Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NaBloPoMo Success - Cold Sheeping Not So Much

I previously posted about NaBloPoMo here.  I have to say that it was not as easy as I thought it would be, but also not as hard to come up with something to post every day.  I think I will take a little break from posting daily...

Again, another whole month passes and no completed knitting to report.  I did knit this month, but did not finish any of my works in progress.  I don't report yardage decreases until I finish knitting a project.  Part of this dysfuction is that I usually have startitis and have a lot of projects on going at the same time.

On the flip side, no new yarn was purchased so my yardage did not increase either - status quo for my yarn stash.....

I also spent quite a bit of my free time spinning, weaving, and sewing....there is only so much free time to work on crafts.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Avatar Woven Scarf - Part 2

As part of the project for the Avatar: The Last Airbender Fellowship Pack and Uncle Iroh Tea Pack discussed here and here, I decided to spin up all the batts and weave a scarf.

The first woven scarf took a lot less yarn than I anticipated so I figured I had enough yarn left over to weave another scarf.  I decided to just use the remaining yarn as warp and weft.  I played around with patterns and decided to just have 8 strands of each of the colors and plain weave in the same pattern.

Weft progression:
Finished scarf:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Plum Handy Plaid

When I started the hobby known as weaving, I purchased a few weave kits from the Yarn Barn.  

After a few lessons and some practice pieces, I decided I was "experienced" enough to tackle one of these projects.  The first kit is the Plum Handy Plaid shawl.  When you purchased a kit from the Yarn Barn, they let you choose your own colors of yarn in the kit. 

I purchased these colors:  

Scottish Hillside
Catamaran Seas
Cliff Rock
Sandstone Cave
I was able to measure the 3 yard warp on my trusty LeClerc warping board and ended up with 3 parts.
Off to the loom...I purchased angel wings from Purrington Looms to assist in warping my loom by myself.  They are really great and I was able to get almost enough tension with just the lease sticks.  It helped that the yarn was 100% wool and pretty fuzzy.
It took me about 3 hours from starting the warping on the back beam and warping back to front.  Not bad for my second time through with this loom.  From the back.
From the front and the front beam tie on.
I'm really excited to start weaving this pattern.  The instructions state to weave in the same configuration as the warp.  I hope there aren't any threading mistakes.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Runaway Quilt

During my volunteer gig at the library, I processed a booked called The Runaway Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini.  It looked interesting so I checked it out.  I just finished reading the book and it was a very good read.

Since my foray into quilting, I thought it would be a mystery similar to the knitting novels.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out how rich the history of quilting is.

"In this fourth novel in the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series, Sylvia Compson searches for evidence of her ancestors' courageous involvement in the Underground Railroad."

I highly recommend the book.  I will now need to do some googling regarding Log Cabin and Birds in Air quilt patterns.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Avatar Woven Scarf

As part of the project for the Avatar: The Last Airbender Fellowship Pack and Uncle Iroh Tea Pack discussed here and here, I decided to spin up all the batts and weave a scarf.

I decided to use a basic twill called a broken 2/2 twill (mini-herringbone).  I recently learned how to use lease sticks to keep the cross of the warp for easy of threading but it was frustrating to have the sticks flopping around.

I saw an ad for angel wings from Purrington Looms and ordered a set for my Ashford table loom as well as my LeClerc floor loom.
I decided weave starting with Aang and progress through the rest of the characters.  I wove 8 strands of weft of each color and just randomly changed the order of the yarn.

Here is the loom with waste yarn, followed by Aang, Katara, and Appa.
The weaving pattern was 1-2-4-3 and I repeated it twice before selecting another weft color.  I just randomly changed colors as I went along and ended up with the black at the end. 

Here is the completed scarf.
I have enough yarn to warp another scarf and I think I will do a plaid type pattern.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


It is thanksgiving day and I have quite a bit to be thankful for - great family, great friends, dream job, good health, financial security, adorable pets, lovely home, and the best place to live.

I'm spending the day with Val and we will be watching the Macy's day parade and the dog show and sewing all day long.  We will probably have a light thanksgiving dinner.  The weather here should be sunny and warm.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Avatar Woven Scarf - Winding the Warp

As part of the project for the Avatar: The Last Airbender Fellowship Pack and Uncle Iroh Tea Pack discussed here and here, I decided to spin up all the batts and weave a scarf.

Here are all the skeins of yarn - 11 in total.  
I also spun up some black alpaca fiber that I had in my stash for some additional warp.
I decided to use the black alpaca and one skein of Prince Zuko as the warp.  I think this would set the tone of the battle of the darkness of the Fire Nation.

This is the warp pattern:

4 black
8 Prince Zuko
8 black
16 Prince Zuko
8 black
16 Prince Zuko
8 black
8 Princo Zuko
4 black

Warp before taking it off the warping board.
Warp chain ready for threading.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pocket Wheel

My friend Jan recently purchased this little spinning wheel and loaned it to me to entice me to join her cult....
You can see it next to my Schacht Matchless spinning wheel for a size comparison.
It is made by Jon McCoy and can been seen here.  The wheel was originally made by Doug Dodd who retired after he lost his wife.  Jon has continued the fine craftsmanship that engenders the cult-like following.

Jan purchased the cherry woolee winder package and she waited quite a long time for it.  If you are interested in purchasing one, you need to submit a deposit and then go on the waiting list.

I decided that I will not be purchasing any new spinning wheels until I can spin on one for a while to get the feel of it.  We shall see how this cute little wheel fares.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I was one of the early adopters of the Kindle from Amazon. Due to the newness at the time, the technology was expensive but well worth it since I love to read. I used it a lot especially for work travel.

I succumbed to the new Kindle and ordered it from Amazon this past week. I used my Capitol One points to buy it so no money out of pocket. This Kindle is lighter, has more functions, and is cheaper than the first one.
I also ordered the cover for it - this version does not come with a cover as the first one did - I picked out a green cover.
I found Books on the Knob that has all kinds of cool things. After I purchased my new Kindle, I gave my old Kindle which still works to Val so she can now be hooked.... Books on the Knob had a blog about the Kandle - buy one get one free so I ordered one for me and one for Val.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Warping Board

I purchased a warping board from a sale at the San Diego Weaver's Guild a while back.  This "board" cost me $5 but before you get too excited, it was missing one of the board pieces.  So I had three parts of the board and the warping pegs.  Not really useful....
I sent away for a replacement piece from LeClerc which cost an arm and leg for shipping.  The shipping was more expensive than the part.  However, once the part arrived, it didn't fit.  It seems that they changed from a square to an oval hole so there was no joy.  It would have cost too much to send the part back to get a refund.
So I had three pieces of one configuration and one piece from another configuration.  It didn't seem to be such a good deal after all....

I was able to find another weaver whose husband is a wood worker and since it was this weaver who was in charge of the auction where I purchased this "board," she offered her husband's services to make me the missing 4th piece.
He did an excellent job and I have a complete warping board to use.

So now that I want to start my Avatar scarf, I decided to use a 2 yard warp and here is the guide string for the path of the board to use.
There are some very useful youtube videos to show how to use a warping board.  The one I have been viewing is by Laura Fry here.  I can't wait to get started.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What Would You Choose?

On the New York Times website, there is an interactive article about "What would you choose to balance the budget" here.

It has been pretty crazy politically regarding who is right and who can make the best decision to (a) get back to what we had, (b) create more jobs, (c) get more benefits, and/or (d) all the above.

This is an interesting exercise if you play it conservatively or liberally.  You try it and see which party can reduce the budget with the tenets of their party.

All I know for sure is that times change and sometimes not for the better depending from what angle you look.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Black Bean Chicken and Cauliflower

I got an orange cauliflower in my CSA box and decided to do a stir fry with chicken seasoned with pepper and black bean sauce.
I think it was little too much pepper as I had a few coughing fits while eating it with rice. The cauliflower was a very pretty color and had more texture than regular white ones - a little bit more substantial.  Yummy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Do I Need a New Iron?

I'm of the camp of buying wrinkle resistant clothing to avoid ironing.  In the past, I have purchased some great dress shirts that just sit in the closet with wrinkles as I can't be motivated enough to pull out the ironing board and iron...

So my dilemma now is that I have been sewing.  To sew properly, you need to press stuff.  I'm doing most of my pressing and sewing at Val's house and she has this ultimate iron/steamer combo.  It is a Rowenta with a separate tank for water.  It makes ironing so easy....

I spent the past weekend doing a bit of sewing at home and I got out my board and trusty Norelco iron and filled the little reservoir with water and pressed some seams.  It worked pretty well but I admit to lusting after a Rowenta iron/steamer.

I even checked Amazon and found this.  I got in the mail today one of those 20% coupons from Bed, Bath & Beyond but am not sure if they carry it in the store.  They do have it on their web store here.  With tax and the coupon, it would be a little cheaper than Amazon.....

I think I paid around $20 for my Norelco iron.  Will I get full use out of a $100 iron?  That is the dilemma.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Charming Stars Quilt

I subscribe to the Moda Bake Shop blog here and saw a cool pattern for the Charming Stars Quilt.  I'm attracted to triangles but am intimidated by having to match up the points.

This quilt's construction is ingenious with no lining up points so I printed out the pattern and ordered 3 packs of Moda charm squares called Bliss by bonnie & camille.

I dropped by Beverly's Fabrics with my 25% fabric coupon and purchased a very pretty white on white flowered patterned fabric.

It was a little time consuming to cut all those 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" squares and then drawing diagonal lines on each one but it was well worth it.

Here is the first of the 16 squares with the star pattern.
I still need to buy some fabric for the borders, binding, and the backing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fiber Sandwich: Part 2

As I posted here about my fiber sandwich, I ended up with 1.5 ounces of a sampling of fibers.  1.5 ounces is not alot of anything and definitely can't result in anything substantive so I decided to churn my fiber stash to see what I could come up with.

After an hour taking everything out of the bins in the closet, I pulled out some cormo fiber that I got from my bud, Juliblue.  It is white and I think she met the sheep that it came from.  It was nice and clean and prepared as roving.

I then took out my handy drum carder and gave it a good cleaning before putting the nice clean cormo in and started cranking the handle and started to make batts with the cormo sandwiching the fiber.

I added about 2.5 ounces of cormo and ended up with 5 batts weighing 4 ounces altogether.

Here are the batts.
After separating out the 5 into an equal amount, it is ready to spin.  I'm thinking maybe making a hat or some fingerless gloves.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Avatar: Ran & Shao

To continue with my Avatar themed woven scarf, here is the Ran & Shao batt:
Organic merino, mill end wools, milk protein fiber, bamboo rayon, firestar and Angelina.

I spun these consecutively and plied it on itself.  That way it would look as though each were twined against the other.  I mistakenly used my high-speed bobbin, but I plied on a regular bobbin.

Here it is in a single on the bobbin.
Here is the two ply.
Resulting yarn - 131 yards at  18 wpi.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Avatar: Prince Zuko #2

To continue with my Avatar themed woven scarf, here is the second Prince Zuko batt:

Alpaca (magical line), organic merino, rambouillet, bamboo rayon, milk protein fiber, and firestar.
 Here it is in a single on the bobbin.
Here is the two ply.
Resulting yarn - 156 yards at 20 wpi.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Avatar: Order of the White Lotus

To continue with my Avatar themed woven scarf, here is the Order of the White Lotus batt:

Alpaca (magical line), organic merino, mill end wools, bamboo rayon, and firestar.

Here it is in a single on the bobbin.
Here is the two ply.
Resulting yarn -  141 yards at  18 wpi.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fiber Sandwich

For spin class this week, we were asked to bring in some ready to spin fiber to make a fiber sandwich.  I had done this once before and brought some brown llama fiber that was a little too coarse for me.  There were two different fiber sandwiches and I took some from the non-llama pile which I then carded with my drum carder and spun yarn to knit the V Shawl
Incidentally, this was the shawl that I sold at the Bonita Craft fair that was discussed here.

This time, I brought a bunch of leftover fiber that was too little to use for anything of substance.
All the fiber is then stacked on top of the table with bits and pieces spread around.  After a big pile of fluff is amassed, then it is carefully "cut" into sections for distribution.
At the end of class, this is what I ended up with.
I will need to card this with my drum carder and then spin it up.  It is a little less than 2 ounces so to make something, I will probably need to add some other fiber.  Maybe a cream to make it look like confetti.  I will have to sit in front of the fiber closet and contemplate.....