Monday, April 28, 2008

Failure at it's finest

I was inspired to make an eyeglass purse from and curious textiles , which I think have the most beautiful bags and coin purses.

I purchased these frames and of course the small one is for eyeglasses purse, so I grabbed my project bag that I had put together for this idea. I followed all the directions with the exception of zigzag stitching my woven fabric so it would not fall apart, well as you can see in the pic after all the sewing and interfacing and turning the bag inside out, I found *shaking head side to side in dismay* that my woven fabric came apart at the seams. WHAAAAAAA!!! This only fortified my fear of cutting the stuff, not a good outcome. But I have convinced myself after much debate (this goes on in my head so that the family doesn't think I've lost the little marbles I have left) that I must try it again, no matter how painful, stressful or time consuming it is. I can't give into that feeling of hopelessness that I get at the thought of cutting my hand woven. I can only thank God that I'm not using any yarn that I would consider irreplaceable or valuable, I'd probably have a nervous breakdown.

I know - it looks so pitiful, oh well, try, try again. I need to weave some more fabric for it.

No pics for you!

I've finished the Exhibition scarf, but can't show you a pic. I'm still knitting the baby cardi, but forgot to take a pic. So what is this post about, well, it's Monday and I've been all over the blogs and have found two from Peg's list that I want to share with you in case you don't read Peg's and since I have no pics for you, I figured I can give you some eye candy from elsewhere.

The first is a Finland weaver, with the most beautiful weaving, simple but very striking just a wonderful blog,which I totally enjoyed. Then from her blog I got to this Brazilian weaver so many interesting pieces, I fell in love with the wall hangings and my creative juices are starting to buzz around, I loved the weaving, but what really struck me is the framing of it. So simple and complimentary to the pieces, just beautiful. There is some sisal rug burning technique that I need to translate, but really interesting.

One more blip in my scattered form of writing today, does anyone know where I can find an inkle loom that won't break the bank, below $50.00 would be great, thanks... :) (well not really so scattered this would pertain to the wall hanging nugget from above)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Recycle and Re purpose

What do you get when you mix a used bath scrubby, a bread bag tie, and yarn?

If you live n my house, the used bath scrubby gets washed in the washer and hung to dry, then taken apart and cut it to store knitting yarn, as in the pic below. This idea came to me as, I'm notorious for getting commercial skeins knotted and tangled from the wrong end as I start knitting that end always seems to undo itself, although I can sit and un-do my mess I rather not, so in comes the netted scrubby.
I cut the length to fit the skein tie two knots at one end put the skein in and leave the other end open for the working yarn to flow through.

For the bread bag ties, well those get used as yarn bobbins, they work like a dream. This is something else the kids know that doesn't get tossed out, but into mom's craft draw. I got this idea from some magazine long ago, I wish I would have kept the article, but I didn't so I give credit where it do for the idea, but I sure got use out of it. Recycle and re purpose.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Small Scarf Virtual Exhibition - Scarf #1

I warped my loom for the Small Scarf Virtual Exhibition that Meg is putting together follow the link and you too can join.

I bought the chenille yarn and I thought it would be good to give it a try. Warping with it was fine, worked out some kinks, figured out why I was having issues and accomplished the task with out a hitch, of course I didn't warp the entire width just the required 6" or so.

I started with plain weave and soon found out that this stuff is sticky, there is no throwing the shuttle and catching it at the other end, it gets stuck in midstream. This really is not a problem cause I can nudge it through. But when it came to the leno lace I was putting in, well now that's another story all together.

Getting the hand manipulated twist was, shall we say "challenging" and as a result I don't like the look of it. I thought since these colors remind me of a rugged log cabin/flannel shirt, some lace would be unexpected, and it is, in concept but not in actuality. The ends look really sloppy and the leno twists are not as twisted as I would like, so I will unravel it back to the leno starting point and well, start over. I'm going to try something different and see if I can accomplish the delicate/rough balance I'm trying to convey. If I don't get the balance then It's going to be a plain weave color exploratory.

I'm using the same sequence in the weft colors as I did in the warp and do like the look of that so that will definately stay.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Organizing Projects

As you may or may not know I like to organize my projects once I know what I'm doing with what yarn , pattern or idea. So what I do is that I take the plastic zipper bags that bed linens come in when you buy them at the store and re-use those as project keepers. Yes, some folks might think it's too much work, but it keeps me on track , but most of all, the projects don't take over the house, which DH, DD and both DS's really appreciate. There nothing like waking up in the middle of the night and tripping over a box of chenille yarn that was next to the loom that was pulled into the middle of the room to be worked on, that you accidently stubbed your toe while trying to get to the kitchen for a glass of water, *guilty smirk*, so it keeps the peace and the house in order.

My projects usually start this way, then I pick the bag that my project will fit in and stuff it with all the ingredients needed to make the project.
So then for the eyeglass purse I took, my woven fabric, my marking pencil, glue, purse frame, flannel lining and thick interface. I also stuck the charms I wanted for the loop and the CD with the purse instructions I got from U-handbag

The final outcome is this package that I put on the shelf so when I get ready to do it, everything is at hand.

When it's yarn and knitting instructions, I make a copy of the instructions and put in the yarn, needles, stitchmarkers and whatever else needs to go into that project in the bag. Everyone in my house knows that zippered plastic bags go to mom, so whenever anyone comes home with one, they get donated to the craft shelves.

So there's my anal rententive summary for the week LOL. But really if it helps one person then it was worth the blog post, and possible eyerolls.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Decoupage Tutorial

Some of the FO for this weekend included this project.
Decoupage has been something I've always liked to do, it fun and the results can never really be planned. I had this really pretty, deco silk screen image and always wanted to place her on canvas I thought about transferring the image and painting her, but never really got into doing it. I bought the canvas this weekend and painted it contrasting colors of what my image was to do this I use acrylic paints and mixed them as I painted on the canvas, some I mixed before hand. I use and empty Styrofoam egg crate to mix acrylics, The paint doesn't stick to the crate and I get to recycle the egg crate by washing it out, I wish I would have gotten a pic of my paints inside the crate, but you get the idea.

Then I poured some Mod Podge, which is like Elmer's glue with extra water, although I never tried that, I guess I should, covered the entire surface of the canvas and laid out my silk screen deco beauty. I squared it off and let it dry for about 15 mins or so.

After that I poured more Mod Podge and covered everything all over again, making sure my brush strokes were deliberate and thick.

At this point it really needed to dry overnight, once that was done I took some Antiquing acrylic and rubbed it all over the totally dry canvas.

Voila, finished piece of art work ready to hang and enjoy.

So what are you waiting for, go decoupage something, quick LOL...

Babies, Babies and more Babies

This beautiful baby is Abby, she's the daughter of my friend's in SC. She's all wrapped up in the blankie I made for her, such a cutie.

I had a really busy weekend DH was doing inventory cycle counts on Friday and Saturday so I was left to my own devices. I shopped on Friday evening at the AC Moore store I found, what a great place it was so organized I was almost afraid to touch stuff, but you know I did. I picked up a few items, and there was yarn on SALE!! I also did some serious weaving, knitting and I even got a chance to paint and decoupage this weekend.

I have an FO to show you, I finished the mitered baby blanket for my co-worker just in the nick of time the baby was born on Thursday, so when I went to the hospital on Saturday to see them I took this to her.

For the reverse side, since I didn't do a really good job of joining the pieces together the back was uuuuuggggglllyyyy, I knit a piece to cover that portion of the blocks and bought buttons to hold it all together, and after the washing and drying all the ugly stitches were gone, I was so glad, but next time I know better and will try a pickup technique that I have learn although mitered squares are not really something I was to revisit I didn't enjoy knitting these, maybe if I find a pattern that is knit rs, purl ws instead of this one that had knit, purl and garter stitches, for all the squares I knit I never learned the sequence.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Reluctant Model

This is my DD, as you can tell she doesn't like to model. But she does love her new sweater, which I'm glad she does because once again I'm not happy with the pattern.
She is, as you can clearly see a XS or S, I choose the S so that if she wanted she'd have some room to layer, well the S body fits me except for the upper arms, mine are too chunky! What am I? L or XL, I measured, did the gauge swatch, pick the correct yarn and needles, but yet, the elusive correct size is evading me. Another little mishap was the collar it was too open a V neck I had to crochet a loop and put in a button, which was a cute addition, and it helped to keep it from rolling down her shoulders. The positive was that it was an easy knit and it went by rather quickly. I want to knit myself one and will use the M size and open the arm holes larger, I will also not open the collar so far down although I like the button idea. If your inclined to try it, here is the pattern.
My LYS has a class on how to properly fit patterns to your or anyone else's body type, I think that's the next class I will sign up for, hopefully I can learn to design my own patterns.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Life's Curve Balls

We're back from the surgical center, and DH has been diagnosed with Colitis, after his Colonoscopy. So he needs to go on a lot of antibiotics and pills to regulate the outbreak, he also has to be on a Low Residue Diet. Poor baby, he's been ill for three weeks and has lost 15 pounds, he was really unhappy with the whole out come, but as I said to him, it could have been much worst, so we do have to thank God that since it's not curable at least it is treatable.

I have been working on some projects and finished DD sweater, I just have to get pics of it all. I also got my purse frames, and that was exciting, they're so cute. I have some woven fabric that has already been designated to a eyeglass case so once I design what I want and get some supplies together I can work on it this weekend. I just found out that there is an AC Moore near me, well really 10 miles away, but I've never been to one and the lack of craft stores in my area is sad, really, just think I actually got excited about this discovery, sad very sad, LOL.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hand Manipulated Weaving

I kept the center warp of the window treatment ( if we can call it that) which is 3" wide and have been experimenting with some hand manipulated weaving. I like the look of the fabric and the texture given it's sort a spongy and puffy. I was under the impression that I would have a balanced weave since both warp and weft are the same yarn, but on closer inspection I have noticed that this is a weft faced weave the warp is all but gone. So that was an interesting discovery for me. I also noticed in my weaving that the right side is nice and even and the left is not, so I need to work on keeping my tension even in throwing the weft and pulling through.

Meg is trying to put together a virtual exhibition of woven scarves. She has asked that I submit one, so this small piece will be the inspiration for the scarf with, of course some leno lace, which is one of my favorites at this moment.

I created a new group in yahoo a while back, RHLoomers and have discovered a lot of RH weavers, many new, some very experienced, but all excited about their weaving experiences, it has grown considerably in a short period of time and I hope that it will be a source of references, help and encouragement to the RH weavers.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Windows, afghans & UFO's

I cut off my weaving with much pain, but I could not get my warp to un-tighten itself. As I was in the process of doing this my realtor called, and had buyers that were coming to see the house. I was changing out my master bath, with new rugs, shower curtain and details, but I had forgotten about the window treatment, so in a pinch guess what made it into the bathroom?? Yeah I know it's short all around but in a pinch it worked!

I have gotten this far in my stash busting afghan, it's roughly 36" wide and I'm only on the fourth row, since this will be a Christmas present I'm not really pressed for time, this is what I take along to doctor's office visits, which lately seem to be one every week , since I've memorized the pick up and turns it's relatively an easy knit. I can't believe that I learned this only a few weeks ago, really neat stuff!! I also have learned that I'm definitely a earth tone yarn collector, no bright colors, harsh colorways, just natural tones.

I have currently four knitting UFO's which I'm not proud of owning that many, but I've been told that for knitters that is normal. My dilemma is if I weave, I don't knit and if I knit I don't weave. I'm seriously considering quitting work so I can stay home and do my thing, the trick is work pays for the supplies and then some LOL. Ahhh one can dream can't they?
I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Weaving Stand Still

I am at an impasse, I have one thread that is so tight while the rest are fine. I have unrolled some, re-rolled and I still have this issue. I'm so not happy with this warp, I should have just packed it away and not kept insisting on weaving it off. It's the left end thread, I'm tempted to cut it and add to it, but I know that can't be the answer. I quit trying to fix it last night at midnight, slept on it and still can't figure out what's up. I may just cut the whole thing off the loom and start something else fresh. I'm finding that when I warp the entire length of the loom the end are always a problem they are either too loose or too tight, even though I pay extra attention and care, because I know this has happened before. This is the second warp on the 12.5 dpi heddle that I make the same mistake, arrrrrghhhhhhhh!! I know I'm whining, but talk about having the wind sucked out of your sails. I've look through my books and none address this problem, so I have reason to believe that I'm the problem or that I did something wrong that I should have noticed. I don't know, I'll have to see what I do tonight with it.

On another happier note I have been inspired to try to make some purses, curiousweaver textiles, is a weaver in Australia and she has been making these coin purses that are just beautiful. I thought I would try to do the same and see how it went. I found and order some purse frames at a reasonable price. As I kept researching the web I came across, I was further inspired by Lisa, who does the most amazing fabric purses and she has a bunch of tutorials, which is great for visual learners.

Maybe I can use the warp that I'm going to trash for purse fabric, although I really wanted my shawl.