Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Scarves

I had a friend approach me a few weeks ago asking me to make them a scarf.  This person can't stand wool, so I suggested pearle cotton like the scarves I've been making recently.  In fact, I showed him the red hound's tooth scarf I made for my sister's friend.  He liked that scarf a whole lot and even picked out a 4-shaft pattern out of Marguerite Davidson's book. You might remember this pattern because I needed some help with it.

I thought that this pattern was done with different colored warp threads...

....but come to find out, it is a solid colored warp and solid colored weft.

We both agreed that this pattern done up in yellow and red isn't very pleasant.  
It's way too yellowy and bright!
And... it just doesn't look like the pattern in the book, which is a bit troublesome.

So I played with the colors some more to get the pattern to look more like what we perceived in the book.

But I'm not sure he likes it just yet.  SO.... I wait to warp until we get it just right!
I'll put this one on the end of my list for now.  Hopefully we can figure something out. 
While I wait, I will be working on these rainbow scarves for 2 other people I know.  
They remind me of the Skittles candy motto: "Taste the rainbow!"
We're making these scarves out of 10/2 perle cotton and they will be 6" across.
I'm going to warp 5 yards, that will be about 2.5 yards per scarf.
And of course, lots of fringe will be included!

Option 1:

Option 2:
(This is the one we're going with!!!)

I got the warping paddle already.  And I'm so excited to try it out!
I'll get started as soon as the purple yarn comes in!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mason & Dixon revisited

This has been my "to-go" project for a few weeks now.  My mom asked me to knit this for her, so I do it in my non-weaving times... which hasn't been much with the whole Weaving a Zoo thing.  I started it during Christmas break while waiting in the airport for the plane.  It's been a slow process... But I thought I would share anyway! 

These might be considered oldies by now, but they will always be classics: The Mason & Dixon Chevron Striped Hand Towels from their 1st book, page 27.

Without fail, I ALWAYS get the pattern mixed up because of how reduced it is to save text!  So this time I wrote in my book... I'm sure to remember now!!!

Knitting definitely takes more time than weaving... that is for sure!  Talk about a slow moving project... I could have had these done by now on my loom!

But I still enjoy it!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

You already know the ending to my story

All this time, this set of 5 armadillos has been underwhelming because of the "been there, done that" feel to them... and unfortunately, you were already expecting the ending of this story to look just like this!  But... they still are very cute, wouldn't you say?!
There is still something I'm sure you didn't expect.  One armadillo doesn't have eyes yet!  His name is now Armando and he will be on his way to Kansas soon.  I need to find him some turquoise colored eyes before I send him off.  If my mom doesn't have any in her vintage button collection, then I'll get some from Hobby Lobby.

I've really been wanting to make an armadillo pyramid, so I threw in my armadillo for the topper!  Don't fall, guys (and gals!)!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Light vs. dark

While working with this new armadillo shell fabric, I kept thinking to myself that it seemed so different than the first set of shells.  First, it shrunk up WAY more than I was expecting, so I just BARELY had enough fabric for these shells AND tails!!  Also, it just seemed so BRIGHT compared to the other fabric.  Well, I finally compared the 2 sets, and yes, it is more compacted and brighter!  Weird!  I must have grabbed the wrong thread for the floats.

But I like it better!  I like those really bright little dots!  They're so chipper and clean looking!

This fabric is really intriguing.
I keep thinking pink pillows with white polka dots would be so cute.
Maybe someday when I make it to the end of my to-do list!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Weave Design tutorial

I use the Weave Design program made by the Pikes Place Weavers guild and love it!  It is found here:  It's really cheap, and because of that it's a very simple program, but it leaves me with more yarn money that way!

My friend Sharon wanted a tutorial to use this program.  So, here are some pictures to summarize how to use it!

You can save the settings on this screen so they will appear like this each time.  Go to "tools" and "default properties" to do that.

Repeating a weaving pattern:

Here's an upclose view of the choices:

Once you choose your color, you can start clicking in the boxes (below the threading and to the side of the treadling) for your thread colors.

It seems to be a pretty cool program considering it's so cheap, but it does have a few strange things, too.  For example, there is something strange going on with print preview.  Sometimes you have to view it twice before you can make changes to the way you want to view it!  Weird...

Please let me know if anyone wants any more information!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shells and tails

 I really estimated my 2nd generation shell fabric to be SO exact, it's almost scary!

I decided to try an experiment this time around and cut the tails a little shorter because they taper so much at the tip. I just couldn't turn the entire thing last time I made these armadillos.

 I cut it so that I could sew the regular seam allowance and then be able to turn it and sew a little bit at a 90 degree angle instead of tapering right to a triangle shape.


 Even though the tails were cut 1 inch shorter, they actually are longer than the original armadillos!  It actually adds about 1" in length!  Pretty amazing...

2 down!  After I sew on some eyes, these will be ready to ship!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More shells!

Nakid armadillos are nakid no more!  The 2nd generation of shell fabric is done and ready for cutting & sewing!

 I had JUST ENOUGH dark brown to do these shells!  So they match the 1st generation perfectly!  Yay!  Now I'll just have to figure something else out for future brown projects...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

nakid armadillos

I have been working a little here and a little there to get my stuff done while being sick.  Luckily, this cold is on its way out finally!  Here are a few of the critters I worked on:

They still need some shells and some eyes, but aren't they still cute without them?!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

spring colds, field trips, and 5 more armadillos

What a last few days this has been... I feel like everything has come to a halt and I'm feeling behind.  I have been sick with a nasty cold or something of the sort that was probably given to me from one of my loving students.  It has really slowed me down!  Usually I can work for 12-14 hour stretches on weekends, but lately I have only had anywhere from 15 min to 1 hr of bursts of energy between naps.  I'm sure going on the field trip last week set me back a few days.  My students at least appreciated it, and I had such a great time getting to know a few of them a little bit better.  In fact, we have many things in common.  I think my more fun and relax persona also surprised them a little bit!  We also learned some cool science things.

I feel like I have a million and one things started!  I started my lions before I finished the whole trellis runner, then I got an order for some trellis tableware as well as 3 more armadillos!  Yikes... I should just give up my day job and go to weaving for a living!

So I am setting the lion project aside for now.  You will get to see them one of these days when I get all caught up.  I have to get back on an even flow!  I am going to rewind and do some more armadillos, which means I have to take my lion stuff off the 8-shaft loom.  It's okay because I haven't yet threaded all the heddles so I can just pop the reed out and set it aside for awhile.  I need to make 5 armadillo shells, so maybe a 2 yard warp will cover that.  I'm almost out of dark brown, so I'm going to have to improvise with maybe some rust or solid gold.  It will be the 2nd generation armadillo!  I used some brown claws to also set them apart a little bit.  I also need to finish my crayon trellis project and save the threading on the loom so I can just tie on with the new trellis project.  I've never done that before but the thought seems really exciting to me!  The first one is already on its way to Brazil, so I just have to finish the 2nd half of the warp.  On the current trellis warp I have a short runner for my own dining room table and another longer one to save either for a gift or to sell.  My head is so congested that the thought of the banging shafts and heddles just sets me over the edge.  I also have some orders for some rainbow scarves, but the purple is on back order along with the perle cotton for the tableware.  It will all come together one of these days!  I love the extra business and support from my friends!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Crayon weaves

Warning: This is a lot of color to take in after all those plain animal skins!!!!

I like how this looks like it's been colored with crayons!

Looks WWWWAAAAAAYYYYYY different from the zen towels even though I used the same colors, but I LOVE IT!!!  I think it's because in the zen towels, the colors are in chunks, but in the trellis runner, they are all mixed together.

Here's the pattern again, for just in case you missed it!
(I think this one is also weaving upside down... but that's ok!  I'll just flip it over!)

This gets my official Stamp of Approval!
I'm going to have to make one for myself.  Good thing I made an extra long warp!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Warp of pink and orange

We've set sail on another project!

Just in case you missed it all yesterday, we've got the zen towel colors weaving into a table runner that will be 12x60 inches.  I am going to make it 13" across so there is room for shrinking.  I am setting it at 20 epi and threading it to Bertha Gray Hayes Trellis overshot design.  I made a 6 yard warp so I could possibly keep/give away/or sell it.  I have 260 warp ends to thread now!  The tabby weft will be yellow and the floating overshot yarn will be the blue and purple mixed together.  I think I am just going to lay them next to each other on the shuttle.  I've done that before and it gets off just a little bit, but it all seems to work out OK in the end!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Trellis Table Runner

I am flabbergasted by all custom requests I've had lately, especially so close to post-Christmas stuff.  I am working very hard to fill them all in a timely manner.  I LOVE all this extra weaving work!  I have been weaving on school nights just to keep it all caught up.  I don't usually do that, but I like how it gives me a taste of the weekend during the busy work day.  And all this work helps pay for my weaving habit!  In fact, any money I make on weaving, I put back into weaving with either supplies like yarn or books or whatever tool I need.  I love it!

My friend is dying to have me make her a table runner out of this trellis design!  She has been asking me for months!  At first she wanted a table runner like the one I made my mom, but I don't have enough supplies for one exactly like that.  Also, it doesn't have enough repeats in the design to be super effective.  AND, if you remember correctly, I had to skew the design so it could fit in the given space.  Since my friend wants a narrow table runner, so I suggested we go back to the original overshot design by Bertha Gray Hayes so we can get more repeats of the pattern.

The finished project needs to be about 30cm by 1.5 meters, 
or about 1 foot wide and 60 inches long.
So we are aiming for something like this practice piece:

In the zen towel colors:

So here are the 5 choices I presented her with. 
Because of the design AND the colors, some of these are pretty wild looking!
In order to get in all five colors and also to make the warp thread twice as thick, I am going to double the blue with the purple.  I just couldn't show that in these drafts:






We're going to go ahead with plan #1!
Look out eyeballs...