Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Better Way to Fight Breast Cancer

I wanted to take a moment to share something: A better way to fight breast cancer. Tired of having your breasts mashed by mammography? Concerned you may be activating something that is lying dormant in your breast tissue by the compression used in mammography? Not sure the readings are accurate? Ever had to go back for another mammography because 'we aren't sure what we are seeing and we want to do the scan again'?

Check out the Breast Thermography page at Whole Body Healing Center of Lewisville. Give Dr. Shawn a call at 972-434-7780.


Another Shawl

I finished another shawl last week while my Mom was visiting us. I had it on the needles in my knitting basket and she pulled out some yarn to show me that she had bought for a project....and it was the same yarn I was working with, Bernat Denim Style, just a different color. That isn't the first time we have picked the same yarn for something without knowing it. I used a basic triangle shawl pattern with increases at the beginning and end of the row as well as on either side of the center. I decided against fringe or lace for the edge. It is just a nice comfy, garter stitch shawl. I wore it to Mass Sunday and it is a nice weight.

Warping from the back of the loom

I used to warp from the front of the loom and then I read an article in issue 122, Nov/Dec 2004 of Handwoven on warping from the back and I am hooked! No more stressing the warp by pulling it through the heddles. I just made a raddle out of a piece of pine 1x2 and some finish nails spaced an inch apart. I fasten it on the loom with rubber bands.

This is some handspun dyed merino 2ply that I found in my stash. I have two skeins and one skein has more twist than the other so I used it for warp. The warp is 8"X113" on the loom and I am trying to decide if I should thread for a rosepath pattern since this scarf will be solid, not variegated.

Another Scarf

I recently took another scarf off the loom, this time in silk. I had some silk noil spun up and lurking in my stash and thought it would work nicely. Again, I warped for 12" in width and 113" in length. After washing and blocking it is 11" X 70".

Now I need to weave a narrow scarf out of hand-spun wool to round out my cotton/silk/wool woven projects for the demo I will do in less than two weeks, then warp the loom with some more hand-spun silk for the project I will be working on for the demo.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The New Girl

I am enjoying my new wheel, a single treadle, single drive Ashford Traditional. She spins beautifully and has made a nice addition to the wheel family. I have named her Rachel and she joins Rebecca the Great Wheel, Wee Peggy the upright wheel and Kate the double drive Traditional.

Washed, Blocked & Pressed

I finished the fringe last night then washed the shawl on the hand-wash cycle of my new Kenmore washer and tossed it into the new dryer on delicate with a load of clean white laundry that had been sitting on the dining room table waiting to be folded. I set it for damp dry and then blocked and pressed it on the ironing board before hanging it on a padded hanger overnight. I am more than satisfied with the end result of the first weaving project in a long time, especially since I was using hand-spun.

The dimensions: on the loom 12"X113"; off the loom 11"X79"; washed and blocked 10 1/2X74". I had warped for 72" finished length according to directions in a weaving book but I got seven inches more on my warp because I had changed to cloth aprons last year and gained some length from the back beam.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Warped Again!

I got the loom warped and began weaving a scarf out of some hand-spun cotton today. I decided on a 12 inch X 72 inch warp at 10 ends per inch and approx 10 picks per inch. This seems to be one of those projects that is just falling into place. I should be able to get it off the loom tomorrow and get to work on the fringe.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Business end of a spindle wheel

One thing I learned about living with a spindle wheel.....keep a cork on the business end of the spindle when not in use or you can puncture yourself if you aren't careful.

2nd Saturday Spinners

Had a wonderful time spinning today with some talented ladies at Apple Leef Farm in Van Alstyne, TX. Leef has a huge building with lots of room, wheels, a loom to drool over and lots of fiber....which I managed to leave intact....not buying more until I spin more of what I have. The coffee was great and so was the company.

I am back to spinning some merino top very fine for a shawl and trying to decide what to ply it with to keep from muddying the gorgeous colorway. Maybe some silk thread....maybe some finely spun tussah.....decisions, decisions.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Keeping up

Many years ago, when I was into counted cross stitch, I purchased a nifty tool to use for keeping up with where I was on a chart. The brand name is LoRan. There is a book rack, a metal sheet to put behind the page you are reading from and a magnetic rule to mark your spot. I find that this set up works great for reading pattern charts in knitting: books, magazines or pamphlets.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another Wheel

I just bought a nice little Ashford Traditional, single drive, from a new friend I met on Ravelry. Turns out she lives in my home town! I wasn't even looking for another wheel....already have three....but it will come in handy when our daughter and her family move to Texas in a few years. She and the oldest grand-daughter are interested in spinning and weaving.

And to make matters even better, there is a carding mill across the river in OK not 30 minutes from our home AND I have learned about a spinning/weaving business about an hour in the other direction! It just doesn't get any better than that. Time to dust off the wheels and get busy.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cap Shawl

I couldn't stand it. I had to play around with some yarn and another pattern in the Victorian Lace Today book. Besides, I need another semi-mindless project to revert to when my brain begins to melt down from something else. I have had this yarn for about 15 years....sigh....and decided to do something with it.

I mentioned to the ladies at our In Stitches Meetup on Thursday that I thought I needed to make a pact with myself not to buy any more yarn until I get some of what I already have knitted up. Susan suggested that they draw up a contract for me and witness it. Ha ha. Very funny. Actually, that isn't a bad idea.

Friday, September 5, 2008

In Stitches

I had a wonderful time last night at the home of Sarah Dedmon of McKinney, Texas who hosted the first meeting of the In Stitches meetup group. There were nearly 20 people attending, including another spinner, Dana, and Michelle who is restoring a spinning wheel. We had originally planned on meeting at a coffee shop, but the list of people got so long that Sarah graciously offered us the use of her home and provided refreshements. Thank you, Sarah!

By the time I got home from the meeting, an hour drive for me, we already had a In Stitches group formed on Ravelry! Wow Michelle! That was fast work. I am now a member of 15 different groups on Ravelry. I even found a group for Pogo.com lovers on Ravelry. Who knew?

Denise brought her jewelry making supplies and with the help of a couple of other ladies made us all ear rings! Can't wait to wear mine! Thanks, ladies! That was very sweet of all of you.

I met another lace enthusiast, sorry but your name just escaped me....I am lousy at remembering names. The neat thing is we both had purchased the same shawl pattern, Pacific Northwest Shawl, and she was working on it while we chatted. I had to pet the yarn. Sorry, couldn't help it. It's a fiber thing.

Sherry, from Delightful Hands in Celina, Texas joined us, providing one of the door prizes, a yummy skein of yarn, which Susan Lacy Knitter won. Someone else provided a lovely fall theme wreath for the other door prize. There were several other ladies that I didn't have a chance to visit with since we were sort of spread out all over Sarah's house. I will make sure I get to know you all better next time!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Yarn, yarn everywhere...

When I am busy spinning and setting twist in the yarn I spin it isn't unusual to find it hanging around the bathroom....the dining room....the front porch or anywhere I can find a place that will work.

I love to work with silk

I had a bobbin of silk that I had spun from some dyed silk caps that needed to be plied with something else. I really like the way dyed silk looks plied with natural silk.

Getting ready for a demo

I have been asked to do a spinning/weaving demo next month at our county fair and I decided to spin up an ounce of several different fibers to lay out along with an ounce of the same un-spun fiber. So far I have an ounce of tussah/camel down spun up.

I also need to decide what kind of a project to do for the loom: probably a scarf out of hand-spun since people like to see both a finished project and one on the loom out of hand-spun yarn. I may knit up a scarf for a finished project and be working on a woven one for the demo.

Plying Singles

I have been plying up some singles yarn I spun some time ago and trying to decide what to do with it. I have some 2 ply cotton, silk (bombyx, noil and tussah) and a silk/merino blend.