Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WiP Wednesday

The Swirl is finished. Completely and totally, ends woven, seams sewn, finished. But it really deserves a good photo shoot, so you’re going to have to be patient for that FO post.


I love having a good mindless project on the go. I’ll get back to those socks that have been dormant for far too long, but right now it’s still my cowl that’s getting time when I want to knit without paying much attention.


It’s still growing, which is good. The last skein of Blue Sky has been joined, so I’m half expecting this to be finished by this time next week.

In other news…


I’ve had seven skeins of Noro Kogarashi in the house for most of this year. It’s finally in progress. I felt like I had to get this going now, or I’ll be jumping right in on Swirl #2 by the end of the week. I think it’s a good thing to do a traditional sweater between the finished Swirl and the second Swirl. And yes, I’ll guarantee that there will be another Swirl.

Oh, and I'm working out of Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top for the first time. It takes a few brain cells, but it's worth it.

And finally …


If the remainder of my day goes as planned, this warp will get tied on this afternoon and I’ll be weaving by the end of the day. The tentative plan is to weave off this warp, then do another cleaning/organization of this room before I get moving on the next project.

It is fantastic to have a more flexible schedule after last week’s craziness. I got everything done last week, but it’s nice to have a slightly more relaxed week to follow the crazy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rep Weave Placemats

Another weave-along from the Warped Weavers group on Ravelry. And another project where I learned a ton.

That’s where these placemats are living now, on my kitchen table.

Where do I even start with these? I should probably have wound this warp in three bouts. Instead, I jammed all of it onto my warping board in one shot. Oops. That meant one side of the warp was slightly longer than the other. And the whole thing was harder to tie on.

Four placemats, all in a row. Not everybody got four full placemats out of the kit. I did. By inches.

I also couldn’t count when I was winding the warp. I ran out of the dark blue carpet warp about 60 yards shy of completing the warp. Contacted Yarn Barn, who was wonderful about sending me another cone to finish my kit. And then, to my horror, I discovered I had wound 52 extra warp ends in a section that included the dark blue. Oops. Again.


Once I got the warp tied on and was weaving, pretty much every shed was sticky, but I got it figured out and the weaving went pretty quickly.


I used my serger to cut the placemats apart. It was wonderful. And while I was serging the placemats I realized I couldn’t go ahead and sew these hems on my sewing machine. So I sucked it up and whipstitched them by hand. As seen above.


All in all, I love the finished project. Which is good. Because I need to do another set as a Christmas present.


Rep Weave Placemats

Started: Warp was wound in February, 2011.
Finished Weaving: 28 September 2011
Finished, for real: 10 October 2011
Thread: Carpet warp in three colors, mop cotton in white
Quantity: Four placemats. Barely.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WiP Wednesday

Sooooo, the Swirl took a swim yesterday. The wash water was almost navy as it went down the drain. Here’s hoping most of the loose dye is gone.

It’s currently drying via fan in my old bedroom. With any luck, it will get its seam and I’ll be wearing it by the end of Hurricane Knitters tonight.


Last week was pretty much focused on the Swirl, unless I was in a waiting room here or there. That’s when my cowl came out.

Cowl accompanied by possibly my favorite project bag purchase EVAR. It’s a Stitched by JessaLu bag, and I really love it!

I joined the second skein of Blue Sky at breakfast on Thursday morning. I’ve chugged along adding about 9” since picture day last week. The darning needle marks the spot where I joined the new skein.

And with that, it’s back to the grindstone. This is a horribly busy week for me, so rest assured that I'm writing as fast as I can.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Better Late than Never?

So waaaaaay back, over a year ago, I got home from Beginning Weaving Week at The Mannings and threw a scarf warp on the loom. Just so I could lock what I had learned into my brain.

Then I needed something else to put on the loom. And I froze.

Eventually, I decided to pull a column’s worth of threading off of the twill sampler that we had done in class. I did math and warped up the loom with eight yards of dishtowels.


Holy cow. These are a novice weaver’s first attempt at dishtowels. For reals.

Their flaws are many, but the learning curve is at least as great. The first three were cut off, intended for gifts. Then I got cold feet and decided they were not of gift quality. I was less than one towel into the warp and breaking selvedge threads constantly before I decided that I couldn’t live without a temple. So I ordered one. Yay, internets!

That’s a tool that keeps the thing you’re weaving from drawing in too much. It’s really terribly helpful. Especially for a beginner.



The last few towels are far better. That’s the green one on the bottom, the purple one just above that and the light green towel at the very far left on the rail (and atop the stack in the final picture).

Oh, after I re-tied the warp and started weaving again, I forgot to leave a large hem. So the hems on the remaining towels are tiny in comparison. Oops.


Seven of these towels have gone to new homes. I went on a finishing spree and got all of the hems sewn. Pressed the towels and realized I did not need this many towels. So the red ones went to Sairy. The blue ones to Zarzuela and the orange ones to her husband, HWJF. And since CelticQueen was nice enough to deliver them to Sairy and Zarzuela at Rhinebeck, she claimed the green one.


So yeah. They’re done. Several have gone to new homes. I’ll get better. It’s a process.


DPUTiger’s First Dishtowels

Started: 7 September 2010
Finished Weaving: 24 November 2010
Finished, for real: 9 October 2011
Thread: 10/2 unmercerized natural cotton for warp.
8/2 unmercerized cotton in various colors for weft
Quantity: 9 towels. Woulda been 10 (I think) if I hadn’t cut off three and re-tied the warp.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Many, Many Mug Rugs

This has been a project that has spanned nearly all of 2011. The finished roll of fabric was hangin’ in the basement for months, waiting to be sewn and cut apart.

And let me just say that handweaving has made me fall in love with my serger all over again. I have used that machine sporadically since purchasing it on a really good deal years ago at Bearly Stitchin’ in Pasadena. I took Melinda’s fantastic class to learn how to use the damn thing. I busted it out to cut apart my two rep weave projects, and it worked like a champ.

Side note: I've never regretted that purchase. It's a handy little bugger and I'm glad I bought it. But weaving has really reinforced what a good purchase the serger was!


This was a “rep weave” kit offered by Yarn Barn of Kansas, a plan of attack perpetrated by the Warped Weavers group on Ravelry.

“Rep weave” refers to a style of weaving where the warp is sleyed so that it completely covers the weft. Sett is weaving’s equivalent to a knitter’s gauge, and your sett is determined by how many warp threads per inch are sleyed into the reed. Make sense?

Yeah, that’s OK.

So I measured the warp for this kit shortly after the new year.

Treadling pattern #1

I had it ready to weave by January 14. After reading some of the other weave-a-long posts, I decided that I didn’t want to hemstitch and fringe each mug rug. Instead, I chose to do hems.

Treadling Pattern #2

Totally made the right choice. Most of the mug rugs (I wound up with 14. Yes, 14. Yes, that’s a LOT of mug rugs.) are woven with the thick weft in the dark green and thin weft in the lavender. Some are done the other way around. You can see the difference if you look closely at the pictures of the three different treadling patterns.

Treadling Pattern #3

The learning curve for this particular project pretty much centered on dealing with the thick warp. There is a bit of a trick to starting/stopping the thick warp. Thankfully, I was able to figure out this technique before I tackled the other weave-a-long project for Warped Weavers. It made life easier.


Rep Weave Mug Rugs

Thread: Carpet Warp
Colors: Forest and Limestone
Quantity: 1 tube each
EPI: 32 (8-dent reed, 2 doubled ends per dent)
Finished Width: 5”
Mods: Folded hems in lieu of fringe/hemstitch. Mug rugs finished virtually square.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WiP Wednesday

The Swirl has taken a very small bit of knitting, but not enough to be worthy of a new photo. I did find another skein of the Tosh DK at the store, and it matches the in-progress skein just fine. I also found one more unwound skein of the Rios, so I’m all set yarn-wise. Crisis averted.

Otherwise, the finishing binge ate a good chunk of my available crafting time. I did, however, have one new project that popped up.

The store’s Fleece Artist/Handmaiden order that was placed at TNNA has started to trickle in. The latest siren songs are coming from the basket of Handmaiden Camelspin, a luxurious blend of 70% silk, 30% camel. I spent a week wondering what on earth I could knit with it, because I really wanted a skein.

See? Can you blame me?

Two Saturdays ago, a customer fell in love with our store sample for the Churchmouse Annabella’s Cowl pattern. (Ravelry link) And the gears in my brain started turning. Thursday night, I paired the Cameslpin with the Blueberry colorway of Blue Sky Alpaca Silk, and I was off to the races.


I’m through the first skein of the Alpaca Silk (Camelspin = 300m, Alpaca Silk = 133m/skein), so I’m slightly more than 1/3 of the way through. It’s perfect walking around knitting, and so luxurious.

It’s nice to treat yourself every so often.

And crap, I just remembered that I have the PSU blanket threaded and almost ready to weave, but I didn't take a picture. So you'll just have to take my word for it. Here's hoping for an in-progress picture next week!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stop! It’s a Bagstopper!

I don’t know what has gotten into me over the last few days. If I hadn't had a routine doctor's appointment yesterday proving I was healthy, I'd really start to wonder if I was sick or something. I’ve done a metric crap-ton of finishing work and taken the pictures to blog it. I have a list of SIX blog posts waiting to be written, since I closely follow Cristi's rule: ONE and only one finished project per post!

So I’ll start with the most boring of all the finished things. A Bagstopper. My fifth one.

Yes, a finished renovation post is part of the list.
And yes, that’s the top edge of the stairs for the deck.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about this project. It’s kind of a snooze to knit, but it’s fast and functional. This particular one is destined for my sister in law, who requested another one after liking her first one so much. I found a great ribbon for it at the J-store and finally got it sewn in place on Sunday.

It’s amazing how much sewing I can get done when, y’know, I actually go into the basement and sew.

Yes, I did have green thread in the stash!

This will go in the finished gift pile, waiting for either her birthday or Christmas. It’s good to have something in that pile!


Erin’s Bagstopper, The Sequel

Pattern: Everlasting Bagstopper from
Size: It’s a bag
Yarn: Louet Euroflax Sport Weight
Color: Hunter Green
Source: Natural Stitches, East Liberty, Pa.
Needles: US 5 and US 10.5 from my KnitPicks Options set
Started: 17 July 2011
Finished: knitting finished 7 September 2011, Handle sewn 9 October 2011
Mods: My now-usual mods: Start with Judy’s Magic Cast-On, skipped the drawstring.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

WiP Wednesday

Sorry I’m late today. It’s been busy around here!

So most of my knitting time has gone into my Swirl sweater.


It’s chugging along. I’ve bound off for the neck, but the biggest problem? I’m freaking out about running out of yarn.


See that puny-looking skein of Tosh DK? That’s it. That’s the list. There is no more (although I’ll see if we have more at the store when I go in tomorrow).

I’m also on my last skein of Rios, although that situation is looking better. Which is good. I KNOW there isn’t any more Rios in my color at the store.

So I’m trying to knit quickly. Out run the dwindling yarn supply and all that. Meanwhile, I’m using ALL of my scraps. Fingers crossed for me, please!

In other news …


Weaving! Yay! This is my Penn State Fibonacci stripes doubleweave blanket that the Super-duper Sara at The Mannings helped me plan. It’s Cascade 220 in navy and white.

Those of you with sharp eyes will notice that the carpet is a different color under the loom. We moved it into the front room on Saturday night. It fit!

OK, well I took off the reed, both the front and back beams and all eight harnesses and we had to stand it on its end to get it through, but IT FIT! And it’s happily ensconced in its new/permanent home. Hooray!

I have a bit of organization to work through in the next few days (around my writing duties. Eep!), then we’re truly past renovation-land and in the awesome shiny new layout. Hooray!