Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

The future depends on what we do in the present. - Mahatma Gandhi
North Georgia - 3/2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Leno Lace, Beads & Inkles

I started working on the table runner and finally decided how I was going to incorporate the beads into my leno lace work. I did a generous 4 x 4 leno, which open up some really great space and inserted the beads in between the spaces. I really like the way it looks and the natural wood beads really go with the beachy, sea foam theme on this one.
After the leno beads I did a more conservative leno in 2x2 above it. Since it's a table runner and my SIL loves to put a lot of tchotchkes on her tables, I have to limit the decorating touches to the ends. But I think I may take liberties with the extra warp and do some serious bead enhancements, I'm thinking of doing some squares of tabby and squares of beads, I really do like the effect and it's fun to experiment. I love when I work and get a creative influx of ideas, this time around though I writing and drawing as I go, it makes for slower weaving but I tend to lose the creative thoughts after I finish the actual piece, this way I can keep a record of what my mind is visualizing as I'm working. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone but I'm hoping it will help me concentrate and keep me focused on what I want to do next.

I really enjoy the closeup on the camera, really gives you a good look at what's going on.
Along with the table runner, I started warping my inkle for what I'm calling a baja bag. It's a small bag to carry around a cell, id and some cash and lip balm what more can a girl want? Small, compact and flirty. I started with some black, variegated yellow, royal blue. I have neon pink to add and maybe some purple not sure yet. I'm trying a new technique on my loom since it's not open on one end I always run into a warping issues. I'm warping individual strands tied together, it's slower but the tension seems to be better and the ends are really tidy, which I like.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Some Actual Weaving

I warped my RH last night. It really felt great to be active at the loom again, I've been knitting a cropped cardi for myself and finally finished it on Sunday just in time to wear for the strappy summer dresses that I tend to live in when the temps reach 90+ around here, I hate summer in Florida, but at least I can now dedicate some evening time to weaving again.

I'm going to weave a table runner and knit some pot holders for my SIL for Mother's day. I'd decided that she was the only person I would create something for this year and I'm going to stick to it, my mom and aunt want purses but the time crunch to get them done will not work for me, I don't want to kill myself to get it done, so I'm not. My hubby finally convinced me of that, he told me "You create because you love it, once you have to , te pones pesada y no hay quien te resiste" (you get cranky and no one can put up with you) we speak Spanglish with the final part of that very exaggerated hand movements and facial expression, LOL. He's right, the minute I have to produce anything on command or demand, I procrastinate and my creative mojo dries up like a shriveled rose in the hot Florida sun and I do get rather cranky and irritated. I know this about myself, I really do, because when I was in college and majoring in Commercial Art and Advertising, one of my professors Mr. Ink (he would sign his work with an inkblot very creatively unique person) told me "your really good kid, but only when you want to be, and in this business you gotta be good all the time if not, your not going to make it", I'm not good all the time only when the mood strikes me, so he was very observant and wise. I warped some cotton and decided that a I would call this one Sea foam table runner it's just what the colors of the ocean looks like when the waves are crashing into the sand and sun is geaming down on the whole beach scene. I want to incorporate some beads within a leno lace, I haven't worked out how I'll do it but I can play with it. I have extra warp on and will get extra fabric I would like to make a few more tissue box covers, which were the intented gifts this year and I'm sticking to it.

This was as much as I got done last night not much to look at, but it felt good and that's half the battle.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Key West, FL.

The day was overcast but 85 degrees F, hot , humid and definitely April in Florida. On the way down I saw this plate and just had to take a pic. Isn't it great, the hubster was just shaking his head, I know he was thinking "all this woman thinks about is fiber". Yeah I kind of do, but then again that makes me happy.

Once we got into Key West we parked, which is no easy feat, more nightmarish that I'd thought since it's off season and summer hasn't really taken off yet. We started walking around and doing the tourist sightseeing, no matter how many times I go to Key West I love to just walk around this place. This is the Harbor House circa 1886 after we walked around a bit we ran into the Drag Races 2010, um, we didn't know it was Gay Pride Weekend - everyone including the locals were just having a great time.

I have to say I really like the pink shoes it made the whole outfit work.
After the races we walked over to Tiki Tony's were patrons can write whatever they want on a dollar bill and staple it to the beams. We don't really drink during the day so the Duval Crawl was not in the plans for us. But I do hear they make really great Mojitos and Margarita's, we must get down here for a night trip. We ate at Caroline's Cafe , Mr. Deepend had blacken chicken sandwich and I had the fried fish sandwich both were tasty and filling with just the right amount of spices and sauces, wonderful place to sit under umbrellas and relax with a great lunch and cold iced tea.

Then it was off the see the historic sites, Audubon House,

Casa Cayo Hueso {ca-sa ka-yo whe-so} (literal translation House Key Bone or Key Bone House), this is the southernmost house in the USA own by a Cuban American Family since the 1930's it has been turned into a luxury B&B and restaurant, I heard both are fabulous and really expensive, maybe someday we'll treat ourselves and stay for the weekend. The architecture is really gorgeous and the view of the ocean is outstanding..

And because my hubby will be reading this post, here he is in his beloved car, our ride to the Keys. He's very fond of this car, sort of the way I feel about my fiber only his hobby is more expensive LOL..

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Colors of April

We headed to Key West this past weekend, both hubby and I were in need of a day trip on my way I thought I'd post the Colors of April with the pics I took over the weekend. This way a fun relaxing day for us the drive is always great and Key West has a lot of history and local wackiness to keep you entertain, I'll post some other pics of that a bit later in the week. A hybrid Hibiscus in the morning sunlight. Purple bougainvillea in full bloom, these are beautiful, but have long thorns, usually they are used as a barrier because of the thorns.

Banana tree flowers, they look like birds of paradise.

A local at Mallory Square pier, these pilings are for the cruise ships that stop here.

Metal Sculpture Art, very Key West you see these all over the exterior walls of homes in the area. They're whimsical and fun much like the place itself.
Anne's Beach, Mile Marker 73, Overseas Highway, Lower Matecumbe Key, oceanside.

Monday, April 19, 2010

You spin me right round baby, right round!

I plied the yarns that I had together to practice and these are the results. They are by all means "interesting" looking. The plying was relatively easier than spinning them sort of like twisting fringe unless of course I didn't that wrong, but they seemed ok to me, they lay flat when I un-skein them.

I'm still practicing and I think I'm getting a bit better. This is my third attempt and it seems to be going better and the yarn is a lot thinner and more even through out the spinning.

I'm separating the roving into thinner strips and drafting? (tugging it thinner) before I spin, it seems to help me get it more consistent thickness than drafting as I spin. I don't know if that's the correct thing to do, but I've seen a few youtube videos and the spinner's were working that way so I thought I'd try it out.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Wonderful Gift

Dave from the Weaving Studio
sent me a very generous spinning care package and OMG can I just rave about him for the next few posts! Dave you totally rocked my spinning world to bits with your care package extraordinaire.
Loving packed was : In better detail :
100% Merino Wool Super Wash OH BOY, is this stuff soft and wonderful.
50% Silk 50% Merino, nice sheen, softer than a baby's butt.
Angelina Fiber - looks like this will be fun stuff.
Hemp - I've never seen it before so WOW interesting.
Black Merino Wool, also soft and gorgeous deep color.
Then I saw these, samples of Dave's awesome weaving and spinning skills, no doubt in his abilities to produce wonderful results from some fiber! Hand spun and woven samples with his hand spun.

This my dear friends was the Pièce de résistance, can I tell you I'm in love. This spindle is beautiful, and can it spin like a top on crack!

This is the top with a very nice laser burned tree of life motif

and the outer rim is brass filigree that is very decorative and simply gorgeous, reminds me of a Moroccan bracelet my SIL has.

I couldn't wait to spin, I took some of the 100% Merino and started the Spindle is great, spins rapid fast and I had a good run with it. My hand spun still looks lumpy and bumpy but I enjoyed this spin much more than with the other spindle. I want to try it with the alpaca and then decide if it's the fiber or the equipment, but really I know it's the operator LOL..

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mother's day is only three weeks away!! Why is this alarming, because I took my new summer purse to my mom's on Sunday and the response was seriously overwhelming nice ohhs and ahhs and I'm so talented (these are my mom and aunt's words I always think my work is never clever or talented, because as we all know we are our own worst critics I'm working on that).

Both my mom and aunt would like a purse "just" like mine. Really? I don't have anymore of the woven material, purse hardware, beads or liner. Not a problem I can buy the latter and really welcome a trip to the craft store to accomplish that bit, but weave that much material and construct two bags, and knit my cardi for my strappy dress, geez a bit daunting no?

To which my husband's fantastic solution is "Honey I think you need some stock". Ya think babe, that would be nice, he's a great person but not on that type of issue, as if I can crank the stuff out at a snap of my fingers, which by now he should have grasped that concept, but he hasn't he secretly thinks I'm Wondergirl. The only thing I planned for Mother's day was my SIL very short table runner, because it was going to be, well... easy.

Whine much lately? yeah I am whining, I need to develop a selfish weaver mantra, much like my selfish knitter's, but I love my ma and aunt and they deserve a great (see I can compliment me) handwoven bag, because without those two women I wouldn't be half the woman I am today, so suck it up and make it work. Was that Tim Gunn I just heard? Get back to torturing the Project Runway designers Tim, I don't need you in my head, go,go,go!

In other news I lost another 2 pounds - down 12 and 30 to go!! I need something chocolaty!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Thoughtful Friday, cause I forgot it on Thursday!

Enjoy the sweetness of life.

Picture taken: Helen Fudge Shoppe, Helen GA. 2010

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Handspun?? Yeah Sure.

If you want art yarn? I'm your girl.
If you want uneven,slubby, thin, thick yarn? I'm your girl
If you want something that may resemble I roving/yarn mess? I'm your girl. This is my first attempt at spinning, yes it's a sad little thing but that drafting crap is hard. I can spin bulky weight yarn though really I can. LOL..

This is the beautiful roving you saw in the last post, well now it still beautiful but highly mutilated into slub, tight spun, bulky weight, more slub messy stuff.
But I can tell you I haven't laughed at myself out loud in a long time, doing this is so much fun even though the end product will be um.... useless.. maybe I can weave some into something and felt it later, for now I'm learning something new and if I get that drafting stuff to work out I might just make some bit of real yarn.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Totes, Roving and Wonderful Customer Service

This is the second bag I was working on, I just saw another bag yesterday that I might convince myself I want, but that is for another post. I got the idea for this bag from Woven-n-Spun. She did a great job on hers, I loved the concept and I wanted to use up some woven material and recycle old jean that don't fit Mr. Deepend anymore.

I put in a generous jean pocket and more pockets on the inside, you could say I never have enough pocket on the interior of my bags. All the hardware for the bags came from Joann Fabrics in case anyone has the inspiration to make bags, although I tell you the twist lock on this one was way easier to fiddle with than the doughnut on the other.

I got my new roving from Woolgatherings and OMG!! its gorgeous, CLEAN and lightning fast I ordered this roving on Saturday 4.3 and had it in my hands Monday 4.5 at noon, talk about quick service I was shocked at the turn around time - that my friends is wonderful customer service.

This is the original alpaca I got with the spindle, I did contact the vendor and they said they were sorry they disappointed me in this area.
I wouldn't have thought anything if I had any idea on how to process it, but I don't, so spinning with it will not be happening, it's a shame because it's really soft and a lovely chocolate color. (if anyone wants it please let me know, I can't do anything with it don't know how).
This is what was left behind from the photo shoot, not pretty, but understandable for raw material. This is my new roving, isn't it beautiful? I have 4oz of 100% Alpaca, and 1/4 oz of BFL?/Tussah Silk, what's BFL - I thought big fat and lazy?? haha. I'm sure someone will enlighten me on that cause Google doesn't know lots of hits for Body for Life and Bass Fishing League really there's an actual league, just boggles the mind, but I'm sure they would say the same about the fiber obsession going on over here.

Nothing but clean, soft, silky alpaca! I can't wait to start my spinning adventure. I hope to maybe have some spun at lunch time and get a pic for you to tell me if it looks like it should. ;)

Monday, April 05, 2010

New Bag and Update

This is my new summer bag, can I just say I have a new appreciation for purse/bag seamstresses. This stuff's not and I do repeat not a piece of cake. Of course it would help if I knew what the heck I was doing but, live a learn. This bit here, was annoying I bought the hardware almost a year ago, you know I went into Joann's and they were like 60% off and I thought whoa, that's a great deal you never know when the bag making mood will strike. but don't let those little doughnut shaped things fool you, the screws on that are tiiiiiiinyyyyyyy.
This is my interior fabric "fun, sun and seashells", it's got generous pockets for sunglasses, cell phone and of course a set of knitting needles and yarn, should I be stuck some place in need of entertaining myself of a few hours.

What's that, did you hear that?! It was collective sigh of relief, Coach, Burberry and Kate Spade can breathe easy this is not going to be a new summer line, just one of a kind. I couldn't possible torture myself into make another just like it. LOL. But I do have another one I'm working on with jean material and some hand woven, yeah I was feeling masochistic this weekend and kept making bags. I plan to finish it tonight and maybe have some pics of it tomorrow and then the sewing machine is getting put away for another 6 mths or until I need to hem something.
On another more relaxing note, I've been weaving on my P2P project and I'm really loving the results. I ordered some new "clean" roving to start spinning from an Etsy shop owner. A huge thank you to all of you that had only kinds words and thoughts for me, I appreciate the support.
I'll take some pics of the alpaca stuff I got and the new roving I will receive so that you can see what I was dealing with and the difference.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

Mark 16:6 - But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. -New King James Version

Friday, April 02, 2010

Spinning? What was I thinking!

I got my drop spindle and the alpaca kit. The spindle is great (blogger won't let me upload pics today). I tried to start but when I opened the bag of the roving it has alot of particles in it, straw, dirt etc... The kit said it came ready to spin, but I don't know if that's true, there is no smell to the fiber (thank God) and I'm a bit put off by the stuff in it, but can get past that. I watched some videos on youtube and thought I got the gist. As I pull the fiber apart for the drafting part I get little tufts of hair no longer than 2". I grab a bunch and did the pulling thing and it all comes apart, I took small bits and tried to spin it but it kept breaking apart. Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong? The yarn didn't come in a long batt like this video (guess that's the word for it) so what do I do?

Thanks once again for any help.

Good Friday

John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. - (New King James Version)