Saturday, March 31, 2012

The next 3 with 3 more to go!

 I decided to put my former wood shop skills to the test by using a "push stick" to do my sewing of the tails so I don't accidentally sew my fingers.  About a year ago, I sewed my finger right through the nail and it hurt like crazy so I am really careful now!

 I like labeling my work!  The next ones will just have an "a" on them.
I put these labels in a slightly higher position and I like it better than near the foot.

 This little guy has such shaggy hair!!!  It's sooooo cute!!

 3 more lions down... 8 total lions completed... 3 more to go!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Linda's Trellis

A few weeks ago, my aunt's friend Linda contacted me about weaving a few special projects for her.  She wants a table runner and 6 placemats done in Bertha Gray Hayes' Trellis #55 pattern.  She also wants an armadillo with turquoise eyes!  Linda sent me a sample of the colors she wants in her overshot projects.  She was aiming for a deep red/rust color for the background color and a teal color for the pattern float.  I ordered UKI 10/2 perle cotton in the color lipstick for the warp and weft and I ordered UKI 5/2 perle cotton in Mountain for the pattern float. 

If all goes well, this is what it should look like:

The width of everything needs to be 14", so keeping in mind a 10%-15% shrinkage, I think I will warp for 16".  The sett will be 20 epi, so I need to warp 322 ends, but I might do 330 instead for a little bit extra.  In order to weave the 76" runner with 4" fringe on each end and 6 placemats of 17" each plus a little fringe on each one, plus the loom waste and a little extra for practice, I need to make at least a 5 yard warp.  I think I might go for 6 yards.

Luckily Linda contacted me before I was completely done with the trellis project that was already on my loom so I plan on just tying on to ends of the old warp and adding a little bit to each side.  Remember this one?  I just finished it!!

The finished size of the last trellis project was only 12", so I just need to add a few inches.  Tying on to the last warp will save a lot of threading time.  I am excited to see this project come together! 

Now I just can't wait for the yarn to come!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Almost too busy to weave!

 I finally finished the trellis table runner warp!!  However, as of this point, the person I originally made it for hasn't received it in the mail yet... and I sent hers more than a month ago!  Unfortunately, none of these are the right length... so.... I guess this one will be repeated whether or not I want to!  Good thing I liked it, it was just slow weaving because of my zoo, Utah trip, and spring cleaning frenzy!

 Yes, I did say spring cleaning frenzy!  I have been very busy cleaning the house!  After living here for 2 years, I haven't even touched some of this stuff.  So it must go!  I have also been watching lots of reruns of Hoarders on Netflix, so that really helps me to stay motivated.  This is 1/2 of one of two piles... so 1/4 of the stuff that is to go. And it feels SOOOO good!

But the cat stays... he's just enjoying some old favorites.  Maybe he won't notice when they go missing...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Like nobody's business

  After our recent trip to Utah, I feel like Scout follows me everywhere and watches me very closely.  So he's the supervisor on duty today while I work on the last 6 lions!


And that's as far as I could possibly get in one day because I ran out of fluff.... poor little guys will have to wait until I can restock my 5 lb supply!  That huge box I bought way back when I started the zoo lasted me this entire time!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lions #6, 7, 8, 9, & 10... & 11!

At first, I was trying to get a dozen lions from this warp.  As I went along, I decided I would get 10 lions total.

But the warp decided to make a compromise and give me the middle number, or 11 lions!

Even though I squeezed them in as tight as I could, I was surprised at how many chunks of fabric still remained.  After making the tails for the last 6 lions, I had to find a use for those scraps so I starting making project sheets to give to people.  It has a sample of leftover fabric and some facts about the fabric. 

This is a sheet I made for my lions.  I also have project sheets for the armadillo and alligator.

   Can you believe this one pile is going to be sewn into 6 more lions?  Unbelievable! 


I think I'm going to do more factory style this time around, now that I know what I'm doing!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Label Tutorial Edit

I had to make an edit on this label tutorial post from the other day because I forgot some vital information about turning cards!  Here is a re-post with the exact same information, but I already added it to the tutorial also.

EDIT - Additional information on turning every other card

I almost forgot to mention that you need to rotate every other card so the yarn is coming out of the holes in opposite ways.  It can either come out "behind" the hole or in "front" of the hole.  Here are some picture examples:

After you turn each card, you need to re-align the colors because now they are opposite each other, too!  So after you are done turning every other card, go back and put all the green holes facing up.

The reason why you turn each card is because it makes the letters more crisp around the edges.  Here are some examples:

Here is a sample of what I've been working on for my next label.  I made up a new letter "a" that I like a lot better!

I improvised the tail on it, and I like it even more!

If I put two of these side by side, they will make such a cute little label!  It will be a cool trademark when I fold it and sew it onto my zoo animals.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm not a-lion'!

These guys are sooooo cute!!!

I thought it would be cute to get a pic of the big cats with the even bigger cats!

 It wasn't terribly successful.

I had to do more individual shots.

 But Zip was fascinated with how they smell!

 Here's the finished group of 5 so far...

 Okay, this shot is just too darn cute!!!

This is my new header... 
I wish Scout would have joined, too!

I have about 5 more lions to go!!!! 

And here's a storm update...

We got our snow day on Monday!  Yay!  I've haven't been that grateful for a snow day in awhile now!  I know our district will make it up on another day, but it was really nice to rest after our spring break.  I was able to complete some chores around the house and also get some more lions done.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weave your own labels

I really have been thinking hard about custom made labels lately to label my stuff with, but I don't really want to spend the money to get them.  I saw THIS POST about custom labels and they are just so cute and a great way to claim your work!

My appreciation for card/tablet weaving and inkle looms began when I was looking for a cheaper way to weave.  My husband had just lost his job and I had woven through my whole stash of yarn in no time at all.  For an entire year, I turned to weaving thrift store thread because it was super cheap (and as a bonus, I could take my loom with me wherever I went)!  I think a lot of people poke fun at inkle looms because they seemed too simple.  In fact, one day at the library a fellow weaver was doing just that when she saw my stack of card weaving books.  She said that floor looms are the only way to go and this stuff was just a waste of time.  Come to find out, these inkle looms can be very complex!  I am so glad that I had the time to learn how to use an inkle loom.  It gave me a whole new appreciation for weaving!

About a year ago I got really serious about using labels so I decided to weave my own.  I used  sewing thread, my inkle loom, and the letters from Linda Hendrickson's card weaving words book called Please Weave A Message. 

I think it adds a neat personal touch to a handmade object! 

Below I will show you a tutorial using the letter "a" because it's the first letter of my first name. 

 Before we begin, let's get our supplies in order.

You will need an inkle loom with a shuttle.  I am using the Ashford Inklette loom.  It's a wonderful invention because I can take it everywhere with me!  However, the original card weaving was done without a loom with the woven end was tied around the waist and the other end was tied to a door knob.  I find an inkle loom a little easier to use because I can get up and leave it for awhile instead of being tied to it.

 A table clamp is very useful to keep it from sliding all over the place!  Half way through I actually turned this clamp over so the bar was pointing towards the floor.

 You will also need 24 cards or tablets for these letters.  If you don't have any, you can make your own using cereal boxes or playing cards.  Let's take a closer look:

Start with a measurement of 2.5".  You can use whatever size you want, but 2.5" is a good size!

 Mark the center.  Go all the way from corner to corner.

Align your compass so it goes from the center to the very edge.

Mark a circle and cut out the square card.


 Punch holes at the intersections.

 Round the edges.

Now that you have 24 cards, we can talk about setting up your loom.  Make sure to undo some of the tension in the tension knob so that your warp isn't completely loose and you can tighten it up when you're done.

I am just using sewing thread to make the woven label very small and inexpensive.  It's easiest if you have 2 spools of thread for each color, but you can also wind some bobbins on your sewing machine and use those, too.  I had to have my husband help me with this one because the green thread was all over the place.  The white ones were still.  You can also slip them onto your lazy kate to help you out.

In order to thread the cards you need something really long in order to make sure all the holes are aligned and it also helps to get the thread through.  I use this thing that I forgot what it's called... something strange like "that darn purple thing" or something like that.  I'm sure a long yarn needle would be fine!

 Thread the thread through for all 4 colors going the same way, like front to back.  Each 2 sides needs the same colors, so like the top holes both need to be the green and the bottom holes need to be the white.  It doesn't really matter what you are calling top and bottom right now, just put the thread into neighboring holes.

 In this photo, both holes on top have white and both holes on the bottom have green.  Just ignore the random marks on my cards, like the numbers and the lines!

 Tie your yarn onto your loom.  Or you can tape it.
I do this little slip knot that my husband taught me.  It's like 1 1/2 knots.
You tie it on like regular, then when you're going to make that second loop for a knot, you don't pull the thread out all the way.  That way you can just slip it off later.

 Every time you go around your loom, you are going to drop a card off.  Make sure it comes off the same side each time (so all top or all bottom, but never both).

 So wind, drop... wind, drop... etc.  But don't ever forget to drop one off!!!
If you do forget, you will have 4 extra threads that don't do anything but get in the way.  You'll have to cut them out later and tie on the ends.

After 24 rounds, it will look somewhat messy when you are done, but don't worry.  You can organize it now that you're done!  Make each card face the same direction.  It doesn't really matter what direction, they just all need to be the same.  So what I did was I put both green holes facing up.

Also, don't worry about the twists that get into the threads.  They will work themselves out all the way to the end and then when you're all done, it will be time to cut it off.  There will always be twists in our warp when you card/tablet weave.


EDIT - Additional information on turning every other card

I almost forgot to mention that you need to rotate every other card so the yarn is coming out of the holes in opposite ways.  It can either come out "behind" the hole or in "front" of the hole.  Here are some picture examples:

After you turn each card, you need to re-align the colors because now they are opposite each other, too!  So after you are done turning every other card, go back and put all the green holes facing up.

The reason why you turn each card is because it makes the letters more crisp around the edges.  Here are some examples:

 Now, back to the original tutorial!


  You are going to need to weave a header.  So weave a little bit, you can twist the cards all the way around, or you could practice 2 forward and 2 backward like what we will be using here today.

This shuttle is headed left.

I have to give the cards a turn.  Then I come back from left and go right, and squish down the last one on the way.

 Now let's talk about the letter patterns.   Linda Hendrickson's book Please Weave a Message is super useful.  She provides many different types of fonts to weave, a detailed how-to guide, and a tutorial on how to use Microsoft Excel to design your own patterns that look like hers.  VERY COOL BOOK!!!

These are my most favorite looking letters, but she also has some calligraphy ones, italic letters, etc.



If you can't afford the book or really wish to get started today, you can find a short tutorial HERE along with patterns for her most basic letters.

 How to read the patterns:

In Linda's patterns, each horizontal box is a card and each vertical box is 2 moves of the cards: it's a twist forward or backwards twice with 2 shots in-between.  So take the "a" for example.  The bottom line looks like this:

 You move from the bottom of the pattern and go up.  Each section is 2 moves.  Each move could consist of ONE of these:
  1. Turn the background cards forward (F) once and the letter cards backwards (B) once.  Put your shuttle yarn through.  Turn the background cards forward (F) a second time and the letter cards backwards (B) a second time.  Put your shuttle through.  You have now woven 1 row.

2. Turn the background cards backwards (B) once and the letter cards forwards (F) once.  Put your shuttle through.  Turn the background cards backwards (B) a second time and the letter cards forward (F) a second time.  Put your shuttle through.  You have now woven 1 row.

If you did #1 the for the first row, do #2 for the second row, and visa versa for the others.
 When using Linda's letters, it's easier to slide some cards up and some cards down.  I usually put the few cards I'm using for the letters higher than the others.  This is because I need to tell them apart.  When the background colors are going backwards, the letter colors are going forwards.  And visa versa. 


Start with both green holes facing towards you.

Row 1: 
Twist the background cards forward once, and the letter cards backwards once.  Throw your shuttle.  Then do the same thing again to complete the first row.  Throw your background cards forward once, and the letter cards backwards once.

Row 2:
Twist the background cards backwards ward once, and the letter cards forwards once.  Throw your shuttle.  Then do the same thing again to complete the first row.  Throw your background cards backwards once, and the letter cards forwards once.

You have 4 rows in the letter "a".  So you should be moving your cards a total of 8 times to complete the row.

 You can see it a little better in this picture.  The letter cards are pushed up, the background cards are lower.

 I twist the letter cards forward and the background cards backwards.  I have to do this twice.  Then I can go onto the next square in the pattern.

 After following the pattern, I get my letter "a".  I used 8 twists total to weave 4 rows of the pattern.

 Here is what a project could like in this writing:

 Notice I switched background colors and letter colors for different sections.  All you have to do it turn the cards the same direction for 2 rows of the design.
There's a lot you can do with card/tablet weaving.  The traditional designs look like this:

In order to get these designs, you can just go around and around with the cards instead of 2F, 2B.  Very cool!

I have also take the time to design some of my own things using Linda's book.  In the Microsoft Excel section, she walked me through how to make some of these designs.  It's really a great way to make custom gifts for people.  I have made so many lanyards with people's names on them and THEY LOVE THEM!!!

This is an example of a lanyard I made for our parole officer at our school.  I got the idea from watching NCIS!  She loved it!

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

This lanyard was designed using the logo for our local ambulance company.  

Original logo:

My best version:

My pattern:

(I got lazy and didn't fill in any numbers on the right!)

The cool thing about weaving your own labels is that you can say whatever you want to say or weave little icons or motifs of whatever you want in whatever color you want!  Oh, the freedom!!  Linda Hendrickson also has some other books with motifs and cool things like that, or you could always design your own!  This is from Linda's pebble weave book using cards/tablets instead of a backstrap loom:

I don't think you have to have an inkle loom to do card weaving.  I know you can tie each end to a belt and not use a loom at all if you want!  I would like to try a few experiments of card weaving on my floor loom or my rigid heddle loom.  I imagine that you could warp a warp board  with the cards and thread, then transition it to your loom, but don't put in the reed or rigid heddle parts.  I have not done this yet, but I think it would work!  I will have to try it!

I hope you found this tutorial clear and helpful, but if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask them!!!  I would love to give you more information!  Also, I would love to see your projects!!