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Monday, October 31, 2016

The Last Day of October

Wow,
is it true that it is already the last day of October?
The past couple of weeks my husband and I 
have been painting the exterior of our house.

How hard could painting a two story house be, 
right??
The last time I did this was when we were living in Colorado,
when I was 20 years younger.
Somehow it seemed a bit easier then....
*whine alert*
I think that my painting arm fell off around day five of painting 
and my poor hubby had to deal with my grumpy attitude for a couple of weeks
as every, and I mean, every muscle hurt.
Gosh.
Cycling does not, NOT, use the same muscles,
for sure.
But,
we made it without falling off of a ladder
or dropping a bucket of paint,
and we're now done.
That's the sound of me crawling over to the sofa and not moving ;-)

Okay, I'll stop whining.
Thanks for bearing with me!

Each morning I've been trying to fit in just a bit of creative time,
so with that in mind the other day I measured out a mixed warp of 5/2 pearl cotton
in brilliant blue, and soft turquoise. 
Then I added various 10/2 mercerized cotton yarns in moss green, 
brilliant green, acid green, teal, and two yellows to weave two scarves.


For the first scarf I alternated two weft yarns-
one a New Zealand Merino yarn that I had dyed a dark turquoise, 
and the other was a bumpy, slubby handspun silk yarn
The weave structure is plain weave.
This is the first time that I've blended cotton yarns with
Merino yarn, so I'm curious to see if I like to wear it.

 

The second scarf on this warp is being woven with an
upcycled cashmere yarn that I recovered from a thrift store sweater 
that I unraveled.
Originally the sweater was beige, 
and I dyed the yarn a combination of navy blue, and brilliant blue.
I'm alternating the cashmere yarn with a 16/2 bamboo yarn
in brilliant turquoise.
The bamboo yarn adds a lovely shine to the scarf!



I mentioned in another post about buying some weaving kits for the first time.
What I was hoping for was inspiration to go in a new direction with my weaving 
which had become a bit stale.
These scarves were inspired by the scarf kits that I bought,
so purchasing a few kits did prove to be helpful.
 I've been dreaming of yarn combinations ever since.
And thinking of maybe weaving some unique scarves/shawls to sell....

On my Hollandia loom is a plain weave shawl 
woven with a solid black Merino/tencel yarn,
a variegated black/gray/crimson 8/2 tencel yarn,



Speaking of stale,
I realized that I haven't been sewing on my scrap triangle quilt.
I don't like it, 
I don't know why,
so it's going to be put away until I can figure out how to proceed.
So instead, I've started another round of
donation baby quilts which are fun to sew
and even more fun to give away.

I was up early the other morning, 
listening to the quiet of the morning,
and appreciating the gorgeous sunrise.


Every day is a gift that I am just so thankful for,
Here's hoping that you have time for fiber/fabric today,
Judy

Thursday, October 20, 2016

No Politics Here....

I don't know about you, 
but I'm quite thankful that the election 
is right around the corner as
I have election fatigue. 
Then maybe,
just maybe,
we'll have a break from it all.
Nah.
I know the system doesn't work like that,
does it?

My husband, Marshall,
loves to work with wood. 
In the evenings you'll find him carving
a spoon,
starting with a thick piece of wood,
and gradually working with it
until it takes on the shape that he wants it to be.

This is his latest creation,
made from a branch of a cherry tree that was once
growing in our yard.



I love the gentle curve of the handle.


And the small knots in the wood.

This spoon reminds me of the LOR,
when the Hobbits were talking about the trees speaking to them.
This spoon has a voice....



I just finished spinning some Cormo and silk for a
special woven scarf.
I thought that I'd pair this with some super-fine
cream alpaca.


Speaking of alpaca,
I purchased another weaving kit from the Yarn Barn.
This time I bought the Natural Alpaca Zen Stole kit.
I changed the colors to dark gray and black.
The alpaca is super soft and easy to weave with.
Fiber happiness!



Here's hoping that you have time for fiber/fabric today,
Judy

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Weaving Finish and My First Weaving Kit

I threw the last pick, or shuttle pass,
and my freestyle or Saori style fabric was done.
Such a neat feeling to cut it off of my Hollandia loom 
so that I could see it in its entirety!
Okay, 
now comes the challenging part of cutting it up
to make a vest or a jacket.
I'll do a muslin test run first,
just to make sure that I like the pattern and that it fits.


The left side is where I started weaving,
playing with different colors/yarns/textures.
Then I decided what I liked best,
and stuck with that for the rest of the cloth.
The yarns were a turquoise novelty yarn from a Saori Etsy store,
set against an 8/2 white tencel yarn with inclusions of
silk ribbon, embroidery floss,
and cut up bits of rayon scarf added
for little bursts of color and texture.



Do you buy crafting kits? 
Quilting, knitting, weaving kits are available 
with the yarns/fabrics included along
with the pattern.
I've never bought a weaving kit before,
and then I got the latest Yarn Barn catalog.
And I was thumbing through it,
thinking to myself that I'd like to weave that shawl,
and that scarf,
and those towels :-)
 I ordered my first weaving kit for
a bamboo/Merino overshot scarf,
called The Harmony Scarf
by Zahra Jade Designs.
Oh, happy day.


You have a choice of colors,
and I chose colors to go with my favorite turquoise down jacket.

I'm still sewing on the scrap triangle quilt 
and hoping to have the top done soonest.

I've been spinning some superwash Merino/silk roving
that I dyed a couple of weeks ago in silver, gray, and black.
I had a couple of requests for handwoven scarves
for Christmas and this yarn will be the weft.
And it's October, so I'd better get with the program!!


The other day my husband, Marshall, and I took our 
dual sport motorcycles out for a ride.
It was a little cool, but with a Merino sweater on
and a good jacket we kept warm.
Notice the hat knit out of handspun Cormo/silk yarn-
my hubby has a nice collection of hats that he rotates.
It's good to have a fiber fanatic in the family....


Living here in Idaho is so wonderful
because it's a short distance to the mountains,
where we can ride forest service roads 
that go on for miles and miles.
And most of the time we see maybe one or two people at most.
We get to ride along soaking up the peaceful views, and
hearing the wind blowing through the pine trees.
I like to putt on my motorcycle, Edna,
stopping to take photos,
and just enjoying the day.
Bliss.

Here's hoping that you have time for fabric/fiber this week,
Judy

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Welcome October!

Here in Boise it's getting cooler and
the leaves are changing color.
I really enjoy living where the seasons change.

I just finished weaving my twill 
hemp/organic cotton/linen washcloths.
Wow, that's a mouthful!
I wanted to share after photos with you,
so that you can see the cloth after it's been
washed in hot water and
dried in a hot dryer.

After:



Before:


The first time I wove these I was worried that the sett
(the closeness of the yarn)
was off.
Then I washed them, and discovered a pliable
cloth that felt just right.
I'll be mailing these to two special people this week, hurrah!

Project information:
  • I measured out a seven yard warp
  • warp was a 3 strand hemp yarn from Amazon and an organic cotton/hemp from the Woolery
  • weft was 20/2 linen from Webs
  • sett was 22 epi for 16 inches, adding 2 ends for floating selvages
  • the heavier hemp yarn was randomly placed across the warp for texture
  • I wove each washcloth 17 inches allowing for 1/2 inch hand sewn hems on each end
  • I wove various four shaft twills: pebble weave, Halvorsen #5 pebble weave, vertical herringbone, cord weave, vertical skip weave, balanced 2/2 twill
  • woven on a four shaft Baby Wolf loom
I took a little time away from working on my scrap triangle quilt
to play with color, making some bright improv coasters for my dining table.


Quite frequently on Saturday mornings, 
my husband, Marshall, and I
ride our bicycles downtown for some fresh air,
exercise,
and,
gulp, 
huge cinnamon rolls
plus coffee.
Okay, I admit it,
those cinnamon rolls are something to look forward to ;-)
Destination riding is fun....
And yep, I ate the whole thing myself.


Here's hoping that you have time for fiber/fabric today,
Judy