Friday, December 2, 2016

Weaving right along...

After the tea towels, I made a quick shawl in a day, then warped for a feather light infinity scarf. Once that was done, I decided to dress the loom with another very quick shawl that took only a couple of hours to weave.

Here is the second shawl:


Again, I warped in a 8/2 Tencel in Taupe. The weft is a bulky weight from Universal Yarns Classic Shades Frenzy in "Into the Woods."  The finished dimensions are 16.5" x 81".

The lovely infinity scarf is warped in Cascade 220 fingering with a lace weight weft:  Freia Handpaints Freia Ombre Lace in "South beach." I was extra careful while weaving not to beat too hard, I wanted an airy fabric. 

This one came out really long. I will trim it a bit and expect the finished dimensions to be 11" x 70".


A small project was languishing on the Cricket (the 24" Ashford-like loom remains on loan). I warped it with fingering weight yarn and had to alternate two skeins of super bulky yarn. I had to alternate because what I thought were two matching skeins, were not actually matching skeins. They had similar colors, but one incorporated black and the other did not.  There was not enough yarn in either (only 57 yards each) to make a something, so I had to use both, which created interesting selvages.  I will leave it at that...


Warp:  The remnants of an unknown bright fingering yarn from my stash that I believe was Alisha Goes Around.

Weft: Araucania Maipo. One of the two skeins was in Cranberry Gold. I do not know what colorway the darker skein was. 

This one came out to be 8.5" x 74".

None of these have been hemmed or washed yet. That is tonight's project.

23 days until Christmas?

The gift pile is growing!!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Surroundings

My little room is my favorite place in the entire house.

It was once the younger daughter's bedroom and retains the blue and green walls, as well as the whimsically embroidered sheer panels over the windows. In truth, I prefer the blue to the green, but not enough to repaint.

It is almost square at approximately 13' x 14'.

Again, it is not large, but just right for me (and the dogs).

Fortunate to be able to telecommute three days a week, this is where I spend most of my waking moments, day and night.

It serves as a yoga sanctuary in the early morning, office space, yarn and finished project storage, weaving room, and place to think and be.

As I am in the process of cleaning it up and reorganizing a bit, the big dog bed, along with the big dogs, are absent from these shots, but CoalBear is safely and comfortably ensconced in his little cuddle cup.

The pictures have not been filtered or touched. The light in here is lovely most of the day, and it obviously looks different from different spots in the room. I do have a lamp in one corner.  The only time I use the overhead light is in the evening.







Where is your favorite spot?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tea towels, anyone?

A two-month project on the big loom is a BIG project, at least to me.

Back in September, I warped the Macomber with 608 ends of 8/2 natural colored cotton. My sett was 24 on a 12 dent reed, as I doubled the lace-sized thread.  Preparing the warp, threading the heedles, and sleying the reed probably took me six to eight hours alone.

The pattern I used is Peaceful Rhythm Towels from the May/June 2014 edition of Handwoven Magazine. There is one threading sequence, but four different treadling patterns.

Note: The original pattern called for 512 warp ends and a 10 dent reed with a sett of 20 threads per inch, but as I only have a 12-dent reed, I opted to change the sett to 24 and added threads to get the width I wanted. Also, the pattern recommended a 5-yard warp length for four towels, weaving each for 36" in length for finished dimensions of 21.5" x 30".

I warped 10.5 yards and was able to get 8 full-length towels with a 9th slightly shorter one, the purple.

My finished dimensions were 21" x 31" for eight of them and the last one was 21" x 24".  I was particularly pleased my math worked out so closely to the original width-wise, as I used a different sized dent reed!

Each of them is done in a different color. I did that to keep from becoming bored with the project.



The first two took most of the two months to do, as I only spent ten minutes at a time weaving on them; however, the last seven were woven in about two-and-a-half days, including one full day of weaving.



Overall, I could not be more pleased or satisfied with this project. I have 9 beautiful towels that are soft and, I assume, super absorbent. Alas, I have not committed to using any of them...yet!

There has been quite a bit of knitting going on, too!



The yarn is a combination of Shibui Alpaca DK (sadly discontinued) and Shibui Silk Cloud Lace in Grounds, Velvet, Cove, and Raspberry (beginning at the top left and reading left to right).  While the combination of yarns is a bit pricey, I realized there was enough to make two hats from each pairing, which means:  I am on the 8th hat!!

I totally got my money's worth.

Next up on the Macomber is another shawl, which will be followed closely by a baby blanket for a friend of a friend!

Once the Christmas knitting is complete and those two weaving projects are done, I want to weave some fabric to make this for me:




While I love the Pendleton wool she chose for it, I thought it might be a nice project to test some handwoven wool on.

My hope is that I can get to it the week between Christmas and New Year's when I have taken some time from work.

How are your Christmas projects coming?

26 days...

Friday, November 25, 2016

Katia

Bulky yarn is something I have avoided in my knitting life, but as a weaver, I have come to embrace it!

A few weeks ago, I came across a pair of skeins that I could not resist. I loved the colors and, lately, weaving with thick-thin yarns has been a pleasure. It is called Stratos by Katia yarns in #151.

Most people find brown boring, but I like brown, a lot.


My original thought was to use some brown fingering yarn I had as a warp, but after I tossed these two onto my desk and looked around my office, I decided to use some Tencel I had in a color called Whipple Blue.

Now, I did not know what a whipple was, but I thought it might be a bird.  Google tells me it is a procedure relating to pancreatic cancer. I don't know why the name is Whipple Blue, but it is pretty and does not appear to have anything to do with cancer.

Saturday night a big project came off the loom (more on that later).  Sunday morning, I decided to warp the loom for something for me, but it had to be a quick project because Christmas is coming.

There were half a dozen contenders, but my eyes kept moving back to Katia Stratos. Each ball contained only 153 yards, so I knew once the loom was dressed, it would not take long.

Using this warping calculator, I was shooting for a finished object approximately 78" long and 16" wide.

With only 232 warp ends, I had the loom ready to go in less than a couple of hours.


A few more hours of weaving, and I had a finished shawl!  All in the same day!



Washed and finished, it is 83" long and 18.75" wide!

Perfect!

I just love it!

For the ends, as I am not a fringe girl, I simply ran the edges through my sewing machine's zigzag stitch two or three times, then doubled some brown fingering weight yarn and did a blanket stitch along each edge to hide the zigzags.  It works for me!

Now, if only the temperature would drop 20 degrees for me to be able to wear it!!

How many days until Christmas?



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My mind is a strange and nebulous thing

Sometime after the first of the year, I knit a triangular striped shawl with lace edging. At least, I thought I did.

It seemed like it was knit with a grey and a green; however, when I checked my Ravelry project page, I saw no evidence of it, which stumped me.

I tried to put it aside, thinking I had thought about knitting something like that, as I began to pour over my pattern queue trying to figure out what I wanted to make with this little lovely:


It is from Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in "Under the Mistletoe."  It is a little pre-Christmas treat the husband is unaware he gifted me.

Not in the mood to make socks, I wanted a shawl of some kind, and I wanted something stripey. Diving into my stash, I found a skein of Malabrigo Sock in "Violeta Africana" that complimented it nicely.


Abandoning Ravely, I decided to search through my knitwear cabinet. Low and behold, I found the shawl I only thought I had knitted!!



It was only after I had it in my hands did I realize the reason it is not on Ravelry is because it is an original design, which I have not yet published.  Oops.

I knit it in January and obviously had a lot going on back then. What, I am not quite certain.

After I recalled that it was one of my designs, I then tried to remember what I had named it, so I could find the pattern on my computer.

Nope.

Nothing came to mind.

I went through my digital photos (and found those above) and got an approximate date, then I did a file search and came up with the pattern.  YAY!

No name came to mind because I had not really named it, I just called it Charcoal Moss Shawl for the colors it contained.

So, just as soon as the Christmas knitting (and weaving) are done, expect me to knit one of these, come up with an appropriate name, and publish the pattern!  So exciting, I know!

In other news, there has been quite a bit of weaving going on.

The little Cricket has been very busy.

This one uses Cascade 220 fingering for the warp and Malabrigo Rios in "English Rose" for the weft. Once finished, each of the cowls is approximately 7.75" wide and 71" long, which means when the ends are seamed together, there is plenty of length to wrap it twice around the head and neck.

 

Here we have more Cascade 220 fingering for the warp in "Jasmine," I think and Universal Yarns Bamboo Bloom in "Koi Pond" for the weft.  Love how this thick/thin yarn weaves!


The English Rose was sewn into an infinity cowl and got away from me before I had a finished picture, but here is the Koi Pond with its lovely new owner:


This next one has, you guessed it, Cascaded 220 fingering for warp in "Plum," and Universal Yarns Bamboo Bloom in "New Years" for its weft.


It's gorgeous owner was also gracious enough to model for us!


Beautiful ladies and very dear friends!


Now, back to the grind! I have some gifts to finish so I can knit a shawl for myself!!

UPDATE: I found the project back with the remnants of the shawl yarn in it, along with some additional notes. I apparently named the shawl Emerson.  I like that.  Emerson, it is!!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A very special finished project!

Remember those needlepoint Christmas stockings I have been working on (and off) for about ten years?  The second and FINAL one is done!!



Thank God!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Maxfield Trippin'

It all started in the Spring of 2015, when I saw a cardigan pattern that I had to have...for me.

I made it for me, and the younger daughter liked it so much, she asked me to make one for her.

Hers was knitted up for Christmas and when the older daughter came home and saw her sister's cardigan, she wanted one, too.

That's three for those who are counting...



Pattern: Maxfield Cardigan by Amy Christoffers

Yarns: Valley Yarns Northfield for the solid colors (Black and Navy), Koigu Kersti Merino Crepe in 641 (reds) and K118C (on the Navy background), and Lorna's Laces Honor in Shoreline (blues on the black cardigan).  

I LOVE the Koigu Kersti. It is springy and lovely to touch and knit.  The Northfield was a nice surprise with a blend Merino/Alpaca/Silk at a reasonable price.  The Lorna's Laces was my least favorite, even though the pattern was originally designed with this yarn. Despite its Alpaca/Silk blend, I found it to be stringy and thin. It is also very expensive.  I would not use it again.

The first sweater took me about three weeks to knit. The second a couple of months, and the third about ten months.  

The pattern is extremely well written, and it is a delightful knit. I just found knitting it for the third time to be sluggish, as there were no surprises.

Having said that, I could not be more pleased with the result!!

Now, to wrap it in anticipation of Christmas!