Category Archives: Tools and Equipment

A Bobbin Box

So I’m a bit of a scrap hoarder. I have a bin for wood scraps, a bin for leather scraps, a bin for wire scraps, et cetera. This drives my boyfriend crazy. But as you crafters know, all that stuff comes in handy one day. And it’s so rewarding to find just the right thing without having to run to the store and spend your entire craft budget on some silly little part.

Right now, I am working on a tapestry. (That’s a post for another day.) I tried various methods of wrangling the pile of mini-cones on which the fine wool weft was wound, none of which were working quite right. Then a lightbulb went off!

I got out the scrap bins.

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A bit of doweling, a plywood tray, and eight might miniature flowerpots later, I am totally organized slightly less disorganized.

Festivities

Honestly, I tried to cut back on handmade gifts this year.

Of course, that turned out to be boring. So when, in mid-December, my grandmother told me that she was hosting a family gift exchange…

Handwoven Baltic-style inkle keychainsI made these. Hooray! It’s not Christmas without a last-minute project.


Last year, I… well, I started a small fire that happened to melt my mother’s old advent wreath. So I took some wool scraps from the Dorr Mill store and appliquéd her a new one:

Hopefully, this wreath is less flammable.


We also had a solstice party. I made a Yule log.

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The log appeared to be in an advanced state of decay, but taste tests were favorable. The meringue mushrooms received especially good reviews.


From my trusty bin of wool scraps, I whipped up some stockings for us and the pigs and tacked them to the wall:

1-IMG_7106It was a pretty sloppy effort, but the rodents in question were very excited to find parsley in their socks.


And last but not least, look what my significant other surprised me with: an antique reel!

1-IMG_7122From what we can tell, it probably dates to the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, and was probably made in Quebec. Any opinions on the subject would be appreciated. Aside from two nails in what is an obvious repair job), the joinery is entirely wood pegs and mortise-and-tenon joints. The wood looks like pine.

Whatever its provenance, it’s in beautiful shape and makes a tidy skein. The reel now lives in our living room where I can admire it from my knitting chair.


I hope you all had a pleasant holiday, if you celebrate any, and that you have a happy 2015!

 

Spring wardrobe, part 2

I have a feeling that this series may be somewhat drawn out.

However, the first fitting shell is on my (new!) dress form, who needs a suitably silly name to compensate for the fact that there’s a disembodied torso in my living room. Here she is modelling my in-progress Flemish garb:

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Yes, there are going to be more layers.

I finished the first of two commissions that have been hanging over my head for a while. I’ll put up some photos in my next post. In the meantime, would you like to see who I got to hang out with this weekend?

I thought you would.

MILK PLEASE. (Or rather, milk substitute: this little girl is a bottle lamb.)

These sheepies live at Shelburne Farms, a lovely and special place. On rainy mucky city days like today, I feel better knowing it’s there!

 

Just a Little Post

I’ve been sick the past few weeks, which has had me mostly miserable on the couch with hands idle. I have been working on a few small things, like Dorset buttons and cotton spinning:

And I’m sampling laces for a reproduction Elizabethan hood:

Other than that, things have been as quiet craftwise as they ever are around here. But once I’m up and around again, there’s a laundry list of things to be done, so I am trying to enjoy the break while waiting for spring to arrive.

Back in the game

I am pleased to report that last weekend’s band weaving workshop was a success!

This is the setup I asked my students to use. It’s not my favourite weaving arrangement (I prefer using my floor inkle or a backstrap), but it worked very well for demonstrating the technique.

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Incidentally, do you like my new-to-me table loom? I do! It’s a Good Wood Slant loom in cherry (the makers of which disappeared from the web the day after I happened upon this one, so I sadly cannot provide the link).

One of the guild members gave me a book of Lithuanian sash designs in exchange for her heddle, so that will keep me busy on this front for a while (say, several centuries). Stay tuned.

In other news, here’s the belated Christmas roundup! I planned to stick to a few small knitted gifts after the woven insanity of last year, and didn’t break my resolution too badly.

First, a griffin hat for my mother:

IMG_1064I used this kit but substituted griffins for the birds. Why griffins? My mother’s dog is named Gryphon, and if you’re interested, she keeps a blog of his sledding, hiking, and canoeing exploits. Also featured in the blog, of course, is…

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HERE, EDGAR THE DOG SAILED.

…Griff’s partner in crime, Edgar! My dad is something of a medievalist (at least, he likes Brother Cadfael) and I thought he might enjoy a little Bayeux Tapestry featuring his dog. This also gave me an opportunity to practice the Bayeux stitch in pleasantly authentic wool on linen. (I did fix the gap in Edgar’s harness, but didn’t take a picture after that.)

Other gift projects included finishing a sweater for my grandmother (pictures to follow), concocting an amigurimi gastropod for my boyfriend (pictures possibly to follow), and whipping up a hat on commission for a friend (picture follows).

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In exchange, she’ll help me make a muslin!

Once all that was done, I made a little something for myself: EXTERMINITTENS!

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Who and a what now?

And then, some socks. This week I made a sock knitting kit out of ah Altoids tin and wool felt to contain my stitch markers, measuring tape, tapestry needles, repair hook, 4″ DPNs, and snips. I’m sure it’s been done before, but I’m  still quite proud of it.

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Happy New Year to you all. Thanks for following the blog!

Still here, still crafting

It’s time for the annual Christmas gift roundup, but it’s going to have to wait until after the workshop I’m giving this weekend to my weavers’ guild. In the meantime, here’s a sock I accidentally made.

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Oops.

Started just this weekend and finished… yesterday. Amazing! I gave those tiny Addi Turbo circulars a try, and I don’t think I’ve ever knit anything (certainly not a sock) so quickly.

I’ll post again after the workshop. Wish me luck!