Wednesday, January 17, 2018

12 Days of Christmas - done

Here is the 12 Days of Christmas spin-a-long yarn all finished. The beauty and sparkle can't be captured in a photo.........at least by me. This has not been washed/blocked yet so it will look a little different after that. I'll count up the yardage after washing. Once I know how many yards I have I'll be on the lookout for the perfect project for it.

Monday, January 15, 2018

More boundweave.........

Ok, so I can see how I got caught up in boundweave many years ago and wove so many samples - it's downright fun. Today I put a quick warp on the table loom for another couple samples. I used a cotton seine twine rug warp which is plied tightly and is very strong - a great choice for a rug. Both samples were woven at 5 epi using 2 threads as one for extra strength.


The first sample I used Lamb's Pride Bulky Wool yarn for the weft. I chose that because it's the thickest wool I have in my studio leftover from some knitted felted projects and rug hooking. Although I don't know how it would wear as a rug (without testing it) it would make a great weight rug. I really enjoyed weaving this sample.


Next up another rug sample - I used fabric strips cut 3/4" wide. This would also make a great weight rug and I know rags would hold up well. From weaving this I can see having a fabric that is dyed all the way through would be the best choice - no worries about making sure the right side of the fabric showed. My white worked well, the gray worked well too as it was a batik and the same on both sides. The black fabric was a bit of a pain because it was a light grey on the back side and I had to try to keep the black side out, you can see in some places I wasn't successful.

I'm not a rug weaver but have woven them when I've needed a rug for myself. If I find myself needing another rug in the future I will definitely consider boundweave.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Boundweave...........slow weaving............

It's been a long time since I've woven boundweave and I had forgotten just how long it takes to weave this weft faced weave structure. In March and then again in April I'm giving presentations on it to two different local guilds.  In 1999 I presented a guild program on boundweave and luckily I had woven a 3" notebook full of samples. But I was missing a few I had interest in so decided to put on a warp for the first two.
Weaving letters - symmetrical and asymmetrical. It was fun but took me oh so long to weave these small samples. How did I manage to weave that 3" notebook full of samples back then??? I mean, I love the look of boundweave, and I don't mind slow weaving working from a graph paper design but I wove a ton of samples back then......must have been a slow year for anything else!

Almost all my samples were woven using 5/2 perle cotton as the weft although I did weave one sample using 10/2 perle cotton - I must have been nuts, at some point I might have to figure out how many picks are in that 7" sample. I don't have any samples using thicker threads, like for rugs, so that's what my next set of samples will be. I'll be using a thick wool weft for one sample and fabric strips for another - I'll be weaving krokbragd, a 3 harness boundweave.

After the second set of samples are woven I've got to totally re-vamp my handout. It's needs a tremendous amount of updating but for some reason the file never made it from computer to computer - who knows what happened to it. So, I'll be starting from scratch working from the one print copy I have, essentially starting over.


Here's a long boundweave wall piece I wove back in 1999 - shuttles in a color spectrum.


It hangs in the hallway outside my studio - I love it as much now as I did back then.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A bit of stitching..........

 When searching for something else in my studio I came across stamped pillowcases ready for embroidery. I bought them several years ago, they got put in a cabinet and forgotten. Lo and behold they go great with the embroidered quilt I have on the guestroom bed at the beach cottage. So off to buy embroidery floss to match the quilt and start stitching. I'm halfway through pillowcase #2 - I've got 4 of them to stitch. It's so fun to do and how rewarding to have them go perfectly with this quilt.


I finally decided how to spin the 12 Days fiber. The first 3 (on the left) bothered me at how they didn't flow with the other jewel tones. They're perfect with the graphic the collection was based on but not perfect to my eye.  So I pulled off bits from the jewel tones to mix in the first 3, and I pulled bits off those to add to the jewel tones.  Just little bits but I think it's enough to tie them all together. I divided each colorway into two so I can spin on two bobbins and then ply them together. I'm pretty sure I'll stick with that decision. I'll probably start spinning this evening.


Fun to have some different projects to be working on but I must get back to weaving - it's been way too long. I'm vowing to mark days off on the calendar and not let others intrude on me getting back to nesting here at home. First off to do is weave more boundweave samples as I've got a guild program to present in early March, then present it again to another guild in April. I've got all my notes together to compose a good handout, that will take a big chunk of time. Luckily I've got some samples from when I presented this topic back in 1999 so I'm not starting from scratch, just have to fill in a few blanks.



Friday, January 5, 2018

12 Days of Christmas - Day 12

Here's Day 12 of the spin-a-long, the last packet to open.......and I'm still no closer to knowing how I want to spin these than I was at the beginning. There's no law that says when I have to spin it so I'll wait a few more days, throw all the little balls in a pile and ruminate on it for a while.
It's happening again - the Women's March 2018 on the anniversary of the one last year - January 20th. I've heard there are at least 250 marches planned across the country. So, if it's important to you do a search to find out where there's one near you. I still hate the name of these hats...........



Thursday, January 4, 2018

12 Days of Christmas - Day 11

Day 11 of 12 Days of Christmas - loving these jewel tones in the second half of the packets


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

12 Days of Christmas - Day 10

Only 2 more packets to open after today and I still have no plan on how I'm going to spin this.......maybe I'm overthinking it but last year after the fact I wished I had spun the 12 Days packets differently.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Monday, January 1, 2018

12 Days of Christmas - Day 8 plus......

 Here's day 8......yummy

Here's a knit cap just off the needles for Sam - he really needed another one so we chose colors from my stash of Lamb's Pride - not too many 'manly' colors left plus bits & bobs of small amounts of many colors but these work. I worked on it the past few nights while we watched Heartland on Netflix. A friend got us hooked on it - nice family show about a family/horses up in Alberta. I think there's something like 8 or 9 seasons so we're in it for the long haul.

Oh, and happy new year..........nothing special about it for us other than having to remember to write 2018 for the next couple weeks until it's ingrained and having to close the 2017 books (accounting) for my business, and start up the 2018 books.....which I feel very accomplished at just finishing.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 7 plus other tidbits.....

 Here is Day 7 of the 12 days spin-a-long. Only 5 more days until I see all the packet colorways and then decide just how I want to spin it all. As I follow those spinning the packets daily (on Ravelry) I get antsy wanting to be spinning each day too but I've gotten this far in waiting I can wait a bit longer. I really want to plan out how I spin it this year, hence waiting to start spinning.


 I learned how to make these desk organizers at my local ASG (American Sewing Guild) meeting and ended up making a few as gifts for family and friends. They're addictive, very fun to make and fill with scissors, ruler, pens, pencils and a pocket on the back for a notepad. They could also be used next to the sewing machine with sewing tools, or next to the loom.


And I made a few of these folios for gifts (and for me). They're plenty big for holding a big writing pad, holding knitting patterns, handouts for seminars/workshops, whatever. I want to make myself a few more.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 6

Here is Day 6 of the 12 Days - I'm loving these colors



Friday, December 29, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 5

Oooh, I wonder what direction these colors will go......can't wait to spin it


Thursday, December 28, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 4

 Here is Day 4 of the 12 Days spin-a-long. I love how each days colors are a progression in color from the day before.

The second sock of Sam's Christmas sox is finally finished. It's harder to find time to knit on them without him seeing since he's semi-retired and works from home much of the time. So, the one finished sock was in his Christmas stocking - second one still on the needles until yesterday evening. Next up on the needles is a new knit cap for him as I noticed recently he needed another for beach walks.......but I'm not behind on this knitting, it wasn't to be a gift, recently saw the need. 



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 3

Here's day 3 of the 12 Days spin-a-long - I'm not sure my plan of waiting to start spinning after I see all 12 packets is going to work - this is killing me.......

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 2

Here is day 2 of the 12 Days spin-a-long. It's already killing me to not spin yesterday and today's packets of fibery goodness.........but I'm going to be strong and wait until all 12 days are unveiled to decide how I'm going to spin it.

Monday, December 25, 2017

12 Days of Christmas - Day 1

Today is day 1 of the Inglenook 12 Days of Christmas spin-a-long. Here's what came out of the package. I think this year I'm going to be strong and wait to start spinning after all 12 packets are open in case I want to rearrange colors or do something totally different with the way I spin and ply. It's going to be tough but it's something fun to look forward to.  You can see my earlier post about this spin-along here.

Sunday, December 24, 2017


A bit of fun......

Yesterday I spent much of the day at the embroidery machine. All holiday preparations were done except for cooking the Feast of the 7 Fishes for tonight's family meal.......so, I decided to play and get ahead of future holidays a bit.

First I finished up the cross stitch bookmark I had been working on in the evenings - a friend gifted me with the kit. It was supposed to have a tassel on the bottom but I opted not to add it - I like it just he way it is.

I sell a lot of chicken towels, a lot of them - I never realized chickens were so popular until I embroidered the first ones a few years back.  Yes, I know this isn't a chicken, it's a rooster. After stitching more of the 4 chicken designs for my etsy shop I decided they needed a couple roosters so I found a pattern for two of them. They will all be in my etsy shop once photos are edited.


And yes, I'm thinking ahead to Valentine's Day - several different embroidered towels with hearts will be showing up in the shop soon - once again, photo editing needs to be done. This design has a cute vine frame around the heart. There are a couple other Valentine towels that will be showing up soon in the shop along with these.


And not too far off will be St. Patrick's Day - this Celtic trinity heart works for both Valentine's and St Paddy's Day. Editing awaits these pics too, then they'll show up in the shop.  I've got several other Celtic/Shamrock designs awaiting stitching - hopefully will get to those in a week or so......then Easter/Spring will be waiting in the wings for stitching. I'm going to try very hard to be ahead of the game this next year......at least that's the goal at the moment..........

 

Friday, December 22, 2017

A bit from santa's workshop......

 Remember back on Nov 15th I had a bunch of a little felted squares to make into a secret something - well, here those simple somethings are - little wreaths. I felted a super scratchy Woolrich sweater that I wore only once in the past 10 years - cut it up into 1" squares and ran some buttonhole thread through them to make little wreaths. I've already got an idea for another felted ornament along these lines..........need to find another scratchy sweater to sacrifice...........


I sewed up some pattern weights for a dear friend in fabric I knew she'd love. These are basically yo-yo's with batting and 2 heavy washers inside, topped with fun buttons from my button stash. In the near future I'll be making myself a set of these..........which I guess means I should get to doing some sewing so I have a use for them..........

I sewed this tote for a friend - what a challenge. Both the outside fabric and the lining fabric have a 1/4" foam interfacing quilted to them, plus the lining fabric also has a heavy duty interfacing. The real challenge was working at the machine with all the bulk that didn't want to fold down out of the way. But I did it and I love the tote so much I've got all the supplies sitting in a pile in the sewing room to make myself one.........with sheep on it..........of course........

I have a few other things that have come out of Santa's workshop this year but they haven't been opened by the recipients yet so I can't post about them until after the holiday.

This was not a holiday gift but it recently came out of the pile of UFO's I'm working on - cross-stitched sunny sheep made into a cute little quilted wallhanging. This will be a future gift........unless I decide I can't give it up.

I'm still working on Sam's socks that go in his Christmas stocking this year - they won't be finished - he's around too much for me to get much knitting time on them. So, one goes in the stocking, the other stays on the needles until Christmas Day when I can finish it up out in the open.

A shawlette/scarf came off the needles this week but needs blocking so a photo will come after I get around to that. I love it.

Another small cross-stitch project is in the works - it was a gift, a kit for a bookmark - will share after it's done.

I've pulled out all my samples and references on boundweave as I've got to present a program on it to two different guilds, the first in March, second in April. I need to make a few more samples and hopefully there will be time for two new projects floating around in my little pea brain. My handout from the program I gave on boundweave in 1999 needs updating.....actually it needs to be totally re-done because somehow the file never made it from computer to computer (many computers) over the years.



Monday, December 18, 2017

Right down to the wire...........

Sheesh - where does the time go??? I was right down to the wire on getting out all our holiday cards - finally today the last of them went in the mail - hopefully they'll arrive on the east coast by Christmas........if not they can be called a New Year's card. Anyhow, they aren't really cards at all this year - they're fabric ornaments that have a little tag hanging on them with a sentiment on it....sorry, didn't take a photo with the tag on them.


Friday, December 15, 2017

The I don't want to count it inventory sale.....

Click HERE to get to my roving/fiber etsy shop. Do you need roving to spin? felt? whatever? Then this is a good time to shop.  It's only my shop with roving/fibers/stash yarns that has everything on sale. My other etsy shop with my handmade/handwoven items does not currently have anything on sale but if you'd like to check it out you can do that HERE.



It's that time of year again.......

Such joy arrived in the mail a week ago - Inglenook Fibers 12 Days of Christmas fiber. This is a limited edition and you have to be quick in the Inglenook group on Ravelry to get in on it. But if you missed out this year there is an etsy shop with lots of other fun fibery blends.

Starting Christmas Day I will spin one packet of fiber based on the Santa's Village graphic. I can't wait to see what each packet will bring........and I will not peek ahead. I will try to post them here as they're spun.

So, the big decision between now and the 25th is how do I spin these. Last year I spun them very thin and then plied with a rayon thread.......but then found that my resulting lace weight yarn was too thin for anything I wanted to knit so I then Navajo plied it. The resulting shawl turned out lovely but this year I need to think it out a bit more before starting. A few options are to spin it all on one bobbin and then ply with something else; split each packet into 2 and spin on 2 bobbins and then ply them together in the end; spin and ply each packet on it's own creating mini-skeins. If I keep spinning all on one bobbin or two bobbins as in the first two options then I end up with one skein going from color to color starting with packet 1 to packet 12. But if I spin mini-skeins when I get to a project I can mix up the color order.

And then there's the decision about which wheel? Majacraft or Hansen e-spinner........or I could go the spindle route although I'm sure to fall behind if I do that.  

Decisions, decisions........



Monday, December 11, 2017

MIA

Yes, I've been missing in action - well, maybe not so much action, just trying to tread water and in all honesty I had nothing to share, not much creative going on here. I'm almost ready for the holidays and will be so happy when they are over - yep, that's how I feel this year and I won't apologize for it.

The brochure for the WeGO traveling exhibit is done, I received it via email the other day. This is the front and back of it, the inside has a list of all exhibitors names and awards. Three of us in my local weaving guild entered items for judging and all three of us had our items accepted - kudos to my fellow guild members Lucy & Kathy. That's one of my scarves on the front cover although not the one that won the Complex Weaver's award. On the back cover is a close up pic of the fabric in Lucy's vest. The closest the exhibit will be to us is in May/June around an hour north. I can't wait to see the  exhibit - I think there are something like 66 pieces.

Today I was embroidering some long sleeve t's for a gift and decided to embroider myself one - I love this lotus and am happy I had time to do this today, I've had it sitting aside to do for myself for a while.

In case anyone is interested there is curling Olympic trials on tv on the Olympic channel which on Dish is channel 389. I put it on while embroidering thinking I could listen to it but it bugged the heck out of me just hearing them yell - have figured out it's one of those things I have to actually watch......hope I can steal a little time this week to watch an hour or two although it's looking doubtful. Yes, I am a curling fan........



Monday, November 27, 2017

Making gift bags.........

 Today was pull out holiday gifts, at least those finished or bought, and start sewing gift bags to put them in. I usually bring my own reusable shopping bags to the store but when I forget I don't worry about it because I'll make gift bags out of the store bags that have handles on them.  I cut them into two pieces, turn them inside out and sew away. I do cut with a rotary cutter but I don't worry about being exact in any of the sewing.


Here are just a few of the many bags I made this afternoon, most from Trader Joe's bags. Of course right after I cleaned up I found another bag so I'll sew that one up another day. I can make a variety of sizes but they can only be so big so there are some gifts I'll have to figure out another way to wrap them. I'll make some cute hangtags for these. If I were really energetic I'd stencil something on the front of them but I'm running on empty these days so that won't happen.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

A bit of inkle weaving in the works for ornaments.

Nice news for me last weekend. I entered 3 scarves in the WeGO 2018 Traveling Exhibit and all 3 were accepted and 1 of them won the Complex Weavers Award. WeGO stands for Weaving Guilds of Oregon. This exhibit will travel the state next year, in the past we've had it in our area but the closest it will be to us this time is the Arts Center in Roseburg - not too bad, a bit over an hour north of us so I'll get to see the exhibit in April/May. It was a real bright spot for me last weekend to get the email about the exhibit as we were running back and forth to the hospital an hour away due to a critically ill relative.

We had a quiet Thanksgiving which suited us just fine and no Black Friday shopping for us, we didn't leave the property. Now it's panic time thinking about getting holiday gifts finished up, some need to be mailed. I can't wait until the holidays are over this year - I need some time to nest/hibernate in my studio. Life has been overwhelming this past year and I see no let up in the near future......more studio time, when I can grab it, will be good for my mental health.



Thursday, November 16, 2017

Why did I procrastinate for so long?

Ok, so today I used the walking foot on my sewing machine for the very first time...........and this machine is almost 11 years old. Was it the unknown? Was it not having the time to figure it out? Was it because it's so much easier to leave the machine the way it is rather than pulling out the book and reading directions? Probably a combination of all three. Yes, very silly and kind of lazy.

I pulled out the manual and walking foot because I'm working on a project that uses not only a heavy interfacing on the backside of the fabric but also a product called soft & stable which is a 1/4" foam covered by tricot on each side. I didn't want to mess up trying to quilt all of it so I pulled out the manual and the walking foot. Why did I wait so long??? I love this foot. I can seeing using it all the time for quilting projects. I used to have such problems with the top fabric feeding at a different rate than the batting and backing fabric - but no more.

And sorry, this is another one of those projects in Santa's workshop so I can't show it right now. I do have supplies at the ready to make myself one too but not sure if that will happen before the holidays or after them.



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Felted.........

I felted a wool sweater, on purpose, a couple years ago for an ornament project but I never got around to making them. So I took it with me over to the coast and cut all the little squares. I thought I'd get 3 ornaments out of this sweater that shrunk down to 10 year old size but I got 10!!!  Sorry, no posting of the finished ornaments until after they're gifted. Hmm, I wonder if anyone can figure out what they are...........

Sunday, November 12, 2017

There must be mice around here...........

There must be mice around here because the owls are showing up again........this time in browns and rusts. Someone saw the other owl towels and wanted some in browns/rusts - I hope she likes them because they're stinkin' cute.



Thursday, November 9, 2017

Hoot - Hoot

 A friend requested a couple towels with blues and ended up picking this cute owl embroidery pattern. The borders on the towel look black in the photo but they're not - they're blue. My cell phone can sometimes be challenging color wise and I was too lazy to run up the stairs to get the camera.
Here's a close up of the owl - it is so danged cute. I may eventually stitch some of these for my etsy shop but right now I don't have time.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Instead of doing what I should be doing............

Instead of doing what I should have been doing today I decided to cut out fabric circles for my next pancake quilt. I have a couple other sewing projects that are gifts but they are ones that I really have to read instructions and pay attention.....cutting out circles this afternoon took no brain cells. This quilt will be an afghan size just perfect for me to cuddle up under on cold winter evenings. You can see a finished pancake quilt I did earlier this year HERE.

I've been collecting gingko fabrics for a number of years now so I went through my stash. It must have taken me 2 hours to decide which fabrics - some were definite no's, blues, pinks, etc. I'm still not sure how these will look in the finished quilt but this is what I'm going with.......they are all colors that will go in our living room. These are 9" circles I cut using a rotary cutter on a spinning cutting mat, I could cut 4 thicknesses at a time -  in all 77 light circles, 77 dark circles. Next up is to cut 77 pieces of lightweight batting..........then I set it all aside and get back to holiday gifts but it's exciting to know it will be waiting for me to start sewing on whenever I'm in the mood.



Friday, October 27, 2017

Stitchin' away........

I was stitching away on some secret projects today. Very fun but they require some brain cells which I seem to not have many of today after over a week of little sleep.........only one seam had to be ripped out and re-sewn. I had a feeling I was sewing it wrong but went ahead with it anyhow........yep, lack of functioning brain cells. Finished projects will show up on the blog later in the year.

I'm finding I need to stay out of fabric shops, there are so many incredible patterns that I just can't seem to resist and my stash is out-growing storage space. Recently I was at the local Bernina shop for needles and was, luckily for my wallet, running late for a weaving guild meeting so I was saved from getting sucked in to buying any fabric - phew. And they had some great new lines in the shop.........that I may have trouble resisting next time in the shop........


Towels back in stock.........

Yesterday was spent at the embroidery machine stitching up some towels I had sold out of and stitching up a new design, the autumn wreath. These are all for sale in my etsy shop along with many other holiday and everyday towels. I just love the designs available from Embroidery Library and Urban Threads.


I made this fun holiday star at the American Sewing Guild meeting earlier this week. It's fabric, 2 different fabrics bonded to each other. I was using stash from my cupboard, I love the black fabric with colorful snowflakes on it. I think this will look fun hanging in our octagon window in the stairwell.  I can picture these in different sizes in red, white & blue fabrics, hanging on the front porch railing for July 4th. They would do just fine outside since we get no rain in the summer.