When warping goes awry

March 1st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Last night I was super keen about warping my rigid heddle loom with my knitter friend Jenn to get a weaving project underway for a charity sale that I’m selling my craft items in.  I had most of the warp yarns picked out and the weft yarn as well.  Jenn was wanting to learn how to warp a loom, and learning on a rigid heddle loom is a good place to start as its fairly simple.  So away we went with loading the warp onto the loom using the finest reed I have (12.5 dpi) and everything was going smoothly as we wound the yarn onto the back beam of the loom. 

That is, until I cut the warp loop in preparation for threading, and the inertia from the wound warp uncoiled on the back beam.  Which is akin to a roll-blind boing-ing back up onto itself (I searched for an appropriate youtube video, but none to be found).  The warp could not be salvaged.  I was crestfallen as we had spent over an hour just putting the warp on the loom.  Its a good thing I was in a good mood & drinking wine, otherwise I may have burst into tears.
Here’s the waste:
loom waste
That’s a lot of cobweb-lace yarn on the floor that I can no longer use.  If you know of anyone who makes dolls, it would be good for stuffing them/hair – please comment below…

At 9:17pm, I asked Jenn if we should start again.  She said yes, and so away we went.  We motored away and managed to warp & thread my loom by 10:40pm.  Here’s the proof that we actually managed to warp, thread, and tie on the warp yarn.

The weft is also going to be cobweb lace (apparently, I’m feeling masochistic about weaving these days) that looks like this:

Its Jojoland Harmony in HC06 colourway – variegated yumminess .

Wish me luck on the rest of this weaving expedition!

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Christmas projects recap

January 3rd, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

Now that Christmas is over, its finally safe to me to reveal to the world at large what I made this year for gifts.  As I’m a logical creature, I’m going to present them in the order in which I completed them.  I had to keep photos and information offline while making these items as I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for those who I was gifting.  I don’t have photos of each person wearing the items I made, but I will get them eventually – so I have substituted a dummy model or a chair instead.

First up, a cowl & mitts for my birth mother.  I made her a cowl a few years ago that she absolutely adored, but it got destroyed this year when it fell down in her coat closet and was repeatedly run-over by the sliding mirror door.  Considering it was Malabrigo Sock yarn, I can only imagine the mess it became.  She didn’t send a picture, I think she was too ashamed/dismayed by the demise of this cowl.  This time around, I let her pick out the yarn as I had a specific pattern in mind.  Here she is:


Project notes:
Pattern name: Gossypium (link is available to all)
Yarn: 99.8 yards of Rowan Felted Tweed Aran in Cassis colour
Needle: 6mm 16″ circular needle
Other: did only 8 repeats of the pattern as Mary wanted something closer to her neck for warmth. And it only took me two days to make this, huzzah!

I made a pair of fingerless mitts to match the cowl (you can sort of see one in the photo above) as I still had 90 yards of the yarn left over and I thought it might be nice for her to have a set.
Pattern name: Sherwood Mitts (Ravelry link only)
Yarn: 85 yards of the same above
Needle: 5mm dpns
Other: only took me 3 days to knit these mitts! Had to learn a new knitting technique call the Vikkel Braid which is from Estonia. Took me a few tries to figure it out, but its really rather cool. Funny thing about this gift, my b-mom had no idea that I made her matching fingerless mitts to go with her cowl.  Only a day or two before Christmas, she was telling me how cold her workplace was, and how she wished that she had some fingerless mitts to keep her warm on the job.  Talk about psychic!

Next up, a hat on demand by my boyfriend D.  He had another hat that he likes but found it sometimes overly warm to wear, and he was specific about how he likes hats to fit his head (I understand specificity very well when it comes to putting stuff on my noggin too).  So I did some searching around Ravelry, and made him this:

turn a square
Project Notes:
Name: Turn-a-Square hat (Ravelry link only)
Yarn: Berroco blackstone tweed (no idea yardage as I forgot to weigh it after the fact) in Ancient Mariner, and Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Instant Print (try to say that 5 times fast!)  in forest tones (again, no idea about yardage, but it was minimal as this yarn was used for the self-striping portion of the hat).
Needles: 3.75mm & 4mm 16″ circular needles
Other: this hat also only took me 2 days to knit.  Efficient? You bet!

And now for something completely different – a woven project.  I posted about this scarf that I was weaving for D’s mum for Christmas, and now I have something to show for it!
dragonfly sunset scarf
It sure is purdy, eh?  It sure took me a long time to weave as the yarn weft was all lace (or cobweb) weight.  Probably some of my finest weaving work to date.  I didn’t have a pattern per se, I just warped the loom in a way that I thought would showcase the variegation in the weft yarn.  I have no idea how much yarn I used up, as I was busy trying to get this thing done in time for Christmas.

Project Notes:
Craft: weaving – on my Ashford 32″ Rigid Heddle Loom
Warp: 7′ long and 14″ across a 10 dpi (dents per inch) reed.  I alternated 3 double shots of tan coloured rayon yarn with 2 double shots of blue Sweet Georgia Seasilk yarn except for where I pooled the blue yarn in the middle of the warp.
Weft: variegated nylon/cotton ribbon yarn that moved through a muted rainbow colourway.
Other: I hand-twisted all the ends to have a more finished product.  Patti loved it, and I can’t wait to see a photo of her wearing it!

Lastly (are you keeping up ok?) is a hat that I made for D’s dad.  Ron walks his lovely dog daily, and being in Vancouver where its cold and rainy, its important to keep one’s head warm.  But its also important to keep rain off one’s glasses.  In short, no toque would do for Ron.  So when I mentioned the idea to D that I would make a hat for his dad, he said, “Make one with a brim.  He will love it.”  OK.  So I did:
headcoat hat
And man, was this thing tricky!  Knitting toques is really no big deal, but having to knit a toque with a brim was kind of hellish for my poor hands & wrists.  I decided to knit the “body” of the hat first as that was the easy part.  Then I had to figure out how on bob’s green earth to knit the visor casing, let alone attach the thing to that hat.  Here’s a few pics of my process:
Firstly, I cut out a visor from a hat that I bought at the Sally An for $5 (side wank:cannot believe that Dressew doesn’t carry visors for hats.  They have every other bobdamn thing for sale for crafting but NOT visors – WTF?!)
visor casing
Secondly, I had to knit a casing for the visor (which included learning how to, finally, do Judy’s Magic Cast-On for an invisible starting edge – cool stuff I tell ya).
casing done
Then I had to knit the visor casing closed.  This was a challenge and required as many size 3mm dpns that I had laying around.  But the real challenge was yet to come – knitting the visor onto the body of the hat.  I needed a lot of patience and deep breathing to get through this part.  I couldn’t put the knitting down to take a photo, but as I have a completed picture, you can take my word that I survived this process.  It did hurt my hands though; and needless to say, I took a break after all this holiday gift knitting.

Project Notes:
Name: Tempo’s Headcoat (scroll about a quarter-way down the page to download the pattern)
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Portland Tweed in Hudson Bay colour; 211 yards used.
Needles: 3mm dpns for the band, 3.5mm 16″ circular needs for main construction, and 4mm 24″ circular needles for the brim casing.
Other: I did 7 short rows on the band to give it a more finished look.  I’m very pleased to say that Ron loves his hat and has been wearing it everyday to walk the dog.  This makes me happy knowing that I gave him a gift he could really love and use.


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Time to get busy!

November 2nd, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Its November.  For those of us crafty folks, its also known as the time to get busy!  By my calendar, there are currently 51 days left until Christmas. 

panic button

Luckily, I have gone into this winter gift-giving season with a bit of a plan. 

Projects that I’m for sure making:

  • cowl for my birth mom
  • hat for boyfriend
  • hat for boyfriend’s dad
  • woven scarf for boyfriend’s mom

Its possible that I may make some other items for my family here in town, but I have no idea at the moment.

I’m happy to report that I’m making progress on two of the four projects listed above – the cowl (because I have to mail it) and the woven scarf (because its lace weight and painstaking to make = time consuming).

Its been about 10+ months since I last wove anything, and its nice to do an hour here, an hour there to get it done slowly over time.  This project is being woven on my 32″ rigid heddle loom and therefore its not portable.  Its also the first lacy weaving I’ve done in a number of years.  This project was a pain in the ass (PITA) to warp onto the loom as I didn’t have any help and had to use both my hands and teeth (yes, teeth) simultaneously.  Ah, the things I do for my craft…

Here’s a picture to whet your appetite.

woven scarf

I’m really digging the gradient in the weft. Will post full project notes, including yarn content (note: all stash yarn!) once its completed and off the loom.

No, I haven’t forgotten to update y’all with info and pictures from my cardigan project.  Rest assured, it now has a sleeve and part of the second sleeve.  Its going to be a bit of a back-burner project (yet again) due to all the gift-making projects on the go, but I am determined to finish it sooner rather than later.

I should mention that if anyone has special orders for Christmas gifts, please send me an email by no later than November 9, 2012. That way I’ll have enough time to make your item.  Thanks for your support :)

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