Saturday, February 25, 2012

recycle, upcycle, reuse

This box of many layers of scrabble tiles headed north yesterday to my cousin Claudia who has an etsy shop and blog everyone should check out. She's doing some very fun things with recycling/upcycling.

I was using these scrabble tiles for pins mixing in glass beads and charms, I did many for sale and for gifts but it's time to move on which means tiles are moving out.

I thought I'd just dump them all in the small flat rate priority mail box for the least expensive shipping method but that box is about the size of a vcr tape, pretty small. Tiles wouldn't fit so then I proceeded to do something that was time consuming but made me think of my father the entire time I was doing it. He would have layered them in the box in perfect order for shipping so I did the same and fit every single tile in. Then he would have taped the bejebbers out of the box to make sure it made it to it's destination safe and sound....I put a bit of tape but no where near what he would have done. If Claudia opens this box up with the right side up she'll see my message.....if I had thought ahead I would have had a message on the other side too....or maybe she'll just open it up and those hundreds of tiles will fall all over the floor!

Friday, February 24, 2012

...a bit of spinning.....

Not much happening fiber wise here, have a pile of sample skeins of Ashland Bay roving spun up that need photos taken so they can be added to the etsy shop listings. I must have a total of 80 that need to be photographed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nothing much to say.....

I don't have much to say, nothing to show.......very sad state of affairs. But we did spend 4 days on the coast just relaxing. Did a little sock knitting, started a seashell cross-stitch......found I really need reading glasses or better yet a magnifying lens for working on that small count linen......must be getting old. Got my hair cut....numerous inches, do like the cut other than the 'texturizing' in the back....when I was young it was called thinning, same scary scissors but now it's more 'IN' to call it texturizing.....won't be letting those scissors near my hair again, just some layering will be fine. Am dreaming of weaving but seem to run out of hours in my days......paperwork seems to be winning out, afterall it is tax time and other than keeping track of my sales I leave everything to the end of the year beginning of the next year to imput in excel....bad me.

So, since I have nothing worthy of sharing I thought I'd share another blog. If you don't read Daryl Lancaster's blog please check out today's post. I took a class from Daryl on sewing with handwovens at the last ANWG conference, she's a great teacher, so much information my head almost exploded.

Today was my spinning group get together, it's the most wonderfully diverse group of women around, and we all get along great. How blessed I am to have them in my life.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Not being creative.....

No time for being creative this week, out much of Monday, weaving guild meeting Tuesday plus errands afterwards and yesterday was spent weighing, bagging and labeling 106 pounds of Ashland Bay roving. I was out of so many colors, got a few new colors, also lots of time spent listing it in my etsy shop. Most of what I weighed was merino solid colors - got some nice new colors in. But there is some multi-color Polwarth roving that's a limited offer from Ashland Bay. I haven't had time to spin up the samples yet but it feels lovely. I especially love the green colorway....but then I love greens, especially lime greens.

Too much administrivia......

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Success!  The top I showed the fabric and pattern of yesterday was sewn today after a trip to town for bias tape for the neck. I love it, it's so soft and drapey....and actually very flattering, will look great with leggings. It doesn't show to it's best on my mannequin. If I had enough fabric sitting around for another one I would have made it today too but being so full and drapey and having that uneven hem it takes a lot of fabric. I have a big bag full of rayon batiks but all just 1/2 yard short for this pattern. A couple of those will end up as the sleeveless version of this for summer. Hmm, tomorrow I'm off to a weaving guild meeting.....I could always leave early and stop at JoAnn's to see if they have anything suitable. I know it's a crap shoot finding a nice fabric there but I'm going to look anyhow. Very productive day between sewing and almost finishing inventory of hundreds of pounds of roving. An Ashland Bay order just came in, 106 pounds that needs to be weighed out into 8oz bags....that will happen sometime next week.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Next under the needle.....

Here's the next top to be sewn, hopefully tomorrow but who knows. Making the long sleeve version but with 3/4 length sleeves as I hate things around my wrist. Fabric is a lovely drapey rayon with gingko leaves. I copied the pattern onto other paper this afternoon and cut out the pieces so they're ready to go......except for the twill bias tape that I never realized I needed to buy (because I didn't read the back of the pattern), might have to run to town in the morning for it. Fixed the tension on the serger this afternoon - put on 4 different colored threads to figure it out.....took a while, seemed like no matter how I adjusted nothing was changing, then all of a sudden I got it - whoo hoo!  (oh, in case anyone is interested this pattern is See & Sew #B5203)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A bit of sewing today....

I really wanted to weave today but I have two tops I wanted to make before my Bernina goes in for it's regular service next week so sewing is what I did instead. I decided to make this t-shirt jacket from a McCall's one hour pattern - hah! It took me an hour to cut out the pattern fabric! It would have been fairly quick to sew if I hadn't been sewing with a knit, lightweight t-shirt fabric. I've never sewn any knits before, all I've ever done is hem up sleeves on long sleeve t's to 3/4 length. Top turned out ok, hangs better on me than on this mannequin. I learned alot about knits that curl up as they're being cut.....I think. Not totally happy with the front hemmed edge that wants to curl to the outside. I thought about turning the hem again but it would be too heavy. It is what it is.....a soft, smooshy, comfy top to wear over a t-shirt with jeans.....and the fabric was only $3/yard at Fabric Depot in Portland.....and at that price I didn't even care that blue is not my color, good fabric to learn on.

Would like to sew up another top tomorrow or Friday, different pattern, rayon fabric, but would really like to get the tension correct on the serger, didn't need it on the t-shirt top. Not sure what happened, tension was perfect, switched from 3 thread back to 4 thread and it's wack-a-do. Need to put on 4 different colored threads to figure it out.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I should have known...

I should have known that the warp put on Saturday using the warping wheel might have some issues....there was that first section that pulled out of the little raddle (because I didn't put the top on it) that tangled and pulled so it wound on tighter than the other sections. Then there was my question on the length of warp from one end of the raddle to the other which was answered in comments to my last post by Restless Knitter and Janet (thank you!). I was trying to follow the warping wheel instructions, they never addressed this issue, neither did the online video. I had a bad feeling about it, should have paid more attention to my intuition. So, after 6" of the first scarf the tension was wack-a-doo.....I can't ever remember having tension issues since I started weaving in 1986. So, I cut off that piece and called it my sample, pulled a number of yards of the warp forward to where I thought the tension all looked equal, wound it back on, tied on the front and started weaving. Phew!

First scarf woven, no tension issues so far, another pattern from the Complex Weavers Greatest Hits book with a few changes on my part. While weaving I kept looking at the area between the bands thinking what could I design to put in those - this only used 24 of the 40 harnesses so I could put all kinds of designs in those spaces....will work on those later after I spend time learning the software, right now just learning what I need to know to do what I want to the seat of my pants.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Learning so much the brain hurts....

There were pictures to go with this post but I accidently deleted them before of the AVL warping wheel process.Oh well, if you want to see one in action there's a video on the AVL website - go to Resources, Library and then click on Video - there are a couple there. You don't need an AVL to use this wheel - any loom will work, sectional or not.

Lesson learned today - put the warping wheel raddle top on the raddle before moving it to the front of the warping wheel...not a good thing to have all 60 warp ends for a 2" section fall out....leads to a tangled mess winding it on the back beam. I think that section may have been wound on tighter due to my error.

Lesson #2 learned - print out the draft before threading to catch any errors, for some reason it's easier to spot them in print than on the screen...luckily I figured this one out on the first warp so I fixed the errors before winding the warp today.

I think I like the warping wheel, I only put on a 12 yard warp since it was my first time. I think I could have wound and beamed it faster using a warping board but I'll get better at it, I was already getting faster by the time I got to the third 2" section.

If anyone uses one of these I do have one question. When I've finished winding a section and cut the warp, tie an overhand knot in preparation for beaming I find the ends aren't even when I move the raddle to the front of the wheel. It stands to reason because the first ones wound travel further to get through the slots on the raddle. Should I be waiting to tie my knot after I move the raddle? Or actually re-tie it because heaven forbid I drop it not tied! I don't know yet if this will affect this warp, possibly not at all, will find out after I finished weaving the 4 scarves. Speaking of which I also had a picture of the woven sample but that was deleted too.

Gourmet dinner tonight - Kettle Cooked Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Chips and a Diet Mug Rootbeer. I rarely eat chips and am not much of a soda drinker. Sam had a very late lunch at a golf tournament so no cooking tonight.

Embroidery question.....answer

Theresa asked me a question on my last post having to do with embroidering the water bottle cozies. I thought I would answer here in case anyone else is interested.  For the cozies along with other small items to embroider, collar points, etc. that can't be hooped there's a sticky back stabilizer available. This is where I buy it - ThreadArt. It comes in the little 8x8 sheets or on a roll. I'm sure it can be bought at many other places too but this is where I've gotten it. I watched a video on how to stitch the cozies and it shows hooping the sticky back stabilizer, then scoring the top protective sheet of it and pulling it off leaving the sticky in your hoop (but it's not sticky anywhere that it actually touches the hoop). Now anything can be placed on it and held in place while embroidering. But I found one major issue - within a minute the machine needle becomes gummed up and thread breaks, of course it would going through all that sticky stuff. So, I've added another step - after removing the protective sheet on top of the sticky I actually cut a hole in the sticky part a tiny bit bigger than my embroidery design, then put a piece of regular stabilizer over it, just big enough to stick around the edge of the cut edge, the rest of the sticky is there to hold the fabric being stitched. Not sure if this makes sense but it will if you use the sticky back stabilizer. Works like a charm.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hard at

Yesterday I had some time at the embroidery machine stitching water bottle cozies, the blanks are made out of neoprene, after stitching I sew up the side and voila, ready for a water bottle. I also embroidered some golf towels.

Then I decided to be brave and take part of the machine apart to clean it, so with manual at hand I started on it, glad I did, the bobbin case was filled with dust that I'm sure would hamper the sensor and cause stitching issues. I stitched this cute flower on a scrap piece of fabric to make sure I got everything back correctly after cleaning.

Today I spent time twisting fringes on scarves - they won't sell if I don't finish them. Photography comes next.

And my major accomplishment for the day was teaching myself, with a couple pages of instruction, how to use the AVL warping wheel. I was a little skeptical about it being easy to learn but I've got it, and it didn't take terribly long either. What a cool tool for sectional warping - no winding of spools, just work from the cone(s) onto the wheel, then onto the beam. It's like magic! So tomorrow I'll wind an actual warp and get it on the AVL, after I get to weaving and see how I like the tension I'll decide if I'm buying it from a local weaving friend, right now I'd say yes, I think I'm going to like it but will give it a complete warp to make sure.