Tuesday, August 31, 2010


After a bit of general information and theory at the start of Monday’s class, Tom got all of us sitting in front of a counterbalance floor loom, and we started weaving. Here’s what I made:

Four dishtowels!

I started at the bottom of that strip, with the green towel. You can see where I started out beating the ever-living crap out of the towel following each shot, and where I was when Tom came by and told me to chill out and not beat so hard.


The pattern was to knit a hem, then not quite 3” of tabby (plain weave), five repeats of our twill pattern (my loom was threaded for the “Star of Bethlehem” pattern), then 1.5” of tabby, four rows of twill, lather, rinse repeat to make it symmetrical.

My second color was chosen because I liked my classmate Misty’s first towel.


Each towel is about 24” long. They’re woven with unmercerized cotton. 10/2 in the warp, 8/2 in the weft.


My final towel was done with a dark purple. So dark it looks navy blue.


I decided that I was bored with the basic pattern, so I started messing with my twill set-up.


At this point, we’d been working on the twill samplers enough (the purple thing I showed you yesterday) that I understood that the pattern wouldn’t really emerge unless I reversed direction every so often. So instead of treadling 1, 2, 3, 4 over and over, I tried various combinations of 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1.


I’m just about certain that twill dishtowels are going to be the next project on the loom. I just need to decide how long of a warp I want to measure out (i.e. how many towels I want to weave at a time) and what twill pattern to thread for. I’m still pondering my options, but I’ll bet I have it figured out by the time I get home from my Labor Day Weekend trip to The Lake.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Twill Sampler

I was planning to show all of you my class projects in the order in which they were started. But then I decided I wanted a bit of finishing advice on this particular one, so it’s gonna jump in line. Ready?

When Teacher Tom presented this sampler, our second project, we were all given the option to weave either a table runner, with fringe on both ends, or a wall hanging. I have a spot on the landing of my stairs that is essentially the first thing you see when you walk into my house. I have quilts that hang there for Halloween, fall, Christmas and winter that I love. But as soon as snowflakes are no longer appropriate, I have to put something up there that I hate.

Which is why I picked the wall hanging. Everyone else picked the table runner. Dare to be different.


After doing enough tabby (plain weave) to create a hem that was hand-stitched down on the back. We got into our first section of pattern. No, I don’t know the names of any of these patterns. Someday …


We then put in four rows of brown, in pattern (and yes, that’s the identical brown in the vertical/warp lines and in the horizontal/weft lines), then onward to the next 4” chunk of pattern.


Next up was learning how to put in a floating selvedge (a very useful trick). No, you can’t see it. Just trust me that it’s in there and it makes life easier.


And, finally, we learned a technique called overshot.


See how the pattern is really elongated? That’s done by throwing the main weft (purple) through the same shed (pattern of raised and lowered warp threads) more than once. With something in between to make it not pull itself out. Yeah, I know that didn't really make much sense. Just trust me. It works.

Anyhoo, my question is about the very bottom of the sampler. See in the top photo how the fringe is reeeeeeeeeeeally long? I wanted to give myself the option to do a twisted fringe, like this:


Or should I just chop the fringe down to maybe 3-4” and leave it “natural.” Lemme know what you think!


Class Twill Sampler

Warp: 3/2 Perle Cotton (natural with brown as dividers)
Weft: 3/2 Perle Cotton (purple with brown as dividers)
Tabby Weft: 10/2 Perle Cotton (natural) – this is for the overshot section
Sett: 15 EPI
Started: 24 August 2010, Beginning Weaving Week, The Mannings
Finished: 27 August 2010, Beginning Weaving Week, The Mannings

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Mannings


I’ll start with the bottom line. What a fantastic week. I would absolutely, positively, 100% recommend Beginning Weaving Week at The Mannings to anyone with an interest in learning how to weave. Tom is a fantastic teacher with the patience of a saint. I arrived at class a little worried about whether or not buying the loom had been a good idea. I left confident in my ability to warp that very same loom and get weaving.

Last Sunday, I met my mother in Cranberry to start our drive to The Mannings. As we went along, we realized we’d be driving right through Gettysburg. I’d never been, so we stopped briefly. One day, I’ll brush up on my Civil War reading and go back for a real visit.

But there was one place I absolutely had to stop while we were at Gettysburg.

RT, meet George Sears Greene!

That’s Gen. George Sears Greene, atop Culp’s Hill. Why did I make a point of visiting that particular statue in a gigantic battlefield with thousands of memorial statues? General Greene’s great great grandson was best man at my wedding!

Meanwhile, back to weaving, the theme of last week.


Class started on Monday and after just a bit of theory, we were all weaving away, on the far set of looms in the above picture. Oh, and yes, that’s corn straight out the window. Ground level is just a few inches below those windows in the back of the Loom House.

Within a few hours, RT was admiring two of the four dishtowels I completed over the course of the week.


By Tuesday, we had started on our twill samplers. I knew exactly where I wanted the finished project to land in my house, which meant I was the only person in our class doing a wall hanging instead of a table runner.


We picked yarns for our scarf projects on Wednesday (I picked two sock yarns. Go figure.) and warped our looms. Tom and his daughter Sara did their best to make sure all of us were working on a loom as close as possible to either what we already owned or what that person was considering purchasing. I was on an eight-harness Schacht loom that (hopefully) prepared me to warp my own loom.

We started weaving our scarf projects on Thursday. That wound up being my latest night, since both the dishtowels and scarves had to be ready to cut off the looms first thing Friday morning. Here’s my scarf:


I’ll show you my finished projects over the next few days. But I’ll tell you one thing. I’ll be going back and taking classes at The Mannings again.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sweater Success

As I’m sure you’ve been able to tell, this summer has seen me on a massive sweater-knitting kick. The latest masterpiece off of my needles required no finishing, which is why it’s actually … you know … finished. Meet the Mondo Cable Pulli!

Thanks again to Michelle for letting me use the store’s mannequin for the bulk of my FO-tos!

This sweater is extremely similar to the Mondo Cable Vest that I finished up last October. Same cable pattern, same neckline. Since it’s a traditional raglan, it doesn’t need some of the mental gymnastics that make the vest so remarkable.


As with any top-down raglan, it feels like the yoke takes forever. But once I split for the sleeves, I was off to the races!

The round is joined with the first cable cross.


And the back of the neck is finished by picking up stitches from right shoulder, across the back to left shoulder and through the ribbing for the left front. It’s a pretty ingenious way to get a nice finished neckline with essentially no finishing.


The Fibre Company Terra was a very forgiving yarn in the few spots that required picking up, and it steam-blocked beautifully. You may have noticed that it’s tough to see the raglan lines on this sweater, but it’s also nearly impossible to see where I picked up stitches to complete the neckline.


The sleeves and bottom hemline are finished with a 5x1 ribbing on a one-size-smaller needle. Like on my vest, it doesn’t do a whole lot to counteract the stockingette roll, but I didn’t feel like modifying to change it. I bound off both cuffs and the torso of the sweater using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.


I find it to be a very flattering look both on Hannah, the store’s mannequin.


And on me!


I’m sure it will get tons of wear once it’s cold enough to actually wear an alpaca/merino/silk blend for more than five minutes at a time!

Mondo Cable Pulli

Pattern: Mondo Cable Pulli by Chic Knits/Bonnie Marie Burns
Yarn: The Fibre Company Terra
Color: Wild Clary
Yardage: 11 skeins (1,100 yards … 500 less than I planned for!)
Needles: US 10/6.0mm Addi Turbos (fixed) and US 9/5.5mm Addi Turbos
Started: 26 July 2010
Finished: 17 August 2010
Mods: None. Another triumph from Chic Knits!

And with that, dear readers, I say good-bye for up to a week. Mom and I are headed to The Mannings for a week-long weaving camp that begins Monday. I'm taking my laptop but am not anticipating having internet access available while I'm gone. I'm quite certain I'll have plenty to yammer on about when I get back. Have a great week!

Friday, August 20, 2010

YPF: Orphan Adoption

So Bloomin’ Yarns got its very first Madelinetosh shipment in on Friday. Three colorways jumped out the door instantly, leaving two orphans behind. I really liked one of them and we had something nice that matched.

Logwood is a nice lavender that matches the orphan perfectly. I remembered seeing Stephen West’s Daybreak Shawl done in Tosh DK, so I was off to the races. I’m going to finish with the Logwood …


And I’m starting with my orphan, Lichen






My Daybreak is already in progress and is flying right along. Coming soon to a WiP Wednesday near you!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WiP Wednesday: Snoozefest

I’ve been a one-project girl this week. Next time you see this Mondo Pulli, it will have all of its ends woven in, and will be modeled on a human. And yeah, it’s finished other than end-weaving. Which is why it’s inside-out.


I did cruise through a few stockingette rounds on the Musique socks the other night. I’m sure they’ll get a little more air time in the coming week.


Otherwise, gratuitous puppy picture:


Sydney really didn’t want to be photogenic today, so this is what you get.

And, all the stonework is finished and it looks fantastic. Front walk:


The repointing on the house is done too. Unless you’re really looking closely and trying to distinguish the old mortar from the new, you can’t tell where the new stuff is. Oh, the new stuff is smooth. The original mortar has larger sand particles


So that’s about it at casa DPUTiger. Not very exciting, but it’s the best I’ve got. Have a great week!

Friday, August 13, 2010

YPF: Deep Stash

It’s amazing what you can find when you’re a slob, like me, and you do some de-cluttering.

Before vacation, I tackled my knitting baskets in the TV room. The ones just off my left elbow while sitting on the couch in my primary at-home knitting spot. There was a great big surprise at the bottom of one of the two baskets. This:


It’s 1,200 yards of Schaefer Laurel, a 100% mercersized pima cotton. 400 yards and 8 oz per skein with a 4-5 sts/inch suggested gauge. In the “Empress Wu Zhao” colorway. It was one of my very last purchases at the wonderful Beach Knitting, my left coast knitting home, before moving back east. Which means it's been sitting right there for at least three years.

I have no idea what I had planned to make with it, but I swatched three years ago!


The fabric is wonderful and hefty, and I’m thinking it needs to be some sort of pullover. But I figure it’s marinated in the stash this long, why be in a hurry now?


In my California days, a great deal of my knitting was done with cottons and other similar fibers. I will always have a love of cotton, and defend it. Not all cottons are dishcloth cottons! Many are wonderful to work with and don’t hurt your hands. I’m quite certain this will be one of them.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Barenaked Wednesday

Back in the dark ages of this here bloggity blog, among the first dozen posts, I gushed about my very favorite band, Barenaked Ladies.

Yesterday, I drove up to Cleveland to see BNL play at the Nautica Pavillion in the Flats. (As a side note? When I lived in Akron a million years ago, the Flats were a Big Deal. Now they’re kind of run down and depressing. Sad!) A friend I used to work with who I hadn’t seen in a dozen years went with me. We both had a blast.

I managed to get great seats for the show. Fortunately, great seats for BNL don’t break the bank. Tigger wanted to prove he attended the show …

During change-over from Kris Allen to BNL

From the minute BNL came out to start their set, I was one (hot, sweaty) happy camper. Jim Creeggan repeatedly came right over in front of our seats to play "to" our little section of the crowd, and despite the fact that we were less than two yards away from a very large set of speakers, it wasn’t painful (until Ed decided to beatbox near the end of the show. Ow.)


They jumped right in with a mix of old and new, including one my very favorites, Easy. The last two times I went to see BNL at an actual show (which does not include the Borders thing), they sold digital copies of the show. I was expecting (hoping? yearning?) to purchase last night’s show on site, but it wasn’t available. And as best I can tell, it won't be. Sad panda! The moment that really made me disappointed that the show was unavailable digitally was when Kevin absolutely crushed Sound of Your Voice. It was perfect.

Tyler, Ed and Jim singing back-up to Kevin (far left) on “Sound of Your Voice"

I’ve always felt that one or two of the songs on BNL’s concert set lists were “ego songs” for Steve. We’d all be floating along having a blast and then they’d play something like Voice just to Remind Everyone That Steve Can Sing. Meh.

I would pay to get a recording of Kevin knocking it out of the park on one of Steve’s old “ego songs.” Voice was never a song I particularly liked. Until last night.

It was an extremely hot and humid night in Cleveland, and I was sweating a ton even before BNL came on stage. About 2/3 of the way through the set list, the heavens opened up and it started seriously dumping rain during One Week and well into Pinch Me, which allowed Ed to work the rain into the lyrics. Nice. We got a decent amount of rain on us (a very welcome cool-down) but it was just fun. I walked out of the venue completely soaked, first from sweat, then from rain. Still, it was awesome.

Despite sitting on what would have been “the Ed side” when it was a 5-piece band, we didn’t see a whole lot of Ed over by us. He did wander over a time or two. This was the best pic I could manage


As is pretty standard, things got a little silly during If I Had a Million Dollars.


See Ed in the front holding something yellow? See Tyler behind his drum kit in the back talking into the mic?

Yeah. Well, Ed picked that yellow thing up off the stage after it had been thrown and said “Is this supposed to be an emu?”


And then proceeded to have the we-think-it’s-an-emu “talk” into his mic as “Sam the Scottish Emu.” Voiced by Tyler. Hilarious. Again, wish I could have purchased audio of the show.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that most of my photos are kind of blurry. I had my flash turned off for pretty much the entire show, both to preserve battery life and to not be completely obnoxious. But I did make one exception

Jim is completely awesome.

We had some fabulous women next to/behind us. And several of them brought monkeys (among other "props"). Abby, who spent most of the show dancing next to me, threw this particular monkey onto the stage. Jim’s face lit up when he saw it land, and he picked it up and put it on his double bass for the rest of the song.

Since I “knew” who had thrown the monkey, and knew I could get a great shot, I went for the flash. Totally worth it.

I stayed overnight in Cleveland, busted it home and worked a long shift at the store, hence my delay in posting. I had an absolute blast and can’t wait to see BNL again. Too bad I can’t go up to the Rochester, N.Y., area on Saturday to see them again.

Tigger wanted to see a few additional Cleveland sites, so we did that on the way out of town this morning. We could see the Browns stadium from the park across the street from our hotel

Hey! That’s just how it looks when there’s a game, too! (empty) ;-)

And on the way out of town, we drove by the LeBron-free Q


We had dinner at Mike Golic’s restaurant pre-show. Now serving The LeBron Burger. Yes, “LeBron” was sharpied-out on the menu.

And the it-has-some-stupid-corporate-name-now-but-it-will-always-be-The-Jake-to-me. AKA the baseball stadium.


So nearly $12 in tolls (round-trip) and a sung-raw throat later, we’re back home. An exhausting trip but absolutely, positiviely 100% worth it. When can I go see BNL again?