On Vacation

Leno Lace

3/2 cotton woven using a combination of Leno Lace and Brooks Bouquet lace weaving.  The Leno Lace is with an open shed bringing the two bottom threads over the top threads and then I go around one more time so that the threads are in their starting positions but wrapped around each other.  I think that this gives the lace a cleaner look.  Then I do seven plain picks followed by a set of brooks bouquet, which is wrapping your weft thread around three of your warp threads on the up shed twice so that it forms a little bouquet, all the way across.  I have a different number of threads across so I have five in the final bundle, but I really like how it looks.  You can do the brooks bouquet in any combination you like.  I follow this with seven plain picks and repeat the brooks bouquet twice more before starting over with a Leno Lace.  This is the project pictured above.

I am currently on my first vacation in over ten years that does not involve a family reunion or major family obligation.  I love family reunions, but travel with mom is really difficult at this time.  I did go to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in the beginning of May which could also be considered a vacation, however I really consider this my first vacation.

So far I have gotten the kitchen scrubbed, the repairman came to look at the oven which has been broken for a while.  He will be back later this week with the right part to finish fixing the oven.  It’s been broken for a few years, so this is a big move!  I also managed to drop the car off at the garage, there was some major body damage because a little bit of the bottom of my driveway washed out so every time I exited the driveway I would bump the bottom of the car and it caused some major damage.  The car should be done by the end of the week and they will pick me up then.

I have been doing more then just getting caught up on major chores, though I am happy that I am getting more crafts hauled down into our new craft room, I have also washed the first back of alpaca seconds one of my spinning students gave to me.  I have learned a lot of great lessons from this.

* Do NOT wash a whole bag of alpaca seconds at once if you only have one sweater rack to lay this out to dry on.

* DO let the alpaca soak in the water for at least 30 minutes, do not run the alpaca through the water and call it washed, it isn’t.

*Do NOT set your fleece out underneath a tree that is shedding a ton of those whirly gig things.

* If you left your hand cards at work, this might not be the right time to wash fleece.

Despite these, hard won, lessons I have been having a ton of fun with this alpaca.  I Have my flick brush and the bee hive decappers that are working as wool combs.

There are two knitting projects I am working on as well as a crochet project but I think that will be separate posts when I am done with them or when I am so sick of them I need inspiration to get back to working on them.

So this is my vacation, I am trying to get some work done around the house and some crafting accomplished so that I can go back to work relaxed and re energized.  I just wanted to post this update, and will try and get back to updating next week.

Happy Crafting!

 

 

Fall Crafting Samples

I cannot believe that two of the only crafts I did not make samples of are my first two fall classes.  Admittedly, I know how to do both crafts therefore I am not that worried about them, but still it seems a little silly.  For my first two Fall classes we are going to be making Plastic Canvas Coasters then Counted Cross Stitch.  I plan on using the same pattern for each of them, showing how with a simple graph you can use whatever medium you are most comfortable with, within reason.

The last week of every month is going to be designated as a ‘catch up’ day.  That way if someone missed a class or is struggling with something we can get them caught up to speed or teach them the class they missed, in brief at least.

After September, things start to get a little more complicated.  Starting with a celebration of National Spinning and Weaving Week from there we move onto the other crafts, from needle tatting, no sew pumpkins and weaving on a hula hoop (or pool noodle), and so much more.  I have managed to get a few samples out there, and once I have ordered and received some of the other kits we will see how far the crafting train can go!

To clarify, those are four photos of the same pumpkin, he just looks different from different angles.  The little colorful thing is a Needle Tatted Flower, and that is not a demented birds nest but a Hula Hoop Woven Basket.  It turns out if you pull the weft in too tight your rug does not lay straight.  It also turns out that it takes a ton of fabric scraps to make a rug with a hula hoop, live and learn.

I absolutely cannot wait until fall crafting.  This isn’t even getting into the kits I am going to order for November and December.  Spring should be a blast too, as long as interest lasts…which I think it should.

Happy Crafting!

Summer is Ending

I cannot, for the life of me, believe that summer is OVER!  It seems like summer just began and here I am looking at my last Wooly Wednesday Class Tomorrow!  We are starting up “Fall Crafting” next Monday during the afternoon but this still seems like the end of an era.

Wooly Wednesday’s could not have gone better if I had tried.  I do have some plans for how to modify these classes for the spring and summer in 2018 so that they are more comprehensive, don’t rush my students as much, and cover more students and class time for the same amount of supplies (my boss will like that one).

LOOK AT ALL OF THE COOL STUFF MY LADIES CREATED THIS SUMMER!!!!!

 

 

 

This summer of Crafting ROCKED, so did my Wooly Wednesday Ladies. I hope to see you this fall, I miss you already!

Happy Crafting

Progress with my Scar(ves)

leftovers-scarf-with-leno-2scarf-with-leno-1

The top scarf is what happens when I run out of the right color of weft yarn to finish the first scarf and decide to try a totally different effect to create a small second scarf.  This is all made from handspun yarn, which is why I am a little worried that the stripe of green will full in a different way than the rest of the scarf.  If there is more twist or less give to that section it will pucker everything around it, in which case it is a ruffle scarf and I meant to do that, LOL.  This is all made from handspun yarn, which is why I am a little worried that the stripe of green will full in a different way than the rest of the scarf.  If there is more twist or less give to that section it will pucker everything around it, in which case it is a ruffle scarf and I meant to do that, LOLInstead of a one-over leno like I did on the bottom scarf, I decided to do a 2 over leno on this scarf.  The effect is much more dramatic and I am excited to see what it looks like washed as well.  I finished the ends off slightly differently to see if the methods I was taught would work to keep the ends from fraying, if not I will hem the edges.  I tried, and succeeded, to put a slit into the fabric that was woven intentionally.  The effect is neat, but I do need to plan a bit better since the slit is no where near either end but instead somewhere in the middle, lol.

Okay so the bottom image is the scarf that I intended to weave, pre washing.  It is neat, though I believe next time I will leave more room for fringe, and I like how the leno turned out.  The little holes are supposed to be there, if you have seen my last post about the scarf you can see what they looked like while I was weaving them, and I cannot wait to see how they will turn out when I am done.

My selvedges need a lot of work, I know this so this is something I can work on in the future.  I am very pleased with how everything turned out!

Happy Crafting!

Big Project Update 4

The Loom is now complete!  I cannot believe how well it turned out.  The pedals still do not work but I managed to rig up some Texsolv Cord and Arrow clips (that are specific to the cord) so that I am able to treadle with them.  I did have to tie them up in a 1, 3, 4, 2 pattern instead of 1, 2, 3, 4.  When I tried tying them up straight from 1-4 then I could not press down on 1 enough to get a good shed (lift the yarn enough to pass the shuttle through).

Before the next part, I have to give you some background information.  I live with my mother on almost 2 acres of land.  We are surrounded by a bit of forest.  The house is built into a hill, which really helps avoid flooding, with a garage under the house and another detached garage.  We use the garage under the house for the car (we share one between us), and have not been using the detached garage for much of anything since my father died 7 years ago.  This is why my weaving has stalled.

While we have not been using the garage, other creatures have decided to move in.  Specifically there are some PVC pipes on a metal rack that a family of mice has decided to move into.  This was actually alright with me for a little while, I set out traps and would play music to keep them away thinking that the traps would get them overnight one of these days.  This worked long enough for me to get a bit of a sampler project done, then one day I looked up and found a face peeking at me out of the PVC pipe.  Well that was the end of my weaving until we get someone in to get rid of the mice.  My bravery only goes so far, telling a patron that I am pretty sure is high that they need to leave the library, keep it down, watch their language; Fine.  Telling a patron that I know is drunk that they need to leave the cashbox right where it is, and taking it out of their hands; Fine.  Mice around when I am trying to relax and concentrate on my weaving; NOT FINE!

Weaving Sample 1Weaving Sample 2

I managed to get these twill samplers woven (it’s a fraction of what I wanted to do but a decent start), and as soon as someone has been in to see about the mice I will put a topcoat on my loom and start planning for next year!

Spring Weaving will be a blast!

Happy Crafting

Big Project Update 3

I cannot believe it!  The loom is almost finished!  For Reference, this is what the loom looked like when I started:

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This is what the loom looks like now:

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I still have some work to do with the pedals, the two furthest to the right do not seem to want to work right.  It is amazing what a little hard work, primer, yellow paint, and Feed n’ Wax will do for a piece of furniture.  Please note, I did paint the heddle rods inside each frame, I did not prime these pieces.  That was a big mistake.  I think it is simply the fact that I did not add primer and that the heddles are metal, but the paint has been flaking and chipping since I began putting the heddles back on.  I believe now that they are on the rods the chipping will slow down, but it is something to be aware of.

Since this began life as a therapy loom there are weights on top of each heddle frame, I will not be keeping them there but I did want them painted to match the loom.  I am so very excited to see the loom this close to being done, I have a semi-gloss topcoat that I will be putting on…well I intended to get it done soon but Mom is so excited to see what this device can do the final gloss might wait for the colder months!

Rigid Heddle Loom

Recently Ashford came out with a 10″ Sample-It Loom.  Previously they had an 8″ Sample-It Loom I was thinking about getting, the 10″ was only $7 more than the 8″ and already comes set up for a double heddle experience, I could not resist.  I have not taken any real classes on the rigid heddle loom and, since there is not as much information available on the Kindle Unlimited plan, I have not read as much as I would like on the subject.  Despite these limitations, I managed to watch a few movies and am in the middle of reading “The Weavers Idea Book” by Jane Patrick, I did weave a piece of fabric that I enjoyed creating.  The warp was my Corriedale in Summer Days along with a bit of a wool mixture I carded up.  The weft started with some crochet cotton then I used a commercial blue yarn.  The picture below is before I washed  the piece to finish it.  Once I washed it the energized yarn that made up the wool mixture activated the twist causing the fabric to ruffle a bit.  I like the effect for a beginning piece and can imagine how it could be used as a weft to finish off the edge of a piece or in the warp of a much larger piece.

My First weaving