Saturday, October 3, 2015

Time to Blog!

It's been a year.  Haven't felt like blogging but I am going to make an effort to get back in the swing of things. Been getting ready for my first Spinzilla and looking forward to the experience.

Hedwig is cleaned and oiled. I've sorted thru stash and set out five pounds of assorted fibers to choose from. Need to do a bit of prepping before spinning. All of my bobbins are empty and it is difficult to stay away from the wheel, but I have been spinning every day for the last couple of weeks. I kept track of my progress this week and I managed to spin 3,696 yards of yarn, 2.1 miles. That total includes both singles and plying. The Merino roving that I spun was 4.0 oz, 572 yds of 2-ply. 2X 572 for singles + 572 for plying = 1,716 yds. So, I have 572 yds of two-ply yarn but I actually spun and plied 1,716 yds to get it.

This is what I have to pick from for spinning.

I am leaning toward the cotton roving, and Merino roving in the basket, for long-draw to off set the slower spinning with the dyed Superwash Merino and the BFL/Silk blend fiber which I will spin short draw for more control. I tend to spin singles for two-ply lace and fingering weight yarn and will aim at filling  two bobbins and plying from them both instead of taking the time to wind yarn off of one bobbin into a center pull ball for a two-ply.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sock Knitting Experiment

I enjoy knitting socks from the toe up using Magic Loop method. I normally knit them one at a time on two long circular needles, working on one for an inch or so and then the other. After knitting the foot on both socks I decided to try knitting the cuffs using the two at a time method on one long needle. I managed to stick with it for about two inches and gave up. It is too 'fiddly' for me and seems so slow. I switched back to working on one at a time on separate needles.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Warped and Ready to Weave!

I received my red oak tablet weaving cards and a shuttle from The Weiner Dog Ranch in the mail today. Of course I had to get the inkle loom that I purchased in August warped up with the new cards. Both the loom and cards and are made of red oak and the shuttle is made of mahogany.

I am meeting a friend for coffee tomorrow, er make that is nearly 1 am. Funny how I can lose track of time when I am focused on spinning/weaving/knitting stuff. Any way, my friend, Linda, is the one who got me into card weaving and I wanted to show her my new toy, er, loom, so that is why I stayed up to get it warped. That is my story and I am sticking to it....

Monday, September 29, 2014

Another Design

I decided earlier this year that my French Press coffee maker needed a cozy to keep that second cup of coffee warm until I poured it so I designed one. It has been published on Ravelry as a free download.

It was exciting to see my Ripply Slouch Hat at #1 on the Ravelry Pattern page most of yesterday so I decided to get busy with some more designs.

The pattern at the #5 slot is by Amber DeHay. I did a test knit for her wrist warmer pattern a couple of years ago which was a lot of fun. You can find her on Ravelry as knitmyworld. Her blog is KMW Designs. Amber put her Almost Spring wrist warmer pattern and Spring to Great Lengths scarf as a promo free download when I was running my free download of Ripply Slouch. We really enjoyed watching the downloads rack up. I had over 1,600 free downloads of my hat before the promo ended. Amber had over 1,000 for her two patterns.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Offical Designer

My Ripply Slouch hat is finished with test knitting and is published on Ravelry. For a limited time I am offering it as a free download. After that it will be $3.00.

I have provided a link to the pattern on my blog. Click on the photo on the left of the page. You don't have to be a member of Ravelry to purchase the pattern.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Project Bags

I am sick of keeping my knitting projects in ziplock bags! They are fine for storing yarn in a climate controlled home to prevent moths from getting into expensive wool yarn, but I decided it was time to have some nice bags for separate projects. I couldn't find a pattern so I made my own bags in two sizes: 5"x 10"x 12" and 5"x 15" x 12". I mitered the corners for a boxy base and used nylon cords for drawstring closures. The bags are lined with satin type fabric and have a wrist strap for carrying. I used a light weight fusible interfacing to give the bags some shape.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Portable Weaving

This post is in response to an email I had asking about the inkle loom in this post: New Inkle Loom.
The person who emailed me asked if the 15" would be good for a beginner and if a light weight loom like this would be sturdy enough.

The 30" loom that I got fits nicely on my folding table, making it great to take with me for demonstrations and meetings with a monthly spinning/weaving group. It sells for $99.00, the smaller 15" loom sells for $60.00. I prefer being able to wind a 4 yard warp on the larger loom compared to a 2 yard warp on the smaller loom. If you are just starting out with inkle or card weaving and don't want to spend more money for the larger loom the 15" loom will probably be fine.

As for how sturdy the 30" loom is: I easily clamped it down to my folding table. I can use two 2 1/2" C-clamps to keep it in place, with a couple of pieces of thin leather to keep from marring the wood. The photos below show one clamp in place....the other clamp is evading me at the moment. I can sit comfortably in my adjustable office chair to weave and the whole setup doesn't take up much room. When I am not using the loom it can sit on top of a bookcase that I use for storage in my studio. The table sits beside my recliner for my laptop when I am not using it.