Monday, April 3, 2017

Thread Art

After more than 40 years of sewing both personally and professionally...I still make thread art sometimes...

Friday, March 24, 2017

Roarin' 20's

My son's public elementary school's Mandarin Immersion Program has an annual fundraising gala. The theme this year was the Roaring 20's. Such a fun and accessible idea for everyone. We had a "Bootlegger's Pull", special themed drinks and lots of sparkly hair ornaments.

Mostly I want to show you my outfit for the evening. While I was excited about the gala as a fundraiser, I have to admit to being more excited about having an event to dress up in clothes from one of my favorite time periods.

Way back in college, I made this dress for opening night of a production of Cabaret. It still fit albeit a little tighter around the hips (I blame my son Ian for that). I had to make a small alteration on the lower fringe which I covered up with a floral applique. You can see it on the lower left side.

I borrowed a long strand of pearls and long black gloves. I had my own vintage and costume jewelry for the earrings, necklace and bracelets.

I had new pumps from last year that I never wore. I added black ribbon bows at the ankle for a more period look. Someone described them as "naughty".

Amazingly, while randomly out shopping for nothing, I found this cut velvet cocoon jacket on the sale rack at Anthropologie. Couldn't be more perfect.

I purchased this peacock feather fascinator for my hair from etsy shop, Axentz. I put it on a glittery elastic headband and added a rhinestone clip earring on the other side.

With advice from a hairdresser friend and Pintrist, I was able to cobble together some semblance of a flapper-esque hair-do.

And wallah....a roaring 20's version of myself...

Me with some of my beautiful friends.

It was a grand evening!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Knitting Needle Storage

Recently, my knitting needle storage went from this...

To this...

Each size has it's own bag. I sorted all the various straights, circulars and double points by size. The bags are contained on two giant separating rings. The two bundles do take up a little more space. BUT, I can actually see what I have now and easily search for what I need. I discovered that I had more of each size than I thought I had. Many never used. Not all of them very useful based on the type of projects I like to make. Then again now that I can find the right needles I might use them more.

I have to thank my friend Wendy for the idea.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Weaving Software Workshop

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take a one-day workshop with Robyn Spady on how to use weaving software. The software of choice this time was PCW Fiberworks.

Here is the cover of her workshop booklet. 

Robyn included both PC and Mac tutorials for us to follow. She had one of each platform set up and would switch back and forth on the monitor teaching the features and differences offered by both platforms.

My brain is a bit overwhelmed with the possibilities presented by using software to design weaving drafts. As much weaving as I've done I realize that I'm not sure I've done enough yet to fully understand all the weaving terms that would make using the software more efficient and fun. I am clear however that I REALLY need to take a paper drafting class. AND weave lots more!

The class was sponsored by the Studio 66 Workshop, of which I am one of the organizers. Robyn taught a 3-day weaving workshop on lace for us in February of 2016.

Closeup of my Bronson Lace.

My finished lace sampler.

Robyn is a wonderful teacher. It was great to have her back again. I highly recommend her workshops.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Tony's Socks

I tried to darn my husbands old store-bought house socks. Disaster! First, repair yarn was too thick and really, the socks had just too many holes. They are after all 20+ years old.

Then I saw the Bulky Sleep Sock pattern from a class at Yarn del Sol. Loved the simplicity. So I bought yarn, Plymouth Yarn Encore Chunky, and started this week on my very first pair of socks.

Tony's socks are grey with brown toes, heels and cuffs.

My first short rows and provisional cast on. Neither was as difficult as I thought it would be. Although...

My provisional cast on using a crocheted chain gave me a little trouble. As you can see in the center of the photo below, I split the gray yarn of the crochet chain when I picked up the new stitch in brown yarn. It meant that when I finished the short row toe section I could not unchain the provisional cast-on easily to pick up the live stitches. I had to cut the yarn at each split stitch. There was more than one split.

I worked both socks concurrently on different needles. One sock with magic loop and the other with 2 circulars holding stitches and a third circular for the knitting.

I only had the right size needles in circulars of varying lengths. It is a little spidery but it's working out.

A whole toe! And if you look carefully some of the picked up stitches from the provisional cast-on chain are twisted (right side of brown toe at the color change). I guess I picked up the wrong leg of the live stitches. I didn't see it until I'd knit several more rows. I was able to place them on the bottom of the foot. None the wiser!

A heel! Identical to how the toe was made.

A whole foot!

Two feet. And I ended up buying a second set of needles with a long cable to do magic loop. The spidery multi-needle mess got to be unwieldy.

Finished. A very thick and warm pair of house socks for my best guy.
 Happy feet!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hitchhiker with Stripes & Beads!

Yarn del Sol, my local shop, hosted a knit-along for a beaded version of the Hitchhiker scarf. It's an asymmetrical triangular shawl with 42 points on one edge. A very easy knit. The knit-along included instruction on how to add beads at each point.

I purchased a skein variegated light teals (yarn on the right) from In The Deep Hue Sea at YDS.

These were my beads of choice.

Then I started and stopped for many months knitting very slowly.

I eventually got to about the 30th point and realized that I was going to run out of yarn to make all 42 points. I could have stopped anytime but for some crazy reason was determined to make all 42 points! So I dug into my stash and found the lovely variegated dark teal yarn (left in first photo at top) I had leftover from another project. It's Ranco from Arucania Yarns. It was almost the same grist and the color was a great match.

I had created this little chart to count my rows. You'd think I could remember an 8 row repeat in garter stitch with increases on only one side. But I could never figure out which side I was on whenever I stopped. The chart was my memory. I also used it to work out stripes using a very short Fibonacci (D/L=Dark/Light yarn) sequence.

And the finished result. I think it turned out just great.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Weekend Scarf

I always see these articles proclaiming that one can weave a scarf in a weekend. That has never been my experience until now.

Yarn...Bamboo Pop. 50/50 Bamboo/Cotton purchased at Yarn del Sol.

Starting Friday night - one hour to warp and dress my 10" Schacht Cricket rigid heddle loom. Using direct warping method*, 8 dent reed, 64 ends, 3 yards long (2.7m). Start weaving.

Variegated warp with a solid weft. I wove about 10-12 inches per half hour.

Close up of loose weave. That's one reason why the weaving goes so fast.

4 hours total to weave 75 inches (190cm). Most on Saturday with the last 5 inches woven on Sunday morning. Cut off loom.

Twist fringe right away in just one hour. I love my fringe twister.

For easy care, throw in washer and dryer (to get full shrinkage of the bamboo/cotton yarn - about 14% shrinkage), press well with a hot iron and lots of steam. I wore it Monday morning!

You can weave a scarf in a weekend!

*Direct warping method. In 3 minutes. Or real time.