Friday, December 17, 2010

UFO Challenge 2011

Sewing Room Makeover is nearly complete!
To celebrate my more comfortable (and ORGANIZED!) sewing space I'm going to attempt to put it to work finishing up some of the projects from my Treasure Box.

This quilting inspired effort actually began October 6th. An online Challenge at Patchwork Times requires us to name 12 projects for the coming year. This may be a little optimistic! But here goes:

1. Y2K quilt started in 1999. needs to be quilted. It's HUGE.

2. Grandma's Country Album 1 - 1998 McCall's Magazine series in 6 installments. (all of the issues have been tracked down! Working on 2nd block now since picking this project back up.)

3. Scrappy Seasonal Applique Blocks - started 2010.

4. Piecemakers Time and Seasons TREES 2002 calendar project. I want to do 4 blocks for a wall hanging.

5. Spider in Grandmother's Flower Garden. Hex project - old!

6. Stack 'n Whack Treasure Box workshop. Needs borders. Preferably something to distract from the hideousness of orange. DONE!!

7. Frog Pond quilt. Started this when Steph was in 3rd grade I think.

8. Stack & Whack - Fall. Top; borders may have wonky issues!

9. 48 STRING BLOCKS! Made for the 2010 Bonnie Hunter RRCB mystery.
(Step 5: make 600 half square triangles.) NO. I would rather poke my eyes out. I'll be using the blocks for an Evelyn Sloppy pattern instead. DONE!!

10. Orphan Block quilt. I want to use the Settings Solutions book completely make something up out of thin air and further complicate things by sewing a billion curved pieced drunkard path squares. Oh... and then hand quilt it! DONE!!

11. Kermit's Bouquet - an internet row robin needs to be quilted, replace a border that I took off with something smaller and less biased.

12. Patchwork Posse Row Robin. 2010-2011. Current and I hope to keep it that way!


I PLEDGE TO KEEP MY SEWING ROOM CLEAN! (and continue to purge items I don't love or plan to use soon.)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Row Robin Quilt-A-Long

I confess: I could not resist.
Patchwork Posse has a Row Robin underway. I found it the week Round 4 had just been posted.
I had just finished the table runner and a stash of fabric (freshly sorted by color!) was sitting in the living room just begging to be used. 
I felt compelled!
I'm almost caught up and hoping the next round is just as pleasing, so progress will continue. Determined to fight UFO syndrome! Still a little applique left to do, but not sure about the bird samples from Round 3. May go with butterflies and a frog from Butterflies & Blooms book on my shelf. Flickr group of others participating in project.

If you give a man a putty knife

You get a sewing room makeover? Seriously!
I celebrated "Black Friday" by NOT shopping. Sewed all day. I rewarded myself a few weeks ago - for finishing 2 quilts - by purchasing snowman fabric for a reversible seasonal table runner. All of the rest of the fabric would be from stash.
A pattern from July/August Quiltmaker in 2003 by Sharon Pederson had been used once before. Took me awhile to find which magazine it was in.
In the meantime, I found her book Reversible Quilts: Two at a Time through the library loan system. Very helpful - I hope to use up more stash fabric with a quilt using this method. Learned how to make reversible binding although Sharon's method didn't allow mitered corners. This may be better way to go: 2 color binding!

Tom decided Black Friday would be a great day to paint the laundry/sewing room. Enter putty knife & Spackle compound. And dust!
His plan was to do the "laundry" half and then move my 30 years of sewing stuff to the other side of the room and doing the "sewing" half.  
Did I mention dust?
I decided to empty the room. All of my "good stuff" went to the living room; stuff that could probably fall off the back of a truck and never notice it was missing went to Sara's old room. To be honestly sorted and purged. By December 24th since she's coming home for Christmas and may want a place to sleep!

Since the room was empty we decided to do the ceiling first. So on Saturday off we went to Home Depot for half of the needed pine boards. Ceiling is almost done! (One board short of course ;) Wall painting should begin this weekend. Will be on the lookout for new storage system shelves & cabinets.

Our new dryer was delivered on Monday! Have been hanging clothes on the line all summer. They don't dry very well with below freezing temps and the week before "Just like Black Friday" sale prices were worth the wait.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quilt block progress

This week in Quilting
I've been appliqueing random images to my scrappy block project. No theme - just whatever strikes my fancy.  
(Tried the Big Huge Lab mosaic maker again.)
My Flickr photostream

A Mystery Quilt Along begins this week from the blog of well known Quilter, Bonnie Hunter. I came across it during a blog tour for quilters by Quiltmaker magazine.
(I won a copy of 100 Blocks!)
I'm tempted (okay PLANNING) to play along. My follow through has been less than spectacular. I may challenge daughter Sara with her brand new quilters sewing machine to play along from her new address in Minneapolis and see how different our projects come out. Enabler Alert!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Quilting Again!

So FINISH something why don't you?
My craft pendulum has swung once again and this time it's quilt UFOs that have my obsessively undivided attention.

Since October 6th I've been working on unfinished quilt projects with determination. I pulled out the Circle Jean Quilt and began where I left off.

Turns out it was 3 Days from DONE when I abandoned it to the Treasure Box. Knitting needles and crochet hooks had taken over for so long my sewing machine needed an introduction. It's finished!!

After 3 straight days of focused (remember to breath) sewing, it's checked off the list of unfinished things!! The first day felt a little overwhelming (there was a slight panic attack). One 4 row/20 circle section was completed before I gave myself permission to walk away. The next day a renewed sense of determination took over and the rest of the windows were sewn down and the outer edges hemmed.

It was a little like shoving 20 pair of jeans through the sewing machine - all at one time - on day 3. I would not make one of these this big again. It's big enough to cover the bed but too heavy to sleep under. And probably too big for the washing machine when it comes time. But it's done :)  
(Treasure Box of UFOs on top)  

PROJECT #2: Finished as well!! Started the day after Christmas 2008 if this blog entry is to be believed. I seem to have worked on it pretty steady through January 2009, when it became a finished top, the 3 layers of backing/batting/quilt top were pin basted together for quilting. To be abandoned. ...and then I lied in Blogger writing: 
The I will quilt it right away!"   pledge must be taken. Right hand in air, left hand on sewing machine: "I will!"
It sat on a shelf until October 2010, while I dithered between hand or machine quilting. (And discovered crochet hooks have an actual purpose.) Hand Quilting took exactly 2 weeks and THEN I did the binding on the very next day. DONE.

Next up for Project 3 was an applique block from this project.
Enjoyed remembering how...
Although this project is a long way from done. This is only block 4. My quilting fingers need to recover from 2 weeks of steady hand quilting without a thimble on the underside of the quilt.
I hates them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Graffiti in the Wild.

And other things...
We were driving to one of our favorite trout fishing get-away spots and I caught a glimpse of this bunny at the side of the road.

The pictures don't do justice to it's Bigness!
The rock is huge. We went by at quite a clip so I tried to remember enough landmarks nearby so we could stop on the way back. Turns out the mile marker is right next to it.

I've crocheted several tote bags and another doll. Ran out of yarn for one of the bags I've been working on, but found a lady on Ravelry with a half skein for $2. Waiting for it's arrival so I can finish.

I was intrigued by knit-like cables and bobbles done in crochet. The first time I tried to follow the pattern I gave up in frustration. A couple of weeks later I gave it another try. Unfortunately by then I had used some of the yarn from one skein for a doll sweater, making the bag come out half a strap short.

I followed just the front panel of the pattern (mostly) and then made up the rest myself. Searched for stitch patterns with texture and chose Seed Stitch for the back & sides. With the extra yarn I'll be able to do a flap as well, although I don't want anything as big as the free original pattern showed.

We've gone fishing nearly every weekend. The weather has been wonderful this year! Even our garden is doing well. Extra zucchini, cucumbers and summer squash WILL be pushed onto anyone stopping by. I put some out by the side of the road with a FREE sign and it was gone by afternoon.

2 weeks ago we put the canoe on top of the Jeep and headed to Sunk Haze Stream for a repeat of a past paddling experience, only to be honked at by a woman in a truck screaming, "YOU CAN'T GO THERE!" Apparently the property owner across the road wanted Friends of Sunk Haze Stream to buy the right of way, but they refused and took down the big welcome sign. Noticed the sign that said where to park was gone but no closed sign was put up. A cable was across the dirt road that went down in towards the stream, but we thought it was just to keep cars from parking down there. I didn't think they could deny access to a stream below a bridge on the main highway. If the drop away below the bridge hadn't been such a cliff-like climb we might have pushed the point.

Unfortunately we had the canoe all off the jeep before Screaming Woman objected. We loaded it back on, tied it down and drove to The Hirundo entrance of Pushaw Stream instead.
Please excuse the curse I placed on the property owner and it's close proximity to Penobscot River. 

Something about Spring floods rising to his attic.

Perhaps I should be careful what I wish on them, given my brother's slightly less close proximity to the same river.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Let my Nano go!

Mandatory Blog Update

Sara bought a new Mac iBook and took them up on their offer of a "free" iPod & iPrinter.
As the only family member without one of these precious musical iDevices, she decided to give me her old one! She promises all country music has been satisfactorily deleted. I blame her fondness of music with twang on being left with my mom a few too many times. It's now Pearl Jam packed with my love of Eddie Vedder (teehee!)

BUT shipment from Minnesota will be based on the update-iness of a certain mom blog meant to keep her in the loop. Further more, mom packed-lovingly care packages shall improve in both frequency and quality. I have accepted the challenge (and critical observance) that the most recent envelope stuffed with "junk mail" failed to deliver the degree of satisfaction she might have hoped a letter addressed from home should have. Let the updating trend begin!

Crocheting bunnies, babies and bags has continued at something of an amazing pace. Amazing that I have not gotten sick of them and moved on to explore yet another obsession. Switching to some past, present or yet unexplored craft of the moment is almost certainly a given. Sooner or later. I proudly present my 1st crocheted bag! My skill at following a pattern correctly proved fatal when at about Row 22 my stitch count had decreased from 96 to 88. Making the bag take on a bit of a pyramid shape.

Upon overnight reflection my state of denial was self-accepted and nearly the entire thing was ripped out and done over. Ripped out all the way back to Row 6. A certain offspring's voice echoing memory of "you are such a perfectionist" in scathing tone like an epitah. I told the voice to be quiet!  
Try. Try Again.
Doing something better (when 1st attempt goes terribly awry) continues to be a motto that takes me to my happier place. It only hurts for a moment. The unraveling is done quickly. Like yanking off a band-aid all at once. A certain Treasure Trove of quilting UFO's were unearthed yesterday. Briefly. I stroked the Circle Jeans quilt on top. It's in a stage of almost done-ness that really deserves a place back in the line-up to be finished.
Or else! My sewing machine might seize up from lack of use?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Keeping the hands busy

Nothing at all obsessive, compulsive: crocheting the same bunny pattern 6 times. 
 Is there?

Actually, this is a picture of the same pattern - 4 times plus my latest 1st attempt at a doll by the same designer.

Not surprisingly, I continue to prefer to have something to keep myself busy while waiting, rather than to sit doing nothing. I am a bit shocked by how much I'm still enjoying exploring crochet. A crochet hook and skein of yarn are the current 1st choice to grab up and shove in a tote bag to take on the go. (Crochet is MUCH easier to rip a section out and do over, by the way!)

I've decided I prefer some cotton or wool mixed in with acrylic yarn. I started crocheting with Red Heart Sport (100% acrylic) but don't care if I never use it again. Local availability and color choices being limited to what they are, I'm using TLC Cotton Plus for the doll/bunny body (51% cotton). But the clothing doesn't "drape" as nicely, so I've matched Naturally Caron Country with colors that go nicely, but the 25% Merino Wool makes it feel nicer as a sweater or dress.

These 2 sweaters are removable. The green one I experimented with my own design, once I figured out the pattern construction concept, but the turtle neck would have helped hide the "fat neck" look. (wrong color) I did make some pattern technique changes, based on what I've learned from knitting socks & mittens. No-sew picot border around the bottom of the sweater and waste yarn rather than casting off the armholes and then picking up stitches afterward. I've learned a lot from trying thses patterns and look forward to more experiments in doll sweater design.

These are the projects that have kept me busy during May & June. I needed my size 5 knitting needles to knit the sweaters but they were on a pair of socks I started in January. One was half done, so I finished it in an afternoon. The other is waiting at the start of the heel for me to have another surge of sock knitting desire.  

I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Friday, June 11, 2010

"Do Worms Have Eyes?"

Thank you, One Mom in Maine!!

Thanks to a recent Blog Giveaway, I'm so proud to have won a chance to visit and decide which classroom request to award a $25 gift certificate to.

It was very tough choosing! There are many worthy projects and in the end I clicked the Maine classroom requests and picked this one:

Classroom Photo

Do Worms Have Eyes?..... And Where Are Their Ears?

My Students

"A 5 year old's favorite word is "WHY?" Wondering is an integral part of their thinking! Exploring is an important part of our learning in kindergarten. They want to find answers to questions like "Do worms have eyes?" and "Where are their ears?".

I teach kindergarten at a school in Maine. Although located in an urban area, my school is adjacent to a large woodland tract. My students love to explore the woods and trails. It is on these trails, woods, and the natural areas of the playground that they develop curiosity and a relationship with nature."

My Project

"I want to provide hands-on authentic experiences that develop excitement and curiosity for science learning. Young children love to use science equipment and role-play being a scientist! Having big screen microscopes will meet those needs and also enable my students to develop inquiry and observation skills through real life experiences. Non-fiction literature helps to integrate areas of Literacy and Science and provide a springboard for inquiries.

For the past two years, I have focused on acquiring the science materials that my classroom needs that will enable students to better understand their relationship with nature. I have whittled away at my wish list bit by bit and have had to leave the most costly items for last. Once I obtain these items, my collection of science materials will be complete!

My students need 2 big screen microscopes, 2 big books, and 6 sets of Level B books. "

The class needs a little more to reach it's goal:
Project Cost Including Donation to Support $472.13
Partner Funding Offer -$236.06
Given -$25.00
To Go $211.07

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's my party and I'll crochet if I want to!

That's right ... it's my birthday :)

Last weekend I won this very cool Frog Prince pattern from a Blog giveaway I happened upon. THANK YOU!! to blog owner & frog creator Penny at

Commentators were asked to imagine their ideal way to spend the day and mine included strawberry breakfast crepes and lobster rolls for lunch...and what the heck SUPPER too! With the day spent curled up crocheting a certain frog prince pattern.
A guilt-free rainy day spent crocheting, watching a Scifi marathon of Startrek Enterprise or Stargate Universe.

Hey... it was MY Blissful daydream :)
The sun is shining brilliantly so I suspect there will be outdoor gardening instead.
Or I should say... addition to a little crocheting, I perhaps will get dressed and go outside on such a beautiful day and do something chore wise ;)

A third version of Nicolette has been made, using the stitch pattern of the Designer's Lilian sweater, but done in the round and attached to the front loops at the neck of the bunny. My back & forth crocheting attempt at the cardigan were frogged!

yeah...wonky trapezoid shaped edges that were un-crocheted without taking photographic evidence of.

I also finished my Dragon Whisper using what I learned making the Baby Dragon and the Snowsuit Babies from Easter.

Clearly inspired by a well known designer, but with just a little selective use of free patterns I was able to design my version of the little Whisperer without buying a pattern.

Each free pattern I've chosen has been a little more "difficult" - learning techniques specifically that would enable me to try winging it without a pattern. I've come along way since March 14th when I hadn't even EVER decreased a crochet stitch, had no idea which stitch was which for that matter.

My bookmarks are now overtaken by crochet? How did this happen :)
A little like peeling back layers of an onion or counting rings inside a tree.
I can trace my current degree of crafty obsessiveness by the blogs I visit and my Google Search history!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Still more of that CROCHET thing . . .

Look what I can do!
(I'm a practicing hooker :)

Still obsessed with cute crocheted things and the abundance of online possibilities has me trying more & more new-to-me techniques.

My latest project is nearly finished. "Nicolette" was started April 27th. There's supposed to be a fabric under skirt, but the crochet part is done.

The arms & ears were made ahead of time and joined right along with a row of single crochet - instead of being sewed on with needle and yarn later. I LOVE that now that I've done it that way and don't know why more patterns aren't written that way.

I was terrified a bit when I first read this section of instructions.
Took a deep breath and went for it. JUST DO IT. The yarn does get tangled around ears and arms a little so I put an elastic around the top of her head while doing the sweater.

It looks a little like bunny torture?

Pattern is crocheted mostly as written :)
A few changes here and there and possibly the head is on backwards. I wanted a wider forehead but if I understood the section following ear's backwards on purpose.

The sweater was the one thing that was to be sewn on later but my first effort was crocheted a little tight and didn't fit very well. So I crocheted a new one right onto the bunny. This seemed to keep my tension more relaxed working around the bunny body. Random increases meant ending at the bottom with more stitches than the pattern called for but everything seemed to work out in the end. I made the textured pattern longer and left off the extra ripple.

Not sure yet what I'm going to do with my growing box of toys.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

That CROCHET thing . . .

Aren't they cute?

It's what I've been doing the last couple of weeks. Never heard of the word before this year. Not real clear how you pronounce it either.

(It's a crocheted toy.)

Cowpoke was a free pattern found here.
He has curly, pose-able legs. Sort of.

Next up I had 5 little Easter-like Babies in bunny & bear snowsuits made before the brilliant idea occurred to put them in an egg carton so I could get a better picture. Naturally, I decided to make an even dozen to fill out the carton.

Instead of cutting the box in half.

You know. Normal & perfectly logical.
As apposed to seriously troubled and with too much time on her hands. Possibly?

It seems like the Wikipedia article detailing Amigurumi needs a little work. Some might take exception to an opening concept "Amigurumi have no practical use". (Looks like it was quote from a book, so I guess that makes it true.)

I suppose that depends on one's definition of "practical"?
(It's a crocheted toy!)
3 year old Ben was fascinated by the cow and 9 year old Kyle asked, "can I have one?"
Didn't actually take it but the kid is transformer obsessed, so any fleeting diversion of the moment can be cherished.

The description goes on to say, "The pervading aesthetic of Amigurumi is cuteness."
Can't argue with that, I guess.
I'll add Addictive, for the moment.

Although I've come across a few examples by now that I've thought, wow that's . . . so not cute.
Frighteningly awful.

WARNING!! (Should maybe think twice about adding this link. Sorry in advance?)
This crocheted woman giving birth (with a baby sticking halfway out) caught me a little off guard, I must say. YIKES!
NOTE TO SARA & STEPH: You may not want to click that link!

Don't say I didn't warn you ;)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Half a bubble off center

I've taken up with hookers.

I'm remembering how to CROCHET.
What did you think I meant? :)

I never did know how to crochet very well - mostly because I can never remember how many time to wrap the yarn around the hook for the different stitches. It's been 30 years since I tried granny squares and if I remember right I gave up on them because sewing them together was a pain.

It's easier this time around. I can even wrap the yarn around my left finger to control tension...unlike knitting. Have never changed the way I knit - clenching the yarn in fingers & palm and dragging it around the needle methodically.

Stuffed this Fraggle Rock into Sara's birthday box. Working with the freakish hairy yarn was different. And there was an alarming number of body parts to be sewn together! 3 smaller sized hooks made their way into my shopping basket while at AcMoore last week. I need to buy stuffing as this is quite addictive. There are some AMAZING designers out there. Many free patterns, although of course several that caught my eye are each sold separately.

Dorothy the tabletop loom remains welcome in the living room. We closed off the kitchen door to the end of the house we're not using this winter, now that the girls are living away from home.
Our light bill went down $40!! Just saying :)

I WON a box of yarn from Camp Runamuck!

When I just now checked back to add the link, it seems she has dressed her dogs a little funny! :)
I quite often blog hop in the morning with my first cup of coffee. Although I don't actively seek out Give-a-ways, they are an irresistible weakness. Winning was quite wonderful as well!. The deal was we agree to make a donation to our local animal shelter.

Round 4 of Sock Madness began last week. I knit Pattern 1 for a half a day and quit. Forgive me for saying so, but this pattern put every technique I hate the most into one pair of socks. Life is too short to knit something and hate every minute of it. I feel bad for being a quitter and will miss the Sock Madness gang I've been a part of since the 1st year it began. But it was a huge relief to yank that half day's worth of wasted time off the needles and move on.

It's when I took up with those Hookers!
Went outside to snap a picture on a recent morning of the half moon rising

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Forward on the learning curve

Dorothy's latest adventure

The knitting/crocheting/weaving world is celebrating the 2010 Winter Olympics in it's own way. By crafting up a storm! I've completed my 1st two projects:

Knit & felted the comfiest slipper EVER.
Fiber Trends clogs.

And cut another woven fabric fresh from the loom.
I made a really fraking big tote bag!
(The Olympic Carrier :)

Came off the loom Saturday morning.

I ran out of Weft color 3 times before I got to the end of the Warp. The color breaks helped decide the design.

(I DIDN’T have a plan!)

As I added the finishing touches to the bag I realized it was pretty “fraking” big. So in honor of the Ravelympics & Battlestar Galactica I’ve named it The Olympic Carrier :)

Cutting this time wasn’t so scary - in fact I wove it with the express intention of cutting immediately. Ran out of yarn I was using for the weft and there wasn’t a skein to be found at any of the stores around here. I wasn’t thrilled with the red/grey color at first, so I just wanted to get it off the loom. Grabbed the Debbie Mumm brand; a little thicker weight, deeper red and it has sparkle shots throughout. Was not crazy about that either. By using it on the sides & handles of the bag as contrast, it didn’t seem so bad when I was done.

After thought bag flap done in Warp color just so I could finish the skein and the warp that was at the end of the loom. (Just found another skein of this stuff I've been using as warp. I thought it was gone. Jeesh!)

Already planning the next project to cut up. Maybe down size the Design-As-I-Go method for a smaller scale bag pattern next time.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Finished THINGS!

Me and Dorothy
...still friends :)

I threaded my loom with some cheap (mostly free) acrylic yarn and wove 6 feet of of "too stiff to be a scarf" fabric. I SEW. So why do I have a pile of woven stuff gathering into an ever higher clump of unused "fabric".
Time to take the scissors to some of it and make something!

Weavolution has a sub group for "Fearless Scissors" and I joined thinking it would motivate me into cutting & sewing something from my growing pile of woven material. Finally dawned on me if I just pile up everything that comes off my loom and is NOT a scarf and ready to wear, the yarn might as well stay rolled up in a ball. Kind of like exchanging one stash for another...what was the point?

Current mood: Quite Satisfied!
I spent a very productive morning once I screwed up enough courage to take the rotary cutter to my latest woven effort.
I made a bag!
The "fabric" is almost upholstery-like. If you thread bulky yarn through every hole of the loom's beater (12 slots per inch) you get very stiff fabric - unfit for a scarf. And the weft all but disappears. I kind of liked as it took on a denim look almost.

I found my sewing machine & SOME of my cutting table.
Need to do some spring cleaning so I can find more of it.
throw stuff into Sara's old room and SORT, SORT, SORT.

I also made some size 12 socks out of wool and shrunk them down to size 8 Fuzzy Feet slippers. I put them in the washer at about the same time as I made the first whack with a rotary cutter for the bag.

Irony: I took them to work on while waiting for Uncle Joe at the eye doctors on Monday. It was so dark in their waiting room I grabbed a size 7 needle that was in my bag instead of the size 9.
Did most of the heel with one wrong sized needle each row.
Because I could not see what I was doing.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Let's try again, Dorothy

Weaving - Take 2:

So, I promised Dorothy not to put her back in the laundry room, dejected & defeated for another year.
Let's PLAY some more...

That Scarf has issues, sure. But this is no time to quit. Practice Makes Perfect ...okay NOT perfect. Exactly.
But we'll have fun, explore possibilities and see what happens. (Warping the loom began while it was still very dark outside...)

Besides. It's freaking cold outside.
What else is there to do?

And my 1st born baby moved to Minnesota.
Total Travel Estimate: 26 hours 51 minutes / 1631.58 miles
Mom distractions needed to fight the It's not just for a visit this time blues.

Daylight arrived to light up the fact that we had a long way to go before weaving could commence.

No surprise here...?
This project didn't go exactly as planned either.
But we had a good time getting there and Dorothy is still welcome in the living room. (Just to be clear ;)

I chose a pattern for threading the warp from Mastering Weave Structures, page 208: Plain Weave with Rib weave stripe.

I had actually considered trying fabric strips, mixed in with textured yarns in shades of tan to yellow.

That didn't seem like it was going to work so I tried to follow the actual directions from page 208.
More or less.
I soon realized the warp I used would be too thin to match the texture of the sample on page 209.
So I did just a plain weave.
Back and forth; boringly satisfying.

No Rib Weave yet for Dorothy and I.
Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn weft. Potpourri.

Things learned best NOT to do this time:

Take off wire heddles after the loom has been threaded.
There were too many wires strung on shafts 3 & 4 since I was trying to thread all the way across the frame. The extras usually pile up on the side and hang out of the way. Threads from shaft 1 & 2 could not get past the stack of unused heddles hanging on the sides of 3 & 4.

Add 2nd strip of (yellow) warps after the loom is threaded to double each of the warps where Rib Weave would have happened.
I added 6 to each side, proving it could be done.
Gave up on the other 30 or so in varying colors I had considered.

A Temple is a new term I've only just learned. It might possibly have kept the woven fabric from pulling in so much trying to do the Rib Weave. Pretty hard on the outside warps if the beater has to smack 3 or 4 on the outside in either direction away from the actual edge.

This is why warp yarn breaks?
I think yes.
This is why I quit while I was ahead and settled for boringly satisfying.

It's not your fault, Dorothy

Seemed like a good idea at the time*

What NOT to do (perhaps) with 2 pricey skeins of Noro Silk Garden yarn.

This was the first Noro I've ever purchased.
And last most likely. While it was VERY pretty on the outside of the skein, inside dwelt some of the yuckiest purple + yellow + green equals mud I've never imagined.
I know this about variegated yarn and still I fall for the pretty bits on the outside. I much prefer a one or two color-shade variation. Why do I keep forgetting that?
All those colors don't belong together!

I didn't read yarn reviews until after I bought it of course. The knots where they joined blue and green with no attempt to match the color pattern would not have come as so much of a surprise if I had. Likewise, the mysterious foreign objects spun into the yarn that have now been identified as sticks, hay and other little "bits" sheep get stuck to themselves. No mystery.

We've got issues:

I threaded the reed at every other space with the 1st skein of Noro, thinking that by spreading it out farther across the loom it would make the scarf wider. The 2nd skein would be the weft. The tiny little skeins didn't have as much yardage as I imagined they might.

Wish I could say lack of yardage was this Scarf's only issue!

I began with the plan to do an all Rib Weave (page 20 - Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler). Didn't look good and I suspected this was due to the every-other-space threading.

But did I weave backwards (unweave?) and start over?
Thread the reed differently?
Should I have?
YES! Definitely.

I ended up breaking a warp within 6 inches and it was pretty clear things were not going to get any better. The force of the beater smacking up against the yarn - especially the outer edges - was certainly going to break a few more very quickly. Did I stop NOW and regroup with a new plan?

NO. Well not exactly.
I "beat" nearly the entire thing into place with a comb.
(Do NOT recommend!) The beginning of the weaving where I used the normal beating action was several inches wider than the rest of the scarf.

I ended with a Rib Weave pattern to see what it might have looked like, if threaded correctly.

Thinking I can cut off the wide end and make hems so it looks even. Steph says they are "her colors" and she likes it. I've given her permission NOT to say "My Mom Made It" if anyone asks.

In fact, I think I would rather she did not...

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Backstrap Weaving UPDATE


I cut off the heddle strings and prepared to scrap my 1st Backstrap Weaving project. But I'd carefully saved the cross as I considered whether or not it was worth a try changing out the heddle strings to match same fiber as the warp and see what happened.

Not sure I did the braid ends right but it is D.O.N.E!!! It's a little primitive - or as Steph said "I like looks primitive."
(I can accept that ;)

Weaving did get easier, although after a few inches started matting up again. The first & last warp (the ones that had a slip knot to start with) were not the right tension - too loose - and contributed a little to the funky edges. Along with all the other things that this beginner did wrong, I'm sure.
(Like winding on 2 yards of 96 wraps and skipping the BEGINNER PROJECT with only a yard length of 20 something ends.) But I'm pleased to have completed it rather than quit. I am NOT a quitter!
An extra cross in back has been suggested by the experts at Weavolution as a way to control the tilty sliding around issues, of both shed rod & the ends themselves. I thought I might have missed a step, but I've now learned how to add an extra cross after the loom is set up. I drilled extra holes in the ginormous wooden knitting needle I was using as a shed rod and it seemed to help keep that from sliding all over the place.

(That funky, weird single "needle" was in some stuff I inherited from aunt Nonnie's craft stash, so I was happy to find a possible use for it. Although now that I've drilled holes in it - it probably won't function well for whatever it was originally intended!)

NEXT TIME I will add the extra cross in the back to see if it helps with stability.


Just to keep me humble in the new year, I managed to knit the crap out of a Mystery Sock Knit-A-Long. Wrote down the 1st clue and then after the 3rd row, proceeded to knit what the hell ever I felt like, it seems.

"It only hurts for a minute" to yank out the needles and start over?

Yeah ...sure.

This much was ripped out. I've now reknit it (following the ACTUAL directions) as well as getting the 2nd sock almost to this point. Directions include a bead option but I don't seem to have anything that works in my stash. This is Opal yarn, about the thickness of a strand of hair. It's been hanging around for a year or so in the yarn bucket. I swore I was never making socks out of yarn this thin again.

Now I remember why.