Sunday, July 31, 2005

Somebody please - take my wireless card

I bought a laptop so that I could work continously on my course work and also write the curriculum for the two new classes I'm teaching this year. I think I hit the wall this weekend. How do you know when you are putting off writing? I'll tell you. When you find yourself watching all the news videos on CNN and then start on the "secret" videos of Big Brother 6. Then you start checking for duplicate songs on iTunes, editing tags and equalizing volume while you're at it.

The blog celebrated it's third birthday on Thursday by hanging around waiting for me to do something fiberful. Fat chance. And by the way, thanks Carolyn, you had to link to this.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I'm Just Sticking with Academics for Now

Nice little bag, right? First of all the fabric frays like crazy, so in my zeal to finish this Sunday evening I was snipping at the loose threads and cut into the fabric. Okay, I can live with that - I didn't like the fabric and I didn't like the way I put in the button loop. I should have folded it the opposite way. I wouldn't give it to anyone, but I would use it to store a project. Then I looked inside.

Yes, that would be a lovely 8"x10" zippered pocket sewn upside down. With that, I got my clothes ready for the week, packed up the laptop and other necessities and went to bed. I'm back in class for two weeks. Despite having three pairs of pants cut and ready to go, I'm laying of sewing until I'm not so rushed.

The merino is in the mulch pile, thanks to all the good advice. I always think I can save something, but it's very liberating to just close the book. So, Cassie, is the bag a good lesson, too? I seem to be in the education mode.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Disorder is always in a hurry

Napoleon was right!

I've been sewing so long that I have a tendency to breeze right through directions for something as simple as a bag. Seems like I've put the bag bottom in wrong. You might not be able to tell from the picture, but it will affect the hang of the bag. It's a do over.

I've had some pretty funny sewing mistakes. In my senior year of high school I took a speech class. We had to do a demonstrative speech so I decided to show how to make a dress. I went with something similiar to this. We made arrangements to give my speech in the home ec room. I had parts of this outfit finished in advance and as I gave the speech I finished a facing, a seam, etc. I sewed the last seam together (the seam that went up one leg and down the other) and, with a flourish, gave the dress a shake. Unfortunately I grabbed the wrong sides and the dress looked like it would be just right if I was doing a perpetual split! Everyone cracked up and from what I hear the look of my face was pretty funny. I still got an A. Another time (still high school) I made a dress with a toile fabric. Unfortunately, I placed the pattern going the wrong way. No problem, I cut out a smaller dress for my sister. Made the same mistake with a Holly Hobbie dress for Laura. No cutting smaller this time, Laura was two. When I pointed out the mistake Laura said it was better - she could see Holly better! She loved that dress and wore it constantly (including a family portrait with the in-laws).

Is this worth the trouble?

I bought a pound of merino fleece to try out an ebay vendor. It's very short with weathered tips. I've tried carding and combing and nothing will get all the little neps out. I tried spinning very fine and that helped, but was extremely slow and it still had some neps. I'm thinking I gave it all I could. The color is very blah, not a rich brown, although the yarn is very springy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Bird Identification


I heard the birds chattering up a storm last evening and when I looked out I saw this on the bench. I was able to get my camera but it still had the manual settings for the yarn pictures and between that and going through the glass I didn't get a clear shot. My niece thought it was a hawk. It was about 24" tall and looked to have a wing span of about 40". The legs crack me up - looks like he has little leg warmers on. Let's just hope he doesn't like fish!

Thanks for the advice yesterday. I didn't go in the attic nor did I weave! I did, however, plan a blanket and looked through my sample books to pick colors for painted warp dishtowels. My niece is up from Alabama. She thought she was escaping the heat and heavy humidity. Ha! She is also excellent at untangling so I set her to work on some badly disfigured skeins of sock yarn - she untangled and I balled them up. I also balled up the autumn yarn and made a swatch.

I tried fair isle for the bottom motif and it was too heavy and distorted. The top one is much better (though the camera angle seems to belie it). It was done with intarsia, two strands of gold and one of rust. The body of the sweater is done in one piece so it will be a little messy for those eight rows, but I'm not using bobbins - the lengths are less than 18" so it shouldn't tangle too much.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Autumn's Here

Yeah, right! I just looked at Accuweather's 15 day forecast and we're hot, hazy, and humid for the rest of the month. However, I finished spinning the autumn yarn (sounds more appealing than the 70's yarn).

The green and rust colors are accurate. The gold looks much more subdued - think blazing gold! I think I'm back to the original plan which was making a barn jacket. Remember Down at the O.K. Corral in Knitting the New Classics? I'm going to make it longer, with pockets and with the diamond intarsia enlarged and centered on the back.

You might have thought I was quiet because I spent my first of two weeks off working on fiber projects. WRONG! I did spend a lovely day at Marie's, sitting on the porch spinning and enjoying the farm. Claudia brought her Norm Hall wheel and I got to try it out. What a beautiful wheel - the workmanship is amazing. Tuesday was back to reality and I started cleaning out my son's room and turning it into a guest room. Those of you who have twenty-somethings moving in and out at an alarming rate will understand why it took me THREE DAYS! I still need to paint and clean the carpet but it was presentable enough for to set up the aerobed for my niece who drove up from Alabama. Someone took off the closet doors (I think that was Laura) and I couldn't find the hardware to put them back up, so here's what happened to one of the tie dyed pieces.

Still no weaving or sewing (unless you count the hemming and sleeve for the curtain), but I did get back to blending a few more batts of the corrie.

Now what will I do this week - weaving or start on the attic? Hmmm.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Rag .....

rug, placemats, runner?

Sorry about the fuzziness, but I was too lazy to attach the camera to the tripod! You can still see how well the colors in the fabric go with the floor. Maybe too well.

I put the camera on the edge of the table, so this is a bit clearer. I like the way it goes with the wallpaper and paint, so rather than have the rug blend in complete with the floor I will make a runner and 6 placemats.

As you can see I have plenty of fabric (I have two of these) to cut into 1.5" strips. I used similar fabric for a rug last year. I like the off white and tan warp with it. The brown warp was for another rug, but there was a sad tale about the rags and I was left with warp to experiment on. The kitchen table is ceramic tile with an oak border and I think there will be more contrast with the placemats.

I ordered samples of rug warp from The Mannings, so this will give me something to think about while my mind rests before one last proofreading.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I Am Here

Just not doing anything except academic work. Not unless you count about 15 rows on a sock as being on a fiber roll! As my mind drifts off in class (I know, I'm a teacher, I never said I didn't understand my students) I have a couple weaving projects I'm thinking about. A couple of rag rugs with the tie-dyed fabric I dyed two summers ago and a painted warp for kitchen towels. I'm also working on a plan for placemats and a runner. I finished one paper last night and I'm halfway through the next. With any luck I'll get it done tomorrow and have some time to wind the warp before it's Tuesday and I'm back to school. It's a little hard to paint a warp if it's still on the cone. For that matter, it's a little hard to weave the rugs without ordering the rug warp.

Not all is lost. I have been getting some time during my commute and breaks to listen to my iPod. I'm working my way through Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs (someone gave me a dvd with all of the mp3s) but I think I'm getting too anal about this greatest song list. I'm keeping the list on my Zire so that I can rank them and keep my comments. I think I better let that go. I enjoyed Lian Hearn's Across the Nightengale Floor and I'm listening to Grass for His Pillow right now. I downloaded Hadassah: One Night with the King thinking it would be similar to The Red Tent.