A List

A short list of things that make me feel dumb. In no particular order.

  1. Gauge. I finished the sock I had been working on all weekend. I put it on, it was WAY too large. Decided that was fine, it would fit Mr. Ink. I asked him to try it on. I started the second sock. It is way smaller, a much more appropriate size for the needles I am using. It’ll fit me. Gauge makes me feel dumb. Or maybe, it’s tension that makes me feel dumb.
  2. Allergies. Spoiler alert-it was just allergies. I started to feel better by Saturday evening after spending all day indoors. Hung out with friends outside Saturday evening, sneezed all morning. I refuse to let allergies stop my life right now, so I am going to have to just accept that sneezy, snotty, itchy, and fog brained are part of my life right now.
  3. Work. There’s just so much going on and I am just desperately trying to remember eveything that needs to be done that I don’t have much space for anything else. I spent all week avoiding the issues with my loom because I didn’t have the brain power to figure it out because work was too busy.
  4. Learning something new. This morning I went downstairs to my loom trying to work out what the heck was wrong with it. Prior to doing so, I looked up types of looms trying to figure out what I have so I could figure out the issue at hand. Then I went downstairs, got under my loom, and pressed on the working treadles to teach myself how the darn thing worked in the first place. I still couldn’t figure out the bum treadle, so I pressed and lifted it while looking at the side of the loom. Turns out, the rope that needs to connect to the treadle to make the shafts move had come unhooked. Easy fix. I felt pretty dumb not having been able to work that out right from the start!

On the bright side, this means I finally got the opportunity to tie up the loom the way I wanted to. It’s still just a simple weave, but I’ve got each harness hooked up to the outside treadles, in hopes I’ll get used to using both feet. I had just been using my right foot for the last project.

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Details: The warp is cotton, it’s Rowan Cotton Glace I had in stash. Sadly, I couldn’t remove this yarn from stash since I still have one more ball left. But, I am glad that I was able to get some stash moved out of my cabinet even so. The weft is a chain ply handspun I spun quite a few years ago. I am loving how it is weaving up so far.

Things I am learning with this project. First of all, I need to be more careful about the selvage warp threads, I’ve got two always together on the edges now. This isn’t how things are supposed to be! But it’s how they are going to be as I am not going back. So, when figuring out where to begin, I need to take those warp threads into account.

Another thing, I need to not be afraid to add more waste weft to the start of the project, and I need to be ok with pulling those edges a little tighter when adding the waste weft. At the moment, I am getting some pretty ugly inches at the beginning before I get into a decent groove. Allowing myself more waste space would definitely help this.

Warp tension is another thing I need improvement on. Just because I feel like all the warp threads are tight doesn’t mean I don’t have to go back and check one more time. I can see where I didn’t, and it is a little too obvious for my own comfort level.

I am very happy to have had a little bit of time to weave today. We have dog park and a bike ride planned for later today so I’ll lose a lot of crafting time, but gain time with other hobbies. Stay tuned, I’ll go into more detail about the sock that has gauge issues in a different post.

I did it!

I actually finished the first scarf on the floor loom over the weekend. However, I was determined to refresh my memory of the weaver’s knot by knotting the new warp to the old and pulling it through. As such, I could not just yank the finished scarf off the loom, tie the fringe, and then wash and dry it.

114 tiny little weaver’s knots later, I had indeed refreshed my memory and also was able to remove my scarf.

The warp is a cotton yarn I had in stash. It was something which I bought from Rachel at Dyeabolical yarns way back when she was dyeing some cotton. The weft is handspun. It’s a 2 py yarn which I created little bumps out of one of the plies while plying the yarn. The fiber was also from Dyeabolical Yarns, colorway Thunderboom.

The little bumps I created in the handspun yarn show up charmingly in the scarf. But, the thing I didn’t account for when planning the project was that naturally, some of those bumps would show up right at an edge. So, this created edges that were even wonkier than they would have been simply because I am a newbie weaver. On the other hand, one might think that’s ok, as the edges were bound to be wonky and now I have an excuse.

It turned out really nice! I think keeping the warp tension on the floor loom is easier than the table loom I had used in the past. It’s also faster to weave, and much quieter.

My hope continues to be that I learn one or two new things each work in progress. I tied on the new warp last evening, working on it way into the evening. Then, I decided one of the things I needed to learn was how to do a different tie up of the harnesses. Unfortunately, I managed to completely confuse myself and the loom is not entirely functional at the moment.

I am sure this’ll be a Mr. Ink to the rescue moment. I told him I was going to need some help. And, I told him that I could explain to him how it should work so that his mechanical mind can figure out why what I did made it stop working. THEN, he can teach me HOW it works in the first place so I can figure out how to do new tie ups properly. Because I know he won’t want to help me figure out a tie up every time I want to do a new project.

That being said, the above project is just a simple weave. The next project is also going to be a simple weave, so I just wanted to change the tie ups because I wanted to get used using a different foot pattern. No matter, I’ll get it figured out, hopefully before the weekend, so that I can get back to it.

In the end, I learned a lot and I am quite pleased with my little scarf! I am quite eager to work on that new project very soon!

Repeat of Yesterday

Yesterday I posted a finished handspun yarn, and today I will do the same.

The thing is, this one is laveweight 2 ply as compared to yesterday’s heavy worsted 3 ply. Even so, I didn’t feel like this one took any more time than the last one.

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This yarn was spun from batts I made myself.

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It was last year in the late spring where I decided I really needed to work through a lot of my fiber stash and get it organized. I made a ton of batts, spun up a bunch of wool that needed spinning, and basically really consolidated my stash. Since then, I really haven’t looked at my stash much. Meaning, it really could do with another serious airing and seeing what I am willing to spin up or make into batts or whatever. But, this year was mostly devoted to knitting down the yarn stash, and I didn’t want to add a bunch of yarn to a stash I was trying to knit down.

Here’s the thing though-eventually I get bored. Really, I think it was the two christmas stockings that did me in. (I have another started but boy is it a struggle to work on it.) So, working on a little spinning and a little weaving is providing a necessary break. Because of this, my stash is going up a bit again.

The current stash count is 105 stashed yarns. I know this number will go up again by one because I purchased a cotton weaving yarn since I have very little to weave with. But, ideally, I will weave enough and knit enough to get this stash under 100, the original goal this year. To be perfectly fair, I am not completely positive how accurate my stash count is. I feel like there may be more hanging out in the stash that isn’t on record on Ravelry. But, it’s close and close is good enough until I get a serious desire to look at it a little more closely.

In any case, the stats on this new handspun are that I have 730 yards of laceweight 2 ply and I do like it quite a bit! Now I am going to go put it, and the yarn finished yesterday, into the yarn stash cabinet.

Spinning and Stuff

Not sure what the stuff is, but I did finish some spinning.

This ended up being a heavy worsted 3 ply yarn. It’s Falkland wool. I am thinking this may make a really lovely hat, the color combo is really fall-like.

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I am definitely in that mode of “fall is coming” and I am looking forward to cooler weather. So imagining knitting hats and then being able to wear them feels perfect right now. Not that I’ve been knitting lately.

As for the stuff. Let’s see. Took Miss Butterfly out to her camp so she could start volunteering again. Got to sleep in about an hour which is pretty good for me. Woke up to see that Lizzie’s ear seemed to be bothering her, so we had a surprise vet trip. Did some spinning, did some weaving, did some chores, basically it’s been a pretty normal weekend day so far. And I am definitely cool with that.

 

A Poor Picture

The rather poor and underlit photo is a reflection of my week and what I’ve been up to:

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After the joy of spending time weaving this weekend, the week has not stacked up to be conducive for continuing. Work has been nutty, and that is going to be the situation indefinitely. We are having some massive changes going on, we are severely understaffed as a whole, and adding all that to an already full load makes for a bit of a rough work life.

Mr. Ink seems to be dealing with me by providing chocolate and margaritas on particularly bad days. Hah.

Two things about the weaving. First, I need a new drive band for my bobbin winder, which I ordered but it’s back-ordered and I don’t know when it will arrive. My bobbin winder makes an absolutely horrible noise without a properly sized drive band and I cannot deal with that simple frustration on top of everything else. Maybe I’ll be ok with it this weekend. I also needed some weights of some sort for the selvedge warp threads, but when I asked Mr. Ink if we had any nuts around to use as weights, he told me we did not. I wasn’t sure how this is possible! We have two garages and almost everything! But we don’t have random heavily weighted nuts. So, I did go to a hardware store for those yesterday. When I got home, Mr. Ink said: “Did you get the dowel you need for your loom as well?” Why no, no I did not, because I forgot I needed it. Argh!

I haven’t had the headspace to start a new knitting project. If I started one now, it would just be yet another holey square shawl because it’s easy knitting and a pattern I now know very well. So, I spun. In fact, I continued spinning on supported spindles until all the singles for that project were done. Then I needed the wheel for plying but I had a project on there I wasn’t done with, so I finished the singles to those, that’s the photo above, and now I am plying.

So, this week has been a week of spinning and going to bed early. I am hoping that the weekend shows me a little extra time. Unfortunately, this evening will be full of activities I don’t want to be doing and I am afraid Saturday evening is the same. My current favorite fantasy is time off in a cottage in the woods with nothing but my crafts surrounding me. No people. It’s a nice one, but not likely to happen any time soon.

 

Weaving Progress

Yesterday I did indeed dedicate a good amount of time to getting a project onto the new to me floor loom so I could give it a spin. We took the dogs out to the dog park midday, but the remainder of the day I had for the loom. This was planned. I wanted to do the work, but I didn’t want to overdo it. I wanted to enjoy myself.

I had actually gotten my warp started on the warping board Saturday night. I finished up Sunday morning and took the entire thing to the basement. I just wanted a very plain weave, and to add interest, I figured I’d use handspun yarn. This is yarn I made with little bumps created from the plying process. I figured they would show up in an interesting manner.

The warp is cotton I’ve had in my stash for ages.

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I had to do a little troubleshooting as I don’t think the loom came with every single appropriate part. Mr. Ink and I will need to go to the hardware store later and see if we can figure that out. But I improvised something using a piece from my table loom, it’ll work for this project. As you can see, I screwed up the warp a bit as I was putting it through the reed. There were a large number of stray warp threads. It didn’t matter too much to me though, I just took them out.

I slowly worked through this process and thankfully did not make any mistakes other than the stray warp threads that ultimately didn’t matter. So then I get to start the fun part, actually weaving.

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It’s definitely not perfect! I am learning how far is appropriate to advance the loom when needed, I am learning tension, etc. But it’s looking pretty cool! We have quite a lot planned for today, so I won’t get a ton of time to devote to this. But I am hoping that after I finish this blog post I can go down and get a bit more done while enjoying my morning coffee.

It’s a good first start! I am pleased. It’s easy to be hypercritical over something I don’t really know how to do yet, but if I step back, I realize all of that is part of the learning process and I should be pleased I am giving it a try in the first place.

 

My Finished Object

Way back when, I spun a very pretty batt called Dreaming of Tomatoes into a gradient laceweight single. It was so appropriately named and pretty that I didn’t have a project for it.

But, after spinning a different laceweight single into a holey square shawl, I figured I wanted to do a holey square scarf. And so I did, because it was the perfect knit for a person who does not have the brain energy to commit to a fancy pattern.

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I love it! I love the gradient, I love the handspun, I love the deconstructed look of it, and I think it’ll serve me very well this winter.

I am still not done working with laceweight singles, so I wound up another laceweight singles yarn and will find an appropriate pattern for it shortly.

In my challenge of finishing 40 projects this year, I am 68% there with this finish.