Sunday, February 27, 2011

This is the absolutely best part of weaving - Unwinding and seeing what has been done all at once! Unless you're working on a tapistry loom, you only see 6 or 7 inches at a time. The white strips are spacers to separate the two panels.

These are the two panels laid side-by-side. They will be stitched up the back and under the arms for a sort of vest, or jacket. I have short sleeves for it but not sure yet if I'm going to use them.

I really misjudged how much yarn I needed to spin. I have enough to make another one! Better too much than too little and running out before it was woven!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I gotta be careful of what I eat from the food pantry. I think I got a touch of botulism from an outdated can of soup. I never check dates, but I think I will from now on.

I've finished the second sock and another headband. The pattern was giving me fits but it looks fine once it's off and blocked. I'm only inches away from finishing the woven jacket too. I'm determined to finish it tomorrow and get it off the loom. That'll give me some time to sew it together and full it...oooo such excitement....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Knitting Like Crazy!

My knitting has just taken off. I'm not sure why now, but here's some things I've been working on.

My first Fair Isle - a headband. I've put off learning how to do this for so long. I did learn several things - 1. have yarns with more contrast. 2. Carefully track where I am in the pattern. It's r-e-a-l-l-y hard to back up (tink) and fix a mistake. And a few other things no one would really be interested in.

This little bag doesn't look too special, but if you could hold it, you'd discover that it is a double knit and the inside is twined yarn. It's a Scandinavian technique which I can't even pronounce, must less spell. It's knit with two yarns, one from each end of the skein. The yarns are knitted alternating and twined. It's thick and warm, but still soft and stretchy. It makes fantastic mittens, but I did this little bag as a practice piece.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I am so lucky! I get to bring my loom to work with me! Actually, it stays there at least until I finish this project. It's the jacket for the Weaver's Guild challenge. It's all recycled fluff, wool, mohair, angora, dog hair, pygora...I'm a fiber hoarder. I carded it all together and spun it and now I'm making a jacket for me! I seldom get to weave anything for myself. I usually make things for sale, but this is MINE! But it has to be ready for an exhibit this spring and they are collecting the items at the March meeting. I've got one panel finished and one 10" into it.It won't take long now.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where does the time go?

Whoosh. Time is just FLYing. I've finished about 3/4 of one large panel on the weaving project, but can't seem to get the mittens finished. I had to take off one of the thumb caps, (it has flip top thumbs) and redo it. It was too long and almost impossible to get open. Then two more flaps. One mitten has a smaller flap opening than the other one so I'm hoping that won't be a problem. I think once the mittens get wet they stretch a bit. I had one smaller than the other but I don't notice it at all now. In fact, the larger one has slipped right off my hand.
I'm trying to get into wordpress too. It seems everyone is using it for web sites now so I'm trying to set up one just to learn it. Unfortunately, I went through all the registration process and now they tell me that they're upgrading and I can't use wordpress. great.
I did put up a blog for my thoughts while I'm at the Gallery. It's I haven't quite figured out how to format it yet. Running out of time in the day....
more later,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Great day yesterday. Got to spend most of it weaving and then knitting. I'm making progress on the recycled yarn jacket, although I do think it made a better knitting yarn. It reminds me of an old grey saddle blanket.

I'm excited about knitting. I just learned something new! I've learned to do Swedish twined knitting. That's knitting with 2 yarns, but not together. You alternate the yarns with each stitch and they are twined along the back side. I decided to make a little treasure bag for a friend and naturally decided to use a fine yarn with teeny needles. Now the question is, can I finish it by next Monday when she's coming up to visit. Nothing like another deadline....Can't wait to get to the pattern part. I'll take another picture when I get to that.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's late and I've been computing and knitting and listening to audio books. I can hardly see.
But I'm finally camera'd again and couldn't wait to post some pictures. As much as I complain about winter, it's really beautiful up here. This is the logging road that I've been shoveling so we can walk.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The second mitten is finished, but it's smaller than the first one. I learned something. Since I didn't have 4 db needles size 3, I used 3 #3s and one #5. It made a difference - about 1/2 inch. I made a #3 dp needle out of a bamboo skewer so I'd have 4 matched needles for the second mitten. Shoulda stuck to the #5. It fits, but it's a little tighter than the first one. And I need to sew on a little tab of velcro. The thumb flaps keep popping open. Other than that, the are perfect! They are warm, don't hang open like my old ones and have even extra padding on the palms where I have to carry things. Now I have to figure out how to make a pair for our neighbor who has very tiny hands. Mine are enormous so I've got to cut down the pattern quite a bit. I can't go much farther down in needle size since I used a worsted weight yarn and it's pretty tight already. I've got an outline of her hand to go by. Hope I can calculate this right.

Weaving: I'm so excited! I get to take the loom to work with me! I'm working in an art gallery where members are encouraged, nay, begged, to come in and demonstrate their art. I don't have much room in the camper so I asked if I could weave a project and leave my loom there while I do it. YES! So it's loaded in the truck ready to go to work with me tomorrow. All the spinning is done, the warp measured out and chained, so I'll be ready to go, after I remember all the things I forgot to bring....

Saw weasel tracks in the snow yesterday. I really need to barricade that rabbit hutch. It has a huge gap in it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm so clooose to finishing the second mitten...just a few rows now. I've been wearing the right one and really like the flaps that protect the slit where I can slip my fingers out when I need to work latches or what have you. I'm determined to wear the left one too tomorrow morning. My old mittens have gotten very threadbare. Time for a new pair.

Weaving: I've gotten the warp wound into balls so I can start measuring out warp. I've managed to set up the warping mill so I think I'll be able to use it. THEN it's moving the loom down to the Art Galley where I'll be warping, demonstrating, and running the store at the same time! YAHOO!

Back to knitting....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I'm feeling a little cranky today. Don't know why, other than just being tired. I set the alarm and got up at a proper hour. I've been sleeping too late and staying up too late. The joys of electric lights....So I'm trying to cure my mood with chocolate. I read, in a funny little knitting book a GREAT way to keep track of rows. Instead of a clicker, or a counter, you set out m&ms in the same number as rows to be knit. At the end of each row, you eat an m&m. When they're gone, you're done! I thought it was so brilliant I just have to try it.

And, yes, the mitten has finally submitted and is coming along. I even checked out the audio books on knitting. (see previous post...)

And the spinning is DONE! Now I have to wind them into usable balls and start measuring out warp. The last batch was so pretty. All my leftovers from hand dyed roving in all colors. I almost don't want to waste it on warp, but I MUST. No faltering now.

I must sign off now. The m&ms await me.....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ten Below

It's supposed to warm up today, but it was 10 below when I went out to do chores. That's cold. I thought I was going to get frostbite on my toes! I ran inside to warm up for a minute and realized I still had on my thin nylon socks under my wool footies. NO WONDER my feet were so cold. I changed into heavy hand knit WOOL socks - SO much better. When I went back outside, it really was starting to warm up. Thank you Sun!
The spinning is coming along. I've started the plying. I had to use up all my scrap roving. Now I'm totally out until I can either wash all the fleeces I have stashed, or buy some nice roving. I can't wait to see how my handspun holds up as warp. There's a lot of tension and abrasion on warps so they need to be strong. I tried to spin it tight and smooth.
The second mitten isn't starting well. I cast on, knit a couple of rounds, and somehow picked up the tail end and knit with that for a few stitches...duh... I had to just rip it out and start over. Couldn't even tink it (that's knit backwards...) Speaking of which, I've seen some audio books in the library on knitting. I've been a little mystified about this. I mean, what good is a knitting book without pictures? Well, I saw an ad for one of the books and It seems it's a book to listen to about knitting WHILE you are knitting. I guess I'll have to check one out and see.
Now off to get ready for work. It's the afternoon shift today.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

She's Baaaack...

You know you've been offline too long when you can't find your own I'm starting a new one and bookmarking it.
After the trauma of losing my house and mini farm, I put a ton of stuff in storage and the dogs and I moved into a 25 ft camper on a friend's land. I wintered once before in a camper and was a frozen pop-person, but this time it's really pretty nice! The floor does get cold when the wind blows, but otherwise it's warmer than my house was. I do have to weatherstrip the door when it gets warm enough-the snow seeps right in. I have a heavy curtain over it, but if it gets too cold, the door knob freezes.
I thought I wasn't going to get online for a while, in spite of having 4 computers crammed in here. Two don't have modems, one has everything but won't stay on. The old computer had all my files on it but didn't seem to work with the newer monitor. For some reason, last night it gave in and is working. It's slow as molasses in winter, but I'm connected!
My camera died too so I will have to replace it when I can. That means no new photos for a while.

And as for projects, I'm furiously knitting some new work mittens with flaps so I can do chores without having to remove hand coverings. I discovered that when it's really COLD (like below zero during the day) it HURTS to take your mittens off....
I'm alternating knitting with spinning. I started a project a couple of years ago that now has a deadline. I looked around my studio and realized I was hoarding bits of fiber. I couldn't throw away pretty little handfuls of wool, angora, mohair, dog hair and what have you. In a fit of practicality, I filled a two-pound bag with the stuff. Then carded it lightly to keep the colors strong and started spinning. I decided that, since I almost never make anything for myself, I'd knit a sweater, but since I've never actually finished a sweater in my life, I ripped it out and decided to weave a vest or jacket. I made the mistake of taking the yarn to the Weaving Guild meeting and presented it for the "Green Challenge" in which the membership was challenged to weave something recyled, reused or otherwise considered "green." I only got as far as spinning but everyone seemed to like it and asked if I'd have it ready for an exhibit this spring. Sure, I said, casually....
After careful calculations, I realized I had enough for the weft, but nothing for warp. I'd need twice as much as I had! ACK! So I've been spinning like crazy to get this finished this month and ready for the meeting in March. I did cram my small floor loom in here, but didn't count on having to bring in a dog crate too. It's tight, but I can warp the loom and weave. Looking forward to building a studio shed this summer.