Monday, April 30, 2007


I finally got some time to sit down and finish spinning the Peacock (65% jet black alpaca, 25% dyed silk in royal blue and teal green, and 5% bronze angelina) from Anne's Wooly Wonka Fibers. It was so much fun to spin and the angelina adds just the right amount of sparkle. It's probably the finest yarn I've spun with the 3 ounce (85 gram) skein coming in at about 750 yards. I'll have to get the wpi when I wind it into a ball. Now, what to make with it!

Here's a close up:

On the color theory front, if you read Neki's blog you probably saw her link to the Color Harmonizer. Looks like a really interesting tool. You get to use it five times before registering and that's a very reasonable $20 through PayPal. I can't wait to play with it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Photoshop and Color Choices

I belong to a study group which was started as a result of the Online Guild's Computer Design Workshop last January. One of the participants posted a link to Ruth Stewart's blog, Knitting on Impulse. One of the categories, Playing with Colour, explores how she uses digital imaging to inspire color choices. It seems like I'm not the only one ready to give it a try. Cara has been using this method for her mitered squares.

To try it out I took two rather nondescript images I found on my computer. While there aren't many bright colors in this photo I like it because it seemed lush, warm, and peaceful. It also reminds me that in 38 days I will be done for the summer!

I used the mosaic filter (pixelate submenu, size 45 cell) so that I could concentrate on colors and not be distracted by objects.

Then I cropped a small section so that I could isolate adjacent colors.


Richard Rosenman has freeware plug-ins for Photoshop. I used his Grid Generator and then using the eyedropper tool picked up colors that appealed to me and using the paint bucket poured the color into one grid.


Here's another example using a brighter, more colorful image.

And using the same mosaic settings.

So, you say you don't have any imagination? You don't know where to start when you want to dye roving or plan a new project? Try this method. Sure, I still like to pick up bottles of dye and go crazy, but you can't have too many tricks up your sleeve when your inspiration just isn't there.

Don't have Photoshop? The plugins work on many freeware programs like Irfanview, which I recommend to anyone looking for a good, basic image program. You can't beat the price either!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Summer and Winter on the (pool) Table Loom

If you've been reading Leigh's blog (I love her polychrome rug) you know that the Online Guild of Weavers, Spinners, & Dyers have just completed the March workshop. We studied Summer and Winter weaves.

Summer and Winter is a three element weave, like overshot. Traditionally, the warp and structual weft (the tabby or tie-down) is of a smaller diameter, often tightly twisted yarn. The pattern weft is larger, more loosely spun. Tradition, however, is just the starting point and and you can use te same yarn for all three elements, leaving the structure to give texture to the fabric.

This is the basic draft which shows both the pattern weft and the tabby weft as the same thickness.

I warped the Dorothy with 6/2 unmercerized cotton and used the same for both the pattern and tabby wefts.

Here you can see the pattern because I used a blue 6/2 unmercerized for the pattern weft, keeping the white for the tabby.

Besides coverlets, blankets, and table linens, summer and winter lends itself well to fashion textiles. Next up for sampling: using 5/2 perle cotton for pattern and 10/2 perle for the tabby and 4/4 cotton as the pattern weft with 10/2 as the tabby.

Putting this in the can't beat 'em, join 'em file:

The pool table remains a LARGE part of my fiber studio. It does, however, make a nifty stand for my table loom. (Tacky vinyl tablecloth was left after my recent dyeing!)

Friday, April 13, 2007


While this close up was taken in progress, the hat, knitted from two Machine Knitting to Dye For blanks, is finished

Where's that Faroe Vine Cardigan? Well, I've picked up the stitches on for the right half of the front neckband. Once all the stitches were picked up and a couple of rows knitted I cut the neck steek and then pulled out the double pointed needles and let the stitches run down! After taking a break due to hyperventilation, I continued to knit and the band turned out great!

Try as I might I could not get a decent picture to show you the braids made with the excess yarn from the stitches. They will be encased in the finished neckband. I've had the buttons for a couple of weeks but I just can't bring myself around to cutting that front steek. I told myself that I wouldn't be wearing it until next fall so I had plenty of time, but with the cold weather we've been having lately I could have been wearing it now.

I finished the handspun corrie tweed cardigan that I was knitting at my mother's. Just need some buttons and blocking. Here's the start of the Sailor's Rib Vest (scroll way down). It's got a nice reverse stockinette stich hem which looks a little scalloped before blocking. I'm sure it's just the difference between the double moss stitch and cable sections.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Even More Boundweave!

I started doing the second set and wasn't as pleased, despite the new colors.

As you can see in the picture above coverage wasn't as good as I'd like. I thought it had to do with changing the tie up. This is a 2/2 twill, as opposed to the 3/1 in the earlier posts.

I reread parts of the book and realized that I wasn't angling the weft as much as I did when I started. So I tried to keep a consistent 45°. I actually began to do this at the bottom of the flower's stem (which is at the top!) but forgot to take a picture until later.

Much better! Good, consistent weft coverage. You can see that the fabric is wider at that point as the weft wasn't drawing the fabric in. Since these photos were taken I've finished the 3" of green and have reversed the designs to go up the other side. Instead of making a third little purse I'm going to design a few motifs of my own and make a little wall hanging to put in my studio. Next I need to put a casing on my color gamp and it will begin to look like a real fiber studio.

Off to slice peppers and onions. All the kids, plus SOs, are coming for fajitas!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Boundweave Progress

Not quite sure what happened to March! Oh, that's right, I was knitting. Here's my pitiful progress on the boundweave project I started in January. Boundweave does weave more slowly but I think I was more enthralled with the speedy progress of my Faroe Vine cardigan** and, of course, progress only comes when one actually sits at the loom and weaves!

I finally finished the first piece, enough for a small purse.

But the bright primary colors were just not doing anything for me. I didn't have any other 5/2 around but I made do by doubling some 10/2 for a few new colors. My daughter is a cross stitch junkie so I tagged along on a trip and found these.

But if I wanted a more unified piece I was going to have to order more yarn. I love The Mannings! When I finally got around to ordering it was after 5 on Wednesday, they shipped Thursday, and it was at my door on Friday.

I've colored in a few more designs and should find time at the loom this week. This is why I need a second floor loom. I've got ideas galore for baby blankets and June 6th will be here before I know it. Unfortunately that pesky pool table stands in my way!

**The Faroe Vine cardigan has been stalled for the last two weeks as I waited for spring break and a big chunk of time to cut the steek and add the front edgings. I was planning on tomorrow but 76° weather and a messy, neglected garden could tempt me to go outside.