Log Cabin Strap

 

 

  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com

I wove a narrow sample of the log cabin pattern on my rigid heddle loom. It's long enough to become a strap for a bag or purse, or trim on something like a bag or a purse. Because I used two similar colors, green and blue, the pattern doesn't stand out clearly but I still like it. To do a log cabin pattern, you simply need to warp the colors in the correct order, followed by using the same pattern in the weft. For example, on this small strap I did BGBGBG and then GBGBGB (repeat). Again, the weft follows the same number and color, BGBGBG followed by GBGBGB. Easy! I'd love to do a wider project.

And then there's this sad Weave-It loom. Marked a dollar, I couldn't pass it up. I wondered if I should try to glue it but then decided that I already have three of the 4" squares, so for a dollar, it can be my spare peg loom in case I ever need parts.

An Awkward Scarf, or Why I Should Never Use This Yarn Again

 

  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com

 

In my defense, it was extremely early in the morning when I decided to use up some of the four skeins of Lion Brand Homespun I had purchased a long time ago, probably thinking I'd knit an afghan or shawl. But have you ever used this stuff? It's not easy to knit at all. So, I wondered how it would look as a woven scarf. I warped my loom (again, very early in the morning), extending the warp. I can get exactly 87" of a warp from the back beam of my loom to the far wall, so I extended the warp to the end of my bookshelf, adding an additional 30". That's one smart thing I did. The other was I only warped every other slot/hole to change my 10 dent heddle into a 5 dent heddle. Yes, part of my brain was awake and thinking.

But after weaving a dozen rows, I was terribly unhappy with my scarf. It looks like a muppet, but in a bad way, because most muppets are cute, and this isn't cute. So, I spent at least an hour experimenting with different ways to add in some really pretty homespun (in this case, it's actually homespun) of a plum color with a touch of sparkle. I tried using pick-up sticks, which didn't work well with the spacing of the warp (too wide), and I tried Danish Medallions. I actually think these are pretty, but my silly wide warping is messing up the edges. 

I think I'll let it sit for awhile and come back to it. One idea is to just add in a single strand of the plum color for every three or four of the LB Homespun. My weaving motto: if you don't screw up, you're extremely boring.

Finished: Tangerine Scarf

 

 

  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com

 

 

 

I hand washed it this morning and it didn't shrink one bit, so the edges are still a bit bumpy but oh well. There you have it, a bright orange mohair/merino/cotton scarf, washed, dried, ironed, triple fringe knotted, and waiting for cooler days. It was woven on my trusty Glimakra Emilia rigid heddle loom. It's a fun and cheerful scarf, although the pictures captured it in a quiet, rather somber mood. 

Tangerine Scarf

 

  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com

 You know, I must have my old orange Vox blog on my brain, because this scarf reminds me of it. I used Cascade Pima 100% cotton for the warp, warping 8" wide and 88" long. I used the 10 dent heddle on my Glimakra Emila, which as of right now is the only size heddle I own. The cotton is smooth and a little shiny. The warp is a bright, orange mohair. Orange! It's stranded, which means there's one fine strand of mohair right alongside another strand of merino. Out of the 220 yards of the warp, I used practically the entire skein. The weft, though, left me with about 100 yards, so there's enough for another project if I ever foresee needing another bright orange mohair woven item. I started this last week and took it off the loom this morning, with just a handful of hours of weaving. Now, I need to wash and finish off the fringes.

It's time to think about pumpkins and nice orange leaves. What better way to welcome fall than with a very bright orange scarf?

Coming soon: the sad story of a broken Weave-It 4" loom.

Frogging, weaving style

So, in a crazy fit of I-really-don't-like-this-at-all-REALLY, I cut off my clasped weft project and tossed it. If it was a knitting project, it would have been frogged, but seeing that it's a weaving project, all caught up in strands, it was tossed.

It wasn't that I didn't want a clasped weft strap, it was more that I didn't like the colors, and the pattern wasn't to my liking. So, "snip." Thankfully, the yarn was very-nearly free, and the warp was extremely short, so there wasn't much waste.

In other news, I'm happily waiting for "The Weaver's Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom," by Jane Patrick. There's an awful lot of excitement about it on Ravelry, and some are saying it will rank alongside Betty Linn Davenport's classic, "Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving." We'll see!

Spool knitters

Spool knitters have been around for ages. Also known as French knitting, when a strand of yarn is looped around the pegs, eventually a length of knitted cord appears. I've had a few spool knitters, or "Knitting Nancies," but only in the plastic Knifty Knitter variety. When I found my vintage Nancy at an antique shop a week ago, I decided to investigate them. Lo and behold, I discovered an entire blog on them, with information about the history, different makers, and projects, as well as modern uses.

Please visit Spool Knitter, the blog, and get your fill of everything related to these tiny knitters. 

Too wide, clasped weft band

image from www.flickr.com

I started this band a week or so ago, and after realizing it was far too wide for what I had in mind, I took the scissors to it. Yes, I actually cut the warp to make it the right width. Luckily, this is a short warp and it won't be long until it's off the loom. Just another novice trying to learn how to weave… 

Nearly there… Doni’s Deli bag

I spent a few hours sewing the seams of my Doni's Deli bag. It's a little tricky, but I pinned it together and suddenly it all made sense. I decided to sew the handle edges together, but I'm uncertain about how it looks. I may tear out that seam and leave it. I had left enough fabric to create an inside pocket, but I also like letting it drape over the top. If I added a big button, it'd look pretty cute!
What's left? Maybe re-doing the handle, maybe making a pocket/adding a button, maybe adding a liner. This is one big project!

 

Fabric, drying

Fabric, drying

Here's the full fabric for my Doni's Deli bag, drying outside in the hot sun. I have a front-loading washing machine, and I was hesitant to wash this alpaca, wool, bamboo mixture, so I did it on the hand wash cycle. Some of the loopy selvedges did even out (as promised by the experts on Ravelry), but overall, the fabric was the same. So, I got brave and tossed into a regular load on warm. It came out exactly the same. 

So, although I didn't notice the words "Super Wash" on any of my yarn, it obviously doesn't want to felt. The good news is that I have a long enough piece to try to add a pocket to my bag.

 

 

 

All of a sudden, color

What's come over me? Bright green! Aqua! Tangerine! I'm normally a plain Jane with yarn color, but all of a sudden, I seem to want colorful, bright, cheerful yarn. The mohair may become a scarf–a very shrieking orange one. After reading a number of stories about the danger of using mohair as a warp, especially with a smaller dent heddle, I purchased that Cascade off-white cotton as the warp. The thin cotton crochet thread was a six pack. So far, it's turning into a groovy-looking, clasped-weft strap.

 

Doni’s Deli bag fabric

It's been over two months since I warped my Emilia and started weaving the fabric for a bag like the one at Doni’s Deli. Why two months? Well, I made some beginner mistakes, which I don't have to list, but the main one was I chose sock yarn for both the warp and weft. With a 12 dent heddle I probably would have been okay, but I only have a 10 dent heddle, and it took a gazillion rows and hours (at least!) to finish the fabric, which measures 100".

Now for washing, hemming, sewing… Later. For now, I'm content to watch it come off the loom a couple dozen times. (Note, this short video is uploaded to Flickr):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29158529@N03/4929649306/

When I neared the end, I ran out of my main sock yarn and also my patience, so I dedicated the final few inches to experimenting with the clasped weft technique. If you're interested, there's a short tutorial available here, and lots of lovely examples posted on blogs.

 

An update from the home office

I actually did organize my office… and then it got messy again… and then it was so hot I didn't want to weave… But now it's a lovely 75 degrees and I was inspired to tidy it up. I bought an shelf organizer thing from Target and have found it a good place to store yarn and supplies. It's a little bit cluttered but I don't mind in the least. I like having my chicken pincushion, all my Weave-Its, and yarn handy. Speaking of yarn, that's all of it, with two of the square bins also about half-full. I've never purchased yarn for yarn's sake–I tend to buy it for projects and use it up. The bins are full of small amounts left over. Any full skein was purchased for a project that never materialized. Now that I have a loom, though, I think a little differently, and I can see myself purchasing ahead of time.

I found a goldmine of discarded library books on weaving and needlework. There were nearly 30 of them! Happy me! I particularly enjoy the older weaving books like The Joy of Handweaving, Your Rugs, and Weaving Tricks. I found myself with not one, but two copies of Visual Instructional Macrame by Joan Michaels Paque. I did get a little enthusiastic in grabbing up these old books.
Also new-to-me the past few weeks, a homemade rake loom. It's a really lovely loom with close-to-small gauge pegs. The pegs are places in a staggered pattern that I haven't quite figured out. It's missing a few pegs but I think it will do nicely as a dishcloth loom. I also snagged a $1 deal, an EZEE knitter, used for fine panel knitting, with an unfinished project on it.