Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And Baby's Makes Three

With the end of November fast approaching the crunch was on and I had to concentrate on getting our granddaughter's stocking completed in time for her family's December 1 st decorating spree.

Kaylen's stocking will join those that I made for her Mommy and Daddy last year.

I still have a liner to do for Kaylen's stocking, but that won't be needed until Christmas Eve. The liners are something I make up myself to protect the more labour intensive and easily damaged appliqued stocking. They are not part of the Mary Maxim kits.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wee Vest

This project went so quickly from speculation to finished project that I never even took WIP pictures, or mentioned it here on the blog.

Kristy wanted a few warm vests for Kaylen to wear in the winter months. Using the measurements from Kaylen's store bought vest I quickly whipped up a pattern on Sweater Wizard and Kristy went home and knit one up in just a couple of days. It looked so cute that I couldn't resist adding to Kaylen's wardrobe myself.

I dug through my stash and found some pretty chenille given to me by a friend. A day and a half later the custom fit vest was off the needles and taking a test trip through the washer and dryer. Chenille can be a little finicky and if the vest was going to fall apart when subjected to the normal care a baby's clothing must go through then I wanted to find out about before it was given as a gift.

It survived. It fits. And I think it looks darn cute --- even when delivered late at night and tried on over pajamas.

3 Days Drying

This big, fat skein of 2 ply, Superwash Merino/Viscose blend took a full three days to dry. It's amazingly soft, super springy, and has a beautiful sheen.

285 g / 10.25 oz

472.5 m / 525 yds

17 WPI / fingeringweight (superfine / #1)

More being spun up!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Now THAT Is Full

One huge Majacraft bobbin full to the brim.

2 ply, superwash, merino/viscose blend spun from mill ends.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Chenille Done

Another two and a half yard run of chenille came off the guild's loom today.

Here's one end:

And the other:

Now to cut it up.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

While Opportunity Knocks

There aren't a lot of guild members chomping at the bit to do one of these Stash Buster rugs, otherwise known as "twice woven rugs", right now (too busy with pre-Christmas preparations I suppose), so I'm taking advantage of the opportunity.

Even though I can't weave the second step of either rug for quite some time yet, (the loom has to be rewarped first) I figured I might as well get another run of chenille done while I wait. In contrast to the last one, which is being done in bright blues and hot pinks, this one will be a more subdued "naturals" with an earthy organic feel to it. That's the plan anyway.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cut a Rug

I got a bit of the cutting done last night, and finished the remainder today. Boy is that hard on the hands. And probably on the scissors too!

All of the balls of handwoven chenille bagged up and ready for the next step --- weaving it into a pile rug. Don't hold your breath though, the guild loom won't be ready for the next stage for quite some time. First all interested weavers must do this step, then the loom needs to be rewarped for the next step, and that will not likely be until after Christmas.

Not too many guild members are interested in weaving one of these at this busy time of the year. I've offered to help use up the existing warp by weaving another run of chenille as I still have a fair bit of "stash" left. Tricky hey? I'll tackle that some time next week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Step One

I've got the first step of the Stash Buster Rug done. Two days (about 7 - 8 hours total) at the loom and I have two and a half yards of heavy, woven fabric ready to cut into strips of chenille.

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In the beginning I had definite ideas of how I was going to do this, but ended up doing something totally different. I thought I would weave it off in a rather bland blend of darks/dulls, whites/creams, with small shots of bright colour to jazz it up a bit.

I started off that way --- the light coloured portion at the beginning (right hand side of the next picture) --- but when I got going on what was meant to be a short "dash" of blue, I LOVED the colour and realized I had quite a bit of it in my stash, so I just kept right on weaving with it until the various blues were getting in short supply.

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I had a nice variegated yarn that had both blues and a wine colour. That led to gradually transitioning into the vibrant pinks that I also had in an abundant supply.

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When the pinks showed signs of depleting I reached for the pinky reds, then the deep plumy reds, and on into the black.

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I wanted to pull the colours full circle, back to the cream again so I gradually changed out the blacks, into greys, and then creams and whites.

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I'm glad I abandoned my original plan. I think this will look quite pretty in the finished rug. My only regret is that it leaves the sharp colour change between the cream colour and the bright blue. I'm not worried though. The second stage of the weaving throws the colours all about and there won't be just one abrupt change of colour. The blue/cream break will happen frequently throughout the rug.

Here is a peek back at the last Stash Buster Rug yardage before it was cut up and rewoven:

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And what it looked like with the second stage being woven.

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So you see, there is hope yet!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Black Allsorts

472.5 metres of halfbred wool handspun from "Black Allsorts" slivers purchased from Aurelia Wool and Weaving. Navajo plyed to approximately a fingering weight (superfine/1).

I have half baked plans to (eventually) use this for stranded colour work, possibly as an accent on a white cardigan or vest.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mail from Designs by Romi

With all the Canadian cross border shopping going on (and the resulting parcel back up at the border) my parcel from Designs by Romi took a while to arrive, but it was well worth the wait.

This is the shawl stick I won in Rosemary's blog contest. It's smaller and more delicate and jewelry like than I expected. I love it! It's the perfect closure for my handspun wool/mohair Poinsettia Shawl.

The second item in the parcel was the sterling silver shawl pin I bought, also from Romi Designs.

It's shown here on my hand painted tencel Feather and Fan Shawl, but it looks fantastic on a number of my shawls. Having a shawl pin to hold the shawl securely gives me more options in how I can wear them.

Christmas Slippers

With a wee visitor as inspiration I got the needles a clackin' yesterday,

and by late evening had a spur of the moment gift ready for Christmas.

When my own children were small this was my favourite slipper pattern. They stayed on toddlers' feet better than most. It's a pattern by "Bouquet", #388 "Children's Slippers".

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Stash Busting

As if I didn't have enough projects on the go! I'm next in line to use the guild loom for a Stash Busting Rug (aka "Twice Woven Rug"). I'm not a big stash hoarder so it's difficult for me to gather enough yarn up to do any sort of colour scheme.

This represents about half of my total stash. For the most part it's bits and pieces of leftovers from old projects, although there is a fair bit of handspun in there (wool that is too scratchy or in too short of supply to do much with). I think I'll go with a "lights, dull/darks, brights" division of the yarn. Hopefully it won't come off as too hideous in the final rug. With this type of rug it is really hard to guess what the end result will be.
Curious? Take a peek at my last one. ---> 1 2 3 4 5
The remainder of my stash is a bit of laceweight, enough handspun in large enough amounts for a few warm vests, and a basket of complete balls of sock yarn.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Last Photo Opportunity

I made this stocking many months ago, but the middle of the summer did not seem an appropriate time for a blog post about a Christmas stocking. Today is the last chance I have to photograph it though. I've donated it to the Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers guild for the annual Chilliwack Christmas Craft Fair which will be held on November 15 and 16.

So....what do you think something like this should sell for? I just know they are going to ask what I want to price it at, and I have no idea what to say. You have until Wednesday, November 14th to chime in with your thoughts.

It's hand knit from some of my earlier handspun, which was originally natural in colour. After the stocking was knit I dyed it forest green.

I made up the pattern as I went. Believe me, it is an original, never to be repeated exactly the same ever again. At one point, when I realized the toe section (the stocking was knit toe-up) was way too long and out of proportion with the rest of the stocking.....I CUT it off, picked up the stitches, and knit the toe shaping downward. Tricker than you might think considering that the lace pattern is one of those undulating ones that make wavy edges.

The stocking has also been lined in a shimmery red fabric. My children have informed me that the only way a knit stocking is acceptable is if it is lined. No fuzz on the candy please! Of course the lining also peeks out nicely from the holes in the lace --- and prevents the candy from falling out those same holes.

I found shimmery, wire edged ribbon and little berry-like beads to finish off the look.

Please comment with your pricing thoughts. Thanks!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Tiny & Teensy

How small is too small? Very, very teensy. Too small for the key chain it was intended for.

I knit the sock on the left according to the pattern, but even though I am a loose knitter it came out way too small. I went up a needle size, consciously knit looser, added rows in the leg and foot sections, and now it fits.

The fob to my car keys has an electronic door lock and car alarm so I can't replace it with a novelty item. I don't like extra stuff bulking up my key chain anyway so this little cutie will be saved for the house key that I take with me when I go for a walk --- which is often to the local yarn store.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Placemats Done

Hemmed yesterday and ready for the guild's show and tell today.

They're looking a little rumpled in the picture because I had them wrapped around a rectangular piece of Styrofoam for storage. Maybe I'll press them again and try wrapping them around a cardboard tube instead.