Monday, March 31, 2008

Really Whoda Guessed??

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Merino Wool.You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to keep you close because you are so softhearted. You love to be comfortable and warm from your head to your toes.
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Warping an Ashford RH

Since the ordeal of my last warping episode, I have been re-warping and undoing knots in yarn. Peg ask how do you warp a la Ashford, which is a direct warping method. I took a few pics for your visual enjoyment, with which, without I probably couldn't explain how I get this done.
You space the loom and the peg at the distance that you want you warp to be mine was at 87 inches, plus a foot or so for the back beam tie up and the front beam tie up. It help if you put some kind of weight on the loom so that is doesn't slide towards the peg as you warp. The book suggests you clamp the loom to a table, but I'm short a table and have the loom stand so, I improvise.

These are pics of the loom and peg set up

On the left is a close up of the back beam, you tie the initial yarn and wrap around the lead stick, mine is attached to the loom and can't be removed with out damaging the plastic anchors that attach it to the back beam.

The picture on the left is my warp going through the slots, when it's all said and done all my slots will have two warp threads running through them.

Then I take my yarn and put one through the heddle eye. Then I have one in the slot and one in the heddle, in the up position all the heddle eye threads are in the open shed, in the down position all the slots are in the open shed, this is done down the loom, the warped loom looks like the bottom picture.

Once I got my loom all warped and tighten the back beam, I'm finally ready to start weaving, the next picture is the shawl I'm working on with some leno lace started.

After all that weaving fun, I needed to relax, plus my eldest had been bothering me (umm asking politely) for a wash cloth, so while I watched the movie Martian Child, which was a really awesome family flick, I knitted this for him. Now he can wash behind his ears without a problem, hehe.. ;)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

No Warping, Some Potential Buyers

I regret to tell you all that the warping of my loom has been put on pause. We have been trying to sell our home for about a year now, this is the second RE Agent and third listing. Yesterday my agent called and told me he has scheduled potential buyer every night this week from 7:30 - 9:00, arrghh!! We want to sell, we need to sell, not because we are in financial trouble, but because we have a plan to move out of state in about 5 years and to put that into place we need to get out of the house, the down side is that showing the house bites into my weaving time. So I ran around yesterday, putting away my yarn, warping peg and moving my loom into a corner of the dining room to try to hide it from plain view. My agent calls it a distraction, and I totally agreed, but in the way he meant it :)

So no weaving until Saturday, but since no one mentioned anything about my knitting, I do that while folks are poking their noses in my cabinets and closets. Although I must say I had one husband state to his wife that he'd buy the house if she could keep the closets as organized as I had them, to which she promptly replied, "only if you can keep the garage the way they have it so I can park my car and actually do laundry without having to trip over your garbage". Scary couple. The next made comments on how big our bed was, we have a king size bed, how much furniture fit in the house and how strange that my son's curtains were so dark. I thought well your not buying any of that, just the house, we'll clear everything out. People are a bit strange.

I finished my DD sweater which I hop too assemble it tonight, and worked some on the entrelac afghan. I'll have some photos for you tomorrow.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Bit of This and A Bit of That

Thanks, for the comments on yesterday's question, I found your thoughts and answers interesting and creative. Now I don't feel so bad with my answer and I'm glad that creative minds have a quick wit. :)

I just got some goodies, because if you can believe this "ALL THE YARN I OWN IS PLANNED FOR A PROJECT"!! WHOA!! YAY!! Not that I am by any stretch a yarn collector, my inner organizer can't justify over buying until I use what I have, really it keeps me and my poor family in some kind of a controlled environment, plus clutter makes me itchy. (I'm sure it's some type of OCD) Since I can buy more yarn, I did (hehehe impishly wiggles the eyebrows). Look at this:

These are called Citrus blend they are 4 oz each = 1500 yds.

The bottom four are 3oz each mix lot = 272 yds/per

The top fourteen are 2oz each mix lot = 187 yds/per.

All are cotton chenille sport weight soft and airy really nice yarn, although I have heard all the horrors of weaving with chenille I'd like to take my chances and try it out myself. I have planned an afghan for the Citrus mix, since the interior of my house is in the green stage of it existence, we've been through the beige, yellow and blue stages so naturally green was next. If I encounter too much worming which seems to be the major compliant I can always knit the rest.

If your interested in some Jenny of Pretty Yarns is a wonderful Ebay vendor, fast as lightning shipping and a real pleasure to deal with.

On the weaving front; after four tedious hours of undoing my latest fiasco (huh) attempt at weaving, we have so far only this,

I know not impressive, but I plan on finishing it tonight getting the rest of the warp on and rolling it ever so carefully on the back beam and for Peg I will take pics of the direct warping which I call ala Ashford style. This shawl has really tested my patience, the DH thinks I'm nuts, he's asked several times, "why don't you just start all over"?, he doesn't get that this is starting all over.

I have a question for you

I was at the doctor's office with my hubby, he's was sick last week and we needed to see a Gastroenterologist. While he was in the consultation room, I was in the waiting room, of course knitting. I had a few curious stares, but some comments as follows:

1. Oh that's so nice you entertain yourself while waiting, this from an older lady.

2. What are you making? This from a child that was attentively watching, I bet I could have taught, if the kid's mom didn't make the following comment.

3. You know you can buy a sweater really cheap at XYZ. The kid's mom, who was yapping into a cell phone and couldn't shut up long enough other than to tell me where I could buy what I was hand making.

4. I couldn't waste my time, if you can get it at XYZ. This from a 20 something, to which I had to answer.

I'm not really wasting my time, you see, I'm making a sweater for my daughter, not because I can purchase it, but because I simply can. You really can't buy this sweater at XYZ, because it's hand made and they don't sell anything that is hand made. I thought about the pattern, took the exact measurements for my daughter's body and selected a yarn that she will love. So you see, it takes some thought and preparation to make something hand made, that the person you made it for will feel special every time she puts it on. You really can't buy that. The room fell deafly silent, I was in shock of what came out of my mouth, but really felt it was the truth and simply stated, although I think it might have sounded kind of snide, but I don't know, no one made another comment after that. I've had the similar comments on the handwoven pieces also, mostly from my SIL's non are fiber addicted, or do any creative anything.

So my question to you is how do you answer someone when they ask; Why are you doing that, or why would you if you could buy it?? I'm interested to know if you have a different take on what we all know is one of a kind handmade item.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I have been neglecting my weaving loom and decided last night is was high time I put some warp on and get going, well, that's what I thought anyway.
I warp my loom using a peg and directly on to the loom, a la Ashford Style , so I started my usual way. I was using cabled crochet cotton and regular crochet cotton, for a shawl. Everything was going as planned and then it started getting weird, as I was winding up the back beam, the warp slid off my banner sheet on to the bare back beam then into the join the yarn was tangling up on the heddle before it was going through, you'd think I would have stop and reassessed at this venture, but no, not me. I managed to get it all on and I thought well I'll just wind forward and fix it. HA!! that was the understatement of the year!! Stupid me didn't use a seperator sheet for that and guess what happened next? Well needless to say I was beyond annoyed with myself, and for a person that can curse effectively in three different languages, if you include my high school French, well everyone took cover the DH went into the bedroom, the dog in the cage and my DD who had just come home from work never said a word. Think Ricky Ricardo to the tenth power, multiply by 1000 and then you can get a picture, not a pretty sight.

I decided to cut my losses, since the yarn is not expensive enough to worry about so, I started to chop it out, at the time I could have really taken the circular saw to it, but I love my loom so I cut, and cut and cut and cut, did I say I cut. After I sat for two minutes and laughed through the tears, I decided I need to take some pics . So I present to you the Yarn Disaster of 2008.

I could only salvage the cabled crochet yarn, so I have to start, shall we say "OVER".

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


TA-DA!! I took my class on Sunday and produced this. So it's not perfect but hey, I got the concept. The class was informative and I found out a few tips on how to accomplish some basic knitting techniques that I lacked. The LYS owner, was in a different mode while teaching and was not at all critical of my use of my weirdo knitting, met some other knitters that were really nice and like me not that accomplished so I felt comfortable and tried my best to follow along.
Since completing this scary swatch I cast on for my stash busting afghan. I inherited a bunch of (old) huh vintage yarn from a co-worker's mom that passed about two years ago. The colors are very different, the yarn is coarser than you find in today's market, but once you wash it, the stitches relax and the fabric softens. I'll post some of that later once I get some rows completed. I'm also almost finished with my DD's sweater, one sleeve to go, yeah , just in time for summer, oh well she can use it in the lab class she says you can chill a side of beef in there.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

LYS Class and Baby Blanket

I'm coming out of my cold/flu and have been working on the baby blanket trying to finish it. I bought flannel material and have begun pinning it to the reverse side. As I'm doing this I realize that the darn thing is not straight nor even, the stitches took up so where the mitered squares are is 1/2" larger than the body. I thought about stretching it, but I just don't know I'll see how I do this weekend with it.

In other news, I signed up @ the snobby LYS store that got this post, for the Entrelac class on Sunday from 3 to 5 pm. I took my hubby's advice, he simply stated, "Don't keep them from letting you learn something you want to, it's only 2 hours and you can handle 2 hours". So he's right, I really do want to learn to do this technique, it's for my stash buster afghan, and besides I'm a tough cookie, I can handle it for that short time. I'll just weirdo knit, and drive everyone crazy, while I learn a new technique. So wish me luck, I'll try to be a good girl and keep my inner snarky under control, hehe.

I have no project pics since wiping my nose, coughing and headache don't mix with photography so here is a pic from my trip. Even though I was freezing I'd rather be there.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I HAVE THE FLU!!! UGH!!! My throat is on fire, and that's all I can say. I'll see you all later, when I'm not contagious. :0)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Finished & Washed

I got out the heavy artillery, this is my sewing machine, it's a Brother, simple and easy to use. Then I got out my tomato pin cushion which has quilting pins, they are longer and thinner than regular pins and I really like them for sewing they stick out really far enough for me to pull them out right before I run over them. I pinned the mats with the hem stitching inward.

Set up my tension, this was a bit of trial and error, the cotton yarn doubled makes for a really thick fabric. I did two rows of straight stitching and cut off the excess warp threads for a neat edge. Then I noticed I'd made a mistake when I planned the mats. I should have given myself at least 14 weft shots of the white, this would have allowed me to fold the edge over once more and have everything tucked under. I made notes on this for the next mats.

This is what they looked like before the second fold over, after that my camera decided not to take anymore pictures, so I'll have to get them up tomorrow, after wash and dry, with final measurements.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Barely Made It!!

This picture is definitely a weaver's nightmare, I'm at the end, the very end of my warp and have 11 weft shots to go. At this point every warp thread is hand manipulated, because there is almost to way to tension it properly. Since I was so close, I needed to finish it.

Of course, not with out some fretting and slow as molasses picking, but the results were well worth it.

Here they are, before cutting them apart, now I have to hem and wash them. I have to say I really like the hem stitching it was really worth the time and effort it took to get it done, the edges are really neat and should easily sew up I also did the white header/ender to turn over. I will do a step by step for Leigh who did the best post on Hemming Hand- Woven Fabrics, which taught me a lot from the post and comments everyone gave.

The details are:

Before washing:

Size off loom: 15 1/2" x 23 1/2" I estimated they would be 16 x 24 so closed enough with the take up of 1/2"

Materials: Peaches and Cream 2 balls of 2 oz color Bubblegum weft, and White warp 1/4" of a 1# cone @ 112" measured warp.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Lost Studio, Found Inspiration

I also lost my studio,waaaahhhhh!! sniff sniff. My youngest step son move back in, so I've been downgraded to the seldom used dining room . Yes, I miss my room.

After all the feeling of loss and grief, I decided to try and turn it into a productive weekend, I organized my weaving journal and notes not a heavy task, since I haven't been weave long, but I noticed that on some items the notes are detailed other vague, some of my notes are in various notebooks, so I sat and printed pictures, wrote notes and details and I even wrote down some tips to remind myself how things work and how not to go down a path that didn't work. I'm not a neat freak by far, but I like to have my crafts organized, I always feel that I'm more productive in my thinking, creativity and vision of what I want, when I have what I need, where it should be. (my mom always said everything has a place and everything in its place, is the order of the universe, I use to think that was a load of crap, but you know, as always, true wisdom comes with age, now I truely listen when she sputters pearls of wisdom or should I say purls, hindsight is 20/20) Thank God my DH understands my need to create, because he's a neat freak, but not with my crafts that he leaves alone. The the garage is his domain, the rest of the house is mine :) love how that works, what's yours is yours and what's yours is mine LOL.Once I organized my work space I felt compelled to warp my loom after not working on it for 2 months, this felt really good and it eased my sense of loss.

I figured I wanted to try some lace patterns, I warp on for some place mats to play around with, since I can use them later I don't mind fiddling with them. I like they way they are turning out, I'm on the second mat with the first sequence of my pattern. I also hemstitched the edges, they look really neat and tidy, this is the first for both techniques and I'm really appreciating the process. I have already started thinking about doing the lace shawl, with the crochet cotton I was trying to knit in this post, since I love the colors and can't figure out what to do with the yarn I might as well try weaving something lacey and delicate. I downloaded this tutorial which is great, and it answered most if not all the questions that were in my mind.
You can see the hemstitch on the top.
On the right I have 2x2 leno
4 weft rows and 1x1 leno.