Tag Archives: crafts

Spring wardrobe, part 3

The saga continues!

While my summer sewing plans are perhaps overambitious, I have a conference coming up in May that I’d like to have a couple of outfits ready for. It’s being held in a warmer climate than the one I inhabit, so I’m not quite sure what conditions to expect, but I should be able to cover my bases with a couple of sundress-and-shrug ensembles.

Planned Outfit One is a Hazel in a rose-colored linen. Current challenges include moving the bust darts and increasing the back width. (I am a very beginner sewist, so this is requiring an embarrassing amount of effort.) I’m planning to top it off with Aynia in both the recommended yarn and the recommended colorway (!), which is the very light silvery blue pictured below left:

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Planned Outfit Two is a Crepe in an indigo batik print, to be trimmed with gold bias tape and covered by the Wispy Cardi in the gold Malabrigo above right. This colorway was the closest match I could find for the very specific shade of yellow I imagined. I’ll save this knit for last, since I should be able to wear the Aynia with both dresses. (It will also be nice to knit on the plane.)

In other news, I’m scrambling to finish my Flemish(ish) garb for upcoming SCA events, and a weaving project for a very patient friend. The latter project has been a tangly mess in the corner for a depressingly long time. I finished my other commisison, however, and here’s a glimpse:

A woven bag
More details on my Weavolution page.

I also finished my post-holiday present-to-myself project. It sat on the needles a bit longer than  intended, but I’m quite pleased with the outcome. It’s a Cowboy Cowl modified to include the cable from the Hayden Shawlette. I had only a vague plan for finishing off the cable until I actually knit it, but this seemed to work:

Of course, my favorite part is on the back.

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Dorset buttons!

And one day, when all these projects are under control, I’ll be able to tidy up.

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Right?

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.

Tasty Things

(I’ve been sitting on this post for ages, trying to take new photos with better lighting. Since it’s February, I’ve given up.)

My friends and I talk about yarn the same way normal people talk about food.

“I broke my diet again, but the MadTosh was too delicious to resist.”

“Eh, it’s little bland, but the texture is unbelievable!”

Perhaps not coincidentally, one of my more frequently used comparisons of weaving and knitting is as follows:

Knitting is like cooking. You’re always moving around, keeping track of five things at once, and it makes me immensely frustrated. (Note that this aspect of knitting is less true the more I practice. I’m getting better at the juggling act.)

Weaving, on the other hand, is like baking. All the hard work is at the beginning, and once everything is set up and running smoothly, it’s only a matter of time before you have a delicious finished good.

I suppose spinning is equivalent to making tea, all soothing and repetitive. And bobbin lace… is confectionery?

Sorry. I’ll quit torturing the metaphor. Here’s a guinea pig.

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.

socky
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!

It Folds!

Between twisting fringe, washing fleece, learning to crochet, digging through dormant works-in-progress, winding warps, and planning new projects, this past month has been a busy one. A few days ago, I made a happy discovery while idly browsing Etsy*: the manufacturer of my baby loom! It’s a toy loom from Brio, and at least one other adult weaver has succumbed to its charms. I wasn’t able to identify it before because one supporting beam, which would have been marked Brio, is missing. It seems that later versions of this loom used a rigid heddle, but mine is definitely an older model.

In fact, it brings back hazy memories of a toy loom I had as a child. Maybe it’s the same one.

Once I knew its manufacturer, I could find a PDF version of the instruction manual. To my astonishment…

…it folds! When I saw it in the weaving shop, I tried to collapse it for transportation, but when nothing moved, I assumed the loom wasn’t made for it. Actually, it was just that the screws on which the braces rest had rusted, and just needed to be loosened slightly.

Now it can come with me wherever I go. Or, at least, places that my Fanny couldn’t. So, with an upcoming weekend trip in mind, I warped it up again. Using a finer yarn than last time meant tying another 40 string heddles and using two ends per dent, but as a bonus, this made the log cabin threading a piece of cake. The yarn is Lion Brand 1878, which is a new one for me: a review on Amazon compared it to Harrisville Shetland for half the price, and so far it’s very nice, though I did find one knot and one weak spot in the eighty meters I wound for this mini-project.  I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Meanwhile, the laboratory kitchen was taking on a suspiciously sheepy smell, so I could justify spending time happily washing fleece in lieu of dishes. Below, a smidgeon of California Red and Targhee from the Spinning Loft:

Fresh fleece is so delicious and squishy that I’ve contemplated using it as a pillow. Or just sticking my face in it.

The Targhee has a good bit of VM, so I’ll be spending some time picking by hand while plotting to build a box picker. I think I’m going to card the stuff and spin it before dyeing, but I did toss some commercial BFL roving into the dyepot. Having done all the samples for my gamp at once, now I’m focusing on one dyestuff at a time.

In addition to deepening my knowledge of natural dyes, it’s much easier to coordinate.

Since it’s been a while since my last post, and the holiday season looms, there’s plenty else in the works: a hairpin lace shawl, a crocheted hat, a knitted sweater, and a 600-end Mystery Warp, all to be revealed in due time. But for today, I’ll leave it at that. Hope you’re having a nice November!

*A too-frequent pastime. Help!

Cowling at the Moon

I’m still down with the knitting bug. (This bout is lasting a while.) I made myself a cowl this week out of the yarn rescued from that ill-fated blue mitten:

I really like this pattern.

I grew up calling these “neckwarmers” and thinking of them as fairly hideous cold-weather necessities, but now I can see why they’re so popular in the knitting community. It took just a few days of here-and-there knitting time, and it’s a cozy, useful item. Meanwhile, the knit-along shawl is still knitting along.

This was supposed to be done by the end of September, but I’m, uh, reevaluating my goals.

Otherwise, small-loom weaving has been the norm around here lately. I need to squirrel away my yarn for the winter! Here’s the naturally dyed color gamp that I mentioned planning in my last post, woven on the resurrected table loom:

 

There’s enough warp left to weave a couple more of these.

I also set up the inkle loom for some tablet weaving. This was the first kind of weaving I learned, so it brings back fond memories, and the potential weave structures boggle my mind all the more now. I’m using a threaded-in draft from the Candace Crockett book that leaves some of the holes empty, producing interesting results. Photos to come!

Not much of note in the dyeing and spinning departments, though I picked up some indigo powder at Vermont Sheep & Wool, and I’ll be experimenting with that as soon as I get my hands on some washing soda. I’ve also been fiddling with some of my dyed wool on the spindle. But there’s another new project I’m excited about: learning to make hairpin lace! I got a secondhand Jenkins lace loom and am trying to get my hands used to a crochet hook.

I haven’t done much crochet of any kind before, but there are also a few non-lace patterns I’ve got my eye on. One is for a crocheted guinea pig, because of my new furry friends:

Meet the noble and dignified guinea piglets Archimedes and Sir Gawain!

It would be tough to  spin their fur, but otherwise, these little guys make the perfect pets: they sit tamely on your lap and make endearing noises while you knit. What could be better on a chilly autumn evening?