Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Season's Greetings!

If you haven't had enough of Jackson you can see more here.

For a nice present to yourself go to WeaveCast and download Syne's latest podcast to hear Sara talking about knotted pile.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

All This in One Post

This is what happens when you take pictures but don't update your blog ...

The Fixation crew neck sweater was coming along fine but ...

Jackson is growing like a weed!

He looks like a little sausage.

The Tangled Yoke sweater seen here

is now up to the sleeve insertion point. One sleeve is done, one more to go.

The Embossed Leaves sock was too tight. I knew it but kept knitting anyway - somehow thinking that good thoughts would make it fit. I could put it on but it looked too stretched out. Rip, rip! I'm going to use the same pattern but I need to decide if I want to add a couple of purl stitches or go up from a size 1 needle to a 2.

So if I have no time, what am I doing buying fleece? I really can't answer that question except to say - wouldn't you?

Lovely lamb fleeces from Ewes in Color. A Wensleydale fleece

and a Teeswater fleece.

Part of what's keeping me so busy is that Laura bought her first house and we've been busy drywalling, sanding, and painting. My sister brought a bottle of wine to help us along, but Laura hadn't moved in her kitchen stuff - so no cork screw. One suggestion was to use a drywall screw and then pop it out. Sarah was game. First she tried a pry bar.

Then pliers.

Finally she went over to the guys next door and borrowed a corkscrew. Much easier!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Well, Look at Me....

I finally finished something! I'm sure the view from my loom helped motivate me.

The old patio door was scratched and drafty, now I have a clear view and the e-glass will help with fading when those projects stay on the loom too long.

I ended up with seven towels.

I have fooled around with every setting on my camera. I either get too washed out or too saturated.

They really fall somewhere between these pictures.

I'm keeping these two as samples. The top (also seen in the center of the right stack in the second picture) was woven 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and produced a wonderful, almost waffle-like texture. It has a lovely hand and would be great for a spring/summer jacket. The bottom one was woven 1,2,3,4 and resulted in a stripe with a nice drape. I would use this structure with a painted warp and a coordinated solid weft. It would make a beautiful lightweight summer shawl.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Variegated Variations

Finally, I'm on the last of the False Damask variegated warp towels. These rather washed out photos don't do justice to the variety of looks I'm getting by changing up weft and treadling.

With black weft I treadled 1-8 with no repeats.

The terra cotta weft was my favorite. I used only 3 repeats each of 1-4 then 5-8, rather than the original 4 repeats.

The last two towels are striped, treadling only 1-4.
Kim's obsession with The Secret Life of Bees has led her to create a beautiful colorway which she named Tupelo Honey. While ensconced in my room (I was teaching a few hours from home) this past weekend I started Mona Schmidt's Embossed Leaves Socks from the Winter 2005 IK. Love the yarn, love the pattern!

The slightly out of focus picture captured with my iphone. While I had it out I had to snap a pic of why I'm finding teaching out of town to be a pretty relaxing weekend. I could get used to this! I just ran down the steps and there was pineapple and strawberries, oatmeal and dried cranberries. Oh my!

And just because I find it funny .... Someone sent this link to one of my psych lists. After watching that I noticed a link to the Colorectal Surgeon's Song. Come on, wouldn't you click too?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Back to Spinning

Once this last bit was plyed, the superwash from Crown Mountain was finally finished. I don't know if it's a characteristic of superwash, or just my inattentiveness, but it was terribly underplyed.

So on to the swift it went and I added more twist. Compare the re-plyed back skein with the underplyed front skein.

Much better, eh? So now I have about 1000 yards, 8 oz., and I have no idea what I'm going to do with it.

Indecision abounds! I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing with the 3 ply corrie that I finished almost a year ago. It's just begging to be knit up with cables and texture stitches. I've got at least 2300 yards so I should have more than enough.

While rummaging around, looking for all those skeins of corrie I uncovered a finished sweater! According to my archives I finished this in April 2005 with the Beast I was spinning way back in 2002. Okay, it's not quite finished - but I've been wearing for the last week without any buttons. I remember buying them, but I can't remember where I put them. (Don't ask why I didn't remember that I finished it!)

Monday, November 05, 2007

The New Normal

Even when expected, death is so difficult to deal with. I have been able to go through my life relatively unscathed by grief. I was in my thirties before any family member or close friend died. My father died 24 years ago and I think about him all the time. Every time I take out a saw I remember "measure twice, cut once"! Why did it take so long for me to learn that lesson? I've reminisced about the way he helped nurture my budding textile interests and served as a willing model of gauge-gone-wild hats before. (There's that measuring problem again)

My mom passed away two weeks ago, coincidentally (or not) on the anniversary of my father's death. While we couldn't keep her at home during the last few months we did everything we could to honor her wishes and one of us was with her every day. I do feel good about that. Now the task is to redefine normal.

Sometimes, especially during the last few months, Mom would get a little confused, but never about Jackson! She always remembered his name and when he was born. How wonderful that she got to experience and share so much with her twelve grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Speaking of Jackson (and believe me, I can!), take a look at our youngest Trick-or-Treater!

There must be twenty of these shots and in each one he's looking more and more bored with the whole thing. Finally ....

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Back to Quilting

Quilting is listed up in my banner but I don't talk much about it. Okay, I don't ever talk about it and previously didn't have a category for it. Well that ended in a big way when Claudia took us to Southampton Quilts and an armload of fabric followed me home!

In retrospect, I could see this coming. A few years ago Carolyn took us to Woodstock Quilt Supply. This was the first quilt shop I had been in since I finished my last quilt over fifteen years ago. I was flabbergasted by all of the new fangled notions and gorgeous hand dyed and batik fabrics.

I thought I'd start back with a couple of simple quilts using strip quilting. Because my quilting stash has dwindled into two plastic containers (and let's not forget it twenty years old!) I bought two bundles of precut 2.5" strips - each one a different fabric. That's not the most cost efficient way to buy fabric but most places have a 1/8 yard minimum cut.

The first bundle was mainly greens - big surprise, huh? This will give me a 16 block - 8" square. I started by sewing four strips together and then cutting them into 2.5" strips.

I cut everything out and laid it on the living room floor. I only needed to move a couple of blocks where the same fabric showed up to close together.

The colors in this shot are the closest to the actual fabrics.

I'm making two smaller crib quilts out of the second bundle of strips - all very colorful, playful prints. First I cut the strips into 4.5" blocks. I bought a very subtle white-on-white print for the smaller squares and the sashing. Then I just sat at the machine and slapped them together.

After I pressed the seams to one side I was tempted to fly them from the deck banister!

One of the quilts is laid out (above) and sewn (below).

Here's the second one laid out and ready to be sewn into strips. I have a really hard time with random. I forced myself not to change the two orange that are rather close together in the center of this one. One the first one I moved one, which forced me to move another, this went on for far to long. So random placement it is!

Note: What's really funny is that I haven't sewn this one together yet and after seeing the picture while editing this post I'm tempted to put it back down and play with it. Will I be strong enough to make a random quilt? Stay tuned.....

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Weaving Progress

The loom was finally warped and threaded and ready to go. I thought the variegated yarn would allow me to use several different weft colors. After sampling these five bobbins I found that although the colors matched they didn't do anything for the fabric.

I settled on a deep wine that I hadn't considered earlier, it's much richer than it shows on screen, and wove two towels.

I had nixed the idea of using black originally, but I'm happy with the way the black lets the warp show through. It also allows the structure (false damask) to move to the foreground.

I'm also kicking myself for changing the threading to even blocks. The first time I used false damask the block B was twice as wide as block A and I think it the contrasting sizes adding much to the total design. Oh well, live and learn. These, after all, towels! Like many others I can try out ideas on towel warps and still have something useful. I'll know better when I use this on a baby blanket.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Get At It Girl!

Holy crap! I just looked at my MT menu and I've got more draft entries than I have published these last few months. I've actually been doing things but getting the pictures, writing, etc. together just hasn't been happening! So let's see if I can get rolling.

With two weeks left before school started I decided I better do some traveling! I drove up to the Funny Farm and did some trichromatic samples with Marie. If you read Marie's blog you know that I was just a little clumsy! We're trying to work our way through our Sabracon dyes.

You get a lot of muddy neutrals - which I actually like - working with 10s so I'm thinking about trying a similar triangle but using 100, 80/20, 60/40, etc. Would save on dye and I think give a very good result. Of course I haven't tried it yet. So stay tuned.

The next week found me heading up to Marie's Monday night and Tuesday morning we pulled into ....

After a short detour at Southampton Quilts, more about that later, we arrived at WEBS!

I love their Eight Twos, a really great warp spun cotton, very similar to the 2/8 from Maurice Brassard. It doesn't shed like other unmercerized cottons and has a wonderful hand. I bought 3/2 perle for a blanket for Jackson. I also picked up several different cottons, spiral, 8/4 rug warp, etc for dyeing.

Once home there was major shopping at Countrywool. I picked out some Heilo for Eunny Jang's Tangled Yoke Cardigan and Cascade220 for Ruthie Nussbaum's Minimalist Cardigan.

Some Fixation for Claudia's top down Wee Raglan (scroll way down) for Jackson fell into my bag too.

I've already finished the neckband and the short rows at the back of the neck. Now It's smooth sailing down the yoke, increasing every other row.

Sure, there were Margaritas and yarn, but really, can you beat a scene as peaceful and idyllic as this?

I'll let you in on a secret. I have a nifty new camera with a digital video setting and, just between us, I have plenty of material to make a few people squirm.....

Depending on how the blackmail proposal goes you might get to hear Marie singing selections from The Sound of Music as she models Claudia's new hat pattern.

What a great way to finish up the summer! School started this week for teachers, ninth graders come for orientation tomorrow, and after a four-day-weekend school is open for everyone.