This Week There Has Been

A little progress on the Skandalwanderer.

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A little progress on a second sock that’s been languishing since August 4.

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Believe it or not, there has been no stash enhancement or new loom parts ordered. However, the vendor did finally get the shipment of loom stands in and I should have mine by the end of the week. Yay!

There has been a little bit of weaving on my place mats.

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And finally there has been knitting on the Wool Peddler’s Shawl KAL.

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A Swatch By Any Other Name

Things have been productive around Chez Pahdoco the last few days. I finished off the Spring Dreamin’, and it’s 950 yards of beautiful lace weight goodness.

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I finished my first actual weaving project – a plaid scarf.

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It’s not perfect, but I’m okay with it. However, it’s a little scratchy for me.

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Made some good progress on the Skandalwanderer this week.

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How have I made this much progress this week? I got my 80 hours in by the end of the day Thursday, so I had Friday off as an RDO. I had a lovely quiet day spinning, weaving, and knitting. Work has felt stressful so it was very welcome.

I’ve kept Jim busy the last few days making me a few things to help with the loom. He’s made me extra shuttles, and some warping sticks. His latest was a couple of raddles, which help with making warps. One thing I didn’t realize about weaving was that I’d need a few clamps for holding things still on tables. When I mentioned it to Jim he said he had that covered. Boy did he.

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These little jobs are great. Easy to use, no wearing out your wrist twisting screws, easy release, and gentle interfaces.

I need to swatch for a KAL we’re doing with Cheryl Oberle of her Wool Peddler’s Shawl. I’m going to use some gorgeous supposedly cashmere blend that’s been in my stash forever. Or since it’s a shawl I might just start knitting. But this morning, I did a weaving swatch. Except in weaver-speak it’s not swatching, it’s sampling. Whatever.

The point is, I took the yarns I want to use and spent a couple of hours warping up a bit and weaving it, then finishing it like I plan to do the project and running it through the washer.

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This is finished but not washed.

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And this is post washing.

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It shrunk up a little more than I thought it might, which is good to know when I get ready to actually figure out how wide to make the warp and how long to weave the pieces, and how much to leave between them. Speaking of pieces, it’s going to be place mats. Terribly original I know, but I’d like to do something we can actually use. After that I’m thinking a nice pooling scarf.

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It’s About To Get Real

Today I warped up my first “real” weaving project.

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It will be a plaid scarf. The blue yarn is recycled from the failed Tilted Duster. Unfortunately I didn’t notice a splice when I was winding the warp, so I may have one strand fail. All of my books tell how to fix it, so I’m not too worried.

I finished the little rags I worked on to just get used to the loom.

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As you can see they’re not much to look at, but I did learn some things. Edges are hard. If you’re going to use the same warp for multiple pieces you need way more length between them than you think or you’ll wind up with ends too short to deal with. Be gentle with tension when applying hem stitching. And the really big one?

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It takes way more yarn than you think it will for the weft threads to do their over/under thing when you beat a pick. That top piece shows what happened when I realized it and changed how I was doing things. The right side didn’t have enough, the left did. The bad part is leaving more makes the edges sloppier. I’ll just have to work on that.

Because I did so much reading about weaving this week I really didn’t get much hand work done. I spun for a while yesterday for the first time since we went to Arkansas at the beginning of August. Got the first half of the camel/merino/silk blend finished and started on the second half. Also went to Knit In yesterday, and had lunch with one of my besties before. It was very nice to see everyone – including Terri who I haven’t seen in years.

The little bit of knitting I’ve done was on the SkandalWanderer. It’s going to be really pretty.

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My Cardinals are making a charge at just the right time – here’s hoping for that World Series trip to finally happen this year!

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Another Rabbit Hole

I have fallen down yet another rabbit hole. What’s funny is I had thought of that exact expression myself, but when I told my friend Robin about my new toy she said the same thing – “Fell down another rabbit hole!”. Too funny in my book.

But I needed something funny. I joined the shoulders and started the border on the Stranded Surprise. I decided after getting this far

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that I wanted to change the back of the neck so I took the whole border out and started it again. I finished it, put it on (still has no sleeves) and am kind of disappointed.

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Maybe blocking will help, we’ll see. But it’s short, the bottom flares, and it feels terribly bunchy under the armpits. Of course, I’m also wearing a huge t-shirt that wodged up under it so it may not be quite as bad as it felt. And blocking should help. At least I keep telling myself that. Trying to decide if I want to block before I do the sleeves. If it doesn’t help, I’ll probably felt it and cut it up for coasters or something. I’m absolutely not blameless on the things that are wrong, but I’m still feeling kind of bummed about it.

I did get the BMFA fiber club shipment week before last and forgot to post it. It’s 80% Merino/20% Tussah, and the color is Nanu Nanu in honor of Robin Williams.

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On top of the SS debacle, we finally figured out this morning that poor Brandi had fleas. She’s been awfully twitchy for the last couple of days and I had looked her over, but didn’t see them or the “flea dirt” that comes with them. (Total aside, don’t you just love some of those euphemisms?) This morning she was on the bed while the sheets were in the wash so was on the white mattress protector. No doubt about it – a BUNCH of nasty little black flea shit spots. So we sprang into action that included me climbing into the shower with the dog, some serious cleaning, washing of a bunch of stuff, etc. Tomorrow we’ll arrange getting the yard treated and get some flea treatment for the cats even though they show no signs of being infested. We’re hoping we caught it early enough we don’t have to get the inside of the house treated. Keep your fingers crossed.

Now, about that rabbit hole. I got a loom last week.

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It’s a 32″ Kromski Harp. Right now I’m just practicing plain weaving, but once I get the stand I’m going to try some actual usable placemats. BTW, if you decide you need a loom consider a stand. I wish I’d got one with my original order like I started to.

I’ve ordered a couple more reeds that will be more appropriate for the finer yarns I plan to work with most of the time, as well as a couple of other accessories that should make things easier. I still need LOTS of practice warping. Warping or dressing is putting the long strings on the loom that run vertically in the picture above. It takes a while, but proper warping makes or breaks your project. The stuff you see on the loom now is some cotton that’s been in stash forever, and it’s just little rags to get used to working with the thing.

So, while it hasn’t been a bad week it’s felt a little ugh today. I’m looking forward to exploring weaving, and it will be a great way to use some of this yarn I’ve been collecting. Plus it will give me something to do with the different kinds of yarns I want to spin but haven’t because I know I’d never knit with them.

Posted in Stash Enhancement, Stranded Surprise, Weaving | 1 Comment

Go Get A Glass Of Wine

While you’re doing that and getting settled, here’s the Devil’s Lake all finished. Dudes, this thing is HUGE. And warm and squishy and I can’t wait for it to be cold enough to wear it.

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Got that wine close? Good. Here we go.

I finished the main body knitting on the Stranded Surprise today. It’s kind of an odd looking thing.

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So, first you secure the stitches. I used a crochet method to do so, but some people use a sewing machine. I used a smaller yarn (fingering weight Shetland) that is nice and grabby like the yarn I knit the sweater with.

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And then I cut.

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Have a nice sip of that wine and come back when you feel better.

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Up next is joining the shoulders. Then putting on the edging, then finishing off the sleeves. Then it will be done!

I did start a new project this week, because I didn’t have a good take-it-with-me project. It’s another one out of the Wollmeise I’ve been collecting. Called Strandwanderer. I did rip back a few rows, as shown by the red line below.

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I decided the horizontal sections were just a wee bit too tall, so I dropped back and went to one fewer ridges and I’m happier. It’s a subtle difference, but important enough to impact how happy I’ll be with the finished object.

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I’ve got one more day off tomorrow, then it’s back to work. Phantom was great last Thursday. The way they did the sets was pretty interesting. Don’t have anything else on the schedule now until our trip in December. I’m sure something will come up though. Maybe a run over to Arkansas for the Arkansas Fiber Arts Extravaganza.

Posted in Devil's Lake, Finished Objects, Scarves, Stranded Surprise | Leave a comment