Sunday, April 20, 2008

Color blocked

If you've been following my projects for any length of time, you may have noticed that I tend to stick pretty closely to the same colors. Blues, Greens, Browns. It's not always a conscious choice, I just tend to be drawn to this palette.

So it should come as no real surprise that when I decided that I wanted to make some "art" (let's be honest here: glorified wall decoration is probably more accurate) for my bedroom that I ended up with aqua-ish and brown.

New paintings

I picked up some cheap canvases from Michaels and some acrylics. I wanted something graphic and not really representative of anything (although one looks like weaving... obsession coming through). There was a fourth but I'm not happy with it and I kind of like just the three on the wall.


After I started the fourth I realized it looked kind of like stocking stitch. I may put it up eventually but for now it's in time-out.

Further evidence of my color block:
Beautiful roving purchased from Etsy seller spinswim.

I am loving this roving. The colors are very intense and I can't wait for it to be yarn. I'm spinning it fairly thin, hoping for a sock-weight-ish. It will probably become a lace wrap/scarf. I think this color will make me happy in the dead of winter. It's making me happy now, what with all the snow and cold we're having. (still. ugh)

A month or so ago I cut up a bunch of old, worn out jeans. I originally was planning to make a braided rug but didn't like how it was turning out. So, I decided to sew the strips together to make a blanket (or possibly a duvet cover. Haven't decided yet).
Denim blanket in progress

I'm just overlapping the edges and sewing with a zigzag stitch. I'll need to trim some of the errant threads from the cut edges but I really like how it's turning out.

denim blanket in progress

I also started a shawl in some Fleece Artist Sea Wool I bought around Christmas. I was planning to make socks but decided it's so pretty and the sheen and drape are more suited for something drapey. I tend towards more utilitarian socks, it seemed a waste (gasp) of such nice yarn.

Feathered Rib Shawl in progress
I'm using a Feathered Rib stitch from a stitch dictionary. Not much to look at now, but I think it will be nice when done.

Finally, some more pics of the leftover blanket:
leftover squares in progress
I'm cheating a bit here and using some odd-ball sock yarn that isn't actually leftovers. Don't tell.

leftover tower

37 down... 20(or so) to go...

Saturday, April 19, 2008



Last Saturday and Sunday we had sun and temps in the 20s (Celsius -- low 70s F). This morning?


It's about -11C / 12F with a windchill. And snow. At first, yesterday, it was a typical Calgary April snow... heavy wet snow that just melted when it hit the ground. Somehow in the evening it decided to get cold on us.


I need to venture out today. If I make it back I'll post some in progress pics of a blanket I'm working on. And a top. And another top. And the leftover blanket. And... well, you get the idea.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Towel Rug

As much as I love working with yarn and fiber and fabric, I love using odd materials to make things. I spot items when I'm out somewhere or just suddenly have an idea and the next thing you know I'm gathering spoons at a flea market to make windchimes or buying an armful of $2.00 towels at Superstore to make a rug.

Towel Rug

I had this idea in my head for a few days so last night I picked up some cheap bath towels at Superstore, cut them into 2 inch strips and voila*.

*voila includes: warping the loom, weaving, having the stick I warped on break when I was on my last weft strip, trying to salvage the warp, using duct tape to hold the warp to the cross bar of the loom and finishing the ends.

Towel Rug

I originally intended to put this in my bathroom, but it turned out bout 4 inches too long. I still haven't gotten the hang of measuring the length of the piece as I'm going. It's about 36 inches long and 20 inches wide (27 inches wide if you include the "fringe").

Towel Rug

Before I started I thought I was going to have to twist each strip in order to get the effect you see above. Turns out that it did this all on its own when I beat the weft strips into place. Other than the length it turned out exactly how I had envisioned.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring? GAAAH...

It is not rare for Calgary to get a big dump of snow in April. Today was that day.

Blizzard April 10, 2008

The snow was heavy and wet and it was fairly warm which meant it was slushy and slippery on the road. Traffic was ridiculous. It took an hour longer than normal to get to work. The snow stopped around noon and it started melting. Then at 3:30 it started again. Near white-out conditions. Yuck.

In happier news:
My leftover sock yarn blanket is coming along nicely.
leftover blanket - pile of squares

Before blocking, the squares form a pyramid shape
leftover blanket - pre-blocking

Blocking makes everything lie flat and square. I just love how they look.
leftover blanket - blocking

This is my favorite one. Leftovers from socks knit with Claudia's Handpainted. Sadly there is only one square in this yarn.
leftover blanket - single square

I have decided, partly due to the amount of leftovers I currently have and partly due to not wanting to make myself completely insane, to knit up enough squares to make a 3' x 4' (or whatever I end up with when I have the leftovers knit up) center section from the leftovers and then surround it with bands of solid yarn in rounds (1 round beige, 1 round brown etc.). I have about 30 or so knit up right now and have leftovers to make at least 10 or so more.

Initially I had planned to piece them in straight rows like this:
leftover blanket

But lately, I've been more drawn to this idea:
leftover blanket

This layout will also let me use up ALL of the yarn as I can knit half and quarter squares (triangles) to square off the sides and corners.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Woven Baby Blanket

Woven baby blanket

I finished the blanket I was weaving last night. I really like it and I still can't believe that I wove a blanket! (wove? weaved? wove I think... ??)

Woven baby blanket

I did a quilt-type binding for the edges for stability. I like the way it looks with the cotton and the weave.

Woven baby blanket

It turned out close to 40 inches square. It's a little shorter on one side due to uneven tension, but it's not terribly noticeable. The center line where I used kitchener stitch to attach the two pieces is noticeable but after washing the tension there worked itself out a bit so it's not as bad as it was pre-washing.

Woven baby blanket

Overall, I'm really pleased with it. I need to secure some of the ends from color changes and tidy up some of the tension if I can but really, I don't think a first blanket could have turned out better for me.

Now, what to work on next... :D

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spring?? Please???

We haven't really seen Spring here. It's not been overly wintery for a while, but it's not Spring either. No green grass or leaves or buds or... anything.

Then Saturday:

Yep. Snow. It was warm and was gone by mid afternoon, but still. Snow.

I can't wait for Spring. I need to see green grass, flowers, leaves... something.

So, Saturday morning, I spun the March fiber from the Spunky Eclectic Fiber of the Month club.


Ahhh... That's better.


I love this yarn


It wanted to be a single, so it is. It's merino and about a worsted weight mostly, and about 330 yards. (I think it was about 4 oz?)


Until we get some rain this will have to pass for Spring.

Monday, April 07, 2008

In Progress: Woven Baby Blanket

I stopped by Make One Yarns on Saturday and picked up a "real" heddle (reed? terminology?). I was very tempted by the presence of a Schact Flip, but I was strong and didn't buy it... (but I'm really thinking I need to buy a "real" loom... hmm)

I got home and started warping. The new heddle really makes the weaving go smoother.

baby blanket in progress

I used the Sirdar Snuggly that I had bought quite a while ago to make a blanket for my cousin's new baby. I wrapped 2 lengths about 20" wide and plan to kitchener stitch them together.

baby blanket in progress

The tension is a bit, um, wonky in places, so I'm hoping that I can work it out a bit as I go.

baby blanket in progress

... And I ended up a little short on the warp. I know where I went wrong (at the beginning) and I have a solution in mind.

baby blanket in progress

I'm going to finish off at the same place in the other 3 ends (three. of course) and then cut just above that. I plan to put a binding around the blanket. I like the way it looks with the finishing stitch but since it's intended for a baby I thought I should do something more sturdy.

To say that I'm addicted to this new (to me) craft is understating it. My spinning wheel is jealous (I bought it some new fiber to make up).

Thursday, April 03, 2008

First completed Weaving project: Merino Shawl

Merino Shawl

I used 2 of the very first yarns that I spun to make this shawl. Somehow that seemed fitting. Also, the only way this thing could be more homemade would be if I raised and sheared the sheep myself: homemade loom, handdyed yarn (warp), hand spun yarn... haha

Merino Shawl

It's far from perfect. Far from "right" even.

Merino Shawl

But I love it.

Merino shawl

It's too loose in some areas. Too dense in others. The selvedges are a mess. It's too short to be usable really (47" by about 18")

Merino Shawl

I love it.

Thanks for all the encouragement about the loom! The rigid heddle I made from popsicle sticks worked but not well. I have another, hopefully better idea that I"m working on, but this weekend I plan to trek down to the only store I know of that sells weaving equipment and try* to buy a "real" rigid heddle.

I'm hooked. But you knew that would happen, didn't you?

*I say "try" because this is the same store where I *tried* to buy a spinning wheel last year and was told by the owner that there was no point in my buying one because I would just give up on it in a month or two. I'm not even kidding