Friday, February 27, 2009

Apricot handspun

Just thought I'd post a pic of my latest handspun - it's spun from merino roving that I dyed here in my studio - love the way it turned out. There are 755 yards so I'm thinking of knitting a shawl with it.

Spent part of the day twisting fringes on tencel scarves, will be adding some beading to them next, will post some pictures once that's done. I've done lots of beading on scarves either by add beads onto the fringe and twisting them or by hemming the scarf and adding a fancy beaded fringe to them. But recently Susan, of the blog Thrums, showed her beaded fringes in which she beads in-between the twisted fringes, I'm thinking I'll give that a try on some of these scarves. Was thrilled to see yet another way to add sparkle to a scarf.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Another day, another fiber

Another day, another fiber to try - so many fibers, so little time. This afternoon I wound a warp of 300 ends of chartreuse 10/2 perle cotton, 30 epi. The weave structure is a plaited twill. I wove an inch in the pattern (at bottom of photo) using a tan 10/2 perle cotton to make sure there were no threading errors........rarely are, but if I'm interupted by a phone call while threading there's no telling where I'll make a mistake, especially if I'm sitting there with the phone to my ear threading the heddles while talking. So, in the picture the first inch is using the perle cotton as weft, then I started using the Habu linen paper for the weft. It's very nice to work with. I'm not sure yet what this fabric will be for, in the back of my mind I'm thinking some sort of small purse. I also only bought one skein of the linen paper to sample so after I've used it all up I'll continue weaving with the perle cotton for a coordinating fabric. The only problem I had was winding the bobbin. I set up the skein on the squirrel cage and wound directly from that onto the bobbin......I learned quickly to be very careful having paper running through my fingers - paper cuts! Luckily no blood on the weaving.

On another subject - I'm very far behind in listing finished items in my etsy shop. One of these days in the near future I'll have to get out the mannequin and start taking pictures so I can get the shop more up to date.

Monday, February 23, 2009

More Stainless on the loom

This is the warp I wound and got on the loom this morning. The warp is 8/2 tencel in black, grey & light grey, the weft is Habu stainless steel & silk in a grey color. One picture shows hemstitching in progress at the beginning of the scarf - the needle is not my usual tapestry needle but a regular sewing needle to show how small the grist is of the stainless steel silk. It does kink a bit but not too bad at all, it's very easy to weave with just like the stainless steel wool. Another picture of what the scarf is looking like as I weave, colors in the warp gradually changing to the next color. Then another picture where I held my hand under the scarf to show just how transparent and fine this scarf is. I'm anxious to see how it reacts after it's finished and washed, should hold a scrunch like the stainless steel wool. I usually put on very long scarf warps but in sampling many of these different fibers I've only put on enough for one scarf - this time I'll get two scarves off this warp....haven't decided if I'll use the stainless silk on the next one or just use some tencel......will decide when I get to it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stainless Steel on the loom

Ok, so I couldn't stand it, yesterday I wound a warp to try out the wool/stainless steel blend on the loom. I wound a warp using a fibonacci striping sequence in grey 8/2 tencel, black 8/2 tencel and Habu ramie (space dyed). I then wove a scarf using the Habu wool/stainless steel blend in a coal grey/black for the weft (sewing thread size in grist). Here's a picture of what it looked like on the loom and a picture of the sample piece from the end of the warp that I've scrunched up - it holds the scrunch because of the stainless steel. I'm going to wash the scarf shortly - will post a picture of the finished scarf and scrunching at a later date. These pictures aren't the best but take my word for it, it's very cool fiber.

Play day............

Friday was a play day in Ashland with a couple of other fiber friends...........a day in which we ran into two other fiber friends in Websters fondling the fiber. Had lunch at Dragonfly - one of my favorites spots over there for lunch, especially in the nice weather when the outdoor garden seating is open. Here's a picture of my stash - I kept it small, all in one little shopping bag..........beads for fringes for 2 scarf warps and a few extra crystals for myself from The Bead Studio, a vest pattern that looks perfect for felted wools or handwovens, 3 leaf cookie cutters for needlefelting, some very neat grommet trim for who knows what but I couldn't leave the quilt shop, Fabric of Vision, without it. My fiber fondling at Websters included several Habu fibers, ramie, linen paper, silk/stainless steel blend and wool/stainless steel blend.........and then two sparkley sock yarns for gifts unless I can't stand it and cast on!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tidal wave socks

Yes, I am weaving but I'm weaving a white on white scarf, advancing twill weave structure in merino/seacell but it just won't show up in a photo so I'm not posting it. I'm also knitting, usually in the evenings. These are my Tidal Wave Sox, pattern by SWTC (Southwest Trading Company), fiber is also by SWTC called Tofutsies which is a blend of 50% superwash wool, 25% soysilk, 22.5% cotton and 2.5% chitin. Chitin is a fiber from shrimp and crab shells, label says it's "naturally antibacterial"......all I care is that it doesn't smell like shrimp and crab shells!

I also recently knit a pair of yoga sox - heel & toe missing but they'll keep the center of my foot and ankles warm during yoga practice. Jury is still out on them, wore them for the first time Monday and they moved around too much, was thinking maybe take some stitches out on the next pair. Machine washed & dried them so they shrunk a bit, fit better this morning but still not perfect. Maybe putting ribbing along the arch of my foot would help........will give that a try with the next pair. Will have to take a picture of them at some point to post.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Today at the loom

Here's what I've been up to today. Earlier in the day I wound a warp for 2 scarves in Bambu 7 which is a 100% bamboo yarn from Silk City Fibers. I threaded an advancing twill which I love weaving, my feet dance on the treadles following the pattern. I apologize for how hard it is to see the weave structure in these pictures. I used a royal blue warp - the first scarf the weft is a blue of a couple shades darker, it's very hard to see the pattern unless you look at it at an angle but it's just what I was going for, a subtle look. The second scarf I used a very dark blue weft so the pattern shows up much more..........of course, my photography doesn't really catch the true color of the warp....royal blue photo is more true for the warp color. I could have finished up these scarves this afternoon but I got too chilly downstairs - needed to come up and get warm in front of the fire.


Ok, so a friend up north requested updated pictures of Bailey on the blog - why does the happiest dog in the world always look so sad when I pull out the camera - he really is a smiley dog..........

Friday, February 13, 2009

On the loom today

Here's what I dressed the loom with this morning, already half woven. It's a huck pattern that I thought would be perfect for this second hemp blend scarf. This is a different blend; I was a bit worried about it feeling too heavy so this very open weave, similar looking to a canvas or leno 'should' work. Hopefully after washing it will turn out nice, will know by tomorrow morning after it's been washed and has dried overnight.

I'm going back to weaving bamboo after this warp - 2 different warps & weave structures. I need to find out the shrinkage rate so it can be included the the guild program next month. So far all my bamboo has been hand-dyed by me first or mixed with other fibers which changes that figure. And still another seacell blend to try out.

I've woven with tencel for years and bamboo for the past few years but all these other newer fibers have been very fun to experiement with.

Pebble Weave

Yesterday I warped and wove a hemp blend scarf in a pebble weave it washed last night, fringe still needs to be twisted but here's a close-up of it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Scotch Thistle Shawl finished

The Scotch Thistle Shawl is finished, blocked it this past weekend. It's quite beautiful if I say so myself. It was handknit from my handspun, original roving was some hand-dyed that I bought from Sara of Great Balls of Fiber up in WA. The colors remind me of a thistle in bloom.

Snow again here yesterday, still covering the property, more expected overnight tonight - finally moisture has returned to the area, we are way behind in rainfall for the year which starts in September for record keeping. Need lots to get us through the dry summers here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February snow

Today was one of my weaving guild meetings around 45 miles east of here, Rogue Valley Weaving Guild. The forecast was for possible snow but I really didn't expect any. Got a phone call from Sam at lunchtime that I should head home within 30 minutes, snowing like a phone call 10 minutes later saying maybe I should head home now. Snowed hard the entire drive home but wasn't sticking on the roads until I got close to home. I took this picture 20 minutes after coming up the drive - my tire tracks were already covered. Huge snowflakes. I missed out on the program on color but am glad to be home safe & sound. Guess it's time to head to the loom!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Handspun, handknit by Kris from my hand-dyed roving

Today I'm showing what has been spun and knit from some of my hand-dyed roving. I wasn't sure how this roving would turn out - mostly white with splotches of color. Kris from Websters bought this braid, spun it up and knitted this beautiful wide scarf from it. It's nothing like I would have expected - absolutely beautiful.....I feel like spring really will be here soon. I'm definitely going to be dyeing more in this technique and will have to spin some up myself. Thank you Kris for sending the pix of your scarf. It's always so fun to see what others have done with my playing with dye.

Handspun by Mary from NM from my hand-dyed roving

This handspun isn't mine either but it came from some of my hand-dyed roving I sell in my etsy shop. Mary from New Mexico bought two braids of this roving I called rosehips. And here is a picture of her handspun. It's amazing to see all the colors and how they interact - it always looks so different from the braid. Many thanks Mary for sending the picture

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What I'm up to now..........

I'm finally back to the wheel, been missing my spinning but been spending more time weaving and knitting lately. This is some of my hand-dyed roving that I had put aside when doing production dyeing - I loved these colors as I was dyeing them.

Here is a picture of the ear flapper hat I knit earlier last month. I would have posted it earlier but left it over someone's house - just got it back yesterday. This came about from my friend Yvonne wanting to learn how to knit an ear flapper hat. I've completed this one, she's completed a number of them - saw the latest one on the needles yesterday. You can read more about how it came about on Yvonne's blog.

Monday I washed the 3 tencel scarves, they're now waiting to have the fringes twisted using my trusty Conair hair twister - it's a great fast way to twist fringes, battery powered in each direction. It would be very scary to actually use this on my hair. Speaking of hair, Monday I also got 8+ inches of mine cut off - it's still below shoulder length, may eventually go another inch or two shorter......was getting very tired of it strangling me at night and taking hours to dry. Oh, so back to Monday - I put a warp for 3 scarves on the loom in a seacell/silk blend, just a simple lace pattern. I'm very anxious to get back to this warp so I can see how it feels and drapes after washing. But not today - supposedly the (daily) fog will burn off soon and it will be sunny and warm (for a change) so I'll be working outside cutting back bushes & plants. Tomorrow the rain comes, snow in the higher elevations, maybe a bit here at our house.