Tuesday, November 29, 2011

And miles to go....

Here's Christmas gift I'm working on:
It's an afghan for ds's family room.  The pattern is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Garter Stitch Blanket (Ravelry link).  I have a lot more knitting to do in the black and gray.  Here's another view:
Because I'm using a worsted weight yarn, I increased the number of stitches to 48 for the garter strips.  Turns out that EZ named this appropriately.  It really will be more of a blanket than an afghan.  But I think it will look nice with his black leather furniture. And I'm hoping it will be cozy for reading, tv, and video gaming this winter.  

In addition to increasing the number of stitches, I've added an I-cord border.  That means I'll be doing miles of black I-cord once the two larger gray and black pieces are complete and the 4 pieces are sewn together.  Do you think I can make a Christmas deadline?

Also, the handspun warp is wound onto the back beam and ready for heddle threading:
So far, this handspun warp has gone more smoothly than I thought possible.  Just wound the warp straight from the plying bobbin.  Let's hope the threading, tie-on and weaving go as easily.  At this point I think it will just be woven in plain weave in order to show off the handspun.  Weft will be a 2 ply raw silk mill end in a peacock/teal sort of color.

Plenty of stuff for me to work on here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

More spinning....

Freshly plied handspun, hand-dyed, pumpkin orange merino from the turkish spindle:
This is about .8 oz or 22 gr. of 2 ply yarn.  I haven't wet finished it yet.  There's about 210 yds. there and I'm spinning more on the spindle.
I'm thinking the the orange and the quiviut are looking pretty happy together.  For now they are stored side by side while the rest of the orange is being spun up.

It just started raining outside.  Of course it is, I just spent the last two days washing windows.  Just finished up and came in about an hour ago.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The thing I lke best...

about the day after Thanksgiving is that no one around here will ask, "What's for dinner?"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Finish or start...whatever...

This is ~ 2 oz. of freshly washed handspun quiviut that I finished plying last night:
It's about 250 yds. of two ply spun with a woolen draft from the batt.  While I was spinning it, I flipped back and forth in my plans.  Maybe it would be knit into a nice lace scarf, then again maybe it would be weft in a handwoven scarf.  I still don't know.  If I knit it, I will probably dye it, perhaps a blue over-dye.  If I weave with it then it should probably stay natural and be the weft on a warp made of handspun natural colored BFL/Silk (which has yet to be spun.).  Here they are together:
Whoops..that picture clinched it.  Woven it will be.  Must spin the BFL/silk!


Also this fresh off the warping board:
This is also a BFL/silk blend spun from hand dyed top from Black Bunny Fibers.  It is also a two ply, spun worsted at about 26 wpi.  The warp was wound right off the bobbin without wet finishing.  I'm not sure what the weft will be yet, but you can see there's still quite a bit of yarn on the bobbin, so it might be that.  This will also be (what else?) a scarf.

And so the plight of the handspinner.  Finishing a spinning project does not mean you are finished.  It means the start of something else....knitting, weaving....or whatever else one does to transform yarn into fabric.
I have my work cut out for me.  Hmmph, that's a sewing term.  (There's some sewing waiting in the wings around here too.  That will be another post....some day.)  
A fiberist's work is never done.

Wishing all you readers a peace filled day on Thursday, whether you are in a place which celebrates Thanksgiving or not.  Namaste!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Painted Warps....

This is finally off the loom and finish work done:
The warp is bamboo, Aunt Lydia's Bamboo Crochet Thread.  Which by the way, takes fiber reactive dye very well.  The weft is a Web's 20/2's silk in Orient Blue (purchase on sale).  The sett was 18 epi.  The weave structure is two block 8 shaft false damask (or twill damask).

Here's the obligatory "on my back fence" shot:
On loom the width of the web was 14.25" and the length was 72" (excluding fringe).
Off loom width was 13 7/8" and 70" length.  Finished dimensions: 11 3/8" x 68".

There are 5 warp chains in the piece: 3 painted warps and 2 narrower chains vat dyed in apple green.  I wanted something that was plaid-like, but not so structured.  So I "unvented" this little design tool to give me a rhythmic sort of plaid look:

Knowing the value of using the fibonacci sequence in designing stripes, why not use that concept for weaving blocks?  So I took a dollar store 6 sided die and wrote an 8 on the 4 side and a 13 on the 6 side.  That way the six sided die had the first 6 fibonacci numbers on it: 1,2,3,5,8,13.  I decided on the size of the 1's unit based on a threading unit of the draft (16 threads = 16 picks), then I would roll the die and weave the number of units in block A.  The next roll of the die would be woven for that number of units in block B.  I'm really happy with the results.  
And it looks good with my new jacket:

What would I do differently?  Well, maybe I should have used some of the blue weft threads in the fringe to tone them down a little bit and help them coordinate with the fabric. 

Since the Sara Lamb workshop, I'm on a roll.  Here's the next painted warp and accompanying threads:
The painted warp is a silk/cotton mill end.  The accompanying yarns are rayon.  I'm going to tackle designing this in the reed and threading front to back.  So it may be awhile before you see this actually on the loom.  

Well that, and I have another deadline project to weave in the next few weeks.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Off Topic...

I read this headline:

Then I remembered the last time God spoke to Cain.....go take a look at Chapter 4 in Genesis.

Just sayin'.....

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

'Nother One Done

Here's the latest prayer shawl, hot off the needles:
Ravelry project details here.