things.  It is undyed as well, so after I spin it all I'll have some dyeing to do.  The mohai…

Curious Problems

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I'm starting to measure warp for a set of baby wraps, using 10/2 mercerized cotton and my trusty Square Mini. The sett is quite dense, at least for me - 30 EPI - so I need 60 ends for each of my 2 inch sectional sections (that seems a bit redundant, doesn't it??).

I'm having a terrible time getting the yarn off of the Mini without having to release some threads manually, and as I wind on some ends are tangling, a sure sign of tension issues.  The length of the warp is 16.5 yards, which is a record for me, but nowhere near what the Mini can handle.

In order to wind the correct length, the Mini has to rotate 8 times for each end.  I'm making sure that the newly wound yarn is landing on the wooden arms of the Mini, and not on previously measured yarn, yet when I try to wind it off, the ends are "stuck," and seem to be buried under other yarns.



This happens before I can even place the little reed into the arm that is attached to the beam, so while holding that wi…

Rep rug!

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This is my first rep rug, and only my second rep project, the first being some placemats (meant as a gift, so no photos yet!).  I made many errors along the way, some of which I mentioned in another blog, but the final one was a common one amongst weavers, I think.  I saw that the end of the warp was getting closer, but thought I just might be able to eke out one last pattern repeat before weaving the ending sequence and then the hem.

As you have probably guessed, I should have stopped right there, because I ended up being able to weave only one row that should have been six, and two rows that should have been three, in order to be able to weave the hem.  Even then, I had to back way off with the tension.  I ended up with a shorter-than-planned rug that is asymmetrical to boot!  Here's a photo of it still on the loom, waiting to be cut off;


Once cut off the loom, I folded the hems in thirds and hand stitched them down, scratching my right thumb and jamming the tapestry needle unde…

Wrap Scraps!

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Awhile back I found a tutorial online for sewing Dumpling pouches, and I saved the site and promptly forgot all about it!  So, after the rush of the competition and a holiday commission, I found the time to attempt to sew some up, using scraps materials leftover from the loom.  This is the site:

http://keyka.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/08/lets-make-dumplings-free-zip-pouch-tutorial.html

And here are the resultant bags:






They measure ~6 inches by 3.5 inches, with a 2 inche base.  The blue/purple/green bag is ever so slightly smaller.  They open up nice and wide, too!  But the best part is that they didn't take very long to sew, compared to the larger clutch wallets I've been making.  It's nice to have a quick sewing project for a change!

I'll most likely post these on my FB page soon.  I have to work for the next couple of days, so I'll wait until I'll be around to attend to the computer.

Pulled in Several Directions

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I was really excited to finish off the red table runner I showed last time, so I could finally devote some time to trying to weave my first rep rug.  We need something for the kitchen floor in front of the sink, because the vinyl has worn through, so I thought a small rep rug would be just the thing.  I used the drafts from Rosalie Neilson's Handwoven's Master Weaver Collection, "One Warp, Four Rugs, Eight Looks."  Since this was my first try, and I didn't want to lay out a lot for materials, I thought I would just warp for one rug, so I carefully divided the measurements by four,  including the loom waste.  Yep!  So now I have a very very short warp!  Such a dope!

I also decided not to purchase the Borg's Maxi String yarn for the thick weft; instead, I would eight strands of the thin weft, 3/2 merc cotton.  I've seen that a lot in reading on rep rugs, that the thick weft be 8 of the thin, but when I again did the math, taking the Maxi ypp (124), and the …

A Month???

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Has a month already flown by since I last blogged??  Sheesh, I must be getting old!

The babywearing weavers competition has ended, thankfully.  I had a bit of scrambling to do at the last minute, not because my entry wasn't complete, but because of uploading information issues. Stressful to the very end!

All told there were 91 entries.  Most were unbelievably beautiful, so much nicer than anything I could come up with.  I didn't finish dead last, and ended up getting 76 votes over all.  The best part is that the competition was a great vehicle to increase exposure.  I more than doubled the membership in my little chatter group, so now more folks will see all of the handwovens as I post them.  My piece did sell after I put it up for a random draw - the mama should get it tomorrow!  She's promised to post some photos as she uses it over the weekend.

Since I was trying to use yarn I already had, the best fit I came up with was using the book "In the Night Kitchen" b…

The Emerald City

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As always, time flies around here.  It's been awhile since I posted, mostly because I was taking part in a weavers' competition on FB, and anonymity was the (almost) only rule.  The goal of the group is to weave a baby wrap, at least 2.1 meters long, using the theme "children's lit."  At first, I had absolutly no ideas, and really, not much interest in taking part, but when an idea popped into my head I was all in.  It seemed it was meant to be - I had most of the yarn I needed, the loom was empty, and I had vacation time in which to work.  I had no illusions that I was going to win, but I was very excited to take part, especially since my idea felt so right to my very Type A brain.

So why am I telling you this, since anonymity is obviously being broken here?  Because I screwed up.

I posted this photo


in another group, to show how closely the knots came to the heddles as I finished the piece.  Someone immediately requested to the admins of that group that the ph…