It has been a week since the end of Spin-Together, while I had a lot of fun I am pleased to note that despite there being no deadline my spinning is still progressing. Thanks to Long Thread Media allowing the older editions of their three publications, Spin-Off, Piecework, and Handwoven to be available to all subscribers using their app I have been enjoying looking through old issues. While my current obsession is spinning, I am also planning on warping my loom for a Weave Along. Warp and Weave is having a Discover Color weave along where we are weaving Mug Rugs. I purchased the kit they recommended from Lunatic Fringe using the money I saved with the Ibotta app.
* I never advertise for things here, however through this app I have tried new foods (have not hated many yet) and gotten money back for my purchases. Most of these things are huge scams unless you spend hours on them, for me Ibotta is just convenient. I purchased this kit, my month of Sling that I watched while spinning and 2/3rds of the bags I just bought some of which I’m going to use as holiday presents. Done advertising, I have an affiliate link if you want to sign up.*
Back to spinning. Since this is my current obsession I’ve spent some time going back through past issues of Spin-off magazine and one article from Spring 2002 “Weaving with Singles” By Holly Schaltz inspired me to take the sparkly yarn I was spinning as a single to ply and turn it into a singles that I can weave with. The sparkle is such that I felt it would be fighting with another ply for color attention. I hope to weave it on a loom so that I can make a bag or pouch from it. I have also been doing alternative crafts.
I managed to upcycle a pet bed from two old shirts and some foam. This project cost me $5 and two hours. When compared to the price of similar pet beds, this is well worth the effort. I have also been decorating my public library with spider webs made from corriedale wool. I intend to gather the wool and spin a yarn when the season is over, until then they are eco friendly especially compared to the synthetic webs my boss was going to buy.
I love how crafting tends to insert itself into every facet of my life. There is always something useful I can create. While I have given in a little bit and wound up creating some of what I call “Garbage Crafts”, I am also ensuring that there are creative projects for people of all skill/creativity levels. I also throw them out the moment I am done with them ensuring that they are not hanging around my house.
I have finished the second quarter Jimmy Beans Wool Crochet Club Pattern. This shopping bag was fun as well as easy to create. I have greatly enjoyed learning the different stitches. In addition to this, I have been crocheting on my Furls Coffee Sweater using Furls Z twist Crochet yarn, a 5 mm hook, and the free pattern. I am on row 8 of the second part of the pattern, with one row of ‘coffee cups’ done and about to begin the second ‘coffee cup’ row. The two pictures are of the same piece with different lighting.
This sweater is going both quickly and slowly. Since I have been back from vacation the only other crafty pursuits I have engaged in are winding a bamboo warp and weft for a procion dyeing project I will be engaging in with my guild, experimenting with some natural dyes for a class I taught, teaching a class on spinning, and teaching a class on weaving a seamless pouch with a cardboard loom. Since I have already purchased the yarn, and paid for the dyeing, I will have to wind my cotton warp and weft within the next three weeks.
I have not made any progress on any of my knitting projects. I honestly hope to have this sweater completed sometime within the next…well I have 52 rows to complete plus 34 rows for each of two sleeves. I’m not going to worry too much about the sleeves, however if I can get something like 5-6 rows done each week I should be able to complete the sweater by mid August. If we are taking the sleeves into consideration, then probably closer to September, just in time for the colder weather.
Mason Dixon Knitting is performing a Sock Along. This will have several prizes and run until the end of August. Since I have tried to complete several knitted socks, and failed so far due to how very long they seem to be taking me, I believe that I will put my current socks on a lifeline so that I can give a pattern out of Field Guide 11 a decent try. Since this Field guide is much closer to a formula than an actual pattern, I believe that I will try a simple cuff down sock following the numbers and directions, probably with a 2×2 ribbing and a plain body/toe with a short row heel. This will give me a decent idea of the construction of a sock, should I combine working 2-3 rows on the sock along with working on the sweater 1-2 rows a day I may have a decent chance of having both a pair of socks and a sweater done by September.
That is all for now, until next time remember to Live Life a Little More Abstract!
I enrolled in Rebecca Mezoff’s Little Looms course, and then had to obtain a little loom to take advantage of the course, lol. I tried to order a Hokett Loom from Woolery but ran into stock problems, one 10 day wait I can handle but when the items from the first wait came in they were sold out of something else in my order and wanted me to wait another 10 days! That wasn’t going to work for me so I cancelled the entire order and picked up a Stash Blaster from another source.
I decided to warp this with some soft cotton twine I had lying around to see what it would do, unfortunately with the yarn I decided to use the results are closer to a balanced weave than a tapestry weave. Oh well, it is really pretty and a good first try so I will finish my mug rug and try for a tapestry next time.
A week ago I attended a class on spinning silk with the Enchanted Mountains Weavers Guild in Bradford, PA. It was amazing. I learned about spinning silk from the fold, I sort of knew about that already, and using cowboy magic to keep my hands supple for spinning. I think they use the detangler and shine while I purchased the conditioner. As far as I can tell, since they both have silk proteins in them, mine should work just fine. (It certainly makes the silk slippery enough, lol.) The bobbin on the left is the 1/2 oz sample of silk I purchased to practice with, I’m not sure what the colorway is called but I think it looks like Monet’s “Waterlily Pond” painting myself. I am shocked at how fine I can get my spinning to be when I concentrate and cannot wait to see what this will look like when it is plied!
This is where I admit that I have been Pre-Scheduling these posts so that I am able to have content each week! Lol. If I did not do that then I would have 20 posts in 2 weeks then it would be 3 months until I get back to it. That being said, by time you read these posts I hope to be done with my project, but stay tuned to see how my summer went!
I promised myself I would do a number of larger projects this year. Due to circumstances I think that my larger projects are going to be:
Get the paint/rust off of my ‘new to me’ loom and heddle bars; repaint it and reassemble it for use (probably next year)
Make sure that I have enough projects ready to go for a set of classes 1-2 a month (1/week if I can swing it) for the public library! Very exciting
As a refresher, this is what my Loom looks like.
It is a bit hard to tell from here but the bar on the bottom that the pedals are attached to is completely rust covered and there are rust spots all along the paint. Not pictured are the weights that came with this loom, since it was a Therapy Loom. The heddle bars, pictured left, are not supposed to be that color, they are completely rust covered.
I just started this last night and since then I have managed to get the heddle bars completely cleaned off and one side painted for 7 out of the 8 heddle bars. The 8th is being used to hold the good heddles, 734 total. Tomorrow, if it is not raining, I plan on painted the other side of my first 7 heddles.
I have also begun trying to get the paint and rust off of the weights that come with the loom. They are in pretty bad shape and I thought they would be a good place to make any mistakes. Using an attachment to a cordless drill I am able to get the paint off quite quickly. Within 30 minutes I had the paint off of one side for 2 of the pieces. The rust is in there a little more deeply than I would like and so after I get the paint off of all of them I will get to work on the rust. After they are cleaned off to the best that I am going to get them I plan on putting Rustoleum Primer and a topcoat of Yellow paint.
This is a huge project and I am a bit intimidated to get started with it, but I hope bit by bit this gets done this summer so I can have a fall and winter of picking out yarns to use on it next year!
My Learning to Crochet class went very well. Okay, so out of the 8 people that signed up only 2 showed up. Since for March in Western New York it was a positively gorgeous day at around 60 degrees I cannot blame them for wanting to spend time outside rather than in a Crochet Class.
One of those that did show up already knew how to crochet but she was wonderful company and seemed to enjoy the washcloth we were making. The second student was completely new to the craft and still managed to create 1/2 of a washcloth by time the 2 hours were up.
Both were wonderful conversationalists and everyone involved had a grand time. One of the ladies is coming back for the knitting class and I am extremely hopeful for a better turnout then.
It was suggested that we hold more classes in September when people are beginning to think about Christmas Presents, and that might be a good idea.
I am also hopeful that I can hold a class on Granny Squares. It amazes me that people consider these simple, repetitive objects to be something complicated. Then again it was one of the first things I learned to make. The knitted washcloth the students will be learning on the 30th is found below.