Monday, February 25, 2013

High Fiber—Sleying the Mighty Reed And Other Adventures

Wednesday, Deanna, my weaving teacher, came to my house to help me set up my loom and give me a lesson.
Here she is showing me how she picks up four separate threads in order as they come out of the heddles and keeps them straight as she threads them through the dents in the reed, (sleying the reed). The reed is to the left in the photo. It holds all of the warp threads in order. It was a great class, and she had me weaving by the time she left. She showed me what to do, then had me do it while she critiqued my efforts. She's much faster than I am, so she did some of it for me.
 The only part I find tedious is winding the bobbins, but DH rigged up his power drill with a dowel so I could use it to wind bobbins. 
I finished my practice piece Thursday night and took it off the loom. It will make a nice towel, I think. I was going to use the same warp to continue weaving, but I thought I might try rewarping the 15 outer threads for plainweave (aka "dobby"), so I took them out of the heddles and inserted them in heddles 1 and 2, alternating. I was fine until I got done with the plainweave border. When I started on the pattern, I saw that I would be weaving only in the middle, and the 15 sts on each side wouldn't get woven at all. So, I took out my weaving and rewarped those sts again, only this time putting them through 1 and 3, and 2 and 4, alternatively. Started over! Plainweave which required only treadles 1 and 2, was gorgeous. Then when I got to the pattern, treadles 3 and 4 wouldn't lift without lifting the other partly, so the shed (space where the shuttle is supposed to go had threads in it. Joanie was visiting me. We couldn't figure out why it wasn't working. After a call to my teacher and finally to my friend Karan, also a weaver, we learned that some warping patterns don't allow for plainweave on the side edges. I had to rewarp those 15 sts on each side again, putting them back where they were. Yikes! Well, now I know a lot more about warping, and I'm pretty warped myself, but here's what I was able to do:
This was Joanie's warp, and she had given me the yarn she had left over from the project as well. After finishing Joanie's yarn, I cut that piece off and reattached the warp, because there was plenty of it left. I started this piece:
The pattern is the same, because I was using the same warping design and treadle order. The weft is Slalom Homebred for Aran Knitting Jacob's Wool from T. Forsell & Son Ltd. in England. It's a natural, medium-brown heather. I inherited it from my MIL, who was using it to make an afghan. I have plenty, but it may be even older than Joanie's warp thread. I managed to get about 40" out of the warp that was left. It should make a nice lap blanket. The warp is cotton, I think. Actual weaving is pretty easy; it's the warping that can be complicated. Other than my excursion into the world of warping on my own yesterday (LOL!), this part was already done by Joanie.
After I cut it off the loom, it looked like this:
I still need to finish the edges. I'm going to have fringe on the ends and maybe finish the selvage edges somehow. The lace-type pattern draws in at the edges, making it look a little uneven. When I finish it, I'll still have to block it.
Common Threads met on Thursday. Lone showed off her felted flowers to Margareth and explained how she made them.
I was working on my Delectable Pathways appliqué, so Karan brought out some appliqué blocks she has been working on. Here are two of them:
We talked about weaving, too, because several members of the group are weavers or are learning to weave. Karan took a class that teaches students to make pictures. She's working on this:
It was a very busy week, because the pups had their monthly grooming appointment. Sunny and I went to the nursing home in Salt Lake City, which always means some running of errands that can only be done there. Then the lesson, followed by a play in Salt Lake. (I took the Christmas Waffle Cardi to work on in the car and in the theater, try to catch up to where I was when I ripped it out. I had to frog the yoke because the shoulders were too tight.) Then came Common Threads, then weaving at home and a visit from Joanie.
I'm trying to do a lot of weaving right now while it's all fresh in my mind. If I forget what I've learned, I will be really beweft!
What's on my loom: Warped for a scarf using Knit Picks Essential (now called Stroll) sock yarn in "Gold Kettle Hand-dyed" and Chroma Fingering in "New England" (no longer available). Weaving is a great stash buster! Whoo-hoo!
What's on my Featherweight: Still the Delectable Pathways blocks
What's on my wheel: Still the Full Circle Roving in "Pigeon."
What's on my iPad: Listening to the Weavecast podcast, and The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaimie Ford from Just finished The Litigators by John Grisham on CD from the library.
What's my app of the week: Audible's new app for the iPad! (I've been using the app for iPhone.)
What's in my wine glass: Amberhill Secret Blend Red Wine, Vintage 2010. I've mentioned this wine before. It's an excellent wine at a very good price. Not as inexpensive as Two-buck Chuck, but still a good deal. DH found it in our State Liquor Store for $3 off!

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook, using the iPad for photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Monday, February 18, 2013

High Fiber—Back on My Rocker and Weaving Looming Large!

We picked up my new loom on Wednesday and set it up in the living room until spring.
Joanie's son, Mike, helped take it partially apart, so he came along to help put it back together.
We offered the directions, but when Mike found out there was no diagram, he said, "No, thanks!" DH came along to help with the lifting, tying the loom on the bed of our pickup and to drive. He also helped with the reconstruction at our house. (It's his gift to me for my 70th birthday, after all!)
A weaving teacher is coming next Wednesday to help me get it set up and to give me a lesson using my own loom. My thanks, not only to Joanie, Mike and my DH, but also to Karan and Margareth from Common Threads, who finished off Joanie's final weaving project and took it off the loom!

Thursday, Vintage Stitchers met at Janet's house. We had no new snow, so most of the Salt Lake ladies made it. For show-and-tell, Janet showed us her charity quilt. She used some fabrics Rebecca gave away awhile back.
Brenda had this Crab Shack quilt to show off:
Barbara's made this Car Quilt for one of her grandsons:
Barbara's other grandson will be getting this Dinosaur Train Quilt:
Here's the back of the Dinosaur Train quilt:
We had Valentine's Day on Thursday as well. I thought you should enjoy this Valentine Hart. (Her last name really is "Hart.")
Joanie and I had a good time at the antique fair on Saturday in Ogden. It was a bit of a challenge with her O2 and wheelchair, but we managed OK. She got a couple of great framed pictures, some strawberry baskets (to use for Easter baskets) and a green plant stand with a plant for behind the loveseat she has moved to where her (MY) loom used to be. We each got a bottle of Howard Feed-n-Wax, which is what she recommended for the loom, although it can be used on other furniture as well. My big purchase was a small, mission-style rocking chair. It isn't child-size, but not as big as most adult chairs. It's exactly the right size for me. I sat in it a couple of times before I bought it. It was so comfortable. I've been missing my Boston rocker, which I gave up for Daphne nearly three years ago.
Rocky loves it. He used to climb in my lap when I was sitting in the Boston Rocker, and if I didn't rock, he would start moving his upper body back and forth to indicate I should rock him. Maybe he thinks it's called a "Rocky chair." It should be a good height for knitting and quilting. Maybe even for spinning, if Rocky doesn't insist on claiming my lap every time I sit down. I guess you could say I am no longer "off my rocker." Neither is Rocky.
We ended up Saturday's excursion at Ogden's Needlepoint Joint, as usual. She picked up some Eucalan wool wash and I landed a DVD, Madelyn van der Hoogt's "Weaving Well." She's the one who did the DVD on warping the loom I bought and have already watched. I'm hoping that by watching this new DVD, I will save some time on Wednesday when I have my private lesson and maybe learn more.

What's on my needles: Christmas Waffle Cardi (starting the neck), Dogwood Blossoms.
What's on my loom: We shall see! So far, just the old warp threads left over from Joanie's last project.
What's on my wheel: Still the Full Circle Roving in Pigeon.
What's on my Featherweight: Still the "Delectable Pathways" designed by Mary Sorensen. Almost half done with the delectable mountain blocks, and the appliqué is started again (but not on the machine).
What's on my iPad: D. E. Stevenson's Emily Dennistoun, various podcasts while knitting or spinning. I'm listening to John Grisham's The Litigators on my MacBook while quilting.
What's my app of the week: Oscars. DS2, AKA "Soren's Daddy," worked on "ParaNorman." It's nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at this year's Academy Awards.
What's in my wine glass: Charles Shaw (Two-buck Chuck) Shiraz. One of my favorites!

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook, using the iPad for photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Monday, February 11, 2013

High Fiber—Many Kinds of Fiber Fun!

This week I decided to work on my "Delectable Pathways" quilt for a bit.
The quilt was designed by Mary Sorensen, and I started it several years ago. Then the babies started coming...but that's another story.
I recently found another quilt I want to make, and that one might be best made using paper foundations, so I thought I would practice my paper piecing techniques on this quilt that has been hibernating. This is what the finished quilt should look like. Sort of...well, my fabrics are different, and my background fabrics are various shades of pumpkin, as you can see in the first panel of appliqué:
The pattern may be purchased here.

I now have 12 of the delectable mountain blocks (the pointy blocks in the first photo) finished. It's going faster, so I think I'll be ready for the new quilt when I finish this one. Wondering about the quilt that inspired me to finish this one? I was looking at some of my recent quilting magazines and came across the "Pine Burr Made Modern" in the May/June 2012 issue of McCall's Quilting. I'm not crazy about the fabrics, so maybe mine will be "Pine Burr Made Antique." 

Common Threads met at my house on Thursday. Margareth was finishing up this doll skirt...
...and this sweater to go with it. 
Both are for a friend's daughter, who has an American Girl doll. I discovered that Ravelry has an American Girl Knitters group, so I joined it. I will be making more doll clothes for Daphne. Maybe Margareth will join, too!

Janet has started her Dogwood Blossoms sweater. Here's her first sleeve:
She purchased the green colorway back when the pattern first became available. True to form, she has substituted a slightly different green in hers. (Janet and I each have a tremendous stash of Palette! We just can't seem to get enough of it!)
Lynda is working on the body of her Dogwood Blossoms sweater now. She says it's so much easier than the sleeves. She suggested that everyone who hasn't started yet should start with the body, and those who have started should stop the sleeve when they have gauge (sleeves make great swatches) and start the body. She also suggested that if you're using two circs for the body, you should start out with one circ and switch to two after you have an inch or so of ribbing done. She had to start over twice because she twisted the sts when she put it down. You still have to be careful with one circ, but it's easier to keep the sts straight without the extra two needle tips flopping around.

Karan's hat is finished. She knitted a lining inside the part that goes around the head and ears for extra warmth, using acrylic yarn to prevent itching.
Georgette brought her scarf from the silk scarf dyeing class with our friend Susan:
The scarves were dyed using silk ties.

Before I started working on my quilt, I finished up this bed skirt I've been planning for a couple of years. The fabric is sewn to a flat sheet and placed over the box spring.
Not my favorite kind of sewing project, and I was so nervous I would make a mistake, but it turned out OK, and it hides the boxes under the bed.

We have hardly managed to get out of the house this week, but Thursday afternoon, Sunny and I went to the University of Utah School of Social Work to help with a class a couple of Therapy Animals of Utah members are teaching in animal-assisted therapy. I talked to the class for a couple of minutes about visiting the nursing home with Sunny, and Sunny visited with each of the students. Sunny attracted a lot of attention at the university, of course. These two young women work in the office at the School of Social Work:

I haven't forgotten DH's Christmas Waffle Cardi! It's coming along. I'm on the raglan decreases. I have it on one l-o-n-g circular needle. It's like working on an afghan!

Here's a closeup of the raglan decreases:

The waste yarn is wrapped around the "K1" in the "K2tog, K1, SSK." It makes three K sts together, a detail I decided would work the best.
I managed to get a little spinning in. We're picking up the loom on Wednesday, unless snow prevents us, so I should have lots more uses for the products from my wheel soon.
What's on my needles: Dogwood Blossoms Cardigan, Christmas Waffle Cardigan.
What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving in "Pigeon."
What's on my iPad: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Very interesting book. There are some passages that aren't really suitable for vegetarians or animal lovers, and life anywhere during wartime isn't often fun, but it's a great book and hard to put down. It really gives a close look at what life was like for the people who remained on the Channel Islands during WWII. It's told through letters between the principal characters.
What's my app of the week: I had to reset my iPad to get it to download new apps or update the ones I have. It worked, so itt was some kind of glitch, I guess. Anyway, I'm up and running again. I'm torn between the Audible app and the QuiltCalc app for this week. I've been listening to more audiobooks since the holidays, but the QuiltCalc app is really handy to figure out how much fabric you have to buy for your quilt. Good thing I don't have to choose!
What's in my wine glass: Foxhorn Vinyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2010. "It's so Aussie!" Nice, BIG bottle!

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook, using the iPad for photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

Monday, February 4, 2013

High Fiber--Seams About Right!

The quilting bug has hit me again:
I just finished this quilt top which will be a topper for our little table in the living room. The quilt contains several fabrics I received for Christmas along with some I bought when I visited DS1 and DDIL1 in Kokomo last year.
The sewing "fit" followed a session during which I made curtains for the laundry room window, a skirt for the laundry sink, and curtains to cover the pipes and tubes behind the washer and dryer. I still need to paint the room and tidy up.
Too bad I don't have a wide-angle lens. The other side of the room doesn't show. But then, I would have had to tidy it up some.
We had a special meeting of Common Threads on Thursday, which was the fifth Thursday of the month. The purpose was to start or work on our Dogwood Blossoms sweaters. Several people have started their sweaters or have made some progress. The more timid in our group soaked up the encouragement. One person is learning to knit Continental style, so she can knit with two hands for the two colors. Everyone was invited, whether they had the Dogwood Blossoms kit or not. People brought whatever they were working on. Karan's working on this hat:

Janet had several quilts for show-and-tell. She makes these for people who need a quilted hug, usually because of illness. 

She made this one using fabrics donated by a mutual friend. The one below was made from fabrics she had in her stash for some time.
This one should sheer up someone!
Joanie was wearing the shawlette she was working on two weeks ago:

DH and I celebrated Groundhog Day by taking a hike with the pups.

They really wanted him to throw the ball! I took one "posed" photo, but Sunny was camera shy.

Common Threads meets again next week. We're going to try to use each meeting to help each other with the Dogwood Blossoms sweaters.

What's on my needles: Christmas Waffle Cardi, Dogwood Blossoms. 
What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving in "Pigeon," at work on it again.
What's on my iPad: D. E. Stevenson's The Fair Miss Fortune from Audible. Nice story, very funny. Also reading the eBook Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. Again. I got interested in it again after a question on Facebook about favorite Austen novels. I'm also getting caught up on my podcasts.
What's in my wine glass: Crane Lake Malbec, vintage 2011. Very nice value, lovely wine.

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook, using the iPad for photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.