Friday, December 31, 2010

Production Results and Cold Sheep Recap for December

Well I finally have some stuff finished.  It is a great sense of accomplishment when finished items are displayed and photographed.

Avatar Scarf 1 (Wet finished in the washing machine under wool cycle.  The alpaca bloomed very nicely and the scarf is super soft.)
Avatar Scarf 2 (See above for finishing information.)

Plum Handy Plaid (Wet finished in the washing machine under wool cycle.  There was a little shrinkage but overall the shawl is soft and warm.)
Blue/Black/Sparkly Mohair Scarf (Wet finished in the washing machine under wool cycle.  The scarf was also placed in the dryer as well to tighten up the wool.)
Second Blue/Black/Sparkly Mohair Scarf (see above)

Short Row Multi-directional Scarf - this yarn and pattern came from my swap buddy as discussed here.  I have been working on this scarf for quite some time as I have been distracted by other hobbies.  It is lovely and I have had multiple teasing requests for it as a gift - not going to happen!
Fiber Sandwich Hat (Wet finished in the washing machine under cool cycle.)  This yarn was spun from the fiber sandwich discussed here and here.  I have a bunch more of this yarn left over so I may attempt to knit some fingerless mitts to go along with it.

Fiber Sandwich Fingerless Gloves
Knitting Basket - not yet felted
Sea of Azov Orenburg Lace Scarf
Legalos Shawl
 Front View
Back View
Fondle This! May Project - Symphony V MobiusCold sheep progress:

Starting total: 108,649 yards
Starting total for December:  108,727
Yardage purchased:  0

Yardage received as gift:  590
Yardage used in finished projects:  2,145
Ending total for December:  107,172 yards

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom + Stand

I succumbed to another used loom.  I found a good deal on an old Ashford 24" rigid heddle loom with a stand and it arrived this week.  The box was huge with a ton of peanuts.

After consulting the Ashford website for assembly instructions, I finally got the loom and stand put together.  Since it only came with a 7.5 dent rigid heddle, I decided to destash all the cotton yarn that I had in the garage.  I used three skeins of solid colors for 70 ends and am planning on weaving some cotton dish rags.

It was too much to direct warp since I did not have the warping peg or the clamps so I used my warping wheel with a 5 yard warp.

I needed some help with tension to warp the loom and I had a little get together of my spin pals at my house and they helped me warp the loom. Here are some photos of the loom with warp and one finished rag on the loom.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Bounty

Christmas began with my family arriving on a very wet day in San Diego.  As the days progressed, the weather got better.  The first stop was Costco which was a mad house with predator parking.

We were able to eat at El Portal and Pho T Cali.  Here is the bird nest noodle dish.
My brother brought his new dog Sophie to visit and overall she did really well.  She learned the dog door in no time flat, but there is still some mistrust between her and Bailey.  I think he has not figured out how Sophie fits into the hierachy of the pack.  Pepper of course is the alpha.  Sophie is a very sweet girl and is interested in everything.  I took a few videos of her here and here.
We also spent some time playing on the Wii "Just Dance" and it was hilarious.  Here is a link to my aunt dancing like an Egyptian.

My mom also recreated her garlic noodle with shrimp dish based on a noodle dish that she and my brother liked from a secret kitchen in Los Angeles.
Christmas dinner included a roast, carrots, potatoes, a salad, and Val's contribution of her lemon cheesecake souffle. 

Here are the gifts that I received.
Glass blown ornament from Tim Lazer Glass Company
Sewing supplies of a Moda quilt kit and guttermann thread pack
Knitting supplies of a Knit Your Own Mini Ninja and 5 skeins of Rowan Summer Tweed in a light green colorway
Cotton Bamboo towels

It was a great holiday with good food and company.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Infinite Knitters - Another Moves Away

Monday night at knit group at our local Starbucks, we had our final gathering with Brandilionknits.  I don't think she was one of the founding members but she is very close.

Brandy is the one who helped me learn to crochet when I was doing those baby hats that resembled a cupcake.
She even had to make the cherry top for me since it totally defeated me.  When the next one came around, she sat patiently with me and taught me that I too could crochet a cherry.

It was a windy, rainy night and the diehards showed up to wish Brandy well on her move to Washington.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Sales

My best friend Val hosted a Christmas Open House with a mini-bazaar to showcase handmade items by a bunch of "crafters."

We had food for snacking and spirits for merriment.  The event started at 1:00 pm and ended at 4:00 pm but people were arriving around 12:30 pm.

There were knitted items, sewn items, pottery, woven items, hand made cards, and embroidery.

Here are the items that I was able to sell:
Knitted lace alpaca scarf
 2 Avatar themed hand-spun woven scarves
Fun fur knitted scarf
Woven scarf
Hand spun, hand knitted Yak Mobius cowl

I also sold a few sewn project bags and quite a few hand made cards.

I was great fun and I got to do some shopping of my own.  I bought this tote bag and apron from Val's sister, Susie - the Bag Lady of Windsor.
 Great pockets for the interior.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weaving - Calculating Yards Per Pound

I recently did some research regarding calculating the number of yards per pound for yarn.  This is mainly for weaving, but can be used for knitting as well.  This is a good way to classify yarn that you get from various places without any information attached.

There is a gadget you can buy called a McMoran balance seen here.  You can also get information on how to use this balance here.

I found some information on how to make my own balance.  Credit goes to an article by Christina Hammel in the May/June 2007 issue of Handwoven magazine.  This is the information provided:

Take a straight, well-balanced 12" long bamboo skewer. Cut off the pointed ends so that both ends are the same--it will now measure about 10" - 11."

Mark the center of the skewer and tie a string around it at that point - hold or suspend the string so that the skewer swings freely, level and is balanced.  Put a bit of glue on the knot.

Take a length of yarn (12") for which you know the YPP and tie it 1/4" from one end.

Take a piece of the yarn for which the count is unknown and tie it a 1/4" from the other end.  Make this piece of sufficient length to tip the balance down.

Now cut short pieces from the end of the unknown yarn until the skewer returns to a level position.

Measure the length of the unknown yarn and multiply by 100 which results in the YPP. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Spreading the Love of Weaving

My friend Jan has been bitten by the weaving bug or should I say a whole swarm of weaving bugs?  I went over to help her warp her new table loom - an old Schacht 4 harness loom.
She has made progress on her cotton towel project that we warped a little while back (here).
Jan was able to acquire a 14 yard warping board so I showed her how to work with that and we wound a 2 yard warp for the first project in cotton.  She has a secret bag of cotton yarn that seems to grow bigger every time I see it.

Since it was later in the evening, after talking out the number of ends and the number of times to count the warping maneuvers, we still managed to get it wrong.  We were suppose of have 120 epi but forgot (and miscounted) and ended up with only 60.

Her new loom has metal heddles with a separator in the middle of each shaft so when we counted the heddles, we used 15 on each side on all 4 harnesses.  Well everything ended up on the right side as we were missing one whole side.

We took a break for dinner and came back to sley the reed and tie everything up.  There is a bit of sticking on the heddles so it is a bit fiddly yet.  After the first project some sanding and waxing may occur but Jan is definitely on her way to being a weaver.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Supperclub at the Wine Vault

Since the holidays are usually so hectic, we decided to have dinner out for supper club this month.

We met up at the Wine Vault & Bistro for their prix fixe 3-course dinner for $20. They offer this on friday and saturday nights. There is also an add on for the wine pairings.  So many choices.
Here is a sampling of the food we ordered.
Local beets, pepita puree, bourbon sherry, whipped goat cheese, and micro beet greens
Warm puntarella salad, yellowfoot mushrooms, bacon, slow poached egg, fennel pollen, bay leaf nage, and saba
Seared colorado lamb carpaccio, currants, charred cucumber, vandouvan, chervil, smoked yogurt, and bread tuile
Sous vide tri tip, potato cake, "creamed" spinach, black trumpet mushroom, and rosemary jus
Braised short ribs, marble potato hash, celery root + espresso puree, charred celery, and preserved lemon
Roasted shelton farms chicken breat, grit cake, chanterelle puree, bacon jam, braised greens, and mushroom jus
Three housemade valrhona chocolate truffles
Fall sorbet tasting: blood orange w/candied zest, meyer lemon w/honey espuma, and pomegranate w/pistachio shortbread
Espresso + cream: mousse crumble, vanilla ice cream, cocoa nib coulis, and caramel powder

It was a lovely dinner.  The food was delicious but our consensus was that there could have been more of it.