Friday, June 26, 2009

More "Happiness Is..."

Happiness is a garage sale find. My children and I often walk to garage sales in our neighborhood. Today there was one that advertised a knitting machine and yarn. I grabbed a bag "just in case" I found yarn.

And boy did I find yarn!

Two boxes of clean yarn in beautiful colors and weights. Most of the fibers are cotton/poly blends and many of the yarns are fine--20/2, 16/2 etc.

I am a happy camper!

And now I need to finish some weaving so I can warp with my new yarns!! :)

One more piece of happiness: the roving I'm spinning is turning into a yarn that looks like flowers!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dye Strike

Kathleen Taylor's "Yarns to Dye For" has some interesting methods for dyeing variegated yarns. I tried one last night. It didn't turn out quite as expected!

The dye was an acid dye (for protein fibers) and was a mixed color--blue dye and yellow dye mixed to give a deep bluegreen.

The method: wind your yarn in a loose (oops. Mine wasn't loose!) ball and immerse in dye bath. Every few minutes, pull out a few yards of yarn.

The result: My handspun wool yarn is now a beautiful robin's egg blue. It has subtle shading, but no overall variegation. (The idea is that the end that is pulled out of the dye bath first is pale and the end that is pulled out last is very dark.) Also, the blue dye obviously struck first--I added some rovings after the yarn was out of the dye bath and they are more green.

An interesting note: one of the rovings I added was a natural brown. It successfully picked up dye, so I know it can be overdyed. Unfortunately, bluegreen dye on brown looks's a very creepy, witchy color to me! The photo below is out of focus but you can see some of the blue in the brown. What you can't see is the green that is also there! Eww!

I think I'll keep that one and see if it doesn't find a use around Halloween time!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Warped to Weave

I love the saying that you 'have to be warped to weave'. It's great because it fits me from many perspectives--that of being a weaver and of being a little off kilter from so many of the people I know. (Yup. You guessed it! I a little strange! But just little! :)

This is my latest warp. It's a 3/2 perle cotton commercially dyed a variegated blue. I really like this color blue. The photo looks a bit grey, but the yarn isn't. I'm weaving a networked twill and point twill variation from "Twill Thrills" to weave a sturdy fabric for the Weaver's Swap I'm in.

My current weft is a dark blue 2-ply cotton that is slightly small in grist than the warp. It's hard to see the design of the weaving, but I like how using the dark weft on the variegated warp hides the's still's just subtile.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Weaver's Swap

I am very excited! Dave at The Weaving Studio and Benita of Basically Benita are hosting a Weaver's Swap. The jist of it is that you weave 2 yards of cotton fabric, send it off to your partner, and your partner turns it into a bag for you! The partner gets to keep half of the fabric that you provide.

How cool is that? An excuse to weave, an opportunity to make a bag, and I get a bag in return!! Can you guess that I joined?

The timing is quick--fabric is due to be shipped to partners by the end of July and the finished bags are to be enroute back to the weavers by Aug. 31st--but a little pressure can be a good thing!

Shetland Sampler

A few years ago my husband gave me a wonderful collection of fibers from Amy King as a Christmas present.

These four skeins of yarn were from her "Shetland Sampler". The colors are beautiful. The fiber is soft. It was a treat to spin.

Now to decide what to make and how to make it!

Details (per color):
2 oz. of fiber
2-ply, sport weight yarn
~130 yards

Monday, June 15, 2009

If at first you don't succeed...

Try, try again!
I got this cool sweatshirt as a Christmas gift. It says, "If you aren't a part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate." Yes, I'm still a chem-geek at heart!
But, the sweatshirt was a man's cut--long in the torso, with a narrow waist at the bottom--and that just doesn't work well with my curvy hips! So, off to the sewing machine I went. Off came the excess length in the torso. Off came the 4" of sleeve (that covered my hands!). Off came the neck band (just to make it all match).

I used knit ribbing to cover the cut edges. I like the overall effect, but my skills at applying ribbing can use improvement! I may try washing the sweatshirt before I try again--just to see if the ribbing smooths out any.

The next project for the week is a sweater make-over. A friend gave me this black cardigan. It originally had a "dead skunk" faux fur collar. Not my style! I used some fine black yarn and made an I-cord long enough to go around the neck. I machine stitched around the neck, cut the offending collar off, and hand stitched the I-cord in place. Voila! A 'new', simple cardigan for me to wear! :)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Flax Flowers

Do you remember my empty square of garden? This is my little plot of flax. It's grown quite a bit since I last photographed it! The center of the square (4'x4') is flowering. The edges have a little more growing to do before they flower.
But, look at the beautiful blue flowers! They are delicate and they fold up in the evening as if to sleep!