You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2007.

Sample on the loom

Just to to prove that I do more than knit, spin, and bake, here’s a sample weaving that I just completed last week.  It’s not pretty, but it’s woven.  The warp is a lovely, heathered 2/8 Merino/Cashmere that I got from Webs, and the color is Olive
Tweed. I have about five pounds of it, and another 5 pounds of the same stuff in Charcoal, which is a cool grey with white flecks. The wefts are an orange tussah silk that I got from the “make a donation” yarn box at Whidbey Guild, and two shades of green 20/2 silk that I got wind-offs of at Weaving Works in Seattle. I was hoping the green would tone down that rather violent orange, but that didn’t happen. I may have to overdye it, because it really is a rather dreadful color. Above, it’s still on the loom, and below, it’s washed.

Sample, washed

Is there anything right about this?  Sleyed too tight, the poor merino fibers have no room the fluff up and be free until the end of the sample.  The orange, which I was hoping would recede a bit, is really OUT THERE, and wants to be seen, even though I don’t want to look at it. The weave structure manages to come through, despite all it’s being forced to suffer, and I want to try it again, just with completely different fibers.  Well, the 20/2 silk is okay.  The structure is from Sharon Alderman‘s book, A Handweaver’s Notebook, Swatch Collection #18, fabric #3.

Any why do I have so much of the Merino/Cashmere and no real plan of what to do with it? Remember when the Lord of Rings Cloaks were the hot thing that everyone was weaving? My daughter was a major Lord of Rings fan, and really wanted one to wear to the local premier of the final movie.  Happy that there was something I could weave that she would actually wear,  we cybershopped and picked out these yarns, which I hoped together  would capture the elusive not-quite-green, not-quite-grey effect of the cloaks in the movie. Of course, they color-corrected the cloaks to make the color suit the scene, so really, you can’t weave something that will look exactly like what they had, all the time.

Wove up a sample, and the dear girl Did Not Like It. Realizing that buying more and more colors of yarn would be a futile effort, I went ahead and bought some nice commercial grey wool twill fabric, and made the cloak, (and pin) which turned out rather nicely, if I do say so myself. The cones of Merino/Cashmere were sent off to the corner to age. That was 2003.  It is now 2007, and that yarn is haunting me. I must do something with it!  Since the green is so warm and yellow toned, and the grey is so cool and, well, grey toned, I think they should not be together. I may just break down and weave two  simple plain weave lengths, each its own color, yards and yards of it. Or I could do something else. 

 Any suggestions? Please?

Hi to everyone who is visiting because Syne mentioned my blog on WeaveCast! Check back in a bit and I’ll have a woven sample up to pique your interest.

The Great Unwashed
As I mentioned the other day, I started a knitted purse. It’s now done, and making its shopping debut this afternoon. Made entirely of stash, and not just mine! My cousin, a fine pianist and piano teacher, came to the realization that she could either play piano or knit, but not both. Wisely choosing piano, she gave me all of her stash, and some of that (the pink yarn) has been incorporated into the purse. 

Note the cat.  No matter how invitingly I laid out the purse, she wouldn’t pose winningly on it.  This is the best I could get, one little tabby foot. (Hmm.  On later inspection, I see that the cat’s foot got cut off by the uploading process.  Take my word for it, there is a cat, and she still has all four feet.)

About 20 minutes of washing brought it to fine, felty goodness, below.

Finished purse

I’ve found that presoaking the to-be-felted article in hot soapy water helps cut down on the washing time.  I just put it in the laundry sink, cover generously with hot water and a splash of liquid soap, and cover the sink with a towel to keep the heat in.

Details: The yarn is Lamb’s Pride Bulky, and the pattern is Old Faithful from Cultured Purl.

Prompted by the January 2007 episode of WeaveCast  which challenged everyone to make a Weaving Resolution,  I said, “Do something with fiber arts every day . . . oh, yeah, and working from the stash is good, too.” So far, I’ve been fulfilling that resolution. Knitting is great for something I can just pick up and do for a few minutes. Yesterday afternoon was drawing to a close when I  picked up the current project for the first time that day, a knitted purse. I was working on the shoulder strap, a nifty piece of I-cord that is 8 stitiches wide. I finished one row, and thought, “Does this count?” Of course, 8 stitches is better than none! The purse is entirely worked from stash, and leftovers from other projects, at that. Many stash reduction points here. And, I had enough time in little snippets that by the end of the evening, I’d completed the strap and need only to figure out 3-needle bind-off to attach it to the body of the purse!

This year I’ve also done a little spinning, finished a baby sweater and a washcloth, made progress on the Lace Scarf From Hell (actually, the pattern is okay,  the yarn is the problem) and done a sample for a future weaving.  Pretty good for 5 weeks into 2007!

I came across this at the Wendy Knits blog, with rules for a Working From the Stash Challenge. I love it! I especially love the exceptions 🙂 I’m adding another exception for weavers, which is: If you are planning a weaving project and need to buy either warp or weft yarn, it’s okay, as long as the yarn used for the other direction comes from stash.

Have you made a Fiber Resolution? It’s not too late!

Off to conquer my purse strap  . . .

I just had lunch with my monthly Ladies Lunch group.  We’re a group of friends who met during the years our kids all went to school together at Maplewood K-8 Co-op. Although that batch of kids has gone on to college, we’re still friends, keeping in touch in a variety of ways, including this loose-knit lunch group. It’s great to have a cohort of women friends you’ve shared a lot of years with. We support each other in many ways, and love hearing about what each other’s families are up to, as they move on in life and face various transitions. (We, of course, are ageless.) Renee said she’s added my blog to her daily check-in, and I’m thrilled. Hello to all of you (you know who you are), and Renee, leave a comment, already!