19 More Rounds to Crochet

Since the last posting I managed to crochet 9 more rows on my sweater.  This means that I have 17 more rows before I am ready to start the sleeves.  With a lot of luck I can finish this by time I am back to academic librarianship the week of August Nineteenth.  Each sleeve is about 35 rows, however they are smaller rows so they should go much faster.  I am about five rows from beginning the straight portion of the knitted poncho which is the 3rd quarter project from Jimmy Beans Wool Knit Club.   I have not begun the crochet project and honestly I am quite far behind on my other clubs.  At this point I do not know if I should cancel some of the subscriptions that I belong to, or if I should keep them in case I cannot afford them next year so that I have the option to knit or crochet them then.  I am still waiting for the external garage to be finished so that I can move my metal loom, chair, shelves, and a few other things over there.  It is my fondest wish to be able to create rag rugs over the winter out there.

I am not only working on these two projects however.  Just a couple of weeks ago while I was looking out my back door I saw a pair of fawns on my back hill.  While I could not obtain a photo with both of the babies in the same photo, I think that this one turned out quite nicely.

Deer photo Cuba ny backyard for tapestry cartoon

I am hoping ot be able to turn this into a tapestry cartoon and hopefully weave it up on my Mirrix 12″ loom.  I was thinking about tracing the important parts in outline on a piece of white paper, however I would need a light box.  Instead I believe that I will try to warp up the loom the correct width and then draw the important aspects onto the warp threads.  Right now I am aware that I will need at least 3 shades of medium to light brown, white, black, yellow, greens.  I will likely need some other shades of brown or off white to represent the switches that are everywhere, and at least some black and dark greys to cover the woods and gnarled tree behind the deer.  It should be quite a bit of fun, even if the end results are a bit abstract.

I am also playing around with resin some, I presently am expected to create a collage of berries, leaves, and the library logo for my director to commemorate a tree that had to be cut down on library property.  I have created two small pieces already with intentions of doing one more experiment with the greenery and another berry before completing the project with the full-sized pour.  The final experiment is to see if the greenery will foul the resin with moisture or if the results will be as rock solid as my last two versions.  I will confess to being quite excited to see how this project will end, I simply need to remember to grab some greenery before I leave one of these days!

Tomorrow I will be getting a new drive shaft in my car, according to what I have found this should take between 1-3 hours, I hope to use this time to work on my poncho!  I hope to post photos next week to demonstrate my progress.  I will receive my next installment sometime this weekend, and I have not finished my first installment yet, I am 4 out of 15 mini skeins into it.  I will also confess, I have not started this quarter’s crochet club project either.  I did complete last quarters crochet and ignoring the knitting project.  It is my fondest hope to be able to complete the crocheted sweater, knitted poncho, and at least one of my weaving projects this month.  That’s right, I have not mentioned my weaving!  I have been working some on my bamboo straight twill scarf with beads, it is my fondest hope to be able to finish the scarf with nine strands twisted together with a few beads to create a lovely fringe.  I love how it is weaving up and look forward to completing it.  For the cotton that I have warped up on my rigid heddle loom, things look lovely.  I have a plain weave edge already on the piece, however, I am not certain what pickup techniques I would like to use.

All of this means that I have a very happy and fulfilling crafting life.  While I do not have three knitting projects on the needles at once (I don’t count the things I am not actively working on, nor the ‘I need to make socks sometime’ projects) I instead have two or three other crafts that I am working on.  I love being busy, I hope that I can keep some of this up during the school year.

Remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!

Weekend of Crafting

Since I will be missing my August Meeting of the Enchanted Mountain Weaver’s Guild I decided to warp up my hand dyed bamboo warp this weekend.

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This is a straight twill draft with beads added in.  The yellow is  fairly dominating at this point in the weave, I hope that the red and other colors will begin to balance this out as I progress.  I love the shine, pattern, as well as the bit of pop the beads give the overall effect.  I am having such fun weaving this piece, I cannot wait to get to the next segment.

My rigid heddle piece is made from cotton and, while lighter, has a bit more heft to the individual strands.  I am playing around on the last part of the towels I have been weaving for a couple of years to see what the different manipulation techniques will look like.  This is the section where I placed bobby pins to delineate each of the sections for brooks bouquet.  The technique worked well, I did not like the resulting lace however.

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I also managed to pour three pieces of resin, two are for my director and one was a sample piece.  Since the piece of resin did release from the mold cleanly that aspect was a success, however there are streaks from where the petroleum jelly was in the mold giving the end result a failing grade.  The other two pieces are lovely and I believe I will have some bath bomb molds ordered to create a perfectly spherical result for the second attempt at a paperweight.

This was an exciting new project, and I love how they turned out!  I am going to see if my director will approve the purchase of new materials for this project, the initial results are simply amazing!

Finally is an update on my Furls Crochet Coffee Cups Pullover.  I have 24 rounds left alternating Half Double Crochet and Double Crochet, then two rounds of Single Crochet and I am ready to start the sleeves.  Right now I like how the resulting sweater looks and fits.  While the sweater is a bit heavy, the double crochets leave enough of a gap that I believe I will need to wear something underneath.  Perhaps just a tank or cover-up over my bust and stomach areas.  (I will probably pay more attention to where the collar fits when it is finished as well.)

Furls coffee cup sweater progress july 29 2019

In conclusion, this past weekend was a very craft heavy weekend. I had a ton of fun, managed to accomplish quite a bit, and since I just found out my external garage needs rewired, I will not be in my new studio any time soon!

Happy Crafting and remember to Live Life A Little More Abstract!

A Studio

This was slightly unplanned.  I have an external garage that has been neglected a bit over the past ten years since Dad died.  The wood around the garage door has rotted away, looking horrible, and up until recently there were a lot of mice inhabiting it.  Last year Mom had someone put on a new roof, she also asked for an estimate to get the place fixed up.  That person quoted 5k to insulate, seal, panel, and fix the outside door so that it looked better.  Mom was  hesitant, so it did not get done last year.  This is probably for the best.  It turns out that the majority of the problems with the garage stem from a lack of gutters, this causes water to run down into the walls and rot away wooden portions.  There are also no supports anchoring the beams holding the walls to the ceiling which is causing them to bow in the middle.  I found this out because the gentleman that acted as my exterminator is a carpenter so I casually mentioned that I wanted the other garage fixed up if possible at or under the other estimate.  Admittedly I am currently 3,600 into it, but there is insulation and paneling already installed, he will be working on the wiring as well as the ceiling this week.  I have contacted an external source to get my garage door repaired, mostly a new opener as well as bottom gasket for the seal, in addition to a quote for a screen door that will fit on my garage door to increase air circulation.

Because my garage is getting fixed up, I feel that it is the perfect time to turn it into a studio.  With a metal therapy loom that will be perfect for making rag rugs, my supplies for dyeing wool, and possibly a section for gardening since I hope to create a dye garden, this would certainly give me plenty of crafting options for the spring, summer, and early fall.  At present my floor loom, the therapy loom, cannot be used since it is blocked in by my car.  By putting it into the other garage where there is plenty of space I should be able to start weaving rag rugs.  I am quite excited about this, I think that the rag rugs will be a good addition to my home as well as something that I can conceivably sell.  Right now my dyeing studio and kitchen are the same space.  If I can find a worktable I like then I can utilize my mini-crockpots to create  my own dyed colorways in addition to having a well ventilated space to begin experimenting with natural dyes.  In theory I would also want to begin looking into a rain barrel for natural water collection, but at $90 I do not know if that is something I would want to invest in, although not having to haul water from the house is an appealing idea.

So far I am looking into:

A workbench that will work well with my dyeing setup.  I have 4 mini crockpots, should I be able to use all at once on a surface that would be ideal.

Some form of storage, I had originally thought of a metal cabinet that can close, but if I have a utility shelving unit that can hold not only the dye supplies but weaving also that would be useful.

Potentially another shelving unit or a potting bench for my gardening section.  This is the part I am not certain about however.  I want a dye garden but I am loathe to introduce dirt into my new workspace.  Perhaps a potting bench that I can take outside?

This is going to take some time and effort to get right.  There is also the possibility of just using this space as some form of storage, but I am loathe to do that.  Not only would I be likely to forget what is there, not having frequent human habitation tends to encourage animals to take root in unoccupied spaces.

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!

Threading and Weaving Trick

Really quick, I have not been spinning too much recently.  My lovely Ladybug has gained a weird clunking noise, it really is only a couple of years old, and so I have not been enjoying spinning as much.  I found out that a little black hexnut on my wheel is quite loose, I have contacted Schacht and expect a fix really quickly.  So I will be back to spinning soon.  Until then, Weaving!

Removable white board tape is a new thing.  I purchased a sewing table/box/thing that had to panels beside the cubbies that were blank white walls.  I wanted to be able to make notes on them so I bought restickable whiteboard tape and LOVE the effect.  That has little to do with weaving, except that it is the advent of my obsession with this type of tape.  I decided when I was having a bit of trouble deciding what threading pattern to use next on my random twill I would use the tape to keep track of things.  That looks something like this:

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Well I can never leave good enough alone.  Since this is a variable twill, and I do not know when I will get time to work on it again, I decided to record where I left off on the front of the loom.  It is my loom, I bought it second hand and an amazing guild member delivered it for me, but I do not really want to lose the sticker that contains information about what loom it is.  So instead of putting a piece over the front of the entire loom, I used a smaller piece off to one side of the loom.  That looks like this:

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These are just a couple of things that I have come up with to improve my weaving life and make things easier for myself.

Happy Crafting!

Weaving Through Time

Whew, Around Easter time I decided I wanted to weave some spring towels.  I had some lovely spring-like colors, including a great variegated cone, that would be perfect to create towels from.  I decided how many epi, how many inches wide I wanted the piece to be, and how many yards I wanted the warp to be to get the right number of towels.  I was so excited as I wound the warp, carefully counting the threads.  Then I started threading the reed…and ran out of time to work on that project.

My mother had a bout of pneumonia over the winter that turned into double pneumonia, so she has not been feeling well.  Finals occurred at my school libraries so my time became very scarce.  I managed to thread a few slots of the reed here and there.  Finally I had the reed threaded and only the heddles left.  Since I was going to have a horrible week at work my sibling decided to come up and take care of Mom some.  I decided to take advantage of another pair of hands and finish warping my towels.  Since then I have started weaving a bit, each stripe on the warp corresponds to a different pattern of threaded heddles.

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While I had an extra pair of hands, and a weaving class coming up at the public library work for, I decided to warp up a scarf on my rigid heddle loom.

Scarf with Lace patterning 2018

Again, I love the colors and really appreciate my sibling’s help in setting up my looms.   I cannot wait to have some time to work seriously on these projects.  Fortunately the scarf is very transportable.  The towels have to be kept in one spot but that is such a fun pattern to mess with it should go quickly once I find the time.

Happy Crafting!

Weave by Sarah Resnick

This is a relatively new podcast, but they have been updating pretty frequently.  In this podcast Sarah tends to interview individuals involved in the weaving industry.  People like Rebecca Mezoff who is very involved in weaving and teaching how to weave tapestries, the creators of Mirrix Looms, and so many more.  This is a good podcast for people that are interested in the humans behind the products that they are investing in.  For example, Mirrix Looms grew out of one woman’s desire to have a tapestry loom that had easy sheds.  For more of that story you would need to listen to the interview.  This is a great way to learn more about this fiber community we are a part of.