Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's the end of the warp as we know it...

(with apologies to REM)
That's as close to the end of the warp as I can get.  Therefore, the award ribbon warp is done!  I still have to cut off, wash, press, and trim the fringe....but the weaving is done.

And the afghan is done too:
I was going to do another I-cord border in black around the outside edge, but I don't think it will add anything to the finished piece and may even increase that slight tendency to curl at the corners.  So, I'm calling it done.



Thursday, January 19, 2012

High Roller...

Just finished a new pair of slippers, just in time for our first real cold snap:
The pattern is Duffers.  The yarn is Brown Sheep Lambspride from the stash.  The buttons are cute:
And the bottoms are also dicey:
I thought the dice buttons were particularly appropriate because felting to size can be a roll of the dice.  But these came out just fine after going through the wash cycle with a load of jeans and part of a dryer cycle.

I'm still doing the applied I-cord borders on the afghan (I'm kind of sick of knitting with black yarn).  And after repairing 3 broken warp threads today, I'm still weaving the award ribbons.  Would like to get those finished so I can try to weave something to submit to the show and have a chance at winning one of those ribbons.  

You know, it seems like 2012, might be rather productive. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Progress Report...

First it was going to be a Christmas present.  Then it was ripped out twice, first time because it was way too big.  The second time because I couldn't make the red/black  pieces fit within the gray/black pieces.  Finally, it is knitted and seamed together:
Ds's birthday was last Thursday so it became a birthday present.....a late birthday present.  I still want to do a double I-cord border, red then black.  Then I will call it finished and hand it over to ds.  The pattern used is here.  I wouldn't recommend doing it striped like this one, unless you are a masochist and it's not important that the piece be reversible.

Next on the progress list are the award ribbons.  Here's the pattern I'm using for the honorable mentions:
 Sorry about the shadows on the above two photo's.  It's a dark, dreary day in Michigan.

And here is the pattern for best of show ribbons:
The dimples on the lower end of the sample were where I had mounted the sample with a straight pin.

And below is a sample that I decided didn't fit into the scheme of award ribbons:
The weft is a hand dyed silk chainette yarn. It feels pretty cool...but the look leaves a bit to be desired.

There is some spinning too, but I'll save that for another post.


Sunday, January 08, 2012

Over the moon!!

If you follow Wanda Jenkins' blog, you know that she had a drawing for some of the wonderful fiber tools that Ed creates at Jenkins Woodworking as a way to celebrate her birthday on Dec. 26.  Well, my name was drawn for the bonus Aegean spindle which Ed generously added because of the popularity of that drawing.  Here it is:
It is beautiful, made of Big Leaf Maple, weighing in at 18 gr. and she spins like a perpetual motion machine!  Add to that the silver merino tencel top that Wanda packed along with the spindle...you know, just to get the spindle broken in...I am over the moon!  I'm not sure how one "dye's" silver top, you would have to contact Abstract Fiber to learn that.  But its appearance is really silvery metallic, not just gray.

This is my second Jenkins Turkish spindle.  Here the Aegean is with her sister, Turkish Delight in red heartwood:
The red heart spindle on the left is 25 gr. You can see that the arms on the red heart spindle have a little bit more mass, and a different distribution of mass.  If you look in the picture below, you can also see that the arms rest in different places on the spindle.
These differences in configuration, along with the 7 gr. weight difference really feel different in creating the yarn.  Both are amazing spindles, but you have to spin with them to understand what I'm trying to say.  Let's say the Turkish Delight is like driving a Mustang V8, and the Aegean is like driving a Porsche Carrera GT.

I've been using my Turkish Delight (despite her current nakedness!) to spin fine merino yarns that I plan to use as warp when plied as two ply.  When I flick the Aegean, I'm envisioning a fine two ply yarn for knitting lace.  Something close to gossamer weight that will hold the eyelets open in a lace pattern.  
I am totally delighted!  Thank you, Wanda and Ed!!

The cold virus is still with me, though somewhat less so.  I'm still working on weaving the award ribbons.  Third place in green is shown below:

More on that later.  
Be well!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Bleh...

After the previous post I came down with a cold....a nasty, nasty virus.  This is one "start that I do not mean to go on" in the coming year!

The whites of my eyes and the end of my nose look something like this:
Well, not the gold part, but the red spidery lines. 

These are the second place ribbons for the show.  The previous ones were for first place....the weft in those photos is orient blue, even though it looks black in the photo.

The next weft will be green for third place ribbons.  And I will probably switch the tie up to do just a straight plaited twill.  I haven't yet decided what weft and weave structure to use for the best of show ribbon.

The threading of this warp is an 8 harness double two tie unit weave which is pretty fascinating and versatile.  I put enough warp on the loom to allow me to weave some samples as Summer & Winter, Lace, and whatever other structures can be squeezed out of the threading.  That means I'll be under the loom changing tie-ups a few times.
 
Here's the long view.  I love weaving stuff like this.  Yet both my son and husband look over my shoulder and say "doesn't that hurt your eyes?"  Nope...it doesn't.  Just don't sit me down in front of a video game that simulates driving...that makes me sick.  But static lines that move...I love 'em!

Oh...and here's one of my birthday presents that some of you might be interested in:
It's a support spindle bowl from Heidi's Pottery, with a cute little dimple in the bottom for the spindle to settle into:
  see the dimple?
I love it, the spindle spins forever in it.  And I'm happy the ds looked around on Etsy for the just the right gift.

And that is all of the steam I have for now.  Back to crashing on the couch.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Start as you mean to go on....

Like many people, I ended the old year and began the new one by tying one on:
(A narrow warp of 20/2's rayon sett at 40 epi in a two tie unit weave.
These are for award ribbons for an upcoming fiber show.)

But as many people find in the process if "tying one on", the room began to spin:
 (In this case the spinning fiber is Persian cashmere top, 25 gr. of which has been hanging around in my stash for too long.)

Alas, the revelry can continue for only so long, then one must cross the bridge into the New Year:
 Happy New Year!!  
And may all your warps be golden.
 Onward in 2012!