Pi Shawl Take 1

I am using US size 7, 4.5mm, inter-changeable needles from Knit picks with a 16″ cord along with knit picks stroll tonal sock/fingering weight yarn in the blue yonder colorway.  I have chosen to use the basic pattern from the mybluprint class, shaping shawls 14 ways.  From there I have made a couple of modifications, essentially so I did not become too bored just straight knitting for 12+ rows.   The first photo illustrates how this kind of knitting does not look like anything until it is blocked, the second illustrates the magic loop cast on I hope that blocking will fix and the third illustrates some of the patterning I decided to place in the 48 rows before the next increase.

Cast on 8 stitches using Magic Loop *hope that blocks out*
Knit one row, doubled stitches to 16, knit three more rows. On row 6, doubled stitches to 32 using double yarn overs, knit six more rows
On row 14, doubled stitches to 64 using double yarn overs, knit rows 15-26 (12 rows)
On row 27 doubled stitches to about 128 using double yarn overs, then knit rows 28-39, did k2tog, yo, across shawl before knitting rows 41-51
On row 52 I did double yarn overs to double stitches
53-57 knit, on the second of these rounds I placed a marker after 9 and then every 14 to create pattern repeats, the last marker should be different since it delineates the beginning of the row.
SKPO- Slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over
58-k2, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k3 *k7 yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k3 repeat from * until back to starting marker
59- Knit all
60- k3, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k2 *K8, yo skpo, yo, skpo, k3 Repeat from * until row end
61 Knit all
61- k4, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k1, *k9, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k3, repeat from * until row end
62 Knit all
63- K5, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, *K10, yo, skpo, yo, skpo
64-66 Knit all
67- k 12, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k7 *K3, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k7 repeat from *
68- Knit all
69- K11, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k8 *K2, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo Repeat from *
70 Knit all
71- k10, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k9 *k1, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k9 Repeat from *
72- knit all
73 k9, *k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo k10 repeat from *
74-76 knit all

04-28-2019
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77 was supposed to be a straight repeat of this pattern but I messed that up and liked the effect.
77- k2, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, yo, k3 *k2, yo, skpo, yo, skpo k 10 (to end of pattern repeat) Repeat from *

This is where I am now, but the rest of the pattern should be as follows:
78 knit all
79- k3, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k2 *k3, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k to next marker then repeat from *
80 Knit all
81- k4 yo, skpo, yo, skpo, yo, k1 *k4, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, k to next marker repeat from *
82 Knit all
83 k5, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, *k5, yo, skpo, yo, skpo, knit to next marker repeat from *
84-86 Knit all
87 Knit 12, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k7 *k12, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo (should be at next stitch marker) repeat from *
88- Knit all
89 k11, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k8 *k11, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k to marker, repeat from *
90 Knit all
91- k10 k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k9 *k10 k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k to marker repeat from *
92 K all
93- k9, *k9, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, knit to marker repat from *
94-97- Knit all
***At this point I will need to evaluate if I have enough yarn to justify another double yarn over increase since the next batch is supposed to be 512 stitches for 96 rows***

Until next time, remember to live life A Little More Abstract.

The Great Clean and Drag

IMG_2102

Some of you might remember my Loom from last year.  If you don’t, a gracious lady donated this heavy, metal, therapy loom to me.  At the time she thought that she would be moving to Maine, that fell through but she will be spending the Fall in Spain and walking El Camino, and so she was worried about transporting this monstrosity.  Her kind offer was met by great gratitude on my part.  I then set about trying to make sure that it would be in the best working order I could manage.  I spent the entire month of July 2016 scraping off old paint, trying different methods of rust removal, adding new paint, buying a new stainless steel reed, getting the heddles in order, and so much more.  Along the way I learned everything I could about the loom, along with NEVER SCRAPE OFF OLD PAINT, JUST PAINT OVER IT.  (lead content concerns, no point in courting cancer)

I left the loom to the mercies of my detached garage, the door doesn’t seal quite right and it is right up against the woods so, like all of the garages in the region, it tends to get mice.  At the end of 2016 I still could not get each of my treadles to move independently.  I utilized every trick I knew of and a few I begged off of guild members and still could not get the last two to move separately from each other.  I spent the winter brooding over it, and for most of the summer did not get around to doing anything with my loom.

Then early in September, my last weekend before the colleges I work for started up again, I dragged my big loom into the sunlight.  Now over a year later I looked at her again.  I need to touch up the paint, see if I can get some of the rust off of some of the springs, and warp her up to make some rugs eventually.  What I did accomplish was  enough for me, for now.

I wiped her down with Clorox wipes, making sure to pay attention to anything that looked like it might be detritus, and let her dry while I tried to get the painters tape off of the treadles (don’t let that sit on wood for a year, just not a good idea).  Then I took a cheap little hacksaw to the part of the treadles that looked like they were sticking.  My beautiful yellow loom snapped that hacksaw like it was plastic, luckily it snapped in the wood and didn’t cause me any injury.  Okay, so that isn’t going to work, oh well it was only a couple of bucks.

Next I went to the files I had purchased.  They are supposed to go into an electric drill, but, my cordless drill is not very robust and I cannot figure out how to change bits in my father’s old drill.  However, by hand I managed to hack and saw through some of the wood and loosen up the treadles, bit by bit.  After a half an hour or so of going over the top, up through the bottom of either side of both of the sticky treadles I began to move them at cross purposes, one up one down, several times very quickly.  They loosened up enough that I was able to get them each moving very freely.  I cannot say for sure if it was the naval jelly last year, the hacking, or just the sheer fact of trying to move them independently, but I am very happy to say that my treadles now work on my loom.  At least they did a couple of weeks ago.

Once I had her treadles moving as they ought I turned my attention back to tying up her harnesses to the appropriate treadles.   I had some Texsolv cord from last year that was anchored to each harness and then tied to the treadle, but not properly since they did not have freedom of motion at the time.  This was an awkward motion since I had to reach quite far back with my foot in an attempt to reach the point where I could push at the Texsolv to move a heddle or two.  Now I attempted to tie up my heddles to the treadles the way they were meant to be.  Okay, so my loom was on it’s side and when I turned it back over my treadles are almost flush to the floor and not really able to open a shed.  Oh well, at least they are threaded through the treadles and it is just a matter of taking up the slack so that they treadles are appropriately in the air and able to jack up the shafts.

By this point I am certain that you are wondering why I am going to all of this trouble right at the end of the season.  After all she is just going to go back into the external garage again, right?  Nope!  I managed to clear out a lot of my college stuff, it’s only been 10 years, from the garage under the house.  Now my beautiful yellow loom is living in my attached garage, yay!  There isn’t really a lot of room to warp her up so I do not know if I will have time to get her set up for Rugs before I have to start putting the car in the garage, but at least now she won’t have to worry about mice.

Hopefully next year I will be able to get the external garage cleared out and sealed up appropriately.  Until that time, I will get to look at my loom and hope that I get a chance to make up some rugs this winter.

Happy Crafting!

Spinzilla Ends

spinzilla-ends

As of Sunday October 9, 2016 I had spun 3,488 yards of yarn for Spinzilla Credit.  This means that for every yard of singles that I spun as well as all that I plied I received credit.  Which means that for a 2 ply I spun that wound up 86 yards it would be 86+86+86=258, if I were to do a 4 ply of 86 yards it would be 86+86+86+86+86=430 Spinzilla credit yards, only 86 yards short of taking the 4 plies and spinning 2 skeins of 2 ply yet half of the plying effort.  This means little in the long run, but it was great incentive to play with creating a 4 ply yarn Sunday afternoon when my desire to ply was fading quickly.  When push comes to shove I managed to spin 1.98 miles of yarn in Spinzilla Credit.  I am very proud of my efforts, I think I went through about 3 pounds of fiber so next year that will have to be bulked up a bit.

As ever I am looking toward my next crafting challenge, whatever that may be!

Happy Crafting!

Spinzilla Day 1 Totals

monday-before-work

Monday Before work, this is what my bobbin looked like!  I do not have any numbers since I will get my first yardage totals when I ply.

monday-when-i-went-to-bed

Monday before I went to bed, these were my bobbins.  The first two were spun using double drive.  Since that was driving me mad, which is why the middle bobbin is much smaller than the first, I went back to scotch tension for my third bobbin and probably the rest of Spinzilla.

I did some spinning during my break at work, on my bottom whorl drop spindle, and I hope to add those bits of spinning into my total.  (Yes, during my break…no one needs to know about the time I spent standing next to the car admiring how pretty the silk looks in the sunlight as I spun.  No one needs to know that I found out spinning in the drivers seat while waiting for someone to pump gas is really not very comfortable…yes, during my break.)  I am having an absolute blast, it is almost torture waiting to ply those first few bobbins to find out how much I have accomplished so far!

Happy Crafting!

 

Final Preparation Shot

spinzilla-prep-complete-2016

This is the entirety of my setup for Spinzilla.  If I, by some miracle, manage to get all of this spun up, it is mostly merino and bamboo silk, then I do have some flax and other materials I can spin with.  I just realized I do not have my Charkha pictured, but I will be using that as a bobbin winder so I can mix up my singles for plying, as has been recommended in several of the videos I have watched on Craft Daily.

I have no real illusions about winning this competition, I am spinning rogue for my first year, but I do hope to make the monster mile.  This means that I need to spin 1, 760 yards of yarn.  Thank goodness plies count!  Last years Rogue Champion Holly Gillespie spun 18, 390 yards.  I don’t think I can come anywhere near that, but I will give it a darned good try!

Right now my next goal is to not wake up at midnight Monday Morning to start spinning, I would not be pleasant at work if that is the case!

Spin On!

 

 

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:

IMG_0706

This is what the loom looks like now:

IMG_2102

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!