Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ready for Thursday

The loom is warped and ready for the demo of free style weaving techniques.

Warped and ready for Thursday's demo.

I still have to decide which techniques I'll try to cover, and then gather all the related supplies, make sure I have filled some bobbins with appropriate yarns, and give a little thought to the order in which I'll demonstrate the techniques.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Shrug and a Shrug

When my warp tension went awry on that natural coloured weaving posted about earlier I cut off the first few feet and re-beamed the whole thing. It turned out to be well worth the effort.

On the advice of some of the forum members of a Saori weaving group on Ravelry I went out and purchased poster board and cut it into strips that were exactly the width of my warp beam. Then I rolled the warp forward all the way and re-beamed, this time placing the strips of poster board as I went. I did the "yank 'n' crank method of reintroducing an even tension and everything moved forward smoothly.

While I was in the 'redo' mode I also chose to pull the warp ends out of the Comb Reed but not the heddles. This way the warp ends stayed in order and I was able to then resley them through a regular reed with slightly wider spacing. It worked well and I continued to weave off another 3 table runners.

Natural light from the side. Perfect weaving lighting.

What happened to the wonky part from the beginning when the tension when awry? Well it certainly could not be used as a table runner. The edges were much tighter than the middle because of the warp spreading issues. It wouldn't lie flat, but as I looked at the piece I realized it was long enough to be a shrug, and for that use the tighter selvedges were actually an advantage!

Another creative idea that just wouldn't wait it's turn.

Soooo, ~*shrug*~ I'll go with the flow and "allow" this portion of the warp to be a lovely shrug instead. I'm knitting cuffs and most likely an edging along the top and bottom.

Yay for 'mistakes' that force us to think outside the box.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Elfonda's New Outfit

My sewing project from last week. Just got around to photographing it now.

The blouse pattern is "Heaven Sent" by Adams-Harris. 

A lot of work to that pattern! Front facing/faux button-band, 4 rows of elastic shearing at the waist, sleeves that are puffed at the shoulder and gathered with elastic at the arm, buttons and snaps to sew on.

It will be a while before I try that one again. One must allow time to forget labor before they attempt delivery again.

The pants pattern is "Off the Top", also by Adams-Harris. The fit is excellent and they were easy to sew.

This is her sixth pair! She now has yellow, orange, white, hot pink, red (which I haven't photographed yet) and navy blue (which she acquired from a previous Minifee).

She has a better wardrobe than I do!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Topless Tryout

I decided that since the Lemon Yellow warp ended faster than I expected I might have time to do a quickie weave before my loom is needed for the guild demo in June. I've been meaning to use up a hoard of not-quite-cotton yarn I've had sitting around for awhile, so now is the chance.

Unlabeled Synthetic

These are unlabeled yarns that I picked up a few years ago during the Zellers closing out sale. They came in bags of multiples of about 4 if I remember correctly. They were SO cheap that I stocked up despite not knowing what the fibre content was. They both look and feel very much like cotton, especially the slubby single on the right, but burn tests have since proven they are actually a synthetic of some sort.

I've woven very successfully with these before. Boucle as warp, slubby single as weft.

rigid heddle loom and plain, textured weave

In fact, I made runners for all of my bedroom furniture. Because the yarns are actually synthetic they washed and dried beautifully without much shrinkage.

textured plain weave

This time I thought I'd experiment with going topless. (I imagine that phrase will pick up a few hits from 'new' readers who will ultimately go away disappointed!)

What I'm actually talking about is the Saori "Comb Reed". It has an open top and is used for moving the warp threads about during the weaving process. If you look closely in the next picture you can see how the Saori Comb Reed sits with it's 'teeth' just in front of the beater cap during the weaving.

I used this reed successfully with the Lemon Yellow warp that I just completed, but I'm not sure how I feel about it with this combination of monotone warp and weft. I think perhaps the technique presents better when a contrasting thread highlights the wandering warp threads.

Wandering warp

Opinions? If you speak up quickly in the comments you might influence my decision.

At this point I'm leaning toward finishing the rest of the 6 metre warp with the threads aligned and not wandering. Somehow the plain weave without the distraction, (or 'interest' depending on your perspective), just seems more "Zen" to me right now and I really could use a peaceful, mindless, meditative weaving experience this week.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Suddenly the End Was In Sight

I had an 8+ metre long, primarily yellow warp languishing on my loom for many weeks. I had only just started weaving it off when other things caught my interest and I wandered off. Then we had a couple of days with really nice weather and I did the remaining 80% of the warp in only two days!

Weaving outside would be so much more relaxing if I could hear the birds rather than the obnoxious neighbour's loud music.

I washed, dried, and pressed the entire length today.


Those warp ends aren't as snarly as they might look. Each large bundle is tied in a simple overhand knot to prevent things from getting out of hand. I'm not sure if I'll be using the fringe in the garment I sew from this yardage so I didn't want to waste my time fiddling with it. If I decide to use the fringe I'll twist the sections I use at that time.

Here's one of my favourite sections:


And another:

My favourite section

I took 19 photos while pressing the finished cloth, one as each section passed over my ironing board.


If you are interested in looking at any of the other photos they are viewable on my project page on Ravelry, or on Flickr. Click on the photo to be taken through to my Flickr account. Once there you can even click on the photo again to get an extreme closeup view.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Truly Canadian

These fuzzy little goslings are true Canadians, Canada Geese dwelling in a busy public park.

  Not afraid to show off the babies.

There were three sets of parents and at least 14 goslings all in the same small area right along a well used public pathway. The adults seemed quite relaxed and unworried about the people who stopped to take pictures of their babies.

  Canadian hatched.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Better on Heddie

The hat looks better on Heddie, my mannequin hat model than it does on me, 

but as far as hats go it's one of the better styles for me.

I just don't look great in hats! 

 It's not the hat's fault. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Little Better Than the First

The second hat sewn over the Mother's Day weekend was a little bit more of a success. 

The sewing isn't actually as well done as the first one, and the fabrics used are identical.

I just feel marginally better wearing this one. It seems to suit my face and head shape a bit better.

A bit anyway! I still feel like a dork wearing it, but I feel like that in ALL hats. 

Trouble is I truly NEED a hat with a brim to keep the sun out of my eyes on bright days and the rain off my glasses on the miserable days.

This hat is a slightly modified version of "The Squashy Cap" from "Happy Hats and Cool Caps" by Anne-Mette Hermansen and Tina Elnef. I shortened the height of the crown segments so the crown is not so large in diameter.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Not What I'd Hoped

Over the weekend I made two hats. The first was a huge disappointment.

Not that it turned out poorly or anything. The sewing actually went quite well. (Pattern is "Hip-Hop Hat with Visor" from "Happy Hats and Cool Caps" by Anne-Mette Hermansen and Tina Elnef.)

It's not that it didn't fit my huge pumpkin of a noggin' either (23 1/4" - 23 1/2" depending on how closely cut my hair is), because the fit was perfect.

No, like so many other hats I've tried on over the years (purchased or handmade) it just looked dorky on me.  (sigh)  Luckily Heddie doesn't mind wearing it. She says it keeps the dust off her wig as she sits in the corner of my sewing room.

But, as I said, I made TWO hats. I'll show you the second one tomorrow.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

2nd Crazy Quilt Block

A rather long seam that stretches from one side of the "fan" section to the other, 

 (Buttonhole Stitch, Straight Stitch, and beads)

--- and then beautifying the last corner, 

I cut a family heirloom to do this corner of the block. In my opinion I do the craftswoman more honour including her work in my quilt, where it will then be on display, than I did having it hidden away in a closet (because the crocheted doily was too discoloured and stained to use). I added the ribbon, the roses, and the beads.

--- and block two is complete.

At least I'm calling it complete for now. I may decide to add some meandering embellishments once all four blocks are joined and the sashing is added.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Some Seams it Seems

These four seam treatments were not all done the same day. I've been working on them off and on over the past week.

This first one is Cretan Stitch worked over baby rickrack with a row of buttonhole stitch on each side, and added beads.

Cretan Stitch over baby ric-rack, buttonhole stitch, beads

The second seam is two staggered rows of "Head of the Bull" stitch over purchased flower trim and with beads added.

Two staggered rows of Head-of-the-Bull stitch plus beads.

This next one is rather embarrassingly ugly! I tried various different treatments but the purchased trim underneath resisted all attempts to beautify it. In the end I figured it's just one very short seam in a large wall quilt. Hopefully it's ugliness will not become a focal point. My colour choices certainly leave something to be desired.

Wow! That just got uglier and uglier!

On a happier note, I actually like this last one. It's three tiers of Lazy Daisy Stitch over purchased trim. Simple but effective I think.

3 tiers of Lazy Daisy

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Another New Outfit

Over the weekend I finished knitting a top and sewing a pair of pants for Elfonda.

New outfit for Elfonda

The pants are sewn using the same pattern I used to make the yellow ones, and the vibrant pink ones.

Knit sweater and orange pants.

I mean why not hey? 

the fit is great!

The fit is great so why mess with a good thing? 

Square Neckline (top)

The top was knit using Becky Colvin's free pattern, "Square Neckline Dress", but I shortened it to just top length. The yarn is Red Heart Super Saver (acrylic) aran weight UNPLYED to only one of it's 4 plies so it could knit up at 10 stitches to the inch.


The pants are from Adams-Harris's "Off the Top" pattern.