Cowls and Dioramas

I spent the entire week warping, weaving, and finishing the cowl. I am lucky that I was able to take my loom off of the stand or I do not know how I would have untangled my cowl. While I adore the end product, keeping some tension on the warp end I was weaving while keeping the end I was using for weft was a delicate dance. It is entirely possible I did not pack nearly enough weft into each pic, the loose gauzy feel will suit me better as the warmer months come around.

Woven cowl hanging from a towel rod in a bathroom.

I have also started spinning several different breeds, okay so two so far, and plan on crocheting some granny squares based on a challenge another person on Ravelry mentioned. The Sheepspotters society is running 1 fiber 5 ways spin along, the first day was short forward drafting more efficiently and faster. I enjoyed this, however the Hog Island I chose was a little too rustic for this to be effective. The Icelandic I picked for my second spin is turning out much smoother. I did a 2 ply for 40 yards then took the rest of the two ply and counter plied it to make a crepe yarn. That did not turn out so well, however the granny squares are quite effective. I hope to have photos of those next week. To keep track of the project I batch cut some tags using my cricut and some colored paper. Since I had to cut a couple of tags it made sense to just do an entire batch at once.

Colored tags with a blue pen and hole punch on a slightly stained wooden tv tray.

I have also been playing around a bit with the diorama I had hoped to make of an alleyway. I have the main portions painted and I had used some layering techniques to paint wooden squared off dowels in stone like colors. I had planned to cut them down into pieces that could be used like stones, roughing up the edges and adding on some color. I tried this, however I also had a container of stones…unfortunately for my efforts with the dowels I think that the actual stone looks better.

I also experimented with the width, please ignore the junk in the background. You can see in the bottom right most photo the longer strips were a little too narrow to get any kind of depth while the stick pieces looked like nothing more than grey rectangles, in no way can they be stone. The actual stone however looks amazing, I cannot wait to see what it will look like as a road between the sides. I decided on the very square pieces on the top right most photo, in single file. Double file is a bit too much space for me to cover, too much room to check out details. It will likely be several months of contemplation before I bring myself to figure out the next set of steps. Until then, I love how this diorama is turning out. Next is probably going to be trying to make some buildings for the sides and perhaps thinking about how I am going to stick pieces together.

I look forward to what next week is going to bring me. Until then, Live Life A Little More Abstract!

November and Crafting Slump

I’m sorry about not posting for a few weeks, November came on like a storm bringing with it quite a bit of uncertainty regarding college/university closings in New York. Between the stress of figuring out plans and back up plans the month simply slipped away from me.

I Hope that, if you celebrate, you had an amazing Thanksgiving or Indigenous Peoples Day or Friendsgiving (even if you could only see your family/friends through zoom). I had a great weekend, which means I was able to finally get back into the groove of crafting.

I did manage to finish weaving my four handspun panels a few weeks ago, now I am debating if they are going to be scarves for my cousins kids, panels for a piece of clothing, or pieces of a bag. I am leaning toward the idea of a bag, maybe bags, since the yarn is a bit rough for next to the skin.

Four multi-colored pieces of woven cloth lying next to each other, the loose threads still need clipped.

I have started another weaving project with yarn from HipStrings out of Pittsburgh, PA. When I ordered some mini’s they were kind enough to send whole skeins, which left me with more than enough to weave the scarf I was thinking of. The colors are supposed to be Steeler’s colors, I think they come close.

Weaving is not all that I have been doing. I recently found out about an event on Ravelry called the Independent Designers Gift Along, or GAL2020. For this you simply have to knit or crochet a single gift. They do have categories and if you do one project in each category then you have achieved a special level that they call Oopadoo (or something like that). To start this off I have cast on a “Dumpster Fire Ornament”; a Headband; as well as a Skirt.

Before I started these projects, which I am supposed to have finished by December 31 to take a photo of all of them….if I were to give one as a present then I would not have it for the group photo…I’m not sure what I am supposed to do about that. Sorry for the digression, as I was saying: Before I started these projects I managed to unearth what I was working on prior to my wrist surgery, I am healing well and still gaining strength in my wrist. I decided to do some work on a slipper that I had gotten almost half way through before my surgery, there is a lot of progress. I am past the heel portion and working my way up the left side, once that is finished I do have a second sole so I can begin the second slipper right away.

Orange and blue slipper-ish thing.

Regarding another craft altogether, I have decided that I am going to spin for colorwork socks. I spun up the bumps of fiber left over from the month when Paradise Fibers sent us Scottish themed items, as well as a bump of the sari/tweed fibers we received. Unfortunately I did not take any photos of the colorful portions, so here is a bobbin of mostly white singles from one of the bags of fiber I purchased specifically for socks. Once I have the singles spun up I plan on transferring them to weaving bobbins so that I can mix them up and create 3 ply yarns of each color.

Yellow bobbin on a Schacht Ladybug with a Woolee Winder. The bobbin is filled with white singles, some pink is peeking through.

Those are my crafting adventures for November. With COVID Still going strong, and let’s be realistic it is going to get worse before it gets better, I plan on doing plenty of crafting over the course of December. Without any immediate family in the area I will send presents to my extended family and lose myself in the rhythms of creation.

Happy Crafting, stay healthy, and remember to live life A Little More Abstract.

Unfortunately Correct

I was unfortunately correct in saying that I was being overly optimistic thinking that I would get my wheel varnished on Thursday.

Unfortuntaely, that seems to be theme here, I do not have any photos of my current projects, though I do have a photo of the Chenille Stem (Pipe Cleaner) holiday tree I made for a December Project at my public library.

Pipe Cleaner Christimas Tree, tiny. The branches stick out in all directions, with two round pieces as a base and a paperclip attached to make sure it actually stays upright.

In addition to my holiday crafting I have been working on weaving up the yarn I spun for the Spin Together 2020 contest. I am using my rigid heddle loom, which is 10″ across and weaving 2 yard increments. So far I am on my second panel, I hope to have enough yarn to weave off 4 panels for a 40″ across piece. That should be sufficient to make a nice looking poncho, admittedly I would prefer about 60″. I love how the colors are working together to create something bright and cheerful with a bit of sparkle here and there. I hope to be able to sew the panels together before winter break.

The second project, that I am kicking myself for forgetting in the car, is a knitted shawl from the 716 batt I managed to spin up. I love how the knitting is going, however I can see where I plied loosely and the yarn is splitting with my maneuvering. I believe that this will wind up being a very colorful shawl, it is also a great platform for my experimenting with yarnovers and double decreases. The results are neat, though not what I thought.

I do have a third project in mind. Once I have the red that I am spinning fairly fine finished I hope to spin up another wild batt (maybe I can do this on my new wheel instead of waiting for the ladybug to be free), to create a match to my Blue Moon Halloween 2020 skein. Once I have them both spun I hope to use some wool yarn to weave up a shawl collar/cowl to wear as a decorative piece. I might even hold off on seaming up my panels to see if I can turn them into some sort of shirt…the possibilities are endless!

Okay, so I also have a fourth project I’m actively working on..I know it is a bit much. The Discover Color event is ongoing and I still have not threaded my heddles. I found the perfect excuse to delay until Thursday, the Winter Weavealong will start pretty soon. This is run by Two Ewes Fiber Adventures podcast, and I hope to participate this year.

I was reminded that we only have about 4 more paychecks until Christmas, so that is frightening. I’d better get my presents purchased and shipped before it is too late!

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Weaving Update

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The lighting is not great, I used my ipad instead of my iphone so the photo quality is not the best, but I did finish weaving off my sibling’s scarf!  It is just as well, my sibling returned to Pittsburgh on Sunday and by Tuesday we had to ask them to come back because mom was not doing well.  She is doing better now, but the extreme humidity is making things difficult for her COPD.

My sibling loves their scarf, and I am so very happy that I was able to give it to them.  This took me less than a week to weave up, and then a day to wash and full it.  Then it dried for a couple of days, but the entire process was so much fun.

Just today I finished my cotton weaving sampler, Acadian, for my guild.  I took it off of the loom and washed it.  The next step is to let it dry then seam it.  I made the bottom a little bigger than might be advised using rags to create a very solid base.  I wound up running with the idea and made the ‘handle’ (well I thought it would be a handle) the same weight and width.  It turns out that it will be just long enough to create the sides and reinforce the bottom.  In the past this might have discouraged me, right now I think it will either make a great basket for the table or, perhaps, I can practice making inkle bands and use one of those for a good handle for this bag.  I will have to see how sturdy the bottom and sides look when this band is inserted.

As further updates, I have completed about 7″ on my spring towels, I think I want my first one to be about 18 inches long, so this is a decent amount!  My rigid heddle loom is currently empty as  is the guild loom.  I have two projects in mind that I need to get my courage up for.  I would like to weave a silk pouch out of some gold yarn I have so that I can use that to hold my USB drives.  I would want it to be about 3″ across and a total of 12″ long.  This would be a 4.5″ high pouch with a  3″ flap to hold it closed.  I will probably chicken out, find a very small crochet hook, and crochet the pouch I have envisioned.  This will give me an excuse to use the ‘left over’ yarn to experiment with a fancy weave, lol.  The tricks we play on ourselves. In addition, Kelly Casanova has held a Krokbragd weaving course.  I just obtained the yarn that I plan on using for this ($16 from $36  yay!), and hope to be able to warp my loom this weekend.  The Krokbragd can be done on a rigid heddle or a 4 shaft loom.  I think for my first effort I will use the 4 shaft so I can avoid the thought of a pick up stick.  I have to read the instructions very carefully before I attempt this.

That’s all for now!  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!

Weaving to Distraction

I love crafting.  With the school year already underway I have decided to take my crafting to the next level, alright so I already did that by purchasing a spinning wheel earlier this year.  While preparing for Spinzilla (yes, I am that excited about this) I went through my stash, as I mentioned in an earlier post, and discovered that I have spun up a lot more than I thought I did.  With this in mind, I decided to take the plunge and try to weave up some of my handspun yarn.  The pictures above are of my efforts.  This is my handspun in a 7.5 dent reed on a 10″ ashford sample-it rigid heddle loom.  It is a plain weave with Leno Lace in between.  I can tell you that the warp and weft are all wool, I believe that it is primarily Merino wool.  While this started out as a bag, it might turn into a scarf depending on how it washes up!

I am so happy, and cannot wait to see it finished.  At the same time I am really enjoying the creative process!

Happy Crafting

Rigid Heddle Weaving

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The Enchanted Mountain Weavers Guild has given me the courage to go forth and Weave!  Okay so I joined the guild and they have been teaching me tips and tricks to improve my rigid heddle weaving.  I obtained a 10″ Ashford Sample It Loom, and I was promptly intimidated, I did try a test project but it did not go as smoothly as I would have liked.  With the guild’s help I managed my first scarf and had the courage to go forth and start my second scarf.  This is scarf made with Red Heart Acrylic Yarn, containing a simple pick up pattern.  I am really pleased with the eye scorching results.  The yarn is fluorescent so it looks even neater under a black light!

A Little While

It has been a while since I have had time to craft and therefor post about crafting.  Life does take funny turns, good and bad often intertwining until you are not certain which way to look.  I have completed my second piece on my rigid heddle loom, but have no pictures yet.  It was an experiment in selvedges, beating, and color.  I have not had an opportunity to wash the piece so once it is finished by washing and drying I will declare it a success or failure, probably a scarf really!

The bad, mom is going to need surgery and they consider her a high risk candidate.  We will do everything we can to keep her as long as she retains a good quality of life.  Prayer is about all that will help.  The good is a student going to the community college I work at had a large metal Jack Floor Loom she was not certain of what she was going to do with.  Upon hearing of my interest in weaving she offered me that loom in addition to a rigid heddle loom.  The rigid heddle loom is beautiful it needed a front apron bar and probably a new heddle.  I am very excited to have received this loom.  I am in awe of my floor loom.  I will confess, I am very dismayed at the state.  It  could be a lot worse and there is a basic frame to work with but it needs a lot of work before I would consider putting my clean yarn on it.  Especially if you consider how long it takes to warp a loom, there is no point in warping on a dirty loom.

It was a physical therapy loom created by the G.E. Miller Inc. company out of Yonkers, NY.  They are still in existence today though I do not think they make looms any longer (I plan on calling or e-mailing to find out).  Here are a few shots of what my loom looks like now, I meant to get some of it assembled but I was so excited to get started I forgot and had disassembled the heddles before I remembered.  You can see the loom, the paint is rustier in person; the heddle frames.  The heddles and their rusted shafts in a bucket with my work gloves, and the identifier sticker on the reed frame.  It looks good in the pictures and fortunately the basic structure is sound.  I look forward to getting it in perfect order again though it will take a ton of work.

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