Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A present for My Pirate

I am still pretty new at this spinning game.  Not in years or months mind you - just in the amount of time I have been able to spin.  I am happy to know many people who spin frequently, and are very good at it. They inspire me. Sometimes they  inspire me to do crazy things. Below is yarn I am making for my traveling pirate.  The plan is to  ply the turquoise together with the the orange, and the micro stainless steel. I am hoping for yarn that is about lace weight. 

Sorry for the blurry picture, but the picture below at least shows haw the colors are working together.  The micro steel is super fine - like thin hair. Seriously - the hair off  my head is thicker. You can barely see it - but I am hoping it will give the yarn a bit of a glint. 
Below is the work of  another inspiring person who is often at the shop. 
This is white linen, and silver being warped onto her loom.  
And this is Jill. Jill made me buy the micro steel for this project. So I guess I can blame her. 

And this is one small box of four that we took to the Black Child and Family Institute yesterday.  Woven Art and Rae's Yarn boutique were involved in a charity knit-off against Knit A Round and Flying Sheep in Ann Arbor. We had until the end of the Michigan/Michigan State game this past weekend.  We won with 307 hats, mittens and scarves to give to our community!  The Ann Arbor shops had an excellent showing with over 238 items.  All in all, a fun way to get hats and scarves to people who will need them this Winter. 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My lucky day

Just before heading into work the other day, a DHL truck pulled into my driveway and handed me a package from Mexico!! It is from my traveling pirate, who knows I love textiles. It contained a book on Mexican weavings. The cover said "Bilingual". There may be two languages in that book -but neither one is English.  The pictures are all I care about anyway. They are wonderful.  Also in the box were some actual Mexican textiles.  Yippee!

This is a detail from a tapestry made from bits of colored Roving.  I very carefully pulled back on the tufts of wool to make sure it isn't painted onto something prewoven.  I am impressed by the vibrant colors, and the detail the weaver got with roving! 
Above is the whole image.
Here is a small embroidered bag - so cute! Just the right size for a home for my I-pod. Thanks sweetie - I love them all. 

So, that was a very nice way to start my day!  Imagine my surprise later  at the shop,  the MailMan handed me a package with this in it:
This little weaving is from Maureen Mason Jamieson, who had visited us a couple of weeks ago for some splendid workshops.  Thank you  Maureen!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last weekend we hosted Maureen Mason Jamieson for a weekend of knitting workshops. 
In collar obedience training, I learned how to give a nice roll to my collar, just where I want it, and how to do a double pick up, to enclose the seam at the back of the neck.  This will be valuable when knitting for anyone easily annoyed by "things" inside their clothing. This includes everyone I am currently related to.  

In the Shadow knitting class I made a darling little pouch that has been sent off to my favorite finisher 
so that it can become a place for my ipod.  This will help me not lose my ipod.  I can't believe how much these workshops have saved me! 

The third class was a Japanese Knitting class.  This one made my head explode, and I know I was not alone.  I can't wait to apply the Japanese three needle bind off on a sweater, and the short rows!  Yes, my "gotta do that' list grew and grew.  As a follow up to that I ordered several more Japanese knitting books, but this time they are more centered on techniques, and stitch dictionaries.  They should be here  by the end of this week. 

On the finishing front - still working on a swirl shawl, a Lady Eleanor, a linen paper and silk coat.  I did take a pretty tofutsie scarf off the loom yesterday.  I want to finish the ends, and wash it before I photograph it.  I did it on a rigid heddle loom, but added a lace texture by using a pick up stick behind the heddle.  Next on the Rigid heddle loom: I want to make doors for my office. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

October Fun

We had a rare family outing with two of our daughters this past weekend.  Family fun is a little different now that they are of legal drinking age! First we went to October Fest, where I saw some guys in big gray pointy felted hats.  I knew I needed one. Right away.  Between beers and brats I began to think about how I would go about it.  We went to a play, put on by Peppermint Creek Theater, which was a very twisty version of what might have happened to the Peanuts Gang as they grew into teenagers.  Though the play had some very surprising moments, as soon as it was over I started to think about pointy felted hats again. Then we went to the Unicorn Bar, and listened to some great blues by School Boys.  Still couldn't get the hat out of mind. So, the next day, I went into the shop
and made this:

This is a close up.  If you want the pattern, drop me an e-mail.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Toss me some needles...I am drowning in yarn!

Woven Art is having a growth spurt.  Lots of new yarns are coming in.  This makes me happy - as I am in love with yarn of any stripe, twist or fiber. However,  yarn, books and needles come with tons of paper work, inventory management, organizational problems, (where, oh where, do I put it all?), etc.  And all I want to do is play with it.  On one level I can justify my "play" by making "shop models". These are items that are already made up to give the customers ideas, and to help them know better how a yarn behaves.  

Above is a picture of 3 swatches of Jojoland Rhythm.  A worsted weight yarn, long and subtle color gradation.  These three swatches are from one ball.  Left to right: crocheted, felted and knit in stockinette. 
And this blue-purple shawl above is 1/2 of a Lady Eleanor. The pattern for Lady Eleanor can be found in "Scarf Style", and is done in a knitting technique called entrelac.  I will finish it, but I can share along the way - right? It is knit with two colors of Feista La Boheme. The whole shawl will take a total of 6 skeins.  And it will be, let's say, generously sized.  
And this is my "Swirl" shawl. Made from Jojoland's Melody, a superwash fingering weight yarn, in color 14.  The shawl is completed with 5 rows of hexagons - here I have almost two done.  It is not yet blocked. 

I know what some of you are thinking - she is only working on two projects! Not true! There is also a Habu paper/silk coat on the needles, cafe curtains on my large loom, a tofutsie scarf on my rigid heddle loom, and bright blue fiber on my wheel. 

Time to go make stuff!