Sunday, October 26, 2008

This Project Needs a Time Out!

Murphy must be sitting on my shoulder! For every 10 rows that I've woven on this lap rug, I think I have "unwoven" 3. Sometimes I don't get a good shed and other times I have a treadling error. I tried stepping away from the loom for a day to see if that helps...not! Back in my days as a "working at a paying job person" (aka not retired), I had a theory that sometimes projects just take on bad karma - for no apparent reason. And once the bad karma hits it, no matter what you do, the project is going to be problems, problems, problems. That's the way this lap rug has been. First I didn't have enough warp and had to order more, then I had many, many problems when I was tying on the warp (and I was just trying on to the old warp, for goodness sake!). And now I have the treadling and not a clear shed issues. Details: the warp is cotton and the weft is a merino angora.

Back on my table loom, I have finished the silk merino scarf (using Lisa Souza's Silk Merino in her Mardi Gras colorway). It's very soft and the photo doesn't do it justice. Then I did a really quick project -- a Mobius. With some advice from Woven~n~Spun, I used a silk warp with some everyday worsted yarn. I wove about 38 inches, 7 inches wide. What I learned is: 1) use a soft yarn as the weft and 2) make it a little longer. I was locked in on the warp length because I was using some silk that Daisey, the yarn eating-dog, had had a little snack on. (Below is the yarn eating dog trying to look like she's sorry [not].) She likes silk almost as much as she likes cashmere.

I'm getting ready to warp my table loom again to make a scarf using some of Lisa's new Baby Alpaca Sport, in the petroglyph colorway. The warp is some black/dark brown yarn that I got in Utah at Unraveled in Sandy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Step Away from the Political Blogs and WEAVE!

My looms have been quiet until this week – travel, family emergencies, more travel and then the flu – all slowed down my goal of weaving one thing every week. But now I’m back at the loom. I’m trying to spend more time weaving and less reading the political blogs and financial news! (Step away from the computer!) Weaving is much better for the soul and mistakes can be fixed without a Congressional bailout!

Our travels included a brief trip to Salt Lake City and I convinced DH that one morning should be devoted to yarn store shopping. For weavers and spinners, Three Wishes Fiber in West Jordon is the place to visit. Lots of lovely weaving yarns and fibers. I snagged a cone of red Tencel and resisted walking out with a spinning wheel. Another great yarn shop in Sandy is Unraveled. I couldn’t find a website for them, but they are on 700 East and about 9300 South. The folks at both shops were really friendly and expecting me! as I had asked on Ravelry for shop recommendations. (The power of Ravelry!)

On the trip home we cruised off the interstate at Pendleton and checked out the Pendleton Mill Outlet. WOW! Has that shop changed. In the early 70s I use to shop there as I lived nearby. The shop was in a large closet (at least it seemed that way) and mostly had fabric for sale. Now it’s quite large and packed with clothes, blankets and fabric. I wasn’t interested in the clothes – I was looking for mill end cones and selvages. They were out of cones, but expecting some (call ahead) and they did have selvages. I bought about 25 pounds for rugs.

People have told me recently that I can’t weave rugs on my Fireside, however, I have done them in the past, so I’m planning to weave these selvages on it. I’m not sure why I shouldn’t do rugs on it – it’s heavy and didn’t walk when I wove the rugs in the past.

Here’s a little swatch from a scarf that is almost complete. I’m weaving it on my small Louet table loom. The warp is cotton from my stash and the weft is a Silk Merino blend from Lisa Souza. The colorway is Mardi Gras. The pattern is a section of the Bamboo Scarf pattern in the Issue 22 of Weaver’s Craft.

On my Fireside loom, I am warping another laprug. I’m about 60% complete with the warping…a slow process for me. The warp is a light and dark teal cotton and the weft will be a variegated Merino Angora yarn in shades of teal and green.

In honor of a dear friend of mine who joined the great majority in September, I am donating all October proceeds from my line of felted bag patterns to the Obama campaign. She was an avid Obama supporter and I know that she and Tim Russert are having some great conversations about now on the election. So if you are of the Obama persuasion, pop over to my website and buy a pattern.

Now, back to the loom and no blog reading first!