Sunday, November 23, 2008

Slippery Slope (Getting sucked into the vortex that is weaving)

Wonder Weave U Tube Video

Just a short post to try to catch up on what I've been up to.

I have been flirting with the idea of another craft. Not like I have time for yet another activity but somehow it just feels like something I might enjoy. I'm thinking of trying a little bit of weaving and I imagine it's not big surprise to those of you who already enjoy weaving and for me, it just another excuse to play with fiber :-) Now I'm not talking about getting a floor loom mind you. Just a simple Rigid Heddle loom. So I've bought a few books on the subject thanks to "Sock Pron" who suggested which books to look at. I got, "Rigid Heddle Weaving" and "Textures and Patterns For The Rigid Heddle Loom" both by Betty Linn Davenport as well as a really old book "The Xenakis Technique For The Construction Of Four Harness Textiles" by Athanasios David Xenakis (this last is very advanced but a nice investment if I really get into weaving). I am waiting for a book on edge finishing for weaving as well. Books are never a waste for me and I like to know what I'm getting into before I commit. I have my eye on the Schacht Flip Rigid Heddle Loom but decided I needed to check out U Tube for any weaving videos just to get a look at people actually weaving. While surfing the tube, I saw this video on the Wonder Weave Loom and just had to give it a try since it mimics the process used in Rigid Heddle weaving. Got one for $2.00 on E-Bay though shipping was $10.00. It's fun and it really is very addicting :-) Silly I know, but I wanted to know if the process of actual weaving was going to put me to sleep or be something I would get caught-up into like spinning. I will let you all know what happens but I am really very tempted!

I have posted a few pictures of some very pretty stitch markers in copper that I got from Spindle Cat Studios. They are very tiny and they fit up to US 3 needles. I really find them charming and I like the little "keepers" that she makes to keep those stitch markers corralled as well. Though I generally use cheap plastic hair ties as markers, these were so attractive and well
made that I could not resist. The singles on my wheel are of some of the CVM I prepared with my mini-combs. When plied, it's a light taupe color and makes a bouncy, soft lace weight yarn. I'm still enjoying using my combs and since I have this week off, I can indulge myself as much as I want with my crafts. My version of Heaven! I will be working on all my knitting but wanted to give a few more shots of one of the shawls I'm working on. It's from "Knitted Lace of Estonia. Techniques, Patterns and Traditions" by Nancy Bush and is called "Crown Prince Square Shawl". I'm knitting it using US 3 needles and "Holding" a 100% baby alpaca lace weight yarn from "A Verb For Keeping Warm" in colorway "Twilight". I only was able to show the border on my previous post and I'm now working on the center. I love how this alpaca feels in my hands. It has a nice spring to it and the fuzziness fills in those big holes that are made with US 3 needles. The color is subtle but looks very nice in person. I'm half way through the center portion of the "Triinu Scarf" from the same book and have all my other projects to knit on. If I need more to do there is always the reading pile with lovely trash novels along with making stuffing and pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. Until my next post I hope everyone stays/gets well (Get Well Soon Fleegle!) and that you are all able to have a little fun before the end of the year!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Holiday Slow-Down (And yet I'm still knitting and spinning)

I now have my voice back and have returned to my spinning and knitting so Thank You to everyone who expressed concern over my condition. As the year comes to a close I may have some difficulty finding time to post as the Holidays will take up a lot of my time but I hope a few pictures of what I'm up to now will help. As you can see from the top shot, I got my copy of "Knitted Lace of Estonia" by Nancy Bush. If you want a look at the inside, here is the link for the preview of the book. It's a very nice book with assorted scarfs and a few shawls as well as good information about the techniques and traditions of this type of lace knitting. The patterns are well within reach of an intermediate lace knitter or an adventurous beginner knitter. Most of the projects use US 2-5 needles though you could go bigger if you wanted and it gave me an opportunity to look at some of the yarns I have that had no particular project in mind when I got them. The first shot is of the Trinnu Scarf that I'm knitting with US 3 needles. The yarn is from "Just Our Yarn" and is 100% Cashmere, 500 yards in "Myne". Though this yarn is very colorful, I think it looks pretty nice and it knits up quickly too. It gave me a chance to practice the 7 yarn over "Nupps" that this scarf requires. Mine are not very "pluffy" but they still look pretty nice. Next up, a few skeins of 100% silk lace weight from "A Verb For Keeping Warm" in colorway "Chocolate Cherries." I could not help myself though I have a very large lace weight stash. I have no idea what I will do with it, but that hardly matters at this point now does it. It would appear I have no will power when it comes to lace weight from "Verb" As the next shot is of the border of another shawl from "Knitted Lace of Estonia". It's the Crown Prince Square Shawl which I'm knitting on US 3 (it asks for US 4) using "Holding" from " A Verb For Keeping Warm" 100% Baby Alpaca Lace Weight yarn in colorway "Twilight". Shots of the yarn and skeins follow. It has good body when knit, a lovely subtle color and the alpaca has a nice halo as well. This shawl is on the cover of the book knit in white, but you all know that I was not going there! Next I have a shot of a type of tatting shuttle. I had never tried this type before and got it on E-Bay. It's made of giraffe bone and malachite. It's a little awkward for me to use but I just wanted to try one out in this style. Below that I have some pre-washed Moorit Shetland Fleece that I got on Etsy from skippysmom. She was really accommodating even after the first 2 pounds of fleece she washed for me were found by her chickens and used for nesting material! I don't mind competing with people for my fiber but I refuse to wrestle chickens! She washed me up 2 more pounds and the locks are long and lovely. I will be spending a lot of the winter spinning and I'm still loving my mini combs for fiber prep :-) Lastly, I have been spinning and plying the Rambouillet from Sue Givens at Wind River Woolen and I only have a small handful left. She has a small farm in Wyoming where she raises not only the Rambouillet but Churro as well. This fiber was such a joy to spin that I have bought a white fleece as well which I will be washing up in spite of the cold of Winter when I have a vacation day. Unlike some of my other spinning, I washed this yarn so that the crimpy fibers could show off. I love how this yarn came out and I really have to think what to do with it. It has great body and might look really good with the textured stitches of a Niebling

PROJECT UPDATE- I have to say that I have finally frogged the Shetland Tea Shawl. I started it in 2005 and never finished it. I have given away the yarn since I know I will never knit with it again. I just did not "feel the love" for it and I just couldn't stand having it lay around any longer. That leaves only the Wedding Ring Shawl as a hibernating project. I just can't admit defeat on that on yet. I am on row 121 of Goldregen (it goes to 227) and have bought a new pattern by Sharon Winsauer called "Dragon of Happiness" . My niece has decided she likes this dragon better than the triangular shawl that Sharon designed.I will be casting on with black Cashmere from ColourMartUK since my niece is kid of a "goth light" girl. That's all the news that's fit to print for now. I hope all of you enjoy the end of the last few months of they year and STAY HEALTHY!