Monday, December 31, 2012

I forgot to show you

This is the counted cross stitch Christmas stocking my daughter, Corey, made for me.  I told her that I wanted to display it year round so I could admire it but that I would return it to her in time to fill it for Christmas.  Good plan, huh?

Didn't she do a great job?!  I love snowmen!

Hope you have a good day.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's not so bad

Since I've gotten Bailey I've had to do my sewing in the livingroom instead of the kitchen.  And I've had to setup and breakdown each time.  It's taken a little while to get used to it and to get a system in place.  I've got it down to about 5 minutes.  A week or so ago, I put my name on the list for a two-bedroom apartment. I've debated back and forth for about a year now and have finally decided that I really do need a separate sewing room.  It may be awhile before I get one though since I have very definite requirements for location.

For the past few days, Bailey has been allowed in the livingroom and has done fairly well.  However, he may begin to think his name is Bailey No No.  He was especially helpful today as I sewed a knitting needle holder for myself.

I sewed four of my 501 Project blocks together, quilted and bound them.  I turned up the bottom edge and sewed slots for the needles and added the ties.  I had one of these holders years ago but somewhere along the way I lost it.  For quite awhile now I've kept my needles tossed in a drawer in the closet.  It's a pain because I have to take all of them out every time I'm looking for a particular size.  This is much more helpful.

knitting needle holder (the beginning)

knitting needle holder (the middle)

knitting needle holder (the end)

I also finished another pair of socks.  Purple, of course.  My favorite color.

Hope you had a good day.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

What to wear?

For a few weeks, I've thought I wanted to make something special to wear for Christmas.  I thought about a vest but I didn't know what size pattern to buy.  And because I didn't know how it would fit, I'd have to sew it up in muslin first.  I'd hate to put the work into it then find out it was too big or too small.  And of course, I'd want to weave the fabric from my own spun wool 'cause that's the way I am.  Needless to say, I talked myself right out of that idea.  It was making me tired just thinking about it.  I think I'll try the vest when there isn't a deadline.

I made myself a pair of Christmas socks instead.

Hope you have a good day.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Last minute sewing

I thought I was done with Christmas gifts but yesterday morning I decided to do one more each and sewed some pillowcases for the grandchildren.

Hope you had a good day.

Monday, December 17, 2012

One UFO down

I finished knitting the blue socks from last winter and have worn them already.  I actually took them out of the hamper to take the photo.  Just what you wanted to see -- smelly socks.  Last week I spun the Romney/Rambouillet roving and knit a pair of socks with the yarn.  I purposely knit the socks larger so that I can felt them a bit.  Wool definitely acts differently than acrylic.  My everyday shoes are starting to crack so I bought a new pair to accommodate my thick socks.  Very comfortable.

And I wanted to show you my little Christmas tree.  It used to be a fiber optic tree but the 'lights' no longer work.  I added the snowflakes I crocheted last year and I've run a couple of strings of lights around the room and around the tree.  It's festive enough for me.

Christmas Tree 2012

And yes, for those who were paying attention, I said I wasn't going to blog here or maybe not at all, but here I am -- woman's prerogative and all that.

Hope you had a good day.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Table Runner Weaving Project

This post is dedicated to Thea of California Dreamin' who has been very interested in the weaving process.

The weaving books I've read lately recommend that you do a sample before beginning a project.  I'm not that organized and.....I don't want to put in the time and effort.  I decided to use colored pencils to help me make a decision on design.  I kinda knew what I wanted but I figured it would be easier if I put the plan on paper.

Weaving Plan

I had to give some thought as to where I was going to do my warping to get the length I needed.  Fortunately I have a folding table that works perfect and was able to adjust the distance to another table that I attached my warping peg to.

Begin Warping

Finished Warping

Warp Up Close

The next step is to carefully and with even tension, wind the warp onto the back beam.

Warp rolled onto Back Beam

To more easily thread the loom, I moved it to a normal height table.  

Ready to Thread

I threaded the loom and tied it under even tension to the front beam.

Threaded and Tied On

Begin weaving using scrap yarn to spread the warp evenly.

Begin Weaving with Scrap Yarn


I forgot to photograph taking the table runner off the loom and knotting and trimming the fringe.

Before washing, drying and pressing

And....ta da....the finished table runner.

Finished Table Runner  13.5 x 27.5 inches

Total time:  6 hours

Hope you had a good day.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Another Scarf

Yesterday I bought some variegated yarn to make another scarf that more closely matches my coat.  I already have a ton of off white reclaimed from another project.  I spent all day weaving so I could have the scarf right away.  This time I used both colors in the warp and the weft.  I concentrated on making nice edges, even beating and following my color pattern.  I think it came out really well.  Martha at Thistle Rose Weaving  helped me with some 'finishing' questions.  Sometimes the books are just not clear.  Tlhanks Martha.

The scarf is 75 inches with the fringe.  That's long enough to wear any number of ways.  Here are two.

Hope you have a good day.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


My scarf finished drying today so I was able to iron it.  The scarf is so soft and light.  It doesn't feel like it's made from yarn at all.  There isn't any rhyme or reason to the pattern, I changed colors willy nilly.  I was in such a hurry to try out the loom that I didn't really put much thought into it.

I finished the mittens I started yesterday using the Coopworth yarn.  They were hard for me to photograph.  Without a model, they look a little strange but they really do fit well.

Now I can sit and relax and start reading the new weaving books that arrived today.

Hope you had a good day.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Two skeins

This first photo is of the Coopworth yarn I posted the other day while it was still on the spinning wheel.  Out of the 8 oz ball, I spun 260 yds of 2 ply yarn.  I had a little single ply so I knit the top swatch with that and the lower swatch is 2 ply.  My plan is to make a pair of mittens for myself.  It'll be interesting to see the color variations.

Hand dyed Coopworth

These next photos are from California Variegated Mutant (CVM) sheep.  It was a wonderful wool to spin and made the softest yarn.  The swatch that I knit from it is so soft and very springy.  Is that the word I want?  I'm trying to describe how when pulled in different directions the swatch would return to original shape.  Wonderful memory.  I bought a sampler of rovings from 24 different breeds of sheep from Woolgatherings Etsy shop.  Each roving is 1 ounce.  This skein is 32 yd., 2 ply.

California Variegated Mutant (CVA)


These were spun on my spinning wheel, not these drop spindles.  I'm trying to make the photos interesting.

My new Rigid Heddle Loom was delivered yesterday.  It took less than an hour to assemble and I couldn't wait to get started.  The booklet that came with the loom suggested weaving a scarf to begin with.  For practice, I grabbed some acrylic yarn left over from two other projects.  The table I have the loom sitting on is just barely wide enough.  My chair is not the right height so I ached all over until I remembered that I could put the loom in my lap and lean it against the edge of the table.  It was so much more comfortable to weave that way.

32 inch wide Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom

Years ago I a large 4 harness floor loom but this actually fits my lifestyle and space much better.  I love it.

Hope you had a good day.

Monday, December 3, 2012

You know I'm crazy, don't you?

Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook cover

I've got it in my mind that I need another long term project.  Recently I purchased The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook by Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius.  The book documents over 200 fibers from Animal to Spun Yarn.  It's an amazing resource.

And.....I want to spin every fiber in it.

Crazy huh?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What great yarn!

I purchased this 8 oz Hand Dyed Coopworth Wool Roving from Good Shepherd Fibers Etsy shop last week.

8 oz Hand Dyed, Coopworth Wool Roving, Crazy Ball

I started spinning it yesterday.  I'm used to 'fatter' rovings so it took me a little while to get the feel of it but it spun up to be a beautiful yarn.

Here it is still on the bobbin.

I'm going to leave the yarn on the bobbin overnight to help set the twist.  Tomorrow I'll wind it into skeins, wash it and hang it up to dry.

Hope you had a good day.