I’ve got nothing

I wish I had some fiber progress to show.  But there has been almost no creative work done around here lately.  Due to some unexpected family and work trauma all coming on at the same time, all my down time has been spent on immersion escapism reading and binge watching shows like Project Runway.  Watching other people sew probably doesn’t count, right?

I’ve also spent a lot of time brushing the cat.  While reading.  Very easy on the disturbed brain.

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And it makes the cat pretty happy too.

But it means this is all I have to show for accomplishments:

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And I’ve only just noticed that I’ve matched my yarn and my cat.

Summer is coming

As the weather gets sunnier, some of the many tunics I’ve made for work had to be taken out of rotation – flannel was too warm, and the darker ones weren’t right for the sunshine.

So this weekend I made three more.

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It was totally assembly line sewing.  I cut the pieces out in multiples and did all the steps in multiples of three (or six in the case of the sleeves).

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Normally I am not a pinner, but with the sleeves especially I used a lot of pins to ease in the curve of the sleeve caps.

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They are quite shapeless on the hangers, but I do add in waist shaping, and they are very comfortable to wear.  I can be active in them without getting too hot and the fabric makes me feel cheerful.  And with all these tunics, I never have to spend much time thinking about what to wear.

As always, modified versions of Dress no. 2 from 100 Acts of Sewing.  Two scoop necks, one v neck, and the ice cream cones version has ties in the back.

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Crossroads block

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I haven’t started a quilt top for awhile – or done much else with fabric – so it was time to get going on one.  I landed on this tutorial from the Bee in My Bonnet blog.

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I used a lot of my darker scraps on my Growing Up Odd quilt, so for this one I sorted out low volume fabric for the background and dug out some blue solids to scatter in.

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This is what the block is supposed to look like.

After I made the first block though, I realized that I’d have to do a lot of planning if I wanted each X to be from one blue rather than mixed.  I went back and forth on whether I cared, tried a different arrangement, finally decided I did care, and dismantled the completed block.

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So now the plan is to make the X blocks separately from the 16 patches and assemble it from there.

Finished scarf

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I finished my woven scarf and am declaring it a success.

You can read about the set up for this project in this post.

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I wove until I was having to fight to get the stick shuttle through the shed — the top and bottom of the warp get too close together to pass through smoothly, particularly with the mess of criss-crossing strands caused by using a variety of different yarns and spacing them randomly along the heddle.  When I weave with just one yarn I can be tidier and weave much closer to the end before I have to stop.

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Because the strands at towards the ends tend to resist moving up and down, especially the “stickier” alpaca yarn, I had to be vigilant to make sure I wasn’t skipping over (or under) any threads I shouldn’t have.  You can see in the picture above that I missed in one place.  The weft is going over three warp threads, when it should be under the middle thread.

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This was very close to the end of my weaving, so I just cut the warp thread, pulled it back through to the spot I missed, and then wove it in properly with a tapestry needle.

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Then I cut the rest of the warp threads loose and pulled them out of the heddle.

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Knots keep the whole thing from unraveling — every five stands together keeps things in place and makes a nice fringe.

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The finished scarf is a little rough and bumpy, so the next step is to even that out.

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A good sloshing soak relaxes the yarns and smooths out the tension.

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Some time drying in a slight breeze, a trim to even out the fringe, and I have a new scarf to put into the gift drawer.

 

 

 

Warm feet

I think I forgot to post my finished slippers from a while back.  You can read about their making here.

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I’ve been throwing them in the wash whenever we did laundry.  It took more loads than I thought it would to shrink them down.  On the last load I took them out of the dryer a little early so they were still damp.  That way I can wear them around and they conform to my feet a little better and any pressed in wrinkles smooth out more easily.

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They are comfy and warm.  I might make them a little less wide around next time, but they will do the job as is.

The pattern is Fuzzy Feet, free on Ravelry, and the yarn is Lamb’s Pride, worsted weight.

Reviving an old hobby

I dragged my rigid heddle loom out from under the bed, dusted it off, and got it warped this afternoon.   It has been several years since I’ve used my loom, so it took a while to dig out all the parts I needed.

To get the intended scarf long enough, I had to move the dining room table into the kitchen so I could put the direct warping peg on the kitchen counter.  I’m going to need a new plan for the future as that was rather a pain.

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For the warp I used a number of different fingering weight remnants from various knitting projects.

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The weft is going to be from a cone of untwisted plies I bought years ago.

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It took a little while to remember the steps, but it came back to me.  After warping, the yarn is wound up onto the back.

 

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Then pulling single strands through the small holes on the heddle.

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Knotting in bunches.

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Lacing to get even(ish) tension.

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And finally, weaving!

Starting with thicker waste yarn helps space out the warp and gives me a further chance to correct any strands with loose tension.  The warping took an hour or so, but then the weaving goes very quickly.  Knitting a scarf with this yarn would take many days.  I can weave a scarf in a few hours.  And it is a great way to burn up some of the yarn stash.

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