Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ho Hem

I am still waiting for yarn to come in, so I can finish weaving panels 7 and 8. In the meantime I am hemming. And hawing. And sewing on velcro to the top borders. This part is tedious and nerve racking. I must measure exactly right for these hangings to be all the correct sizes.  Plus, I really, really want them to hang straight.  I have found that it takes about two hours to hem and sew velcro on to one end. And, remember, I have 8 ends to do this too.  The other ends are just finishing hems, so probably will only take 45 minutes each. The bright side is that I will be SUPER excited to get back to weaving!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stand still

I am half way through the weaving part of the seventh panel of the big commission. This and the eight panel are the smallest at 4' by 4' finished.  So, really not much longer before they are done!  Saddly, I have run out of an important color.  More is on the way - but in the meantime, can't weave.

To console myself, I decided, at long last, to purchase a spinning wheel from WovenArt.  I decided on the Matchless from Schacht Spindle.  I feel like a teenager driving a Jaguar. Not yet worthy. But this wheel will take me from beginner to where ever I want to go. So, I love it.  I have a sample of PMS from Rivers Edge to try out, and I have to say, it is like playing with kittens and yarn at the same time! But kittens with no claws or litter box to clean up. The color is a yellow to green that somehow reminds me of melons and spring time. 

This weekend I will begin the process of hemming the panels and finishing them for installation. This is a daunting task, really has to be done just right. Nice to know I'll have a soft reward when I get them finished!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Two very different shawls

 Here is my St. Lucia shawl - so named for the vacation spot I was going to after sending this off.  The warp is a Mulberry Silk from LeiLani fiber arts - one skein was dyed in an orange to red varigation, and the other in a cool blue to purple colorway. These two were put together in a "clasped" warp - so all the cool colors are on one end of the scarf, all the warm colors on the other. The Mulberry silk was so easy to dye - just sucked the color right up. I used Greener Shades dyes from Stillwater Mill. This process is so easy, you really could do it in your kitchen, using a pot with a rack in it for steaming, one that is dedicated to that purpose.
The weft is sari silk ribbon -also from Leilani Fiberarts.  The weaver is Kathy Popoff - she was testing out the pattern for me, and I think she did a lovely job.  She graciously said it was a really fun project to do. The first and last several inches are in a 4 over 4 leno lace, and the center section is a form of basket weave. Very loosely woven to preserve some softness and drape. There can be some migration of the warp threads, but you just tug them back into shape.
 Just pulled this project off the loom yesterday. My excuse for making this was to try out the new David loom from Louet that has recently become part of the WovenArt studio family.  My other excuse was to do something with Cotton Gima, a slender tape yarn from Habu. This yarn stayed absolutely flat during the weaving process. It felt like a very interesting sheet of paper while under tension on the loom. I also couldn't see the lace pattern at all.  I was using the Lace Net with Plain Weave Ovals from Donna Muller's book HandWoven Laces. The draft was written by Marion Andrews. Once off tension the lace pattern shows up very well. Better than the picture below would indicate. The fabric has a nice stiffness to it - lending it a but of drama and sophistication. I am going to love wearing this shawl.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Inappropriate use of Addi clicks

We moved the last of our stuff out of our former condo shed and garage last weekend.  This included two kayaks, a small sailboat, and about a dozen inflated floaty toys. The floaty toys were too big, of course, to get into our car. And, you know, new ones wouldn't cost very much. But we have some lovely memories of these toys.

As Gary was figuring out how to lash three boats to one very small trailer, I was deflating.  Broke three fingernails getting the little valve things unplugged. Then I rolled around on the floating tubes and mattresses, while hugging the life out of the smaller rings and pillows. But, nothing happened. They would not deflate!  Urg!  It was pretty cold, and there I was wallowing in the parking lot in my black wool coat and my winter boots, on top of floaty toys. It took me too long to figure out that there is an INNER flap on all those valves. I said to Gary - I need a stick. But I can't find one strong enough. He offered up his keys, but no, I said. I need something long, and pointy, and strong, like a... like a knitting needle! 

I had needles with me - but they were in a project. Volt, from a few posts back.  Desperate now, I took Volt out of the project bag, and wadded it up, exposing one needle.  Poked it into a valve, and it worked!  But, only as long as the needle was in there. This was going to take too long - and expose Volt to too much dirt.  If only I could take the tip off the cord. Hey! Wait! These were Addi Clicks!  They saved the day. I took off both tips, and we got those floaty toys deflated in no time. I am pretty sure this is not an approved use of this high tech tool - but I didn't care.  I saved the toys. 

And, Volt is in progress again.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kelly's Autumn Rose

She picked the sweater. Autumn Rose by Eunny Yang. She picked the colors of Elemental Affects Shetland fingering. And then she waited, oh so patiently, while I knit it for her.  Other projects distracted at times. Holidays got in the way. Business stuff got in the way too.  Finally it was finished, and then it was my turn to wait to see it on her.   First, Autumn Rose needed to put in some time as a shop model.  Then, she and I both kept forgetting to put it on her when she came home for a visit.  But, last week, she put it on.

It fits!