Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Recycled weaving and current socks on the needles

Lynette asked if the tracking in the towels from my post Sunday remained after ironing. Yes, it has, not to the extent it was fresh out of the dryer but it's still there - I love the effect.
I put this warp on the loom today - it's 3/2 perle cotton sett at 8epi for a big tote bag. What's different is that the weft is recycled plastic bags that I've cut into 3/4" strips in a way that makes a continuous weft out of each bag. You can see at the beginning some red weft, that's just my spacer weft, the black will be turned to the inside of the bag, perhaps a bit showing at the top of the bag. What looks like white weft is actually the clear plastic bags. I'm a dealer for Ashland Bay Trading Co roving, when I receive an order each color is packaged in these bags. Of course I've been reusing the bags for different purposes but when the guild challenge came up to do something recycled I immediately thought of them. So, a huge tote is in the making. I'll line the bag when finished. I haven't decided yet if I'll inkle weave the straps or buy commercially made webbing........leaning toward weaving my own but I'll see how time goes. Each bag weaves around 4" - I have a lot of bags so I can see this project won't even touch my supply........outdoor placemats for summer use would be another great project.
Since I finished up the other socks I had to get a new pair on the needles, can never be without socks in progress to work on here and there. This is one of my favorite patterns - slouch socks. I love the ripples. These colors are great go with blue jeans socks.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Celtic towels

The celtic knot fingertip towels are finally hemmed and ready to go, 14 in all, 2 of each color. Eight of these are going to a fingertip towel exchange comprising of members of six guilds in Southern Oregon, the others will be gifts or for sale.

Spent a couple days up north visiting a friend at the end of the week so no fiber stuff happened for a few days. Yesterday finished up the paperwork to go with the towel exchange, got the towels pinned and worked on hemming them last night and this morning. Usually I machine hem towels for sale but hand hemming looks so much nicer and since most of these are going to other weavers I wanted to hand hem them. Yesterday I also got my table loom warped for an upcoming summer & winter workshop, actually only had to wind the warp on the back beam, will be threading heddles & reed after the workshop starts and we design our own threading.

Started working on planning a project for one of the guild challenges that's due in May - recycled weaving - will post pictures once there's something to show. Other guild challenge isn't due until June so have a bit of time to still think about that one.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Zauberball socks finally finished

The Zauberball socks are finally finished. I haven't been knitting on socks much lately, just here and there on the go, waiting somewhere, etc. Last night I finished these - love the color changes in the Zauberball sock yarn. I got another pair started using some Opal sock yarn - they're slouch socks, very cool colors, will post a picture once I get a bit more done so the color changes show up.

I used to always fret on having stripes match in socks but lately I've really been enjoying knitting fraternal twin socks. Although depending on how the new socks on the needles look I may start the second sock at the same place in the color repeat so these do match.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Signs of Spring.............

The first signs of spring on our 5 acres are the daffodils. I planted 100 of them a few years back, there are less than 10 left - so what's up with that??? I always thought daffodils multiply....that's what I had planned on when I planted the bulbs. Wildflowers are starting to emerge too - shooting stars are starting to come up, a few have opened up. I love to watch the parade of wildflowers on the property as spring progresses.

So, no fiber pix to put up - just haven't had time for anything but a little sock knitting in the evenings. We did get our taxes done yesterday, took all day even with me being prepared with all the data for home & business. Had the desktop with Turbo Tax running, laptop on the IRS website for clarifications. Could IRS make this any more complicated?! Too many questions and too little good info off the IRS site - pages and pages of explanations that make something sound so much more complicated than I'm sure it is - a one page explanation with, perhaps, a chart would suffice for many topics.

Am making headway on the woven devore presentation - finished the handout today, will drop at the printer tomorrow. Still have more work to do on the program but am hoping to get that done sometime this week. Will be very glad to have that behind me.

Looking ahead weaving wise I've got to get my table loom warped up for a workshop called the Many Blocks of Summer & Winter taught by Linda Davis. I think it will be very fun. The loom is to have the warp wound on but not threaded - we start out with lecture and then design our own draft to be threaded and woven on during class. Also I've got a special order for 2 chenille throws that needs to be woven - chenille in citrone color arrived last week......along with black chenille, Bambu 7 and Bambu 12 in black - many cones of all three since I use black alot for wefts. And then there are two guild challenges to get done, one due in May, the other in June........have my ideas, the question will be do I have the time. Need to get those 14 towels pinned up and hemmed too..............

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fingertip towels finally (yes, finally) off the loom....

The fingertip towels for a multi-guild exchange are finally off the loom, washed and dried today. I certainly made a career out of those 14 towels......now I can move on. Above is a quick pic of each side of the towel border fresh out of the dryer, no ironing yet. On the right side of the picture was what was to be the front of the towel but I like the backside (left) too. Hmm, will have to make a decision before I pin up the hems....have a couple days before I get to that so time to think........

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

An Irish Blessing for you on St. Patrick's Day

Monday, March 15, 2010

New Ashland Bay fibers in stock

Here are pix of some of the new roving going up in one of my etsy shops this week. Top row merino in berry and cafe au lait, second row merino/tussah silk in ecru ready to dye, eggplant merino, third row glacier and celery in merino. I've also got back in stock a merino/bamboo blend in ecru ready to for dye and firestar in ecru to be added to other fibers for some sparkle, this takes acid dyes readily. As soon as it gets warmer out I'll be dyeing alot of firestar in a rainbow of colors.

While weighing, bagging and labeling these yesterday I had the cafe au lait, glacier and celery next to each other - wow, they would look great in a project together. Have many more pounds to weigh, bag and label, these are colors I had sold out of or am running low on - will fit that job in here and there this week.

On the schedule today is weaving but if it really gets up to 70 degrees out today after the fog burns off and sun comes out I may have to work a bit out in the yard cutting back lavendar and herbs that I should have done in the fall. Small amount of flower/herb beds are overwhelming right now - tons of grass coming up in them.....weeds are easy to pull, grass is another matter.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

So bright I can do surgery!

So ignore the mess, look at the track lighting - this is just one little corner of my studio and it's organized mess in my weaving world. Sam put up new track lighting for me over the two looms - it's so bright I could do surgery in the studio - it's great! Lighting at the looms was a challenge - I had clamp-on lights on each loom but it still wasn't enough. That's a shelving unit of 5/2 & 3/2 perle cotton - the 10/2 & 20/2 are on another shelving unit.......and then out of sight are all the shelves of 8/2 UKI unmercerized cotton, other unmercerized cottons, tencels, bamboos, silks, rayons, rayon chenille, wools, novelties, linen, cottolin, handspun, etc. etc. etc.  Knitting yarns, beads, fabrics, sewing machines, papers, stamps, stencils, etc. are in a separate room across the hall. And then there's the walk-in closet with dyes, spinning fibers and overflow...........all roving for sale is in around 20 huge bins in the 3rd bay of the garage, dye equipment in a storage room in the garage........hmm, looks like I've taken over quite a bit of the house since there are also 3 spinning wheels upstairs along with knitting needles, etc. and current knitting/spinning projects. I think I need a separate big studio but it's not even on the radar at this point, I'm fine where I am..........

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Celtic Knot Fingertip Towels

The fingertip towels for the multi-guild towel exchange are finally on the loom - 8 of them are due to be turned in by April 30th. Of course, I put on enough warp for extras. I love this celtic knot border but the remainder of the towel which is just plain weave in natural 8/2 cotton is so boring, I have a feeling these will be slow to weave because I'll get up off the loom bench way too often getting sidetracked. The celtic knot border is a variation on Robyn Spady's draft in an article on Weavezine called "Kiss me I'm Irish".

In one of my sidetracking excursions today I twisted the fringe on the latest chenille scarf. I also made a stencil out of freezer paper, ironed it onto one of the soon to be devore scarves and painted on the Fiber-Etch solution. It's still drying, as soon as it's completely dry I'll burn out the bamboo in those areas of the soysilk/bamboo scarf. Design chosen for this scarf is dragonflies. Now back to the loom to weave on those towels...........

Monday, March 8, 2010

Afternoon at Liongate Farm

Yesterday afternoon was Sewing Sunday.....one person handquilting so that counts as sewing, the rest knitting or spinning, many times needlefelting. This month it was out at Karen's place, Liongate Farm, in Wimer, OR - about 40 minutes from my place. Karen raises navajo churro sheep and tibetan mastiff's for sale. There were no new lambs to see yesterday, although the ewes are ready to pop, but there were ten 8 week old tibetan mastiff puppies - what cuties. Karen also does professional embroidery and creates the most wonderful needlefelted sheep and other handmade goods. Here's a link to the farm.......and here's one to her etsy shop. Below are some of the sheep - aren't those horns great!
Here are a couple of the puppies. I really should have had my camera out there with me when I was in the pen with them, but ran back out later to take a few pictures and didn't want to open the fencing by myself. I could just see 10 puppies pushing their way out and running loose all over the property. We are big dog people but these are the biggest puppies I've ever seen! The mom, dad and extended family are really big!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bluster Bay Shuttles

Sharon asked what my shuttle was in the pic from yesterday. It's a Bluster Bay shuttle. I have many many shuttles, all different makers, all wonderful but my all time favorites are the Bluster Bay ones. They feel comfortable in my hands, they are so smooth and soft and I just love touching them. Above are my BB shuttles - 4 different woods, all the same design plus a recently acquired end feed shuttle. They also have many other styles. For my weaving comfort I want light so I stand at their booth picking up shuttles to find the best weight for me - the same style shuttle will differ greatly depending on the type of wood. In looking at their site to find the address to add a link to this post I see they'll be at the NWRSA conference in June - oh, big trouble since I'll be there too!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

More devore samples, chenille scarf............

I finished up the devore samples. I like the way the pink one turned out - it's soysilk and bamboo - the bamboo was burned out in the shape of a gingko leaf. This blend of fibers yielded a bit more definition.

The green sample above was merino and tencel. This is my second sample using tencel as the fiber to burn out and I'm as displeased with this sample as the first - the tencel looks too frayed on the burn out edges. I was playing with sett on this sample too - 36 epi, a bit too stiff. Getting the sett just perfect so it's not too sleazy in the burn out areas but not too stiff in the rest of the piece is key, the previous samples from last month with setts ranging from 24 epi to 30 epi had much nicer drape to them. The scarf off this green warp will have big areas burnt out to create the drape that's missing.
The white sample is T-105, a commercial sewing thread, cotton covered polyester. Since this is all one thread when it burns out it just gets thinner. This fiber will yield the more detailed burn out designs. All the other samples I've done I also wove a scarf on the warp (still need to burn out all those) but since I read that T-105 lacked drape I didn't weave a scarf but another length thinking I could make a window hanging with a snowflake design. Well, it turns out it has wonderful drape, wish I had woven a scarf instead, I do have more of the thread so it may happen in the future. The only downside to this thread is that it's only available in white, it can be dyed using disperse dyes though. There are a few yellowed (burnt) areas on this sample - I ironed the Fiber Etch gel a bit too much, hasn't been a problem on other fibers but was on this so I'll be extra careful on the bigger piece.
Finally, here's the chenille scarf warp that went on the loom and came off yesterday......washed last night, waiting to have fringe twisted. Next warp to go on the loom is for fingertip towels for a multi-guild towel exchange - these are due by April 30th so I have to quit procrastinating and get them done and out of the way. And next week I need to finish up on the devore so I have that presentation ready to go for April 10.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Garden Party 2008

Today was our group's (Warped, Twisted & Plyed) spinning day so I had to go look in the stash for something new to spin. I still had two colorways I had run through the drum carder once from the 2008 Garden Party. Only having gone through the carder once the colors stay separate which makes for an interesting yarn but it's also lumpy bumpy and I have so much anxiety over watching those lumps and bumps moving onto the bobbin. I kept telling myself today it's the nature of the yarn I'm creating. I think rather than ply it on itself I'll spin up a solid to ply it with, hopefully there will then be enough for a vest or such. I'll eventually get to spinning the final colorway which is more on the brown side.

We usually meet in spinner's homes but today we did something different - we met at Taprock in Grants Pass, a beautiful lodge type log restaurant that sits right on the Rogue River. We reserved the Evergreen Room complete with fireplace, big easy chairs, couches and tables & chairs, plenty of room for everyone to spread out. Wonderful setting, we're hoping they let us come back with all our wheels & fiber. What a treat to order lunch and have it served rather than having to bring our own.

Still at work on the shawl with the 2009 garden party yarn - have reached the 3/4 mark, will post a picture once finished. Also have pictures to take and post of the last 3 woven devore samples.