Friday, October 28, 2011

Potato Chip Rug

I finished up weaving my daughters rug this afternoon.  I thought you might want to see it.  (I plan to do a sewn hem on it.)


The light isn't as good as it could be, but I am really pleased with how it turned out.  It makes me want to pull out all my fabric, and cut strips and make balls and just go at it.  I haven't measured it yet but it is really long and about 36 inches wide.  I love how the white warp lets the fabric shine.  

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Potato Chip Weaving

I have had the Studio Rug loom set up to go for quite some time now.  I had even woven the header!  Weaving for the fall show had really taken over all my weaving time.

Some months ago, my oldest daughter brought over some fabric balls that she wanted to weave up into a rag rug.  She had tried a crochet rug with them but was not happy with the results.  I asked her if I could please weave them up, and she said that as long as she could have the rug afterwards, I was welcome to do it.


Her Sister (Graphic Design) had helped her put them in a pleasing color order so I decided to follow the numbers.  One by one, I reach for them and weave them in, overlapping a bit with the old color.



Here are the first few balls,  ooh, that looks nice, what is next.  ( We are having company tonight, must walk away from the loom!)  Just one more, then I will stop.




There now, the loom is weaving wonderfully!  Let's just do a few picks of this next color.  Now, doesn't that look nice.  Maybe just one more, I will only do a couple of picks I promise!




Must walk away from the loom!  Really I must!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Monday, October 24, 2011

You want cozy?

The temps are starting to fall, especially at night.  I have been concerned about my little outside kitties, they normally have been able to get under the house to stay nice and cozy.  Last winter  however had the experience of skunks getting under the house to cozy up with each other!  We do not want to go thru that again, so we have dutifully blocked all the possible entrances to the crawl space.  That leaves the cats outside, in the cold.  Now they could head for the barn with the other animals, and, hey, there are even mice there that they could munch on.  But they haven't yet figured that out.

I ran across a pattern for a knitted, then felted cat bed, and that is where the last 3 days have gone!  I have lots of yarn that is worsted wt, and in either colors or textures that just haven't lent themselves to garments for anyone to wear.  I pulled out the scratchy yarn and the ugly yarn (6 skeins in all) and my size 15 needles.  (I felt like I was knitting with tree trunks!)  Three days later I bound off, and here you go....


There are 3 pillows in there, I wanted to check and make sure that the shaping was correct, cause, well, I kind of made up the top part.




Here you go!  After 3 trips thru the washer, hot and soapy, agitation, cold agitation, hot and soapy agitation, cold agitation......  well you get the idea.  Normally that would make me cringe, but this time I did it on purpose.  The bed will have to dry for 24 hours before I can present it to the kitties.  I may take it to weaving tomorrow and see what they think of it. 

Now back to our regularly scheduled knitting program, the shawl, and a little Christmas knitting.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hibernation!

I was a Knitter long before I was a Spinner or Weaver.  In fact I learned the basics of knitting when I was 6 years old.  I quickly gave it up because I couldn't make it look right!  (A perfectionist even then!)  When I married, at the ripe old age of 19, I took it up again.  It was the evenings really, sitting and watching the TV, I remembered what my Mom did while watching the boob tube.  She was always doing something with her hands, knitting, crochet, needlepoint or crosstictch.  I decided to take  another look at knitting. 

My first project was a hip length full cabled cardigan, in burnt orange.  (what was I thinking!)  It took me a full evening to remember how to cast on, and I kept at it until I had finished it!  Of course knew nothing of gauge, or fitting the sweater to my measurements, so it was way too narrow.  I don't know what happened to that sweater, but I do know that it was awhile before I did anything else!

10 years ago I took up weaving, this time I read everything I could get my hands on, books from the library, I even took lessons from Carol with the Tuesday Weavers,   at the Appalachian Arts Crafts Center in Norris Tn.  I have learned so much from the other weavers there as well.  We talk about our craft, we share ideas, we encourage, we comfort, we laugh, and we generally have a great time.  I am still weaving and enjoying it too.

Just the other day I was comparing  Knitting and Weaving.  I enjoy them both,  and they have many things in common.  Fiber of course is the basis for both of them, charts are very important for both as well, and you end up with some form of fabric in both crafts.

My main train of thought however was about what you do when things go wrong.   When things go really wrong in knitting, and you just can't stand the piece, (maybe the yarn was just the wrong choice) the only thing to do  is to frog it, (Rip-it, Rip-it).  In weaving, I can just hear one of our dear departed weavers, Grace, saying "just cut it off!"

If you are doing a cabled piece in knitting, and you look down and you find you have done a backwards cable, you drop down just those few stitches, and re-knit them.  In weaving, I have been know to cut carefully up the length of a very tedious lace pattern that just looked terrible, and that would have been difficult to unweave.

If you are working on a lace piece in knitting, and you get to the end row, and you realize that you have an extra stitch, you must carefully Tink backwards, stitch by stitch, until you find your error.  I suppose, in weaving that would be like unweaving.

Then there are those pieces that have to go into Hibernation.  I have seen that in weaving of course, that loom you know that just sits there with a project on it, there is something that is not right, but you are not sure what it is.  In knitting, I have just recently picked up  a project that has been in hibernation for awhile.  It is the Shetland Tea Shawl that I began not last summer, but the summer before!  All I have left to do is the lace border.  It is only 8 rows, and 17 - 21 stitches,  but I just couldn't get it right.  Here let me show you the chart.


It may not say much to you, but it tells me everything I need to know to pull it off.  I was, however continually having to Tink back because my rows were not coming out right!  Out of frustration, into hibernation it went!

I was recently re-listening to the Knit Picks podcast.  In one of them, Kelley Petkin talked about what she did with some of her lace knitting pieces, when the going got rough.  She would take 3x5 cards and put one chart row on a card, stack them up in order and keep them in a ziploc so that they don't get mixed up or anything.  As she knits each row, that card is moved to the back of the pack.  I decided to try it, and you know it really has helped me!  Here let me show you!



And,



I am only knitting with the 17 - 21 stitches on the border you see at the top of the work.  Each time I knit back to the edge stitches I knit 1 stitch together with that last border stitch.  I have now worked my way thru 45 repeats, (out of 112).  I have hardly had to Tink back at all.


I have spread half of the shawl out on the bed for you to see.  The rest is still bunched up on the long cable needle.  I can't wait to to finish it and get it blocked.  Blocking makes all the difference in the world, it will open up the lace holes in the pattern, then you will really see why I love lace knitting so much.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Friday, October 14, 2011

All work and no play makes Tina ....

Wednesday and Friday are my big "work days", (if you can call weaving work, I like it so much!)  I finish up my outside chores and housekeeping chores and I am up in the studio about 10:30 am.  I weave until about 1pm, break for lunch and then work some more til about 5pm.

In the evenings, we are all about the current sport on TV, especially if there are play offs going on!  (Like right now!)  Since I can't bring the looms downstairs, I am usually happily knitting on the current project.  This last couple of weeks have been very productive in my knitting world.  I have finished several projects, I may even have blogged about them!  Let's see there was:

 Dear Ones Socks,


And then some socks for me

I wore them once and hated how thick they were, so I frogged them and made a Summer Shimmer Scarf.


Much better, the yarn can breath now!

I also finished a pair of socks I gave as a gift.  Los Monos Locos is their name.


(I know I have pics of the finished articles but I can't find them anywhere!)

Just yesterday I finished a "Vesterday" for one of my granddaughters!




Here it is after a nice warm bath and a good blocking.  I have enough to do another one for the other granddaughter that is the same size.  I need to double check and make sure this one fits before I start a second on though!  It seems to match the measurements I was shooting for, we shall see.

I get most of my patterns at Ravelry.com.  It is an online Knit/Crochet community.  If you are interested in these things and you haven't checked it out, you really should.  These were all free patterns!

Well it is time to go get to Work now, Until next time,  Happy Weaving, Tina

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On the Cloth Beam!

This is an unusual sight for me.  Even though I have woven dozens of these blankets, I am usually working against a deadline, and I don't get more than 2 blankets on at a time.  This is a total of 4 blankets on the 45 inch Leclerc Mira.





I have just finished the last Baby Blue Blanket in the Kings Flower Pattern, and have turned my attention to the other loom that has the Cat Tracks and Snail Trails pattern on it.  I, as is my MO had finished Rebecca's Blanket last week and cut it off.  I tied right back on, but wanted to finish the above blankets first before I  switched patterns.  I was looking in my little basket that I have beside each loom and I had about 6 bobbins remaining loaded with copper.  I have had a request for another copper blanket from my youngest daughter.  I had done one for her but that was before my "pre-washing of the weft color" days, post wash it was ruined by the color bleeding.  I decided that I needed to replace that one before I continued my production weaving.

Here it is,  I am really flying with my weaving now that I have laid aside the temple.  I finished the last 20 inches of the blue and busted out all 50 inches of this one, all in one work day.
This is the reverse side of the pattern.  My daughter is adopting from Ethiopia, and they have decided to go for siblings.  The next blanket I will do for her will be in Parakeet, but the pattern will be a star pattern that we have picked out, so I can't weave it until I get all my weaving done for the fall show in Knoxville.

Cat Tracks and Snail Trails in the above mentioned color, Parakeet. (one of my favorites!)






Now that I have finished the Copper Blanket for my daughter, I will switch to the Baby Blue and Pink, do a couple each, then I think I will branch out into some other colors that have worked well:  Purple, Parakeet, Navy, and yes even Red.  My confidence has been bolstered with the washing success of Rebecca's blanket.

I hope to see both clothbeams bulging by the end of next week, and none to soon, the mock-up for the fall show is will be the following week.  That means I will have to have a nice representation of the blankets ready to display.

Friday is usually a work day for me, but this week, I will be going to the Museum of Appalachia with some friends!  I am so excited about it, and I plan to blog about it on Friday over on Loomy Tunes.  Be sure to check it out.

That's all for now, it is time to go feed the chickens, goats and dog.

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Meet Jo Ann!

Meet Jo Ann!  She clean and oiled, and ready for business.  She is weaving beautifully, I can't wait to cut some strips to try her out.

Until next time, Happy Weaving,
Tina