Sunday, February 28, 2010

Crocheted Shawl

Late yesterday afternoon while watching men's curling (congrats Canada!!!) I started a crocheted shawl using my garden party handspun. This is how it looks folded in half - I'm actually crocheting in a circle at the moment but folded it over for the picture since that's how it will eventually look. Once I reach 12" folded (at around 8" now) I start on the lacy shell bottom section of the shawl. I've crocheted this pattern once before out of my handspun using a beautiful variegated pastel colorway, it was a gift for my mother but I had never gotten around to making one for myself. This yarn will be perfect for wearing with denim. The nice thing about this shawl is that it actually hugs the shoulders so no readjusting to keep it there. If anyone is interested the pattern is in the Spring 2007 issue of Spin-Off Magazine with an article on it's history - it's called the Four Generation Shawl.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spinning and curling............

Last night I finished up the final of the roving I pulled into colorways originally shown in the February 7th post. There are 430 yards of this blue colorway. Now I'll need to think about what project these 4 colorways should be used for, of course, I have a limited number of yards so will have to ponder on this.

Curling yesterday was very exciting - I was really hoping the Canadian women's team would win the gold but they ended up losing - they played great though. At this very moment the men's game for the bronze is on tv - Sweden vs Switzerland. Right now the cute young Swedes are ahead at the beginning of End 10 - I hope they can keep that lead although it would be very exciting to go into overtime........but I still want them to win in the end. I can't believe I have fallen in love with this sport! 3pm brings on the match for gold/silver medals - I'll have to dvr it since we have to go out mid-way through.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More curling............

As I watch the cute little Swedes losing the curling match (is it called a match?) in End 9 I feel for them but they are young and have gone so much further than expected - and the Canadian team is incredible so I would have been surprised had they not won. But the Swedish team still has a chance for the bronze on Saturday..........yes, I have it written down when the women are playing tomorrow for medals and when the men are playing Saturday. I just read comments from Theresa and Susan on my last post where I talked about curling - had me smiling. And yes, congrats to Canada for how well they're doing in the Olympics!

So, on the weaving front I did get that other warp woven, the white T-105 cotton covered polyester thread. Now I can think about projects I 'want' to weave - first off being a quick chenille scarf a customer mentioned wanting if I ever wove teal and salmon together, then fingertip towels for a multi-guild towel exchange.

The UPS truck was here a bit ago with 2 boxes totalling 89 pounds of Ashland Bay rovings - some new colors and a number of replacement colors for those I've sold out of. It's always fun to open those boxes but it also means lots of time spent weighing out fiber and packaging it in 8 ounce bags.

After I cut the warp off the loom I remembered I hadn't sewn on the leather handles I ordered from Homestead Heirlooms for the grazing sheep bag I knit and felted. Below is the finished bag. This pattern was out of the book 'I Heart Felt', I made a few changes to the pattern as I went. The handles were hard on the fingers to sew on but they are oh so nice and had great instructions on how to sew them on with the wooden buttons on the backside. Many thanks to my friend Kathy for telling me about the two gals who do this leatherwork. When I ordered the handles I also ordered some leather oak leaf pins complete with little wooden acorn embellishments.

Why can't I devour devore?

I am having the hardest time with this devore guild program - I love devore, commercial devore, but not so thrilled with this woven devore. I'm sure (I hope) once I'm finished and have burnt out designs in the handwoven scarves I'll look at them and think they're beautiful but for now I'm avoiding it all together...........I've even been cleaning out and organizing drawers, cabinets & closets instead of weaving! That's unbelieveable for those that know me well. My new incentive is that nothing else goes on a loom until the weaving is done for this program. I'll still have the burn out work to do and my program handout but that's ok, it will be fit in here and there before April 10.

But yesterday I did get back to that soy silk/bamboo warp on the loom - it's off, sample is waiting to be burnt out. I wound a warp and have it almost threaded through the reed and ready to start weaving on today. This warp is white T-105 commercial cotton covered polyester sewing thread. It's rather thick, similar to a 10/2 size. I took a picture but it was pretty boring looking so you're seeing one little corner on the entertainment center in the studio instead. Back to this T-105 - what is supposed to happen when I apply the Fiber-etch (burn out gel) is that the cotton will burn out leaving only the polyester and will result in see-through areas in the fabric. This is different from what I've been doing so far weaving with 2 different fibers (threads) - this is one thread that contains two different fibers. I understand it won't be drapey, like for a scarf, so I only put on 2 yards to sample. It will remain white since disperse dyes are needed to dye this fiber combo. I have boatloads of acid dyes and fiber reactive dyes.....I don't need to add disperse dyes to the cupboard for one sample of something I may not weave with again.

On another note - I know curling at the olympics is being made fun of, great humorous article in the sports section of our local paper this week not to mention nationwide comments. Up until this last week I've probably seen less than 60 seconds of curling in my life. I'm loving it! For those that know me, they know I'm not exactly a sports fanatic, far from it, but I'm loving this curling. Right now the women's semi-finals are on, this afternoon the men's semi-finals. Yesterday was an exciting play-off game between the young (cute) Swedish men's team and the Brits - the cute young Swedes won, they play the Canadians tonight who are top notch. Sam couldn't believe it when I told him all about the game in the evening. I'm not sure what it is about curling that I love - maybe it's something that I could see trying, maybe it's the accents of the commentators - kind of Canadian/Minnesotan, who knows but I know I'll miss it when it's gone. If we travel to Canada in the future (likely) I'll have to plan our trip around a curling tournament to attend, like our trip to Seattle planned around the Mariners/Orioles game.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

More handspun...........

Here's more of the handspun of the coordinating colorways from a handpainted roving. In the original post of February 7th this was the roving in the lower left hand corner. It's more green than I would have liked but the yellow area in the roving was very small, maybe 3" so the tips of blue and teal overtook the yellow. It's still nice though. Working on the blue now, blue with tips of yellow and purple.

Friday, February 19, 2010

More spinning.........

Here is more of the spinning (404 yards) from the colonial roving in my post from February 7th. This was the roving in the upper left hand corner of the picture - mostly purple with bits of blue and teal. Between the Woolee Winder and watching the olympics I'm getting a bit more spinning done that usual. This evening will start the yellow color with bits of turquoise and blue on the tips.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another devore warp.........

It's time to get back to the loom. I've been stagnant - am not overly enthused about the guild program I need to give in April on woven devore and since I won't let myself weave anything else until the program is finished I haven't been weaving. Today I decided I needed to get the second to the last warp for the program on the loom - it's soy silk (pink) and bamboo (mauve). At the end of this scarf warp I'll weave a little sample to try out the devore on before doing it on the actual scarf. The bamboo will burn out where I apply the burnout paste, the soy silk will not.

The final warp for this program will be using commercial sewing thread, T105, which is a cotton covered's on it's way here from Textura Trading. The cotton will burn out leaving a much thinner thread of only polyester. I understand it's not very drapey so will probably sample first and not assume it will make a nice scarf. It only comes in white but can be dyed. From what I understand disperse dyes are used but I'm not sure why fiber reactive dyes couldn't be used, the cotton would dye, the polyester not.....might be interesting.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Woolee Winder, starting to love it.........

Here is the start of the roving I separated into color sections from the post of February 7th. This is the pile in the upper right hand corner, teal with tips of yellow and purple. I love the way the colors blended. I have 376 yards of this color - it's a bit thinner than fingering weight. Tonight while watching the Olympics I'll start on the mostly purple colorway.

And the Woolee Winder and I have become friends, it's really gotten broken in and is much more pleasant to use. I still need to give Nathan a call to discuss the touchiness of the brake but I'm starting to love it. And no more noise is a great thing - that would have been the deal breaker on whether to keep it or not. I'm spinning so much quicker without having to manually move the position of the yarn on the bobbin - I flew plying. As Martha would say "it's a good thing".

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Woolee Winder Update

My Woolee Winder update - it's getting better. The noise is pretty much gone. I started spinning 'real' fiber, not test fiber and it's turning out great. I still haven't gotten it as smooth as I'd like - I've switched up the brake band many times but right now I'm sticking with the same cord I use on my Lendrum. I meant to call Nathan today to talk to him about this but never got around to it - hopefully I won't forget tomorrow.

Very important - I don't want to deter anyone who is thinking of buying one from doing so. I've talked/emailed many folks that have not had any problems at all and love their Woolee Winders. Thank goodness I spoke with one local friend who had the same noise problem when she first got hers - she told me it eventually went away after a bit of spinning. Also so glad I read comments on Ravelry, at least I knew I wasn't the only one.

So, I'm beginning to think I won't be returning it. I'll see how I feel after I spin and ply what I'm working on right now. This is the fiber from the recent post where I pulled it apart at the color changes. This is the primarily teal color with bits of purple and yellow - I like the way it's turning out.

On another note today I was working on a sewing project for the WOW factor for my April weaving guild program on woven devore. Since I'm not enthused about the woven devore I definitely need the WOW factor! I can't tell what it is since some guild members check in with my blog.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Woolee Winder

So the excitement of the arrival of the Woolee Winder quickly wore off Monday evening. As my husband said it sounded like a hunk of junk. With much oiling, tons of oiling, wipe up the drip oiling the clankety-clank and clickety-click have gone away - it's been replaced by a fairly quiet whorling. Sam thinks the teflon piece must have seated in after spinning on it for a while - it was not smooth at all running up and down the chase, would stick in places, now it's fairly smooth. So, that challenge conquered but still the challenge of it not spinning smoothly. A friend of mine brought her wheel with WW on it to guild yesterday for me to try out - oh, so smooth and spun like a dream - hmpf! Others I know had no problems with it. I then wrote to Susan who also has a Majacraft with WW to find out how hers was doing - well, of course, it was spinning beautifully so she suggested I check out the posts on the Majacraft group on Ravelry. Thank you Susan! I learned that the brake cord that comes standard on the Majacraft and works beautifully with the plastic bobbins does not like wood bobbins. One suggestion was 40lb fishing line. I didn't have any last night so I went to look at what was on the wood bobbins of my Lendrum, a different kind of cord which I snagged some of out of the repair kit and put it on the Majacraft. Better but not perfect. Today I bought 50lb fishing line - seemed to be better for a bit but then wasn't so back to the Lendrum line for now. I'm going to give Nathan a call at WW for more hints/tips. I was thinking of returning it but it's starting to break in now so it might just make a life here. I understand he has a great return policy if I'm not happy with it. Tonight I'm actually going to start spinning something other than junky test wool. This whole spinning thing is supposed to be relaxing, not stressful............well, unless you're spinning cotton!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spinning and Woolee Winder

My new Woolee Winder awaits me at the post office tomorrow morning. I'm so excited. I should be able to fly spinning without having to move the yarn along the bobbin manually every once in a while. The big decision, which took weeks, was do I get it for the Majacraft Little Gem or for the Lendrum upright. I finally decided on the Majacraft - since that's even smaller and more portable than the Lendrum I end up spinning on it more often.

So, last night I decided to visit the roving stash (mine bought elsewhere, not all the hand-dyed and Ashland Bay I have for sale......although many of those were tempting, but I'll spin some up next project). I came up with 2 packages of this Colonial wool in the Purple Haze colorway from Great Balls of Fiber up in WA. I'd put a link but Sara doesn't have a website. She always has a booth at NWRSA and OFFF though.

I decided to try a technique Shelly of Butternut Woolens had examples of at OFFF this past fall. I pulled apart the roving at the color separations and will spin each separately. But since wispy bits of the adjoining colors came while pulling the roving apart there will be bits of those colors spun in with the main color. I should end up with 4 coordinating yarns when I'm done. Not sure what the end project will be - it's the spinning I'm excited about - will decide what it will be used for at a later time.
Would love to be spinning while watching the SuperBowl this afternoon but want to wait for the Woolee Winder so I'll probably knit instead. Family coming over today - potluck yummies. I'm making cheese fondue, chips/peach mango salsa/guacamole and chocolate fondue for dessert.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Silk and Tencel Devore Sample

Here's a devore sample on the silk/tencel warp. I am so glad I'm doing samples on each scarf warp before burning out the cellulose fiber on the real scarf. This is the first sample where the edges have been ragged after the burnout - that's the tencel fraying. So no burnout on the actual scarf off this warp. Of course before I did this sample I put another warp on using tencel - this time with wool. I just finished weaving it, maybe will get to the devore sample of that tomorrow - will see if it's a repeat of fraying edges to confirm that tencel is not a good fiber choice or was the above sample just a fluke.