One Crazy Fiber Lady

The ramblings of a fiber-affected single mother of twins who makes a living as a code monkey

One Crazy Fiber Lady

Entries Tagged as 'Weaving'

Off the loom

January 4th, 2020 · Comments Off on Off the loom

My latest project is almost complete. I just finished the weaving portion of the 8/2 tencel scarf on the Baby Wolf. The warp is charcoal while all the weft was reclaimed from a project that seriously pissed me off and was called done early. Way back a few months ago I measured out a long enough warp in three colors the do three scarves.

Tencel for scarves

What was supposed to happen was that I’d weave each of the these with one of the colors. Unfortunately while weaving the silver warp threads kept drifting apart and I kept having to repair a number of them through the entire width over and over again. I pushed through and finished the first one with the white weft.

White weft

Several inches into the silver weft version and I was repairing warp threads every 1-3″ of weaving. I’d had enough. Weaving was supposed to be therapeutic and it was doing the opposite. I called it and cut it off. And in a fit of anger just pulled the remaining yards of warp off and made a mess of it. The knitter in me just couldn’t throw it away though. I had this mess on my desk that I’d fiddle with during daily meetings as I work from home.

Well one evening after work I was tired and didn’t feel like doing any of the other craft projects so I sat and untied this ball of spaghetti, winding it on a cardboard storage bobbin. There might have been a few shots of alcohol to temper me 😉

See! A lot of yarn left. I couldn’t just toss it. Original warp was something like 7 yards long. I decided to weave a new scarf using all this as weft taking random lengths as I wove. No way that silver tencel was to be warp again but I had enough charcoal left to measure out a three yard warp. I had to hand wind the bobbins one length at a time and really tried to randomize the colors. And yes those are 1″ strips cut from a Cheerios box that I used as a warp spreader and spacer. (I’m going to post another time about how I tie on and have a need for a spacer)

I hit the other end today and after hem stitching I cut it off the loom.

Just off the loom

As a preview to my post of another day, I’ve seriously minimized the amount of loom waste which makes the knitter/spinner in me happy. We don’t like wasting yarn! I could have woven more and still gotten a clean shed but I was tired of winding bobbins and the scarf is over 70″ already not counting the fringe.

Of course it isn’t done yet. It needs to be washed, ironed and have its fringes trimmed. Not to mention that there are a million ends from each color change that need to be cut off. Each of the reclaimed warp ends worked out to be approx .5″ of weaving.

Craft on.

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Tags: Weaving

Reflections

January 1st, 2020 · Comments Off on Reflections

This is a hard post for me to write. I’ve struggled for several hours now to write this. Partly because the longer the gap since the last post, the more that has happened that needs/should be included. But mostly because this year was one of loss and significant change. I lost my best friend in July, which had rocked the foundation of my world on many fronts. Ten days later I lost job as a management change was implemented. IMG_0483

If I where to be truly honest there have been gains in my loss. Not commuting to Maryland any longer has allowed me to be home and spend more time with my family. I’ve reconnected with my children in a beautiful way. I’ve found that Kathryn is a beautiful person inside and out.

She’s been a monumental support for me and makes me extremely proud as a mother of the person she is. Thank you Kat. I love you more than I can say.

Another gain had been discovering all the other wonderful people who have supported and consoled me. I found I have a much larger community around me than I thought I did. Thank you all.

I’ve also reconnected with my love of the fiber arts and they’ve been greatly therapeutic. I finally started using the Schacht Baby Wolf that I bought in 2010 and rediscovered the beauty that is weaving.

So much so that I decided that I needed a bigger loom and added an 8H Mighty Wolf.

I’ve pushed past my comfort zone of simple tabby and twill scarves that I made in the first phases (years) of weaving. Currently both looms are dressed and have ongoing projects.

The baby has a tencel scarf underway. While the mighty has a tea towel and napkin project that marks my longest and wisest project ever.

Spinning has also played a part, though I haven’t done it much since spending so much time with the wolf pack. It began with finishing yarn I had started on the wheel I kept in Rockville and had earmarked to knit Art a pair of socks.

It hurts that I can’t finish them for him so I’m making myself a very special pair.

And because I don’t have enough projects going I started something I’ve always wanted to do, knit an Orenburg style item. I bought the yarn at Rhinebeck and have been waiting for the new issue of spin off to come out with the pattern. It’s out now and I cast on for it yesterday.

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All told I’d rather be in Philadelphia as the saying goes. I’m trying to be grateful and positive as I say a good riddance to the awful year that was 2019 and head into 2020. I want to believe that it will be a better year, but it can be a struggle.

Taking it moment by moment.

Happy New Year.

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Tags: Family · Knitting · Lace · Spinning · Weaving

My day

May 9th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. I hope your day was as nice as mine. My day started off much later than it normally does. I didn’t wake up until the phone rang at 10AM, which is about 3 hours or so later than normal. Oh there is the rare weekend when I get to sleep until almost 9, but this was a luxury! It was almost too much sleep! As a result, I did a bit of lazing around.

Yesterday I finished up the Campfire singles on the Bordua and plied it with the Womack. Surprise surprise, I even pulled out the skein winder and wound it off the bobbin without making it sit around for ages. I did that with the other two bobbins of plied yarn that had been living on my dresser. Waiting. Here’s the trio of new yarns awaiting a bath:
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From front to back:

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3 ply Crown Mountain Farm in Shala, which has been aging in stash since 2006 🙂  It measures 314yds and is a fingering weight.  I spun it on the Tina using the standard flyer and the faster whorl.

Next is Freckleface Fibers in Denimy, I believe.  It is two-ply measuring 374 yds also spun on the Tina.  I’m pretty sure I started this the Catskill spin-in in February but my memory is a tad rusty.   Whatever it is, I’m liking it 🙂

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Finally, the two ply from SeeKay, superwash merino in the Campfire colorway.  If memory serves, I purchased it at the Catskill spin-in in February.  This ended up being 358 yds.

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I’ve got some Into the Whirled falkland wool on the CPW now.

I didn’t spin today, however.  I know.  If you’ve been around here for previous mother’s days, I usually spend the day outside with the kids and a wheel.  Not today.  To darn cold.  Brrrrr.  And windy.  Not great outside spinning weather.  Didn’t mean that I didn’t do anything crafty.  Oh no.

I decided it was time to quit being a wimp, break out the warping reel that I bought on eBay and get busy on those towels I’ve wanted to weave since I got the Baby Wolf. The 24 ends an inch wasn’t the daunting part, but the fact that I needed to measure out 442 ends.  {Shudder} That’s alot of ends!  I don’t believe I’ve ever done anything that intense.  Probably cause I’m a wuss.

So while the twins played with the Wii:

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I got busy winding:

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442 ends at 6 yards each.  That’s a lot of yarn.  After having measured out 350 ends, counting them into 50 end bundles, I finally figured an easier way of counting.  I pulled out one of them clickers I used to use for knitting and held that while I wound on.  As I turned the peg at the end, I’d click.  The last 92 ends went far faster that way.  Hopefully I’ll remember this approach the next time.  No.  I did not dress the loom yet 🙂  That’s a monster for another day. I’m weaving a pattern that I got from Webs.  It has been sitting around in the box long enough that I can’t remember what the weft color is!  I think it might be a cranberry red, but I wouldn’t put money on that.

So now I’m going to kick back, fold some laundry and watch the Sox hopefully take ONE from the Evil Empire.  Hope you all had a good day.

Craft on!

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Tags: Spinning · Weaving

Back to Business

February 28th, 2010 · 4 Comments

Re-entry was tough.  There’s no getting around that.  Didn’t help that it snowed within the first week back and we won’t even talk about what happened this week!  All I can say is thank goodness for being able to work remotely.  Ugh.  The kids might be relieved to go back to school tomorrow as they get out of the trash the room/clean it cycle.   They are currently cleaning their rooms under threat of garbage pail currently.

I had a couple of inquiries into the status of the foot.  It is much better.  I think partially because it had time to heal, but also because I’ve chosen to ignore it.  Didn’t have much of an option on the cruise as our cabin was way in the bow of the boat and everything else was way in the stern.  There was a 1000ft walk to get just about anything. I wore sneakers and just took it easy.  The hardest walking was on the beach, but it was a worthy suffering 😉 We’re back to the point where the old right ankle is the more painful, so yes, life is back to normal now.

Yesterday, while the kids did this:

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I played with this:

babywolf

This is my new-to-me Baby Wolf!  I sold my LeClerc and used the proceeds to buy it from a friend (who was selling it to finance a brandy new 8H BW).  I got it last weekend and was finally able to play with it yesterday.  She’d left it warped so I could play immediately. How awesome is that???  I love it.  It has the Wolf Trap and the Stroller, so I’m  a happy camper.  I can keep busy for a long time with 4 harnesses.  I might pick up a small 8H table loom for those times when I want to do something more complex, but that can wait a bit.

When I was finished weaving, no I didn’t warp it for more.  I’m waiting for the warping reel I ordered to arrive, as well as a couple other doodads, I went back to spinning.  I’m in two spin-a-longs right now, so I have to get busy.  First up on the Schacht is fiber from Zarzuela Fibers that will be knit into a shawlette.  This is some superwash in “Purple People Eater” colorway:

zf-shawlettekal-1

I have one bobbin done and the second well underway.

In another project, for the Into the Whirled SAL, I’m working this yummy merino into a true three ply on the CPW.  Here’s bobbin 1:

jankalbob1

Having only one bobbin is a bit challenging.  Now I’m really glad I bought that electric bobbin winder (which I used earlier in the day to wind my paper bobbins for weaving)!  I have a surplus of Kromski bobbins with 5 regular and a bunch of WW version.  I unwound this CPW bobbin onto a Kromski in no time with the electric winder.  It was awesome.  I finished up the second of three and am halfway through the third.  The CPW likes to spin FINE.

Work has been INSANE for me since getting back.  Shortly before the cruise, we had a little team re-alignment in the development group.  The five developers were split into two teams. Three were put on the User Story team which meant they worked on tasks towards adding new features to the software.  The remaining two were put on a Maintenance Team, to support customer service and fixing defects.  Lets just say I’m not writing new stuff.  I’m hunting and killing defects.  The split should be for the next 6 months to a year.  Could be worse.  It’s a less glamorous spot, but I’ve done worse.

My greatest frustration was that the other person on the team with me was terribly unhappy.  He was a software architect type person and miserable in the less glam role.  In many ways, he made my job harder.   On Tuesday, we had a company re-org. Several people were let go.  My Maintenance Team partner was one of them.  That leaves me as the only developer doing maintenance work.  To say I’ve been busy is a bit of an understatement!  My boss, when he sat me down right after my partner was let go, explained to me what was happening before I heard it on the street, so to speak.  Then he outlined what he saw coming down the maintenance pike.  It won’t be all defect work, but some smaller development projects geared towards empowering client services and customer support to do more things on their own and freeing me up from tasks that don’t really require a developer to do.  I’m content with that.

Off to play some Wii with the boy.

Craft on!

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Tags: Family · Spinning · Weaving

Finishing Things

September 28th, 2009 · 9 Comments

The last 4 or 5 days have been primarily about finishing off projects. ¬†Partly because it is a new year, but mostly because NYSW is coming up and I need to justify the purchases 😉

Thursday night at SnB, I finished the socks from the Into the Whirled that I apparently bought from Cris at the Clermont festival during the spring.  As a reminder, I spun it on the Victoria over the July 4th holiday.  I just loved working with it!

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Full project details are here (Ravelry). ¬†This means I can buy more fiber from her 😉

Saturday, I spent the day with an old hobby that has gotten the short straw. ¬†Every now and again I really get the weaving bug. ¬†Well, I got it again. ¬†Nope, didn’t get the big floor loom out of storage, nor did I use the table top loom I bought last fall. ¬†I did get my Kromski Harp Rigid Heddle out of storage and used that. ¬†As a matter of full disclosure, I’ve placed an order for a 20″ Schacht Flip RH loop with stand that should be delivered tomorrow, but I couldn’t wait. ¬†We’ll also ignore the 16″ Ashford RH that I have still in the box. ¬†I have since sold the Kromski and am debating selling the Ashford. ¬†But I might keep it for the kids to use. ¬†We’ll see.

Anyway, I had picked up at MY from the 50% off shelf a couple of skeins of Rowan Handknit Cotton. ¬†I know, Risa bought cotton. ¬† I still won’t knit with it, but weaving is a different story 😉 ¬† I warped up the Kromski using the 10 dent heddle with 160 ends approx 62″ each. ¬†That direct warping method is amazing. ¬†I had it fully dressed and ready to weave in an hour and a half. ¬†AMAZING! ¬†Even more amazing, I finished weaving by dinner time. ¬†I had a miscalculation somewhere and while I was aiming for two kitchen towels, I wound up with one 14.5″ x 25″ (plus fringe) and one that was quite a bit shorter at washcloth length. ¬†I ran it through the sewing machine on Sunday to zigzag the ends in place.

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I’m pleased. ¬†Looking forward to the new loom to arrive so I can eat up some more yarn. ¬†I’m thinking this year’s teacher gifts will be woven scarf/shawls. ¬†I saw examples on Ravelry of gorgeous scarves woven from one skein of Noro Sock. ¬†I have a few of them skeins! ¬†Though I figure for teacher gifts that I was thinking a sock yarn that is soft and squooshy and kettle dyed. ¬†Tina, you have anything like that? 🙂

While I had the sewing machine out, I remembered the fair isle cardigan that has been moldering waiting for me to sew the steek.  So I pulled it out and finally did it.  After cleaning up the sewing area of lots of cut yarn (think fringe), I grabbed the button tin and picked out some lovelies for the sweater.  By dinner the bands had been knitted and the buttons sewed on.

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I said I had been busy.  Full project details are here.

While I was busy finishing things, there was something else that needed finishing. ¬†Ballerina. ¬†Over the last couple of weeks I’d finished the last short row triangle for the front, picked up and knitted the front band. ¬†The only thing remaining was the white bands at the ends of the sleeves, sewing the arm and weaving in ends. ¬†By 1opm last night, I was done.

ballerina_done

Now I have my choice of Rhinebeck sweater 😉 ¬†Project details are here.

This meant I had no active knitting projects. ¬†That just isn’t acceptable! 🙂 ¬†So today while trying to keep my mind off food, I pulled out the border leicester yarn. ¬†I spun this yarn on the Van Eaton wheel and plied a couple of weekends ago on the Womack. ¬†That was ALOT of plying. ¬†Two bumps of roving purchased last year at NYSW translated into 1500 yards of worsted weight yarn.

bl_yarn

I pulled out my favorite book, A Fine Fleece, ¬†and cast on for Rhinebeck. ¬† It tickles me no end to be knitting a sweater named that with fiber I bought there. ¬†There’s an outside chance I could finish it FOR Rhinebeck. ¬†Now wouldn’t that be something!

rhinebeck1

Craft on!

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Tags: Adult · Ballerina · Socks · Weaving

Fiberific

January 5th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Happy New Year! I did indeed spend much of the last weekend at the loom, including a goodly 4 hours on Saturday. I have 6″ more to weave before I can call this scarf done. I don’t have any good photos of the scarf now, but I did take this one right after I had finished sampling, inserted cards to act as a spacer (and give fringe later) and started the real thing.

Over and Under

Over and Under

I likes it! ¬†I’m weaving a 2×2 twill pattern.

Someone else likes the loom too:

Weaving Helper

Weaving Helper

I have a supervisor helper. ¬†This would be the downside of a table loom with a narrow weaving on it. ¬†She sneaks between the warp and the edge and lays down. ¬† She took an hour nap shortly after this picture was taken. ¬†I was busy doing something else so it wasn’t a big deal. ¬†Weird cat.

Just so you don’t think it is all weaving-all the time around Chez CFL, I finished the hat for my father (picture tomorrow). ¬†Saturday night I started Mr. Greenjeans in the Lavold Classic AL while I watched a movie on demand. ¬†By the time Brokeback Mountain ended, I had finished 4 repeats of the 6 rows. ¬†I checked my gauge again (and yes I did my standard quicky swatch which had measured out to the correct stitch count), and I was off. ¬†Instead of 4.5 I was getting 5. ¬†Not a huge problem if I had chosen the larger size of the sweater to knit. ¬†Instead I picked the smaller one. ¬†My measurement is 36. ¬†So I figured I’d go for the 36.5 as the sweater doesn’t close at the bust, but below it. ¬†Not to mention that I started a diet and exercise for the New Year so the girls might go the rest of the way back to pre-babyhood. ¬†And yes, I figured the 40″ would be huge. ¬†I could have moved up a needle size, but I liked the feel of the fabric at the 5/”. ¬†So I ripped it. ¬†No biggie, only a movie’s worth of knitting. ¬†Better now than much later on when the freakin thing wouldn’t come close to closing 😉

In my continuing quest to knit everything in A Fine Fleece, I went flipping through the book Sunday morning. I found the project I liked that had the right gauge (5/”) and that I had sufficient yardage for. — Rhinebeck(a Ravelry link). ¬†I initially bought the yarn to do Celtic Dreams again, but would rather a cardi. ¬†I cast on this morning on the train.

 

Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck

The yarn is the Russet colorway. ¬†Go figure. ¬†I need another red-orange cardigan right? 🙂 ¬†Has a good chance of getting finished that way!

Craft on!

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Tags: Rhinebeck · Weaving

Last One

December 31st, 2008 · 9 Comments

I guess I was wrong yesterday, I can get one more post in this year.  As I hoped last night, I was able to get the loom fully dressed and ready for weaving.  Here it is:

And a close up view of the warp threads:

I can’t wait to begin weaving! ¬†Guess you know how I’ll be spending the last few hours of 2008. ¬†I’m planning on doing a plain twill weave. ¬†I added extra when calculating the warp length to allow for sampling. ¬†

Murphy’s Law was in full play last night. ¬†I spent about 30 minutes hunting around the house looking for my sleying hook. ¬†I’d seen it somewhat recently and made a mental note (hehehe) to remember it as the loom was on its way and I would be wanting it soon. ¬†I know. ¬†Good laugh. ¬†Naturally, I couldn’t remember where it was that I’d seen it when I made that note. ¬†The night wasn’t getting any younger so I gave up. ¬†My new loom has texsolv heddles with larger openings and my yarn is a fingering weight so I threaded the heddles with my fingers. ¬†I fashioned a hook to use to sley the reed out of an expired credit card. ¬†It worked well enough. ¬†Took me just under two hours from beginning to fully tied on and I caught up on the 4 episodes of Ryan’s Hope that my DVR had waiting for me 😉 ¬†After I finished, I had a flash as to where else I might have seen the sleying hook. ¬†Lo and behold, it was in the gadget box for the CSM. ¬†Go figure. ¬†Now that I didn’t need it, I had it. ¬† Not sure how it made it to that box considering I haven’t woven since 2002 and certainly didn’t own the CSM then. ¬†Oh well, I made sure to put it with the loom gadgets for next time. ¬†

I’m working from home today as the office closes at noon for the holiday. ¬†The kids’ school closes at 12:30, so it works out well. ¬†Its busy snowing outside, ugh. ¬†We’re looking at 1-3″ before this storm is over this afternoon. ¬†Thankfully dad is around to do the snow blowing of the driveway. ¬†Just prey for no snow between Jan 14 thru the 24th as that is when the folks will be away on the cruise and yours truly would have to do it.

I don’t have any resolutions for this year except maybe to sit back and enjoy things more. ¬†I do however want to use stash more than purchase this year, see if I can whittle this monster back a little. ¬†I want to wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year. ¬†¬†¬†

Craft on!

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Tags: Weaving

Aspects of Fate

December 30th, 2008 · 4 Comments

You all know the three fates:¬† Clotho, Lachesis and Atropo.¬† And yes, I did read the Piers Anthony books 🙂

First Clotho, spinner of the thread:

Clotho

Clotho

Batting next is Lachesis. 

Last night after getting the kids off to bed, I pulled out the warping board and measured for the scarf project.

Warp Chain

Warp Chain

Yum!¬† 82 ends of 110″.¬† As you can see on the bobbin, I still have plenty of yarn left.¬† For perspective, that’s one of my WW bobbins for the Womack, which incidentally is an identical twin to the Lendrum WW bobbin.¬† And yes, I did manage to cram all 8oz of plied yarn onto it with room to spare.

Warp chain up close

Warp chain up close

I’m working towards my first woven project entirely from hand spun.¬† I haven’t woven in quite a while now.¬† I picked my warping board up from storage and noticed that my floor loom still has the placemat project on it that I started in about 2002.¬† I know, pretty sad.¬†¬†

After finishing measuring the warp, I put the loom together and attached to the back beam.¬† I’ll wind it on tonight and fingers crossed, thread the heddles and the reed.¬† It is possible.¬† Not sure how likely as I’ve picked up some bug that has me coughing my lungs out.¬†

Warp Cross

Warp Cross

I probably won’t get a chance to post tomorrow, I wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year!

Craft on!

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Tags: Weaving