Monday, April 15, 2013

High Fiber—Back in the Harnesses!

Common Threads met on Thursday. Brenda has two new grandchildren coming. This quilt is for the boy:
And here's the back:

Barbara was sewing binding on a new quilt:

Julie's working on a cross stitch for her bird-watching MIL:

I took the charity quilt to work on. I'm still sewing the binding on.

In knitting news, I've finished the knitting on the chemo hat:

I'm blocking it now. The pattern is the "Not-Just-For-Chemo Reversible Cloche" by Mary Keenan. Yarn: Lion Brand Superwash Merino Cashmere in Charcoal Heather.

The back of Daphne's Bunny Suit pullover is finished, and I'm starting on the front.
I'm getting a lot of weaving done. [Warning! This description contains a lot of weaving jargon!] Monday I sleyed the reed for another scarf. This went more smoothly. I'm grateful to Margareth for telling me about using a C-clamp to make your reed stand up, so you can sit at the table to sley it. 

For warp, I'm using Imagination Sock Yarn in "Evil Stepmother" and a tiny bit of "Damsel" I had leftover from DGD1's Hooray for Me Gloves several years ago.

This time I'm using crochet cotton along with the first and last ends to protect the selvedge. I sleyed the crochet cotton along with the end at each selvedge. I've found that the crochet cotton stretches and doesn't lie flat after I've been weaving for a while, so I weighted them behind the heddles using the pups' old nylon collars.
 A "dent" is a slot in the reed. Here's the reed installed in the beater bar with the ends sleyed one in each dent, except two in each dent at the selvedges, one sock yarn end and one white crochet cotton.

In this photo, the reed is the dark area in the upper left-hand corner, and you can just see the warp coming out of it, in this case, one end per dent, although you can sley two or more ends in one dent. 
The warp goes through the reed, then the heddles, which are hanging in the harnesses, and finally wraps around the warp beam in the back of the loom:

For weft, which is the yarn you weave with, I'm using Palette in "Majestic," "Aster," "Lady Slipper," "Rouge" and "Edamame."

There was another weaving mishap with this project (always something new). When I finished warping, I discovered one end that didn't get tied to anything at the warp side of the loom. I looked and with no glasses (which were getting new lenses and came the next day), I didn't see any empty dents, so I just pulled it out and went, "Oh, well, I guess I'll have 159 instead of 160." I was weaving away and noticed that there was one really thick vertical streak going through the weaving. I looked closely with good light and realized there were two ends being knitted together. You can do that, but that wasn't my plan, and in this case, it didn't look right. First I thought I'd just pull one out, but I thought I should investigate the heddles. The two ends were both threaded into the second harness, although separate heddles, so of course, they were getting lifted together. I was thinking about taking out the warp from the back of the loom and moving all the ends, threading them into new heddles, when I thought to have another look at the reed. Voila! I had an empty dent between these two ends. That was where that extra end came from. Fortunately, I hadn't thrown it away, slovenly person that I am, and I was able to use a needle to run it up through the weaving between the two ends that were snuggled up together, and reattach. I picked out some of what I had woven, but between the Imagination and the Palette, they just didn't want to let go. I'm going to have about 1 1/2" of waste, assuming I can undo it when it's off the loom and get the extra weft out and use the extra warp for fringe. Yikes! I'm back on track, though, and each end is being woven separately, as planned. There's a lot to learn, but it's fun!
Here's my progress, about 42" long now:

I've decided I like the touch of Edamame along with the pinks and purples.

Wednesday Lynda came over to spin with me. When we planned this, we thought the weather was finally warming up and we might be able to spin out on the deck. Ha! Well, we did our spinning inside, and I got some more of the Full Circle "Fawn" spun up. It's going very slowly, though, because I'm working on getting my singles as thin and even as possible. I'm inspired to get more spinning done now, because I have plans for my Full Circle Roving yarn, once it's all spun up. I have all of the colors, and just bought more (on sale until May 1st). I'm going to use them all in a woven blanket.

Anyway, while Lynda was here, I had her look at the llama fleece (from three animals) a friend gave me. This friend doesn't spin, weave or knit, but she keeps the llamas as pets. The shearing wasn't done with any regard to keeping the fiber nice at all. Lynda thinks we should be able to get about half of it as useable fiber, once we remove the guard hairs, vegetable matter, dirt and short cuts. I'll try to get photos when we do that. She's going to help me process it, and we'll split the fiber.

There's a lot to do this coming week! Busy, busy!

What's on my needles: 
Daphne's Bunny Suit, back done, and Dogwood Blossoms. Ready to CO for Christmas Waffle Sweater, Part Deux.

What's on my loom: The "Evil Stepmother" scarf.

What's on my iPad: Still listening to another Audible audiobook, Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear, and various podcasts, including Seyne Mitchell's Weavecast and Benjamin Levisay's Fiber Hooligan podcast, new episode available today.

What's on my wheel: Full Circle Roving in "Fawn." Making progress.

What's on my Featherweight: Delectable Pathways, some progress this week, and more of the hand work done on the binding of the charity quilt.

What's in my wine glass: Foxhorn Vinyards Merlot. Very nice!

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.

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