Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On the loom today..........

Here's what's on the loom new today - another chenille warp for 3 scarves, a graduation...magenta to dark teal to eggplant. First scarf using the dark teal for weft.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chenille question...........

I had a comment from Textrix asking what I used for the warp in my chenille scarves because she has used tencel and was wondering if chenille could be used. Oh yes, chenille can be used - I used the same chenille for my warp as my weft- it makes for the most luxurious scarves and shawls. I sett the 1300 yds/lb rayon chenille at 16 epi. Sometimes I do mixed warps mixing the chenille with rayon slubs, sometimes variegated in color. With the chenille warp I have also used non-chenille wefts - sometimes tencel, many times rayon and sometimes some great black sparkley rayon I have........that I'm sadly getting low on and have no clue where to pick up more. Originally it was from Silk City Fibers but that was years ago, will have to look at the sample notebooks I've got to see if there's something similar to it.

No weaving today - had lunch with a couple of weaver friends and then headed out for shopping - in and out of the car in the heat has done me in.

More chenille scarves

Here are the lastest of the chenille scarves that came off the loom and were washed yesterday. Fringes still need to be twisted. Yesterday I finally got around to twisting fringes on 6 scarves after finishing the weaving on this black/grey/red warp. Not sure what's going on the loom next - more chenille, or bamboo.

We took the weekend off from the heat, 100+ temps here, just over the mountains on the coast it was in the 60's, sunny and breezy so off we went Friday, back Sunday evening.

I have pounds and pounds of wool sitting here waiting to be dyed, not to mention the latest addition to the stash -120 silk hankies (for spinning). It's just too hot for me, I'd be ok for the first couple hours early in the morning but after that I suffer. Am hoping maybe later this week or next week it will be better.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chenille scarves

I finally got the 3 chenille scarves washed, still need to twist fringes but will do that when there's a movie I'd like to watch, also have the last 3 bamboo scarves waiting for fringes to be twisted. I did get another chenille scarf warp on the loom - hoping to finish those 3 scarves up this morning, once washed and dried I'll post a picture of them - they're red, black, grey & white.

A lot of weavers ask me how I finish the chenille. To start with when I'm weaving I put a smooth waste yarn in the fringe area to protect it during the washing/drying process. Anyone familiar with chenille knows that the individual threads tend to fall apart if not protected. After the piece comes off the loom I machine stitch across the ends where the waste yarn is. Then I soak it in soapy water, rinse, and put it to soak a bit more with fabric softener. I hang it over a rod to dry, or almost dry. At that point it's as stiff as a board, not the supple drapey chenille we all love. All it takes is 10 minutes on fluff in the dryer (a little heat if not quite dry) and it's as soft as butter. At that point I pull out the waste yarn and twist the fringe - a twisted fringe is a must unless you want to eventually see just threads hanging - another option is a hem.

Some weavers think chenille is out of style and don't use it as much anymore but my sales say otherwise, I sell a ton of chenille scarves and shawls - all it takes is one feel for someone to fall in love with it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On the needles........redux

Last night I took out the start of this scarf because I wasn't happy with the gold along the beginning edge of it - much happier now. Needles will not be clickety-clacking away at this scarf, have other things I want to work on but when I'm in the mood for knitting I'll pick it up - can't be without a knitting project. Will be a surprise to see how the coloring works out, didn't do anything but tear the roving in half and spin so not sure if there will be lots of striping or more combining of colors - it will be a surprise.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On the needles........

I started this scarf last night, I shouldn't have, I have so many other fiber projects to work on......but there's a need to have something on the needles. This is the Wakefield Scarf pattern from The yarn is my handspun - roving was hand-dyed by Shelly of Butternut Woolens, merino/silk blend, in the Missouri Breaks colorway. Need to think on it a bit, might be pulling it out tonight and starting over - not sure I like that gold at the beginning edge of the scarf, might be happier if it started with the teal/blue color.

I did get a chenille scarf warp on the loom yesterday and wove the first of three scarves. I need to focus on weaving, the holiday sale season will be here before I know it, summer is flying by as it is........

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kumihimo Fun

Yesterday we took a drive to the coast (90 miles south of new place) so I could teach the Webfoot Weavers in Brookings the art of kumihimo (Sam and cousin Jim golfed while I taught). We started with working on a sample with some thick cotton yarns. Then after an incredibly yummy potluck luncheon they provided I got them started on braiding a keyring using 4 strands of 5/2 perle cotton as one. My example to the right is just one of the many braid combinations they could have tried. I'm hoping they thought it was worthwhile bringing me over. I had fun with the group, what great camaraderie between the members.

I'm hoping to get some dyeing in this week, forecast I saw 2 days ago showed many days in the 80 degree range - perfect! This morning I heard 90's - sure hope not.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fun package arrived today!

Remember when my friend Kathy made me a felted beaded bling tiara for winning best use of handspun at the nwrsa conference? Well, while at the conference I told the powers to be that a tiara would be much more fun than a plaque. Guess what arrived in the mail today? A sparkley needlefelted tiara. I did my best to get a picture of it complete with little dangley sparkley sheep. Is this fun or what! This does have to be passed on to next year's winner along with the rolled parchment paper proclamation that arrived with it...the good part of that is that I'll keep the one Kathy made for me rather than donate that one to the cause. Oh I should have mentioned that Diane of We Bee Felting made the tiara!
This is the beautiful hat box it arrived in - wow!
On the fiber front - I finally finished the scarf warp I started last month, got them washed last night, they still need the fringes twisted. These started out to be a two block twill using the variegated bamboo warp. I started to weave and wasn't happy with the results so I switched to plain weave which I rarely do other than when weaving chenille. I like the end result much better. I crossed each scarf with a different color bamboo; black, sage, purple. I've got a chenille scarf warp going on the loom next, I'm running low on scarves and must get weaving.....I've been goofing off lately.
And here's the fair display I've been working on. Jury is still out on how I attached the photos - I used a double stick carpet tape that's supposedly permanent. Well, already one of the pictures fell off. I'm hoping after they sit on the canvas a while they'll stay but I might have to come up with a backup plan in the meantime. All our skeins, handwovens, crocheted or knitted items in the display this year will be the result of one of the 4 colorways we've done in the garden party the past few years.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Table Runners finally done..............

The ten celtic knot table runners are finally finished - they sat around in a pile waiting to be hemmed for quite a while, that finally got done last week, today they were ironed and tagged.

Also today was putting the finishing touches on a new display board for the county fair, had cleanup to do on the pages of photos and text and print them. I'm borrowing a laminating machine tomorrow for all the pictures and text, need to paint the canvas so they have a nice backdrop and then I'm done....will post a picture when finished up. I have an adversion to the paint brush unless it's connected with painting fiber so I'll need to psych myself up for the painting portion.

Today was a day of getting things finished up. I have everything together for the kumihimo class I'm teaching on Saturday. All is ready to go except the handout which I'll get printed tomorrow.

What I've been up to lately........instead of weaving.......

This is what I've been up to lately........we've bought a little beach getaway on the Oregon coast. We're within a short walk to old town with all it's galleries, shops and restaurants and to a cliff overlooking the ocean....probably 8 blocks from actual beach access trail. We spent the weekend there cleaning (wasn't very dirty) and buying all supplies for a friend to replace siding on the south side (had leaked), caulk and paint the entire exterior. Still have some major foundation work to come, hopefully later this month. Only have some beds and a few basics in the kitchen so far but eventually there will certainly be knitting needles, a spinning wheel and if there's room a small loom.

Latest hand-dyed roving for sale............

Pix of recently dyed Falkland Roving - some are already in my etsy shop, others will be up before the week is out. Several colorways sell out shortly after I dye them, two not pictured sold out last week before I could even get them up in the shop. Falkland is a pleasure to spin.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Socks Finished.........

I finally finished this pair of handknit socks out of Opal yarn - I love the colors - very fun. Not much happening here fiber wise, been busy with other things that need attention - starting to get fiber withdrawals, will sit and hem the celtic knot runners this evening....was supposed to do that last week and never got to it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Another dye day

This is where I do my dyeing - it's in front of the 3 car garage and under the deck so I'm in the shade for everything except the rinsing of the roving. I have the painting table, the dye mixing table, another table for supplies and when I'm also kettle dyeing I have a table for the roaster. Below is my 2 burner propane cooktop with canning pots that I have vegetable steamers sitting inside to hold the rovings up off the bottom of the pot. I also have many 5 gallon buckets and am thinking of getting even more.
Here's the Falkland roving I dyed today. Look at that green - yeehaw! For each of these 3 colorways I dyed a lighter shade to coordinate the main color. On the far right is a small bit of roving I dyed vibrant colors - there's enough to spin and knit up a pair of fingerless mitts, possibly a pair of sox, need to weigh it once it dries and see.
And here are the two sock blanks I dyed - are they crazy or what - they'll make great socks. It's a stockinette stitch blank knit with 2 threads at a time (from Knit Picks). When I start knitting the socks I'll knit both at once and they'll be identical.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dye Day

My mental health therapy since Tuesday has been to fondle fiber. I spent a quiet day weighing out fiber to dye as well as around 25 pounds of Ashland Bay colorways that needed to be weighed, bagged and labeled. Since the weather was lovely today I decided to start dyeing the 22 pounds of Falkland I weighed out - this is around half of it. Of course the day started out with not being able to find any of my 5 gallon buckets - took 45 minutes of digging around the garage and storage areas to find them. These colorways are special orders, although I dye more than what I needed for the orders, these are popular colorways that keep selling out. From the left is Bering Sea, Purple Sage and then on the rack that the wind knocked down is Penelope. I took this picture from the deck because I was way too tired to walk down the stairs again and what do I see but the rack on the ground......I thought about walking down to set it up again but I knew Sam would be home within 15 minutes and he would do it when he saw it! Tomorrow I'll dye the rest of the Falkland - not sure about colors yet, might have to go bright after the subdued colors of today. There's much more to dye but the temps are supposed to head up close to 100 so they may have to wait a bit: Polwarth, BlueFace/Tussah, Merino/Bamboo, Merino/Tencel, Merino/Tussah and Panda which is Superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon.